Friday, February 27, 2004

Just Can't Stop It

I am completely, over the top, almost psychotically incensed about this whole gay marriage thing and how Bush wants to amend the Constitution and basically create a class of subhumans called gays. OH MY GOD! So is gonna make homophobia the okay thing to be in this country? God, I hope not, but it certainly seems to be heading that way. And now the issue is smack in the midst of an election year... Can you say civil rights movement part deux - electric boogaloo?

The Mayor of New Paltz, New York is now marrying same sex couples as well. (I dated a beautiful painter who went to school there and I always heard great things about that "village" as they like to call it.) Maybe if Rosie had known that, she wouldn't have flown off to SF for her ceremony, but I'm glad she did. I would love to see more high profile gays get married and put more of a face on this for the American public. Will that help? I don't know...

Here's what the Brits think of us:

Pink is the new pinko

John O'Farrell
Friday February 27, 2004
The Guardian

First the enemy was the mighty Soviet Union, the "evil empire" with its massive nuclear arsenal and plans for world domination. Then came crazed fundamentalist terrorists backed by rogue dictators hiding weapons of mass destruction. But now America faces an even greater threat to its very survival - yes, it's Simon and Julian, the couple who run Shampoodle, the Pet Pamper Parlor.

For this week George Bush has put gay weddings at the top of the political agenda, proposing the radical step of an amendment to the American constitution. The crisis began on Monday when spy satellite photos clearly showed Simon and Julian choosing a wedding cake with two little men on top. Surveillance teams at the Pentagon reported increased present-buying in the soft furnishing department of Bloomingdale's by other suspected local gays and their allies (single women in their forties). Meanwhile, chemical experts reported that Simon and Julian were believed to be secretly stockpiling spumanti and cassis, which could be made into pink champagne within 45 minutes. A gay wedding might occur at any time; America is now in a state of pink alert.

This is clearly such a major political issue that it urgently requires a change in the American constitution. Now the famous document will read: "All men are created equal ... but when we say men we mean real men, who like a beer and a ball game and leering at cheerleaders, not the effeminate faggoty types who jog through Central Park in tiny silver shorts, not that I was looking at their butts, obviously." It will be the first constitutional amendment to be scrawled in green ink.

Meanwhile, the British Conservative party is suddenly heading in the other direction. This week the Tories announced that they were organising a gay summit in Westminster. Michael Howard recognises that there is a lot of ground to make up for a party in which safe sex means making absolutely sure you're wife can't find out. The Tories' understanding of gay culture may be a little outmoded, but they'll be doing their best based on their memories of boarding school.

"We're having my old Greek master giving descriptions of the male athletes running naked in the Olympic games." "Yes, and I'll be explaining that being a homosexual doesn't automatically mean that you went to Cambridge in the 1930s and then spied for the Russians." But the conference is a step in the right direction. Unlike the American right, the Conservatives are embracing the gay community because they have finally realised that there is nothing lower than trying to use fear and prejudice for narrow party advantage. (So don't vote Tory 'cos they're obviously a big bunch of poofs.)

But thanks largely to its militant Christian wing, the American right is stuck in the political stone age. By making a constitutional issue out of gay marriages, Bush is hoping to make his enemies become associated with homosexuality. He is relishing the moment when Democrat senators find themselves having to raise their hands to vote to defend the rights of gays, but trying to do so in the most macho manner possible. As the TV cameras swing around the room seeking a raised arm that displays any sign of a slightly limp wrist, the senators will all be chewing gum, while some will have their shirt sleeves rolled up to reveal a tattoo of a naked lady they'd hastily drawn on their arm in ballpoint pen.

"Hey, I really like cars and motorbikes and stuff like that, don't you?"

"Oh, yeah, definitely, and beer and swearing and football."

"Yeah, when all those big, muscly guys all pile on top of one another - damn, damn, I didn't say that!"

George Bush has finally come out of the closet about his homophobia. He has sat his parents down and said: "Mom, Dad, there's something I have to tell you. I think I may be homophobic."

"Are you sure, son? stammered his mother. "I mean, it might just be a phase."

I know in these days of political correctness one is supposed to be tolerant and broad-minded, but I'm sorry, I just think it's disgusting. I mean these Christian Republicans. I don't mind them having these views in private, but why do they have to flaunt them so openly? What they say to each other about gays behind locked doors is their own business, but now you get them ostentatiously parading their anti-gay views, and boasting about it on the television. I mean, what if children were to hear?

Bush knows that there is no real chance of a constitutional change this side of the presidential election. He is just seeking to boost his poll rating by stirring up hatred against a completely harmless minority. The issue is a complete Aunt Sally. Or should that be Uncle Sally?


Let love rule! Fer chrissakes...

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Stay Out of My Pants!

That's directed at our retarded frat boy shifty assed born again Lame-O whom I did not elect to office. He wants to frikkin' amend the constitution to ban gay marriage? What? I am under the impression that one of the reasons our founding fathers left their homelands was to establish a government that didn't interfere with their pursuit of happiness. A same sex couple is NOT going to destroy the moral fabric of this nation. I don't care what you do behind closed doors! And I don't really care too much about some PDA (public displays of affection)either! As long as it's consensual, go to frikkin' town.

Then there's the whole separation of church and state thing which that jackass has been tearing down. And his whole circumvention of government stuff. I actually hate this guy. Like, a lot.

I could go on and on, but I hate to fight. So I'm gonna let Bill Maher say a piece on my behalf.


Finally, New Rule, Special Valentine's Day Edition: You can't claim you're the party of smaller government and then make laws about love. On this occasion of this Valentine's Day, let's stop and ask ourselves what business is it of the state how consenting adults choose to pair off, share expenses and eventually stop having sex with each other. And why does the Bush Administration want a Constitutional amendment about weddings? Hey, why stop at weddings? Birthdays are important; let's put them in the great document. Let's make a law that gay people can have birthdays, but straight people get more cake. You know, to send the right message to kids.

Republicans are always saying we should privatize things like schools, prisons, Social Security. Hey, how about we privatize privacy? Because if the government forbids gay men from tying the knot, what is their alternative? They can't all marry Liza Minnelli.

You know, Republicans used to be the party that opposed social engineering. But now they push programs to outlaw marriage for some people and encourage it for others. If you're straight, there's a billion-five in the budget to promote marriage, but gay marriage is opposed because it threatens or mocks or does something to the 'sanctity' of marriage, as if anything you can do in Vegas, drunk off your ass in front of an Elvis impersonator, could be considered sacred.

Half the people who pledge eternal love are doing it because one of them is either knocked up, rich or desperate. But in George Bush's mind, marriage is only a beautiful lifetime bond of love and sharing. Kind of like what his dad has with the Saudis. Please, I kid.

All right, but at least the right wing aren't hypocrites on this issue. They really believe that homosexuality is an abomination and a dysfunction that's curable. They believe that if a gay man just devotes his life to Jesus, he'll stop being gay, because that theory worked out so well with the Catholic priests.

But I have to tell you, the greater shame in this story goes to the Democrats, because they don't believe homosexuality is an abomination. And therefore, their refusal to endorse gay marriage is hypocrisy. Their position doesn't come from the Bible. It's ripped right from the latest poll, which says most Americans are against gay marriage.

