Weekly Best Bets

Friday 04.29

These kings wanna get rocked
The peeps behind this show are pretty brilliant — not to mention a kick-ass flyer. Drag kings and local bands make up Mustaches & Music hosted by Christina Love. After Julian 4Play and the rest of the kings perform, Screaming Red and Electro-Shock Machine bring the rock out to finish the night. Sweet.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. PartyAtTheBlock.com.


Saturday 04.30

No, it’s OK to have that buzz
Festivals come left and right this time of year, but we’re prone to those encouraging us to eat and drink. The Dallas Wine and Food Festival has been doing just that for 27 years. We long for Saturday’s wine seminars at Mockingbird Station spots topped off by happy hour at Margarita Ranch.

DEETS: Mockingbird Station, 5321 E. Mockinbird Lane. 11 a.m. Through Sunday. $15–$25. DallasWineFest.com.


Sunday 05.01

Spoken word with purpose
Audaciously Speaking presents the 4th Annual Evolution of Spoken Word. Local out poet, Audacious brings together an impressive lineup of local poets and artists, all who are ready to drop some knowledge on you.

DEETS: Chocolate Secrets, 3926 Oak Lawn Ave. 3 p.m. $15. 682-472-9396

—  John Wright

Snap shots: ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ turns the camera on fashion’s most influential paparazzo

LENS ME A SHOE | The Times photographer documents foot fashion in ‘Bill Cunningham New York.’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor

Maybe Project Runway’s to blame, maybe The Devil Wears Prada, but for the past few years there has been a surplus of documentaries about the fashion industry, with profiles of designers like Valentino (Valentino: The Last Emperor), Yves Saint-Laurent (several in fact), even young designers (Seamless) and Vogue magazine’s editor (The September Issue). (By contrast, I can only recall one fashion doc from the 1990s: Unzipped, about a young designer named Isaac Mizrahi.) Is there really that much to say about dressmaking?

Maybe not, but while Bill Cunningham New York fits broadly within the category of fashion documentaries, its subject is unusual because he eschews the trappings of haute couture even as he’s inextricably a part of it — a huge part, really.

If you don’t read the New York Times, you might not recognize Cunningham’s name, and even if you do read it, it may not have registered with you. For about, well, maybe 1,000 years, Cunningham has chronicled New York society with his candid photos of the glitterati on the Evening Hours page. At the same time, however, he has documented real fashion — how New Yorkers dress in their daily lives — with his page On the Street, where he teases out trends (from hats to men in skirts to hip-hoppers allowing their jeans to dangle around their knees). Anna Wintour may tell us what we should wear; Cunningham shows us what we do.

“We all get dressed for Bill,” Wintour observes.

What makes Cunningham such an interesting character is how impervious he seems to the responsibility he effortlessly wields. He loves fashion, yes, but he’s not a slave to it himself. He scurries around Manhattan (even in his 80s) on his bicycle (he’s had dozens; they are frequently stolen), sometimes in a nondescript tux but mostly in jeans, a ratty blue smock and duck shoes, looking more like a homeless shoeshiner than the arbiter of great fashion. He flits through the city like a pixie with his 35mm camera (film-loaded, not digital), a vacant, toothy smile peaking out behind the lens, snapping the denizens of Babylon whether they want it or not.

One of the funniest moments is when strangers shoo him away as some lunatic paparazzo, unaware how all the well-heeled doyens on the Upper East would trade a nut to have Cunningham photograph them for inclusion in the Times. Patrick McDonald, the weirdly superficial modern dandy (he competed as a wannabe designer on the flop reality series Launch My Line a few seasons back), seems to exist with the hope that Cunningham will shoot him. And shoot him he does.

Many artists are idiosyncratic, even eccentric, but Cunningham is supremely odd by any standards. He lives in a tiny studio near Carnegie Hall filled with filing cabinets cluttered with decades of film negatives on the same floor as a crazy old woman, a kind of urban variation on Grey Gardens. He knows tons of people but most of them seem to know very little about him. By the time near the end when the filmmaker, director Richard Press, finally comes out and ask him outright whether he’s gay, Cunningham arches in that prickly New England way, never really answering outright, though he says he’s never — never — had a romantic relationship. Things like that were simply not discussed by men of his generation.

