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  • Newswise — In the United States, suicide claims over 34,000 lives annually, the equivalent of 94 suicides per day; one suicide every 15 minutes. To address this national crisis the...

    What Do You Wish Someone Had Told You About Being Gay?

    Newswise — In the United States, suicide claims over 34,000 lives annually, the equivalent of 94 suicides per day; one suicide every 15 minutes. To address this national crisis the…

  • Radical Homosexuals Pick Fight Over Cookies? Dear Elaine, Heather Browning just wanted cookies.  No big deal right? She asked “Just Cookies” of Indianapolis to bake them for a special event....

    What Do You Wish Someone Had Told You About Being Gay?

    Radical Homosexuals Pick Fight Over Cookies? Dear Elaine, Heather Browning just wanted cookies.  No big deal right? She asked “Just Cookies” of Indianapolis to bake them for a special event….

  • I woke up last night to the sound of laughing and realized I’d fallen asleep with the TV on. It was 3 AM and I knew it was Jon Stewart...

    What Do You Wish Someone Had Told You About Being Gay?

    I woke up last night to the sound of laughing and realized I’d fallen asleep with the TV on. It was 3 AM and I knew it was Jon Stewart…

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Book Explores Gay Dads’ Paths to Parenthood

As more and more gay men set out to become parents, a new book by University of Iowa Professor Ellen Lewin explores their desire to become parents, the challenges they face along the path to parenthood, and how fatherhood affects their identities as gay men.
“Gay Fatherhood,” an ethnography published by the University of Chicago Press, is the result of interviews with nearly 100 gay men who have or are trying to have children. The book chronicles the men’s lives, investigating how they cope with political attacks from the right and left, including criticism from peers in the gay community who view parenthood as a sign of conformity.
“Many people can understand lesbian’s desire to have a baby because they appreciate the idea of maternal instinct,” said Lewin, professor of anthropology and women’s studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “They’re much more suspicious about why gay men would want to be dads, and therefore gay men have to jump through a lot more hoops to be parents.”
Adoption through the foster system is the most affordable way for gay men to become fathers, but Lewin discovered they are typically last in line in the system, meaning they must consider whether they will accept an older child, a child with disabilities, or a child of a different race.
“Straight, middle-class married couples get first pick,” she said. “Heterosexual singles come next, and then gay people of various sorts. Some states prohibit gays from adopting, but a lot of individual social workers realize these guys can be good parents and want to get the kids into homes. There are 100,000 kids in the system, half of which are available for adoption. Most will never get adopted and will remain in the system until age 18, so there’s a sense of urgency.”
Domestic adoption through a private agency can run $20,000, and some mothers will not select gay men to raise their babies. Options for overseas adoptions, which can cost up to $40,000, are limited. Guatemala is one of the few countries with rules flexible enough to allow gay men to adopt, but one partner is invisible during the process – and the fact that the adoptive dad is gay is not advertised. Surrogacy allows a biological connection to one dad but costs upwards of $100,000.
“They have to make choices about what they want versus what they can afford,” Lewin said. “In some cases, gay couples have more financial resources because they’re men, and men make more money. But for a typical middle-class gay couple, some of these options are out of reach.”
Some dads described their urge to become parents as a natural impulse that crept up as they matured. They spoke disparagingly about stereotypical gay life, saying they wanted to do something significant in life – not just look back on fun parties and a well-decorated home.
A desire to pass on values and traditions was motivation for some of the men to become parents. Several expressed a desire to be considered a family, not just a couple.
“The definition of family in American culture is linked to having kids,” Lewin said. “When people ask whether you have a family, they don’t mean, ‘Do you have any relatives?’ or ‘Do you have a spouse or partner?’ They mean ‘Do you have children?’”
In some cases, moral or spiritual beliefs ignited a desire to have children. Men talked about how parenting inspired them to be better people, or about rescuing kids that “no one else wanted.”
One man adopted a homeless, transgender teen who was in trouble for petty theft and drugs and helped her turn her life around. Another man took in a child who was severely disabled by a stroke. The child was unable to walk, talk, make eye contact, speak or eat, and was believed to be deaf. As the dad “moved heaven and earth,” Lewin said, the child improved. He learned to walk and talk, graduated from high school, and now lives semi-independently in a group home.
“I interviewed several guys who adopted kids with disabilities or other challenges and basically gave their lives up for their child,” Lewin said. “But most weren’t out to be heroes or do something revolutionary by becoming gay fathers. Most were ordinary people who live in suburbs, go to Disney World for their vacations, and just want to have children like anyone else.”
When Lewin asked the dads about how parenthood affected their identities as gay men, responses were split. One dad felt “more gay” because he stood out from the straight parents with which he was surrounded; his partner felt “less gay” because they socialized mainly with straight parents from their kids’ school, and friendships with childless gay friends waned.
“Some dads were wistful about aspects of gay life before kids – maybe they missed going to the clubs, or the opera. But one of the findings was that once you’re a parent, you hang out with people you meet at your kid’s play group,” Lewin said. “One couple said, jokingly, ‘We aren’t really gay anymore. We pick our friends based on whose kids have the same nap time.’”
Fatherhood also had an impact on the dads’ relationships with their own families. Homophobia had driven a wedge between some men and their parents, but the grandchild provided a bond.
“I heard stories about gay men who were estranged from their families, but once they had a kid, the grandparents came over all the time,” Lewin said. “Their relatives may not have understood or supported them in the past, but having kids was something their family got and related to.”

