Benjamin Straley smoked the organ with his Improvisation-Toccata on Cwm Rhon­dda

This article is about the music at Washington National Cathedral (WNC), a cathedral church of the worldwide Anglican Communion in the District of Columbia, and its superb cathedral organist, Benjamin Straley.

Note: This may be my last article about Benjamin based on the sorry camera work for the Liturgy on the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, el 16 de octubre de 2016/the 16th of October 2016, where the organist was completely disrespected by their pathetic camera crew’s refusal to show him at all. Either the camera at the organ console was having techical problems that they didn’t feel it important to tell viewers about in the video, or the camera is broken or they’ve removed it. I’d go with the latter at the rate things are going there. I hope I’m wrong. Viewers were not allowed to see the organist at all for the entire Liturgy which is really loco, including the playing of the Organ Prelude, organ improvisation during Communion and the Organ Voluntary. Instead, we were forced to take part in production’s addiction with stained-glass windows, columns, baskets of flowers and … more windows. One wonders why they don’t produce a video series just on their stained glass windows since they’re so obsessed with them to the point where it’s become monotonous during the Liturgy, but of course only during the music and never during “the spoken word.” They could do 50 videos or so just on their windows and that might help get this out of their system for awhile, no? Without seeing the organist during the Liturgy, there’s no way to know who’s playing (Benjamin or their new Assistant Organist, George Fergus). And watching our Benjamin perform was a major part of my interest and pleasure in writing about him and his artistry. I’ll check back in a week or so to see if this most unfortunate situation continues. If so, it’s an terrible change….backwards.

Hola a todos. On the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (the 18th of September 2016), our Benjamin smoked the organ with his absolutely superb and fiery Improvisation-Toccata and I was beginning to think they might have to call in the District of Columbia Fire Department and Emergency Services, but in the end that wasn’t necessary. Knowing the Cathedral’s Great Organ as well as he does, Benjamin knows how much the organ can take. The recessional hymn on the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (el 18 de septiembre de 2016/the 18th of September 2016) was the hymn tune Cwm Rhon­dda. You may know it as Guide Me Thou, Oh Thou Reedemer and I’m using the CofE’s/Church of England’s hymn title which is different than the hymn title used in the US church.

Legato hymn playing at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in London but choppy hymn playing at Washington National Cathedral. Why? … when WNC is a smaller space with a shorter echo.

As I said up above, for his organ voluntary our Benjamin improvised a fiery and powerful toccata on the same hymn tune. But for playing the hymn, he chopped his way through all the verses. To me, he looked utterly bored, if not depressed. I would have been too if required to play it that way. He mostly played the hymn choppy, slow and “by the book,” just trudging through it. He’s played this hymn for years yet I watched his left hand just playing choppy chords. Not at all musical and very unlike him, but I don’t blame him for any of this. I think he’s just following orders. The ongoing question: Did the choppy hymn playing help the congregation sing the hymn better? No, not at all and it never does. Yet someone there never gets the clue, and whatever idiots are ordering him to play hymns in this style would do well to watch the video below where the same hymn is played very legato in a much larger space with a longer echo and is actually sung by the large congregation at St Paul’s Cathedral, complete with descant from the trebles as opposed to a smaller congregation standing and mumbling as was the case at Washington National Cathedral. So there. Why does some idiot at WNC feel the need to ruin their hymn playing by ordering the organist to play almost in an unmusical staccato manner? The reality is that the congregation at WNC is not a singing congregation no matter how the hymns are played therefore shouldn’t the organist play the hymns as he — and all other well-trained organists — was taught to play hymns: legato, full and lush.

The Original High Church Benjamin Straley

When Benjamin was hired, he played gloriously, and he still does on occasion, when he can/is allowed to. I loved his playing. He was the best organist WNC had hired in years. He played the hymns much differently then than he does now. He played them very smooth, beautiful, legato and lush. I thought at the time that WNC had hired a High Church organist which gave me the false impression that they wanted to become more High Church. Was I wrong! It wasn’t too long after that that some idiot reigned-Benjamin-in and his style of playing changed from High Church to just ordinary (“by the book” – just play it as written and nothing else – don’t add anything). And I wrote about it at the time. That’s why I’ve concluded that Benjamin is being suppressed by someone above him from playing his original signature High Church style. They don’t want that at Low Church WNC, where I often think they would prefer to be southern baptists.

During the playing of this recessional hymn on the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, el 16 de octubre de 2016/the 16th of October 2016, he looked like he was holding back/suppressing himself while drugging monotonously through Guide Me Thou, Oh Thou Reedemer. So who’s suppressing him? It has to be one of three people or groups of people:

1. The Bishop
2. Some priest(s), or
3. The head of the Music Department.

It’s not the Dean because he just arrived. My guess is that it’s Low Church Michael McCarthy, the Director of Music/Choirmaster. You know who I’m talking about. He’s the Choirmaster who never (or rarely) uses descants in a cathedral church of the Anglican Communion. I know it must frustrate Benjamin deeply to allegedly be ordered to play Low Church. It would frustrate me. One of my commenters awhile back thought the same and asked: “Can we send Michael McCarthy back to England?” I didn’t comment on that at the time, but I’d go for that now after what I’ve seen – fed up. I’d suggest that they bring in someone to raise the quality of the music standards, and put the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys or Girls back in the Quire stalls where they belong rather than the “southern baptist look” they’ve had for years with the Choir seated outside the Quire stalls. (They do some strange things at WNC.) Our Benjamin provides the highest of organ music standards and repertoire and hymn playing standards when he’s allowed to be his High Church self, so that’s already in place and in superb hands. All I’ve seen Michael do is his style of conducting or I guess what he calls “conducting,” (he doesn’t “beat time”…he just sort of bounces his arms/hands…similar to the “conducting” style used by the organist that the Bishop fired awhile back). I’ve never seen Michael play the organ (as other Choirmasters do) and of Anglican protocol all I’ve seen Michael do is bless himself and he didn’t do that correctly. It’s left-to-right for “Holy Spirit” (as in Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and not right-to-left as I saw him do in a recent video when he was in camera view. He never bows for the processional crosses or for certain Holy language in the Liturgy as our Benjamin did when he served as Choirmaster (when Michael wasn’t there). And I’ve never seen him genuflect. Maybe he would prefer another denomination? He spends much of his time looking around back into the Nave for some reason. Maybe he’s in the wrong field. Maybe he would prefer to be one of the Vergers?

For the recessional hymn (Guide Me Thou, Oh Thou Reedemer), there was not even a descant and the girls were there. The girls can easily do descants, as opposed to the vocally-weak boys.

