Friday, May 29, 2009

The Random Thoughts Edition 1.0

Deciding what will make the cut in this forum sometimes backs me into a corner. There are many factors to consider and of course the ultimate threshold is the timeliness of the item or items involved. Yet, as the pre-eminent shot caller of how this baby flows, I'm determined to keep it fresh, perhaps a bit "cutty," and above all On Point.


It's not as easy as I make it seem and striking the right tone with my diverse readership is a hot catwalk that I try to navigate with style and substance. I keep it coming, again thanks to those of you who keep asking me for it and now here's some more of it....

Crowns-R-Us: Have you seen them blooming all around you? They are popping up like daffodils and crab grass, it's the latest crop of crowns that remind me of the late great Katherine Hepburn's line from Stage Door, "the calla lilies are in bloom again..." except this time with rhinestones. As I was scrolling through my daily onslaught of material. I kept running across announcements about Miss Gay this & That USA, United States, FFI, At-Large, Classic and all means of pageantry coming or going. I can't even imagine trying to attend all these events and I must assume that the artistry is sashaying along nicely thank you. Yet, even with all the new titles, there are some of the same faces and a few freshly pumped that keep making the rounds in search of a title. I'm fully aware that it takes "prelims" to get your "ticket" to the next big thing, but what's sorta puzzling to me and probably some of you as well, is "exactly what becomes of a pageant winner?" According to the ancient Drag Scrolls, per my dusty interpretation, these guys are supposedly not only artist, but quasi lavender representatives exemplifying a determination to live their lives openly as well as with pride. Now isn't that's a snoot full. Ideally the concept is acceptable, unfortunately I've got a raised eyebrow that maybe it's not quite that simple. I know that many volunteer there time for fundraising which is admirable but is this where it ends? There was a time long ago, in a far away land where doing drag was although competitive with "rules," above all it was FUN. I understand that everything must change with growth, however, I would love to see a return to the basic essence of this art form where entertainers actually "entertained," circulated through the audience before the show meeting and greeting, maybe thanking folks for attending afterwards and if possible not taking themselves too seriously. Does any of that fall under that interpretation, why certainly it does. How do you know this you ask, because as a former "Miss Congeniality", I've done it and it's really not that hard. Congratulations to all the current winners, future winners and those who don't win. Believe me you too are winners as well for continuing the tradition.




BAR WATCH: It's been a pleasure to have more outlets available for my personal "early" evening choice. With age my nocturnal lifestyle has become extremely limited and not a moment too soon. Nevertheless, I still make every attempt to make the rounds showing my support. Pardon me, but bar crawling can get rather taxing on the senses and pocketbook, but I must reiterate that "if we don't support these entities, they simply can't continue to be there at our whim." Yes, the economy is iffy and many of those "disposable gay dollars" are being held a little longer, but the bottom line falls squarely on patronage. I've seen "recession nights" at 601 Center, "2 for 2" at Sidetracks, happy hours at STAR BAR and beverage values at the DSRA Club House, all designed with spurring traffic, meanwhile giving customers a price break. Despite all these choices, this city is still in need of "non-bar" activities that will fill another niche community wide. Efforts have been attempted, however, they couldn't succeed with the revenue and direct support that any business person would need to stay in business. I've tired of hearing about exploits in Dallas, ATL or any gay mega city elsewhere. Go and visit for the experience, move their if you can afford it, but by all means show this city, it's organizations, outlets and visitors some natural love!!

COP:24/7 C-NOTE: I've learned that the "pulse" will be increased in the Seventh Street Entertainment Mash Up with some additional choices for your consideration. It's coming soon and we'll be there with the latest info....Stay with us!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Turnabout

I'm not believing it, but the merry month of May is just to bow out before my very eyes. Gee Whiz, the first half of 2009 is quickly evaporating and time is just flying off the shelf. However, this forum continues bringing you the latest updates, commentary, links, video and even a kitchen sink or two, if it's necessary to make a point. That's CorneliusOnpoint, Arkansas' only daily updating portal for the GLBTQ community and beyond. Did you get that, why certainly...and with that said, let's go get em!!!!

Clicking COP: A few post back, I mentioned that this effort was approaching the 500 post milestone and I've been reviewing "this thing that I do," versus the various elements it's take to produce on a daily basis. There are some nice tools that give some insights the who, what, when and where readers are arriving from or departing to. I've not been enthusiastic at my "eyeball" count because it's not actually increasing, but in a plateau for numerous reasons. Despite more tech gizmo's and the ability to connect, it seems that I'm not exactly riding the wave as I'd hoped. I salute Sidetracks and STAR Bar for offering FREE wi-fi connections, plus the web presence of many of our local outlets. Yet, in my opinion even though I see many of you with your fancy hip gear ranging from pricey IPhones, Blackberrys to Lap tops, we haven't utilized or maximized the ultimate potential of the current technology to "seriously connect the dots." The dots being accessible data bases, alert networks and interactivity to share resources. Not to mention more online streaming of events, bulletins and content underscoring our stories. In order for that to happen it would take mucho coordination, cash infusion and creativity from a determined body of folks. I know we've got some gay computer geeks that need a challenge don't we? Sounds good doesn't it, but is it realistic? Well...let's think on it a bit. As far as my own backyard, I've assessed those reasons and although simple, it's really about more time, resources and commitment to facilitate a forward momentum. After all, none of this production, magically appears without me in the Big Chair, tapping it out, editing and following up if needed. O.K. if it takes a lot time, then whey continue you say? Because I believe that it's a platform that is an community open space to share, observe, comment, highlight, spotlight and offer insights that are pertinent to our status quo. Even though this blog is branded with my moniker, it is my sole intention that my provocateur stance be understood as a catalyst for sorely needed discussion from interested parties. With Pride 2009 looming over the horizon, It's my sincerest desire that the Rainbow Table has seats for anyone and everyone who seeks to be seated, as well as an accompanying welcoming spirit. I can attest that it's been our goal to embrace that concept here at COP:24/7 and you count on it till the fat lady sings.



Cash for Trash: The DSRA Yard Sale is taking place this weekend and if you got some items that you would like to part with, then go to their website( we've got a link in our Hotlinks section) for more info. I'm gonna look around myself to see if I can get in on it. Do it today!



Pride in the City: Pride 2009 schedules are showing up in the area outlets and they will make the cut in next Monday's Nuttin But Pride post. We will share all the must do's and maybe not's for this years mash up. Come on back, you'll have to read it for yourself, then run tell some body else!!!!

Editors Note: Thanks to a keen eye reader who caught our Oops concerning the Pride picnic location. It's in Allsopp Park not Kanis as posted. You guys will keep us on our toes and On Point. Hit the CAR link for picnic info!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

