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A Reminder: Remember To Walk Your Phone!

Hola a todos. Just a gentle reminder to everyone to remember to walk your phone. It’s of utmost importance (apparently). It used to be called “walking your dog,” but these days from what I’ve seen with most people in Techie-Zombie San Francisco their dog is just an accessory tagging along behind looking depressed and ignored by their supposed careperson while s/he is instead hunched over walking their phone and mesmerised entirely with whatever drivel is on that screen which is shining like a flashlight on their face for any potential mugger to clearly see. I see this all the time on my bike rides. I used to be annoyed by it but after talking with mi amigo/my friend I take a different approach. Mi amigo says: Really when you think about it, this is quite good for you because the phone zombie/idiot walking their phone is the easy target for any mugger — so the mugger will leave you alone — and the person walking their phone won’t know what hit them. That’s a very good point. And that’s especially true when they’re walking their phone between 11pm and midnight as phone zombies do. So, again, everyone remember to walk your phone, por favor. Gracias. Chau.— el barrio rosa

Brahms: Schicksalslied – Alt-Rhapsodie – Collegium Vocale Gent – Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra

Hola a todos. Of all the topics I write about, I enjoy writing about music the most, probably because music is my background and training and it gives me the most pleasure. That’s especially true when I’m writing about choral and orchestral ensembles of this high caliber. The most recent article I wrote about music was about my favourite organist, Benjamin Straley, at Washington National Cathedral in the District, which you can read about here. And he gave a very enjoyable organ recital back en diciembre/in December which you can watch below in the third video.

The first video below is an excellent performance of Johannes Brahms’s Schicksalslied, Op. 54 (Song of Destiny) performed by the Collegium Vocale Gent and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Chorus (Collegium Vocale Gent from Belgium) was founded by Philipp Herreweghe and he’s also conducting these performances which are from 2013, I believe. At one place in the piece (around 5.52 in the video), he looks very pleased with his Chorus, as he should be. They are superb, very refined and with very clear German diction. Currently on their website under auditions for the Chorus, the age limit is 40 years old which is unusual. I’ve never seen an age limit for choral auditions but I understand why he’s doing that. He’s looking for a certain “sound” which one can really only get with mostly younger voices.

The second video features a performance of Brahms’s Alt-Rhapsodie (Alto Rhapsody) with soloist Ann Hallenberg and assisting: the Men of the Chorus and they did a lovely job accompanying her. Ann Hallenberg is described as a mezzo-soprano and not an alto. Mi amigo/my friend said she has too much vibrato for him. I understand. I don’t like vibrato either but overall I like her voice in this performance and as I told him: She has about the least amount of vibrato that I think one would be able to find in a soloist for this type of performance.

We performed both of these choral works when I was a chorister in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Some people consider the Schicksalslied a mini-Ein Deutches Requiem. The Alt-Rhapsodie is also similar to one of the movements of Ein Deutches Requiem.

One thing I especially like about this outstanding Chorus is that they have “a tenor section of steel” (that’s my description). I’ve heard them perform several works including Brahms’s Ein Deutches Requiem and they have one of the finest tenor sections of any Chorus I’ve heard in a long time. Never any struggling for high notes or weakness whatsoever. They remind me of the tenor section of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street (with tenors Steven Caldicott Wilson, Eric Dudley, et al).

I ended up down in the comment section below one of these videos and someone mentioned their favourite conductor for the piece. I found that curious because that didn’t really tell me anything. My first thought was: But which Chorus was it that your “favourite conductor” was conducting? To me, that’s what’s utmost important. The person said nothing about the Chorus or Orchestra for that performance. With a choral work, I’m not focused on the conductor. And to me, a performance is about a lot more than who’s conducting. With some conductors and a choral work, one can mention just the conductor’s name and one can pretty much guess who the performers are. For example: mention Seiji Ozawa — who I think is still involved with the Tanglewood Music Center — and I automatically think: Boston Symphony Orchestra and either the (in the earlier days) New England Conservatory Chorus (Lorna Cooke de Varon, Chorus Director) or from 1970s on the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (John Oliver, Chorus Director), unless Ozawa were appearing as guest conductor somewhere. And the same with Sir Georg Solti. I think: Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (Margaret Hillis, Chorus Director). Or there’s Sir Simon Rattle. But he’s a little bit more difficult because he’s moved around more so he could be either: the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (Simon Halsey, Chorus Director) or the Berlin Philharmoniker (although Simon is leaving Berlin soon and Petrenko is succeeding Rattle).

Of the three Orchestra Choruses I had the opportunity/privilege of performing with, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus was the only Chorus that recorded. That’s one of my complaints about my choral experience in the District. There were so many outstanding performances given in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Arts Society of Washington or the University of Maryland Chorus and those performances evaporated into thin air once the conductor lowered the baton and the applause began. I never did understand why they weren’t recorded live — for at least radio broadcasts — or at least similar to what WGBH-Boston did on a regular basis. Or did it have to do with union rights, copyrights and la plata/$$$$$? Probably. The University of Maryland Chorus had made two recordings with the NSO before I was a chorister with them, but to my knowledge that was the extent of their recording with the NSO. I think the Choral Arts Society was featured on one NSO recording. But nothing on a regular basis with either one of them.

Back to conductors, generally speaking who’s conducting a piece is not something I give any thought to and never have, unless it’s Händel’s Messiah (where I look for an authentic performance practise conductor), for example. Maybe who’s conducting a work is more what the Classical Music Snots do? I’m focused on the quality of the Chorus, because one can have the best or the worst conductor but if the Chorus is not very good, it will not be an enjoyable performance at least to a person who is there especially for a well-prepared Chorus. Too many people are hung up on big-named conductors and dropping their names to try to impress somebody. And when they do so, I ask: Well who was the Chorus for the performance? Their answer typically is: “I’m sorry, you know I don’t remember.” Ugh. Well, that’s what’s most important for a choral work, not the conductor. The conductor didn’t sing the piece nor did he/she play it. The musicians called the Orchestra and Chorus did that.

For these performances, for those interested the grouping of the SATB choral sections on the Chorus risers is:

Back Row: Tenors (left) Basses (right)
Front Row: Sopranos (left) Altos (right)

Enjoy. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Schicksalslied, Op. 54:

Alt-Rhapsodie:

Benjamin Straley’s organ recital that I mentioned at the beginning of the article:

“Gay People Can Live Anywhere?”

