Wanda Sykes to NAACP: “You Can’t Pray Away the Gay!”

 

Comedian Wanda Sykes and CNN anchor Don Lemon spoke when the NAACP held their first ever LGBT panel and townhouse meeting during their 102d National Convention. Both stressed the importance of the church in the black community–and how praying away the gay just didn’t work.

This video was shot and edited by Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges from Traipsing Thru Films for LGBT POV and Frontiers In LA. LGBT POV will have more coverage of the convention in the coming days.

 

[HT: LGBT POV]

Tim Gunn: Bachmann, Palin Same Person; Hillary is Gender Confused

 

Tim Gunn visited the George Lopez Show and decided to mashup politics and fashion. Sad fail. I love Tim Gunn, but seriously not funny. He declared Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin to be the same person (the old, not funny joke got a slow, weak build of applause), then went on to say about Hillary Clinton:

She’s the secretary of state, she’s the former senator from New York, she’s the former first lady. Why must she dress that way? I think she’s confused about her gender. All these big, baggy menswear tailored pantsuits. No, I’m really serious…If the pantsuit didn’t stop an inch above her ankle you could hide the cankle….I have great respect for her intellect and for her tenacity, and for what she does for our country in her governmental role. I just wish she could send a stronger message about American fashion.

When is it okay to make fashion about a person’s gender, Tim?  Props to you for being who you are but totally uncool. And you’re in the Smurfs movie. Nuff said.

Disneyland: Official Fairy Tale Gay Wedding!

Disneyland  has been offering Fairy Tale Weddings for decades, but wow the Happiest Place on Earth  broke new ground last week with Mat Wood and Eric Ross’s wedding celebration.

On LGBTPOV.com Karen Ocamb wrote:

In 1998, LGBTs in Southern California organized the first Gay Days at Disneyland in Anaheim, following in the footsteps of Gay Days in Orlando, Florida. Rev. Pat Robertson freaked out, claiming on his Religious Right 700 Club that the event would cause hurricanes and tornedosBut last week – something that must be sizzling Pat Robertson’s dark soul – the official Disney FAIRY TALE Weddings & Honeymoons EVER AFTER BLOG reported on the real fairy tale wedding of a gay couple

Mat and Eric have been coming to Disneyland since their first date in 2007, so a Fairy Tale Wedding in the Rose Court Garden was the perfect location, and their moms arrived in the Cinderella Coach to walk them down the aisle.

Marriage equality is still pending in California,  so the couple, who are in a domestic partnership, legally changed their last names to Rosswood to mark their union. Eric told us in email:

Unfortunately we were not one of the 18,000 couples who got married in CA when it was still legal. We were only dating for a year at that point, and didn’t want to rush to get married just because we could. We actually put a lot of time into planning our wedding to make sure it was just right. Mat is British, and all of his family lives in the UK. We wanted to make sure that both families could be present for the big event, which takes a lot of planning and saving. Even though we are only in a Domestic Partnership in the state’s eyes, we still consider ourselves married regardless of what the government thinks. We had a wedding ceremony. Period. When CA finally catches up, we’ll have two dates to celebrate: a wedding date and a marriage date.

Eric, the author of the children’s book, My Uncle’s Wedding, is a chapter leader with Marriage Equality USA, and a board member for SF Pride. California Senator Mark Leno said about My Uncle’s Wedding:

As one of the few children’s books that address LGBT issues, it serves as a conduit by which to bolster understanding in our community. The book plays a vital role in creating a brighter future for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and their parents.

Photos: Beverly Hills Photography, used with permission of Eric & Mat Rosswood

Hollywood Blvd Shut Down By Rave Film Riot

Tonight a friend and I headed out for the premier of Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, August 22nd’s FDL Movie Night subject, directed by Kevin Kerslake. EDCE documents the huge two day rave–featuring world renowned acts and DJs like Swedish House Mafia,  Groove Armada, Kaskade and Moby, plus art installations and carnival rides–which, up until this year, had been held in Los Angeles.

