MIND-BOGGLING NEWS

MIND-BOGGLING NEWS

  • Revolution Studios and the “creative” team behind “Watching Ellie” and “The Single Guy” are planning a movie called “Gay Secret Agent”, to star Brendan Fraser as a “flamboyantly gay” spy, whose success at his job stems from the fact that he’s “charming and well-mannered, a great dancer and an impeccable dresser”. Hey, Revolution Studios, I have an idea you’re going to love. It’s called “Chinese Secret Agent”, and it’s about a meek, nerdy laundromat owner whose math skills help him fight crime. I picture David Schwimmer in the title role. Or what about “Black Secret Agent”, about a spy who thrives on his jive-talkin’ basketball-playin’ skillz, starring Clay Aiken? Can’t you just see Clay in blackface, goin’ all street? Hilarious, right? Wait, I’ve got one more. It’s called “Studio Executive Secret Agent”. It’s about an overpaid, out-of-touch exec whose complete lack of insight as to what will appeal to audiences, both gay and straight, helps keep the world safe from intelligent filmmaking and nuanced character development. Let’s pray that this project quickly goes the way of this one.
  • Dick Cheney is still saying that Saddam Hussein had connections to al Qaeda. Still. Even as the rest of the world laughs at him. He is either: a) unbelievably stupid; b) banking on the moron vote; c) a mole for the Democrats attempting to make the Bush administration look as bad as possible. The search for the WMDs looks more and more like O.J.’s search for the real killers every day. Keep up the good work, Mr. Vice President.
  • A not-quite-so-new sensation: Mark Burnett’s latest brainstorm is a reality show with wannabe rockers auditioning to be the lead singer of an internationally successful pre-existing band. After teasing it for a while, he’s finally unveiled the band the “lucky” winner will get to front… INXS! Um, really. Weren’t they great, like, a long time ago, and then not-so-great for, like, a long, long time after that? Maybe after the show wraps, they can kick off a world tour opening for Swing Out Sister and The Outfield. If you ask me, Michael Hutchence got out at the right time.

MISC. MONDAY MISHMASH & MORE

MISC. MONDAY MISHMASH & MORE

  • If you want to know who wins the WB Superstar USA and you don’t want to wait another, oh three hours or so, then check out the soundtrack, released last week. You’ll notice the duet, which is sung by the final two. And could it be that the person who has four songs on the album (compared to everyone else’s 1-2) is the champ? Pretty slick, WB. And foo on you for not including the guy who does “War”. I’m sure he’s relieved that I’ve already forgotten his name, but he’s my hero. I’m glad I have a boyfriend who can expense this kind of crap. (I will NOT cop to paying money for it. I already fessed up to Wilson Phillips. Let me maintain some dignity, please.)
  • Once a year, the law firm where I work shuts down for the afternoon and buys everyone tickets to a movie at the adjacent multiplex. It’s intended as a gesture of staff appreciation. The “staff” in question, which encompasses everyone who works here except the attorneys, basically amounts to middle-aged women and homosexual men (i.e., me). The Big Boss picks the movie we all get to see, and let’s just say he doesn’t quite consider his audience when making his selection. Two years ago, the movie was Mr. Deeds. Last year, it was Anger Management. Scuttlebutt around the office is that he asks his tweenage kids what they want to see, then invites them along and expenses all the tickets so he doesn’t have to pay to take them on his own time. Well, apparently the decision has just been made. This year, so that Big Boss can save $30 and seem, for the briefest of moments, like a good dad, we all get to see… “The Chronicles of Riddick”. Memo to Big Boss: your kids are losers.
  • Happy Flag Day.
  • How do you quiet down a hyperactive five-year-old? 1) Give her a cookie; 2) Have Drew serenade her with an original composition called “There’s a Cookie in the Car”. I swear my boyfriend is an improv version of Raffi.
  • Finally tiring of playing Robbie Williams’ “Mr. Bojangles” over and over to make it #1 on my Top 25 Most Played on iTunes, I’ve moved on to screwing around with Smart Playlists. It’s truly worth the 6 hours I spent rating my entire music library on the 1-5 star scale. Smart playlists are the most spectacular form of artificial intelligence yet created by mankind, and someday soon, I expect to see Will Smith battling them in a movie where they attempt to take over the world.
  • Other Drew, welcome back. And congratulations on your move to the O.C. If the kids end up at a Pimps and Hos party, I’m claiming full credit.
  • Drew and I bought art! And better than that, Woofart! We had seen this guy’s paintings outside his house on Crescent Heights, but now he has his own gallery across from Toast. So after breakfast yesterday, we walked over and ordered up a few of the smallish (read: not nearly as expensive as the ones on the site) prints. “Friends in a Vespa” will look great where my “On the Right Track” movie poster used to be. (Sorry, Gary. I’m moving on. So should you.)
  • Who will go see Sleepover with me? From the trailer, it looks like exactly the kind of movie I would’ve loved when I was a fourteen-year-old girl. Watching a sassy tween heroine beat the bitchy girls at a scavenger hunt and share a closed-mouth kiss with the school hunk in the final reel is my idea of a good time. And they totally sold me with the little car. I missed the boat on New York Minute. I’m not going to let this one slip away. But something tells me it’s not the kind of movie men in their 30’s should go see alone. Any takers?
  • Chrisafer recently coined the term FILF, which immediately became part of my vocabulary. After a screening of Harry Potter, my boyfriend coined the term WILF (where W=”wizard”), which did not. (This from the guy who refuses to see “Sleepover”.)

