C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dodine de Canard

Apparently the Roux family of chefs is well known in Britain, but I just happened to come across this video the other day and it looked so interesting that I passed it on to my best friend M.P., who is a self-taught and highly proficient cook.  Well, he liked it so much he said he just might make this for an appetizer next time my birthday rolls around.  Lovely thought.

We had a marvelous Easter feast last week that started with roast leg of lamb, marinated in wine and herbs, and went on from there to all sorts of delectable things. If M.P. can get his new computer sorted out enough to send me some pics we took of the many scrumptious courses we worked our way through, I'll post them here for you fellows to see.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fifty Years Ago: Opening of the New York World's Fair, 1964

I remember how exciting the World's Fair sounded, and wanting to go - but didn't get to. My family never took any trips like that.  But I've read that other people who did attend found it disappointing: lots of boring educational exhibits but no carnival midway, and nothing much fun to do. Did any of you guys go to the Fair, and did you enjoy it, I wonder?

First, a Universal newsreel of President Johnson opening the Fair on April 23, 1964:

Next, part 1 of a 1964 NBC special report by Edwin Newman, in living color, of course:

Here's a remarkably crisp and vivid color report from the British Pathé News:

And finally, Shirley MacLaine and other Hollywood luminaries lend a bit of glamour to the Fair - Shirley was then starring in the comedy film What a Way to Go!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 4/28/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Waitin' for the Weekend

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Texas Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down - Again

In San Antonio, Texas state district judge Barbara Nellermoe ruled Tuesday that the state's prohibition of same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.  The state attorney general's office will appeal. KABB in San Antonio reports:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Rising Tide of Marriage Cases

Sixty-five and counting at this point. Freedom to Marry summarizes them here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to Dial a Telephone

A lost art - but here's all you need to know, courtesy of Ma Bell, 1954:

Well, that was pretty clear. But wait - how would you convey all that in a silent film? This earlier version from 1927 gets the message across with some swell animation:

Just for fun, here's some modern kids confronted with a dial phone for the first time:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 4/21/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

A very happy Easter to all my truckbuddies.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter in Istán – The Passion of Christ

Contributed by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain:

Tim’s Take on Spain
Easter in Istán – The Passion of Christ

Continuing the theme of passion from my last post, today we take a timely trip to the tiny mountain village of Istán where every Easter another kind of passion is on display. An ancient play, dating back to the 17C is performed by the villagers over the three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, La Pasión de Cristo, commonly known as El Paso. It is a characteristically Spanish mix of the sacred and the profane, which I have tried to emulate in this piece.

Although only nine miles from the coast and the seedy glitz of Puerto Banús, Istán has remained largely untouched by mass tourism. It lies in a high, sheltered valley almost hidden amongst the folds of the Sierra de las Nieves, the mountains that lie behind Marbella and Puerto Banús. The narrow road that takes you to the village is the same one that takes you out, and because it’s a dead end, thankfully remains untravelled by many. If you can avoid the odd boulder crashing down onto the road, or an occasional flock of goats crossing it, you will be rewarded with a glimpse of a more distant, simple way of life that has long been lost on the coast.

Partner and I have been visiting Istán for many years. The drive along the winding road is very scenic, if you have a head for heights, and affords wonderful views of La Concepción, the reservoir that supplies much of our water on the Costa, fed from the nearby Rio Verde. There are a number of short walks from the village to the shores of the reservoir and alongside the mountain stream that still supplies the village with cool, clear drinking water from a close-by spring.

The reservoir is looking low in that photo I took some years ago, just as it was a couple of weeks ago when I last visited, for we have had yet another dry winter; but in the village things are different. Everywhere you go, there is the gentle sound of water gushing along the ancient Arabic aqueducts or gurgling through troughs and splashing into fountains. There is a symbiosis between the village and the water, beautifully captured in this short video by José D. Ortiz - thank you, José. 

In this spot, the villagers used to do their laundry, wearing the stones smooth through constant use. Today people still come and fill large containers with water for drinking and cooking, and the walkers and cyclists who find the village also find somewhere to slake their thirst.

There are only a few bars and restaurants, but Partner and I particularly like El Barón. Some thirty years ago, when we first visited, it was run by Juan, a stocky, jovial man who dreamt of winning the lottery one day and building a grand house. His eldest son was an architect, and Juan had got him to draw up the plans for a palatial ‘Roman’ style villa which he would show to us proudly. Un diá, one day, he would say with a twinkle in his eye.

