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April 14, 2006

A Matter of Interpretation? - *Updated

Underwear I'll need to recruit reader opinions on this one. Boozhy is criticizing the AIDS Foundation of Chicago for their current ad campaign, based on fashionable and trendy images. Juan questions:

. . .when will WHAT go out of style?  AIDS?  We have some words for ya' AFC, AIDS isn't a trend nor a fashion statement.  It's an epidemic. I thought we had decided collectively to stop glamorizing the virus?

I, however, had a different take. By trends, I thought the campaign was clearly targeting behavior. In the first pic, there is a man presenting his bare back. Bare-backing is obviously the major cause of HIV infection. The second picture depicts an African-American male under a shadowed hood. I took this as a criticism of what is known as sex "on the down low." Keith Boykin and others have spoken out at length on this issue, and it's had quite a bit of media attention of late, including Oprah.

However, I'm mystified by the third image of the woman in heels. There is no obvious message or behavior I can associate with it. Juan insists I'm looking too deeply at all the images, that they simply refer to AIDS itself as a trend, and there's nothing more to it - especially given the description by the AFC.

I think there's more going on here, but I can't account for the third picture. I plan on calling the AFC to ask when their office reopens in the morning. Reader opinions?

Update - I just got off the phone with a very knowledgable, very nice miss from the development department at the AFC. In a nutshell, Juan is right and I am wrong. The readings I laid out above are entirely incidental to the images produced for the campaign. The pictures are intended to create a jarring disconnect between what is being presented (shallow, high-gloss fashion) and the tragedy of AIDS. Furthermore, the models depicted are from different demographics and have had their faces obscured in order to emphasize that HIV and AIDS affects everyone, regardless of identity.

The campaign is actually from two years ago and is currently being touched up for redistribution for clinics, educational materials, etc. The AFC is eager to know what you think of this campaign, and would very much appreciate your feedback.

April 13, 2006


Malbug_13Q: How do you know when a trend is finally out?

A: When it is on the top of my head.

Faux, the humanity!

March 30, 2006

Hot Times

Malbug_13It's never too early for summer at A&F.  The retailer's new summer collection is out, with the requisite half-naked men to go with it.





March 22, 2006

Bazaar, Indeed

Malbug_13Is Madonna still promoting "Confessions on a Dancefloor," or just in some strange limbo between it and whatever her next big project is?  Well, the flyaway bangs are gone ...

March 09, 2006

Moronic Diagram of the Week

Malbug_13Can you guess what's going on in this diagram?  Could some crackpot be mailing bagsful of fish-heads to his ex?


Answer after the jump.

Continue reading "Moronic Diagram of the Week" »

And the Winner Is ...

Pr_poll Malbug_13If Project Runway were American Idol, the people would have crowned Daniel V. the winner of the design show's second season.  But did Heidi, Michael, Nina and guest judge Debra Messing agree?  (By the way, could they have thrown a dart and hit a celebrity judge with more vapid commentary?)

If you actually care about the outcome but somehow managed not to find out who won – even though other blogs are just blurting it out with no spoiler warning (you know who you are!) – then you came to the right place.

First, we present a big, steaming, video slice of last night's season finale of PR.

[Watch video – 25:35, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 25:35, WMV format, low bandwidth]

If the suspense is killing you and you'd rather not sit still for 25 minutes, then take the last train to Spoilerville, and meet us after the jump.  We've included pictures of all 39 outfits that were featured ...

Continue reading "And the Winner Is ..." »

February 10, 2006


Santino_1Malbug_13Is Santino Rice of Bravo's "Project Runway" a fecalphiliac?

Given the way he was carrying on incessantly about poo-poo in this week's episode, he must think that brown is the new black.

Then again, with all the verbal dumps he takes on his fellow contestants on a regular basis, he might just be an expert on the subject.

But c'mon, Santino.  Maybe you can polish a turd.

[Watch video – 4:09, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 4:09, WMV format, low bandwidth]

February 02, 2006

A Helping of Reality, Hold the Lobster






The gays are obviously a staple of reality television, but it is rare that such programs actually talk about the "reality" of being gay.

That's why I was touched by a conversation on last night's "Project Runway" about Daniel Vosovic's coming-out.  It was by all accounts a moment of insight and true emotion.

But then we were immediately whip-sawed into whimsy with Santino Rice's spot-on impersonation of the show's emotionally constipated fashion godfather, Tim Gunn.  (Santino's Michael Kors shtick is just as razor-sharp.)

