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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Morning News

posted by on October 30 at 7:01 AM

Race Against Time: Firefighters battle to contain flames in California as Santa Anna winds threaten to return.

Anachronism Fetes Tyrant: The Queen of England throws a state dinner for the King of Saudi Arabia.

Accountability Moments: Merrill Lynch ousts head over subprime mortgage investments/meltdown. FEMA exec that staged a fake news conference denied a promotion.

They Recruit: Foreigners fighting on the side of the Taliban.

Gay Neighborhoods: Are they over?

Castroted: Violence, outsiders lead to cancellation of the Castro’s annual Halloween street party in SF.

Sexy, Sexy Felonies: Pre-teens opting for racy, revealing, risque Halloween costumes.

Seattle Cuts Carbon Emissions: Upbeat headlines in the Seattle Times and PI, downbeat reality buried in reports.

A Sinking Feeling: Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Ann Miller and Della Reese—all very special guest stars on a very special episode of the Love Boat. Enjoy…

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Posted by SeMe | October 30, 2007 7:37 AM

Dude! I TOTALLY showed Terry that video, yo. It makes me die a little inside each time I watch it. And yet it thrills me . . .

Posted by Michigan Matt | October 30, 2007 7:44 AM

Thanks for posting that article about the decline of gay neighborhoods. It was thought-provoking, at least.

Growing up in the semi-rural midwest, I was always told to move to a big city (like Seattle, which I've done) so I can find "acceptance" in that city's gay neighborhood. But, oddly, I found more open acceptance in gentrified/non-gay areas than I ever found in Capitol Hill, Chicago's Boystown, or any of the other gay neighborhoods out there that I've been to. I'm in my late 20s, so I wasn't actively involved in gay culture during the decades prior when gay neighborhoods no doubt played a critical role of open and unconditional acceptance for many gay people - but, while these neighborhoods are still obviously important today, they're much less relevant (or entirely irrelevant) for an increasing number of gay citizens. For me, when I'm now told I should move from Northgate to Capitol Hill so I can find more acceptance and friends, I reply: "What's a gay neighborhood ever done for me?"

I usually can't think of anything.

Posted by James | October 30, 2007 8:01 AM

RE: Racy Halloween costumes for little girls

Eww. Goddamnit! You people that make those crappy, overpriced package costumes stop doing this crap! I don't want to see little girls dressed up racy. I want all my exposed flesh this Halloween to be over the age of majority so that I can ogle with a clear conscience.

Posted by Greg | October 30, 2007 8:12 AM

So Babs got to be Dolly in the movies and Carol got to be Fanny on....The Love Boat?

That sounds fair.

Posted by Bauhaus | October 30, 2007 8:16 AM

Carol Channing looks like an undead marionette or something in that episode....

Posted by Moltarr | October 30, 2007 8:21 AM

While reading about those Halloween costumes I couldn't help but think about a report I heard this morning about the Supreme Court overturning child porn legislation so broad that someone could have been prosecuted for downloading Romeo and Juliette.
There's something seriously wrong with a culture that continues to make little girls think they need to look like sex objects and then freaks the fuck out when they are portrayed as sex objects.
I'm not trying to defend kiddy porn or anything but there's some kind of disconnect there.

Posted by chi type | October 30, 2007 8:44 AM

My head hurt just reading the episode description, and that was enough for me.

Posted by K | October 30, 2007 8:46 AM

7: That's the essential problem: the characteristics that define the sexual ideal for women are too close to the characteristics of the ideal child, causing a disturbing overlap between the two concepts. We are horrified of pedophiles because, to a certain extent, they are like us.

Posted by Greg | October 30, 2007 8:57 AM

Regarding declining gay neighborhoods: eh. I went to London some years back and we asked where the gay neighborhood was, because we wanted to go to gay bars and sleep with European strangers, and people looked at us with puzzlement before explaining that gay bars were spread throughout the city and that gays weren't ghettoized in London. It was irritating in that when we chose a bar or club to go to, that was the bar or club we were going to, no option to walk one block away, since we'd need to get to a Tube station and go to an entirely different neighborhood, but at the same time, we still had fun and still slept with a LOT of European (and one Brazilian) stranger.