From the O Matrix: A Supreme Nominee

OTV: I've said it before and gosh dern it, I've got his latest tele edict announcing his Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. Yes, readers in case you haven't heard and if you haven't, I can't imagine how you could have missed it. It's President Obama putting it out there in cyberland and my e-box direct from the source. I don't about you, but I'm beginning to wonder if there are really "two" Obama's, because it seems to me that this gentlemen is everywhere and sometimes it seems all at once. I know he eats burgers, but does he ever sleep? Whew, talk about multi-tasking extraordinaire and then some. Of course, I'm musing on as well as goosing about, because I know darn well that the Office of the Presidency has the supreme "O" of access, tech-stuff, crackerjack staffers, underlings and folks ready to jump when summoned. Lucky me, I'm locked into OTV courtesy of Organizing for America, a organizing tool of the DNC. Which keeps me in the loop on "all things Obama," and I'm glad to get the firsthand 411. Especially, on the historic nominee of Ms. Sotomayor whom met all the criteria that the president was citing as his threshold of acceptance. When I read as well as heard her story, it was a "what you say!" moment and a "you go girl" snap. It gave me pause on what my own legacy will look like as well as a "what you gonna do!" motivator. Of course, in usual fashion the "haters" are in full affect cherry picking her statements, rulings and dumpster diving for any negatives to cast doubt. Isn't just too much that despite all her academic achievements and commitment to juris prudence, it's never damn enough. I've seen the ads and talking heads spewing such buzz words as "liberal," "reverse racist," and "bench legislator." It's so American, isn't it. If you make the grade, get the nod, then you have to endure getting slimed, torn apart, vetted, investigated and maybe even water boarded before you can take your seat at the table. For goodness sake, CNN actually scrolled, yes scrolled some her ruling outcomes or positions during their AM broadcast I assume in the effort to keep the story fresh. Just think, there's not even been one day of hearings and Oh joy, it's going to a 24/7 assault of the senses. Good luck Ms. Sotomayor, I believe that you are the real American deal that deserves a fair hearing before slipping into that supreme black robe come October.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The 24/7 Catch Up under the Big Top & More





The variety of salutes to our men and women of the armed services during the Memorial weekend past, were stirring and uplifting. The multitude of stories as well as circumstances that befall our service individuals truly reflect the diversity of the ranks and their die heart commitment to defending the American experience. Although I've not served in this capacity, I support those who step into the breech on the behalf of us all, especially those soldiers which make the ultimate sacrifice. As the weekend closed and the revelery of another holiday ended, I realized how proud I am to be an American and living in the land of the brave and the free.


Harmony Health Care: The statistics are glaring and stifiling when it comes to assessing the nations health care landscape. It's unfathomable that studies from the health advocacy group, Family USA show that up to 86.7 Million Americans are uninsured over the last two years. President Obama has been using his bully pulpit calling for debate and constructive means to put together a far reaching health coverage package, meanwhile capitol hill stalwarts have been having hearing based on what they deem is politically feasible without many professionals from the trenches. Yet without overblown fanfare, Harmony Clinic opened several weeks ago and is underway with fundraising and serving the underserved of the area. Located at 201 W Roosevelt Road, the clinic has been designed to provide outpatient preventive and acute care, management of some chronic and long-term medical conditions, dental care, health maintenance, specialty referral, health education, limited, limited optometry services, and some prescription assistance. Services will be provided primarily by licensed medical professionals who donate their time without charge to VIM patients. Their user friendly website(http://www.harmonyclinicar.org/ ) has eligibility info, volunteer opportunities and actual downloadable forms for easy access prior making an intake appointment. I've been made aware of this clinic while attending other meetings in the city, with hopes that I will make time to volunteer with a project. If you need some limited medical asssistance you should consider this new care access point.


Rainbow Law Group: The UALR Bowen Lambda Student Law group has announced it's officers for 2009-2010. They are Scott Raper, President; Tony Fam, Vice President; Anne Miligan, Secretary; Josh Gillispie, Treasurer. Mike Lauro, co-founder and recent graduate stated that the group formed in 2007 has grown from a few interested individuals with two faculty advisor to a membership of 40. Mr. Lauro welcomed me to it's Transgender People and Law program last month which I found interesting and eyeopening. I was enlightend with the work of this campus entitiy and their pursuit to highlight law in the GLBTQ community. Congratulations to those new officers and I look forward to their platforms, future programming and impact locally.
Dont' Forget the Pride Picnic scheduled for June 21 at Kanis Park. It's in the works and you are encouraged to get involved. What activities should be considered? Should Adult beverages be available? Share your thoughts and observations with this forum as the preparations begin. Let's hear from you TODAY!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Take Down Thursday

Shhh! Shhh! Some body's talking out loud. OMG! It's Dick Cheney. Dick Who? You know the former power brokering VP in the Bush Nightmare at 1600 Penn Avenue. Didn't you think that these folks would go quietly into the night abyss? Well, it seems that Mr. Cheney won't go quietly or soon enough for my taste. He's been on a "dickathon" media talk-talk tour to anyone or anything that will listen. For goodness sake, I guess he didn't get to have say his say during those dark eight years that went down in flames, resulting in a mash up that we actually don't know how long it will take to recover from. Mr. Cheney, widely seen as an ultra Neo-con has been spouting off his brand of conservatism overtly spiked with the notions that the U.S. is less safe under President Obama. Less safe, say you? Exactly what the hell is less safe anyway. Personally I'm not convinced that this land will ever be safe despite whomever holds the office.Especially, not from those boogey terriorist that DC keeps conjuring up, nor the outlandish premise that GITMO detanees will somehow be allowed to run free and who knows maybe not even from home grown terrorist within our own borders. Let's face it, there's plenty of hate around the world for the U. S. and it didn't just appear with the ascent of Obama. On the contrary, it appears that the cowboy foreign policy and reckless attempts of nation building, regime change, WMD's ( weapons of mass destruction), torture chambers and so forth and so on was rotten eggs smelled around the world. Now comes Chatty Cheney out of ashes of that administration with more rhetoric and dogma in a unprecendented dueling policy speech opposite President Obama. Mr. Cheney, from my vantage point enough is enough. Of course this is still America where everyone is entitled to free speech. So have your say, promote your book, roll out the family and then please, please exit stage right. The country needs to move on with debacle clean up on aisle USA, meanwhile finding it's way back to some sense and sensibility. See ya.




Arky GOP Foot N Mouth: Well, from one fear monger to another stateside. It's GOP Chairman, former State Senator Doyle Webb's(pictured) with "foot in mouth disease." His sounding the alarm to area republic groups about a gay women, namely Kathy Webb's ( no relation) position to ascend to a chairmanship in the budget committee is just phoo phoo politics. How many more times will GOP stalwarts and their supporters continue with gay baiting and bashing. Mr. Webb's been soundly panned for this shooting from the hip quip and I certainly hope that he continues to get berated for this type of language. I really like the item found in the NWArkansas news,(5/19/09)


"...We'd like to think those times are past, and that a state GOP chairman so
desperate that he has to raise a pseudoissue like some one's sexual orientation
would be promptly and unmistakably rebuked by more respectable members of his
party. (Where are they, by the way?) Doyle Webb's comments about Ms. Webb
reflect poorly not on the lady but only on himself-and on the party he
represents. It must be bankrupt in the ideas department for its party chairman
to resort to so blatant and irrelevant an appeal to low prejudice.


Whew, there's some folks out there that's simply not going to let this type of far fetched observations get away without rebuke. It's so unfortunate that the state's GOP simply doesn't have any real agenda or relevance. Thank goodness that the party only have to endure this guy for two years. Shame on you Mr. Webb, you too should spend some time in the naughty chair.
On a positive note, there will be a fundraiser for Jay Barth's Senate run, 5.28.09 at Vino's. 5:30-7 p.m. 923 W. 7th street. For more info phone:870.918.2604 or Email:margaretechobbs@gmail.com Tell em you heard it here...!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spring Flinging ala Mid-Week

Over the hills and through the woods to COP we go! So far 2009 has been rockin and rolling along with more twist and turns that you can count on one hand. At most, each day I certainly don't know what will be breaking news or ineptness to the second power. It's a spin of the big wheel from my Big Chair when I hit the keyboards early AM or PM. However, I must admit, I'm never at lost of items for this blog, whether they are updates, commentaries, links, opinions or downright silliness. It's all here for you dear readers and it's my pleasure to put it out there for your consideration. As always, your feedback is extremely important to this forum, especially since many local online offerings either don't allow, court or desire such frank interaction. I stand ready for "voices to carry" with candid or out of the box observations. So without further delay, let the flinging began...

