Wednesday, April 30, 2008

HIV Stops With Me Launches Massive Campaign

14th st. & 8th Ave. Subway station:
Campaign launched by HIVSTOPSWITHME.ORG

Suddenly my morning commute was confronted by these huge unavoidable billboards hanging everywhere in the subway station. I commend the organization- I think this is a great and confrontational effort.

The Future...Now!

Cell Phone charging stations- Soon to be on every Street corner near you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

KnuckleCrack on SiriusOutQ

I'll be on the Michelangelo Signorile show on Sirius OutQ Radio this Thursday May 1st at 3:30PM EST/12:30PM PST talking about young gay activism, the current state of HIV/AIDS education and prevention campaigns, and the communication gap between older and younger gay generations.

If you have Sirius Radio tune into channel 109.
If you DO NOT have Sirius visit click on "listen online" and then click on Free 3 Day Trial to tune in.

Link to Signorile's Blog

Tune in- Fierce out

Monday, April 28, 2008

Harvey Milk Statue to be Unveiled at SF City Hall

....If you're going to San Francisco

San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place San Francisco CA
- enter on Polk Street side
May 22, 2008.
Mayor Gavin Newsom, The Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial Committee, The Bob Ross Foundation, The San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration Committee, and The San Francisco Arts Commission invite you to a reception and an unveiling Ceremony for The Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial Sculpture by The Daub Firmin and Hendrickson Sculpture group on May 22, 2008 in City Hall, which would have been Milk’s 78th Birthday. The reception is a free public event and doors open at 6 PM with the Ceremony beginning at 7PM. It will feature remarks by colleagues of Milk’s, local dignitaries and performances by Connie Champagne and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
Food and beverage will be provided.

Background - In 2001 The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a sculpture in remembrance of Supervisor Harvey Milk who became a symbol to the world for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender civil rights. Milk was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the Nation. Milk and (pro-gay) Mayor George Moscone were assassinated in their City Hall offices by a homophobic political opponent on November 27, 1978.

In 2003 a campaign began to raise funds for the commission of the sculpture and The Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial Committee was formed as a non-profit organization to foster the project. It took four years to complete the funding and in fall of 2006 the Milk City Hall Memorial Committee, in concert with a large gift from The Bob Ross Foundation and in partnership with The San Francisco Arts Commission, launched a national competition to find an artist.

In January 2007 a panel of community leaders and arts professionals selected three finalists. Maquettes of their designs were displayed for community comment in City Hall and the panel, with overwhelming public support, chose Daub, Firmin, and Hendrickson Sculpture Group as the winning team.

In April of 2008 The San Francisco Arts Commission formally approved the placement of the sculpture in the Ceremonial Rotunda in City Hall where it will be unveiled on May 22, 2008.

Alternatives in Gay Safe Sex

The hell?! Female condoms?! Yup, you bet your bottom loving ass! There are other alternatives to gay safe sex which hardly get noticed. Discussion of the Female Condoms used for safe gay sex have been popping up left and right lately and it's time this conversation gets some legs.

When you have 5 minutes it's imperative that you go over to Bstewart23 and read his blog post about female condoms. This post is thoroughly detailed, honest and skips all the bullshit. It's essential this gets a look.
From the BStewart23 man himself:

You know me as a pretty easygoing kinda guy, but I must confess: nothing drives me crazier than the phrase “condom fatigue”, especially when it’s used to rationalize the stupid risks gay men take when it comes to their health and the health of those for whom they claim love and community. Do you hear about “seatbelt fatigue”? How about “not-drinking-gasoline fatigue”? Come on, grow the fuck up.

So, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, as I left my doctor’s office, after receiving the results of my 30th (or so) HIV test, my doc pressed a fistful of female condoms into my hand. “Now, more than ever,” he said. I replied with a “thanks, but… what are you talking about, the continuing — and very depressing — seroconversion rates among gay men?”

He said: “Well, there is that, but I’m talking about increasing stories from bottom guys who report that the condoms they thought were tightly rolled down their penetrators mysteriously disappear at some point in the action.”

The fuck? No, really. THE FUCK?!?

