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Monday, January 31, 2011

Mash Up Monday - Oh No (NSFW)

Looking back over the months that I have been posting 'Mash Up Monday' posts, I'm surprised that I haven't posted one Girl Talk track yet.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Mashup genre, Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis, is truly a pioneer.  The New York Times Magazine once called him a "lawsuit waiting to happen", due to the high number of samples, often numbering 400-500, that he uses per album without permission.  To skirt copyright law, he often cites fair use and offers his albums for free to his listeners.

His most recent album, 'All Day', was released in November.  It can be downloaded, for free, from the official Girl Talk website.  The following video for the album's first track, 'Oh No', is fan made, as is all of them.  It contains brief nudity and adult language.  NSFW

Message From Egyptian Activist Via Twitter

On Saturday 29th January 2011,  said:

Alicia Ali Marsden

To all the people of world

The people in Egypt are under governmental siege. Mubarak regime is banning Facebook, Twitter, and all other popular internet sites Now, the internet are completely blocked in Egypt. Tomorrow the government will block the 3 mobile phone network will be completely blocked.

And there is news that even the phone landlines will be cut tomorrow, to prevent any news agency from following what will happen.

Suez city is already under siege now. The government cut the water supply and electricity, people, including, children and elderly are suffering there now. The patients in hospitals cannot get urgent medical care. The injured protesters are lying in the streets and the riot police are preventing people from helping them. The families of the killed protesters cannot get the bodies of their sons to bury them. This picture is the same in north Saini (El-Sheikh zoyad city) and in western Egypt (Al-salom). The riot police is cracking down on protesters in Ismailia, Alexandria, Fayoum, Shbin Elkoum, and Cairo, the capital, in many neighborhoods across the city.

The government is preparing to crackdown on the protesters in all Egyptian cities. They are using tear gas bombs, rubber and plastic pullets, chemicals like dilutes mustard gas against protesters. Several protesters today have been killed when the armored vehicles of the riot police hit them. Officials in plain clothes carrying blades and knives used to intimidate protesters. Thugs deployed by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior are roaming the streets of Cairo, setting fire on car-wheels as means of black propaganda to demonize protesters and justify police beatings and state torture

All this has been taken place over the past three days during the peaceful demonstrations in Cairo and other cities. Now, with the suspicious silence of the local media and the lack of coverage from the international media, Mubarak and his gang are blocking all the channels that can tell the world about what is happening.

People who call for their freedom need your support and help. Will you give them a hand?

The activists are flooding the net (youtube and other sites) with thousands of pictures and videos showing the riot police firing on armless people. The police started to use ammunition against protesters. 15-year old girl has been injured and another 25 year old man has been shot in the mouth. While nothing of these has appeared in the media, there is more to happen tomorrow. Will you keep silent? Will you keep your mouth shut while seeing all these cruelty and inhumane actions?

We don’t ask for much, just broadcast what is happening

Written by: Mariam Hussien

Sunday, January 30, 2011

If Best Picture Nominated Movie Posters Were Honest

I remember about 20 years ago, Dudley Moore was in a movie called 'Crazy People'.  The plot of the movie was that an ad executive finally decided to be truthful in advertising and everyone thought he was crazy, so they locked him up in a mental hospital.  One of the ads he did in the film was a poster for a horror movie called 'The Freak'.

His advertisement read:  "This movie won't just scare you.  It will fuck you up for life."

When I saw this series of Photoshopped posters on TheShiznit, 'The Freak' was the first thing I thought of:

And my favorite...

Fuck, I guess I need to go see True Grit.

Shame On You, Saturday Night Live

Speaking of last night's SNL, during Weekend Update, Fred Armisen came on to do a three minute spot dressed as Hosni Mubarak to discuss the lack of internet and the protesting in the streets:

To make light of the situation going on in Egypt, to trivialize it the way that they did, was tasteless and uncalled for.  As of Saturday morning, the people of Egypt were without a link to the outside world.  As of this morning, the world has practically no visual link to them.  The army currently has "shoot to kill" orders tonight when it comes to the protesters on the streets.

There are some things you don't joke about.  Some things are off limits.  I don't remember Saturday Night Live doing a skit on the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in '89, or the genocide in Darfur, or the hurricane and following humanitarian crisis in Haiti.  Why should this be any different?

SNL - "Static Electricity" With Mr. Wizard

This season's SNL just gets better and better with each episode.  Case in point, last night's guest host Jesse Eisenberg with Nasim Petrad, learning about static electricity, and their growing bodies on a classic episode of Nickelodeon's Mr. Wizard:

Bloodshed Expected Tonight In Cairo

As I reported this morning, Mubarak's plan to send the army into Cairo Saturday backfired.  For the most part, soldiers sided with the protesters, protecting them from the local police.  The government is incensed.  Rumors started circulating around 1pm local time in Egypt that the authorization was given to the Egyptian army to "shoot to kill" starting tonight.

This information is coming from Shadi Hamid, a fellow at the Brookings Institute.  He has been receiving calls from multiple contacts inside Egypt (protesters, journalists, organizers) since the protests began on January 25th.  As the day continued, the news became even more frightening.  According to his Twitter account, not only had the above information been confirmed, but a memo had been discovered that the order is to go into effect at midnight.

Based upon the actions seen by the majority of the troops on the ground so far, it's unlikely that they will suddenly start shooting protesters.  The threat at the moment appears to be from the air.  For hours now, military jets and helicopters have been flying over Tahrir Square, the focal point of the protests, at low altitudes, trying to scare the protesters.

Al Jazeera was kicked out of the county today.  Video is scarce.  How many more lives will have to be lost before someone steps in? A senior member of the opposition is saying that "tonight is the night", and that "there will be major bloodshed".  It won't be the blood of the army or government officials, but of hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people seeking freedom.

