Richard Branson: “Boycott Uganda Over Anti-LGBT Law”

British billionaire Richard Branson called for a boycott of Uganda. The African nation’s parliament passed a bill that proposes a life sentence for certain homosexual acts. The bill also makes it a crime punishable by a prison sentence not to report gay people to the police.

The bill is awaiting the signature of Ugandan president President Yoweri Museveni, it was opposed by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi on the grounds that there was no quorum.

Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group (travel, telecom, entertainment) and a philanthropist who supported charities set up by South Africa’s first black President, Nelson Mandela, says he was seriously considering investing in Uganda and had been courted by officials there.

But the passing of this bill because of its

witch hunt

of LGBT people. (He declined to mention the witch hunts of alleged witches which result in the torture and death of both children and adults, and how this fear of witches and LGBT is fueled by evangelical fundamentalist missionaries, but hey…)

Branson went on to say:

I would urge other companies worldwide to follow suit. Uganda must reconsider or find it being ostracised by companies and tourists worldwide.Governments must realise that people should be able to love whoever they want.

Yes, governments should realize this. Will a boycott help Uganda figure things out more quickly? Or will progressives stranding the country in poverty make Uganda more vulnerable to more repressive investors? Will the government not pass this bill to get investment funds, and then turn a blind eye to the treatment of LGBT and other human rights abuses? (more…)

Duck Dynasty: “Vile Remarks” Phil Robertson Suspended by A&E

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of  A&E’s hit series Duck Dynasty, has been placed on indefinite hiatus following an interview with GQ Magazine in which he said that homosexuality led to bestiality and sleeping around with women. The elder Robertson is often portrayed on the series as being out of touch with modern culture. He frets that the members of his family, which owns Duck Commander, a company that manufactures hand-tuned duck calls, are all becoming yuppies because of the company’s success; and he proudly states he doesn’t own or use a computer.

What Phil does own is that he thinks being gay is a sin, then quoting Corinthians before overhsaring about his feelings on how body parts might feel:

It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical…

Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.

Robertson’s remarks sparked outrage in the LGBT and ally communities. GLAAD issued a statement calling the bearded grandpa’s comments:

some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication” and said “his quote was littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”

Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors, who now need to re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.

Humans Rights Campaign stated:

Phil Robertson’s remarks are not consistent with the values of our faith communities or the scientific findings of leading medical organizations. We know that being gay is not a choice someone makes, and that to suggest otherwise can be incredibly harmful. We also know that Americans of faith follow the Golden Rule — treating others with the respect and dignity you’d wish to be treated with. As a role model on a show that attracts millions of viewers, Phil Robertson has a responsibility to set a positive example for young Americans — not shame and ridicule them because of who they are. The A+E Network should take immediate action to condemn Phil Robertson’s remarks and make clear they don’t support his views.

Phil Robertson’s comments were also not consistent with the views of Chris Morelli and Tad Eaton, the openly gay stars of  A&E’s Storage Wars New York, who told TMZ:

[man ass] is tighter…You can’t go through life worrying what other people think. That’s their values and that’s what they think … as long as they’re not nasty to people … We’re not offended at all. We like Phil. We like the show. We like the fact that they are very godly. When we watch the show and see them say grace, we feel the same way.

Fans of Duck Dynasty–the series regularly draws 9 million viewers and has spawned a $400 million retail empire of licensed goods, which along with advertising revenues could have been impacted by an LGBT-launched boycott–have started a Facebook page decrying Phil Robertson’s ouster and calling for a boycott of A&E until he is back on. It has over 214,000 fans as I write.

Phil offered this unpology, issued via A&E before A&E’s parent production company A+E suspended him:

I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.

When asked about Phil Robertson belief that gays won’t go to Heaven, Storage Wars New York‘s Chris and Tad responded in true Socratic fashion:

How does [Phil] know that? Is he God?

Why do I feel there’s going to be a crossover show with Chris and Tad visiting the Duck Commander factory and meeting Phil? Or maybe a group of LGBT get lost and must stay with Robertson clan. Hilarity ensues, along with shared moments, and both sides come to a comfortable understanding, then grace is said, as always.