If you’re an HIV-negative gay man who wants to stay HIV-negative — and if you also like buttfucking — you have exactly two options:

  1. Find yourself an HIV-negative partner with whom you trust your life and make a strict, no-exceptions monogamy pact — for the life of your relationship. Both of you get tested, both of you get tested again three months later, both of you get tested again three months after that and lose the condoms with the proviso that neither of you ever, ever strays, not even once. Ever.
    Good luck on that, by the way. I suppose it’s possible, in the same way that there are some truly extraordinary things possible in this world, but I’m realist enough to not bet my life on it. Whether you do or not is your choice. I’ve been around the block. I know how this gay monogamy thing usually works and, man, would it ever suck to find out your totally-monogamous boyfriend’s been messing around on you by finding out you just seroconverted.
  2. Barrier protection, always following the proper usage guidelines to ensure maximum effectiveness.

I sincerely do wish there was a less blunt way to illustrate the situation and I totally wish there were more options to offer you, but there simply aren’t at this time, so make your choice now.

Actually, hold on, there’s more to Option #2 than you might be thus far aware. And, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why that is.

But first… I get it. Traditional condoms are a pain. They can tear, they’re constrictive, you’re limited to water-based lubricants, you’re allergic to latex. I know, I’ve heard it all. And my response is: replace the torn condom immediately, buy a bigger condom, buy a better water-based lube and use a polypropylene condom.

“I really want the intimacy of sex without condoms.” Good for you! I really want to win the lottery, pal, but the chance of doing that (without risking far more than I’m willing to risk) approaches zero. Besides, you’re side-tracking this discussion in 2008 with your unrealistic dreams. Wake the fuck up.

And now you’re thinking “okay, b, I know your drill, what are you getting at? It’s not like I didn’t see the mock ad at the top of the post, anyway, so spill.”

So, yeah, what you probably haven’t heard, or what you might’ve heard and haven’t yet seriously considered, is that there’s another form of barrier protection for Men Who Like To Stick Their Wieners In Other Men’s Buns, and that form of protection is…

Female Condoms.

Huh? Female condoms? Simply (and, again, bluntly) stated, they’re bags you stick in your butt so the guy porking you doesn’t need to wear one. And the receptive partner has more control than with regular condoms. They’re made of polypropylene, they’re stronger than latex and they transmit body heat better than latex. When used properly — more on that in a mo’ — they’re as safe as traditional condoms. Provided you’re using traditional condoms properly, too, that is.

Now, what I’ve just told you is my opinion. If you’re interested in seriously investigating these dealios, you absolutely must arm yourself with as much information as possible and you absolutely must consult with your health care practitioner. I’ll get to the conflicting information is a moment. But you need to talk to your doctor if you’re at all skeptical about my Professor Harold Hill-ish enthusiasm for this product. I mean, you should be talking to your health care practitioner on a regular basis about safer sex anyway, right? Right?

So, yeah. Female condoms are marketed in North America under the brand name Reality™. Made for a woman but strong enough for a man. They’re made of polypropylene, approximately as thick as latex condoms but about three times as wide and a little longer. There’s a flexible rubber ring around the open end — that’ll stay on the outside of your butthole — and there’s another flexible rubber ring, loose, in the bottom of the bag. You squeeze that ring to insert it in your bum. You push the whole contraption inside with your finger or, I dunno, can you think of anything longer than it is thick? Use one of those.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

When Good Christians Take Digital Photos

"She's a Christian- She's a good kid...She just made a 7-figure deal..."
Loving how they sell "Christian."

The Long Road to a Vaccine

Mister Joe.My.God posted it BStewart followed up on it and now I'm adding my two cents. To what you ask? Oh just the idea that doctors are giving up hope on finding an HIV vaccine anytime soon.

The Independent’s survey of more than 35 leading Aids scientists in Britain and the United States found that just two were now more optimistic about the prospects for an HIV vaccine than they were a year ago; only four said they were more optimistic now than they were five years ago.

Nearly two thirds believed that an HIV vaccine will not be developed within the next 10 years and some of them said that it may take at least 20 more years of research before a vaccine can be used to protect people either from infection or the onset of Aids.

A substantial minority of the scientists admitted that an HIV vaccine may never be developed, and even those who believe that one could appear within the next 10 years added caveats saying that such a vaccine would be unlikely to work as a truly effective prophylactic against infection by the virus.

In my opinion there has always been a vaccine. Two of em'. They're called condoms and communication. Use them because this fucker isn't going away anytime soon. Dare we ask gay men to start talking about HIV/AIDS again or is the community going to play the "uneasy" and "offensive" card? Because, from what I've seen, we're pretty easy going and not offended toward all the explicitness and sexual activity we carry on with, but the minute there's discussion of a virus, suddenly we're offended. Suddenly, for once, we don't want to talk about sex.

