Archive for October, 2011

I attended a few films on several different days of this years DC gay and lesbian film festival, which I used to sponsor (as a business) and which some years back (it just had its 20th anniversary) grew to be one of the largest film gay film festivals in the country – obviously San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles are bigger).

I always attributed DC’s gay film festival being bigger than that of Philadelphia or many other cities to its relatively large, though not always so flamboyant and visible, gay community.  Why it has such a large one is an unexplored issue.  Perhaps the single and childless are more likely to go into the Peace Corp or law school or political campaigns or various other venues that dump many people in DC to become bureaucrats.

I just learned though that DC has MORE independent film festivals than any other city.  I had noticed that we had generic independent film festivals as well as Asian, Black, Hispanic, Green, women’s etc, etc film festivals. Apparently we have several dozen that are annual recurring events.  I suspect this has something to do with the prevalence of 6 figure salaries among the tax-supported government workers in DC.

There was one year where several of the sponsors and volunteers of Reel Affirmations (the local DC fest) and its sponsoring organization, One in Ten, talked about ending our support because the festival was so bleak, with a huge number of movies featuring suicide, lovers murdering one another, or serial killers (the film Hellbent, about a serial killer taking out gays in a fun house at a Mardi Gras type celebration being the coup de gras – a film that is now shown on Logo during the week before Halloween).  The programming committee informed us that that was all that had been produced; we should see, they responded, the films they rejected from the schedule!

Of course one can always veer off into the documentaries and the foreign films, or the shorts, which are often comedies (one of my favorite short films will always be Came Out, It Rained, Went Back in Again, featuring a young actress who went on to play a secretary in Absolutely Fabulous).

This year’s crop seemed to be thinner on murder, suicide and serial killers, but still bleak.  Couples and communities torn apart by accusations of pedophilia against heretofore upstanding gay coaches and teachers were a theme (Au Pair, Kansas and The Green, starring Cheyenne Jackson).  The pathos of AIDS epidemic hagiography was another (We Were Here).  Perhaps there were some great romantic comedies in the mix, just not on the days I attended.  At least now, unlike 20 years ago when Reel Affirmations started, one can catch them later that year on cable.

Is he gay or just a little too European for a small town in Middle America? That’s the question faced by Oddmund, a 26-year-old Norwegian, who arrives in Lindsborg, Kan., to work as an au pair on the bison ranch of Helen Hazelton (Traci Lords), a recently widowed mother of two sons, Atticus and Beau. Atticus is a typical teenager with a smart remark for every situation, but Beau is the shy, sensitive type. Oddmund brings a little discipline and laughter to their home. He helps Atticus befriend a sexy classmate who he’s fallen for but is afraid to approach, and helps Beau stand up to a bully. Meanwhile Helen seeks advice from her dead husband’s ghost confessing her growing attraction to Oddmund and at the same time her concern that he’s getting too close to their sons. In his mission to help Atticus and Beau, Oddmund forms a soccer team with them and a rainbow assortment of townspeople, including a butch female sherriff and a drag queen art teacher.
Dir. J.T. O’Neal, 2011, USA, 103 mins

Read Full Post »

WMAL radio, the primary home of conservative talk radio in the Washington, DC (Rush, Hannity and Mark Levin among others are broadcast there), has a gallery of gay celebrities on its website this week at:


Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Actor who portrays the character Mitchell Pritchett on the show “Modern Family”

It includes the essentials like Ellen and Elton, and the recently famous like Andy Cohen and Jane Lynch, as well as such notables as Perez Hilton and Barney Frank.

Read Full Post »

‘I haven’t left my house in days.I watch the news channels incessantly. All
the news stories are about the election; all the commercials are for Viagra
and Cialis. Election, erection, election, erection — either way it’s about
getting screwed!’ — Bette Midler.

Read Full Post »

Libertopia 2011, the 2nd annual convention for the more decentralist/anarchist/voluntaryist/agorist wing of the libertarian movement (think Burning Man meets Woodstock meets NRA meets tea party) ended today and was successful enough that Libertopia 2012 is already announced also for October (2012) in San Diego again on Shelter Island at Humphrey’s Halfmoon Inn.