Well, you know what? Sometimes most Americans are just wrong. And where is the Democrat who will stand up and go beyond the half measures of 'civil union' and 'hate the sin, love the sinner' and say loud and clear, 'There is no sin; it's not an abomination and no one can control how cupid aims his arrows.' And the ones who pretend they can usually turn out to be the biggest freaks.

The law in this country should reflect that some people are just born 100% outrageously, fabulously, undeniably, Fire Island gay! And they do not need reprogramming. They need a man with a slow hand!


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Da Doo Run RUN!

I love to read the trades at work. For those of you who don't live in LA (cuz everyone in LA knows), the "trades" are the industry magazines that come out every morning with the latest news and gossip and loads of advertising pushing some film or actor or something. Incredible amounts of advertising. I find it all very interesting.

One reason why I love to read the trades is because it's kept me up to date on whether I'll still have a job. Hell, Variety had the info about my company being sold before they bothered to tell us! Another reason is because they will sometimes have a little blurb about Shaun Cassidy, my very first teeny bop crush. I crushed hard on Shaun. My room was plastered wall to ceiling with every poster or article I could cut out of my hard-whined for copies of Tiger Beat or Dynamite. (These posters later changed to Rick Springfield, but without as much enthusiasm, only to climax in the obsession that is Duran Duran. Mmmmmm... John Taylor...)

I still have my first three Shaun Cassidy albums, my name and address written on them in crayon. I'll play them in clubs sometimes - people love it. Really!

So Shaun Cassidy is still in the business, but more as a producer and writer. I think he did that "Blood Brothers" thing on Broadway in an actor's capacity, but I love that he was one of the writer/producers of that short lived show "American Gothic" from a few years back about a small town with a sheriff who may or may not have been Satan. He also had something major to do with that cheerleading movie "Bring It On," and who didn't love that? I don't think I know a single straight guy who is into sports who didn't appreciate that movie. My brother in law worked on that flick - it was filmed in my hometown - and he actually got a picture and autograph of Shaun for me. Awww... I have no idea what I saw in him then, but I still love "Hey Deanie."

So here's the latest scoop on my boy... beware!


A Hollywood film studio security guard is recovering from a leg injury caused by a fender bender involving '70s heartthrob Shaun Cassidy. According to a police statement, Cassidy was driving into Warner Bros.' Burbank studio when he accidentally hit a vehicle already waiting at the security gate. Guard Conrad Perez was standing in front of the car that Cassidy hit, and suffered a major contusion when he was trapped between that car and a third vehicle. Cassidy wasn't criminally charged for the accident, which is still being investigated by Burbank police and the California Highway Patrol.


Um... yea... That's another thing I've learned about here in LA. Pedestrians get whacked. Even by a Hardy Boy.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Zen & the Art of Blogging

The other night I was going to refill my salt shaker and I dropped the little rubber plug that goes on the bottom. I was about to catch it, but I still had some salt in the shaker that would have spilled all over if I moved that hand, and by the time I'd finished with those thoughts, the plug had landed. I set it down and started to crawl around on the freshly cleaned floor... there really wasn't anywhere for it to have gone, but I still haven't found it.

Which reminds me of a story...

I have a small nose ring that occasionally likes to fall out and can be a bit of an issue to find. When I first got it, it was actually a ring that looped through my nostril, causing my mom to yell things like "There's something hanging out of your nose!" and such over crowds of people. Just to make sure I knew she didn't like it. As soon as I could, I switched over to a little stud. This was less noticeable, and I just liked the accent of it, not a metallic statement or anything like that. You can't even see it in the photos from my sister's wedding. People aren't even aware of it half the time. I was in Thailand once, and was asked by a woman from India if I was from north India. She had guessed this because of the educated way in which I spoke and the nose ring, or at least that's what she told me later. I took it as a compliment.

It's sometimes a conversation starter too. The most common question is, of course, "How do you blow your nose with that in?" Um, you do. Yea, sometimes it gets caught on things and falls out, but not so often. That may happen when I'm - yes - blowing my nose, drying my face with a towel, and occasionally hugging someone, if my face happens to get in their sweater or something. It's rare, though.

Two summers ago, I was dating this guy that I was really super crazy about, so I stayed at his house all the time. One night, I was washing my face in his bathroom and... damn! There went the nose ring. It clattered on the floor and I spent enough time crawling around looking for it that my boyfriend started calling me from the bedroom. I went in there and said, "My nose ring fell out, but I can look for it in the morning."

Morning came and my boyfriend got up and wandered into the bathroom. Hardly anytime had passed at all when he came back with my little diamond stud in his hand. "How did you find that? I must have crawled around for fifteen minutes looking for that!" He just smiled and said, "You just have to know how things bounce."

There was another example of this about a month later which was even more impressive (to me, anyway). My nose ring fell out onto the floor of a dark, somewhat seedy bar and I figured I'd never see it again. But he just bent over, picked it up, gave me a smile and the jewelry which I took home for major disinfecting that night. That guy was always very zen about stuff anyway.

Sometimes you just have to know how things bounce.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Radio Ga Ga

Indie 103.1 FM. A month or so back I was ranting about it... how it was the station for the soccer moms who love the Replacements or the lawyers who worship Husker Du... There's nothing wrong with that! I just couldn't feel good about it, waiting for the station to change from its nostalgic "college" rock and grunge format to its full on "classic alternative" format. I barely listen to it these days... Too addicted to WOXY, I guess! I actually listen to KXLU in my car, if possible. In the evenings when I have tuned in to Indie 103 lately, I've found that it's mostly snotty skater type stuff, which really isn't my thing. Sure, they still pull in the occasional old school indie gem, and I love that Bright Eyes, Azure Ray and the Thrills make regular appearances, but there's just a bit too much adolescent whining for me. Get me my wheelchair, grandpa!

They have recently added a single DJ - Steve Jones, formerly of the Sex Pistols (who, I believe, has been living off his "formerly" status ever since the Sex Pistols ended) is hosting the lunch hour, Tuesdays through Fridays. I've heard he sucks. The music is good, but he really sucks. I haven't heard it myself, but a friend called me one day and left me a message to that was something like this: "Have you HEARD that guy on Indie 103? He's sooooooo bad, he sounds like he's on drugs or something and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and rambles and is just AWFUL!" Well, it is Steve Jones.

Anyway, I received an email from a fellow with something to say about the "San Diego format," rather, the nickname given to the "classic alternative" format starting to creep successfully onto stations across the country. Read on if you are curious or a true radio geek. But keep in mind that I haven't researched any of this myself. I do know that a couple years ago, a friend of mine had a bit of a tangle with Mike Halloran over... um... basically nothing, so I don't doubt that he's a bit of a prick. Remember though, that hearsay doesn't hold up in court. (And if there are any typos in there - they are his. It's his rant, after all.)

