'Orange is the New Black' star Lea DeLaria wants to stop using 'LGBT' term https://t.co/h9DXskQsqg— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) June 10, 2016
I remember enjoying Lea DeLaria's acting in a film I saw years ago at the Reel Affirmations festival. But I. Am. Not. Queer. She can call herself whatever she likes, but she can leave me out of it. Indeed, I am left out by the term "queer," as are many others who deem it offensive and have no interest in "reclaiming" it.
As Mashable puts it, "Postmodern Jukebox takes the theme song from 'Titanic' and remakes it into a song that would fit into 'Grease.'" If you agreed with Andrew Sullivan that the original version was a form of torture, check out this rousing doo-wop version. Lead vocalist Mykal Kilgore is a knockout.
I am writing a serious column about atomic bombs and the first American president to go to Hiroshima, but I needed an ice cream break. Here is a sample of the show I saw in NYC yesterday, to give you an idea of why I am rooting for this lady to win a Tony on June 12. Seconds please!
Seeing the matinee Saturday of She Loves Me starring the fabulous Laura Benanti was like a generous helping of vanilla ice cream on a hot Manhattan day. Score, set, performances and staging add up to a delightful show. Its Tony noms (including hers) are well deserved. Laura is like family to members and veterans of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington. She is the beloved niece of our late stalwart Bob Wonneberger, and has performed with the chorus. Yesterday she texted me that between shows she threw a baby shower for a friend. She has been a bit under the weather, but is a real trouper. Take care of those pipes!
Sondheim's most beloved song, sung by his greatest interpreter. Its rueful tone, rather than fear, seems to fit this absurd election year:
Isn't it rich? Are they a pair?
Hillary's feet on the ground,
Trump in midair?
Where are the clowns?
Time magazine's rainbow cover sparks outrage https://t.co/Rbu8t99qpF— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) May 25, 2016
This article quotes one objection to the Time cover:
“Dear @time this is a gay pride flag, not a trans pride flag. This is erasure and a failure of basic due diligence,” one person tweeted.
Erasure? Really? The cover of Time Magazine is the opposite of erasure, whether you like the illustration or not. According to Wikipedia, "Unlike within the wider LGBT communities worldwide which have adopted the Rainbow flag, the various transgender individuals, organizations and communities around the world have not coalesced around one single flag design. Instead there are several flags used and endorsed by the varying transgender individuals, organizations and communities." The cover design is a striking graphic inspired by the far better known rainbow flag, which our enemies certainly regard as including the T even if you don't. This is the sort of fake controversy that causes people whose support we need to roll their eyes and turn away.
Top LBJ aide Walter Jenkins was arrested in October 1964 for sex with a man in a YMCA bathroom in Washington. Above is a scene in the movie All the Way referencing it, in which President Johnson makes a dig at FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Below is a recording of Johnson talking by phone to his wife Lady Bird about the scandal, which occurred a few weeks before the 1964 election. The conversation starts about 45 seconds into the tape. (Hat tip: Mark Thompson)
The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington writes:
Standing ovations last night for Carmina 35! Thank you to New York City Master Chorale, Gallim Dance and everyone who came out to help us celebrate our 35th anniversary!
It was a wonderful evening at the Kennedy Center on Sunday. The Gay Men's Chorus has never been better, with a vigorous performance of "Carmina Burana" as the centerpiece. Former director Bruce Trinkley's confident direction of his exquisite and challenging arrangement of "The Boy Next Door" from the 80s was a treat. Music Director Thea Kano, Executive Director Chase Maggiano, and the whole talented ensemble have done us proud. It was great seeing chorus founder Marsha Pearson honored, and the award to Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality was a timely reminder of the broader movement the chorus is connected to. Kudos to all involved.
(Full disclosure: I am a co-founder of the chorus, and therefore may be a bit biased.)
I watched on C-SPAN. Wilmore certainly didn't care whom he offended. A friend says the transcript reads more funny than it came across live. I have mixed feelings about it. I have enjoyed many of Wilmore's bits in the past.
If Ted Cruz can announce a running mate, so can I.
My running mate will be Mrs. Danvers. She is loyal to a fault, meticulous, and can talk people into jumping out of windows. This latter skill will be invaluable in my administration. She promises she will not set the place on fire unless she is seriously disappointed. You wouldn't want to disappoint her, would you?
I duly observed the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death yesterday by reading some Shakespeare, but I wasn't in a blogging mood. This piece is interesting. More from the director of the Folger Shakespeare Library here.
Can't wait to see this.
Michael Cavna reports for WaPo:
CARL BERNSTEIN has a favorite shot — a powerful, wordless visual within a film rippling with verbiage. It is the moment when everything elevates as metaphor.
It is, Bernstein says, “the Library of Congress shot.”
The film is “All the President’s Men,” Alan J. Pakula’s classic journalism procedural, which today celebrates the 40th anniversary of its release. And the shot in question begins with a tight overhead of The Washington Post’s Watergate reporters, Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward (Robert Redford), as they painstakingly thumb through thousands of the library’s circulation file cards.
The vantage point “progresses from floor/desk-level to the rotunda of the library,” Bernstein tells me. “The shot, and the scene itself, as the overwhelming number of card-files are brought to the reporters — they got a bit more than they bargained for in all their cleverness — brilliantly illustrates both the monumental and granular challenges of real reporting, as well as the context of what is going on at the time in our own [Woodward and Bernstein’s] situation at that juncture.”
Below, the matchless Jason Robards as WaPo editor Ben Bradlee.
DC nightlife is being targeted as a handful of people persist in demanding that a thriving urban center be turned into a quiet suburb. Abigail Nichols and Mark Lee face off! (Though, alas, not directly.) WUSA9 reports.
The Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus posted this yesterday with the following explanation:
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus was fortunate enough to perform for the students of The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush. After the concert, our very own Marcus Saitschenko shared some beautiful words about the origin of the gay choral movement, words made more poignant by recent current events. Thank you, Marcus. #philagmc #WhyWeSing #ItGetsBetter #ShareOurHistory
That statement is very nice, but it is not exactly true. The gay choral movement was started before AIDS hit. SFGMC's first public performance, for example, was the night Moscone and Milk were killed.
I was a co-founder of one of the groups inspired by the San Francisco chorus's national tour, which roughly coincided with the first news reports of AIDS but was planned beforehand and took place before the reality of the disease had sunk in for most of us. I remember our early discussions in the summer of 1981. We were motivated by pride and memories of our college glee clubs.
The DC gay community did not feel under siege at the time; we were recognized as a voting bloc and were pursuing our goal of equality. We still had much to do, but were already included in the DC Human Rights Act. Of course in the years that followed, the gay choral movement rose to the challenge of the epidemic and created powerful music that chronicled our experience and helped galvanize us. I remember how moved I was later in the decade by SFGMC's beautiful contribution to the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Rising to the struggle helped give our music new meaning. But the origins of the choral movement preceded that.
I don't know why this is backwards, but what the hell.
Wanda Sykes and Jane Lynch make appearances in this parody. It was tough being a lesbian in the 1950s.
Lest you take the Oscars too seriously (and like many I intend only to watch Chris Rock's monologue), take a gander at this brilliant bit by Carrie Fisher from an AFI tribute to George Lucas a few years back. Clearly she is no mere princess, she is a goddess. A second-generation screen goddess doesn't come along often. I howled.