Benjamin’s High Church Organ Voluntary

For his organ voluntary, our Benjamin came to life and didn’t look at all bored with his High Church Improvisation-Toccata on the same hymn tune, which I and mi amigo/my friend enjoyed very much. He was like a different organist. Mi amigo/My friend was watching the video with me and said, “It’s as if Benjamin was saying to himself: “Now I can play like I want” when he began his Improvisation-Toccata.” And he let it rip; he smoked the organ. He disguised the hymn tune early-on in his improvisation but made it quite obvious when the melody line entered in the pedals in octaves at 1.25.19 in the first video below. I heard bits of some French organ repertoire — my favourite and I sense his as well — in his improvisation. I always enjoy his improvisations. He’s really great and I rarely use that word (but he doesn’t show that he knows it – our humble and modest Benjamin, the sign of a true artist). With his hymn playing, when he’s allowed to play his High Church style with elaborate/highly-skilled and creative interludes it is most inspiring to me and has brought tears of joy to my eyes and put a lump in my throat on occasion. He’s such an absolutely splendid organist when he’s allowed to be himself. But when he’s being suppressed by some idiot there and not allowed to be himself, he’s just very ordinary. No tears of joy and no lump in throat. Instead frustration sets in and I want to click off the video in disgust because I know how he can play when he’s allowed to and I see a superb organist that has been “ruined” by some Low Church idiot in a cathedral church. Mi amigo/My friend sarcastically said to me: At the down-hill rate things are going there at Washington National Cathedral, I’m surprised they haven’t ordered Benjamin to play something like the hymn “Bringing in the Sheaves” or “Give Me Dat ‘Ol Tiiime Religion” a few times straight through exactly as written in the hymnal for his organ voluntaries.” Yeah well, give it time. Frustrating indeed.

Descants at WNC

Descants are rarely sung at WNC. I’ve never understood that. Stagnant Michael seems to prefer hymns bland, boring, dull and “by the book.” The girls of the Cathedral Choir can easily sing descants. The girls are excellent. Then there are the boys. I don’t know what’s going on with them. The boys don’t seem to have much of a high register which is odd isn’t it? How can boys not have a high register? As an analogy: When the boys are out on the playground playing, one never hears high-pitched yells or screams from them because they have no high register? I don’t believe that. There’s one thing for certain about the boys and that is the boys from St Albans School for Boys (adjacent to the cathedral on Mt St Albans in the District), don’t sound like the trebles at St Thomas Fifth Avenue, I can tell you that.

The Cathedral Opera Chorus

Continuing the topic of descants: I have heard the wobbling soprano section of the Cathedral Singers or what I sarcastically call the Cathedral Opera Chorus attempt a descant on more than one occasion. But in their case I would prefer they not sing a descant and that’s because they can’t seem to sing descants without wobbling/fluttering vibrato (like an Opera Chorus). At the conservatory where I trained, we were taught no vibrato on descants. Isn’t that standard? And the Symphonic Choruses I had the privilege of singing with never used vibrato on descants (Choral Arts Society of Washington – Norman Scribner Chorus Director, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus – Margaret Hillis/Vance George, Chorus Directors, for the Sir David Willcocks’s descants). The soprano section of both Orchestra Choruses had perfect intonation and had a flute-like sound for descants, similar to the superb boys at St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Vibrato on a descant sounds very unrefined as when the soprano section of The Cathedral Singers Cathedral Opera Chorus attempt a descant. They sound like your average podunk unrehearsed church choir of sort of feeble sopranos — whose vocal range sounds closer to that of altos than that of first or second sopranos — wondering if they can still “do it,” and I don’t think that’s how they intend to sound. I sincerely don’t like being critical of other musicians but in this case I’m saying this because I think it needs to be said about the Choirmaster/Director of Music and his Cathedral Opera Chorus. The Director of Music likes that sound does he? And I guess Michael doesn’t agree with the late Gerry Hancock that an Anglican Liturgy is not complete without at least one descant.

I heard the Cathedral Singers The Cathedral Opera Chorus for the National Acolyte Festival at WNC. Their singing was not an example of choral excellence. It was difficult for me to listen to them. The closest thing I can come up with to describe their sound was the sound that seals make out in the ocean. I was thinking: How do I type that and put that sound into words? The vocal vibrato sound was like this: Yayayayayayaayayayayayayayayayayayayayayayayaya. (Using rapid up and down tongue movements inside the mouth). There was wobbling in all voice parts. It sounded awful. Is Michael losing his hearing to find that acceptable?) And again, the sound that seals make out in the ocean best describes them. One wonders if someone didn’t lose a tonsil. I got as far as the middle section of “I Was Glad” by Sir Hubert Parry and had to click off. I couldn’t take anymore. When I heard the organist (George Fergus) begin that piece my first thought was: They’re singing that? How are those wobbling sopranos going to possibly handle the ending of that piece properly with that high B Flat on the word “palaces?” I can only imagine and I don’t care to hear it!

I really think they should change the name of the Cathedral Singers to the Cathedral Opera Chorus as that would more accurately describe this ensemble and since Michael obviously loves heavy wobbling, fluttering vibrato (I don’t understand why) otherwise he would tell them “no vibrato, please, and keep it off. Gracias.” I have heard them sing some Introits in the back of the Nave and they were beautifully sung and vibrato-free and I even wrote about one awhile back. It was lovely, so they are able to turn that god-awful vibrato off. Why don’t they keep it off? There’s nothing appealing about it. It sounds unrefined and amateurish. And this is odd because the girls and boys never use vibrato, fortunately. For those who don’t know, each section (SATB) of a Chorus is supposed to sound like one voice and that is impossible to achieve when the choristers are using vibrato and wobbling and fluttering at all different times. If one didn’t know, one would have thought that the Choir for the National Acolyte Festival was some very average podunk church choir from one of the guest parishes.

What happened to the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys/Girls?

The Men of the Cathedral Choir are no longer acknowledged on the service leaflets. The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys or the Cathedral Choir of Men and Girls have sung for the Domingo/Sunday morning Liturgies for years. Do you know what they’re calling the same ensemble now?

Girls Cathedral Choir
Boys Cathedral Choir

Qué?/What? So what do they call the men choristers singing on the back row behind the boys or the girls every Sunday? Well, they don’t call them anything. Their presence is not even acknowledged/listed on the service leaflet. The Men of the Cathedral Choir must appreciate that level of respect. I’m wondering who changed their name? The Music Department? Loco/Crazy. Even though he’s been there for years, our Benjamin’s name is only listed on the service leaflet for “special” Liturgies. I guess they think that “we” don’t need to know who he is any other time. (Sigh.)

