Open Thread: RuPaul Is A Wise Soul

And I’m not just saying that because he’s a Clinton supporter (though that doesn’t hurt). In light of his first Emmy nomination, NYMag‘s E. Alex Jung interviewed RuPaul:

What do you think about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats?
[Laughs.] I fucking love them. I have always loved them. And let me just say this: If you’re a politician — not just in Washington but in business and industry, you have to be a politician — there are a lot of things that you have to do that you’re not proud of. There are a lot of compromises you have to make because it means that you can get this other thing over here. And if you think that you can go to fucking Washington and be rainbows and butterflies the whole time, you’re living in a fucking fantasy world. So now, having said that, think about what a female has to do with that: All of those compromises, all of that shit, double it by ten. And you get to understand who this woman is and how powerful, persuasive, brilliant, and resilient she is. Any female executive, anybody who has been put to the side — women, blacks, gays — for them to succeed in a white-male-dominated culture is an act of brilliance. Of resilience, of grit, of everything you can imagine. So, what do I think of Hillary? I think she’s fucking awesome. Is she in bed with Wall Street? Goddammit, I should hope so! You’ve got to dance with the devil. So which of the horrible people do you want? That’s more of the question. Do you want a pompous braggart who doesn’t know anything about diplomacy? Or do you want a badass bitch who knows how to get shit done? That’s really the question…

I wanted to talk about the shooting at Pulse in Orlando. You made a statement at the Trailblazer Awards, and I wanted to hear about when you first heard the news and how it impacted you.
I have a long, long relationship with Pulse nightclub for years and years. It’s a safe space. It’s a safe haven — a place where people can meet our tribe. It always has been. To have it encroached by such an evil force hurts very deeply. I’m 55. I’ve witnessed so many assaults — emotional assaults, physical assaults, all of that. I was assaulted after the first attack, assaulted again just by how the media handled that stuff. So, it was a hurtful situation, and even more hurtful that I don’t believe that we as a people, as a culture, have really learned from it and how to deal with it.

What do you think needs to happen?
We need to talk about the subconscious mind. We need to talk about the hateful darkness that lives in each of us. We don’t all have it to that extent, but we definitely need to shed light on that area of us. All of us have been sold this idea that we deserve the whole world, and that everybody’s going to get the big house, the big cars, the two and a half children, and all of this stuff that the media sells us. And then people who don’t get it get angry. And they say, “Dammit, if I’m not going to get mine, no one’s going to get it!” So we get angry, and from the anonymity of a keyboard online, we troll people, we put them down. Some people go to the extent of killing people or being horrible in that way. And that’s obviously the extreme. But we all have that element. I think the way we approach this is we need to acknowledge that area of our consciousness that lives in all of us, and we need to start that dialogue. We need to recognize it when it pops up.

It’s all throughout the whole Trump thing: Ego wants to divide us up. Ego wants to believe that we’re separate from one another, but the truth is there’s only one of us here. So for us to move forward, we have to acknowledge that element in us, and then when it comes up, say, “Thank you for sharing, but I’m going do this, because I’m not going to act on my fragile ego.”…



Capital Idea, Old Chap!

Words fail me:

On Thursday morning, the Daily Beast published an exceedingly gross and bizarre article by a straight, married male writer who lured in gay Olympians through hookup apps for no particular purpose. The entire piece is an astoundingly creepy exercise in Grindr-baiting, which involves a journalist accessing Grindr in an unlikely setting and … seeing what happens. But the Daily Beast piece, penned by Nico Hines, is a uniquely disgusting and irresponsible entry into the tired genre. Hines entices his (often closeted) subjects under false pretenses; effectively outs several closeted athletes who live in repressive countries; then writes about the whole thing in a tone of mocking yet lurid condescension. By 10:30 a.m. ET, the Daily Beast had, in response to criticism, edited out the most identifying details about closeted athletes—but that’s too little, too late. (Update, 9:15 p.m.: On Thursday evening, the Daily Beast took down the piece entirely.)

I’ve been steaming about this all day.



