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‘The World According To Wonder’: Saluting the pioneers of alt and gay TV
03.05.2013
10:46 am
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The glorious RuPaul
 
Chloe Sevigny
 
Los Angeles-based World Of Wonder productions are marking 21 years in the business of televisual entertainment, and to celebrate they have just brought out a new coffee table book, The World According to Wonder featuring exclusive portraits of practically every person they have ever worked with; from stars like Pamela Anderson, RuPaul, Dita Von Teese, Elvira and John Waters, to many of their behind-the-scenes crew, and even the staff at their popular The WOW Report blog.

The list of portrait sitters for The World According to Wonder‘s photographers Idris & Tony and Mathiu Andersen is huge, and the book (which has been a few years in the making) is very impressive indeed. When I say “coffee table book,” I mean if you stuck legs on this thing, it would be its own coffee table. (It weighs 8lbs!)
 
James St James and companion “Harvey”
 

Chaz Bono and ex-partner Jennifer Elia
 
World Of Wonder have brought us some of the best television of the last 20 years, shows and documentaries like RuPaul’s Drag Race, Becoming Chaz, The Adam & Joe Show, The Divine David Presents, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Inside Deep Throat, Pornography: The Secret History Of Civilisation, Jon Ronson’s Crazy Rulers Of The World, and Party Monster: The Shockumentary (not forgetting Party Monster the feature film, starring Macaulay Culkin as Michael Alig, the murderous king of the NY club kids, which has gone on to influence a new generation of club kids and become a cult classic in its own right). 

Interspersed among the pictures is the story of World Of Wonder itself, eloquently and entertainingly told by the company’s founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato; from its beginnings in 80s New York, its early work with upcoming drag legend RuPaul and British TV station Channel 4, through expansion into full-length documentary features, all the way up to the present day, a slew of coveted awards and its position as brand leader for all things queer/drag/alt on television.

As an early 90s TV junkie, glued to late night BBC 2 and Channel 4—oh those really WERE the days!—this book brings back a lot of good memories (and reminders of forgotten but influential shows like Shock Video and Manhattan Cable) and it is inspiring and instructive to read how these shows came to be, directly form the people that made them. If there’s any message, here, I would say it is “believe in your vision and never take no for an answer” and The World According to Wonder is testament to how dreaming big, and thinking outside the box, can ultimately pay off.
 
Pamela Anderson
 
Sharon Needles
 
You can download the first chapter of The World According to Wonder as a pdf here.
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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03.05.2013
10:46 am
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Vintage transvestite fiction magazine covers
02.28.2013
09:51 am
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Transvestive magazine
 
My favorite aspect of vintage smut is its ability to explode any notion of a time of “orthodox” sexuality. These, for example, hearken back to a simpler time, when men were men—except when they weren’t.
 
Transvestive magazine
 
Transvestite magazine
 
Transvestite magazine
 
Via Bolerium Books

Posted by Amber Frost
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02.28.2013
09:51 am
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Westboro Baptist Church trolled—hard—by comedian


 
Comic “Brick Stone” (aka Dave Sirus) winds them up tighter and tighter as this goes on. Brilliant.

“Have you ever wondered how good gay sex must be if people are willing to go to Hell for it?”

And the line that saw my coffee go from my mouth to my keyboard:

“How do you respond to rumors that you’re 26?”

More fun at God Hates Brick Stone.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.26.2013
01:36 pm
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‘In the Shadow of the Sun’: A film collaboration between Derek Jarman and Throbbing Gristle
02.25.2013
08:45 pm
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namrajkerednusehtfowodahseht.jpg
 
1987

‘Hello Derek.’
‘Hello. I’m writing in my diary about James Anderton. What a ghastly man.’
‘Yes.’
‘He’s saying we’re living in a cesspit of our making. I mean, how absurd. What a horrid little man. How the supposed Chief Constable of Manchester can say such vile things. It just makes me more determined, you know what I mean? I want to make a film about it.’

Film was personal and political for Jarman. While most most cinema during the 1980s was vacuous, empty, full of sound and fury, Jarman made films that were infused with his life, his thoughts, his passions, his politics—even the biopic Caravaggio mixed-in elements from his life to that of the Renaissance artist.

Jarman was a painter who made movies.

