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News: Iran, Rosie O'Donnell, Halloween, Zagreb, Gay Ghetto

road.jpg Amnesty: Death penalty imminent for gay youth in Iran. "Child offender Makwan Moloudzadeh, an Iranian Kurd, is believed to be at risk of imminent execution. He has reportedly been convicted of lavat-e iqabi (anal sex) for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old boy. Makwan Moloudzadeh was aged 13 at the time of the alleged offence. His death sentence has been passed to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences and he is due to be executed in public, near his home."

Confederateroad.jpg Confederate flag that hangs at site of Cheney's weekend hunting trip stirs up anger from Al Sharpton: "It’s appalling for the VP to be at a private club displaying the flag of lynching, hate and murder. It’s the epitome of an insult." The good news is, nobody got shot in the face.

road.jpg Rosie O'Donnell ambushed at book signing by Bill O'Reilly team. (Rosie's Video, O'Reilly's Video)

road.jpg NYT: Cancellation of Halloween fest in San Francisco a sign that gay ghettos risk becoming passé. "For many in the Castro District, the cancellation is a blow that strikes at the heart of neighborhood identity, and it has brought soul-searching that goes beyond concerns about crime. These are wrenching times for San Francisco’s historic gay village, with population shifts, booming development, and a waning sense of belonging that is also being felt in gay enclaves across the nation, from Key West, Fla., to West Hollywood, as they struggle to maintain cultural relevance in the face of gentrification."

road.jpg Did Avril Lavigne dress as Chris Crocker for Halloween?

Fsfroad.jpg Miller Brewing apologizes for allowing its brand logo to appear on posters for San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair that parodied The Last Supper.

road.jpg Opposing accounts offered at trial of Navy doctor accused of secretly taping midshipmen having sex: "A Navy doctor who served as a sponsor for U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen 'violated the trust' of the students by using surveillance equipment installed in an air purifier at his Annapolis home to make 'secret sex tapes' of them, a Navy prosecutor said yesterday at the start of the doctor's court-martial. But Cmdr. Kevin Ronan's attorney, William T. Ferris, said the tapes were made by a former midshipman who used them in an attempt to extort money from his client. Ferris said the tapes became public after his client refused to give money to the former midshipman, who had been dismissed from the Naval Academy for academic reasons and needed money for expenses. 'This was a plan to extort money from Commander Ronan that went awry,' Ferris said during his opening statement at the Washington Navy Yard."

Lupo_2road.jpg Meet the first Mr. Gay Brazil, Luciano Lupo.

road.jpg Frank DeCaro looks at Paul Lynde's Halloween Special from 1976, along with a clip of Margaret Hamilton dressed as the wicked witch introducing Paul to members of KISS.

road.jpg Queer community at NYU holds drag ball.

road.jpg Croatian man charged with hate crime in Zagreb for attack on gay parade: "The man, identified only as Josip S., is charged with endangering lives and property by an act of hatred toward the participants of the Gay Pride parade in July, the Zagreb district prosecutors' office said. The man is the first person in Croatia to face hate crime charges since it was introduced into the Penal Code last year. If convicted, he faces up to eight years in prison. No date for a trial was immediately set. Police spotted the man as he prepared to throw homemade Molotov cocktails — bottles containing gasoline — at the parade participants gathering at Zagreb's main square. He fled the scene, but was tracked down later at his home."

road.jpg Best Week Ever's Top 10 most humiliating pet costumes, judged by the expression on the pets' faces.

road.jpg Leak reveals Cheney's plan for Iran attack? "In the scenario concocted by Cheney's strategists, Washington's first step would be to convince Israel to fire missiles at Iran's uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. Tehran would retaliate with its own strike, providing the US with an excuse to attack military targets and nuclear facilities in Iran."

road.jpg 1884: The oldest known photograph of a tornado.

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Comments

  1. Many, many Castro residents in SF (including me) are thrilled with the Halloween cancellation, but have little or no faith the City is equipped to enforce it.

    Posted by: TPK123 | Oct 30, 2007 2:41:52 PM


  2. The Paul Lynde Halloween special is a hoot. It is a product of its time including disco but fun and full of Camp. I showed it to two twenty-somethings and they roared with laughter at Paul and his queeny innuendo.

    As far as the Halloween being canceled in the Castro: Hurrah! Next year lets move it to Hayward, CA.

    Posted by: ggreen | Oct 30, 2007 2:58:24 PM


  3. It's official. I'm in love with Luciano Lupo.

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 30, 2007 3:06:39 PM


  4. I was saddened by the ambush on Rosie O'Donnell. It reminded me of bullies in grade school giving a classmate a hard time.

    She couldn't have handled it any better than she did.

    Posted by: Hollywood Dave | Oct 30, 2007 3:39:22 PM


  5. Whenever auslanders [New York, LA, INDIANA???] pontificate in print or TV or the Net about those of us who actually live in San Francisco generally and the Castro specifically, we try to be amused, really we do. But, oh, where to start addressing the many "blind men and the elephant" selective and plain wrong perceptions in the NYT's piece?

