Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Rock Hudson and Will Smith

A documentary about one of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the 20th century, “Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed” (riffing on the title of Hudson’s 1955 film “All That Heaven Allows”) is the portrait of a boy from Winnetka — a New Trier alum and self-described “Midwestern hick” — who found fame and fortune on screen. But he lived a double life, which he kept under wraps until his fatal AIDS diagnosis in the ‘80s.

There was his heterosexual public image — of brawny style and wit, a 6-foot-4 leading man who could switch easily from adventure films to Douglas Sirk melodramas in the ‘50s, to romantic comedies opposite Doris Day in the ‘60s, to the TV police procedural “McMillan & Wife” in the ‘70s and the nighttime soap “Dynasty” in the ‘80s.

His closeted private life was an open secret in Hollywood, if not to his wider audience. He was gregarious and charming and had an abundance of sexual flings and a close circle of friends, but no long-term romantic relationships. Maybe the demands of maintaining a straight image made that too difficult. But either way, Hudson’s wealth, and his agent Henry Willson, were key to keeping all of this under wraps.

When the tabloid Confidential threatened to do a piece exposing Hudson’s homosexuality, Willson offered up Tab Hunter, who was one of his other clients, as a sacrificial lamb instead. The film doesn’t delve into how Hudson might have felt about that, if he felt anything at all.

Or if he knew anything at all about it.  Was Rock overseas filming when this went down?  He had a boyfriend on the set that was making the studio mad -- I read All That Heaven Allows -- it's a good book -- and after coming back, if I'm remembering right, that's when the arranged marriage with (lesbian) Phyllis Gates took place.  Phyllis, when Rock died, tried to play surprised.  And straight.  She was a well known lesbian.  She knew what she was getting into.  But the same press that went to town on Rock -- his death freed them to say everything (every homophobic thing) they'd wanted to say for years, let Phyllis stay in the closet.  What a load of garbage.

She was Henry Willson's secretary.  She knew everything that went on -- Henry made his clients (male) sleep with him over and over and over.  

Anyway, that should make for an interesting documentary.  My only complaint about the book would be not enough about filming.  Some people were long dead which probably hampered the author a lot.  But I would've liked more on the work.  That said, he unearths many personal things including the great love of Rock's life -- who I believe is still alive, I saw a month or two back where he was talking to the press about Rock.

Will Smith once rejected an opportunity for RuPaul to cameo on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," a producer has claimed.

In the new book, "Freaks, Gleeks and Dawson's Creek: How Seven Teen Shows Transformed Television," executive producer David Steven Simon spoke to author Thea Glassman about the making of the hit 1990s sitcom.

In one section, according to Entertainment Weekly and People, Simon said that Smith shut down the producer when he suggested that RuPaul should make an appearance.

I can't remember if Jada's been honest about being bi or not.  That couple is exhausting.  But for as long as we knew Queen Latifah was gay, the African-American community has also known about Miss Will Smith.  I have no idea why he doesn't come out.  It might even finally create some sympathy for him at this point. 

Be sure to read my cousin Stan's "Erin Johnson is a racist who writes for SCREEN RANT" which just went up. 

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, June 28, 2023.  John Stauber and Marjorie Taylor Greene lead the fright wing in circulating another lie, a number of MPs resign in northern Iraq, noted transphobe Jonathan Turley struggles with pop culture references, and much more.

Statement from President Joe Biden on the Anniversary of Landmark Marriage Equality Rulings     

Today marks the anniversary of three landmark Supreme Court cases which were consequential in affirming the basic truth that every American should have the right to marry the person they love. Ten years ago today, the Supreme Court rulings in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry made significant strides laying the groundwork for marriage equality in our country. They were followed two years later, to the day, by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, finally allowing millions of LGBTQI+ Americans to marry who they love.

