Tag Archives: gay

First Adam Lambert, now this.

“Best show on TV this year?” you ask.

Oh, that’s easy.

lambertI could also have said the campest. If anyone thought Fox had blown the gay meter with Adam Lambert on American Idol last season, then they need to watch Glee. Compared to this, Lambert is Hulk Hogan in thigh-length boots.

Up until now my favorite show was Better Off Ted. And that’s still an amazing sitcom. But I LOVE Glee, and it’s not often you’ll hear me say that about a scripted show. I love it to bits and shreds and I want to have its children. Seriously. My uterus belongs to Fox. In Gleeterms of originality, wit, infectiousness, excitement, fearlessness, funny lines per episode, and the sheer genius of the idea, there is nothing – nothin‘, I tells ya – to beat Glee.

The basics: bunch of hormone-raged misfit high schoolers try to find their identity by performing in a glee club, coached by a visionary teacher who’s also busy fending off the various forces of evil trying  to shut the club down. That’s the nutshell version.  But it’s so much more. Funny, involving, surprising, bitchy, sexy. There’s something for everyone. Black diva, hunky jock, acid-tongued queen….and I ask you, how many dance troupes feature McLovin’ in a wheelchair? It reminds me of the first season of Desperate Housewives before it grew old and tired.

I love that some TV executive at Fox had the balls to greenlight this. Whoever that is, I want to find him and kiss him thank-you. (So he might want to leave town now. I’m just saying.) Suddenly, maybe television isn’t doomed after all.

Watch this show, I implore you, or miss out on a major cultural experience that’s about to sweep the world. One of so many. First Barack Obama, then Adam Lambert and Better Off Ted, now Glee. America – you’re back.  

Glee gets FIVE magic carpets out of Five.

TV Swami – he says YES to original TV programming finally.

 

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“Jeremy Piven with his shirt off” revisited.

pivenNot too long ago, I was in a clothes store on Robertson Boulevard in Hollywood and saw Jeremy Piven in the changing room trying on shirts. It was nothing. Showbiz tittle-tattle. A minor, borderline interesting sub-snippet of news about an incident that lasted ten minutes, one I wrote about in an earlier post. Done, over, forgotten.

But wait. It’s not done.

What I wrote back then is now officially THE most popular post on TV Swami. An instant classic. Nothing beats it as a crowd-puller.

Doesn’t matter what I write on any given day, or how passionately I write it, or how current and pressing the topic, I can absolutely guarantee that most of the traffic passing through this blog will pretty much ignore everything I say and go straight to the Jeremy Piven page. How mind-blowing is that?

It wasn’t always that way. The most popular page used to be the one entitled Boys. Spanking. Bad., which is about none of these things, incidentally, but which has always garnered massive attention, presumably from pervs and prison inmates.

Not any more, though. Now it’s Jeremy Piven all day every day.

I know this because there’s a page I can go to that tells me the keywords people typed into their search engine in order to eventually wind up at this site. It’s not encouraging. Yesterday, for instance, the top nine search engine keywords or phrases were as follows:

jeremy piven naked

naked 10 year boys

personal boobs

jeremy piven shirt off

bad boy needs spanking

part of a cake

chimp face

cash peters “gay”

mary tyler moore looks terrible.

That’s it.

And believe it or not, the list is like that most days, with some kind of random Piven reference holding onto the number one slot, followed by a jumbled assortment of naked boys (always), Mary Tyler Moore’s peculiar facelift (regular as clockwork), rounded off with the ever-popular “Is Cash Peters gay?” reference. Whoever keeps typing that in their search engine and never finding an answer – bless you; we should do lunch sometime.

I mention all of this only because I was on the Hollywood Reporter site recently, watching video interviews with TV stars about their upcoming shows or seasons, and I spotted one featuring Jeremy Piven. So, since I feel we’re closely and irredeemably connected now, and since I’m clearly missing something about his appeal that’s obvious to millions of others – including the people who hand out prestigious awards, because he has a warehouse full for his acting gifts – and I’m beginning to feel insecure about it, I sat and watched the video.

And quite honestly – I’m just as baffled now as I was before I saw it.