Capitol Hill Word Up: Are you scratching or shaking your head at the latest "Worderama" courtesy of Ring One of the 3 ring circus known as the United States Congress. The central focus this time out is Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who seems to be ebbing and flowing her accounts of what she knew, when she knew it, what they said and exactly who said it, when. I'm aghast at this career politician at a pinnacle of power whom appeared befuddled, bumbling as she recounted her briefing Excuse me but, matters of this importance shouldn't rely on fuzzy recalls and "what I meant to say was," follow ups. Clearly, there was a briefing on Torture Tactics better known as "enhanced interrogations methods," some where in D.C. and top officials were involved. Got that. Yet what's got a stinky in my noise, are the facts of Mrs. Pelosi hard right explanation, throw down- call out "they're lying" spitball of the CIA, then, her hard left semi-retraction or quasi-pull back on what she thought she said. Confused yet? Stop the madness, people. I expect my leaders to be able to articulate answers with clarity, depth, FACTS and viola! with some semblance of TRUTH. Wow what concept. Come on Mrs. P. and the rest of you lawmakers, when are you people going to stop the spin machines and just give us the stone cold facts about what you heard, when and what was resolved on the issue. All of us have had it with the talking out of both sides of your mouths. Get this, were not as distracted as may think and we're watching and listening closely. Very closely. (caricature credit: JSP)



Glibbing Gibbs: Speaking of Twisting Tounges, I watched as White House press mouthpiece, Robert Gibbs in a give and take with WH correspondents on the DADT. Mr. Gibbs was put in a full court press with direct questions about his implication that their were some type of "active talks," in place on the matter, when in fact Pentagon officials had previously retorted that no such "talks" were taking place or scheduled. Gibbs admitted that perhaps he had mis-spoke on the certainty that there were "talks" in place but rather droned on with open ended words such as the President is supportive and engaged. Say What? POTUS is engaged and supportive about a bucket full of issues for that matter. I'm sure that all those crackerjack staffers can find a means or avenue to move this item along the pipeline. I realize that the economy is still in tank, two wars are still percolating and the GITMO hot spot are flash points, but there could be more done. I discovered a interesting DADT item from the UC's Santa Barbra's Palm Center at http://www.palmcenter.org/ that's a worthy read. It's an actual point by point plan describing how to end the program. So what's Mr. Gibbs saying, well we will have wait until the next session, when he'll be back in Press Briefing room with more fresh glibness.


Pride in the City: Don't forget that Allsop Park will be the site for this year's PRIDE 09 Picnic, June 21. The details are forthcoming for this community wide event. If you want to donate, volunteer, showcase or get updates call 501.244.9690 or 501.258.3186 Show some pride TODAY!! Stay Tune to COP 24/7 for the latest...!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Queer Frontier & Windmills

This is number 477 posting in this blog experiment that began as an untested voyage 4 years ago. To be honest, I never thought then that I would be still interested enough to keep at it all this time. Yet as I kept heeding the call of the keyboards, I discovered that I somewhat stumbled in a medium that allowed me to be the production shotcaller as well as the B-baller on my own court. As I looked back over the some 10,000 words or more that I've shared with you readers, I do feel a sense of both contribution and accomplishment to have done so without regret. Therefore, it's onward solider with our latest on mash up's, meltdowns and missteps in the land....

Plastic Dreams: They've done done it. Finally Congress at the behest of President Obama have made it their business to stick it to the banking/credit card pirates who have been giving endusers the grand swipe. This includes many in the GLBTQ community who are apart of the credit card nation and caught up in these strange economic times. I was not amused or immune from my personal pirates who sent me notice of the changing "credit environment" and their reasoning for raising fees and rates. I say bull knuckles! I decided long ago to get responsible for my credit use and business practices that have allowed me a sensible level of living. I reject the notion that somehow the environment has done some sort of back flip that penalizes me further with higher rates or fees. I understand the role that credit plays in our economic system, small businesses and capitalism as a whole. However, with bailouts, buyouts, bust ups and bustas all around, I hope that this bill will help consumers and not create some unforeseen nightmare on credit street.

Lavender Politics: Can you hear it? There's a slow drum beat of disappointment being thumped throughout rainbow land in reference to some of the promises from then, candidate Obama, now Commander and Chief Obama. What that's you say? It's the grumbling that probably about to get louder on Mr. O's missing in action on the miliatry's Don't Ask -Don't Tell still affecting gays in the armed services across the board. I was quite taken with Lt. Dan Choi's interview on Andy Coops 360 show as he was adamant and frank about the situation. What's really amazing about this gent who graduated from West Point is that he's a accomplished Arabic linguist which apparently we seem to need unilaterally. Not to mention hard to come by as we've learned from the miscommunication and cultural insensitivity that has occurred in that ongoing war theater. Let's face, not everyone can master that language with competence. He stated that despite his being removed from the service, if the band was removed he would re-enlist ASAP. On the other side, there are still those resistors who continue to ballyhoo and pontificate about soldiers in close quarters not their skill levels. On another front, the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is also a bone of contention with gay supporters who want to know what POTUS is thinking about or considering. I suspect that if there continues to be "crickets" from the White House, the queer noise level will rise to a crescendo. Mr. Choi has gotten much support with 118,000 signatures on a online petition to President Obama and I hope that many of you will show your support. For more info: http://www.couragecampaign.org/
Here's a video from the Rachel Maddow show for your consideration.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Raging the Monday Machine Onward

Are you getting that "WTF" feeling as you move through your daily chores? Yeah, it's that sense that stuff is going on around you and somehow you are not sure what really going on. In the meantime, you really ain't got time for the DS because you're damn busy. Well, that sums it up for many of us on a daily, weekly and almost a lifetime with each daybreak. Yet somehow I gather myself, shake it off and prepare my loins for battle. It's another day in the blog tank and let's get cracking.

American Idol Madness: I've been just amazed at the intensity and downright furor over Arkansas' Chris Allen, a favorite finalize in the ongoing singing contest. I'm not phoo-phooing that home town boy does good angle, but I was just dumbfounded about those dedicated fans, who are "power texting" to throw the contest in his favor. Since I'm simply out of the loop on AI, because I'm busy checking on the rest of the world, apparently you can do this exercise in quantum leaps of 10 or more. Who Knew? Personally, as I stood in line during the last Presidential election I felt that was time consuming enough. I simply don't have the patience to vote by text or phone for any body's idol for that matter. Local news reports have spotlighted that these die hearts were prepared to vote multiple times after the final performance tomorrow night and I learned from one individual who told me that they planned to vote not only from their "wheelchair", but had voted last week some 50 times by phone. I guess to each his own and so it goes in pop America.
Number Please: While everyone busy texting, plus reaching out and touching any place and anywhere, it seems that we may need an additional area code to go with 501, 870 and 479. The Arkansas Public Service Commission is gearing up for hearings and that all important public comment on the process to establish another state area code. According to the commission, the explosion of cell phones, land lines and communication stuff will be required to accommodate areas in South/Southeast Arkansas. I never thought I would live to see the day that little ole Arkansas had multiple area codes. Boy times are a changin and how!! Now, could we get the state wired with high speed connections so my readers with dial up can really get on point!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Zip File Friday

Finally, Thank God it's Friday! The day that ushers into the weekend and not too soon. It's been a wild and wet week that has had to end on a whisical note as well as off beat one. So lets lighten the mood with items from our Zip File Friday...

