Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Your Daily Dose of Irony

With a hat tip to Ace of GayOrbit for sharing with us the following news:

The city (of Austin) has given permission of the Ku Klux Klan to hold a rally on Saturday, November 5. The group says they want to have a pro-family values rally in front of City Hall that afternoon to get voters to vote against gay marriage....

In an e-mail to the city for permission, a representative for the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan wrote: "Our speech will not be inflammatory, but we all know the reputation of the name of the KKK, so we expect anti-Klan demonstrators to be there who may become violent. We certainly don't want any of our people hurt nor any city officials. We just want to come and encourage people to vote for Christian Family Values and against legalized homosexual marriage in the state of Texas."

Ah, Ministers Farrakhan and Wilson.....who ever knew you and the Klan had so much in common?

Monday, October 24, 2005

No, Really, Go Right Ahead.....

there are some threats that just really should be carried out.

Cindy Sheehan, the military mother who made her son's death in Iraq a rallying point for the anti-war movement, plans to tie herself to the White House fence to protest the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq.

"I'm going to go to Washington, D.C. and I'm going to give a speech at the White House, and after I do, I'm going to tie myself to the fence and refuse to leave until they agree to bring our troops home," Sheehan said in a telephone interview last week as the milestone approached.

I'd go a step farther. Let's post two sentries to make sure that no one does anything to obscure the cameras' unobstructed view, including building any kind of shelter or heater above or around her. Gotta give the maximum exposure, you know.

Now, what was that forecast I read about the winter being exceptionally cold this year?

(hat tip to Don at GayOrbit)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

"Imagine Tomorrow" -- The Dallas Black Tie Dinner, Part Two

On the lighter side, there were several beautiful moments at the 2005 Dallas - Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner that are DEFINITELY worth mentioning.

-- Dallas County's history-making Sheriff, the bright and talented Lupe Valdez, who I am proud to have worked to help elect, introducing the equally-bright and talented Mayor of Dallas Laura Miller, whose raucous speech afterwards skewering everyone from Amendment 2 supporters to openly-gay Dallas City Council member Ed Oakley ("I think I can say here that he sure had his panties in a wad this week") proved again why she is my favorite socialist Democrat -- and a woman who I'll go to bat for any day of the week, because she sure as hell will for me.

-- Lily Tomlin's hilarious send-up of her classic Ernestine the Telephone Operator routine with Gore Vidal, substituting Tom DeLay:

Mr. DeLay, this is the Dallas chapter of the Human Rights Campaign. When may we expect a contribution from you? É Pardon? When what freezes over? I don't see why you're kicking up such a ruckus when according to our files your present bank balance, plus stocks, securities, and other holdings, amounts to exactly ... Pardon? Privileged information? Oh! (snort, snort) Mr. DeLay, that's so cute! Haven't you read the Patriot Act?

Beautiful, just beautiful.

-- The lovely, talented, and passionate Sharon Stone -- as auctioneer. When the first two items in the Luxury Auction -- the Natuzzi leather sectional sofa that would make The Malcontent jealous and the Eiseman Cartier gift certificate sold at or below retail price, Ms. Stone stepped in to get things moving -- and every item thereafter sold for almost twice its listed retail price (the puppies -- yes, there ended up being two of them -- went for $12,000 each). She even auctioned off the shoes she was wearing -- the aforementioned Manolo Blahnik size-8 rhinestone sandals -- after a hilarious story about Henri, the shoe salesperson at Neiman Marcus whom she refers to as her "crack dealer" -- for $8,000.

To Ms. Stone also goes the award for best one-liner of the night, generated when she was asked, after promising she would pose on the Harley that was up for auction, if she would kiss the buyer as well:

"Why not? I kissed the last person (licks lips lasciviously) who put some thunder between my thighs."

I am STILL laughing.