Traffic was barely moving when suddenly five cop cars sped past us and we saw helicopters spinning overhead. We could see Hollywood Blvd was shut down at Highland Avenue. Stuck on the road, with no news stations on the radio (wtf? it’s all talk radio now in LA, sucks when you need up to the minute information and there was nothing on Google news or Facebook yet either), we rolled down the window and asked a traffic officer what was going on. He said

Bomb threat

Needless to say, we didn’t tweet that or post that to Facebook without confirmation! Thankfully it wasn’t anything that awful (kind of irresponsible for him to tell us that, btw). But it was a full-on tactical alert.We parked and ducking under the police tape, worked our way through the crowds.

The officers  holding riot batons would not let us near Graumann’s Chinese Theater and wouldn’t tell us what was going on.

Even when I identified myself as a member of the press to the officer in charge–though maybe my long red dress, fishnet hose and army boots may have lacked fourth estate authority, but hey I was going to a film premier–the only information I got was:

There are thousands of people here, this is an emergency.

Oh, and no, we couldn’t go see the movie.

So we did the only logical thing; we went to Musso & Frank for a snack, on the way overhearing a pair of passersby discussing

Did you see that dude who lit the cop car on fire?

At Musso’s we ran into some would-be EDCE attendees also displaced by the LAPD who had seen what went down. Over salads and drinks, they told us their story.

DJ Kasakade drove his flatbed truck down Hollywood Blvd. to the theater, and a crowd followed him. The police came, but by then there were several hundred people–thanks to Twitter–who had shown up for Kaskade’s appearance dancing, plus tourists and locals. Some were kind of upset that there was no rave/show, some were just cranky, period. And they got angrier when more and more police showed up in response to the crowd not dispersing when ordered to.

At the film’s afterparty EDCE director Kevin Kerslake told me that about 600 people out of an expected 1000 were able to get into the theater (they must have gotten there very early; we were aiming at 7:10 for a 7:30 arrival/8pm showtime). Kerslake said that

it was crazy, they set cop cars on fire!

The Los Angeles Times and Variety report that the police said rocks and bottles were thrown, and that two police cars were set on fire.

This video shows kids jumping an police cruisers and shots fired, beginning around 3:00

Our dinner companions did not see the action around the cop cars, though they did see the police fire projectiles at

kids, these skinny little rave kids

hitting one, though no injuries were reported, per the police.

The UK Mail Online was upclose and caught all the action, including rioters jumping on police cruisers.

Insomniac, Inc .,which produces Electric Daisy Carnival, was not involved in the impromptu block party that arose when when Kaskade appeared.

Pasquale Rotella, chief executive of Insomniac Inc., issued the following statement:

Tonight’s premiere of the ‘Electric Daisy Carnival Experience’ film was designed to highlight one of the largest and most prestigious electronic music festivals in the world. Unfortunately, a small group chose to disrupt the film’s premiere due to their mistaken belief that a ‘block party’ with a popular artist was going to occur.

I want to make clear that while this film showcased an Insomniac event, Insomniac had nothing to do with the supposed ‘block party,’ which was not a part of the premiere. The crowd issues that arose were a result of individuals responding to social media information which mistakenly led them to believe they could see artists perform…Insomniac strongly believes in personal responsibility and hopes that anyone who didn’t comply with police orders is held accountable.

The LAPD arrested two people after detaining dozens. Joyfully, the planned after-party at a nearby club went off without a hitch, with Kaskade spinning and dozen of elaborately costumed dancers performing.

