Friday, June 22, 2012

A Tired Old Queen & Another Dead Gay Porn Star, Among Other Things

The Inevitable Demise of a Porn Star. This is Erik Rhodes, gay porn star. No, really, a genuine star. He appeared in or directed over thirty films (including Super Soaked, The Farmer's Son, He's Got a Big Package, L.A. Zombie and It Gets Bigger) for some of the biggest porn companies in the business, like Falcon, Raging Stallion and Mustang. At the 2008 Grabby Awards (honoring work in the gay pornographic industry) he won in the categories of Best Actor and Best Versatile Performer. The muscular, 6'3" Long Island native died on June 14, 2012. He was 30 years old.

James Elliott Naughtin, AKA "Erik Rhodes." 1982-2012
According to Falcon's blog, "Erik died of a heart attack in his sleep." To be honest, I'd never even heard of the guy before this story scrolled through my Facebook news feed. Sure, I watch gay porn; I just never watched any of his. So I decided to look him up and discovered that he was somewhat of a celebrity in New York social circles. He counted Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears among his friends and had been romantically connected to fashion designer Marc Jacobs at one time. But Rhodes was also the author of a candid, sometimes clever and often harrowing confessional blog that pulled no punches about his porn work, prostitution, crystal meth binges and steroid abuse. Yeah, one of the ways you get a body like that is from steroids. According to a New York Times article, Rhodes waning porn career floundered when a company that requires HIV testing of its models informed him he was positive. Judging from blog entries, things took a dark turn for Rhodes in 2009. Eventually he went from using steroids to dealing them. Days before his death, he blogged this response to a question about his "roid cycle."
My cycle right now...
3000 mg of Test Enanthate a week, 2500 mg of Nandrolone Decaonate and 300 mg of Trenbolone acetate. With 5iu of Human Growth Hormone everyday.
I'm waiting until i pop. Or my liver to fails... which every comes first.
I've been reading stories about dead porn stars for decades. AIDS. Overdoses. Suicides. Now Erik Rhodes. How do we even classify this death? It simply cannot be summed up as "died of a heart attack in his sleep." People will ask, why do we care if a porn star dies? Some will literally mourn. Others will say he deserved it, even brought it on himself. And he'll probably be judged for his excesses by a lot of the same gay men who envied his muscles, his big dick, his masculine beauty and his career. I'll never make sense out of things like this.

Here's the thing... years from now some hormonal gay kid will find a photo of Erik Rhodes or one of his videos and beat off vigorously, probably never knowing, or even wanting to know, anything about the real James Elliott Naughtin or his demons. It's only a cautionary tale if someone's listening.
Tired Old Queen at the Movies. One of my favorite YouTube channels is Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen. Mr. Hayes, a gay comedian, actor and classic film buff, entertains viewers with dishy, funny and very informative commentaries on everything from screwball comedies and camp classics to Technicolor spectacles and film noir. He doesn't just describe the films and show clips -- he uses his vast knowledge of film and Hollywood history to serve up fascinating details about the plots, the stars, the studios, the directors, the controversies and the scandals. It's nostalgic, insightful analysis, all recorded (with the help of fellow actor John Bixler) at his memorabilia-filled studio apartment in New York. The addictive segments are called Tired Old Queen at the Movies, and his latest -- a gay pride special -- is an enthusiastic tribute to 1959's Some Like It Hot, starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe.

Joe the Plumber, Revised.  Remember this guy? Sure you do. He gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election when he confronted candidate Barrack Obama about his small business tax policy plan during a campaign stop in Ohio. His real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, but he was dubbed "Joe the Plumber" by conservative pundits, hailed as some kind of everyman, and turned into a fishy metaphor for middle class Americans. The McCain-Palin campaign invited him to appear at several campaign events in Ohio, too. Wurzelbacher has milked this Joe the Plumber business ever since, ad nauseam, even writing a book about the experience, becoming a self-described motivational speaker as well a TV commentator, although he never has anything to say about plumbing. (And for the record, he was as an employee of a plumbing contractor at the time of his interaction with Obama and has never owned his own business, thus the president's small business plan would not have affected him personally anyway.)

So guess what? He's running for the House of Representatives as a Republican in Ohio's 9th congressional district. Yes, he's a politician now, even though he recently told CBN (The Christian Broadcasting Network), "I see the word politician as being one of the worst things you can call me. You know, I'm not a politician, nor will I ever be one." He says that while sitting in front of a bunch of signs that say "Wurzelbacher for Congress." In his campaign headquarters. For further proof that he is NOT a politician, you can visit his website,

Full disclosure here. I think Wurzelbacher is hot as hell (when he's not speaking). I'd totally fuck the living daylights out of him (in a truck stop in a parallel universe). But he's dumber than a cinder block. For evidence of this, here he is telling CBN that the Bible, unlike science, has never been revised.

The mere fact that a "King James Version" of the Bible exists is simple proof of revision. There isn't even one common version of the Bible, as the contents and the order of the individual books vary among denominations. Joe the Plumber is either breathtakingly ignorant or just pandering to Christians who ARE ignorant. I suspect it's some combination of both.

So Joe's a Bible-loving Christian. But what does he love about America? That would be the 2nd Amendment. To prove it, he's going to shoot a bunch of fruit in a political ad while declaring, "In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated... I love America." Um, yeah, Joe, the problem with what you're saying (beyond its mind-blowing insensitivity) is that the German gun control you're talking about was the 1938 German Weapons Act which forbade only Jews from the manufacturing or ownership of firearms and ammunition. Everyone else could get one at 18. So again, he's either ignorant or pandering to gun owners. I've decided it's both. Here's a plumbing metaphor even Joe can understand: This guy has all the charm of a toilet that won't quit running. Someone, please jiggle the hell out of his handle and make it stop.