Techno Me: Producing this forum in it's present form has it's good days and bad days. It' can be a daunting task when trying to decide what will make the content cut and it's impact on readers. Also, staying in touch with you readers has it challenges due to the fact that you can check in whenever you choose and we are not soliciting your personal information. But, this forum is equip with some stat mechanism that allow us to measure a few benchmarks and thresholds. It's not rocket science, yet gives me somewhat of snapshot of the usage of this site. Ultimately, those figures and your responses will answer many important questions that will determine the future of this exercise.



The Obama Burger: It came and went. The Obama burger caper that was a source of many chuckles for myself. I kept wondering if the "talking heads" especially those FOX talkers, were really serious that his ordering "Dijon" and cheddar on his burger was some kind of news? Several weeks back, I watched a documentary on Air Force One which feature President Obama's first flight. During the program it showed Mr. O, ordering none other than, "a burger with cheddar and Dijon mustard." Apparently, POTUS Obama simply loves his sandwich enhanced with good cheese and a great condiment. What's news about that? I've had that combination and it's tasty. However, one of my best burger selections actually is a non-burger sorta. It's Denny's Boca Burger with or without cheddar and (if they have it) Dijon works great. But, of course a little French's Mustard and a dash of mayo can take you there as well. If you haven't had it, try it and tell them I sent you, since usually I'm among the few customers that enjoy this garden treat. How do you burger? Tell us about it, if you dare...


Arkansas Heritage: This is Arkansas Heritage Month and believe it or not, there's much about this state to be proud about. Even though we've had some instances that has put us in a "banana republic" spotlight, actually there are great qualities that other's around the nation are now finding out and I certainly play my part when doing conventions or visiting other cities. Let's stop selling short the Natural State with it's beautiful wooded areas, waterways and enchanting Ozark mountain areas. If you get a chance get out and about while enjoying museums, parks, game and fish showcase in the Rivermarket or walk the bridges over the river. It's a great state to explore! In the meantime try the website, http://www.arkansasheritage.com/ it has a bounty of info and links to everything Arkansas and more!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Everything is Everything: The Thursday Edition 2.0

I didn't realize it but, I'm closing in on 500. What's this you ask? Well, it's 500 posting to the CorneliusOnpoint blog site. How the hell did this happen? It was the determination or down right craziness of the idea that I could some what fill a niche that was missing in the SGL community. A daily forum that keeps funky fresh, unabashed and untetethered. It's that thing that I do, that many of you are consuming for various reasons both said and unsaid. It's all here, each a everyday as I "keep it real and onpoint." I know you are out there in Star City, Cabot, Warren, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Russellville and many other Arkansas points. Here's a big "Thanks" for reading and join us daily here at COP:24/7.

From one of my favorite online sources, QueerCents, it's another interesting look at life from someone eles prospesctive. I encourage local writers but so far, "crickets." Anyway, Ms. Regan shares her viewpoint in this item.


How many are the things I can do without

I read my news online, of course, and since I’m a technological, work-from-home kind of person who can browse websites with indiscretion, I often go to geek sites like wired.com. Sadly, I recently encountered an ad for a child’s computer and immediately went into ‘I want this and now!!’ mode. The fact that two toddlers were pawing their filthy hands all over my laptop as I browsed (multi-tasking – it’s a way of life) was a major motivation. The thought that I’d need two of them to fully occupy their zombie-like attack was a major inhibitor. My response, of course, was to put off any final decision and stop visiting that website.
That’s the short version of this article, if you’re too busy to read the whole thing:
- put off buying stuff and you’ll probably forget about it
- avoid advertising so you don’t even know about it
For those of you with leisurely online access, let me break down exactly how this works. Variety is the spice of life or, as we used to say in the days when I studied psychology and felt very scientific about it… variety stimulates appetite. This effect is so comprehensive I can’t even remember when I first encountered it. It is the basis for most diet plans. Restricting your intake to just a few foods will make you eat less. It doesn’t really matter if it’s grapefruits and olives, avoiding bread, or avoiding everything except bread. You will eat less, and unless you’ve chosen to eat nothing but cupcakes, you will probably lose weight. Eventually, we all get sick of what we’re used to. Yes, we definitely have favourites that we return to repeatedly, but our desire for them is refreshed and heightened by intermittent sampling of their alternates. You can quote me on that line the next time your monogamous lover elbows you in the ribcage for cruising a tempting stranger.
Advertising is most benignly seen as a form of information-sharing about the marketplace. Fundamentally, however, its offer of variety results in the predictable effect of stimulating our appetites. Prior to my viewing of this product review (not even an ad, by the way, just a detailed consumer review of a new product) I had no desire to provide children with laptops. If you’d asked, I would have said that’s a stupid idea. However, I had often yanked by own laptop away from their prying hands, but surely that’s a lesson about sitting at my desk or the kitchen table to do work now instead of the living room couch. This vague desire, however, coalesced into a consumer solution – laptops for all!! – instead of a behavioural change I was too lazy to make – sit at a table. Knowledge of the marketplace, and the choices that beckon, create a desire in us to satisfy our life’s desire through commerce. I offer up the following self-experiments for you to try: spend 1 week browsing online listings something you don’t actually want to buy, at least not right now. If you are definitely not in the market for a car, a house, a toy train or miniature doll house then locate advertising for those items and follow them for about a week.
You’ll notice a number of psychological effects:
1. The market will establish a set price. A ‘good’ price is unknowable for many items we consume, since we know little about what’s involved in producing these items. Also, new products on the market that are hard to compare make it hard to figure out a ‘good’ price. We allow external factors, like the supposedly competitive market, determine the value of things. $2000 for a dog? I’m sure it’s possible. $400 for doll’s clothing? Try and find that bargain out there. Half a million for a house? Not a problem.
2. You will start to notice a bargain when you see it. Human brains are expert pattern-recognition factories. In fact, we see patterns even where none exist. At any rate, a very quick perusal of market pricing will provide a set point at which we notice it’s a bargain. We also notice, and are willing to spend more for, items that are unique, rare or new. Since bargains are rare by definition, their sheer existence can make us excited about something that we wouldn’t otherwise want. This is why people buy stuff they never use when it’s on sale.
3. You start to want things you weren’t really thinking about. Just like we notice a lingering hunger when the dessert tray comes around, we notice other dormant desires when examples of them are paraded in front of us. Sometimes this works in predictable ways and sometimes not. A mysterious example I have often contemplated is whether trends in trimming public hair are influenced by the grooming fashions in porn. This is my own private theory, by the way, but I think we take in the (valuable but freely offered) information about how to compare the state of our own grooming habits with other people via an increased exposure to online porn. Assessing our social standing is an ongoing reflex in any social species, and the ‘am I presentable?’ question is never far from our minds. I am currently lacking the research funding for this, but I’m guessing that the proliferation of free online porn clips is directly correlated with sales of razors and waxing salons, and I’m quite certain this isn’t the intended commercial effect of the porn developers. Maybe they should consider redirecting some of their advertising revenue stream.
4. You start to want things instead of other experiences and states in your life. Advertising takes us from being single and wanting to be in a relationship to being single and wanting to get a facelift/treadmill/yoga mat/makeup etc. (to be more desireable to stop being single), a new wardrobe (to console ourselves for being single) and maybe a celebration ring to reward ourselves for excellent careers (to defy our sadness that we’re single). You’ll notice that our basic emotions are met through a purchase. Materialism is about making the intangible into the material.
5. You buy them. I haven’t linked to many possible examples in this article because I don’t want to send you all off into a spending spree. The more you see, the more you will buy. That part is simple. Sending you in the right direction of a particular product is the hard work of many media people (which is were most people with psychology degrees end up, by the way) but the general creation of appetite is supported simply by the diversity presented to you on a daily basis.
So where do I make my stand? This is about making a lifestyle change that is the heart of frugality. Frugality is about self-knowledge. You should want things that make sense to you and leave you fulfilled, not overstimulated and restless from trying to stuff your feelings through a commercialistic wash
1. Avoid advertising wherever possible. This is the main reason I avoid magazines, newspapers, commercial radio and tv. I also recommend avoiding driving (I notice lots of highway ads the the U.S. in particular) and if you take public transit, bring something to read instead of staring at the ads. I’m exposed to very little advertising right now. I ride my bike. I stream my music, I’ll wait until a tv show is available to rent and catch up on my movies once a year.
2. Avoid shopping. It’s not leisure. It’s one big ad. That trance you fall into is sustained by twilight lighting to confuse your sense of time, bland music to soothe you and a barrage of commodities to enable your purchasing. Use a list, stick to the list. Get out.
3. Turn off the tv. I’m amazed at how many people keep it on for company or use it to relax. If you need company, try meeting people. If you need to relax, take a bath or read a book. I will rent or download tv shows and movies instead of sitting through the ads. Believe me, it’s very obvious when I see an ad now because I see so few. That level of consciousness is actually desireable, by the way. Ads have the biggest effect when you don’t consciously process them. The most expensive ad placements on tv, for example, are for the 15 to 30 seconds right after the content before your brain has switched gears to realize an ad is now playing.
4. Don’t clip coupons. Don’t spend days and weeks comparing prices on small items. The money you might save in buying things is not worth the price of deeply engaging in the marketplace.
5. Volunteer in your community. We place our social standing relative to the people around us. Karl Marx once said “A house may be large or small; as long as the neighboring houses are likewise small, it satisfies all social requirement for a residence. But let there arise next to the little house a palace, and the little house shrinks to a hut.” This is true of us as humans, and not because we’re capitalists. We often work and socialize in environments where we compete for social standing. In fact, the most sensible definition of poverty is the inability to participate in society (which is why lacking a phone in the western world may qualify you as poor, but lacking plumbing in some countries doesn’t bar you from the middle classes).
Volunteering with people who offer up greater socio-economic variety helps to subtly open up those standards and give us more emotional room to be different. It also serves as a reality-check that the world is bigger than your own private fishbowl.
6. Procrastinate. Especially as a techie, I save a lot of money buying things that have slid off the bleeding-edge and have settled into the lower stratosphere of pricing. I try to buy things that are newish and not obsolete, but the biggest savings is from just putting it off until you really can’t ignore it anymore. Half of your ‘needs’ disappear on their own and the remaining ones will actually be more useful to me.
If you have a ninja moves of your own to resist advertising, I’d love to hear them. I aspire to Socrates’ description of the marketplace “how many are the things I can do without.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Which Way is Up Wednesday: The Oh! Edition