    First, though there was always the random penis, breast, and buttock, Castro Halloween was NEVER a "symbol of sexual liberation." Perhaps the writer was confusing it with the Folsom Street Fair. Rather it has been a symbol there, as it was before on Polk Street when it centered “the gay district,” of gay identity association with fun generally and masquerade as it has been intrinsic to gays' survival throughout Time. You'd be unlikely to immediately get the latter response polling the average frolicker in a giant Marge Simpson "head mask" or a dozen guys in matching drag displaying false furry vulvas with dangling tampon strings carrying signs that say "Dump Bush" or myriad Marie Antoinettes, but it’s there. We just never appreciated the ever-growing numbers of nongay, uncostumed gawkers [chartered tour buses from Sacramento??? The horror!] and are no longer willing to risk being stabbed or shot or merely trampled to death for that experience. And they get that much of the local bitching about "cancelling Halloween" is being driven by those trying to exploit it politically against Mayor Newsom and the district's supervisor, Bevan Dufty [one of its leaders has already run against him for the office] and attention queens of whom we always have an overabundance. I'll happily pay to ship "community leader" Donna Sachet to your little post-gay burg toute suite.

    The article paints a picture of major development changing the face and ambience of the Castro when, in fact, empty storefronts and stagnated growth is the real problem, exacerbated, e.g., by lunatic fringe queens who don’t realize that blocking the customer friendly, relatively inexpensive, and nutrition conscious Trader Joe’s from filling an empty space in the ‘stro only further enriches the conservative owner of Safeway at Church and Market. Pottery Barn? Please, madam, who do you think created that chotzke empire in the first place? It’s less a matter of “straightness” invading the Castro than gay conspicuous consumption coming home.

    As much as anything, the Castro is going downhill because of witlessness. As the biggest crowds descended upon the neighborhood just to cruise and booze, most restaurant owners never felt the need [and too many still don’t] to offer much more than a greasy spoon when so many of their clientele was too drunk or drugged to taste food anyway. Whereas vino and cocktails remain very much a part of the North Beach scene, it has been destination place for decades for dinner and/or shows whether it be women strippers, comedy shows, Finnochio’s drag acts for tourists, drag icon for gays Jose Sarria at the Black Cat, or “Beach Blanket Babylon.” Josie’s Cabaret in the Castro lasted a while but too many of its performers confused flame with fame. I wish there were more of the ambience in the Castro one finds in North Beach at night but I wouldn't want it to be any less gay and by that I don't mean sexual.

    The effect of AIDS on the Castro cannot be overemphasized. Some classier business such as the Obelisk closed when their owners died. The housing shift exploded as a result of neighborhood owners dying and their houses being snapped up by gays and straights knowing that the already absurd home prices were likely to get more insane and, in any case, the Castro remains one of the more attractive areas of San Francisco architecturally [not to mention weatherwise] because it never burned in the post-1906 earthquake fires.

    Many AIDS survivors, even without its disillusioning influences, simply grew tired of living at gay sex ground zero, and moved to other neighborhoods and the suburbs for the same and many reasons once-younger nongays do.

    But really, how many gay men, all other things being equal such as financial mobility, would choose Kansas City over San Francisco or any other highly gay-populated metropolis?

    Yes, there IS a question of how much longer as a “symbol” of being gay such places will remain important, but the author defeats her own implied belief that death is near by describing how many gay visitors from across the country and the world still clog the streets on weekends. Sadly, I imagine many of them have the same reaction as visitors to Hollywood & Vine: is that all there is? But they still make that pilgrimage for the symbolic and literal home of so much gay progress remains far more important to many than whether or not their feet can fit into Clark Gable’s footprints in front of [now] Mann’s Chinese Theatre in “Tinsel Town.” And it will for the foreseeable future and that is a good thing.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Oct 30, 2007 3:55:07 PM


  6. have to echo the sentiment that castro street can be a bit of a let-down.. a couple of blocks of some bars, crappy restaurants, and tiny gift shops (most other large sities have an equivalent 'gay area' these days).. but the castro usurped the more historically significant polk street scene when the guys scurried off to the 'hot new neighborhood' back in the day, so there you have it. funny to read about how 'gentrification' is supposedly running th queens out now, since that's long been the rap against gay people moving IN and gentrifying everything up.. circle of life.
    as for halloween though, it remains to be seen what kind of fiasco this 'cancellation' turns out to be. it strikes me that the local leaders have just become too lazy to want to try to deal with what SHOULD be one of the city's biggest attractions... what more famously known halloween is there than halloween in san fran ? it's ess eff's mardi gras. but rather than embrace it and try to make it work, they would rather it just disappear.
    that's the sad truth of life here. it's not any 'death of gay culture' it's just that the times have changed and frisco is no longer the vibrant, welcoming, and happening place that it once was... so gay people (and others) are just finding their good times elsewhere while the city-that-knows-how deteriorates into a filthy, insanely over-priced dump that advertises that it wants you to stay home for the holiday...sad.

    Posted by: el polacko | Oct 30, 2007 4:41:31 PM


  7. but there is no hiding the fact that Rosie's
    Book Just plain old SUCKS!!

    And probably just a way to pick up the slagging sales.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Oct 30, 2007 7:24:26 PM


  8. I'm shocked that no one has said ANYTHING about the Iranian boy facing DEATH. WTF? At least you posted about it Andy.

    Posted by: duane | Oct 31, 2007 3:24:52 PM


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