Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, Judi Dench, Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Francesca Hayward, Idris Elba, Les Twins, and Ian McKellen are among the stars enlisted for the live action version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS film adaptation directed by Tom Hooper.
SEND HER BACK. Donald Trump insists he tried to stop the “send her back” chants even though the tape shows he paused for 13 seconds while the chants grew.
DESTROY. USDA suppresses plan to address climate change: “Staff members across several USDA agencies drafted the multiyear plan that outlines how the department should help agriculture understand, adapt to and minimize the effects of climate change. Top officials, however, decided not to release the plan and told staff members to keep it for internal use only, the employee told POLITICO. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution.”
JAPAN. Arsonist kills 33 at anime studio in Kyoto: ‘Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tweeted that the apparently deliberate act is “too appalling for words.” According to local media, a man reportedly burst into Kyoto Animation’s building and shouted “die” as he poured out a flammable liquid. At the time, there were reportedly about 70 people in the building. A suspect in his 40s has been taken into custody and was being treated at a local hospital, NHK reported.’
NYT. Pete Buttigieg is still figuring it out. “Amid the attention paid to Buttigieg’s eclecticisms — his frequent literary references, his ability to speak eight languages, his classical piano training and Radiohead fandom — it’s easy to overlook the fact that he is, at heart, a fairly conventional political animal. Buttigieg is steeped in campaign life, having worked for John Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008, and he tends to talk, more than most candidates, like an operative.”
IOWA. Taxpayers could foot $6 million bill for anti-discrimination lawsuit against Governor Terry Branstad. ‘Godfrey’s lead attorney, Roxanne Conlin, said Wednesday said she intends to request reimbursement for more than $2.6 million in attorneys’ fees. That’s the approximate tab her team racked up before the six-week trial started, she said. The private defense attorneys Branstad hired have received more than $1.2 million from the state so far, and Conlin predicted the defense’s total bill will top $2 million.’
TEASER OF THE DAY. Snoopy in Space.
CAPE COD SHARK SIGHTING OF THE DAY. Experts take you on a tagging mission.
Berkeley, California will be renaming “manholes” as “maintenance holes” in official city documents in a bid to recognize nonbinary gender inclusivity.
In addition fraternities and sororities will be referred to as “Collegiate Greek system residences,” “manpower” will be termed “human effort,” pregnant women will be referred to as “pregnant employees,” and “watchmen” will be called “guards.”
CNN reports: ‘The item passed without discussion or comments and was not controversial, said Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author. The revised city documents also will replace instances of gendered pronouns, such as “he” and “she” with “they,” according to the ordinance.’
After last week’s emotionally-charged (and creatively-questionable) episode of Pose, this week gave us a production-heavy installment to lighten the mood.
Shifting the focus from our principle (now) quartet of trans actresses (R.I.P. Candy), I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of a Damon and Ricky centered episode. Instead, the series wisely chose to use this opportunity to highlight its dance sequences — one of the show’s greatest strengths.
Even with minimal Pray Tell, Blanca and Angel, the simple emotional arc was easy to invest in. I’ve often bemoaned Ryan Jamaal Swain’s broad interpretation of Damon, but in this week’s episode, he brought the sort of ease and grace of his dancing to his speaking scenes.
Dyllon Burnside, who portrays Ricky, is a dependably solid player, but he really had a chance to shine last night.
As Madonna’s hit “Vogue” continues to top the charts, Damon’s vogue class is surging in popularity. A woman approaches him after class and invites him to audition for Madge’s “Blonde Ambition” tour. He is, of course, elated.
However, he’s not alone. Ricky also got the audition. What follows is crisply edited contrast between house mothers Blanca and Elektra as they react to the news. Blanca, of course, is warm and supportive, realizing this is a huge opportunity for Damon and for their entire community. Meanwhile, Elektra obviously makes it all about herself and getting her close to Madonna.
All of the dance scenes are stupendous, including Damon’s class and this first audition. Damon and Ricky share some sweet moments after the audition, conveying a sort of very natural ease between the two exes. I was never impressed with their on-screen chemistry previously, but they really filled these small, pleasant interactions with what felt like real residual feelings and history.
The pressure of the callback pushes Elektra to take desperate measures. She tries to convince her house to pull a Tonya Harding on Damon using Candy’s hammer. There was even a very heavy-handed justification that this is what Candy would’ve done. It was a slight and silly scene that really went nowhere, save for a sharp exchange between Blanca and Elektra wherein the former threatens to kill the latter if she lays a hand on any of her children.
Ricky and Damon both make the callback, of course. In a very strange editing decision, we don’t actually see them dance at the callback, but we do learn they didn’t get it.
Don’t fret just yet.
As they waited outside, they were offered another gig — dancers on a reboot of Solid Gold. They film the pilot, which means we’re treated to an extensive dance sequence. They’re hopeful the show will go to series, but Ricky is even more hopeful about their romantic future. Damon is resolute, though: There is too much at stake. They need to put all their energy into dance.
It’s interesting to see these characters start to get these bigger breaks. I hope they use the rising stars of Damon and Angel to dive further into the levels of privilege within this queer community of color. How would Damon’s career be affected if he were outed versus Angel? It’s an opportunity to explore the balance between our shared struggles and recognizing our unique experiences.
And it feels more relevant today than ever before.
Organizers of the Straight Pride Parade planned for August 31 in Boston issued a laughable response after receiving a cease-and-desist order from Netflix for listing the company as a “prospective sponsor” on their website along with 25 other major corporations, some of which have already rejected the organization’s hateful mission.
Netflix wrote to the organization’s leaders, who have been linked to far-right and white supremacist groups: “You are using the Netflix logo to promote your event, which despite its name is about hate–-not pride. That’s gross and deeply hurtful, but it’s also deceptive misinformation and infringes our legal rights. Netflix has nothing to do with your organization or event. Indeed, it’s telling that you feel the need to lie to gain legitimacy. … You should know that we’re unafraid of bullies. Our legal department is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.”
Wrote Straight Pride Parade organizers in response: “Sadly, we have learned that Netflix is a heterophobic company steeped in hatred and bigotry. They not only rejected our offer but threatened us with litigation if we did not stop using their name and logo, which is perfectly legal for editorial or informational purposes. Netflix labelled us bullies and declared that their legal department “is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.” Obviously, Netflix has no qualms about using their position of power to threaten marginalized groups who are exercising their 1stamendment rights. It appears that their legal department is staffed by gay supremacists who are so accustomed to privilege that our goal of equality for straights feels like oppression to them. In fact, it is Netflix that is acting like a bully. We have every right to inform the public about our attempts to gain sponsors for our parade and their hate will not stop us.”
Now Robert E. Reeves, Michael Peterson, Jessay Martin, and Bill Lyons watch and react to the beautiful gay animated short In a Heartbeat. The short film, which debuted in 2017, has more than 40 million views on YouTube.
France has eased restrictions in its ban on gay blood donation, lowering the period in which men who have sex with men must abstain from sex before being allowed to donate from one year to four months.
France24 reports: ‘The health ministry, which will implement the changes on February 1, 2020, said the decision to relax the abstinence period was based on the latest scientific evidence and medical advances. It said the change marked a “first step” in plans to bring donor conditions for gay men in line with those for heterosexuals by 2022, pending a “transparent” evaluation of the potential risks involved. The announcement comes a month after gay rights groups filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging discrimination by France, pointing out that the 12-month abstinence rule “effectively excludes 93.8% of gay men from donating blood”.’
In the United States, the FDA still defers any male donor who has had sex with another man in the past year.