Thursday, January 29, 2015

Andrew Sullivan Leaves Blogging; RIP Sally Starr; Sam Smith Isn't Fat; Joel Grey, A Gay Man

Andrew Sullivan Leaves Blogging

Long time blogger, Andrew Sullivan, recently announced his departure from blogging. He did this with an eloquent post that even his biggest detractors seem to find praiseworthy. In truth, I mostly agreed with Sullivan, and his posts gave me comfort when it seemed like no one else agreed. I'm going to miss the way he blogged as much as I'll miss his voice.

But we also fought for marriage equality together (and won!), and for a new post-Iraq foreign policy (getting there), and for legalizing weed (fuck you, Hickenlooper!). We faced the brutal reality of a Catholic church engaged in the rape of children, and the bleak truth about the United States and torture. And I think we made our contribution to all those struggles. The Dish made the case for Obama in a way that actually mattered when it mattered.

You can read the rest of his post here. 

After I read this realized that on a much smaller scale I've been blogging for almost thirteen years. I started as a staff blogger with Bestgayblogs.com, and continued with my own blog when BGB was sold to another company. I blog for a hobby, it helps me explain my books to readers, and because it gives me a way to vent or rave on topics I find interesting. I often review books and films, though not as much anymore. So I understand Sullivan's post and his need to move on at this point in his life. Even when you only have about 20,000 hits a week like I have here, blogging is something you have to be dedicated to for your own personal reasons. Otherwise it just won't work.

RIP Sally Starr

For those who are not from the Philadelphia area (The Delaware Valley), I'm posting this out of respect and because I do remember Sally Starr at the tail end of her TV and radio career. She was technically before my time, however, even after she retired she continued to be a "name" in the Philadelphia area. And, as you can see below, Sally Starr's story does, indeed, fit in with what I post about often here on the blog.

Sally Starr, a former 6abc variety show host and Philadelphia broadcast legend, has died. She turned 90-years-old just two days ago. 

Starr died Sunday at a nursing home in New Jersey. 

For nearly 20 years, beginning in the 50s, when TV was in its infancy, Sally had daytime shows here on Channel 6. 

Born Alleen Mae Beller in 1923, she had her name legally changed to Sally Starr in 1941.

This is where it gets interesting. I never knew this until I read it here:

In 1998, Starr filed for bankruptcy protection, saying she was "church-mouse poor." She blamed her financial troubles on alleged comments made by a Trenton radio talk show host on the air. She sued WKXW-FM in New Jersey saying that host Jeff Diminski slandered her when he allegedly twice called her a "lesbian cowgirl."

"I've lost thousands and thousands of dollars because of the idiotic statement made," Starr told The Associated Press at the time, adding that her personal appearance bookings had dropped off from as many as six per week to about two since the alleged remark. 

Whether or not Sally Starr was a lesbian makes no difference at all, and it shouldn't have made a difference back then either. This brand of gay shaming is what we're still dealing with now on many levels. There's proof about how damaging it can be.

RIP

The rest of the obit is here.


Sam Smith Isn't Fat

Remember how I posted about Howard Stern going after Sam Smith and calling him fat? Well Smith finally responded in more detail, and this time with a selfie. I don't even know much about Smith, but I already like him.

He followed up shortly after with another tweet that simply said, 'Ignore.' 

Smith then uploaded a couple of photos of him at the gym and a shirtless selfie on Instagram with the caption: 'I say what's on my mind. I might do a little time.'

You can check out the pic here. He's a cute guy and I don't think there's anything at all wrong with his body. Evidently, Howard Stern did a little damage control about what he said and you can read about that at the link, too.

What I find interesting is that Stern gained his fame with this kind of slamming and shaming and it just doesn't work anymore...thankfully.

Joel Grey, A Gay Man

Not everyone who ages needs to move on. There are some who are timeless and we never ever get tired of them. In this case I'm talking about Joel Grey who has been around for many years entertaining and comforting all of us. He recently came out as gay...at 82 years old and his comments are reflective of the things many of us experience on a personal level.

“All the people close to me have known for years who I am,” actor Joel Grey tells People in a new interview. “[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”

The Broadway legend and Academy Award-winning actor just came out as gay… at 82 years old. It is the first time he has ever discussed his sexuality publicly.

“I don’t like labels,” Grey says, “but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.”

The rest of the article gets into the generational aspects he's faced, and the cultural challenges many of us are still facing right now.

It's a wonderful article and you can read it all here. 


Chase of a Lifetime
 
 










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