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Dilemma for Dumbshits: If Chick-fil-A stops anti-gay donations, will there be a right-wing backlash?


 
Rumors have been floating about for a few weeks now that Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy has been interested in wiping the shit he stepped in earlier this year—when he declared himself “Guilty as charged” for supporting anti-LGBT political groups like Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage, including some that heave been called “hate groups”—off his corporate shoes.

Although I commend Mr. Cathy for stopping his multi-million dollar donations to anti-gay groups—if this rumor is in fact true and doesn’t turn out to be a Yes Men-style prank aiming to “punk” the delicious fast food chicken sandwich chain preferred by bigots, homophobic Christians, Fox News viewers, Drudge and Breitbart readers and talk radio fans—I can’t help but wonder how this news will play in red states and in the far right blogosphere.

The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), Illinois’ leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights advocacy organization, has learned that Alderman Moreno has finalized his negotiations with Chick-Fil-A.  Alderman Moreno has confirmed that Chick-fil-A will no longer give money to anti-gay organizations and that they have clarified in an internal document that the company will treat every person equally, regardless of sexual orientation. The Civil Rights Agenda worked closely with the Alderman in an advisory role as he negotiated these concessions with the executives at Chick-fil-A.  Additionally, members of TCRA spoke directly with executives at Chick-fil-A during negotiations to aid in educating their decision makers about anti-discrimination policies and issues affecting the LGBT community.

—snip—

Additionally, they have sent an internal memo to franchisees and stakeholders that states that as a company, they will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender” and that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates.”  This statement was placed into an official company document called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.

Last Friday, Tara and I went to see Aziz Ansari’s wicked good stand-up show at the Orpheum Theater in downton Los Angeles. At one point, he was riffing on the whole Chick-fil-A controversy and lamenting that he could no longer, in good faith, eat there and indirectly support bigoted organizations that oppose full civil rights for his LGBT friends. Many of you reading this feel his pain.

As he did the bit—I’m embarrassed to admit to this, but it’s true—I did the mental calculation in my head of how much of the price of a single peach milkshake would end up going into the coffers of an anti-gay group and debated on whether or not it was okay if I had one, just one, on the way home (My beautiful wife nixed this idea before it even got all the way out of my mouth, incidentally).

So if this new news is true, then Aziz Ansari and I can eat at Chick-fil-A again with clear consciences. Bearing this in mind, the flipside of feeling GOOD about the today’s announcement, or the widely-reported rumor I should say, that Chick-fil-A will no longer donate to anti-LGBT groups, is how this information might be processed by the far reich crowd?

Tell me that the likes of Dana Loesch, or Michelle Malkin won’t feel BETRAYED and FIRE-SPITTING FURIOUS by the fast food chain COWARDLY WITHDRAWING FROM THE FIGHT FOR ‘TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN VALUES.’ It’s gonna happen.

All the assholes who giddily participated in the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, waiting hours in line to stuff their faces full of fried chicken sandwiches to stick it to them uppity gays (and in support of “free speech” and Jeebus of course) are going to feel, well, butthurt by the news. Can a Sarah Palin-led Chick-fil-A backlash be far behind?

I hope Palin goes for the (fool’s) gold. It’s probably her very, very last chance to be relevant again. Her fifteen minutes of fame has about five seconds left, but leading a populist revolt against Chick-fil-A could re-start the clock for the fading celebrity of the half-term Alaska governor. Glenn Beck is probably wondering how he can hop on this train himself. Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Allen West, Michael Savage… who will be the first one of them to go there and accuse Chick-fil-A of cowardly betraying Christian Conservatives?

I’m also counting down the seconds before I get an “email alert” from wingnut central, WorldNetDaily, asking (because they always phrase things in the form of a question there, just like I did with the title here, in their honor): “GUESS WHO is no longer supporting the traditional Christian marriage definition of “one man, one woman”? The answer will SHOCK YOU” and then you’ll have to link to their website for the answer.