Here’s a link. Go take a look. See if you don’t agree. Maybe it’s just me, but this guy is just – a guy. That’s it. An actor in a successful cable show, and a bit of a smartass possibly. But otherwise unremarkable, right?

Right?

What am I missing? Please. Somebody.

www.cashpeters.com.

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Drugged, anorexic, balding, broke, voice-less, frail, gay, and now dead.

The most astonishing and comprehensively troubling set of accusations about the late M.J. has appeared in Britain’s Daily Mail.

It’s here if you want to read it. Truly eye-opening.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe he did have to die after all. 

TV Swami – he stunned.

http://www.cashpeters.com 

Also, follow him on Twitter @cashpeters

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Collapsible Popeye and one dead Jesus

Saturday afterthought.

I want to talk really quickly about Prop 8. But first I have to mention food.

I know I drone on a lot about health and nutrition. I do, there’s no denying it. The reason I’m so passionate, though, is because I know there’s a kind of karma at work here. Body karma, you might call it. In other words, you get out what you put in.

PopeyeRemember those collapsible toy figures from years ago?

Someone gave me a Popeye once. He had a button underneath. Press the button and Popeye went all limp and droopy. Let go, and he sprang up to full height again. I figured a button was probably cheaper in the long run than giving him spinach. Then again, I was only 10, so I had no fix on reality yet. Still don’t, as a matter of fact.

Anyway, healthy living is like a collapsible Popeye.

Treat your body right, nurture it with yoga, exercise, and meditation, eat foods that contain life – plants (including spinach), fruits, nuts, seeds, seaweed, algae, and so on, and bingo, what it gives you in return is glowing health, lots of stamina, a bright, buoyant mood, and an immune system equipped to handle even the strongest ailments or disease.

Conversely;

  • put in a lot of dead stuff  – meat, chips, fries, cookies, candy;
  • drink poisons every day, such as alcohol, sodas, and those toxic fruit juices that claim to be good for you, but actually they’re just sugar and food coloring in water; and
  • endanger your lungs with cigarette smoke

and what you’re heading for in most cases is debilitation, disease, and premature aging.  Your body basically just wilts and dies. It has to, you’ve not sustained it in the ways it needs for survival.

I always find it hilarious to watch smokers, especially young ones, sitting around so proudly with cigarettes, sucking in long drafts of carcinogens and expelling them again into the air, imagining as they do so that they look pretty damn cool. When, in fact, the image they’re really presenting to a steadily more conscious world is of a hopeless addict with very low self-respect, and not enough will-power or good sense to quit corroding their insides with toxins.

I mean, do they not watch the news? Every time there’s an apartment fire, how many occupants are carried out on stretchers suffering from smoke inhalation? Smoke in your lungs is lethal if not treated. So why would you subject yourself to it voluntarily? Jeez.

In short, the principle of Body Karma decrees that if you do the right thing you will get the right results and your own personal Popeye won’t collapse.

Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the California Supreme Court’s decision last week to endorse and uphold the iniquities of Proposition 8 and prevent gay people getting married.

Unlike protestors outside the court and others – my neighbor David Hyde Pierce for one – I’m not angry about the decision. The judges weren’t saying gay people are sinners, outcasts, agents of Beelzebub, and shouldn’t be allowed to get married; they simply decided they couldn’t overturn the majority vote of the California electorate as it stands right now.

Even though Prop 8 was passed mainly due to financial manipulation and scare propaganda put out by those conniving evil bastards at the head of the Mormon Church in Utah (who do believe that gay people are sinners, outcasts, agents of Beelzebub), it nonetheless limped through the system and became law. For now. And until it ceases to be the law, then mere judges are not able to countermand it. That was their point.

It did make me think, though.

Imagine if, a few years ago, when all of this really came to a head, the government had done the right thing and okay’d civil unions for homosexuals. Countrywide, no exceptions, all benefits, all rights. Stopping short of calling it marriage perhaps – that way Christian bigots could sleep easy in their beds, assured that the institution they claim to treasure so much wasn’t in the grip of Satan and his followers after all –  but elevating same-sex couples to the same status as every other normal person in America. 

If that had happened back then, we’d have had equality in everything but name, and probably been satisfied with that. The whole issue may even have subsided for a while.

