DOUBTING JONES

DOUBTING JONES

“… I had to make out with another guy. Oh my. Wow. Okay, I can’t lie. Making out with another guy is thrilling.”

Pete Jones, of the first Project Greenlight, is writing an online journal for Film Threat detailing the production process of his new movie, “Doubting Riley”. You might remember Pete complaining in the Stolen Summer days about how his filmmaking process was meticulously documented for all the world to see. He wasn’t going to let that happen again. No, sir. That was damaging. That was horrible. That was intrusive.

So this time, he’s writing a column that meticulously documents his filmmaking process for all the world to see.

It turns out this column is a great read. You might want to start with his first installment (the columns are written on a weekly basis while the film is in production). But so far, the most interesting one is his most recent.

The movie, according to the column, is about “a fun loving Irish Catholic guy who shocks his family by coming out.” Pete is not only writing and directing, but he’s playing the lead role of the gay guy himself. So it’s funny when Pete, a married heterosexual man who has surely been mistaken for gay once or twice in his life, peppers his columns with quotes like the one above. Or the following:

“The idea for ‘Doubting Riley’ probably comes from my deep affection for the male body. Is that wrong?”

There are several possibilities here: a) Pete is an extremely open-minded heterosexual guy completely oblivious to how comments like this will be perceived; b) Pete is an extremely cunning heterosexual guy hoping to stir up interest in his film by casting an aura of ambiguity around his own sexuality; or c) Pete has written an autobiography.

As I’ve made it a policy to take people at their word about their sexuality (so what if they’re lying — it’s none of my business anyway) and as I have no interest in outing anyone, and since I’m also extremely cynical, I’m going with option (b). It’s more fun that way, too. That way, you can look at this as Pete’s revenge. He’s pissed off that Greenlight manipulated his image by taking selected snippets of his filmmaking experience out of context to make him look like an arrogant, bumbling stooge. So now he’s purposely manipulating his image by providing selected snippets for the media to take out of context to make him look like a homosexual.

If he’s shamelessly looking for publicity, you’ve gotta admire his gumption. And if he’s just some kind of merry prankster, I’m sure he’s having a good laugh that people like me are writing columns like this.

The man is a genius.

And if I’m wrong, then Lillian “Lill” is just a freak in a Boy Scout uniform.

ARRRR! ‘TIS A SCURVY CREW!

ARRRR! ‘TIS A SCURVY CREW!

The new Survivors are coming! The new Survivors are coming!

Here are some of my first impressions:

Rupert: How scary-looking is this guy? Given the “pirate” theme of this season (note the tribe names: Drake and Morgan *eyeroll*), I think they wanted at least one guy who actually looks like a pirate. Let’s all mesh our fingers together like Christy and say it in unison: “Creepy!” If anything should happen to Robbie Coltrane, I hear this guy’s next in line for the Hagrid role.

Lillian “Lill”: What can you say about a woman who poses for her picture in a Boy Scout uniform? Well, she knows how to get noticed by the casting department. I’ll give her that. If the dorky pose was indeed a calculated move, Lill could be a genius at manipulation. But if she’s really just some freak in a scout suit, she should probably “be prepared” for an early boot.

Ryan S.: You know I’m bound to root for anyone who lists “Nintendo Power” as a favorite magazine and #DDDDFF as his favorite color (I believe that’s an HTML code). But to paraphrase the Simpsons, I’m not sure his wussiness will come in handy. Favorite alcohol? “Drinking is for the boring.” Yes, he said that. Geez, even Lillian the Scout Freak is likely to think this kid’s weird.

Jon: Jon said something on the Early Show about disliking old people and wanting to vote them off first and build a “young people’s utopia”. I’m not sure when I stopped saying things like that, but I’m pretty sure it was before I turned 29, Jon’s current age. Jon better hope the other castaways don’t think he’s one of the old people. And he’d better keep that ugly skull cap on. I suspect he’s balding underneath.