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Bright Futures

Ladies & Gentlemen, Vice-President Joe “Rhymes with Bucket” Biden!
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George Takei, Living National Treasure. Per the AP:

In an English-subtitled video that’s drawn more than 12 million views in less than two weeks online, the “Star Trek” actor compares Trump’s proposed deportation of undocumented Latino immigrants to the World War II internment of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans, including Takei and his family.

“I’m addressing this to my Spanish-speaking fans and their friends,” he says in the four-minute video. “I want to give some personal, historical context on how Donald Trump’s words and plans can have very real and terrible consequences.”…

“It was my parents who heard the sounds we are hearing today from Donald Trump, the sweeping statements he makes characterizing and stereotyping a whole group of people,” Takei said in an interview. “My father lost his business and we lost our home and our freedom. With no charges, to be locked up, imprisoned.”…

Takei said he learned Spanish growing up with Mexican-American neighbors in East Los Angeles, a connection that he said makes Trump’s comments all the more difficult.

“It’s very personal to me,” said Takei, who in the video urges viewers to register to vote and to help defeat Trump in November.

And on a whole different plane, I am insanely jealous of the toys kids can get these days: mattell thingmaker 3d printer

Thingmaker™ 3D Printer is an easy-to-use, 3D printing system for the creative home! With the Thingmaker™ 3D Printer, you can easily make your designs come to life. It’s specifically engineered with ease-of-use and family-friendly features in mind…

Create your designs on your mobile device using the Thingmaker Design™ app (available for free in the Apple App store and Google Play, data rates may apply, smart device not included), or select files to download on the Thingmaker Central™ app or on Thingmaker.com. You can even use your own 3D software. Then, easily export your designs to the Thingmaker™ 3D Printer and see them come to life…

Includes 1 3D Printer, 2 0.25kg PLA Filament Reels, 1 USB Thumb Drive with the Instruction Manual, 1 Quick Start Guide, 1 USB Cord, 1 External Power Supply, and 1 Print Removal Tool. Additional filament packs are also sold separately and available in 12 different colors: Red, Blue, Orange, Green, Pink, Yellow, Teal, Purple, Black, White, Gray, and Gold. Two filament reels (0.5kg) can create approximately 10 basic figures!

Back in the mid-1960s (ask your grandma), state-of-the-art technology toys were Easy-Bake Ovens and — for boys — “machines” where you squeezed packets of colored sugar and chemicals into molds to be extruded in the shapes of insects and race cars. Every society encourages its offspring to play-pretend their adult roles, and our adult roles were expected to be gender-coded into housekeeping (from name-brand packages, for modernity) or working the assembly line to extrude those name-brand products in factories (or, for the white-collar guys, in cubicles). It’s really very cheering that today’s kids — both genders, although I’m sure there will be pink & purple ‘princess’ versions available for the holiday shopping season — are being taught that as adults, they’ll be expected to use their brains and produce what’s in their imaginations. Even if this iteration happens to be an overpriced corporate branding exercise…

Apart from dreaming & working for a brighter future, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Stonewall Inn Now 1st National Monument to LGBT Rights

President Obama made the announcement today:

Thanks, Obama! Open thread.



Two Clips…Or Magazines, If You Prefer, and a Reminder

For non-wingnut Floridians, one irritant at the edge of the shock and grief we feel after the massacre in Orlando has been watching our state’s wingnut politicians try to reconcile their past efforts in service of a similar brand of the bigotry that animated the killer with newfound public concern and sympathy for the slain. The pols have approached it in a variety of ways.

Florida’s incomparably vile governor, Rick Scott, who has spent millions of taxpayer dollars promoting and maintaining anti-gay laws, stole a page from Ronald Reagan’s “How to Ignore the AIDS Crisis” handbook, refusing to even utter the words “gay” or “LGBT” during his many post-massacre statements and TV appearances, as if the victims were targeted at random.

