The Walking Dead, the comic book upon which AMC's television show is based, hit its milestone 100th issue today, and writer Robert Kirkman celebrated by finally introducing us to villain Negan, the murderous leader of a cult-like gang hellbent on ruling over the remaining humans. He's potentially even more dangerous than a swarm of zombies.
Without giving away too much (though there are perhaps a few minor spoilers here), I will say that Negan's villainy is more gruesome and startling than past foes like The Governor because of both Negan's rabid following and for the fact that he's clearly a homophobic sociopath. At one point Negan tells protagonist Rick he's going to make him into the proverbial "gay bitch," the quintessential, submissive "weakling," and thereby win his group's respect - or at least their cooperation.
If I recall correctly, the only other references to homosexuality over the past 100 issues of The Walking Dead have been rather incidental, as evidenced by the casual manner in which a gay couple was thrown into the mix.
Is Kirkman consciously presenting the series' most psychotic and dangerous villain as a homophobe? Does ignorance fuel hate? Is there a deeper message here? Knowing the tautness of Kirk's work, I would bet the answer is yes.
I've included an example of what I mean about Negan's remarks to Rick AFTER THE JUMP, but the comic's readers should be warned that you'll see Negan's face and a bit of what happens to Rick, Michonne and the others who went to warn a neighboring community that Negan was on his way.
A biography of Mahatma Gandhi published last year described German-Jewish bodybuilder and architect Hermann Kallenbach the "love of his life," a detail that fueled speculation the iconic activist was into men.
The Indian government did not like this narrative at all and some regions even banned the book.
Well, the Indian government is going to even greater lengths to keep Gandhi and Kallenbach's relationship under lock and key. The Wall Street Journal reports that the government paid a bargain-priced $1.28 million to keep men's personal letters from going to auction. Obtaining the letters was deemed "a matter of highest priority."
India’s Ministry of Culture said this decision was made after experts who reviewed the archival material, mostly letters between the two men, recommended it should be acquired “as a matter of highest priority.”
The archive includes over 1,000 letters, documents and telegrams exchanged by the two men between 1905 and 1945, as well as several gifts Gandhi gave to Kallenbach over the years.
If the Indian government thinks this will erase those gay rumors, they've got another thing coming. Their urgency actually only raises eyebrows further, and without specific details from the letters themselves, the public's imagination is free to run wild. So, reader, let it run...
Calling Kirk Cameron's anti-gay politics "outdated and irrelevant," GLAAD president Herndon Graddick admonished the actor for teaming up with the National Organization for Marriage and claiming that children can only thrive — "incubate" was the word he used — when raised by heterosexual parents.
"Kirk Cameron and the anti-gay activists at NOM are making a claim that Americans know to be false," said Graddick. "This rhetoric won't work anymore. Communities across this country love and cherish their LGBT neighbors, friends and family members. This includes people in families headed by LGBT people. Their implication that LGBT couples can’t create loving and stable homes is not only outdated and irrelevant; it’s designed specifically to hurt those families.”
And, as we learned today, almost all the major American medical associations agree with GLAAD's assessment.
We knew that the anti-gay marriage movement in Washington State was struggling to raise money, but the numbers are even more dismal than expected.
According to NWCN, the right wing group Preserve Marriage raised only $17,000 in the month of June. Washington United for Marriage, the group hoping to maintain the state's marriage equality, raised a little over $900,000 during the same period, thanks in large part to Microsoft executives Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. WUM has raised a total over $2 million.
In contrast, Preserve Marriage has scraped together a total of $140,000, but chairman Joseph Backholm says they expect to raise $4 million before November.
While that goal sounds far-fetched, the National Organization for Marriage and other conservative groups have vowed to get in on the fight, a tag-team that may upset the balance a little.
'GANGSTER SQUAD:' Trailer for new flick starring Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Emma Stone.
SEE IT: I saw Shut Up and Play the Hits, the documentary about LCD Soundsystem's last show, last night and recommend it.
VORTEX: What is happening on Saturn's moon?
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U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte gets all shirtless for Men's Journal. God bless America!
Tea Party Rep. Mike Lee is upset over HBO show The Newsroom's portrayal of his 14th Amendment politics.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un reportedly produced a music video to garner support in the impoverished nation. You know what would probably cheer people up even more? Food.
Submarines are now on the hunt for Amelia Earhart's remains.
A new app chooses gay Jews.
Man sues preacher for defamation over gay rumors: "[Pastor David] Myers then began telling members of his church -- including the father of [Darrel] Bilbrey's fiancé -- that the man was gay, according to the lawsuit. The pastor then demanded that Bilbrey call of his "sham" marriage and move out of state."
Some tactics used by 60s-era gangsters who extorted closeted men: "In some cases, the bulls would wait until the two men had gotten themselves into a compromising position before bursting into the room and identifying themselves as vice squad detectives, capitalizing on the fear, panic, and surprise they induced... [In other cases] a small dental mirror taped to the end of a cane [was inserted under the door], the better to see exactly when to pounce."
The Southern Poverty Law Center is demanding that Virginia official Eugene A. Delgaudio and his organization "Public Advocate of the United States," which the SPLC calls a hate group, stop using a gay couple's wedding picture to fuel anti-gay sentiment.
Happy engagement to actress Sofia Vergara.
Known for his ribald humor, Daniel Tosh reportedly crossed the line with a rape joke during a recent stand-up routine.
Rachel Maddow discusses the tenacity of Ron Paul and his die-hard supporters.
Actress Chloe Sevigny, who plays a transgender hit man in the British series Hit & Miss, is on the cover of OUT. "I was worried people would be angry that they didn’t cast a real person who was transitioning,” she said of taking the role. “I asked why they didn’t, and the producers said they didn’t find the right person. It’s a big responsibility toward that community, and I wanted to do them right."
Appearing in Iowa today, President Obama saw a man dressed as Abraham Lincoln, pointed and declared, "Abraham Lincoln is in the house... My homeboy from Illinois, and an outstanding Republican endorsee."
The City of Seattle has joined Microsoft, Starbucks and others in filing a brief against the Defense of Marriage Act.
Britney Spears sharpens her claws on X-Factor contestants.
Long-dormant Christian right leader Ralph Reed is ramping up his national machine to take down President Obama. From Adele Stan's report: "Calling his faithful to action, Reed urged them to engage their friends and neighbors in his 2012 voter turnout effort. 'I want you to consider this a divine appointment,' he said."
New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft really wants his girlfriend to be an actress. His girlfriend is not good at it.
Incredible fashion curator Valerie Steele is putting together a show called "Queer Style: From the Closet to the Catwalk" for the Museum at FIT.