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Does Air Force Two Carry Barf Bags?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:52 pm - December 17, 2005.
Filed under: National Politics

It sure sounds like it should!

Testy Tummies on Air Force Two – Charlotte Observer

Imagine this: You’re about to set off with the secretary of state to Central Asia, a destination halfway around the world, on two back-to-back seven-hour flights in a packed 757 — and the first meal served is a teeming bowl of pork and beans.
Of all the contentious issues on any trip by the secretary of state, food tops the list. Despite the heroic efforts of dedicated and good-natured military crews to craft miracles from abysmal menus, Air Force Two’s food has become notorious.

“I don’t think you understand the depth of hatred for wing-dings among the staff,” said Jim Wilkinson, one of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s inner circle. “We’re not sure what kind of wings they are. Some people hate the meatballs, but most hate the wing-dings. They violate the laws of war, the Geneva Convention and the international convention on torture. They’re sooo bad.”

“The flan put to rest my theory that at least you could count on a decent dessert,” said Anne Gearan of The Associated Press.

“The meat, it’s awful. It’s much too cooked,” said Sylvie Lanteaume of Agence France-Presse.

“I’m not a vegetarian, but I’d like at least one meal without meat,” said Joel Brinkley of the New York Times as he cut laboriously through a brown slab of meat that has become known as maybe-beef.

“I’m British — I’m used to eating inedible food,” said Saul Hudson of Reuters, adding that he was “aghast” at the food during his first trip with the State Department entourage.

This is an outrage and should be stopped immediately! My tax money is paying to feed the press on their world wide junkets?!? Let them eat cake!

Heh, heh.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Brokeback Mountain: a Beautifully Made Disappointment

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:47 am - December 17, 2005.
Filed under: Gay America,Movies/Film & TV

As I mentioned in my previous post, I just returned from seeing Brokeback Mountain. Perhaps had the hype not been so great (and I had not expected that much), I might have enjoyed the flick more.

First, let me say that there is much to commend in this film. It almost goes without saying that the direction was superb. Ang Lee beautifully portrays human passions and complicated emotional situations visually, a skill essential to conveying the intensity of the taciturn Ennis Del Mar (played to perfection by Heath Ledger). Lee also does a great job of bringing out the tensions (sexual and otherwise) in a number of awkward encounters. In addition, as writer Lydia Marcus put it in her review on Planeout, Lee “gets across the painful message of just how hard it was — and I’m sure still is for many — being gay in the middle of Americana.

The shots of the Wyoming wilderness (well, actually Alberta) were beautiful and some of the performances, notably Ledger’s were outstanding. I believed that he had fallen for Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Jack Twist and that his character, aged with his makeup. Not only that; he did a great job of showing his character’s conflict as he recognized the reality and endurance of his feelings for Jack.

I wish I could say Jake showed a similar emotional shift. At times when he professed his love for Ennis, it seemed that he was like so many men we all have met, just using a romantic line in order to bed the object of his desire.

(more…)

Chinese Police Close Down Gay Cultural Festival

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:04 am - December 17, 2005.
Filed under: Gay America,Gays in Other Lands

While many gays on the left think that America has entered some kind of new repressive dark age since President Bush was re-elected with increased Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, the reality of our social life belies this bleak scenario. I just returned from seeing Brokeback Mountain, a gay flick directed by an “A-list” director and featuring two “A-list” actors. Not only is this film being shown at a premiere Los Angeles venue, it is also being released in commercial theaters across the country (rather than in hidden underground screening rooms as it would be in the America described by the gay left). There is no danger that police will close it down.

In addition to this flick, there are gay film festivals across the country, many universities have courses (if not programs) in gay and lesbian studies (as well as gay and lesbian centers), major publishing houses publish gay books, leading theaters produce gay plays while gay characters appear in countless TV shows and movies. Not to mention gay-themed art exhibits.

And while Americans can experience gay stories in a variety of cultural media, the London Times reports that police in Beijing “shut down the opening of China’s first gay and lesbian culture festival yesterday.” After telling the owners of the trendy 798 complex in northeastern Beijing that they would not allow “a festival of films, plays, exhibitions and seminars on homosexuality” to proceed,” 30 participants tried to move their fest to “On/Off, a Beijing gay bar.” Police surrounded the bar and closed it down — before the event had even begun.

Let’s see if those gay groups who fall into high dudgeon whenever any Republican says something even moderately politically incorrect will have anything to say about this.

(H/t: Reader Scott from Atlanta. I encourage you to read the whole article as it provides a good short summary of polices toward gays in Communist China. And provides an interesting historical anecdote about broken sleeves.)

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com