the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

interesting commentary in 'the advocate' about 'boy meets boy' and 'queer eye.'

i must say that i disagree, to a point. i agree that 'boy meets boy' sums up as a cruel joke on a homo, and i agree that 'straight eye' casts gay men's only social function as that of servitude and supporting character to the straights.

but cuh. mon. he would rather not have these shows on the air because of they add luster to the 'bright sheen of homophobia?'

i think hutton hayes' real problem is that, thanks to reality television, we're getting gay people on tv that are actually played by gay people. and guess what? they don't act the same way as straight people playing (angelic, sanitized, overly image-conscious, self-hating gay programming executive produced) gay characters used to act. it's a shame isn't it? can't we go back to the days of matt on 'melrose,' whose main function is to scream from the background 'LOOK AT HOW FUCKING NORMAL I AM! WOW! HEY GUYS! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I'M NOT EVEN MOLESTING A KID! JESUS CHRIST, I DON'T EVEN HAVE A GODDAMNED LISP! YA'LL ARE SO FUCKING WRONG ABOUT GAY PEOPLE. okay. that's all. um. does anyone want to kiss me? oh we can't really show that? okay. well. i'll just be standing here by the peanut bowl. um. thanks.'

i feel so sorry for andra on 'boy meets boy.' poor girl is living vicariously through hottie james, and has some weird disorder where everything that happens to him happens to her only magnified in a creepy, flailing, histrionic way.

it's impossible not to giggle everytime bravo plays the little clip of the hand-to-the-mouth, then the running away with the screechy 'THAT IS SUCH BULLSHIT JAMES!'

we've always known there's nothing more entertaining than other people's pain, but maybe the best entertainment of all is watching other people pained from other people's pain. but it's pushing it to say that james is in pain. you can clearly see him laughing at andra as she runs away to bite her pillow. i love when she turns it into a show about her. 'it's not YOU james, I WAS THE ONE SHOVING THEM DOWN YOUR THROAT!!' it's impossible to express her shrieky crackle through punctuation.

i'm liking franklin less and less. 'the last time i got a massage was in budapest..' jesus, we know already, you have money, you grew up with money, okay, okay. and you're straight. you're so straight. yeah, so you cried when sean left, good show dear boy good show. we know quite well from 'queer eye' that straight boys are just as capable of weepdom as the pansies.

the biggest problem with boy meets boy is that the whole thing feels like a very polite cocktail party. even when they're supposed to be having fun, you get the picture that they're standing around holding drinks, trying to come up with conversation while the producers sit in the editing booths with their heads in the hands calling for the assistants to bring out more liquor. 'maybe that'll get 'em doing something.'

eddie walker chimes in again with a clay aiken gem:

The young girls are simply mad for Clay. Mad. Mad. Mad. So much screaming, you can't imagine. Much more than for Justin Timberlake. The American Idol tour was in town last night. Quite an interesting mix of concert-goers. Poor Clay tries his best to be sexy and manly, and the young girls buy it, but not momma. At one point he picked up from the stage a red bra that someone had thrown, showed it to Ruben, and referred to it as crotchless panties. Then he slowly walked away, boyishly muttering, "I'm confused." Some knowing giggles were heard after that one.

oh i love it. just how does one mistake a bra for crotchless panties? that girl must have really small, pointy buttocks.

so i've been having an ongoing discussion with my dad about orion and his 'sword.'

dad's convinced that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. ahem. (but then of course his favorite painting is 'ceci n'est pas un pipe.')

Turns out he is a pretty minor character. Edith Hamilton's Mythology doesn't even list him in the index. He was known entirely for his hunting prowess... OK, we can Freud that into including sex... but the Greeks didn't need a lot of metaphors when describing the sexual activities of the gods... so, while he was a randy dude, he paled next to nearly all the other male gods in that area... so the sword really was a sword. There are about six versions of the mechanics of his death. The most common element is that he died from a scorpion bite... most versions include some jealousy of ARtemis, the hunter goddess, or that Orion raped or tried to rape or insulted either Artemis's maid or the goddess of the dawn... In recognition of his hunting skills he was placed in the sky... opposite Scorpios... so when Orion is the most faint in the sky, Scorpios is the brightest.

