Little Kiwi and Bauhaus

Little Kiwi and Bauhaus
A Boy and His Dog

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

X-Mas Gifts for the Soul

So the sister and brother-in-law arrived from Wales for a good old fashioned Canuck Christmas this year.  And it's been bliss.  Everyone convening at the 'rents for the holidays!

Yesterday morning had a beautiful surprise.  Mum and Dad opened their gifts from my sister and her husband, and it was the tee-shirts you'll see in the photos.  As Mum and Dad tried their shirts on, my sister and her husband removed their own sweaters to reveal that they had their own versions of the gifted-tee on underneath.

"Glad to get that off, it's bloody hot", said my bro in law.

They got the shirts because they missed Pride this past summer. Warmed my heart.  Tears in everyone's eyes.  Not just because they're doing this "for me" - but because they do this for everyone else out there that may not have the parent or sibling who gives the support that they have always, always, always, given me.  That's the beautiful thing about our Straight Allies - it shows other straight people that they can, and should, do the same.

So, here's the pic we snapped on Christmas morning.  A family of love.
















Which almost made up for the Hideously Ugly Christmas Sweater Festival that has been plaguing us for the last two days.  Oh dear GOD, they're so ugly...










Friday, 19 October 2012

Yeah, You Sound Totally Well-Adjusted














*SIGHHHHHH*
Where to begin, oh where to begin?  Right. I sound like a stereotypical fag, and he doesn't sound at all like a stereotypical insecure self-hating resentful homosexual who bases his entire sense of self-worth on how "straight" he thinks he appears.  It's so funny, in a tragically sad way, how guys like this fella don't realize that in their desperation to not be "stereotypically gay" they become a neanderthalian caricature of themselves.  

Note the specific uses of "feminine" (ignore his spelling errors), "Fag", "stereotypical", "str8".  Priding himself on his belief that people can't tell that he's gay. The words, terms, and concepts that only insecure homosexuals cling to, obsess over, find a false sense of security in.

If you're going to send me unsolicited messages with the sole intention of being a trolling idiot, I'm going to blog it. I can't imagine he'd object to this being published, though, as he apparently has been Out since he was 12 and has never, at any moment in his life, been treated badly or with prejudice for being gay.  This, by the way, makes him the first gay man I've ever encountered who has not had even one negative experience in his life with regards to anti-gay prejudice.  And there's no way he's lying, because people never ever lie.
;-)

Even from a psychological standpoint his "arguments" (if they can even be called that) make no intellectual sense: Wow, "a big part" of why you never got treated badly was because you were "not the stereotypical fag?" How wonderful for you.  Now, if you as a proud gay man who's been Out since he was 12 (yes, and I'm secretly dating Prince Harry) didn't in turn stand up in solidarity with your *ahem* "stereotypically faggy" brothers, then you're not terribly brave, nor were you actually accepted by anyone.  You were tolerated.  Conditionally.  The condition being that you were not "a stereotypical fag" - instead you were a stereotypical coward who based his identity on Not Being A Stereotypical Fag.

I don't know any confident, Out, masculine gay men who talk like this guy.  I don't know any masculine gay men who denigrate and distance themselves from perceived-"femmes" - that's what insecure homosexuals do. Call me crazy, but I don't associate insecurity with masculinity.  Insecurity is for boys whose balls haven't dropped. Not men.

For some reason the Anonymous Internet Dwellers like to pretend this is merely an issue of "preference"or "masculinity" - it aint.  At no point in my entire life have I ever denigrated "masculinity" - why would I?  For me to "have a problem with masculinity" would certainly come as a massive shock to my friends, gay and straight, and a good number of my lovers.  Yeah. I said it.
There's nothing inherently wrong with masculinity, or concepts of it.  And the same thing goes for femininity.  This is something that guys like "ruggedguy" here don't seem to understand - to them, "fem" is inherently bad. It's a negative.  Fem. Stereotypical. Fag.
Yeah.  You totally sound like a comfortable, confident and well-adjusted homosexual.  The problems arise when one puts down the other to attempt to boost their own stock.
 "I'm so masculine that I hate femme guys", said no confident and empowered gay man, ever.