His younger son, Juanito, was just starting a career as a minor league football player, taller than his father, lean and very handsome; occasionally, he would help out, waiting on tables or working behind the bar. It was a typical family-run business that had become rare in the UK. Later, Juanito’s career was cut short by injury, so he returned home and gradually took over the reigns from Juan.

More worldly-wise than his father, Juanito realised the potential for catering to the increasing number of tourists who wanted to explore the mountains and surrounding countryside, and the little family restaurant prospered. Today, Juanito remains handsome, though his hair is greying, and now his own son, even taller, and inheriting his father’s good looks, is learning the trade, albeit whilst going through that somewhat truculent ‘teenage’ phase! To see three generations working in a business is sadly becoming less common, for it is a feature of Spanish life that Partner and I have always admired and appreciated. Improvements in education and mobility mean that many Spanish youngsters now move away from home to seek employment, and the concept of a generational family business is sadly no longer as popular as it was.

But the food in El Barón remains wonderful! Simple, but always freshly cooked and so full of flavour. Partner always enjoys the stuffed aubergines, still made to Grandma’s secret recipe (we’ve asked, but no, she won’t tell!), whilst I love the plato panocho, a local dish named after the villagers’ nickname for themselves – Panochos - piled high with pork sirloin, spicy chorizo sausage, herb-flavoured meatball, fried egg, fried green peppers and rough-cut fried potatoes, preferably smothered in fresh ali-oli, garlic mayonnaise! And yes, my cholesterol is high!

Istán only has a population of some 1,500, and every Easter they celebrate passionately, as most Spanish do, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be numerous services held in the little white-painted church, which remains refreshingly simple, almost austere inside, compared to many in the country, for this is still a poor village. Outside there will be religious processions led by the local band, wending their way around the narrow cobbled streets to the peculiarly Spanish sound effected by many such silver bands, a shrill and slightly off-key cacophony might politely describe it! But for at least a hundred Panochos, young and old, there will be a very personal display of passion on view as they perform El Paso, the ancient play that depicts the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Up to three hundred more villagers work behind the scenes, making sets and costumes, etc., so a quarter of the village’s population is involved every year.

First performed in Istán in 1660, as a Mystery Play in the Greek style, with silent performers wearing masks, and the narrative sung by an accompanying choir. It was discontinued during Franco’s time, but the practice was re-introduced in it’s more contemporary form in the 1980’s. Not for tourism or monetary gain, for it is not widely publicised outside the village and entrance is free, but to reclaim the heritage of the village and its population. Neither is it, strictly speaking, a religious ceremony, for it is not officially sanctioned by the church; rather, it is a public expression of faith and, using a word that is strange to a foreigner though much used here in Spain, of solidarity – that sense of belonging. It is also, at the simplest level, an activity for the whole family, three evenings of entertainment and socialising. In parts humorous, in others sad, and of course ultimately joyful. So whilst I can’t say I have ever seen the village priest in attendance, at least not in his vestments, I would say that as many as 90% of the villagers do attend the performances held in what, for the rest of the year, is the village football stadium.

Although most of the play is based on the gospel of Matthew, Day 1 is a like a ‘holy’ prequel, with tales from the Old Testament, such as the offer in sacrifice of Abraham’s only son Isaac, which presages God’s promise to send a son of his own. Then it moves on to the New Testament and the birth and early life of Jesus, After Christ’s final entry into Jerusalem, the tension quickly builds up, though. At the last supper we know that Jesus will be betrayed by Judas, but his arrest by the Romans is sudden and violent, a suitable climax on which to end the day.

If Day 1 is essentially a warm-up, Day 2 sees the story unfolding vividly and dramatically: Pontius condemns Jesus and frees Barabbas, who can’t believe his luck and races away from the court, tumbling and somersaulting in the dust. A good performance here is appreciated by the crowd with much applause; poor performances are met with silence! Judas, overcome with remorse, throws away his 30 pieces of silver, and away from the central stage, ‘hangs’ himself most realistically.

