Monday, June 30, 2008

Angel Loves His Puppies






















PETA doesn't always have the best politics. But I've got to admit, this is pretty freakin cute.

Fallout Boi

I kinda love Pete Wentz, of Fallout Boy. I admit it. He really knows how to rock the gender ambiguity, and he's one of the only musicians out there who actually speaks out about homophobia in the industry and keeps getting pissed off about it. I think it's so interesting that Pete Wentz and Kanye West, both a little crazy, have become these funny straight allies for a whole generation of queer youth listening to rock and hip-hop. It's unexpected and kind of fitting.

In an interview with Out, Wentz recently deadpanned: “We have iPhones, and I’m still getting called the same names as when I was 13....[T]here is a sense of self-empowerment or recapturing who you are by people calling you ‘fag,’ and being like, ‘Yeah, I am a fag.’ Even though you’re not. What does somebody respond? That dude has nothing to say about that again.”

It's funny, but as I get older--almost 30!--my politics around queer rights seem to only get stronger, while any understanding of how my own sexuality 'works' just gets fuzzier and more vague with each passing year. I feel like, when I came out at 16, the only way for me to commit to that act was to just dive in, shouting 'I'm gay' from the rooftops. I never thought to ask: well, how gay am I, really? Is there a measurement? What about dudes actually attracts me? What about women doesn't attract me? How might that work, and is it static? Am I always going to be this confident of my sexuality until the day I die?

Wentz has said in interview that "everything is fair game from the waist up," and "it all comes down to the equipment." Meaning, he can be turned on, essentially, by a dude, but only by the top half of a dude. Is that possible? I'm not sure. I was in a car with one of my oldest friends recently, and when I casually admitted to having slept with women, I thought his head was going to explode he was so shocked. "Really? I didn't know that!" I could tell that he had about a million questions, but there wasn't time to get into it. And, frankly, I wasn't sure if I could answer even one of them, let alone a million. The truth is that I've always been attracted to women. They're beautiful, and they smell nice, and they're usually smarter and funnier than dudes, and if you want to talk about shit they'll actually talk about shit instead of just avoiding the issue or playing Nintendo Wii or getting too drunk to care.

Does this make me straight-curious? Sure, why not. Everyone's body has something to offer. How do I explain being super-attracted to a trans boy (who used to be a girl), or a girl who looks like a boy, or someone in-between, or a butch lesbian, or a boy who looks like a girl, or a trans girl who still sort of looks like a boy? I like Margaret Cho's aphorism: "I slept with a woman. And I was all, like: 'Am I gay? Am I straight?' Then I realized. I'm just slutty.'" It works on so many levels. There's no doubt, no doubt in the world, that I was born hardwired to find dudes attractive. It's biological and completely beyond my control. Even if I don't want to get turned on, I will. It's very different with women. Far more...willful, I guess. More focused. It's not just sex sex sex. And it's not like I consciously think, in order to find this girl attractive, I have to turn off my attraction to dudes. It's not a power-button. More like a thermostat, only it goes in, like, four or twelve or a hundred different directions, rather than just high/low.

But I can't say I'm bisexual. I don't think the term fits. The attraction isn't 50/50. There's no measurement that works. I like 'gay but not narrow.' Kind of like when my female partner introduces me as 'her gay boyfriend.' Does that make sense? Not really. But it's the closest thing we've got to an explanation.

I hate when gay dudes admit to having slept with women in interviews, and then use the bad sex as a kind of excuse: "Oh, it was so mechanical, I knew it wasn't for me." Does that mean that you're gay, or does it just mean that you had bad sex? Rosie O'Donnell was interviewed by Howard Stern recently, and she talked about living with a boyfriend for years, admitting: "You can have great sex with anybody." I think that's so true. It's not just a matter of equipment. I spent five minutes staring at a dude's legs on the G train today, just because...well, they were really nice-looking legs! Was I attracted to the rest of him? Not really. But damn, those legs were nice. So what does that mean? Was I attracted to the lower 1/3 of this dude? I shouldn't need measuring cups and spoons to define my sexuality.

Right now, I feel like I'm at a point in my life where 'queer' is the only word that's flexible enough to apply. I'm in an open-relationship with a gorgeous, brilliant, talented, and endlessly entertaining woman, and we plan to have a kid together. I sleep with dudes. She sleeps with dudes. She likes girls. I like girls. We both always play safe. What do we do in bed? Mostly crosswords. Anything else is none of your fucking business, really, although you're free to ask. We love each other. We have so much fun together, it should be illegal. She knows how to build a fireplace from scratch. I know how to write a novel from scratch. We have no illusions about our life together ever making 'sense.' Maybe we'll both find male partners and start a four-parent-family with queer aunts and uncles. Maybe we'll move to the Greek Islands and embarrass our future kid(s) by being eccentric and weird authors and playwrights and academics.

All I know is that, right now, I'm really, really, ridiculously happy. Which is kind of queer in itself, since decades of psychoanalysis has taught us that we're not ever supposed to be happy, not really, since it's all just transference. But I'm looking forward to turning 30, to spending 2 glorious years in Montreal, and to straddling all kinds of uncertainties. Why settle? Why torture yourself trying to schedule and label and categorize? Why worry about what everyone thinks?

Why worry at all?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Race and Comics

What if the world's leading military strategist was actually a 17 year old black female gang-banger from L.A.? Check out Afua Richardson's awesome comic, Genius
Also check out the Girls Read Comics Blog, which has an interview with Kate Beaton.