These monumental cases moved our country forward, and they were made possible because of the courageous couples and unrelenting advocates in the LGBTQI+ community who, for decades, fought for these hard-won rights. Last year, I was proud to build on their legacy by signing into law the Respect for Marriage Act – guaranteeing the rights and protections which LGBTQI+ Americans are entitled to – surrounded by many of the plaintiffs from these cases. But more work lies ahead, and I continue to call on Congress to pass the Equality Act, to codify additional protections to combat the increased attacks on the rights and safety of those in the LGBTQI+ community.

As we conclude Pride month, we’re once again reminded that we must never stop fighting to reach full equality for all LGBTQI+ – and all – Americans.


So the White House issued that on Monday.  Those are actual words and the fright-wing seemed distracted and uninterested.  Instead, egged on by chief bit of trash Marjorie Taylor Greene and deceptive editing, they were focused on three days earlier when US President Joe Biden met with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- focused on lying about what took place.  Joe made a joke and identified it as such -- see White House transcript.  Marjorie and others cut it off before he identifies it as a joke and claim outrage.  All the fright wing participated -- you know that means John Stauber too -- not for nothing did Rebecca note earlier this year "john stauber is the 21st century david horowitz."

This dishonesty involved it appalling.  From the official White House transcript:

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Okay.  We — I was just thanking the — anyway, I started off without you, and I sold a lot of state secrets and a lot of very important things that we shared.  (Laughter.)
Now, all kidding aside — look, we’re teaming up to design and develop new technologies that are going to transform the lives of our people around the world.  And together, we’re lifting the private and public partners to make this possible, including launching a new program between India and America — American astronauts, Indian astronauts, and entrepreneurs, scientists, students.

Aila Slisco  (NEWSWEEK) explains

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is one of several online touting a deceptively-edited video of President Joe Biden supposedly "admitting his crimes out loud."

The video, first shared by the Republican National Committee (RNC) Research Twitter account, shows the president saying at a press briefing last week that he had "sold a lot of state secrets and a lot of very important things" during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The clip was edited to end just before Biden clearly said that he was "kidding" about his comments. Modi and others present during the briefing can also be seen and heard laughing in the extended version of the video.

Marjorie, as Josh Marcus (INDEPENDENT) notes, thinks she can move for impeachment (as long as people are too stupid to know the video's edited), "Nonetheless figures on the right like the Republican party congresswoman Ms Greene spread video of the exchange on social media, with Mr Biden’s disclaimer he was kidding edited out." 

"Figures on the right."  Oh, look, Johnny Stauber!  You finally got mentioned in NEWSWEEK!   They didn't mention you by name, but they acknowledged you so, for a day or two or maybe even three, you can feel just a little less impotent.

AP does the fact check on the nonsense here

This is the garbage the country has to deal with.  And it needs to be called out.  Lying and repeating lies for political gain is the game of hucksters and con artists.  They revealed themselves to you in the last 24 hours if you paid attention.  There is no reason to trust a word out of Marjorie or John's mouths.  They're liars and they exposed themselves as such.  They insult you by trying to trick you.  They insult you be assuming you're too stupid to catch on.

You really need to grasp what just took place.  

By the way, while we're discussing Marjorie, she came up in a discussion we had yesterday with a college group.  It was pointed out that she and fellow hate merchant Lauren Boebert preact to others about 'family values' but both of their marriages collapsed after only one term in Congress.    Let's again note Chelsea Handler on MTG. 


Marjorie Taylor Greene: I have people come up to me and say crazy things to me out of the blue in public places that they believe because they read it on the internet.

Chelsea Handler:  Well if that's not the pot calling the kettle QAnon.  This woman thought 9/11 was a hoax, that the Clintons killed JFK Jr. and that Jews are in charge of space lasers.  But please, don't come at her with some crazy ideas -- she might believe them. 

I love that part.  But note the start of the MTG section, MTG talking about how hard it is to be in Congress and how you're away from your family -- guess she took of that absence with her affair, didn't she.  What's the Bible say about adulterers?  Stone them.  Stone them.  "Both the man and the woman must be put to death."  It's Leviticus, the book the hate merchants love.  So remember that the next time Marjorie's trying to take her 'moral' high ground.  She's not just a hate merchant, she's a fake ass.