Five, four, three, two, one…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Divine & Holly Woodlawn discuss ‘The Neon Woman’, 1979
09.19.2012
10:10 am

Topics:
Heroes
Queer
Television

Tags:


 
Here’s something to make up for that Divine interview on The Tube I posted on Monday - a whole thirty minutes of Genn Harris Milstead discussing Divine’s role in the 1979 theater production of The Neon Woman.

The interview is hosted by TV personality Tom Snyder, and also on hand are The Neon Woman‘s director Ron Link and Divine’s co-star (and another stone cold legend of drag/gender-bending and Warhol’s Factory scene) Holly Woodlawn.

There’s still a bit of a naff “wtf?” tone to Snyder’s questioning, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Muriel Grey’s Divine inquisition on The Tube. In fact, Snyder does a decent enough job of eventually getting past his own preconceptions and treating Divine and Woodlawn not as freaks, but as human beings with something interesting and intelligent to say.

This interview was taped for NBC’s Tomorrow show in 1979, and appears on YouTube in three parts. The quality isn’t immaculate, but it’s not terrible either, and it’s just a joy to see these people in the same room together hanging out and shooting the shit:

Divine and Holly Woodlawn on Tomorrow, 1979, part one:
 

 
After the jump, parts two and three…
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
 
Divine in highlights form ‘The Neon Woman’ from 1978
 
Awkward interview with Divine on ‘The Tube’, 1983
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Awkward interview with Divine on ‘The Tube’, 1983
09.17.2012
03:34 pm

Topics:
Dance
Heroes
Queer
Television

Tags:


Glenn Harris Milstead, aka Divine
 
Or to be more precise, here’s a very awkward interview with an out-of-drag Glenn Harris Milstead on the British music television show The Tube, from 1983, which is followed by an excellent performance by Divine of her club hit “Shake It Up.”

While it’s understandable that straight-laced, square TV presenters might not know what to make of Divine (whose very raison d’être was to make people laugh by overturning preconceptions of gender and beauty), you would expect the producers of a supposedly hip, youth-oriented TV show like The Tube to be a bit more switched on.

Instead we get an interview by the bumbling Muriel Grey in which she suggests that Divine is insecure, repulsive, and somehow an affront to women. The hapless Grey comes across as the dullest of squares in this clip, which I guess is a danger to be considered when you go up against a glamor icon like Divine, but unfortunately Grey has previous form in conducting cringe-worthy interviews.

Thankfully, Milstead takes it all in his rather large stride, and reacts with the grace befitting a true star:
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Derek Jarman: Interviewed on Spanish TV from 1989
09.08.2012
08:29 pm

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Movies
Queer
Television
Thinkers

Tags:

king_derek_jarman
 
When asked how he felt about the fact he’d received £400,000 to make Caravaggio in 1986, and the director of Chariots of Fire, Hugh Hudson had received 4 million to make his film, Derek Jarman replied, ‘Fortunately, I’m one hundred times more intelligent than Hugh Hudson, so it doesn’t matter.’

It certainly didn’t matter as Jarman’s output, during his 20-year career, pisses from a great height on Hudson’s work. What Jarman would have made of this year’s London Olympics, with its recurring reference to Chariots of Fire, would certainly have been interesting. Yet, Jarman was never fooled by his position as an outsider, he was well aware that there ‘is a complicity between the avant-garde and the establishment, it’s symbiotic, they need each other,’ as he explained to Peter Culshaw in the NME, April, 1986.

‘..all avant-garde gestures have been appropriated by just those people they sought to undermine. Dada was conceived as a full-scale assault and now Dada sells for millions. But what people never point out about me is that I’m probably the most conservative film-maker in the country. I’m not talking about Thatcherite-radical conservatives, who are anti-traditional and destructive, and who see progress as heaven, I mean more like the conservatism of groups like the Green Party.’

The artist Caravaggio fascinated Jarman, because ‘he was the most inspired religious painter of the Middle Ages and was also a murderer.’

