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Volume 5, Number 37 | September 14 - 20, 2006 Comment

Uganda Witch Hunt Escalates

A new police crackdown has begun in the ongoing anti-gay witch hunt in Uganda, kicked off in August with the public outing of 45 alleged homosexuals by a daily newspaper belonging to a government minister. Comment

So. Africa Marriage Retreat

Facing a deadline of December 1 set late last year by the nation’s highest court to cure the inequality of the existing marriage law, the government and cabinet of South African President Thabo Mbeki has proposed that Parliament adopt a Civil Union Bill that would allow both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to form legally-recognized “civil partnerships.” Comment

Slow Homecomings

Patricia Foulkrod’s documentary “The Ground Truth,” is a clarion call for Americans’ moral reckoning with the hundreds of thousands of our armed service members deployed in Iraq. Through interviews with 30 active and retired soldiers and their families, “The Ground Truth” circles from basic training to active duty and return home as veterans. The result is something like Industrialized Slaughter for Beginners, an unpretentious tutorial that gathers cumulatively devastative force. Comment

Painting the Clintonites as Them

The audacity of the Republicans continues to amaze. Comment

Oddballs, Freaks, And Geniuses

Playwright and screenwriter Doug Wright is known for his biting, intelligent, and humane portraits of creative people in emotional distress. His play “Quills” about the final days of the Marquis de Sade in the Charenton asylum was turned into an award-winning film with Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet. Comment

News Briefs

Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, also a former closet case, taped his appearance on “Oprah” this week to be shown September 19. He has been sworn to silence by the publishers of his book, “The Confession,” until then. While Oprah swore her audience members to silence and did not admit the press, one told the New York Daily News, “Not impressed with him or his story.” Another said, “It’s not my type of show.” While one told the New York Times, “He was very real, whether you agreed with him or not,” another said, “It was underwhelming.” Comment

Lewdness Raps Pleaded Out

A New Jersey Municipal Court judge who has given harsh sentences to gay men convicted of lewdness in the Palisades Interstate Park allowed two men who were charged with lewdness to plead guilty on September 7 to a lesser charge of violating a park ordinance. Comment

Letters to the Editor

September 4, 2006 Comment

6,000 and Counting

At a gathering earlier this month of LGBT journalists in Miami, a noted practitioner-critic was asked to defend his assertion that the gay press has an irretrievable liberal slant. After several back and forths on that issue, he settled on the observation that Gay City News reports the names of American soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Comment

Key Gay Defeats in Primary

On a primary election day in which most of the marquee races were run-aways, Ken Diamondstone of Brooklyn was turned back in his bid to become the state Senate’s second out gay member. And Larry Moss, also gay and a longtime Lower Manhattan state committeeman who led in putting New York’s Democratic Party on record in favor of marriage equality and against the war in Iraq, lost in his bid to retain his post. Comment

Existential Irony

“Dark Matter,” a group show at 55 Mercer curated by Peter Gregorio and Mike Egan, embraces the shadowy side of life. Different from the trends of “new social realism,” or the bratty, identity-based work of the recent past, this show has a depth and critical poignancy missing in the prevalent art world environment of entertainment and theatrics. Comment

Don’t Sell It Short

I have to admit, I went to see “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me” gleefully anticipating the kind of theatrical schadenfreude that often goes along with the one-time TV-star’s one-person show. I had even tried to work up some barbs that might be funny in advance to pepper what I anticipated would be a salty review—without the aid of alcoholic consumption, no matter what my detractors might suppose. Comment

Dead Pet Trophy Art

Alessandra Exposito creates curiously appealing sculptures—trophy heads—by embellishing animal skulls. The scale of the skulls range from a horse to mice, which are unbelievably tiny (about 1.4” long), in addition to a number of hens, cats, and dogs. On each skull, she paints a glossy foundation of white, black, or bubble gum pink, then a detailed color cameo portrait of the animal. She writes its name in elaborate script, and adds filigree decorations of flowers or icons presumably germane to the animal’s life. She outlines eye and nose cavities with rhinestones, and adds sculpted horns or antlers for a finishing touch, creating an intoxicating mythology for each deceased critter. Comment

Confirmed Dead and Wounded

The following members of the United States Armed Forces died during the past two weeks in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the inception of hostilities, 2,670 service members have died, 2,526 of them since President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far 20,113 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