Tourette's Syndrome 101

Over the last two months or so, my Tourette's has gotten much worse.  I have developed a couple of annoying new tics.  One is an eye twitch, and the other is where I scrunch my face up.  Between the two, if I'm having a bad day, I tic probably 500-600 times a day.  Medication doesn't seem to have an effect any more on my condition.  Words cannot describe how frustrating it can be some days.

For those of you unfamiliar with the condition, Tourette's Syndrome is a neurological disorder that is usually onset in childhood.  In my case, my childhood "tic" was a sniffle.  I also had a nose rubbing tic.  They went unnoticed.  I wasn't officially diagnosed until June of 2009, when I was 34.  For the tics to be classified as Tourette's tics, you have to have multiple motor (body, hand, facial) tics and one vocal tic.  This is video that I took with my webcam a week before I was diagnosed:

I started having the "jerking" tic in August of 2006.  It was the only form of tic I had for months after the diagnosis.  Then, as my medication started to affect my Tourette's, the tics started to manifest themselves differently.  I would smack myself in the back of the head.  I would start tapping or touching my wife's shoulder.  I would sometimes just scream out loud.  And weirdest of all, sometimes, I would talk in an accent.  Mid-sentence, I would start speaking in an Irish accent, using Irish jargon and slang.  Maybe for a sentence or two, or sometimes it would go on for twenty minutes.  It was out of my control.

Having Tourette's is a lot like someone taking over the remote control for your body.  There are times in which I have zero control over my actions.  I've heard other people with Tourette's say that it's akin to holding  in a sneeze, which, for the most part, is true.  Different tics feel differently to me personally.

I have tics that give me a ticklish feeling or like a little surge of electricity between my shoulder blades right before my tic.  I can hold those in, sometimes for hours, but if I do, it gets very painful and I will tic much much longer than what I would have if I just ticked in the first place.  I have other tics that build up pressure in my chest.  It tightens, like a spring.  When I tic, it feels like that spring has had a chance to release.  Those tics require a "trigger" to occur, whether it be a location, a topic of discussion, a memory(usually something stressful).  I have a variety of other tics that occur without warning that I cannot control or hold back.  These are the most frustrating.

***NOT ALL PEOPLE THAT HAVE TOURETTE'S SYNDROME GO AROUND YELLING "SHIT, FUCK AND BITCH***  It's called coprolalia, and it occurs in less than 10% of people with Tourette's.  I for one, have been told that I have it.  I tend to say "shit" a lot as a tic.  I also have palilalia, which is where you repeat a word that you say over and over.  It's hard to explain, but when it happens, I cannot stop until the word either sounds right or feels right coming out of my mouth.  One of my recent tics is a bad stutter.  It gets worse with nervousness or stress.  Toastmasters, here I come.

I highly recommend watching a movie called Niagara, Niagara.  It came out in 1997, and stars Robin Tunney as a young woman with Tourette's.  When I first saw the movie about 12 years ago, I thought her character was ridiculous and over the top.  I saw it again about a year ago, and saw myself.  The movie itself is mediocre, but her performance is extraordinary.  You can stream the movie online for free on

Updated News On Egyptian Protests

It's now 8:30am, Sunday morning in Cairo, and thousands of people are already out in the streets for another day of protesting.  The last 36 hours have been nothing short of newsworthy.

Early morning Saturday, Cairo was on fire.  Looters were roaming the city.  It has been reported that the National Museum has had multiple mummies decapitated and that there is a possibility that Tutankahmun's tomb has been damaged.

Eyewitnesses and journalists on the ground claim that the majority of the looters are, in fact, plain clothes Egyptian police disguised as protesters so that the blame will be placed on them.  There was a curfew in place Friday night from dusk till dawn that was not being followed by anyone.  Thousands of people were still in the streets.  There were no police in the city.  Egyptian state television was showing pictures of a burning, but a peaceful Cairo.  Al Jazeera showed it's journalistic integrity Friday night by essentially calling "bullshit".  They showed a split screen image.  On the right was the state television feed.  On the left was the Al Jazeera feed:  what really was happening.  From the New York Times:
"At one point, the screen was split. On one side was live video of a police van that had been set on fire by protesters defying a curfew, with the sounds of gunfire and explosions. On the other side was the scene being broadcast by state television: a quiet tableau of the night sky in downtown Cairo, with the message that a curfew had been imposed.

Al Jazeera’s news anchors often drew attention to the limits of their reporting, noting that they did not know what was happening in some parts of the country because phone lines had been cut. At one point, a correspondent warned that Egyptian security forces were poised to attack the building where the channel’s reporters were working. Anchors told viewers to switch to another satellite channel, and told them how to do it, in case its transmission was interrupted."

Saturday morning comes, and Mubarak sends out the military to deal with the protesters.  His plan backfires. The video below shows a group of protesters coming in contact with a squad of police.  The police start to fire shotguns into the crowd.  Three armored military vehicles come in from behind the protesters.  Instead of blocking the protesters in, they form a barrier between them and the police.  The video below that shows another armored vehicle acting as a barrier against the tear gas canisters being launched by the police.  In the second video, the protesters are even seen riding and dancing on the military property.

At 1:30am, local time Cairo, a reporter managed to Tweet out a message saying that approximately 6000 prisoners had escaped a local prison.  Sky News later confirmed that is wasn't just an escape at one location, but at multiple jails and prisons around Cairo.  The atmosphere is pure chaos.

The sun is up on Egypt again.  Today, the women are leading the protests.  The men of the family have been standing guard overnight to protect their homes from looters and local police.  It is up to Egypt's mothers, sisters, and daughters to continue their fight for democracy.  At this point, it appears to be just a matter of time.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tosh.0 Inadvertently Teaches Lesson On Sexuality

Earlier this week, Comedy Central's Tosh.0 had a segment titled 'Gay Porn Viagra Boner Challenge'.  The point of the "challenge" was to get all of the male staff in the office to wear revealing sweatpants, have them each take a Viagra, stand along a row for two hours and watch hardcore gay porn.  The first one to get an erection loses.  Watch what happens.(I promise you, you won't see anything gross.)

