Tag Archives: gay

Deep Breath

“Destroy us if you will, they’re still going to close your restaurant”

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I don’t know about you lot, but in the long gaps between seasons of Masterchef I don’t mind watching a bit of Doctor Who. So what a relief that this one was based around a restaurant. The villain of the piece was a steely-eyed meatsmith, reminiscent in his dogmatic hostility of Marcus Wareing, and the showpiece finale where the establishment was floated past St Paul’s from a balloon made of human skin would do for any desperate semi-finalist. And with “airs” replacing sauces, gravies and even the recent innovation of “foams” these days, it was good to see Clara standing up for tradition by refusing to release her own.

“Jenny and I are married, yet for appearances’ sake…”

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I see a fair bit of cynicism around the internet whenever Doctor Who has a Big Gay Moment, mostly from people who think society’s so advanced in its acceptance these days that we don’t need to make a song and dance about being queer. Well I think we do, and I applaud seeing a bit of inter-species Beth-and-Margareting in close-up on a primetime family show. This excellent article about Sam Smith and the gay phenomenon of “covering” has been on my mind this week and I recommend it if this turn of thought interests you.

“Needy game-player”

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I was excited when I heard Michelle Gomez was going to be in Doctor Who but I need scraping off the walls now it looks like she’s going to be this year’s Big Thing. I never got into Green Wing, which I know a lot of people know her from; it’s her majestically funny and complex performance as proud, demented Janice in The Book Group that I worship. From one brief scene it looks like she’s going for stylised camp glory in her Doctor Who appearances and I’m fully on board. 

“Don’t look in that mirror, it’s absolutely furious”

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Since Doctor Who came back nine years ago series openers have tended to be big, brash and emotionally exciting. Deep Breath was all of that of course, but over and above it it was quiet and thoughtful. The Doctor’s new face and his and Clara’s concerns about it worked its way through the whole episode, with everyone adopting a succession of veils, masks and identities, the intensely-charged scene between Vastra and Clara being especially good in this regard. Capaldi even held forth on the classic philosophers’ dilemma regarding replacing parts of a broom (the Sugababes dilemma as I tend to think of it these days). Thematic resonance in the slot between Tumble and Casualty? Only Doctor Who could carry this off in a shower of spontaneously combusting dinosaurs, and that’s why it’s the most magical tv programme in the world.

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An unexpected phone call

It’s Doctor Who’s 49th birthday and I took a few minutes to make a little present.

5 things I learned from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

1. Stripes on a companion

No couple should ever wear the same pattern. Even if one’s covered it up slightly and they’re not planning to leave the house. Further stripes for Rory came in the form of a Doctor lip-lock. I’d completely forgotten about the old RTD house rule that all companions had to get a snog at some point. Although I think they might have left Adam Mitchell out. Oops!

2. Entire childhood on a SINGLE Saturday night

The dinosaurs looked great. Doctor Who’s got a long history of trying to put them on screen and results have been… variable. It depends how bothered about the quality of special effects you are of course; personally I’m very fond of the Plasticine 1974 ones.

When I think of everything I was obsessed with as a kid I think of robots, dinosaurs, Ancient Egypt, spaceships, spiders… and here they all were in one place! How fitting that Rupert Graves was in it then – the sight of him in a certain scene in 1987’s Maurice was pretty much the point at which my childhood ended.

3. Plot functions on a spreadsheet

But much as the shopping list approach to populating a story set the tone for a decent romp – and I’d happily see Nefertiti back in the show every week – it wore painfully thin towards the end. You see right through the casual ‘Thought we might need a gang!’ shtick when it turns out each new member of the group has a characteristic specifically required as a plot function. It just so happened that to finish the story there needed to be a big game hunter, someone who was related to someone else and a powerful, iconic historical figure. I don’t like it when they show their working.

4. EGGS ON A NEST

EGGS! Did they think we wouldn’t notice? There they were, right out where everyone could see. Nice big ones. Eggs! Say what you like about the ongoing theme of the Doctor’s anonymity or the developing dynamic of his relationship with his companions, clearly eggs are this year’s Bad Wolf/Torchwood/Mr Saxon repeated meme thing. Watch out for the eggs!

5. Passive-aggressive arsehole on the wrong show

Dinosaurs On A Spaceship starts so promisingly – lots of sparkling dialogue and fast-moving fun.  But it all grinds to a crunching halt halfway through as the Doctor enters Solomon’s Chamber of Exposition. I’m reminded of 1983’s Mawdryn Undead, another story in which the Doctor gets stuck on a pre-programmed spaceship with an injured, passive-aggressive bore. And then Solomon goes and makes that comment to Nefertiti about ‘breaking her in’. It’s not every week the Doctor has to stand by and listen to someone announce they’re going to rape one of his friends. I’m not sure it should happen at all. It was a horribly misjudged line, only equalled in tonal dissonance by the Doctor sending Solomon off to be killed at the end while making jokes about it. I’m not sure Chris Chibnall gets the spirit of Doctor Who at all.

