June 29, 2011

Royals Shmoyals...


Tomorrow Wills and Kate -- err, William and Catherine -- the Duke and Duchess of Something, arrive here in Canada for their first official overseas tour.

I have nothing against these two, they seem like a really nice young couple (damn, I sound so middle-aged), and yes her wedding dress was faboo, and yes she is too damn skinny. The big question here is ----- is this important to us? When the economy is in the crapper and the government is eliminating jobs, estimates on how much this is costing the Canadian taxpayer range from two million dollars (not including extensive security costs) , and up. Is this the right choice?

Here's a post I did last summer about another Royal Visit... what do you think is the right path here?

"All hail the Queen, but why the hell am I paying her bills?"
This week the Queen is coming to Canada. Not just any Queen, not a drag queen, not Queen Latifah... THE Q.U.E.E.N, the 84-year-old British Monarch, who also technically is the Canadian monarch. You know, the one played by Helen Mirren in that movie, The Queen.

I am skipping right over the really big question here, why the hell is the British monarchy still our monarch. And then I am gonna skim over the next question, why is she coming now. And then I am moving on to the next question. My big question...

WHY THE HELL AM I AS A CANADIAN TAXPAYER FOOTING THE BILL FOR THE BILLIONAIRE QUEEN'S ROYAL TRAVELS?

According to canoe.ca, this trip is gonna cost about 4 million bucks for the Queen to pack up her handbag, fly over, watch some shows, shake some hands, wave just a little, and go home.

And don't get me started on the Queen's representative in Canada, our Governor General, who costs us about 30 million bucks a year to do pretty much nothing. Good thing we don't have any schools or hospitals or public transit organizations that could use that money.

According to www.macleans.ca, Canadians pay about 50 million dollars a year for the Queen and all of her representatives in Canada. More per capita than the Brits pay for the monarchy. Yes, we pay more for the British monarchy than the Brits do. What is wrong with this picture?

Replacing or tossing the royals would require unanimous agreement of Parliament and all ten provinces. These bozos have never agreed on anything. So the bottom line is that we Canadians will have the monarchy for a long long long time... so my simple little question is: why can't they pay for own damn travel?

June 27, 2011

June 25, 2011

Woo Hoo New York, State of Equality!


Congrats to New York, the sixth and largest US state to pass a marriage equality law!

Here in Canada the first provinces passed marriage equality laws in 2003, and since 2005 it is the norm coast to coast.

To President Obama, who waffles behind wimpy statements like "my opinion is evolving" on gay marriage, I say EVOLVE ALREADY or get the hell out of the way. There are plenty of conservatives who want your job, and you are not one of them in case you have forgotten. I got my band of gold last year, why do you think I should not be entitled to one?

To NY Governor Cuomo, who made marriage equality a campaign platform and quickly honoured it, well done sir, and time to start thinking about a run for higher office...

June 24, 2011

Driving with Betty White...

Who doesn't adore Betty White?

This week Golden Girl Betty White kept me company on a very long, very rainy highway drive. Well, her voice kept me company... another long road trip, another trip to the library to collect books-on-cd for to pass the hours.

First up this week was Betty White's new book, If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't). This short collection of essays is read by Betty herself, and it really was fun to have her tell me stories from her life as I drive.

White says writing is her favourite thing to do, and yet this doesn't feel like writing as much as sassy Aunt Betty sitting on the sofa, having her third martini, offering opinions and telling tales. If You Ask Me is a disjointed collection of anecdotes and opinions, on topics like fame, marriage, Mary Tyler Moore, step children (they call her the dragon lady), pet love, talk shows, zoos, awards, aging, red carpets, love, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland.

This book is a likable bunch of anecdotes and repartee like those you will hear when Ms White sits down with Jay Leno. That's not a bad thing, and it actually works well in the audio version. It's just not new or revelatory. It is comfortable and amusing. While White repeatedly insists she is not a goody-two-shoes Polyanna, uh, yeah, she is.