Tosh.0Tuesdays 10pm / 9c
Gay Porn Viagra Boner Challenge
Tosh.0 VideosDaniel ToshWeb Redemption

That's right.  Even with Viagra, not one erection.  Like After Elton noted, they unwittingly proved a point:
The whole exercise was completely juvenile. But personally, I didn't think it was at all offensive. In a strange way it helped advance the notion that people aren't turned gay by gay imagery. You either have a same sex attraction — or you don't. And not even Viagra and two hours of extreme gay porn are going to change matters.
Either you're gay or you're not.  Porn can't influence that.  Not even Viagra can influence that.  When I was young, my mother wouldn't let me listen to Elton John or George Michael CDs because she thought that their "homosexual lifestyles" would rub off on me through their music.  Earlier this week, in an Arkansas grocery store, there were shields placed over the Us magazine cover of Elton John and David Furnish posing with their baby boy, because customers complained that they felt that it would influence their children to become gay.

I encourage you to check out a new blog.  It's called Born This Way.  It has reader submitted stories and photos of their earliest gay memory.  You would be surprised to find with some people it's as early as 3 or 4. Whether we're straight, gay, bi or transgendered, it's a part of us.  It would be ridiculous to think of our sexuality as something so superficial to be changed by just watching a video.

Body Positive Blog Post or Confidence Is Sexy As Hell

I read a blog post today from Amber, a 24 year old from Massachusetts:

"I’ve submitted a bunch of times, but never this particular picture (for reasons that I would think would be pretty obvious.)
I posted this picture on another blog and had people reblog it and pick me apart. Talk about how disgusting I looked, how it was awful how I could ever ‘let myself go’ this much and how I couldn’t possibly be happy.
After taking this picture, I looked at it and thought I looked pretty. Yup. I’ve got rolls, and cellulite and stretch marks, and to say my thighs touch is an understatement of astronomical proportions. I’ll be honest. Sometimes I see people post here and talk about losing 10 or 20lbs, and I can’t help but shake my head at how something so small could be so important to so many people out there.
What if I told you that it’s possible to not have a so-called ‘ideal’ figure, and to be happy? Because it’s entirely possible. I’ve had scores of people compliment me on my confidence. Even when I don’t feel confident, I still put it out there, and people tend to look past my weight. It seems hard to believe but it’s true!
The number on the scale is NOT important. The size of your pants is NOT important. Whether you have scars, or stretch marks, or cellulite, or rolls, or pudge, or big teeth, or acne, or a strange nose, anything that you think is a ‘deformity’, it’s NOT important. Wishing you had what someone else had is NOT important. Everyone out there is fighting a tough battle.
The person who you think is perfect most likely has body issues of their own, and at least one thing they’d like to change. The grass is always going to be greener on the other side. People find it much easier to see beauty in others, but never in themselves.
Stop. Look at yourself, and appreciate what you have. Even if you don’t think you have anything, you are alive, you are breathing, and you have the potential to do fantastic things with your life."
She's beautiful.

Record Club - Never Tear Us Apart

I've always been a sucker for a good cover, especially if it's of a song that I was originally fond of.  When INXS' 'Kick' was released in 1987, I listened to two songs repeatedly, 'Need You Tonight/Mediate' and 'Never Tear Us Apart'.  At the time, 'Never Tear Us Apart' was the quintessential modern rock love song.  Twenty four years later, it's still one of my favorite songs to play and to perform.

In early 2010, Beck formed Record Club.  According to his website:
Record Club is an informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day.  The album chosen to be interpreted is used as a framework.  Nothing is rehearsed or arranged ahead of time.   A track is put up here once a week.  The songs are rough renditions, often first takes that document what happened over the course of a day as opposed to a polished rendering.  There is no intention to 'add to' the original work or attempt to recreate to power of the original recording.  Only to play music and document what happens.
So far, they have recorded renditions of albums by the Velvet Underground, Yanni and Leonard Cohen.  INXS' 'Kick' was recorded on March 3rd, 2010.  It was arranged and recorded in twelve hours.  'Never Tear Us Apart' stands out as a haunting track with Annie Clark singing vocals, and a moving violin solo instead of the cheesy saxophone solo that was standard in so many 80's songs.  Enjoy.

Record Club: INXS "Never Tear Us Apart" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Remembering The Challenger Disaster

There are very few instances in the last 50 years of American history that we can look back upon, and remember, in detail, exactly where we were when it took place.  My parents remember where they were when JFK was assassinated.  Their parents remember when Pearl Harbor was bombed.  My first memory with that kind of historical significance was on January 28, 1986.  

At 11:38am Eastern time, the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, one minute and thirteen seconds after launch.  On board were seven astronauts, including Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space.

NASA broadcast the launch live to thousands of schools nationwide.  I saw it live on a big screen television in the school library with my fifth grade class.  I was devastated.  I remember the worst part of all was watching McAullife's parent's in the crowd clapping.  They had no idea what was going on.  They had never seen a shuttle launch before.  I started crying.  They didn't know that they had just watched their daughter die.

Fast forward twenty five years.  The final shuttle mission is scheduled for April, NASA's future is in question, and the 25 year anniversary of the Challenger disaster is lucky to get a paragraph mention on page 3 or 4 of today's paper.  These five men and two women pioneered what we find ordinary today.  Without their sacrifice, there may not have been a possibility of "space tourism", the Hubble telescope, or the International Space Station.  We owe them our gratitude and respect.

For a detailed account of what happened on January 28th, 1986, take a look at the Wikipedia article on the Challenger disaster.  There is some interesting, and shocking, information about what happened to the shuttle and the crew during the accident.

