Sunday, August 25, 2013

Timing Is Everything

After watching videos of Russian trannies and gangs being beaten up by sadistic skinheads who film the abuse and put it on social media sites knowing full well they won't be punished thanks to Putin's homophobic laws... I find Wentworth Miller's message refreshing.
 The 41-year-old actor was invited to a prestigious film festival in St Petersburg and wrote that he must decline because he is a gay man. "I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied the basic right to live and love openly," he said.

The actor has denied his sexuality in the past, but coming out publicly in such a purposeful way at such a crucial time sends a strong message of solidarity to Russia's vulnerable gay community and puts a global spotlight on homophobia.

Who Needs To Give It A Rest?

Pop Princesses. The rah rah rivalry over Katy Perry's ROAM and Lady Gaga's APPLAUSE has reached sharknado proportions. I just want to give them both a nice melatonin-infused chai tea, wash off the grease paint, read a bedtime story, pat their heads and put them to bed. Then their nightmares begin: Beyonce reclaims the mantle of planet pop as they sleep with yet another formula guaranteed hit.
Batman. Fucking hell. An entire news cycle on the casting of Ben Affleck as the next Batman? How many Batmans do we have to deal with? Is there another superhero, preferably one who knows how to have a good time? Now he's being paired with Superman, who is just as prolific and tiresome. With three hours of exposition that was all backstory, I should have read the book. Henry Cavill's dreary,  deadly serious Superman had all the thrills of a prolapsed anus.

Lisa Bonet. I might watch Batman if he were Jason Mamoa aka Kahl Drogo from Game Of Thrones in his own superhero suit. Why does Lisa Bonet need to rest? The reason you have not seen hide nor hair from Lisa Bonet since that Cosby Show spinoff is because she's been working overtime laying (claim to) the finest men on the planet. I wouldn't even say she was the most attractive Huxtable (maybe Vanessa, or even mother Claire) but Lisa Bonet and her charms (twerking?) landed both Mamoa and Lenny Kravitz – whereupon she quickly punctuated her success by having their babies. She may be greedy, but the girl has taste.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Out, Out, Damned Spot!

The Australian government's response to boat refugees is racism and xenophobia couched in terms of national security and it's being used as political propaganda in the run-up to the federal election. Undocumented refugees arriving by boat are now being shipped to camps in Papau New Guinea.

Back in Australia, the government spends a $37 million dollar ad campaign to discourage asylum seekers including full page spreads in the Sydney Morning Herald. Some say the ads are meant for voters.
Most Aussies I know are disgusted by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's archaic, hardline stance against asylum-seekers, which looks even more aggressive than the conservative party (who are called the Liberals if you can wrap your head around that).

The refugees in PNG have rioted against their appalling conditions, and there are reports that security forces paid for by the Australian government are brutal in their violence, especially against women. Not to mention that gay refugees are subject to PNG's law punishing homosexuality with 14 years in prison.

It's not only that Australia could benefit from a bigger population, and more affordable labor. A leader doesn't spend millions shipping away a problem and call it a solution. Little wonder the Prime Minister is losing at the polls. He's divided his own base. There has to be a humane, 21st Century response to immigration.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Drunk Walking? Stop it. Skip Home Instead.

Why is the Nanny spending your tax dollars in a campaign against drunk walking? Because she cares.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mid-Life Crisis, Squared.

My essay in this month's OUT magazine was one I found difficult to write. It talks about what it's like being diagnosed with HIV later in life, giving voice to a population we don't often hear from. It also focused on my friend Jerry so treading carefully around a touchy topic while being as frank as possible was compounded by feeling the pressure to do justice to, and not misrepresent, his own story. If you don't have this month's issue, check it out online here. Out includes a great illustration by Keith Negley.

Jerry said he was considering showing the piece to his sister as a way of coming out about his status, which is the best compliment I could have hoped for. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

City 2 Surf 2013!

All of Sydney comes together for the most populated road race in the world! City 2 Surf has a whopping 80,000 entrants that includes (from what I saw) Superman, the Big Bad Wolf, and Elvis.
And they're off! The crowd pours out of Hyde Park from the city towards the sea. It becomes a game of Frogger/Dodgem to get around everyone and you begin to understand why there are participant limits to most races because here you can't get into the groove of your pace due to all the $&*$@ people in your way.

I've had a head cold but was really happy with my race, whizzing up notorious Heartbreak Hill and even having the energy to shout out encouragement to the people running nearby me. Who I'm not sure appreciated the loudmouth yapping... "hearbreak, nothing! You OWN this!"

Phew. I made it to Bondi ahead of all the kids and grannies (my updated road race fitness goal).
It was a gorgeous midwinter day- 20c/72f - so I joined several runners who dipped into the surf.
Look - it's an official entrant! Bam is on a fitness streak and placed high enough to seed himself in a faster start group next year.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Helpmann Awards

The Helpmann Awards honor achievement in live art entertainment - sort of an Australian Tony's. Not having seen much live theatre recently, I took the Sydney imperative: take any chance you get to go to visit the Opera House or harbour beaches, and went. We caught up with Tina Arena, Baz Luhrmann and a bunch of talented people mixed with sycophantic hangers on and fabulous nobodies.

Enjoying a pre-show drink among the gorgeous sails of the Opera House in moonlight. 
Any tribute to the Australian arts would naturally include a 20-minute celebration of Kylie Minogue in dance, which was a highlight. But as most of the awards were being accepted by proxies who gave rambling speeches of their own, not to mention many of the shows getting awards being crap Broadway knock-offs from 2005 (Legally Blonde?), a mid-show escape to the outdoor Opera Bar was in order.
This is winter - beautiful!
We returned for the after-party, which was the best part - and not just for the food and drink. We met this sweet duo, Patty and her gay pal David. They are best friends from ages ago, and have a cabaret act together. Patty's musician husband died this year and he was featured in the musical tribute of the Helpmann's, so it had been an emotional show for her.
Patty and David are looking to revive their act later this year, putting together a "Gershwin meets Liberace" cabaret (!) We talked all night about their past and future, as I kept insisting for their new act we showcase Patty up on the piano sultry and sparkling and purring like Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Hopefully we'll have someone to cheer on at the Helpmann's next year!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

There Never Was A Woman Like Tallulah

The unbelievable, bigger-than-life, one woman whirlwind of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that was TALLULAH BANKHEAD. Read my crash course on the legend in DNA Magazine issue #162 or click the link here. Thank me later!