Insomniac, Inc. had staged the hugely popular all-ages Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles at the LA Coliseum and neighboring Sports Arena for 13 years, moving to Las Vegas this year.  In 2010 a 15-year girl died from an Ecstasy overdose. Police reported 165 arrests during 2010′s two-day long event attended by 185, 000 Thing went smoothly this year at the Las Vegas event which drew 230,ooo people, and Insomniac donated $75,000 to Nevada charities.  In recent years raves were one of the few sources of revenue for the aging Coliseum–built in 1921 and enlarged for the 1932 Olympics–which also hosts the USC Trojans football games, other occasional sports and music events, and over the years has been used as a location in film and television.

A 2011 LA Times investigation revealed an official at the Coliseum had worked as a paid consultant for the company, planning the medical and emergency services, with the approval of by then-Commission General Manager Patrick Lynch. Lynch  resigned in the wake of the Times disclosures, and while the  Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and the state Fair Political Practices Commission began investigating the employee, Todd DeStefano, who denied any wrong doing.

The movie, Electric Daisy Carnival experience will be in theaters one night only, August 4.

 

Photos 1, 3 and 5: Lisa Derrick. Photo 2: Amanda Grace. Photo 4: Monah Li

Glenn Beck: “Angry Birds” Equals Socialism

Last week rabid frother Glenn Beck launched into a rant about the iPhone game Angry Birds which features angry birds trying to keep their eggs from being stolen by pigs and what the game actually means:

It’s redistribution of eggs!

Yes, in Beck’s mind, the birds are wealth-creating capitalists, and the pigs are socialists trying to steal from them.

It goes downhill from there around 3:00 with Beck mentioning that Germany before World War II would have benefited from the game and then moves into a discussion of the police.

 

[HT: Gamepro.com]

Late Night: Coffee, Tea or Panties? JetBlue Sued Over Lingerie Query

Gosh, you’d think security at LaGuardia Airport would be able to tell if a woman were wearing unmentionables under her shorts and tee-shirt–I mean isn’t that why we have the new see-through screening box?– but apparently JetBlue supervisor Victor Rodriguez, who was working the airline ticket counter, decided to check for himself once Malinda Knowles had boarded her flight to West Palm Beach, Florida.

According to the suit Ms Knowles filed and a conversation her attorney, Brian Dratch, had with ABCNews.com, she was

in her seat sipping orange juice when she said JetBlue supervisor Victor Rodriguez approached her, demanding to know “with a smirk” if she was wearing underwear.

“He just came up to me and asked me … basically to show him what I had on, which would have required me moving the tray table and pretty much opening my legs,” she said. “I didn’t feel comfortable doing that.”

But she complied, at which point she

lifted her tray table and then, Rodriguez — who was holding a walkie-talkie — allegedly “stuck the antennae in her crotch,” between her legs, to see what she had on underneath her T-shirt.

Then Rodriguez called Port Authority police and had her escorted off the plane. The Port Authrotiy report said she was

unruly

and the captain asked that she be removed. Knowles says she never saw the captain or spoke with him. The flight was delayed half an hour, and then she was put on a later flight because the captain did not want her on board.

For the record, she was wearing underpants beneath her denim shorts and a long tee-shirt.

Could airlines just issue dress codes?

Matt Damon, Richard Dreyfuss March to Support Schools

Actors Matt Damon and Richard Dreyfuss will join the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action in Washington, D.C., part of a four-day event,  July 28-31. The march itself, which will go to the White House, is July 30.

Both Damon and Dreyfuss are well known for their political and philanthropic activities. Damon has four school-aged children.

Save Our Schools is  a

a grassroots movement dedicated to restoring educator, parent, student, and community influence over education policy and practice…Our goal is to put public school stakeholders back at the center of all education policy conversations, and to refocus national, state, and local efforts on providing the resources and support schools need in order to provide a high-quality education for each and every student.

Save Our Schools seeks

equitable funding for all public school populations and for ending high-stakes testing for students, teachers and schools.

In addition to the conference and march, Save Our Schools is staging a film festival July 25-29, featuring education-centered documentaries.

