Since I can’t find a real boyfriend, I have to invent one using handsome gay men (there are two words for this, namely fag and hag)—hence my “relationships” with Casey, Adam, and now Rufus. Yes, Mr. Rufus Wainwright will be my next victim—and how could I resist, after seeing him sing like an angel at moveon.org’s “Bush in 30 Seconds” event at the Hammerstein last week? He’s rilly, rilly cute, and he recognized me instead of the other way around, which makes it almost love at first soundbite. I asked him why it was important for him to take part in the MoveOn event. “I feel that it’s necessary to do everything possible to get Bush out of office. It’s reached the point in America where you’re either with us or with the Republicans,” he said, grinning widely, extremely pleased with himself and his very clever quote. I swooned.
Elsewhere in the press section, where I was stalking Rufus, political types hyperventilated—nay, salivated—over presenters Al Franken and Michael Moore, who were both given standing ovations after host Janeane Garofalo did nothing more than announce their names. Maybe they should run for president? (Al Franken, introducing the Funniest Video award: “Bush said that thing about uranium and Africa that turned out not to be—what’s the word—true? Hard questions have to be asked: What did the president know, and did he understand it? And if he did not understand the intelligence briefing, did he have it explained to him? And did he know he didn’t understand the intelligence briefing?”)
There was one gentleman of a certain age—OK, an old coot—being besieged by photographers and reporters. It was Abe Hirschfeld, the New York real estate tycoon, ex-con, and blowhard, who spent the evening (when he wasn’t holding court with the press) hitting on young, blonde Rolling Stone reporter Gillian Telling; he slept during the program’s only inspired musical performance (Rufus’s, of course). After the former publisher of the New York Post dissed co-organizer Moby and said that “everyone in the media are cocksuckers,” he asked Telling if she “knew what the perfect kiss” was, and then informed her that he invented it and began giving a detailed description of the Perfect Kiss, at which point she quickly excused herself and sprinted toward the nearest exit, which looked alarmingly like the bar.
The show itself started off with Moby and a backing rock band performing the national anthem à la Jimi Hendrix, presumably to demonstrate that left-wing Bush haters are patriots, too—they just rock a little harder. Margaret Cho delivered sharpshooting political barbs: “I used to hate Rush Limbaugh because I thought he was a racist and sexist, but then I realized, Ooooh, he was high!” About the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy, she snickered, “As if you could win a war without lesbians!” And somehow a riff on Asian chicken salad turned into a hilarious Gollum impersonation. Maybe she should be president!
The winner of both the Overall Best Ad and People’s Choice Award was “Child’s Pay,” by Charlie Fisher, a heart-tugging piece that showed wee kids working blue-collar jobs and ended with the question “Guess who’s going to pay off Bush’s $1 trillion deficit?” The ad will run on CNN during the week of the president’s State of the Union address. The runner-up clip, “What Are We Teaching Our Children?” also cast young actors, proving that even commie pinkos are suckers for anything with children. Moby fittingly ended the evening with a rendition of Radiohead‘s “Creep,” singing the lyrics in George W’s twang: “I’m a creep, what the hell am I doing here?”
And what the hell was the B-52’s Fred Schneider doing onstage for the Scissor Sisters encore at the Bowery Ballroom? I watched as the Sisters and lead singer Jason Sellards, a/k/a Jake Shears, a/k/a my friend from Seattle, rocked a roomful of gay men (so many potential boyfriends!), performing “Laura” and their Bee Gees-on-speed version of Pink Floyd‘s “Comfortably Numb.” Also watching were Justin Bond, Boy George, and my soon-to-be future BF Rufus. Schneider jumped in for “Filthy & Gorgeous,” and the crowd went ga-ga. Apparently Paddy, the Sisters’ drummer, played with Fred at some point, and they all had dinner together last winter, and it just happened because Jason is a lucky duck and is also very cute and talented. Rufus, honey, I might have to dump you for Jason. Please don’t be mad. Jason for president!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 13, 2004