‘Imagine if Shakespeare had been a murderer - it would completely alter the way we see his plays. [Caravaggio] was particularly taken to heart by the Romans because he painted real people. The girl next door was Mary Magdalen. Or in Death of a Virgin he painted a well-known prostitute as a virgin. It was the equivalent of Christine Keeler being put up over the high altar at Westminster Abbey.’

Jarman felt a tremendous parallel between Caravaggio and his own life, and he believed that ‘the cinema of the product precludes individual voices…’

‘...and I think unless one can put one’s own voice into a film, then there’s an element of dishonesty in it.’

In this short interview Derek Jarman talks about his life and films, Caravaggio, The Last of England and War Requiem,  taken from Spanish TV’s Metropolis from 1989.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

‘Glitterbug’: Derek Jarman’s final film


Photo-spread of Derek Jarman’s ‘Jubilee’, from 1978


 
Bonus interview of Jarman talking about ‘Caravaggio’, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Ann Romney can be a guest on ‘Modern Family’ when gay marriage is legal, says co-creator
08.30.2012
10:54 am

Topics:
Amusing
Queer
Television
The wrong side of history

Tags:


 
It’s well-known to be the only weekly TV series that President Obama watches with his daughters and on Tuesday, Ann Romney told Entertainment Tonight that Modern Family is her favorite show, too.

Modern Family co-creator Steven Levitan responded on Twitter:

“Thrilled Ann Romney says ModFam is her favorite show. We’ll offer her the role of officiant at Mitch & Cam’s wedding. As soon as it’s legal.”

 

 
Nice one. Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays uptight lawyer, Mitch, on Modern Family chimed in with:
 

I have to say, I’m actually thrilled Mitt & Ann Romney love “Modern Family”. I hope it sparks something in them! #Equality

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Hijabis sing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: Though rock ‘n’ roll is banned in Iran, Queen is still king
08.19.2012
10:06 pm

Topics:
Music
Queer

Tags:

Freddie Mercury
 
While one more rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” might be enough to drive one to Queen overload (as if that is humanly possibly), when we remember that “Western Music” is forbidden in Iran, and homosexuality is punishable by death, the sight of Iranian men and women (badly) singing a Queen song takes on new meaning.

In 1979, the Islamic Revolution spurred a rejection of all things “Western,” and rock ‘n’ roll was one of its causalities. Until the 90’s, all rock music was banned. Today most Iranian rock bands operate underground or flee to other countries to play (like New York’s own The Yellow Dogs). Some rockers skirt the rules by placing traditional Persian poetry over classic rock melodies. Others play instrumental music (metal is big), or write fairly “safe” lyrics in Farsi and submit them for approval from the Ministry of Culture.

So why were the Iranian representatives for the World Choir Games able to perform Queen? Well, Freddie Mercury, also known as Farrokh Bulsara, was Parsi, a Persian ethnic group that commonly practices Zoroastrianism. Growing up in India and Zanzibar, Mercury’s Zoroastrian funeral was noted after his death, but his ethnic identity was never a secret. Illegal Queen bootlegs have been floating around Iran forever, but in 2004, the first legal classic rock album was released, Queen’s Greatest Hits.

There were even translations of the songs in the liner notes, though “Bohemian Rhapsody” already had the Arabic word for God (“Bismillah”) proclaimed by the protagonist in a plea for redemption. Love songs (and presumably “Fat-Bottomed Girls”) were cut, but Mercury’s heritage and underground Queen fans greased the wheels for the Ministry of Culture. With a bisexual frontman and a sound steeped in American rock ‘n’ roll, Queen’s connection to the Persian world has been lauded by Iranian rockers since the beginning.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Happy (Belated) Birthday to Lady Bunny
08.15.2012
08:11 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Pop Culture
Queer

Tags:


 
We couldn’t let the occasion of Lady Bunny’s birthday pass without doing a post to mark it (even if it was yesterday.) She ain’t no spring chicken, but she’s as rulin’ as ever.

