Tom of Finalnd

EXCLUSIVE: Tarantino Making Movie About Gheys & AIDS

In an appearance on an Australian radio broadcast the other day while promoting his Django Unchained downunder, Quentin Tarantino made a surprise announcement, which perhaps wasn’t so surprising for those of us who saw the obvious trajectory of his self-consciously subversive movies.  QT, as he is known to Scientologists who still hope to bring him into the fold, was making this appearance on a station notorious for causing a nurse to kill herself after they prank-called her while she was caring for the Duchess of Cambridge.  His goal? 

Adam von Rothfelder

5 Resolutions You Can Live With, Without (Too Much) Sacrifice

I’m going to begin with a hats-off to myself, via a bit of news that is seemingly irrelevant to this piece, but I’ll pick it up later on and weave it in like magic.  Promise.

A sensible thing happened this week, and it wasn’t the fiscal cliff compromise: My evil twin, Andrew Sullivan, was either booted out by Tina Brown at The Daily Beast, or he didn’t renew his contract on purpose, which seems unlikely to this Sully cynic.  He’s now going to charge for his content and go his merry way with his pooches and staff of seven.  Given the trouble Tina has had this year with Newsweek ceasing print publication and other internal upheavals—not to mention Sully’s embarrassing, unnecessary meltdown after Obama’s first debate, which singlehandedly un-pundited the super-blogger once and for all—I have a feeling he was a vanity case that could no longer be supported.

As a content creator, I wish Sully well, I really do.  He’s a smart guy, often misguided in his opinions, so blinkered in his observations that he is blinded (not a good trait for a pundit), not to mention as hysterical a queen as queens can get, but he works hard, thinks harder and deserves a measure of success.  I’m also sure this experience will transform him and balance him out.  Eventually.

So, in addition to my slogan, “Shoot your heroes,” I add another: Deflate all divas.  It’s for their own good.

Andrew Sullivan and Staff

Sully and staff put on brave faces for the year ahead. Tinsel and youth help.

Barack Obama Telephone

ELECTIONS 2012: Seeking That Objective Reality

From the viewpoint of my own particular reality, it makes no sense whatsoever to vote along party lines.  It’s a type of tribal thinking that I have never been able to grasp; it just seems so terribly wrong.  And when it comes to America in particular, with its leadership position in the world, it seems all the wronger.  As with any job, we hire a person based on qualifications, not party allegiance; that’s something China and Iran does, not here.

A piece I wrote over a year ago (shit, but this election has been endless!), “Do Republicans Dream of Electric Elephants?,” has been getting some traction recently on a political forum by way of a quotation of mine someone appropriately named Bonkers reposted.  I’d forgotten I’d written these words, but I stand by them even more today:

I guess my warped way of thinking just can’t embrace the notion of supporting a political party.  I understand the need for governance of some kind to maintain social order, I understand being conservative in your views, or liberal, but I question the whole concept of being part of a political organization when so many members of that party are so manifestly corrupt, morally subversive or just plain vile.  Why would you want to be part of anything that has even a little bit of rot in it?

Gay Angel

Halloween? Bah, humbug.

Don’t get me wrong.  The few times I was able to go trick-or-treating as a kid, I loved it.  The problem is Halloween wasn’t celebrated where I grew up, in Italy, ironically the birthplace of that most ghoulish of religion sects, Roman Catholicism.  The Day of the Dead on November 1st—is anyone even aware that this is what is really being celebrated?—was a somber occasion on which all of those witch-like little old ladies in black, and they were legion, went to the cemeteries and tended the graves.  But the night before was bereft of kids going around knocking on doors and asking for candy.  Nothing happened at all.  I guess all the little old ladies just got a good night’s sleep before getting up for hours of marble tombstone scrubbing.

My sister and I were forbidden candy and granulated sugar growing up, so we found ways to procure it, usually pinching a few hundred lire here and there and buying sweets when we walked the dogs.  I believe we were allowed to visit the American embassy compound once or twice after we first moved to Rome, but my parents were somewhat disdainful of lower-level embassy employees, Marine guards and the like, so the kibosh was put on that ritual as well.

Perhaps I can blame my sneering at Halloween on my upbringing and my parents’ attitude.  I’m sure Mum being an Aussie didn’t help much either; whatever she was raised without was good enough for us, too.

Troll Attack SWATH

Reddit Scandal: “Those Meaningless Internet Points”

For my money, the most interesting story this week wasn’t Obama’s unsurprising comeback in the second debate—I’ve always said he plays a street-savvy long game, to laudable effect—but the outing by Gawker of the internet’s most notorious troll, Michael Brutsch, a.k.a. Violentacrez on Reddit.  This brought into the spotlight an issue I have long had with trolling, or making any sort of controversial attack or negative comment online: If you wouldn’t have the balls to say it to my face (or anyone else you are vilifying or degrading) as who you are in real life, you shouldn’t do it online.