I’d like to end this post on a positive note by expressing my love for the Indian Space Agency and the fixtures, fittings, people and uniforms therein

Justin Bieber’s guest rapper romances

There are four guest rappers on Justin Bieber’s new album Believe and that means only one thing – four love duets! But who’s most likely to stick around?

Ludacris (All around the world)

How does Justin sound? Breathy, and very excited to tell Ludacris how beautiful he is. (I suppose at this point some of you will be thinking ‘No, stop! Justin’s straight! Poor Selena! He mentions a girl in the lyrics! He must be singing to a girl! Ludacris must be rapping about the same girl!’ Well I suppose if you find the idea of Justin Bieber and Ludacris going sloppy seconds on Selena Gomez more wholesome than a nice bit of consensual man-love you’re very welcome to that interpretation. It’s a week since Frank Ocean, people. Anything goes now.)

How does Ludacris sound? He’s in awe. ‘I love everything about you, you’re imperfectly perfect!’ he gushes. (Yeah, really, if they’re both supposed to be addressing their lyrics to the same girl it’s at worst pretty squicky and at best especially awkward, even in MTV awards circles. And let’s not forget, Ludacris is a master of this sort of thing. It’s him who got T-Pain on a track a few years ago so they could drawl ‘If I take one more drink, I’m gon’ end up fucking you!’ at each other after all. If you’re in any doubt about THAT one go and listen again – the ‘Who else?’ ‘You too!’ banter at the end clears things up pretty definitively.)

How’s their loving? Both lads are keen to stress their love shouldn’t be taboo. ‘Why you acting so shy, holding back? We’re not the only ones doing it like that!’ says Justin. ‘People say you don’t deserve it! Don’t give in, hate may win some battles, but love wins in the end!’ adds Luda. (Seriously, people. Channel Orange.)

Big Sean (As Long As You Love Me)

How does Justin sound? A bit moody. He’s picturing how love would survive even if he and Sean were starving, homeless, or – apparently the worst of the three as it’s the climax of the line – broke.

How does Sean sound? Startled, to be fair, but whether from the buzz & chop production or the sudden realisation of his love for Justin it’s hard to say. ‘I know we got issues, but I’d rather work on this with you than go ahead and start with someone new,’ he says, although it’s delivered in a gabbled, insincere rush.

How’s their loving? Not the best I’m afraid. Sean just brings out Justin’s petulance and neither of them really convince us that they’d stick together through anything other than habit. ‘The grass ain’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it,’ says Sean. To be honest, if his water is turning Justin green down there they should probably pop to the clinic.

Nicki Minaj (Beauty and a Beat)

How does Justin sound? Eager to impress. ‘I’m coming for you!’ he claims, before saying they’re going to party like it’s 3012. She’s not THAT much older than you, Justin!

How does Nicki sound? A bit frosty but definitely up for some fun. ‘Justiiiinnnnn,’ she warns at the start, before later rhyming ‘Justin Bieber’ with ‘Buns out, wiener.’

How’s their loving? ‘I gotta keep my eye out for Selena,’ tuts Nicki and her heart doesn’t seem to be in it apart from the buns & wiener action mentioned above. As both she and Justin talk about ticket sales and world tours in their lyrics it feels more like a commercial compromise than anything else.

Drake (Right Here)

How does Justin sound? Completely infatuated. ‘Lost in your eyes every time that you look in mine – I promise to be all that you need,’ he sings dreamily.

How does Drake sound? Needy, conflicted and also completely infatuated. ‘Selfish of me to ask,’ he apologises before going on like Nicki to address the Selena-shaped elephant in the room. ‘Good girl got her mind right, she been raised right, being patient, I know you waiting on a good thing… When the time’s right you should let me get to know you, baby.’ Blimey.

How’s their loving? There are lots of little moans and gasps buried in the background production of this one, just in case it wasn’t all homoerotic enough to start with. ‘I just want to put it on you!’ ejaculates Justin. ‘Wish that you knew all that I do to make this thing go right,’ rasps Drake, referring perhaps to Justin’s lack of experience. It’s so steamy I think we should discreetly drape a Canadian flag over the pair of them and leave them to it.