And here’s the proof, some seldom-seen footage of Lady Bunny performing in 1986, filmed by New York nightlife chronicler, and friend of DM, Nelson Sullivan. The “psychedelic disco” act is called SHAZORK and also features Sister Dimension and DJ Dmitry (later of Deee-Lite.) Who knew Bunny could sing this well? And I love Sister Dimension’s smurf-like outfit!

Here’s to you Bunny!
 


 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:

‘The Ballad Of Sarah Palin’ by Lady Bunny
Lady Bunny’s ‘West Virginia Gurls’
Nelson Sullivan: pioneering chronicler of NYC nightlife in the 1980s

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Commemorative Coin commercial
08.15.2012
01:38 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Idiocracy
Queer
The wrong side of history

Tags:


 
When I first saw the item about this on Joe.My.God. I automatically assumed that it was authentic because, well, if these things were real they’d probably sell millions of them.

A gay rights group should sell a similar item as a stealth fundraiser and separate some bigoted fools from their money (again).
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Riots Not Diets: exclusive video premiere from London’s Covergirl
08.10.2012
11:09 am

Topics:
Music
Punk
Queer

Tags:


 
Covergirl are part of a new wave of politically-minded, queer/gay/femme/whatever-core bands that are popping up all over the UK (and the world, in fact) and sowing the seeds of a new, healthy, d.i.y. underground scene.

Covergirl take their musical cues in part from post-punk and post-disco, mixing up raw guitars and wailing synths with insistent, driving rhythms. Their outlook comes from Riot Grrrl, punk 7"s and zine-culture, but by way of the no-budget-yet-glamorous catwalking of RuPaul and the queens of Paris Is Burning. Their name, in fact, comes from a RuPaul song, but don’t let that fool you. The band has more in common with the ripped-up-punk-drag of RuPaul 25 years ago than it does with today’s polished TV host. 

I was lucky enough to catch Covergirl live in London a few months ago (when they bizarrely asked Joyce D’Vision to open for them) and can report back that they are blinding. Now Dangerous Minds is lucky enough to get a world exclusive from the band, the premiere of their new video “Ice Father Nation”. On top of which, I sent Covergirl’s co-leader Andrew Milk some questions to get his head around for our readers:

Describe Covergirl to me in a dozen words or less:

A post-punk-party band. Serious about having fun.

What was the inspiration to form the band and when did you start?

I think we started in 2010, I guess spurred on by our other bands having recently broken up or being on hiatus at the time and wanting to do something new.

Can you tell me a bit more about Tuff Enuff, the label this is coming out on?

‘Tuff Enuff Records’ has appeared out of the Riots Not Diets collective in Brighton. Our friend Toby runs it and puts on awesome gigs/film screenings and more! ‘Ice Father Nation’ is taken from their first ever release, “Why Diet When You Can Riot”, a compilation 12”. I’m sure they have plans to release more. their website says ‘descended from Irrk’  - which is a legendary, but little known queer/feminist record label some amazing people ran in the early/mid-Noughties. Serious pedigree!

Who else is featured on the release?

Halo Halo, Ste McCabe, Skinny Girl Diet - so many amazing bands, you can check them all out on the bandcamp page.

I’ve heard a lot about Power Lunches, the venue featured in the video - can you tell me more about it?

It’s an independent venue in East London, run by a pal of ours. She’s a musician and wanted a space that worked as an affordable practice room/gig venue where you could get great and healthy food instead of the usual things you’d eat as a cash strapped musician (crisps and a Tesco sandwich.) A pretty specific dream, but what’s the point of putting the hard slog in if it’s not for something you’d really want for yourself? it’s a cafe/bar upstairs and an ‘intimate’ sweat box of a venue downstairs. Lots of bands and promoters have got behind it which is great. it’s our home away from home.

And how is the East London scene in general at the moment? How are the Olympics going down there?

The Olympics are weirdly not affecting us that much, it does feel a little quiet but i think that always happens this time of year, people stay out, drinking in parks, not putting on or going to gigs. Also i think the same amount of people left London as have come in… So if you’re not in the vicinity of the Olympic Village or whatever, it’s pretty empty. The weirdest thing is being able to see this nuclear glow covering Stratford from the balcony of my flat.

