Saturday, June 13, 2009

Adam on 20/20

(from JMG)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Right wing fanatics, more of a threat?

White supremacist guns down guard at Holocaust museum

Shooting is the fourth politically motivated attack in recent weeks in the United States

This morning I read an article by one of my favourite Globe and Mail columnists, John Ibbitson.

The article was in response to the terrible Holocaust Museum shooting that happened yesterday in Washington DC. Upon looking the article up on their website, I noted that the comment post was disabled:
“Editor's Note: Comments have been closed on this story because an overwhelming number of readers were making offensive statements about other commenters and/or the individual or individuals mentioned in the story. That kind of behaviour is a breach of our commenting policy, and so the comment function has been turned off. We appreciate your understanding.”
Coincidentally, I had had a “blog” conversation with a blogger I follow: Brian Cormier as well as one with a friend about whether "hate" comments should be censored. Should we provide a platform for wing-nuts to spew their hate etc.?

One can only imagine the sort comments that provoked the G&M to disable them. John Ibbitson...

“This is at least the fourth politically motivated attack in recent weeks in the United States. Earlier this month, one soldier was killed and another wounded outside a recruiting office in Arkansas. The suspect, a Muslim convert, has said he considered the killing justified because of American involvement in the Middle East.

Late last month, Dr. George Tiller, one of the few doctors who provide late-term abortions, was shot to death inside his church. The man charged in his murder, Scott Roeder, violently opposes abortion and maintains the United States government is illegitimate.

And in April, Richard Poplowski allegedly shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers responding to a domestic dispute. Mr. Poplowski is a white supremacist with a particular hatred of the police.

These attacks appear to vindicate an April Homeland Security report that warned that “the economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for right-wing radicalization and recruitment.”
The report concluded: “Lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

At the time of its release, commentators bitterly criticized the report for stigmatizing veterans – identified as recruitment fodder for right-wing extremists – and conservatives. Yet the report's warnings appear to have materialized.”

Keith Olbermann interviews Northeastern University’s criminologist Jack Levin about the warning of right-wing extremist violence issued by the Homeland Security Department in April, and what the government needs to do to prevent it from continuing. (Countdown)

Both of these journalists spoke of the growing concern that the security threat posed by the right wing fringe in America (and Canada) is indeed greater than that posed by foreign terrorism.

History tells us economic and political instability brings out the worst in people; hopefully we have learned something.

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(found on Twitter:@egheitasean)

Love this. It reminds me of classic National Film Board animation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Do you like choral music?

I will be attending a much anticipated choral concert this Saturday in Montreal. I have enjoyed a number of their recitals as they perform a spring and Christmas concert each year. A combination of two Montreal area choirs, this ensemble pushes the usual choral repertoire due in large part to the adventurous direction of Pierre Turcotte and the talent of its singers.

I especially love the tenor section.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Did Adam really have a choice?

While for most of us it was pretty evident that Adam was a friend of Dorothy’s there are those who needed to hold on to the fantasy that he will could be their prom date.
As long as you don’t say the words, some people will continue to believe what they want.

Coming out on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine is a statement as big as his voice. As he says in the article, he lived in LA as a gay man. There wasn’t any option to pull a Clay Aiken. He was out and proud and even though it may have cost him the Idol title, the fact that he did so well is pretty incredible. It’s another sign that the tide really is turning in the US. (At least in the demographic that votes on Idol).

It will be very interesting to see how his upcoming album will do. I’m hoping that he will be judged on his talent and not his sexuality; although sex and rock and roll are pretty hard to separate.

Adam Lambert tells Rolling Stone in its new issue:

"I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m gay. I've been living in Los Angeles for eight years as a gay man. I've been at clubs drunk making out with somebody in the corner...Right after the finale, I almost started talking about it to the reporters, but I thought, ‘I’m going to wait for Rolling Stone, that will be cooler. I didn’t want the Clay Aiken thing and the celebrity-magazine bullshit. I need to be able to explain myself in context. I’m proud of my sexuality. I embrace it. It’s just another part of me....[Ultimately], I’m trying to be a singer, not a civil rights leader."