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Watch Web Videos on Your Large TV

Ok, we know what you want to see on the big screen, and so we have a page that shows you just how to connect your computer to your tv and watch all those educational videos. Click here to get the details and start watching web videos on your tv!

Popularity: 100% [?]

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Fine Art Prints

ARC Fine Art Prints are sought after by Artists, Galleries, Museums and Interior Designers
These top-quality Fine Art Prints are printed on Archival Fine Art Canvas which is perfect for framing, or 100 percent acid free cotton archival Fine Art Paper: fine art velvet or ulrasmooth, depending on paper size. Ultrachrome inks enhance the archival properties of the media ensuring a print life of many generations.

All orders are custom printed and shipped flat in boxes for domestic orders. Our largest prints and International orders are shipped on rolls due to shipping size restrictions.

Order here.

Popularity: 100% [?]

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Bruce Weber

Today we look at the photography and videography of Bruce Weber (born March 29, 1946 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania) an American  fashion photographer  and occasional filmmaker.  He is most widely known for his ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Pirelli, Abercrombie & Fitch, Revlon, and Gianni Versace, as well as his work for Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle, Life, Interview, and Rolling Stone magazines.

After doing photo shoots for and of famous individuals (many of whom were featured in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine), Bruce entered the realm of filmmaking, making short films of teenage boxers (Broken Noses),  jazz trumpeter Chet Baker (Let’s Get Lost),  his beloved pet dogs, and later, a longer film entitled Chop Suey.

Weber created the fashion label Weberbilt in 2003; his first line, “eat, swim, sex, sleep”, went on sale in boutiques in London and Miami Beach, Florida in 2004.

FMI http://bruceweber.com/

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City Pays $20K for Banning Gay Musical

The Advocate Reports:

The city of Milwaukee issued a check for $20,000 to the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center on Wednesday after a court rules a forced closure of Naked Boys Singing! was unconstitutional.
The city ordered that the musical close in August 2005 in the face of content complaints and licensing suspicion, according toPlaybill. City ordinances mandated that the Common Council of Milwaukee, which was not scheduled to meet until after the show’s run would have ended, review the license.
The Gay Arts Center’s nonprofit status, however, allowed for a settlement in its favor. Nonprofits are not required to undergo the same licensing procedures as for-profit organizations in Milwaukee. The city awarded the group a $20,000 settlement and clarified the licensing procedure for nonprofits.

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Vitruvian Man

While most people would only recognize and attribute the concept of the perfectly proportioned man to Leonardo, the concept of the Vitruvian Man was born about 1500 years before Leonardo’s birth.