COMMUNITY GEARS UP FOR MARRIAGE RIGHTS SEP. 20 & 28

Having been denied the right to marry by New York’s highest court this summer, supporters of marriage for same-sex couples are getting down to business with a series of public meetings and rallies around the state, starting with two here in the city later this month. Comment

Cher as an Agent of Change

It’s difficult to imagine that a Cher impersonator could raise a ruckus on a Friday night in Atlantic City. Comment

Brilliant Solos, Tender Duets

If you’re looking for lithe bodies moving in space, you will find them. If you’re looking for expressions of joy, grief, love, rock ‘n roll, and childlike imagination, you will find them, too. And if you’re looking for new choreographic voices emerging in young, practiced, and well-established dance makers, you will find them all at Dancenow/NYC, the homegrown fall dance festival of local companies and performers. Comment

Au Revoir, Charles Aznavour

French singer, songwriter, and actor Charles Aznavour, one of France’s most popular and enduring singers, and one of the most well-known French singers abroad—on par with Edith Piaf—will be give his final American performance at Radio City Music Hall next Monday and Tuesday. The 82-year-old Parisian-born son of Armenian immigrants who sings in six languages still remembers his first performance here in New York. Comment

AN UGLY DENOUEMENT

Sean Patrick Maloney, an out gay Democratic candidate for state attorney general who often argued that he was the contender with the ideas and passion to do the job best, chose to end his quest with a shocking Primary Day campaign mailing. Comment

Advocates Protest Name Change Denial

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is objecting after a Manhattan Civil Court judge denied name changes to four transgendered women who sought the new names as part of transitioning to their female sex. Comment

7 Days in cinema

RECENTLY NOTED. Comment

$2 Million HIV Verdict Reversed

The Appellate Court of Illinois has reversed a $2 million jury verdict in an HIV-liability case, in which a woman won a trial judgment against the parents of her now-deceased fiancé who had assured her while their son was alive of his good health even as she harbored suspicions that he had infected her with HIV. Comment

Willi Ninja Is Dead at 45

Willi Ninja, a legendary figure in the drag ball community, died Saturday at New York Hospital Queens at the age of 45. Comment

Why Tasini Matters

“If you put my issues in one column and her issues in the other column, and you took our names off, I would win this primary and I don’t think it would be close.” Comment

Where Policy and Politics Clash

For the second time in four years, Larry Moss is facing competition for an office that he readily admits “often goes begging.” Comment

The Simple Life

Andy Warhol lined Marilyn Monroe’s eyelids in baby blue, her lips in vivid tangerine, over and over again, one Marilyn after another—in serial permutation—for emphasis. Comment

The Heart Is Hollow

If you have any cherished memories of “The Fantasticks,” the famous off-Broadway musical that lasted nearly 42 years and played 17,162 performances at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, I would suggest that to keep them intact, you avoid the dreary, over-processed reproduction now at the Snapple Theater Center. Ironically, this show about the romance of memory and innocence is—in its current revival—jaded, plastic, and dull, and while you may “Try to Remember,” the sad reality, as the lyric goes, is that “the heart is hollow.” Comment

Stonewall Tavern to Remain Open

Despite recent reports in the New York Observer and elsewhere, the historic Stonewall Tavern on Christopher Street appears likely to remain open, even if under new owners. According to the owner of the building that houses the bar, Duell Management, a new tenant has just signed a lease on the premises and plans to keep operating under the same name as a gay establishment. Comment

Sticking to His Guns

“Look, this is the critical moment for a candidate like me,” Maloney told Gay City News in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “I am not looking for an easy out or a quick fix, and I am staying in this race to the end. I am very proud of the campaign we’ve run.” Comment

Sound Of The Crowd

Juan Carlos Rulfo’s documentary “In the Pit,” screening in this year’s edition of “Latin Beat” at the Walter Reade, begins like an old-fashioned process study—a dam is erected, a ship is assembled, a candidate sold. Now a road is being built. The Periférico, a giant autobahn girdling Mexico City, is having a second tier installed, meant to relieve the capital’s chronic gridlock by lofting commuters between areas on an elevated ribbon. Comment

Scholar of Discrimination in NYC

Recently transplanted from Santa Barbara, California to New York to teach in the political science department at Hunter College, Aaron Belkin has spent considerable time thinking big thoughts about sexy topics such as aerial coercion, strategic bombing, and coup risk. But his major area of inquiry is gays in the military, which led to his founding of the influential Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Comment