Thanks, Andrew!

Andrew also runs the rather fine Milk Records, who have released music by Woolf, Trash Kit, Ultimate Thrush and the mighty Divorce. You can check Milk Records here, but in the meantime, here’s the video for Covergirl’s “Ice Father Nation”:
 

 
You can connect with Covergirl on Facebook here. You can listen to, and pre-order (if it’s not sold out) the Why Diet When You Can Riot LP at the Riots Not Diets bandcamp page.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘Goodbye, Dad’: Son comes out as gay; father does something shitty and small


 
Redditor RegBarc posted a scan of the seriously misguided letter that his father sent him when he revealed that he was gay on reddit/r/atheism:

“5 years ago, I was disowned via letter when I came out to my father. This is how hate sounds.”

If you’re having trouble reading the letter, you can find a larger version here.

The most popular response came from the father of an adopted gay son, who goes by the handle, newvideoaz, apparently his first post on reddit. I think you’ll agree that it’s a pretty remarkable retort:

RegBarc,

I’m the adoptive dad of a kid who came out when he was about 15. Yeah it’s sometimes difficult when this happens because no parent wants to see a kid we love get hurt - and like it or not - being gay can mean some people will wish you ill simply for who you are.
And that’s hard for any parent. But it’s no excuse.

As an adoptive parent, I’m not my kids “father.” That’s biological. But I am his Dad. Because “Dad” isn’t something that’s actually biological, it’s something you have to earn.

With my son , I started to earn it the day he was born, but it was pretty easy until his second year when he had an accident and got hurt. The doctor in the ER strapped him to the “papoose board” to immobilize him and was about to start stitching up his head when he told me it was time for me to let go of his little hand. He looked up at me and whatever he saw in my face, he instantly said “or you can stay I guess.” I have no clue what he saw, except the fact that getting me to let go of that tiny hand was about as possible one of us jumping up through the ceiling to the moon.

The lesson for me that day is that any idiot can be a father (and clearly many are) but you’ve got to EARN being a Dad.

When my son came out to us, same deal. I was concerned, because I never had to deal with it before in someone I love. But we simply hooked him up with 1 in 10 and went on with our lives.

So here’s the opinion of someone who’s been in your dad’s shoes, but didn’t have his sad mental baggage.

Your dad failed a really huge parenting test. Period.

So now he’s self selected to be your father, but not to be your Dad. That sucks. And the really sad thing is that he has absolutely no freaking clue about the real value of what he’s tossed away.

He’ll always be your father. That’s biology. But biology is fickle. We know this because while he has perhaps passed a lot to you via DNA, he did NOT pass along intolerance or stupidity. He can “disown” you in his brain all he likes, but that doesn’t mean much because he’s already proved that whatever his strengths might be, he’s allowed his thought processes and natural instincts to become seriously flawed. How you feel about him. Hurt, sad, angry, disappointed, that’s yours to shuffle as you see fit.

But trust me, this is about him, not you. I actually hope that someday he gets a change to look deeply in his heart and comes to understand how horribly, terribly he screwed this up. If so, he’ll maybe have a chance to start some personal redemption and healing. But he needs that. You don’t.

Cuz there’s nothing wrong with you. At all.

Stay strong. Take care. The world is changing fast. And for more people than ever, gay and straight, it’s changing more toward love and away from fear - at least in this particular area.

Take care.

As they say on the Internet: ONIONS!

Of course, reddit being reddit, a couple of quipsters threw in some zingers:

“You should to his funeral and read that letter as your speech.”

“This would be the greatest ‘fuck you’ ever. Oh my god I’m so giddy right now.”

“And have it buried with him.”

“Burn it. And while it’s on fire, throw it in his casket. That guy doesn’t deserve the casket he’s in.”

Can’t say I disagree. What a fucking small-minded dickhead. I sincerely hope that he is made aware of how he’s being ridiculed. He, at the very, very least deserves that knowledge.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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