Betty is 89, has been in Hollywood forever, and name drops with the best of them, from Fred Astaire to Sandra Bullock. Oh and way too much about Jennifer Love Hewitt... how the hell did she get in here?

My favourite story from the book: In 2010, accepting a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors' Guild, Betty told her showbiz audience: 'What really boggles my mind is that I actually know many of you ... maybe had a couple. And you know who you are!' Then when George Clooney came on to present the main award, he thanked Betty for her 'discretion', adding: 'A friend of mine told me Betty was a bobcat in the sack.'

That's the kind of fun stuff we want more of... for the next book, Betty White, bring on the scandal and the raunch!

June 21, 2011

Google Goes Gay...



Web giant Google tends to theme their logo for events like Father's Day, Valentine's day, and Earth Day. Like most big companies, they appear to stay away from politics and controversial issues.

But this week, while looking up something for a blog post (that didn't pan out, dammit), I discovered this -- go to Google, type in the word gay, and a pride rainbow appears!

What a fun thing for Pride Month. I am guessing there are some friends of Dorothy working at Google...

A quick search on Bing (kidding, I used Google) shows how gay-friendly Google is --- they company offers benefits for same-sex partners, spoke out against Prop 8, and just last month, showed a second Google Chrome/”It Gets Better” commercial on TV.

Way to go Google!

June 19, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green...

There is a new Muppets movie coming this fall, with the franchise being reinvigorated by Jason Segel of How I Met Your Mother fame. And yes I am totally looking forward to this one.

The Muppet publicity (Muppetblicity?) has started with some really clever spoof trailers. Here's the newest, a riff on The Green Lantern, with Ryan Reynolds doing the voiceover...


And here is the previous one, a riff on The Hangover Part Two...


And the first one that come out, a romantic comedy spoof...


In addition to Segel, the film stars Amy Adams, and has cameos from Neil Patrick Harris, Katy Perry, Billy Crystal and more... okay, I forget who else.

I love these trailers, and if the movie is this clever it is gonna totally be worth seeing. Hope we aren't the only people there without kids....

June 17, 2011

Love sure is a funny thing...

Some movies hit you as instant classics. Others are just junk. Then there are all the in-between ones, from unoriginal/entertaining to original/weird.

I Love You Phillip Morris, which we just watched, is unique and entertaining. And yes weird. Good weird.

Though this fact-based romantic comedy has its flaws, they're mostly overcome by its consistently sweet, funny tone and one of the best performances of Jim Carrey's career.

When a film opens with a title announcing "This really happened," then adds after a beat, "It really did," you know you're in for some kind of a rollercoaster ride. I Love You Phillip Morris, based on events wilder than anything you could dream up, is a delirious comedy that remains on track largely thanks to Jim Carrey's goofy but grounded performance.

As Stephen Russell, a gay Houdini who broke out of Texas prisons repeatedly to be with his beloved ex-cellmate, Carrey pushes the comedy to the limits. It's Brokeback Mountain in prison starring Ace Ventura.

In the film's opening, Stephen narrates from a hospital bed as his vital signs drop: "Love sure is a funny thing. Makes you happy, makes you sad, makes you do all sorts of things you never thought you'd do before. In fact, love's the reason I'm laying here dying..." he muses, recalling days when he lived a sanitized, bogus life.

He was married with a couple of kids, played the organ at his hand-clapping church and pounded the beat as a cop. After a crisis jarringly reminds him you only go around once, Stephen rockets out of the closet ready to make up for lost time. He arrives in Miami determined to live in Elton John level opulence. And if paying for it means staying afloat through phony insurance claims and credit-card scams, well, a fella's got to live, right?

Stephen is eventually nabbed and fellow convict Phillip, played by Ewan McGregor as an eyelash-batting Southern coquette, falls for him in a matter of minutes.

Stephen, a master of bribery, courts his bunkmate with first-class chow and boombox oldies. When a night screamer frazzles Phillip's nerves, Stephen hires an inmate to thrash him into silence. Phillip mists up, declaring, "That is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me."