A New Assistant Organist

For the Liturgy on the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, el chico/the guy turning pages for our Benjamin and observing him was George Fergus, who is the new Assistant Organist at WNC. I’m glad our Benjamin is still the Cathedral Organist. George is the 2016-17 Gerre Hancock Fellowship recipient and WNC was chosen to be the host institution for the Association of Anglican Musicians, and with that, the appointment of George as the Assistant Organist. George played for the National Acolyte Festival at WNC and it would seem that he has already received his orders from Michael too (or someone) to play the hymns choppy, which was the way he played the processional hymn Westminster Abbey. It was played in a very choppy and unmusical style. Again, to hammer my point for the thick people who might stop by and read this: I think the intent of choppy hymn playing at WNC is to help the congregation hear the hymn (tune) better so they will sing. BUT THEY DON’T SING. As usual, it didn’t work. As I’ve written before, it does not matter how the organist plays the hymns at WNC (choppy or legato), the congregation does not sing at WNC. They stand and mumble/stare at their service leaflet; even the resident congregation stands and mumbles. The “singing” sound one hears in the videos is mostly the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys or Girls (I refuse to use their non-inclusive new name disrespecting the Men of the Cathedral Choir as I wrote about up above). So therefore, shouldn’t the organist play the hymns smoothly, lush, full and legato the way all well-trained organists are taught to play hymns? George arrived recently and from what I’ve heard of him so far I already have the same complaints about him that I have about our Benjamin and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. They both trained at Yale Institute of Sacred Music. I lay this on somebody at WNC. I would like to have heard George’s playing before he supposedly got his orders from Michael — or someone there — and became an ordinary Low Church organist (“ruined”) like our Benjamin.

Here are the timings for the first video below for the Liturgy:

1.23.16 Benjamin’s Improvisation-Toccata begins
1.25.19 Melody begins in pedals in octaves

If you’d like to hear Cwm Rhon­dda performed in the CofE (St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral) with a lovely descant sung by the trebles of St Paul’s Cathedral Choir and Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal watch this short video below. Again, to hammer this point: I’d like to point out that St Paul’s Cathedral is a larger space than WNC so there’s more of an echo to deal with. But despite that, you’ll notice that the cathedral organist at St Paul’s does not play the hymns at all choppy (or anything else choppy). He plays legato as well-trained organists are taught to play. So I’d like to know what idiot(s) at WNC are requiring choppy hymn playing. I’ve not heard that unmusical style of hymn playing anywhere else. It can also give the false impression that the organist is not trained in hymn playing. Chau.—el barrio rosa

In this video below, you’ll hear legato hymn playing at Westminster Abbey in London for the hymn tune Blaenwern (Love Divine, all love excelling) complete with descant from the trebles of the Choir of Westminster Abbey:

Arts Review: Rameau’s “Tendre amour” (from Les Indes Galantes) performed by Les Arts Florissants

Hola. This music helps to relieve symptoms of gastritis after having written or read articles about dreadful US politics (such as these two: here and here) from and about the US of Hypocrisy.

This lovely piece, “Tendre amour”, is performed here by Les Arts Florissants and conducted by their founder and conductor, William Christie. To el barrio rosa/the pink barrio the mood of this piece feels very appropriate for the times we’re living in. “Tendre amour” is from the ballet Les Indes Galantes by the French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau.

The piece begins with the orchestra, and they play beautifully in this performance. I noticed the faces of some of the violinists (notice the second chair especially) and then la mujer/the woman at about 59 seconds into the video. They and others look very pleased that they’re having the opportunity to play this piece and they’re really enjoying it. I would be.

The Orchestra and Chorus of Les Arts Florissants are superb. The choral entry begins quietly with the tenor section. And those tenors, ah! I do love their tenor section. These days I pay very special attention to the tenor section of a Chorus. For those who may not know, the tenor section of a Chorus is often the weakest section, but that’s not at all the case with the Choruses that I promote here at el barrio rosa/the pink barrio. The tenor section of Les Arts Florissants reminds me of the tenors of the outstanding University of Maryland Chorus, which I’ve written about many times (to help keep their legacy, many accomplishments and place in history alive). University Choruses are not necessarily known for having the best tenor sections, but that was not at all the case with The Maryland Chorus, which performed regularly with the National Symphony Orchestra in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall especially during the Antal Doráti years (they were his favourite Chorus). I heard Dr Paul Traver, the Chorus Director of The Maryland Chorus, say on at least one occasion in our rehearsals, “I have the best tenors!” (and then he did a little dance). He did have the best tenors. The Choral Arts Society of Washington (Norman Scribner) and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus (Margaret Hillis/Vance George) also had excellent tenor sections.

I read that Les Arts Florissants often use this Rameau piece as an encore. I can see why. It makes for a nice encore and in this performance the soloists for the other choral works on the programme joined the Chorus, although I think it was sort of a spur of the moment thing because I noticed that the soloists didn’t have their own vocal scores so they had to share scores with the choristers. Mi amigo/my friend said: “That would be something only you would notice because of your choral experience.” Probably. And the soloists knew to use their “chorister voice” and not their “soloist voice” when singing with the Chorus.

I’ve heard one other performance of this piece by Les Arts Florissants in a different venue and performed more recently and with mostly different choristers from what I could tell from what the camera showed of the Chorus. I did see some familiar faces from the first performance in the video below. The second performance is excellent, but I prefer the first performance below from a choral perspective. Although there’s more tenor sound — which really appeals to me — in the second performance. Maybe it has to do with the mic setup.

My Conservatory Class For the Day: Alright class, now pay attention, por favor. I’m going to get more technical here for the more musically-advanced readers. You may notice that the two performances are in different keys. I don’t know why and I haven’t seen the score — even though I’ve looked for it — to see which key Rameau indicated, but the second performance is higher-pitched than the first performance. The second performance is in the key of C Major. Having it higher-pitched also makes my favourite tenors’ line higher on the staff (as well as the other parts – SAB)! Their earlier performance is a step lower in the key of B Flat Major, roughly. I say “roughly” because it’s not perfectly in tune with B Flat Major. It’s slightly sharp of B Flat Major, but that’s the closest key to it. The choristers with perfect pitch were likely cringing by the key transposition. The second performance uses a lute which adds a nice effect, and the Chorus is split on either side of the stage, which would make it difficult to hear each other well and to see Christie’s conducting well.

And the Chorus bowed. I liked that. It looks so gracious to the audience. The only other Chorus I’ve ever seen bow was (again) the University of Maryland Chorus. Dr Traver rehearsed our bow for precision — although he always made the audience “work” for the bow — and it always generated quite a roar from the audience in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall or at Wolf Trap. It did look quite impressive to see 150-175 voices/choristers bowing together precisely. So I was glad to see Christie have his Chorus bow.