Get over it. Get on with. Talk about it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pinkberry Not so Healthy, 8th Ave. Gays go Bezerk

Well the proof is in the pudding frozen yogurt. Pinkberry brand frozen yogurt actually contains 23 ingredients including additives, emulsifiers and acidifiers. Not that anybody really expected to be "healthy"... However in an unprecedented action bigger than anything seen by ACT UP or Queer Nation the gay men of Chelsea have taken to the streets to protest Pinkberry's misleading health-based advertising! More after the jump.

After a class-action lawsuit was filed last year accusing the company of deceptive marketing, Pinkberry posted ingredients on its Web site. But that got little notice until the case was settled two weeks ago. (The company said the lawsuit had nothing to do with the posting.)

There is, it turns out, a great deal more than yogurt in those costly white cups.

The ingredients list for Original Pinkberry has 23 items. Skim milk and nonfat yogurt are listed first, then three kinds of sugar: sucrose, fructose and dextrose. Fructose and maltodextrin, another ingredient, are both laboratory-produced ingredients extracted from corn syrup.

The list includes at least five additives defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as emulsifiers (propylene glycol esters, lactoglycerides, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono- and diglycerides); four acidifiers (magnesium oxide, calcium fumarate, citric acid, sodium citrate); tocopherol, a natural preservative; and two ingredients — starch and maltodextrin — that were characterized as fillers by Dr. Gary A. Reineccius, a professor in the department of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota and an expert in food additives.

The Chelsea protest was joined by JAP (Jewgirls Against PinkBerry), a coalition of Jewish girls from Murray Hill, and a smattering of girls, 19 to 21, from NYU sororities. When asked for a quote one gay man responded, "Listen, if I wanted to be fat and remember what it is to actually taste something with flavor I would have gone to Baskin Robbins a long time ago. Humph!" To which an NYU girl responded, "I know, right? I hope I'm still able to fit into my dress for next week's AEPHI/ZBT date dash! This is an outrage!"

Gurrrl, say what you will- but Ali Alex and I were there last weekend munching down on the original flavor with raspberries, bananas and other crazy mixins' talking about boys and spring fashion and stuff. SO fierce!

Welcome Back to America!

My Torontorian blogger buddy BStewart captured this image as he arrived back to Newark Airport from Dublin. Nothing says, "Welcome to America" quite like this, eh? 54 killings in the first quarter of 2008! Three cheers for a new year! Let's get that group of Florida teenage cheerleaders who kicked the crap out of their friend to be the offical hit count cheer squad!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue - I Love Jesus More than You!

Wonderful input from an Andrew Sullivan reader:

I am really drawn in to your discussions of fundamentalism. It is an issue that my husband and I, as well as many colleagues, often find ourselves discussing. Why? We teach next door to a mega church and many of our families attend the church. We have seen numerous times where these children have upbraided their peers for not being "Christian enough", for not going to church where "they" do, and for not claiming Jesus as their personal savior. To say that this behavior disturbs us, is to put it mildly. The other day, another teacher found herself surrounded by a group of her 8 year olds calling her out on where she attends church, and what she believes. This event came after a year of one of her students frequently throwing out scripture verses aloud during class. This is not limited to students; many of our colleagues attend services there as well. Therefore, you will see a myriad of stickers affixed to the cars in our parking lot: "God is In Control" (guess that wraps up that Free Will debate) and "Not of this World" (funny, I thought God created this world for us) are the current favorites.

What I see are families who want certainty; to be told what to do and how to parent their children.

They don't seem capable of parenting on their own two feet, so they turn their families over to a finger wagging mega-church that tells their kids to go out and bear witness, to wear chastity rings, and to quote scripture without ever really looking at the development of the soul. Also, there is an air of exclusivity among the children. If you are not seen there during the weekend, or if you go trick or treating instead of going to the church carnival, or you don't attend the "Christian Club" meetings during lunch at the public school, then you are on the outs with the crowd, because you just don't love Jesus the right way. Further, the insistence on literal level thinking in regards to accepting the Bible as God's literal word, has bled into classroom practices. Many of our children see no need to think about the author's message of a text or to infer why someone might be feeling something in a given text, because if the author wanted you to think that about that, he/she would tell you directly, right?

