Fear of Queer

Don’t overreach with the equality nonsense, girlfriend.

Funny thing about Pete Buttigieg. People, especially Young People, don’t like him. I mean they really don’t like him.

The just-hatched harpies of the intolerant left speak of Pete’s falling fortunes as though they occurred in a vacuum and based solely on his merits, but one look at Elizabeth Warren’s nose-dive suggests that this race will not be rewarding the most-deserving, the hardest working or the most intelligent; the US electorate is too packed up in demographic boxes — elites, millennials, boomers, the black vote, educated white women, evangelicals — each one with contradictory demands and tastes, contemptuous of all the others, and self-serving to perfection.

And we know, because they’ve told us, that there are decisions being made by oligarchs and enemies, agendas over which the candidates have no control.

In fact Warren has stated that she was told on entering the race that there were “two tracks: a progressive one with Sanders and a moderate one with Biden, and there was no room for anyone else.” This doesn’t encourage me to look on her or Pete’s or anyone’s dropping out as necessarily reflecting on either their ideas or their management of their campaign.

So the characterizing of Pete as incompetent is not insightful or true, just convenient. Whether or not any candidate has been able to resonate with any particular demographic or minority, this is an undecipherable mix of media attention and spin, whatever Putin’s henchmen are doing at the troll farm, personal charisma and zeitgeist.

Proof that Sanders can be just as polarizing and shouty as Trump? Sander-nistas, with that authentic authoritarian distrust of high-falutin’ book learnin’ and shifty elitism, (probably because the intelligentsia are intelligentsia enough to see through your propaganda) disdain Pete’s Harvard degree, polylinguistic talents (they say he can tie a shoelace with his tongue, yes, I’m kidding but made ya look!) and “flowery language.”

Me, I tend to get all hot and bothered for a man with intelligence, education and a grown-up’s vocabulary, call me old-fashioned. But I suppose it was inevitable that aw-shucks, proletarian hand-painted folksy would be the order of the day when Bernie’s in the ascent. Honestly. They sound like the devil-children of the Politburo practising their critiques of “formalism” in case an American Shostakovich or Akhmatova starts tormenting the rosy-cheeked proles with clashy chords or words of three syllables.

He was reviled, not least by the narrow-minded gatekeepers of the gay community, for fundraising for the poor alongside the Salvation Army during the holidays, as though it was more important to make a sulky point than to help the disadvantaged; he was called a hypocrite and corporate shill for wine cellar fundraising, in a country where a billion dollars is considered a reasonable target for a campaign.

These are embarrassingly empty criticisms, desperate deployments of fluff from die-hard Sanders supporters who are willing to tank the election rather than not get their way (they said so).

So let’s talk “vapid,” one of the mysterious criticisms aimed at Pete. Nothing there? Let’s have a look at his platform (from Vox):

Quadrupling the earned income tax credit for single adults

A $15-an-hour minimum wage

Affordable, universal full-day child care and pre-K for all children from infancy to age 5”

A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

A Medicare buy-in open to all meant to “create a natural glide-path to Medicare for All”

A cap on all student loan payments as a share of income, forgiven in full after 20 years

But that’s not all. Buttigieg has devoted attention to big structural problems that afflict our democracy, and has proposed solutions that are genuinely radical.

DC/Puerto Rico statehood, banning gerrymandering, ending the Electoral College, and ending the filibuster

Expanding and reforming the Supreme Court to curb partisan rulings

Sectoral union bargaining where agreements apply to whole industries, not just individual companies

A carbon tax rebated to taxpayers in cash, plus a quadrupling of research and development funding for clean energy

This was the platform of a “moderate” only in comparison to Sanders’ and Warren’s.

I know that universal health care is the key concern this time round. I understand — I’m a Canadian who enjoys this benefit, and I agree that if the US can crack this one, which surely it must, it will be a radical change not only for the uninsured but in the American “anti-socialist” mindset.

Buttigieg’s plan for “Medicare for all who want it” was a workable compromise and a way forward for this radical change. The reality is that both a Warren and a Sanders presidency would likely involve some form of deal-making resulting in this very compromise. Warren’s gone, but, in the event of Sanders ending up in the Oval Office, watch what happens to M4A.

If you’re going to do a hatchet job, at least address his policies, instead of relying on fatuous ad hominem attacks. If Pete’s stock went down, it wasn’t due to his personality, his platform or his electability, least of all due to a spectacularly well-run campaign in which he went from unknown to serious contender.