This Rameau piece was also on the same programme as the Lully Te Deum that I wrote about awhile back, which you can watch at that link. Enjoy. Chau.—el barrio rosa

The more recent performance by Les Arts Florissants:

Is Rainbow Grocery Cooperative still a vegetarian-vegan store?

This article is about the data-mining scheme from Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, a worker-owned and operated store in San Francisco.

Hola a todos. I understand that Rainbow Grocery Cooperative is just trying to survive in this new Tech-Zombie City. Today, San Francisco is an outrageously expensive City that has become a playground for the super-wealthy (Billionaire Bay) and a City having been raped by the arrogant, self-entitled and self-absorbed techie trash (who think they are above seeing homeless people). The new San Francisco is a conservative, lobotomised, culture-less, very conformist tech-zombie City, with people walking their phones with their lonely dog tagging along being ignorned/neglected. As a longtime resident, I didn’t think I would ever type those words, but that’s the reality of what this City has turned into under the Conway/Lee regime and because of the actions of other corrupt corporate parasites. Because of all this, I think Rainbow has lost most of their former customer base of the Old City — the once proudly-radical and alternative city that we were known as for decades — which the New City and Rainbow seem to be trying to erase from history and running from as fast as possible. At Rainbow, many once proudly-rad looking workers now look rather conservative in their conformist black and gray clothing. Some workers are wearing all-black every time I see them. Are they depressed? That’s how it looks. Who wants to shop at a store where the workers are mostly in funeral hearse-black and casket-gray clothing? Colour lifts the spirits. Black and gray are depressing conservative colours. Rainbow workers didn’t used to be into conformist fashion colours dictated by the shallow and superficial moda/fashion industry. Instead, Rainbow workers were proudly rad and alternative. In the last year or so, I’ve heard some Queer boys brag and say, “I’m not the least bit alternative!” As if being alternative is now a bad thing. Sigh. Perhaps Rainbow workers think that this New City will be more likely to support their store if they look more conservative, not realising that they’re turning off what remains of their original customer base still living here because some of us see what they’re doing. They’re very transparent, just like their recent data-mining scheme which I’ll get to later.

Rainbow has lost itself. The store has been corrupted. Today, it appears to be run by a small group of corporatists who have hijacked the store with their own agenda which is not at all related to the original purpose and mission for the store’s existence. It’s as if Rainbow hired some new workers (friends of workers?) in recent years who just needed a job and are not there for any reason related to the store’s mission statement or for any ethical purposes. And looking at some of the workers, it’s clear to me that they eat meat while working in a vegetarian-vegan store. One cannot get that over-sized being a vegetarian/vegan unless one eats pounds of butter (as a vegetarian). I think a smaller group of corporatists are making major decisions for the store and the general membership has turned into “yes” workers, just going along with anything proposed. That’s the sense I get. This is quite the opposite of the Rainbow of the Old City days where I heard stories about Rainbow’s heated membership meetings going late into the night with strong opinions shared by Rainbow’s rad workers. Those days are gone, and they disappeared rather quickly as the City began changing. Probably because some of the more radical workers have been gentrified/evicted out of this City having been raped by the techie trash and the greed-based Real Estate Industrial Complex and their corrupt liars. I don’t see much rad in Rainbow these days. What I see are mostly “black and gray” conformists.

Rainbow’s Corporatist Data-Mining Scheme: A Bad Idea

Recently I got a piece of what’s typically known as “junk mail” from Rainbow. When I saw it I thought: Oh they’re desperate for business. Rainbow has never done anything like this before. It turned me off because of how the flyer was written. I noticed that the flyer was not printed on recycled paper which one would think would be the case coming from the “greenest” grocery store in the City. It was a more corporate-looking slick piece of card stock featuring an image of vegetables found in their Produce Department. It looked like the type of “upscale” flyer that one gets from the more corporate grocery stores. There was nothing at all rad about it and that’s because (as I said) Rainbow is running from rad, slowly becoming more and more conservative. The flyer says: “San Francisco’s original organic, natural and healthy food store.” I was turned off by the word “natural” because it’s so overused in the food industry. The word “natural” is meaningless and merely marketing bull shit. It’s a buzzword. Is Rainbow Grocery Cooperative still a vegetarian-vegan store? Well, you wouldn’t know it by looking at this latest promotion scheme. I looked for the words “vegetarian and vegan” on the flyer, but neither words were on the flyer. It was odd that Rainbow was no longer promoting itself as a vegetarian and vegan food store. Instead, they’ve sanitised their store to appeal to the masses/meat eaters. The problem with this is that should the meat eaters fall for this data-mining scheme and go to shop at Rainbow, the potential new customer will be asking: “Where’s your meat counter?” And Rainbow workers will likely end up with some angry customers who feel deceived that they went all the way down there (South of Market) unable to buy their dead animal/meat because Rainbow deliberately omitted the words “vegetarian and vegan” from their flyer. In their marketing scheme, they are ashamed of being a vegetarian and vegan store. If this were the Old City, Rainbow would have proudly led off with that. It would appear they don’t want to set themselves apart from all other grocery stores. In my opinion, Rainbow is not like all other grocery stores and that’s why I’ve shopped there every week for over two decades. But I now get the sense they don’t want to be set apart from the corporate chains any longer. They want to be more like them, more conformist and be more like the corporate chains. When people decide to conform it really changes them and often turns them into the opposite of the people they were. The now-conservative GLBTQ community is an example of that with the heteronormative and conformist Brand LGBTTM.

I should point out that this isn’t the first time that the vegetarian and vegan issue has come up recently. The pizza café they have on their property sells dead-animal/meat on their pizzas and other food items. I think that the Rainbow of the Old City would have required any other business on their property to adhere to the store’s mission statement, which the pizza joint does not by selling dead animals. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before Rainbow will become like all other grocery stores and install a meat counter somewhere. They’ll find a place for it. I think they will justify it as “it’s essential to our survival.” Well, there are plenty of food stores out there already who are not doing well and they sell dead animals. And I would suspect Rainbow would bring in that “upscale” brand of meat that I wrote about in this article (“Ethically Sustainably Farmed Animals: What’s Ethical About Killing them?”)

Their flyer also says: “A worker-owned cooperative.” The language they used to use was: “A worker-owned and operated cooperative.” Removing the “and operated” part implies they own their store but outsource the operation of it, which to my knowledge is not the case yet.

The postage area on their flyer was interesting/suspect. It reads:


WTF? Louisville Kentucky? I would have expected it to read: San Francisco CA, since that’s where their store is located.