In some ways, we never really know any more about Cunningham at the end than any of his friends do, and perhaps even him. Cunningham comes across as defiantly non-self-reflective. He lets his work do all the talking for him. And that work has a lot to say on its own.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Watch: Channing Tatum Describes Being ‘Taken from Behind in a Very Sexual Way’ by Ron Howard


Channing Tatum boasts to Jimmy Kimmel about how he's the only actor in Hollywood to have been sexually taken from behind by Ron Howard and his well-moisturized hands.


Director Ron Howard: 'Gay' Joke Will Stay in The Dilemma [tr]

Towleroad News #gay

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Watch: CNN Talks to Editor Behind Lewd Navy Video Story


CNN talks to editor Meredith Kruse about her paper's report on the raunchy Navy videos that were found to have been broadcast on the USS Enterprise.


Watch: Navy Aircraft Carrier Cmdr Made Raunchy, Anti-Gay Videos as Shipboard Info-tainment [tr]

Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Guest Post: Left Behind 2010

Below is an guest post by Shannon Cuttle — Shannon Cuttle is an educator, school administrator, safe schools advocate and trainer, writer and policy wonk. She has a background in non profit leadership, community organizing and policy on a state and federal level. She is the founder of the Safe Schools Action Network and contributor to change.org.

This year will go down in history as full equality became one step closer for millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adult community members.  From the historic Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, which will eventually allow openly lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members to serve,to full marriage equality in Washington D.C., to victories such as hospital visitation mandates for LGBT families nationally.

Image: Shannon Cuttle. Photo by Jamie McgonnialOne of the biggest under-reported stories of 2010 affects a population who mostly cannot yet legally vote nor make a donation to a campaign or an organization, and most of whom still depend on an adult to look out for their best interests and in some cases save their lives:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth and allies.

In 2010 we saw bullying and harassment in schools and communities in Washington, D.C, Texas,  Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Massachusetts,  Colorado,  Virginia, Florida, New York, Michigan, Utah, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Louisiana, Idaho, Connecticut and California, and those were just the stories that we heard about.

In more than half of the United States of America in 2010, youth experienced bullying and harassment.

In 2010, we lost over 20 youth due to reported suicide from bullying and harassment. Keep in mind: those are only the reported cases. Across the nation, we were heartbroken and shocked to learn about many suicides due to bullying harassment, including Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi, Phoebe Prince, Chloe Lacey, and others. The youngest student that attempted to take hir life from severe bullying and harassment at school was just six years old. Not every story made the news.

This year we also saw student heroes like Will Phillips, Constance McMillen, Ceara Sturgis, Paige Rawl, Graeme Taylor, Derrick Martin stand up and fight back after serve bullying and harassment at school. There are countless other youth whose stories have yet to be told about their struggle, strength, courage, and pain facing bullying and harassment in schools, colleges, and universities.  Over 150,000 students miss school each day due to bullying and harassment. And 9 out 10 LGBT youth experience bullying and harassment-especially given the advent of  Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. According to GLSEN, 40% of all youth who have access to a computer have experienced cyber bullying.

Youth in 2010 have faced not just bullying and harassment, but homelessness as well.  Up to 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT and are struggling for food and shelter across this nation. Most of these homeless youth were thrown out of their homes or disowned by their families, left on the streets because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

And even progressive advances such as the DADT Repeal Act of 2010 still do not address creating safe spaces for lesbian and gay youth in JROTC, young adults in ROTC, or cadets in our nation’s schools, colleges, and universities.

How are we truly providing high quality education if we are not providing inclusive safe schools?

In 2011 we must fight together to make safe schools a priority so that all youth-regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (actual or perceived), socioeconomic status, disability or impairment , religion, immigration status, race, national origin, HIV/AIDS status, or any other identity-are free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.

What can you do?

Join the movement for safe schools in your local communities and stand up to bullying and harassment when you hear it, see it and take action. Help create inclusive safe spaces and anti-bullying and harassment polices on a local, state-wide, and federal level such as the Student Non-Discrimination Act and Safe Schools Improvement Act.

Make 2011 the year we invest in youth and make sure no child is left behind by making inclusive safe schools  a reality.

Get Involved today: Safe Schools Action Network, GLSEN, Make it Better Project, Project Life Vest, Operation Shine America, PFLAG, Trevor Project, It Gets Better Project, Ali Forney Center, GSA Network and your local PTA, LGBT community Center, classroom, school board or college campus.

