July 30, 2010
Sweet baby Jesus, thank you for giving us another timely season of a gay man's favorite piece of cable programming: a fashion elimination competition peppered with homosexuality for about twelve weeks.
In the first episode the contestants are informed that they have one last step in the audition process because there are 17 of them when there are usually 16. Basically, Project Runway does this every season in some way. There is just 'too much talent' to stick with the usual amount of people, say, going to Fashion Week, so they pick four and give them one more challenge. In this case, to start with 17, I say, is just to get another episode out of this money machine; stretch it to Sweeps or something. Anyway, they're told to open up their suitcases and pick one garment to work with on a five-hour challenge. Then they hand it to the person to their right. Mayhem and anxiety ensue.
HERE ARE THE BOYS OF PROJECT RUNWAY SEASON 8
Michael Costello, 27, Palm Springs, CA
Michael's a bit rotund, and I like that. He's got a whole lot of sass but it only trickled out in our season debut. He had some of the most memorable quotes, though. Almost immediately after picking up his bags and chit-chatting with two designers he managed to utter "Gimme a burger and I will whip up some couture." Yes, honey. He also tells the producers that he's "Gonna shut this shit down." We'll see.
A.J. Thouvenot, 26, St. Charles, MO
This one's a keeper. He's got a very Seth Aaron vibe going on only much, much gayer. He's tall, skinny, white, sweeps his bangs to the side, wears wrist bands and wears lots of collared shirts, sometimes with a little emo tie. He likes to design for party girls and punks. His Missouri-ness is outrageously charming.
Christopher Collins, 30, San Francisco, CA
I'm not so sure about this homosexual. While his poise and calm grace are alluring, his audition tape is off-putting in his reserved and understated egotism. He cut his hair before arriving in New York, thank goodness, and he looks good with a shaved head but his personal style is a snooze and we don't get much of him in the premiere. This makes me think he's either done in the first few episodes or will go far. He says he designs ready-to-wear womenswear and that one of the most magical moments of his life was seeing a woman on the street wear his design. OK, that's pretty heartwarming.
Mondo Guerra, 32, Denver, CO
Hooooo, lord, this one's a peculiar one. He looks like he could be 5'4" and 115 pounds. But he is one fashionable bitch. He ended up giving his neighbor designer a kilt of his. He planned to wear a kilt on the show. Again with the side-swept bangs and glasses, very Christian Siriano. In the next episode it looks like he wears bright orange glasses frames and a top with feathers on the runway. Cannot WAIT to see what kind of crazy he's got in him.
Andy South, 23, Hawaii
We also get next to nothing about this one in the first episode but his audition tape is flawless. He makes Chinese-flavored (because he's Asian?) militaristic garments that gave Seth Aaron a hard-on: a coat, crazy pocketed flowy pants, a lantern-inspired top with sleeves that pull out. He gives his fellow designer a kimono to work with. She loves the East, that much is clear. And she's gonna work it and go far, trust.
Casanova, 33, Astoria, NY/Puerto Rico
Sweet Jesus this one's a mess. He gives up a $1,000+ pair of D&G pants for some girl to tear them up and then makes a loose and flowing skimpy dress reminiscent of Jasmine from Aladdin. Michael Kors tells him it looks like she's a pole dancer from Dubai. Heidi asks him to defend himself on the runway and he gives her a perplexed look. Nina translates in Spanish and he barely scoots along to the next episode.
Jason Troisi, 33, Greenwich, CT
This one, I'm pretty sure, is the only straight man on the show. And, obviously, the one I'm most attracted to. He's a boxer. He's got a cute body and a cute face. But he's dumb as nails. He meets a fabulous female, Gretchen, and immediately asks her what her cultural make-up is. Irish/German mutt, she replies and he says he's "100% Italian." Then crickets chirp - seriously Lifetime inserted cricket chirping. He gets Andy's kimono and basically turns it backwards and staples it closed. He barely survives, too, thank God, because it looks like in the next episode he wears a tank top.
Nicholas D'Aurizio, 31, New York, NY
Oh poor Nicholas. Nicholas, who used to be an architect and designs accessories, has horrible bleach blond hair and honestly looks like he has kicked a drug habit. Good for him! He gets a bomber jacket and just uses the bottom cuff as the top of an over-the-top gown that makes his gorgeous model look like a fool. I don't think he'll last long.
Michael Drummond, 31, St. Louis, MO
Mr. Knitwear, I call him. He talks about his expertise in knitwear and how it will do him no good on the show because it's like playing a harpsichord all your life and then having to play the electric guitar. If you say so! He is handsome, though, very Keith Bryce with his glasses, engineer cap and rolled up sleeves on his deep vee. Let's keep him for a while.