Hola a todos. I’ll make this short. Yes, “gay people can live anywhere.” Isn’t that wonderful?! [sarcasm intended]. As I’ve said before, only a fool would say: “gay people can live anywhere.” We GLBTQs might be able to “live anywhere” in the closet, but even that’s debatable with the hate that’s out there for GLBTQs worldwide. Here in The Cesspool, we have this fucked-up mentality going on: US Public: Gay Legal Rights Good But Gay Kissing Bad. Don’t waste your time trying to figure that out! Loco.

The title of this article (minus the question mark) is what we’ve been told by wishful-thinking conservative idiots — including the conservative merchants — in San Francisco’s Castro (the former Gay Mecca) who have wanted The Castro sanitised for years. They have achieved their goal. They also lectured us that there’s no longer any need for gay meccas because as they said, “gay people can live anywhere.” Ugh. The Castro today is now — what some of us call — “Straightsville” and “Family-Friendly” (gag) having been Disney-fied complete with palm trees for the tourists. Today, The Castro is mainly a place where “straight” people come to get drunk.

Here are just three examples confirming that “gay people can live anywhere:”

Bangladesh GLBTQ editor hacked to death (April 25, 2016)
(Bangladesh police say a top gay rights activist/editor at the country’s only GLBTQ magazine is one of two people who have been hacked to death.)

North Carolina GLBTQ law fuels demonstrations for and against (April 26, 2016)
(The controversial law invalidates local anti-discrimination laws that protected gay and transgender people.)

Los Ángeles father accused of killing son because he was gay (April 2, 2016)

I don’t want to monopolise other examples that can be listed here, so feel free to add your examples in the comments below. Muchas Gracias. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Arts & Liturgical Review: Jehan Alain’s Litanies (Organist Benjamin Straley)

This article is about Benjamin Straley, the superb organist at Washington National Cathedral (WNC), a cathedral church of the worldwide Anglican Communion in the District of Columbia en los Estados Unidos/in the US.

IMG_0023Hola a todos. I know it’s the Fifth Sunday of Easter 2016 and I meant to write about this before now, but for the Fourth Sunday of Lent 2016, our Benjamin played Litanies by the French composer Jehan Alain for his organ voluntary at WNC in the District. His performance is one of the best I’ve heard of this sassy piece. I’ve worked on Litanies although I’ve not performed it. I learned the manual parts (keyboard parts) at home on the piano, but for lack of the use of a church organ on which to practise it was the pedal work that remained to be learned. Jehan Alain (1911-1940) was one of the brothers of well-known organist Marie-Claire Alain (1926–2013). Jehan was killed during WWII as part of the French Army, and Litanies is his best known piece. I enjoyed Benjamin’s performance. I would have held the last chord a bit longer than he did (that’s not a complaint) and I haven’t seen the score in awhile but I think there’s a fermata over the last chord isn’t there? I’ve always like that last chord; it’s very sassy. It requires every finger with — as I recall — the RH thumb on two black keys (D Flat and E Flat, I think). Our Benjamin played it like he plays everything else — superbly — and I don’t think I’ve ever heard this piece played on the Great Organ at WNC. It was a pleasure to listen to and watch him play it.

Mi amigo/my friend mentioned that he didn’t sense that Benjamin’s success as full-time Cathedral Organist and part-time Concert Organist has gone to his head. No, not at all. I don’t get that impression either, fortunately. And from my experience, people who are secure with themselves don’t let their success give them a big head. Instead, they remain humble and modest, which is how I sense our Benjamin is. Insecure people are arrogant and snooty and I have no use for arrogant people.

On another topic I’ve been meaning to write about: I’ve wondered if the Choirmaster has ever considered buying a rear view mirror attachment for his music stand? That might be a good idea, then he wouldn’t have to keep looking behind himself so often. As one of my commenters said sometime ago, paraphrasing: Michael is often looking behind himself back into the Nave and it looks odd. What is he looking at? I agree it looks odd and I don’t know why he does that and he does so frequently. He would no longer have to do that and possibly prevent a cricked neck with my rear view mirror attachment idea. It’s almost as if Michael would prefer to be a Verger rather than Choirmaster. WNC has good Vergers and many of them. They have everything under control so there’s no need for Michael to try to do their job for them, if that’s what he’s doing. I don’t know what he’s doing frankly. And Benjamin uses his monitor above the organ music rack to see what’s going on in the Nave, so Michael doesn’t need to override him and try to do his job for him. I’ve even seen Benjamin look around the column near the organ console into the Nave to check on the procession. Benjamin decides whether an organ interlude is needed during the processions to lengthen the processional hymn when necessary for the full procession to make its way into the Sanctuary area or (in the reverse) to the back of the Nave. He also can see the free-standing altar in his monitor as well as the Choirmaster and what the priests are doing. And on the odd occasion they begrudgingly use incense he adds the appropriate High Church improvisation-interlude for the censing of the altar. So since our Benjamin flawlessly controls all that, I don’t understand why Michael is frequently looking behind himself or looking over at the priests or altar. It seems to me he should be focused on his Cathedral Choir he’s there to conduct. I’m not sure why he “conducts” the hymns. Well, if you can call that “conducting” the hymns. He just moves/bounces his hands really, but does not specifically “beat time.” What I mean is that I don’t see any specific beat patterns indicating 3/4, 4/4, 6/8 time, for example. His conducting somewhat reminds me of the conducting style of the organist that was fired (by the Bishop) and with him one didn’t know whether he was trying to conduct or take orbit and fly out of the cathedral. But Benjamin sets the tempo for the hymns and controls the rest through his monitor.