XSFM/The Empire Media Organization was an ‘independent’ radio company that existed from 1999-2002. (formerly The business was registered in SoCal in the Inland Empire and LA County. XS pioneered a new (at the time) ‘Alternative’ format, based on the original concept of Alternative, with a heavy lean on creating a hip, SoCal, Hollywood, beach, ‘Gen X’ and their parents that won't grow up, sound. Since ‘Alternative’ at the time was no longer ‘Alternative’ the ‘Alternative’ hybrid was given the name ‘Sub-Urban’ based on the market and demo. XSFM & This format looked to the image that the California Board of Tourism spends Billions on promoting itself. The influences for the format were, Classic KROQ of the 80s, 91X, WLIR (LI, NY) 96 Wave (C’Stun, SC), also XSFM drew its electronica from Groove Radio and Party 105 (LI, NY) along with choice cuts of underground & Old Skool hip hop.

The imaging was hot. Using AV Deli, XS had a raw nasty street sound. Totally professional and tight, but raw. Reflective of the ‘new style’ static, ground outs, no beats behind drops, voice all twisted and tweaked.

The entire thing was funded by one person. Every single dollar came out of his pocket. Not corporate accounts or loans. He worked, earned money and re-invested it in The Empire Media Organization XSFM. XS had all the equipment, nice studio, sweet little production room, set-up including a set up for satellite remote broadcasts! He was going to have a lot of DJs rock the mic. The names that XSFM had tabbed to round out the FT line up, (DJ Christian Love PD/MD was the voice of XS that was in the commercial spots for XSFM promo ‘SHINE’ that aired on CC stations, Gold Coast/HDB and Bob Adelman's station. Also hosted the promotions) were Desiree Van Der Wahl, Jeff Duran (for XSFM's Hard Rock/Metal Show ‘Midnight Mass’) and Sal V. Sal V was to handle the Electronica show and spun at XSFM events, as was DJ Complex who would take care of Hip Hop. I was hoping Kimberly Stone would contact XS, but it didn’t happen. The EMO was not in a po$ition to go pursuing talent.

Everything was going well for the company; we had plenty of radio experience and some excellent marketing savvy. Talked with a bunch of SoCal radio people, PDs, owners, djs, etc… All agreed this new format targeted a demo that was not being served and had potential to make a lot of money. One of these people was Mike Halloran; XS had begun receiving very long winded e mails from him, a few months before XSFM’s move to SoCal. In the spring of 2001, right after we had run some ads on and I believe Don Barretts,, plus a few others industry sites. At times Mike Halloran would say the right things, being ‘all about the music’, wanting to help the EMO, that he had connections in LA, but other times he would get egotistical, saying things like ‘you don’t know who I am’, the usual radio ego fare. The emails got longer and more boring so I gave him a basic overview of XSFM and the new ‘Sub-Urban’ sound he had heard about on one of the industry sites. Nothing more then XS had shared, actually less then XS had shared, with a former LA radio station owner days or so earlier. (Again, info also shared with a fair amount of other helpful, professional LA radio people.) After this e mail from Halloran ceased, even when The Empire Media Organization contacted him there was no reply. XSFM received a lot of e mail after those AllAccess ads. People wanted to know about the new style, what the frequency was. Some people threatened litigation for fraud, claming there were no calls registered to The EMO and XSFM.

The Empire Media Organization moved on. Setting up temporarily in Spring 2001 in San Clemente, then the Inland Empire, setting up permanent residence in LA County. I remember hearing Halloran's version of what XS was doing, he took the basic overview I had given him, ran to Art Astor and his corporate money and tried to make the idea his own. Halloran's version sounded terrible, a commercialized half-breed, bastardized version ‘Sub-Urban’ sound was supposed to be. Even 94/9 with its CHR imaging doesn’t sound tight. You figure the resumes I sent him with XSFM imaging would have given him a better idea on how to ‘round out the sound’ then again he didn’t know the half so what does it matter? Plus HIS jocking. Whoa. He would never make the cut with XS. Its one think to be personable, it’s another to drone on endlessly.

Anyhow... XS put together media/sales kits, built major league promotions with djs from both radio stations and clubs, from So Cal and all over the country, NY, Las Vegas, you name it. They had a working relationship with Clear Channel. CC was, and is, the leader in new radio technology, so it only made sense to work with them. CC has agreed to air spots for XSFM and its promotions, agreed to let The EMO use CCs logos in advertising XSFM, they had OK'ed a special live remote at Midnight for XSFM. The scheduling didn’t work out and the live broadcast went to KRAJ FM, who was happy to have it. When HDB/Gold Coast got wind of XSFM they wanted to learn more and be a part. Even offering use of their logos for XSFM advertising. Ran spots on their station too. The EMO had opened lines of communication with XM about putting XSFM on their satellite service and were in the process of Adelphia when everything went terribly wrong…

I walked into a meeting with Clear Channel expecting to talk about XM and what uses CC had for The EMO, XSFM and the ‘Sub-Urban’ format. Instead I get railroaded. 24 hours earlier the relationship with CC was sunshine and lollipops. Now, out of the blue, CC executives thought I was Mike Halloran and XSFM was some ‘anti-corporate, anti-Clear Channel’ thing . That The EMO was pulling the wool over their eyes! This could not have been further from the truth! The Empire Media Organization had been very open and honest with CC. Why not? They had everything to gain. XSFM was a good idea and these were the people to deal with in increasing XSFM’s potential listenership. The EMO was pretty deep into its own bank account and knew CC had a hell of a lot deeper pockets. SO, after getting slammed by more people then I could count in that board room, my head was spinning (“How the did everything get this bad so quick??? Why???), I realized everything that years of work were being destroyed right in front of me. This was it, no CC, no XM, so far in debt that an internet operation would be tough. Sell the station van, burn the studio. My name was mud, I might not ever work in radio again. Why? There were times after this when I wished I was dead. Some people probably would have liked to have seen that, out of radio or dead. Left with no choice, 52 floors of corporate lawyers will do that to an ‘independent’ radio owner. (A real independent radio owner.) , the Empire Media Organization & XSFM, cut its losses and ceased operations in early 2002.

I moved on to take a morning gig at 100.1 The Zone. Did the thing that every radio on air talent does and kicked around to a few other SoCal stations. Spent some time on air in Bakersfield. Now I work for CC in LA. They have been good to me. It’s nice to know that my name wasn’t destroyed and I’m still in radio. Oh yeah, I ain't dead either.

So when somebody tells you Halloran is some type of ‘genius’ and pioneered the format, stop and think. Does that make sense? He doesn’t even know what the format's name is!

Recalling conversations with a former Art Astor employee, ‘Halloran was this guy who was basically washed up, on the outs. Then one day he just had this idea for this format. Nobody knows how. It was really weird’ Well, yeah. Because he didn’t have an idea! This was a format that the Empire Media Organization had spent years building. He had a generic, commercialized version of ‘Sub-Urban’ and XSFM. That’s why his versions have a shelf life of a few months.