If you're a fan of the show like me, it was one of the funniest moments in reality TV this year – even on the second viewing.

[Watch video – 5:19, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:19, WMV format, low bandwidth]

January 26, 2006

Andraé 3000 Faces


If there's one thing on "Project Runway" more reliable than the crying jags, it is the fact that the producers love, love, love to cut away to Andraé Gonzalo's reaction shots.  Andraé is constantly mugging for the camera, reacting with astonishment even to banal announcements such as "I bought you some Splenda" as if he had just hit the Powerball.

His designs have been pretty strong, especially last night's "dirty-gutter dress," which I thought should have won.  But if Andraé's fashion aspirations are dashed, he could be the next Buster Keaton.  He pulled the following faces on last night's episode alone:











And my personal favorite, this shot taken after Zulema announced a "walk-off" to select her new model:


Andraé wasn't reacting to the walk-off.  He was actually unhinging his jaw in preparation for feeding time:



January 13, 2006

Parting Shots

Malbug_13I hope y'all have a good weekend.  Before I hop on the bus, I thought I would do some uncompensated shilling for Abercro-zombie, on the occasion of its Spring 2006 "Casual Luxury" collection.  Or more accurately, for the pictures – beautifully homoerotic, as always – that go along with it.  Enjoy!  (Click each image to enlarge.)









December 22, 2005

Kneel Before Santino!




I don't have any sort of fashion background to speak of, but I am learning that the key to being a successful fashion designer is to throw some fabric on a mannequin and see what sticks.

At least, that's what Bravo's "Project Runway" seems to be teaching.

Last night, General Zod doppelgänger Santino Rice escaped elimination by the beard on his chin.  The aspirants were divided into four teams to design lingerie.

Santino's brilliant idea: lederhosen.

But at least he isn't Daniel Franco, who looks like he was designing nighties for the geriatric set.  Daniel tried to pull an Andraé from episode 1, turning on the waterworks to gin up a little sympathy, but in the end the judges were having none of it.

They seemed to respond well to Santino's defiant, bitchy lecture and let him live another week.

Some Kryptonians have all the luck.

[Watch video – 8:05, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 8:05, WMV format, low bandwidth]

October 24, 2005

Weekend Odds and Ends


Friday night my husband and I decided to expand our horizons.  Instead of going to a New York gay bar, we went to a different New York gay bar.

Continue reading "Weekend Odds and Ends" »

October 13, 2005

"The Cloud"

Malbug_13It's finally here!  "The Cloud" – the place where I will park my ass every waking minute when I am not at work!:


Maybe when we get the Deee-luxe Apartment in the Sky finally put together, I'll do some posting, Bradford-style.

September 29, 2005

Pleasure To Meet You, Ms. Sarandon

Malbug_13Messylunch_2What do you do if you are about to meet one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood?  If you're me, then obviously you dump your entire lunch down the front of your pants.

I was in a hurry and was going to eat at my desk.  I was just about to set down the hinged plastic container of food, when it collapsed in upon itself.  Greens with blue cheese dressing, and chicken strips with pesto went cascading down my sartorial splendor and onto my new Taryn Rose shoes.

I had to spend several minutes in the bathroom with a wet wad of paper towels the size of my head, and the faint funk of blue cheese persists around me.

If that weren't bad enough, I'm still ... very ... hungry.

September 28, 2005

And Now for a Word From ... Me

Malbug_13For anyone in the tri-state area who might be interested, I am selling my (almost new) sleeper sofa/chair/ottoman combo to make way for something much more fabulous.  (Details on Craigslist.)

Almost new:


Really new:


The price(s) listed over on Craigslist are pretty close to my final offer.  If it doesn't sell within a few days, I will donate it to charity for the tax write-off and the vague sense that somehow, after far too many administrative expenses are skimmed off the top, I did something good.

September 26, 2005

"Martha" Stiffs Gay Base

Malbug_13 We enjoyed Martha Behind Bars last night on CBS, one of those too-compressed TV movies that shoves Martha's shady ImClone stock deal, her indictment and conviction, her prison sentence and her triumphant return to her MSO empire into a brisk 90 minutes.

I wonder if it's more surreal for Martha or for Cybill Shepherd that the latter has now taken to mirroring the former's life a few months after the fact on CBS.

GaleharoldStill, with Peter Bacanovic and Douglas Faneuil as central figures, I was hoping for at least some sort of randy gay subplot.  I thought something might erupt during Bacanovic's mid-crisis massage, but I was wrong.  I would have settled even for a little hot Camp Cupcake love involving Martha.