It would appear that someone has given the order to play the hymns choppy, although the video below (from WNC) is not an example of that. The hymns in that video were played mostly legato and that video is here for Benjamin’s Jehan Alain organ voluntary. But at WNC, I’ve noticed choppy hymn playing rather often which is why I’m bringing it up. It was really choppy/detached in one of the processional hymns recently, but I don’t remember which video that was. I did find this one: The first verse of the processional hymn in this video which begins at 13.28 after his “royal” fanfare introduction to the hymn. The first verse is mostly very choppy/detached playing. Why? Then after the first verse the playing becomes more legato. Question: Is the thinking that by playing the hymns choppy that this will help the non-singing congregation hear the hymns better to get them to sing them? If so, you shouldn’t bother. You’re wasting your time with that idea because the congregation at WNC does not sing no matter how the hymns are played. And they (including the tourists) don’t sing even familiar hymns that are sung across multiple christian denominations such as Aurelia (The Church’s One Foundation, for example). From what I’ve seen in the videos, the tourists seem to sit in the back of the Nave and for the hymns they stand with their arm folded and looking straight ahead or they stare at the service leaflet not even attempting to sing the hymns. At WNC, they are a stand up and mumble congregation including the resident congregation. The singing sound one hears is mostly that of the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys/Girls. So why play the hymns in a choppy style then? Play them legato as all well-trained organists are taught to play hymns, including Benjamin. Someone might be thinking: Are you criticising our Benjamin? No, not at all. I don’t think he’s responsible for this because when he first arrived at WNC he played the hymns beautifully, very legato, full and lush (and High Church) — not this unmusical choppy stuff I hear rather frequently — and his superb hymn playing with his High Church organ interludes between some verses was one of the reasons I was hoping they would hire him. But some idiot there apparently told him to play the hymns choppy. I repeat: the congregation doesn’t sing the hymns no matter how he plays them, so play them legato as they should be played. The hymns sound boring, non-musical and monotonous when played choppy (almost staccato). By comparison, they don’t play the hymns choppy at St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and they have a singing congregation at St Thomas to the point where their congregation almost sounds rehearsed. With choppy playing, there is no lovely musical singing line or phrasing, and well-trained musicians know what I mean by this. With choppy playing, it just sounds like dry chords. There’s nothing musical about it. And again, this is not our Benjamin’s fault.

In my opinion, in some ways I feel that Washington National Cathedral has ruined Benjamin’s playing compared to when he arrived. But I’m assured and confident that the original Benjamin that I heard when he first arrived at WNC is still there — he’s just being suppressed — and if allowed to, he would play today as he played when he first arrived. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?! These days, I often get the feeling that he’s holding back (suppressing himself) to cater to what’s been required of him there and WNC’s Low Church preferences. Ugh. I’ve been meaning to say these things for awhile, thinking that they might disappear, but they haven’t.

Now back to Jehan Alain’s Litanies. Enjoy Benjamin’s performance of the piece. I certainly did. It begins at 1.19.06 in the first video below.

Also, the last processional hymn (which begins at 1.15.42 in the first video below) that they sang stood up and mumbled at WNC just before Benjamin played Litanies, was the “US version” of that hymn. The second video below is a performance from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the “British version” of that same hymn complete with a lovely descant on the last verse sung by the trebles of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Choir and The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal. William and Kate look like they enjoyed the descant very much — and I take it they like descants because they chose descants for every hymn for their Royal Wedding — but the Queen looks like she didn’t even hear the descant. She often looks the same; I don’t know that she has an ear for music. She looked utterly bored or disgusted — didn’t approve of the marriage or something? — when the Sir David Willcocks’s arrangement of the National Anthem (“God Save The Queen”) was premiered for Charles and Diana’s wedding (see last video below). How could anyone look like that upon hearing that beautiful music with that glorious descant on the second verse sung by the boys? Chau.—el barrio rosa

Listen to how smooth and legato the organists play the hymns in these two videos. This is how hymns are supposed to be played. There’s no detached/choppy playing here at all:

St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, London:

Westminster Abbey (Anglican), London:

(The trebles sing a soaring descant on the last verse of this hymn).

Look at how disinterested, bored and/or sour the Queen looks during the premiere of the Sir David Willcocks’s arrangement of the National Anthem at Charles and Diana’s wedding at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral. The Queen Mother looks pleasant, but not her daughter. Go to 3.30 in this video:

And you can hear more from Benjamin here. This is his organ recital (Navidad 2015). I love his Latin-coloured socks. During his performance, at one point he talked a little bit about the pieces on the programme, which is a good idea. It helps the audience get to know the artist a little bit better and to get a better feel for him. He was very gracious, and seemed very humble and modest (the ideal artist in my mind):

What Happened To San Francisco’s Boycott Of Arizona?

Hola a todos. Following the imposition of hateful and draconian anti-immigrant laws targeting undocumented immigrants in the US state of Arizona, the city attorney of San Francisco and a Latino member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors urged policymakers and businesses of the City and County of San Francisco to boycott Arizona.

It would appear that’s all been forgotten about even though nothing has changed for the positive in Arizona since then — or anywhere else for that matter — regarding hate of undocumented immigrants/migrant workers y especially los mexicanos.

I was checking to see if Los Gigantes de San Francisco — our local and excessively overpaid corporate sports team had lost again. Yes they did lose again. As of this writing, since 14 abril/April 2016 they’ve lost 7 of the last 8 games. That’s very good. They’ve lost the last 5 games in a row while they’re paid the extreme amount of $20,833,333.00 USD (top player salary) and $166,495,945.00 USD (team salary) to play a fucking ball game. Little children could play baseball about as well as this team does and they would play for free. I assume these players receive that generous salary whether they win or lose, and they lose half the time. It’s also ludicrous that a team that loses half the time is known as “World Champions.” And it seems that in this instance, “the world” is América del Norte (corporate teams from North America). Of course they get that salary listed above because many idiots out there are willing to pay these outrageous prices for their (season) tickets. I’m always pleased when Los Gigantes lose because it means less obnoxious drunks screaming at their televisions in The Castro and Upper Market areas — which one didn’t used to hear around here — and fewer drunk “straight” him-tall/her-short mandatory hand-holding couples stumbling around here and throwing up on the sidewalks. I did several double-takes thinking I couldn’t possibly be reading something correctly when I saw that Los Gigantes de San Francisco have a remodeled and exclusive home in Scottsdale, Arizona, of all places. Why would a San Francisco team have an exclusive home in Arizona? That’s the state that San Francisco policymakers and businesses are supposed to be boycotting, remember? The stadium is called the “Spring Training Ballpark.” The PR/BS for this Scottsdale stadium is that it gives fans the easy opportunity to walk around the concourse and check out the newly added practise facilities. Can’t wait to do that. They can $hop at one of the many Dugout $tore$, and eat at the conce$$ion $tand$. In other words, something to make more la plata/money for these already-wealthy so-called “celebrity” sports people. Los Gigantes de San Francisco play in San Francisco at that big stadium over near the Bay named after a predatory, monopolistic, NSA-spying-enabling telecommunications company, but Los Gigantes de San Francisco “spring training ballpark” is in Arizona.