As for stereotypes, it seems some people mistakenly believe that "Stereotypically Gay" means one thing, and that one thing is "Sparkly and Glittery Singing Showtunes Over Cosmos".  But it's not.  I'd know he was a 'mo on the street, and that's a GOOD thing.  There are all kinds of stereotypes: I myself am a rather obviously stereotypical Shaved Head and Tattoos Gay Who Also Wears Combat Boots. You can be visibly, identifiably and OBVIOUSLY gay without being "feminine" - something these boys don't seem to want to understand.  Gay Jocks. Gay Preps. Gay Bears. Gay Thugs. Gay Geeks. Gay Artists.  Gay Gay Gay.  And being obviously gay is not a bad thing.  In fact, it's a great thing.  Diversity in Visibility, brothers and sisters.

Oh, and for full disclosure, as I have nothing to hide - here's my own Scruff profile, so you can see what this guy was attempting to comment on.











I also like his comment that I need to leave more room in myself to change.  I agree, in theory.  But I don't see how adopting limitations and imposing ceilings on myself is a positive type of change one should aspire to.  I'm not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back, and it's a little bit funny that one would suggest that I'm not being open-minded enough to the possibility that...I should be more closed-minded?  It's like when you engage in a discussion with a Subway Preacher, who tells you that you need to be open to the possibility of becoming more closed-minded like they are.  "Don't be so closed-minded, my friend in Jesus! You need to be OPEN to the truth that I'm telling that everyone ELSE is wrong!"

Sure thing, sugarpie.

And the comment that guys like him aren't into "chit chat".  They are, apparently, into writing rather epic little essays.

Now, online apps are a great big sea of diversity.  Some looking for a quick hook-up, some looking for a long term relationship, some looking for buddies.  But they exist in a weird universe where a person will make comments on their profile that they'd never have the orbs to say in public.
"No Blacks"? Really? I dare you to put that on a tee-shirt and wear it into a bar one night.  See how many friends you make.

If his point was simply that I didn't need to list the things I didn't like (ie, the mascVSfemme divisions, the racial-prejudice-preferences, the HeySupHowzitGoingSupYo? conversation non-starters), then I could simply take it and say "Ok, I'll think about that."  That his entire tone, however, is expressed via uses of "Stereotypical Fem Faggot Homo Fag" only proves my point, and is indeed the reason my profile calls that stuff out - people's prejudices on the Online World are continuing to go unchecked.  If you want to make a point that a person doesn't need to point out the things that they're against, and want to claim that others should give themselves "room to grow", you might not want to start your conversation with "you stereotypical feminine fag."  Just a thought.

You become aware that some guys speak an entirely different language than you.
"Hey. Sup? Hey, wassup? How's it goin? Hi. Hi, sup? U lookin? Got pics? Ur close. Where u at? Hi dude, wassup, you got pics and lookin cuz Ur close?"

To those that speak that particular language, best of luck. Just remember this - rather than asking people questions it might make your own life easier if you're simply clear about who you are, what you're looking for, and what you expect. Don't ask, TELL.  And when it comes to stating your preferences, remember that not only your preferences, but the language you use in which you describe them, can also make it very clear what your prejudices are.

And your insecurities.

Here's the reality, if you really wanna pare it all down - there is no Masc, there is no Femme - there is only gay. And brothers that stand alongside one another are stronger than those who work to create distance.

A parting message from this fella, alternately left on another profile:

Thank you for making my point for me.

I kind of want to put that on a tee-shirt.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Rough Trade Chic


 
 Bruises, bruises, bruises.
Why do I find you so sexy?



It's like butch Man-Drag, essentially
. 