Nick Spartan OM XSFM 1999-2002

DJ Christian Love PD/MD XSFM 1999-2002

T. Christopher Ginas Owner
Empire Media Organization XSFM 1999-2002

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

All this gay marriage biz is freaking the shit out of our president and his wife, and I LOVE IT! Why can't gay and lesbian couples get married? I know a few gay couples who have been together longer than most of my friend's parents, and some with kids. To not allow same sex marriages is just dumb. Everyone should have the opportunity to get that little piece of paper and the chance to say those vows out loud and make it legal if that's what they want to do. Hell, it's already practically legal anyway in all those places that recognize civic unions, or whatever they call the marriage equivalent for gays & lesbians. And you know what? There's always divorce. If marriage needs to be protected so badly, then maybe our government should take a look at the massive divorce rate, or the fly by night Vegas weddings (hi, Britney!) and the prevalence of infidelity that trademark so many straight marriages. Just a thought.

And if you think they're gonna go to hell for it, let them. It's their choice. not yours. Guess I'll be partying with my boys in hell, and it'll be way more fun than heaven.

So go San Francisco, for doing it your way! And congratulations to all the couples who have been waiting for their moment and have finally been able to seize it. My dear friend Jefferson (a sassy boy with excellent taste in music) posted this email from friends on his blog, and I'm reposting it here because it made me so happy, I actually cried.

Dear friends,

We want to share with you the news that ---- and I were married at San Francisco City Hall on Monday, February 16, 2004. Because we haven't had a chance to share the details with many of you yet, and anticipating some questions about these, well, unusual wedding circumstances, here is some of how it came about and a couple of photographs are attached below. Forgive us for sending an impersonal email announcement, but events overtook our ability to send out something more classy.

Last Thursday we learned that San Francisco had begun marrying gay and lesbian couples. On Valentine's Day, we learned that a court challenge on the matter got continued until Tuesday, Feburary 18, and that the City would continue to marry couples over the weekend. Information was hard to come by. Some reports said that City Hall would be open on Valentine's Day only and friends warned that that the City could not process all the license applications and couples were being turned away, but we decided to seize what chance there was to get married in this potentially brief window of opportunity. On Sunday evening, we flew to Oakland, rented a car and drove to City Hall. Hundreds of couples were camped out to keep their places in line for a Monday ceremony. Some had been waiting outside for two days and they told us we'd need to camp out with them if we were going to get in the next day. A night on the sidewalk had not been in the plan. We left LA in the sunshine planning to stay the night with friends Todd or Ed and to go to City Hall in the morning. ---- had the sense to bring a sweatshirt, but I was in flip flops and a thin leather jacket. So we went to get ourselves some camping gear. Byron lent us sleeping bags, Todd lent sweat shirts and umbrellas, and we made it to Home Depot in Daly City just before closing to buy tarps. Back at City Hall, the line of couples in tents, ponchos and garbage bags stretched around the block. We took our place on the sidewalk near midnight, and got under the tarp in our sleeping bags as it started to rain. ----'s a great camper and managed to keep us dry, though there was nothing he could do when I rolled into a puddle and soaked my jeans.

When morning broke, the crowd formed a line of sorts to get married in the damp clothes we'd slept in. We were flanked by a couple of women from San Diego who were dressed even less prepared than we were. One wore plastic bags over socks in flip-flops. Another woman had spent the night on the pavement with her broken leg. We looked like refugees but could not stop smiling. Volunteers and others who were not getting married turned out to help and made the sweetest gestures -- one girl gave out Valentine's sweetheart candies to people in line because she could not think what else to do. Couples who had been able to get married the day before handed out umbrellas, coffee and donuts and plastic bags to keep our documents dry because they wanted us to get inside and have the experience they'd had. We got into the building before noon, and Best Men, Todd, Ed and Byron, managed to find us. Sheriffs and city staff volunteered their time that holiday weekend to give us the opportunity to get married. It was beautiful and humbling. Staff kept the lines moving with checks and double-checks of our paperwork and patient instructions on where to go and what to do next. When we they called our name and gave us our marriage license, and I saw our names on an official document, I was unexpectedly overcome. We were couple number 127. When we came out of the clerk's office with our license, the crowd cheered and officials said congratulations. The rotunda was packed with people getting married by deputized city officials in every corner. We were taken to Malia Cohen, a deputy of Mayor Newsom, who officiated our ceremony in the mayor's oak panelled office overlooking Civic Center plaza. We exchanged the vows she read us, not having time to write out own. We didn't have rings to exchange so we exhcanged kisses. ---- and each said, "I do" and we were married. It's not the ceremony we might have planned -- we might have shaved, for example, worn clean clothes and slept indoors the night before -- but those elements aren't what a wedding is about. I'm still awed by the love we felt from our friends and the community in that place, and the love I feel for ----, who slept on concrete in the rain so that he could marry me.

That night, Byron had a spur-of-the-moment reception for us at his place in San Francisco, and without any notice our friends dropeed everything and came to celebrate. It was perfect.


This made me sorry I don't live in the Bay Area anymore; I would have been proud to be passing out orange juice and croissants to all those cold, wet lovebirds.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Kids Today…

I went to school at the University of California at Berkeley. This makes me an official geek. Go Bears!

Anyway, Berkeley has long had the reputation of being a school full of super smart kids and hippies. Sometimes the super smart kids are actually even hippies. Besides having world renowned professors, the university also has world renowned absurdity. This is brought up from time to time when they offer a small unit class on something like Tupac Shakur, or, currently, Radiohead. I don’t find those things absurd: the Naked Guy– that was pretty absurd, but not classes taught about cultural or pop influences. Time will tell if these courses are considered folly or groundbreaking.

Now our relatives on the east coast are disturbing not only the serious teaching community, but raising the ire of the classical music community as well. Berklee College of Music in Boston is teaching a turntablism class. This brings up the age old debate: is the turntable an instrument?

My opinion? Hell, yeah!

How long has hip hop been around now? Like 25 years? And scratching has been an instrumental part of its development. Find a good beat and a good rhythm, and it works. You don’t really need a band sometimes, just a great sample. I’m not talking that P.Diddy crap – where he basically takes the musical bed of one song and raps his own stuff on top of it. I’m talking about finding a really great bit of music, just about 3 seconds, maybe a little more, and messing with it – live, on a turntable – and creating a whole new collage or new version of the original track.

You can start with something everybody knows like Run DMC’s 1986 release “Walk This Way,” which had everyone bobbing to Aerosmith who got the wicky wicky wack treatment – to the masterful opus Brainfreeze from Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow, where they mixed two insanely groovy 20 minute sets out of a beautiful collection of soul 45s they’d gathered over the years. DJ Faust released an amazing record called Man or Myth in 1998 which, if I heard it in a club, could be played start to finish and I would be dancing the whole time. An awesome piece of cut and paste turntablism that just doesn’t stop, and I bet DJ Faust is sweaty and tired by the time he’s done doing it. That’s the stuff they’re teaching at Berklee.

So why should this be discounted as an instrument? You have to learn to play guitar, you have to learn to play piano, and you have to learn to play the turntable. Beat matching is a skill; it requires a trained ear or it results in a train wreck. Watching skilled turntablists (for me, anyway) is akin to watching a guitar player go nuts – they love it, they work it, and the joy is contagious.

I’m also really happy that turntables have kept a place in this world. The advent of CDs was a threat, but old purists like me enjoy vinyl too much, and the DJs really keep it alive.