What If Disney Made A Live Version Of Up!

...In the early '60s?  With Spencer Tracy?  Well, a trailer was released by amateur filmmaker Ivan Guerrero on January 24th, that makes you think that they just may have done so.  Take a look:

Calling them "premakes", Ivan edited together pieces of 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner', The Muppet Movie', 'The Red Balloon', 'Superman', 'The Wizard of Oz', and more than a dozen other films, along with some crafty CGI.  His Youtube page includes "premakes' of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', 'The Empire Strikes Back', 'Ghostbusters', and my favorite, 'Gone With the Wind With Vampires'.  It's definitely worth taking a few minutes to check it out.

From Rachel Maddow's Facebook Page


What Will Happen If Gay Marriage Gets Legalized?

Best Website Ever....this week

Oh, Charlie Sheen.  Where do I start? According to TMZ, earlier this week, he had a "party" for 36 hours straight, with five porn stars, in which he went through a "briefcase" of cocaine.  Today, he's in rehab, and his show, 2 1/2 Men is on "indefinite hiatus".

If you're like me, you want to get right to the point when it comes to your Charlie Sheen news.  Don't tell me about how many porn actresses are locked in the bathroom.  Don't tell me how many pounds of black tar heroin were delivered to his hotel room.  Get to the point.  Is he dead or not?

Introducing  Right to the point.  Check it once a day.  You'll know whether to set your TIVO for a new episode of 2 1/2 Men or not.  Done.  

At the moment:  "Packed the Gucci bag.  Rehab."  12 hours ago:  "Almost".  Ha ha.

Incredible Pics Coming Out Of Egypt

In an unprecedented move, shortly after midnight Pacific time, the Egyptian government terminated all internet service, all text messaging, and all Blackberry service nationwide.  Call me naive, but I didn't know that it was even technologically possible to do something like that.  Since then, the vast majority of video coming out of the country has been from news outlets like Al Jazeera and CNN.  Pictures have been scarce.  The ones coming out have been moving and emotional.  Take a look.

Some protests have been violent, but reports are saying that many have been peaceful, and that the military have been siding with the protesters in many locales.

Taken today during a protest in Cairo. (Courtesy Reuters)

Also taken today during an anti-government protest in Cairo. (photographer unknown, via MSNBC)

Protesters praying in Alexandria, Egypt. (Getty Images)  According to witnesses, following the prayers, riot police surrendered to protesters and were given food and water.  No violence broke out.  No one was harmed.  The scene was different in another neighborhood in Cairo where police were photographed attacking a group of peaceful protesters praying on a bridge:

Currently, there are protesters calling for democracy in Tunisa, Egypt and Yemen.  As a fellow blogger said:  "May Allah help Egypt, North Africa, and the Middle East".


Thursday, January 27, 2011


This was the picture on this morning's issue of The Washington Post:

What, coats?  No, no, fuck coats!  But for the love of God man, save the butter pecan!  Believe it or not, the caption read that at the time the picture was taken, he had been running down the block, back and forth, for an hour and twenty minutes carrying one cone after another.  The Baskin Robbins down the street had lost power, and he had volunteered to get a cone for everyone on the floor of his office.

Seriously, it's just a guy with no coat on in 10 degree weather, trying to protect an ice cream cone...from a snowstorm. 

Lady Gaga Releases Lyrics To 'Born This Way'

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the gay anthem of the decade:


It doesn't matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
'cause you were Born This Way, Baby





















Courtesy of Etsy seller deardiary, these underwear by far are the gayest, and easily the coolest pieces of clothing I've seen on the website.

Get ready......

I know, right?!  If I had a boyfriend, I would totally be getting a set of these.  Hilarious.  I love 'em.

The United States Of Awesome

In response to the United States of Shame map that came out earlier this week, someone made an United States of Awesome map.  Somewhat interesting.  Some of them are lame.  "Golf holes per capita?"  Hardly anything to be proud of.  I did hear, though, that North Dakota is changing their state motto to: "We may be ugly, but at least we have jobs."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gripping Image Of Egyptian Protests

Uploaded by an anonymous photographer, the image was uploaded onto the Enduring America blog at approximately 7:05pm GMT on January 25th.  Some of the videos coming out of the country on Youtube in the last two days have been extremely graphic.  My thoughts go out to these people that want nothing more than a voice.

Fun With Bonnie Tyler

When you look back on all of the one hit wonders of the 80s, one stands out in particular as particularly easy to mock 25 years later. 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' was a train wreck the likes of which could never be duplicated. The haunting piano intro.   The unknown male singer that kept saying "turn around".  The Meatloaf-esque lyrics.  The gong.  It was the female Bohemian Rhapsody, only horrid.

And then there was the video.....  Oh my God, the video.  Ninjas, Fonzies, football players, angels, fencers, gymnasts, schoolboys...all in the same night, at the same school.  The plot of Lost actually made more sense in comparison.

Check out this amusing graph that was on earlier yesterday.  Then, below, is a hilarious take on the original video.  I've seen it a dozen times, and still laugh my ass off.  Honestly, with as much shit as I give this song, I still love it.

Hey LGBT Community: Obama Is On Our Side

In the months leading up to the repeal of DADT, President Obama got a lot of crap from gay Democrats.  Many said they weren't going to vote during the 2010 midterm elections.  Dan Choi even had the balls to call him the "worst U.S. President in history".  Well, Don't Ask Don't Tell was eventually passed, and now the gay community is turning on Obama for not mentioning the Defense of Marriage Act or EDNA in tonight's State of the Union address.  A number of the blogs I read have an attitude of "If he doesn't mention it as a top priority, then he doesn't get my support anymore".

Check this out:  The Windy City Times released copies of questionnaires that the President filled out while campaigning for state senator in 1996.  In one survey, Obama adamantly pledged his support for legalized same sex marriage, state funded AIDS treatment, and adoption rights for same sex couples.