But the government didn’t do the right thing, did it? It gave in to the religious bullies who use the power of the pulpit to hypnotize the millions in their thrall, and refused to budge an inch.

Now look what’s happened. Because of a few hardnuts playing politics with people’s lives, a time-bomb has started ticking, one that’s going to go off way sooner and with a much bigger bang than it otherwise would have.

Such is the outcry against this continuing injustice; so utterly demonized has Prop 8 become, along with all those who, to their shame, supported it; and so loud and insistent is the drum-beat for change, that gay marriage is coming at us faster than it ever would. Faster, in actual fact, than some of us are really ready for. (I mean, what will I wear?)

Because of the humiliating spasm of outrageous bigotry that Prop 8 represents, it’s my guess that within a couple of years the very thing the combined small minds of the National Organization for Marriage, Miss California, the Mormons, and all their ghastly sort – the real sinners! – have been campaigning against so lustily for so long, may well happen after all. 

Not only that, but to hell with civil unions. Gay folks will probably end up with full rights under the law AND able to call themselves legally “married.” How groovy is that?

It’s karma at work, people.

Feed hate, cruelty, selfishness, fear, and division into the system, and you get massive problems out at the other end. But do what’s right by society, be fair and accepting and kind, and you’re rewarded with justice, harmony, happiness, and calm.  

ChristThese aren’t my ideas, by the way; some guy I read about called Jesus came up with them first. Unfortunately, he was put to death before his time by a different bunch of religious zealots. They too thought they knew what was best for everyone and believed that the weight of their preaching could keep a good set of ideals down. As a result, he became bigger than their narrow, fearful minds could ever have envisioned.

Sadly, it also means we’ll never know what he thought of gay people getting married. My guess is he’d have been for it. Not only for it, but standing on the picket lines, tongue-kissing guys to make a point, and tossing beer-cans at passing Mormons. Jesus was cool that way.

 

TV Swami – he waaaay off-track today. But he say YES to good nutrition and loving one another. Not a bad thought for the weekend.

www.cashpeters.com

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Celebrity hating: some quick do’s and don’ts.

After Friday’s post about Miss California and the whole gay marriage thing, someone sent me my first piece of real blog hate mail.

Now, working in radio and TV, you grow used to receiving horrible letters. So much so that you can start to lose faith in the goodness of your fellow man, it’s that ghastly.

In fact, I believe I still hold the record for the number of death threats received by any personality on American public radio, following an inappropriately upbeat report I did from Dublin some years ago about an ancient abandoned Irish jail.

For some reason, many irate listeners in the Irish community in Boston, Mass., thought my suggestions for brightening the place up with flower-beds and wallpaper insulted their history, and felt that the only reasonable response to such comments was to give me a good knee-capping, then leave me to bleed to death. Which is fair enough. As we know, and as history shows time and again, especially Irish history, violence solves everything.

Plus, of course, while my TV show was on the air, the network’s message-boards were filled with hateful comments. Luckily, these were countered by copious praise from viewers bright enough to understand the series, who not only loved it but engaged in a running ground battle with the haters, in the hope that the executives at the network were also bright enough to ignore the negative tirades of the minority and keep the show alive. Alas, as we know, the haters won. 

Plus, my books always receive their fair share of detractors.  If you look on Amazon right now, some creep from an obscure magazine I’ve never even heard of, called Booklist, has written a truly unjustified and quite mean-spirited editorial appraisal of my latest, Naked in Dangerous Places.

Only, here’s the thing. You can tell – or at least I as the author can – that it’s based on nothing. He’s barely read beyond the first chapter.

Quite bizarrely, the review appears to be a critique, not of the book  per se, but of my radio style, which he despises. Powerless, however, to get me taken off the air, he’s instead turned his ire on my literary work, hoping that this will teach me a lesson or two, and possibly curb sales. And hey, maybe it will, who knows? Why doesn’t he just go the whole way and suggest a sound knee-capping for my efforts? That would be just as rational.

As it is, every review of the book from people who’ve actually read it has been resoundingly positive, drowning out the reviewer’s voice of hate. 

Which brings me back to Friday and the  comment I received about the gay marriage piece. It came from a guy called Clint. Here’s what he wrote. It’s not pleasant.