i told him i still didn't buy it. i mean, cuh. mon. but then he said:

You are thinking too much from a post-Freud perspective. Remember that the Greeks had no trouble with direct phallic imagery. Athens was filled... filled... with "hermes" (pronounced herms)... huge phalluses in honor of Hermes (Mercury) the messenger of the gods. Jews were not allowed to participate in athletics in Greece because they were circumsiced... and thus not bodily perfect. Athletics and battles were fought nude. There was just no Christian prudery around. If Orion was noted for his conquests in bed, that would have been no big deal at all... so, I don't think that will fly. Try to think of the book title... something like "The Reign of the Phallus in Greece and Rome"

okay, so i guess it's a sword. that's so lame. orion sucks. every culture re drew constellations to suit their own myths (like 'subaru' in japan, which is the logo of the car company, is actually 'three sisters' in the west, minus some stars). so i'm redrawing orion, just for the gays. what shall we call him? maybe we don't have to redraw him, just change the inflection when you say his name, and all becomes clear: 'oh.. ryan!'

eddie walker is brilliant.

Franklin, Wes, Brian? -- Tim and I are just as stumped; it could be any of the three. My question is, whom do you want it to be, or not to be? Sometimes I find myself basing my opinions on whom I would find, or want to find, attractive. Franklin seemed straight in the beginning but not now. Wes has seemed so believably gay all along, but who knows?

BUT. We must remember that the producers have no minor role in this thing. First, they can consult with James on his choices. More important, though, is their orchestration of the groups from which James must make eliminations.

I suspect that in Tuesday's final pairing (if I recall correctly) of Franklin and Sean, the producers ensured a straight guy in the final three. And that leaves us with Franklin as the straight one.

of course of course! the groupings were a gimmick to ensure that a breeder would make the finals. wow. that franklin is quite the performer, huh? maybe he'd be gay for pay. or at last 'go all the way for pay?'

okay girls, it's time to talk about 'boy meets boy.'

three remain: franklin, wes, and brian. one is straight.

i have no idea. i think probably brian. or wes. it coud be wes, but he seems too comfortably gay, and doesn't seem to be hiding anything. course he could just be a really good player. despite trying too hard, i don't think franklin is straight: i believed his jealousy during james' kiss with darren.

i bet brian is one of those straight guys who bartends at a gay bar, paid to be hot and unattainable.

the backlash is already beginning...

it's the catch 22 - the more visibility gay people have, the less it seems to the majority that we need equal rights. 'they seem to be doing just fine to me, enid!'

something that i thought about while on a roof in chelsea looking at the stars during the blackout - stars! we could see stars!

orion. orion and his 'belt.' well really i'm talking about orion and the 'sword' hanging from his belt. yeeah, the 'sword' that hangs directly between his legs? who are these legions of kindergarten teachers and revisionist historians trying to kid? we're supposed to believe that ancient man, striving to make sense of the universe, looked up at the sky for guidance, and not only did he see patterns in the stars, patterns that would later be assigned mythological significance, he named a very conspicuous part of an obviously human-shaped configuration after a steel weapon that wouldn't be invented for centuries?

what makes the whole 'sword' argument even thinner than that is that orion already has a weapon in his hand - a club, which actually makes sense, historically.

c'mon folks. it's time to call a spade a spade, and it's time to call the big swingin dangly thing between orion's legs the largest phallus in the known universe.

also, seems like every week the times has another great article on evolution.

i was alerted to this article by the posting on john's blog. as he says: brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

education seems to have eroded so much that most people don't even know what evolution actually is. of course it doesn't help when equally uneducated and irrational parents are weilding their pta power to completely remove evolution from the curriculum - or, as was the case in my high school, it's being taught by half hearted 'science' teachers who are really the school's volleyball coaches.

wow, what an adventure the last couple days have been!

so around 4:20 (four twenty, ha) my computer blinked off, all the lights in the office blinked off, and i heard a scream from the elevator shaft, followed by uncontrollable laughter. the entire office let out a collective groan as we realized that we had just lost whatever file we were working on. the laughter was from two girls who had just gotten into the elevator, only to have the power shut off just after the doors closed.