Sarah Palin: “The Undefeated” Coming Soon to a TV Near You


The Undefeated which opened in select cities ten theaters across the country, grossed $65,132, or $6,513 per screen on its first weekend  on opening weekend, July 15th. By comparison, that same weekend Horrible Bosses averaged $5,672. But Horrible Bosses was on 3,134 screens.

Math is hard, and statistics are made for spinning, but I kinda think overall Horrible Bosses did better…

On July 17th, Trevor Drinkwater, CEO of ARC which distributed The Undefeated told The Hollywood Reporter:

We expect word-of-mouth to keep ticket sales strong and we will definitely expand the film to a wider national audience.

This past weekend saw an abrupt drop-off; The Undefeated, while opening on four more screens, only averaged $1,713 per venue. Whoops! Total box office as of Sunday, July 24 was $101,000.

Time for Plan B: Video-on-demand and DVD, a tried and traditional route for any indie film.

ARC Entertainment, the distributor of “The Undefeated”…announced today that beginning on September 1st the film will be available to 75 million homes via Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View access through national and regional cable and satellite operators.

On October 4, ARC will release the DVD in an initial pressing of 250,000 units.

Glenn Bracken Evans, the film’s producer said:

This title is absolutely perfect for Video-on-Demand and Pay-Per-View backed by a traditional and significant marketing campaign. We are incredibly excited about having this film made available to the entire country earlier than expected. A traditional windowed release would not have allowed us to maximize viewership of this highly sought after film.

Look, independent movies have a hard time turning a profit, let alone documentaries, and political documentaries even more so. The Undefeated is a niche product. I wonder how The Undefeated filmmakers feel about the IRS argument made in a US Tax Court trial this March that

filmmaker Lee Storey could not deduct business expenses pertaining to her film Smile ’Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story because the primary purpose of her film (and by inference all documentary films) is to educate and expose, not to make profit, and that therefore documentary filmmaking is a not-for-profit activity

.
[HT Clusterflock.org]

Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Fest Opens

Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Fest opens tonight, Monday July 25, with a film we discussed on July 4: The 1958 classic The Blob. Weird, huh? I had no idea when I picked that great teen exploitation flick that Moore would be featuring it, nor that Battle for Brooklyn, which we had on in June would be a selection. Pretty awesome.

 

 

 

Amy Winehouse: Dead

Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse is dead. The British songstress was 27. While in recent years, Winehouse was known for her tabloid appearances and rather disheveled states, in 2008 Winehouse won five Grammys including  best new artist; her single “Rehab” won song and record of the year along with best pop vocal performance; and Back to Black was named best pop vocal album. Officials at U.S. embassy in London had denied her application to attend the 2008 Grammys, finally relenting just two days for the show. Travel logistics proved impossible for the singer, so she delivered her performance live from a rehearsal studio.

Details of her death are sketchy, but Winehouse had a notorious drug and alcohol habit. A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed to the BBC

that a 27-year-old woman had died in Camden and that the cause of death was as yet unexplained.

Despite her hit single protesting

I won’t go to rehab, no no no

Winehouse had recently spent time in a London area drug and alcohol rehab facility, and had been told not to drink.

Daily Telegraph rock critic Neil McCormick told the BBC that Winehouse

had appeared focused when giving an “incredible performance” for a recent studio recording of a duet with Tony Bennett. “It’s deeply sad. It’s the most completely tragic waste of talent that I can remember.”

Winehouse canceled her comeback tour after the first show in June when she appeared onstage in Serbia, apparently too intoxicated to perform.

Winehouse divorced her husband Blake Clive-Felderwho spent time in prison in 2009.  Clive-Felder’s second wife Sarah Aspin told The Sun earlier this month that Winehouse

needs to keep her hands off him. He is mine and we are a family now. I’ve had enough of her thinking she can click her fingers and get him back whenever she wants. She phones him when she is really out of it and her texts are even signed off ‘your wife’.

Among those weighing in on Twitter: Kelly Osbourne and Sarah Brown wife of Britain’s former prime minister.

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