But this is Judas and deserves what he gets, no applause from the crowd, and because of that I think it is one of the hardest roles to perform. Soon Jesus is stripped of his clothes and made to carry the cross; he is beaten and whipped by a bear of a man playing the Roman guard commander. The first time I saw this scene I was horrified, it was so very real. Red dye had been put onto the ends of the whip and they left scarlet marks across Jesus’ back. This was the first time of use for this effect, and the crowd gasped as one, then applauded in admiration. As he is lead from the arena, beaten and stumbling, a man gives Jesus his cloak, then bursts into a heartbreaking cante flamenco as Christ is lead away, a touching acknowledgement of the Andalusian heritage of this little village.

There is a short break before the play continues outside with the procession to Calvary: children scrabble in the sand to find the coins Judas threw away, parents chat with friends, ‘Jesus’ takes time to recover from his beating, and the evening air cools.

Most villages have a Jack-the-lad type, and Istán is no exception. I had spied the handsome young man in the crowd earlier, dark good looks and an Elvis hairstyle. Now shirtless, one minute wooing the ladies, the next calling and whistling to his mates amongst the Roman soldiers as they formed up and marched past, ‘Elvis’ was difficult to ignore in more ways than one, although he did need to work on those abs!

The villagers tolerated his behaviour with good humour; children of whatever age are seldom rebuked in Spain. But time will out, and the following year our young buck was taking part himself, as a soldier. He did look good in that uniform, the power of the passion?

The procession follows a track about a mile out of the town, climbing up to a rocky platform, El Calvario, overlooking the village, the backdrop provided by the jagged mountainside behind. Here the three condemned are strapped to their crosses - they have a small platform on which to place their feet, but the position must be painful. Jesus is harangued by the two criminals on either side of him, and then Mary tries to comfort her son, only to be pushed back by the soldiers. Joined by angels who arrive in a cloud of smoke, his mother prays for him. Christ delivers his soliloquy, his shoulders slump and his knees buckle.

The crowd, who have watched intently and in silence, burst into applause. It is a bravura performance of what for me and for many in the watching crowd is the pivotal moment in the play, more so even than the resurrection scene the following day. It is a very ‘real’ death on a cross in a wild and rugged setting. It is incredibly moving. This is the ‘Passion’.

It has been an emotional four hours, and Partner and I retire to the village for a drink in the bar Sud-America before we return home. ‘Jesus’ walks in and stands alone at the bar. Well, what do you do? It sounds like the first line of a joke – “Jesus walks into this Spanish bar with two Englishmen inside . . . !” Well, we buy him a beer, of course, and chat for a little while. Miguel has been playing the role for eight years and considers it to be a huge privilege and honour, not for himself, but for his faith and his home. He shows us the vivid weals on his back from the whipping, and the bruises from his beating: he carries them proudly, if painfully.

Just then a large hand descends on his shoulder - his tormentor, the guard, has arrived. He too buys Miguel a drink, but they do not talk much together, as if both are still in character. Shortly the guard is joined in the tiny bar by his thirsty and raucous troops, and Jesus goes to join his apostles in an even smaller tavern, Bar Afrika, across the road, for a re-run of the Last Supper perhaps? It’s a most surreal ending to the day!

Day 3 starts later in the evening, and the stadium is noticeably cooler. A large telescopic crane is parked right outside, Partner and I wonder what it’s doing there, but then this is Spain. Jesus’ body has been interred in a tomb; a huge boulder blocks the entrance. His followers appear morose and downhearted: was it all for nothing? Then Jesus begins to appear to his disciples one by one, but they don’t recognise him at first. Gradually it dawns on them that he has indeed risen from the dead. They rush to the tomb for confirmation, but find it guarded by the Romans.

The soldiers seem ill at ease in the gathering darkness, justifiably so, for in a blaze of exploding pyrotechnics and smoke, they are stunned by an earthquake sent by the angels of the Lord and fall to the ground, senseless. Then the massive boulder falls down with a crash, smoke and flames belch from the ground. (Note: sometimes the boulder falls on a senseless Roman soldier, who senselessly moves it – this always raises a laugh!). Fearfully the disciples enter the tomb, only to find it empty, there has indeed been a resurrection, and only the robe Jesus was wrapped in remains. Outside they fall to their knees in prayer.

Suddenly, a blinding light reveals Christ high in the air above them; dressed in purest white, he tells them he is going to join his Father, and will not appear to them again. Then amidst more smoke and fireworks he ascends higher and higher towards heaven. Abruptly, all the lights in the stadium go out, leaving only the black of the night. The audience rise to their feet as one and applaud, cries of Bravo and Olé ring out, El Paso of Istán has finished for another year and the bonds of faith and friendship have been renewed. And of course now we know what the crane was for!

