Posts Tagged ‘In The News’
Selene Luna and I got all dressed up and went to the premiere of Dancing with the Stars last night to watch the gayest season yet. You have the incredible Carson Kressley, the adorable Chaz Bono and the beautiful Ricki Lake all competing and I really think it is going to be a disco bloodbath. It’s fag-on-trans-on-fag-hag-violence. There is so much GLBT happening I can’t believe there isn’t a leather contingent. Who’s gonna go home with the mirrorball trophy? Don’t ask!!! Don’t tell!!!
Closest to my heart is Chaz, who is the first transman I have seen on mainstream television, and he was great. There is so much controversy surrounding him, and I don’t understand what it is about. He’s bonafide Hollywood royalty – it doesn’t get more legit than Sonny and CHER, he’s got the moves – what is the problem? Why does homophobia reach into people’s lives where their very participation in LIFE becomes a controversy? Why are people mad about a transman being on tv? I am mad when transgendered people are NOT on tv. Why shouldn’t they be on tv? It’s called fucking “TV.”
I was elated to see Chaz on the dance floor, and the judges gave him lots of wonderful feedback on his performance. He’s also got the hotness as a partner. Selene and I were simply freaking out over the hypnotic power of Lacey Schwimmer’s ass. I have been trying to grow my own ass like hers but it isn’t working. I need to plant some ass seeds. What is marvelous is that Lacey’s outgoing personality and Chaz’s sweet shyness blend well – together they are absolutely gorgeous and I hope they go far. I loved Carson Kressley’s performance too. He had on the most unexpected shade of brown I had ever seen, almost a burnt sienna, a very 70s instant coffee with brandy brown, and he and Anna seemed to have the most fun of all. I think to be successful on the show, you need to be who you are, and Carson was completely Carson and that is the best. Ricki Lake was a beautiful dancer, and I love her classically perfect face glowing as she was gliding across the floor in her ballroom shoes.
I really don’t want to see anyone go home, just because it is so fun to watch television, and feel included. When I see Chaz, Carson and Ricki I feel like I am in the game somehow too (I was in the game but went home early). I wonder if anyone is going to go hard like me – I got voted off after wearing the rainbow flag and dancing to Barry Manilow, but I feel like I primed the yellow brick road for this season of DWTS, which is it’s gayest yet and that is saying a lot. I will be back to watch from the audience as much as I can – to show support and love and also because this is my big heavyweight championship/superbowl/world series rolled into one. Can’t wait!
I am disgusted by Roger Waters act of defacing what really should be a national monument – Elliott Smith’s memorial wall on Sunset Blvd. His advertisers, trying to get hipsters to see him tour “The Wall” yet fucking AGAIN have put graffiti all over the beloved Silverlake monument. I am not a Pink Floyd hater. I loved “The Wall” – and when the movie came out, it totally changed my life. I decided that my life would be like the groupie Jenny Wright played – all spandex and denim vest and laminates without a bra. That was me – that is me. I don’t have anything against Roger Waters personally, but this is so shitty!
If you live in LA, are a Largo regular, love indie rock and live east of Robertson, then to you, Elliott Smith is like family. It’s like someone defaced our family crypt. I am so disappointed. I am so sick about it. And all of us, the broken-hearted Elliott Smith fans who still miss him so badly, who won’t see him at Sasquach or Bonnaroo or Largo with Jon Brion ever again, who won’t get to hear a new song or a new album from him ever ever ever again because he is gone gone gone from this world forever and the only thing keeping him alive is our love for him – our grateful, undying, everchanging, ever-evolving – ever strong devotion and love for him – for us – that wall – that wall was all we had. We have the records, we have the songs all on heavy rotation, I have a rare burned-by-Elliott-Smith-himself CD of all the songs off “From a Basement on the Hill,” beautifully raw and yet unmixed and unmastered – it’s my prized possession. And once, we had a monument, where we could go and say hello and goodbye and I love you and I’m sorry.
And now we don’t. Because of corporate greed and total ignorance – this idea that there are ‘hipster’ locations that you can co-opt for yourself. Well you can’t. Fuck Roger Waters. You have become another brick in the wall.