Similarly, in the members of a temple there ought to be the greatest harmony in the symmetrical relations of the different parts to the general magnitude of the whole. Then again, in the human body the central point is naturally the navel. For if a man can be placed flat on his back, with his hands and feet extended, and a pair of compasses centered at his navel, the fingers and toes of his two hands and feet will touch the circumference of a circle described therefrom. And just as the human body yields a circular outline, so too a square figure may be found from it. For if we measure the distance from the soles of the feet to the top of the head, and then apply that measure to the outstretched arms, the breadth will be found to be the same as the height, as in the case of plane surfaces which are completely square.
(Marcus Vitruvius, De Architectura, Book III, Chapter 1, p 3)

Learn more about the symmetry of Vitruvian Man here.

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Graeme Mitchell

A little about Photographer Graeme Mitchell:
“Born in Manitoba in 1980. Moved with family to various small towns in the Pacific Northwest. Studied Literature. Raced bicycles and raced and coached alpine skiing. Relocated to NYC in ‘05. Currently focusing on fashion and portrait photography. Enthusiastic about traditional black and white work, challenging his subjects, collaborating with his talented team, and not compromising. Is attracted to photography because of the inherent limitations and at the same time the immense possibilities of the medium. Believes in art, and, incidentally, love.”

See more photos here

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Jean Cocteau

In July we celebrate the birthday of Jean Cocteau – a French poet, novelist, dramatist and filmmaker.  His circle of friends and lovers included Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, María Félix, Édith Piaf and Raymond Radiguet. Edith Wharton described him as a man “to whom every great line of poetry was a sunrise, every sunset the foundation of the Heavenly City…”

According to Harold Ackton, at the age of 18 Cocteau “took the pulse of each of the nine muses and prescribed the exact regimen she had to follow.
He published his first volume of poems, Aladdin’s Lamp, at nineteen. Soon Cocteau became known in the Bohemian  artistic circles as ‘The Frivolous Prince’—the title of a volume he published at twenty-two.

Cocteau’s unconventional approach and enormous output brought him international acclaim. His opium addition  – and reputation for seducing Parisian gendarmes with a faked, drunken “privelege du cape” at the legendary Paris pissoirs – make for controversial biographies, such as that by Francis Steegmuller.

Popularity: 100% [?]

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Jake Shears Expresses Gay Sexuality in Music

Scissor Sisters front man Jake Shears has made no secret of his homosexuality, and cover of his new album Night Work features the clenched butt cheeks of a ballet dancer  Peter Reed.  Shears spoke with After Elton about the controversy over the cover and the sexy gayness of the album.

AE: You did a recent interview with BBC where you mentioned your management wasn’t really crazy about your album cover that you fell in love with. Was it the gay part that worried them about that, or would they have reacted to a woman’s backside the same way?
JS:
It wasn’t just the management. It was the band and the record label, too. It was everybody. I had to fight like hell for that picture. I had one of the guys from Universal call me up and tell me it was going to be one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my whole career. He said it with respect and love, and I understand where people are coming from, but I just thought if it was going to pose any challenges for us, then those are challenges we can transcend.

AE: What was the objection to it?
JS:
Possibly that it was too… Using the male form as a sexual object is still kind of taboo in certain ways. Maybe not completely, but there’s something about it that is still hard for some to swallow.

The other thing is people didn’t like it as a black and white image. I got a lot of “Oh, your band is so colorful. You’re so colorful. A black and white image doesn’t represent who you are.” I think it’s a very colorful image. [laughs]

AE: Straight male singers have frequently used their sex appeal to sell albums, but it seems like with this album you’re being one of the first out artist to be as in-your-face about your sex appeal. Between that photo spread you did with French magazine Têtu and the album cover, you’re very much treating your sexuality as something normal, the way any other artist would use their sexuality. As a gay man, I’m looking at this and thinking, “Hey, it’s about time.”
JS:
Yeah, I love it. I love that you’ve picked up on that. I love feeling sexy and being a sexual creature. I felt like on our last album campaign that we’d gotten a little too stuffed-animalish, that we’d become a little bit sexless. When we finished our last tour, I wasn’t feeling extremely sexy. It was important to me to reclaim that sexuality.

