A letter from a fan

penI was wading through my emails this morning the way I usually do after a review comes out — in a HazMat suit surrounded by bomb-sniffing dogs — when I happened upon this message:

Re: Your usual spite

Mr. Jones, please don’t ever attend another show in which I appear or with which I have any association. Every time you have reviewed my work, you stoop low to find unkind things to say about me. It makes no difference in the long run, but your unrestrained disgust for my acting is a dead giveaway that you have some personal vendetta toward me. The reactions of audiences and many, many fellow theatre specialists are always diametrically opposed to your opinions when it comes to me. The fact that Art and Science received a standing ovation after every performance, including the one you attended is all I really care about. I remember writing to you once before about your apparent loss of touch with reality regarding me. Luckily, I turn down more roles than I accept. Your opinion has no effect whatsoever on my work in theatre. You are so obviously biased against me, that I am convinced that either I offended you, or I rejected you. Either way, I was right. As Glinda said to the WWW, “You have no powers here. Be gone, before someone drops a house on you, too.”

You can imagine my shock and surprise at receiving this letter … only because I honestly had no freaking clue who this guy is. Honestly.

Of course, it doesn’t make much sense because I don’t know what he’s talking about anyway. I have never reviewed anyone or anything with spite — why would I? I just give my honest, sincere opinion about something offered up for critique. Trust me, I’ve written glowing reviews of people I personally can’t stand, and happily so. My opinion of people as individuals has nothing to do with the quality of their work.

I’ve also never understood people who write hate letters to critics, when obviously they were wounded by the words of others themselves. If I’m so terrible for reviewing you, why do you get to say mean things in “reviewing” me? The difference, of course, is I don’t take it personally, even though you intend it personally.

The author did mention the play by name — a forgettable thing that closed yesterday at Frank’s Place, just hours before he wrote to me — and though the review ran a few weeks ago, I have some vague recollection of the actor. I certainly didn’t see a standing ovation on opening night, though; certainly I stood at the end only to make my way to the door. But as for having seen this gentleman, or having reviewed him, or having received previous emails from him … well, I’m drawing a blank.

Anyway, I tried hitting “reply” to let the actor know I’d received his email and to give my standard response — “Thank you for your feedback,” possibly with the little add-on, “who are you, again?” — however it was not to be: His email address did not accept my reply. So, if anyone knows this gentleman, please thank him on my behalf for reading my reviews. Also, you might want to let him know that I will continue to review plays without predetermining whether he will be in them. Who knows? Maybe I’ll love him in the next thing I see him in. Or maybe I’ll just remember him.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Sarah Palin blames gays for ‘dishes running away with spoons’

Editor’s Note: The following article contains satire. Proceed with caution.



WAL-MART PARKING LOT — Sarah Palin let loose a barrage of vitriol Tuesday against same-sex marriage proponents, accusing them of unleashing a wave of immoral behavior that has affected “the very dishes we eat on and the spoons our children use to to eat their cereal.”

The former vice presidential candidate and ex-governor of Alaska waved a book of nursery rhymes at the three people who had gathered to hear her, two of whom were simply collecting shopping carts in the area as part of their jobs.

“This is what it’s come to,” Palin shouted. “All those people who said same-sex marriages wouldn’t affect America’s moral code have this to answer to.”

Wiping her mouth of spittle, Palin opened the book and began reading with emphasis, glancing back and forth from her audience to the material with what appeared to be wild eyes.

“Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such a sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon.”

Palin removed her glasses, wiped them dramatically and then pointed them at the audience which had grown to four. An elderly man who couldn’t hear well thought Palin said Fiddle Faddle and erroneously believed she was giving away samples of the caramel popcorn treat. He walked away in disgust when he realized his error.

“First of all we have this wording of ‘diddle diddle.” Palin said. “Now if that’s not just plain nasty talk, I don’t know what is. They’re not fooling me. I know what ‘diddle diddle’ means, and so does Bristol. But that’s not the worst of it. No, sir.”

At that point Palin was forced to pause until a Wal-Mart employee finished her announcement of the sale of jumbo weenies and Bimbo bread.

“You’d think that was bad enough,” Pain continued when the announcement ended. “But I want you to realize just how low this country has come, and it’s all because of that same-sex marriage band of heathens. Because of them, now we have dishes running away with spoons!”

Palin slammed the book of nursery rhymes against her thigh, and after it quit jiggling, which was a full three minutes, she unleashed a stream of invectives against the Democrats, the media, gays, Hollywood and Judy Garland.

Judy Garland?

“She’s their siren,” Palin said, referring to the devotion gay men reportedly have for the entertainer. “It’s bad enough that now men can marry men and women can marry women, but it’s come to this. Our dishes are now running away with our spoons.”