GIVE THEM A SENSE OF PRIDE, TO MAKE IT EASIER

GIVE THEM A SENSE OF PRIDE, TO MAKE IT EASIER

In a rare (for me) show of conscience, I’ve been trying to minimize the number of times I blatantly invade my friends’ privacy by writing stories about them here without their explicit permission. Instead, I’ve tried to focus my posts exclusively on me, the programming lineup of the WB and whatever president has died recently. But for today and today alone, it’s back to the juicy stuff.

Some of my favorite comments and emails that I’ve received have been from people who responded to my coming out stories, often because they’re going through something similar themselves. So along those lines, I felt an update about Greg was in order. If you’re new around here, the short version is as follows (If you’re interested, you can read the long version here and here and here and here and possibly a few other places, too.): Greg and I have been friends since high school. Late last year, I (belatedly) came out to him, and shockingly, he came out to me in return. Then he came out to his two best friends from college, and they came out to him, too. It was weird and hilarious and sad all at once. Then, feeling secure in his identity for possibly the first time ever, Greg went out and became a big slut. The end.

Only it wasn’t the end. Greg still had one more hurdle to jump in the great Coming Out Marathon. (I know marathons don’t have hurdles, but I don’t have hours to spend coming up with good metaphors, okay?) You see, Greg’s game-winning touchdown occurred when he recently came out to his father. That was the one he was most nervous about, and the last major person he needed to come out to. By “major”, I mean that maybe his dry cleaner still hopes he’ll meet a nice girl, but other than that, Greg can pretty much be described with the requisite journalistic modifier “openly” gay.

So Greg drops the g-bomb, then Dad takes the brief, uncomfortable pause that’s part of pretty much every coming out story, and Greg decides to fill the silence by saying, “… and I’m happier than I’ve ever been”.

“… and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”

Can you imagine how proud I felt when he told me that? No, you can’t, so stop trying, you fool. Just looking at the words now, my eyes start to tear up, my chest puffs out, and the corners of my mouth pinch upward in something resembling a smile as I exclaim, “That’s my boy!” It’s really incredible to see how much Greg has changed these last few months, and if I had anything to do with it by nudging him out of the closet, then I couldn’t be happier either.