“Because Healthy Looks Good On Everyone”

Their flyer focused on the marketing buzzword “healthy.” I would think they would know this but the reality is that the New Conservative San Francisco doesn’t care about healthy. The Old City was more about “healthy.” Mi amigo/My friend who goes to the gym regularly and has done so for years has told me repeatedly how the gyms around The Castro are slowly dying. He says, “the gym thing was just a sorta long-term fad.” And put these overpriced indoor cycling cults/fads in the same category. Also, the New San Francisco is very meat-based with people blowing huge amounts of money for dinner and always going on about the dead animal they had in a restaurant and how “it was cooked to perfection” (Dahling). The super-wealthy think they are entitled to eating their dead animal/”meat” because of their immense wealth. Is that another reason why Rainbow omitted “vegan and vegetarian” from their flyer? From my observations, I think it’s accurate to say that vegan and vegetarian are considered “out” and “weird” in this new City. What I’ve read in restaurant reviews is: “more meat, more meat.” Then there’s the wealthy basura gushing over their Filet Mignon (Dahling), their pig butt (WTF?…who would eat pig butt?…ugh….do they not think about what they’re eating?). Then there’s the Dijon Crusted Braised Pork Cheeks, their “natural” steak, and their “all natural beef filet” (Dahling) at $31.00 USD for that. $31.00 for dead animal? No gracias. I can buy a bit of food at Rainbow for $31.00. The sight and stench of dead animal turns me off (that brown mass), and that blood running all over the plate from some dead animal cooked “rare” (Dahling). I have to tell you people eat some disgusting stuff (and they wonder why they have health problems?), no matter how they try to sanitise it with some pretentious snooty lah-ti-dah name.

Omitting the words “vegetarian” and “vegan” is not limited to Rainbow, I’ve learned. It’s a silly and unfortunate fairly new trend that’s happening in other major cities. In the District of Columbia where I used to live, I was reading about a new vegan restaurant opening in the District. However, the owner of this new restaurant sanitised his restaurant before it even opened by calling the food “100% plant-based” but even that language is somewhat hidden on the menu. He refused to call it vegan. He doesn’t like the word vegan. You can read about that here: The next frontier for vegan restaurants? Not calling yourself a vegan restaurant. Someone else in that article says, “the vegan label “does a disservice.” Really? It’s interesting that I have not heard or read about any restaurants anywhere that serve dead animals being afraid to say that they sell “meat.” They boldly list all the dead-animal options they have on the menu. It seems to only be the rare vegetarian and vegan businesses that are now embarrassed that they don’t sell/serve dead animals. Loco./Crazy. (As I’ve said before, there’s got to be something in the agua/water.) In today’s San Francisco, some mediocre restaurants in The Castro are proudly advertising that they have “Luxury” foie gras (Dahling) for the wealthy snots on their menu. The Old City protested foie gras. But the New Conservative San Francisco “embraces” foie gras. Does anyone remember the California state-wide ban on foie gras some years ago? San Francisco has done a 180 from the city it was. And we all know that eating dead animals is so healthy, right? [sarcasm intended] Not that most people give a damn about healthy.

Rainbow has a new data-mining scheme. This new scheme involves giving Rainbow your e-mail address and full name printed on this flyer and taking it to the store to get a free cloth Rainbow shopping bag. Most people in this New City don’t care about cloth shopping bags. These bougi basura who have moved in here are quite comfortable paying ten cents at the register for paper shopping bags just because then can. They love to show their wealth and that they have the luxury of wasting ten cents per shopping bag. Rainbow wants the potential customer’s e-mail address so they can send the customer announcements about sales in the store. (roll eyes). That’s data-mining. Don’t most people dislike giving their e-mail address out for this very reason so they won’t be spammed with junk e-mail from businesses trying to get their business? By requiring that one bring this flyer to the store by 10.31.16 with one’s full name and e-mail address completed, the scheme obviously is intended to try to generate sales by getting people into the store. Although no purchase is necessary, it says: “although we doubt you’ll be able to leave the store without buying something!”

In my opinion and in the opinion of mis amigos that I talked with about this, we all thought that this flyer was not well thought out. It definitely shows a different Rainbow than the store of the Old City. It shows a corrupted Rainbow and a store having lost itself. The corporatists who have hijacked their store could easily rewrite part of their mission statement (printed on their paper shopping bags) and have the membership vote “yes” on it in order to bring dead animal into the store.

I’ve shopped at Rainbow since the flyers were delivered and I saw no lines of people eager to give Rainbow their e-mail address so they could get a cloth shopping bag. What I did notice was less people there. People I usually see there on the day I go, I didn’t see, which was odd. Mi amigo asked: Is their data-mining scheme backfiring with regular customers now being turned off and going elsewhere? Possibly.

And finally, speaking of being desperate for sales: I take it that some Bay Area dairies are desperate for sales because Egg Nog is already out for the holidays and it’s not even Halloween. I noticed it at Rainbow last week and thought it was odd. Traditionally, Egg Nog comes out around Thanksgiving. Not this year. It must have started around the beginning of October. There was no indication anyone had bought any. Chau.—el barrio rosa


Rainbow Grocery Cooperative Has Lost Its Rainbow.

Is Rainbow Grocery Cooperative still a vegetarian-vegan store?

The Junk Food Vegan

Vegetarians, Vegans and Carrageenan

Rainbow Grocery Cooperative: “A New Era.”

San Francisco’s Castro values health and wellness? Ha!

What Happened To San Francisco’s Boycott Of Arizona?

Class Warfare: San Francisco techie trash investors want to ban homeless camps

This article has been updated below. Hola. The wealthy San Francisco techie trash investors now want to ban homeless camps in San Francisco (with Proposition Q). It must make these basura feel enormously uncomfortable and guilty to see the homeless. Let me tell these wealthy investor assholes: People who are well-adjusted and secure with themselves do not behave like the techie basura/trash and their septic investors. I don’t know what is wrong psychologically with this group of people, but they clearly need psychological help. These techie trash and their billionaire-investor assholes come with this lack of maturity — the “tech bros” as they’re called — and their having to constantly prove how elitist (Dahling) they think they are because of their wealth. They come with this ugly superiority complex. I don’t understand people who feel they are superior to others and that because of their enormous wealth they think they should be isolated from seeing all of our society which includes our homeless people.

Why do the techie trash and their septic investors have difficulty looking at homeless people? Does it make them feel uncomfortable inside with a sense of immense guilt that their elitist ass has so much dinero/money and materialistic shit and the homeless person has nothing? The techie and investor trash have these pretentious and overpriced homes and often cheaply-built “Luxury Designer Condos” (Dahling) that these elitist snots spent over $1 Million US Dollars on. Suckers! They feel they must have their pretentious status-symbol vehicle(s) and other lah-ti-dah stuff to show how much wealth they have. Who cares?! I suppose other shallow and superficial trash just like them care. These scum-of-the-Earth people need intense psychotherapy to examine what’s going on within them that would cause such hate/class warfare when they see homeless people, and people they don’t even know. Why does immense wealth make some/many people such damnable assholes, such ugly people inside that they resort to class warfare?

