Jul 31

Guest Post from Avitable: I’m Coming Out

The Church of AvitableWhen Jester asked me to write a guest post, I realized that this was my chance to speak up for the straight male. Since, obviously, every member of Jester’s audience except for me is a gay male, I know that there are a lot of stereotypes and assumptions made about straight men, what they do, and how they think. And finally, I can set the record straight, as the unofficially appointed spokesperson for the straight American male.

So here you go, gays – a day in the life of the typical straight male:

I usually wake up to my iPod alarm playing one of my favorite bands, whether it’s ABBA, Concrete Blonde, Britney, Lindsay, Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, K’s Choice, Hillary Duff, or Avril Lavigne. I’ll lie in bed for a little while jamming to the music before waking up. Then, it’s off to the shower where I pamper myself with a nice pomegranate mango body wash, wash my face and hair with some Aveda facial moisturizer and Aveda rosemary mint shampoo, and moisturize with some excellent BBW vanilla and brown sugar body lotion.

My work takes up most of my day, but I spend some time on the web, reading The Superficial and Perez Hilton, talking about the Bachelor on a message board, and catching up on last night’s Oprah.

When I get home, I’ll make a nice cosmopolitan or a sour apple martini and watch a recorded show on the DVR. Whether it’s old episodes of Gilmore Girls or Six Feet Under, it will put me in a relaxing mood, and if I’m feeling particularly festive, I’ll put in a DVD – usually something by Pedro Almodovar or Sofia Coppola, or maybe watch Torch Song Trilogy, Chuck and Buck, or Priscilla again.

And then, after a normal night, I’ll go to bed and usually dream about Legolas, that middle Hanson girl, or that scene in All the Right Moves. And the cycle continues. Well, except for holidays, when I’ll have a nice spiced cider and sit around and rock out to Meredith Brooks while watching Tyra – she is such a bitch!

So, hopefully, after reading this, some of you insensitive fuckers will realize that us straight men are sick of being stereotyped and judged for things you think we do. Gay men like to lock us in the closet of prejudice and make snap judgments. Well, here’s one straight man who is asking – nay, demanding, to be let out.

Jul 30

A Sour Note

I have an acquaintance that I talk to on online on occasion. He lives in the same town as I, and I’ve seen him in person once. He’s quite a bit younger, and is a concert violinist.

We had this exchange this evening:

him
9:58
i never thought i would love schubert
but i’m not hating practicing it like i used to

Jester
9:58
what did you have against schubert?

him
9:59
second violin parts are boring

Jester
9:59
isn’t that usually the case?

him
9:59
more so with schubert

Jester
9:59
no one strives to be a second violin

him
9:59
ouch

Jester
10:00
heh. you know what I mean

him
10:00
burn

Jester
10:00
that might be the geekiest insult I’ve ever lobbed.

Jul 30

Caption Me

Here’s this week’s Caption Me post.

Tight Fit

Here’s my submission: “The Big Three automakers announced with much fanfare this afternoon, a revolution in car safety standards: personal airbags.”

Jul 29

Ways to a Happier Life

I found the link to this list over at Wil Wheaton’s place.

Check out the list of 30 random ways to a happier life.

Are there any you would add to the list?

Jul 26

Blowing My Own Horn

… no… not that.

You’re Dirrrrrrrty!

No, I’m talking about the two projects that I have been working on for quite some time. It just so happens that they got released at the same time. (Note to self: In the future, don’t try to release multiple sites at the same time.)

First, I’d like to point everyone over to Killer and Liz’s new website. Killer approached me several months ago about designing a new home for all their beer, gaseous emissions, ball sweat, and throw pillows. I agreed, and got him set up on my server, reserved his domain name, and waited for the banner artwork to come from his friend Clib.

Killer and Liz decided they wanted a space where they could have separate blogrolls, separate reading and music lists, and some way to differentiate between the posts based on author. That sort of made my original plan to develop the site in WordPress problematic. WordPress is a fantastic program for publishing a typical blog, but it’s not designed to be truly used as a content management system.