This video, also from José D. Ortiz, condenses the eight hours of the play into a few minutes, but it captures the movement and vitality of the Paso wonderfully.

Partner and I were quite sad after our first Paso, as we drove away back down the mountain in the darkness. We felt we had got to know the villagers better over the last three evenings, and they in turn had allowed us a glimpse of their various passions. It seemed strange to think that somewhere behind us, Jesus was enjoying yet another supper in Bar Afrika with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, that ‘Elvis’ was undoubtedly showing off in front of his ‘Roman’ friends in the village discotheque, and that in El Barón, Juanito was looking forward to having a Sunday off work!

We finish with some excerpts from J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion. An easy choice, for I love both Bach and baroque choral music: performed here in a delightfully informal arrangement that I’m sure the Panochos would approve of.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday: Were You There?

A memorable rendering of the American spiritual from the September 6, 1969, episode of The Johnny Cash Show, featuring Johnny backed by the Carter Family and the Statler Brothers:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why Marriage Matters: In Sickness and in Health

This you must read. Even if it makes you weep. Just do it.

From the Orlando Sun-Sentinel via Joe.My.God.

Fittingly, today is Maundy Thursday.

Divine Servant by Max Greiner.
Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Buick, My Love, and I

Click to enlarge.

The 1955-56 Buicks were beautiful, and so are the many gorgeous ads produced for the company in those years by the renowned illustration team of Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman - a sampling of which you see above.

When I was a kid, my mom had a blue '55 Buick - it was a good car.  Here's a video compilation of more Buicks from the late 1940;s down to 1958.  Love those portholes (which actually delivered air to the operable side vents under the dashboard) and the elegant side swoop, which was a Buick feature on some models down to the early 1970's.

And just for fun, let's go back to the future in this 1956 General Motors promotional film, and find out what kind of automated highways we'll be able to travel in the scintillating, high-tech year of 1976!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Marriage News Watch, 4/14/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

Update, 8:30 p.m., from Freedom to Marry:

Today, U.S. District Court judge Timothy Black officially issued his ruling in Henry v. Himes, declaring that the state of Ohio must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states. He wrote, "Ohio’s marriage recognition bans are facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances."

The ruling has been stayed - meaning it does not take effect immediately - throughout the state of Ohio. Tomorrow, the judge will revisit whether a stay is necessary for the four plaintiff couples, who he says have demonstrated clear and urgent harm: That when they give birth to their children, they must be respected as married so that both parents can appear on the birth certificates. The judge wrote, "The Court inclines toward a finding that the issuance of correct birth certificates for Plaintiffs’ children, due in June or earlier, should not be stayed."
Text of the ruling is here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Civil Rights in America, Fifty Years On

President Johnson addresses a nationwide television audience during his signing of the Civil Rights Act in the East Room of the White House, July 2, 1964.  Among the dignitaries in the front row are Lady Bird Johnson, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and Senator Barry Goldwater.

President Obama spoke on Thursday at the LBJ Library in Austin, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a great turning point in American history that was largely the result of President Lyndon Johnson's strenuous efforts to ensure that Congress passed the bill, which he signed on July 2, 1964.  Notice what Obama says about gay Americans, and about the movement of history.

Full text and video of Obama's remarks are here.

Just to refresh your memory, here's a mini-documentary about LBJ's work on the Civil Rights Act, which was an uphill battle all the way - this Wikipedia article gives details on the votes in the House and the Senate.

And a short study of Barry Goldwater's attitude towards civil rights - notice at the 1:28 mark, the sign held by white protesters in New Orleans, 1960: "God Demands Segregation." Sound familiar?

And Andy Borowitz gets the last word:

Nation Stunned to Learn Congress Accomplished Something Fifty Years Ago

Sunday Drive: All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Today is Palm Sunday.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Waitin' for the Weekend

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Change of Heart for U. S. Marine

Via Box Turtle Bulletin: Go read this moving epiphany by a Baptist jarhead.  Excerpt:
Sgt. Santiago and I spoke often, if casually. He routinely had one of the highest physical fitness test scores in our unit and never missed a chance to go salsa dancing stateside with fellow Marines, including our senior enlisted Marine and his wife, whom he persuaded to join a few times. He also proudly displayed his Puerto Rican flag in his barracks. Nevertheless, he was a reserved man, quiet, private. I assumed these were inherent personality traits. I didn’t realize that he was hiding something.