OH! my, it's another Wednesday and my inbox runneth over with news, tidbits, updates, pitches, and so much more. It's fast and furious this outing with a much as I can pack into this posting. So hang on and get ready to go on point....Away we go!

Fast CAR: After the " Oh? circumstances" debacle from LRCP concerning this year's Pride festivities, CAR's spunky DYSC participants stepped to the plate by canceling their own picnic to pursuing a community wide event, 6.21.09 at Allsopp Park. This forum has been at the forefront on inquiring about the lack of organization of that event. With this new effort taking shape, I'm ready to put my MONEY behind my bully pulpit and throw open the challenge to the community at large. According to their newsletter, details are still forth coming. However, if you’re interested in supporting the event and/or volunteering please let them know at 501-244-9690 or artchangesu2@sbcglobal.net. Don't forget to can chat it up here as well.

Under the Crown: I mentioned that their was interesting new twist in pageantry being worked up and it's now taken on a new moniker. It's the Miss RED Ribbon Arkansas which will be an open contest tentatively scheduled for Nov. 28 at Jesters, Hot Springs. As for the twist, even though it will feature some of the same basic pageant elements,(i.e. male interview, evening gown, etc.) the winner is designated to pursue an HIV/AIDS platform via being "Miss Red Ribbon." At this posting, as with most pageants, interest seems to be gaining and to my surprise my participation has been respectfully requested as a, OH! My, contestant. I think this call for some polling and I plan to ask readers to share their thoughts on this request. The floor is definitely open.....


LRFF REELS UP: OH, Little Rock! Partial to film festivals, I'm beaming with pride that the Little Rock Film Festival is evolving in to a "buzz" fest on the film circuit. Who knew? One of the premier events of the festival and a major fundraiser for the LRFF, the event takes place in the stunning Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center. Iconic TV personality, film producer and just one of my all time favs, Phil Donahue will give a keynote speech. The new LRFF grand prize the Golden Rock will be unveiled and given away to the best narrative and documentary feature films. There will be music and video entertainment with DJ Deeter along with an incredible spread of food and drinks. Sponsored by the Arkansas Times. Co-chaired by Vincent Insalaco and Judy Tenebaum. Special guests include: Governor Mike Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, and Master of Ceremonies Alan Leveritt, A ticket is required for this event. Purchase your gala ticket here:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/66195 If you get a chance at attend, I know you will, there will be some SGL offerings, check schedules at there great interactive website, http://www.littlerockfilmfestival.org/


Black Pride in the City: Again, there seems to be some type of organized effort from the Little Rock Black Pride committee with activities in June. At this posting, I'm still unclear on the actual line up, except that supposedly their will be (again) strippers and a "show." It's being bandied around that all this will take place at the MetroPlex event center. The groups website, states that (again) the host hotel is La Quinta on Fair Park. I will be asking for further clarity from S. Rogers, event organizer. In the past, sought to participate and have attended certain activities, but found the whole affair sorta disjointed, over pitched and erratic. Case in point, I went looking for a proposed pool party at the then host hotel (La Qunita downtown) only to find that it was never fully realized. After inquires, I discovered that this was par for the course on many such events connected with LRBP. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In the Twinkle of a Tuesday Eye





OH Wanda!: It's all about Wanda! Wanda who you ask? Well, it's Wanda Sykes of course. She's all the talk surrounding her "edgy" comedy routine at last weeks WHCD,(White House Correspondences Dinner) as she did "no she didn't go their" jokes on a variety of topics. In case you are wondering, well where did she come from to do such a high profile gig? Ms. Sykes has been blazing crossing the entertainment spectrum for some time and I've seen much of work from her BRAVO stand-up show to her scene stealing film work in Monster-In Law opposite legendary icon, Jane Fonda. The comedienne has been slated for a FOX talk show to debut possibly later this year. There have been calls for a teaming of Fonda with Skyes as a dual with NBC's Hoda and Kathie Lee. Now that sounds like a mash up if I've ever heard one. This outing is not the first time WS has made news. Sykes also sent out tremors once she "outed" herself proclaiming her Lesbian notions at a Prop 8 rally, as well as her marriage to her LTC in 2008. Since I was busy and couldn't get to DC for the dinner, I watched the event via cable which had total coverage from open to close. From the onset, the central focus of the evening was POTUS Obama and whether he would deliver the goods for a comedic angle. Mission Accomplished, as Mr. O lambasted himself and spreaded it around with great timing and an unusual knack of delivering a punch line with great ease. Ms. Sykes followed the President and began with softball pitches before moving on to a more irreverent tone. Her quips about Rush L. as a late 911 Hijacker due his Oxy crave, although received, camera shots revealed that there was a somewhat quizzy feeling in the audience. I raised an eyebrow but, I've heard worse and lot's of it coming from RL himself. The bit about his "kidney failure" I didn't find particular funny but Ms. Sykes tagged herself by saying "too much?" Let's face it people. Comedy isn't always pretty and often times can attack your senses beyond your comfort level. In the past men have cornered the off-colored market but the girls are barnstorming the stages with their own brand of Blue Comedy. Have your heard Lisa Lampanelli?(pictured) Kathy Griffin? Somemore and the Queens of Comedy? Let's not forget the new crowned Celebrity Apprentice winner, Joan Rivers, who has been calling out everybody from Vegas to the Poconos. As far as that is concern, so is life itself. Everyday my personal space is assailed with circumstances, sounds, smells and above all PEOPLE themselves who don't give a damn about how I may feel about anything. We all are living on this ball of confusion admist those who don't share our views of decorum, politically correct or taste levels. Many of them don't mind letting you know to your face. Personall, I'd rather you say what you mean, than say something you don't really mean. Surely the organizers of that event had "vetted" Ms. Sykes and should have known that some of routine can step over the line and then some. If you can't take the heat, then don't ask for heat when you really want lukewarm.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Legends N the Afterglow

