Issue 205: Looking, Phylicia Rashad, Rob Smith, Suge Knight, Frank Ocean, objectum sexuals, white Oscar, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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think, progress

The Gay Agenda is alive and well!

Sexting may make porn stars of us all, but you don’t have to be an Adonis.

Gay male sexual assault survivors speak out.

Why don’t we believe rape victims? Because of people like Phylicia Rashad.

Homophobic, transphobic parents make abusive homes. Let's help LGBT kids get out.

Male gays and the male gaze. "Have you ever touched a female friend's boobs and claimed it was OK because you're a gay man? Then you might be sexist."

Feminists today are too obsessed with their own elite, metropolitan lives.

Inequality isn’t inevitable, it’s engineered. That’s how the 1% have taken over.

Where does the Black Lives Matter movement go from here?

White people see "black" Americans as less competent than "African Americans".

Is the gay community scaring away our straight allies?

A straight man holding hands with another straight man for a social experiment video doesn't teach you about the gay experience.

Six lessons a straight couple learned from owning a gay bar.

Rob Smith: Race-based dating preferences aren't racism, and what it’s like to come out to immigrant parents...

news from america

The Mormon church says it will support gay equality, on one condition.

How bakeries got caught in the middle of the marriage equality war.

This is 20-year-old Sherman Edwards (aka Lamar Mirage), who was shot dead in Louisville, Kentucky, on 9th January. The media can't decide if he was a gay man who sometimes dressed in drag, or a trans woman. 20-year-old Henry Richard Gleaves has been charged with Edwards' murder.

Irene Monroe on the historic black LGBT discussion on Selma: "If Bayard Rustin were alive today he certainly would have been proud [as] folks who were active during 1960s civil rights era and today's LGBTQ 'Black Lives Matter' activists met in Boston as a way of honoring the 29th anniversary of Martin Luther King Day."

Selma is a majority black city where kids grow up poor and too many people don't care. "What films like Selma get right is that, by standing together and refusing to accept the status quo, we can force the powerful to do the right thing."

After shooting Tamir Rice, police detained his sister and didn't apply first aid.

The fire on the 57 bus in Oakland. "A black 16-year-old lights a white, agender 18-year-old’s skirt on fire while riding the bus. Is it a hate crime? And what’s the appropriate punishment?"

How did Fox News' Birmingham blunder make it to air? Because everything else does. "For some hosts and producers at a network that traffics in outrage and over-the-top, factually questionable claims, Steven Emerson is an irresistible guest."

Mainline Street. "What does it take for heroin to grab hold in the small, remote towns of America? Consider the case of Laramie, Wyoming. Five years ago, it had no heroin problem whatsoever. Now there's a bustling trade. How does this happen? How does heroin become a business? Well, like any business, it starts with one man and an entrepreneurial dream."

How America got addicted to road salt — and why it's a problem.

news from asia

Japan | The Japanese still aren't having sex. Why?

China | Drag queens at the Chunai 98 club, in pictures.

Australia | The horrific conditions facing detained asylum seekers keep getting worse.

Talking to Australia's angriest Aboriginal rights activists.

news from europe

England | Trans woman launches campaign to stop UK's first "gay" school. The proposed LGBT Youth North West, in Manchester, would help support bullied and outcast LGBT kids and their allies.

England | The LGBT school in Manchester is a practical answer to a practical problem. But is it a good idea?

England | Beautiful Thing playwright Jonathan Harvey on the "quietly menacing" bouncers of London Soho restaurant Balans.

England | Photographing the faces of the best gay bar in London - before it closes forever.

England | Another Soho gay bar is fighting redevelopment. News of The Yard's uncertain future follows recent announcements about the closure of The Green Carnation on Frith Street and the closure of famed cabaret club, Madame Jo Jo’s on Brewer Street.

England | "It’s like a ghost town." Lights go out as foreign owners desert London homes.

England | Inside London's National Gallery, a portrait of modern inequality.

United Kingdom | The Labour party of my dreams would stand up for poorer people. Where is it?

France | Twelve powerful political cartoons responding to the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Germany | We must stop Angela Merkel’s bullying – or let the forces of austerity win.

How do Germans and Greeks actually feel about each other?

Germany | Hamburg is burying the Autobahn and putting parks on top.


Long live the ebook – it’s a champion of the printed word. "With the public promiscuously hopping from one format to another, reports of the e-reader’s death look distinctly premature."

John R. Gordon's writer's diary: The curse of reasonableness.

at the movies

Benedict Cumberbatch forced to apologise after calling black actors "coloured."

The Oakland Tribune's response to this year's all-white slate of Oscar nominees is brilliant...

Phil Lord, who co-directed The Lego Movie, just built his riposte when his movie didn't receive an expected nomination for the Oscar for Animated Feature.