Reform, Community Ties Dominate Race

The Democratic Primary race in the 25th State Senate District that covers portions of Manhattan and Brooklyn has been a wild seesaw of charges and countercharges over how close each of the two candidates is to the communities that make up the district and who best can advocate for reform in Albany. Comment

Rallying Round the Frontrunner

Asked at the conclusion of a 30-minute interview to summarize the key elements in his pitch for gay and lesbian votes, Andrew Cuomo, one of four Democrats competing in the September 12 Democratic Primary for state attorney general, tailored two of his standard campaign themes to specific LGBT interests but led off by invoking the enormous advantages within the community he carried into the race. Comment

Quickie Queer Fest

Film festivals are fun, but often frustrating. There are so many movies to see and yet so little time to see them. Comment

Primary Election Day—Our Picks

Tuesday, September 12 is Primary Election Day in New York State. The highest profile races—for the U.S. Senate, for governor, and for state attorney general—look perhaps to be runaways, in the primary and maybe even in the November general election. Still, in a political era when incumbency is often king, a surprising number of seats in Congress, the state Senate, and the Assembly are up for grabs. Comment

Participation Required

Relational architecture, technological theater, 21st century art. Call it what you want, but the interactive, participatory, and dynamic works of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer are much more alive and connective than any theoretical reduction can convey. Comment

Out, Proud & Young in Dublin

Ireland’s gay magazine, GCN, short for Gay Community News, last week celebrated publication of its 200th issue—with a new edition of the magazine entirely edited and written by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered teenagers. Comment

News Briefs

Iraqi militias, empowered by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, are imposing Sharia law with a vengeance, executing gay people, unaccompanied women, and even those who wear shorts, British gay activist Peter Tatchell reported in the Tribune. He wrote that “the violent persecution of gay people is commonplace. It is encouraged by Iraq’s leading cleric, the British and U.S.-backed Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani” who has issued a fatwa against all gay Iraqis. Comment

Letters to the Editor

Please address letters to the editor to Comment

Lesbian Integration

Writer/director Georgia Lee describes the Wong family—around whom her film “Red Doors” revolves—as dysfunctional. She’s being unkind to her characters, who are actually quite wholesome. Sure, her patriarch vanishes halfway through the film, but the rest of the family gets along okay without him. Comment

Dishing It Out

Bob hangs, Huffman rocks, Mizoguchi muses “So, like, does anyone know what this play is about?” inquired one investment broker of his buddies, all sipping wine from a box, waiting to see “Mother […] Comment

Incumbency’s Quick Troubles

With the Democratic primary election for Assembly in the East Side’s 74th District less than a week away, most are calling it a two-person race between the incumbent, Sylva Friedman, and ambitious challenger Brian Kavanagh. Comment

Glimmers of Hope at the Five-Year Mark

The fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks will produce heavy bursts of rhetoric—the president alone is giving three speeches. Comment

Down to the Wire in Brooklyn

In one of the final debates among the Democratic contenders for Brooklyn’s 11th Congressional District, the candidates offered voters a choice among four supporters of gay marriage and other goals sought by the lesbian and gay community. Comment

Death of A Superman

Television is an amazing thing. In George Clooney’s excellent picture “Good Night and Good Luck,” the character of Edward R. Murrow, as portrayed by David Strathairn, delivers a speech on the potential of the medium to enlighten and educate the masses, and he has a point. Television has great potential, as we’ve seen through its journalism and occasionally its programming. However, television isn’t cinema, a point that it is important not to forget. Comment

Blues In The Night

This September, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center will feature a month-long “Women in Jazz Festival” featuring outstanding female jazz artists. None better to lead the list than the dynamic singer songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway. Having just released an exhilarating CD, “Blues in the Night,” Callaway will celebrate by sharing insights and anecdotes about her life in music and performing songs from her CD with the stellar trio of Ted Rosenthal on piano, Jay Leonhart on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums. Comment

Absurd Romeo & Juliet Outcome

It has been years since North Carolina revised its sex crime statutes to add a so-called Romeo & Juliet provision removing criminal penalties for consensual intercourse between teenagers less than three years apart in age, even when one is above the age of consent, the other below. Comment

7 Days in cinema

RECENTLY NOTED. Comment

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