Will Bert and Ernie Ever Eat Zabar’s ‘Lobster’ Salad?

Bert (left) and Ernie

Oh, the sadness in Friday's New York Times. Hundreds if not thousands of Upper West Siders have been scooped, scooped! by one Doug MacCash, art critic at the Times-Picayune in balmy New Orleans. Doug, who's a charming and sensible guy, usually gets embroiled in what-price-graffiti tussles or wins team Pulitzers for rowing the newsroom skiff with his managing editor on the night Katrina visited. But this time, he was visiting New York with his family and must have hopped on the wrong subway, because he found himself on the Upper West Side -- … [Read more...]

My Own Private Idaho Potato

First, the Monokini Constant readers may have figured out that I spent most of November far from home. In fact, I was in Los Angeles, playing with and listening to this year's fierce and frolicsome USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program Fellows. Were I employed by one of this nation's foundering dailies or weeklies, I'd have been expected to blog at least daily about my SoCal travels. But I have no such obligation, so I'll allow my sun-soaked brain to right itself and -- what's the word? -- process, percolate, evaluate the cinematic … [Read more...]

Archie Date Update

A while back, when it was "leaked" that the 600th issue of Archie comics would be a wedding announcement, I myself made a modest proposal. Today, the New York Times published an Archie follow that pulls my facetious wishful thinking into the real -- albeit comic -- world. Sometimes, buried sentences such as these just cry out for attention: "The polls that I've seen ran about 80/20, Betty over Veronica, with Jughead continually coming in a strong third," said Mr. [Michael E.] Uslan, a comic-book historian, a longtime "Archie" fan and a producer … [Read more...]

Archie Pops the Question, to …

So who will the wrinkled redhead bring to bed -- assuming he hasn't already? As a fourth-grade student at Midwood, Brooklyn's P.S. 238, I struggled with my carrot-top best friend, another Jeffrey, over who was Archie and who Reggie. (Jeffrey and I also shared the same weird middle name!) But as any constant Out There reader can anticipate, although I studied those comics hard to see which of the two I wanted to be, I was much more "interested" in the other light-dark pair, sunny blonde Betty and well-born brunette … [Read more...]

Yes, the ‘Q’ in Quiznos Stands for ‘Queer’

  It was 1 a.m., and I was sipping from the ever-full pitcher of That '70s Show, but then a commercial came on that by some bit of late-night laziness I didn't mute: "Scott, I want you to do something." "Not doing that again. Got burned." What!? My cultural gaydar  -- infinitely more accurate than my personal one, and we won't go there -- started the beat beat beat of its tom-tom. Then as I watched, my socks, which were still on, got knocked off, and you will see why when you click on the ad … [Read more...]

Mickey Rourke, Flannel Cakes and ‘Milk’

                             A Hollywood Pastiche   Although the event may already seem fossil material, the 2009 Oscars were held Sunday in the bloated Kodak Theater at Hollywood and Highland. I recognized the steroided scene immediately, because it's right around the corner from the deco side-street hotel I stayed at in November, ensconced with that year's USC-Annenberg Getty arts journalism fellows. Our small hotel was caught between a tourist behemoth (theater, shopping plaza, lights, lights, lights) and a seedy, winding street … [Read more...]

Spilt (Harvey) Milk

      While waiting for embargoed reviews of Milk, you may wish to see my just-posted Obit Mag essay about Harvey Milk and the potential rebirth of present-day gay activism. It's great to have any kind of Obama-esque inspiration, but I am still convinced that solid changes come from real and metaphorical streets. … [Read more...]

Must Arts, Rights Stay on Election’s Back Shelf ?

I ask this leading question because, though we know the answer, we persist in champing at the usual bit. Almost no one running for office will discuss the arts or something as specific as gay rights when business and war put national, even international, livelihood at risk. Yet the health and some of the wealth of civil society depends upon the health of the arts, upon the survival of its small as well as large institutions, and upon the strength of its journalist criticism, now under mindless attack. Our souls too depend upon the arts, but … [Read more...]

I Have Never Depended on the Kindness of Judges, but …

...Yesterday's court-tossed wedding bouquet was caught by me and thousands of others who will visit City Halls all over California in a state of "finally" and make it legal. Of course, the decision to allow queer marriage can be reversed by referendumb as soon as November. In the meantime, here's a quasi-update to my very last, coincidental post, "Gay Rice": So, ladies and gents and everyone in between, why has it taken so long to have a pissy little gay wedding on network television? Yes, we're in California, not Massachusetts, so no … [Read more...]

Gay Rice

Down the Aisle, Slowly It took the supposedly liberal New York City mayor David Dinkins ages to come to his political and humanistic senses and order City Hall to issue domestic partnership certificates. That was January, 1993, more than 15 years ago, and it seemed late in coming even then. No money for city employee health benefits, previously promised, came with the mingy declaration; Dinkins was and will forever be an accountant. (Sample certificate is above. I don't know who the fine gents on this particular document are, although … [Read more...]