In many ways Pete, youthful, charismatic, liberal to the core but reading as “centrist,” would have been just the right person for the job, where he would have been positioned to achieve many of the left’s goals without frightening the horses either before or after election.

Yet—from the youth Bernie demographic, revulsion which, despite my initial reluctance to do so, I finally read the right way: The usual Bernie hagiography with a swirl of blatant homophobia, all the nastier for the “I just can’t put my finger on it” faux-naif pose, and all the more insidious for their covert style, in the manner of my mother saying, “He’s one of those…”

Thus he was called “droid-like,” “inhuman,” “weird,” “vacant,” obsessed with the Presidency from an early age, as though the fantasies of a young boy were somehow sinister and pathological (didn’t Hillary want to be an astronaut?).

Isn’t that supposed to be “the American Dream,” that you can aim high, and through hard work, and possessing the right talents for the job, achieve your dream? Not if you’re queer, apparently. We’re just too inexplicably icky.

Underlying all of the negative descriptions I read online about Pete — an odor of smelling salts, a nudge and a wink, a grimace of distaste, a hold your nose disgust that the writers’ attempts at arguments did not even acknowledge, let alone explain, and, significantly, always the wish that he’d “go away” or disappear for good, hinting at a visceral reaction akin to nausea.

Because they couldn’t just come right out and say it, could they? Not without losing that wokeness badge. They had to hint and hope we get the message.

Oh, we get the message, honey. We get it. Because “just go away,” “don’t ask, don’t tell,” “save the children,” “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” they all come from the same place and have one goal: To patronize, nullify, infantilize, humiliate, emasculate; to make gay men invisible again.

To make all of us queer folk — “just go away.”


Trainwrecks and Belly Aches—

and Blackberry Ricotta Cheesecakes

I vowed I would stop paying attention to the organized train-wreck of the 2020 U S Presidential race, but as per usual I’m irresistibly drawn back for one more smash of a vein-load of that injectable crack. The 2020 race is the drug that makes your brain fall out in moist chunks, turns your convictions to cold porridge and twists your mouth into a permanent “O” of gobsmacked disbelief, and that’s if you brush your teeth.

I’m ready to brush somebody’s teeth with a chain saw, because Elizabeth Warren, fresh and wholesome as a newly-baked loaf of bread, has been reduced to a few broken pieces of Melba toast that cockroaches would disdain as a life-raft, come the deluge.

Ignored, patronised and discounted: The disappearing of Warren is a sign of how much she was feared as a threat to the status quo. The misogynist erasure of Warren has left me disappointed, shocked and angry, and it kicked into gear so smoothly and predictably I started to wonder if I’d been gaslighted alone in a Victorian drawing room.

Though I have no standing as a citizen in the US election — unless I merit some skin in the game via Trump’s ability to hijack Justin Trudeau’s agenda for my country by dropping bombs from whose rubble Trudeau has to dig himself out — I’ve been fired up about Warren for years; in awe of her passion filtered through reason; her fearlessness (does anyone else remember her characterization of Trump in 2016 as “a loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud”?), her folksy yet razor-sharp talent for making wonkish policy understandable for the average voter; her spinning of (hallelujah!) a positive progressive narrative that resonated; and her integrity—pace the Sanders supporters and their sour and infantile barbs calling her “a corporate lackey.” Seriously, kids?

I’m dejected on her behalf because of her obvious merits and suitability for the role of POTUS and for the hard slog she has put in, for the fact that this is no doubt her only shot at the Presidential prize. I’m disgusted that in the space of four years, two women, Clinton and Warren, putting in twice the effort that men invest in their careers, have been trashed, sneered at and nullified by an establishment whose members they always equaled and usually surpassed in talent.

I’m disgusted at Sanders supporters who months ago called, with absolute lack of grace or even acknowledgment of her abilities, for Warren to exit the race and endorse Bernie, apparently unaware of the patronising misogyny of that assumption. I was flabbergasted by their belief that Warren “stole Bernie’s agenda,” as though by virtue of being a male he owns the social democracy playbook. But there you are: men are solid; women are treacherous, so the old story has it. (I knew that Sanders supporters skewed young, but I didn’t realize quite how many fontanels had failed to close.)