The ridiculous world of the deluxe album version

Björk’s taking the piss with a luxury £500 edition of her new album. Perhaps it’s time that other artists got creative and did the same.

Bargain

The Ultimate Edition of Björk’s new album Biophilia comes in a “lacquered and silkscreened Oak hinged lid case containing the Biophilia Manual, along with 10 chrome-plated tuning forks, silkscreened on one face in 10 different colors, stamped at the back, and presented in a flocked tray. Each fork adjusted to the tone of each of the tracks from Biophilia and covering a complete octave in a non-conventional scale.” Amazing. No, hang on, not amazing! What was she thinking? No, it’s alright, don’t write in, I know what she was thinking. FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS, that’s what she was thinking. I mean she’s never been shy of tapping her fans for a bit of cash, but this is an impressive new level of milking it.

Here’s how some forthcoming releases might look in game-raising special editions:

Will Young – Echoes

To reflect Will’s love of the dressing-up box, the deluxe album will come with a Will Young action figure and several interchangeable outfits so that you can play with Military tribunal Will, Circus artist Will, 70s Blue Peter Will, Equestrian Will, Superhero Will, Pregnant Will, Top Gun Will or of course the very popular Speedos Will. £75

Dolly Parton – Better Day

Dolly’s keen to rebuild bridges with the gay community after her recent apology  to someone who wasn’t allowed into Dollywood wearing a t-shirt promoting gay marriage (although she still supports the decision, saying the slogan was too controversial for a family theme park). At the same time she’s gearing up to promote the UK release of her new album by talking about her 1984 hysterectomy.

So the special ‘Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner!’ edition of Better Day will come packaged with a home insemination kit aimed at gay couples. (It is a standard insemination kit with a pink triangle drawn on it. Although in a terrible mix-up I’ve used a picture of a bovine insemination kit. Because I’m never above a cheap laugh.) £180

Example – Playing in the Shadows

Example’s ‘highly-anticipated’ third album is pitched at the youth market, so sadly no ultra-expensive special edition will be available. However every copy bought on pre-order will include a free hairbrush. £7.99

Tori Amos – Night of Hunters

Tori’s new album, released through Deutsche Grammophon (!), is “a 21st century song cycle inspired by classical music themes spanning over 400 years.” From Bach to Satie and so on. Yes, like Hooked on Classics. In keeping with the tracknames on the album, the special edition will include some snow, a cactus, a coffin, a ghost and the Moon. £4,500

Matt Cardle

Matt Cardle’s debut album — which I’m forced to assume will be called ‘Not Final Art’ — faces the difficult task of uniting his disparate fanbase, from the plucky painters and decorators who wish they too could go on a journey like his to the mums at home who voted for him on X Factor. And it will need to convey that Matt is a proper indie artist, not like the rest of the rubbish in the charts. So the ‘Genuine Geezer’ edition will be presented in a CD player fashioned to look like a plasterer’s radio, will come with a 28-page pamphlet in which Matt assures women of all sizes and ages that he finds them attractive, and will include just enough rope to hang yourself with. £28

Thanks to the lovely @itnorris for suggesting I write this post after seeing my rant about Björk on Twitter. Sorry that ‘Katy B trowels’ didn’t make it in…

The 5 most ridiculous homoerotic moments in JLS videos

Every JLS video release brings with it a fresh sense of expectation. Which way will those cheeky jack-the-lads be swinging next? Happily there’s usually a little something tucked away for wishfully-thinking gay fans. Or occasionally, not so little. Here are the highlights:

5. The ‘Puppetmaster’

From their debut Beat Again, Marvin makes clear who’s pulling the strings in this foursome. The boys will do anything for him! They’ll even lie down and each raise a leg in turn as he swings to point at them! And he does.

4. The ‘Junk Adjust’

In their latest video She Makes Me Wanna, Aston’s got something going on in his trousers that only his bandmates get to see. They look on with great interest. Marvin bites his knuckle, though from excitement or to stifle laughter it’s hard to tell.

3. The ‘Tunnel of Truth’

You don’t need a degree in psychoanalysis for this one, from Eyes Wide Shut. Caught in a dreamlike landscape, JB wanders through a dark tunnel (!), following the path of a beautiful lady. But she unexpectedly turns into a shower of mysterious white particles (!!) that nearly drench him before flying outside where a load of big hard trees spring up (!!!). And we cut to Tinie Tempah.

2. The ‘Stand Proud’

Now here’s a thing. In One Shot, the boys have to make their own microphone stands out of pure male energy. They tease them up so carefully, so gently. And when fully extended they stand and gaze upon their erections with looks of blissful loving pride.

