Sunday, May 20, 2018

Janet Jackson: LGBTs Are An All-Embracing Community That Has Always Inspired Me

(image via Instagram)

Speaking to Billboard, Janet Jackson shares how the LGBTQ community has inspired her work:

It’s a loving, all-embracing community that has always inspired me.

I don’t often listen to my own work, but when I go back to [1997’s] Velvet Rope, I put on “Together Again” and remember the friends I lost to AIDS.

It was important to me to honor them not mournfully but joyously in a celebratory song. Their spirit did so much to bolster mine.

Sometimes when people talk about Velvet Rope, they call it my edgiest or sexiest record. Yet the heart of the record is not about sex at all. It’s about how, in defiance of death, we will all be “together again.”

It’s an anthem to undying love.

Trump Twitter Rant: "I Hereby Demand..."

Clearly whoever was supposed to supervise Donald Trump today was napping on-duty as the Cheeto-In-Chief went on an unhinged roller-coaster ride of a Twitter rant today.

Even by Trumpian standards, this was pretty much off-the-charts.

The rant was probably sparked by this report in the New York Times today about yet another meeting Don Trump Jr. took with foreign agents who wanted to help elect Trump.

Three months before the 2016 election, a small group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son. One was an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation. Another was an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes. The third was a Republican donor with a controversial past in the Middle East as a private security contractor.

The meeting was convened primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months — past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office, according to several people with knowledge of their encounters.

Erik Prince, the private security contractor and the former head of Blackwater, arranged the meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, 2016. The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president.

As we all know by now, it's illegal for a political campaign to accept help or support from a foreign country.

Below, you can see Trump rages and attempts to deflect with call to investigate Hillary (again?).

It's interesting that the Trumpster is suddenly worried about the cost of government spending describing the Special Counsel's investigation as "soon to be $20,000,000. He doesn't seem to have a problem spending over $3 million a trip to go play golf at Mar-A-Lago...?

The Donald also tries to assert that "no collusion" has been found when in truth, no one knows what Robert Mueller's investigation has found yet.

Special Counsel's don't turn in quarterly or monthly reports. No one but Mueller and his team know what they have in evidence. And you can be sure they wouldn't be continuing if there wasn't a reason to do so.

However, if you repeat it often enough, weak-minded people will start to believe you. Like a bad used-car salesman...

What's really rich is his final tweet (see below) where he states "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes."

He "hereby demands???"

FBI agents spoke to Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page about their communications with Russian actors. You know - that's what the FBI does when they have evidence of treasonous activity.

Check out the meltdown below.

Daily Dog: When The UPS Delivery Guy Comes Calling

So there's apparently a whole Facebook page titled UPS Dogs devoted to dogs who love their UPS drivers.

Check out the cute brain-break below as these furry family members greet home deliveries each day.

One UPS guy even adopted one of his daily friends when the dog's human passed away.


These Rainbow Pride Flags Can Stop A Bullet

In a new video from Fondation ร‰mergence, a gun is fired at 193 rainbow Pride flags - one for every country in the world.

Together, the flags can stop a bullet - just as when citizens of the world stand together we can stop LGBTQ violence and discrimination through the power of our togetherness.

From the video:

LGBT people around the world are still the targets of prejudice and violence.

What if we all took a stand against it?

We created this flag to show the world that together we can stop violence.

It’s made out of 193 Pride flags - one for every country in the world.

The video was created in observance of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

The Pride Shield exhibit will be available to different cities in the hopes of sparking a conversation about LGBTQ violence and discrimination around the world.

Get involved at

Guess Which "Star Wars" Character Is Pansexual?

Donald Glover as "Lando Calrissian"

In the trailer for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, the character of “Lando Calrissian” (played by Donald Glover) seems all friendly and flirty with just about everyone he encounters.

In one scene, Calrissian calls Han Solo “baby;” in another clip he says with a smile, “Everything you’ve heard about me is true.”

In the film, his female droid L3-37 shares, “I’m sure you noticed that Lando has feelings for me.”

You may recall Billy Dee Williams brought a similar winking sexuality to the character in Episodes V and VI of the Star Wars saga.

With that in mind, Bill Bradley of the Huffington Post asked the father/son screenwriting team of Solo - Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan - in a recent interview if Lando is, indeed, pansexual.

“I would say yes,” Jonathan says. “He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules.”

“There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s (portrayal of Lando’s) sexuality,” he continued. “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality - that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”

While the writers may imply that Lando is sexually fluid, folks who have previewed the film say there’s nothing explicit to that point in the film.

Some of you may be wondering "What's the difference between pansexual and bisexual?" Pansexuals are attracted to all gender identities (or are attracted regardless of gender identities) and bisexuals are attracted to more than one gender identity (but not all).

In the more than 4 decades of Star Wars films, LGBTQ fans have yet to see actual representation in the sci-fi films. It seems that as vast as the universe may be, there are only heterosexuals out in space.

Some Star Wars fans were hoping for more from Laura Dern’s character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.

Last fall there was talk that an official tie-in novel, Leia: Princess of Alderaan released in September 2017, revealed Holdo to be the Star Wars universe’s first queer character.

In the book, Holdo mentions in a conversation about sex with Leia that she enjoys "a pair of pretty dark eyes.”

“A pair of pretty dark eyes.” Then Amilyn thought about that for a moment. “Or more than a pair, if you’re into Grans. Or Aqualish, or Talz. Or even —”

“That’s all right!” Leia said through laughter. “It’s just humanoid males for me.”

“Really? That feels so limiting.”

But, eventually LGBTQ Star Wars fans were disappointed again as there was nothing in The Last Jedi that shed any light on Holdo’s romantic life.

Hollywood has been doing this forever it seems.

Audiences were teased in the lead up to the release of last year’s Beauty and the Beast that there would be an "exclusively gay moment" for one of the film’s characters.

In the end, though, all LGBTQ audiences got were vague references to an unrequited crush on Gaston by Le Fou, and a fleeting, momentary shot of Le Fou dancing at the end of the film with a man.

Back in 2007, CNN reported that J.K. Rowling always thought of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore as gay, a point that isn’t explained nor explored at all in the book.

Is it time for Hollywood to stop with the queer baiting LGBTQ audiences?

Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Slow Down: Mary Chapin Carpenter "John Doe No.24"

I don't think I can love this song more than I already do.

The simplicity and slow, deliberate tempo seems to create for the listener the silent world of "John Doe No.24."

Knowing Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote this based on an actual newspaper clipping she came across makes it all the more poignant.  There's a kind of calm acceptance of life's situation in the way Mary Chapin writes as "John."

I've been affected by the song from the day I heard it.  I've never really known why other than it's clearly theatrical sense of soliloquy.

Listening today I was reminded of growing up without my own mother and a father who, although he loved me, was somewhat absent.  And, as a young child, I was very quiet and happy to be in my own world.

Then I found my "crepe jasmine" - my best friend Carlye - who opened up new senses, colors and confidence in me.  For the first time in my young life, this "orphan shoe" was no longer missing the other.

I guess that's where John Doe and I diverged.  Lucky me.

I hope you like the song.

This Was Not Your Average Royal Wedding

The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex

And they're married!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed today in a gorgeous ceremony that brought royal glamour into the 21st century.

In a nod to Markle's biracial background, the service featured a thoroughly American sermon served up with some gospel singing. This was not your average royal wedding.

And that's a good thing.

Attending the nuptials were celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, and tennis star Serena Williams.

Congrats to the happy couple!

Just Because...

(via Instagram)
Two handsome, woofy beasts on a Saturday morning...