Palin suggested everyone immediately remove their dishes from close proximity to their spoons, lest the porcelain libertines be tempted to take to the hills or wherever it is dishes and spoons go to engage in illicit behavior.

“Probably to Arkansas,” Palin said. “After all, we all know what kind of immoral people that state produces. I can just imagine what all was going on in the china cabinet during the Clinton administration.”

Palin warned her audience of the dangers of not being vigilant in guarding their flatware.

“Don’t take your eyes off your spoons for one second,” Palin warned. “The minute you turn your back, those dirty dishes will run off with them and do god knows what to them.”

Palin said such behavior was unheard of before the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in several states. She blames those actions for the “collapse of America’s morality.”

“We used to be a god-fearing country where girls waited until they were 15 to have sex like my Bristol did,” Palin said. “Now you can’t even go into your own kitchen because you’re liable to come up on an orgy with Mikasa china and Rogers silverplate. I always knew I couldn’t trust those Japanese dishes, and you shouldn’t, either. They’ve always looked shifty to me.”

Palin said she was debating whether to enter the presidential race, but with this development she sees it is now her duty to run.

“If those homosexuals think I’m going to stand by and watch them bring this country down, they got another think coming,” she said. “I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States. And, by god, I’m not diddle diddling around, either.”

At that point, a Wal-Mart employee cut short Pailn’s speech.

“I’m sorry, but I’ll have to take that milk crate you’re standing on,” he said. “Oh, and did you say you’re giving away samples of Fiddle Faddle?”

Steve Ramos

—  Steve Ramos

WATCH: Red carpet for ‘Les Miz’ (sorta)

Only four performers portray all the celebs in this hilarious riff on red carpet premieres — and just in time for our Hollywood Issue coming out next week. Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Rev. Amy Delong, tried by Methodists for being a lesbian, to preach at Bering Memorial Methodist Church

Rev. Amy DeLong

Paperwork can be the bane of any job. For Rev. Amy Delong a simple annual report catapulted her into the maelstrom of the United Methodist Church’s debate on accepting LGBT people. DeLong visits Houston’s Bering Memorial United Methodist Church (1440 Harold) on Sunday, Feb. 12 to preach at both the 8:30 and 10:50 service.

In 2009 DeLong was approached by two women who wanted to get married. After conducting premarital counseling with the couple Delong agreed to perform the ceremony. As a clergy person, DeLong was required to report on her activities at the end of the year, including any weddings she had performed. She knew that the Methodist Church did not allow same-sex marriage but thought “I don’t know if anybody even reads these.” Boy, was she wrong!

With-in three days she was hauled into the her boss’s (the bishop) office. DeLong’s relationship with her partner Val was well known to her colleagues. “I’ve never had a bishop or a leader in the church or a pastor who didn’t know that I was gay,” says DeLong. “Everyone knows Val.” But the church was determined now to make an example of her, and DeLon’s relationship would now be an issue.

In 2011 DeLong was tried in the church’s court with violating the Methodist “Book of Discipline” by being in a same-sex relationship and by performing a same-sex wedding. During the trial she refused to answer pointed questions about her and her partner’s sex life. “No heterosexual couples are ever asked if they
still engage in genital contact in their marriages,” says DeLong. That refusal left the court with no evidence against her on the first charge.

She was convicted of performing the wedding and suspended from ministry for 20 days. The court also required DeLong to work with a group of ministers to prepare a statement on how to “help resolve issues that harm the clergy covenant, create an advesarial spirit or lead to future trails.” “This sentence is complicated,” says DeLong. “It doesn’t lend itself well to media soundbites. So a lot of folks have been saying to me ‘I can’t tell, is this penalty good?'” DeLong responds with a resounding “Yes!” Saying that she welcomes the opportunity to write, teach and study on a topic dear to her heart.

DeLong recalls that during that initial meeting in the bishop’s office one of the bishop’s assistants referred to her as a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” To which she responded “Val and I aren’t practicing any more… we are pretty good at it by now.” The assistant laughed. More than anything that is the impression one gets of DeLong: someone with a lot of humor and aplomb who is unwilling to back down from a fight for justice.

After the jump watch a clip of DeLong talking about her experience.

—  admin

Tig Notaro tonight at The Kessler

Get Notaro-ized with a few laughs

With a sense of humor so dry, you want to offer her a glass of water, out comedian Tig Notaro knows exactly what to say and how to say it to get a laugh. On her new and aptly named debut comedy disc Good One (Secretly Canadian), she touches on a variety of topics, ranging from Chastity Bono and Taylor Dayne to artificial insemination and babies taking showers.

Read the entire piece here.