Michelle: She looked like the token Colleen/Elisabeth cute young pixie from what I saw on the Early Show. Drew is convinced she’s somehow disabled. From our IM chat: “she supports the special olympics. who else does that but handicapped people?” Uh, I don’t know, Drew? Nice people?

If I have to pick a winner at this point, I might go with Andrew, who looks like he could be a good father figure type for his ragtag tribe. But who knows. They all look kinda weird to me.

I can’t wait.

KWESTION

KWESTION

Okay, I have to learn how to do those polls that people like BittyBoo do on their blogs, because I’ve got a question for y’all.

Should I have one of those Krispy Kremes that somebody left in the office kitchen?

  • Yes! Krispy Kremes are Tastee Treetz!
  • Yes! And hurry before everyone takes them all! They’re vultures here, I tell ya, vultures!
  • No! You already counseled Drew not to have a Hershey’s kiss this morning, you dang hypocrite!
  • No! You don’t know who left them there or why. They could be old and stale, or maybe they got dropped on the floor, or that guy who pees on the toilet seats put his grubby mitts all over them while trying to pick one out. Are you still an obsessive-compulsive or what?

BOOK

BOOK

This is one of those freaky things that happens sometimes.

I was surfing the web and read about this book called “Geography Club” by Brent Hartinger on some guy’s blog. It sounded like a cute young adult book about gay teenagers. (The premise is that they decide to start a gay club at school, but in order not to be stigmatized, they call it the “Geography Club”, figuring it’ll sound so boring that no one else will want to join anyway.) So I went to Amazon.com, looked it up and then added it to my wish list.

Now, I can count on no hands the number of times Drew and I have discussed gay young adult literature (though if “gay young adult literature” becomes the new search phrase that leads people to this site, as opposed to “[you-know-what-sleazy billboard queen] for [you-know-which statewide office]”, I would be pretty happy — So let me say it again: Gay young adult literature! Gay young adult literature! Literature young adult gay!). But when I noticed in the Amazon sample pages that the author of one of Drew’s favorite books (“The Year of Ice” by Brian Malloy) was quoted on the book jacket, I decided to IM Drew and see if he’d heard of the book.

… and he wrote back that he’d just ordered it half an hour ago. (Cue Twilight Zone music.) He read about it on Brian Malloy’s website, which he hadn’t visited in months. If we were two teenage girls, we would’ve shouted “Like, omigod!” about a million times in a row. Okay, so we kinda did that anyway. It was weird.

As long as this is a Big Gay Post, here’s a good article by the African-American guy who got cut from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He’s surprisingly not bitter, and pretty cool about the whole thing. But he does dish some good behind-the-scenes scoop, if you’re interested.

Hmmm… maybe it’s posts like this that have turned the automatic banner advertising on my site into the gayest place on the web. Has anyone noticed that those ads at the top of the page are suddenly all about gay radio stations and gay blog listings and inns in Vermont that perform Civil Unions? No, I don’t choose those ads at the top of the page — blogspot just assigns them.

Maybe they’re trying to tell me something…

JUST SOME STUFF THAT HAPPENED

JUST SOME STUFF THAT HAPPENED

This weekend, I finally used the gift card Drew got me for our six-month anniversary to buy some stuff at Bed Bath & Beyond. The idea was for me to fix up his spare bathroom, which is now kinda my bathroom, I guess, although it still feels weird to say that since I’m not officially living there and since I have to keep it clean because that’s the bathroom guests use. If it were really my bathroom, there’d probably be dirty underwear all over the floor and mildew in the tub, so maybe it’s good that, except for the spiffy matching tissue box, soap dish, etc., that bathroom remains shared turf.

On Saturday night, Drew took me to his favorite restaurant, Cynthia’s. The food was great. If you go there and you’re me (which you’re not, but play along for a second), don’t be scared by all the fish on the menu. You don’t like fish. (You’re me, remember.) The spicy fried chicken is fish-free and fantastic. The corn fritters are also terrific. Even the chicken and shrimp dumplings, which do contain seafood, are pretty good. Good for you, Jerry, you tried something new. You should be proud.