AE: Does it mean something special to you to be able to sing a song like “Harder” from a gay perspective, and when you do that, are you aware that even in 2010 that’s still pretty groundbreaking for a major act?
JS:
I don’t know if I’d call it groundbreaking, [laughs] but of course it means a lot to me. I feel like I’m one of the luckiest men in the world. I get to be completely honest about who I am and what I get up to, and sing to a shit load of people, and pass that energy on, and make a living off of it. To me, that’s a pretty profound thing. [laughs]

Yeah, it’s intensely meaningful to be able to not beat around the bush about who I am personally and still speak to so many people. It’s pretty amazing.

AE: That’s what I thought was really interesting about “Into the Light” where you have Ian McKellen doing some spoken dialogue. Here is this great, out band with world wide appeal and who are very frank about who they are, and then you’ve got Ian McKellen who is truly one of the pioneers who helped us get to this place where we are today. Was that a conscious choice? And how did you get to know Ian?
JS:
I got to know him through parties in London. He’s friends with Armistead Maupin, who I’m co-writing the musical Tales of the City for, and he’d come to shows. He’s a fan of the band. He’s a lovely, lovely man. I think it was an unconscious decision. I just knew he’d be perfect for that moment on the record.

But yeah, I definitely think that’s a link between him, and you could even go back to Mapplethorpe again. Ian is a pioneer as far as pushing the gay movement forward, and Mapplethorpe was as well. The model on the cover was a ballet dancer named Peter Reed who died in the mid-80s, and was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful young man.

Ian McKellen is one of the survivors. The two other men were not so lucky. To me, they’re all pioneers. I want this album to be made in their honor. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are. They’re the ones who really opened the door to what we are.

E: That’s what I thought was really interesting about “Into the Light” where you have Ian McKellen doing some spoken dialogue. Here is this great, out band with world wide appeal and who are very frank about who they are, and then you’ve got Ian McKellen who is truly one of the pioneers who helped us get to this place where we are today. Was that a conscious choice? And how did you get to know Ian?

JS: I got to know him through parties in London. He’s friends with Armistead Maupin, who I’m co-writing the musical Tales of the City for, and he’d come to shows. He’s a fan of the band. He’s a lovely, lovely man. I think it was an unconscious decision. I just knew he’d be perfect for that moment on the record.

But yeah, I definitely think that’s a link between him, and you could even go back to Mapplethorpe again. Ian is a pioneer as far as pushing the gay movement forward, and Mapplethorpe was as well. The model on the cover was a ballet dancer named Peter Reed who died in the mid-80s, and was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful young man.

Ian McKellen is one of the survivors. The two other men were not so lucky. To me, they’re all pioneers. I want this album to be made in their honor. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are. They’re the ones who really opened the door to what we are.

Popularity: 100% [?]

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Boy at the Beach

ARC Fine Art Prints are sought after by Artists, Galleries, Museums and Interior Designers
These top-quality Fine Art Prints are printed on Archival Fine Art Canvas which is perfect for framing, or 100 percent acid free cotton archival Fine Art Paper: fine art velvet or ulrasmooth, depending on paper size. Ultrachrome inks enhance the archival properties of the media ensuring a print life of many generations.

All orders are custom printed and shipped flat in boxes for domestic orders. Our largest prints and International orders are shipped on rolls due to shipping size restrictions.

Order here.

Popularity: 100% [?]