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm fading, I'm fading

I'm a big fan of David Sedaris. I share the dysfunctional upbringing but not the fame and fortune it bequeathed Mr. Sedaris.

His remark from this interview in the Times about turning 50 resonated with me. Becoming invisible as you get older takes some getting used to. And I never considered that it might be easier the more "deep into invisibility" you are.

Rupert Everett, another older gay icon, told the Daily Telegraph, "Unfortunately, I am single, yes, but I'm too exhausted for anything else and being gay is a young man's game."

"Now no one wants me," Everett said. "Being gay and being a woman has one big thing in common, which is that we both become invisible after the age of 42. Who wants a gay 50-year-old? No one let me tell you."

When Rupert says it, it just sounds so much more tragic.

Like Casper, perhaps we're just visible to our friends and to those who aren't afraid.

I am what I am: David Sedaris

David Sedaris 52, is an American author. His latest book, When You Are
Engulfed in Flames, is out now. He lives between London, Paris and Normandy
with his artist boyfriend, Hugh Hamrick

- It was hard to turn 50. Maybe because I don’t have kids — perhaps being able
to think “Well, I’m 50, but I have a grandchild” makes it easier. You just
become invisible — people stop looking at you. Once you’re deep into
invisibility, it probably doesn’t bother you. But that first period is

David Sedaris

- Hugh and I have been together for 18 or something years. What’s our secret?
Hugh never listens to a word I say. He has no idea who I am! And, after
you’ve been together for a certain time, you can have a bad year, but that
doesn’t mean it won’t turn good again. It has a lot to do with expectations.

blog it

And the Tony goes to...Billy Elliot!

That's Entertainment!

Last night’s Tony Award show was entertainment first, awards show second. The show was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris whose closing number made up for his being fairly low key for most of the show.

It was a rare night of live TV that saw incredible performances that were sometimes marred by annoying sound (mic) issues as well as the near decapitation of Brett Michaels. (He wasn’t seriously hurt.)

But that only added to the feeling that you were there. And really, the logistics of getting all those shows, with all the cast members on and off the stage in three hours must have been unbelievable.

All said, the whole point of televising the Tony Awards is to promote Broadway and last night they most certainly did. Others might disagree but I think CBS was right to tell the producers to up the entertainment quota and dole out less actual awards on air.

Most people don’t know or care about lighting design, but when they see a number from Hair, they just might watch enough of the show to want to see a live production. The more that happens, the more lighting designers get to work – and musicians, and actors etc.

The opening number was incredible. I especially liked the musical arrangement Tonight from West Side Story and Luck Be Lady, from Guys and Dolls.

Favourite show excerpts: West Side Story (Dance at the Gym) and Hair (Hair).

After watching the excerpt from Billy Elliott, I can totally see why there are three “Billy’s”. That was exhausting to watch let alone imagine doing.

And it was great to see the white knots everywhere.

Closing Number (In case you couldn’t stay awake)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The "Village" goes car-free for the summer

from Spacing Montreal by Alanah Heffez

For the second year, Ste-Catherine street is pedestrianized between Berri and Papineau. As if the village weren’t colourful enough, these yellow banners are aflap at every street corner. Terraces abound, and since they are in place for the entire summer there are all kinds of creative semi-permanent installations.

The street is closed to traffic now until September 8th.

Well Hello, Dolly!

Came across this interview clip of Dolly Parton interview on 6o Minutes thanks to Daniel Baylis, Tourism Montréal's gay scene blogger. Daniel's blog & twitter.

Daniel is one of a team of Tourism Montreal bloggers who writes about the Montreal scene. They cover food, nightlife, culture and the gay scene in and outside the Village; Daniel's beat.

Kudos to Tourism Montréal for reflecting the diversity of this city through it progressive marketing.

I think we all have a soft spot for Dolly. Enjoy.

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