Some people say that many of the homeless in San Francisco are not native San Franciscans. And what does that have to do with anything? Does it matter where the homeless are from? I think most people living in San Francisco today with homes are from elsewhere as well. What difference does that make? That sounds like right-wing native-ism or a form of ugly nationalism. If they were from the Moon, we shouldn’t be compassionate towards them?

People who are secure with themselves and who are truly great people — which does not at all include the techie trash or their asshole investors I can tell you that! — don’t feel the need to strut around and shove their supposed-greatness and wealth in people’s faces. Truly great people are modest and humble. Truly great people don’t hate on the homeless and don’t resort to class warfare. Scum of the Earth people do that to try to make themselves feel better and to pump themselves up. Get some therapy assholes. With your millions and billions you can damn-well afford it.

The article I’m linking to from the UK Guardian spoke with clueless Jennifer whats it, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness in San Francisco. She was quoted as saying, “San Francisco is a liberal city, so the typical stuff they would use – anti-queer, anti-immigrant, racism, all the traditional wedges – don’t work,” she said. Jennifer, that’s complete nonsense. La mujer/The woman is living in the past. She’s living in the Old City (the former San Francisco) which no longer exists. Where has la mujer been since the despicable and corrupt Ron Conway/Ed Lee regime began? She says that “wedge issues” don’t work here. I would like to remind Jennifer that “wedge issue” sit-lie was passed by the voters years ago and when that measure passed it told me and others that this City had changed and was becoming conservative. A liberal city would not have passed draconian sit-lie criminalising homelessness. A liberal city would not engage in class warfare. A liberal city would also not have a city-wide nudity ban because of a few nude guys on the odd occasion in The Castro. A liberal city would not have allowed the techie trash to rape this city turning this City over to the techies and their scum-of-the-Earth septic anti-homeless billionaire investors, making San Francisco a playground for the super-wealthy. A liberal city would not give techie companies corporate welfare through tax breaks for basing their parasitic billionaire-owned companies here. A liberal city would not have rejected a “techie tax” plan to require these mega-tech corporations/leaches to fund initiatives to provide affordable housing and tackle the city’s homeless problem (San Francisco rejects ‘tech tax’ plan to require firms to back housing programs
“Plan would have imposed 1.5% payroll tax on companies such as Über, Google and Airbnb, which generate more than $1m in revenues yearly”). A liberal city would not have forced the Old City residents out with techie gentrification and immense greed from the corrupt Real Estate Industrial Complex and their damnable corrupt liars. (Do real estate liars/agents ever tell the truth about anything? The scum.) A liberal city would not have elected the conservative/corporatist Conway/Lee regime. A liberal city would not have elected a gay conservative asshole/corporate parasite for two terms with the conservative gay community residing in his upper colon. And a liberal city would not have a conservative gay community. In reality, San Francisco has become a conservative and very conformist City. The “liberal city” that Jennifer spoke of no longer exists. I have no idea where she’s been! Also, that guy in the Guardian article (who shall remain nameless on mi diario/my diary) from the anti-homeless campaign was the spokesliar for the former mayor. That mayor helped start San Francisco’s turn to the right before he left office. He was for sit-lie too and appointed the conservative piece of work that’s currently parked in City Hall eating the ass of his billionaire venture capitalist owner whom he serves as an empty puppet for. The billionaire venture capitalist is the real el alcalde/mayor. But they’re all corporate parasites. Septic basura. And now they want to ban homeless camps in The City. All of you need intense psychotherapy so that you can work at becoming something better than corporate gutter scum. And I can tell you that any credible therapist will have his/her hands full with any of you. It will take years to make any of you remotely into anything resembling a decent and compassionate human being. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Here’s the article from the Guardian: Wealthy San Francisco tech investors bankroll bid to ban homeless camps.

UPDATE: Muchas gracias for all the comments below. After reading E in Sunnyvale’s excellent comment, I thought I’d add this to the article regarding some of San Francisco’s most destructive corporate parasitic politicians:

Ed Lee is not from San Francisco. He was born in Seattle. Went to UC Berkeley. How did that man ever get through UC Berkeley I don’t know. I can only assume the academic standards were lower in those days.

Ron Conway moved to San Francisco from the Peninsula (wealthy Atherton, Dahling). Then he moved to San Francisco to “take San Francisco back from the progressives” after being the largest contributor to dim bulb Ed Lee’s first mayoral campaign. Conway’s goal accomplished. On 10.16.16, Conway donated $49,999 to the divisive San Francisco ballot measure that this article is about intended to clear San Francisco’s streets of homeless encampments, according to campaign filings. But now, Ron Conway doesn’t even live here. He lives in bougi/wealthy (Dahling) Belvedere/Tiburón. So why the fuck is this man so damned concerned about the streets of San Francisco when he doesn’t even live here? That is so typical of these corporate parasitic trash. They are so rabidly concerned about a place where they don’t even live. Run that by your psychotherapist when you get one and work on that. That’s what I don’t understand about these techie trash and the corrupt politicians who work for them. The former mayor who was for sit-lie doesn’t live here now either. He was on his way out of here at that time moving to Sacramento. The piece of trash that was the deciding vote on the Board of Supervisors for the city-wide nudity ban doesn’t live here either. He was on his way out then too. He’s in Sacramento.

Then there’s conservative Scott Penis (also known as The Holy and Indivisible Trinity). He couldn’t keep his ass in New Jersey. He had to move here to fuck things up too (get rid of the “radical” Gay Mecca), and now he wants to fuck things up at the state level. So after he’s help ruin San Francisco he takes off or he wants to — but hopefully Jane Kim will win and kick his ass to the curb — but with political basura like this, I have no doubt that someone will give Scott Penis a cushy job in San Francisco. Or, he’ll start running now for mayor of San Francisco. I can see that happening. Eight more years of this corporatist asshole. What will this City look like then, I can’t imagine. For starters: a solid wall of empty “Luxury Designer Condos” (Dahling) skyscrapers walling off the entire waterfront. Some say we’re not too far from that now. Truthfully, I get the sense that The Holy Trinity is not as popular as he was. He doesn’t look boyish anymore, which I think was part of his appeal to his gay, rabid, redneck conservative base. He looks rather sickly frankly (too much PrEP?), always hunched over on his phone, and I don’t see his signs in some of the windows I used to see his signs in. The love affair is not what it was? I’ve seen some Jane Kim signs in his area. And look at the state/condition of The Castro today with all the empty store fronts. That’s his area, he’s responsible for it. People want to send someone like that to the state level, do they? He’s helped to turn The Castro into another Walnut Creek or Antioch.

