Worlds & Time

Friday, July 28, 2006

Why I care about Lance

I will be happy when a celebrity coming out the closet doesn't make national news anymore, but as far as it goes, I'm pretty happy about Lance coming out of the closet.

I found out about a week beforehand through the rumor mill. Same old, same old. The NY Post page 6 reported that he was in Provincetown. A few bloggers said that he was dating Reichen Leklmuhl (I don't think I spelled that right, but I'm too lazy to look it up).

I've seen about that much evidence for Tom Cruise. And then there's Oprah. And Anderson Cooper. And, and, and. The list goes on.

And then, last night I was at a friends, and I check MySpace on a whim, and someone's quoted the Reuters story. I check Google news and it pulls up twenty something hits.

Now, I've always had this thing where I've believed that guys that I find attractive were never gay. In fact, it was sort of funny, in a sad way. Even the porn stars that I liked were straight.

And I had a crush on Lance Bass back in high school. Him and Nick from the Backstreet boys. So today and yesterday have been sort of dream-like. Something that I imagined came true (aside from the NM spaceport, I thought of it first, darn it). And because of that surreal quality, I'm really exited.

Kelly pointed out that he's dating someone, which is sort of an odd thing to say. After all, Brad Pitt is dating. I'm sure that Channing Tatum, Christian Bale, Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds and about half of the other straight guys that I consistently fantasize about are also dating (or married). The thing is, I don't have to pretend that Lance is gay anymore . . . I know. How odd that that one little bit of information is so important. Straight girls must take it for granted, that the boys presented to them in the Bubblegum pop era were straight. After all, that was sort of the point, wasn't it? But Lance is gay. He's one of us, and I will jump in front of any shot at him, because now he represents me.

And he's now a spokesperson. A large one. A cute, internationally recognized, young gay male spokesperson. At its peak, N'sync was huge nearly everywhere, Europe, Japan, South America, and even in the U.S.

He may be the first gay superstar. It's a little early yet to tell, but he's getting into acting now (a slightly more real acting, I never saw his first movie, but I heard that it sucked. The review that I read said that his chemistry with Joey Fatone was better than with the leading lady).

So, he's on a sitcom and hopefully he's better at playing gay than playing straight, and he becomes a star. He may or may not have problems with Reichen, but it won't matter, because he'll be tabloid fodder, and even if there aren't problems, the Enquirer will make them up. Can you see the Lance's Straight Affair? stories yet? The Reichen caught with another boy stories?

And for the first time, all the gay boys have a real idol to look up to, just like the other boys do. They can look up to someone that's popular, someone that's famous, and someone that's rich, and they can say, I want to be just like him when I grow up. And they can have a crush on him at the same time, because, after all, he's one of them.

There aren't a lot of really well known gay people that you can match up with the straight people. Ian McKellan is a powerful figure, but he's never been a Tom Cruise. Rosie was never a beautiful woman. Ellen was never worshiped by legions of screaming fans. We're missing the Brad Pitts, the Jennifer Lopez's, the Snoop Dogs' and we were missing the Justin Timberlakes.

But hopefully now we aren't completely lacking them.

So, who cares that Lance Bass is gay? I care. And if Lance isn't the one, then maybe they next one will be the superstar. The one that we can point to and say he's ours, and everyone on the freaking planet will know what we're talking about.

I have to end with a note to Lance: You're going to give up your privacy. If things work out, you're going to be bigger than Justin Timberlake because the gay people can make you a god among men, but you're going to be hunted and hounded and pursued because of it. But while that might suck for you, it might also give some kid a gay hero, and our community would love to have gay heroes.

Please, be our hero Lance.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Few Personal Notes

I'm done with the requiste three chapters, so it's official: it's time to submit.

I'm terrified, but on the flip side I'm really excited. I know it won't get selected, but I'm still just so hopeful. That's the start of it, the first submission.

Incidentally, I don't know if anyone liked the State of Fear review. I'm going to be doing more of them in the future, and posting them on Worlds & Time in the science fiction and fantasy sections. There are only three of them at the moment, but there'll be more soon.