When I worked in college radio, I trained the new DJs. It’s not very hard to teach people how to use the equipment involved in DJing, but I was shocked by the number of students I had who had never owned, much less played, vinyl. Later, I spent some time working in a record store and had one especially memorable question: “Do you guys have those… um… you know… they’re kinda big, like this (spreads hands apart), but like black CDs?” “Do you mean records?” “Oh, yeah! I guess.” I had other people ask about vinyl who had never dealt with it before – that’s just the best example I can remember.

So sure – teach about records in school! And what you can do with them on a turntable! There’s a lot of music out there to be heard and yet to be created. I’m not a musician, so I’m not going to come up with it, but I can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Hallmark Card Day! (Ugh...)

I pretty much hate Valentine's Day. Is this "holiday" celebrated in other countries? And I don't just dislike it because I'm a single gal, I pretty much hate it when I have a boyfriend too (which is good for the guy cuz he's off the hook).

When I was a kid, it always seemed like V-Day was all about whoever got the most cards. You know, those little bitty superhero or Snoopy or Barbie cards... I love those cards. I kept sending them to friends until just a few years ago, and intend to start again at some point. Anyway, when I was 8, I got the most cards out of everybody in my whole class. Of course, I had a broken leg at the time, and people were just trying to sweeten me up so that I'd let them use my crutches. Whatever; I got shitloads of cards.

In college, I worked in a card and candy shop. When Valentine's Day would roll around, we'd be half out of everything, no matter how well we planned, and it appeared that only a third of the student population had been shopping. Basically, we never had enough stuff for the procrastinators. These people would come to the shop, absolutely flipping out: "What? You mean you have no more champagne truffles? What is your fucking problem? Don't you people plan?" It was the only day I could actually respond. "Of course we planned. You didn't. Step off." Then I'd get to see a frat boy cry. That's quite a sight.

The absolute lamest thing about Valentine's is that it is presented by retailers as the one day you have the chance to make things right, to be warm and fuzzy, to give swanky gifts, to have a romantic experience, to say I love you. Bullshit. You can do that any ole time of the year. So although I let my boyfriends off the hook about getting flowers or going to dinner or any other business associated with Valentine's Day - I expect it from them the rest of the year. Who says that April 8th isn't a helluva romantic day? Or November 15th? Or August 12th?

Instead of caving to the pressures that this "holiday" seems to create for a (sadly) huge percentage of people in this country, just blow it off. And show the love whenever you feel like it. To quote Andre 3000: "I just wanna say Happy Valentine's Day! Every day the 14th! Can y'all dig that?"

That's the spirit. And if you want to get me something for Valentine's Day, this will do. I'd marry the first guy that realizes why I appreciate the joke.

Now go drinking with your friends! I am!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Beverly Hills, 90210

I work in Beverly Hills, and pass by the courthouse on my way to the office. Now I know why I got held up by the throngs of news trucks swarming the streets this morning…

As reported in Billboard today:


Bench Warrant Issued For Courtney Love

A Beverly Hills, Calif., judge issued a bench warrant today (Feb. 11) for singer/actress Courtney Love after she failed to show up for a hearing on felony drug possession charges.

Superior Court Judge Elden Fox agreed to hold his arrest order until next Tuesday to give Love time to comply. Her attorney said Love was a no-show because of "security concerns" but gave no further explanation.

Love was charged with possessing the prescription painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone in connection with a "medical emergency" (uh, meaning : overdose) that landed her in a hospital in October.

She also was scheduled to appear for trial on Wednesday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on a misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Love, 39, has pleaded innocent to all of charges.

Both cases stem from Love's Oct. 2 arrest outside the Beverly Hills home of a boyfriend, where police said she was breaking windows in the middle of the night. After being released on bail hours later, she was taken to a local hospital for what police called "a medical emergency."


I had my own encounter with Ms. Love back in December, which involved her flopping her hair extensions and body around a lot and poking people in the shoulder while yelling at them about things that no one really understood. She’d been across the street at another club earlier, storming the stage and stealing the spotlight from the band that was already on it. She wore yellow caution tape ripped from a construction site across her chest like a sash, and yelled “Get me back to Promises!” from the van she was being driven in as she left the scene. Promises is the name of a rehab center out here, but I was later told it’s not the one she was supposed to be checked into at that time. Whatever. She was everything I expected her to be – a total mess. We were all amused and frightened at the same time.

Courtney will do just fine in lock up, I’m sure…

Australians Are Rad

If you've read any of my past postings, you'll know that I Heart Australia. I hope to find some nice gay actor boy from Oz who will marry me so that I can be his beard (Guy Pearce? Oh, he's already got one... Just kidding!) and we can live happily ever after in Sydney.

Here's the latest from Down Under:


Swimmer drives with shark on leg

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Lifeguards at a beach post north of Sydney couldn't believe their eyes when a man walked in with a small shark attached to his leg.

Luke Tresoglavic swam 300 meters (1,000 feet) to shore, walked to his car and drove to the local surf club with the 60 centimeter (23 inches) shark biting his leg and refusing to let go.

"I just realized I had to swim in like that, hanging on to it," Tresoglavic told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio on Wednesday. (more)

Yea, they do things a little differently on that continent...

Check out the Aussie Invasion coming to your town soon... the Vines and Jet playing together! That's gonna be a rowdy show, so wear your steel toed boots and a helmet. Another great band cruising around our country by way of Perth, the last outpost on this planet, are The Sleepy Jackson, playing with my dear friends, On the Speakers (Featuring Ian Sefchick - the master craftsman from Creeper Lagoon!).

Can I just move there now? Please?

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

It's Just A Planet of Sound

Just in case you wanted to see the Pixies on their warm up tour... YOU'LL HAVE TO GO TO CANADA! Pretty much. Damnit!

14 Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, MB CANADA
15 Doris Knight Ballroom, Regina, SK CANADA
17 Prairieland, Saskatoon, SK CANADA
18 Red's, Edmonton, AB CANADA
19 MacEwan Hall, Calgary, AB CANADA
21 Victoria Curling Club, Victoria, BC CANADA
22-23 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC CANADA
24 Big Easy, Spokane, WA
25 The Big Easy, Boise, ID
27 MacDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR
29 Freeborn Hall, Davis, CA

1 Coachella Festival, Indio, CA

For more info, check out Sir Francis' website. In the meantime, I'll be selling off my random 80's dance CDs to get the airfare to Vancouver.

Boys & Girls

My hands were clammy and cunning
She’s been suitably stunning
But I know there’s not a hope in hades
All the laddies cat call and wolf whistle
So-called gentlemen and ladies
Dog fight like rose and thistle…

(Elvis Costello)

I know some guys who say they watch “Sex & the City” in order to learn a little about how to deal with women. Others insist that they have asked their sisters for advice; still others have that one really, really good friend-girl that will answer all their questions. Yet they still can’t get dates.

I think it’s great that some guys out there are trying to educate themselves about what girls like and all, but I really think – if you’re looking for a lady friend to spend quality time with – you really have to try to understand what it’s like just to be a woman in this day and age. It’s really fucking scary, and more than half the time, we’re scared of you.