I believed I knew the men in my B-hut better than I knew most of my friends at home, yet the man sleeping next door had a secret he dared not reveal for fear of being removed from active duty. It never crossed my mind that he was gay — or that I could have done so much more to be his friend. . . .

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Newsbites, 4/8/14

Mickey Rooney Dies at 93 - a comedic genius and a highly underrated performer.  The Los Angeles Times reports:
When such leading actors of his generation as Cary Grant and Anthony Quinn were asked who was the best actor in Hollywood, they both immediately named Rooney, Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne recalled while interviewing author Gore Vidal, who said the same.

"Tennessee Williams, who knew more about actors than anybody in our time … said, 'There's only one great actor in the United States and that is Mickey Rooney.... He can do anything. He sings, he dances, he can make you weep. He can play tragedy, he can play comedy,'" Vidal said in 2007 while introducing "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the 1935 film with a teenage Rooney as Puck.
May he rest in peace with Judy and all his other fabulous co-stars from 90 years of delighting audiences around the world.

LBJ's Daughters Say Daddy Would Have Supported Marriage Equality:
“I think my father felt very strongly that when there was bigotry anywhere, prejudice anywhere, all of us lose out,” said Luci Baines Johnson. “Because it’s just one more expression of hate.”

Added her sister, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb: “It’s hard to project what Daddy would have thought about that because that wasn’t an issue that had come upon the States at that time. But I know he really wanted everybody to be able to live up to the best that God gave them.”
I think he would too if he were still alive. Texans who aren't brainbound by religious fundamentalism have an instinct for fair play and root for the underdog. But oh my gosh, I remember Lynda and Luci as teenagers, watched their weddings on TV - and now here they are old women, immaculately dressed and groomed, but grandma age. Of course, I'm not far behind them, and getting pretty damn long in the tooth myself.

UVA Swimmers Embrace Their Gay Teammates - Okay, so which two do you think are the gay ones?

Louisiana Congressman Defends "Our Christian Way of Life" by Making Out with Staffer - Another lying, hypocritical sack of shit Tea Party Republican has been busted - on video - because he just can't keep his Traditional Family Values in his pants. But it's cool - he's asked the wife and five kids to forgive him, so that's just all right with God then.  He was elected just last November; here's a campaign ad of McAllister promising to do his duty to God and his country:

The betrayed husband of the woman McAllister was putting a lip lock on says:
I know his beliefs. When he ran one of his commercials, he said "I need your prayers," and I asked, "When did you get religious?" He said, "When I needed votes." He broke out the religious card and he's about the most non-religious person I know. He's apologized to everyone in the world except me. I’m just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man. I loved my wife so much. I cannot believe this. I cannot freaking believe it. I feel like I’m going to wake up here in a minute and this is all going to be a bad nightmare. It was just a kiss, that was all it was, but it embarrassed me and my family.

Westboro Protesters Chased Away by Mob in Oklahoma - Hundreds of local residents jeered and put to flight a group of Westboro Baptist Church protesters in Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, on Sunday. The Westboro gang were there to praise God for sending a tornado that killed several children last year. KFOR in Oklahoma City reports:
Westboro’s permit to picket was for half an hour. They had been there a mere eight minutes when several people took matters into their own hands. Some Moore residents crossed the picket line to go after Westboro members. Dan Eccles said, “I was afraid of a riot really. I didn’t know how long Westboro would stay, which they were smart to leave.” Police were able to hold back the Moore residents while the Westboro bunch rushed to pack their signs in their cars and leave.

Dan Eccles said, “They shagged tail, got in them cars and was leaving in a hurry. Oh yeah, they was gone!” "I thought it was hilarious. I mean I really did. We sat there and laughed the whole time,” said Tina Johnson. “They were running, yeah.”

This week's New Yorker cover just makes me laugh out loud.  Brilliant.
The Best Medicine by Barry Blitt.