This is a song about someone who is in prison…
Written and performed by Margaret Cho and Ben Lee. Produced by Ben Lee, engineered and additional instruments by Nic Johns. Camera by Ione Skye. Graphics & Editing by Al Ridenour. Download the song for free, for a limited time only, until March 20, 2010:
John Mayer is deeply sorry, and everyone is accepting it. Our society allows racism in people as long as there is an apology after. It’s better if it is tearful and really should be accompanied by an icon like Rev. Al Sharpton or Bishop Desmond Tutu in your corner, like they have your back. Like they are gonna notarize your ‘hood pass.’
I am angry about the hateful word he used. And I am super mad about the other thing….What does it mean that he has a “David Duke cock?” Is that supposed to mean that women of color are not sexy and beautiful? That women of color are unfuckable to him? That is rude and disgusting and I don’t care if his music is good (I don’t know it well, so I can’t say. I only love Jon Brion and Garrison Starr and Ani Difranco and Grant Lee Phillips and Tegan and Sara and Cypress Hill and Billie Holliday and Doria Roberts and Fiona Apple and Joan Armatrading and MIA and The Cliks and Miles Davis and David Bowie and Ben Lee and Susie Suh and Rachael Yamagata and Andrew Bird and I don’t know much about how John Mayer sounds).
What I do know, is to say you have a ‘David Duke cock’ is demeaning to women of color. What I know is it’s a slap in the face to all beautiful women of color. And I must say, it’s hard enough to be a woman of color in this world and feel beautiful. It’s hard enough to live in this skin and feel good without having rock stars saying that you are not worthy. We feel unworthy enough. Society tells us enough we are not worth it, by not including us in anything. By not showing us in our glory. We are not presented in the movies or TV as much as beautiful desirable creatures. We are barely shown at all. And then you – John Mayer – rock ‘god’ tell us that we are not fuckable? I don’t care if you don’t want to fuck me. But keep this to yourself. Keep the idea that you don’t like to fuck women of color to yourself. Keep it from our ears because we don’t need to hear that the man who would say “your body is a wonderland” really only means it if our bodies are white, if our hair is blonde. If we are Jessica Simpson. And only if we are Jessica Simpson.
Keep this from the ears of all the young beautiful young girls who love you, who have your posters on their walls and now are looking at those posters and feeling weird because they are not white and now your music, which they so loved, makes them feel bad inside. Like you don’t love them. Like you never did. Like if you saw them you would look the other way. Like they’d be invisible to you because they are not white. These young girls who are not white – they loved your music so much and you are paying them back for it with arrogance and blistering hatred that you don’t even know would hurt like it did. I am glad not to have known your music before this and been a fan of it, because if I loved you before and you said that, it would make me hate myself even more than I do already. This revelation of yours would have crushed me. If I was a young fan of yours and you said that it would hurt me so much. Thank god I am not. Was not. But I am hurting now for the many many many many many young girls who are fans of yours. You wounded them and they will never be able to heal. Ever. I hope you read this. I hope you think about this part of it. it’s not been talked about in press. But I hope you know that part. The young girls who love you who are not white. Think about them. So it keeps you from doing it again.
I try to think about Duran Duran, and how I loved them and how they always had women of color as objects of desire in their videos. In “Hungry like the Wolf,” Simon was chasing down a beautiful black/asian mixed girl. In “Rio,” she was latino with curvy hips and black hair and a bright bright smile. If they’d said something back then like what you said John Mayer, I would have killed myself. I would have died. If they said only white girls got them hard, it would have been the end of me.
It’s sickening to think that we can exist in a world where these words of hate can be cast off quickly without repercussion or blame. People forget. But that doesn’t make racism go away. It infuriates me because I can’t cast off my ethnicity with an apology. These are people who have never been discounted because of their race. They’ve never been left out of a comedy show because they’ve already got an asian or a gay or a woman. They’ve never been passed over for a part because the producers decided not to ‘go ethnic.’ They’ve never had to endure the invisibility that people of color live with on a daily basis.
