Save Us, Nick Jonas!

Pride, to me, is about living your truth.  That and toilet sex.  For some time that seemed to be the majority opinion amongst festival goers at American pride festivals (the male ones, at least) but with each passing year this sentiment is held in lower and lower regard.  With the majority of pride festival goers now consisting of heterosexuals, I suppose it’s only natural that pride festival headliners become heterosexuals, too.  After all, I can understand the festival goers’ desire to see their own reflection.  But what happens when your celebrated hetero headliner pulls out suddenly and unceremoniously?

This is the conundrum that the organizers of Pittsburgh Pride recently found themselves in when Iggy Azalea pulled out of her headlining slot at the last minute.  Though it was surely a coup for the festival organizers to book such a high name act, enthusiasm for Azalea’s booking waned considerably upon the discovery of several allegedly homophobic tweets of hers from years back.  Controversy ensued and Azalea promptly cancelled the gig.  This placed the festival organizers in quite a conundrum.  Though pride festivals are ostensibly designed to gather local queer communities in solidarity and celebration of their respective histories and political triumphs, such ideals tend to be coolly received by the increasingly heterosexual audiences of most pride festivals.  A star was needed and fast, but who would step in and save the day?

Enter, Nick Jonas, gay America’s heterosexual savior.   Nick Jonas has enjoyed an enthusiastic gay fan base ever since a series of buff shirtless selfies went viral last year.  This was followed by a scantily clad crotch-grabbing session for Flaunt magazine last October and his ally status was forever cemented.  Nick Jonas has been running at the mouth ever since about his passionate devotion to the cause of marriage equality and his deep admiration of his gay fan base.  Homos across America have been lapping it up by the spoonful.  Considering this, it’s only natural that he would be vaunted for filling in for Iggy at Pittsburgh Pride.  Nick Jonas has enjoyed a curiously exalted status as gay America’s foremost straight ally.  (All this fuss just for a little hairy crack?  But I digress.)  It’s mystifying how pandering to the paying public constitutes activism or why anyone should care.  Coming out in favor of marriage equality these days is hardly courageous and his aggressive marketing to the gay community is a familiar page out of the Lady Gaga playbook.  Then again, you can’t fuck with those abs, so I guess that’s what’s really important.

What is especially interesting about Jonas’ positive press for stepping in at Pittsburgh Pride is that he is replacing Iggy Azalea.  Iggy has been lambasted from the left for her alleged racial appropriation, so it is quite amusing that she would be replaced (largely uncritically) by Nick Jonas, someone who has arguably done something rather similar amongst gay men.  Though I understand Jonas’ visual appeal, I must say that it is a sad state of affairs that gay men, once the world’s foremost curators of high taste, are excited by the prospect of listening to Nick Jonas’ shitty music.  My sympathies go out to the gays of discriminating taste attending Pittsburgh Pride.  I suggest running a train in a nearby restroom to wait out his set.

Jonas provided fascinating commentary on his recent booking.  He remarked, “When I heard about the difficult position Pittsburgh Pride was in just days before their event, I knew I had to find a way to help.”  Bless you, Nick Jonas.  What would Pittsburgh gays have done without Nick Jonas to entertain them?  When I think of critical issues facing the LGBT community, perhaps the most pressing is the need for famous heterosexuals to perform for them at their pride festivals.  Thank you, Nick Jonas, for filling this void.

I have been accused of being old fashioned, but it seems to me that LGBT pride needs to be about LGBT people or else it’s pointless.  The Iggy/Nick Jonas booking was typical of present day pride festivals, but people can catch them at any of their many tours, or just turn on TV.  Wouldn’t it be more exciting to see Jackie Beat, or Kevin Aviance, or Ian Harvie, or Tig Notaro at your local pride?  I always assumed that seeing outrageous queer performers was the appeal of pride festivals.  Frankly, aside from indulging in an impulsive bi experience in a festival ground Port-a-John, I can’t see the appeal for the many straight attendees of contemporary pride festivals.  Luckily they’re mostly drunk and hemorrhaging money, so pride will grind on for years to come.

We have forgotten that for many years pride festivals grew and prospered with predominantly LGBT performers.  It is a testament to the enterprising spirit of America’s gays that all we need for a successful pride festival is a fair ground, some queens and some meth.  But shouldn’t we also insist on more relevant headliners?  Look, I’m not made of wood.  When the day comes that Nick Jonas finds himself with his legs in the air on a Corbin Fisher set, I will become a fan.  In the meantime I’ll be on the look-out for fabulously talented gay performers at gay festivals or else I’ll just go to Steamworks instead.