Two Johns and a Whore: Conjugating Myself

Last Sunday’s LA Times let the cat of the bag:  If you read to the end in the awesome profile of  the magazine-publisher-turned-successful-gallery-owner Mat Gleason, you’ll see that I’m an artist and I’m curating an art show that opens January 11, 2014 at Coagula Curatorial.

Part of the reason I began writing about art as part of pop culture is that I love it; the other part is that it is a job and it’s awesome to get offered a gig doing what you love. So here I am, a pop culture journalist, curating a show which if I wasn’t curating I would be writing about (and probably with better sentence construction!). So I guess I should write about it, even though it feels in many ways like shameless self-promotion–though more importantly it’s excited promotion of artists whose work I like, and is a show that is pretty wow (if I do say so myself).

Here’s why I would be writing about this show: “Two Johns and a Whore” is the gallery debut of two artists who create outside of the white cube: Award-winning performance artist and actor John Fleck, and filmmaker John Roecker, who I have written about before here, and who has been a guest twice on FDL Movie Night, once for Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gay Porn Stars, and again for his awesome gender-bending Svengali webseries.

“Two Johns and Whore” features internationally known Los Angeles-based artists Anthony Ausgang (who I have also written about here), Stacy Lande, Louie Metz, Mike Street and Kelly Thompson; plus Sheila Cameron who created the notorious “Free Katie” tee-shirts and took on NY art critic’s Jerry Saltz’s challenge to make 55 works of art in 3 months with no allusion to fairy-tale; San Diego-based visual artist, author, and musician Rafael Reyes; Bradford J. Salaman who is on exhibit at Lancaster’s Museum of Art and History through January 5;  singer/artist/writer/director/ Jane Cantillon; adult star and author Oriana Small Nazworthy (aka Ashley Blue); multi-media artist Kelly Blunt; and artist Mimi Universe, who owned Silver Lake’s popular Iota Gallery.

John Fleck is one of NEA 4, lynchpins of the culture wars, and his one-man shows delve into love, sex, death, families, pop iconography, and celebrity culture. John Roecker’s first feature film, Live Freaky Die Freaky is a claymation re-visioning of the Manson Family; his documentary, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gay Male Porn Stars, was banned by Amazon; an article I wrote for La Figa, which was x-posted to Huffington Post changed that. His Green Day documentary, Heart Like a Hand Grenade, is due out in 2014. Both Johns are heroes of mine; they fearlessly and unabashedly dive into their work with passion and fierce dedication. Their lives are also works of art; they are constantly creating, while inspiring those around them.

I know both the Johns socially, we have meals in others homes, celebrate the holidays together. Earlier this year I was taking Curator’s College from Mat Gleason, which gave us students a chance to not only co-curate a one night show with art from his office, but to pitch him on a dream show. Three nights before the pitch class, I went to dinner with Fleck and his boyfriend Randy at my favorite neighborhood restaurant Papilles, and John mentioned he was curious about doing an art show. Roecker–who I have known since he opened the Silver Lake shock shop You’ve Got Bad Taste and curated an LA punk rock retrospective at Track 16–had over the past couple years told me he wanted to show his art in a gallery. Light bulbs went off as the Bordeaux went down and our braised lamb arrived at the table: Two Johns…two Johns…what goes with “johns”?  Whore. Two Johns and a whore, duh.

The whore part was easy to figure: Eleven or twelve artists interpreting “whore” and/or prostitution.  And I know at least a dozen artists. One thing Mat had stressed in Curator’s College was “associations.” Who you know, how you know them. I’m lucky that somehow a lot of artists and I have crossed paths (and it helps that my other is as editor for CARTWHEEL, a Los Angeles-based art website!. So I asked a couple of them:

If I could do this, would you participate?

And then on pitch day, I pitched Mat:

Two Johns and Whore, John Fleck, who like Karen Finley [Mat had shown Finley at Coagula and brought her to Miami for the Miami Art Fairs in 2012] one of the NEA 4. John Roecker,  controversial filmmaker. gallery debuts for both of them.

Then I listed off a few artists who had said yes. He liked it. And I was serious.

