Showing posts from May, 2012

Federal Appeals Court rules DOMA unconstitutional

The AP reports: A federal appeals court today declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a groundbreaking ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In its unanimous decision, the three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman deprives gay couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples.
The court didn't rule on the law's more politically combustible provision, which said states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in states where it's legal. It also wasn't asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.
The law was passed at a time when it appeared Hawaii would legalize gay marriage. Since then, many states have instituted their own bans on gay marriage, while eight states have approved it, led by M…

Star Wars celebrates 35th anniversary

E! Online reports: On May 25, 1977, the first film in the original trilogy, titled simply Star Wars, hit theaters. (Beginning in 1981, Episode IV—A New Hope was added to the title on new releases of the film.)
After the original release, two sequels, released at three-year intervals, continued to fuel the cultural phenomenon. In 1999, the prequel trilogy films were released at three-year intervals as well.
George Lucas's multibillion-dollar franchise also led to a TV series, comic books, video games and a heck of a lot of passionate fans. Me included!

In honor of this most sacred and celebrational day, I offer you a small segment of the 1978 Star Wars Christmas Special:

And if you can stomach it, here are the clips of Bea Arthur as a Cantina bartender (One and Two). That sentence won't make any more sense if you read it again.

Octogenarians take Broadway stages by storm

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Big Bang Theory actor comes out

The Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons has revealed he's gay and in a committed relationship in a new interview.

Patrick Healy of the New York Times the star's sexuality as part of a profile of the 39-year-old actor, who is currently starring on Broadway in a revival of Harvey. The revelation comes late in the article, when Healy describes Parsons' role in the 2011 revival of Larry Kramer's HIV/AIDS crisis drama, The Normal Heart.
Writes Healy: '"The Normal Heart” resonated with him on a few levels: Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment, he said."
Parsons' sexuality has been the source of media speculation for several years. Though the Times doesn't identify Parsons' partner, the actor thanked Todd Spiewak during a 2010 Emmy Award acceptance speech. He has shown up to awards shows and made public theater contributions together with Spiewak, reportedly an art director, on…

Jennifer Holliday & Idol's Jessica Sanchez
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"

--> [Editor's note] I did not watch this season of American Idol. I have what this excellent article refers to as "viewer fatigue". Still, Idol always delivers a powerhouse finale. And while I missed it, this performance did not escape my attention. Watch and be amazed.

Adam Lambert makes music history

Adam Lambert has become the first openly gay artist to have a #1 album on the Billboard 200 chart!
Other gay performers such as Elton John and George Michael have hit #1, but only before they came out, and they haven't managed that honor since.
Lambert's second studio album, Trespassing, debuted at the top with 77,000 albums sold according to Nielsen SoundScan.
However, Trespassing is also the smallest sum at No. 1 on the chart since the tally dated Aug. 20, 2011, when Adele's 21 sold 76,000 in its 12th nonconsecutive week atop the list. Trespassing has the smallest sales week for a No. 1 debut since Amos Lee's Mission Bell started in the penthouse with 40,000 on the Feb. 12, 2011 chart.

This also marks the first time that one American Idol replaces another at No. 1. Lambert's arrival bumps last week's leader, Carrie Underwood's Blown Away, down to No. 3 (54,000; down 55%).

(Via After Elton & Billboard)

Ex-student webcam spy case gets 30-day jail term

The AP reports: A former Rutgers University student who attracted the scorn of gay-rights advocates and was convicted of hate crimes for using a webcam to view seconds of his roommate and another man kissing days before the roommate killed himself will go to jail for 30 days.

A judge gave 20-year-old Dharun Ravi a 30-day jail term and then probation today, resolving the first part of the legal odyssey in an unusual, emotional and tragic case dealing with the consequences of bad decisions by young people in the Internet age - but certainly not ending the debate surrounding New Jersey's tough hate-crimes laws.

Judge Glenn Berman said he would not recommend Ravi be deported to India, where he was born and remains a citizen.

The case began in September 2010 when Ravi's randomly assigned freshman-year roommate asked Ravi to stay away so he and a guest could have privacy.

RIP Robin Gibb

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Adam Lambert performs "Never Close Our Eyes" on Idol


RIP Donna Summer

[Editor's note] It is with the heaviest of hearts that I report the following: Donna Summer, the great disco Diva, has passed away. She was 63.

Summer died this morning in Florida after a battle with cancer.

Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, the 5-time Grammy award winner rose to fame in the '70s with hits like "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls" and "Love to Love You Baby."

TMZ reports that Summer was working on a forthcoming album at the time of her death.

Summer is survived by her husband, Brooklyn Dreams co-founder Bruce Sudano, their two children -- Brooklyn and Amanda -- and her daughter, Mimi, from a previous marriage.

--> Words fail me. Long time readers of the Curl will recall that I had the privilege of seeing Donna in August of 2010. She was remarkable and she leaves behind a body of work that will endure for generations. I will miss you, Miss Summer.

Her "Last Dance":

Obama: Same-sex marriage should be legal

Towleroad reports: President Obama today endorsed marriage equality in an ABC News interview with Robin Roberts after the White House experienced a tumultuous three days of questioning by the press spurred by Vice President Joe Biden's Meet the Press remarks on Sunday. Biden remarked that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay people marrying, a statement that took him to the left of the President, who has said since he took office that he is "evolving" on the issue. Said Obama:"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit them…

The Avengers smash box office records

The New York Times reports: The superhero team in Marvel’s The Avengers took in about $200.3 million at North American theaters over the weekend, according to Walt Disney Studios, which released the film. That No. 1 result easily smashed what the movie industry considers the record, set last summer by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, for the biggest opening weekend of all time. Its total was $169.2 million if you don’t account for inflation, or about $172 million if you do.

The Avengers — about a star squad of Marvel superheroes, including Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Black Widow — is now on track to take in over $1 billion at the global box office, analysts estimate. This 3-D picture, directed by Joss Whedon (until now best known for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer), has already sold about $441.5 million in tickets overseas and has yet to open in important markets like Japan.

“I’m running low on double takes,” Dave Hollis, executive vice president for …

Weekend box office

Weekend Top Five:
#1 The Avengers ($200M) #2 Think Like a Man ($8M)
#3 The Hunger Games ($5.7M) #4 The Lucky One ($5.51M) #5 The Pirates! Band of Misfits ($5.4M)

Avenue Q on my degree in English


Reflections on Graduation

[Editor’s note] A week ago today, I graduated from college-- 8 years, 8 months, 2 universities, and 4 majors later.

There’s a lot I can say about my college experience but not all of it would be nice to say. I wish I could write a really thoughtful piece on how wonderful and enlightening I found higher education to be. I wish I had a few happy anecdotes to share or some helpful advice on how to navigate through college, but frankly I don’t.

In truth, college was a bewildering and uncomfortable time for me.

I spent a lot of time bouncing around from major to major, aimless and avoiding math. I started in Journalism because I did it in high school. I did Spanish because I did it well. I did Education because I thought it was easy. Finally, I settled on English because they were willing to take me in with my mixed bag of tricks. This is by no means to say that English was a last resort. Quite the contrary, it took a while to weed out but ultimately this is what I was meant to study al…