I am looking forward for this trend to abate, and in the meantime, my family will be in the fourth pew from the back at our Catholic Church, living life in an uncertain world, comfortable with ambiguity and learning that the world is not black and white, and God probably doesn't want it that way!

I have witnessed something like this myself. Several of my jobs have taken me to the more rural parts of the south to work with teenagers and young people. Many of these teens, both boys and girls, had no problem disclosing aspects of their sex lives to me and the amount to which they drink and drug yet every time they feel as though they've said to much, they encapsulate their statements by saying, "oh but we're church going folk." Or, "Yeah, but we go to church so it's all good." As if their mere attending Sunday Mass is their get out of jail free card. They really feel this way, make no mistake about it. Since they attend church or simply say they believe in Jesus they carry an entitlement of being right or saved and do whatever they please. It's all pretty sick, ignorant and blatantly backwards yet they just don't/won't see it that way.

Dodgeball: Children of the Court

The View Bar Vice Squad: "Send em' to Hell!"
(L2R: BJ, Eric, T, Sergio, Danny, and The Mighty Thom)
In a massacre only written in movies like Apocalypto, The View Bar Vice Squad were a stampeding triumph over their snarling competitors, The United Shipping's Big Packages, in a 3-0 pillage.

Then, with no break in between, The Vice Squad heard the sound of a dooming drum beat in the distance. For their next battle was against top competitors, The MasterBeat: Beat Downs.

The first match was a blow to the Vice Squad- coming off the last game they were not yet ready to take on such a powerhouse. It went to MasterBeat.

But! In a restoration of power and an all hands-in team chant of "go fierce go" did the tearing rage ignite within The Vice Squad and bequeath the firestorm which would burn out that drum and lay rest to The MasterBeat: Beat Downs in a 2-1 engulfment.

MVP Award goes to none other than The Mighty Thom who remained a continuous last man standing in our every match. Good playing, Champ! We wouldn't be numero uno without you!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Wake Up Call

Nothing like a little Yeah Yeah Yeahs to get you through the Monday Midday Slump:

Speaking of distractions, right?

Cute Little Consumers

Well if you made it through all the Pope coverage over the weekend you may have landed upon a front page spread of The Sunday Times where they exposed the linkage between FOX News US Military "analysts" and their linkage to The Pentagon.
In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants.

The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.
Not that I am really surprised this is happening and even moreso by Fox News but I can't help but feel this is exactly what they had up their sleeves the whole time. Duh.

The Pentagon as well as the 24/7 News Networks view the American public as nothing but a bunch of cute little consumers whom they keep happily and ignorantly satisfied and distracted by telling us about their "honest and trustworthy" reporting. But we've been duped and duped the whole time. Yet our distraction has become too common and we've grown apathetic if not entirely accustomed to these lies and behavior. Shrug on America, shrug on.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Friday: Passover Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

And to all my yids out there: Have a great Passover!

ACT UP Art-chives

Since blogging about the ACT UP Media event (a few posts down) I have been getting emails from some activists from the time who have been sending me art and clips and emails.

Most notably, BitterQueen who authors the blog: History Of Gay Bars- the most extensive and comprehensive gay nightlife
and culture archive of New York City I've ever come across has been sending me original posters and fliers from the late 1980's. I strongly recommend jumping over to History of Gay Bars. It's unfathomably detailed and interesting. He deserves a lot of credit.

Since the Pope is in America this weekend I thought I'd share some of the art BitterQueen has been sending me. Such passion then! Despite current HIV/AIDS manageability, I beg the question: Where is and what happened to the outrage?

And here is original footage of the ACT UP protest of Cardinal O' Conner and an interview with Larry Kramer: courtesy of After Stonewall:

The Whole World in New York

The New York Talk Exchange (NYTE) uploaded these incredibly cool visuals of how connected and reliant the rest of world is to New York City. Go to the site and watch the videos too.

Check this out:

"In the Information Age, the flow of IP (Internet Protocol) data between locations is nearly ubiquitous. Globe Encounters visualizes in real time the volumes of Internet data flowing between New York and cities around the world. The size of the glow on a particular city location corresponds to the amount of IP traffic flowing between that place and New York City. A greater glow implies a greater IP flow."