1. The ‘Soggy Biscuit’

No, it’s not one of their pop videos, is it. Yes, I’ve cheated haven’t I. Well there you go. How could this, from their Nintendo ad campaign, not be number one? Because to all intents and purposes we’re witnessing the boys at home having a wanking competition.

Note for posterity: this advert was followed up by one in which they played a game of “hide the remote”.

Your guide to going gay – with James from Glasvegas

I got quite a start, reading the track listing for Glasvegas’ new album on Wikipedia the other week. I mean, I’d already had a bit of a start earlier in the year when the album was announced and I saw the typography of its title, EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\. But I wasn’t quite prepared to learn that track 6 was called Stronger Than Dirt (Homosexuality, Pt. 2) and that track 8 was called I Feel Wrong (Homosexuality, Pt. 1).

Readers, it’s not Part 1 coming after Part 2 that was bothering me. I’ve been enjoying time-travel fiction, non-linear narratives and wanky albums for far too long for that to be a problem. It was the trepidation of wondering how exactly these noisy NME favourites were planning to address “the gay question”. I heard that frontman James Allan had written the songs to try to imagine life from a gay perspective, and from the song titles alone, everything seemed hilariously misjudged.

But I have a soft spot for Glasvegas and their overwrought epics. I like the way they combine a tough-guys-who-can-still-cry aesthetic with that hang-on-i-left-the-guitars-in-the-aircraft-hangar style. And it’s not as though James hasn’t already shown us he likes jumping into other people’s points of view, with a song from the perspective of a lady social worker on the first album, and one through the eyes of a disenchanted wife on their Christmas EP. Let’s give them a chance, I thought, as the album, er, came out.

Oh and his intentions are great, by the way. Here’s a recent interview in which he tells homophobes to ‘wake up for fuck’s sake!’. Anyone challenging homophobia is alright by me. But I reserve the right to laugh at the lyrics.

Part 2: Stronger Than Dirt

Tougher than tough, toughest when we are together

Thoughts of me and you forever,  the rest can go to hell

Yeah I’m lost, but so are you

Just like little lost lambs us two

Here, James starts well with a refusal to identify the idea of being gay with that of being a victim. Yes! We can still be tough! And people who don’t like our sexuality can fuck off! But then, moments later we’re lost. Oh.

They say we’re sordid, ’cause the way we walk and talk and flirt

They say we’re dirty I’m stronger than dirt

Sordid’s a good word isn’t it. And people do say that sort of thing. But stronger than dirt? Really James? I can think of brighter comparisons, and ones less likely to make your straight fans speculate about the muddy truths that ‘uphill gardening’ involves. Oh, but it had to rhyme, yes, yes I get you. In which case: “They say we’re dirty, I say let’s conga with Bert”.

Absolutely novice, we’re absolutely new to us

No less if we are not his ‘n’ hers, our love is as valid as their love is

I’m going on… can we stay together? Is it me and you forever? Can the rest all go to hell?

If you’ve been affected by the triteness of these lyrics, call our helpline on – shit, I haven’t got a helpline. If you are a young gay person worrying or wondering about your sexuality, and you somehow ended up reading this post because of Glasvegas, Stonewall is a good online resource to get stuck into.

Part 1: I Feel Wrong

Confused desires since my teenage years, I’m the same homo my family fears

For my blue eyed boy there’s a long distance longing, my behind closed doors fantasies going on

And I feel wrong

I quite like ‘homo’ as a pejorative word for myself. It’s short, descriptive and to the point. As for a longing for your blue eyed boy, though, does anyone really say that any more? We’ve ventured into Doris Day territory here, haven’t we? Oh, I see. Yes, alright, you can have that then.

Forgive me father for I have sinned,

I must confess it’s brothers with my eyes that I undress

Once a day I think about killing myself I can’t carry on

I must be strong even though it hurts as I sing this song

That I feel wrong

And I feel wrong

I think I get why Part 1 was put after Part 2, now. Because this one’s so depressing that you might not make it to the end of the album if you heard it first. It sounds nice, though. “Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’-by-way-of-Cocteau Twins”, the NME’s entertainingly overcooked album review has it. I’m not sure I heard any of that myself, more East 17’s Stay Another Day by way of Aerosmith perhaps.

God it’s only love, it’s only love

God how long will this go on?

God for how long will I feel wrong?

And I feel wrong, and I feel wrong

I feel wrong, and I feel wrong

It’s not the most inspirational note to close the Homosexuality saga on, is it? It’s not exactly It Gets Better. But you know what, for all the sarcastic sniping in this post, I really can’t fault him for trying. /// CHEERS JAMES ALLAN \\\