Okay, you’re you again. And lucky for you, because this is the part where I had too much to drink (again). Yikes, that’s becoming kind of a theme of this blog, isn’t it? I swear, I hardly ever touch the stuff — really! Drew made me drink three martinis at dinner, because, even more than the food, that seems to be what he loves about Cynthia’s. (Drew knows a lot about alcohol. A LOT.)

Of course, I got pretty loopy. Luckily, we had walked there (we’re smart, aren’t we?), but that did mean a long, stumbly walk home, during which I drunk-dialed two friends. That’s always fun. There’s a tip from me to you. If you’re drunk, call a friend who’d appreciate hearing you mumble and say outrageous things that make little or no sense. (Wasn’t I hilarious, Janice?) Just keep in mind that your friend may be in a later time zone and already in bed. (Sorry, Dave.)

On Sunday morning, while out driving, Drew and I witnessed a beautiful sight on the corner of Venice and Fairfax. A young dad was out for a walk with his five-year-old daughter. They waited patiently for the light to change, and then, when they got the WALK signal, Dad lifted his little girl up on his shoulders to give her a lift across the street. It was enough to warm your heart.

And when he turned around, Drew and I saw the slogan printed in block letters on the back of Dad’s t-shirt: “FUCK LOVE”.

That afternoon, we went to lunch with Drew’s friends and his goddaughter, Chloe, who it’s safe to say is developing a distinct case of the Jerrys. After we ate, we went for a dip in the pool, during which time 4-year-old Chloe taught me how to make caramel lollipops, sprinkle cookies and other imagination foods using the pool filter as an oven. When we got out to dry off, Chloe was extremely insistent that she be allowed to watch me change out of my bathing suit. Props to Drew for successfully guarding the door to the bathroom while I put my shorts back on.

After that, it was home again for some writing, cleaning and setting up the new bathroom.

My new bathroom.

I’M OUT TO PLEASE

I’M OUT TO PLEASE

The good news is that a new search phrase has finally overtaken “Angelyne for governor” as the #1 thing leading people toward this blog. The bad news for all you googlers: sorry, I don’t know whether Efram Potelle is gay.

I did see Efram, however, along with his movie “The Battle of Shaker Heights”, this Friday night at the Arclight. Maybe I should work in the Miramax marketing department, because I felt like the film needed more comedy. The funny stuff worked; the rest mostly didn’t. The script felt watered-down and a little formulaic, but it was full of great, clever dialogue (but not too clever — man, I hate “too clever”), and a truly original character in Kelly.

The movie had some other problems with its casting (the “bully” was actually the puniest-looking kid in the movie), its hairstyling (the school principal looked like a homeless woman), its soundtrack (hey, Kelly and his friend are having a serious fight — what a good place for a bouncy pop song!) and its cameos (yes, we heard your voice in the battle scene, Efram. Congratulations, you’re a movie star.)

But all in all, not a bad movie, and considering what everybody went through to get it made, they should probably all be commended.

After the screening, we were promised a Q&A with the writer and directors, which was probably the reason most of us in the audience were there. We weren’t so much interested in the movie as in soaking up as much “Project Greenlight” as we could. When the lights came up, we all clapped, assuming the filmmakers were waiting in the wings, but then nothing happened.

Nothing.

We waited and waited. An entire minute went by. Then another. People started to whisper. “Did they take off?” “Was this a come-on?” “Was the movie that bad that even the filmmakers couldn’t sit through it?” Some guy walked up to the front of the auditorium, and everyone got silent. But he was just another viewer returning to his front-row seat. Almost ten minutes went by, and people were starting to trickle out.

Finally, Kyle, Efram, Erica and Jeff Balis walked out. Whew. (I bitch only because we were never given an explanation or an apology for the delay, and I’m still grumpy about it. Hmph!)

