Thud: Growing Up With The Bee Gees

June 29, 2014
My version of the Red Ryder BB Gun: "Bee Gees Gold."

My version of the Red Ryder BB Gun: “Bee Gees Gold.”

I was thrilled to receive a gift of a Bee Gees puzzle from my younger sister Lars last month.  This is not a joke: I was thrilled to get a 200 piece puzzle of the Bee Gees.  I love the Bee Gees, and not in the half-assed way that it’s become acceptable to love the Bee Gees, either.  They’re not a “guilty pleasure.”  Nor is “their early stuff actually pretty good” to me.  I love the disco stuff from the 70’s just as much as I love their British Invasion stuff.  They were my first favorite band.  I grew up with them.   My love, like all first loves, is crystalline and perfect: unencumbered by the cloudy complications that attend my “grown up” affections.   (I love Neko Case, for example, but I’ve backed away from her latest work, which seems stiff and agenda-addled to me.)  As a Bee Gees fan, I’ve become accustomed to snide comments and backhanded compliments.  After all, the Bee Gees have been given a bad rap. When called upon to do so, I’ve been their defender and I’ll defend them again in this story.  Like the contents of the box handed to me by my sister, this story is a jumble of pieces of the past: a past as distant as the summer of 1981, when my love for the Bee Gees became a full-tilt obsession and as recent as May 27, 2014, when I attended Barry Gibb’s “Mythology” Tour at the United Center in Chicago.    Read the rest of this entry »

A Million Little Salt Crystals

May 18, 2014
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ROME and remorse.

I love my daughter Mabel more than I’d thought I could ever love another person.  For her, I’ve incurred cavities of the teeth and mind by way of multiple sugar shock episodes of “My Little Pony.”  I glory in the light in her eyes when we play “school”, despite being cast repeatedly as an illiterate little dullard named Denise Bernice.  Mabel is the ambassador of my fondest hopes; she carries my heart in her little purple leopard-skin purse. She is everything to me. Yet I took her to the (shudder) Olive Garden.   That’s right: the (shudder) Olive Garden.  Like the monster parent of urban legend fame who forced his child to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes in one sitting, I did a horrible, valuable thing, and I did it out of love.   It’s quite possible she will resent me for it for the rest of our lives, but I have no regrets. Read the rest of this entry »

Gaytheist Christmas Card 2013

December 23, 2013
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Meme-ish smartassery courtesy of our family’s answer to Banksy: Auntie.

The glow emanating from this, the Gaytheist Christmas Card 2013, is golden– a butterscotch, if you will.  Like butterscotch, its sweetness is undermined by its stickiness.  It’s the kind of stickiness you encounter when handling a “live” Christmas tree: the sap is snarlingly soap resistant, rendering  you a laughable Edward Stickerhands. 

Take heart, my sticky babies– at least you don’t smell like you have a Pine-Sol problem!  Your problem can be solved by a small child– a child who personifies the salvation of this hectic, overextended, and overwrought season, a child who redeemed us all  by casually handing Santa’s candy cane and his “be a good little girl” jive back to him–in several small, symbolically potent pieces.  In the spirit of this holiday miracle, the Gaytheist Gospel Hour wishes you and yours a very merry Up Yours, Christmas!

Storming The Stage With Sylvia Fowler

November 5, 2013
The two sides of Sylvia Fowler

Sylvia Fowler: motormouth and rubberneck.

“Take a good grip on yourself; you are going to DIE! Stephen Haines is stepping out on Mary!”  With this juicy salvo, Rosalind Russell spits out the verbal spark that ignited “The Women.”  It was one of the highest grossing films of 1939, a whip-smart comedy lampooning the intrigues of the privileged class, featuring a veritable army of female talent.  Much has been said about Rosalind Russell’s performance in “The Women”, and rightfully so: its brilliance is undeniable.  Russell’s portrayal of ruthless gossip Sylvia Fowler is a mad gallop across the gamut of what’s funny:   lethal one liners executed with rat-a-tat-tat rapidity, coupled with ferocious physical comedy, all in service of an unforgettably daffy character who easily carries away the entire film.  Sylvia Fowler, with her eager ears and unstoppable mouth, would be the last person anyone would want to see sitting across from them at a gathering of friends.  Yet the crazed charisma of Russell’s performance transforms this ruthless scandalmonger into a lovable lunatic.  She simply cannot help herself.  Her condition, as summed up by her best friend Edith Potter (Phylis Povah) is congenital and chronic: “It’s just her tough luck that she wasn’t born deaf and dumb.”  We love her best of all the women in the film, even those whose lives she destroys. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting To Know Lu

July 15, 2013
Lu, making a joyful noise at three months

Lu, making a joyful noise at three months

Lucinda Katherine joined the GGH Shufflin’ Crew on October 09, 2012.  According to the astrologists, it is a Libra baby birthday: day one of a “fair-minded, socially aware, and likable” balance seeker.  According to the pop culture historians, it was a birthday previously celebrated by John Lennon.  So we can safely infer that what we have here is an acerbic peacenik intent on starting a revolution from the comfort of her cradle.  And she has.  The only thing missing here in the tumult is the media and the handwritten “Bed Peace” signs on the window.  But to construe the identity of the child with the impact her birth has on her family would be tantamount to baby profiling.   Would it be fair to consider what’s now known as the Day Five Dead Of Night Diaper Blow Out as a defining moment?   Read the rest of this entry »


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