I asked a bunch of my girlfriends to tell me about some positive and negative experiences they’d had with guys over the years, in the hopes of getting some info out to the masses that may help just a little. This was inspired by a crazy day I myself had about a month back. I work in Beverly Hills, and on my lunch break, I try to go for a long walk in the ritzy neighborhood behind my offices. On this particular day, I was just cruising along when a Honda with tinted windows started cruising along with me. Now I don’t walk 15 MPH, so it was pretty obvious that this guy was checkin’ me out, but to me it was just a creepy guy following me down the street who could at any moment: 1. run me down 2. jump out and attack me 3. say something disgusting and drive off 4. do nothing.

Point is, girls have to think of these things. Rarely do guys. You may think I’m being a bit paranoid, but coming from a gal who has been jumped a couple times, nearly raped twice, and had various male body parts pointed at her in alarmingly close proximity, I don’t think so. And the thing is, lots of women have these sorts of experiences behind them. We look away from guys, because looking them in the eye can be seen as an invitation to trouble. We steel ourselves when we walk past a group of men on the street, because they’ll probably start saying all kinds of nasty stuff. And if you talk back, you get called a bitch. Yes, I’m a bitch because I was walking home and you told me that you would like to fuck me till I can no longer walk and that caused me to give you a dirty look… therefore, I’m not a nice person. ‘Kay.

So of course we’re wary of you when you come on to us in a bar! Or nightclub, or wherever it is… Lots of other men before you have ruined your chance. UNLESS… you’re just yourself. That seems to be the universal answer. Just be yourself. But you still need to get in that conversation somehow…

Okay, back to my crazy day… That night, I found myself at a bar, owned by friends, chatting with a group of about 6 or 7 people. The bar wasn’t too crowded, and soon I was just talking to two other women. There was a guy at the next table who got up to order a drink, heard a bit of our conversation (which was about dancing), and made a funny, relevant comment, and he was in. He actually didn’t try hitting on any of us, just casually joined in on our conversation and stepped out to rejoin his table a couple of minutes later. Totally non-threatening and nice. Not pushy. Any of us would have talked to him some more.

See? I had a similar experience at a show. My friend and I had been dancing like lunatics, and at the break, a guy came up to me to compliment me on my dancing. He then introduced himself to me & my girlfriend, and offered to buy us some drinks. Totally polite and sincere, and all was good! When he went off to get the drinks, another guy approached, blocking my friend, and said to me, “That was some FINE dancing you did there; I think I need to get to know you. I’m Jerome,” and held out his hand. Which I didn’t shake and said, “Nice to meet you, but we’re waiting for our friend to come back.” I grabbed my girlfriend and we literally turned our backs on him. He earned no points by acting like my friend didn’t exist and being slightly pervy. The first guy got my number.

According to my girlfriends, here are some ideas of what to do and what NOT to do:

1. Never yell or gesture from your car window. We all hate that. I mean, come on! “Yeow baby!” or “You got fries with that shake” or doing the V in front of your mouth thing is not a charming introduction to you as a person. (Some girls are cool with that after you get to know them, though.) As one friend put it: “It's such a pussy tactic on their behalf because they are in a moving vehicle. So it's not like I can chase after them or confront them about it.” Exactly. None of us wanna feel like the “hey chicky chicky” thing applies to us. Come on.

* However, just about all my friends said that at some point, a guy drove by and yelled, “Beautiful!” Not, “hey beautiful” or “yo beautiful.” Just plain “beautiful” is acceptable.

2. Pick up lines – they rarely work. The exceptions to this rule are only for very funny guys, because it seems that if you can say something really hilarious or clever right off the bat, then you’re in. And that’s kinda tough to pull off, so I wouldn’t really recommend it. Besides, we know that if you’re using a line, you’ve probably used it many times before, and a girl wants to feel special. Really.

3. It helps if you are a bit age appropriate. I got a lot of stories about dirty old men hitting on girls who were far too young (we’re talking 80 year olds to 13 year olds… now really), and also quite a few tales about teenage boys going for the older ladies. Sometimes these sort of match-ups work, but as a rule… we’re probably gonna think you’re kidding.

4. Common courtesy goes a long way… If a girl is there with friends, acknowledge them. She’ll be glad you were considerate. Don’t interrupt them, use manners. It really does break down some of that initial barrier. So even if a girl is not interested, she’ll be less likely to be nasty to you if you were nice to begin with.

5. Just be yourself. Now if yourself is a psychotic freak, then come up with something else. But if you are honest and sincere, we can tell and won’t be afraid of you. Then we can talk and you can get a better sense of if you like this girl enough to reveal your psychotic freak side.

One friend told me a guy actually licked her hand. NEVER do that. (My hand is itching just thinking about it.)

I’m sure we will return to this topic. As for now… good luck!

Monday, February 09, 2004

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

My heart is broken. WOXY 97X (Bam! The future of Rock and Roll!) in Cincinnati is going off the air.

I got into this station via the internet a while ago, and fell in love. It was everything I always thought a commercial alternative station could be! If only the damn Telecommunications Act in 1996 (thanks, Bill!) hadn’t spoiled everything, loosening ownership restrictions and allowing the monster congloms like Clear Channel and Infinity to gobble everything in sight and create a generic form of radio heard the country over. Sure, there were alternative stations. But they were the SAME alternative stations heard all over, with market tested tracks and nearly identical playlists and little support of local music and not so much in terms of an identity.

So WOXY in Cincinnati (no, not WKRP… although I LOVED that show… go figure) has, for nearly 21 years, been an independently owned and programmed station. They have been playing truly alternative and independent music and using DJs that may not be so hip, but are sincere music enthusiasts (read : geeks, yay!). And they are proud of their station. And very proud of their local artists. As am I, and I don’t even live in Ohio. Too cold.

An example of what you can hear in an hour? Well, checking their site just now, I see that in the last hour they’ve played Franz Ferdinand, R.L.Burnside, Sun Kil Moon, Aerial Love Feed, Throwing Muses, LCD Soundsystem, Sonic Youth, the Poster Children, The Von Trapps, Telepopmusik, Crystal Method, the New Pornographers, the Stills, Morphine, Air, Jurassic 5, N.E.R.D., and the Afghan Whigs. For those of you reading who are familiar with these bands, you know that this kind of playlist on commercial radio is nuts. And if you don’t know any of these bands, then I’m telling you: This kind of playlist on commercial radio is nuts!

Ah, but isn’t this what commercial alternative radio should be? I think so… DJs who care and music that’s new and exciting. Well, to me, anyway.

But alas, that isn’t what it is, because most stations want to bring in a pile of cash too. I don’t know how WOXY has done ratings wise in Cincinnati, but it seems to have a strong and loyal following. Don’t know if that was enough to pay the bills, but the owners, a couple, kept it going for quite some time…


This is Linda Balogh … my husband Doug and I have been the owners of WOXY Radio for nearly 23 years. When we bought the station, I was 35 and Doug was 39. We built it together with a special group of scrappy and talented people. Now we're 57 and 61 … and ever since the Telecom Act of 1996 unleashed the massive consolidation in radio, it's been harder and harder for single-station independents like us to compete against the behemoths. So when this offer came along, we decided it was time to take it. We don't feel we've "sold out," we really don't. We have elderly parents to take care of, and our own retirement to think about. So, it was time. (More here.)