Now the logical question is: Why can’t they train in San Francisco where they play? And as pathetically as they often play, it doesn’t seem that the Arizona location is of any special benefit to them other than that of la plata/$$$$$. It certainly doesn’t seem to help them polish their “skills.”

I can’t think of any other job where an employee would be allowed to have such a shoddy and an erratic performance record like Los Gigantes de San Francisco where they lose half the time and still keep their jobs. I think of office workers whether it be attorneys, word processing operators, typists, you name it. Regardless of one’s work specialty, the employee is expected to produce good work each day or “there’s the door” and they’ll hire somebody else who’s consistently competent and reliable in the job. I was just thinking that if major Symphony Orchestras and their Symphony Chorus gave as inconsistent performances as Los Gigantes, they’d all be replaced/fired. These corporate sports team players call themselves “professionals.” Ha! As far as I’m concerned, anyone that does their job — whatever the job is and whatever field it’s in — and does it consistently well is a professional. Professionals give consistently excellent and high-quality performances. They don’t lose half the time like this inferior bunch.

Going back to their salary listed above, by contrast many classical music musicians train for decades and spend their entire life studying and working to be at the highest skill level required to perform in major symphony orchestra, for example. The highest paid orchestra in The Cesspool/the US is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and they are paid $144,040.00 USD (base pay for musicians) as of the 2011-12 season. San Diego Symphony came in the lowest at $57,708.00 USD (42-week season). Several of the orchestras on the list I saw were/are in the midst of labour talks (translation: salary reductions and having their health benefits gutted as per usual these days). All salaries were based on a 52-week season. So the Chicago Symphony Orchestra base pay is $144,040.00 USD (and the Chicago Symphony Chorus is also paid but I don’t have that figure) as opposed to $20,833,333.00 USD being the top player salary for guys who grunt, sigh, stare, spit and play with balls for 6 months of the year (2016 Season: April 3, 2016 – October 2, 2016). Something is very wrong with this inequality but I don’t expect anything to be done about it.

So I take it that the San Francisco boycott of Arizona didn’t apply to corporate sports teams or to food, as another example that comes to mind. I’m not surprised to see that the idea of boycotting Arizona died with this New Lobotomised Techie Conservative City of San Francisco which seems to stand for nothing that matters today. I’d noticed this sometime ago when I saw pecans from Arizona in Rainbow Grocery Cooperative before their renovation about 1.5 years ago. I said to mi amigo at the time: “WTF are these doing in here? I thought businesses in San Francisco were supposed to be boycotting AZ, no?” That was an indicator to me even at that time that Rainbow’s activism was quickly dying or dead. I haven’t looked lately but I suspect Rainbow still carries things from Arizona. They have items from the Terrorist State of Israel so why wouldn’t they carry some items from Arizona? The ironic thing about this is that many of Rainbow’s workers are Latino/Hispano/mexicano, so one would think that they would be especially alert/sensitive to hate directed at undocumented immigrants/migrant workers. Apparently not, since they’re not honouring the boycott of Arizona. I have to keep in mind that that was the Old City that cared about such things. This New Lobotomised Techie City doesn’t give a fuck about anything other than corporate and developer’s greed, corporate sports teams, the chronic addiction to that 4″ tiny screen appendage on one’s hand, drinking and getting drunk in The Castro, moving homeless people from one barrio to another, building Luxury Condos with boring/blindly white interiors for the super-wealthy who have no taste and are afraid of colour, and the same super-wealthy crowd buying status-symbol boring-looking Luxury vehicles — in hearse-black, casket-gray or drab white — which all look dull and uninteresting. And these new cars often look like the dusty old cars before they even get the new licence plates for it. It’s all about wealth, greed and pretentiousness for this New Techie City of shallow and superficial people. But there’s good noticias/news: From what I’m hearing, the Tech Bubble has burst and tech is gradually crashing — YES! — along with the Real Estate Industrial Complex and their Corrupt LiarsTM.

I wonder how many San Franciscans know that Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the homes of Los Gigantes de San Francisco? A team with San Francisco’s name on it has a home in Arizona? I’ve written it that way because I don’t know how many of the players even live in San Francisco. I don’t know if it’s true but I read someone’s comment that most of the players live in the East Bay (Orinda) and have million-dollar-plus homes elsewhere, such as in Southern California.

Meanwhile, the corporatist GLBTQs will continue to jump up and down and cheer lead for Los Gigantes de San Francisco because, “They have a Gay Day and they love gay people, isn’t that cool?” Yes, I’m sure they do love gay people (roll eyes). I’d like to be a fly on the wall (so to speak) and hear just how much these corporate sports team players really “love gay people” while these jocks are making their heteronormative, anti-gay/anti-trans jokes around each other in the locker room and in private while they try to out-macho each other and show what a “real man” they are, and brag about how many times last night they banged their girlfriend or wife/partner. Based on their history, the history of corporate sports teams and other factors I just don’t believe they “love gay people.” I remember reading their response to their first invitation to be in San Francisco’s Pride Parade. They didn’t respond with, “Oh we’d love to!!” but rather with reserved hesitation. Uh huh. Not many, if any, major league corporate sports organisations “love gay people.” It’s all public relation$ bull $hit. And that’s another thing: GLBTQs: What happened to your keen bull shit detectors you had for decades? I still have mine and always will but it would appear that you completely abandoned your bull shit detectors when you became conservatives as part of that “assimilation” nonsense which has clearly backfired. These days you proudly allow yourself to fall for any corporatists — including D and R corporate hack politicians — who say the words “gay” or “transgender” on the odd occasion as bait for your $$$$$$$. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Meat at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative?

IMG_0127
Rainbow Grocery Cooperative’s Mission Statement should now read: “Something For Everyone.” And delete the vegetarian/vegan and environmental-concern language.

Four main points from the article below:

1. If Rainbow were serious about their mission statement — particularly the language about vegetarian/vegan and their environmental-concern — their mission statement would apply to their sub-leased space as well — their entire property in other words — and not just to their store.

2. One would think that Rainbow would have chosen another vegetarian-vegan-only co-op or a vegetarian-vegan-only business of Latino/Hispano/mexicano culture from el Distrito de la Misión to occupy their sub-leased space.