World Within New York shows how different neighborhoods reach out to the rest of the world via the AT&T telephone network. The city is divided into a grid of 2-kilometer square pixels where each pixel is colored according to the regions of the world wherein the top connecting cities are located. The widths of the color bars represent the proportion of world regions in contact with each neighborhood. Encoded within each pixel is also a list of the world cities that account for 70% of the communications with that particular area of New York.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Filthiest

Come celebrate the last Reading For Filth at Rapture Cafe
Tonight 8PM!Johnny Tingle, Chadwick Moore, Kari Krome, Me, Eileen Myles and The Blog Daddy himself, Mr. Joe My God.
Can't decide what I should read. Old or new?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not To Be Missed

This will make for a truly inspiring experience




NEW YORK, NEW YORK (March 30th) - A rare gathering of veteran members of ACT UP, filmmakers, and media theorists will dissect the history of grass-roots media coordination in America and its role in advancing AIDS activism from the 1980s until today.

The program, "Expression = Life: ACT UP, Video and the AIDS Crisis," will be held on Friday, April 18th, at 7pm at the Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th St. on the campus of New York University.
A screening of rare news and independent film footage will be the centerpiece of a panel discussion that examines the origins of media activism and the myriad opportunity for new and alternative communication strategies in a world now dominated by corporate-owned media. Pan
elists will revisit the early days of ACT UP activism and explain how innovative media strategies yielded coverage. They will explore how these efforts contributed to creating an alternative media network still operating today.

Panelists for the program include:

John Greyson, award-winning director of numerous films, include "Patient Zero". He currently teaches film at York University in Canada.
Jean Carlomusto, award-winning filmmaker and video artist who co-curated the interactive AIDS archive project AIDS: A Living Archive, for the Museum of the City of New York. She currently teaches filmmaking at Long Island University.
Stephen Duncombe is professor of Media Studies at New York University, the editor of Cultural Resistance Reader and Dream: Progressive Politics in an Age of F
Jay Blotcher served as media coordinator for the founding chapters of ACT UP and
Queer Nation and co-founded Public Impact Media Consultants, which gained mainstream coverage for progressive and grass-roots organizations.
Ben Shepard is professor of Sociology at the City University of New York, and the co-editor of From ACT UP to the WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building in the Era of Globalization.
The program will be moderated by Mark Read, New York University Professor and curator, "DIY Media: Movement Perspectives on Critical Moments."

The evening program will screen excerpts of several rare pieces filmed durin
g the height of the AIDS activist era. They include:
Transformer AIDS (1988): Bob Kinney and Paper Tiger TV perform a critical "reading" of Ronald Reagan's infamous 1987 speech to the American pharmaceutical industry, in which he finally acknowledged the AIDS crisis, six years into the epidemic.

Angry Initiatives, Defiant Strategies
(1987): John Greyson produced this survey of the American gay community's response to the AIDS crisis, limned through the work of more than twenty artists and activists.

Be A DIVA (1989): Designed as a rebuke and corrective to the mainstream media's distortion of the AIDS crisis, this is the first production of DIVA TV, an ACT UP affinity group composed primarily of lesbian filmmakers, including Ellen Spiro, Catherine Gund and Jean Carlomusto.

Like A Prayer (1990): DIVA-TV's coverage of the landmark 1989
"Stop the Church" demonstration at St. Patrick's Cathedral, spearheaded by ACT UP and WHAM! (Women's Health Action and Mobilization.)
Just came across an ACT UP Oral History Project

Photos courtesy of Rex Wockner's wonderful blogpost entitled: "Analog ACT UP Memories"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dodgeball: The Legend

The View Bar Vice Squad
(L to R: BJ, Danny, Owen, Sergio, Vanessa, Eric, Vin, T)
Lately dodgeball reporting has been like watching a season of Lost. One mintue you're following a story then the next thing you know it's taking a four week break.


The View Bar Vice Squad is still kicking ass. We were missing some players tonight but like the note to my team stated:

The View Bar was scant tonight, but their playing did not suffer in their vicious fierceness.

We were taught a lesson by Gym Bar (2-1)
But it was then spit back onto the 2nd place team, The Splasholes (2-1)

The Vice Squad/Sub Woofers/Team Fierce is in 1st place - with a ten point lead, Ladies and gentleman (and gender non-specifics), it is our duty to remain in this lead and to conquer all that is the title for Big Apple Dodgeball Season 2!