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Fall Out Boy’s Gay Agenda

TAMPA—Chicago natives Fall Out Boy first gained national
exposure with their catchy song, “Sugar, We’re Goin’
Down.” The poster boys for angstridden
youth have become somewhat
of a positive role model to their fans.
It is too bad that some of the kids’
parents don’t see it that way. Fall
Out Boy guitarist Pete Wentz admits
to cussing like a sailor, but that
aside, he doesn’t drink, smoke, or do
drugs. He also has some positive things
to say, and is standing up for tolerance
of all people.
“What we do not endorse here is
racist, sexist or homophobic comments
or behavior. If you are going to
act like a racist, sexist or homophobic
asshole, return our merchandise, return
our CDs and leave our show,” is
something that Wentz has been saying
at his shows recently. He feels that
he has a voice and wants it to be
heard. Those sentiments fell on deaf
ears recently as a ‘concerned’ mother
did not want to hear what he had to
say. In an email she sent to Fall Out
Boy’s record company, it included this statement, “The
ticket said ‘all ages,’ and your band was very foul-mouthed
and anti-morals. Charlotte [NC] is not the demoralized city
that liberal San Francisco and other cities across the North
and West are. I had looked forward to this concert with my
girls for months [and] I didn’t spend over $200 on gas, food
and, unfortunately, shirts for you to give your own personal
political testimony. … This was a concert, not some liberal
homosexual rally.” She went on to say that she plans on
contacting other venues where the band will be playing and
letting the towns folk know what they are in for.
Then there is the feud with label mate band the Killers.
Both bands share the same representative, and the Killer’s
lead singer Brandon Flowers was getting jealous that Fall
Out Boy had been getting all of his attention of late. Blog
entries from both bands shared barbs back and forth. That
is not all that Wentz has been up to. Nude photos of the
singer surfaced on the internet recently, though Wentz
claims it was an act of revenge from a former friend whose
girlfriend he hit on.
When a buxom young woman flashed her breasts,
Wentz told her to cover them up. “No keep your shirt on.
You don’t have to flash Fall Out Boy, you just have to rock
out and have a good time.” A few songs later he had quite
a different approach to guys exposing their chests. “We
know it’s hot out there and we want to turn this into a 50-
Cent show, so guys, take off your sweaty shirts and start
swinging them over your heads.” Wentz noticed a guy with
“the coolest hair in the place,” and pulled him on stage to
hang out for a song. He is also a fan of the show “Project
Runway.” Hmmm…Pete, should we connect the dots?
Wentz likes their single, “Sugar. We’re Going Down,”
but never expected it to become
such a huge hit. It has been the
number one requested single on
many radio stations and video programs
worldwide. “This single kind of
took off more than they expected.”
The band is very tongue in cheek.
Some song titles include, “Our Lawyers
Made Us Change The Name Of
This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued,”
and “I Slept With Someone In Fall Out
Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid
Song Written About Me.”
Living the rock star life for this
band seems tame in comparison to
the stories you hear on VH1’s Behind
The Music. “We are not really that
crazy. We watch DVDs on our bus
then go to sleep. We stop off at a drug
store and buy some candy or whatever.
It doesn’t get that crazy really.
You start this thing so you never have
to have any responsibility and you
never miss out on hanging out with
your friends and then because of this thing you have
created, you have all of this responsibility and you miss
out on everything. The grass is always greener whatever
you are doing.”
A lot of musicians are concerned with selling out. Wentz
says, “To me, selling out is when you bend your ideals or do
something that you wouldn’t otherwise do just for like a
lucrative interest. Everything that Fall Out Boy does is
something that we are interested in doing and we are not
doing because of the money. If there is money there or not
that is cool. There have been plenty of things that we turned
down that we could have done to increase our popularity,
whether it be tours, commercials, tours with certain
bands…but we hold certain ideals and there are certain
things that we are just not going to do.” Media darlings, the
band has been seen on MTV’s TRL as well as guest starred
on the WB teen drama “One Tree Hill.”
The full out rock show consisted heavily of songs from
their second release, From Under The Cork Tree. During the
show, the band was joined by lead singer from the band The
Academy Is. The audience seemed very familiar with most
of the songs as they sang and danced their way throughout
the evening. At one point, Wentz joked about the parents in
the audience and said it was cool that they brought their kids
to the show, something his dad would have never done.
Wentz said Fall Out Boy has 12 new songs written, with
about 30 “fragments” of other songs floating around.
Joining Fall Out Boy on their ‘Black Clouds And Underdogs’
tour was All-American Rejects and Hawthorne Heights.

Popularity: 100% [?]