That's Kylie Minogue's latest world wide hit "Padam Padam."  She's been charting since the 80s. Kyle credits her gay fans for helping her through the rough patches

And that's how you use a pop cultural reference -- to transition, to get people to relate, any number of ways.  It can be confusing for some.  Such as?

Jonathan Turley is so hopelessly out of it.  I let it pass when he cited "One" this month.  Most would cite Harry Nilsson, singer-songwriter, who wrote the song and released it as a single in 1968.  Others would cite Aimee Mann to show some sort of indie cred. He went with Three Dog Night.  A long forgotten band.  I had a flat tire in southern California in 1990.  I'm in the middle of nowhere and walking around looking for something -- a gas station, anything.  I end up walking onto a field where . . . Three Dog Night is giving a mid-day concert.  No security.  Apparently an open concert -- I wouldn't have recognized them but they were performing their hit of Laura Nyro's "Eli's Coming."  I'd quicker recognize Grand Funk Railroad -- and have more respect for that group.  But whatever, right?  There were about forty people lying on the ground (some sitting) in front of the band as it played.  

Who really needs a Three Dog Night pop reference?  At least he got that one right, unlike this:

...Nevertheless, it is now portrayed as “a story of a father’s love for his son.” In other words, it is just like “On Golden Pond” if the father and child were working together to extract millions in actual gold from the pond.

Does he think that's funny?  I think most people reading it will get stuck on how wrong he is.  Henry Fonda plays the father in ON GOLDEN POND.  Doug McKeon plays Billy, he does not play the son.  Because Henry's character Norman has no son.  He has a daughter, Chelsea, played by his own daughter Jane Fonda.  As the film ends, Chelsea reveals that she married Bill Sr.  Billy is not Norman's son.  

Has senility set in?  Is this just another example of how Jonathan can't get the facts right on anything?  No one asked the transphobe to mention ON GOLDEN POND.  He made that decision all by himself -- clearing thinking he had the perfect analogy for Hunter and Joe Biden.  He didn't.  Again, is it senility?  Next up, Jonathan pays homage to the recording 'triumphs' of Wayne Newton.

He remembers a commercial and wrongly cites it "Ten minutes and ten cases to go . . . "Anticipation . . . it is making me wait"" -- that's a catsup commercial using Carly Simon's song "Anticipation" and she never sings "It is making me wait."  She does sing, "Is making me wait."  

What an idiot.  Can you imagine if one of his students was that sloppy.  Again, no one forced him to note the song but if he's going to note it, he needs to get it right.  It's a radio classic that is among the most played songs of its era -- Carly gets huge royalties from that song every year because it's a radio evergreen -- like the Beatles' "Yesterday" -- that is been played constantly.  (As Trina noted Monday, Carly wrote it while waiting for Cat Stevens to pick her up for a date.)

Cynthia Erivo, Elliot Page and more are among more than 200 signatories of an open letter GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign put together to push social media platforms to clamp down on hate speech, harassment and misinformation directed at the LGBTQ community.
"True allies do not profit from anti-LGBTQ hate," GLAAD's letter read, which was released on Tuesday in partnership with HRC. "There has been a massive systemic failure to prohibit hate, harassment, and malicious anti-LGBTQ disinformation on your platforms and it must be addressed. The very content you profit from is in violation of your own terms of service, which assert that you do not allow hate speech."
The letter comes after social media platforms' earned "low and failing grades" on GLAAD's third annual Social Media Safety Index, which evaluates the five major social media (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube) platforms regarding LGBTQ safety, privacy and expression. Instagram had a score of 63%, Facebook scored 61%, TikkTok scored 57%, YouTube earned a 54% and Twitter had the lowest score of 33%. 