the phones were still working, so people got on the horns calling for custodial to rescue the girls from the elevator, and then trying to figure out how long the power would be out.

someone had just called their spose in new jersey, and reported loudly that jersey had no power either.. so i called my boyfriend in times square - no power in times square. wow. wow. now people in the office are talking about terrorism - it seemed widespread, how could it be anything else? then the reports start filtering in from people on phones with people who are watching tv: cleveland has no power, toronto has no power, holy shit!

the office manager comes up to me and says 'joe, you'd better get out of here and get to your show.' i don't argue - of course the show is probably going to be cancelled, but you never know with theatre, and i wanted to be there, ready to perform, if by some chance the power came back on.

so i take to the streets with my cell phone, which has a full signal, but only one bar of battery power (thanks to my roommate's cat that knocked it out of the charger last night). the streets are a madhouse, well no, they're more like a funhouse. everyone seems to understand that this isn't an attack, that's it's 'just one of those crazy things that happen in new york,' and are joking and laughing - a common overheard conversation is how different the attitude on the street is from september 11.

i begin the 60 block trek downtown with three of my co-workers. the streets are flooded with people, women agonizing in their high heels, businessmen sweating in their suits, most of them walking uptown. we pass bar after bar packed with people drinking and laughing away. the whole thing is like one city-wide block party.

the whole thing made me think about just how much the city has changed - not a very original thought, as practically every commemtator has seized upon the opportunity to contrast this with the blackout of '77.. probably the most interesting thing i can add is that i don't even have a basis of comparison. many of us living in the city now can't even comprehend the new york of the seventies, even the eighties - a man mugged every eleven seconds, subways covered in graffiti - remember 'jason takes manhattan'? where jason walks around new york city chopping people's heads off and no one seems to notice or care because, well, he just fits right in - sure, it was a shitty movie, but there was comic delight in the truth of the attitude.

slate has a good article on the change in nyc - reminds me of malcom gladwell's pre-9/11 analysis of the same changes in 'the tipping point.' good stuff.

so the new york post finally decided to print our review! of course they printed it in the 'blackout' issue, which means every single copy in manhattan was snapped up and saved as a collector's item. so i don't even have a copy of my big moment in the sun, but it's cool to think that i'm in what is probably the most thoroughly read issue of the year so far.

chris from dc writes in response to my blog about the howard dean website:

I want you to know, we have taken your...ahem...constructive criticism of the site and its plethora of attractive gay white boys to heart (my picture is up there too y'know...and I insist I am NOT white...I just don't get enough sun). We're going to try to do a better job of highlighting lesbians and people of color.

Your comments do beg the question of identity though. OutforDean is an equal-opportunity site. We want everyone to be involved. Does the lack of lesbian representation lie with our failure to reach out to them or with their failure to get involved? I don't know...but I'll try my darndest to get them as fired up about Howard Dean as I am.

In the meantime...look for our interview of Anthony Rapp, star of Rent and currently touring in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, coming soon to the site. He's the latest to endorse Dean for President and join the swelling ranks of attractive gay actors joining Out for Dean. Could you be next??

chris, this is awesome. and you bring up a good point about lesbian representation. my gut feeling, based on my observations during the amendment 2 days in colorado, is that lesbians are extremely politically active. perhaps the problem is outreach, or maybe just combining resources. i have a feeling that the rift is between the fundamental differences in gay and lesbian cultures.. but going to your site today i see at the top of the list is 'dykes for dean!' that's great - i think despite huge cultural differences, it's really important that the facets of the gay community stay united, because as this village voice article from the la weekly warns, a huge ultra mega gay backlash is heading our way.

boy it's been a long time since i had a good hate mail! this is from CaPriCorN214:

Your site is sickening. You need to stop judging people based on sterotypes. plus, you dont know Clay aiken, therefore you have no right to say that. pick up a copy of Rolling stone and the answer to the question about clays sexuality is in there. and you may have too much time on your hands if you have the time to devote a website to insulting someone and it shows what kind of person you are..