DEETS: With Mark Agee. The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. Aug. 30. 7:30 p.m. $15. TheKessler.org

—  Rich Lopez

Starvoice • 06.17.11

By Jack Fertig


Meredith Baxter turns 64 on Tuesday. For most of the ’80s, Baxter played Elyse Keaton on Family Ties. She’s mostly been seen in TV films and guest-starring roles. In an interview with Matt Lauer on Today back in 2009, she came out of the closet as lesbian. Her memoir Untied was released this past March.


For the next few months we get a taste of the Uranus-Pluto square that will dominate the next five years. Recent political turmoil has just been the set-up for major crises and changes ahead. Astrologically it looks a lot like 1848, 1939 and the ‘60s. Buckle your seatbelts; it’s gonna get bumpy.


GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
As dystopian as the future looks, you’ll find a way to thrive. Trust your instincts and reconsider the most important lessons you learned from your mother. Talking with siblings can clarify that.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Frustrations in love and career are too big to solve by yourself. Fortunately you have some very wise and resourceful friends. As odd as their ideas may seem, they will likely help.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
It’s easy to worry yourself sick. Arguments make it worse. Focus on your career. Working through sexual issues is healing. Quiet time alone gives you space to think about what you need to do.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Sharing your innermost thoughts will open up ideas for creative fun. On the way, you open up some difficult childhood memories. Resolving an ugly past can clear the way for a better future.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Your home and partnership are heading for big changes. Be generous and comforting in bed. Family commitments need to change. Be clear on what those are. Be adaptive at work.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Obsessing on details leads to accidents and misunderstandings. Don’t neglect the important details; just keep it all in perspective. Your partner’s advice and practical support will prove helpful.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Now’s the time to find a job you enjoy. Channeling your sexual charisma into the job search is helpful, but if you already like your work that charisma can go back to what it does best.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Trying to manage your family or community will backfire. Focus on having fun. If you’re looking for love, play at being moody, broody and intense; but remember, you’re playing.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Conversations open up deep psychological insights. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your family, no matter how odd. Releasing old tensions could have surprising health benefits.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Reality is challenging your values and your plans, but that’s life. Adaptability and a sense of humor will help you stay true to your core while everything else goes crazy.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Be very sure that your career is in line with your ambitions. Being unhappy on your job track will get you derailed. Contempt for authority is well-deserved but pick your battles strategically.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
“Bad religion” is a subjective experience. Focus on your own personal beliefs; know where you find clarity, support and reassurance. Respect others’ paths while finding your own.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Video: Protect the sanctity of sophomoric ‘humor’

What’s the American Family Association’s big takeaway from Captain Owen Honors’ video controversy? That once Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal is all said and the done, the right of religious people to use “Saturday Night Live type” anti-gay, anti-woman slurs might be compromised:

Lewd Navy video [AFA]

Is there anything these folks won’t defend? Anything anti-gay, that is?


*SEE ALSO: This insight from last night’s “Parker/Spitzer” (with particular kudos to Jeffrey Toobin and Kathleen Parker):

(via J.M.G.)

Good As You

—  admin

Get an amen with Leslie Jordan’s Church Revival

Getting to the church on time

Church revivals might conjure up suppressed memories, but we think that won’t be a problem here. WIth Leslie Jordan’s Church Revival, the Emmy-winning actor makes church time funtime with his Southern boy wit and humor. Sister Helen Holy will be your guest hostess. And likely the two will keep you from speaking in tongues.
Just laughing in them.

DEETS: Sare Ellen & Samuel Weisfeld Center, 1508 Cadiz Road. 7 p.m. $100. LegacyCounseling.org

—  Rich Lopez

New videos from Sia and The Superions

Sia grabbed most people’s attention with “Breathe Me,” that unforgettable song from the final episode of Six Feet Under. The lesbian singer released her fifth album, We Are Born, this year and premiered her newest video just last week. It’s a bit on the slow side so it may not rev your Monday up as you’d like. But she does that dreamy, melancholy sound so well. Watch it below.

Meanwhile, Fred Schneider from The B-52’s went with his side project band The Superions for the holidays. The trio released the awful album Destination…Christmas! The album should have been funnier, but instead was just song after song of idiocy. A couple of songs did stand out and one was Santa Je T’aime. The video isn’t hardcore but is probably NSFW. Men in drag with big fake breasts might just throw off your boss or snooping IT person. It’s also ridiculous (as have all their videos been for the album) and loses the humor of the song. I just want to take Schneider and shake him for releasing such bad work. How could this be when he’s so much fun with The B-52’s? It’s distressing, but I am kinda loving their T-shirt for sale which is also a title of one of their songs:

Watch both videos after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez