Issue 236: O.J. Simpson, Black Pride, Xulhaz Mannan, Tom Daley, Zayn Malik, Maurice Tomlinson, Frank Ocean, and more...

the week's
& pop
with a

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Left & Found

​How gay culture shaped the modern world. "There's a long-established conspiracy theory that underground gay networks are secretly plotting to fuck things up for everyone."

How black boys suffer sexual abuse in silence. "Disturbing allegations of sexual abuse against hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa are testing the black community's ideals of masculinity."

Lil’ Kim shouldn’t be blamed for her new, whiter, look. "Misogynoir, colourism and anti-blackness invade our lives every day. When I saw how Lil’ Kim had changed, I could only empathise."

Yet more research finds that kids do just fine with same-sex parents.

Why do we talk about millennials like they're all middle class?

The most serious catastrophic threats faced by humanity (threatening to kill ten percent or more of the human population) and they could happen within the next five years.


Should we get used to mass shootings? “This is the story of those 10 days, the new and relentless strain of gun violence in America, and the desperate need for us not to look away.”

Judge rules gay sex stings carried out by Long Beach police are discriminatory.

The media keeps missing a crucial point about states' anti-LGBT laws.

A brief history of North Carolina homophobia.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation - one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the US - has pulled out of a $1.5 million conference in North Carolina over the state's anti-LGBT law.

How corporate America became one of our greatest allies.

Bigots deface pro-queer billboard in North Carolina.

Anti-gay marriage group declares another funding emergency as donations dry up.

Gay couple win custody battle against Thai surrogate mother.

Black Pride, in pictures.

Mapping the lost nightclubs of New York City.

The ghost children of Mormon Country. "When the repressive, anti-gay policies of the Mormon church were leaked to the media, rates of LGBT teen homelessness and suicide skyrocketed."

US Department of Education names and shames schools seeking to discriminate against LGBT kids.

On Former US House Speaker Dennis "Denny" Hastert, the serial child molester two heartbeats away from the presidency.

How America enables its allies' bad behaviour.

What happened to Worcester? "A central Massachusetts city enabled the author’s ancestors to move into the good life of the middle class. That move is more complicated today."

The secret shame of middle-class Americans. "Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them."

The rare and horrifying instances of refugees from first world countries. "The United States almost never grants asylum to citizens of EU countries, but in a select few cases, people have fled violations of their human rights in Europe."

Madness. "In Florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards."

Inside the West Texas sanctuary for kids who killed their parents.

Here's how a Cleveland police union reacted to the $6 million Tamir Rice settlement.

The secret life of O.J. Simpson’s white Ford Bronco getaway car.

O.J. Simpson: Life After the murder trial (December 1995). "The victory party was over. O.J. Simpson discovered his old world didn’t want him back — not at his Brentwood estate, not at ICM, and not at the Riviera golf club."

O.J. Simpson: What really happened after the trial ended?

O.J. Simpson: The afterlife. "The 1995 acquittal was merely the beginning of an onslaught of media interest that would define the case, and its players, for decades."

O.J. Simpson: Whistling in the dark (February 1998). "​You may think O.J. Simpson killed his wife. But does that mean you can't be friends?"

O.J. Simpson: On Robert Kardashian: Keeping up with the man who stood by O.J. Simpson.

O.J. Simpson: What happened to the key players.

O.J. Simpson: Twenty years after the infamous Bronco chase, O.J. Simpson is still a mystery (June 2014). "Inside the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, inmate No. 1027820 rises daily between 6 and 6:30 a.m. He and a fellow prisoner known as Smoke share a 15-by-8-foot cell, the walls concrete and painted beige, the floor concrete and painted gray. There is a bunk with two beds, a stainless steel toilet and sink, a pair of televisions, books and an air mattress purchased from the commissary."

O.J. Simpson: What does the obsession with OJ Simpson say about America?

CANADA  The world adores Justin Trudeau. In Canada, we're still reserving judgment. "The global focus on the Canadian prime minister’s good looks and athletic prowess distracts from his thin political résumé."


Study by the London School of Tropical Medicine finds young gay and bi men are six times more likely to attempt suicide or self-harm.

Liverpool’s gay scene gets Oz-themed makeover for Friends of Dorothy.

Remembering the Admiral Duncan nail bomb attack seventeen years on.

ISLE OF MAN  Marriage equality comes to the British dependency.

NORTHERN IRELAND  Protesters march in Belfast for marriage equality...

...with Sinn Féin pledging to support it, despite the DUP blocking all progress.

NORTHERN IRELAND  On the #VoteProudly2016 campaign, which aims to use tactical voting to squeeze out the rabidly homophobic DUP.


SPAIN  Remember the time the American military accidentally dropped four atomic bombs on Spain? "A mixture of savvy PR from the US government and patchy reporting from international media means that most of us don't even know it happened."

BELGIUM  The government is to distribute iodine pills to the country's entire population as a nuclear safety precaution.

FAROE ISLANDS  Marriage equality and same sex adoption come to the archipelago.

UKRAINE  Meet the outlaw guide smuggling tourists into Chernobyl.

The Caribbean nations inching their way toward LGBT equality.

COLOMBIA  The Constitutional Court gives final approval to same-sex marriage.

EGYPT  Eleven gay men jailed for up to twelve years...

...So, why such silence in Egypt amid the anti-LGBTI crackdown?

BANGLADESH  Xulhaz Mannan, the gay activist and editor of the country’s first LGBT magazine, Roopbaan, has been hacked to death...

...And his murder is "the latest attack on free speech in a country that seems to have forgotten the lessons of its war of independence".

INDIA  The trouble with renting a womb. "India has shut its borders to foreigners seeking surrogacy – purportedly to prevent the exploitation of poor women. But will this make matters worse?"

TAIWAN  Serial rapist Du Bo Wen sentenced to fifteen years in prison for murdering 21-year-old model Xiang Hai.

MALAYSIA  Police chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim: Gay people can't become cops.


Garrett Clayton on being manhandled by eight guys on set of King Cobra.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie might have the most celeb cameos of any film EVER - and here they all are.

How Keanu accidentally explains the sorry state of modern film comedy.

The Millennium Falcon touches down - in England.

Captain America: Civil War shows why superheroes shouldn’t team up.

What Tilda Swinton’s role as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange means to a Tibetan.

The best and worst documentaries of the Tribeca Film Festival.

On FilmStruck, the new streaming service with the largest classic film library ever assembled online.

Magnificent obsession. "One of the great tragedies in cinematic history was the fate of Orson Welles’s 1942 epic, The Magnificent Ambersons, which was cut, reshot, and mutilated by studio functionaries while its visionary director was working on another project in Brazil. Sixty years on, the 132 minutes of the original version—if indeed they exist—are still the holy grail of certain film buffs. The author follows the making, and unmaking, of a movie that Welles believed was the death of his Hollywood career."

Why The Night of the Hunter is the greatest one-off in movie history. "As unshakeable as last night's dream, [the] movie still speaks to us across the decades: a primeval spook story, a tribute to childhood, and a plaintive American prayer against the devil inside that we will never quite exorcise."

On The Long Good Friday: "A truly great 1980 state-of-the-nation movie. The classic gangster thriller is a fitting vision of Thatcher’s Britain, with Bob Hoskins as Harold Shand, the quotable cockney mobster who loses it all."

WATCH  Holding The Man (trailer).


The People v. O. J. Simpson will be with us forever. "Some items, even in the surest artist’s hands, even tempered by the softening distance of time, will always resist explanation, reproduction, or balm. This is how we know they will last."

The People v. O.J. Simpson: How the trial of the 20th century became the TV event of 2016. "After the success of The People v OJ Simpson, two more TV projects about the notorious 1995 murder trial are in the works – one claiming that OJ's son was the guilty party."

An O.J. Simpson juror on what The People v. O.J. Simpson got right and wrong.

The People v OJ Simpson: Flavor Flav is the proud owner of the real O.J. Simpson statue.

WATCH  Here's the trailer for ESPN's stunning eight-hour documentary, O.J.: Made in America.

Don’t watch The Fosters because you feel like you should — watch it because it’s great.

New television season: What's cancelled or renewed?

Why production of HBO's Westworld was really (temporarily) halted.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Westworld showrunner Jonathan Nolan.

Why Game of Thrones is Christmas: Ubiquitous, obligatory, and inevitably disappointing.

Doctor Who spin-off Class: Cast, air-date, spoilers and everything you need to know.

ITV under fire for straight-washing gay character in adaptation of the The Durrells.

INTERVIEW  Talking to Uzo Aduba.

Willie Garson on how Sex and the City helped push LGBT representation on TV.

How Charmed lost its charm - what went wrong with the magical hit?

Thirteen TV shows where every episode is the same: House, CSI: Miami, The Big Bang Theory and more.

Gay Iconography: Remembering The Oprah Winfrey Show.

WATCH  The latest episodes of About Him and Go-Go Boy Interrupted.

Mark Farmer, the actor known for his roles in Grange Hill and Minder, is dead. He was 53.

At Night

Selling queerness: The curious case of Fun Home. "How a shrewd marketing effort branded Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, which deals with suicide and sexual identity, as a feel-good musical."

How do you measure twenty years of Rent backlash?

Why Rent feels so outdated twenty years after its debut.

Art + Design

Who really was Robert Mapplethorpe? "The directors of a new doc on the similarities between Mapplethorpe and Madonna, and why the NY photographer’s work still has the power to shock."

Photographer Adam Moco’s latest project Bare, a response to body-shaming and insecurity-inducing social media.

On the new exhibition showcasing the black faces famous in British life long before West Indians arrived in 1948. Above, Albert Jonas and John Xiniwe of the African Choir, in 1891.

Meatpacking district park Pier55 gets the green light.

T-shirts with Myra Hindley on them? Modern art has forgotten how to care. "A fear of sentimentality among artists has led to a troubling over-compensation: cruelty is prized over compassion."


Thirteen books about the O.J. Simpson trial to read if The People v OJ Simpson piqued your interest.

On the retrospective Warhol by the Book, which features "more than 130 objects from Warhol’s days as a student, his early years in NYC as a commercial artist and self-publisher, and more."

Merriam-Webster's response to questions about why "genderqueer" is in the dictionary.

Beats, Rhymes
& Life

Jordan lifts ban on Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila (aka Leila’s Project) following an international outcry; the band’s lead singer Hamed Sinno, is gay and an activist for LGBT rights in the middle east.

Frank Ocean on Prince: "He made me feel more comfortable with how I identify sexually."

National Enquirer claims Prince died from AIDS.

Akiba Solomon destroys Beyawnce: "Starting with Formation and the Superbowl performance and now with Lemonade, Beyonce has been doing this very particular thing of reinforcing color hierarchy by using groups of darker-skinned, similarly styled women with afros or some other 'natural' hair as background noise. In Formation the video and the Superbowl show, Beyonce doesn’t place herself in community with these women. The lighting, her position, her lighter skin and long straight blonde hair make her the queen. That’s superstar stuff, but people want to make this stuff Nina Simone-level Blackness–just without the sacrifice."

Usher's dick-flashing selfie... mess is the direct opposite of sexy.

Red Light

The porn industry needs your love. "In the wake of ongoing attacks on porn production in Utah and California, LGBT people need to make their voices heard."

Gay porn stars flock to in wake of shut down.

The gay porn site specialising in pregnant men and being swallowed whole. " doesn't feature any nudity, dicks, or anal, but does have 'belly button worship' and 'gut punching' videos."