The putatively straight Gale Harold, fresh off the Queer As Folk swansong on CBS sibling Showtime, was the openly gay Bacanovic, while David Alpay (of Atom Egoyan's little-seen flick Ararat) played his homo lackey-cum-turncoat, Faneuil.

Galeharold2_1 Galeharold3Davidalpay

September 09, 2005



How much do I love the Kimpton Group?:


August 28, 2005

A White Paper on Red China


Back in the days when Saturday Night Live was really unfunny (I know, I'm being redundant), there was this little interlude where an announcer's voice says: "And now we present a white paper on Red China."  Then this hand reaches out and places a sheet of paper on a red plate.  Hi-larious.

HazyMalbug_13It's a triple-H day in Beijing: hazy, hot and humid.  I had the pleasure of teaching the first of those three words to a group of Chinese students who stopped me to chat in a mall.  (That single gesture was more friendly than almost any other country I've visited, by the way.)

One girl in particular wanted to brush up on her English and was engrossed in hearing about what I do, why I am here, and other minutiae.  (I suppose my fabulousness stands out even more here.  If you saw my shirt, you'd understand why.  I look like a paint-spattered gay cowboy.)

Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only gay guy in Beijing.  I saw at least two who were completely fabbed to the hilt, one of whose hair was spiked right up to Jesus.  (Yes, I was being ironic when I said there was only one gay guy in Beijing.)

McdonaldsMalbug_13I got the McDonald's food that I was craving, with a TCBY chaser.  I have to say, it was the cleanest and most fabulous (there's that word again) Mickey D's that I have ever seen  There were intimate little booths in one corer, and a central bar-style eating area that even had a cheaper, mass-produced version of the Lem stool.

My double cheeseburger, fries and Diet Coke came to the equivalent of about $2.  Kind of shocking, especially when you consider they are asking $6 for about 16 ounces of Evian in my hotel room.

After lunch, I took in a little entertainment outside.  [Watch video -- 9.6mb, MOV format]

It's a girl singing, basically.  I just found it amusing.  But I'll understand if you don't want to download 9.6 megs for that.  I have no way of compressing/converting files or anything over here.

Malbug_13Air Conditioning in Chinese hotels, even five-star ones, is a hypothetical construct, at best.

Malbug_13And I have only been at three hotels here so far, but the three mattresses rank No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 in terms of the hardest I have ever slept on in my life.

Malbug_13FcukBeijing residents are fortunate that they also have the opportunity to enjoy the ever-so-subtle humor of French Connection.

Malbug_13I had a great conversation yesterday with a woman who works with Xinhua, the state news agency (basically, the Chinese AP).  We talked a lot about Sino-U.S. relations.  As a former reporter myself, I spent a lot of time quizzing her about the media and press freedom in China.

I asked her where the line is drawn in terms of criticism of the government.  She said that there is actually a lot of such criticism, but mainly it will be at the ministerial or provincial level.  It is a definite no-no to be critical of President Hu or Prime Minister Wen, though.

I asked what would happen if any of those boundaries were breached.  She said the "senior editor" (what I assume is similar to U.S. editors-in-chief or managing editors) could be fired.  I didn't press her on what else might happen.

Malbug_13I'm sorry I haven't been able to post more Engrish.  Apparently, there is much less of it these days in China because authorities have made a conscious effort to have most of their English actually make sense, and be less entertaining -- sort of a face-saving thing.

I hear they were growing weary of tourists stopping on the highways to snap photos of funny signs.  However, I did see a sign admonishing motorists not to drive "tiredly," but I wasn't able to get a picture.

Maybe I'll have a chance to rack up some Engrish when I'm out and about.  I decided to forgo the Great Wall today.  The drive from my hotel is much too long, while the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square (clears throat) are within walking distance.

OK, time to head out.  I can just hear the husband's stinging epithet ringing in my ear now: "Blogger!"

August 23, 2005

Too Big for His Britches?


"Someone was staring at Anderson Cooper a little too closely when the CNN anchor was in Crawford, Texas last week -- and then they caught this on camera..." [from MediaBistro]


B.A.B.F. 4

Malbug_13Spanning the neighbloghood to skim you the cream from recent New York City postings, it is the Big Apple Blog Festival 4.  [Hosted by A Guy in New York]

The Malcontent's contribution this week was my sorrowful tale of loss -- or, more to the point, of being a loser.