1980

In the Shadow of the Sun is an extraordinary collaboration between Derek Jarman and Throbbring Gristle. It is a more personal work for Jarman, which mixes elements from 3 of Jarman’s Super-8 movies: Journey to Avebury (1971), Tarot (aka The Magician) (1972) and Fire Island (1974), into a dream-like film, filled with magick and ritual, which Throbbing Gristle’s music matches perfectly.

In the Shadow of the Sun was premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 1980. It contains many of Jarman’s favorite leitmotifs—mirrors, fires, dance—which he returned to again in the more political, The Last of England
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.25.2013
08:45 pm
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Salvador Dali’s transsexual muse Amanda Lear in her first TV commercial, 1967
02.25.2013
02:17 pm
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Lear photographed by David Bailey for the December 1971 Dali-edited issue of French Vogue.

The glamorous Amanda Lear in her first TV commercial appearance, circa 1967, for Révillon’s Detchema fragrance.

The music is by cult figure French soundtrack composer, François de Roubaix.
 


Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.25.2013
02:17 pm
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Homophobic crazypants Orson Scott Card to write new Superman comic
02.21.2013
12:40 pm
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gay superman
Even at their most reactionary, superhero comics are still sooooo gay!
 
Orson Scott Card is considered one of the greatest living science fiction writers, with his Enders Game series one of the most influential franchises in the genre.

He’s also a practicing Mormon, a crazypants homophobe, and a member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage!

So it’s kind of baffling that DC comics just hired him to write two issues of their brand new digital Superman comic.

Here are some of his interesting views on gay marriage:

Calling a homosexual contract “marriage” does not make it reproductively relevant and will not make it contribute in any meaningful way to the propagation of civilization.

In fact, it will do harm. Nowhere near as much harm as we have already done through divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing. But it’s another nail in the coffin. Maybe the last nail, precisely because it is the most obvious and outrageous attack on what is left of marriage in America.

Oh what the hell? Let’s throw in some crazy heteronormative, borderline eugenicist social Darwinist bullshit, for fun!

Monogamous marriage is by far the most effective foundation for a civilization. It provides most males an opportunity to mate (polygamous systems always result in surplus males that have no reproductive stake in society); it provides most females an opportunity to have a mate who is exclusively devoted to her. Those who are successful in mating are the ones who will have the strongest loyalty to the social order; so the system that provides reproductive success to the largest number is the system that will be most likely to keep a civilization alive.

Now it’s one thing to read a classic by an artist with bad ethics morals, or politics—we consume art all the time we know to be problematic, and we can still enjoy it without compromising our critical eye. It’s another thing entirely to hire a well-known bigot activist and expect his literary reputation to supplant his awful crusade.

In a 2008 editorial in the Desert News, Card threw this down:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

Nice! Clearly comics have their own problematic histories, but do DC comics really think it’s a genre that can succeed in a homophobic context? Do they not have eyeballs or live in this century?

Some comic stores are refusing to stock Card’s Superman issues and a petition has also been started to get DC to drop him.

Come on DC. Really? I mean really?

Posted by Amber Frost
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02.21.2013
12:40 pm
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Where Saying ‘I Love You’ Can Get You Put In Jail: Free Roger Mbédé
02.18.2013
06:49 pm
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ghjghghluahhjkhk.jpg
 
Most of us do it everyday without thinking. Tell that someone special we love them. But do it in Cameroon and you could end-up in gaol.

That’s what happened to Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, who was sentenced to 3-years in prison in 2011 for sending another man an SMS that read:

“I’m very much in love w/u.”

Mbédé was detained by Cameroon’s Secretary of State for Defense (SED) on “suspicion of homosexuality.”

He was formally charged with “homosexuality and attempted homosexuality” on March 9th, 2011.

He was then tried and on April 28th, 2011, Mbédé was found guilty on both charges and sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment at Kondengui Central Prison.

His sentencing was condemned by Human Rights Watch, who described it as “a gross violation of Mbede’s rights to freedom of expression and equality.”

In prison “many suspects were tortured or otherwise treated poorly in custody until they gave confessions, which were then used as evidence against them.

In 2011, 14 people were prosecuted for homosexuality, 12 were convicted.

Roger’s 3-year conviction led to a campaign by Amnesty International and Rights activists, which saw Roger provisionally released on bail in July 2012, on health grounds. However, an appeals court upheld the 3-year sentence against Roger.