I turned to my talented (and patient) friend Dan for suggestions. We considered Drupal and Mambo and finally settled on Expression Engine, which he painstakingly helped me code (who am I kidding… he did 98% of the programming, I wrote all the html and css).

I then proceeded to redesign the look of the site no less than four times. You know how you can put away something you’ve been writing or working on, come back to it the next day and think, “WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?” Yeah. I did a bunch of that.

I finally settled on a plan that would allow Killer and Liz to have their own sections on the website, plus a combined blog that pulled everything together. I managed to work in the Blue and Pink color scheme that was requested (despite a brown, red, and orange banner). Yay me.

Anyway, I hope you’ll take a moment to go kick the tires on their new trailer and have a look around.

And while you’re in an exploration mood, head over to the other site that Dan and I have poured an unbelievable amount of time into, you know, San Francisco’s Premiere 70’s and 80’s Rock/Pop Party Band, Total Eclipse Band! If you saw the old site, you’ll know it’s a huge change.

Don’t miss all the new demo songs on the Jukebox. Sign up for our newsletter, or check out the articles for clients or bands. There are a few more minor changes that need to be made. That, and I need to write more articles, but that’s typical.

Now, I’m going to go have myself a celebratory glass of wine, though I shouldn’t mix it with the medicine I’m on to try and kick this bronchitis stuff I’ve had for a couple of weeks.

And yeah, if you know anyone who needs a website designed, we’ve got room on my calendar. (If Dan is still willing to work with me.:D )

Jul 25

So Not Gay Covers

With all the ballyhoo flying around here, and the assertion that some people have made about guys who sing girl songs equaling the “gayest band ever.” I thought it would be fun to find a few female songs that have been covered by guys to determine their relative “gayness.”

I hope you enjoy some so not gay covers:

(Hit Me) Baby One More Time – original: Britney Spears cover: Travis

[audio:BabyOneMoreTime.mp3]

I Think We’re Alone Now – original: Tommy James, covered and made popular by Tiffany in the 80’s, and covered again by The Click Five.

[audio:IThinkWereAloneNow.mp3]

Straight Up – original: Paula Abdul cover: Hallifax

[audio:StraightUp.mp3]

Time Is On My Side – original: Irma Thomas cover: The Rolling Stones

[audio:TimeIsOnMySide.mp3]

Hound Dog – original: Big Mama Thornton cover: Elvis Presley

[audio:HoundDog.mp3]

and maybe the most so not gay cover ever:

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – original: Joan Baez cover: Led Zeppelin

[audio:BabeImGonnaLeaveYou.mp3]

Guess that I really do love gay bands.

Jul 24

Man Candy on Tuesday

The fine folks over at AfterElton.com have published their list of the Hottest 100 guys based on a poll of only gay and bi guys. Funny how this list doesn’t really match up with People Magazine’s list much at all.

I’d like to direct your attention to:

Number 11
Christian Bale

Number 16
Mario Lopez

Number 18
Ian Somerhalder

Number 26
Wentworth Miller

Number 27
Tom Welling

And
And
And…

Jul 22

There’s Gotta Be Mascara in Heaven

Tammy Faye Bakker MessnerI’m sure you’ve heard the news by now that Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner passed away on Friday. She was on Larry King on Thursday, and within a few hours after the interview she died. The media wasn’t alerted, instead the family chose to let Larry break the news on Saturday.

A couple of people have asked me why gay people love Tammy. As you know I speak for all gay people; I am often consulted on major gay issues, such as the “evolution” of language as it relates to homosexuality and discrimination.*

Tammy Faye Bakker MessnerHere’s my explanation: First, it’s the hair and makeup. While many people in my age group may argue and say that the definitive 80’s look was embodied by either the band “Flock of Seagulls,” “Duran Duran,” or the guys from “Miami Vice,” I would say they are all wrong. Nothing holds a candle to the teased bird’s nest of red-highlighted blonde hair piled on top of the entire Max Factor explosion that was going on in the general eye, cheeks, and lips area of her face, and always the pant suits with shoulder pads and fur, lots of fur.

