aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The Times finds Gay Bear Style
A reader asks Times’ styles editor Trip Gabriel what he thinks about Gawker referring to his Thursday section as “Thursgay Styles.” Trip replies:
An interesting question. As far as “Thursgay Styles,’’ it strikes me as kind of retro that a blog presenting itself as cutting edge about media and celebrity gossip would equate an interest in men’s fashion with being gay. Wasn’t that your grandfather’s thing? Thursday Styles includes a small amount of men’s fashion, mainly an every-three-weeks column, Dress Codes, but we are much more likely to cover aspects of gay life in Sunday Styles.
On the broader topic, there is no question that a lot of the influence in the style world originates with gay men. Have you noticed that straight male hipsters this winter have bushy beards and long, stringy hair, like George Harrison, circa “The Concert for Bangladesh”? It’s a look that comes in no small part from the subculture of gay men known as bears, who affect lumberjack whiskers and plaid shirts. Which is a reaction to the clean-shaven, waxed and moisturized look for men. [...]
Sunday Styles has no overarching thesis or agenda about gayness or straightness, but it’s clear the issues around sexual orientation in our society are evolving very rapidly, and often play out in the worlds of style. So we cover them.
For more on Bears, Andrew Sullivan points us to the academy’s discovery of Bears as described by the LATimes in Bear-y Culture and follows up with a reader’s reminiscences of a Bear event called the Badger Flat Run, “Imagine 300-500 burly bikers, leather muscle men and various other rugged types standing around two high altitude, deep woods campfire pits at midnight.”
Er, I can’t say I want to.
Party on base
Deciding too many soldiers were dying behind the wheel after partying out of town, Fort Stewart commanders spent $300,000 turning a defunct sports bar on the Army post into Rocky’s, a bar and nightclub that aims to mimic the after-hours party scene of Savannah’s hippest spots.
Knowing booze and dance tunes wouldn’t be enough, commanders also eased security restrictions at the post’s front gate to encourage civilians - namely women, who get free admission between 10 p.m. and midnight Fridays and Saturdays - to party at Rocky’s, which opened in November.
‘’We never want to glamorize alcohol, but we’ve got to be realistic about this,’’ said Col. Todd Buchs, garrison commander. ‘’If we know they’re going to drink, let’s provide a safe place for them to drink so we know they’re going to be alive the next morning.’’
Traffic deaths among soldiers have alarmed the Army since soldiers began returning home from Iraq in the 2003-04 fiscal year, when the number of soldiers killed in car crashes jumped 28 percent over the previous year. A total of 434 Army soldiers have died in wrecks outside combat zones since October 2003.
If it works for soldiers (admittedly a big if) maybe it suggests an approach to try with college students.
MSNBC on Amero
Hardly objective; it’s classic sensationalist cable news. Susan Filan, “Senior Legal Analyst,” recites all the old tropes. Ironic how they illustrate the computer porn…
Right now YouTube is loading extremely slowly. Here’s the link to the video.
MY SAME OLD PLEA: WE NEED A COMPUTER FORENSICS INNOCENCE PROJECT; a Barry Sheck and Peter Neufeld of the computer forensics world. We need experts who believe in the presumption of innocence and are willing to spend the time it takes to dig through logs, registry entries and hard drives to find the exculpatory material.
This is hardly the first story of its kind and, unfortunately, it’s not likely be the last. Prosecutors who look for - and presume - guilt do their selective search for data supporting that guilt; those accused rarely have the resources to pay computer forensics experts to counter that selective evidence. The media’s eager to cash in and, as we see here, happy to ride along with that presumption of guilt.
Via a Public Defender.
Give Justin a comedy hour
If you missed Justin Timberlake on SNL in December, watch this weekend for the repeat. He owns that show. Someone should give him a show of his own:
If you saw Timberlake performing at the Grammys on Sunday, you saw evidence of his range. At an upright piano, he led a soulful rendition of what he called his best composition yet, “What Goes Around ... Comes Around.” Later, welcoming to the stage the winner of a contest (19-year-old Robyn Troup), he played acoustic guitar, sang, danced, flirted, rapped, smiled and charmed. [...]