All Out is running a campaign to help release Roger from jail:

Roger still has to serve 2 more years in jail under horrible conditions, but Cameroon’s President Biya could free Roger from this sentence and end the anti-gay laws that jailed him in the first place. Biya has made statements that could indicate he’s evolving ont his issue and he knows that Cameroon’s reputation is at stake.

All Out have started a petition to President Biya, and Justice Laurent Esso which reads:

TO: PRESIDENT BIYA AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE LAURENT ESSO

We call on you to free Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, who was jailed for sending a text message, and to place a moratorium on Cameroon’s discriminatory anti-gay laws.

These laws deny basic human rights to many Cameronians like Roger and create an environment of hostility and fear. End the use of laws that make it a crime to love who you choose and encourage their permanent repeal.

If you want to help with getting Roger released from prison then please sign and share this petition. Thank you.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.18.2013
06:49 pm
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Should Christians be forced to look at gay people?


 
Christian radio host Janet Mefferd cuts to the heart of the gay rights matter and says out loud what many will not: Many conservative Christians simply do no want to be forced to look at gay people.

Whether the homosexual activists like it or not, and I know this isn’t politically correct to say this, but not everybody wants to see that. I know that that’s offensive to the activist crowd, they want us all to see it, they want us all to approve of it, they want us all to call it blessed and okay and rejoice and have parties and throw confetti in the air over this whole thing. But the fact of the matter is it’s a moral issue. You will always have Christians who will disagree with this and why should the rights of the activists trump the rights of Christians?

By this same logic why should the rights of the black people have trumped the rights of Southern slave owners?

Got an answer for that one, Janet?

I’m sure you do. I’m equally sure that it’s fucking stupid and decidedly unscientific.

(And what about people who are offended by low IQ idiots like Janet Mefford, don’t we have any rights?)

Advice to Janet Mefferd from the Holy Book itself:

If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.

That’s right, Janet, gouge your own eyes out if you’re offended by gay people. The Bible IS the inerrant word of God, isn’t it? Out they go!

Barring that, stay at home and keep the door locked and the TV off. The 21st century is gonna really suck for you otherwise, doll.

Send a message to Janet Mefferd on Twitter.

Via Right Wing Watch/Joe.My.God.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.18.2013
01:49 pm
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William Burroughs on the Occult
02.11.2013
04:45 pm
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Two of the earliest things that I read by William Burroughs were The Job, a book’s worth of interviews conducted by Daniel Odier, along with some shorter pieces that focused on revolution (and revolutionary technology for lack of a better term) and The Third Mind, his enigmatic collaboration with painter Brion Gysin about the “cut-ups” literary technique, and its occult implications. The cuts-up technique holds that if you randomly rearrange words via chance operation, that you’ll find their “real” meaning or encourage some sort of prophecy to leak through. Sort of like those “Magnetic Poetry” refrigerator magnets used as a Ouija board, to put it simply…

The “occult Burroughs” is my favorite aspect of his work. When the topic veers towards the use of occult technology in the employment of revolution, I prefer that even more (like “The Revised Boy Scout Manual”).

Burroughs had a strong interest in the occult all of his life, but aside from his own writings, there were precious few interviews where he’s speaking openly about his magical interests. The interviews that come to mind immediately are the ones Vale did in RE/Search #4/5 and a late in life Q&A that (I think) was conducted by the great Kristine McKenna around the time of Burroughs’ big LACMA art show in 1996 (I can’t find it online). Burroughs’ major biography, Literary Outlaw by Ted Morgan, barely touches on the subject, as if a major component of his subject’s worldview had sailed right over Morgan’s head, although Barry Miles’ more sympathetic El Hombre Invisible is much more satisfying in this regard.

Below, William S. Burroughs lectures to his writing class at Naropa University, on “wishing machines,” the paranormal, synchronicity, propaganda and dreams. You can hear Allen Ginsberg’s voice in a couple of places. Taped in Boulder, Colorado on June 25,1986.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.11.2013
04:45 pm
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Outed Homophobes: The Supercut
02.01.2013
11:44 am
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Speaks for itself, does’t it?

(I dedicate this post to Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield, the closet-case numbnuts who introduced the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Call Ted Haggard, Stacey, he can help you!)

Via Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.01.2013
11:44 am
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