So over the next couple months, I checked in with Mat about dates. He said yes, definitely, once he got everything worked out at with move from 977 to 974 Chung King Road and Kim Dingle’s show was in place. I had a yes and a date (which turned out to be during the LA Art Show and photo la, talk about great timing!), and went for it, putting together the final list of artists for the whore portion, and cheerleading my Johns. Meanwhile, I took Mat’s class, Art World Boot Camp, to learn more about the how to of art in LA.

And because it was part of class, I had to create and show two pieces of art. Okay, I had made punk rock fliers like decades ago; my interior design sense doesn’t suck, I can take nice pictures, and I can rough out ads, but make art? Yikes. I went ahead and did it anyway, since stepping  outside one’s comfort zone is necessary for growth. The pieces didn’t suck  too badly.

At Art World Boot Camp show, one of the artists in “Two Johns and Whore” asked if I wanted to be in the Arroyo Arts Collective Show, and another artist friend recruited me for Meme Democracy, a show at her gallery.  Was this because I was “good”? I’m not that naive. I write about art. But I appreciated their encouragement of my fledgling ability.

So while my curating show with artists who are my friends, and writing about it for the website I edit might be considered a conflict of interest, I can’t not write about it. It’s an awesome show.

So tl/dr: Expect to see more blog posts about Two Johns and Whore, because the artists are great and the show is provocative.

Bob Newhart to Headline Anti-Gay Summit Legatus: TV Icon + Rick Santorum = Unfunny

TV icon Bob Newhart is slated as headlining entertainer for the Legatus 2014 Summit to be held February 6 -8, 2014,  in Orlando, Florida, alongside Rick Santorum and the Catholic League’s William Donohue. It’s pretty clear where  the ever-frothy Rick Santorum and Donohue stand on LGBT issues–and Legatus?  Jeremey Hooper writes for GLAAD:

Legatus pushes the idea that homosexuality itself is a “disorder” from which one must be “cured.”

This year Newhart won his first-ever Emmy playing opposite openly gay actor Jim Parsons on the very funny and at times off-color The Big Bang Theory. And Newhart appeared onstage with Parsons to present at this year’s Emmy. Parsons was named one of OUT magazine’s 100, and recently won his third Emmy and the GLESN Inspiration Award. Legatus assures in members that with Newhart

Summit attendees can certainly anticipate a clean show, but they will also get a good dose of Catholic humor.

GLAAD is actively contacting

Mr. Newhart’s representatives to let them know how, exactly, an appearance at this event will come across to LGBT people and allied voices,

A part of  me is hoping that Newhart will pull an  “Elton John in Moscow” and use his voice to speak up for LGBT rights. Newhart will have the floor, the pulpit if you will, and an opportunity to change minds with his legendary humor. Granted, there might be a little bit of blowback, but it could certainly have an effect.

On the other hand, Newhart telling Legatus that he will not perform because of their hate-filled views that harm so many people–both LGBT and their allies– who are his co-workers, friends and fans would also be a strong and bold move.

HT: Back2Stonewall.com

Pussy Riot To Be Freed: Amnesty for Russian Punk Band, Greenpeace Protestors and Others

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are being freed under the amnesty bill being submitted by Vladimir Putin to the Duma, the Russian parliament, on Monday December 9, to mark the Russian constitution’s 20th anniversary on Thursday. Nadya’s husband Pyotr Verzilov confirmed the rumors to The Voice Project:

It’s from the Kremlin and official already, they will be freed. We do not know yet when this will happen, because it is unclear when the bill will be voted by the Duma and how fast it will be applied to prisons – could be from 2 weeks to 2 months until they are freed.

The Voice Project also reports that Nadya’s father Andrei has also been able to confirm this from “reliable sources.” Nadya was moved to Siberia in November after protesting conditions and going on a hunger strike at her previous penal colony in Morodovia. She is now hospitalized in a Siberian prison facility, Regional Tuberculosis Hospital No. 1.

The BBC reports that Putin may also free the Greenpeace Arctic 30 campaigners currently on bail and facing trial on (reduced) charges of hooliganism, as well as some of the opposition activists involved in unrest in May 2012.

This all feels like a Putin move to make Russia seem less yucky-looking in the buildup to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Simone Baumann’s film Putin’s Game, documenting charges of threats, corruption, and environmental damage is screening throughout Europe. Pussy Riot jailed, Greenpeace activists facing trial, “gay propaganda” banned and LGBTQ beaten, Elton John (finally) speaking out about anti-gay discrimination in Russia. From the stage. While performing a concert in Moscow. Add in a boycott of Smirnoff vodka and Putin had to do something.