 Had Barack Obama platformed on these viewpoints for the 2000 Presidential race, he would have been slaughtered.  We would currently been in our third year of a McCain/Palin administration.

I am sure his views have not changed much since 1996, but you must realize, he is but one man.  Even though he is the President of the United States, he doesn't have a magic wand.  He still has to compromise with 535 other people.  435 in the House of Representatives, and 100 Senators, the majority of which want us to have no rights whatsoever.  The race will be won in steps, not in giant leaps.  The civil rights movement of the '60s was not won overnight.  This is the civil rights movement of this millennium.  And we have one hell of an ally in President Obama.

And for those who have any doubt...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Website:

Interesting website hitting the internet in response to the recent suicides of gay and lesbian teens in the news. It's called  The top of the main page reads:


Due to the media attention being given to suicides by bullied gay and lesbian youth, we have decided to create a list of straight kids who have been bullied by gays and lesbians until they were driven to take their own lives.
Click on this link to view the site and the list.

Two Word Tuesday

Happy 21st!!

Gay Doritos Ads Will Never Air

According to a statement from Frito Lay Director of Public Relations Chris Kuechenmeister, the gay themed Doritos ads that have recently gone viral will not air during the Super Bowl.  In fact, they'll never see the light of day.  They were part of a contest called "Crash the Super Bowl", in which 5600 people submitted their own ads to be aired during the big game.  The gay ads were not even among the finalists chosen by a panel of judges.

The ads appeared a couple of days ago on a fan made Youtube page, which has no connection to either the contest or the Frito Lay company.  At the moment, Youtube has no obligation to take the page down, but Frito Lay is considering legal action to remove the videos.  Some people said that the country was mature enough to enjoy a 30 second gay themed tortilla chip commercial during a macho, testosterone filled football game.  I said they were wrong.

"Told you so..."

Phoenix Jehovah's Witness Elder (And Former Acquaintance) Arrested On Molestation Charges

I learned of this a few days ago, but I've had a difficult time trying to work out how I was going to write about it.

Child molestation within the Jehovah's Witness organization is nothing new.  A group of dedicated former Witnesses have been tracking hundreds of JW pedophiles in the news since 2001.  At, they have not only kept track of crimes against children within the church, but have also received thousands of letters from individuals telling of their stories of sexual abuse from elders and other members of the congregation.  

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen in on a conference call with someone who works at the headquarters for Jehovah's Witnesses, also known as Bethel by those in the organization.  There is a department there that does nothing but handle incoming correspondence from elders in the congregation, and from victims, regarding molestation and abuse claims from within the congregation.  Some of it is forwarded to their legal department.  Some of it is simply thrown away;  shredded and destroyed.  He told us that based upon a number that he was told (this is second hand information), there may be as many as 23,000 abuse claims on file at the Witnesses New York headquarters.

So, when I read a story of a JW elder accused of molesting a member of his congregation, it comes as no surprise to me.  When I read the following story, however, I was a bit stunned.  This time was different from the rest.  This time, I knew the guy in the picture.  He was MY elder.

On November 3, 2010, David (or Dave, as I knew him) Nelson, 63, was arrested by Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies and charged with 2 counts of sexual conduct with a minor, 2 counts of sexual molestation, and two counts of public sexual indecency.  The charges stem from when he molested a 14 year old boy, who was also a Jehovah's Witness, back in 1980.

I'll be honest with you.  The article I read regarding his arrest was quite graphic regarding the sexual acts involved in the molestation.  If you would like to read it, you can catch it here.  To summarize what happened, he started playing strip poker with the boy, and, as time went on, the games got more and more "adventurous".  Before it was all said and done, Nelson ended up performing oral sex on a 14 year old boy twice.

From what I have read, the victim has struggled with the encounters for the last 30 years.  According to news reports, he had only recently told his wife of the abuse and was looking for a way to get Nelson to admit to the molestation.  He secretly recorded a phone conversation between himself and Nelson and brought up the incidents.  Nelson admitted to them and apologized for them.  The victim then took the tape to the police.

The media is saying that he was a "former Jehovah's Witness minister".  Don't be fooled, people.  It is believed that "Brother" Nelson only stepped down as an elder and left the church a mere week before his arrest.  He knew his arrest was coming, and he is trying not to make the Jehovah's Witness organization look bad.

I knew this man.  I knew his family.  I left the church in August of '96.  Before leaving, I decided to give things one last chance.  I wanted to go to a new congregation on the other side of town.  One where I didn't have the influence of my mother or any of my lifelong family friends.  I wanted to make sure I was doing it for me and not everyone else.  I started going to the Squaw Peak congregation.  They met at a smaller Kingdom Hall on 16th Street, just South of Glendale Avenue.  Dave Nelson was what we called the "Presiding Overseer", that is the term given to basically the number one elder in the congregation.  I didn't have a car at the time.  Him and his family took me in.  He picked me up for every meeting.  I had dinner at his family's house regularly.  I've even stayed overnight at his place a number of times.

He seemed like a wonderful man.  For a time, he was even a bit of a father figure for me.  It's hard to believe how someone like that could do something so.......wrong.  I was 20 at the time that I knew him, almost 21.  At that time, there were a number of guys in the congregation that looked to him as a mentor, that were 15 or 16 years old, that were either in a single parent house, or there dad wasn't a Witness.  Looking back, I wonder if he got to them.  It's a thought that makes me nauseous.

August of '96 came, and I realized that I had wasted too many years pretending to be someone I wasn't.  I stopped going to the Kingdom Hall.  A short time later, it was sold.  It's now a Buddhist temple.  I'm not sure what happened to the Squaw Peak congregation.  I think it was split up and reassigned.  Dave Nelson and his family moved to the Madison Park congregation.  Evidently, according to the news article, that's the congregation they were still in at the time he got arrested.