Consider it an extension of the "Scruff-App Look" - you got a hairy chest, a big old beard, some rad-rockin' biceps and a look that screams "I LOVE OFF-ROADING!"?  Yeah, well I've got a split lip and a black eye.  So there.  You're covered in mud? I'm covered in blood. Ish.      And it turns me on.                                                 It's like a piercing or a tattoo, only it doesn't last as long and hurts a heck of a lot more. Maybe it all stems from the complete homoeroticism of FIGHT CLUB, which I saw when I was seventeen.  Same thing with scars - I think they're hot.  Not crazy "look at how I cut myself" scars, but those ones you get from ...well, whatever it is that one does that results in them gettin scarred.  They've all got a story.  Preferably a hot one.  It's that gutter-punk factor.              Dirty Pretty Things.                                            But yeah, there's that undeniable woof-factor to a good ol'bruise.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Once a Dancer....

....Always a Dancer.

My best friend and I met 12 years ago when we were both cast in Mamma Mia. I was 18, he was 26, we shared a dressing room, and the greatest love of all was born.  And now we're both in our thirties.  But bitches, we can still leap with the best of 'em.  Taken while visiting my parents at their place on Lake Ontario.

;-)


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Oh-So-Canadian!

Oh, this adorable athlete makes me want to squeal.  He's so prototypically Canadian it makes me giddy.

It was Canada's first-ever medal in this competition, and we're all super-duper proud of Weinberger's bronze finish.

He's the cutest damn thing in the whole damned world.  And he could teach olympians like Ryan Lochte a thing or two about how being humble is actually endearing *and* sexy.

*swoon*


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

"Straight" is Not a Compliment



                                                  

F A  I  L



                   

There's nothing like a guy "complimenting" you by telling you how "straight" you look, or seem, in order to reinforce my point (or make that "life-thesis") that far too many gay men are still walking around every day putting a premium on hetersexuality (or hetero-normativity) and concepts of Straight.

You know the type(s) - the folks who are still living each day looking over their shoulder wondering and worrying about what The Straights are saying about them.  It's still prevalent, and in many cases I can understand it in the younger members of our communities, who might not yet have found their confidence in a gay identity; they find a false solace instead, and they find it in their ability to "pass for straight" (which I and many others refer to as Passing For White).  Their sense of identity comes from a distancing of "gay" and an embracement of a Falseness - Pride in the ability to pass for what you are not.  Not all guys who are still stuck in this mindset are inherently or irredeemably self-loathing, but it's simply a sign that they're not too well-adjusted yet in their journeys as gay males.  No confident and secure gay male bases a value system, or a sense of actual self-worth, in terms of "how gay" or "how straight" he sees things.

For me, this was a remarkably restrained and benign response to something that I generally have absolutely little tolerance for.  I attempted to make what folks call a "teachable moment."

There was a time in my life when I might have been genuinely flattered by the "compliment" - I'm not very proud of my "early gay" years when I was, indeed, still hoping to find some form of societal acceptance by distancing myself from my gay brothers and sisters in the hopes that an attitude of "Oh yeah, I'm not like those other gay people" would somehow make my life better. I couldn't have been more wrong.  I vividly remember visiting my sister at her university and a male friend of hers "bonding with me" by letting me know that he was cool with me because I "wasn't a faggot."  He didn't mind gay people, and he was cool with me because "I wasn't obviously gay", and that it was "those faggots" that he hated.  I didn't yet have the confidence in myself to tell him what a load of b.s. that was, and it still sticks out in my memory as not only a low moment for me, but a reiteration of a point I've been trying to make for years - just because a prejudiced person "explains themselves" doesn't mean that their explanation makes any sense whatsoever, nor does it mean that their "reasoning" should be given credence and respect.
It was, however, a moment of great change for me as his comment made me angry.  I began reading gay and queer literature again.

I saw, and continue to see, the vanguards and heroes in our community.  The people who put themselves on the line, who embrace an elective visibility, in order to wake up others, change hearts and minds, and actually made actual societal progress in the advancement of LGBT people in our culture.  Reading the works of Ethan Mordden gave me a tremendous sense of not just gay history, but brotherhood - why on earth would I ever want to distance myself from these brothers of mine?  These people who share so many of my scars, and so many of my joys; we are connected.