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Wicked

It was a horrible nightmare. Freedom of speech was curtailed. National leaders iconized and demonized in the winks of eyes. History was treated as flexibly as a fairy tale or a make-believe Sunday matinee. I watched in terror as sweet hoi polloi exploded into a fire-burning pitchforkwielding lynch-mob ready to shred the very same being they had wooed just moments ago.
Meanwhile, those who would speak out have been locked up. The military has been beefed up. And the rest of you had better shut up!
It truly makes the heart and stomach plunge to witness from a comfortably velvetized balcony just how US people … oops, I mean OZ people … were manipulated by the sham wizard. “The people need an enemy” he explains.
And so he and his complicitous media hack turn reality into a twister, obscuring the truth and downright lying about the guilt of those currently filling the glittery shoes of leadership.
How far can this go? How long can this metaphor, this nightmare, continue? Clearly, nobody is encouraged or taught how to think in this world. The few who refuse to go along nicely are either corrupted or destroyed.
And what about you, reader? Do you think? Are you thinking that this is no longer a theatre review and has become a political editorial? Perhaps that is because Oz, Baum and especially the Wizard have always been vehicles for sociopolitical commentary. Novelist Gregory Maguire and playwrights Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman were stepping into rich and dangerous territory when they braved the likes of Dorothy, Boq and the other denizens of Gilliken, Winkie and Quadlinglands.

What’s that? The stage show doesn’t match the movie? Or the books? Or even the novel **Wicked,** upon which it is based? Don’t worry. None of it is really true! It’s all merely pop fiction. And even it weren’t just a uniquely American fantasy metaphor, who decides Witch history is the correct one? Ding Dong!
Regarding Elphaba of the West, the baddest bitch of the silver age screen, well, we are told the secret story of her hideous birth, emerald florescence and enviable end. Forget the “official” version and leave your childhood beliefs behind. We are let in on the true story, if truth really
exists. Wicked suggests, and I agree, that truth is malleable and entirely subjective. Given only a few, spectacularly-lit-yetflimsy gowns of evidence, the smallest fear can billow into a beautiful banshee, filling the stage with amorphous black evil, diaphanous and eerie, truly Defying Gravity and sanity.
The real terror in this world is when people buy into the idea of 100% good or 100% evil. When there is no room for gray (or green), decisions can be hasty and deceptively clear. But in fact, says Wicked, clarity is just another malleable tool, used by the media/reality wizards. Is that so
surprising? Your own Mom probably used the line “Because I said so” to instantly and irrevocably shape your reality with mere verboserocity. Just put on your green glasses and play nicelike … or else!

The language used by these Ozites, especially Goofalinda and Madame Morrible, is delightable and quirkacious, and entirely Baumian; contemporary-ish to the Bowery Boys and certainly a welcome delight when so much theatre seems to go for guttural grit over mental grist.
The costumes in this production were obsessively superb, honoring the cinematic and literarily established flavor of Oz garb — a sort of baroque anything goes formality — and the men dancing in dresses almost make up for the lackluster score. Perhaps if the chorus were more goodly elocuted and audibillable over the underwhelming  orchestration they would stand out better. Or maybe the tunification was a bit unispirable. Oh sure, it was all Wonderful (and yes, I cried at the end, ok?) but the real strength of this particular production was not musical. It was verbal and philosophical.
Stephanie J. Block is a splendid icky-witch, instantly endearing us all to the Scourge of Munchkinland. Margaret Hamilton would no doubt be delighted that her character has been repainted as an odd beauty with a honorable soul and the “hottest” of boyfriends, would-be Winkie King Sebastian Arcelus. Perfect Kendra Kassebaum no doubt fabulously glistens even out of costume, and somehow outrageously lampoons Glinda the Good without actually destroying the fragile eggshell of confidence and security that we remember so well from Billy Burke’s twittering blip. One thing is for sure, after this, watching Judy’s slippered sachet down the golden lane will never be the same.

Which witch are you with? Wicked asks: when you to look into the mirror do you find the protector of free speech with a beryl pallor, or do you see the bubble-wrapped fuchsia bimbo of Popular-ity? Doors open, doors close, people change and make decisions that may or may not be good. It just depends on how you look at it. Life and love are complex, and you are in big bad trouble if you don’t try to see things from many different points of view.