And, if you know anyone that needs any editing for anything, please let me know.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Jay.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

State of Fear

I just finished reading State of Fear by Michael Crichton, who is one of my favorite authors.

It was a horrible read.

I disagree vehemently with his position and agree with his conclusion, but let me first disagree with his writing. The characters were one dimensional. Except for the protagonist, no characters' expectations were challenged. The good guys were right about everything, from global warming to cannibalism, and the bad guys were mass murderers with no real understanding of their own motivation. The plot, from Prius chases to Ferrari crashes, was so transparent that I was constantly searching for a deeper meaning that simply wasn't there.

The good/bad duality isn't between liberals and conservatives, although at a first glance it looks that way. They main characters are lawyers and scholars, and even a few scientists thrown into the mix, arguing amongst themselves. The problem is that even while he says "We don't really know whats going on," Crichton is promoting a one sided agenda.

The book is referenced. I doubt that you'll see many fiction books where two characters sitting on a plane talking about cannibalism requires footnotes, but here you will. Of course, this being Michael Crichton, the character whom the footnotes don't support is eaten. For the moment, Ill pretend that the character isn't Martin Sheen and state my main complaint with the references

Only one side is allowed to present them. The irony of the last bullet point in the authors statement ("Everyone has an agenda. Except me.") would be slightly less sad if it wasn't such a blatant lie. After the eugenics and the Lamarckian genetics comparisons, there really isn't hope for a calm and civilized discussion about the topic of global warming, and the characters in the book certainly don't attempt to have one.

MIT professor John Kenner, who forms the main focus for the debate against global warming in the book, is quite fond of using citations. Consistently the characters that he speaks to dismiss the citations as bogus and fall into denial. But the character never faces anyone that can offer him any rebuttal, scientist or not. Kenner is the Jesus Christ of the story, perfect and untouched by the events of the story, walking across the water of Crichton's fiction. Perhaps I would have been a little more impressed if the characters that Kenner was debating in the book had been more than a lawyer and an actor, if someone had cited a study and disagreed rationally just once.

For me, reading this, the worst thing was that I agreed with Crichton's conclusion, given in the end by Crichton's Mary Sue. There really are compelling reasons to restructure the way that grants are issued and funded to make them double blind, to make these organizations more focused on research than administration (and in Crichton's world, terrorism). Those are noble goals.

But in the real world, I dont hold out much hope. Where Crichton's eco-terrorist group ELF uses rocket launchers and earthquake machines, the real ELF uses paint and matches. Where scientists talk only to lawyers, in the real world scientists occasionally talk to other scientists. Where the masses live in ignorance in Crichton's world, in the real world even the scientists are sometimes wrong. Thats why this is reality and Crichton writes fiction.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Manic Mode and W&T

Up until about two or three weeks ago, I could pretty safely say that I'd never been manic.

If you're familiar with manic depression, you know that it's characterized by severe bouts of depression along with times of elation and happiness.

I've been depressed since I was eight. They don't really diagnose that early, they just point out that you display the symptoms. And then I continued to display the symptoms for years and years and years.

My father was diagnosed with manic depression, which makes it much more likely that I'll have it, even though he's now diagnosed as schitzo-affective instead of manic. So it's been looming over me. But you're not manic unless you can point to a time of mania, usually characterized by boundless energy, heavy spending, and mood swings.

But a few weeks ago, I think I may have been manic. It was a good two weeks, but now I'm depressed again, mostly because now I'm worried that I have manic depression.

On the up side, my business has a website: I finally came up with a name that I liked during the manic phase, and it's actually up and running now.

So, here's a promotion: If you need editing, or know someone that needs editing, hit me up. I'll basically do it for free while I'm getting set up, as long as I can use you as a reference in the future.

Anyway, I'm otherwise okay. I'm working on my book bit by bit and I'll have enough to submit soon. It'll be rejected, but at least I'll be starting to try.

And I can't tell, is trying part of the mania?