News Update

January 27, 2010 at 5:17 am (Uncategorized)

On NPR I heard a fellow speak of a possible silver lining in the recent disaster in Haiti, in terms of development and a beneficial rebuilding of their society a la Aceh in Indonesia. In my own world, a slight positive came in the form of Pat Robertson exposing himself as the damn fool/evil maniac he is. His comment about Haiti having made “a pact with the devil” was both horrific and totally in line with his general prejudiced worldview. For too long he has been allowed to pontificate as to his hatred of gays as though he were vaguely sane- hopefully we can all dismiss him now as the nutjob he is. Another positive comes in the appointment of Amanda Simpson. For the first time in history, a transgendered politician has been honored as a senior technical advisor for the Department of Commerce. Amanda Simpson now joins the ranks of the few transgender presidential appointees to the federal government in our nation’s history. Amanda, an aerospace and defense veteran, released a statement to the National Center for Transgender Equality saying:
“I’m truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me. And at the same time, as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others.” I think the conversation about whether a two gender society should persist is just beginning. You can check out the NY Times archives on Caster Semenya, whose gender sparked an Olympic sized controversy here. And finally an interesting article talking about mental illness across cultures. I have been aware that what crazy is depends on cultural context ( heck, being gay and trans was in the DSM like yesterday) but this article gave me a new perspective. It talks about how craziness presents differently depending on the time and place but how recently American forms of mental illness and treatment (ala anorexia and meds etc) have been sweeping the globe McDonalds style. Scary! Diversity is good, even in the realm of crazy folks….aqui esta!

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Where my Jews at ?

January 23, 2010 at 3:10 am (israel, Uncategorized)

Any kippahs in the club ?

When I recently moved to LA one of the things that excited me was the prospect of living in a city with a visible jewish population. I had very much enjoyed while living in NYC walking through the ultra-orthodox neighborhoods. I was looking forward to again enjoying the sight of Jews. I can’t help myself; there is a certain (perhaps voyeuristic) glee that comes for me when I see folks who are visible jewish. I often get excited when I think I see a kippah on someone’s head and then get a little disappointed if its a trick of light or some other mischief. And so although I live in Koreatown, owing to its wealth of cute babies, I planned to at least visit the Jews. In Seattle I often ate lunch across the street from one of the two orthodox shuls there. It happened to be close to my workplace and hopefully they didnt think I was a looney. This is how I find myself at 2 am googling things like Israelis in LA, Israeli restaurants and Best Felafel. The Israeli consulate is not much of a prize in reward for my search. When I ask friends about where I can see some Jews, it becomes clear that like everything else here, it is more dispersed than i’m used to. I’m told Robertson and Olympic, Pico and Fairfax, The Fairfax district generally, Wilshire and La Brea. But when I go to check it out, liked many of the hyped neighborhood attractions ( silverlake, los feliz), when I get there it underwhelms. There are supposed to be mad Jews here? Where they at? A drive on Robertson at night reveals noone at all. Do Jews not go out at night? Are we the opposite of vampires? I want to go to a club and see some dudes in kippot. In a city this big you’d think it could happen…Are a couple of Israeli stores as good as it gets? If I want to see a crowd of Jews am I S.O.L here?

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Eminem-Homophobia; what’s his deal?

January 12, 2010 at 6:45 am (queerspawn) (, , , , )

A friend pointed out that between the various posts I seem to have tackled the subject of homophobia and hip hop. This is not a first for me, freshman year in college I wrote a rap entitled “homophobia is wack” for a obligatory expository writing class. In said rap I proclaimed that MC’s could definitely lose the homophobia and still be cool. “Naw, it’s part of hip hop culture,” my friend counters. But Kanye ( before the no-homo bit) had said he’s not a homophobe and everyone liked him(until the taylor siwft thing) and the jury is still out on Lil’ Wayne, right ? (see previous post)
And then there’s Eminem. Up until now i’ve considered him too ridiculous to even worry about. I didn’t buy his albums, didn’t lose much sleep over it. I don’t care whether he’s serious or not, as much as I don’t really want to listen to him talking shit about fags. Sample lyrics in “Kill You”: “You faggots keep eggin’ me on/til I have you at knifepoint, then you beg me to stop?/SHUT UP! Give me your hands and feet/I said SHUT UP when I’m talkin’ to you/YOU HEAR ME? ANSWER ME!”. I can live without it. But my friend is a fan and the more I was forced to listen in his car the more confusing Eminem became. The dude is way gay. A internet search reveals lots of people believe him to be a closet case. On his album Relapse, Homo-erotic ennuendo abound. I hear his newest release- Refill is even gayer. What’s his deal? Self-hating? On Relapse, he talks about being molested- who knows seriously or not. I know some homophobes who got molested as kids and have turn their worry over that making them gay into prejudice. In the end I care much less about what his personal feelings are and more about what effect all this might have on the fourteen year olds listening to it. On the other hand I listened to Nine Inch Nails talking about I wanna fuck you like an animal and I didnt become a deviant right? oh wait.

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