In a surprising move, NBC has named the New Yorker’s editor and a former Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post, David Remnick as a guest correspondent:

Remnick said NBC had guaranteed him editorial independence with his commentary, including such politically charged issues as gay rights and the relationship between Russia and Ukraine. “There is nothing in the world — and I know they don’t intend to hinder me in this way — where I would not be honest in my analysis,” Remnick said. “It would be a waste of everyone’s integrity and time if otherwise.”

Meanwhile, it could be a very happy new year for Pussy Riot, Greenpeace, and other jailed Russian activists. (more…)

Two Familiar Faces Come Out: Actress Maria Bello, UK Olympian Tom Daley

Actress Maria Bello, stating she was in a relationship with a woman, came out in Friday’s New York Times. And today, UK diver Tom Daley–who won bronze in the 10-meter platform at last summer’s Olympics–came out on YouTube, reports Back2Stonewall (which beat the BBC’s report on Daley by posting the story just minutes before the venerable British broadcaster got theirs up).

Bello wrote an op-ed piece, Coming Out as a Modern Family about  her extended family, the nature of partnerships and her relationship with her best friend which turned romantic after much soul searching. In his video, Daley explains that he was misquoted in an interview and wanted to be honest, even though discussing relationships makes him uncomfortable, but now he feels ready to do so since he is in a relationship with someone who makes him feel

so wonderful, so safe…and that person is a guy…something clicked…Of course I still fancy girls, but right now I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier. I just feel safe, and it really does feel right…Is it a big deal? I don’t think so….It’s going to be big but I wanted to say something.

Daley wanted to come out on video so his words wouldn’t be twisted, and he he says to his fans that he’s still Tom and still wants to win a gold medal for Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics; he hopes his fans will be along for that journey.

 

HT: Back2Stonewall

MSNBC Suspends Alec Baldwin Over Anti-Gay Slurs, Heat Is On Hate Speech Actor

Alec Baldwin is now feeling some heat over yelling the phrase

Cocksucking f*g

at a news reporter (not a paparazzi, there is a difference). Baldwin claims the noun beginning with F was

fathead

and that acoustic analysis will prove he used a self-reflective epithet. Anderson Cooper thinks Baldwin’s explanation is ridiculous and funny. MSNBC is taking the matter seriously, pulling Up Late with Alec Baldwin from their schedule for this week and next. (Not that it really matters, like who will notice? The show has lost 75,000 viewers since its debut last month–a 43% drop from its high of 175,000 watchers. Keeping him on may have boosted ratings, so yanking the program demonstrates MSNBC must really care). Let’s hope Baldwin finds the doors for a mea culpa PR tour closed to him until he does some real work on himself and for the LGBT community. How about volunteering at an LGBT homeless youth shelter and an HIV hospice for a few weeks and getting to know people who are directly impacted by the harsh words you use?

GLAAD’s Vice President of Communications, Rich Ferraro, responded to MSNBC’s decision:

Alec Baldwin still needs to take real action. MSNBC has sent a message that anti-gay slurs carry consequences, and that’s an important standard to uphold at a time when LGBT people continue to face disproportionate levels of bullying and violence just because of who they are.

Baldwin excused his actions on the MSNBC website, writing:

I would like to address the comments I made this past week.

I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have – and for that I am deeply sorry. Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support. I understand “Up Late” will be taken off the schedule for tonight and next week.

I want to apologize to my loyal fans and to my colleagues at msnbc – both for my actions and for distracting from their good work. Again, please accept my apology.

Enough with the sorry, Alec.  Do something, something aside from revealing you have a gay hairdresser in tragically transparent

Look I have a gay friend

move (and  really if you tip well, is that person your real friend, or just a paid one?)  TMZ did a follow up interview with the hairdresser, Nick Berrios, and the video is worth watching to the end when Berrios is asked

if it’s ever OK for anyone to use the f-word.

The conflict faced by Baldwin’s paid friend is poignant.

