aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Porn star to preacher
In the Style Section, of all places, the NYTimes looks at a semiretired hetero porn star who is bringing spiritual comfort to those marginalized by the sex industry:
From his work in the rented villas of the San Fernando Valley, where hard-core sex films are shot, he has moved just a short distance west, to the Church of the Epiphany, which is guiding his transformation from pornography star to preacher.
The psychic distance, however, has been vast. In January, the lumbering 6-foot-3 performer was greeting fans on the red carpet of the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, along with the superstars of pornography like Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy.
In June, he was carrying the Holy Bible and a text titled “Gospel Light” to a live Internet show where he preached on the relative evils of pornography. “Is pornography a sin?” he asked on the show, which is aimed at people in the sex industry. “Probably. Definitely,” he answered, a response that reflected his own ambivalence as much as a desire not to alienate his audience. “So is eating carrot cake until you’re sick to your stomach,” he continued. “And so is punching somebody in the face. That’s a sin.”
He grew up a Southern Baptist in South Carolina (surprised?) and quit making hard-core movies because “I don’t enjoy it anymore” (though he had sex at an adult video convention in January).
A Viet Nam vet and former NYC cop, he renewed his private investigator’s license to make money as he pursues his religious avocation. About his years in the sex trade he says, “Not one time did Jesus refer to pornography, or homosexuality.”
Oh swell. I wish him luck - it’s a hard process - and he makes a valid point, but with friends like that we’ll never get the global Anglicans to accept gay clergy or gay marriage! I can only thank God he’s straight!
An opt-out payment plan for credit cards
Professor Michael Barr of the University of Michigan, guest blogging at Credit Slips, floats an idea:
What if credit card companies were required to use an “opt-out payment plan” for credit cards, under which consumers would be required automatically to make at least the minimum payment necessary to pay off their existing balance in its entirety over a relatively short period of time (say 6 months) unless the cutomer affirmatively opted-out of such a payment plan and chose a longer payment term.
Given what we know about default rules and framing, such a payment plan may be easier to follow, resulting in lower rates of delinquency and default. In any event, an optimal payment plan may encourage card holders to alter their borrowing behavior or their payoff plans. Moreover, credit card companies might find it difficult to argue publicly against reasonable opt-out payment plans and, in the face of such plans, to maintain a pricing model based on borrowers going into financial distress.
I should read more but my gut says too many of us would opt-out. Still, it’s a good idea and it would probably help a statistically impressive bunch of us.
How RED will Georgia be in the Presidential Primary?
Q. Are you more likely to vote in next year’s Republican or Democratic Presidential primary in Georgia?
Here’s what they said:
No Opinion/Don’t Know: 24%
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
The big story in this survey is with voters who describe themselves as independent.
Independent voters who already had made a choice said they preferred the Democratic primary by a 25 percent to 20 percent margin. More importantly, however, while most Republicans and Democrats stated that they would vote in their own party’s primary, over 53 percent of independents said they were undecided.
“This means that independent voters, who have for the past few election cycles trended towards the GOP, are less decided as to which party they prefer,” said InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery.
Via the AJC’s Political Insider, who reminds us “His firm put out polling data on Monday showing that Fred Thompson was the leading choice among Georgia Republicans, while Hillary Clinton maintained a slight edge over Barack Obama among Georgia Democrats.”
More on the gay Padres brouhaha
O’Reilly asserts that the Padres scheduled this event, as though the Padres decided they wanted to have a bunch of gay people at their ballpark so they found some and sold them tickets. If O’Reilly had read “The Outsports Revolution,” he’d know that this isn’t how it works. People in the community, whether they’re gay men, pregnant women, Muslims, Jews, union workers or members of a local softball league, decide they want to support their local team. Those people then pick a date, call the team’s group-ticket sales office, and request tickets. The gay group gets the same treatment and perks as any other group. No more, no less.
The Padres had scheduled the 14-and-under giveaway that night. O’Reilly wanted the Padres to tell the gay group that they couldn’t do it that night because they already had a promotion for kids scheduled. Mind you, he had no problem with the 100 other groups that had bought a total of 11,000 tickets that night; he just had a problem with the gay group.
In fact, 13 of the 81 home games for the Padres, or one out of every six, has a kids giveaway. Another 31 games have promotions or themes also targeting families, like “Teacher Appreciation Night” and “Family Fireworks.” So, according to O’Reilly, every other group in the known universe can pick any one of the 81 games they want to attend, but the gay people have to avoid over half of the games for fear of kids or families being offended.
This is all a surprising position by O’Reilly, who is a free-market guy. Except, apparently, when it comes to selling tickets to gay people.
Another part of the above statement that was absolutely ludicrous was this idea that “thousands of gay adults showed up.” It was only 1,000. In the history of “gay days” at ballparks, only once or twice has a group sold over 1,000 tickets. In this case, there were 42,000 people at the game. So, one in 42 people in the stadium was gay. That’s 2.4% of the people in the stadium. Even conservative estimates put the number of gay people in the general population over 2.4%. Petco Park that night was straighter than the San Diego community that surrounds it; those kids were safer from the gay agenda that night than if they had just been walking the streets of San Diego.
RELATED Me on PDA:
When a heterosexual couple goes too far at the beach or at the movies or in any public place, we are scornful and disapprove because, as is natural and fine by me, we don’t want to see them doing that.
The trouble is that with gay people the threshold is lowered so low as to include my calling my partner “dear” at the breakfast buffet in a family hotel.
Or kissing at a ballgame.
iHop and Applebee’s
Yesterday was four years to the day that I’ve been here. At a party this weekend someone asked, “what was the most difficult adjustment?” Without missing a beat I answered, “the restaurants!”
The most accurate way to describe the food at Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill is “well-slathered.” Nearly every dish comes drenched in sauce, usually either a deep-red ketchup derivative or a ranch dressing variant. Applebee’s trademark Riblets, for example, are bathed in enough tangy BBQ sauce to make a diner forget that he’s chowing on extraneous pig parts.
Applebee’s cuisine is considered so-so even by chain-restaurant standards. In the latest customer survey by the trade magazine Restaurants and Institutions, Applebee’s food scored below that of Chili’s, O’Charley’s, and the Cheesecake Factory, though it did top the deep-fried grub at T.G.I. Friday’s, Bennigan’s, and Hooters. But despite its middling food, Applebee’s is by far the largest casual-dining chain in the United States, with annual sales of around $3.6 billion-over $1 billion more than Chili’s, its closest competitor.
Started in Atlanta by 2 brothers in 1980, and spread by targeting “underserved areas-primarily exurban and rural strip malls” (yeah, that’s us) iHop is paying $1.9 billion in cash. No word on whether or not Aplebee’s met this 2005 goal:
America’s appetite for cheap, filling sit-down meals surprised even Applebee’s. Franchises have opened at a rate of more than 100 per year, and...the latest projection is for Applebee’s to top out at 3,000 restaurants, about 1,300 more than it has today.