"Imagine Tomorrow" -- The Dallas Black Tie Dinner, Part One

One of the perks of NDT's daily grindstone is that my company is an active supporter of Dallas's annual Black Tie Dinner, which is the largest sit-down dinner of its kind in the country in terms of both attendance and monies raised; as a result, one night a year, I get to pour myself into a tux, traipse off to downtown Dallas, and valet-park and drink on someone else's dollar.

Before we start off, I enjoy Black Tie; really, I do. There is something about formal wear that makes one stand taller, look proud, and walk a little more purposefully. My stand-in guest (the husbear had a prior commitment) from California was amazed that the people of Dallas, who she'd thought of as all being raving, homophobic lunatics, were turning out in record numbers (the dinner sold out, with tables of 10 going for $3,000 a pop), both gay AND straight. Finally, it is immensely empowering to be in a room with over 3,000 people who are willing to make that level of commitment to support gay rights and fighting the scourage of AIDS.

But a good half of the evening was wasted.....and worse, in a way that I hardly expected.

Part of it was completely predictable. Joe Solmonese came out and confirmed what the bulk of my sources have already told me, namely that his primary qualification to be HRC Executive Director was his inability to do anything BUT follow orders and repeat talking points. It was depressing to think that half of the $300 paid to put my butt in said hot, itchy chair was going to be under the control of this man, whose flat jokes about money laundering for political parties were particularly ironic, given his financial support of Democratic pushers of the FMA like Inez Tenenbaum and his organization's blowing millions of dollars to support Democratic candidates who supported stripping gays of rights. Fortunately, the combination of a cantankerous sound system and Solmonese's lack of oratorial skill kept the bulk of the audience far more interested in their seasonal greens with a poached pear, Brie cheese wedge, and cane sugar roasted pecans in a port wine viniagrette (along with raspberries, which are NDT's absolute biggest fruit weakness).

The unexpected part, though, was Lily Tomlin. When a Tony-winning comedienne has to stop halfway through and admit she sees a lot of stoic faces, you know there's a problem -- and in this case, it was her choice to begin her program with ten minutes of blaming the Bush administration, Republicans, and conservatives for everything wrong under the sun. The laughs were loud at first....but they quickly tapered off....and by minute number nine, the only people laughing were the hard-core DNC-bots and the Solmonese table.

Evidently Lily wasn't made aware of the fact that the Dallas chapter of the Federal Club, one of the most powerful ones within HRC, was also one of the loudest voices taking HRC to task for what several other Federal Club members recognized as a problem -- HRC's wild and blind partisanship impeding outreach to other potential allies. Last night in a room full of corporate leaders, businesspeople, and the relatively-wealthy -- among the most likely to vote and hold conservative and Republican sentiments -- was NOT the time to be demonizing both.

Given the talent that she is, Lily was able to catch her balance halfway through and refocus, the second half being a wild example of how wonderful her comedic gifts are, especially a howling takeoff on her famous Ernestine the Telephone Operator bit with Gore Vidal, using Tom DeLay as a stand-in, which I shall repeat later. However, the whole thing was an uncomfortable experience for the majority of the audience, and from what I could tell, for her as well.

However, we eternal optimists always believe in a white knight, and last night said knight did indeed arrive in white -- or at least a cream-colored tuxedo -- wearing size eight Manolo Blahnik rhinestone sandals.

Before yesterday, had you asked me about Sharon Stone, I would have mentioned Basic Instinct and "lesbian pin-up". The word "gay-rights activist" would have never entered my mind.

But after last night, three words. Oh. My. God.

She was brilliant. No, not just brilliant -- sublime. Her acceptance speech yesterday evening was powerful, short, and to the point. She spoke eloquently about her childhood, about the heroes on the Wheaties box that taught us the basics of human dignity -- how to tie your shoes and pull up your pants -- and how those led to tolerance and acceptance. Her voice rang out loud and clear as she talked about local heroes -- the people who did their job and to whom you could go with your problem and be safe -- and how we needed to strive to BE those for our community. Her stare burned through the audience as she told us the need for us to be the ones who picked up the paper cup blowing across the street, who let another person out in front of us in traffic, who put our shopping cart back where it belonged -- because those little acts could save a person's job, home, or even their life. People laughed, but as she said, her gorgeous features focused.....she wasn't kidding, this was important.