Just jokes -- that Uncle Fester looking Matt Taibbi would insist.  No.  And no.  Fan Chen (WOMEN.COM) explains:
Jokes can also unfortunately normalize harmful stereotypes about the LGBTQ+ as well as forms of prejudice. One study from back in 2007 found heterosexual people experienced negative feelings about gay individuals after hearing homophobic slurs used.As the world celebrates Pride, it's important to remember one of the most impactful ways to be an ally and support the LGBTQIA+ community year-round is to call out homophobia as you see it. However, the process isn't always easy. In fact, it can often be uncomfortable and intimidating, especially if the jokes are coming from your friend. "Someone who is uneducated regarding the community can hold a lot of fear in their ignorance," Kollyn Conrad, founder and executive director of Publicly Private, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community, exclusively tells "This can make the situation dangerous and more hostile," he continues. But there are ways to make a difference and take a stand

Conrad exclusively tells Women that it's important to assess the level of threat before making the confrontation. "Before addressing the homophobia, transphobia, or biphobia, ensure your safety."This can come in the form of a temperature check of the room - How is that person's mood? Do you know them well enough to where you can know for sure they won't retaliate in a violent manner? Is there a safe place to exit if things go wrong? These are all important things to look out for.Once you feel safe and comfortable enough, it is crucial to let the person know that you found their joke or statement offensive as soon as possible. Being direct is often the most effective way to guard your boundary. Phrases like "Wow, that's not cool," "I don't agree," "I find that offensive," and "What you just said makes me feel uncomfortable," can work to quickly shut down someone who has started making the jokes before they go further.

BUZZFEED has an article where parents of non-binary and transgender children offer some suggestions:

2."If you’re uncomfortable or struggling with some aspect of your child’s exploration of gender — name or pronoun change, self-expression, whatever — that’s for you to address with your support, NOT YOUR CHILD. Ideally an LGBTQ+ therapist, but partners and friends who are allies can be good sounding boards, too."

"Your kid isn’t going to feel supported and accepted if you complain that you don’t like their new name or ‘just don’t understand’ nonbinary pronouns to them.

I struggled a lot with my child’s use of the word ‘deadname’ to describe the birth name we chose to honor a beloved relative who has since passed. It felt hurtful and disrespectful to their memory, but those conversations were for my therapist and a friend of mine who also has a trans child. It’s okay to have feelings about changes to your child’s identity, but it’s not your child’s job to help you work through them." 

—Anonymous, parent of a nonbinary 16-year-old

[. . .]

10."Read as much as you can about non-gender conforming people from their own perspectives. I wish I'd had a better understanding of what it means to be trans when my child came out in his teens."

"I tried to be supportive, but I questioned a lot of his feelings because I didn't understand. What he needed most was to be heard and understood, not challenged. If we knew then what we know now, he would have started gender-affirming care much earlier, and it would have saved a lot of heartache. He receives trans care now and is so much happier.

It's so difficult to see new attacks every day on the trans community. Verbal attacks are nonstop, and these bills and laws across the country that strip their rights and freedom to live as they see fit are soul-crushing. But I want every nonbinary and trans person to know that they have allies across the nation who love and support them in spirit, at the ballot box, and every way we can."

—Anonymous, parent of a 23-year-old

Those are two of the thirteen, read the article in full for all thirteen. 

In last Thursday's snapshot and Friday's snapshot, we covered the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled "Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans."  Bryan Metzger (BUSINESS INSIDER) notes:

As the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off a hearing on LGBTQ+ rights last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina sought to draw a clear distinction between same-sex marriage — once at the center of the culture wars — and the Republican Party's recent targeting of civil rights for trans people.

"You mentioned that eight years ago, the Obergefell decision created a constitutional right to same-sex marriage," said Graham. "We're not talking about that here — we're talking about other things here."

Since the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, same-sex marriage has largely faded as an issue targeted by Republicans, at least at the national level. Instead, most have redirected their fire to transgender women's participation in sports, gender-affirming care for minors, and drag performances.

Kind of reminds you of Clarence Thomas, doesn't it?  In his DOBBS decision, remember, he was against ROE and all the privacy rights cases . . . except one.  LOVING V VIRGINIA, where the Supreme Court finds laws against interracial marriage to be unlawful.  He listed all the other privacy rights cases.  Not that one.  Clarence did marry an African-American woman, yes.  Then he left her for his current wife who is White.  Hmm  Wonder why Lindsey wants to attack trans but not gay men.  Wonder why.  Wonder.