Phoenix Police are asking anyone that has information about any other victims to call.  I will keep everyone posted with any additional information.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mash Up Monday - Acoustic Alchemy

Norwegian Recycling is quickly becoming my favorite DJ/mash up artist.  Just when I think I can't love his work more, I find something I haven't heard from him.  Case in point, 'Acoustic Alchemy'.  It's wonderfully arranged, and reminds you that a pair of 15 inch woofers aren't needed to enjoy a great mash up track.  Sometimes, all you need is an acoustic guitar.  The songs used in the following mix are:

1. Jack Johnson - 'Bubble Toes'
2. Green Day - 'Good Riddance'
3. Josh Rouse - 'Quiet Town'
4. Joshua Radin - 'Only You'
5. Wyclef Jean feat. Akon & Lil' Wayne & Niia - 'Sweetest Girl'
6. Christina Aguilara - 'Genie in a Bottle'
7. Atomic Kitten - 'Eternal Flame'
8. Black Eyed Peas - 'Don't Lie'

To hear more from Norwegian Recycling, check out a previous post I did on his track, Miracles.

Should Polyamory Be Included In The Queer Community?

Multisexual Pride brings up a good point, and, in some ways, a loaded question:
Beforehand Vocabulary:
Polyamory: is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
Polygamy: is a form of marriage in which a person has more than one spouse at the same time.
I think it should. I mean it’s different and is actually looked down upon by a lot of people. Even our own community just pushes polyamory away like it’s nothing. I was reading a post about this same topic and a gay man said it’s illegal and thus it can’t be included.. Polyamory itself isn’t illegal, but polygamy is.
So if I were to take these mans words, “it’s illegal and thus cannot be included” and apply that to being gay.. then being gay shouldn’t be included either because right now gay marriage isn’t legal in most areas. 
This man seems very ignorant and uneducated. But, whatever. I think polyamory/polygamy should be included, but that’s my opinion. But now: 
Do you?

The United States Of Shame

Don't pat yourself on the back yet, Texas.  That's actually saying that you have the lowest rate of high school graduation in the nation.  And Utah?  The highest rate of porn usage in the country?  Really?  You might be saying "That can't be right". but an article in PC World back in March of '09 showed that Utah residents purchased online porn subscriptions at a rate that far exceeded any other state in the country.

My state is known for their high rate of alcoholism.  Guess it's better than being known as a state of animal fuckers. (Sorry Washington)

If Country Music Were More Like This...

...I'd probably listen to it.

And they're DANISH!  Johnny would be proud...or he's turning in his grave.

Hugo - '99 Problems'

This is from a new artist coming onto the scene by the name of Hugo.  According to his bio, he is British born, and was raised in Thailand.  He made his way to the States later in life.  Musically, his main influences are pre-1977.  When it comes to post '77 influences:  "anything Jack White touches".  Believe me, it shows.

He caught Jay-Z's attention after writing 'Disappear' for Beyonce's 'I Am...Sasha Fierce'.  Since then, Jay-Z signed him to his Roc Nation label, and gave him his nod to cover the classic '99 Problems'.  It's a bluesy/bluegrassy take on the original, and it's one hell of a track.

High School Senior Comes Out At MLK Assembly

Last Thursday was a big day for Kayla Kearny.  It was the day that the 17 year old senior came out as a lesbian.  Unlike most LGBT youths in the world, the announcement wasn't just to a few select friends and her parents.  No, Kayla came out on stage, microphone in hand, in front of the entire student body of Maria Castillo High School in Santa Rosa, CA.

If that isn't something that would give you a case of stage fright, listen to this:  there are so many students at her school, that they had to have the same assembly six times over the course of the day to fit them all in.  Then, she game the same speech again for a group of parents on Friday night.  She was one of the students chosen to represent her school for this year's countywide oratorical contest.  It's theme this year is "Time to break silence...about things that matter".

What an amazing display of courage, composure, and strength.  I see her as a future activist for the cause.

via feromoon

'Fuck You' In Sign Language

Youtube user amrobi314 (Anna) uploaded this video of herself signing Cee-Lo's 'Fuck You' about a month ago.  Since then, it's become an internet sensation.  She chose the song to sign for her college sign language, or ASL, class.  No word on what she got for a grade.  The class seemed to like her presentation.

You know, I've always wondered how you sign "gold digger".

Filmography 2010

With the Academy Award nominations coming out tomorrow morning, I thought it would be fun to post one of my favorite viral videos in recent months.  'Filmography 2010' compiles clips from 270, yes 270, theatrical releases from 2010 edited together into a six minute and three second clip.  The video is edited together so beautifully and seamlessly, that even the bad movies looked like they were worth seeing.

The filmmaker?  A young, female, aspiring filmmaker that goes by the name of Genrocks.  Her Youtube channel has a number of trailer re-edits on it.  My favorite:  The "sexy" trailer for 'The Watchmen'.  Pretty funny.  Enjoy 'Filmography 2010'.  It's fucking brilliant.

Looking at her Youtube channel, I love her take on 'Fight Club'.  From a girl's perspective, making it an alternate music video for Britney Spears' 'Circus'.  It's not my taste in music, but it's incredibly smart:

Debunking Internet Ads

Note:  I wasn't the one that did the math.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Does Jay-Z Have A Jehovah's Witness Connection?

*Please note:  None of the following conclusions have been substantiated.  They are theories based upon information known about a particular individual.

There have been a number of things that I have noticed about Jay-Z in the last couple of years that has led me to wonder, "At one point or another, he had to have been a Jehovah's Witness."  He had to have been raised in the organization, had an aunt that took him door to door on Saturday mornings, or something. Whatever the case, I have come across too many things about the world's most famous rapper that could simply be considered a coincidence.