3. The pizza café will be using smoked meats (dead animals). Is Rainbow not aware that smoked meats are among the worst meats one can eat because they are associated with an increased risk for certain cancers due to the presence of cancer-causing carcinogens? Surely Rainbow is aware that meat production is not good for the environment, in part, due the enormous amount of water consumption required (see link in article).

4. Why can’t Rainbow have a vegetarian-vegan-only pizza café which would match their store and be in agreement with their current mission statement? Most people don’t come to Rainbow to buy “meat” because they know it’s a vegetarian-vegan store, so why is this café promoting dead animals (“meat”)? One of Rainbow’s workers has described their café plans using the syrupy phrase, “something for everyone.” Ugh.

Hola. “The City has really changed” is something I hear rather often these days. It’s usually spoken with regret by some San Franciscans who are sad that The City has abandoned its proudly-radical and alternative past in favour of corporate and being “mainstream” and as some people put it, “trying to be like every place else.” The workers at vegetarian-vegan Rainbow Grocery have slowly changed their store to try to be more like their corporate competition. Sadly, most recently the majority of workers voted to sublease a space on their property to a company that will sell dead animals/”meat” on Rainbow’s property. Loco. No, I’m not joking. This is true.

I’ve written about how Rainbow Grocery Cooperative — a worker-owned and operated vegetarian/vegan grocery store in San Francisco — seems to be slowly losing itself. It’s as if there’s a conservative, non-vegetarian, non-”green-thinking” group of workers there who are determined to take their store in the opposite direction of its past and its founders, and that’s what’s slowly happening little-by-little. As mi amigo says: “It’s as if the store has been hijacked or corrupted by a particular group of people.” I suspect this is partly due to some new workers in the store — friends of workers who were hired ? — where working at Rainbow is just a job to them rather than their working there for reasons based on the store’s mission statement. Many of the workers eat dead animals/”meat,” but I doubt that was true with Rainbow’s founders from what I know about them.

IMG_0972So yes, Rainbow has sub-leased space on their property — right outside the entrance to their vegetarian/vegan store — to an East Bay pizza company co-owned by one of Rainbow workers that will be serving dead animals/”meat” on their menu. Some of us find this extremely hypocritical on Rainbow’s part. A couple of things about this: Couldn’t they find a local San Francisco catering company offering vegetarian-vegan food to lease the space to? That would be much more “local” which Rainbow focuses on. One would think that because this pizza company is on Rainbow’s property — within a few feet of the entrance to the store — that Rainbow’s current mission statement would apply to the lease of the space, no?

Here is the relevant language from Rainbow’s current mission statement:

“Providing affordable vegetarian food products which have minimal negative impact ecologically and socially. Buying goods from local organic farmers, collectives, bakers, dairies and other local businesses whenever possible.”

IMG_0138I’m not really surprised by this announcement of a pizza café opening on their property that will be serving dead animal pieces; I’m just thoroughly disgusted by it and it boils me as a longtime customer. I’m surprised Rainbow didn’t put in a meat counter during their renovation since Rainbow has slowly changed from the store they once were and also because the New Conservative, Sanitised, Lobotomised, Techie, Culture-less and Soul-less City of San Francisco For The Super-Wealthy loves eating dead animals and doesn’t seem to give a fuck about the health consequences. People in the New Conservative San Francisco can’t seem to eat enough (red) “meat.” I’ve read local restaurant reviews where people wrote, “more meat, more meat.” Loco. I guess their health doesn’t matter to them: Vegetarians ‘cut heart risk by 32%’. In some restaurants, they’re serving pig butt. WTF? Doesn’t that sound good? Disgusting stuff. Nearly all restaurants that I know of are very meat-based. They might have a token vegetarian option on the menu which rarely changes. It was the former proudly-radical and alternative San Francisco that cared more about being vegetarians/vegans with an opposition to eating animals. But much of the Old City has been evicted or forced out by techie gentrification. San Francisco is a very different city today, unfortunately. Many locals say that “The City has lost its soul.”

I talked with a couple of Rainbow workers during the renovation and asked about whether “meat” was going to be brought in. I was assured that it was not because it would go against their mission statement even though some/many? of their workers do eat “meat.” But doesn’t leasing space and serving “meat” next door to the store and on Rainbow’s property violate their mission statement? One would think so if one is being consistent and cares about animals and the environment, as Rainbow claims to.

I read the gushing remarks and marketing hype from the owners of the pizza café, one of whom is a Rainbow worker. She raises chickens while working in a vegetarian/vegan store and apparently doesn’t see anything hypocritical about that? That along with other reasons is why some of us feel that the Rainbow concept seems to be gone. The pizza café owners were asked whether any Rainbow workers or anyone else had concerns about their selling “meat” right outside their vegetarian/vegan store. Predictably, the Rainbow worker gave the usual and expected response that dead animal eaters give on cue, which is the innocently spoken, “No, people seem very pleased that there will be ‘something for everyone.’” Ugh. jesus fucking christ! Here we go with the “something for everyone” bull shit. So that makes eating “meat”/dead animals okay now because it’s “something for everyone?” Is that a statement one would expect to hear from a worker at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative and/or a vegetarian-vegan store? What has happened to Rainbow? This is loco. A person is not required to eat dead animals to live so there is already “something for everyone” with vegetarian/vegan food. Read this, por favor: UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet: “Lesser consumption of animal products is necessary to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change, UN report says” (it would appear that Rainbow no longer cares about that.) Also, using the Rainbow worker’s ludicrously lame rationale, Rainbow would never have been a vegetarian/vegan store starting in 1975 and would not be that today because there wasn’t/isn’t “something for everyone” because the store did not/does not sell dead animals/”meat.”

