By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
But by far the biggest development in pop cinemano matter who's presidentis that gay panic is at an all-time lavender-alert high. To wit: Shark Tale trots out macho fish fearing (then ultimately embracing) the different; Shall We Dance? has ballroom twirler STANLEY TUCCI acting mortally terrified of seeming queer; Team America: World Police wallows in the horror of gay come-ons; JUDE LAW's Alfie is repulsed by a male erectile-dysfunction doctor with a female name; Stage Beauty is about a sexually confused drag queen who develops a taste for velvet walls; and the sublime Sideways even has a gay panic moment in between all the whining and wining. This is good newsit means we're threatening the straights and closet cases. But they should just fix themselves and shut the fuck up!
FRED ROTHBELL-MISTA's arty Alphabetland hangout Apocalypse Lounge is where you step on KENNY THE HUMAN CARPET gingerly to get a drink, then place the cocktail on a computer disk coaster and submit to the fizzy, heady entertainment. Last Wednesday, the club hosted Creation Nation: A Live Talk Show, a two-man comedy performance by kinetic John Larroquette look-alike BILLY EICHNER (who dominates) and sweet-faced Iowan ROBIN TAYLOR (who submits). Their humor is both cerebral and nutty as they spoof FCC guidelines, cable soundbite whoring, and "down-low" homeboys, complete with a guest star, a mini-rock opera, and an ALI G-like taped segment in which Eichner asks pedestrians, "Are you excited about BROOKE SHIELDS going into Wonderful Town?" Their best line: "They're making a movie called Maria Full of Will & Grace about a woman who smuggles stock characters into the United States."
Meanwhile, that other downtown duo, KIKI & HERB, have been smuggled into Hollywood; they improbably turn up in Imaginary Heroes, an upcoming SIGOURNEY WEAVER flick about a fucked-up suburban family . . . Another moody movie melodrama, Birth, is about a weirdie who claims to be the incarnation of a woman's dead husband and who vigorously tries to warn her about another dude. Wasn't this already a hit when it was called Ghost? . . . Finally, Broadway's retread Twelve Angry Men isn't about the Yankees; it's everyone's jury duty nightmare, where 11 people want to fry the defendant and go home, but one freak prefers hanging around and seeking justice. The masterfully acted production is riveting from start to finish and should be unanimously declared "guilty" of providing surprisingly worthwhile theater. And it's extra relevant in a time when every vote really makes a difference, especially if I'm in Costa Rica right now.
That scary BIN LADEN video proved once and for all what a rotten leader he isBush, that is. While DUBYA's been busy making excuses for ditzing around in Iraq, bin Ladenthe self-admitted architect of 9-11has been alive and thriving and cooking up elaborately thought-out bile to put on tape, with nice styling yet. Judging from his references, bin Laden's even apparently had time to see Fahrenheit 9/11. What, did he go to a screening? Anyway, Bush spinning this whole fiasco in his favor is like . . . almost every other self-justifying thing he's done.
On a less important battlefield, Saturday Night Live seems to be up to its tawdry old tricks. The show's latest musical guest, EMINEM, looked like he was flat-out lip-synching his first song, and during the second one, his mouth didn't always match the "vocals" we were hearing. Best case scenario: He was performing along to a backup track. Well, I suggest that the cast members lip-synch some old comedy sketches from Your Show of Shows or The Ben Stiller Show; that could only be better than the increasingly lame stuff they are doing. (HORATIO SANZ padded and making feeble fat jokes? Oy.) And how could they have included so many dissy references to ASHLEE SIMPSON? Aren't they the ones who gleefully enabled the lip-synching phenom and who screwed it up for Ashlee by playing the wrong tape? Awkward jig. Exit columnist.