Isaiah Webster

Women + Gay Bar = Not Much Fun

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a gay bar and had to fight through a maze of straight women to get a drink or a glance at a hot stripper. On many occasions, I’ve commented to my friends that we should ban women from our bars or charge them double to discourage their attendance. My rationale is simple — there are far more straight bars than gay ones; and going out should not be about having to endure all the things I hate about straight bars!

Cocktail, a gay bar in Chicago’s Boystown, is in the mainstream press for its policy of denying admittance to bachelorette parties. According to the bar’s owner, the policy is in place because the presence of brides to be is a unwelcome reminder that gay couples can’t get married. Even though the policy has been in place awhile, the owner said it is getting attention now because of Proposition 8 and the broader fight for marriage equality.

Though this rationale seems odd to me, I was surprised that The Chicago Tribune took such a big interest in the door policy of a gay bar!

I like Cocktail’s policy, but I don’t like the rationale. We need not make any excuses for not wanting drunk, squealing women coming into our bars to “have fun” with the hot gay men. If they love straight men so much, then they can “have fun” with them and put up with the groping and sexist comments that go along with it. A gay bar should not be a circus for straight women, where they come to feel free and act in a manner that would get them thrown out of their own clubs. We don’t need the tiaras, the drunken drama, the unwanted photo requests and the obligatory cock necklaces. Lord knows we have enough drama of our own…and we have our God-given dicks to keep us amused.

I think Cocktail is well within its right to turn away those annoying bachelorette parties; and I would gladly frequent any gay bar that banned women completely.

I’m so sick of this woman!

Why won’t she just go away? That’s what comes to mind every time I see or read about Caroline Kennedy. Unfortunately, this endlessly privileged woman just does not know how to keep her head down.

In the last few weeks, Caroline has been making the rounds in New York with her political adviser. To the trained eye, it appears that Caroline is running for something, though what she wants remains a mystery.

Caroline ripped her panties with me during last year’s Democratic presidential campaign when she endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not only had Hillary been a long-time friend of the Kennedys and Caroline’s mother, Jackie, but she also possessed a stellar record of fighting for all the issues that Caroline supposedly cares about. In her endorsement of Barack Obama, Caroline said that it was time to look forward and renew America’s promise by choosing someone who was “fresh” and “new.” In an op-ed in The New York Times, Caroline said that Barack Obama reminded her of her father and everything he represented. Not to be out done, uncle Ted also endorsed Barack Obama, saying it was time for a “new generation of leadership.”

Well that’s rich. A bunch of Kennedys telling us about new, fresh leadership? That’s like Satan scolding us for stealing candy. These people have no leg to stand on when it comes to “new” or “fresh” anything. The Kennedys are synonymous with American politics, and it seems like they are against all political dynasties except their own!

After she endorsed him, Obama named Caroline to his vice presidential vetting committee — a position she used to ensure that Hillary was not named to the Democratic ticket. And to add insult to injury, Caroline had the temerity to actually lobby New York Gov. David Paterson for Hillary’s Senate seat after she was named secretary of state. Caroline’s efforts to succeed Hillary were so awful that she became a laughing stock in New York. But more to the point, how in the hell did this woman think she was even qualified to be a United States senator? She has never been elected to anything! If her father wasn’t JFK and her uncle Ted Kennedy, we wouldn’t know or care anything about this woman, because she has done so little in the way of self accomplishment. But as the last surviving member of Camelot, Caroline feels she is entitled to whatever she wants — and it’s disgusting.

Rumor has it that Caroline still has dreams of some lofty elective office, perhaps even her uncle’s Senate seat, as reported by Vanity Fair. Other chatter has it that she wants some high profile ambassadorship, like to the Vatican. (The Vatican is opposed to such an appointment because of Caroline’s position on abortion.)

Since she is extremely close to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, she could probably have whatever plush (read devoid of any actual work) job she wants, but I think she needs to just go away.

Caroline has lived most of her life with no apparent interest in politics, and I liked her a lot better back then. She could use her fame to draw attention to some very important causes around the globe. But she should not use her father’s memory to promote her own political agenda. If you love Barack Obama so much, then just say that. Don’t go around saying it’s because he reminds you of your father and because you favor such fresh and new leadership. If that were actually true, she would encourage her sick uncle to actually leave the Senate so that some “new and fresh” leader could take his place.