In True Story and I Am Michael, which are both premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the confounding mystery of James Franco reaches its limits.

American Sniper is a dishonest whitewash of the Iraq war.

If Congress hadn't extended copyright, The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind would be free today.

Back To The Future II designer reveals treasure trove of forgotten concept art.

Why watching the best version of Star Wars is a crime.

the box

What gay TV sex is Billy Crystal complaining about, exactly?

The Castro Theatre hosts the premiere of the second season of Looking.

Looking "kicks off season 2 with sex, scandal, and issues that strike at the heart of what it means to be queer in America."

Why Looking’s second season is worth watching. [Ed - the first season was, too!]

Talking to Looking creator Michael Lannan.

Talking to Looking's Daniel Franzese about his HIV-positive bear character, being completely naked on screen and why he came out publicly.

Looking's Jonathan Groff likes sex on a first date.

Raúl Castillo responds to bad Tinder messages.

Review | Looking. "Richie's representation in Looking, and his fractious relationship with Augustin, is one of the most interesting, and important, aspects of the show. Rarely in gay media do we see any acknowledgement of class; race, yes, but rarely class. Looking tells us about a proud, blue collar Latino man, and the indulged Augustin, who only speaks español when he's trashed."

Twenty-five reasons Elijah from Girls is the best friend you could ever hope for.

Talking to comedian Graham Norton.

Gays of our lives: A round-up of everything gay in soap.

Watch the latest episode of Triangle.

beats, rhymes & life

Even iTunes don't understand how their new refund system works.

Simper while you sing. The ghastly Ed Sheeran effect. "Male pop stars are getting less and less sexy while the women are expected to practically fellate the microphone."

Madonna’s cultural appropriation confirms what a cliche she has become. "As they plunder minority cultures in their desperation to appear edgy, the only thing artists such as Iggy Azalea and Madonna succeed in doing is flaunting their unoriginality."

Hip hop is in a transition between materialism and idealism.

Suge Knight arrested after he allegedly ran over one man and injured another in the parking lot of a burger joint in Compton, California, following an argument with members of the film crew on the set of the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. He faces thirty years in jail if convicted.

The life and times of Suge Knight — the fall of Compton's notorious music mogul. "The Death Row records co-founder, now charged with murder, has led quite a life that includes gangs, jail and allegedly dangling Vanilla Ice off a balcony."

Lifetime's biopic of Whitney Houston is actually a movie about Bobby Brown.

James Blunt doesn’t understand the politics of envy. "The posh crooner fails to realise that it is the privileged who are promoting envy of the powerless."

James Blunt defends making anti-gay, rape joke. Blunt was feeling sensitive about an article in The New Statesman on the "class ceiling": "The children of the middle and upper classes are beginning to reassert a much older order."

Listen to Frank Ocean's cover of the 1976 Isley Brothers classic At Your Best (You Are Love).

betta work!

Ghost jobs, half lives: how agency workers "get by" in Britain’s shadow economy. "Meet Martin, an unperson, one of the million agency workers facing a lifetime of insecure, low-paid work."

How to endure soul-crushing, mundane work.

Read McDonald's workers' shocking harassment and discrimination complaints — and why they're so important.

Union membership in America is half of what it was 30 years ago.

st. elsewhere

Ever heard of objectum sexuals? You have now.

The hygiene hypothesis: How being too clean might be making us sick.

What they don’t tell you about dementia.

Alcohol poisoning kills six Americans each day. But who are they?

Are you drinking because you're working long hours, or are you working long hours to justify drinking?

How much salt you should eat, explained.

Nine surprising facts about faeces you may not know.

hell's kitchen

This is just a horrifying paragraph about food safety in America.

"All-natural" labels on food are meaningless. Let's get rid of them.


Save the honeybee, sterilise the earth. "A decade ago, people started panicking about the collapse of the honeybee population and the crash of our food supply. But today there are more honeybees than there were then. We have engineered our way to a frenzied and precarious new normal."

Can the Siberian tiger make a comeback?

Pollution is making polar bears’ dicks snap in half.

What happens to stray animals in a blizzard?

planet earth

2014 was the world's hottest year on record.

How climate change will be a disaster for Australia.

There are 300,000 pieces of garbage orbiting earth, and it's a big problem.

inside the spaceship

Can the Internet be archived? Enter the Wayback Machine.

The tech trends that need to die forever in 2015.

and whilst you're thinking about that, think about this...

Online shopping really is killing shopping malls.

Here's what's sending SkyMall into bankruptcy — and what could save it.

White plastic chairs are taking over the world.

The MSC Oscar just became the world's biggest container ship.

And finally, Andrew's working hard; Walter talks about Leelah Alcorn; how Martin got his man; and Rogue "Marbie" Scott's undercover lovers...

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Issue 205: 01-31 January 2015
On the cover: Raúl Castillo in HBO's "Looking".





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