An awards luncheon honored three senior libertarian writer/scholar/activists for Lifetime Achievement with the Sovereign Individual Award.  But before we get to them I am giving out a fashion award to a tall hot hunk in a black kilt who looks like he might be an unclaimed bastard spawn of Clint Eastwood:

Dr. Sharon Presley, an early owner of Laissez Faire Books in the NYU/Greenwich Village neighborhood (then at 206 Mercer Street), president of the Association of Libertarian Feminists, and author of books on questioning authority and on 19th century American anarchist writer Volterine de Cleyre was one winner, here being introduced by Freeman editor Sheldon Richman.

Presley received her B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.A. in psychology from San Francisco State. Her Ph.D. in social psychology was awarded from City University of New York Graduate Center in 1981.[2] Her mentor, Dr. Stanley Milgram, author of the classic book Obedience to Authority, was the chair for her dissertation, “Attitudes and Moral Judgment of Political Resisters to Authority.”[3] In 2009, she retired from teaching at California State University, East Bay in Hayward where she taught the Social, Developmental, Psychology of Women and Critical Thinking. Her research also includes work on women resisters to authority and Mormon feminists. Her current research is on personality variables related to attitudes toward authority.[1]

Presley was one of the co-founders of the first national libertarian organization of the new libertarian movement, the Alliance of Libertarian Activists, in 1966 in Berkeley, California. In 1972, she was the co-founder, with John Muller, of the influential libertarian bookstore Laissez Faire Books.[4] She was one of the founding members of the Association of Libertarian Feminists in 1976 and served as its National Coordinator[2] from 1976 to 1985 and then again from 2004 to the present.[5] In 1992, she founded Resources for Independent Thinking, a non-partisannon-profit organization promoting educational tools for independent and critical thinking. As of 2009, Presley serves as the organization’s Executive Director.[6]]

Sharon Presley (born 1943) writer, activist, and retired professor of psychology, was also co-founder and former co-proprietor ofLaissez Faire Books[1], which was once  the largest libertarian bookstore.[2]

Spencer Heath MacCullum was honored for his books on law and organization in non-governmental communities from Somalia to shopping malls and intentional communities.  MacCallum, is an anthropologistbusiness consultant and libertarian anarchist author. He also is notable for his discovery of the pottery of the town of Mata OrtizChihuahuaMexico.

MacCallum graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelors in art history and received a Masters of Arts in social anthropology from the University of Washington and also studied at the University of Chicago. He specialized in studying the life, culture and stateless society of Northwest Coast Indians.[1] He is the grandson ofSpencer Heathanarcho-capitalist and Georgist dissenter. In 1956 MacCallum and his grandfather founded the Science of Society Foundation which published a number of works including Heath’s book Citadel, Market, and Altar. MacCallum was for many years an active researcher and lecturerfor academic and business clients.[2] He remains a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.[3]
MacCallum shared his grandfather’s interest in multi-tenant properties where developers lease properties and are responsible for providing community services, thereby replacing the functions of the state.[1] He details these ideas in his 1970 booklet “The Art of Community”; his 2003 articles “The Enterprise of Community: Market Competition, Land, and Environment” and “Looking Back and Forward” (which describes the influence of his grandfather); and his 2005 article on stateless social organization “From Upstate New York to the Horn of Africa”. He edited and published the book “The Law of the Somalis” by Michael van Notten which deals with the foundations of private law as it was in Somalia (see History of Somalia (1991-2006)).
Through his grandfather, MacCallum met alternative currency theorist E.C. Riegel. After Riegel’s death, MacCallum obtained all Riegel’s papers, which now reside with the Heather Foundation, of which MacCullum is director.[4] During the 1970s MacCallum re-published Riegel’s books “The New Approach to Freedom” and “Private Enterprise Money” and collected his papers into a new book called Flight from Inflation: The Monetary Alternative.[5]
In 1976, MacCallum discovered artisan Juan Quezada, who soon became the leader of the now-thriving pottery movement located in Mata Ortiz, a small town near the ancient Paquime (or Casa Grandes) ruins in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. McCallum is the author of many articles on Mata Ortiz, as well as introduction to the book, Portraits of Clay: Potters of Mata Ortiz. His efforts helped the pottery win acceptance as a contemporary art form and a legitimate folk art.
MacCallum lives in nearby Casas Grandes[1] and still plays a key role in Mata Ortiz affairs.