In the couple's scenes, Carrey turns down his mania and becomes a fraud unexpectedly touched by true love. Time and again he engineers wild schemes to reunite with his man. In the end it's his misguided attempts to live like royalty that strain the relationship; Phillip just wants to settle down into the suburban routine that Stephen disdains. He's a crook, but his narration half-convinces us that the people he embezzles from have it coming. They are soooo boring.

The flick makes a wild case for antisocial behavior, and the story itself is a cleverly designed con job that echoes Stephen's swindles. I Love You, Phillip Morris delights in winning our sympathy, then revealing what dupes we've been. It's hard to hate a sociopath with such an affable grin. And it sure is fun to watch him.

June 14, 2011

If Dogs Could Talk...

For our anniversary, my in-laws bought us this really cute book called If Dogs Could Talk, with pics of cute dogs and their 'thoughts'. Here's our version:

We don't care how much they paid for the couch.

We napped on the old one and we're napping on this one...




June 13, 2011

Broadway: It's Not Just For Gays Anymore...

In case you missed last night's terrifically entertaining Tony Awards, here's the opening number, with host Neil Patrick Harris telling everyone to come and catch a Broadway show, which is like the live non lip-synched version of Glee, because Broadway is for everyone, not just the gays anymore!

And if you did see it, I know you will wanna watch this one again...!

June 11, 2011

Should homophobe Tracy Morgan be fired?


Stand-up comedian, 30 Rock star, and general jerkwad Tracy Morgan went on a homophobic rant last week during a stand-up routine, which went unnoticed until a guy from the audience posted about it on facebook.

According to this eye-witness report, Morgan had said in his performance that “the gays needed to quit being p—ies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying” and that if his son that was gay “he better come home and talk to him like a man…or he would pull out a knife and stab that little [n-----] to death.”

After the media uproar, Morgan apologized by saying "I'm not a hateful person" and "this clearly went too far." Uh, you think, you homophobic moron?

NBC condemned the tirade, as did Morgan's boss, my beloved Tina Fey: “I’m glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments. Stand-up comics may have the right to ‘work out’ their material in its ugliest and rawest form in front of an audience, but the violent imagery of Tracy’s rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community. It also doesn’t line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person.

Fey continued: “I hope for his sake that Tracy’s apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian coworkers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket. The other producers and I pride ourselves on 30 Rock being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace.”

At first glance, I love this response, it is fair and funny and direct. And uh... printed paycheck? Doesn't NBC have direct deposit?

At second glance, is Fey being tough enough? She is his boss. If Alec Baldwin, who also works for Fey, made similar comments about black people, would he get just a talking to? I don't think so.

Comedian-actor Chris Rock has defended the controversial comments made by fellow comic actor Tracy Morgan via Twitter, saying "I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in world where Tracy Morgan cant say foul inappropriate shit."

Really, Chris Rock? I do want to live in that world, when it would not occur to someone to threatened to kill their son because he is gay. That is not funny. And while I expect crap like that from old rich white men like Newt Gingrich, but I don't from two black men who have most likely experienced bigotry and hatred; why the hell do you think that is funny?

So yes Tracy Morgan can say whatever the hell he wants, and when he says crap like this, he should have to live with the consequences. Like losing his job. I am a huge 30 Rock fan, and this certainly poisons the show for me.

Mel Gibson and Dr Laura have paid career prices for their hateful tirades, why isn't Tracy Morgan feeling the heat?

This is not about a funny routine going too far, this is about hate and about encouraging violence against gay people. It is inherently wrong and unacceptable. There need to be tougher consequences for hate speech, which this is.

June 8, 2011

Pride Month

June is Pride Month, when gay men and women step out and are even more colourful than usual!

There are lots of pride parades, parties, and festivals in June, and lots of focus on equality issues as well.

Since I came out in the late 80s, the parades have evolved from the outrageous to the corporate, which is I think both good and bad, and part of the gradual mainstreaming of the movement as we move from in from being outsiders to society. They are still a celebration, and it is always interesting to see which politicians and which companies have a presence, and which are not there and avert eye contact when asked about it.

Here's some of the lighter stuff, from someecards.com...










June 5, 2011

Hopped Up On Cold Medicine...



I was home sick all weekend, hopped up on cold medicine for this bug I have, with a sore throat, congestion, light-headedness, and general crankiness with bouts of sarcasm... okay that last one may just be me.

Sick on Wednesday, I stayed home from work, and then was on a business trip Thursday and Friday which was important so I loaded up on cold medicine and flu medicine and hot tea and ice tea and lozenges and Tylenol and hit the road. Is it so wrong to drive seven hours under the influence?

The mind plays weird games when you aren't feeling well, and my mind tends to wander....

1- Isn't the recommended dosage really just a suggestion? If it say two pills every 3 to 4 hours and I am still sick, then I can take 3 to 4 pills every two hours, right?

2- Ooh, they're playing We Belong Together on the radio... What the hell did Mariah Carey name her babies? I hope to gawd it wasn't any variation on "Butterfly" .

3- Slow drivers are more annoying and less safe than fast drivers, especially you in the orange Ford Tempo, Ms driving-slowly-while-eating-something-with-a-spoon-and-talking-on-the-phone-cuz-I'm-an-idiot.

4- Big Bang Theory and So You Think You Can Dance --- surprisingly, no cast members in common.

5- When the hotel apologizes for your 3x faulty key cards by bringing you treats and designer beer, don't respond with "I don't drink beer you Chex-mix bearing morons," just say thank-you, pop some cold pills, and flop onto the bed.

6- I think the jelly beans and licorice Allsorts are helping more than the medicine really is.

7- What would happen if I failed the physical to join your military to fight the giant alien insects?

8- I cannot believe I am watching The Talk. I need way more drugs to make it through this show.

9- My scratchy throat feels like baking soda on sand paper, flavoured with stale pop rocks. And I am drinking so much water and tea I have to pee every ten minutes. Not especially convenient on a road trip.

10- Will french fries from A&W make my throat feel better? Totally worth a try....

June 2, 2011

Best book of the year so far?

With the exception of last year's misfire, I love Jodi Picault's books (Go ahead, judge me!); they are ripped-from-the-headlines fiction with heartfelt social statements. I don't think her books are "chicklit", others may disagree. And that's not a judgement, I love chicklit (hello Jennifer Weiner!)

And her new novel, Sing You Home, is one of her best. Never one to shy away from controversial issues, this time Picoult tackles gay marriage and adoption rights, infertility and reproductive science, divorce, and the Christian right. And while she clearly comes out on the liberal side of issues, along the way she forces us to consider both sides of these hot topics with her usual very extensive research.

Sing You Home is the story of Zoe, a music therapist, who after years of infertility and stress, is dumped by her husband. She becomes a lesbian, he becomes a born-again right wing bible thumper. They wind up in court over their frozen embryos, amidst a media frenzy.

Despite the huge amounts of research in the book, this one is a page-turner, with a cast of colourful characters --- the wacky mom, the too-perfect brother, the charismatic pastor on a mission to fight the homosexual agenda... wait, we have an agenda? Where's my copy?

Apparently the book format comes with a CD of original songs, which I missed out on as I read it on my kindle. I am okay with that, I don't need songs about my reading. Except when I am reading Sesame Street books.

Sing You Home is told through the alternating perspectives of Zoe, her ex-husband Max, and her lesbian partner Vanessa. While mainly focused on relationships, it includes issues like alcoholism, cancer, infertility and intolerance.

Picoult's trademarks, namely super dramatic courtroom scenes and general angst, are all over this one, and yet it works. My only beef with Sing You Home is that the ending is sudden and saccharine given how real the story feels up until then. Still, up until that point she had me -- I didn't know where it was going, and I really couldn't wait to find out.