Friday, February 27, 2009

Reaganomics 101

In case you slept through last couple of semesters (29 years), let’s recap:

Reaganomics, also once known as “voodoo economics” (coined by Bush, Sr.) had its origins in two basic premises; lower taxes and a smaller government. We got one of those.

It was to be implemented by the then Director of the Office of Management and Budget, David Stockman (remember him?), who had to defend the concept to the Congress. Amongst other things he attended divinity school.

Notwithstanding all the fancy-schmancy, high-falootin’ terminology and pedigree of Reaganomics, it really boiled down to this:

With the Democrats you get “tax and spend” economics (not for the last 29 years).

With Reaganomics you get “borrow and spend” economics (the last 29 years).

So here’s a hot flash for all of you “Greed is Good” Reaganistas out there:

The fiscal chickens have come home to roost. By the thousands, by the millions, by the billions and by the trillions.

Citibank has been all but nationalized. Bank of America is about to have its underwear crawled through by the Feds and NY State in search of corporate mis and malfeasance. A handful, comparatively speaking, of ultra-rich motherfuckers, mostly Republican, have gotten even more ultra-rich (and became even bigger motherfuckers) at the expense of the vast majority of hard-working schlubby Americans, amongst whom I count myself.

We are in a period of profound economic depression, likely to last for a decade or so and, finally, there’s this:

We are trillions of dollars in debt to the Chinese, and not the “good” Chinese, either, but rather the bad Chinese. They all but own us and could send a bunch of lawyers over here to foreclose, if they had lawyers and laws.

This, then, is the legacy that we are leaving to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This, then, is the legacy of Ronald Reagan and Reaganomics.

Never vote for an actor for President. It’s bad enough voting for one as Governor of California.

Things are pretty bleak out there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And the Oscar Goes to...

I think it's fair to say that this was the year when the Oscar finally went to the Industry. The category? Queer History, of course, but also in the category of "Fuck the Base."

Lance Black's speech managed to sneak out onto the airwaves before the homophobic christianist parents of Amerika had time to switch their sets off and before their precious, innocent, 30 year old offspring heard the good news that it's "okay to be gay in God's eyes." That infuriated the Freepers. Heh.

Then came Sean's lovely speech. Which wasn't bad for a straight guy with a bad-boy reputation.

The internets are atwitter (and afacebooked) with apoplectic Westboro Baptist Wannabe's all bemoaning the end of civilization now that the Queers have hijacked Hollywood! (Who'll show up next? Teh Jews?)

Before the awards, I jabbed my friend Steve Schalchlin in the internetual ribs by stating that the Oscars were "not the gayest award night of the year", that, in fact, the annual Tony Award broadcast was far gayer.

Well, I stand corrected. This year's Oscar broadcast was screamingly, deliciously, fabulously Queer!

And now, the endless thanks.

Thanks to the gayest straight man in show biz.... Hugh Jackman!!!!

Thanks also to the music producer of the show. I was entranced by the lush, symphonic background music lifted straight out of the great movie scores of decades past, including pieces from "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Magnificent Seven." Enthralling.

And finally, Oscar producers take note: next year's co-hosts should DEFINITELY be Steve Martin and Tina Fey and you're total idiots if you don't start planning for that right now.

The Tony's are gonna seem pretty tame this year... if, indeed, they even bother to have 'em.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gay News Thursday

But first, a quick follow-up to yesterday's post. My 12-Step recovery home group gave me what I'd been looking for my entire life. To wit, a group of loving adults who may not have always had the right answer, but their hearts were always in the right place, who cared for and fretted over me when I was barely capable of taking care of myself. From them I learned how to be a grown-up, how to face my fears, how to accept the unchangeable past and how to move past it. From them I learned to be responsible for my own failures (and successes), and to stop trying to fix blame (and credit) somewhere else.

In short, they are the loving parents I always knew I was missing as a child. And it is that abundance of unconditional love I received from them which it's my duty to pass along to the "youngsters" I come across in recovery.

And that is how it works.

Moving right along....

My buddy Jake over at NoFo wrote a letter responding to a sort of op-ed essay that appeared in the February 9th Newsweek by an evangelical Christian named Robert Mouw who defended his vote in favor of Prop 8 in California last November. The piece, as you might expect, is full of self-pity and outright lies. Jake takes Mouw apart in his response. Needless to say, Newsweek (wimps that they are), didn't run it, but Jake has posted most of it (along with parts of Mouw's original essay) HERE.

In other gay news, in case you didn't know it (or else forgot), it's Oscar weekend. The weekend begins with the Independent Spirit Awards live from a circus tent on the beach in Santa Monica or Venice or someplace -- with lots of drunk movie stars, wannabes, moochers and hangers-on. the Indies'll be broadcast Saturday on IFC (live) at 5:00 p.m. ET / 2:00 p.m. PT and again that night on AMC (edited) starting at 10:00 p.m. ET & PT.

Sunday, of course, is the most sacred night of the year for Hollywood. It's Oscar night. And this years guest host is (be still my beating, girlish, heart) HUGH JACKMAN (SCREECHING)!!!!!!