Posted by Gitai | October 30, 2007 8:58 AM

Kids want to be like adults, and adults want to be sexy. Seems pretty simple to me.

Posted by NaFun | October 30, 2007 8:58 AM

Accountability my ass:

"The Wall Street Journal reported online Sunday that O'Neal had agreed to resign. Merrill has no severance contract, but O'Neal stands to walk away with well over $120 million, according to the company's latest proxy statement."

Posted by DOUG. | October 30, 2007 8:59 AM

if gay neighborhoods are over, at least we can scrap plans for the ugly rainbow pylons.

Posted by josh | October 30, 2007 9:08 AM

@9: I can see your point about why pedophiles make people nervous but I'm not sure I agree about the rest of it. If childishness was the ideal would girls be feeling so much pressure to grow up?
Also I think there's a difference between a pedophile who genuinely gets turned on by a kid looking like a kid and poor #4 there who is being forced into unintentionally sexualizing these girls.
I don't know but it makes me never want to have kids.

Posted by chi type | October 30, 2007 9:34 AM


Yes, those are good points, however I do agree with @9 there is tremendous societal pressure to sexualize child-like qualities in adult women, as for example the decades-long trend in the fashion industry to depict the "ideal female form" as being androgynous to the the point of fetishizing pre-pubescent physical characteristics such as rail-thin figures, narrow hips and small to nearly non-existent breasts.

The strange thing is, I personally don't know any straight adult males who find women like that particularly attractive, and like @9, I too feel uncomfortably skeezy when confronted with the "Lolita look". At the same time, however, there's clearly no shortage of adult women out there who seem more than willing to starve themselves nearly to death for the sake of being able to fit their boney, little-girl asses into a pair of size -000 designer jeans.

Posted by COMTE | October 30, 2007 10:34 AM

well, the pressure to grow up is on the girls -- to dress sexy, and maybe to act sexy -- while still looking physically young. so there is pressure to dress and act older when young. youthful appearance is the ideal, and therefore sexualized.

but yes, there is a difference between the appearance of a young woman and a child. i think the reaction of most is something of disgust caused by the incongruity of a child appearing as an adult. those cases scare us because we don't like to think of children that way, and don't like to think of others viewing them that way. this is a fear of others.

regarding the self, however, what is scary about pedophilia is when you have a fifteen year old who dresses and acts like an adult, and embodies the physical characteristics deemed ideal by our culture. here, a natural reaction is deemed wrong/illegal. we don't like these outfits and behaviors because they cause fear of self.

Posted by infrequent | October 30, 2007 10:37 AM

@15- Yeah I guess those costume titles had me thinking more big-tit stripper type than Twiggy type. What IS up with those fashionistas?

Posted by chi type | October 30, 2007 11:01 AM

If no straight dudes like the Twiggy stereotype, then why is it soooooooo prevelant in mainstream media????????

Posted by BillyBob | October 30, 2007 11:17 AM

@18 I never said they didn't. But since I witness so many of them staring/groping/drooling on my own personal big ol' funbags maybe my POVs a little skewed.

Posted by chi type | October 30, 2007 11:21 AM

I can't think of any point in my adult life that Carol Channing *hasn't* looked like an undead marionette.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | October 30, 2007 12:06 PM

@18: Hell if I know. I can't stand models where I can count their ribs. That shit just looks wrong. If fashion were up to me, it'd be all plus-size models, all the time.

Posted by Greg | October 30, 2007 12:49 PM

Poor Ethel Merman - she really DOES look like Ernest Borgnine in drag. People forget that she was one of the hottest things on Broadway in her youth.

Posted by MarkyMark | October 30, 2007 2:58 PM

The rail-thin models in mainstream media/advertising are not meant for straight men, #18

They are meant for the women who would do anything to be them. To be that thin.

Women buy those products and emulate such to capture it.

Posted by Lake | October 30, 2007 3:15 PM

Fab. There are few things more entertaining than celebrities making fun of themselves!

Posted by Chaucer's Bitch | October 31, 2007 3:24 AM

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