Dare to Dream of Vi!
I had to take a moment to brace myself. Subsequently finding solace in the fact that yet, another passing had taken place, this time Miss Viola Wills of popular disco fame in my mind and globally. She departed this life at 69 years old, on 5.6.09 and leaves a host of family, grandchildren, and certainly fans, of which I will always be. Every time I'm faced with these milestones, I go into reflection on when I first heard or why it any of it mean so much to me reasoning. Then, I stop and understand that even though the person providing that soundtrack to my life track has been silenced, I'm still here in the moment to re-live and re-immerse my self into days gone by. And what days they were for those of you who missed them. Thanks Viola for your Stormy Weather send up, most famously done by the legendary Lena Horne which threw me into a Saturday night frenzy,( and quiet as it kept on some nights at my abode it still does). Yet it was the optimism of Up on the Roof that allowed me to dance the night away with my long lost dance partner, Bobby T., that I think of most fondly and miss dearly. Gonna Get along Without You says all it needs to say as far as I'm concerned especially when I needed that attitude when love went MIA. There will always be something to remind me of Viola when I hear those catchy repeat phrases, energetic music rips and sweaty boys gyrating into a euphoria that may never happen again. Overall it was Vi's simple mantra that will live on forever in my heart: "Aim for the sky and always dare to dream." My condolences to her family as well as her extended family around the world. Thank you Viola for everything and more!! RIP! I gonna dream in colors and more!!! You can leave your signatures or tributes at http://www.violawills.com/

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mixed Fruit Friday

Have you been tuned into this forum this week, then you know that it's been a fruit basked and then some. That name naughty chair needs a designer touch and I bound to get that done before the next time any one tries to send me their. I've always promoted this outlet as an open source for the GLBTQ community and beyond. I've never and I repeat never being afraid of free speech, daring prospectives, colorful stances and those who want to say what's exactly on their minds. If you've been tuned in this week, the viewpoints have been robust with a every man to his corner attitude. So be it. Let me be clear, I'm locking and loading with more what you are really looking for....prepare yourselves.

AIDS Walk 09: Just as I've moved on from that other mash up, then comes a fundraising letter from AAF. You know those folks known as the Arkansas AIDS Foundation/ ConsortiaCare organization that is charged with assisting POZ individuals and such. After opening the piece, I was broadsided ( you know that's one of my favorite terms) from this fundraising or sorta outreach letter that stated that "they've missed my input." Say what? My input? If I remember correctly and in full disclosure, I was pursued by the then AAF Foundation President, Ron J. to serve on the AAF board around 2003-04. Yet when I began to ask those pesky hard questions that I'm beginning to get known for and be what a "board participant" is suppose to be, I was sorta ask to leave without fanfare. No kidding people. I don't make this shit up. My LifeMate and I gathered can goods and cashola for the haul. Much of this work done by partner who was so confused when he didn't even get a "Thank You" letter from anyone connected with AAF. Meanwhile my pretties, once again, I made it too hot in the kitchen for those hens who were sitting pretty with rubber stamps on most issues. Basically because they really had not done their homework and didn't have a clue about who, what , when, why or whatever the subject matter became. Never mind that past news, something other that caught my attention in this "letter" was the fact that in the side bar, they actually allowed their vacancies to be printed in their official stationary. So what you ask?, well why tell me about your effectiveness, not to mention ask me for cash and your groups need for my support when you don't actually have enough individuals to fill key positions on your board? Poor Frederick Gentry seems to be trying to be "every women" as President, and committee person extraordinaire. I know Fred. He's most pleasant and apparently has a tireless tolerance for AFF. This guy was involved during my strange term as a board thingy and gosh dern it he's still there! In the meantime, the new ED, is Dr. Micheal Cannon whom states that he's ready to meet and greet signed off on this packet. (there's a typo that states he's been there since October 2009?) I hope he's ready, because I'm ready to ask a few questions. For more info on the AIDS WALK 2009, check there site: http://www.araidsfoundation.org/ If we get a response, and you know some times we do, I'll have it all for you here. Until then....
Miss POZ Percoulating: I've been made aware of a sorta novel idea in which there is a competition of individuals contending for Miss Poz Arkansas. The twist, those competing will be avowed HIV positive surviors. The winner will be charged with addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS in the community and openly articulating the various aspects of living with HIV/AIDS. Interesting twist don't you think? Well, what say ye! I've been called upon to respond and I have to the organizer. I'll let you know what's up and how.

CHIP IN: The Chip-In gadget will soon join our side line up seeking your support for this forum and our efforts to keep asking what you really want to know and may not. It's formatted and will be kicked in to gear this next week. If you decide to donate, it's all safeguarded and will allow you to show some pride for our mission to keep it real and OnPoint. Will you support, today? Need more info, then hit us up for it...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

And the Beat goes on 24/7! & More

Well, be careful for what you ask for, because you just might get it and how! Here's the latest salvo clarifying all positions on Topic A in this forum concerning Me, "It" and the DSB. Again, it is unedited and presented as recieved, 5.8.09.