The very first question was about whether Efram gave back the car. (He did, and he’s tired of being asked that.) Kyle and Efram both complained that the show wasn’t an accurate representation of what they’re really like. Well, then neither are Q&A sessions apparently, because Kyle and Efram seemed pretty much the same as they were on TV. Erica was the one who didn’t seem to get her due on the show, if only because we didn’t see enough of her. In person, she was smart, charming, and extremely funny and quick-witted. (I was gushing so much about her that Drew got a little jealous.) Jeff Balis seemed uncomfortable and desperate for the evening to end, perking up only when a creepy stalkerish woman in the crowd said some creepy stalkerish things about how wonderful he was and giggled her way nervously through it, while admonishing her friends to like, you know, cut it out, you guys!

The filmmakers also dished out the horrifying information that Pete Jones, of Project Greenlight 1, is making another movie. Pat Peach and Pete Biagi are surprisingly on board again, completing the unholy trinity. And not only is Pete writing and directing this time, he’s starring in it as well. (As a character named “Pete”, no doubt.) Drew told me later that he already knew all about this because it was in the trades last week. Apparently, the story has something to do with Pete’s character coming out of the closet to his conservative Midwestern family.

Sorry, googlers. No word on whether Pete himself is gay.

THE STRUGGLE IS OVER!!!

THE STRUGGLE IS OVER!!!

“It was about showing the world that gay people can do anything that anyone else can do.” — Chip

Really, Chip? Is that what winning the Amazing Race was all about?

Well, then, what if you had lost? Would it have proven the opposite? Would viewers across the country be saying, “Well, that seals it. Gay people can’t do everything other people can do. I know for sure because I saw it on a reality television show.”

At 7:59pm last night, right before CBS aired the finale of Amazing Race 4, there was still a lot of homophobia in this world. Did you take care of that problem for us, Chip? Was the debate over gay marriage rendered moot when Phil Keoghan handed you and Reichen the million dollar prize check on this morning’s Early Show? “I guess we were wrong,” a chorus led by George W. Bush, Rick Santorum and Antonin Scalia will say. “We thought homosexuals couldn’t marry the same way as straight people, but damn it if those two gay guys on TV didn’t do that tandem skydive in Australia the same as all those straight teams. I guess that means they can do anything, including live in a state of legally-santioned matrimony. We sure look like fools, don’t we?”

Tell me, Chip. When your team crossed the finish line first, was it a blow to heterosexuals worldwide, who would now be seen as inherently inferior to gays in terms of amazing racing?

And did you really prove anything that hadn’t already been “proven” by countless other reality stars? Were there really people out there who hadn’t already been swayed by Richard Hatch or Pedro Zamora or the token gay guy/couple on any previous reality show? Was the world still waiting for a gay victory in the Amazing Race to change their minds? “So what if that naked guy won Survivor?” people were saying. “Until I see some queers eating raw octopus, I won’t accept them as equals.”

Would the fact that I wouldn’t have touched that octopus make me a bad representative for the gay community? If I had gone on the show and said, “Hell, no, I’m not going to strip to my underwear and dive into a frozen lake and swim under a sheet of ice, because I’m afraid I’ll, like, die” would I have set the cause of gay rights back fifty years?

Was this our “I have a dream”? Our 19th Amendment? Are you our Rosa Parks?

Thanks to you, will the next gay victory on a reality show be a nonissue? Will it be a guy who, because of a trailblazer like you, can just accept his prize without patting himself on the back for the sea change in popular thinking that his victory will bring about? Will he just, you know, take the check and go home?

Well, if so, then thank you.

MONUMENTAL HYPOCRISY

MONUMENTAL HYPOCRISY

The lawyers for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore made a really interesting and overlooked point amid this whole media circus about the removal of the Ten Commandments monument. They said Moore’s intent was to “establish justice by acknowledging the guidance and favor of Almighty God, placed upon him by his oath of office and the Constitution of Alabama.”

Until I read that, I, like many people, just wrote Moore off as another right-wing crackpot trying to turn America into a theocracy. But it turns out Moore has a really good point. He doesn’t see his crusade to inject religion into the government as a mission from God. On the contrary, he’s on a mission from the government itself.