I am so used to being invisible it stuns me when people pay attention to what I say. I am so used to blending into the scenery that it’s shocking that anyone cares what I do. I am so used to people looking at me like I am ‘the help’ that it doesn’t even bother me. I just stay there and I try to help. And I don’t care. These stars who toss about racist hateful speech have never felt what it feels like to be called something hateful – that they cannot deny. They’ve never been in that situation, when you are a victim of hate, but you have to agree. That is what racism is. What hate speech is. Why it’s so terrible is that the word you may have called me – it’s correct, in your racist estimation. It hurts because its meant to. That is why we don’t use those words. Because of the history and the pain and the shame and the tears and the rage they have caused.
Even though I love Lenny Bruce, I do have to say, I disagree when he says that these words can’t hurt you. I think they do. They hurt me. When people use hate speech, it hurts me. It hurts even though I am not that particular race. It hurts because I know what it feels like to be in an inescapable skin. I can’t escape this color. I can’t be the right color. I can never.
It could be hard too for those who are not ‘of color.’ I am never going to be white, and I’m never going to know what it feels like to have the responsibility of not being a racist. I guess I feel bad for white people sometimes because they do have to watch what they say, but then again, it really doesn’t matter does it? Michael Richards is back on tv, and it’s cool. Everyone’s forgotten his terrifying, violent rant that to me sounded like what klansmen would say before they lynched someone in the 30s. I don’t know him, and I don’t know personally that he’s a racist. All I know is that in the two times that I have seen him in public, close enough to touch, he has been screaming at someone, and those people were not white. I guess he was sorry because he got caught doing what he normally does and it was on TMZ and it made him look bad to the world. He was super sorry about it. Way super sorry. And that is nice that he was sorry. He even went to Mexico behind it, as if there was some special retreat for racists there where you could read bell hooks and Angela Davis and Cornel West all day and think about what is wrong with you and right with them.
Dog the Bounty Hunter never left the small screen. His racism was kind of just buried under that amazing mullet. I don’t know if he is racist, but I think his hair is racist.
And Mel Gibson never had to stop making movies. He is even in a big one now. Really big. And no one mentions a thing.
Does racism hurt your career or is it good for it? I don’t know. If I was white, I think I would try to be as racist as possible because it keeps you current. Keeps you relevant. People will tweet about you more. People will be outraged but you’ll still be on the homepage of Yahoo and everyone will want to know exactly what you said, when you said it, and how you said it. And aint that showbiz?
Now who uses cameras more than Asian people? Of course that is a racist and stereotypical assumption, but I am Asian and I am allowed to make racist and stereotypical assumptions as they refer to me! I am mostly a videographer myself, but many, many, many members of my family are straight up photo addicted. And my Asian friends sometimes get so hopped up on taking pictures that that they get ‘picture drunk.’ They try to get people to pose together, staggering further and further back to get a better shot, to include all the faces in the frame, to make sure nothing is growing out of someone’s head in the background, or to make sure something is growing out of someone’s head in the background. Like drunks, they are in their own universe, not knowing or caring when they are about to knock into some unsuspecting bystander. If they aren’t in the frame, they don’t exist. They shouldn’t exist. All they care about is the picture, and not that your drink is going to be spilled everywhere. All they care about is the shot. They are high on the frame and getting something good to put up on their facebook so they can tag away! So it upsets me to no end that some of these newfangled face detection cameras are actually racist! Asian people using them are told by the camera that the subject blinked – when in truth, this is how our eyes are!
I have had it with the inherent racism in so many different types of products. I can’t wear a sleeping mask, even though I must sleep many times during daylight hours because of my work schedule. Almost every kind of sleeping mask I have ever tried pushes my eyes back into my skull. I don’t have deep eye sockets. My eyeballs are seated at the front of my face, which is common in most Asian faces. And so I stay awake all day long when I desperately need sleep. Because of racism! I have never had a pair of glasses fit properly because I don’t have a raised bridge on my nose. My nose will not support eyewear. It’s like the world would rather I not see. I don’t wear sunglasses because of this bizarre phenomenon. It seems that 1/4 or more of the earth’s population is in the same boat as I when it comes to glasses. We are the boat people who are not supposed to sleep, not supposed to see, and not supposed to take pictures to witness what is happening to us!