A gay guy tries to prove he’s straight by getting a girl pregnant

Hola a todos. A gay guy tries to prove he’s “straight” by getting a girl pregnant. How tiresome, yet it’s a very common occurrence. Many young people make the dumbest decisions because of society’s hate for GLBTQs. I heard about this and I’ve seen the guy. I’ve also seen his dad for years. This gay guy is quite feminine no matter how much they try to “dress him up” complete with a baseball cap to try to make him look “straight” before the cameras. He doesn’t at all look like the typical “straight” heteronormative/macho guy.

This is a true story. Over the past year, an 18-year old guy (who shall remain nameless) had been repeatedly questioned about his sexuality and rumours that he’s gay, which of course he denied. All closet cases deny being gay. That’s what makes them closeted. Now, I hear that he’s going to be a dad. Uh huh. As most people see it, he thought or his dad thought and told him that the best way to get these nasty gay rumours/speculations to go away is to get a girl pregnant and to become a dad. How many times have we heard this sad story played out over generations? Countless times. Apparently he gave no thought to the child. What about this gay guy’s daughter that’s arriving in a couple months? She’ll grow up being a “mistake” — or they may tell her she was “not planned” — just to try to prove her dad’s sexuality to the world that he is not gay. How can one make a proper decision at age 18? It’s as if this gay guy said: “I’ll get a girl pregnant to prove to the world that I’m straight.” Oh please! Getting a girl pregnant won’t prove that at all. What you are proving to the world is how stupid and naïve you are. And does it matter if the world thinks you’re gay? But I don’t expect the average 18-year old to have the maturity to be that secure with himself to let people think what they want. But using the birth of a child to prove that you’re “straight” is really very low and so transparent. It’s also a case of children rearing children. From what I read, many people are not buying this. They see it for what it is. They know what he’s doing. They’re not fooled. They see that he’s trying to cover up what he really likes (guys) by getting a girl pregnant. On being a new parent-to-be, he’s said he’s struggling financially. Why didn’t he think about that before dreaming up this scheme? This guy has essentially ruined his life — and perhaps his daughter’s life but that remains to be seen — because of his anti-GLBTQ prejudices. It won’t surprise me in a year or less to hear that he and his girl have broken up. Then comes the child support years. After mi amigo/my friend looked at the picture of his dad, mi amigo said: There’s not just one person here who’s gay, check out his dad. Yeah, I had thought his dad was gay to begin with, but he too is in the closet and married to a female. Seems to me it would have been easier in the long run for both of them to just come out of the closet rather than living a lie.

And after seeing him and his dad together on multiple occasions and watching their interaction with each other, I’m wondering if they have something going. I’ve watched them get real close with each other with arms around each other, hugs, and his dad grabbing his son’s face and giving him a big kiss on the cheek. His gay son did not pull away but got closer (cheek-to-cheek) with his dad and rather seemed to enjoy it with a big smile. It was definitely not the typical kiss I’ve seen dad’s give their sons. Two closet cases. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Moving to the right. People enjoy repeating history don’t they?

Hola a todos. Why is it so easy for people to move to the right? They seem to do so effortlessly, don’t they? They never move to the left; it’s always to the right. What is that about (rhetorical question)? I think we all know what that’s about. Pretty much all over the world, people are moving to the right.

I often refer to the US as The Cesspool. I think by now most people understand what I mean by that after observing the cesspool called the 2016 presidential campaign here in The Cesspool where the two major candidates of the two corrupt/corporate parties are two of the most despised people that could have been selected. Either one — Trump or Hillary — of these corporate parasites will move the political spectrum even farther to the right per the US Oligarchy’s agenda. There are other candidates out there that The People could vote for. BUT. As per usual, The People won’t have the intelligence to do so. As they’ve learned to do from supporters of The D and R Establishment, they will dutifully rationalise the following: But Jill Stein can’t win. Listen partisan idiots: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton can’t win either if no one votes for them. And the same goes for Stein.

Of course, this is all assuming that the s-election will be legitimate, and who believes that? (Answer: Gullible people living in Denial; the US of Hypocrisy is a country in Denial). When you’re in a corrupt Cesspool, why would anyone assume that the “election” is going to be legitimate when The Cesspool is fully stocked with easily-hackable electronic voting machines? Cesspools don’t have legitimate elections. They have s-elections. But I’ll humour you and let’s falsely assume that the 2016 “general election” will be perfectly honest, fair and legitimate. (Ha, Ha, Ha. Excuse me while I compose myself). Since Dra Stein is the best candidate out there — despite my problems with her during the campaign where she seemed to be catering to Bernie Sanders (ugh) — if The People as a group voted for her overwhelmingly, she would be the next presidente, no? Yes she would. If the “election” were legitimate (which of course it won’t be) and if the majority of USans voted for her, she would have to win. But I live under no illusion that USans are bright enough to do this. No, they will predictably continue on wallowing in the same D and R cesspool rut we’ve been in for decades, which is why I’ve paid little attention to this caca called the presidential election. You know, at this point I don’t give a fuck; it doesn’t matter who “wins”/who’s been selected between the two basura candidates of the major corrupt corporate cesspool parties. They are both corrupt cesspool-type candidates. And don’t come at me with that Lesser Evil CardTM that’s dragged out every s-election cycle on cue by (usually) Dembots. Take your partisan script and shove it! I don’t fall for or have the patience for that Lesser Evil CardTM. That mainly only matters to devout partisans who approach politics like it’s some religion for them. Many people were going on about Trump’s pussy comments. I wasn’t surprised he said that. Nothing el hombre/the man says surprises me whether he says it in public or private. I was glad to see Billy Bush fired from his corporate network. He may be back working soon. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Trump hire Billy Bush for his campaign since Billy now needs a job, and then Billy can become a part of Trump’s regime should he have already been selected as the next occupant of la casa blanca by the US Oligarchy.

Most people are not about to vote for Stein because they’ve been brainwashed by the pro-Establishment corporate media, pro-Establishment corporate publications and the people they know to think, “Stein can’t win; you’re wasting your vote when you vote for Stein.” When some partisan hack/shill comes at you with the You’re Wasting Your Vote CardTM, it’s just another type of Fear Card intended to intimidate a person into voting for their corrupt parasitic candidate. Tell them to piss off, mind their own damn business, and that you will not be intimated by their Pro-Establishment Status-Quo Script and that it’s the D and R Establishment that has gotten us in this cesspool to begin with, so therefore they hold no credibility whatsoever. If one wants to be complicit in the corruption, that one’s choice. I choose not to do that. No one wastes their vote when they vote from a position of voting their conscience and anyone who says otherwise has an agenda pro-The Establishment and is being dishonest. It’s nobody’s business who you vote for, of if you vote. But I won’t hold my breath that The People will suddenly get the intelligence to vote for Dra Stein because The People seem to enjoy repeating history. And we will, regardless of which of these two scum has already been selected by the corrupt US Oligarchy. Chau.—el barrio rosa

You Go, Girl! You Go, Ms Thang!