Cornelius,

From several postings you have made over the past months, you have implied some very negative things about me and DSB. Your recent covering from Adam Brits account of why he was asked not to wear makeup and panties to the bear underwear party was particularly disconcerning. Adam is obviously entitled to live his life as he sees fit and I support his right to do so. But, I am disappointed when you interjected your opinions (judgements)on my actions without bothering to even see if he was telling you an accurate account. YOUR WORDS: "Continues the perception of a divided community existing in filters and rose colored glasses? BINGO! This syndrome has plagued this state since I can remember and from all indications the mindset is firmly entrenched. In other words most folks just don't want to deal with our internal struggles with racism, ageism, sexism or much else for that matter." My not wanting Adam to come to my fetish party (Fetish being either being a bear or liking bears) wearing panties and makeup does not translate into my not wanting to deal with internal struggles of the world. I you had a "white party" at your house, and someone insisted on wearing black....does that mean that you are turning your back on the black dye producers of the world and trying to tople their financial stability? My point is, the issues are so remotely different that it is plain silliness to suggest otherwise. YOUR WORDS: "Ultimately I'm further bemused that AB would be singled out since the ringmaster of these events publicly supports "gender bending" in his own household including fundraisers involving DSB members! Now, really. It's one thing to not like someone personally than to espouse some kind of flimsy "visual judgement" that smacks of foolishness." I do support the drag community, as well as the transgendered, as well as the lesbian, as well as the leather, bear, fairy, and all the other communities that our world seems fit to label themselves. I support people doing whatever makes them happy and content and does not cause harm to others. One tidbit that Adam did not share with you was that before he decided to try to make my private party a social statement, Adam and I were friends (well bar friends anyway). Every single time that I saw him and his roomate out (always dressed in over the top feminine attire), regardless of where we were, I would hug them, kiss them, hang out with them, and enjoy the nightlife. A group of us (including adam and his roomate) had an amazing time at disco one night! So you see, it isn't a matter of not liking Adam, or the way he dresses in public. Adam even asked me one time if the bears would do a fundraiser for his group. It was a matter that he was wanting to choose my party to try to make his own political statements.....I do not think that is, as you said, "visual judgement that smacks of foolishness". Adam was not singled out! To set the record straight as well about me letting Adam know he should not come dressed inappropriatly to my party through his roomate. I am friends with his roomate and was talking to him on Bear411 one day about the upcoming party. It was Adams roomate that told me he was thinking about inviting adam, and I told him that adam was welcome but only dressed appropriatly for the event. I did not bring up adams name, or send adam any messages. His roomate mentioned to adam what I said, and I got a LONG hatefilled letter telling me about how horribly a sick person I was and blaming me for all the worlds ills. It was then that I realised adam was an unstable person. It is no accident that Little Rock is littered with establishments that adam is no longer allowed in.
In the past you have made a few statements that simply ring insincere. One being: "I kept drilling looking for exactly what does this outfit do and for whom? I can't tell and so far I haven't found anyone else who seems to know or will speak on the record." Come on Cornelius...you yourself called me the ringmaster.....you didn't search too hard for the answers to your questions did you!?!? (you know me personally and have never asked me). Even though you didn't ask...heres some info about DSB: It is a group of guys that are either bears, or like bear type men. When I started the bear group, there was no bars or social gathering places where bears were welcome. All the bars were geared toward the young, inshape, twink types. It was after my parties that Philip started bear nights at Sidetracks. We are not a community activist group, nor do we do community projects.....we are strickly a social club. My goal is that Bear guys from all over Arkansas and surrounding areas have a gathering place to meet and enjoy each others company and network. Guys who describe themselves as bears have historically not been a group to go out to the bars. Many of us have represented Arkansas at other Bear Runs. We go camping together, take road trips together, and attend some events in others states. I do not post pictures on the website any longer do to the fact that some of our group are either closested or in jobs that require descretion.You seem to be concerned where all the money goes that comes in from the bear parties. The answers are various: Most of it goes to put on the parties (renting the clubhouse, buying food, renting videos, Any type decorations for the events, paying dues to websites to promote it in the bear community. paying for the website). I have donated to the rodeo. Helped with fundraisers, including donating. On those nights when the party goes till 4am, clubhouse rental isn't cheap. On large crowd nights, it is easy to make budget, but not all the parties end up in the positive column of finances. DSB has nothing to do with the alcohol. So it all evens out in the long run. I have not incorporated DSB, and have no desire to do so. My parties are private because it is, in my opinion, a fetish party. I want my parties to be for bears and about bears!! If you are a bear, or your not a bear, but like bear types, then you are welcome. I want it to be a masculine atmosphere. I want it to be a non drug, non attitude, non stress atmosphere. Everyone is expected to act like an adult and make adult decisions while they are there. I do not wish to change the world (there are venues for thoes who do), I do not want to start an empire or business venture (beleive me, there are many more negatives than positives). I don't want to disturb others (or have them disturb me). I just want to feel good when I have someone tell me "I really don't get out much to meet people, but I went to one of your parties and met some really great guys and had a blast...thank you!". The best part of the Bear parties to me are the next day when my email box is full with letters from guys thanking me for providing a comfortable fun party for them to go and meet people. As far as my goal of spreading a positive attitude toward the bear community. Before DSB, there were no bear nights at the local bar. Every other month there are guys coming in to Little Rock from all over the country to come to the Bear parties, they are staying overnight (sometimes the whole weekend). The are going to the local bars, eating at the local eating establishments, and enjoying out city and meeting our local guys. Bears are no longer the unseen part of the Little Rock gay community. I would like to think I had a small part in bring that about.

Michael

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mid Week in a Spin Cycle

Voices are carrying this week and players, "It's and fingers are in full affect at keyboards in cyberspace. As usual, COP:24/7 is in the mix being vilified, vexed, stereotyped and damn near ready for the wood shed in reference to postings past and current that have appeared in this forum. As an open space for opinion, observations, commentary and such, there's going to be assumptions and accusations of this forum, myself and it's purpose in relation to the GLBTQ community and beyond. I'm always amazed at the "touchstone" items that garner the most reactions and those that I can't get a damn whimper about. I've posted items ranging from national causes such as California's Prop 8, Arkansas' Congressional delegation citing overall "silence" from constituents on AIDS funding or other big items issues, or local flavor involving organizations. Yet this week, the mash up emcompasess Gender politics, preferences, perceptions, and pronouncements a go-go! Where do we start? O.K. Here's a snapshot to slingshot you to an update. A reader commented about the DSB party event held at the DSRA which set things in motion. Subsequently, DSB organizer Michael went on the offense commenting on the matter and calling this forum on the carpet as a cheerleader for inaccuracy mongering, offering only one side of the story, unabashed self promotion, selective comment printing and finally, down right mudslinging! Are you still with me? Do you really care? Well, if you do, Mr. M stated that I had failed to post his response to an earlier posting dealing with another comment from a reader, sorta at the crux of this whole matter. I am reprinting his entire e-blast, without any editing or anything else. It's not dated, but according to him was sent previously. This is where I go to the naughty Big Chair and wait with my box of TIDE.

Cornelius

This following is the response that I sent you when you started raising issues with DSRA and printed a note from a Mr. Jones to exclamate your point. I sent it in the same fashion that I sent the latest response. I received no bounced emails or errors messages, so the natural assumption from me is that you CHOSE not to print the truth. Because I realized that you seemed to only print responses that furthered your ambition to get your blog read, that is why you have not received any "official comment" from the owner of DSB (me). I do not believe in journalism where you raise inflammatory questions, but make sure to shroud it in specific verb-age such as "alleged" or "sources tell me" or "rumor has it" in an effort to deflect attention from that it is truly the author that is making the accusations and not wanting to take responsibility for them.

Message that I sent to your blog:



Dear Cornelius,
I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Mr. Jones comments. This will be my only response. As I have grown older, I have learned a great many things. One of the most important things I have learned is to stop beating your head against the wall when there is malice involved. You simply put the truth out there: Those who seek it, will find it. Those who deny it, will ignore it. And those who believe it, probably already knew it to begin with. Mr. Jones seems to have developed a dislike for DSRA many, many years ago. I say that due to his statement that he was there at the birth of the organization and left “in disgust” two years later. DSRA has been around a great many years. The truth is: There is NEVER any sex after any shows at DSRA. To state otherwise is just false. Any comments suggesting drug use at DSRA is false as well. Drugs are not tolerated at DSRA, or Diamond State Bear events. I personally will escort anyone I ever see in that building with drugs to the door (forcefully if necessary). As for anyone having any type of unprotected sex (anywhere or anytime). I feel that we all are responsible for our own actions. Our bodies are our own precious vessels. Every adult should respect that vessel and protect it from harm. As for Mr. Jones being “criticized and shunned”, I have never done so because I have never heard of him! To say that anything is run by the “almighty Penis” totally flies in the face of the hard working lesbians that volunteer their time and effort for this organization. As for problems that DSRA has faced over the years. I want to remind everyone that they are a totally volunteer organization. I challenge anyone to name a organization (where not a single person receives pay) that has not had its share of trials and tribulations. Because no one is turned away if they choose to volunteer (or run for office, or run for a royalty position), I think that it stands to reason that from time to time there will be those individuals that stand out (both good and bad), or that may sometimes make decisions that you we do not agree with. I am sorry that Mr. Jones has never given himself the chance to attend some of the events out there. I’m sure he would have wept when there was a tribute to a longtime member who passed way to soon. Or smiled when one of DSRA’s oldest members had her birthday party there. Or been touched when DSRA had a benefit to help with medical expenses for a non-member whose partners passing left him huge expenses. Before I close, I do want to say in a heartfelt manner: I am sorry that Mr. Jones lost a partner, it is a pain that everyone, gay and straight, should never have to endure. My condolences to him. This letter is the truth. I have put it out there. This is my final correspondence on this matter. No matter what the response to this posting (good or vile), I am done.
Michael Ashley