But the more I think about it, I think I’d just rather see Caroline Kennedy go away permanently.

(I’ve attached a YouTube clip of Caroline during her “campaign” to succeed Hillary in the Senate. It is taken from her infamous interview with The New York Times. It speaks for itself. Enjoy.)

Joseph Ratzinger up to his old tricks

File this under misguided.

Did you know that the availability of condoms actually makes the AIDS epidemic worse? You’re not alone — I didn’t either.

According to Joseph A. Ratzinger aka Pope Benedict XVI, “you can’t resolve (AIDS) with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem.”

What else would we expect from a man who has allegedly never had sex?

The pontiff made these outrageous comments before leaving Rome for a tour of Africa, where the AIDS pandemic is crippling the population.

Prior to his election as pope, Ratzinger led the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he further defined the church’s policies to exclude and pass judgment on “homosexuality” even more than it had previously. While no pope is a fan of the gays, Ratzinger has gone out of his way to make his disgust known.

The Roman Catholic Church has long held that artificial contraception is against its teachings. But how can the pope, of all people, not see the greater good in promoting condoms in a third-world country where people are suffering and dying? The preservation of life should outweigh the church’s teachings about procreation.

Sex within the confines of marriage and only for the purposes of producing offspring is ridiculously dated; even the pope must acknowledge this. And even if he does not agree with the use of condoms, it is just silly for him to suggest that using them would make the spread of HIV worse. Aside from being foolish, that’s just factually inaccurate.

‘MILK’ v. ‘Brokeback Mountain’

Oscar ballots went in the mail last week, which means that Academy members have begun voting on which films, crews and actors who will be deemed the best of 2008 and therefore honored during the 81st annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22.

I’ve noticed lots of chatter within the gay media debating whether or not “Milk” will win best picture. Without fail, any discussion of “Milk” and its chances of winning best picture also includes discussion about “Brokeback Mountain.”

Even though “Brokeback” won every major award leading up to the Academy Awards, it was still beaten by “Crash” for the best picture Oscar in 2005. That upset remains one of the most second-guessed in Oscar history. (Perhaps only second to “Shakespeare in Love” defeating “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998.)

Michael Musto, columnist for Village Voice, said recently that he believes homophobia may have played a role in the “Brokeback” defeat. And there is no question that some Academy members still are not ready to embrace queer-themed films.

But I’ve always thought that “Crash” was simply a better film than “Brokeback Mountain,” therefore justifying its win. And I can’t find hardly any similarities between “Brokeback” and “Milk,” which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

When I watched “Brokeback” in the theater, I felt detached. Though the story is deeply compelling, the film is cold. It was as if I were watching a gay film made for straight people. There were only two scenes in the film that drew me in: midway through when Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) are reunited and share that powerful kiss that Alama (Michelle Williams) witnessed; and towards the end when Ennis confides in Jack about his struggles with his internalized homophobia, saying that it seemed as though “people know.”

And that was it. Those are the only two moments in the whole film that moved me. (Truthfully, I was also moved by the tent scene, but not in the ways you might think.)

This stands in stark contrast to when I saw “Milk” in the theater a few weeks back. From the opening scenes of police brutality to the closing scenes of the vigil, I was blown away. Even though Harvey Milk’s life has been documented previously, Sean Penn brought such color and depth to him. I felt as though I truly got to know Harvey Milk in the span of two hours.

I won’t bore you with a comparison of Ang Lee (director of ‘Brokeback’) and Gus Van Sant (director of ‘Milk’), but I will tell you, in my opinion, Van Sant is the far superior filmmaker.

It would be a service to us all if everyone would stop comparing “Milk” and “Brokeback.” It’s truly apples and oranges. Perhaps it’s because “Milk” is the biography of a real hero, while “Brokeback” was adapted from a short story. Maybe it’s the performances; Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and James Franco all delivered stellar performances in “Milk.” While Heath Ledger was the only actor who even came close to delivering an Oscar-worthy performance in “Brokeback.” Whatever the reason, these films should not be compared. While “Brokeback” was groundbreaking and riveting, it didn’t inspire me or give me hope the way “Milk” did.

In terms of advancing the queer community, there is no doubt, “Milk” did far better on that front.

I wasn’t too upset with the “Crash” win since it would have gotten my vote too. But I will be rooting for “Milk” to become the first “gay” film to win best picture.