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One day I was walking down the block/I had my cutoff shorts on right cause it was crazy hot/I walked past these dudes when they passed me/One of 'em felt my booty, he was nasty/I turned around red, somebody was catching the wrath/Then the little one said "Yeah me bitch" and laughed/Since he was with his boys he tried to break fly...Latifah turned and punched him (Naughty by Nature's Vin Rock) dead in the eye. "You gotta let them know you are not a bitch or ho."
"U.N.I.T.Y." was dropped in 1993, four years before hiphop completely lost its autonomy as a black art form and, as a consequence, its openness to a variety of black-related issues. In those days, a rapper like Latifah could throw down about issues that concerned the black community and still make a buck, still be a commercial hit. This radical openness, or hiphop democracy, started dying around 1997. By 2000, it was very dead, and today, hiphop is mainly in the business of entertaining white consumers. In the current cultural climate, issues that really mattered to the black community, such as street harassment, have little to no value for a market dominated by suburban whites.
And so with Hollaback! we find two insults in one: Blacks get criticized for street harassment by the very same people who have de-democratized one of the few cultural institutions that provided a popular platform for social issues meaningful to the black community.
This is all the rage in the black world...
.@nubianskin has taken on the task of providing women of color with realistic "nude" lingerie: http://t.co/zGonwYarMY pic.twitter.com/8lV2UetaRq
— okayafrica (@okayafrica) September 13, 2014
The constant attacks from the right on gay parents and our children hardly even register for most straight people. But powerful organizations like the Liberty Council, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, and the National Organization for Marriage spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually to sustain a constant drumbeat of "every child deserves a mother and a father" and "gay parenting is child abuse" in the media, in the courts, and on social media. Most decent straight people tune it out. Most decent straight people think gay people and parents and our children should do the same. But it's hard to tune that shit out when your kids are constantly exposed to it on the news in "balanced" reports about same-sex marriage. (I remember hearing an anti-gay bigot claim that gay male couples adopted boys because we want to rape them. This was on NPR—and my eight-year-old was sitting there, listening as he ate his breakfast.)
The haters on the right bang away at "every child deserves a mother and a father" and "gay parenting is child abuse" even as stories like this one appear in the news every day:
Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton said the father of five children whose bodies were found in Alabama today confessed to killing them while in custody in Smith County, then led authorities to their bodies. The South Carolina children, age 2 to 8, have been found in Wilcox County, Ala., about 10 miles east of Camden, officials said. The children's father, Timothy Ray Jones, was arrested in Mississippi on Saturday on unrelated charges.... The children, who were found buried in individual garbage bags, were reported missing to the Lexington County Sheriff's department on Wednesday. They were last seen with their father, who was their primary legal guardian. The three brothers and two sisters, who all shared the same parents, lived in a home near Lexington.
And stories like this one:
They're not asking you to make a donation. They want you to help them get an online federal form fixed:
I'm a US citizen who has lived in Canada the past 8 years. This year, my husband and I (also a US citizen) decided to move back to the US and live in Minneapolis with our 2 amazing kids. Because our boys are Canadian citizens, we went through the process of applying for US visas, which have been approved. But they are unable to move to the US because an online form called the DS-260 is broken. This form is the last step in the visa process. My family and I are being kept apart solely due to a technical glitch. There is no timeline when the system will be working again. Please email your senator or congressperson to fix the online immigration form called the DS 260. It's broken, and until it's fixed, I can't see my husband or two boys. If you don't know your representative, you can go to www.house.gov or www.senate.gov.
This broken form is doubtless screwing up the visa process for straight families, too.
This young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur's last "promising relationship" ended because so many other men have cheated on their women and not because he's a complete tool. (And remember, kids: real men only date women, women never cheat on men, and men who regard women as "an extension of themselves" would be completely irresistible to the ladies if it weren't for all those stupid cheating boys out there pretending to be men.)
A white teenage girl in Oklahoma spotted her father's SUV and walked up to it. According to jail records, the black boy she was with introduced himself to the girl's father as his daughter's boyfriend, and so dad—a cop—reportedly pulled out his gun and shot the boy dead. He also allegedly fired three shots at his daughter. Both the girl's father and mother (also a cop) are under arrest—dad for first-degree murder, mom for accessory to murder after the fact.
Men who supported their female partner's choice to terminate a pregnancy are encouraged to jump on Twitter and speak the fuck up—to @RecallAbortion and his followers...