“Ok go shoot yourself in the fucking head. That shit was way to long. You need to take yourself to church become a priest and touch little children you fuckin homo. Another thing whats up with the artsy gay ass abstract modern art pic of yourself at the top. I would wipe my ass with that pic and actually talk about gay from an angle that interests people cause your opinion is not doing it.”

Wow! In one short paragraph, and without meaning to, he managed to illustrate the very point I was making in ways I never could. As it happens, the piece probably was too long. And I honestly can’t justify or excuse my artsy gay ass abstract modern art pic. So maybe he’s right about that too. But the abuse about becoming a priest and touching little children? My God, that’s indefensible. Like something my own father might say.  Please, though, not a complete stranger.

Anyway, I have a way of dealing with this, which I’d like to pass on to you.

Long ago, I used to work for the British government. Every day for several hours I sat on a public desk, dealing with complaints from angry strangers with an axe to grind, who wanted someone’s head to grind it on. And I was that guy. The guy they ground their axes on. It was quite a horrendous time, but very character-building, and it taught me two important lessons about how to deal with angry, hate-filled people.

Lesson 1) When  they shout, don’t shout back. Rather, speak quietly.  They will soon realize they’re shouting and begin talking quietly too.

Lesson 2) Stay calm and agree with them. Agree there’s been an injustice. Agree they have a valid point. Agree that you may have made a mistake, and will do everything to correct it.

Follow these two lessons, and all anger magically dissipates, like angel dust in the opening sequence of Xanadu. The result is usually miraculous.

Most people just feel they’re not being heard, that’s all. That their opinion doesn’t matter, that they don’t have a voice. So listen to them, behave like they matter and that you’re interested, and most times they will immediately calm down.

That’s my trick.

Nowadays, based on that experience, when I receive genuine hate mail from people, I do the opposite of what’s expected. I don’t argue or take offense, I write back agreeing with them. More than that, I discuss their issues in a calm, rational way, hoping to learn something from their points, then make my point in return. Simple. And almost without fail I end up with a positive, harmonious result.

Which is what happened with Clint. 

I have no idea how old Clint is; he could be 15, he could be 85. But he’s angry and wants to be heard. So my reply to his hateful comment was placatory, kind, open, and non-aggressive.

Result: within a couple of hours, here’s what he wrote back:

“Wait who are you and what are you talking about and yes I mess with people. Its nothing to be taken seriously….why do you blog if you dont expect to catch some shit from people. Be truely astonished omg. Get a clue and if you can in any way learn from this experience take it to the head and realize thats life and how it truely works.”

Still aggressive, right? Barely comprehensible, actually. Written English is not Clint’s strong point. The gist seems to be, though – if you’d allow me to translate – that he’s tough and likes to screw with strangers, and if I’m going to post an opinion on the web, well, I should expect to be attacked for it by angry people like Clint.

Disagreeing somewhat with this premise, I wrote back.

“You have every right to say what you think about a blog or anything else. You happen to be on the money about it being too long. You may even be right about my gay-assed picture. But imagine how much more seriously your views would be taken if you aired them with respect and kindness, rather than abuse. It’s so easy to tear something down – it takes almost no effort at all. Making constructive comments is harder. But it gets you a lot more respect.  

“Next time you feel the urge to write an abusive comment, imagine that the person you’re writing to, instead of being a stranger, is your best friend. Someone you value and wouldn’t want to lose. I guarantee your approach will mellow.”

That was my two-penneth. Very fair, very balanced. But in the real meaning of the words, not the Fox News  “saying that, but doing something else” way.

And lo and behold, guess what happened! Almost immediately, Clint, having made a human connection now, and feeling appreciated and understood, wrote back, this time with an entirely different approach.

“Yeah you are right….I owe you an apology. Maybe your opinion do matter to some just not to me at the present moment. That is the way I am though I am rude crude and I wreck stuff. You can think I am an ass thats ok it doesnt bug me one bit. Im sure some one will eventually bag on my blog and I will simpally call it karma. Anyways happy trails and may God be with you.”

Obviously, his use of English isn’t any better when he’s calm, but his approach is entirely positive and kind, even, dare I say, loving in tone.

From hate to love in three moves. Not bad, eh?

And it works almost all the time.

