Happy Hols, everyone, and here’s to a restful end of year break (or something like it) for everyone.
This week’s updates: If you’ve been visiting my website, you’ve noticed the tabs on top keep changing or moving around. Nothing is being removed, it’s all just being reorganised. The website was set up around 2009, so it reflects a rather different me than the one I am now. I’ll let you know when it’s completely redone.
In news and such:
It turns out that all that “job growth” during the Obama years was mostly due to the drop in full-time work and the rise in temp jobs. Of course, women suffered the most. This report points out that, “Female workers suffered most heavily in this economy, as work in traditionally feminine fields, like education and medicine, declined during the era.”
This Wire interview with a leading Indian lawyer, Indira Jaising, sheds some light on the Modi government’s slow stranglehold on all and any resistance to its agenda. That being said, I’m queasy about her statement that, “We are not a mature democracy where rights-based work is accepted as being within the constitutional framework.” “Rights-based work” is frequently the work of the human rights/non-profit industrial complex, and I’m reminded, as I often am, of Ruth Wilson Gilmore brilliant point about the NPIC as the “shadow of the shadow state.” But, again, I also don’t want to launch a “critique” of what’s being said in and about India, as someone who has been at a literal and figurative distance from the country for a very long time.
Finally, some excellent news in the Michael Johnson HIV criminalisation case. Love and solidarity to all the people who have been working on and with him, relentlessly.
The group I’m involved with, Gender JUST, was asked to endorse a GetEqual campaign against Human Rights Campaign. Here is our response. I’m proud to be associated with such an incredible and smart crew of people.
George Michael died this past week, and I’m still in shock, and trying to process it all. As someone on my wall put it so well, he was part of the cultural backdrop that instructed us all in how to be fags. I’ll have more once I figure it all out for myself but for now, here’s something about what he meant to many queers.
Here’s Michael’s “Outside,” a direct parody of his 1998 arrest for public sex.
His “Freedom! ‘90” was a groundbreaking video (no, really, trust me, I was there), and the lyrics are pretty incredible.
How could I have forgotten to post this: Grace Jones singing “Little Drummer Boy” on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, in 1988, as only she could?
This video of “Little Drummer Boy,” sung by both Bing Crosby and David Bowie, has long been one of my favourites. The set up here is odd, like the sort you get in porn films to "establish" why the plumber is there to "repair the pipes," but the singing is wonderfully sweet, and I’m especially fond of the contrast between Bowie’s high caroling style underlaid by Crosby’s deeper baritone.
Tom Cruise has a new movie coming out in 2017, and it’s a remake of the The Mummy. I can’t wait. This is about a trailer that was “accidentally” released, and the history of something called “The Wilhelm Scream.”
I found this video of him, in an encounter with a particularly jerkish reporter, quite endearing — I would probably have yelled or even decked the guy.
“Winter Solstice,” by Hilda Morley, is exquisite, and exquisitely cold, in the best way.
“Breaking Cat News” is one of the funniest cat cartoons on the web.
Bourgeois and Maurice are asking Santa for a very special list of gifts.
Finally, here’s George Michael again, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”