The new owners are the First Broadcasting Network of Dallas, and the changeover is to happen on May 1st. I have no idea what the new format will be, but WOXY (their tag line was used in the movie Rain Man, even!) promises to continue to stream over the internet, which is how I’ve been listening anyway. But it’s not the same. I just loved knowing that some 12 year old could just be rolling past the dial, past the Justins and the Gwens and the Eves and the Shanias, and then find the Thrills or the Shins or the Mountain Goats and be inspired. And get info from the DJs, who didn’t sound bored or stoned but were totally into what they were playing FOR YOU and not rambling for 20 minutes about the government or something. And there it was, just on the radio dial, not on the left end where it can get weird, but right smack in the middle – at 97X.

Bye WOXY; I’ll light a candle for you.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Out of Sync

Here's more T&A news for ya:

Chasez Slams NFL For Pro Bowl Cancellation '

N Sync's JC Chasez unleashed a scathing indictment of the NFL yesterday (Feb. 5) for yanking him from the Pro Bowl halftime show, then asking him to sing the national anthem instead following the unexpected breast display during the Super Bowl.

"I have had a great relationship with the NFL in the past and feel that I have been mistreated," Chasez said, adding that he won't sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Sunday's annual all-star game in Honolulu. The 27-year-old pop star initially was to have performed "Some Girls (Dance With Women)," off his upcoming album, at halftime.

But after the Super Bowl halftime show -- in which Chasez's bandmate, Justin Timberlake, tore off a piece of Janet Jackson's top, exposing her breast -- the NFL re-evaluated Chasez's planned performance.

The singer said in a statement that the NFL expressed concern over some of his lyrics and asked him to change his song choice to "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" off the "Drumline" soundtrack.

That also proved problematic, because the latter song contains the words "horny" and "naughty," which Chasez said he reluctantly agreed to change. He was later removed from the halftime show entirely and replaced by hula dancers, drummers, conch shell blowers and local singers, who were to have been the pre-game entertainment.

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said, "We saw what happened on Sunday, and Monday we took a look at what the performance would have been in terms of the music and dancing. We just felt it was inappropriate as we're being extremely cautious in light of what happened at the Super Bowl."

Chasez said in his statement: "While I agree the mishap at the Super Bowl was a huge mistake, the NFL's shallow effort to portray my music as sexually indecent brings to mind another era when innocent artists were smeared with a broad brush by insecure but powerful people. That's not the America I love. Nor is this the NFL I love. I'll sing the National Anthem anytime, anywhere, but not for this NFL."

He also criticized the league's leadership, saying it had "clearly become so disoriented it has reduced itself to bashing me and my music to divert attention from the fact that the NFL screwed up at the Super Bowl."

McCarthy's response: "We're not going to debate him. We made our decision and we're going to move on." He said it was unclear who would sing the national anthem before the game.

My two cents? Go JC! I always felt that when a boy band appeared, you need to pick your guy. For whatever reason, I picked JC (maybe because at the time, picking Justin would have made me a pedophile). I don't own any N Sync albums... er...CDs, but I still think it's important to pick your "boy" within a boy band. Kinda like Mac or PC. Anyway, I got turned off when JC started trying to sport the Eddie Vedder look and an encounter with him at a local record store proved he was pretty much an ass, but I've gotta give him props for dissing the NFL like that. Ah, my boy done made me proud!

Thursday, February 05, 2004

A Big, Big Love

As reported today in Billboard:
Pixies Tour Officially A Go

The much-ballyhooed reunion of seminal alternative rock act the Pixies is getting off the ground. Beyond a previously announced May 1 appearance at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., the group is now confirmed to open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on June 15 at Paris' Parc Des Princes. The quartet has not played live together since disbanding in 1993.

Sources have confirmed to that dates are being booked, and guitarist/vocalist Frank Black's unofficial Web site reports that the Pixies will first embark on a North American warm-up tour that will lead up to the Coachella appearance. A full-scale tour will follow, encompassing both North America and summer European festivals.

Despite all the plans, drummer David Lovering told last week that the group has yet to begin rehearsing. Asked if he looked forward to the prospect of reconvening with Black, guitarist Joey Santiago and bassist Kim Deal, he replied, "Absolutely. I'd given up drums for a long time. I haven't played them in years and years. It would just be fun to do it again. We just have fun playing."

Indeed, Lovering has spent the past six years working as professional magician, a pursuit he says is made possible by the ongoing interest in the Pixies' formidable legacy. "I appreciate that it's still sustaining me -- it keeps selling records," he said. "It shows there is some fan base out there [because] it keeps going over and over to a whole new audience of 18-year-olds."

As previously reported, to coincide with the reunion, 4AD/Beggars Banquet is eyeing the release of a new Pixies retrospective as well as a DVD featuring music videos and a full 1988 concert.

It would appear that Black is forgoing a tour in support of his upcoming spinART double-album "Frank Black Francis" in favor of roadwork with the Pixies. As exclusively revealed here last week, Black has already begun making plans for another new album, to be recorded with the assistance of Nashville session musicians.

-- Jonathan Cohen and Randee Dawn, N.Y.

And people thought I got kooky waiting on hot asphalt in 90 degree weather for Duran Duran tix... If somebody has the hook up to this show, tell me now and you can have my first born child! Oh wait, I'm not having any kids... We'll negotiate. I AM SO AT THIS SHOW. I used to follow this band up and down the state and even got a fracture in my foot at one of the shows, and still went to the next two gigs on successive nights. Rock 'n' roll, baby.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Boys With Taste

Okay, even I'm getting a bit worried about how frequently Duran Duran comes up in my ramblings these days, but what can I say? They're in the news.


Pop legends DURAN DURAN have announced GOLDFRAPP and SCISSOR SISTERS as special guests for their forthcoming UK arena tour which kicks off on Sunday April 11th at Nottingham Arena.

Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes said; “Goldfrapp make beautiful, elegant music. Their albums have given all of us in the band a great deal of pleasure and so we are thrilled to be bringing them to our audience – introducing them to anyone who has not yet been converted and treating those who are already familiar with the band to some extraordinary music.”

Lead singer Simon Le Bon added “It’s a dream bill for us, Goldfrapp are sublime and we can’t wait to see the Scissor Sisters perform on stage. When we first started the band, the New York avant garde scene provided us with much inspiration. Now the Scissor Sisters are out there on the edge, bringing some personality back into music. Both of these bands are the real deal and one thing’s for sure, we know our audience like the real thing.”

Wow - Goldfrapp and the Scissor Sisters? I'm so proud of my boys!

PS: Their appearance on CBS just prior to the Superbowl included no breasts. Although had they known that was the order of the day, I'm sure they would have ordered some.

Sexy Beasts

From Reuters: MTV Chief executive Tom Freston told reporters at a conference today that “there’s now going to be an FCC investigation into the nipple.”