There was something transfixing about watching the floods of black mascara streaming down the crying face of Tammy Faye. She was always crying, whether from the sheer joy of feeling her God’s love, the thought of all the money the PTL Club was raking in during its heyday, or whether from the embarrassment of her husband’s sex and financial scandals.

Through it all, though I’m sure it was offered, she passed on water-proof mascara. The raccoon look was her trademark, and she wasn’t about to disappoint the legions of drag queens who adopted her “the-higher-the-hair-the-closer-to-God” persona.

Second, Tammy Faye was the first, and dare I say most genuine, public Christian-faith celebrity/figure to embrace homosexuals and treat them as human beings. When the AIDS crisis came to light in the early 80’s, while other evangelists were using the disease as an example of God’s wrath on the wicked, Tammy offered them support and a shoulder. She interviewed AIDS patients on PTL Club broadcasts.** She called upon her fellow Christians to volunteer and show compassion for the afflicted. She implored them to follow Christ’s teachings and cast no judgment.***

The gay community in return began to trust her, and historically gays are very loyal. I was a pre-teen during the height of the AIDS crisis, but even I knew of Tammy and her teachings that were radically different from other evangelists that seemed to be on every station. I didn’t really grasp the concept of homosexuality. I understood that there was a mystery disease out there that made men look gaunt and skeletal, with wounds on their faces and thin hair. I also understood that most people seemed to think these guys got what they deserved.

Not Tammy.

After all the dramas and scandals, the gay community supported Tammy in return. She recently said this on Larry King:

Tammy Faye Bakker Messner

When I went — when we lost everything, it was the gay people that came to my rescue, and I will always love them for that.

Finally, Tammy suffered through publicly humiliating scandals that put her husband in jail and destroyed the ministry that they had spent years building. The dirty laundry from her husband’s extra-marital tryst with Jessica Hahn was waved through the air like a championship flag. Jerry Falwell ripped what was left of her company out from underneath her and trashed her name to the army of the righteous.

Then when the next monthly televangelist scandal broke and she was left with virtually nothing but a lying, cheating, prisoner for a husband, she was diagnosed with cancer for the first time.

And throughout every agonizing moment, Tammy remained composed, humble, and steadfast in her faith.

If there are only two things that the gay community can understand, they would be

  • remaining strong in the face of adversity, and
  • always having on just the right amount of mascara.

* Sarcasm Alert Code: Red!

** Can you imagine the first guy that got that interview request… “You want me to go on WHAT show??”

*** When was the last time you heard a public Christian figure dare suggest something radical like that?

Jul 21

Dear Doctor

Today when you are performing the colonoscopy on King George would you mind extracting his head?

Thanks much!

Jester

Jul 21

Jester Responds to Webmiztris

Since there were so many disparaging and negative comments being hurled my direction over at Dawn’s blog, I popped in and left what I hope to be my final comment on her site. (I’m not linking to it here, you can easily find her site by doing a search, or going a few posts back.) I’m posting my response here, so that you don’t feel compelled to click over to figure out what’s going on.

Here is my comment in its entirety:

// begin comment

First, let me say that I have only returned here due to the multitude of people calling me out by name.

Second, I wasn’t trying to start shit. I don’t need the “traffic boost” as it has been posited. I was merely expressing my opinion on my own site about the use of the term “gay” to mean “lame.” I didn’t call Dawn out. I didn’t refer to her by name (as I have done in other posts with patently homophobic materials posted). In fact, I noted that I didn’t believe the author was homophobic. Dawn “outed” herself as the author I referenced.

