We’ve all been hailing Procter & Gamble as rainbow-flag-waving corporate heroes for refusing to advertise on Dr. Laura Schlessinger‘s upcoming TV show, but they’re actually being cagey about their position, apparently not wanting to offend the bashers any more than the gays. It turns out the company’s stance has much less to do with ethics—there is no such thing on Madison Avenue—than with money and wanting to avoid any controversy that might impede the accruement of it. A reader told me he wrote a thank-you letter to P&G for pulling those ads, and here’s what they ballsily wrote back: “Procter & Gamble serves nearly five billion customers worldwide, and we respect the diversity of views they represent on a variety of subjects. We do not oppose or endorse Dr. Laura Schlessinger on her broad range of opinions. We have simply made a business decision to not sponsor her upcoming TV show. This decision in no way is an endorsement or statement against any particular group’s point of view.” Gee, thanks guys—I’m still glad you dissed Laura, but maybe you should see a procto after you gamble and shove those Pringles after all.
While eating a competing brand’s chips, I saw The Patriot—well, half of it—and though it’s beautifully filmed, I got sick of the way foppiness is used to signal villainy (didn’t Mel learn from Braveheart?), got tired of the Little House on the Prairie-goes-jingoistic manipulations, and also wondered why filmmakers think they’re doing black people a favor by portraying them as incredibly noble ciphers without flavor, humor, or reality. Please make a business decision not to sponsor this movie!
Also not a documentary, The Lord of the Dance is being made into a feature film (“a drama with dance”), and the synopsis—I nabbed one—does for blarney what The Patriot does for hatchets in the forehead. Get this: “Sean Cronin is a construction worker who digs for a living, but lives to dance.” When his world falls apart, Sean leaves the Windy City for the Emerald Isle, and “at the end of the story, an ancient score is settled and a new star is born.” Michael Flatley stars, I guess because they couldn’t get Jennifer Beals.
The breakdown for the Showtime version of the British series Queer as Folk also passed by my world-weary desk, and though they’re moving the locale of the show to Pittsburgh, I’m glad to hear it’ll still be filthy as shit. The series is described as “a frank depiction of the gay lifestyle, which includes tasteful, discretionary nudity, sexuality, and drug use.” Sounds exactly like a night out at Twilo, except for the “tasteful” part. All the actors, the instructions go on to say, “must be extremely attractive and beautiful”—that rules out people who are only one or the other—and a central character, Brian, “has enough sexual energy to light up half of Pittsburgh.” (That’s not much sexual energy, is it?) Mercifully, they’re keeping the 15-year-old character, who’ll do it with Brian, only to wake up and find he was nothing more than a one-night stand. (Welcome to the gay dating world, honey.) I was all set to audition, but alas, they’re looking for an 18-year-old to play the part!
The queer as all heck Harvey Fierstein dropped by Joe’s Pub for a Gay Pride weekend show that was an alternately raunchy and sentimental journey through his greatest hits and sickest jokes. His voice more gravelly than a dirt road in Texas, the attractive and beautiful Harvey (the original Bruce Vilanch) sardonically assured us he’s not Beatrice Arthur—”though we both had Estelle Getty as our mother and we both sleep with fags. So does Liza.” He went on to rant about Frank Rich, who “will always be remembered—for nothing. Did you buy his book? Even Alex Witchel didn’t buy it.” And he sang a bitter song from the point of view of Nancy Reagan called “Remember My Forgotten Man.” Tasteful? No. Fabulous? Yes.
Speaking of forgetfulness, I seem to remember hearing that Sean “Puffy” Combs wasn’t happy when he went to Capri for L.A. Reid‘s wedding and nobody in town bothered to recognize him. Honey, if they did, they’d probably be running for their lives.
Back to puffing up Gay Pride, it’s not true that the Hetrick Martin Institute is changing its name to the Ricky Martin Institute. But the drag institution known as Wigstock is definitely altering its lineup. In fact, organizers swear they’re this close to nabbing the divine Patti LaBelle to perform among the real drag queens. Then again, I’m still waiting for Pamela Lee to take the stage from last year.
Lil’ Kim—who I’m convinced is RuPaul out of drag—had a one-woman Wigstock at the Puck Building the other night, turning a glorified photo op into a party with the mere flick of her bodacious booty. At the M.A.C./Vibe-sponsored event, the press gathered in a side room, dodging a succession of friends of relatives of hat designers of opening acts. But then Kim arrived and the whole place lit up like Barbra Streisand at a rummage sale. She was done up in Goldilocks curls and miles of sequins and feathers, looking like Mae West meets the Mermaid Parade via the bird wing of the American Museum of Natural History on the way to a fractured fairy tale. She radiated way more sunny warmth than one might expect from such a raunchy-mouthed urchin, but it’s that very combination of glitz and vinegar that makes Lil’ so big. I elbowed my way into the diva’s lap and, naturally, asked what her song “Suck My Dick” is about. “That was an answer to Snoop Doggy Dogg‘s ‘Bitches ain’t shit,’ ” she responded. “No one retaliated. I said, ‘I can make a song for the women.’ ” Does she have a dick? “No! I don’t have a dick!” she said, laughing. “Neither do I!” I exclaimed, and we bonded instantly.
Speaking of Rick Lazio, I asked Kim who her choice is for the Senate and she responded, “I can’t say. They’re gonna have to show me something I can believe in.” (Yeah, like his schedule for Gay Pride Day.) As for President, she said, “I’m leaning more towards Bush.” “So you like Bush?” I beamed, licking my lips over the utter deliciousness of my esteemed wit. “Well,” she said, rethinking it, “I can’t say I like that.” Once again: Neither can I!
But I like Bull—as in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle—and though Jason Alexander‘s Russian makeup makes him look Japanese and DeNiro‘s light comic touch could stun a, well, moose, I felt the movie bordered on amusing almost as often as it teetered on rottenness. The real Moose Murders was the after-party at Galactic Circus, that Times Square glitz arcade, where we were given $50 worth of free games, but when we went to redeem our winners’ coupons, we were all handed the same tiny bag of minuscule action figures and balloons. Whoever said life was fair, Christina? (I did—and managed to manipulate a large talking squirrel doll from a publicist later on.)
At the party, designer Nicole Miller said her kid liked the movie but cried when the people turned into vegetables. Well, I openly wept on seeing the plate in front of me positively filled with the fuckers! Fortunately, there was real food to be found—even some noncontroversial chips.