NYT Minus Context (SLTwitter) -- Does exactly what it says on the tin.
photographed for an ad against overindulgence. "After a stressful week, Friday and Saturday are the days when hard-working Japanese men and women 'let their hair down' by taking part in post-work 'drinking until you drop,' says Yaocho Bar Group, which launched the alcohol awareness campaign. Combined with a low alcohol tolerance common among the Asian population, consequences of the wild weekend partying can be less than ideal." [more inside]
Legal groups say Kenya’s justice system rarely prosecutes homophobic crimes, but that may soon change: In 2011 the incoming President of Kenya’s Supreme Court Dr. Willy Mutunga called gay rights the “other frontier of marginalization” in Kenyan society in a signal that he may pressure Kenya’s judiciary to decriminalize homosexual acts. In the wake of author Binyavanga Wainaina (previously 1, 2) coming out and the release of Invisible: Stories from Kenya’s Queer Community, hope that Kenya may be going against the tide regarding gay rights in Africa.
Juno star Ellen Page announced she is gay during a speech at a human rights conference in Las Vegas on Friday. [SLYT] Transcript of her remarks here. [PDF]
The New Monogamists. A new generation of gay couples is building a white picket fence around their sex lives. Are they depriving themselves of a perk of being gay? And, in response... Why OUT's "The New Monogamists" misses the boat.
io9: 'Everyone's A Sellout'
But the "selling out" thing isn't about whether the work is any good, so much as the question of "artistic integrity." Which assumes a simple model in which the artist has a "vision," that forms perfectly in her head, and she then executes that vision with perfect precision — unless she pauses to think about how best to attract an audience of paying customers, in which case the vision becomes compromised and, I guess, blurry. That business, of having a vision and executing it, describes none of the actual process of creating something from scratch, unless you're some kind of minimalist who writes a six-word story or just paints a big dot on a canvas.[more inside]
"The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."
"There has never, ever been a period in the history of mankind where you have as much conformity as you have now, and yet every person is under the delusion that they are an individual. I'm not. I'm trying to fit in. " So says Michael O'Brien, victorian bookbinder, sage of Oamaru, snappy jacobian dresser and all around good guy. Working in the historic district in the pacific's last remaining Victorian harbour he has inspired a whole traditional craft community around him.
Immediately following the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, a previously-closeted gay soldier stationed in Germany calls his father to come out of the closet. (SLYT)
Is Chillwave the Next Big Music Trend? - Wiki: Chillwave is a debated genre of music where artists are often characterized by their heavy use of effects processing, synthesizers, looping, sampling, and heavily filtered vocals with simple melodic lines. Its musical predecessors are diverse and include the synthpop of the 1980s, shoegaze, ambient, musique concrète and various types of music outside of the Western World. In this case, nostalgia of 80s synthpop is filtered through a distorted lens, re-envisioning the era in a more vague and lo-fi sense. Just don't call them that. You can always check in at the Hipster Runoff (the birthplace of the term) for news about the vaguely new subgenre. [more inside]
Earlier this summer, a little-known '80s singer named R.P. Astley, responsible for a few blips on the radar such as "Eternally Conjoined" and "Under No Circumstances Will I Ever Release You" (the latter of which created a brief meme in which one would "PaulTumble" one's friends by pretending to point them to the video, but instead sending them to something quite interesting and novel instead) has released *fist clench, drawing-in gesture aimed at camera* a new track, "Lights Out," his first new song in 17 years *hand gesture at camera*. [more inside]
"Knock Out Eileen," a rather cool mash-up by Thriftshop XL of "Come On Eileen" (Dexy's Midnight Runners) and "Mama Said Knock You Out" (LL Cool J). (slyt)
Destination: Out, an astounding mp3 blog devoted to mostly out-of-print free jazz and improv records, has been linked a few times on Ask, but never gotten the main-page exposure it deserves. Until now. The editors' selections are always interesting and written about well, and they're ready to go to the mat for the music. (The interview with Marsalis by the Bad Plus to which that's a response is also well worth reading.) But the real impetus for this post is only tangentially related to jazz: recently they got saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa to do a guest post on Indian (mostly Carnatic) music, and it won't be long before the links expire. Fall to! [more inside]
William Rodriguez gave a captivating presentation in Seattle on 11/07/07. William is believed to be the "Last Man Out" of the north tower of the World Trade Center alive, but not before reentering three times with the master key after the first plane impacted the north tower to help rescue a countless number of people. Here is an interview with William after the presentation. His Ricky Ricardo impersonation at the end is pretty good.
This strange mixture of meanings and symbols confuses me. maybe it's just that some of the ideas are confusingly named.
Northerners aren't overly represented on t'internet. Our kid reckoned the late Bernard Manning would make a comeback using MySpace, but that didn't 'appen. But hold onto t'whippet because The Lancashire Hotpots are filling the entertainment vacuum (I recommend Chippy Tea from the playlist). 30% Peter Kay, 30% George Formby, 39% Mike Harding (circa his Rochdale Cowboy phase), and 1% the UOGB, they're postmodern northerners for the 21st century (comparisons to Chas & Dave are inevitable and will be ignored).
As Wolfdaddy put it last time we did this: "Yeah, like we didn't know that already." - So as the Glass Closet gets a tad smaller, might we be rapidly approaching that long hoped-for "tipping point" where those inside the glass no longer feel the need to play word games and dance around who they are, instead of standing up to be counted?
Meet the only out player in Major League Professional Sports: Sheryl Swoopes, of the WNBA. Will Swoopes's revelation help chip away at the homophobia that is rampant in some locker rooms and fuels much of the negative recruiting that goes on in women's sports? She has her own Nike shoe--the only woman to ever get one, and now, another first for this rarest of athletes – someone who comes out publicly during their career.
Operation Bug Out. As predicted in a leaked document from Britain's Defense Ministry earlier this month, the US is planning to start withdrawing troops from Iraq as early as Spring 2006, despite President Bush's statement that there's not going to be any timetables because "if you give a timetable, you're -- you're conceding too much to the enemy." (Sometimes he thinks it's important for the president to lay out a timetable, sometimes he doesn't.) Is the withdrawal happening because we're running out of troops or because of midterm elections? Or has another mission been accomplished?
Mutual Funds - Out, Google's IPO - In. Letting Your Boyfriend Videotape It - Out, Letting A Major Network Videotape It - In. Segway - Out, Honda Ruckus - In. A sampling from the Washington Post's List for 2004...