Shaken and Stirred
bond, gwenda bond

chocolate toast sex, not in that order
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Lots of stuff today, all of it good, I promise. I apologize already for the length, but you can skim so I don't really. Let’s go from least important to most important and quibble about the order afterward, all right?

Celebrity Poker is like crack (who knew Stanford Blatt from Sex and the City was an evil poker fiend? -- though he did vanquish ‘Ol Square Jaw Affleck), but it makes me sad that I completely forgot about “The Simple Life” and missed, missed, missed it. Sigh.

A pretty good TV column in the San Francisco Examiner reports, among other things, that ABC has decided to add a fifth act to its shows in order to make people sit through the last set of commercials. People watch ABC shows?

Next up, we have Hank Stuever’s uncharacteristically gentle piece about the new Alex Ross retrospective MYTHOLOGY. I have to say I like my Stuever irreverent, but it’s a worthwhile piece if you’re into bulging muscles rendered in dreamy paint. Two interesting paragraphs, if you’ll indulge me (thank you):

In one memorable Ross painting, Clark Kent sits at home in the amber lamplight of his apartment living room, white dress shirt unbuttoned to reveal the S, and something dejected informs the scene, something tired and worn out. "It was more than the gut on him, it was a sense of weight on his being. He was overwhelmed," movie director M. Night Shyamalan writes of this particular picture in an introduction to "Mythology": "I found this vision of a hero so compelling and powerful. Alex Ross . . . gives me a rope so I can still climb up and dream."

Ohhhhkay, M. Night. Step away from the small child you're about to give an albatross. Can Alex Ross be blamed for the suckitude of SIGNS? Can he? Where is he? Bring him before the court! We need Liz Taylor justice!

And this, Ross’ comment on why bright spandex is appropriate, damn it:

"If human beings really had these abilities, they could wear pink tutus and it wouldn't matter, because the minute you can lift a tank people will give you a real wide berth," he says. "The colors of Superman aren't so much about waving a flag as waving a warning flag, like here comes the super man, get out of his way. This is an authority figure. He is broadcasting his intent to let you know to give him some room, folks. The best comparison are the red and blue lights on police cars. Superheroes' costumes let you know there's trouble ahead or something important is going on here. It think it's very logical in that way."

Plus, at this point, they'd look kind of lame in everyday clothes. Perhaps the only tailors who cater to superheroes have a twisted sense of humor.

Paging Gavin -- we can argue about the placement of this one later, but I have to put the chocolate stuff from the New York Times here. First, the fine chocolate as latest gourmand trend, particularly in New York. And, and, and there’s a short sidebar on cocoa beans and the quality of chocolate in general with the following heartening news (dark chocolate and good white chocolate are my poisons):

To a purist, what is usually called white chocolate is not chocolate at all, because it does not contain any of the cocoa solids that give chocolate its flavor. White chocolate is usually made of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar, but it often contains hydrogenated fats instead of cocoa butter. In January, Food and Drug Administration regulations will go into effect requiring white chocolate to contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter, with no vegetable fats or other additives.

For any of you who are shaking your white chocolate-loathing heads, I say to you: it tastes great with beer. Especially at the movies.

And, oh, these last two subjects are damn hard to prioritize. I find all the uproar about gay marriage highly disturbing, and I’m sure you do too. Where I live is by no means a hotbed of “Go Your Own Way” cheerleading, and yet, when the hate groups show up outside the cathedral to protest the very existence of the first gay male parents of quadruplets (by surrogate), more people show up at the cathedral to show their support for them. Their crappy hair salons do bang-up business. There are people pushing against the stereotype of how Southerners think about people who are gay, and want to have traditional families.

And then something happens like what happened in Louisiana, to this poor kid, forced to sit and write over and over that he’d never use the word “gay” at school again, this poor kid who it sounds like has withdrawn turtlelike into his shell, after being more up front and less political and less confused or conflicted about his mom’s sexuality than -- it sounds like -- most of the adults in a ten mile radius and certainly than the ones in earshot. I doubt this kid is going to emerge from this unscathed. Can you imagine being told at the same age that your home life was deviant? I can, barely, and I don’t think I’d have taken it very well. I just hope he comes out the other side intact.

On the other hand, in more sensible news, Nicholas Kristof gets it right in the New York Times, responding to hate mail from a column suggesting homosexuality is, in fact, entirely natural.

The bottom line is that same-sex love is a mystery far more subtle than just a matter of Biblical injunction -- just as interracial love has turned out to be. A 1958 poll found that 96 percent of whites disapproved of marriages between blacks and whites (Deuteronomy 7:3 condemns interracial marriages). In 1959 a judge justified Virginia's ban on interracial marriage by declaring that "Almighty God. . . did not intend for the races to mix."

Someday, we will regard opposition to gay marriage as equally obtuse and old-fashioned.

No force is more divine than love, and if some people are encoded to love others of the same sex, how can that be unholy? To me, the blasphemy is not in those who want to share their lives with others of the same sex, but rather in anyone presumptuous enough to vilify that love.

You know, it’s already old-fashioned.

And, last, but certainly not least, the biggest news of the day:

I’d post an excerpt but I know everyone’s going to read that story. It’s all in the butter; it needs to be one-seventeenth the thickness of the bread. Get ready to squint. And don't cut yourself.

earworm: "Jackson," Hem

random rec: George T. Stagg Bourbon Whisky

namecheck: Barb "First Reader" Gilly

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