Diary of a Mad County

Photo by James BunoanWednesday April 14. Weekly music editor Rich Kane just e-mailed: "So I went to the Angels home opener, and the National Anthem is being sung by R&B crooner Brian McKnight, accompanied by 'smooth jazz' saxophonist Dave Koz, both wearing Angels jerseys. Then I get home, open my copy of The Advocate, and there on the cover is 'Dave Koz: The Sax Superstar Comes Out!' So for at least a couple minutes, the Angels had an openly gay man, wearing their uniform, 'playing' on the field!" . . . In a totally unrelated development, the headline "There's Nothing Like a Real Colonoscopy" runs in the uproarious Orange County Register. Yes, a new study has found that "virtual" colonoscopies are not as effective as traditional, old-school, working-in-a-coal-mine colonoscopies. Likewise, the study finds the traditional method is significantly better than those "street" colonoscopies you get down by the pier where it's all, "Wham, bam, eat more bran."

Thursday April 15. Happy Jackie Robinson Day! Today Major League Baseballinaugurates an annual celebration of America's most significant athlete, choosing to mark Robinson's heroism on the anniversary of his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers back in 1947 (not that I admire Jackie much, but my son's name is JackJackie when he's especially sweet; Jackson when he's in trouble; Miss Jackson if you're nasty). It strikes me that all living Americans who have to explain why they were against integration then—social pressure, social mores, contemporary thought, cultural forces—are saying the same things people 30 years from now will be saying when trying to explain why they had a problem with two people of the same sex getting married or, in the case of the Westminster School Board, teenage boys wearing a dress if that feels right. While some have been hesitant to link the African-American civil-rights movement with the present gay civil-rights movement, the fact is the same methods have been used against both: arguments that "change is coming too fast" and that granting equality jeopardizes moral fabric of the country. In a totally unrelated development having nothing to do with short-dicked thugs feeling empowered by the tacit approval of government institutions such as the Westminster School Board and the White House to perpetrate horror upon those not deemed worthy of equal rights, three Hayward men go on trial for the execution murder of Eddie Araujo, a transgender teen beaten, strangled and left in a shallow grave.

Friday April 16.While working on a story about Lou Sheldon accusing Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin of making up quotes attributed to Sheldon, I discover that if you type in Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition domain name—www.traditionalvalues—with a .com, instead of the correct .org, you're sent to a Hong Kong-based porn site. Why the Hong Kong-based porn site chose the same domain name is unclear. There is no "Contact Us" link, save for e-mail addresses of various customer-service representatives who go by such names as Hot Nasty 9Teen, which, I believe, is German. Still, at least the Hong Kong-based porn site has the decency to demand you be over 18 before entering the site, whereas Sheldon's site, chock-full of frank discussions of homo and hetero sex as well as plenty of deviant sexual behavior, has none. The whole situation could become confusing, especially for kids, so, kids, here's how to tell the difference: one has explicit material pertaining to all manner of sex, including fisting, necrophilia, bondage and human "leatherdogs." The other is a Hong Kong-based porn site.

Saturday/Sunday April 17&18. Riverside, that's Riverside, California—the Big Blight, Craptropolis, Methopotamia—is named one of the most livable cities in America. Seriously. Something called Partners for Livable Communities, which is not only based in Washington, D.C., but also apparently doesn't pay travel expenses, ranked Riverside high for economic development (meth) and civic participation (meth), as well as such amenities as wireless Internet access, backyard couches, dog fights, possum bars, cockfights and the high probability of running into a film crew from Cops. As you'd expect, Riversiders are jubilant. One gushed that he didn't smell anything odd coming from his trailer, and yes, in fact, his house did explode a lot, but that's the price you pay for wireless Internet.

Monday April 19. California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell reluctantly accepts the Westminster School District's watered-down discrimination language protecting gays and transsexuals. School Trustees Helena Rutkowski, Judy Ahrensand Blossie Marquez-Woodcock—the latter sounding a lot like a name on a Hong Kong-based porn site—were willing to let the district's children lose out on millions in dollars in state and federal funding to stick to their deeply held religious intolerance. O'Connell says he'll be watching the trio—two of whom are the focus of recall campaigns—to see if they actually act to protect gay and transsexual students and teachers. Hey, let's not keep him waiting! I call on all students and faculty at Westminster schools—gay and straight—to bend genders heartily. Fellas, break out mama's heels; ladies, grab pop's codpiece; teachers, five words: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. If you're stuck for ideas, you'll find a cavalcade in any biography of J. Edgar Hoover or the Traditional Values Coalition website—the one that's not a Hong Kong-based porn site.

Tuesday April 20. The California Healthcare Foundation (CHF), an organization slightly less discriminating than Joel Siegel and Partners for Livable Communities, announces its HMO "best buys" for the Medicare population. In Orange County, no less than 10—TEN!—companies get four or five stars because everybody knows if there's one thing readily available for ordinary people, it's great health care options. A spokesman for CHF explained they gave the four and five stars because they weren't allowed to give 29 stars as well as lots of happy faces, thumbs-up and pretty, pretty ponies, adding that he didn't smell anything odd coming from his trailer.


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