Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Prince recording a Beatles tribute album?

Found at Idolator:
As rumors swirl about a possible Prince tour--and by the way, Prince rumors do not swirl as much as they vibrate subtly in the wind, eventually landing in a bed of fresh-cut lilacs and scented cocoa oil--the Las Vegas Review-Journal hints that he might also be taking on a new project involving the Beatles:

Prince's run at the [Las Vegas Rio Hotel & Casino] might be a brief one... Prince will end his Rio deal on March 31 [and] is going on tour to promote his latest CD. But a 3121 rep said the show is indefinite, and "there's not a confirmed end date as of yet."

Perhaps most revealing, however, was the group of uber entertainment executives who attended a private Prince performance about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, after his main show at his 3121 club. Among 30 guests in a small backroom were ABC entertainment honcho David Saltz; Apple Records boss Jonathan Clyde, who produced most of Usher's major hits, and Siegfried & Roy's longtime manager, Bernie Yuman.

Saltz is reportedly working on a huge Beatles-related Prince project. Prince spent most of the private concert singing arrangements of Beatles songs. Connect the dots.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kitty gets a new home

I'm thrilled that our cat Pee-wee, now rechristened Sonic, has found a family with our dear friends Joy and Steve and their kids Greta, Mickey, Casey and Charlie. He will be lavished with attention and love and we'll get to see him all the time.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Beeb interviews Hard Gay

Sunday, February 18, 2007

This video just made my dog gay

Friday, February 16, 2007

Goodbye, little friend

The other night we lost my 7 month old gray tabby in a horrific, heartbreaking incident involving my dog. R.I.P Elvira.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bear411 censorship confirmed

As planned, I spent a good while on Bear411 last night. I messaged everyone in my guestbook and asked them to read my blog, which is linked in my profile. Then I messaged anyone who was signed in until my hands were cramping. I probably IMed 100 to 150 people. Many were shocked to hear about the site's nefarious doings and a few said they'd cancel their accounts. Some were skeptical. One good friend was recently interviewed by a bear magazine about the situation and told them he thought the complaints were just a lot of exaggerated drama.

This morning I discovered my account had been canceled without notice. What a shame that a social networking site has taken such a firm stand against free speech. Someone may have reported me for badmouthing the site, but based on other members' accounts it's just as likely that my IMs were monitored by the webmaster. It makes my skin crawl to think of the conversations I've had over the years that the creep was probably reading. It's like something out of a bad movie. I'd love to hear from anyone else who had his account canceled for discussing the site privately.

I can't imagine why anyone who knows what's going on would continue to use Bear411. I thought most people used chat sites with some expectation of privacy, but maybe not. And judging by the number of bloggers who have spoken out in support of the membership practices, discrimination is not a concern for many. What a sad state of affairs.

Anyway, I'm glad to be moving on and look forward to discovering better chat sites.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bear411 discrimination: update

After my previous post about the abhorrent practices of Bear411, I was astonished to learn how many bloggers were already sounding off about it. Many disgruntled members, myself included, plan to cancel their accounts on Valentine's Day. Currently the webmaster claims 100,000 members worldwide so it's hard to say how much impact it could have on his profits, but a mass exodus will send a clear enough message to him and other bear organizations.

My plan to post a protest in my Bear411 profile was thwarted. I updated to test the turnaround time, only to find out that as a non-paying member I'm locked out of changing the profile again for ten days. My only means of getting the word out is to send private messages to as many people as I can, which I'll start doing tonight. It will be an arduous task since the site doesn't allow you to copy and paste into an IM. I'll have to choose my words carefully so as not to get censored. I'm guessing "discrimination" and "censorship" are on the filtered word list by now.

Other bear sites are responding to the criticism. posted the following pledge:
* We will not censor. will never be "Big Brother". Your messages and thoughts are your own, and you are free to express them as you wish.

* We will not arbitrarily change profiles. We will never edit, suspend, or terminate your membership or profile "just because". If for any reason we must edit, suspend, or terminate your membership we shall do so courteously and with full disclosure.

* We will not discriminate. The bear community is large and diverse. We are not the gatekeepers of who is "bear" and who is not. All are welcome here.

* We will listen. Without the community, we are nothing. The ways in which can be contacted will be numerous and conspicuous. We will accept criticism gracefully and together make better.
Developing... stay tuned.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A site for the discriminating gentleman

Many bloggers have accused the proprietor of Bear411, the largest social networking site for bears, of racial and other forms of discrimination. Asian men have found it particularly difficult to get accepted for membership, but anyone who doesn't fit the webmaster's limited notion of what makes a bear is subject to denial. I have used the site for years and never heard about any of this until yesterday.

It's a given that private clubs have the right to refuse anyone, but isn't it bizarre when an oppressed people actually come out in favor of discrimination? The issue is being debated over at Joe. My. God., where I was stunned to read plenty of gay men believe excluding people on the basis of appearance is just fine. They rationalize it's okay because bears are associated with a certain look. Never mind that nobody can agree on what a bear looks like in the first place.

Why am I shocked though? Body fascism is hardly new in the gay community. As a chubby guy I always felt marginalized from the gay mainstream and its impossible twink ideal. People engaged in bear studies (yes, there is such a thing) will tell you the subculture formed as a reaction to that exclusivity. But men with other body types are just as marginalized in places where twink is not the dominant paradigm. I know a couple of guys who were denied membership to Midwestern bear clubs for not being "bear enough". This divisiveness makes no sense to me.

Bear411 is a shite site anyway and there are a number of good reasons not to use it. The webmaster is guilty of all kinds of censorship, there's no privacy policy in place and it has a clunky, ridiculously difficult to navigate interface. But he really dropped the ball with his arbitrary membership practices. A social networking site is designed to bring people together by definition, and everyone in the bear world knows that plenty of bears are into non-bears and vice versa. So it doesn't make sense from a financial perspective either.

I will never support a discriminatory organization and anyone who does can fuck right off. I urge anyone who uses the site to message the webmaster Greg aka BuddyBear to complain, then check out one of the many other bear sites on the web. BearCiti is recommended by a lot of Bear411's detractors. Before I cancel my account I will post about the site's evildoing in my profile and get the word out to as many people as possible. That'll probably get my membership revoked anyway.

Anna Nicole Smith

I can't say much that hasn't already been said to death by every media outlet, but this blog post really got it right.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Billy Henderson, 1939 - 2007

R.I.P. Billy Henderson, a member of the soul vocal quintet The Spinners for fifty years. The group formed at Ferndale High School (in my adopted hometown) and had hits on both the pop and R&B charts from 1961 to 1984, including "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "Then Came You (with Dionne Warwick)" and "The Rubberband Man".