My Favorite Music Video(s) of the Week. These...

In 2011, rapper/singer/lyricist Azealia Banks made every kind of year-end hot list on the strength of her debut single "212." Hailing from Harlem, New York, Banks is gorgeous, profane, publicly bisexual and 21 years old. She's not interested in defending her explicit lyrics either, saying she just uses "everyday speech," like it or not. The video for her latest rap/dance single, "Liquorice," is a glossy whirlwind of American iconography, Old West movie cliches and overtly sexual imagery (made to look deliberately ridiculous).

SSION (it's pronounced "shun") has been around since 1996. You could describe them as dance/pop performance art freaks, and they would probably be just fine with that. "Earthquake" sounds like an awesome '80s song that someone inexplicably forgot to release in the '80s. Music channel Noisey described the clip like this: "SSION's new video is a coming of age love story between an enigmatic instigator and an alien-brother-lover resulting in the purest form of magik with a bit of feminism and Las Vegas showmanship thrown in for good measure, all shot in Kansas City." I love it.

Peace out,

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ain't No Homo Gonna Make it to Heaven, Among Other Things

Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Winner. Forty-two countries participated in the competition this year, held in Baku, Azerbaijan. I'll spare you the complexities of the positional voting system and just tell you that Loreen, representing Sweden, received the most votes for her interpretation of "Euphoria." A 2004 runner-up from Sweden's version of American Idol (called simply Idol), Loreen had released only a handful of singles prior to her participation in the competition, including "My Heart Is Refusing Me" -- unreleased in the U.S.

The exotically gorgeous Loreen is a Stockholm, Sweden native of Moroccan-Berber descent. She's got a terrific voice, bringing an unexpected gravitas to "Euphoria," an infectious dance tune that's destined to be a huge club hit. Here's her Eurovision Grand Final performance, in which she successfully overcomes a number of obstacles, including murky lighting, a wind machine and her own hair, all while dancing like a robot ballerina. In other words, I love her.

I became aware of the 57-year-old Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 when ABBA came out on top with "Waterloo." Now viewed by over 100 million people each year, the competition has been hailed as a captivating mix of youthful exuberance, questionable taste and kitsch that allows Europeans to forget their differences (and economic worries) for a while. The winner is selected by juries and television viewers across the European continent. Incidentally, this year's runner up was Buranovskiye Babushki, a sextet of Russian grandmothers who scored with a folksy dance number called "Party for Everybody." If that doesn't melt your Cold War heart, nothing will.

For a recap of all the songs performed at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, go here. I promise it's worth 6:47 of your time. My favorites are #3, 6, 8, 14, 18, 21 and 23, though not necessarily because of the song or the singing.

Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven. Someone at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana thought it would be a delightful idea to teach a 4-year-old a little song to sing for the congregation. It goes like this...

I know the Bible's right, somebody's wrong
I know the Bible's right, somebody's wrong
Romans 1 and 27
Ain't no homo gonna make it to heaven

See for yourself...

I guess it never occurred to them to teach the kid "Jesus Loves Me." This little boy doesn't even know what he's singing. I doubt he could find Romans in the Bible, let alone read it and make sense of it. A parent taught him this, maybe even the one you hear whooping "That's my boy!" in the video. You know how religious people are always saying that homosexuals recruit and indoctrinate children? It's not only a myth, it's projection. All you have to do is look at this video for conclusive evidence of who's doing the recruiting and the indoctrinating.

After this video went viral, church members claimed publicly that Pastor Jeff Sangl received death threats. Sangl put the church on "lockdown" and fled to an undisclosed location with his wife. I do not condone threats of any kind against this pastor or his congregation. But the problem with the story is that multiple sources -- including Fox News! -- are reporting that the sheriff of the county where the church is located has not seen or heard any evidence of death threats.

My Favorite Music Video(s) of the Week. That "Ain't No Homo" business aside, it was an outstanding week for music videos. Here are the ones that made the biggest impression on me.

First up, Scissor Sisters and "Baby Come Home." Their latest album is the adventurous Magic Hour. Videos for two songs have already been released, but this one features the band at its sexy, puckish best. Fetish alert: Babydaddy in a sailor suit. Yum.

I like Aussie singer Kylie Minogue. She's makes smashing dance/pop singles. Gay singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright once said of her, "She is the gay shorthand for joy." Agreed. Here's the video for "Timebomb," which has been released in commemoration of her 25th year in pop music. She just turned 44, though you might not guess that from this clip of her strutting along the busy streets of London's SoHo neighborhood in a pair of hot pants.

Now for something completely different... here's Brooklyn rapper El-P with "The Full Retard." If the title alone doesn't offend you, I guarantee something in the clip will. Here we have El-P teaming up with a squirrel puppet. There's a crime spree. And debauchery. Yeah, the puppet goes to some dark, fucked up places. It's a bangin' song and a hilarious video (once you accept it as a parody of a million bad rap videos and terrible badass movies), but it's totally NSFW (not safe for work). Seriously.

Okay, one more. Here's three minutes of sensational Swedish electro-dance-pop that will make you forget all about the demented, murderous, heroin addicted squirrel puppet in the video above. This is Icona Pop, a female duo from Sweden, with their bouncy clip for the bratty, bombastic single "I Love It." I loved it.

Peace out,