I’m not writing this to pat myself on the back. I decided to breach Greg’s privacy because I know there are people who’d be inspired by reading this, and that that would make Greg happy. When I picked up the phone to call Greg last October, I never imagined this story having such a happy ending. But that’s only because I was operating on fear, as was Greg. Fear did a lot of damage to both of us for a long time, and I know there are plenty of other people out there who are still afraid. So to them I say: the closet is bad, bad like the evildoers and bad like asbestos and bad like the new Wilson Phillips album*. It’s not just bad for you but for the people you care about, too. I’m not saying everyone’s coming out experiences will go as well as this, but they probably won’t be as bad as you think, and they might even change someone’s life.

Oh, yeah, and Greg’s in love now.

The greatest love of all — and the other kind, too. It’s funny how that happens.

__________________________________

*an informed opinion. Yes, sadly, I bought this.

MY NEW LOW

MY NEW LOW

I hate to admit it, but against my better judgment I’ve fallen for the WB’s Superstar USA. Hard. I watch it, I laugh, I say, “This is horrible and I’m horrible for watching it”, and then I laugh some more. I realize that if there’s a Hell, and if I haven’t already reserved my deluxe suite on the banks of the Styx, then tuning into this weekly excuse to humiliate people whose only crime is being oblivious has definitely sealed my doom. I’ve weighed the options. I want to kick it JoJo style, and I’ll deal with the consequences later.

Truth be told, I don’t sing or dance any better than any of the kids on the show, and I was probably about their age before I realized it. That could easily have been me up there, and if it had been, then when they told me, “Congratulations, you’re the worst singer in America and you look like a big loser and you can’t sue us because you signed all your rights away ha, ha, ha!!!!!”, I’d probably kill myself. No, first I’d throw a rock at Briggs’ head, and then I’d kill myself. Briggs, in case like most of America you haven’t been watching this awful, wonderful show, is the WB’s equivalent of Simon Cowell, the difference being that Simon is witty and insightful and doesn’t have a constant need to seem like Simon Cowell. (Side note: every time I write the name Simon Cowell, I have to do an IMDB search to make sure I’m not mixing him up with the guy from “A Room With a View”.)

Part of what’s so fascinating about the show is just how low it’s willing to go. It’s not merely about watching people sing badly. The producers do everything they can to build up the contestants’ confidence, giving them makeovers, dangling mansions and sports cars in front of them as a peek into the kind of lifestyle they’ll someday be living — wink, wink — and handing them off to vocal coaches and choreographers who encourage them to accentuate the worst parts of their performances. They tell the geek that he’s a sex symbol, the sexy girl that she’s too sexy and the girl whose English skills are severely limited that it’s endearing when she flubs the lyrics. Clearly the contestants were chosen not just for their lousiness but for their susceptibility to manipulation.

I’d like to think that the winner is going to be a hero who actually makes a few bucks off this like William Hung did, and that’ll be ample compensation for the damage done. But I seriously doubt it. I’d also like to think that this is just a big hoax on the audience, and these kids are the world’s greatest actors, and on the finale they’re going to say, “You don’t really think we’d be this cruel, do you?” And Jamie will say, “Hi, my real name is Dannika Louise D’aolantonio and I’m going to be the new girl on 7th Heaven this fall!” And Rosa will say, in perfect English, “Hey, yo, I’m Def Jam Recording Artist ‘Kalicko’ and my CD drops July 13.” And then I’ll laugh some more and feel good about life and human nature once again. But that’s probably wishful thinking. Some people really are this deluded, and all TV producers really are this mean.

I know. Hell is going to be bad. Not only is there fire and Hilter and country music, but Tone Loc, who let me down the one time I needed him, will be there, too, and so will Vitamin C, who allegedly was a pop star at one point — I seem to have missed that. But for now let me enjoy watching some poor innocent souls going through a Hell of their own. I’m counting the days until next week when the truth is finally revealed to them. I’m hoping against hope that they’ll handle the moment well.