Organize, Communicate, Play Together, Action!


Capn' Eric

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

"When in doubt...Fierce it out!"

(sorry, I had to)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Friday!: WTF Edition!

Vomiting Kibbles and Bits
What do you get when you cross the latest in Reality Competition trends like Project Runway/Shear Genius and Animal Planet? The latest in absurdity! Yup, that's right! In a desperate attempt for ratings and/or, er, new hardly creative ideas Animal Planet decided to go ahead and green light a show where "professional" dog groomers blow-and-dry it out in a competition-reality to see who is America's best Dog Groomer. Uh, yeah- I'm not kidding.

The show is called Groomer Has It and, no joke, it's a real show. The icing on the cake is that it's hosted by the Queer Eye's most unnecessary cast member, Jai Rodriguez. You know him- he was the Fab 5 guy who used to give such stellar advice as: "Girls like music. You should think about buying her a CD. That'd really score points." Great. Thanks Jai.

Ugh. I'd rather watch the Lie Detector shit over this one...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

When Bloggers Collide

Leven and Stewart- NYC 4/7/08
One of the best experiences I've had doing this here blogging thing are the friends I've made who I've never actually met. BStewart23 (Brett Stewart) and I have been corresponding since October and I've always admired his blog for his level of humorous anger, his support for the gays and general fight against the stupidity pandemic. In a very short matter of time BStewart23 and I were hitting one another up with emails, tip offs and classic internet obnoxia. I've admired (ok and swooned) him since the first time my eyes set upon his blog and it goes beyond his amazing hairy chest and knowing that he used to write for OutWeek Magazine. Yet we never actually met.

That is until the Toronto living silver fox decided to visit NYC and we both made it a point to break the 1's and 0's matrix and meet in person. Every great characteristic I assumed BStewart to have was brought to the plate- and then some! He's an amazing, influential man with an unprecedented level of energy and creativity. Dude fucking cracks me up! His blog is an absolute must. I miss you already Stewy! Thanks for everything, friend.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rapture Cafe is Closing its Doors

Rapture Cafe- 200 Ave A.
With a heavy heart and a deep sadness I must report that the East Village queer-centric Rapture Cafe is closing at the end of the month. Over the past year Rapture Cafe has created a home for individuals, eccentrics, writers, artists and queers of all demographics. Rapture has kept the life and vitality of the East Village strong by hosting events such as Reading For Filth: Queer Writers read about Queer Sex, Trans events, drag events and many other writers and creative events.

Owners Hattie Hathaway and Joe Birdsong sent the Rapture Family this in email yesterday:

In December 2007, artists, authors, performers and poets of every medium co-created a space located at 200 Avenue A; an oasis of the imagination, Rapture Café & Books housed a motley crew who live and thrive on the margins of social convention, and carried the historic torch passed on by East Village visionaries who stretch and push and pull at the boundaries of politics, music, art, sexuality, gender, economy and family.

Inevitably, endeavors of ambitious truths and brutal beautification of the spirit must evolve in order to thrive. Rapture’s time here at 200 Avenue A is drawing to a close, only to emerge in other forms and in other spaces. Rising costs of doing business using this model have nudged us forward to conceive new ways of producing and presenting some of the best words and performance here in the East Village and beyond.

So, except for a few special events, we will be closing our doors to general, day-to-day business on Thursday April 24th, 2008. However, we will continue to host many of the events you have come to appreciate at Rapture at other locations. Look for "Dean Johnson's Reading For Filth", "Readings At Rapture," and "Glenn Marla's Heavy" to continue gloriously at other venues. In addition, Rapture will be expanding our web presence, so please do bookmark our site at:
After receiving the letter I went directly to Rapture to give my friend, Mr. Joe Birdsong a hug and thank him for the amazingness that is Rapture Cafe. I asked him for a quote.
"Opening and overseeing Rapture has been the most electrifying, mobilizing, ecstatic, terrifying and enriching experience of my life (so far). The past two+ years have taught me that we can follow a vision and see it through, and that none of us are ever truly alone. During our time here, I've broadened my own sense of family and community; watched friends get married in this space; buried friends; discovered breathtakingly talented artists and writers; fallen in love with my very own magic man; met every living writer (with one exception) I've ever wanted to meet; immersed myself in the tides of art, politics, performance, community, gender and spirituality. I am humbled by the sheer brilliance of the staff - my family - here (Hattie Hathaway, Linda James, ErickaToure Aviance, Jonny Tingle, Mark Bailey, Clint Asay, Texxx, Walt Cessna). And've gone and made me cry. We truly have co-created a fabulous, fierce, first incarnation of Rapture. I now know what hope feels like."
I will miss Rapture Cafe dearly. I will miss Hattie recommending books and telling me stories of the past. I will miss Joe and his unyielding support of not only me but the gay and eccentric community as a whole. One only needs to look at Rapture's Myspace page to understand the incredible venue created there. Going over my blog I realize now what an indelible impact Rapture Cafe has made on my life and no matter what new venue moves in nothing will ever be able to take Rapture's place. You will be missed.