First, his moniker...Hova.  If he wanted to announce himself as "the God of the rap game", why would he use a name that practically no one was familiar with.  Unless, it was a name that HE was familiar with.

Jay-Z was part of the original Murder Inc., which included Ja Rule and DMX, both of which were widely known being raised as Jehovah's Witnesses.

In Jay's 2006 album, Reasonable Doubt, his lyrics take an interesting turn on the track 'D'evils'.  Check out these lines:
"Dear God, I wonder can you save me?                                                                                           
Secret society, tryin' to keep they eye on me....
Stop screamin' you know the demon said it's best to die  
And even if Jehovah Witness, bet he'll never testify.." 
Now in JW terms, "society" is what they often call the headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in Brooklyn, NY.  It could just be a coincidence, or he could be speaking in Witness terms here.  I don't know.  It would be interesting for someone to ask him and actually get his take on this track sometime.

Later in 2006, Jay-Z made a cameo appearance in Johnny Cash's posthumous video for 'God's Gonna Cut You Down'.  In the video, Jay is briefly seen sitting in the back of a limousine reading a Bible.  The camera pans onto the pages of the Bible for only a second or so.  I can tell you from my years of going door to door with the very same Bible that it is a leather bound New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures aka a Jehovah's Witness Bible.  You can't buy one in a store.  The only way to get one is to get order one directly from a Kingdom Hall.  You can see the shot for yourself at the 33 second mark.

Lastly, Hova has been investing millions of dollars in the same neighborhood that the Witnesses used to control their worldwide preaching empire from.  In fact, he has recently been looking at the penthouse of what used to be a massive printing facility at 1 Main Street in Brooklyn.  The building was sold years ago, and renovated into condominiums.  The penthouse, which used to be the clock tower, is currently selling for $25 million.  Residents call it the "Doomsday Clock", because the previous tenants were always preaching about the end of the world.

My wife asked me today, "If you were raised a Witness, and you left the religion, why on Earth would you pay $25 million to live in a place that used to be part of the headquarters of a religion you hate?"  Well, if I had the money, it would be one big "Fuck you".  It would be a huge symbolic statement to say that they have no control over my life anymore.

Maybe this is all coincidence.  Maybe it isn't  Maybe he was raised as a JW.  Maybe he wasn't.  He's never said on the record either way.  No one has ever asked.  I know one thing.  If he was, he isn't now, and that is why I love him.

Update 1/28/2011:  I received a comment last night from "Anonymous", stating that the person in the Johnny Cash video holding the Witness Bible was not Jay-Z, but was, in fact, actor Terrance Howard.  After doing some online research on the video, it seems that they are correct.  Jay-Z appears much later in the video.  Even though I know now that it's Mr. Howard in that part of the clip, it still looks like Jay to me.  Terrance usually has his hair cut much shorter than that.

"Anonymous" also pointed me to an NPR article that was done on Terrance back in May of 2007.  I remember reading it when it came out.  It talks about his desire to become a Jehovah's Witness, if only he could quit smoking.  It says in part:
 "I came across [Jehovah's Witnesses] and, like most people, I was told that when we heard the Witnesses or saw them walking up the street, you would immediately shut the curtains and act like nobody was home, and I always wondered about that."
Howard later embarked on his own exploration of the faith. As a young adult, he began to embrace the principles of the religion.
Now, 17 years later and with a Hollywood career that continues to ascend, he's very open about one ongoing personal conflict: his faith.
"I'm like most people in the world. I'm a little selfish in what I want. I like doing my thing, my way," the actor says. "In my heart, I wanted to be a Witness. If it wasn't for the smoking of cigarrettes and all ... I would be a Witness."
The actor has yet to trade his spiritual aspirations for his professional ones. But he plans to pursue his desire to become an active Jehovah's Witness.
"Sometimes it takes awhile to be able to qualify. You have to qualify to run in the race. I'm exercising," he says.
So while most celebrities have fled the religion in their youth, I guess it can still be an attraction to some in adulthood.  Thank you to "Anonymous" for pointing out my error, whoever you are.  It was a simple case of mistaken identity.  I hope you understand.

Congressional Teabaggers Proposing Elimination Of Federal Arts Funding

A group of Tea Party backed conservatives, called the Republican Study Committee, revealed a plan Thursday to cut the Federal funding for the arts down to zero. The group, led by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, introduced the Spending Reduction Act of 2011. In it, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be entirely cut off, "saving" approximately $167.5 million a year. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would likely also be axed, "saving an additional $445 million annually. The proposal would be expected to reduce federal spending by $2.5 trillion dollars over the next decade.

Currently, the Federal investment helps employ 5.7 people nationwide.

via Huffington Post

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Breaking News: Rush Limbaugh Is An Asshole

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rush Limbaugh Speaks Chinese
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>Video Archive

OK.  Maybe it's not so much "news" as it is fact.

Lady Gaga - Scheiße (Remix)

This remix premiered at Thierry Mugler's menswear show in Paris, Wednesday.  The track is on Gaga's album, 'Born This Way'.  The album is due in stores in May.  The show looked amazing, BTW.

Brittana Is On!!

Earlier this season on Glee, we caught Brittany and Santana making out in lieu of some male companionship.  Well folks, I'm pleased to say, later this season we will be introduced to television's newest LGBT couple, "Brittana".  According to a Tweet last night from Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk:

Glee has been revolutionary in introducing America to LGBT actors and issues.  They've tackled anti-gay bullying at a time when gay youths needed it most.  It's awesome to see that they're introducing bi/lesbian female character issues to the show to speak to the female fans that they have to.  I couldn't applaud them more.

Thank you Grilled Cheesus!