Also winning an award was academic Butler Shaffer (who like MacCallum went to graduate school at the University of Chicago, for decades a hotbed of libertarian scholarship).   Shaffer teaches at the Southwestern University School of Law and is the author of In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918–1938and Boundaries of Order.  From the view of a “modern social historian and philosopher,” Professor Shaffer has written numerous books and articles on social theory, business and labor law, and has spoken on these topics before a variety of academic and special interest forums. In his book, Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival, he explores the theory that “institutions are the principle means by which conflict is produced and managed in society.” He considers how leaders of industry influenced the creation of the New Deal’s National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 in his book, In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition. Professor Shaffer has also been interviewed on these subjects on network television, cable and radio.

Following graduation from the University of Chicago law school, where is was assistant editor of the law review, Professor Shaffer was a labor relations consultant to the Midwest Employers Council in Lincoln, Nebraska, and went on to establish a private law practice in Omaha. He subsequently joined the firm of Nelson, Harding, Marchetti, Leonard & Tate, and then began a career in academia at the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration where he taught courses in business and law. Professor Shaffer has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1977. In 2002, he was named as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law in recognition of his outstanding contributions to legal education and scholarship. He says, “I like to explore, with my students and in my research, the nature and purpose of governmental regulation of economic activity.”  He writes often for the libertarian website http://www.lewrockwell.com

Science fiction author J. Niel Schulman, whose Alongside Night is being made into a movie, discusses libertarianism in the buffet line:

Read Full Post »

Charlaine Harris, the prolific writer who created the Sookie Stackhouse series of “Dead” novels from which HBO’s TrueBlood is derived, has come out with her 4th paranormal anthology just in time for Halloween.  The first three treated vampires at Valentine’s, werewolves at Christmas, and ghosts on vacation.  The new anthology, edited with Toni Kelner and including many of the usual suspects (Patricia Briggs), is about home improvement and renovation among the supernatural.

As in her other anthologies, one of the draws of the current book is a short story featuring Sookie and friends that occurs outside the plots and in between the events of the Dead novels (so you don’t get these stories unless you buy the anthologies too).  “If I Had A Hammer,” features a deranged teen ghost reliving a murder/suicide caused by homophobia.

Read Full Post »

Among Jane’s faux pas:
  1. Suggesting that artists might experiment sexually especially those who may have grown up as boring middle American children.
  2. Admitting without guilt or shame that early in his career, he traded sexual favors with men.
  3. Believing that while heterosexuality is his natural inclination,  he felt he needed to have sex with both men and women to be sure.
The comment section reveals that young liberals brought up post-sexual revolution stand no heresy of their own set of stifling and ultimately phoney sexual mores.
Jane violated several basic articles of faith by:
  1. Acknowledging bisexual behavior in men. (Male bisexuality seemed to disappear in the early 80s or rather bisexual men were labeled as diseased then disappeared entirely by the gay establishment.)
  2. Admitting such in an un-serious matter of fact fashion not followed by a tedious interview with CNN’s Don Lemon as to Jane’s “courage.”
  3. Revealing a history of sex work without a teary eyed confession of fondling by his uncle.
While a combination of Christianism, the therapeutic culture and the left’s ambivalence toward work make any adult discussion of sex work impossible, what really got the youngsters going was the notion of volition in sexual behavior. Straight people hate this. They need to know that sexual orientation is a fixed genetic trait.
The “born this way” doctrine allows heterosexuals to take the correct position without having to acknowledge the gay anxiety and biphobia that underlies it.
It’s not a shock that those who believe in the benevolence of the state like to put people in boxes. It certainly makes it easier when someone’s rights need to be sacrificed when we are in the habit of thinking of giant boxes as opposed to individuals.
Those of us who wouldn’t dare to so much as check a box on a census form must resist the temptation to carelessly toss others in boxes. After all, barring some major advance by Alcor, we will all be in a box soon enough.

Angela Keaton will be speaking at Libertopia Festival 2011 in San Diego
Stay in touch at Facebook http://Facebook.com/LibertopiaFestival
Follow us on Twitter http://Twitter.com/LibertopiaFest
Find all details for the festival at http://Libertopia.org

Read Full Post »

There are reports that 20 gay people who were attending a wedding party have been arrested after a raid by a large police force in the southern province of Jazan, Saudi Arabia.

According to a Saudi Newspaper over 250 men in total were rounded up and among them 20 gay men while the rest included wanted persons, some of which were staying in the country illegally.

Homosexuality can be punished with execution in Saudi Arabia under Sharia Law.

Alex Elliott from T.I.G.R.O. said, “I am very concerned about the reports that 20 gay men have been arrested in Saudi Arabia”


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »