Numerous news organizations are reporting that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been checked into New York Presbyterian hospital after doctors found a blood clot related during a check-up following her concussion earlier this month.
[Secretary Clinton] is expected to remain at New York Presbyterian Hospital for the next 48 hours so doctors can monitor her condition and treat her with anti-coagulants, said Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state.
"Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion," Reines said. "They will determine if any further action is required."
Reines did not specify where the clot was discovered.
Have you finished movie-cramming to prepare yourself for the Oscar nominations (January 10th) and your own top ten lists. I've been screening as many titles as possible though I've somehow managed to find time to cry my eyes out through three separate screenings of Les Misérables. But we're already off topic. There are no gay characters of note in that epic musical though who knows what's going on with Marius's (Eddie Redmayne) super handsome band of brothers.
Hollywood is generally behind the curve when it comes to social movements but things are changing and that's even true on the big screen. When gayness is central to a joke now in the movies it's usually not at the expense of the gays which is a marked difference than in the past. The unexpectedly hilarious high school comedy 21 Jump Street (reviewed) is a perfect example. If I'm remembering it correctly the younger students leap all over the undercover cops for their 'that's gay' linguistic insensitivity -- the subtext being that casual homophobia is totally passé.
Not that more controversial gayness isn't still getting plenty of play. The cinema would be a much less vivid playground if you erased all Evil Queers from the celluloid. You'd ruin so many classics! Nobody wants a hopelessly bland entertainment landscape where all gays are noble beings or best friends. So the wildly acclaimed romantic drama Keep The Lights On (starring Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth) which is nominated for multiple Spirit Awards, the Southern gothic noir The Paperboy (which might end up with Razzie nominations) and Cloud Atlas have the self-destructive, sexually compulsive and maybe suicidal stereotypes covered for you this year.
TOP TEN LGBT MOVIE CHARACTERS OF 2012... AFTER THE JUMP
[Disclaimer: I have not yet seen the documentary How to Survive a Plague which centers on the ACT UP players in the early days of the AIDS crisis. It's clearly a Must See given the sensational reviews.]
10. The Cast of I WANT YOUR LOVE
I struggled with who to single out before throwing up my arms orgiastically around the entire diverse daisy chain of Travis Mathews art-porn / traditional feature hybrid. The story follows the farewells of Jesse as he packs up to leave the big city after a painful breakup. My favorite coupling was Jesse's dreamy ex Ben (no wonder Jesse's torn up!) & Brontez (pictured left, who recently made the Out 100 Hot List) who steals the picture with delicious comic timing. The best part of the explicit sex scenes is that the characters actually enjoy them!
09. "Rudy" in ANY DAY NOW
Alan Cumming plays this part time drag queen and aspiring singer with just the right combination of open heart and bullheaded tenacity. Rudy's eyebrow raising impulsiveness (a sudden committed relationship and adoption proceedings for a disabled child in the same week?) wouldn't make any sense without both. Rudy is the type of character that might completely aggravate you in real life but he's scaled to win your heart for the big screen with his righteous fury. [Towleroad interview with Alan Cumming]
08. The 'ARE THEY OR AREN'T THEY???' Box Set
With the ever increasing number of gay-identified characters it's less of a parlor game to imagine the characters who might well be queer than it used to be but it's still fun: Tomboy does not always equal lesbian but regardless of her orientation "Princess Merida" in Brave really shakes up the heteronormative Disney fairytale world merely by being utterly uninterested and even opposed to that Someday When Her Prince Might Come; The chorus of townsfolk who continually sound off on "Bernie" in Bernie argue about whether he's cruising for men on the sly or sleeping with rich widow Shirley Maclaine but both sound pretty gay to me (Jack Black is up for a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Comedy for this role); "Calvin Candie" in Django Unchained and "Silva" in Skyfall both have implied female lovers but Leonardo DiCaprio and Javier Bardem, respectively, are obviously suggesting more fluid sexualities for their fussy villains both of whom don't even attempt to hide their unruly fascination with scarred muscled men who are very hard to kill.
07. Genesis & Lady Jaye in THE BALLAD OF GENESIS AND LADY JAYE
A year ago I sought out an experimental picture called "Open" by Jake Yuzna because it had won a Teddy Award, the juried gay prize, at Berlinale. It was inspired by the story of Genesis and Lady Jaye, who underwent multiple surgeries to look like one another for their "Pandrogyne" art project. The very next year this documentary sprung from the same transgendered transcendant romance and also won a Teddy. I preferred the earlier pic which was fictionalized but far more focused but Genesis and Lady Jaye are fascinating creatures under any name or movie title.
06. Graham Dashwood in THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
SPOILER ALERT. Yes Graham is gay. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (reviewed) is one of those pictures that likes to hide the intimate truths and troubles of its ensemble cast so that they can all bloom at roughly the same time towards the climax. Graham's climax comes a bit earlier as he searches for his first love in India, a country that has stayed in his heart through this one love lost. Tom Wilkinson is a lovely actor but it's the women in the film who've won awards buzz. Best friends Dame Judi and Dame Maggie won Globe and SAG nods respectively.
05. "Marie Antoinette" in FAREWELL MY QUEEN
This romantic triangle French drama was, for me, the biggest surprise of 2012. Yes, people wear ornate royalty-porn gowns. No, it doesn't play at all like "A Costume Drama". It's modern in psychology and sexually riveting without being anachronistically acted or explicit. Big props to Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) who finds a new way to spin this oft-dramatized royal. Her queen is impossibly bored and so perpetually indulged that she imagines her taste for the finer things... especially one fine forbidden woman... won't be her undoing. She's wrong.
04. "Dean & Carlo" in ON THE ROAD
This film has had a long rough journey to the big screen but it's finally in select theaters. The adaptation of the not-entirely filmable Beat classic tells the story of Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) and his intense wanderlust friendships with womanizing Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) and gay writer Carlo Marx (Tom Sturridge) and their various lovers. Riley is too vague to fully embrace the eroticism of the not-so platonic friendships at the film's core but Hedlund is positively on fire, bedding men and women alike and welcoming all admirers equally in one of the best performances of the year. [More on On the Road's stars here]
03. "Matt" (and friends) in GAYBY
Sometimes, when thinking back on Gayby, I imagine writer/director/co-star Jonathan Lisecki as an evil gay scientist creating Frankenstein Monsters of Adorableness. "Matt" must have been created in a gay laboratory he's such crush-worthy boyfriend material: funny, sexy, perfectly bodied, artistic, sensitive. Everyone else in this gem of an ensemble comedy is adorable too, and in different ways, proving that perhaps Lisecki is not an evil scientist at all but a benevolent god among new comic voices [Towleroad interview with Lisecki]
02. "Mitch" in PARANORMAN
Yes the dumb jock older brother of the title character's best friend is gay. That might make him sound like a very minor character but he's not. Mitch's homosexuality isn't much of a spoiler anymore since his completely casual reference to his boyfriend is one of the most discussed moments in the popular horror comedy. Is he the first openly gay character in an animated feature intended for all ages? I haven't done the research but it seems like he'd have to be. The best part of ParaNorman as a movie is that it really absorbs its anti-bullying theme instead of just paying it lip service and always works from a point of open-hearted inclusiveness. This town, just like any other, has gay people living in it. ParaNorman is so true to its concept that even the villain isn't demonized in the spooky proceedings.
01. "Patrick" in THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
The actor Ezra Miller, who previously creeped out audiences with barely concealed or fully revealed homicidal tendencies in Afterschool and We Need To Talk About Kevin, won hearts instead of shivers this year. In a total about face he nailed the role of openly gay sweetly funny Patrick with a healthy sense of pride, wit, self-awareness and impatience for that "it gets better" moment. He's not the Wallflower of the film's title (that'd be Logan Lerman) but he emerges as the film's true sideways hero, keeping this misfit group of teenagers tied together in deeply supportive friendships. Bonus points: Miller came out himself this year.
Rhode Island activists and lawmakers are "guardedly optimistic" they can pass marriage equality in the next legislative session there.
There are still no deals on the so-called fiscal cliff. Though the Republicans are reportedly willing to give up on tax breaks for the rich, they want to create regulations that will result in lower social security benefits for millions of Americans, a proposal Democratic insiders are calling a "major setback."
After President Obama took issue with GOP obstructionism, House Speaker John Boehner said the commander-in-chief should "lead, not cast blame. The president’s comments today are ironic, as a recurring theme of our negotiations was his unwillingness to agree to anything that would require him to stand up to his own party."
Terrible: "Potential heir to $300 million Clark copper fortune found dead, homeless"
The cash-strapped USPS may start selling magazine subscriptions.
The Hobbit dominated the box office for the third weekend in a row, pushing Django Unchained to number two and Les Misérables to number three.
While 2012 showed that it's easier for gay actors to come out, some are still encouraged to hold out lest they jeopardize a big budget blockbuster. "With a studio and all the amassed forces behind an actor in a role, an actor is not always a man or a woman who has total command of his own world," The Advocate's Matthew Breen told Bruce LaMera.
Miley Cyrus said her gay fans are her favorite and she's particularly excited to perform in London because the city's positively overflowing with men who like men. "My favorite place to perform is London, because I have never seen more gay people in my whole life," said the singer.
YouTube stripped major record labels like Sony/BMG and Universal of billions of inflated video views.
Family lunch for Chris Hemsworth.
Channing Tatum is excited to be in St. Barts.
"Even though public opposition to same-sex marriage and gay rights is rapidly eroding, the locker rooms and clubhouses of the country's four major sports leagues remain among the last bastions of homophobia in the U.S."
Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio mother stripped of her "Den Mother" Cub Scout title because she's a lesbian, is now blogging. From her first post, "Rebel Who Found Her Cause": "If you would’ve asked me at any point in my life if I thought I would be an anti-bullying/equality advocate, I would have laughed hysterically. In fact, a frequent victim of bullying as a child, I became full of rage and set on vengeance."
Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster who describes marriage equality proposals as an "Orwellian plot," is urging voters to write to their MPs and oppose same-sex nuptials. "I urge everyone who cares about upholding the meaning of marriage in civil law to make their views known to their Members of Parliament, clearly, calmly and forcefully. Please do so as soon as possible," he wrote.
Charlie Sheen claims a lisp that has gone unnoticed by anyone for the past three decades of his career caused his "maggots" to sound like "faggots" in the following sentence, "How we doing?...Lying bunch of maggot assholes, how we doing?" Watch the video, he definitely didn't say "maggot."
Posted Dec. 30,2012 at 4:55 PM EST by Andrew Belonsky in Barack Obama, Boy Scouts, Catholic Church, Charlie Sheen, Discrimination, Film, Film and TV, Gay Marriage, Great Britain, John Boehner, Miley Cyrus, News, Religion, The Economy | Permalink | Comments (9)
It's unclear why Alan Chambers and his anti-gay friends at Exodus International decided to release this "blooper reel" of Chambers' propaganda flubs from over the past year, but they did.
But after watching the video, one thing is clear: Exodus, a conservative Christian organization that no longer thinks you can pray the gay away but still claims same-sex attraction is sinful, is one big piece of performance art, and Chambers is the star.
It would make for a great mockumentary if they didn't take it so seriously.
Take a peek behind-the-scenes AFTER THE JUMP.
After 27 years with the Episcopal Dioscese in New Hampshire, openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson is set to officially retire on January 5th, bringing to the end a career that helped break homophobic barriers within the Anglican church here in the States.
And as he prepares himself for the next step in his life, Robinson says he's in awe of the rapid progress his religion has made in the nine years since he first became bishop.
"I'd been given this really remarkable opportunity and it would be selfish of me not to be the best steward of that opportunity," he told the Associated Press.
"We went from my consecration, which set off this international controversy, to nine years later seeing gay, lesbian and transgender congregants welcome at all levels of the church, including bishop."
The AP also reminds readers of one of Robinson's bravest acts: standing up against the international Anglican Communion for not inviting him to their once-a-decade Lambeth Conference in 2008:
He was publicly shunned by church elders, targeted with death threats and says he struggled to strike a balance between being the "good bishop" and the "gay bishop." In the end, he says, they became one and the same.
He is a self-described "off-the-end-of-the-scale extrovert" who bounds across stages and television studios, whether promoting causes or his new book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage.
Robinson said it pained him deeply to be excluded in 2008 from [the Lambeth] gathering... He said it was the first time since 1867 that a bishop had not been invited.
He traveled to England despite the snub to make his presence known and minister to anyone who wanted his counsel.
As for his relationship to New Hampshire, where he's lived since the mid-70s, Robinson said, "New Hampshire was the one place where I wasn't the gay bishop. I'm just the bishop. That's been terrific and kind of lifesaving in way."
In a Meet the Press interview centered largely on the so-called fiscal cliff and the GOP's obstructionism, President Obama was asked whether potential Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel's decades-old comments degrading gay people should disqualify the former senator from filling the cabinet position.
Obviously Obama, the man whose consideration of Hagel started this whole thing, said no, telling host David Gregory that Hagel's a "patriot" who has done "extraordinary work" in the Senate and "served our country with valor" during Vietnam.
Obama also said Hagel's apology shows that the former Republican Senator and our country have experienced a "positive change" about gays and lesbians serving in the army.
"I've served with Chuck Hagel. I know him. He is a patriot. He is somebody who has done extraordinary work both in the United States Senate, somebody who served this country with valor in Vietnam, and is somebody who's currently serving on my Intelligence Advisory Board and doing an outstanding job," said the president before specifically zeroing in on Hagel's past comment that being gay is an "inhibiting factor" for a potential ambassador.
"With respect to the particular comment that you quoted, he apologized for it," he said. "It's a testimony to what has been a positive change over the last decade in terms of people's attitudes about gays and lesbians serving our country, and that's something that I'm very proud to have led. And I think that anybody who serves in my administration understands my attitude and position on those issues."
Watch President Obama offer his thoughts on Chuck Hagel AFTER THE JUMP.