.@NorwoodBrian And as an adoptive parent, I'm glad my son's mom made the same choice. But I respect that it was her choice to make.— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) June 11, 2014
If my memory is right, there is a very strange character in Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity Rainbow. The strange character, again my memory might be very wrong about this (I read the book long ago), is a
black white American solider who is based in London during the end of the Second World War. And what makes him strange is that where ever he has an erection one of Hitler's wunderwaffen (the terrifying V2 rockets) strikes and explodes. (I have associated this character with the real mysterious black Haitian Jean Marcel Nicholas who was born in 1918, died in 1945, and while alive claimed to be a black American, Johnny Nicholas, and actually worked as a doctor at Mittelbau-Dora, a concentration camp for slaves in the Mittelwerk V2 underground assembly factory).
All of this came to me mind at once when I read on CNN a moment ago that members of the Navy's Blue Angles were in the habit of looking at porn images while shredding our summer skies with their powerful jet engines. Picture this: They had erections as they roared over our heads.
Under the command of Capt. Gregory McWherter, members of the Blue Angels openly passed around pornography and flew with it in their cockpits during airshows. They cursed gays and spread dirty talk about women.The men described the porn in the cockpit as "motivational."
Note: It does seem my memory got the color of the character in Gravity's Rainbow mixed somehow.
Sounds like a nice place for married couples:
In the stone basement an old original fireplace and comfy sofa beckons you to sit by the fire. The romantic bedroom suite features a comfortable king-size bed with a partial canopy. The fully equipped kitchen makes in house meal preparation easy. This is an ideal place for honeymoons and anniversaries, and truly a place you'll want to come back to. This historic cottage is part of Spring Wood Organic Farm which is a 220 acre third generation Mennonite family farm operated by Roman and Lucy Stoltzfoos with the help of their eleven children.
But Terry and I won't be celebrating our 20th Anniversary in the Little Stone Cottage's comfortable king-size bed:
Our vision is that this would be place of blessing for truly married couples only. Our desire is to honor God's definition of marriage 'One man and one women for life.'
Most folks who discriminate against gay couples for biblical/gotta-honor-God reasons give sinful straight couples a pass. Catholic schools routinely fire gay teachers, for example, because the church condemns gay sex and gay relationships. But the same Catholic schools don't fire divorced and remarried teachers or teachers using birth control or teachers who masturbate. (The church condemns masturbation with the exact same language it uses to condemn gay relationships.) At least Roman and Lucy Stoltzfoos aren't hypocrites:
We ask that unmarried and divorced and remarried couples with a living spouse do not apply please!
Sinful gay couples (all gay couples) and sinful straight couples (almost all straight couples) are not welcome at the Little Stone Cottage. You gotta give Roman and Lucy props for consistency.
Last night I watched The Avengers and came away with a simple love for the comical, no-nonsense Hulk, who just wants to smash. It's worth noting that the movie doesn't account in any way for the fact that during the first half of the film, Hulk tries to kill everybody in his way, whereas later he will only kill the evil creatures and then he goes all huggy and becomes cute-dinosaury in the end, but whatever. The fact is that, even though I did wake up this weekend from a terrible, it-came-out-of-nowhere-except-the-everyday-experience-of-being-female rape nightmare, I personally can afford a simple love for the Hulk because I don't have real-life Hulks in my life.
But then I started thinking about Michael Sam and the NFL, and Jason Collins falling in the NBA ranks as punishment for coming out, and I realize that I'm still surrounded by macho men who have the power to destroy people's lives.
Folks talking about whether the NFL is "ready" for Michael Sam miss the fact that the NFL is a horror-show mainstream macho power structure—despite how you feel about the game of football itself—and all horror-show mainstream power structures, like, say, the enslavement of certain people and the decision to keep others from gaining the vote, do not get ready for a damn thing.
Michael Sam's assertion in itself is a blow. A gay man simply asserting his existence is an act of strength that threatens the weak strength of the NFL (what's that saying about how macho men have the weakest kind of strength?).
Because the NFL is driven by dudes who fear, more than anything, feeling the way women feel, as Coates explains:
When black soldiers joined the Union Army they were not merely confronting prejudice—they were pushing the boundaries of manhood. And when the Night Witches flew over German lines, they were confronting something more—the boundaries of humanity itself. Groups define themselves by what they are and what they are not: Niggers are never men, ladies are never soldiers, and faggots don't play football. When Michael Sam steps on a football field, he likely will not merely be playing for his career but, in some sense, for his people.
In that sense he will be challenging a deep and discrepant mythology of who is capable of inflicting violence and who isn't.