If you can find me a non-racist pair of glasses, a sleeping mask that will not hold my head hostage and a face detection camera that understands that Asian people are not ‘blinking,’ then you will have found the beginning of true progress.
I am sending out many prayers constantly to Haiti, to the world, to the forces of nature. Please help us help our people. What is happening to the earth? Why are you so violently opposing us? We are only human beings. What have we done? Do we not worship you enough? It’s probably true. We don’t. As inhabitants of a great and vengeful mother, we abuse her love constantly. Do we give thanks to the air we breathe? I don’t. Do we thank her for water as it pours down in vast, unending grey sheets and leaves my tiny California town awash in mud and blinking traffic lights? I am not thanking her for that, as I watch the soil slowly break and melt away from the roots of the mighty trees that have lived for maybe a century behind the new apartment complexes being built on my block.
We try to build up, continue construction, try to act as if the ground will hold us, when it will never promise to. It will shake us off any second. It’s a wonder anyone anywhere is alive ever. The way we treat the planet, we truly don’t deserve to live on her. The way we treat each other, it is as if we act like we aren’t all in this together. This life. The world is you, the world is me. When one place hurts, everything hurts. In Haiti, when people are still dying underneath the rubble of the terrible earthquake, cruise ships are still docking, with rich tourists trying to act like death isn’t surrounding them. Just because they are just out of earshot of the screams, isn’t the smell of death permeating the air?
Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson are using the horror of this tragedy and the suffering of human beings to make political points about race and ‘the devil.’ I don’t understand why Rush Limbaugh still insists on speaking publicly while he is high. I have nothing against drugs really, but I do think that when you are high, you should keep your dumb, drug-addled thoughts to yourself. And Pat Robertson, well, he should just be put down. He clearly needs to be put out of his misery, so we can be put out of ours for having to hear anything he has to say. How dare he call this tragedy a result of ‘a pact with the devil’? Who is the devil? You, Pat Robertson, are the devil. Or in the service of one. Go to him. He needs you back.
When I think about Haiti, the little I know, I know that the people are resilient. They must be, to have endured such poverty and political upheaval and strife and tragedy and everything. And everything. Voodoo/Santeria is not devil worship. Many of the religious traditions of Haiti have a deep connection with Africa, as the slaves brought over so many years ago continued to worship their gods under the constant gaze of their masters and the clergy trying to convert them to ‘christianity.’ They kept their deities – throughout the utter dehumanization of slavery and the insanity of people thinking they can own people and that they can somehow save them through this ownership – cannily cloaking them in the faces, statues, images and garb of Catholic saints. I just think that is so damn cool.
I want to pray to Yemaya and Oshun, or Erzuli as she is called in Haiti – orishas that I have only a passing acquaintance with. I don’t know them well enough to say they are my goddesses. I only know them enough to say hi sometimes, when I see them. But those who do know tell me I am under the watch of both of these beautiful mothers. For some reason, they share me. They have joint custody. And even though I belong to them, I don’t know all their Haitian names. They have different ones sometimes in Haiti, as they do in Nigeria, as they do in Brazil, as they do in Cuba, as they do in Mexico, as they do in Los Angeles. But when I call them, I know they know I am calling them, even if I have the name wrong in my phone book, even though the letters are misspelled in my haste and sometimes include numbers.
Oshun – I know, is said to answer prayers very quickly, like me with my emails. Oshun has a Blackberry Storm, made of gold and honey and vanilla beans and peacock feathers and the love of humankind, and it’s always on, and you can text her anytime and she will get back to you as soon as you have hit ‘send.’ She is always in range, although now, I am sure she is very busy, saving people, helping people save people, helping people send love and money and support via her care, saving lives, sparing lives, comforting those who have lost.
Yemaya, the orisha of the sea, and the mother of all humanity, is probably perplexed by the cruise ships docking on her Haitian ports. She is probably only allowing them to stay there as long as they are delivering much needed aid to her people. They fucking better be. Seriously, they better be.
I want Chango to strike down all those who use this pain to further their ‘political’ agendas. I want Oya to guide the dead swiftly to the afterlife. I want to ask the earth for mercy. And I want Pat Robertson to shut the fuck up.
Haiti Earthquake Relief: How You Can Help