(links stolen from Bitch PhD, as usual....)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Angelina Jolie Will Eff You Up




























Just saw Wanted, with Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy. It had no discernible plot, but Jolie and McAvoy were like two insane sex titans competing for who could look more erotic in a leather coat. I think Jolie probably won during the car chase scene, when she straddles McAvoy, steers the car with her knees, and shoots two semi-automatic pistols while lying on the hood, all without visibly changing expression. The movie certainly distracted me from my current ear infection (now I have medicated ear drops that cost $150--thanks, Duane Reade!)

RNR (Royalties and Returns)

Jeaniene Frost, over at Fangs, Fur, and Fey, has a great article on money in fiction publishing. Very grounded and realistic, and she doesn't pull punches.

Monday, June 23, 2008

ACLU Blog

Here are some great LGBT-related articles on the ACLU blog, which had an online queer rights symposium on June 20th. I was especially touched by Melissa McEwan's piece on gay marriage.

Seven Words

Bye, George. In your own words: "I hope he's smiling up at us from down there."

R.I.P. George Carlin

We'lll goddamn bloody mother-f*ckin miss you, George, you brilliant c*ck-s*cker, you.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stephen Harper: Terminator IV

Harper's government is planning to inject over $490 BILLION into the Canadian military over the next 20 years. After record cuts to social assistance, advocacy, and harm reduction all across Canada. WTF? What do we need more--shelters with beds in urban centres, rape-relief programs, help to under-funded public schools...or, instead, BIG EFFING MISSILES?

Don't let this administration dick you around. Make some noise. Get pissed off. Write letters. Make phone calls. Writhe around on the lawn of the parliament buildings.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rebel Diaz and Police Brutality.

Two members of the Puerto-Rican Hip-Hop/Activist band Rebel Diaz were assaulted in the Bronx yesterday after they came to the aid of a fruit vendor being harassed by the NYPD. The police officers severely beat them before charging them with 'resisting arrest.' Read more below:

"The story we are hearing is that group Rodstarz and G1 were up in Bronx on Southern Blvd in Hunts Point, when they noticed the police were harassing a street vendor who was selling fruit. The two went over to witness the cops in action and when they saw the police being abusive they pulled out a cell phone to video tape the incident and asked for the officers badge numbers. keep in mind that part of the Bronx has a large immigrant community and it is also being gentrified. The police from the 41st Precint have made it a point to commit acts of terror including the shooting and killing of an unarmed iGarifunan mmigrant man last year. http://ankhkara.blogspot.com/2007_05_27_archive.html

The case brought up images of Amadou Diallo another immigrant was gunned down by out of control Bronx cops in the neighboring precint.

According to witnesses, when Rodstarz and G1 asked for badge numbers the police became agitated and turned around and started beating them with bully clubs and kicking them in full view of other vendors and people on the crowded street. The two were dragged off bloody, put into a police car and charged with resisting arrest and assault."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Props California





























































Kudos to the state of CA for honoring same-sex marriages from all over the US!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hellz yeah!

Night Child (Osi)
70% buy the item featured on this page:
Night Child (Osi) 3.8 out of 5 stars (4)
$6.99

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Unicorn!


This single-horned deer was born a year ago in an Italian nature-preserve. Watch out for the Red Bull, little guy!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dog Days

Dog Days, by John Levitt, Ace 2008.

Mason is an ex-enforcer, a magical impresario (with more style than talent) who'd much rather play jazz than protect the city of San Francisco from nefarious powers. But when a renegade practitioner begins siphoning mystical energy and resurrecting old, forbidden traditions of a bygone mystical age, Mason finds himself reluctantly investigating. His companion in this adventure, interestingly enough, is a canine--or, rather, an 'Ifrit' that only looks and behaves like his canine companion, Louie.

Much about Dog Days is credibly interesting. The mystery surrounding practitioners and their Ifrit companions, never fully explained, is a fresh take on the daimon/familiar tradition within fantasy stories, and Louie quickly became my favorite character. Mason begins the novel as an aimless and slightly annoying layabout, but as we learn more about his powers, he becomes a lot more interesting. The way that Levitt connects magic with improvisational jazz is quite brilliant, and I like that he chose to craft a deliberately vague and metaphorical power-system rather than hitting the reader with ironclad rules and regulations. I also liked Campbell, a sexy (and practical) witch, especially when she puts Mason in his place.

At times, I found myself veering away from the Bad Sorcerer plot as I grew more interested in Louie and the other Ifrits. In fact, I enjoyed many of the animal characters more than the humans. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think that Levitt's take on these magical creatures--loyal familiars rather than werewolves or demon-hounds--is interesting and actually more in line with a lot of traditional mythology. His links between 'talent' and Buddhism are also fascinating, and suggest a mature, seasoned writer with a lot of real-world experience and a flair for honest, elegant construction. Even the passionate scenes had a world-weariness to them that was actually a great relief to me. I could imagine actually knowing these folks, and that was a nice feeling.

If you're a fan of noirish thrillers with a hint of Sam Spade and not too much overwhelming magic, I highly recommend Dog Days.

Buy it from Amazon

Busy Week!















Check it out! I won the Governor General's Gold Medal, which is quite shiny. I received it during the June 5 2008 Convocation Ceremony at Simon Fraser University. My parents are just on cloud nine about it, believe me.

The book launch at Little Sister's was absolutely perfect, everything was awesome. Thanks so much to everyone who came. Now your mission is to write Amazon.com reviews for Night Child. Good, bad, doesn't matter...the more reviews, the better.

Just got off a plane, so it's time to collapse....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Click here to read AJ Menden's review of Night Child in Graffiti.

"Paranormal and crime drama mixes in a fun, interesting new take on the genre. This is an exciting start to a new series."