Disgusted, flabbergasted, but not surprised. These must be the supporters who said of Clinton, “Shut the bitch up;” who bought into, either out of credulousness or cynicism, every conspiracy theory and magnified every sexist cliché or archetype (from “women’s shrill voices” to “can’t be trusted”) while ignoring her impressive achievements from a lifetime in law and in politics, her world-beating resumé, and her most recent qualification, her having been Secretary of State, a role to which Obama had obviously appointed her to groom her for the world’s most important office.

These are the Sanders supporters who, in response to Warren’s devastating take-down of Bloomberg in Nevada, which was clearly the impetus for his pulling his campaign, replied, we’ll thank her when she goes. Is there any limit to their spite, their pouty, petulant hostage-taking or their emotional blackmail?

My only fear, and one born of cynicism, was that being a woman made Warren as unelectable as being a so-called “socialist” makes Bernie. Perhaps it’s an even handicap; and if Sanders wins the nomination? Well, this boomer knows that, unfortunately, there are times when nothing disappoints quite so much as getting exactly what you want, especially when it’s demanded with such unfailing mean spirit.

From politics to pie, A trick I learned from Imelda Pinkham, Headmistress, Role-Model Lesbian and Eminence Grise of Miss Pinkham’s Finishing School for Young Society Fags.

For if ever one (always refer to oneself in the third person) finds oneself fielding a conversational gambit such as—

“Did I tell you about the marvelous results of my recent spa treatment for fecal impaction? Not only do I feel lighter than air and cured of my halitosis, they located my Wedgwood tea service for twenty and half a set of Mahjong tiles lodged in the folds of my sigmoid colon!”

—it behooves one to have a strategy for rescuing the situation, apart from fainting, or “old reliable” as it’s known.

“Speaking of dessert,” one could venture, “do you not think the Floating Islands too utterly yummy, or do you prefer, perhaps, the Cherries Jubilee? Appalling, wasn’t it, and so frightfully unexpected, when the servant doused himself with the Cognac and set himself alight with the torch, and really we should ask for extra helpings, just to show we shan’t be intimidated by such Bolshevik nonsense, it’s simply not fair to Tanya when she’s pulled out all the stops for this, dear Tanya, such a poppet, couldn’t be more amusing, don’t you think?”

Let’s talk dessert, in other words, and first a moment of silence for those ladies in “Windows on the World” on 9/11 who must have been postively kicking themselves for ordering the low-fat vanilla mousse and the coffee with Splenda.

First-time customers are thinking, if that’s the dessert trolley, no wonder they call dining here a “once in a lifetime experience.”

Hey, kids, will you look at that! Must be Oprah swinging by for “Uber Eats” take-out in her private jet! Only in The Big Apple, right?!

Those are my first 9/11 jokes, I think that, all things considered, I did pretty well, and you should just calm down, OK, because, you know, it’s been nearly twenty years. That’s pre-Lady Gaga, if that puts it in perspective, and, by the way, Bernie.

If Bernie gets the nomination, it’ll make 9/11 look like the time your mom’s hairdo collapsed when you opened the back seat opera window of the family station wagon.

And are you done the moment of silence yet? Jeezus, we haven’t got all day, here!

Ricotta blackberry cheesecake with a shortbread crust, tulips optional. Even though I’m sure it’s in a million cookbooks, I made it up. This is why I earned the affectionate, I assume, sobriquet Mister Know-It-All Smartypants III.

The filling required no cooking: Large tub of Ricotta + icing sugar + lemon zest + blackberries.

Then shortbread = 1/4 c sugar, 1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, tsp pure vanilla extract (blend); 1 c flour, mix and knead briefly, press into pan, bake blind then add the filling. Refrigerate. Done.

Young People told me it was delicious but what do they know. Yes, that was the recipe. Don’t blink!

Now to answer your respectful yet still extremely annoying questions:

HOW MUCH icing sugar? ENOUGH icing sugar!
HOW BIG a tub of ricotta? A BIG ENOUGH tub of ricotta!

Look it up if it means so much to you.

Things I would do differently if I could step into the particle degromulator and travel back in time, but not so far back that particle degromulators haven’t been invented yet:

I wish I’d called the William Morris Agency and hired some more blackberry extras to fill in the gaps and mill around.

Step 372: ENJOY!

But avoid ingesting the 2020 US Presidential Election campaign. It leaves a sickly aftertaste.


Book Launch Reveal # 5

In which I change my name to Nancy-David and introduce Cindy the Attack Orchid.