On the drive home, I realized something......the people who would later laugh at Ms. Tomlin's early remarks were the same ones who had laughed at Ms. Stone's. The same ones who had hung on Ms. Stone's every word weren't laughing later at Ms. Tomlin.

The reason is abundantly clear. Ms. Stone spoke the language of those who care about gay rights, regardless of their race, religion, party affiliation, ideology, or orientation and because they believe gay rights are human rights. She made it clear that we all have a stake in making our world a better place, and that in doing that, we will make it better for everyone.

Ms. Tomlin spoke the language of HRC, which seeks only to mock and hate those who aren't of the correct religion, party affiliation, ideology, or orientation, regardless of their actual stance on gay rights.

Fortunately in Dallas, there were many more of the former than the latter. I only hope the rest of the country soon follows suit.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Politics Makes Strange....Um, Bedsisters?

One of the stories that came up this weekend, courtesy of Worthy Adversary Pam Spaulding at Pam's House Blend and Blog Ally Lloydletta of Lloydletta's Nooz and Comments, was the banning of black glbt activist Keith Boykin from speaking at Saturday's Million Man March. This is after, as reported by Blog Ally The Malcontent, having been promised the week prior by none other than Minister Louis Farrakhan himself that Boykin would be allowed to speak.

Pam is hopping mad, and I certainly can't blame her, especially given the reluctance of the so-called "progressive" blogs like Americablog to even MENTION the fact. This is a tremendous slap in the face, and I definitely empathize with Boykin, having been put in similar situations myself.

At this point in time, it is tempting to say "I told you so," because I certainly have, to both Pam and Boykin. However, this is bigger than petty disagreements, and it should be treated accordingly; thus, I hold my tongue and encourage all of you to write the Congressional Black Caucus (Pam provides the mailing links in her post) and let them know your displeasure.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

OK, So What's Up?

As some of you have guessed, my sporadic posting over the past few weeks has been primarily an end result of being slammed at work. Once you throw in travel, bad motel connectivity, a bout with what had to be pneumonia during travel, selling and moving off the Thirty, preparing for the Great Leap Leftward to San Francisco, and time with the husband, it adds up to the usually loquacious NDT being more than a bit quiet (something certain of my teachers might have paid to see).

Granted, there have been some notable high points, namely Lab Kat's birthday party (and there are pictures). However, if you asked me to relive September and most of October.........not for all the coffee in Columbia.

Along the way, I've come to grips with many things.

One, black jackets and slacks make you look slender. Black cars with black leather interiors make you look like a sweaty, skinny slob who never washes his auto.

Two, there is no honor in having the same amount of money in your consumer-driven health plan fund at the end of the year as you do at the beginning (which means I did not go to the doctor once this year, even during the aforementioned bout with pneumonia).

Three, I am no longer able to sleep for three hours for four nights in a row and be coherent. I file this with the other things that disappeared on my thirtieth birthday, like liver enzymes and the ability to digest pepperoni while laying horizontally.

The biggest realization, though, was that my future and my heart are in San Francisco, and anything that doesn't jibe with that, job included, has got to go.

Anyway, I'll have more to say in the next few days....so stay tuned.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ah, Sweet, Sweet Karma

As I've mentioned elsewhere on this topic, I am torn, very torn.

On the one hand, I never, absolutely ever, want someone to suffer unnecessarily for the stupidity of others.

On the other hand, though, if this is the universe's way of slapping Tom Cruise upside the head for his inane remarks about postpartum depression......

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Latest Blogpoll

OK, I admit it....I'm a sucker for tests and blogosphere trends.

You are a

Social Liberal
(65% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(60% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

In comparison to other bloggers with whom I regularly write or hang:


Charging Rhino

Owlish Mutterings

Queer Conservative

More to be added as people tell me about them.