I honestly recommend you all try this. From now on, try dealing with anger in a reasonable, quiet, calm way instead of rising to it and becoming angry too, and see what happens. Well, actually, you can already see what happens. Magic happens. Like the opening sequence of Xanadu.

Now, I have to stop. Once again, this is way too long.  Also, I have to see if I can change that  artsy gay ass modern art pic of mine before Clint sees it and writes to me again. I can only take so much.

TV Swami – he say YES to love, kindness, understanding, and being nice to people.

www.cashpeters.com

 

 

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American, idle. An addict reaches out.

I’m furious at myself for getting hooked again.

After Season 7 of American Idol I was an emotional husk – ask my friends, they’ll tell you – having invested waaaaay too much time and energy in performers who, a few weeks later – actually, minutes in some cases – and removed from the ethereal glow of the spotlight, seemed pretty rubbish. Aside from the occasional Jennifer Hudson or Kelly Clarkson, the only time we hear about these guys again is a couple of years later when their house is being repossessed or they’re dropped suddenly by their management company and are releasing songs through a MySpace page.

So last year, especially when the right David didn’t win, I quit cold turkey. That was it. Finished. No more American Idol for Sir.  It was like a New Year’s resolution, only in May.

But oh, how soon we forget.

January. More out of curiosity than anything else. Just to check out the level of talent on offer. And also because I report on these things for the BBC – I mean, I have to stay in touch. I stopped by one of the Hollywood shows. A casual glance one evening when nothing else was on TV. And goddamnit, I got hooked all over again! 

You have no idea how angry I am at myself right now.

Tonight it’s the wild card round. They’re about to give three more people I won’t remember in a year’s time the chance to be forgotten by millions of others as well, by joining the twelve-step program that the show becomes from now until the finale, when the dozen will be whittled down to one, the wrong contestant will be crowned the winner, and we can all thankfully resume our normal lives once again.

The favorites are already obvious. There’s…

The guy with the Danny Wallace glasses who lost his wife and is never done milking it, hoping, I guess, to secure the granny vote, but alienating everyone else. Unfortunately, he blows you away when he sings, so he’s staying; 

The tall guy with the ridiculous black manga hairstyle and the screeching voice that will cause your  fillings to drop out. Very talented, but he’s way too theatrical and screechy, and dental work is costly; 

Lil Rounds. Slick, talented, and will probably win, mainly because her name is so catchy, though I doubt she’s distinctive enough to succeed big-time in the real world later on. In the cold light of day, even the most gifted performer on American Idol can seem like a washed-up hooker singing karaoke between tricks. But the judges are swooning. So, of the girls, Lil’s in with the best chance. And if her career takes off too afterwards, wonderful;

The blind guy. He’s absolutely hopeless in dance routines and has to be led everywhere by his brother. Good voice, though, and excellent when you direct him to where the piano is and place  his hands on the keys – it’s just that he’s excruciating to watch. I find myself on edge the whole time, yelling, “Don’t leave your stool!” One week he’s going to drop off the stage, and I don’t want to see that. He’ll get the pity vote for being a tryer, but I so hope he doesn’t win;   

And my favorite right now, Jorge – pronounced Horhay – from Puerto Rico, who has a lazy eyelid that’s going to require surgery at some point, and who sobs in Spanish every time something good happens. But he has a lovely voice, he’s tricky when he dances, and he keeps smiling at me – at me, mind, not you – every time he’s on screen. I love this guy and I’m going to vote for him ’til my fingers bleed.

One note to God, if he’s listening: during tonight’s wild card vote, please remove Tatiana del Toro and send her packing. She’s the coquettish little drama queen they’re setting up to be this season’s Sanjaya. She has a hideous tittery laugh, a tendency to sob more than Horhay does (and that’s a lot of sobbing), and is far more interested, it seems, in how she looks on the studio monitors than how she sounds in my ears. If this little screamer makes it to the top twelve this year…..God, I know you move in mysterious ways, but that would be almost too strange and you need to rethink it.

In fact, if Tatiana’s not booted off tonight, I almost think it could be the last straw. The one shock event I need to snap me out of my American Idol addiction once and for all. I am not watching this show if she’s in it. That’s it. Finished. No more American Idol for Sir

Well, y’know – until next week.

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