Well, I can’t find my hideously expensive under-eye serum but I also can’t put this live broadcast thing off any longer, or my coach-in-a-box—who’s more like a coach who’s a box—will cover me with glossy, stiff peaks of meringue and throw the resulting tragedy under a broiler until I turn into a zombie Baked Alaska. No, that is nothing like Sarah Palin, thanks for checking.

Today’s live broadcast, through a weird intersection of coincidence, synchronicity and serenfuckery, is about creating awareness for my BOOK LAUNCH. And I need to ask you a big favour.

Here’s the thing: If after I’m done you are more aware of my book launch, or—and this is slightly more challenging, so try to focus—if you are suddenly acutely aware of my book and/or my impending book launch after having been completely unaware of it previously, then that will be my success metric. Are you getting this down?

I’ve just gone all hot and red, which is what happens when I throw around jargon-y buzz words like “metric,” or “success.” I realize I should have saved the moment for the live broadcast. That’s me, mister “esprit de l’escalier!”

You’ll see from the video that I decided to change my name to “Nancy-David.” This is in honor of Nancy Pelosi, of course, because frankly she is becoming more and more like an uber-emotional, high-maintenance drag queen every day. Ripping up the SOTU address? WTF?!

You’re too small for that gesture, Nancy. Try it with the cork-soled platform clogs and the ratted-out hair-hopper hair next time, you GILF-y Jezebel, you little “I pray for Trump” firecracker, you’ll get a better response. You’re welcome.

Trump said it was bogus that Nancy said she’s praying for him, and for once I sort of agree with him. You take what you can get! She’s praying for him, perhaps, but definitely about him, and even Anton Lavey would run screaming out of the room were he to overhear.

The thing about Catholics, especially the Italian variety, is they’ve never repudiated the whole pagan thing, so you can go right ahead and mentally dress la vedova Nancy in heavy black lisle stockings, black kerchief and steaming-hot little black dress.

Steaming hot, I hasten to add, not because of its plunging neckline or slit up the side but because it’s fashioned from the coarse wool of a Sicilian goat by a bunch of moustached nonnas under a gnarled pine tree as they weep over their husbands’ thinly-sliced remains. It’s steaming hot because Nonna Nancy’s California leather-belt skin is streaming with the sour sweat of vendetta.

It turns out that doing the right thing was not a right thing. It’s a good feeling to be right, of course, but how can you be right in a system as fucked-up as is the US currently? Think of this: the Senate used to be appointed, not elected, as Canada’s still is, and the intent was to provide non-partisan checks and balances on the power of the executive branch.

What do we have now? Two partisan branches of government, and what an unholy mess it is when the two branches are of different political opinion. The House of Reps is hog-tied with its righteousness because the second branch, the Senate, is standing by, not with non-partisan dignity and oversight, but with more rope and shackles. This makes absolutely no sense, but there it is.

Nancy was smart enough to realize that public opinion needed to favor impeachment, but once she forged ahead she was trapped.

Because she was not smart enough to realize that doing the right thing was suicide if it had no hope of being ratified and concluded by the Senate. The impeachment hearings were a noble endeavour, unavoidable, but it was the Mount Everest of empty gestures.

The Senate “trial” was a sham: A smug, nasty, even cruel, slap-down, two weeks of taunting by entitled, ignorant bullies; a shocking, defiant and near-unanimous breach of trust by out-of-control and power-hungry Republicans who conducted a trial minus evidence and witnesses.

Have you ever wondered why some cases are tried before a judge, and some have a judge and jury? There is no need for a jury trial if the facts of a case are not in dispute. The sole purpose of a trial is to examine evidence and establish the facts of a case.

A trial without evidence and witnesses is not a trial at all.

The result is a breakdown of any pretence of lawfulness and Trump completely validated in his belief that he can do, literally, anything. The President, with utter contempt for the judiciary, commutes and second-guesses the sentences for his criminal pals and interferes with what is supposed to be arms-length justice; the Attorney General does what he’s told. Care for a banana, Republican?

Welcome to post-democracy America, and don’t be surprised. Be afraid.


Monday Man-Crush # 4: Hasan Minhaj

Hotter than vindaloo, American as apple pie

Hasan Minhaj

Yes, indeed, it’s time once again for me to thrust my sexuality down your throats in the form of a putative hetero male whose tidal wave of testosterone wakes me from my half-dead torpor, sets my jowls a-jigglin’, makes my sap run sweet like a frisky sugar maple, causes my dry twig to burst into inflorescence like an apple tree in May, blah blah blah, and generally, to be blunt, makes this libtard hard.