For many men there is still a desire to "pass for straight." It's not healthy.  It shows a great fear, on their part, that being gay makes them "lesser" as men.  Disdain for "visibly gay" people is often another symptom.  This has nothing to do with concepts of masculinity, however.  Such an argument may come up, but that too will be only in the mind of the man who still wants to appear "straight."  We hear it all the time - the guys who have never been able to reconcile being gay and being a 'real man', and who continue to believe that to be a 'real man' one must be able to embody decidedly stereotypical straight-male characteristics, aesthetics, or manners.  One can very well be 'masculine' in the eyes of greater society and still be visibly, obviously, and identifiably gay.  It doesn't make him any better nor any worse than any male that falls on a different side of the "Perceived-Masc/Femme Spectrum".  Diversity, folks.

Now, the guy who sent me this message is in no way an awful person.  Just someone who would benefit from a change of mindset.
Rethink your value systems.  Interrogate your attractions, your securities, your insecurities, your sense of self and identity.  You cannot hope to find happiness in others or yourself if you are still comparing yourself next to a straight male as your way to validate your being.


On a side note, a good friend in California shared a photo with me of a friend of his - who has his own Harvey Milk tattoo.  Brothers.  See what I mean? ;-)



Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Getting it Right - Les Miserables 2012

Well, this made me bawl my freakin' eyes out.  Weeks ago there was a leak of this trailer in low quality, and the Broadway hounds pounced.  Let'em.  I like this.  Friends and I long talked about how great it would be to see a Les Miserables film musical that had the balls to be a grim, dirty, ugly production where people cried, had snot on their noses, ugly teeth and generally looked like they smelled awful.  You know, cuz they're so Miserable that they're Les.  Tom Hooper, a rather brilliant Oscar-winning director (The King's Speech, yo!) seems to have nailed it, at least from this trailer. Yes, the LES MISERABLES 2012 FILM TRAILER!
Yeah, I like this.  And yeah, I'm one of those homos that doens't get the appeal of Patti Lupone so I'm pretty darn thrilled that Hathaway is singing like her heart has just died, as opposed to singing as if she has a big old BELT in her and she wants a Tony award.  Suck on THAT, Lupone.

Les Miserables is a film property you have to work your ass off to screw up.  You get handed those characters, in those situations, with those songs and it's your job to lose.  You get to film "One Day More" - quite possibly one of the most stirring moments-of-song in modern theatre history.  You get to have a wee poor lass sing her unrequited love as she lays dying of a gunshot wound in the rain, happy for the first time because the man she's always loved will simply *hold her* while she dies.  You get a young boy shot to death while collecting bullets.  Basically, people die every five minutes, and yet your soul is stirred and moved, as opposed to just plain depressed.
We all want to see Eponine die in the rain (it's this show's "And I Am Telling You..." moment).  We all love Eponine in Act II, Cosette not so much.  Sure, she was cute when singing that treacly ballad as a kid in Act I (please feel free to cut "Castle on a Cloud", Mr. Hooper), but then bitch grows up and gets life handed to her.  And no matter how well cast he is, Marius always comes across as a putz, sorta like Chris in Miss Saigon.  No matter how good an actor you are, you look like a wimp next to the ladies you're opposite.

I cannot wait to see this film.  Broadway-to-film translations have a tricky history.... so many times they get what made the stage show magical utterly wrong.  I've been forgiving to some, critical to others.

Chicago? Sublime. Perfectly cast, stylish as hell, and the score sounded sexy as all get out.  I can literally watch this film ALL THE TIME.

Mamma Mia!? Well, I have a personal connection to the stage show and thought the film was badly shot (Greece has never looked uglier), unimaginative (don't just point the camera at people, use it to TELL THE STORY), and I couldnt' figure out why everyone seemed 20 years too old for the role.  Meryl talking about how hard it was to be a single mother? In the 1980s? When she was, apparently, in her mid/late-thirties? No, sorry.  You're a wonderful actress but you're wrong in this role. And Pierce Brosnan can't sing.  Some good acting performances, to be sure, but for me the film is saved most by Amanda Seyfried, who is heartbreakingly sweet.  This show doesn't need to be a puff-piece; cast the right group of actors and you have a terrifically engaging and emotionally moving experience.  Trust me, I'd know.  ;-)

Hairspray? Fun, but with no weight. No pun intended. Miscast roles with people who couldn't actually dance or sing, in a show about the joy of dancing and singing.  Meh.  It was fun, enough.  But the stage show packed an emotional punch and reached levels of outright joy that this film just didn't reach.