Anonymous slander, stalking, offense, intimidation, humiliation et al. is cowardice, pure and simple.  When it becomes harassment and bullying of weaker people, it is downright dangerous—we’ve all heard stories of suicides resulting from the lethal psychological effects of the egregious behavior of what Anderson Cooper calls “little people,” which is the term he used in reference to Brutsch for a special segment on the Reddit scandal.  Anderson is someone I have made fun of myself a few times in these pages, but (almost) always as myself, the notable exception being when I posed as Tom Cruise to offer Anderson advice in The Tom Cruise Guide to Gay Sex in Your 50s.  When I am spoofing a celebrity, which I’ve done twice as Cruise and Lady Gaga, it’s pretty clear to readers that it’s me, and if it isn’t then I will cheerfully own up to it.

Imagining Lagerfeld: “There Is No Excuse for Fat.”

“This is absolutely ridiculous!” huffed my imaginary best friend Karl Lagerfeld when I conjured him up to meet me for a workout at Golds Gym Hollywood this afternoon.  I immediately thought he was pissed because of the outfit I’d dressed him in: little black tennis shorts, knee-high white socks, black patent leather Nike high tops, a tight white tee shirt with CHANEL emblazoned across the chest in black, and of course his signature black aviator sunglasses.

“Sorry,” I said.  “I thought you would feel comfortable like that.  Much more showy than a tracksuit.  Or is it too showy?”

Frank Ocean

People Saying Dumbass Things

Remember the ancient times, before Twitter, when celebrities needed reporters and unintentional open mics as vessels for saying stupid shit in public?

Props to R&B legend Stevie Wonder for keeping it real, then. This week, Wonder chose the classic route to go public with stupid shit, telling The Guardian’s Paul Lester that some gay people only think they’re gay. When discussing recently out-of-the-closet musician Frank Ocean, Wonder implied that Ocean was not necessarily homosexual, but simply “confused.”

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder sings his latest hit, “What the Eff Was I Thinking?”

Jessica Gomes Breasts

International Go‑Topless Day: 7 Celebrity Endorsements We’d Like to See

Today is International Go-Topless Day, where women around the world are expected to protest in favor of equality for all by removing their tops in public. As a supporter of women’s rights as well as a fan of boobies, who am I to criticize?

The event is being sponsored by the Raëlians, those kooky kids who believe the human race was created by super-advanced space aliens and who are trying to restore the swastika to its pre-Nazi association as a symbol of peace and harmony. Good luck with the second thing, Raëlians. You have a better shot at convincing people that women and men deserve the same rights. Even that will take another century, at least.

In a society dominated by the Abrahamic religions, where the second-class status of women is institutionalized, Raëlism is typically described as a cult. Although what Raëlists believe isn’t any less plausible than what your typical monotheist religion professes to be the truth, frankly, and it seems a lot less harmful to progress and modernity. Plus, they obviously aren’t hung up about the human body, so more power to them, as long as everyone is over 18 and signs a consent form.

Raelian Women Dancing Topless

Raëlian chicks demonstrate the benefits of a good diet and regular ab workout.

Dave Mustaine Crazy

Headbangers for Jesus

The entire planet officially jumped the shark in February of this year, and hardly anyone noticed! It happened when Megadeth guitarist and singer Dave Mustaine endorsed Rick Santorum for president. Tell me, in what kind of world-gone-mad does the famously debauched frontman for a thrash metal band tell us to vote for the stick-up-the-ass, hardcore conservative evangelist?

Since the script for our lives is now being written by monkeys stomping on typewriters, nothing should surprise us anymore, including the lunatic rants of a neocon headbanger. To demonstrate my point: Apparently Mustaine has gotten tired of Donald Trump and Ted Nugent hogging the demented right-wing paranoid schizophrenic spotlight, so he decided to do them one better by claiming, during a concert in Singapore last week, that the mass shootings at the theater in Colorado and the Sikh temple in Wisconsin were staged by President Obama in an effort to build support for a gun ban.

Uh-huh.

Designer Mary McFadden

There’s Nobody Like Mary—Part One

It wasn’t even much of temptation to call this piece There’s Something About Mary because not only would that be cliché, it would be inadequate to describe the force of nature who has been one of my best friends for most of my life at this point.  In honor of the release by Rizzoli of her visual autobiography Mary McFadden by Mary McFadden, I thought I’d allow myself to remember some of those years together, particularly seeing as I worked on a very early iteration of that book twenty years ago, which I called Opus, but Mary didn’t, preferring the simpler “my book” instead.

Maybe at some point I’ll explain why that version of the book was abandoned; it is appropriately dramatic, so much so that perhaps Opus fell short, and Grand Opera would have been more on the mark.  But the collapse of that project was quite a few years after the beginning of our relationship.  I’m certainly glad it has finally seen the light, and apparently been given the full Rizzoli treatment worthy of one of our National Living Treasures.