But I’m also hoping they brought along some rocks.

"I WOULD NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FROM SELENA!"

“I WOULD NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FROM SELENA!”

Someone said the strangest thing to me the other day. I think it went something like this:

“I really want to see ‘A Day Without A Mexican’.”

I mean, can you imagine?

Not only did he want to see it. He really wanted to see it. When I pressed him for further details, he said, “I heard it’s good.”

And I’m all, “You mean, you’ve actually heard things about that movie?” Seriously, I see tons of movies, and so do all my friends, but that one’s not even on my radar. I haven’t seen any trailers, or any commercials, I don’t know who’s in it. Zilch. Then I told him I had seen “Saved!” and it was pretty good, and he was like, “What’s that?!” It was as if he and I were living in completely different worlds.

And, of course, in a way, we are.

You see, “this guy” was the guy who cuts my hair, who’s Latino, and — not that it matters, but I like to mention these things — heavily tattooed. For a city as diverse as it is, Los Angeles is extremely segregated — whether white, black, or brown, inked or blank.

It reminded me of my initial reaction when Selena died: “Who?!” And then there was my reaction upon seeing her millions of grieving fans on the news: “Huh?!” I’m used to hearing things like, “Xuxa is the most popular TV star in Brazilian history” or “Googoosh is the Madonna of Iran.” Since I’ve never been anywhere near Brazil or Iran, I think I can be forgiven for not knowing who Xuxa or Googoosh is — and the only reason I know them now is, who can forget names like Xuxa and Googoosh? But Selena was a superstar I never knew, right here in my own country.

When people say things like “L.A. is so phony” or “L.A. is so schmoozy” or “Everyone in L.A. has a screenplay”, they’re not really describing all of L.A. There’s a whole other world here that the rest of us often forget about, a world that has its own celebrities and music, and TV shows, though thankfully, I think we all have J-Lo in common. I remind myself of this every time I see the words “… and featuring Paul Rodriguez”. I mean, somebody‘s kept that guy popular all these years.

The great cultural divide of L.A. is like a fault line, deep and treacherous and splintering off in dozens of directions. I find myself on the other side of it whenever I hear someone say, “You mean the Pet Shop Boys are STILL making records?” (Answer: “Some of the best records of their CAREER!!!!!!”)

Imagine the reaction if Rufus Wainwright met an untimely end. (And having seen a very languid, bleary-eyed TV appearance of his a while back, I do worry — you know, cigarettes and chocolate milk are just a couple of his cravings.) The streets of West Hollywood would be cordoned off for round-the-clock vigils, and guys in tank tops would be blubbering to Conan Nolan on KNBC about what an icon Rufus was and how cruel life can be.

And as all of this was going on, a large number of people passing by or watching the spectacle on TV would stare at the sight and go:

“Que?!”

TENNY MILLENNY

TENNY MILLENNY

You know how our entire calendar is based on an estimate of the birth date of a guy who may or may not have had magic powers bestowed on him by his dad, who may or may not have created the universe?

And how a few years ago we celebrated the anniversary of the day that came one week after what was kind of that guy’s 2,000th birthday, we think? Well, along those lines, I reached an entirely arbitrary milestone of my own this weekend.

At 4:41pm on Saturday, I received my 10,000th visitor to this site since I installed my hit counter several months after I actually began posting here. It may not be my actual 10,000th visitor, but I will always treasure this official 10,000th visitor, whom I like to call “Tenny”. Tenny was guided to this site — as, I suspect, most of you initially were — through a Google search for:

“Ahmad Rashad” “full of himself”

I was pretty sure I had never written anything about Mr. Rashad’s ego, so I checked the link, and sure enough, those phrases were contained in two separate posts. Ahmad was merely mentioned as the “Celebrity Mole” host, and the guy who I called “full of himself” was the Bachelor’s Bob, whom I’m now embarrassed to have written about at all. Had I received this hit after last night’s Tony telecast, I might’ve suspected that Tenny had actually meant to search for “Phylicia Rashad” “full of herself”, but I’ll leave my commentary about Phylicia’s Phylicia-loving speech for another post.