Dreamgirls? A beautiful production, slick and gorgeous, and acted with passion yet still missing the hard-edged grit a black filmmaker would have likely brought to this specific story. Hudson is Queen, yet Beyonce deserves credit for actually singing below her own abilities in order to convey the talents of her character.  That's a good thing.  I like this film.

Rent? Fabulous.  If you're 12. And have never seen the stage version. And don't know what AIDS is.  It was too glossy, too pretty, too art-directed, and unfortunately brought out the undercurrent that this is a show about a group of young people who are against everything and aren't actually FOR anything. At all. And yet.....I own it. On DVD.  Because I still like to have individual moments available for my viewing at the click of a button. . Sue me. My sister was unfamiliar with RENT until she saw this film, and she LOVED it.  So, as an intro for newbies it seems to do the trick.

The Phantom of the Opera?  Ok, well, I actually love this one even though I know how badly-directed it is.  Why do I love it?  Because it's a preposterous over-the-top gothic melodrama that rocks it balls-out.  Plus, Emmy Rossum is ravishing as Christine.  She stepped onscreen and my heart skipped a beat.  I swooned. It was simultaneously the gayest and straightest I've ever felt in my entire life. Plus, I wanted to have mad sex with the Phantom.  I don't know if I'm supposed to feel that way, but I'm not going to complain. Rock me, sexy Phantom!  Schumacher perpetually has his camera in gorgeous places, but the wrong ones - yes, your sets are faaaabulous. But please allow the camera to linger over the luminous Emmy Rossum a bit more.


Sweeney Todd?   This one works great as a film.  It's lacking what I loved most about the stage version, namely the chorus numbers, but the film works as a dark intimate and chamber piece.  The design is great, the actors put thought into their characterizations, and the score sounds lush.  Are the vocals stellar? No.  But they're not bad at all, and in the film's context they work.

The Producers? More boring than church.  Point and shoot filmmaking at its most mundane.

Little Shop of Horrors?  Ok, freakin' amazing.  Yes, the ending is different. Yes, some songs are missing.  But this film is a raucous delight.  Ellen Greene recreates her stage role and is PERFECTION, in fact there are no slackers in this cast.  Everyone nails it.  The visual effects bringing Audrey II to life as astonishing, the film has the perfect backlot-feel of a classic Hollywood musical with the dark humour of Roger Corman.  I love this film.

NINE?  Eek.  Well, here's the thing - the women are fabulous. Scene for scene, the film works.  But it doesn't add up to anything as the final resulting message is THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE MESSAGE OF THE STAGE SHOW!!!  Cruz is a knockout, Cotillard is a heartbreaking wonder, the film looks incredible, Fergie (against all odds) is a dynamo in her number and even the fluff-numbers of Kate Hudson have a certain flair.  But the film leaves you empty.  Ravishing to take in, but no substance.

Evita? I love every single fucking thing about the film version of Evita.  So fuck off.  I love it, everyone in it is amazing, including Madonna who is perfect in every way.  If you disagree you can kindly fuck the fuck off.  The orchestrations are killer, Pryce and Banderas sing with fire and passion, but it's Madonna's show and she knocks it outta the park.

SWEET CHARITY - prepare to have your heart lifted, and then broken into a million pieces and then stitched back together again with a thread of Hope. Flawlessly filmed and acted, with iconic choreography.


And now we come to Les Miserables, this Christmas.  I am literally counting the days.  And I'm stocking up on Kleenex.



