Published in: March-April 2012 issue.


James DeenTest Your Straightness!  There has never been a male porn star in the heterosexual world, for the simple reason that men buy the vast majority of pornography, and straight men tend to notice the women on the screen. But that was before James Deen (with an “e”!) came along. Sure, there have been straight actors with exceptional dimensions (John Holmes) or capabilities (Peter North), but Deen is a bona fide heartthrob—and he’s selling DVDs by the truckload. This has led some people to conclude that women are at long last consuming more porn, because we all know that straight men don’t want to see a dream-boy onscreen, just a serviceable guy that  they can kinda relate to (not too thin!), getting it on with a beautiful babe. The theory is that an actor who’s too good looking will make a straight man feel “gay”—if only because someone thought he wanted to look at a handsome dude in the first place. Deen does undoubtedly have a strong female following; but with 2,000 titles under his belt (at $20,000 per film), it’s clear that straight men must also be buying his movies in droves. To which we say: Dudes, it’s okay to be attracted to another guy, especially one who’s this adorable! It doesn’t mean you’re gay—at least, not necessarily… not exclusively… not extensively. Well, maybe a little.

Spread the Word!  A major dictionary, the Merriam-Webster, has announced that it will include the word “santorum” in its next edition—lower-case santorum as defined by Dan Savage (actually, selected by Dan in an on-line contest): “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” Now, once this definition began to stick—it has been lodged in the #1 Google position for many years running—everyone assumed that the real Rick Santorum would slink into the swamp of Washington think-tankery, never to be heard from again. Surely running for president would only encourage millions more to Google your name and then click on through to the “spreading santorum” website, which further lards it on. (And this is not even to mention the epithet “Man on Dog” that became Rick’s de facto middle name after a homophobic rant in 2003.) And yet, there he is, winning the Iowa Caucus and wowing Republicans at debates. And here we are, anxiously awaiting the next edition of the Merriam-Webster, whose latest entry may well prove the only lasting legacy of Rick Santorum’s oddly masochistic run for national office.

Santorum on the Run  Given the acceptance of the word santorum as a common noun, it was inevitable, once he was back in the news, that some of the headlines about the ex-governor would take on a double meaning. Equally inevitable was that someone would compile these headlines after Santorum’s surprise victory in Iowa. Our nominee for the best inadvertent use of “santorum” is a headline from a Catholic news agency, of all places: “In Final Lap, Santorum Comes from Behind.” On second thought, it’s almost too good to be true, leading one to wonder if some bored seminarian in the press room wasn’t having a little fun with his job.

We’ve Got Headlines  The website has announced its choice for Headline of the Year for 2011. The selection came from a science website called, an arm of Scientific American, and concerns the frequency of meteor strikes on one of the solar system’s cooler planets. And the winner is: “Uranus Takes a Pounding More Frequently than Thought.”

Feeling Right at Home  It’s somewhat unusual for a 68-year- old retired county sheriff to get busted for dealing in a controlled substance, in this case crystal meth, but it’s even more unusual when he requests payment in the form of gay sex. Such was the project of Patrick Sullivan, who served as Arapahoe County, Colorado, sheriff from 1984 to 2002 (as reported in The Denver Post, 11/30/11). But what makes this story BTW-worthy is the fact that, upon his arrest, the ex-sheriff was held in the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility. Yes, it was named after the sheriff himself following his retirement (but before his demise, reminding us why there used to be a tradition of waiting before consecrating). Sullivan faces charges related to the manufacture and sale of a controlled substance— but not for the attempt to solicit gay sex, a charge that seems to have fallen on hard times of late.

Behind Closed Flaps   The Occupy Wall Street movement spread to many metropoli around the U.S., and the “tent cities” that sprang up quickly developed a functional division of labor: a medical tent, one for food, a library, a media tent, etc. At Occupy Oakland (CA)—there was even, for a time, a pornography tent, where at least one movie was shot with a gay male motif. The resulting film has been released by Dirty Boy Video under the title of—what else?—Occupy My Throat.

Midnight in the Garden  … of Christ Church Savannah, that is, an Episcopal congregation that broke away from the national Episcopal Church after the latter ordained a gay bishop (Gene Robinson) in New Hampshire in 2003. At that time, fully 87 percent of the members voted to secede, and that might have been the end of it, except for the small matter of the church building itself, for which the national organization seemed to hold the deed. And, wouldn’t you know?, the church is a historical landmark built by English general James Oglethorpe in 1733, which (along with its grounds) is worth millions today. So, when the breakaway group refused to vacate the premises, the national church took legal action and, after years of lawsuits and appeals, has finally won its claim in a ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court. In the meantime, the New Hampshire bishop has served out his term and retired, the world has continued to spin on its axis, and a group of congregants that took a Righteous Stand is out looking for a home.