Tenny’s Google search turned up only three hits, and the other two aren’t any more relevant than mine. What can we conclude from this? Well, nowhere on the entire internet do the terms “Ahmad Rashad” and “full of himself” turn up in proximity in any relevant way. Therefore, Ahmad Rashad is probably not full of himself. He’s probably a swell guy. Perhaps he’s the finest, least egocentric soul who has walked this planet, commentated on a sporting event or smoked a cigar in the vicinity of Keshia Knight Pulliam.

I should state that I get hits for crazy things all the time, and I put the craziest ones on my sidebar for all the world to see. I’ve long since accepted that I can’t help everyone who comes here looking for information, but by gum, I can help Tenny.

So come off it, Ahmad, you big egotistical clod. You think you’re so hot, don’t you? Well, Tenny and I know better, so get over yourself!

Thanks, Tenny. And thanks to the rest of you, too.

MOURNING IN AMERICA

MOURNING IN AMERICA

I just read the news that Reagan died, and of course I’m sad, mostly for two reasons:

  1. It’s sad when anyone dies.
  2. Now, the Reagan nuts are going to be really annoying.

I can already imagine the throngs of bereaved Young Republicans in identical blue suits who will surely spend the next few months flooding the streets in tears. There’ll be a big tribute to our 40th President at the Republican Convention — as there should be, but it’ll be way over the top and Trent Lott and Rick Santorum will extol him with messianic veneration, their heads bowed somberly, hands folded, poll numbers rising. Petitions will circulate again to have his face plastered on the dime, the dollar bill, the face of Mt. Rushmore, the flag. There will be even more schools named after him, and roads, and bus terminals, and the next thing you know, Congress will be seriously debating renaming Iraq in his memory.

I’ve never been much of a fan of Reagan or his politics, but I’ll say this: he didn’t scare me. Perhaps his greatest gift was how, even as he ascended to the most influential political position in the world, he always seemed like a regular guy. All along, he was just a guy I disagreed with who had a lot more power than I do. What scares me are these people who are determined to glorify him as nothing less than the embodiment of everything that they consider to be American. These people seem unable to accept the fact that their hero is a mortal, like the rest of us. I don’t know how they’ll react when confronted with this new evidence that suggests otherwise.

I still remember the moment my tenth grade history teacher informed our class, “Ronald Reagan will be judged as the greatest president in history”. He said it in the same tone he’d use to say something like “There were thirteen original colonies” or “The first ten amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights”, and as he uttered the words, his voice cracked under the emotion brought on by a tsunami of jingoism and respect. Lee Goldman, bless him, politely raised his hand and said, “Excuse me, is this open for discussion?” (Unfortunately, he was told that it wasn’t, but we all heard Lee’s side of the story that day in study hall.)

Whatever his failings, you have to give Reagan credit. He clearly had a message that resonated with people and stirred them to action, and his influence will greatly outlive him. People like that are essential to a healthy democracy, whether you agree with them or not. Reagan inspired a boundless loyalty in his devotees and built a large following of eager disciples who would do anything for him.

Then again, so did Charles Manson.

A TRUE STORY ABOUT MIKE

A TRUE STORY ABOUT MIKE

Mike saw a TV news report that said lots of jobs were being outsourced to India. He wanted to see if he could outsource his jerkiness, so he tried to buy a ticket to Bombay. “Oh, they changed the name of that city,” the airport ticket person said. “It’s called Mumbai now.”

“You idiot!” her coworker said. “You weren’t supposed to tell him that! That’s Mike!”

“Don’t tell me they changed the name of their city just so I wouldn’t find it!” Mike said.

“Oh, yes,” the airport ticket people said. “You are hated all over the Asian subcontinent. Bangkok is thinking of changing its name to Mumbkok.”