The attitudes in her comments were perplexing. She expressed complete astonishment that I could be offended by the use of the word to describe an inanimate object. As though describing the object made the word somehow magically clean and pristine and not at all related to homosexuals. Just where do you think the usage “evolved” from? Someone who was intentionally being offensive to homosexuals, that’s who. Continuing to use the word in that matter is perpetuating that intent.

Then Dawn posted another story in which she worries that a man singing a girl’s song would turn her band into the “gayest band ever” (how is that not related to homosexuals?) and how she did not want to be associated with a “GAY BAND” and that it would make them a bunch of “FAG HAGS” [Dawn’s emphasis]. This is a point that nearly all of the commenters here have forgotten or chosen to overlook. There is NO question that these comments are offensive AND homophobic.

If you think that an atmosphere where “gay” is used to mean “lame” isn’t hurtful or doesn’t lead to more anti-gay sentiment, just look at some of the comments left here. I have been called “fucking queer” (which Dawn found funny). I have been called thin skinned. I’ve read references to “homos” and “lesbos.” That’s really inclusive and welcoming.

I want to address a few of the major points that Dawn and other commenters have made:

Kimi quoted some BBC report stating that “gay need not be offensive to homosexuals.” So if I’m understanding this point, the BBC is the authority for dictating how I (and other homosexuals) am supposed to feel about the use of “gay” in a disparaging manner? They certainly didn’t consult me on this. I don’t know of anyone who WAS consulted.

Later, Dawn stated that she shouldn’t be held responsible for using “a phrase I didn’t invent.” So by this reasoning, Dawn should be able to use the words, “nigger,” “kike,” “wetback,” “spic,” “faggot,” “dyke,” “chink,” “jap,” “wop,” and “retard” with impunity? I’m certain she didn’t invent those words either, but they are on some magic list of words that a civilized community has determined are offensive and taboo. How did those words get on that list? They got there because the respective disparaged groups stood up and said, “Stop it.” And civilized thinking people understood the harm those words were doing and agreed to stop using them.

Dawn also said, “I bet if I said keytars were ‘retarded’ instead of ‘gay’, he wouldn’t have two posts dedicated to me because using the word ‘retard’ isn’t one of his ‘buttons’.” Whether or not “retard” is one of my buttons (guess what, I have developmentally challenged people in my family) is a moot point. Had someone mentioned that they found your use of “retard” offensive, I would completely agree with them. It is offensive, for mostly the SAME REASONS I find “gay” = “lame” offensive.

In that same response block, she said, “maybe Jester should write a letter to Matt Damon too and bash him on his blog…LOL.” If I considered Matt Damon an “internet friend” as I considered Dawn to be prior to the last couple of days, I would immediately let him know that I was offended. I wasn’t SINGLING you out UNTIL your second post which, I’ve already explained, WAS patently bigoted.

The vast majority of the rest of the comments here are along the lines of “fuck him if he can’t take a joke” and “over-react much?” My original post was not an over-reaction… it was simply a post examining the use of the word and my determination that its usage EVEN IN THAT CONTEXT is offensive to me. I was offended that someone who I genuinely liked and respected could be so arrogant and self-righteous in her response to my offense.

I have never asked for an apology. I don’t care about an apology… but the fact that there is a complete REFUSAL to acknowledge that the word is offensive and an insistence that because “everyone else uses it” makes it all right is stunningly ridiculous and arrogant.

Ask yourselves if your opinions would change if you were the victim of oppression and discrimination and hatred and violence simply because of a characteristic you can’t change. You’re lying to yourself if you think they wouldn’t.

// end comment

Don’t think that I’m saying this is the end all, be all of the discussion. The debate and open discussion that has taken place here has brought me a lot of enjoyment over the past couple of days. It has lead to a lot of conversations with people away from my blog.

Social issues and etymology and frank discussions about human behavior are all very fascinating to me.

Watching people show their arrogant self-righteous bigotry and then deny that they are bigoted in a public forum: priceless.