hey capricorn. have you seen 'under capricorn?' it was one of hitchcock's worst movies. you are so right. i shouldn't judge people based on stereotypes. from now on i'll judge clay's gayness on a purely individual, swish by swish basis. i don't know clay aiken, but then, do we ever really know anyone? i mean, we think we know someone, but then they turn out to have malaysian zombie sex slaves in the basement.

speaking of judging: the freakiest obsessive compulsive freakazoid was sitting next to me on the subway today. this guy had three back issues of tv guide, all of them open to the movie guide in the back. the movie guide was covered with notations - dates that he viewed the movies, a 1-100 point system on which he was evaluating the films, whether or not he had rented the movie or watched it on television.. this guy was like kevin spacey in 'seven.'

thank you thank you to all the well wishers on my opening weekend! the show went very very well, and was attended by donald lyons of the new york post, which i hate, but if they print a good review, i will make a brief single-article based exception to my hatred of all rupert murdoch owned media conglomerates.

john's blog makes reference to a moral conundrum posed by bloggawhat that has sucked me in. i will reprint highlights to save you clicking back and forth.

bloggawhat says:

I also have a philosophical question -- specifically, a trolley problem: Suppose a trolley is headed towards five people, but you can steer it so that it only hits one person instead. Some people, namely non-consequentialists, would say that you oughtn't divert the trolley. (I realize that this example is precisely the wrong one to motivate this conclusion, but the better example -- the "fat man" one -- would take too long to reinterpret as I'm about to do...) I have a challenge for such people: Suppose further that, as you are deciding whether to divert the trolley, Peter Singer drives by in a Prius and shouts some excellent utilitarian arguments that cause you pull the switch and divert the trolley. After diverting the trolley, you "realize" that you have made a terrible mistake by transgressing against your non-consequentialist beliefs. My question -- do you switch the trolley back, or do you leave it as it is? I've already considered this question at some length and failed to come up with a satisfying solution, but instead of writing all my arguments and risking carpel-tunnel syndrome, I'll see what all of you brilliant people come up with. I'll post objections to people's solutions here or on their websites. If nobody comes up with a satisfying solution, I think this ought to count against this sort of non-consequentialist intuition.

john says:

i would not divert the trolley, and if i diverted it once, i would divert it back.

i guess it would be fear of prosecution but also a belief that some deus ex machina could move the people out of the way or that the unknown of the future is an acceptable absolver of my inability to act. if i moved it once, i would move it back to correct the action to leave it on the course that it was before i acted. i'm sorry, i'm not a philosophy major and i'm not very smart but their seems to be a particular culpability to exerting action on a situation while remaining neutral, even with a potential power seems to leave it out on my hands.

so i did some searches on 'consequentialist vs. non-consequentialist' philosophy, which led me to an interesting article about biotechnology and how neatly the 'process vs. product' debate in biotechnology maps onto the 'consequentialist vs. non-consequentialist' debate in philosophy.

which of course got me thinking: which am i?

something about non-consequentialist thinking smacks of 'good intentions,' as in 'the road to hell is paved with.' sure, we're polluting the ecosystem, but we're gonna get a cure for cancer.. probably.. maybe.. but then intent is the only real reason to begin any undertaking - to cure cancer, a noble cause. the problem is that only actions and results are quantifiable - 'intents' can never really be judged. (heh, harkens back to my offensive comedy jag) so perhaps consequentialism is the only way to go: what's happening to the environment now? maybe we should find another way to cure cancer..

lets look at the story from a (admittely amoral) consequentialist perspective:
so lizzie grubman is driving the trolley and her intent is to kill as many people as possible - she sees that she's probably going to hit five people if she does nothing. but then this guy drives by and says that if she switches tracks she will only kill the ugly girl on the end, instead of the other four, richer hotter bitchier girls. she switches tracks because ugly girls deserve to die. but should she only kill the ugly girl? do four richer-prettier bitches equal one ugly girl? does it matter if she switches back? what's a drunk road rager to do? after pondering consequentialism vs. non-consequentialism, lizzie lets go of the wheel. she realizes that it's a win/win sit: no such thing as bad press, baby!