Based on what we see in San Francisco, most people are trying to look like everyone else. Conform! Obey! Wear Black & Gray.”

Hola a todos. “Has anyone else noticed how difficult it is to tell who is ‘straight’ and who’s gay these days?” “Yes!,” everyone at our table nearly screamed. It was unanimous. And that ended up being one of the topics we talked about when our little group of GLBTQ San Franciscans got together last week. I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here in sanitised and now-conservative San Francisco it’s hard to tell who is “straight” and who’s gay these days.

It was not difficult to tell who was gay during the Gay Mecca decades. There were all sorts of ways of telling if a guy was gay from his earrings, a Rainbow Flag on his clothing or on his shoulder bag somewhere, or some saying on a button he was wearing related to something of that day. Gay guys of that time were not ashamed of their sexuality as they seem to be today, having gone backwards. They’ve gone so far as to remove the Rainbow Flag buttons from their shoulder bags and backpacks. It would seem that they don’t want to be seen or known as gay. During the Gay Mecca days, gay boys even had a colour code handkerchief system of what they were into sexually so when another Queer boy saw that guy’s handerchief, he knew there was definitely a gay boy there and what he was into sexually. So there wasn’t all this guessing going on which is such a waste of time. But since then, things have done a “180.” Closet doors have re-opened. Rainbow Flags have gone back in the closet and/or in the drawer. The guys of the gay community of today have pretty much completely sanitised themselves to remove any indication that they’re gay. “It’s bad to be gay, you know,” seems to be their message/thinking. Loco./Crazy. San Francisco has become the opposite of the City it was during the Gay Mecca decades. In many ways, things have gone back to the way they were before the now-dead Gay Rights’ Movement began. Last year, a local group started a campaign to “Queer the Castro.” Can you believe that?! I’m not making this up. That’s how bad it’s gotten here in the former Gay Mecca. It disgusts me.

You Go, Girl! You Go, Ms Thang!

Yes indeed, Ms Thang. Give us some grill work. She’s showing high beams. [Laugh]. Remember gay camp? I miss hearing gay camp. On the odd occasion, I’ll hear gay camp from some of the rare Drag Queens who are still here and haven’t been forced out of the Billionaire Bay Area. But other than from the Drag Queen artists, it seems that gay camp is gone and has now been relegated to history until Brand LGBTTM rewrites that too. I sense that most gay guys today are embarrassed by gay camp. I’d like to tell them: Come on guys, why have you become so damned conservative and the opposite of who you were? What the fuck is wrong with you? jesus! You’ve become the same goddamned conservative backward prudes that were “back home” that you whined about and mocked when you moved here. There has got to be something in the agua/water! It’s as if the gay community feels that gay camp is from a different era (of the Gay Mecca days) and no longer “cool” since the gay community is trying to divorce themselves from the past decades entirely as well as from San Francisco’s fading reputation of the “proudly radical and alternative” City of those days, that all seems to conflict with the gay community’s heteronormative, lobotomised tech-zombie, fake-macho “act” fad where the highlight of their week is trying to be just like the “straights” and obnoxiously screaming over corporate sports teams as they pretend to be jocks. (Pssssssssst: Wearing a baseball cap backwards, a god-awful nationalistic “USA” t-shirt and wearing a jock strap doesn’t make you a jock, shallow-assed gay guys).

One person in our group asked the same question I remember asking way back when: What is with the gay guys who were born between roughly 1984 – 1988 who are so sexually fucked up and weak as people that they could not bring themselves to admit that they’re gay? Mi amigo was specifically talking about this large group of gay guys who are on the site I call ClosetList who are looking for sex with a guy but they say in their ad, “I’ve got a girl and she doesn’t know so we have to keep this very discreet” (while he cheats on her, assuming she exists). One other person responded to that by saying: Does he really have a “girl” or is that all part of his fantasy? The guy in his late 20s or early 30s is trying to be heteronormative while looking for sex with a guy and he has “a girl” or pretending to have “a girl.” What’s with this age group that finds it impossible to come out of the closet and admit they’re gay? Are they really that insecure? Of those guys who claim to be “bi” one never sees their ads/pics over in the “men seeking women” section.

The people in our group have noticed that more and more “straight” guys seem to be trying to “look gay” either unconsciously so or deliberately. And most gay guys are trying to be heteronormative and are trying to “look straight.” GLBTQs got their orders to “assimilate” from corporatist Brand LGTQTM so they’re in lockstep with conforming. In other words, blending in and disappearing or frankly going back in the closet is what it amounts to with many gay guys now calling themselves the neutral “WM” (white male) instead of “GWM” (gay white male) or “bi,” when they really have no interest in females at all. To be clear, I’m not talking about genuine bisexual guys here. I’m talking about the pretenders who think that labeling themselves “bi” makes them sound more macho/masculine than labeling themselves what they are: gay. I think it’s accurate to say that most gay guys are now running from the word “gay.” That’s what our little group of GLBTQs sense from what we’ve observed. And the obsession with the word “discreet” and “DL” (meaning down low, translation: closeted) in most gay sex personal ads confirms that. As I’ve said before, at the rate things are going, at some point in the future the Gay Rights’ Movement will have to start up all over again, nearly from the beginning.

Las lesbianas/The lesbians in our group said it’s no better/easier for them. They said they’ve noticed that most lesbians are trying to look like “straight” women now. They’ve abandoned the butch hair cuts in favour of long flowing (out of a bottle) blond hair, wearing black tights, stiletto heals, and that ubiquitous lingerie top shit complete with phone glued to hand. Are they aware that they look like sex workers? And they apparently wear that get up to the office.

Unlike the Gay Mecca days, no gay cruising takes places on the streets anymore because most people act lobotomised and/or are glued to their dopamine-delivery phones.

Mi amigo told our group that there’s is a distinct difference between the gay guys and the “straight” guys at his gym, and that’s in their behaviour. The “straight” guys feel the need to act all tough, put on this phony macho act and this macho learned way of walking and sitting. They drop the weights (a stupid thing to do, but that seems to be an alpha-male macho thing). He said he doesn’t see most gay guys behaving in that way fortunately.

But I guess all this is what people want. They seem to prefer going backwards, and we certainly are. Chau.—el barrio rosa