Is Kale The Gayest Vegetable?

Ageless pop wonder Madonna recently drew ire from sheltered internet trolls for her supposedly pejorative use of the word “gay.”  While playing a word association game for Buzzfeed, Madonna was asked to give her initial impression of the vegetable kale.  Just as any intelligent person would, she correctly classified the vegetable as “gay.”  Predictably, the trolls were not amused, lighting up the blogosphere with their utter outrage that the Material Girl would dare use the word “gay” as an insult.

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Insult?  Hardly.  This was a perfectly reasonable categorization of kale.  Kale is the gayest vegetable of all time.  Given its ultra-fibrous nature, it’s just common sense that kale would be the preferred vegetable amongst stool-pushers.  Everyone knows that.  Besides, kale is the hippest of all the leafy greens.  If you’re rocking a “Diversity Is Our Strength” bumper sticker, odds are that you’ve haughtily displayed your appreciation for kale at some time or another.  Objectively speaking, kale is a grotesque, acrid vegetable that no reasonable person would ever want to consume.  Thus it would be categorized as an “acquired taste,” an esoteric pleasure whose only appeal is its venerated status amongst hipsters.  Ergo quintessentially gay.

Hipsters have loudly displayed their appreciation of kale for years and everything that hipsters do was first done by homosexuals.  (On a related note, panfried kale and poppers is an immensely underrated combination.)  Besides, kale is only served in the faggiest of arenas.  Case in point: Whole Foods.  Whole Foods is the preferred grocer for sissies everywhere.  It’s the one place where homos of all stripes can come together and bond over their mutual love of overpriced, flavorless health food.  No self-respecting gay would walk out of a Whole Foods without a bagful of quinoa and kale.  It’s like wearing white after Labor Day; it’s just not acceptable.

Furthermore kale is a centerpiece in yet another quintessentially gay practice: juicing.  In an obvious attempt to lure in hipsters, Jamba Juice has recently introduced a number of kale-themed juices and smoothies to its menu.  It is impossible for anyone to say, “I’d like a Kale Orange Power with a shot of wheatgrass juice” and retain their masculinity.  I don’t care what your husband, father or priest says.  If you’re rocking a jumbo sized Kale-ribbean Breeze smoothie from Jamba Juice, you’re more than just a little gay.

It was foolish for homos to doubt Madonna.  Kale is unquestionably gay.  Gay Pride season is right around the corner, so do what Madonna would do, rock a Blueberry-Kale Smoothie at your local pride festival and you’re destined to be the envy of every queer there.

If the award isn’t insertable then I don’t want it.

The Grammys, like Mackelmore, have convinced me that it gets worse.  Year after year the nation is forced to endure the hard, jaundiced turd that is the annual Grammys awards.  It just seems to get more and more painful with each passing year and, no matter how high they suspend P!nk, there is never any break in the annual tedium. 

The Grammys is perhaps mankind’s least convincing argument for existing.  What can be said of an industry show that lauds its least talented artists while systematically ignoring nearly anyone dedicated to their craft?  Anyone who does not live under a rock with their eyes blindfolded and ears plugged hears and sees Beyoncé and P!nk and every other Top 40 robot on an endless loop.  What conceivable need is there to see them yet again warble out their overplayed hits?  Why do people watch this?  Won’t someone staunch the bleeding?

This year’s labored stunt was the gigantic gay wedding orgy during Macklemore’s “Same Love,” a song only modestly less irritating than “Born This Way.”  Encrusted and irritable as I am, I would actually like one of these gay pride songs were it sung by a real live gay person.  It is an utter tragedy that the gay community is so culturally impoverished that we must rely on straight people to write our gay pride anthems for us.  It’s strange that, not only do people get away with this, gay people line up to support these people and buy their shitty music.  And put them on the cover of ours magazines.  But at least I wasn’t the most embittered queen this year, that award goes to Mimi Imfurst:

”New rule: If you are going to officiate a mass gay wedding on television, You can’t stay in the closet to protect your television career.”

Ouch.  Sorry, Khadijah.

What fuckery will The Grammys hand us next year?  The Grammy committee could salvage some modicum of dignity if they handed out a lifetime achievement award to Britney Spears for her contributions to the art of lip syncing, but I doubt they would ever dare do something so entertaining.  They should listen to me, though; when the most interesting part of the evening was beholding Madonna’s latest Colonel Sanders image reinvention, then you know your show’s got problems.