The Pentagon’s Gay Bomb

The Pentagon’s Gay Smart Bomb

Well, Maybe Not So Smart.  In Fact, Really, Really Dumb.

From Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic Magazine:

“Yes, the military was seriously considering a project for a bomb that could turn enemy soldiers gay, and thereby presumably make them a less lethal foe.  This was in 1994.  And we wonder why the top brass couldn’t cope with openly gay servicemembers?”

Actually, the Pentagon’s pretty dumb. Exxstasy Margaritas would have been more economical, and probably much more effective.

Pentagon Confirms Gay Bomb Rumors

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Ring, Ring, Ring: It’s God Calling Paris

A newly redeemed Paris Hilton piously whispers, “I’m not the same person I was.  I used to act dumb.  It was an act.  I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute.  It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me.  I know now that I can make a difference, that I have the power to do that.  I have been thinking that I want to do different things when I am out of here.  I have become much more spiritual.  God has given me this new chance.”

She said she would like to help in the fields of breast cancer, her grandmother had breast cancer or multiple sclerosis.  Her father’s mother suffers from that disease.  She thought she might get toy companies to build a kind of Paris Hilton playhouse, where sick children might come (Oh Michael Jackson…Are you listening?) and the toy companies could donate toys.

She has had a person whom she described as a spiritual adviser who said, “My spirit or soul did not like the way I was being seen and that is why I was sent to jail.”

God,” she said, “has released me.”

She is reading newspapers, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and books like The Secret, The Power of Now and absolutely, absolutely of course…The Bible.  And finally, Paris devoutly assures the world, “I will never again have a drink and drive.”

Right.  Right to all that.  Yep.

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Teddy Pendergrass: In My Time

Teddy Pendergrass: In My Time

Teddy Pendergrass rose through the ranks of the Philadelphia music scene in the 1960s and eventually became the drummer for Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes.  Pendergrass stepped to the front of the Bluenotes as lead singer on hits like If You Don’t Know Me By Now and Wake Up Everybody.  He became a star in his own right with the release of his 1977 solo album, Teddy Pendergrass.

Pendergrass’ music blended R&B and soul, with a touch of the blues and hints of disco.  Onstage, he was a dynamic force of sultry sexuality who became famous for his “ladies only” shows where he’d be showered with panties thrown from the audience.

That changed abruptly on March 18, 1982, when he crashed his Rolls-Royce on Lincoln Drive in Philadelphia.  “The truth of the matter is at the very beginning of your experience, things are very different than what you knew two days ago and it is quite devastating,” said Pendergrass of the accident.  “The honest answer is that some people don’t want to deal with it.  This is a life altering injury that will change your views, your emotional views, your economical views. It changes everything so when you make a decision to live (with the injury) that means you have to make a decision to say, ‘Well, I’m going to have a road ahead of me but I’m willing to deal with it while I can and make the best of where I am,’ ” he said.

Pendergrass first performed in public after the accident during the 1985 Live Aid concert in Philadelphia.  He continued to record albums and last toured from 2001 to ’03. “I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I can choose to do it if I want to, or I can choose not to do it if I want to,” said Pendergrass of the music industry.  “I choose to do other things that I’m passionate about rather than be one dimensional: album, tour, album, tour.”

I have other things that I’m really passionate about. I have some other skills I’d like to exercise.  What I’ve learned after my injury, I found out there are other things I can do.”  One thing has been to raise awareness about the plight of people with spinal-cord injuries.  Proceeds from a benefit concert held last week, which marked the 25 years since his accident, went to The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, a non-profit organization that helps people with spinal-cord injuries rebuild their lives, Pendergrass said.

Hopefully, people will say this is a worthy effort, this is something we need to support,” Pendergrass said.  “It’s one of those things people just tend to overlook.  People see a person in a wheelchair and go, ‘Oh poor guy, oh poor girl.’  We’re not poor guys, we’re not poor girls.  If you give us an opportunity, we can do anything anybody else is doing.”

Teddy Pendergrass: In My Time

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

First Performance after His Injury: Live Aid, 1985

Teddy Pendergrass: Close the Door (Apollo Hall of Fame Concert, 1993)

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Homelessness as a State of Mind

(Click Image for Video)

Brent McDonald contributes this article in today’s edition of The New York Times:

“For years, Johnny Five lived not on the streets but below them, in the dark underworld beneath an abandoned train station in the Bronx.

He had to crawl in the dirt at the edge of a concrete platform to get in and out. He bathed with rubbing alcohol, but still his skin was covered with insect bites and infections. He said God talked to him there, sometimes through a portable radio, yet he considered his cave a kind of hell: overheated in the summer, frigid in the winter, a sunless place hard on the body but worse on the soul.

It was Christmas Eve when he first heard the news: Someone was offering him a way out. After reading an article about Johnny in The New York Times, Peter D. Beitchman, the executive director of the Bridge Inc., a nonprofit group that provides housing and services to mentally ill homeless people and others, immediately arranged for him to move into an apartment.

Days later, Johnny celebrated with the one person who had looked after him, Sister Lauria Fitzgerald, a Roman Catholic nun who helps the homeless in the Bronx. They ate dinner with another nun at an Italian restaurant in the Arthur Avenue section, three miles from the cave and around the corner from Johnny’s new home. He feasted on a plate of eggplant parmigiana and enjoyed his first taste of tiramisù.

But he didn’t want to touch the white linen napkin on the table. It was too clean.

I thought I wasn’t worthy to use it,” said Johnny, 45, who said he suffers from schizophrenia and whose real name is John Carbonell. “I used the one that was in the basket where the bread was.”