The pizza café will be selling meat-topped pies, one made with smoked-pepperoni (pepperoni is a mixture of beef and pork) and smoked-chicken apple sausage. Smoked foods are among the worse possible foods one can eat. It is unconscionable that a store that is supposedly concerned about health and sells “health food” is allowing this. Are they not aware — or perhaps they don’t care anymore — that smoked meats are associated with an increased risk for certain cancers due to the presence of cancer-causing substances — carcinogens. For example, nitrosamines, which are the common by-products of curing agents such as nitrites and nitrates are also carcinogenic. While there is ample definitive studies concluding that smoked meats contain cancer-causing chemicals, many epidemiological studies exist that connect high consumption of smoked, grilled or barbecued meat with increased risk of prostate, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Eating smoked meats increases your risks of stomach infections associated with bacterial contamination such as E.coli and Listeria monocytogenes. Smoked meat has a high sodium content because it often involves salt brines, salt-curing and the addition of rubs. This salt increases the amount of sodium one ingests. High levels of sodium in the blood are associated with high blood pressure, over hydration and cardiovascular disease. Also, if one is following a special kidney or heart diet, the increased sodium intake through smoked meat can worsen one’s condition. A detailed Harvard School of Public Health study shows that eating smoked or otherwise processed meats such as hot dogs and cold cuts increases your risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes significantly. One would think that a vegetarian/vegan and healthy-food store would not allow smoked foods. Pepperoni is cured pork and beef mixed together. Rainbow is allowing on their property two of the worst meats environmentally speaking. Check out the water usage required for pork and beef at this link. From that site: In a country like the United States, a fifth of all your grain production is dependent upon irrigation. For every pound of beef produced in the industrial system, it takes [on average] two thousand gallons of water. That is a lot of water and there is plenty of evidence that the Earth cannot keep up with the demand. The amount of agua/water required to produce one pound of Pork is 576 gallons.

Rainbow should rewrite their mission statement updating it to reflect the environmental consequences of raising these meats now that dead animals will be served on their property when the pizza place opens. Or they could delete entirely the language from their mission statement about their concern for the environment so as not to appear as hypocrites. Mi amigo asked: How long before they justify offering “culinary school” frog legs or Foie gras — using the same mainstream/sheeple rationale, “it’s something for everyone” excuse?

There’s no shortage of businesses that sell pizza in San Francisco that sell “meat”/dead animal pieces. So why does Rainbow sub-lease to a company that does this? I suspect it has to do with one of their workers being a co-owner of the pizza company. When they leased the space to her (the Rainbow worker) and her partner there should have been a stringent requirement in keeping with the mission of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative since it’s on their property, if they still have any principles and convictions and care about what they once did. One would think Rainbow would have preferred or required that another co-op take the space. I presume that the full Rainbow membership voted on this and approved it — rather than this disgusting decision having been made exclusively by their Board — so that should tell one the mindset and direction that the majority of workers are going in. (roll eyes, sigh). I can’t see the workers of the proudly-radical and alternative San Francisco of the past approving this decision. They would have fought this if some idiot not clear on the concept of their own store had proposed it. That shows one how much Rainbow has changed and lost itself and what it once claimed to stand for.

This pizza café is replacing Rainbow’s now-closed coffee café they had until recently since their renovation in the same location. I thought the coffee café was a bad idea from the start and I predicted among mis amigos that it would not do well because: Who goes to Rainbow to drink coffee? Instead, people go to Rainbow to buy coffee beans to make coffee at home. And I suspect this pizza café will not do well either because: Who goes to Rainbow to eat pizza or breakfast? Most people go to Rainbow to buy groceries and they leave.

As I said earlier, Rainbow is trying to be more like their corporate cookie-cutter competition and what they offer. Rainbow should try to be more like Rainbow. Rainbow is different from these corporate store, in part, because of its location. Their worker can give this café all of these pretty words to describe it (such as “an urban oasis”), but who wants to sit out there eating pizza and/or breakfast below a dusty, busy, noisy freeway overpass with dust floating down into the pizza from the stream of vehicles up above?

Rainbow’s activism is dead. Rainbow used to be an activist store during the former proudly-radical and alternative San Francisco days. Remember that? They no longer engage in boycotts of bad companies (or their bad policies) or boycotts of anything. They no longer alert customers to what mega-corporation has bought-out a small independent nor do they alert customers to bad decisions of companies. Rainbow carries anything today — including some products from China with their terrible environmental reputation — and Rainbow puts all responsibility on the customer for engaging in protests/boycotts of bad companies and/or their bad policies. They also continue to drag out their Hanukkah/Chanukah display at the appropriate time of year. What is organised religion doing in a secular store, and especially a faith connected with the Terrorist State of Israel and their barbaric treatment of Palestinians? (Rainbow used to be concerned about that). Rainbow’s renovation looks good — and fortunately they kept their beautiful mural (opposite the cashiers) and other murals and artwork in and outside the store — but I did not support the sanitising of the store at all (the removal of the political and housing bulletin boards). In my opinion, other than some political magazines they stock around the Cashier area of the store (like other grocery stores do), Rainbow sanitised itself for the New City and the workers removed all politics from their store presumably so as not to offend these new wealthy (lobotomised techie zombies) residents they’re trying to attract to their store. I won’t be surprised when at some point Rainbow installs a meat counter — they’ll find a place for it — and they will likely justify it by saying “it’s something for everyone” and “it’s needed to save our business because our old customer base has been evicted and/or forced out of the city and we’re now trying to cater to the snooty wealthy snots who eat dead animals and who’ve moved in here in recent years due to techie gentrification, and we’re hoping they’ll find our store and give us their la plata/money.”

In reality, the only “meats” they need to use in this pizza café are the alternative vegan “meats” that Rainbow sells in their store. They sell plenty of good alternatives. One of the employees of this pizza café is a culinary school graduate. That might seem like a positive but from what I’ve observed about culinary schools they are very “meat-centered” and cook using high heat which causes cancer-causing free radicals. How many culinary schools train chefs to use vegetarian and vegan “meat” alternatives? I suspect not many, if any at all. It’s mostly all about “meat”/dead animals. “Meat” is the center of a meal with culinary school chefs from my observations.

I don’t know why Rainbow thinks that pizza is going to sell out there next to their store. They have frozen organic pizzas in the store and I don’t see lines of people going to get those. Rainbow is en el Distrito de la Misión so why didn’t they open up something vegetarian-vegan-based in that space that reflects the — quickly-being-gentrified out — Latino/Hispano/mexicano culture de la Misión? Just as was the case with the now-closed coffee café, this pizza café scheme does not appear to have been very well thought-out. Do meat addicts in San Francisco come to Rainbow to get their “meat” on a regular basis? And anyone who whines about Rainbow not carrying dead animals is not clear on the original concept of the store they’re shopping in. There’s no shortage of “meat”/dead animals served in this city or in any other grocery stores without Rainbow contributing to this problem.