Another player (I'm sure he's very important in the NFL but I don't care enough even to write his name here) recently trotted out that old fear of taking a shower with a gay man, Coates writes:
What undergirds this logic is a fear of being made into a woman, which is to say a fear of being regarded sexually by someone who is as strong as, or stronger than, you. Implicit to the fear is the gay player's ability to do violence. It exists right alongside a belief that the gay player is a "sissy." ("Grown men should not have female tendencies. Period," Vilma once tweeted.) The logic is kin to the old Confederate belief that Southern slaves were so loyal and cowardly yet they must never be given guns.
Let's be clear: Gay men are not sexual violators. But that brainless stereotype might actually have a benefit (as long as it doesn't mean gay athletes in locker rooms and on fields are bullied and beaten by a fearful mob majority). If physically powerful pro-athlete gay men standing up for themselves forces macho straight guys into empathy, then that stereotype will have helped to dismantle a whole world of men who have never felt—and in their ignorance, are both terrified and terrifying—the firsthand, implicit threat of sexual violation, the way most women have at some point in their lives. I can't even imagine how different that world would be.
Furthermore, and maybe this sounds too radical, but the day is coming when anybody who watches the NFL and NBA and NHL and hates homophobia is going to have to start demanding that players like Collins and Sam aren't discriminated against athletically for who they are. I'm angry in advance of the draft. I want to smash the NFL.
These are the skaters Vladimir Putin and the mayor of Sochi—who insists that there are no gay people in his town—would prefer we send to Sochi...
...but this is the skater we're actually sending to Sochi:
Jason Brown was interviewed on NPR's "All Things Considered" last night. (Hit tip to Terry.)
How are you feeling about Captain and Tennille's divorce?
Gay couples are likely to be happier and more positive about their relationships than heterosexuals, according to a major study by the Open University published today.... The study of 5,000 people—50 of whom were later followed up with in-depth interviews—aimed at finding out how modern couples keep their relationships on track through life’s difficulties. It found that simple things—like making a cup of tea in the morning and taking it up to them in bed—were the most treasured by couples as examples of intimacy rather than more dramatic gestures such as declaring “I love you”.
Only in England would saying "I love you" to the person you married be described as a "dramatic gesture."
It was on the relative happiness of people within different types of relationships that the survey threw up the most interesting insights into modern day life, however. “LGBQ participants (lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer) are more generally positive about and happier with the quality of their relationship and the relationship which they have with their partner” the research concludes. “Heterosexual parents are the group least likely to be there for each other, to make ‘couple time’, to pursue shared interests, to say ‘I love you’ and to talk openly to one another.”
So if you want to a happy relationship, kids, here's what you wanna be when you grow up: gay and childless. I'm not sure what this means for gay couples who've had kids. But, hey, Terry did make me a cup of tea this morning, so there's that. I'm thinking about saying "I love you" before I leave for work... but I don't want to be a huge drama queen or anything.
The video is not new, but I watched it for the first time a few minutes ago...
The beautiful America!
A Lot Of People Are Very Upset That An Indian-American Woman Won The Miss America Pageant
So, as the move to boycott Stoli and other Russian vodkas gains steam, some people are going to find themselves in tough corners: wanting to help, but not being able to convince straight bar owners to join the boycott.
While politically savvy and activist gay bar owners, workers, and patrons will be right on board, gay bars alone probably won't do the trick of economically hurting SPI and getting the oligarchs to pressure Putin to reverse course on homophobic laws and discrimination. The boycott needs to move to sports bars, hotel bars, mainstream restaurants that serve booze, and every corner bar in the land for it to succeed.
Changing one's twitter avatar won't get that done. Many straight bar owners won't care, or won't want to risk otherwise positive relationships with distributors (who give them discounts on this, that, and the other booze, beyond the Russian brands they handle). The liquor business is all about such quid pro quos and other personal relationships.
The joint I work at one night a week, for instance, is pretty lefty (it was long known as the "hippie bar" in the 'hood) but many long-time regulars swill Stoli like it's mother's milk (they claim it minimizes hangovers; I think not getting drunk minimizes hangovers even better, but whatever). I doubt very much that even my liberal-minded boss would go along with a boycott of Stoli; too many regulars would get angry (though it would have an effect: our distributor once told us we were the biggest black-label Stoli account in Illinois).
But on my shift? We're out of Stoli, sorry.
We interrupt the recent barrage of pieces about sex by queer men and pieces about sex by queer women and pieces about sexual harassment by straight women to bring you an instance of a much older literary form: a piece about sex by a straight man. Specifically, about casual, deceitful sex within a group of friends. It begins:
My freshman year at Lewis & Clark College—a glorious hippie wonderland—I dated this little flower child named Kristen. Not her real name. What I liked most about Kristen was that she lived down the hall from me. If she'd moved to the other side of the dorm, I'm pretty sure that would have been the end of us. Profoundly earnest, Kristen had a narrow avian face and a fragile little sparrow chest. Listening to me, she'd tilt her head and bunch her mouth, as if rapt, but her wide blinking pigeon eyes revealed emptiness inside.
