Yesterday I turned forty-nine.

I spent that day with my phone turned off and without checking email or social media. My most notable activity was walking in the snow.

I had planned to blog about how forty-nine was the time to decide what my fifty–and fifties–would look like, but you know what? I think I’d rather grab a bite and play some computer games. Ciao!



My QFest 2013 Schedule and Reviews

QFest 2013It didn’t precisely sneak up on me, but I was (again) a little unprepared for the start of this year’s QFest, also known as the 19th Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (PIGLFF).  So, better late than never …

My QFest 2013 Page

Like previous years, my plan is to tweet-review each film as soon as possible after seeing it.  I’ll move the reviews and update my schedule on the page on a (hopefully) daily basis. I’m also tweeting my day’s schedule before leaving the house, and that tweet will also include a pick of films playing that day that I’ve already seen and can recommend.

Although my tweets are cross-posted to Facebook, I don’t really go to Facebook very much so please use email or Twitter or my blog for festival-related things.

Hope to see you at the festival!

Major Hallo Gila Monster Spaceboy Tom

A particular thing I love about the Internet is how it creates and encourages these Russian nesting dolls of memories and memes: Astronaut Chris Hadfield performs Space Oddity in space and David Bowie tweets to him “Hallo Spaceboy” which the Pet Shop Boys famously remixed and whose video include a few seconds from “The Giant Gila Monster”. Nerdgasm’ed  And now for the gratuitous linking and embedding: 

Chris Hadfield performs Space Oddity.

David Bowie responds.

PSB covers Hallo Spaceboy …

… which includes a few seconds from The Giant Gila Monster

These boots were made for kicking: Texas Leads Secession Requests

The tea-partiers think their boots were made for walking; to them I say THESE boots were made for KICKING.  To those saying “love it or leave it” while in power, it’s time to practice what you preach when you’re not.

Give Texas the boot!

Talk of secession is back in the news with a Texas secession petition on crossing the threshold for White House review [Joe. My. God.: Texas Leads Secession Requests]. An interesting point from the article is that it’s not necessary to be from Texas to sign the petition. His point was that tea partiers from across the country may be signing the Texas partition to drive up the numbers.  I have a slightly different take on this.

Let’s give Texas the boot!

I’m tempted to sign it, too. This is the place where gay panic is a legitimate defense for killing an LGBT person, execution in spite of contrary evidence is cheered, planned parenthood is already defunded, science and history and sex education are systematical censored in text books that will be used by the whole country, etc. Dropping these electoral nincompoops will make electing people interested in good governance at the federal level easier. All that gulf coastline is going to be a financial disaster we can avoid as the increasing natural disasters they’ll suffer from climate change won’t be FEMA’s responsibility and on the federal tab.

We can build a fence around Texas and hire more border patrol officers. Kick Texas rednecks in the United States illegally back to their sorry side of the border. When they start enacting the bat-shit-crazy laws you know they’ll have, we put Iran-style sanctions on them. I’d even subsidize moving the wingnuts from around the rest of these new United States of America (now with less hate and stupidity) to Texas so this nonsense can be once and done.  It might be expensive, but that’s what I’d call “good debt”.

And by the way Texas, you’re going to foot the bill to remove all federal facilities from your side of the border. There’s no way we’re leaving the bat-shit crazies with our Federal military hardware–especially nukes.  The Christianist Fundamanetalist Taliban they’d install would probably try to usher in the rapture by starting a nuclear war.  No thanks.

Texas secede? I say good riddance!

A vote for Romney is a vote against America

Let’s be clear. The idea of modern Republicans as fiscally responsible is a myth. Since Reagan, they’ve increased the deficit more than their modern Democratic counterparts. They’re cashing in on the good name of an Eisenhower-style Republicanism that doesn’t exist any more. Today’s “Republicans” wouldn’t vote for an Eisenhower–or a Reagan–based on the moderate positions and records of those two presidents. And certainly not a Lincoln.

The economy, stupid, Part II: Romney stupid on the economy

Here’s hoping history repeats itself today.

A new report again debunks the scam of trickle-down economics, and in a nod to Bush-era censorship [Science under attack, Nature] the Republicans in Congress are trying to suppress it [Nonpartisan Tax Report Withdrawn After G.O.P. Protest, NYTimes]. If the central issue of this election is the economy, then the central pillar of Romney’s argument just crumbled. Tax breaks for the rich don’t make the economy better. The rich aren’t job creators; they are wealth horders.

This is all on top of a covert attempt to return to the failed foreign policies and government intrusion of Bush-era neocons and Scalia-style Supreme Court appointments. Romney says he has new ideas, but most of his advisors are Bush-era cronies. It’s breath-taking hypocrisy how the Romney campaign is embracing those people while pretending the eight years of Bush II never happened. Why do this? Because of how unpopular and failure-ridden those years were. Clinton was just in Philadelphia last night for a huge rally after a grueling appearance schedule for somebody half his age; Bush II has been completely absent from the election, although he has a deal for you if you’re visiting your money in its Caribbean safe-house [Media ‘blackout’ as Bush speaks in Cayman Islands, CBS].