I'd pay good money just to watch the man disrobe. And have. I saw "The Boy From Oz" on B'way a couple of years back. Hugh's not only hunky, but the boy can sing and dance, too. A fact which the viewing public will find out for themselves on Sunday night, when they get a load of the big opening number starring Hugh and being staged by his fellow Aussie, the new King of Movie Musicals, Baz Luhrmann.

I suspect that most of the fanboys of Wolverine and X-Men out there will be losing their shit when they see all 6 feet 4 inches of HJ strutting his shit all over the stage of the Kodak Theater in a great, big musical tribute to Gawd-Only-Knows-What.

So, if you're in the mood to recharge your gay batteries, go read Jake's piece to get your self-righteous self all fired up (and then DO something about it, fer Chrissakes), then be sure to tune in this weekend for hour upon hour of pure Gollywood Fun & Glam!

p.s. I'm posting this a little early to give you time to run out and see both "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Reader" tomorrow because, if you don't, you're gonna feel like a fool come Sunday evening.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Sober Job.

The title is an inside-joke for those in recovery. It refers to the certain knowledge amongst recovering drunks and druggies that "God is our employer" and that He has only one job for us which is "to stay sober and to help another alcoholic to achieve sobriety."

Accepting that as a given, our real job then becomes that of trying to find the best way to fulfill God's intention for us, given our own individual talents... and limitations.

I'll tell you why this has been on my mind. This past weekend I was at a LGBT 12-Step Roundup in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Roundups are weekend long (generally) events wherein hundreds of recovering lesbian, gay, bi and transgendered folks get together for workshops and for a lot of sober socializing and fun. This year a friend from my Friday night 12-Step group decided to tag along. He has about 4 years of sobriety. As the weekend progressed it became increasingly clear that he had a very hard time socializing with other people there. Every time I'd turn around, there he'd be, either directly at my back or elbow, just this short of being stuck up my ass like a clingy, needy, bashful, socially-inept 4 year old... or else he'd be way off in a corner, all by himself, looking lost and forlorn.

It started to really annoy me that he wouldn't "play well with others." I kept saying things to him like, "Would you like Daddy to arrange a play-date for you?"

Eventually it became clear that that's exactly what he was hoping daddy would do.

My whole childhood was one spent hoping and praying that one day my own (real) daddy would finally come along and rescue me from the clutches of the Evil Queen (my alcoholic mother). He never did show up and by the time I got to know him, as an adult, I realized that even if he had shown up, he wouldn't have been much of a prize for, it turned out, that my Prince Charming had issues of his own.

So, in light of my experience with my friend over the weekend, and based on my own past experience, it slowly started to dawn on me this week that maybe my role in sobriety is supposed to be that of a sober father-figure. That lacking any childhood father-figure of my own, I was perfectly free to create myself as the sort of father I'd always wished I'd had when I was a kid. And that I could share that "uber-papa personna" I'd create with other men in recovery who were desperately seeking a daddy, too.

As much as it annoys me (and let's face it, God's will is almost always annoying), maybe it's time for me to start paying attention to what my real job is in life.


p.s. I'm aware of the high degree of codependency this could lead one into. Still, it does make a weird sort of sense to me.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Third Story

Charles Busch's new play, "The Third Story", opened last night. Here is the poster for the show:

That's Charles over there on the right, brandishing the gun. Yes, he's in drag. Great drag. Drag that would make Barbara Stanwyck proud. Drag that would make Bette Davis eat her frickin' heart out.

My college roomie and I saw the play on Saturday. I thought it was wonderful. Ben Brantley, in today's NYTimes, didn't quite agree with me. He thought Mr. Busch's co-star, Kathleen Turner:

didn't have enough to do. "Hey", I said to myself when I read that, "She's an old broad. What the frig did he expect her to do? Cartwheels, ferchrissakes?" He also bitched that it was overwritten and could use some judicious weed-whacking.

Okay, so it's a couple of movies within a play. It's complicated. It's fun. If you can't keep up, stay the frig outta the theater. TV is for the brain-dead. Theater is for those of us with a few brain cells left.

The cast is terrific. The audience obviously adored Kathleen and Charles (myself included). And unlike at those overpriced Disney-fied productions you see uptown, the audience did NOT instantly leap to it's feet upon the final curtain to lavish unwarranted praise upon a bunch of class-B performers in a class-C production. The audience I saw it with applauded (and "bravaed") lustily, but respectfully kept it's seats until the cast had left the stage.

It's playing at the Lucille Lortel Theater, down on Christopher Street (deep in the heart of Greenwich Village). If you're in town and looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours for about sixty bucks, go see it.

And if, like me, you're of a "certain age" it will undoubtedly stir up memories of your childhood, which you spent hiding out on Saturdays in movie palaces of yore, while golden goddesses of the silver screen stirred your fevered imaginations and who, decades later, still make us feel all warm and cozy inside. Even while brandishing a gun.