You know her for her vampire novels, right? But do you know her as the mother of a prominent gay novelist, Christopher Rice? Yes, he's written a few stunning novels himself. Well, a few years back Anne vowed to devote her writing to the celebration of Christ. Not religion, so to speak, but faith. She's changed her mind. I guess there's too much bullshit in the Catholic church for her to keep attending and making her donation. Here's what she said on Facebook:
"For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."
"As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."
From USA Today (no writer to attribute):
It's not often that you hear an actor admit he used to have flings with men.
But London-born Inception star Tom Hardy, 32, who is engaged to British actress Charlotte Riley, 28, and also has a 2-year-old son with a former girlfriend, Rachel Speed, doesn't mind sharing the info.
He was apparently asked by England's Now magazine in an interview if he'd ever had any sexual relations with men and he replied: "'As a boy? Of course I have. I'm an actor ... I've played with everything and everyone. I love the form and the physicality, but now that I'm in my thirties, it doesn't do it for me."
Hardy went on to explain that he's "not into men sexually." He added, "I'm done experimenting."
Target gave $150k to an anti-gay Republican Minnesota gubernatorial candidate, Tom Emmer. There's tons of press out there about it. One Minnesotan mom is boycotting the company because her son is gay and it's a pretty heart-wrenching video. It's almost hard to believe that there are still politicians and politically active citizens pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the effort to prevent gays from marrying. Mind-boggling.
July 29, 2010
I go to a Gay Porn Blog called Bananaguide.com. It's excellent. In addition to the tons of free images there are plenty of compelling finds in the ways of gay journalism. Apparently, some DC journalist runs a series called Dining With Strangers. In this, his 22nd episode, he interviews Malachi Marx about doing TONS of gay porn and escorting while being a straight man with a female partner and a small unexpected child. It's hard to imagine - I don't know if I could bring myself to be Straight For Pay. This is a long-ass and mystifying interview.
July 28, 2010
I read this book recently in about two to three days. It was pretty good. But I keep thinking about something a friend told me. What will it be like in fifty years when people look back on the 21st Century's glut of memoirs. Furthermore, I want to be one of them. I've got a gay memoir bubbling up inside me. But will people care by then? They've already read everything David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs and Dan Savage have ever written.
What's most compelling, probably, about this memoir is the sheer volume of crack this man smokes. It's frightening and the weird sexual moments of his crack-obsessed downward spiral are merely hinted at and portrayed quickly and tastefully. A little more would've been appreciated. It was impressive the way that he wove a variety of settings, times and narrative strains fairly seamlessly, but the fact that he was a literary agent before he almost killed himself leaves a lot of us wondering; "Oh how nice to have literary agent friends to pick you up off the ground and reward you for your failures with a giant book deal." Maybe not us but me.
From a recent Sam Anderson profile for New York Magazine:
"Although Franco has been silent on this subject, he seems to enjoy stoking the controversy. His art, across the spectrum, revels in gay culture. His student film "The Feast of Stephen" involves an extended fantasy scene in which a group of teenage boys gang-rape another boy—who then smiles meaningfully at the camera as the screen goes dark. (An intimate screening of the film was sponsored, last summer, by Butt magazine.) The narrator of Franco’s Esquire short story asks a friend: “Don’t you ever get jealous of those girls in pornos that get to be on their knees in the middle of all those dicks?” Franco researched his role for the 2002 film "Sonny" by hanging out at gay strip clubs in New Orleans, and even tagged along with a stripper as he serviced a male client in a hotel room. In a guest spot on 30 Rock, he played a version of himself whose sexual obsession with a Japanese body pillow is an open public secret—a perfect allegory for his alleged homosexuality.
When Franco mentioned to me, via e-mail, that he was leaning toward going to Yale for his Ph.D., the faculty member he singled out was Michael Warner. Warner happens to be one of the pioneers of queer theory, a school of thought born in the early nineties (just as Franco was hitting adolescence) that argues that sexuality is not a trivial, personal matter but fundamental to how we all experience the world. “Queer,” in this sense, transcends the simplistic binary of gay versus straight. As Warner puts it in his canonical anthology Fear of a Queer Planet, queer defines itself “against the normal rather than the heterosexual.” Thinking about sexuality—particularly exposing the assumptions embedded in heteronormative culture—is a form of radical social critique, a way to challenge arbitrary boundaries and institutions."
My goodness. I am so very attracted to him.
Here's the link.