Thursday, June 26, 2014

Can You Joke About AIDS?

That's the topic of my latest essay for this month's OUT Magazine, which you can read here. I lost a few 'friends' after asking for AIDS jokes online and also in my research I found some seriously sick humor coming from those right at the center of the epidemic. As I get older, I find my writing is less strident, which hopefully doesn't mean less persuasive, but by the end of the piece I don't really want readers to know where I stand on making AIDS jokes (but of course you know where I stand).
Illo by Edel Rodriguez

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Remember House

I was going to spend a nice quiet evening at home, but then I thought WHO OR WHAT HAVE I BECOME?! So I pulled myself together and went to church...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

You Buy DNA Magazine for the Articles, Right?

It's more than meets the eye in DNA Magazine Australia this month! In researching the life of Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, I discovered that his untimely death by "cholera" is, actually, a chilling whodunit – with the victim himself a prime suspect.
I wrote that feature, followed by an interview with groundbreaking Swan Lake choreographer Matthew Bourne and a roundup of the world's best strip joints, er, nude beaches. There are also amazing reads on our electroshocking past, the transgressive word police, Australia vs Marriage Equality by Nicholas Fonseca, gorgeous Tasmania by Marc Andrews and then, you know, just to rest your eyes, ogle cover god Todd Sanfield for first time in the Virgins, shot by Kevin McDermott.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Angel's Grapefruit Technique

Grapefruit - it's not just for breakfast anymore. This had me laughing all day. I'm loving Angel's how-to video. There are way too many quotables here: "Do Not Boil It. Do Not Microwave It".
And kudos to the sound mixer. As one commenter noted, "it sounds like Jabba the Hut eating a space frog."  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Tripping

And now for something a little bit different.. because how many firsts do I have left? On Saturday,
Australian Rules Football... Sydney Swans vs Port Adelaide at the cricket grounds. There is something creepy in the mighty roar of a crowd. Bloodthirsty. Reminds me always of rooting for the lions to kill the Christians.
But then you have a couple drinks and kind of get into it. Especially when the outfits are attractive and sporty and not all padded up like an armored knight as in American football. They also don't have lots of whistles and time outs. If they fumble, they're not allowed to actually hold onto the ball. If they do, the whole bloodthirsty crowd starts chanting "Baaaaallll". And anytime they pass it, they don't throw it. They sort of pop it, like you'd serve a volleyball.

We sat right behind where the players swapped in and out of the game. Each time a player came off the field, they were handed this old fashioned phone, like a 1980s phone with a spiral cord. This was not a prop. They actually spoke into the big old receiver and we kept guessing who it might be calling to congratulate them. God? Jennifer Lopez? We were told it was the coach. Now you'd think coach is on the field with his players, but he's not. He is up in a booth somewhere, apparently for a better view of the whole playing field. And of course the opportunity to use a retro 1980s phone.

Sunday took a 2.5 hour train all the way down to Kiama... for no other reason than to have a couple beers and see a sleepy country coastal town...
... and its notorious blowhole.
I should have taken video - the spewing that comes up from this gaping hole in the rocks... and the sound.. and mist. There was this kid, about 5 years old, who was so excited about each geyser-like spout, his father kept pleading with him to leave but the kid just wouldn't he was so mesmerized. I bet they're still there.
blowhole and rainbow! Zhoozed up by Instagram.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Capitalism #Winning!

Living outside of the States it's always curious to see how the country is perceived, and ultimately how I perceive it. For sure, I can admire the ingenuity and innovation that keeps America ahead. It is also a nation of friendly, boisterous people and I'm glad that I was brought up to speak up and have opinions, to challenge and be challenged. And look how in America the free, brave, and beautiful... those qualities (ingenuity and opinion) mate, twist and flip to this challenging conclusion: bulletproof blankets for your kids at school!

Yes, this has happened. America, you do the planet proud.

All these family-value preaching supposed patriots braying about 2nd amendment rights. By that, the founding fathers clearly meant assault weapons. Why not explosive bombs, too? And hand grenades? Hand grenades don't kill people. People kill people!

Here is a map of America that shows the 74 school campus shootings (from murder to suicide to accidental firing) that have happened in the year and half since 26 kids and teachers were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary; the event that truly showed American mettle -- because not even after that slaughter would lawmakers even pass a bill to expand background checks for firearm purchases.

The gun lobby bankrolling congress proves not just that Americans prefer guns to their kids. More than ingenuity, more than opinions, America values the dollar and what that ultimately looks like is schoolkids cowering beneath bulletproof blankets.