That has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a long time. I love it when sex gets into the news, because we Americans are soooooo squeamish about that stuff. And who would have thought that such wholesome entertainers like Janet and Justin would ignite a new firestorm of talk about decency vs. indecency on television? I thought we’d only have our former President Clinton and the South Park kids to thank for getting stuffy old senators to talk about smut publicly.

It’s pretty ridiculous, I think, that people are kicking up such a big fuss. I was more freaked out to see Saddam’s dead sons on TV than Janet’s pasty. In other countries, you get to see more skin on the tube than we see Bush in the White House. We seem to have a penchant for the blood and gore though – oh no, nobody’s gonna have a nightmare after seeing a woman have her hands cut off by a lunatic or an alien rip out an astronaut’s insides on TV. That’s all make believe, you see. But if Bono accidentally says “fuck” in a moment of exuberance after winning an award, or someone’s (Paris Hilton) ass is hanging just a bit too far out of her dress, then watch out! The damage has been done. We’ve all had the images burned into our retinas, or our tender ears have been fried.

Recent screenings of the new Mel Gibson flick, basically re-enacting the stations of the cross, has garnered praise from Catholic organizations and even the Pope. Some Jewish organizations have expressed concerns that it’s anti-Semitic. Only recently, however, has the opinion been voiced that maybe it’s also just a tad too bloody… I haven’t seen it, but since I was brought up Catholic, I’m inclined to believe that's true. Mel keeps saying he wants to be completely faithful to his original source – the Bible. And if you haven’t read the Bible, let me just tell you that people get chopped up with swords and blades or eaten by lions or stoned all the darn time. The movie has earned an “R” rating, and there are actually people thinking that the violence may be a bit too unrelenting, and may frighten children who come with their parents for a truly religious movie experience. But no way is it headed to the forbidden land of the NC-17.

On the other hand, we have a new film coming out by Bernardo Bertolucci. That’s an automatic NC-17 right there. I mean, that guy did “Last Tango in Paris!” “Stealing Beauty!” (And “Little Buddha,” which should have gotten a NC-17 just for the horror of watching Keanu Reeves play Buddha while covered in mud-like body makeup.) It’s no secret that this Italian likes to make some sexy films, and “The Dreamers” is no exception. I guess it’s about a student from America who stays with a pair of kinky French siblings and they mess around. The reasons for the NC-17 rating are sexual content and full frontal male nudity. (That’s right, looking at a penis is gonna scar you for life. Yikes!) Bertolucci’s reaction? “An orgasm is better than a bomb.” Not if you want a bunch of people to see your movie.

So yea, I guess Janet is in some trouble, having now confessed to including the “costume reveal” (as opposed to the “wardrobe malfunction” we actually thought it was) into the act. Janet, don’t you remember how shocked people say they were when you were on the cover of Rolling Stone with nothing on but some jeans and your boyfriend’s hands?

It’s too bad that there are so many people freaking out over the fact that they saw that boob on TV, because the most important thing about that moment has been missed… Damn, she looked GOOD! I hope my breasts look that great when I’m her age!

Monday, February 02, 2004

But I Don't Like Crowds!

For the music geek who can tolerate the masses... The lineup for this year's Coachella festival is firming up. I won't be there, but maybe you will. It would be great if I didn't have to be the short girl staring at the midgets on stage over the heads of skater kids taller than me with baseball hats on. I've been told it's not so bad, but anything approximately 70,000 people strong out in the desert isn't appealing to me, even if some of my favorite bands in the world are playing.

Here's what the rumor mill says:

SATURDAY: Radiohead, The Pixies, Kraftwerk, Electric Six, LCD Soundsystem, Sahara Hotnights, The International Noise Conspiracy, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Atmosphere w/ Eyedea and Abilities, Kinky

SUNDAY: The Cure, Wilco, Air, Belle and Sebastian, Basement Jaxx, The Thrills, Moving Units, Mogwai, Dizzee Rascal, Prefuse 73, Sidestepper, T. Raumschmiere, Seb Fontaine, Sage Francis

DAY UNKNOWN: The Flaming Lips, !!!, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie, The Sleepy Jackson, My Morning Jacket, The Crystal Method, Paul Van Dyk, Mark Farina, The Stills, Broken Social Scene, The Killers, Stellastarr, The Black Keys

Have fun. And remember, don't take the brown acid.

The Sound of Settling

Our youth is fleeting, old age is just around the bend and I can't wait to go gray
And I'll sit and wonder of every love that could have been
If I'd only thought of something charming to say

This is the sound of settling…
(Death Cab For Cutie)

I have this wonderful, dear friend who has seen me through some rough times in the last couple of years. He owns a very successful business, has a beautiful home, is kind and generous, has a great sense of style, is polite and funny and has amazing taste in music. And he’s single, quite the eligible bachelor, in fact.

My friends can’t believe I don’t want to go out with him. Well, there is no “zing” or “oomph” or whatever you’d like to call it. We are very good friends and I value that deeply. If it was going to be something else, and I felt like that something else would be worth risking the friendship for, then I’d go for it. Believe you me. But it’s not, and I don’t.

I have had some concerned pals tell me I shouldn’t count him out. Why? Because he’s a great catch. Because he could take care of me. Because it would be smart of me to hook him and be provided for.

Okay, my response to that is: Ewwwwwww…

I could never do such a thing. Call me a hopeless romantic (yet determined to stay single – we’ll let the shrink figure that one out), but if I don’t feel like I’ve been hit upside the head when I meet someone, then the chances are slim that I’m going to want to become romantically entangled with them. The passion, the chemistry…that stuff is important to me. I can pay my own bills, change my own tires, and fertilize my own garden. Sure, it’s great to have someone help you with these things, but I’m not going to sacrifice my independence to settle down with someone who I think would just be “okay.”

And then there’s the whole aspect of “landing a man.” It just sounds so, I don’t know, conniving? That’s probably too strong a word, but getting a guy to propose to you so that you can have your kids and house and white picket fence just sounds icky to me. I know women who have done it, though, or are trying to do it now. They just want to be taken care of.

I have a friend who actually said to me (and I’m paraphrasing here): “I can’t believe that I am actually ready to settle down. I feel like it’s time to get married and I want to have kids, and I might as well do it with (name deleted to spare the innocent).” Oh yes, that signifies a great love to me.

But I believe that a lot of people fall into that trap, especially as we get creak on up towards our forties… pressured by society to pair up, pressured by our bodies to have kids. People meet someone, and decide that they are a good candidate – that a life with this person will be comfortable and stable and secure. Good genes, good kids, good income; whatever the motivating force may be. If that is what they truly want more than anything else in this world, then by all means, go for it.

I guess I want more. I once said to a boyfriend (who is now an “ex” but still a huge part of my life): “You know me, I just want want want.” He has quoted this back to me over the years when I give him an example of it. It’s true. I don’t want to be bored, and I don’t want to settle for something that will ultimately leave me unsatisfied. Cuz I’d lose my mind. Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that I would rather be single than settle, and I’m happy with that. I get along with myself, and the single life has treated me pretty well. I’m not adverse to the idea that if I meet someone who happens to be great, we can’t hook up; I’m just saying that I don’t have to just to feel that I’m “provided” for.

This is not the sound of settling, it’s the sound of living. Go for it.