Oddly, People for the American Way, who have in the past been vocal about transphobic remarks, haven’t said boo about Alec Baldwin’s homo-hating outburst. Hope it’s not because he’s a board member…

Financial and vocal support of marriage equality doesn’t give Alec Baldwin or anyone else the right or a free pass to use slurs whether in anger or in everyday conversation.  The support becomes lip service, donations tainted, the giver’s true colors revealed when words like

c*cksucking  f*

issue forth.

Meanwhile anti-bullying advocate and author Dan Savage had tweeted Thursday:

Whoopi Goldberg Brings Groundbreaking Comic Moms Mabley to New Audience

Whoopi Goldberg brings the story of America’s first female stand-up comic, Jackie Moms Mabley to HBO with Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley, premiering November 18. Goldberg—who put up her own money to produce and direct the documentary and went to Kickstarter for additional funds—told Showbiz 411 at the film’s Tribeca screening earlier this year:

We celebrate all the other firsts. Why haven’t we celebrated the first stand up comedian who was a woman and had been doing it since 1928?

Born Loretta Mary Aitken, Mabley began working as a stand-up in the late 1920s, and made a living on the Chitlin’ Circuit—the vaudeville clubs, speakeasies and theaters throughout the eastern, southern, and upper mid-west areas of the United States where African-American performers were able to perform during segregation.

In the early days of her performances, Mabley wore androgynous clothes on stage and worked blue, performing XXX-rated routines. As she developed her act,  Mabley took on the persona of granny or great auntie, wearing a floral house dress and a drooping hat. She took out her dentures for her stand-up routine—at the time dentures were common—and riffed on her character’s desire for young men and her distaste of old ones, addressing the imbalance of sexual power, as well as hitting on politics, race, war, and other social issues.

In Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley, Goldberg reveals that Mabley would come off stage, take off her garish frumpy frock, change into tailored slacks and a man’s shirt and shoes, put her teeth back in, and slick back her hair, Moms becoming Mr. Jackie.  And her fellow performers didn’t care. As the Advocate remarks:

That her penchant for the ladies (and for men’s clothing) didn’t matter to her male colleagues reveals just how much they respected her as a performer.

During her research for the documentary, Goldberg found a card picturing Mabley wearing in a man’s suit. It was signed “Mr. Moms,” indicating Moms was open amongst her colleagues. Goldberg points out:

If you’re gay or straight, you can do whatever is universally funny.

A regular performer at both the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater, Mabley appeared in several films, recorded over twenty albums of her stand up comedy–some on her own label Poontan’–and was embraced in the late 1960s and 70s by television, appearing on Ed Sullivan Show, Merv Griffin, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, the Grammys and other shows. At age 75 she recorded “Abraham, Martin and John,” scoring a Top 40 hit, making her the oldest person to do so (and she still holds that record!). At the peak of her career she was making $10,000 a week, breaking the ground and laying the foundation for women comics like Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers to the Queens of Comedy, Kathy Griffin and Ellen DeGeneres. Moms Mabley, a businesswoman and lesbian during segregation, crossed the color barrier and kicked ass on stage and off.

At age 79,  she came full circle, coming out loud and proud as a lesbian and became, according to Queers in History,

the first XXX-rated lesbian stand-up comic.

Just months before her death, “The Funniest Woman in the World” performed at the Michigan Women’s Festival.

During a question and answer session after the doc screened at Tribeca earlier this year, Whoopi Goldberg explained part of Mabley’s appeal:

She didn’t care where she was, she would pull those teeth out, and to me, this freedom to be yourself, for seventy seven years is the highlight of life to me because, you know, it’s okay to be gay, it’s okay to be individual, it’s okay to have a point of view. She made me realize that whatever you did you had to stand on your own two feet and know who you are.

Goldberg made the documentary—which features historic photos and clips of Mabley performing as well as interviews with Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poiter, Quincy Jones, Bill Cosby, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara—because, as she told the Advocate:

A lot of young people have no sense of history. No sense of history of the United States. Moms is a great magnifying glass into the past.

Remember, Remember the 5th of November: Anonymous Gets Things Done

When Anonymous erupted on the streets some five and half years ago to protest Scientology, their branding is what caught everyone’s eyes: The majority of protestors wore the Guy Fawkes mask from the movie V for Vendetta, in part because of the movie’s message and in part from EFG, Epic Fail Guy, a meme on 4Chan, the board where members can post images anonymously.

Anonymous is real a cool guy and doesn’t afraid of nothing.

As thousands of people who had never met joined in the protests and on the online discussion board WhyWeProtest.net,  Anonymous grew and developed . The concept was that anyone is anonymous (though tracing ISPs eventually proved otherwise in arrests for DDOS attacks), and anyone could protest anonymously.

Since that fateful day in February 2008, Anons have gone on to kick some pretty serious butt, and occasionally get theirs handed to them by law enforcement (careful with that Low Orbit Ionizing Cannon, kids!). Anonymous provided tech aid in the Arab Spring, reported on uprisings in Iran, took on San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), supported rape victims and made their accused rapists pretty uncomfortable, supported Bradly Manning and Julian Assange, and have ordered a lot of pizzas delivered. EFG masks could be seen at Occupy, are  at rallies and protests, and at just about any public semi-political gathering. Since anyone can be anonymous, and there is no central organizing committee, sometimes groups of Anons act in apparent cross-purposes. Don’t try to figure out exactly what they stand for except freedom on the intertubes and beyond–that’s the cornerstone of their ideology.

Anonymous’ original goal when we, they crept out of  notoriously Cheeto scented basements was to expose Scientology and have some lulz. It worked. In 2008 a group of Anons marched in the San Diego Pride Parade. A member of Scientology then signed the Church of Scientology on as a supporter of Prop 8. Screenwriter Paul Haggis, a Scientologist and a supporter of LGBT rights saw this and spoke up to the Scientology powers that be. He then very publicly left the organization, Lawrence Wright published an article in the New Yorker about Haggis’ defection, and well, now books have been written, more than ever people are leaving Scientology, the cult is facing court battles, and no one is afraid of them anymore. Well played. >9000 FTW.

Today, November 5th was the Million Mask March where Anons participated in

mass demonstrations in 477 locations around the world this Tuesday. The Million Mask March’s Facebook page states that followers should “remember who your enemies are: billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice.”

Remember, remember this 5th of November:

We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget. Expect us.

 

Angel Haze Remixes ‘Same Love’, Resulting Track Is an Ode to Self Love

Angel Haze is no stranger to leveraging her platform – and her art-  to tackle uncomfortable subjects.  She’s also no stranger to remixing previous works to say something totally new and necessary in a way that only she can.

Case and point: the artist’s remix of Macklemore’s hit single Same Love.

From The Heist, Macklemore’s incredibly successful  second studio album, and collaboration with producer Ryan Lewis,  the original song has a lot of heart.  It’s received wide radio play and praise, including the VMAs for best video with a social message.  In a recent blog post describing the importance of the song, Macklemore said:

Every song I’ve ever put out, I have believed in.  But Same Love was different.  It was a moment that was way bigger than us.  Watching teenagers come up to me after shows, with tears in their eyes, gasping for breathe in attempts to find the right words to explain to me that they came out to their family after hearing the song…that reaffirms everything.  That.  Right there.  That is the reason why I do this.  That is no publicity stunt.  That is no calculated move.  That is art affecting the quality of people’s lives, the way that other artists influence mine.

Fan love and commercial acclaim aside, Macklemore has also received considerable grief for the song with some questioning the merits of a straight artist creating a gay rights ballad.

I can’t count myself among those kind of critics.  I was introduced to Same Love by a gay solider whose sincere and pure appreciation of the song was evident when she asked me if it’d be okay if she replayed it during a car ride that we shared last spring.  She was a friend of a friend and I didn’t know her but in her explanation of the song I knew that the song had impacted her.

I wouldn’t want to take that away from anybody.

Buzzfeed proclaims the remix “finally does justice” to the original song.

I don’t know about all that.

That said, this Angel Haze remix is wonderful and important for its own reasons.

Leveraging the same chorus as the original song –  featuring vocals from out artist Mary Lambert - Angel delivers a powerful account of her own struggles with her sexuality.

She begins the track with a warning to her mother, saying: “Hi Mom. I’m really scared right now- but, I have to…”

From there she holds nothing back.

I’ve transcribed her verses as best as I could: (more…)

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