There’s also this curious Miss Piggy/Kermit lesbian love undercurrent that runs through the musical production of Wicked. The sweetest ballad by far is “For Good” sung not between hetero love interests but by Gay-Linda and the Wicked One herself, proving beyond dispute that pink and green are complimentary polarities just as black/white, good/evil, truth/whatever.
Wicked exonerates Elphaba, sort of. In the end she becomes obsessed with power and those fabulous shoes.
More importantly Wicked also implicates Galinda, and her gaggle of ignoramus sycophants, Dancing Through Life and willingly accepting pablum, coverups and happy untruths as the price of “party-on” simplicity. Could they have it any other way?
It is a fabulous, exotic and terrifying dream to be stuck in. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dodo, and if only I could just wake up with Dorothy, everything would be Wonderful.

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Mraz the Spaz


Story and photo by John Chambrone
ST. PETERSBURG—Singer Jason Mraz is not one to shy away from his self-described geekiness. He actually embraces it. “Here I am, this skinny little white kid wearing this
pink polo shirt, just feeling totally awkward. I probably looked like the biggest nerd.” The former cheerleading camper even penned the tune ‘Geek in the Pink,’ describing the colored shirt he bares no shame wearing in public. Leaving the pink shirt behind at a recent Janus Landing
performance, Mraz’s fifteen-song performance drew heavily from his sophmore release, Mr. A-Z. “I get to meet a lot of awkward teenagers, and right now they’re kind of feeling like they’re not cool, but it’s usually the geeks that are the cool people, and the people who think they’re really cool are usually the geeks,” he said. “But the bottom line is we’re all the same people. We’re all just a bunch of geeks trying to make it up as we go along.”
One can see that Mraz is passionate about his music, but maybe he should leave the rapping to the professionals. He is at his best when he just sings. Case in point, Mraz opened the show with his single “Life Is Wonderful.” It is a beautiful song with a ‘la la la la’ type chorus. His ‘rhyme,’
two songs later, just wasn’t as impressive. Sure, the guy can master the mike, but I think he is selling himself short. Mraz is the geeky, sensitive, artist type, and the rapping just clashed with what he is perceived to be. Midway through his performance, opening act Tristan Prettyman came onstage and they dueted his song “Shy That Way.”
Mraz has been busy on the concert circuit recently, opening for acts like Liz Phair, Alanis Morissette and the Rolling Stones. Relishing his time on the road with Mick Jagger and the Stones was an experience he will never forget. Not only did he get to watch them perform nightly, but he got a few chances to talk to the members of the band. His biggest moment came, however, when he got his mom backstage to meet them. Mraz joked that it was fun
seeing his mother acting like a teenager when she got to meet the legendary Rolling Stones.

About his time at cheerleader camp, he confesses there were a few reasons behind attending it. Screaming into a megaphone during rallies may up your geek factor tenfold, but Mraz says he milked every second of the opportunity.
“There were three guys and like 400 beautiful cheerleaders,” the singer joked. “It’s like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I don’t know why guys get flack for being a cheerleader, because it’s the best gig you could ask for.” While in high school, Mraz was also involved with choir, drama, and spent many a Friday night at Skate America.

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Brokeback is a Hit!


TAMPA—The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation was among the organizations lauding the opening weekend success of Ang Lee’s long-awaited gay cowboy flick, Brokeback
Mountain. Opening in just five theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the film took in a record three-day box office total of $544,549, or an average of $109,000 per screen — both the highest per-screen average for any film release in 2005 and the highest per-screen average ever for an adult drama, according to Exhibitor Relations Co, Inc.
Not only does Brokeback seem to be a commercial hit, but it is a critical success, as well. When the Golden Globe nominations were announced, the film lead the pack with seven, including Best Picture, a Best Director nod for Ang Lee and Best Actor for Heath Ledger, making it a leading contender for the Oscars.
Brokeback Mountain opened in limited release in December, and will expand to more theaters in January. Check local listings for a theater near you.

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