Slimy opportunist Marco Rubio, who opposes marriage equality, LGBT employment protections and adoption rights for gay couples, acknowledged that gay people were targeted in the attack but crassly used the massacre as an excuse to reconsider his decision not to run for reelection to his senate seat, now that he’s washed out of the presidential race and will soon have to find a real job.

And then there’s Florida AG Pam Bondi, who campaigned on a full-metal wingnut platform, vigorously opposed marriage equality with taxpayer dollars and is now trying to paint herself as a champion for LGBT Floridians. Anderson Cooper was having none of her bullshit:

Way to grill some Pammycakes, Mr. Cooper!

Next up, Samantha Bee expresses what many of us have been thinking in the wake of the latest mass shooting, including President Obama and Hillary Clinton, i.e., that it’s pretty fucking stupid to allow stores to sell a weapon capable of mowing down a room full of people in under a minute as if it were a common garden implement:

In the clip above, Bee refers to the assault weapon used in Orlando as an AR-15 because that’s what the early reports said the killer used. We now know it was actually a Sig Sauer MCX. The Washington Post issued a correction on that, no doubt in part to address the rage of the gun-humper community, which becomes weirdly disturbed when someone misidentifies a weapon…almost as if a personal body part were being slighted in some way.

I’m going to outsource my response to that annoying phenomenon to valued commenter Mnemosyne:

I don’t give a shit what the exact model of the gun was. I really don’t. IMO, getting into gun nerd discussions about the exact make and model is a deliberate attempt to get off into the weeds and pull the discussion away from the fact that 49 people were murdered. Forty. Nine. The exact type of gun used doesn’t fucking matter.

I don’t need to speak the gun hobbyists’ language. If they’re more concerned with the exact make and model than the fact that 49 people are dead, then we need to be discussing their lack of fucking empathy and human feeling, not gun models.

If hobbyists want to have that discussion among themselves, fine, but the whole the news didn’t have the exact make and model right! is misdirection, and we all know it.

Amen, sister. Amen.

And finally, a comment from Served, which was posted in that same thread linked above:

Just a note to everyone to reach out to any LGBT friends and family and tell them you love them. They need it more than ever.

Amen, Served. Amen.



ISIL Can’t Kill Us (But They Can Encourage Us to Kill Each Other)

Charles P. Pierce, in Esquire:

[B]efore we start talking about banning anyone from a Muslim country, or even before we wring our hands again about how easy it is to get your hands on an AR-15, a weapon that is built for, and exists only, to kill people in this country, we should all accept that, for all the advancements that have been made in ensuring equal rights for our fellow citizens who are gay, there is still a kind of virulent hate that we can see in its more polite forms in our legislatures and some of our courtrooms, and now we can see it in its most raw and unreconstructed form in our nightclubs.

The events in Orlando do nothing more than demolish our most treasured illusions about ourselves and our country and—most trivially—our politics. How many of the congresscritters now sending “thoughts and prayers” to the victims in Orlando, and to their families, spent a lot of time in their day jobs making the everyday lives of those victims more miserable than they had to be? There’s still an audience for clean-shaven, well-tailored bigotry of all faiths.

Yes, it appears that Mateen might have come to his violence through his religion, which will make him no different from practically any homophobe—including, I would point out, Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Atlanta Olympics. Allegedly, shortly before he opened fire, he called the local 911 operator and “pledged allegiance” (whatever that means to a guy walking into a club intending to slaughter 50 people) to ISIL, which has claimed responsibility, which is what it would do, under the circumstances.
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The Orlando Massacre: One Way to Help

From the GoFundMe page:

Equality Florida, the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization is collecting contributions via this GoFundMe page to support the victims of the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub…

Funds raised on this page will be going directly to the victims and families affected by the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. Equality Florida is working with local organizations – who are also helping to raise funds – to ensure the money is distributed properly. Thank you for the support!

You can also visit http://www.eqfl.org/news/pulse to get more information on vigils, counseling, and blood drives happening across the state. We’re also posting updates on Equality Florida’s Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/equalityfl…

Remember, circulating this link around your social media network helps, too. Let everyone know that we’re not defined by the monsters…
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