The Ku Klux Klan isn’t discussed in the same breath as today’s organized domestic terrorism groups, among them the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who led the siege on the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

But like them, the Klan remains a threat to democracy, civil rights and the voting rights of people of color, especially that of Latinos.

Once you’ve confronted such sinister forces, you never forget.

This week in 1983 the KKK came to San Antonio promising “to clean San Antonio of cockroaches,” using a hate-filled term to describe people of Mexican descent.

Antonio Cabral remembers. A former Marine and retired federal employee, he’d been involved in the anti-war movement and advocated for farm workers.

When a Klan leader announced a march in San Antonio, he waited to see if activists would organize, but “no one else was responding,” he said.

Cabral, now 83, was among those who started planning a counter-protest. Other activists of the day got involved, including Teresa Gutierrez, Ramon Mata, Margaret and Daniel Moreno, and Eliosa, Nicolas and Demetrio Aguirre, he said. 

They formed the ad hoc Anti-Klan Committee, a largely Mexican-American effort to protest the KKK march in San Antonio that year.

Cabral was reprimanded by family members. “Me regañaron,” or scolded, he said.

On Sunday, he spoke to me about that episode half a lifetime ago, about how much has changed since then — and how much hasn’t changed at all.

The counter-protesters met regularly in a little house on the city’s West Side. They planned. They left nothing to chance.

They studied the march route, noting side streets they could use to get away should things turn sideways.

They were armed only with signs and slogans. They brought cameras and saw others in the crowd taking pictures, too.

His wife Mary Cabral recalled how she tried to engage in conversation with those who were taking pictures, hoping they’d share images. But they had little to say. 

The Anti-Klan Committee identified them as FBI agents or informants conducting surveillance — not of the Klan but of the protesters, especially leaders like Cabral.

Everyone, it seemed, was against the counter-protesters. City Hall. The San Antonio Police Department. Even the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Then Archbishop Patrick Flores asked people to instead pray.

You read that today and think, "How could that have been the case?"  The same shock you have today is what future generations will have when they look back on the Matt Taibbis, the Tucker Carlsons, the Glenn Greenwalds, etc. 

Meanwhile . . . 

Apparently, no flowers if you're in the state of Florida.  

If you're going to Naples, Florida, be sure to wear your hatred on display . . . If you're going to Naples, Florida, you're going to meet some questionable people there 

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) issued a travel warning to socialists or communists headed to Florida.

"If you're a socialist, communist, somebody that believes in big government, I would think twice," Scott said in a video message posted to Twitter. "Think twice if you're thinking about taking a vacation or moving to Florida."

First they try to purge the drag queens and drag queens, the transgender and African-Americans, the LGBQ+ were next and now a sitting state senator is threatening -- publicly threatening -- Socialist, Communists and anyone who "believes in big government."

Florida, you really need to take a look at the bigots you've elected to office.  A strong look.  

But it is proof of what many of us said months ago, they were just starting the purge and they would expand it. And now they're doing that.   But don't worry, Matt Taibbi and his old Uncle Fester f**ked up face will be making jokes about it and USEFUL IDIOTS will be just that as they ignore reality and how many people are being harmed.

Remember today Marianne Williamson, a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, is supposed to be a major fireside chat responding to the war on LGBTQ+ members with a specific focus on the attacks on transgendered persons.

We'll wind down with this from Salar Salim and Abdulrahman Zeyad's AP report:

More than 50 members of the local parliament in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north have submitted their resignations to protest a court decision that deemed as unconstitutional the legislature’s postponement of elections by a year.

Jihad Hassan, an MP with the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which holds the largest number of seats in the autonomous region’s parliament, said Tuesday that all 45 members of its bloc had resigned the day before from the 111-member parliament, along with nine MPs from other parties. 

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