If you need help please call The Trevor Help Line at:

1-800-U- TREVOR (800-488-7386)

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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DADT: Behind the Repeal Ceremony

repeal ceremonyThe White House issues its own take on last week’s ceremony at the
Department of Interior in Washington, D.C., where President Barack
Obama signed into law repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Video of the behind the scenes at the DADT signing ceremony

Nice video from the White House. At the end, the President says “this is done.” It’s really not done until DOD creates new regs, the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Jt Chiefs approve those regs, Congress doesn’t undercut the regs, and we all get to make sure the regs don’t undercut a full and timely repeal. Things are moving along, yes – but it’s not done yet. I fear next year is going to be tricky moving ahead on this. I hope I’m wrong.


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Guest column by Jim Neal – DADT: Behind the Scenes

Friend of the Blend, former U.S. Senate candidate Jim Neal (D-NC) wanted to share his latest piece on DADT with the coffeehouse. It’s a peek behind the political curtain…

DADT: Behind the Scenes

By Jim Neal

Given my overexposure to US politics and the lessons gleaned from my unsuccessful candidacy for the Senate in 2008, I now get to be soothsayer of sorts. I advise clients on how certain legislation of interest is likely to exit the Congress. What I do is piece the mosaic together in a similar fashion to how a detective investigates a murder.

The public, even most of those supposedly in-the-know, often don’t grasp the dynamics of political inside baseball. The best illustration is how people interpret roll call votes. The overwhelming majority of pundits and activists assess a politician’s vote on a piece of legislation with the strict constructionism of a Justice Scalia. In reality, roll call votes are quite deceptive and misleading. Today’s murder of DADT by the Senate is a case in point.

A strict interpretation of the 57-40 roll call vote to proceed to debate over repealing DADT suggests that if Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D- W.Va.) and Blanche Lincoln (D- Ark.) been present and voted Aye- bumping that tally to 59- then Senator Scott Brown might have felt pressure to get in line, given his expressed public support for repeal of DADT and upcoming re-election bid. That scenario seems all the more probable given the biggest surprise of the day. Senator Susan Collins (R- Maine), who had agreed to support repeal of DADT only in the event that four days were allotted for a full debate, apparently abandoned that position and voted in favor of repeal.

That yarn is simply not the reality. The cloture motion was doomed from the moment Speaker Reid impulsively decided to bring the vote before the Senate today. Here’s the real skinny as best I can piece it together.

Senator Collins did not soften her conditions. She was able to make a symbolic Aye vote because she knew — as did others — that she had cover from her Republican colleagues, either or both of Senators Murkowski and Brown. In turn, Speaker Reid cared less about how the arch-conservative Senator Manchin voted. It didn’t matter. The Speaker wanted to clear the docket and get DADT out of the way. Other legislation in the pipeline takes priority, namely the tax cut bill and ratification of the START Treaty.

As for Senator Lincoln, she was at a dental appointment . What has gone unsaid is that she also wasn’t aware that Speaker Reid was bringing the cloture motion before the Senate today. That is the only reason she wasn’t present. She wasn’t needed. If she were, the  vote would have been delayed.

With that as a backdrop, the drama will now move forward with a stand-alone bill to repeal DADT to be sponsored by Senators Lieberman, Collins and Udall (D- Colo.). Using a Senate procedure known as Rule 14, Speaker Reid can bring the legislation directly to the floor and bypass the Armed Services Committee.

Any hope of repealing DADT under a prospective Lieberman bill will require very tight coordination and communication between Senators Collins, Lieberman and their caucuses. Clearly there will have to be ample time allotted for GOP Senators to excoriate the legislation. However, this bill has no future if the Senate does not stay in session beyond December 17th as is currently planned.

Most Senators are anxious to get home and open Christmas presents and toast the New Year. They need to consider the peoples’ business first. Given that the President has effectively ceded control of the Senate calendar to the GOP via his so-called compromise framework on tax cut legislation, Democrats have no choice but to roll with the punches. That will require Speaker Reid to keep the Senate in session for as long as it takes. Only then might Senator Collins- with Senators Murkowski and Brown covering her back- take center stage as the Diva of DADT.

I hope that I will hear the Lady from Maine sing by the end of this session. Talk about an operatic production….

Follow Jim Neal on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JNealNC

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Westboro Baptist Falling Behind On Promised Laramie Project Protests

Once again the Westboro Baptist Church's threats of a protest — over Buffalo Grove High School student production of The Laramie Project — end with a no-show by the Kansas-based circus, leaving these Chicago-area high schoolers waving signs around for nobody but reporters' cameras.

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