okay, here's my real answer:

if i'm truly a non-consequentialist, then after diverting the train once, i should not divert again, because diverting again would make me a hypocrite. i had already transgressed my non-con thinking once by switching tracks. if i switch again to achieve a new end, namely: restoring my non-con status, i'm actually still working towards a specific consequence. so my answer (if i explained it well enough) is no, i would not divert the train again. i made the mistake of diverting once. diverting again only makes me more of a consequentialist (unless i'm diverting because i decide that the original track is a more scenic route).

well, opening night is tonight! here's an article in playbill about my show, 'say you love satan.'

arianna huffington is running for governor of california! very cool.

okay, boy meets boy. very interesting show. james, the main guy is so cute that it hurts. i can’t look at him for too long without wanting to stab myself in the face. (i don’t know what that means). the whole thing has become a pretty interesting test of gaydar, and i have been fooled twice so far..

i am suspicious of dan, the blonde hunk. he’s billed as an ‘actor’ on his profile. in this week’s episode he sported an ‘instinct magazine’ t-shirt. is he a straight guy actor who loves to flirt with gay men? who’s also done his gay culture homework? wouldn’t surprise me. it also seems clear that the only reason he is still on the show is because the producers pressured james to keep him (ever notice that disclaimer at the end, that says the producers ‘consulted’ with james on his decision, but ultimately it was his?).

i’m sure the producers saw in dan the perfect foil – a super hot straight guy willing to pull out all the stops (as an acting challenge) to win some bucks. no way they could let him go.

okay, let’s talk about last week’s episode of ‘queer eye.’ i totally cried. and i can say that without feeling shameful or feminized because the ultra hot straight man they made over cried as he said goodbye to the fab 5. it was awesome. a great moment in the history of reality television. a straight man cried!

speaking of ‘queer eye,’ michelangelo signorile had some great things to say about the show in last week's column. my favorite part – he quotes conservative, far-right activist paul weyrich's response to the show:

"It should come as no surprise that I do not feel compelled to take any fashion or lifestyle tips from the homosexual movement," Weyrich wrote last week, regarding Queer Eye and lambasting Bravo and NBC for airing the show. "I say that as someone who was wearing pink shirts back in the 1960s before the color was seized by homosexual activists and politicized. Nowadays, I still wear a pink shirt every now and then as a sign of rebellion against a movement that expects wearers of that color to be sympathetic to their agenda, which I most certainly am not."

signorile's brilliant response is that paul doesn't realize that when he slips on even a pair of bvd's he's being dressed by a homosexual deisgner somewhere. what's even more absurd about the statement is the idea that pink as a color is 'fashionable,' and that a sub-paragraph of the gay agenda includes saturation of our ‘politicized’ pink into wardrobes everywhere. paul, wake up! don’t you realize you have to have your colors done first to find out if pink even works with your skin tones?

my play opens this friday. things have been crazy so not as much blog action lately. there are of course some tidbits.

in what was obviously part of a last ditch attempt to prevent gene robinson from being voted in as the first openly gay episcopal bishop, the investigation has ended and the vote will continue. i don't envy his position. he has got to be the most squeaky-clean gay men ever to exist in order to win this vote. i mean, if evidence that you once visited a porn site is enough to scrap you, then wow, i guess i'll have to break it to my mom that my career in the church is over.

walt chimes in response to my post last week saying "Maybe if the Vatican would allow priests to be married, their problem wouldn't as big as it is." i read an article in salon - this was awhile ago, when the child abuse stuff was sexploding (ha, that was a typo, but i like it). the article's main thesis was 'well, what do you expect to happen when you provide a place for sexually repressed and troubled men to seek refuge?' as david cross puts it: 'i mean come on. how could you not fuck that virgin pink starfish?? i mean puh-leese. how could you not fuck that?'

if you found that funny, i highly suggest you run out and buy a copy of 'shut up you fucking baby' by david cross.

chris wrote me to ask 'Hey Joe. Are you planning on endorsing any of the Democratic presidential nominees soon?' at the bottom of his email was a link to wow. i'm being solicited to publicly endorse a candidate, which is a brilliant grass-roots campaign strategy - get the bloggers on your side. could i possibly have the kind of reach that would make a difference in an election? hmm..

a woman named tina wrote me this week to say Just so you know, I am a 42 year old stay at home mom and love your site. Your writing is so entertaining! I love it when you get political. I know several other people from all walks of life who also read your blog. thanks tina! it's so great to hear that - especially since i've taken a bit of flack for getting political on the blog. could i become the harry knowles of gay politics? would be nice.

during the last presidential election, i was a resident of florida. yep. i was in florida during all the recount hoopla. i was also teaching college classes to voting-age students. i'll never forget the sinking feeling that had i only encouraged everyone in my classes to vote - not even necessarily to vote for gore, that i alone could have made a tangible difference on a national level. so thanks for kicking my ass chris. i won't let apathy and indifference win me over this time around.

check out the outfordean website. wow, lots of hot gay men support howard dean! c'mon joe, you know you want to do it too. all the hot guys are doing it. straight acting gay actors robert gant and chad allen are doing it. look at their big solid democratic pecs and left-slanting jawlines. danny roberts from 'the real world' is doing it. look at that sugary twinkle in his eyes. how can you resist? vote for dean.. vote for dean..

i don't know. i'm still too ignorant on all of this to commit to a solid endorsement right now. i will dedicate the next couple weeks to finding out more about the candidates - and will post my findings. any smart democratic candidate is going to solicit the gay vote - i want to know which ones actually have a history of gay support. i also want to know who reichen is voting for. oh and who that vacuous chris from 'the real world chicago' is voting for. and who mango is voting for. and carson from queer eye.

not to be the gay spokesperson for lesbians, but don't you think it's interesting that all the pictures on are of men? i mean, they've got melissa etheridge's support. she's a household name, and instead we've got a picture of chad allen who hasn't done anything since 'dr. quinn'? what gives?


did i call it or what? "american wedding" includes none other than poo eating.

maryindiana writes in:

Darling Joe La Rue,
I hate to lower the tone of the serious and interesting discussion about the roots of sexuality,but I had to share this with you in re "Liza and David" (that superfun gadabout couple for the NEW millennium!) Jimmy Kimmel had this joke " Liza Minelli and David Guest are splitting up. The couple cite the reason for the divorce as irreconcilable sexual preferences." As for the discussion I have nothing to add that hasn't been said in one form or another. I myself at the age of 4 or 5 wanted a certain male television star who shall remain nameless as it is frankly a little embarrassing now to come to the door and ask me to go away with him. I had no idea what we would do,mind you,but I knew it involved kissing. Which team you're on is decided early early EARLY! Thanks for keeping America entertained Joe!

well, if by 'america' you mean a handful of bored office staff across the country, then you're quite welcome! 'irreconcilable sexual preferences.' i love it. didn't the exact same thing happen to her mother? judy caught her new husband boffing the pool boy? mary also writes:

here's a thought..if stress is really the thing that makes males in the womb become homosexuals,shouldn't there have been a significant gay Irish community in the early 1870s? (Potato famine bairns,born around 1847..) There are lots of examples you could use throughout history. I'm not discounting it entirely, but I'm not sure it makes sense that stress is the cause..
ps- I'm a quarter Irish in case anyone wants to be offended by my example.

if you're at all familiar with the yearly controversy surrounding the new york st. patrick's day parade, you know darn well there are plenty of irish homos. but who knows why. there's plenty of homo everythings.

it's clear that a stress hormone does create gay male kids (at least in rats). what isn't clear (and maybe never will be) is the cause of that stress. first you have to define 'stress.' i just don't know enough about how this particular hormone is produced in the brain. you're right - the problem with my theory is that it presupposes a distinction between types of stress: stress caused by inability to care for numerous children, and generic stress caused by any number of outside influences.

however, it's very possible that there was a gay surge after the potato famine - it's almost impossible to know because there's virtually no documentation of a condition that didn't really even have a name before oscar wilde. not only that, it would be hard to even conduct such a survey today because definitions of sexuality are becoming more and more fluid, it takes years for someone to completely determine their sexuality, and also, how could we possibly trace the 'stress source'? sure, the vietnam war was going on during my conception, but maybe i'm just gay because my mom was having a hell of a time learning to speak english? or maybe because she stubbed her toe on the crucial 'brain formation' day?

i love that something born out of stress is called 'gay.'

i still need to come up with a theory of lesbianism. any lesbians care to contribute?

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