In recent years, I’ve learned that for many people being a vegetarian or vegan has been/is just a shallow fad. I’ve heard and read stories about many vegans and or vegetarians who are now eating dead animals. One “health food” store closer to me that used to be vegetarian started carrying those “humanely-raised and sustainable” brands of “meat” sometime ago and their business today is as dead as it was before. Carrying “meat” for them hasn’t made any difference in their business. I heard one of their customers brag to the manager of the store. She said, “I used to be a vegetarian but now I’m eating meat; it’s bad! it’s bad.” I wasn’t sure what to make of that. Loca. People these days are going through all type of calisthenics to make excuses and justifications for going back to eating dead animals, such as: “I nearly died being a vegan (or vegetarian).” If that’s the case, that’s because you didn’t do it correctly, idiot. Unfortunately, some people do no research on the best way to be a vegan or vegetarian and what they need to eat, so they think they can eat anything as long as it’s labeled “vegan” or “vegetarian.” Mi amigo has been a vegetarian for nearly 25 years and he consistently gets the best blood test results when he goes for a physical. At the medical centre he goes to they tell him, “we love vegetarians here.” Recently, they ran his blood test results twice to make sure there was not a mistake because they told him they rarely see such high quality test results. They asked him “what’s your secret?” He told them he didn’t have any secret. When they persisted he elaborated that he’s a vegetarian. They told him to keep doing what he’s doing.

These “meat” companies and the sheeple who justify eating “meat” do so by saying how “humanely raised the animal was” and how “sustainable” the meats are. One can use big words such as “sustainable” and attempt to sanitise what one is doing by using the word “humane,” but there’s nothing “humane” about killing an animal which is what happens in the end. That’s the part they like to leave out. Nor is it “sustainable” environmentally speaking (see links above).

Predictably in marketing style, the Rainbow worker who’s co-owner of this pizza café said that people are excited about this new café which is scheduled to open sometime en mayo de 2016/in May2016. People are excited about this are they? Really? Before the café opens, one would hope Rainbow would re-consider this idea of bringing in dead animal/meat onto their property in violation of their own mission statement. And frankly, what’s there to get excited about a pizza café? We have probably hundreds of pizza cafés all over this city and many of them have vegetarian options and they also serve dead animal pieces on their pizza (including pepperoni and beef). So what makes this one that’s going to open at Rainbow so special? Maybe it’s the potentially cancer-causing smoked meats they’ll be using with nitrites.

Some locals say “San Francisco has lost its soul.” The same can now be said about Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, based on this most recent decision. Chau.—el barrio rosa

What’s Wrong With Gay Dick?

Reading men-for-men gay personal sex ads, internalised homophobia is causing pseudo-”straight” and pseudo-bi guys to reject gay guys. These days, as we regress, being gay is not okay for a lot of gay guys.

Hola. Reading the men-for-men personal sex ads on the site I call ClosetList, the majority of ads in the men-for-men category claim/pretend to be “bi” and not gay. I’m not sure when this fad started but unfortunately it’s a case of internalised homophobia, and that’s because human sexuality does not change that drastically or en masse and I and others don’t believe that the gay community (gay guys specifically) who still live in the former Gay Mecca of San Francisco and the Bay Area have miraculously become bisexual and are now turned on sexually by vagina. Loco. When I mentioned this to some amigos while writing this, their response was, “As you often say, there must be something in the water! This is loco.”

With many gay guys and their internalised homophobia, I think “bi” (meaning bisexual) sounds “more masculine, more jock, more macho, more corporate sports team oriented, more manly” and closer to being “straight” than the word gay infers to them. Unfortunately, despite all the decades of work of the now-dead Gay Rights Movement, these gay guys continue to believe in that stereotype that gay equates with being feminine and/or there is something wrong with being gay. It’s really quite ironic that after we’ve been told repeatedly that “Gay Is Now Mainstream” that thousands of gay guys would abandon the word gay and falsely describe themselves as “bi” just because “everybody else is doing it (labeling themselves as bi) and I want to fit in.” So today, they’re labeling themselves as “bi” even though they’re not bisexual. (*roll eyes*).

There’s also this: Every day I see sex ads written by self-identifying “straight” and married guys (married to a female) who write that they are looking to suck off a “straight” or a bi guy and will “suck him off to completion.” Some of these ads specifically say: “no gay guys.” Why no gay guys? Is it because of their own gay shame? It’s the same as when closet cases hate on gay guys — and in this case don’t want to suck gay dick — to hide their own gay sexuality. Is that what’s going on? What do these pseudo-”straight” guys — who are possibly gay themselves — have against gay guys? What’s wrong with gay dick? How is gay dick any different than “straight” or bi dick? And as I saw on Telemundo’s Gran Hermano/Big Brother which was very heteronomative, none of the “straight” guys en la casa/in the house had any interest at all in having sex with the other guys. Real “straight” guys are not into having a guy suck their dick.

There are some real bi guys out there — I’m not disputing that at all and this article is not about them — and I’m more than aware that San Francisco’s Gay Mecca is quickly fading into (what I and others call) “Straightsville.” But I and others just don’t believe that there are as many real bi guys out there as there are guys pretending to be bi so as to appear “masculine” and “Mr Jock.” And this is not just a San Francisco thing. I’m seeing this silly fad in major cities world-wide that have ads on ClosetList. I think labeling oneself as “bi” is a new fad with one guy copying another guy’s personal sex ad to fit in, just as they copy and paste other keywords such as: “GL” (good looking), “DL” (down low/closet case), and the constantly-used and seemingly-required word “discreet,” as well as the cookie-cutter “I’m a top (or bottom or versatile) if it goes to that” and other extremely overused, copy & paste language. Mi amigo says: If you’ve read one of those ads, you’ve pretty much read them all. They’re all the same; lots of lies, half-truths and flaky people on ClosetList and other sites. There is rarely any unique individualism in any of the ads.

Here’s an example of how this ridiculous pseudo/fake-bi trend has spread over much of the world:

As of this writing, based on the keywords “bi” or “gay” here’s what I found:”

940 bi ads in the Bay Area
333 gay ads in the Bay Area

328 bi ads in San Francisco
132 gays ads in San Francisco

I’ll stop there for a moment. With San Francisco as the former Gay Mecca, would you expect most of the sex ads in the men-for-men category in San Francisco to be “bi” rather than gay? WTF? Loco. And the same for the Bay Area. Look at the drastic difference for the Bay Area: 940 bi ads vs. 333 gay ads (as of this writing). During the Gay Mecca days, most of the gay community was gay. That’s why it was called “the gay community.” It wasn’t called “the bi community.” It was rare to find a bisexual guy. In those days of the Gay Mecca, bisexuals had a small contingent in the Gay Pride Parade, but they were small in number compared to the overall gay community.