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Up Periscope from Under the Rainbow




It's the second month of the 2nd Quarter and the world's still turning as of today. Yes, dear readers still rocking and rolling along despite N1H1, California burning, Bailouts, Bankruptcies and loads of BS. It's all here just for the taking and this forum continues to update daily with topics that enlightend, enrage, enrich and empower. In the words of Raul Castro, "everything is on the table!... Let's feast.


A Writing We Go: Just when I thought I was covered up with putting this exercise in free speech out daily. Then comes my comrades at NABWMT asking me to assist in producing the organizations internal publication, now known as The Quarterly. What is NABWMT you ask? Thanks for asking. It's an acronym for the National Association of Black and White Men Together which has been in existence for two decades and counting. The Mission Statement states our purpose," NABWMT is a gay multiracial, multicultural organization committed to fostering supportive environments wherein racial and cultural barriers can be overcome and the goal of human equality realized..." After re-connecting last year at the STL convention, I was tapped for more participation in the group, with sights of maybe developing a future "MAC Rock" chapter. Locally, I tried sowing the seeds of this concept some 20 years ago with marginal results, but perhaps a second sowing could be in order. I'm open and ready for others who would like to explore this unique possibility and opportunity for outreach. First, let me clear up any preconceived notions about this group. The name BWMT was developed as a revolutionary marker in 1980, as the gay movement was in groundswell. Membership in the organization is not limited to interracial couples. But an entity that supports those whom share that experience within the gay construct, which has been problematic for such couplings in need of social zones and dual cultural activities. Although wagging tongues have tried to defame the group as "sexually driven," nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, in any organization their are opportunities for discovering companionship but this is not nor has it ever been the central focus of BWMT. I was drawn to the concept due to the engaging and powerful resources that were offered as I dealt with the core issues of racism, sexism and homophobia in my life and beyond. This is the stimulating foundation from which the organization exist and offers it's members. With all that said, we still have fun too and yes, by golly, you might meet a great guy or new BFF's in the process. Interested? Then hit me up( nealix101@comcast.net) and let's vibe about it!

Pride in the City: It's official as we posted last week. The much touted Capitol Pride 2009 is a "no go" according to a press release (5.5.09) on it's website. The statement cites that the Board of Directors chose to cancel "due to circumstances beyond our control." Also, it states that the board is committed to staying together to callaborate locally during Pride Week 09, meanwhile raising funds for Pride 2010. Supposedly there will be additional schedules posted to the site and other platforms. Alrighty then. What I find somewhat curious about this PR move, is that it's simply posted with no contact person for follow up, no listing of the current board members who made this decision or much else explaining their situation. There you have it Central City, more of the status quo that we've come to expect and anticipate. Another event nicely wrapped in "circumstances beyond someone's control." Go figure.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Monday Mix Down

Whew! Where that that weekend go? Well, it went right out the backdoor into another week of more of what I hope you are looking for. More updates, sightings, insights, commentaries, breaking news and maybe a kitchen sink or two. It's all here in the a Monday Mix Down of COP:24/7 and more. Are we ready? Fine, let's go get em.....

Beach Blanket A Go-Go: As Executive Producer of this forum, I make every attempt to cover, discover, translate and disseminate items that are pertinent to the SGL community and beyond. Last Friday, I again mentioned or better yet sorta, "advertised" the ongoing Diamond State Bear quarterly party that has it's detractors as well as fans. I have disclosed fully that I've attended and have posted any and all viewpoints offered concerning the matter. To date there has been no official statement from DSB, but I know that they know they're on our radar. My attention was again piqued by another reader who stated that they encouraged individuals "not" to attend these functions. After reading their feedback, there were some facts that I felt warranted further observations. First, the reader cited that they were allegedly notified via a "roommate" that he would not be welcomed to the event unless he was dressed more "masculine." Of course, as a private entity, DSB is afforded the position to be the shotcaller of who shall enter or not to it's throw downs. Is it politically correct?, probably not. Shortsighted? depends on who you ask. Continues the perception of a divided community existing in filters and rose colored glasses? BINGO! This syndrome has plagued this state since I can remember and from all indications the mindset is firmly entrenched. In other words most folks just don't want to deal with our internal struggles with racism, ageism, sexism or much else for that matter. Many Arkansas Girls or Boys just wanna have fun, not rallying to a cause. AB's visual statement as a Trans/ Gender Non-Confirming person is a phenom that unfortunately may cause some discomfort or be striking to the senses. However, as I've heard from this person, this is his purpose and intent to call into question the issue of gender. I support his right to make that statement, yet if his behavior detracts from that stance, then perhaps there may be other issues at play. Ultimately I'm further bemused that AB would be singled out since the ringmaster of these events publicly supports "gender bending" in his own household including fundraisers involving DSB members! Now, really. It's one thing to not like someone personally than to espouse some kind of flimsy "visual judgement" that smacks of foolishness. After all I know quite a few "bears" that still fuck sissies as quick as they can get their boxers down.
In case you are clueless to what the Bear & Cub mash up is all about, here's a video teachable moment for your consideration from our online partner, YouTube provided by the Bear Channel. Talk about visual stimulation....Priceless!

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day in the City


Another day, different month and by golly I'm still here ! Is this year rolling along like no body's business or what! Regardless, here we are in the mary old month of May doing a TGIF run arond the may pole. Just in cast you aren't aware, May Day marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations, regardless of the locally prevalent political or religious establishment. Locally, most folks are yawning and scratching to all of this but as usual I'm in the big chair lightning up for our May Day in the city edition. Let's go to the pole...

Pride in the City: Earlier this week I posted items in reference to Pride 2009 and went in search of info about the events. So far nothing directly from LRCP, but drilling down for more info I did notice that the event is scheduled on the River Market website calender. I asked you dear readers to ask the president, Ari C. for more info and at post time the response has been that an "announcement is coming." Coming from where? Never Never Land? The Heavens? Thre Oracle of Lamba? At this point, if you count it, it's about 38 days from the proposed date of the coming FREE festival that has only had aproximately 3 fundraisers. How much was raised, what the budget is for this mash up or what can anyone expect from it is still not disclosed. My sources tell me that several board members made exits months ago, their own media mouthpiece hasn't been updated since January 09 and it appears that no one seems to be in the Chagoya Loop de Loop. O.K. let me just step away and go wash my hair. Stay tune folks, there's got to another pump to drop on this one...

Beach Blanket A Go-Go: It's happening next week, the DSB are doing in a beach style at the DSRA clubhouse. Doors open 9 p.m. until the last bear is standing or whatever. The theme is beach casual with your personal interpretation of what they state of dress may be. According to promoter, "mike," this is a private affair ande more info can be found at http://www.diamondstatebear.com/ If you are looking for beach fun with music and food then this may be where you will find it in Central City. Usually it's SRO (standing room only) so check it out if you dare. If you do, feel free to share it with us....