My what a busy weekend! Where are your photos, Seattle? This terrific set was submitted by Mac Ward. I wish I could see more from PrideFest at Seattle Center! And how about that KEXP Pride Party? And Gender Blender / Men at Sea / Trans*Pride at Cal Anderson / Wet T-Shirt at Wildrose / Lick! / Dyke March and/or The Official Pride Parade? My what a busy-busy weekend...
A notorious serial killer died today in California:
A serial murderer, a serial rapist, a Satan worshiper, a man who inflicted physical and emotional pain on his victims in myriad ways. Richard Ramirez was all those things, but to Californians terrorized during his violent spree in the spring and summer of 1985, he was simply the "Night Stalker." [On] Friday morning, Richard Ramirez died of natural causes at Marin General Hospital north of San Francisco, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Ramirez became the 59th inmate in the state to die in this manner while awaiting execution, not including 22 who committed suicide and six dead of other causes.
And while gay people cannot legally marry in California—come on, SCOTUS—straight serial killers can:
By the time of the trial, Ramirez had fans who were writing him letters and paying him visits. Beginning in 1985, freelance magazine editor Doreen Lioy wrote him nearly 75 letters during his incarceration. In 1988 he proposed to her, and on October 3, 1996, they were married in California's San Quentin State Prison.
Remember, kids, marriage is about providing children with a mother and a father. And who doesn't doubt that Richard Ramirez would've made a wonderful father? If only, you know, he could've consummated his marriage. Which he couldn't. Because he was a serial killer on death row. But still: on the day Richard Ramirez's penis and Doreen Lioy's vagina were united in holy matrimony the totally sacred sanctity of marriage was protected and God smiled down from heaven because marriage is about uniting one dick—any dick—with one pussy.
The fiction-writer has a piece of memoir in the new New Yorker involving being hit by a car, drunken jealous rage, and assault with a hammer. It is gruesome and hilarious, like everything else Shteyngart writes. And it's true—it reads like fiction but you know the New Yorker fact-checked the shit out of it.
Rumor has it it's an excerpt from a forthcoming book-length memoir (!!!), Shteyngart's first book of non-fiction. "I've lived this troubled life so others don't have to," he's said.
North Carolina authorities are accusing a couple of using zip ties to bind their 4-year-old daughter's wrists and ankles to a baby gate. Raleigh police say 26-year-old Gerald Thomas Swinehart and 28-year-old Marlaine Victoria Coffey are accused of tying the child to a gate with plastic ties normally used by electricians. They also say Swinehart pushed or kicked the girl so hard her lower teeth broke through her lower lip.
Read the juicy deets over yonder on Line Out.
Jonathan Eig, one of the best sportswriters out there, did today what he does best: reframe the question.
The ongoing controversy over whether Manti Te'o is gay, homophobic comments by NFL players, and so on, along with the release of 42, the new movie about Jack Robinson and Branch Rickey integrating MLB, led Eig to ask a new question: not, When will some gay athlete come out while still playing professionally? No, he asks:
What if [some team owners] made it a mission to discover and sign the first openly gay player? What if an owner told his scouting department to find such an athlete, and made it clear to the athlete that he was committed to his success on and off the field, as Rickey did for Robinson?
Would it matter if the owner were motivated in part by the desire to make money? Would it matter if he were trying to broaden his team’s fan base? Would it matter if he were responding to political pressure?
The anti-gay haters argued before the Supreme Court that marriage needs to be reserved for straight couples because straight sex makes babies. This is not a new argument. And it goes like this: since gay couples have to plan to make babies—since we can't get drunk and adopt one night—we don't need marriage. Because, um, you see... marriage is about kids, it's about raising children, and children that are planned for don't really need married parents. The families of planned-for children don't need the rights and protections of marriage. Because they don't. They just don't. Only unplanned children need married parents. (And, of course, planned-for children with straight parents—they should be allowed to marry on a technicality.) And everyone knows that if you let gay people marry, well, then lots and lots of straight people will refuse to marry. Because why would straight people want to get married if gay people were getting married? Straight people hate gay people so much! And this will lead to lots more children being born to unmarried straight parents. Because that's how much straight people hate gay people: straight people hate gay peopel so much that they'll harm themselves and harm their own children in order to express their contempt for gay people. Because straight people suck.