The Quality of Mercy - Regarding the flap over the resignation of Mozilla's CEO last week, Andrew Sullivan says:
The ability to work alongside or for people with whom we have a deep political disagreement is not a minor issue in a liberal society. It is a core foundation of toleration. We either develop the ability to tolerate those with whom we deeply disagree, or liberal society is basically impossible. Civil conversation becomes culture war; arguments and reason cede to emotion and anger. And let me reiterate: this principle of toleration has recently been attacked by many more on the far right than on the far left. I’m appalled, for example, at how great gay teachers have been fired by Catholic schools, even though it is within the right of the schools to do so. It’s awful that individuals are fired for being gay with no legal recourse all over the country. But if we rightly feel this way about gays in the workplace, why do we not feel the same about our opponents? And on what grounds can we celebrate the resignation of someone for his off-workplace political beliefs? Payback? Revenge? Some liberal principles, in my view, are worth defending whether they are assailed by left or right. . . .

A civil rights movement without toleration is not a civil rights movement; it is a cultural campaign to expunge and destroy its opponents. A moral movement without mercy is not moral; it is, when push comes to shove, cruel. For a decade and half, we have fought the battle for equal dignity for gay people with sincerity, openness, toleration and reason. It appears increasingly as if we will have to fight and fight again to prevent this precious and highly successful legacy from being hijacked by a righteous, absolutely certain, and often hateful mob. We are better than this. And we must not give in to it.

And Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin concurs:
Mozilla describes itself as “an open source project governed as a meritocracy.” Eich had been with Mozilla since the very beginning and developed the ubiquitous Javascript that powers much of the web today. If meritocracy means anything at any company, it should certainly mean something to the company’s most visible job at the very top. But Eich was caught in an impossible quagmire that had nothing to do with merit. In the name of tolerance, he learned that we don’t have to tolerate his opinions, opinions which he kept private and away from the workplace.

Which means that everyone who has had to endure corporate diversity training now has the same lesson lodged in their heads. Until now, they had been told that they can do whatever they want and believe whatever they want outside the workplace, but when they crossed the company’s threshold, they had to treat their fellow workers with dignity and respect, and to respect and encourage diversity in the workforce. They’ve now learned that it was all a lie. We do care about what they do outside of work and we can demand their ouster if we don’t like it. Eich learned that lesson the hard way and resigned yesterday. I can’t think of a better way to encourage even more cynicism toward company diversity programs than that.

In a highly interesting development in this affair, Mother Jones reports that OKCupid's CEO, Sam Yagen, contributed $500 to an antigay congressman's campaign back in 2004.  OKCupid announced last week that it would block all users with Mozilla's Firefox browser from OKCupid's site while Eich remained at the head of that company. Yagen has now apologized for his thoughtcrime, saying he had no clue about the candidate's antigay views.

And Joe Jervis disagrees with Sullivan but says:
Demands for ideological purity are killing the Republican Party and are no less a danger for the LGBT rights movement. . . . My larger point is that there is room for people for have different ideas about how to get to the same place. Every social movement in history has been torn by infighting and ours is definitely no exception. So yes, call out our own and call them out strongly when you think they are wrong about tactics. We can do that without the same vitriol we direct at our actual enemies.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: Cabaret

This is not your Head Trucker's kind of movie, but it's unforgettable for two things: Liza Minelli's voice, and this brief exchange - breathtaking at the time for a 17-year-old closeted gay kid hidden away in the Deep South:
"Screw Maximilian!"

"I do."

Steve Hayes reviews the award-winning musical:
Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey give iconic, Oscar winning performances in Bob Fosse's brilliant CABARET (1972). The plot deals with a tragic affair between a would-be novelist and a cabaret chanteuse, set against the decadence of pre-Nazi Berlin in the early 1930's. Based on the writings of Christopher Isherwood, shot on location in Berlin and adapted from the Tony winning Kander and Ebb musical, it also stars Michael York, Marissa Berenson and Helmut Griem. Filled with eye-popping musical numbers, brilliant performances, and Fosse's subtle direction, CABARET is an unsurpassed musical achievement not to be missed!

Catch more fabulous movie reviews at Steve's YouTube channel.

Marriage News Watch, 4/7/14

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Honey Maid: Love


The original ad:

The gay family:

Sunday Drive: Baby Blue

Been out of town a few days, helping a friend and enjoying the fine spring weather.

This song came out in spring of my senior year of high school.  It always reminds me of sunshine and blue skies, running the back roads in my Malibu 350 V-8, the smell of the piney woods, the fun of tubing down the river with my best bud, the scent of creosote melting out of railroad ties in the hot sun as we walked along the tracks, laughter and popcorn and ice-cold cokes, the infinite hopes of youth, the sight of bare, tanned muscles, the bittersweet pangs of forbidden desire.

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