Rights, you don’t need no stinking rights!

No stinking badgesThe economy is a complex system, and it’s hard to show governmental causality without getting complicated. What’s not so complicated is the effect our government has on civil and social rights. It passes and enforces laws that directly affect its citizens. A vote for Romney is a vote against many people and things: women, gays, the poor, minorities, the sick, the old, consumer protection, a balanced Supreme Court, privacy, and so on. Just on women and gays, consider Romney and company’s positions on “forcible rape”, personhood amendments, forced ultrasounds, defunding planned parenthood, pay inequality of women, reinstating Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (or worse), banning gays from adopting, and enshrining marriage discrimination in our U.S. Constitution.

Of course Romney’s positions on these issues were very different when he was Governor of Massachusetts. That Mitt Romney even created something a little bit Socialist called RomneyCare, a plan that shares more than its last four letters with the much-railed-against-by-Romney ObamaCare. This was also the man who claimed he’d be a better representative for gays than Ted Kennedy [Mitt Romney’s Secret Gay History, Bay Windows]. Where is that Mitt now?

What would George Washington Do?

George Washington
WWGWD: Roll over in his grave, probably

Given Romney’s unprecedented inability to tell the truth, it’s hard to guess what he’d really do in office. It’s like he’s got an evil twin, but is the evil one “severely-Conservative Mitt” or “Moderate Mitt”? Far beyond flip-flopping, he has–on the record–changed his position to match whatever audience he’s in front of at the time. When confronted with the evidence, he doesn’t correct the record or apologize. He just keeps spouting the same lies. Stunningly, his campaign had to regularly walk back his lies saying, “what Mitt Romney said is not what Mitt Romney believes” the next day.

The driver for much of the lying and hatefulness is, of course, religion. The Founding Fathers’ firewall against religion in politics is a wall Mitt Romney wants to tear down. Reagan made a Faustian deal with the Christian Fundamentalists that has locked the party into a death-spiral of increasing radical, xenophobic social policies that betray many legacies of our founding fathers but one in particular: the separation of church and state. What’s ironic is that Mitt Romney isn’t a Christian, he’s a Mormon. Evangelicals called Mormonism a cult until very, very, very recently [Billy Graham Faces Backlash Over Mormon ‘Cult’ Removal, Huffington Post].

Calling it

It is what it is.

Hmm, I wonder what it is about Obama that’s so repugnant to these people that they’d vote for a cultist.

The Radical Right tried and failed to obfuscate the truth with a series of more acceptable forms of bigotry by tagging Obama with false otherness: Obama as not born in the US, Obama as a Muslim, or now even Obama as secretly gay [Jerome Corsi, Tea Party Activist, Reports Obama Is Gay And Familiar With Chicago’s Bathhouse Sceneuffington Post, Huffington Post]. It’s time to call this anti-Obama obsession for what it is: Racism.

Electing the first black president didn’t end racism. It mainstreamed it. Couched racism is rampant in Republican talking points, and that’s not behind closed doors; it’s out there in the mainstream media. And it’s not being challenged. This false notion of Obama ushering in a post-racism America has become a kind of teflon the Republicans can use to serve up offensive racial stereotypes and not get called on it. They’ve effectively spun calling them on their racism as “playing the race card”.

This time it’s personal. Again.

Jaws: The Revenge
A Tale of Two Sequels

I take this election personally: A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote against me, personally. Some say that voting “my special interest”, because I refuse to support a party that wants to deny me equal rights under the law because I’m gay is ignoring the greater good for my own. Bullshit.

I don’t believe the Republicans have anything better to say on the economy, foreign policy, and governance. They want to force their religion on me in flagrant disregard of the freedom of–and from–religion on which this country was founded. I wouldn’t vote for them if I were straight, and I’d still vote against them on their stand against civil rights based on a person’s skin color, economic standing, sex, or sexual orientation because it is morally, ethically, simply wrong. Romney and company’s policies against gays (and women and minorities and poor and sick and old) go against the very core of what American Democracy is when it’s at its best. None of the rest matters if liberty and law are selectively applied by those in power to those with money.

Did you vote against America today? Shame on you.

Until Tonight

Before tonight, we’d never spoken. It would be like a needle skipping across vinyl if our eyes met, distracting me too much to be sure about who’s reacting to whom. Flight over flirt every time.

Until tonight. We chat about the weather as we walk to our cars: how wonderful the cool Fall breeze feels after a day in the office and how rare these days have become. He mentions California. The small talk continues until our paths diverge and we say good night. I’m still not sure.

I smile the whole way home.