I’m talking of course about my recurring feature—recurring like Halley’s Comet or like the irregular pulse of a quasar reverberating through one of the infinite number of multiverses, which is to say, recurring when I remember about it—Monday Man-Crush.

Today’s unwilling and blissfully unaware victim is the luscious Hasan Minhaj, poster boy for second-generation immigrant smarts, Muslim man-lust-ability, and Hasan, baby, where have you been all my life? (Well, mostly he’s been unborn, seeing as he’s just thirty-four years old. I have the hots for someone who was a fetus for the majority of my formative years? Ewwwwwww! Dessert conversation!?)

Born in California to immigrant parents, Minhaj was the cliché family-bound, dutiful, hard-studying son, heading first to the expected pre-law, then to the even more expected pre-med. But during his secret excursions to the city when he’d pretend to be at the library, he gradually became a connoisseur of stand-up comedy acts.

Then he had a revelation: these comedians were not really doing anything so out of reach—his presentations of practice cases in front of his law class already mixed logic with an insightful humor that often had his surprised, appreciative classmates in fits of laughter. He seized on this model and never looked back, and now his quick wit and earnest yet passionate style are the secret sauce for his award-winning politically- and socially- informed stand-up satire.

Not to neglect mentioning that lover boy has that wiry build, intensity, dark looks and five-o’clock shadow that make me weak at the knees.

Hasan can currently be seen in his series “Patriot Act” on Netflix, and you can see the odd episode on YouTube as well (the link I provide below is to YouTube). The title is punningly ironic and an unmistakeable dig a White House that without question would ban Muslims from entering the US completely if it could. Patriot Act takes the “demon” out of “demonstration” and rehabilitates criticism and satire. Because, if you truly love your country, you’ll point out where it falls short, right? Tough love.

Patriot Act is didactic in a fun way. Last night, which is when I became smitten, I watched the episode Why Billionaires Won’t Save Us,” (YouTube link; opens in a new tab) his reasoned yet far from obvious explanation of why billionaire philanthropy sounds much, much better than it is. Hasan cuts through the crap, peels the rind from received wisdom and gets us to the core. Which in this case boils down to: Billionaire philanthropists end up having way too much power to engineer society single-handedly, without our input. Their philanthropic actions seem like incredible generosity, but in fact are always self-serving and bypass any oversight or democratic process.

Husan is not necessarily fall-about funny. He’s sharp-tongued, quick, analytical, witty. He uses humor to explain what we need to know in an engaging and unique way, and he is today’s Monday Man-Crush!

If only I could bear his children.

Not wishing merely to fob you off with dreams of unobtainable dick, I offer for your enjoyment a sign spotted on a local fruit stand, proudly proclaiming its “Fresh Red Gapes.”

As a friend of mine remarked, “Not even a hint of an ‘r’!”


Book Launch Teaser #4, For the Underemployed

Today’s live broadcast is dedicated to my dear friend Roz Lawrence, because today is her birthday and she is the only person I know well who’s older than me. Roz, have a wonderful day!

In this episode, I fight off an attack orchid, and, assisted by my invisible friend Glen, contemplate names for bath houses in Muskoka, and read one of my “Facebook Life Events.”

In this life event I have a sensual experience involving a two-pound tub of President’s Choice Blue Ribbon Margarine without looking even remotely like Maria Schneider, mainly because it’s just my foot involved.

Otherwise my uncanny resemblence to Schneider has cost me many a movie role and the spokesperson gig for the Dairy Farmers of Canada. I’m just messin’ with your head, but— made ya look!


Please buy my book so I can stop eating used cat litter. The link follows at some point.

Gosh, I have to say, I look fucking fabulous in this one. I think it was the oatmeal scrub, which I’m repurposing as lunch with a handful of raisins I found in the pocket of my hoodie.

So here’s the link: » Buy my book on Amazon before David Sedaris gets jealous and accuses me of pulling focus with my surname and confusing his fans.

AWESOME FACTSX: You will notice that my surname is an exact anagram of “Sedaris,” if you write it backwards, change all of the vowels to “o” and “i,” add an extra “d” then ignore all the letters that don’t fit.

Spooky! 🐱‍👓👀👀😱😱😱🥶😳🤡👹😈💀💀💀!!!!

Every purchase goes 100% to supporting me in my dotage.

Look it up.