Which brings us to this morning's big news: Lindsay Lohan may be pregnant. Can you see the logic in the anti-gay haters' argument now? The fact that there might be a fetus steeping in a puddle of gin inside Lindsay Lohan is the #1 reason why marriage must be reserved exclusively for heterosexuals. Reserve marriage rights for heterosexuals and Lindsay will do right by her gin-pickled child... just like Lindsay's straight parents did right by her.
The defense-of-traditional-marriage rests its case, your honor.
A top Republican in Georgia has sounded an ominous warning that legalization of same-sex marriage may also lead to fraud. Sue Everhart, chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, told the Marietta Daily Journal in a story published Saturday that once gay nuptials are legally permitted, there will be nothing to stop a straight person from exploiting the system in order to claim marital benefits. “You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits?"
This nightmare scenario—straight people getting married (or staying married) for the benefits!—happens all the time. If Ms. Everhart wants to prevent straight people from marrying other straight people for their "wonderful health plans," as opposed to their awesome oral/anal/bondage skills, she should support a single-payer health-care plan. If the United States had a health-care system like Canada does, no one would marry—no one would have to marry—to obtain benefits. Linking health care to marriage is 1. unfair to single people and 2. tempts gay and straight to marry for the all the wrong reasons. Not for love, not for life, but for Aetna.
As for this...
Everhart also expressed a distaste for homosexuality, which she argued is unnatural. “Lord, I’m going to get in trouble over this, but it is not natural for two women or two men to be married,” Everhart said. “If it was natural, they would have the equipment to have a sexual relationship.”
After screaming and yelling for years—for centuries—about the evils, the dangers, the health risks, the immorality, the irresistible allure, etc., of all the hot and sweaty buttsecks the gays were having, the haters are now suddenly claiming that we can't have sex at all. We shouldn't be allowed to marry, says Chicago's Cardinal George, because gay people can't consummate our marriages. We don't have the equipment to have a sexual relationship, says the chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, so we shouldn't be allowed to marry. I don't know how we went from gay sex being sick and sinful and irresistible—they used to argue that gay sex had to be illegal and gay people oppressed because otherwise everyone would turn gay and the human race would go extinct—to gay sex being impossible. But here we are.
In a related development...
Terry and I did the impossible last night. So we're not just gay guys anymore. We're superheroes. Or something. Because we do the impossible! All the time!
You remember Party Crasher—the World's Best Column™ in which various Stranger writers wrote about parties we crashed (except that we were actually invited by you lovely people)—don't you? There was the gay orgy. There was Lindy West looking for a wizard. There was Rager of the Lost Ark. There was the Drunk Oscars with Anna Minard. There was a Very Special Fistmas. And who could forget the Robot Valentine's Day Massacre? And, as they say, so much more.
Now we can't remember why we ever stopped, and we were thinking about reviving Party Crasher, and then we thought: WEDDING CRASHER! You know the gays can get hitched now here in Washington State too, which is sort of the impetus here, but we also just love weddings—gay, straight, man and goat, whatever. So, introducing Wedding Crasher: in which The Stranger comes to your wedding, drinks (only their fair share) of your booze, dances to your music (whatever it may be), and celebrates your love (ditto)!
Our pledge to you: Whichever one of us has the pleasure of attending* will bring a gift (maybe hers-and-hers Stranger t-shirts, but a gift). We will dress up. We will be nice (this is LOVE, after all!), both while we are there and in the writing-up afterward. We will dance. And your wedding will be memorialized in the timeless pages of The Stranger and the timeless pixels of the internet.**
The fine print: While we are honored if you choose to invite us, and we sincerely offer you the warmest best wishes on your impending nuptials, we regret that we cannot attend every wedding, so we will give preference to the especially weird- and/or wonderful-sounding ones. We further regret we cannot attend weddings outside Seattle (unless you would like to fly us to wherever it is happening, preferably Puerto Vallarta, and put us up in a hotel).
Would you like The Stranger to crash your wedding (by which we mean attend as a well-behaved invited guest)? Send your wedding invitation to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Wedding Crasher, 1535 11th Ave 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA, 98122.
* The magical and dapper Sarah Galvin will be the Wedding Crasher to start! She will be the best guest ever.
** Unless something goes weirdly awry, which of course it won't! LOVE!
Los Angeles police arrested a 24-year-old man late Saturday night for allegedly leaving his 2-year-old daughter in his truck while he was drinking at a Van Nuys, California strip club. KTLA-TV reported on Sunday that authorities charged Santos Barillas with child endangerment after finding him allegedly drunk inside the vehicle while the child sat in the back seat. Police said a witness reported seeing Barillas passed out and resting on his steering wheel.... Witnesses at the club told police they saw Barillas in the club without the child, who was subsequently released into her mother’s custody by Child Protective Services.
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