Drawing Dallas • 12.16.11

From coffeehouse to gay bar, Taylor Hartman has a lust for new experiences

SketchesMARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name and age: Taylor Hartman, 18

Spotted at: Buli Cafe

Occupation: Barista at Buli Café, Dancer at BJ’s NXS!

Wanderlust: This sweet, blonde Gemini was born in Tampa, Fla., but has moved around his whole life. Taylor’s family has an inherent restless spirit, having settled in Florida, Texas and Missouri. A hands-on guy, Taylor knows how to rope cattle and work as a ranch hand — he is good with animals and can even build fences. He came to Texas with his family but moved to Dallas on his own to begin a new life in the big city.
Taylor say his parents always knew he was gay, so coming out was no big deal. He is a fast learner, and has become an experienced dancer in a few short months. He plans to become a professional dancer or a business owner. He has also inherited his family’s wanderlust and has plans to travel to Paris and then see where he can go from there. Until then, he plans to spend Christmas in the gayboorhood with his “second family.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Flight of the bumbling B-movie

LET’S ROLL, KATO  |  A PG-13 Seth Rogen, far left, is as toothless as his incompetent ‘super- hero’ Britt Reid — it’s Kato (Jay Chou) who does all the work.

Rogen’s soft, muddled ‘Green Hornet’ is a noisy mess of 3-D nonsense

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  |  Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

The first question you have to ask yourself before going to see The Green Hornet is: “Do I really want to see a Seth Rogen movie that’s rated PG-13 instead of R?” (Actually, the first question is, “Do I want to see a Seth Rogen movie, period.”) Let’s face it: Rogen’s style — cultivated in Superbad, Knocked Up and Pineapple Express — is of the joint-toking, foul-mouthed slacker. It’s not even fair to call it “frat boy” humor, as Rogen exudes the air of someone who never even took the SAT, not to mention applied to college. Nope, if Seth doesn’t get to say “fuck” or “pussy” every eighth word, there’s really not much to keep you interested. And even then…

While his script for The Green Hornet shows familiarity with its source material, it doesn’t know how to update it in any way that makes for a competent movie. Britt Reid (Rogen) is the roustabout son of a newspaper magnate; when daddy dies, Britt inherits the publisher’s job and dad’s driver, a martial artist-auto mechanic-techno wizard-barista savant called Kato (Jay Chou). They come up with a cockamamie plan to become superheroes who pose as villains. Only Britt has no heroic skills: No speed or brains or bravery or strength. It’s the Kato show, and he takes all the credit.

That might actually be a good movie — the sidekick does all the work and gets none of the credit, a la Wallace & Gromit — but Rogen and director Michel Gondry are afraid to go full-tilt that way. Instead, they clutter the film with comic bits (half of which fall flat) and 3-D effects (whose cheesiness distracts from the action more than intensifying it).

Maybe — maybe — if the action sequences weren’t edited with buzzsaw freneticism and Gondry hadn’t devolved into fast-motion scenes that looked lame in noisy farces back in the 1960s, we could appreciate more his bravura split-screen montage (a dazzling bit of flamboyance) and the performance of Christoph Waltz (the best scene in the film is one with Waltz doing a cameo with James Franco). But Gondry has a skewed take on Americana — low-brow and filtered through pretentious European sensibilities — and the result here is as clumsy and unpredictable as Rogen’s perpetually fluctuating girth.

The Green Hornet’s release was long delayed, reportedly to work out the 3-D effects, but what they really needed to do was work on the screenplay: Ditch the extraneous Cameron Diaz as a love interest and explore more the suggested homoerotic longings between Britt and Kato. That could give the phrase “getting stung by the Green Hornet” a whole new meaning — and a lot more comic momentum.

This appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 14, 2011.

—  John Wright

Barista Alvin Cited By Newsweek

Call our very smart Barista Alvin a full-fledged pudit now, as his Pam’s House Blend diary Dear Proposition 8 supporters – You lost because you lied was quoted on Newsweek‘s California Judge Overturns Prop 8:

Jubilant

Don’t take this as gloating, gay blogger Alvin McEwen writes, but it’s pretty clear that Prop 8 was overturned because the claims of supporters, though effective in scaring paranoid voters, simply don’t withstand the scrutiny of the judicial system.

Alvin McEwen:

“In the courts, you must defend your position … Your leaders spun false images of avenging hordes for their reluctance to be questioned in the courts about the unprovoked lies they said in pulpits, in speeches, and on commercials. This time, it didn’t work. The court saw through the phony claims and realized something, which I hope that many of you now do-you have no logical reason to either deny us the right to love or to deny us the ability to protect the ones whom we love.”

Alvin McEwen, Pam’s House Blend

Alvin’s quote was immediately followed by a Maggie Gallagher — of the National Organization For Marriage (NOM) — quote:

Furious

Maggie Gallagher:

Not only was Judge Walker needlessly inflammatory for imputing bigotry to opponents of gay marriage, his opinion was wrong and will be overturned, says Maggie Gallagher, head of the activist group the National Organization for Marriage. She rehashes the arguments NOM has made all along and vows to continue the fight.

Maggie Gallagher, San Francisco Chronicle

Being cited in an Newsweek article ahead of Maggie…just priceless!

So, so seriously, congrats to Alvin on being a PHB pundit of Newsweek notability!

But more importantly than that, congrats to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community; congrats for the values of human rights, freedom, equality, and justice!
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright