July 30, 2012

Target targets the gays...

It wasn't that long ago --  less than two years actually -- that we were talking about Target making big-money donations to right wing causes, being against marriage equality and being anti-gay in general.

Times have changed. Check this out...

After their major public relations fiasco about their anti-gay donations, Target promised to do better. I for one didn't believe them; hey, look at what CBS promises every year when they are ranked as the least gay friendly network, and nothing changes... but Target surprised me and many others. They have revised their policies on political donations to now consider human rights, and have started selling LGBT pride t-shirts and same-sex wedding cards.

Target has a mixed-record now, and there have been a few stumbles (such as the Lady Gaga fiasco), but there has been progress. This ad is progress.

In these days of Chick-Fil-A homophobic hatred and politicians posturing for and against, this is so joyful it is just a pleasure to see. YAY Target!

Target is only in the US now, but in its first international expansion will be opening 135 locations across Canada between 2013 and 2015... and the country is buzzing about it. I for one am curious to see what happens next....

July 26, 2012

Dear Abby On The Gays...

I love love love this quote... wish I could have seen the shock and awe on face of the person who wrote in when they read this response!

July 24, 2012

Swedish Army Recruits The Gays...

I found this online while looking for info on guns and gays (yep, I do that)....

This is a recruiting poster for the Swedish Army, from around 2007, and it focuses on inclusion. Sweden has long been viewed as a front runner in equal rights, and the army has not only embraced and protected quality, they reach out to recruit the homos... how cool is that?

Next I want a gay reboot of Private Benjamin....

July 22, 2012

Muppets Dump Hateful Chick-Fil-A...

Last week there was a public outing of chicken fast food vendor the Chick-Fil-A as homophobic;  long rumoured to be anti-gay due to millions of dollars of contributions to right wing activist groups, last week the CEO confirmed the company is against marriage equality and generally anti-gay.

There was an outcry of support and pushback from the right and the left, including the Mayor of Boston questioning whether the chain should continue to expand there.

This weekend The Muppets ended their association with the chain.... YAY Kermit and gang!

According to a Facebook post made by The Jim Henson Company, they are getting out of the chicken game.  The Muppet makers are dropping the hateful chicken sellers, and donating their payment from their partnership to a decidedly less evil cause.

Here’s the statement they released: The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD. (http://www.glaad.org/) 

This is a  great move by the Henson Company!  You can still get your Creature Shop toys at Chick-fil-A for a few more weeks, but, uh,  don't...

July 19, 2012

July 16, 2012

Screw Wall Street... See Margin Call!

We caught a great movie on Video-on-Demand recently, a little-seen gem from last year called Margin Call.

Okay Margin Call wasn't that little seen, as it got an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay and stars big names including Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, and a surprisingly effective Demi Moore.

The film takes place over 36-hours at a large Wall Street investment firm during the financial crisis of 2008. Two junior type executives played by Zachary Quinto and Penn Badgley discover the truth about the imminent financial disaster and take it to the executives of the powerful firm, and then they have some big financial and ethical decisions to make, all very quickly: do they tell anyone? Do they try to protect their clients? Or do they keep it quiet grab whatever cash they can by selling bad stock?

There is an all-night and then all-day panicked session, where every expert is double checking (could this really be happening?) and double dealing (could I shift this bomb to someone else?). People start taking sides, switching allegiances, and ultimately turning on each other. 

My favourite Margin Call quote is said by big boss Jeremy Irons when the situation is explained to him by boy wonder Zachary Quinto: "The music is about to stop and we are about to be left holding the biggest bag of odorous excrement in the history of capitalism."

I am not going to give more away, as the plot is all about the twists and turns, but let me just say that, surprisingly I know, ethics are a very rare thing when big money is involved.

This is smart, fast, thought-provoking drama. See it.

July 11, 2012

Golden Girls Super Friends...

Love love love this (fake) trailer for a Super Friends as Golden Girls cartoon...

This is genius... I love the idea of Super Friends retiring to Miami and sharing a ranch style home... surely the Cartoon Network can make a series out of this?

Thank you for being a friend...

July 9, 2012

Team Katie...

Yes, we are all happy that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes quickly came to a divorce settlement (hey, it's basically her severance package) so now we can stop worrying about little Suri and get back to mocking the whole thing...

The TomKat era is officially over... I wonder who will be wife number four?

July 8, 2012

Best Book Of The Year...

With 2012 half over, of all the books I have read so far, one truly stands out. It is smart and funny and touching and true.

Most shocking is that my favourite book of the year (okay, favourite of the year so far...) is a parenting memoir. Yep, parenting, a topic which really does not interest me all that much (and by "all that much" I mean "not one little bit"...)

The book is does this baby make me look straight? by actor and author Dan Bucatinsky, who you may know from All Over The Guy, Under The Tuscan Sun, Web Therapy, and a ton of TV guest shots including Friends and Grey's Anatomy.