International PSA's On the Creative-Effective Mark

Translastion: In the world a person dies of AIDS every 1o seconds

MTV France Ad

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Magic Mountain

No really...what?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Staph! Staph! Staph!

Relax...It's treatable. Yes, even the "Drug-Resistant" strains too.

In a wonderfully concise and wonderfully responsible manner Out Magazine reports on how one botched press release can lead to a domino effect resulting in a nation-wide panic and hate from the right.

Actually, even MRSA's formal name, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is misleading, since methicillin is not the only penicillin synthetic to which this fast-moving bug has developed a resistance. Contrary to news reports, however, which hinted at an unstoppable scourge plaguing gay men, MRSA is treatable, through a variety of options in various combinations. Even multidrug-resistant MRSA, which can't be cured by some antibiotics outside the penicillin-synthetic drug family, is treatable.

These are only some of the gross inaccuracies surrounding this ailment since a team of researchers released a report in January. At first glance, a peer-reviewed analysis of data from hospitals and clinics in San Francisco and Boston, which was published under the aegis of the University of California, San Francisco, appeared to reveal that multidrug-resistant MRSA was becoming particularly prevalent among gay men. A report on National Public Radio and an article in The New York Times by Lawrence Altman, the highly respected medical journalist, set off a right-wing tidal wave of finger-pointing.

Rather than informing the public, the mainstream media inflamed the situation. A British tabloid said there was a “new HIV,” while the respected international news agency Reuters headlined an article “Drug-resistant Staph Passed in Gay Sex.”

The only problem with such reporting was that it simply wasn't true. The authors of the study quickly backpedaled, partly shifting the blame to a young epidemiologist who was the report's lead author for his misstatements. Meanwhile, other scientists and doctors came forward to assert that MRSA is not a new disease or even a “gay disease” -- and sexual contact is only one of many ways of contracting it.

“We've been hearing about MRSA for decades in all people -- men, women, young, old, gay, straight,” explained Melissa Marx, an epidemiologist in New York City's health department who spoke at a city public forum in late February, one of several held at LGBT centers around the country to counter the hysterical claims.

Go on and read the rest of the article. It's very straight forward and as gay people we should hip ourselves to articles such as these to prevent future panics and to understand the latest in our health.

I never hit the panic button during this year's staph reporting. In fact I've always been pretty casual about it. For instance, at the gym, when someone wants to work in with me I always say with a smile, "Of course! My staph infection is your staph infection." (rimshot!) yes? no? Whatever I'm off to Magic Mountain.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable the title of Sasha Baron Cohen's new film and he's fucking with Ben Affleck.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s alter ego Bruno has recently been causing trouble in Kansas, shooting the follow-up to Borat, titled Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt (now try to say that five times fast). FilmDrunk reported earlier this week that security was put on red alert when “a German film crew member” started “stripping down to tight shorts and dancing in the lobby of Wichita Airport” (see video of this at the bottom of the post). A church in Kansas also reported that a strange European camera crew showed up to their Easter play with the on air personality in chains.

Mike Walker of the National Enquirer reported the following on the Howard Stern Show on Thursday: Ben Affleck called comedian friend Sarah Silverman after completing a sit-down interview with a person he was told was a “very famous openly gay fashion journalist”. Ben called the interview “the weirdest sit-down he has ever had with a reporter” explaining that the interviewer’s (wholm he refered to as an “idiot”) first question was “How Do You Like Niggers?” After a stunned silence, Silverman asked Affleck “Was this guy’s name Bruno?” Then and only then did Affleck actually realize that the whole thing was a gag. There is no doubt that this interview will be featured in the final cut, which is currently scheduled to hit theaters in October 2008.