A Year Of Beard

A video making the circles on today's blogs caught my attention.  It's of this guy, Ricky Coates, not shaving for a year straight, and taking a picture a day in the mirror for 365 consecutive days.  It's interesting to see how quickly his beard takes shape.  I've been growing mine for four months now, and all mine seems to have done is curl up under itself.  It's starting to look Amishy (is that a word).  At the end of the year, ol' Matisyahu invited some friends over to help him shave it all off.  Take a look.

Bisexual Men Are...

  • Bisexual men are rare and lovely jewels
Not nearly so rare as you might think, it's just safer for them to remain closeted in a world  where they're vilified from all sides, misunderstood, have disease blamed on them unjustly, and are then assumed to be rare.
But like all humans:  Many of them are lovely jewels.

via kittyfarts

Friday, January 21, 2011

Keith Olbermann Fired From MSNBC

Without warning or notice, Olbermann informed his viewers in his closing remarks just moments ago, that today would be his last 'Countdown'.  Is it coincidental that this comes at the end of the same week as NBC's merger with Comcast.  I don't think so.  Is Maddow next?  Here are Keith's closing comments:

Encouraging Words From Harvey

All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.
- Harvey Milk

via pramlattaships

Tom Hardy Cast As Latest Batman Villain

Casting news from Hollywood yesterday, as Warner Brothers made an announcement regarding the final film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. The smashing Tom Hardy has been cast to play Bane in the new movie.

For those unfamiliar with Batman history, Bane is a villain with unparalleled strength and intelligence.  Depending on the artist that is drawing the comic, he has been drawn between 6 and a half to 8 foot tall and 350 to 500 pounds.  All muscle.  Bane is famous for "breaking the bat".  He broke Batman's spine and made him a paraplegic.  Is this how Christopher Nolan is going to end the Dark Night trilogy?  It will be interesting to find out.

Nolan is not a fan of CGI, so I imagine Mr. Hardy is in a gym as we speak trying to gain some mass.  He has done it before.  In 2007, to play notorious UK criminal and prisoner Charles Bronson , he bulked up so much he became almost unrecognizable.  The film was praised worldwide by critics, but flopped at the box office. (I've had it in my Instant Netflix queue for a month, but haven't gotten around to see it yet.)

The Dark Knight Rises is set to be released next summer.  Oh, and Anne Hathaway was cast as Catwoman.

Pink - 'Fuckin' Perfect'

I usually talk about anti-gay bullying on this blog, but this video is a sobering reminder of the thousands of teens that are bullied every day for other reasons. I was bullied and beat up more for being overweight than what I ever was for my sexuality or religion. Kids can be so cruel.

This Is What Jehovah's Witnesses Actually Believe

.....And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How Balloon Animals Taught Me About Safe Sex

Civil Twilight - 'Letters From The Sky'

File under "Can't get out of my head".  The band, originally from Cape Town, South Africa, has been around since the mid 90s.  The single has been featured on a number of television shows over the last two years, but has only recently been getting airplay in the States.

30 Seconds To Mars - Hurricane (Uncensored Director's Cut) NSFW

This video is for 30 Seconds to Mars' new single, 'Hurricane.  It's visually stunning, and sexy as all hell.  The director, Bartholomew Cubbins, is Jared Leto's alter ego.  Jared Leto...yum.

John Cusack To Be In Poe Movie

The Fall 2011 film, titled The Raven, stars Cusack as Poe himself.  I was thrilled to hear the news this morning.

Then, I went on IMDB and read the synopsis: "A fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allen Poe's life, in which the poet is in pursuit of a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer's stories."

Eh, not so much.

Jehovah's Witnesses And Bisexuality

Growing up as a Jehovah's Witness, my first non-heterosexual memory had to be around age 9 or so.  I remember watching a George Michael video on television and thinking to myself, "He's really pretty".  As I got older, my interest in boys became stronger and more frequent.  From the age of 11 on, it was pretty much on the same level as my attraction to girls.

Being a Witness, I was told from an early age that homosexuality was wrong.  There was no mention in any of the publications about someone in my predicament.  At the time, I had never heard of the term "bisexuality" within the Jehovah's Witness organization.  It wasn't until years after leaving the church that I was able to come to terms with my sexuality.  In fact, I have only been "out" for a very short time.

My how things have changed.  In the December 2010, Awake!, there is a half page follow up article that asks, 'What About Bisexuality?'.  It is deplorable to see the misleading and misguided information that they are giving their impressionable young people within the congregation that are truly seeking answers.

They truthfully state that bisexuality is more common in girls.  Then they go on to state that the three main reasons that people are bisexual are "for attention, curiosity and attraction".  "Girls who lack self confidence will do almost anything to make a guy like them".  That is a direct quote from the article, folks.

So is this, "But what if you're really drawn to both sexes?  You should be aware that same sex attraction is nothing more than a passing phase." Really!!!  So, the last 24 years have only been a "passing phase" for me? How insulting.  I like how they provide no medical or scientific evidence to support their claims.  How about homosexuality in the animal world?  Penguins?  Hyenas?  Anyone?

My favorite part is a quote from a 16 year old girl named Lisette.  She says, "Talking to my parents about my feelings made me feel better.  Also, I learned that during the adolescent years, hormone levels can fluctuate greatly.  I truly think that if more youths knew more about their bodies, they would understand that same sex attraction can be temporary and they wouldn't feel the pressure to be gay."  I guarantee you she did not learn these things in her health class at school, but by her Witness parents.  I wasn't allowed to take Sex Ed in health class and no one in my congregation was either.  Our parents didn't want any "worldly" people teaching us how to have sex.  My mom did such a good job at teaching me the birds and the bees, I didn't recognize a vadge the first time I saw one.  But that's another story.

Point is, think of how many lost and confused LGBT kids there are in that mess right now, just like I was.  They're being told everything they are is a phase.  It's a lie.  It's heartbreaking.  These kids are being told to "trust in Jehovah", like god's going to magically make them straight and happy.

I just wish there was a way I could reach them.