Does this baby make me look straight? is about Bucatinsky meeting his husband and adopting two children; it's filled with funny and touching stories about family, career, the adoption process, shopping for patio sets, toilet training, and a Toddlers and Tiaras themed kids'  party. Oh, and contemplating group sex and shaving his balls.

I am guessing it is relatable for any and all parents; as an outsider to the parenting world I found it entertaining and honest,  like I was observing the parenting world of newborns from behind glass, which is definitely as close as I should get.

There are also gay-specifc and very funny stories, from coming out to the nannies he is hanging out with at the park, to the super-trendy straight parents who decide they want token gay friends... but those friends can't be too gay. Yep, that one doesn't go too well. And I laughed out loud.

Bucatinsky is sufficiently neurotic to make the book light and fun... is he a good parent? Is he a good husband? Has he gained ten pounds while looking the other way?

As Bucatinsky is becoming a father he loses his own father, and there are touching insights on growing up and feeling like a man rather than a boy.

Does this baby make me look straight? is ultimately about becoming yourself and building a family. I related to that, and to the feelings in the book. Does this baby make me look straight? is warm and funny and perceptive. Read it.

July 4, 2012

Bring On The Gay Oreos!

In the midst of Kraft's new campaign in celebration of the Oreo Cookie's 100th Anniversary this year, the cookie's official Facebook page posted an ad on last week showing support for gay pride, creating controversy.

Many Facebook users commented on the page threatening to never buy Oreo cookies again, while others were in great support of it, creating a petition to make the colorful cookie a reality (the fine print on the page has the disclaimer "made with creme colours that don't exist").

The Facebook ad shows an Oreo stuffed with layers of various colored cream and features the word "Pride" below it. Also attached is a caption that reads "Proudly support love!"

The ad has generated over 225,730 likes, over 69,100 shares, and over 37,000 comments that range from threats to compliments.

Basil Maglaris, a Kraft spokeswoman, said in the statement that the ad is part of a "series of daily ads reflecting current events in a fun way using images of OREO cookies and milk," according to ABC News. The company never really intended on selling the rainbow stuffed cookie. "We are excited to illustrate what is making history today in a fun and playful way," she added in an email to ABC News. "As a company, Kraft Foods has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. We feel the OREO ad is a fun reflection of our values."

In a mix of politics and commerce, several high profile companies have introduced gay-themed ads this year, including GAP's same-sex billboard, Target's pride t-shirts,  and Ben and Jerry's Hubby Hubby ice cream. Kraft is doing that with the rainbow Oreo.

Several gay rights supporters hope to bring the pride cookie alive, creating a Change.org petition in hopes that Kraft would sell the cookie ("Make the Gay Oreo a Real Oreo!)". I just signed it, as have more than 2,600 people so far... bring on the gay Oreos!

One question though... uh, how many calories would this damn thing have?

July 2, 2012

Anderson Cooper Comes Out...

CNN news anchor, 60 Minutes Correspondent, daytime talk show host, son of Gloria Vanderbilt, and tabloid staple Anderson Cooper came out of the closet today, in an understated way.

Cooper came out quietly, and it won't stay quiet. When asked about a recent Entertainment Weekly cover story on celebs coming out, Cooper emailed his friend -- and out reporter and activist Andrew Sullivan -- a statement in which he came out. Here are some bits of it:

"The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud," Cooper says.   

Cooper also explains that although he had always been very open about his sexual orientation to friends and family, others misinterpreted his silence: "It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true."

Cooper, who long faced criticism for not speaking out on the subject, goes on to note the importance of visibility: "I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy."
I like when celebs come out;  I believe it humanizes gays and moves us forward when people who think they don't know anyone who is gay realize they do, even if that person is a faraway celebrity they like. I remember when RIcky Martin came out a few years ago, or when Ellen DeGeneres came out many years ago, while was not a shocker to many of us, there were friends and coworkers who were surprised because it had just never occurred to them that this person was gay, and it was a great conversation point about gay people. And a clue that they need to watch more TMZ.

Long rumoured to be gay, Cooper has dodged the question for years. Along with other rumoured gay celebrities like Jodie Foster and Queen Latifah, tabloids have shown him with his alleged partner and told tales, and even the gay press has called on him to publicly come out.

So yes he gets to come out on his own time. That being said, famous people have a huge opportunity to  shape the public conversation and understanding by stepping forward.... congratulations Mr. Cooper!

July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day...

Canada Day is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act), which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire.

Originally called Dominion Day, the name was changed in 1982, the year that Canada gained full independence from the United Kingdom. Yes, 1982. We were not fully officially independent until the 80s... and we still have the royals on our money and spend millions to fund their travel and their people here.

The upside of Canada Day? We think a bit more about our country (okay, maybe). We get the day off from work, and parties and parades are held all over the place. We are going to friends' annual Canada Day picnic-style party at their condo overlooking the river and the city's fireworks display, where we will eat too much, drink too much, talk too much, and have a very fine evening.

So yes it is Canada Day.... and most importantly, it's a summertime long weekend here in the great white north... Happy Canada Day!