Diesel Washington has something to say about porn models who beg for $.

What’s it like being a professional male dominatrix for women.


Thirty-nine role-play fantasies every gay couple should try.

What it feels like to have a prostate orgasm.

A sex expert explains why decadent food videos make you horny.

What's it like to date someone who's asexual?

What's it like to date someone who's sober when you're still drinking?

Why millennials aren't fucking.

Médecins Sans

Why you shouldn't exercise to lose weight.

The "ginger gene" holds the secret to eternal youth.

A single injection of antibodies protected monkeys from HIV for nearly six months.

A positive life: How a son survived being injected with HIV by his father. "Twenty-four years ago, in an act of ghastly malice, a Missouri father plunged a needle filled with HIV-positive blood into his son’s vein. No one at the time could’ve imagined anything worse. But the most astonishing part of all is the life the son turned out to live."

Larry Kramer's historic essay on AIDS, 1,112 and Counting. “If we don’t act immediately, then we face our approaching doom.”

WATCH Tituss Burgess, Daniel Franzese, and Nathan Lane want to know why we aren't talking about HIV.

Norovirus gives 699 million people diarrhea every year. No one talks about it...

...even though it's the most common cause of food poisoning. How it became the most ignored.

Big Tissue wants you to believe bathroom hand dryers spread disease. Here's what science says.

Is marijuana a gateway drug? Here's what the research says.

What is melatonin and can it help me sleep?


The North Dakota oil patch gets its first gay bar.

Why Taiwan is destroying its high mountain Oolong tea farms.


Online retailer Marek + Richard faces backlash over "no fats, no fems" tank-top.


Everybody should get a taste of life as a waiter. "If people realised how badly serving staff are treated by the public and their employers they might realise how unfair Zizzi’s tips move is."

I Own 51% Of
This Company!

How Uber conquered London. "To understand how the $60bn company is taking over the world, you need to stop thinking about cars."

BHS, the 88-year-old department store chain, has collapsed into administration.

BHS: murder on the high street. "It’s too easy to dismiss the collapsing retailer as out of date. In truth it has been bled dry by some very modern British business practices."

How I would have saved BHS. "The department store chain was too slow to change in fast-moving retail landscape, but with bit of imagination it didn’t need to end this way."

Nestlé’s half-billion-dollar noodle debacle in India. "Nestlé spent three decades building a beloved noodle brand in India. Then the world’s biggest food and beverage company stumbled into a public relations debacle that cost it half a billion dollars. A cautionary tale of mangled crisis management on an epic scale."

Planes, Trains
& Automobiles

Soviet Union legacy bus stops, in pictures.

Inside The

Apple agrees to examine iPhone of Florida teens lost at sea.

Netflix and Ch-Ch-Chilly. "How have decades of mass media and technology changed us? A writer returns to his remote hometown — once isolated, now connected. And finds unexpected answers."

How retweeting, or “re-blogging,” directly interferes with your learning capabilities and retention rates.


Why Hong Kong wants the Gay Games.

Why the NCAA's latest move on LGBT inclusion is nothing but a bait-and-switch.

Meet the Azlans, the Northern Ireland's first gay rugby team.

Tom Daley flaunts his barely there Olympic speedos.

The secret history of Tiger Woods. "The death of his father set a battle raging inside the world's greatest golfer. How he waged that war - through an obsession with the Navy SEALs - is the tale of how Tiger lost his way."


And now, gay vultures.

The oceans are running low on oxygen.

Just how many people can the earth actually hold?

And Whilst You're
Thinking About That,
Think About This...

And finally, the Rhodes twins describe coming out to each other; are gay men actually more "manly" than straight men? Walter wonders if it's true that 95% of the black gay community are bottoms; and in the latest episode of Gay Code: crystal meth, gay film classics, stereotypes, and bisexuality.

See you kids next week - it's been emotional! Zee Jai

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Issue 236: 25-30 April 2016



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