EDIT - saw Les Mis in a packed cinema on Boxing Day with my family.  And we all wept buckets.  Many hate this film.  I dunno. It worked for me.  I liked the rawness of the vocals, i liked all the close ups, the swooping camera moves, and i liked that it sounded like people singing monologues, not vocalists showing off their chops.  I have my quibbles (Jackman's choice to BELT Bring Him Home!?!?) but more often than not I was completely caught up in the melodramatic sweep of it all. Would I buy the soundtrack album? Of course not. I have the London and Broadway casts, but this is a Blu-ray I've watched more times than I should admit. ;-)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Pitbull Puts Her Toy Away

Penny Lane, again.   You see, she has this ball she loves that is kept in the local park.  Hidden.  Buried.  She goes to the park, she digs it up, and when it's time to go home she buries it all over agin.
Why?
Because she's the cutest damn thing in the world, that's why.

Enjoy. ;-)


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Baby Steps, Baby Paddles

Two summers ago, Penny Lois Lane was introduced to Lake Ontario. She would wade in, then get frustrated and bark when the water reached her neck. Grumbling, she'd get out of the lake as fast as she could. She would not enter the water and learn to swim, so I carried her in and dropped her. She learned. But you gotta love the air-paddle, eh?


Monday, 5 March 2012

Disgusting 90s Pop Music


Now, don't get me wrong - I LOVES ME SOME 90s POP! But I also remember the madness....

Turn the volume up loud so you can hear the insanity. Oh, the 90s. What a classy decade you were. For some reason late-90s pop took on the kind of "WHAT DID THEY JUST SAY!?!!?" craziness that plagued late-80s hair-metal ("they say she's too young, but she's old enough for me", anyone? Ewwww) .
They're not even CLEVER with their collective ick-factor, they're just plain gross. They barely count as double-entendres or "Insinuendos", I like to call 'em.



Behold three, of many, pop songs that make me less-than-nostalgic for the 90s.


video

Friday, 2 March 2012

Reminders of Love


Just out for a little walk in my neighbourhood, taking in the sun and the brisk March air. I stop by a fast-food joint because baby needs him some french fries, and like a true Canadian* I happily take my place in line.
*Canadians LOVE to queue. We LOVE it. We can't WAIT to wait for our own turn for something that we're all going to get in good time!*
Before me in line I see a bouncy, happy, giddy young boy and his father. As they approach the register the kid's bouncing becomes an outright joyous bounding and squealing. His father laughs. The woman behind the register beams. I see that her picture is on the wall next to the register. She's the Employee of the Month. This young boy is her son - her husband brought him by so he could see the Employee of the Month framed picture of his mother.
The woman is glowing.
The husband is smiling.
The kid is so happy. He's looking at me and some of the other people in line, to make sure we know that that's his mom in the picture.
I'm standing in line trying not to completely dissolve into a puddle of tears. The dad takes out his iPhone so he can take a picture of his son and wife next to the framed photo. Oh, lord. Now I'm now officially working my scrawny ass off to not burst into a fit of tears. It's just the sweetest damn thing I've seen in ages.

The kid's smile could end war.
The husband's love and adoration of his wife is so lovely that I want to throw myself onto a sword and die, because......well I don't know why. It just sounded like something intense to say.
The mother's glow of pride is what kills me most - I can see it in her eyes: how happy she is that she did well, that it was recognized, and that the recognition has in turn made her son and husband proud.
An exchange of smiles, kisses (the dad holding the wee-one up to kiss his mummy, which he caps with an "I love you mommy!" ((bless!))) and they're on their way.

I came for a guilty-pleasure deep-fried treat and ended up getting an unexpected serving of soulfood that I suspect will nourish me for weeks.

I walked home in the rain. Bawling. This is not an exaggeration. Thank God for hoodies.

Oh, and the fries never tasted so good.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Ally of the Year

Brian Burke, General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Proud ally of the LGBT Community.

Brian's son, Brendan, Came Out a number of years ago and was tragically killed in a car accident before Brian was able to fulfill a promise to his son to march in the LGBT Pride Parade with him. Mr. Burke, however, continues to honour his son by not only marching with PFLAG in the Toronto Pride Parade but by continuing to be a visible and vocal advocate for the LGBT Community.

This man is a hero.

Thank You, Mr. Burke. Brendan would be so proud of you.



Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus

Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus
Good Dog!