Timberlake has been in the spotlight a long time, from his “Mickey Mouse Club” years to his boy-band ‘N Sync days. He’s even weathered the most infamous pop-culture event in recent history: the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, which he ended by causing Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction seen ‘round the world.
He’s the type of multifaceted, immensely popular talent who can bring TV precisely what it wants most: lots of young viewers. But he could do it in a format only older viewers might remember: the old-fashioned sketch-and-songs variety show, once the domain of the likes of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sonny and Cher.
Timberlake is a better comic than any of them, and an excellent singer. Among modern performers, perhaps only BeyoncÃƒÂ© has hinted at similarly strong capabilities as a singer, dancer, actor and comic. But Timberlake has the rÃƒÂ©sumÃƒÂ© locked, and may even have the inclination.
Give the guy a series of specials for a year, one per sweeps month, and let him loose. Regis Philbin brought back the game show. “American Idol” brought back the talent show.
Maybe Timberlake’s gift, in a box, is to bring back the variety show.
Remembering The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
DJ Drama Mixtapes in the Times Magazine this weekend
Samantha Shapiro was with DJ Drama and Don Cannon the week before Atlanta police - and RIAA agents - busted them in a dramatic raid. Her story will appear in this weekend’s NYTimes Magazine. A sampling:
Late in the afternoon of Jan. 16, a SWAT team from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, backed up by officers from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office and the local police department, along with a few drug-sniffing dogs, burst into a unmarked recording studio on a short, quiet street in an industrial neighborhood near the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The officers entered with their guns drawn; the local police chief said later that they were “prepared for the worst.” They had come to serve a warrant for the arrest of the studio’s owners on the grounds that they had violated the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, or RICO, a charge often used to lock up people who make a business of selling drugs or breaking people’s arms to extort money. The officers confiscated recording equipment, cars, computers and bank statements along with more than 25,000 music CDs. Two of the three owners of the studio, Tyree Simmons, who is 28, and Donald Cannon, who is 27, were arrested and held overnight in the Fulton County jail. Eight employees, mostly interns from local colleges, were briefly detained as well. [...]
But Drama and Cannon’s studio was not a bootlegging plant; it was a place where successful new hip-hop CDs were regularly produced and distributed. Drama and Cannon are part of a well-regarded D.J. collective called the Aphilliates. Although their business almost certainly violated federal copyright law, as well as a Georgia state law that requires CDs to be labeled with the name and address of the producers, they were not simply stealing from the major labels; they were part of an alternative distribution system that the mainstream record industry uses to promote and market hip-hop artists. Drama and Cannon have in recent years been paid by the same companies that paid Kilgo to help arrest them.
Mixtapes fill a void left by the consolidation of record labels and radio stations. In the mid-1990s, sales of independent hip-hop albums exceeded those from major releases. But those smaller independent labels were bought out by major labels, and in the late ‘90s, the last major independent distributor collapsed. This left few routes for unknown hip-hop artists to enter the market; it also made the stakes higher for major labels, which wanted a better return on their investment. As Jeff Chang, author of “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” a history of hip-hop, told me recently, “The whole industry shifted to massive economies of scale, and mixtapes are a natural outgrowth and response to that.”
Mixtape D.J.’s came to be seen as the first tier of promotions for hip-hop artists, a stepping stone to radio play. Labels began aiding and abetting mixtape D.J.’s, sending them separate digital tracks of vocals and beats from songs so they could be easily remixed. They also started sending copies of an artist’s mixtape out to journalists and reviewers along with the official label release. DJ Chuck T, a mixtape D.J. in South Carolina, told me that when label employees send him tracks to include on his mixtapes, they request a copy of the mixtape so that they can show their bosses the track is “getting spin from the street.” He also said record-label promoters want sales figures for his mixtapes so they can chart sales patterns, which they use in marketing their own releases.