Mike was so mad he bought a ticket to Mumbai and moved there. And the people of India were so mad that all one billion of them flew to America and hunted down those airline ticket agents and killed them.

That happened this morning. That’s why you had so much trouble getting someone on the phone if you called Microsoft tech support today.

FAQ FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT ME TO HELP THEM FIGURE OUT WHAT TO BUY MY BOYFRIEND FOR HIS BIRTHDAY

FAQ FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT ME TO HELP THEM FIGURE OUT WHAT TO BUY MY BOYFRIEND FOR HIS BIRTHDAY

Q: Do you mind helping me with this?

A: Not at all. He is not an easy person to shop for. I feel your pain.

Q: Have a lot of people been asking you for help?

A: Tons.

Q: So what should I get him?

A: I don’t know. It’s kind of last minute, and at this point, I’m pretty much out of ideas.

Q: But I know you gave so-and-so an idea.

A: Yes, because she’s quicker than you, and she got to me when I still had some ideas left.

Q: If you give away your good ideas, what will you get him?

A: That’s why I don’t give away my good ideas.

Q: So if I use your help, then I’m just getting your own rejected gift ideas?

A: You betcha. And not only that, but after you give him your gift, I’m going to take credit for it. That is the price of my services. Ha, ha, ha!

Q: Will you really take credit for my gift?

A: No, not really. Unless it bombs. Then I’ll say, “Don’t blame [your name]. It was my idea.” I’m nice that way.

Q: I’ve been thinking of buying him [Title of Gayish Movie] on DVD. Will he like that?

A: There are only two possible answers to this question: “He hates that movie” or “He already has it”.

Q: What about [Title of 80’s Movie]? They just re-released it in a pimped-out special edition with a commentary track by [Washed-Up Brat Packer]!

A: Yes, we rented that last week. He/she sounded totally bitter. Hilarious.

Q: What about the new CD by [Gayish Musical Artist]?

A: He hates them.

Q: What about this cool book I found?

A: Perfect! That’s totally his taste! He will LOVE getting that book and will be genuinely touched that you knew him so well as to select something so fitting. Of course, he’ll never actually read it because he has about 5,000 other books he plans to read first. But if you’re going for sentiment over utility, then you nailed it.

Q: What size shirt/shoes/hat does he wear?

A: Large/10/None. But if you buy him clothes, just don’t be one of those people who buys him the kinds of clothes they think he should wear, rather than the kinds he actually will wear. Do you know how sad that will make him? He’ll think you’re saying he has no fashion sense, and he’ll cry and cry all night long, and I will cradle him in my arms and tell him you’re just thoughtless and insensitive. Either get him something that looks just like something he already has, or forget it.

Q: What about a gift certificate?

A: He never uses them. Seriously. They sit on his dresser in a big pile, and they rot there until they expire. One night, for fun, we counted them all up, and there was over $500 worth. The only gift certificates I’ve ever seen him use are for restaurants. He loves to eat out.

Q: If I get him a gift certificate to a restaurant, don’t you benefit, too?

A: I hadn’t thought of that, but yes, if he goes to dinner, I assume he’ll take me along.

Q: I heard last year you told somebody to get him concert tickets for a band you liked, who he couldn’t stand.

A: This story has been grossly distorted. Yes, I liked the headliner. No, Drew did not. But he was a big fan of the opening artist, whose name wasn’t printed on the tickets. So when he opened the gift and said, “I don’t like this band! Jerry does!”, you can see how the rumors about my ulterior motives got started. But the fact that I liked the headliner was pure coincidence. Great concert, by the way. They totally rocked.

Q: Fine, I’ll go with the gift certificate. What’s his favorite restaurant?

A: [Chain Restaurant Known For Its Inhumanly Enormous Portions].

Q: Isn’t [Chain Restaurant Known For Its Inhumanly Enormous Portions] your favorite restaurant?

A: Coincidence.