In fact, in order to take office, Moore was required by the Alabama state constitution to take an oath before God. And that’s just one example of God’s omnipresence in our government. He’s everywhere from official documents to state seals (like this one and this one) to our own currency. What do people expect when we force schoolkids to say God’s name every day in the Pledge of Allegiance, when, in response to 9/11, the entire Senate rises to its feet for a rendition of “God Bless America”, where the President ends every speech by requesting God’s blessing? The Ten Commandments even appear in the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. Why not the Alabama Supreme Court, too?

I don’t think Moore should have the right to display the Ten Commandments in his courthouse, but I can see why he thinks he does.

Removing a 5,300 pound stone monument in Alabama is a good start. But if the move to get religion out of the government ends there, then Roy Moore is the victim of monumental hypocrisy.

OODILY OODILY OODILY FUN FUN FUN

OODILY OODILY OODILY FUN FUN FUN

The least funny joke at the open mike night last night was about ME.

At least, that’s how I see it.

Okay, I wasn’t in the best mood because my set didn’t go so well. I decided about an hour before I went on to scrap half my material and kinda half-improv something I came up with just then. There were scattered laughs, but not enough to satisfy my fragile, wimpy ego. (It’s awful. My inner voice berates me constantly with taunts of, “You’ve got to be #1, Jerry!” Someday I’ll lash out and tape somebody’s buns together.)

Anyway, I finish my disappointing set, return to my seat, humbled, ashamed and considering a career in accounting, and the emcee introduces the next guy, a goofy-looking stooge in a Rockets shirt. (I don’t know what Rockets is — some kind of sports team?) And as Rockets Guy takes the microphone from the emcee, he says he “sensed a weird Chuck and Buck thing when you handed the mike off to that last guy”.

Yeah, that’s what he said.

Now, in that sentence, the “last guy” he was referring to was clearly me. What wasn’t as clear was whether I was supposed to be Chuck or Buck. Either way, I was not flattered. I really wasn’t sure what the crack was supposed to mean, but it definitely wasn’t a compliment. It’s a movie about a disturbed, pasty freak who has a bizarre homoerotic obsession with his childhood friend, a self-involved Hollywood producer with really bad teeth.

Where’s the love in that?

And more importantly, who was this creep standing up there insulting me?

Well, that’s the fun part, because I know exactly who he was.

You see, my new least-favorite comedian once appeared on a TV show. It was never what you’d call a hit, though I guess it had a cult following, which formerly included me. (Yes, I once loved this show. Well, no more!) But that alone probably wouldn’t have made me recognize him. In the five or so years since the show went off the air, Rockets Guy has lost a lot of weight and buffed himself up into a veiny WeHo gym boy type, shaved arms and all. (I know… yuck.)

The twist in our tale is that this short-lived show aired on none other than MTV, the network Drew works for. And Drew knows this guy. And a few weeks ago, when Drew and I were eating breakfast at Toast, we ran into this guy. And Drew introduced me to him.

Clearly, Rockets Guy does not recall this encounter.

But I do.

That’s all I could think of as he so cavalierly insulted me from the stage. I thought back to that brief introduction at the restaurant, with the newfound knowledge that he wasn’t quite as nice as he seemed that day. His polite act had clearly been nothing more than a big fake. “It’s nice to meet you,” he had said. Nice to meet me? Nice to meet me?!? Yeah, right. As he said those words, he was probably thinking, “You pasty Mike White-looking weirdo.”

Oh, how I hated Rockets Guy at that moment.

I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Drew about it. And I didn’t wait! I called him on my celph as I drove off from the club. “How obnoxious,” Drew said. “That’s really wrong.” He then assured me that I didn’t look anything like Mike White. (Hmmm… that was odd. Why did he assume I was the Mike White one?)

When I got home, as soon as Drew saw me, he pointed out the shirt I was wearing. It was a yellow and blue striped short-sleeved rugby. “It looks like a Chuck and Buck shirt,” he said. “He probably just meant your shirt.”

Could it be? Was it possible that Rockets Guy was merely referring to my attire? Was the seemingly mean-spirited crack actually kind of harmless and good-natured?

Either way, I still hate him.