Moving on to New York City (all boroughs):

2038 bi ads in New York City
522 gay ads in New York City

964 bi ads in Chicago
234 gay ads in Chicago

1691 bi ads in Los Ángeles
473 gay ads in Los Ángeles

631 bi ads in Boston
110 gay ads in Boston

670 bi ads in the District of Columbia
144 gay ads in the District of Columbia
(When I lived in the District, all the guys I knew were gay. I don’t remember ever meeting a bi guy in the District. Where I trained in music there was a guy that pretended to be bi but we all knew he wasn’t. It was just an act like I suspect it is with most of these pseudo/fake “bi” guys that I’m talking about. Today that guy lives with his gay partner).

286 bi ads in Seattle
100 gay ads in Seattle

1524 bi ads in London
475 gay ads in London

10 bi ads in Amsterdam
9 gay ads in Amsterdam

475 bi ads in Vancover
133 gay in Vancover

10 bi ads in la Ciudad de México (México City)
12 gay ads in la Ciudad de México

5 bi ads in Buenos Aires
2 gay ads in Buenos Aires

20 bi ads in United Arab Emirates
5 gay ads in UAE

37 bi ads in Hong Kong
11 gay ads in Hong Kong

23 bi ads in Manilla
38 gay ads in Manilla

20 bi ads in Tokyo
7 gay ads in Tokyo

As you can see, Amsterdam — even though there were only 19 ads — is the only city where bi and gay were about equal.

My Question: How is gay dick any different than “straight” or bi dick? What is wrong with you people?! Dick is dick. If you had a “blind taste test” (so to speak) and had to suck dicks, no one would be able to tell which dick was a gay dick or a “straight” dick or a bi dick, correct? Just because gay dick doesn’t go into another hole called a vagina is that an intelligent reason to rule-out gay dick? And why are these guys labeling themselves as “straight” when they’re sucking dick, or want to? In reality, they are more in the bi or even gay category, and ashamed of being gay. Just like many gay guys who are married to females, they waste so much of their life going through this ridiculous charade of pretending to be “straight” when they’re not and they are really not sexually into the female they’re with (pressured into marrying her by family in many cases). They just go through the motions and have sex with her while they’re fantasing about a guy they saw on the street or in a ClosetList sex ad, but she doesn’t know. This happens all the time.

Then there are the pseudo/fake-bi guys who are looking to suck dick but they only want to suck bi or “straight” dick. That’s what they say in their ads. They too have internalised homophobia. And when mi amigo/my friend has done phone sex with guys labeling themselves as “bi” and when mi amigo deliberately brings up pussy in the conversation (to see whether the guy is really bi or not), the guy either hangs up on him or says, “it’s just us guys here behind closed doors; we don’t need no pussy or no chicks.” Yeah well, so much for your “bi” bull shit.

Or take this ad for example:
“Bi guy looking for another bi guy to swap blow jobs (San Francisco)

I’d like to ask this guy: If you’re just looking to swap blow jobs, what the fuck difference does it make that the guy be bi? Why can’t the guy be gay? What’s your problem with giving a gay guy a blow job?

Some of this en masse obsession with the word “bi” may be pure fantasy and it may not be how these guys really are or how they think at all. It may just be a fantasy for some of them. They themselves might call it a twisted fantasy. People have all kinds of fantasies, some fantasies contradict who they are as people when they’re not in a sexual mode. I’ve known guys who said they’re only into some twisted/”taboo” fantasy when they’re jacking off or being sexual with a partner, but they don’t at all agree with their “taboo” fantasy when they’re not being sexual or in a sexual (mind) place. Maybe that’s what’s going on with some of these pseudo/fake bi guys. But if one takes them literally and at their word, there are a lot of fucked up guys out there with internalised homophobia. And I thought “we” had worked through all that over the decades, no? We’re going backwards very quickly people looking at these ads. Is anyone else noticing?

Also, I think that with the site ClosetList, it is mainly a pic-mining site. I think most people are on there to get pics to jack off to with no intention of ever getting together with anybody. Mi amigo has had some experience on there and he confirms that for me. Some people require a face pic for meeting. What idiot would give someone they don’t know their face pic when you don’t know who you’re dealing with on the other end? And then later, you find your face pic in somebody else’s ad along with your dick and ass pics.

Los chicos/guys: Gay dick is the same as “straight” or bi dick so if this is not purely a fantasy for you, stop discriminating against gay guys. There are many masculine gay guys out there and you’re going to rule-out all of them because they don’t falsely label themselves as “bi.” And that’s another thing: Anybody can lie and say, “I’m bi” whether they are or not, just as I suspect the majority of these pseudo/fake “bi” guys are doing. They’re lying. And “straight” — where “straight” supposedly equates with being “masculine” — doesn’t really mean anything in this context. I once worked with a “straight” guy — and he never sucked dick — who was rather feminine and he was married to a female. I got along real well with him; he was a very nice person. It was like being with one of the Queer boys even though he was “straight.” He did not behave like the typical, hard-ass, macho-head trip “straight” guy.

Mi amigo/my friend added this: We both know that human sexuality does not change this drastically and with so many thousands of people. Did all of these gay guys out of self-hate and gay shame undergo that disproved “conversion therapy” and they were only able to “convert” as far as to being bi rather than “straight?” Of course he was being sarcastic. One’s sexual orientation cannot be changed. I thought most people — especially GLBTQs — already knew that, which makes this pseudo-bi fad such a sham.

Now that gay meccas and gay barrios/neighbourhoods are disappearing because they’re being taken over — in some cases by anti-gay — “straight” basura things will revert back to the way they were before the former Gay Rights’ Movement began. It seems that they already are with more and more gay guys being “discreet,” DL and closeted. The days of being “Out and Proud” and not ashamed of who one is seem to be of the past. Pretty fucked up. Sarcastically, mi amigo added: As soon as someone makes the proclamation that “Bi is now Mainstream” (he’s mocking that “gay is now mainstream” nonsense) I guess all these pseudo/fake-bi guys will be labeling themselves as “straight.” Yeah probably. Wouldn’t surprise me at the rate things are going, backwards. Chau.—el barrio rosa