For the next several months, Johnny would drift between his old life underground and his new one above it, struggling the way a man freed from prison must readjust to society. It is easy in a sense to take the city’s homeless people off the streets, but it is harder, as Johnny’s odyssey illustrates, to take homelessness out of them.

Even after Johnny moved into the apartment the first week of January, he returned to the wooded area around the cave to feed Meow Meow and the other stray cats he had named. His first several days in the apartment — a light-drenched one-bedroom unit with hardwood floors and a large kitchen in a five-story building — he did not bother locking the door. “There’s no doors in the cave,” he explained.

He had bold ambitions of starting over: He talked about getting a sewing machine, so he could design clothes, and he refused to move his belongings from the cave to the apartment because he worried about bringing in bugs. He wanted to put up “No Smoking” signs, vowing not to indulge his old addictions in his new environment. Johnny, an ex-convict who served time in the early 1990s for a drug-related offense, has been smoking cocaine since he was a teenager.

One Sunday in January, Johnny slept on the bed, on top of the covers, wearing a leather jacket and muddy boots. He resembled not the sole occupant of Apartment 3B, but a visitor. He said he spent the night in the apartment, then went back to the cave at 6 a.m., then returned later that morning to the apartment. The flashlight he used in the cave still shone inside his jacket pocket.

He woke up and sat outside on the back fire escape, smoking a cigarette. Behind him, he could hear the water running in the bathtub, his bathtub. On the streets, he used to wash up at an open fire hydrant.

Johnny survives on a monthly check from the federal Supplemental Security Income program. As part of his arrangement with the Bridge, the nonprofit group that provided the apartment, his rent would be $168 a month, about 30 percent of his government check. Sister Lauria and two case managers, one from the Bridge and one from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, planned to help him make the transition.

The bed and the furniture had been supplied by the Bridge. Yet furnishings were not new to Johnny. In the cave, he had created a makeshift home: Sleeping on a quilt-covered mattress atop milk crates, keeping a bottle of cologne near the bed, cooking with cans of Sterno, using a car battery to power a DVD player. He was not awed by 3B, but somewhat suspicious of it.

Sometimes the one living in that cardboard box is happier than the one living at the penthouse,” he said.

Johnny had been living in the cave off and on since 1986, and for the last nine years or so he had settled in permanently. The abandoned train station sits in a fenced-off area thick with weeds and trash not far from Yankee Stadium.

Sister Lauria tried for years to persuade Johnny to get out of the cave, but it was not until last year that he told her he wanted to leave. “I realized I would have been better off doing 10 years in prison than nine years in that cave, crawling in and out, getting scabs, bugs,” he said.

Johnny’s homelessness was not about a lack of housing. It was more complicated, a result of a variety of spiritual, psychological and emotional causes. “Everything just bothering my conscience,” he said of the reasons he was homeless. “How can I ask God for forgiveness when I don’t forgive myself? So I’ll torture myself and go to the cave.”

Sister Lauria often coaxed him out of the cave with the promise of odd jobs and a good laugh. He became one of her regular assistants, accompanying her on holidays to feed the homeless. Last year, a deliveryman who works in the neighborhood needed a place to stay, so Johnny gave him his room in the cave and moved to the opposite wall.

I try to imitate her,” Johnny said of Sister Lauria, a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, N.Y. “She imitates Christ. I try to imitate her.”

She was thrilled for Johnny when he moved into the apartment. “I felt like I was a mother sending my son away to college,” said Sister Lauria, who helps the homeless as an outreach worker for the Highbridge Community Life Center and as a manager of a thrift shop run by Siena House, a women’s shelter.

But she was worried about how he would cope. She had seen other homeless people struggle to adapt to life indoors.

Johnny struggled, too. Weeks after moving in, he kept returning to the cave. He missed his cats, whom he called his soldiers. He missed his old neighborhood around Ogden Avenue. He went back out of concern for his former roommate, the deliveryman, and he went back to feed his addictions. He hates and loves his crack cocaine habit, just as he hates and loves his cave. “When you pick up drugs,” he said, “you’re saying goodbye to all your dreams, all your goals and all you can be.”

He figured he stayed in the cave the first three weeks he had the apartment. By March, he had taken the doors off a closet and used them as partitions to create a small darkened hideout, like a room in the cave. By April, Sister Lauria had not seen him for about two weeks, so she paid him a visit. She found he had put up plastic tablecloths and plastic bags all over the apartment, on the walls and on the ceiling. He told her he thought his neighbors were spying on him.

He took down the plastic, but moved out soon after. He lived there for four months, from early January to late April.

He said he had become uncomfortable there. “Even though I had paid the rent, I never really slept there,” he said. “There was no life in the apartment. I will compare it to a spring break, with all the utilities and this and that and whatever. But

You can read the rest of this New York Times article here.

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My Articles for Sunday, June 10, 2007

We are the World, We are the Children (1985): Live Aid, 1985

[tags: blogs]

In 1980, The Village People starred in the motion picture musical “Can’t Stop the Music.” One reviewer of the film wrote: “This movie is amazing. Rarely in the history of mankind have we seen a movie so incredibly awful that it becomes a must-see film.” In 1981, the movie won Razzie Awards for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay.

My shameless pride gives you three scenes from this dizzy disco era film. Videos and vintage photographs are included. This is lots of fun!!

[tags: The Village People, movies, gay, gay pride, music, YouTube]

Paris Hilton said Saturday she was “learning and growing” from her time behind bars and will not appeal her 45-day jail sentence for a probation violation in a reckless driving case. Photographs are included with this article.

[tags: Paris Hilton, celebrities, Hollywood, jail, jail sentence, celebrity news, photography]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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We are the World, We are the Children: Live Aid, 1985

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