Posts tagged ‘Alvin’

October 28, 2010

My friend Alvin marks the birth of a movement.

 

My very close friend Alvin - who is mad as hell.

 

 

We have had this  Ex-Gay minister here for a week and apparently the LGBT  community has reached a boiling point. A second  protest was held today at the University of the West Indies  for this vile and peculiar person to spout his misinformation. I assume that UWI will also be hosting the KKK when they arrive on these shores.

In any case the CAISO group sat there in their protest t-shirts which said:

HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA

  1. Buy Crix
  2. Spend time with family
  3. Work for equality

By all accounts it was all very peaceful.  Unfortunately for them my best friend Alvin was also there. He decided to stand up in the middle of the gospel meeting and ask the strange Pastor questions. I guess the pastor now knows that saying weird things to an audience in this part of the world is not the same as Uganda.

Alvin posted this on Facebook.

Today I witness first hand a “bully” disguised in a blanket called
religion as he tried to influence young folks into believing gay persons
will go to hell and they are Sinners who are the cause of spreading
diseases to mankind.
This former United Airlines flight attendant/homo (talk about flying the friendly skies) whose days living in San Francisco and, one would guess, wearing flowers in his hair; suddenly had a vision one night and the “Homosexual Chains” were broken. Now this brings several questions to mind.

1.Were the chains holding up a sling with you face up on it?

2. Were you doing a David Carradine at the time?

3.Was it a S&M routine gone bad or were you caught with Granma’s pearls again?.

Nevertheless some Bad Romance or Experience has made this poor soul into a self hating homo who is on a relentless pursuit to convince the world that Homosexuality can be cured and he’s living proof of it. Mind you if I was gay and looked like Phillip Lee I would hate myself so much that I also would start wearing polyester shirts and spread hate. Anyhows the born again Pastor not only passed judgment on those whose bedroom business is no concern of his and his flock of fools but went as far as to say that we are all rampant drug users who practice promiscuous sex and are trying to bring down the Church with our forbidden lifestyle.I am trying to find right now at least 1 Anti-Heterosexual group or religion but it seems we “Children Of God” are much too busy just trying to live our lives which may just be a great bother to Pastor’s like Lee and other Men of the Closet..sorry Cloth or just maybe they are missing out on that extra 10% of our salaries to help furnish penthouses for their boytoys and taking them on getaways to Ibiza .

Your rantings are not god’s word u ignorant red neck. And if that is what your ministry believe is salvation then drag me str8 to HELL. The messengers of HATE must not be allowed to spread propaganda to the young minds. Love yourself no matter if you’re Gay/Straight/Black/White/Poor/Rich . Do not ever think you are a Sinner because of who you choose to Love or have Sex with. We are no longer a silent minority ..Let your voices be heard..Be Proud of who you are..This is our time..SPEAK UP.

CAISO has published their own comprehensive take on the minister and his activities here.

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October 8, 2010

8. the mormon proposition

I have watched the documentary 8. the mormon proposition twice in the last few days. The first time I saw it I was alone and sat on my couch getting angrier and angrier that any group would oppose the right of two people to marry. The fact it was largely funded by a Utah based church with a history that would qualify it for an Oscar in hypocrisy made it all the more obscene. Here is a trailer for the film that I would urge everyone to see – it isn’t just about California – it is about how religions, protected by tax free status, can use their power to justify the continued inequity being meted out to one group of people.

The second time I saw it was the very next day when one of my best friends Alvin joined me for my evening walk and then came home with me to have dinner. I told him he had to see it and I watched it again with him.  I saw him getting more and more irate and asking questions about the mormons ( I refuse to dignify them with a capital letter) to the point that I worried about any mormon who happened to be in his path as he headed home afterwards.  Alvin is a strong and rare activist for the gay community in Trinidad and doesn’t seem to give a damn what people tell him. The film hurt him deeply and he is now getting even more active in raising his lone but loud voice to deal with the issues.  I think it is important that we see films like this and read as many blogs and news sources as we can. The problem is not a California problem  – it is a worldwide problem. As a Canadian I could say that equality is part of my constitution and forget the rest of the world – that would be plainly wrong. As long as there is a single person in the worldwide family who feels he or she is a second class citizen none of us should sleep easy.

Back to the film.  It details the fight of the LGBT community in California ,who had only recently been allowed to marry,having to face a ballot proposition that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It was a measure that the mormon church took very seriously as it was personally threatened by the notion of two people who love each other getting married. The film notes the irony of  a church ,which is based in Utah solely because other Americans chased them there as they believed in polygamy ,  challenging another group over marriage. It is well constructed and shows the reality of lives being crushed without wandering into manipulation. The financial actions of the mormons were appalling and shamelessly secretive as illustrated by documents obtained by the filmmakers.

Prop 8 is still awaiting a court decision but I would urge anyone to join the NOH8 Campaign even if you don’t live in California. Sometimes worldwide support can help change things. Also, I don’t believe that religion has any special protection from criticism when it makes no sense . With that in mind I would like to point out that mormons have some seriously warped beliefs. God talks to your church elders personally? Really? The book just disappeared? Sure it did. Polygamy in the afterlife? Ummmm.

Hatred is an awful thing. I have no idea why people don’t see discrimination against the LGBT community as exactly the same as discrimination against any other group.  Perhaps if they had an LGBT child they might understand.  Whenever I see arguments using words like “choice” or “lifestyle” my blood boils. Seriously, why would anyone choose to be part of a group that suffers such prejudice?  I would encourage anyone who thinks about using the choice argument to read some  actual medical studies. Also, if you want to pick your fave Old Testament passages and use them as ammunition please ensure you read all the other weird things in there and follow them yourself.

As I was driving to my walking area this evening I actually saw two mormon missionaries in their short sleeved polyester shirts walking along the road – I am not one to hate but it was all I could do not to yank my Ford’s steering wheel in their direction. That is the sign of a good documentary. Or it could just be a sign of my hatred of white polyester shirts.

For the rest of us we can do small things. Let’s show NOH8 that the world cares, let’s write about teenage suicide and show how it reflects on a lack of acceptance and let’s just reach out and show that we care. This month has two big days coming up.  October 11th is Coming Out Day – I think people should do that only if it is safe to do so and if they have a strong support network of friends.

More importantly to me, by far,  is Spirit Day on October 20, 2010. To celebrate all the lives lost to suicide because of bullying and we have the sad deaths of six kids lately to make that a reality for all of us. Wear purple on October 20, 2010 – let’s show that the concern is worldwide.

Support NOH8

Spirit Day on Facebook

or here.

And as always support GLAAD – as a media person I take them very seriously.

And the brave souls in Utah who work in the belly of the beast.

February 10, 2009

Hail Caesar

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I make a mean caesar salad as seen above and I am not ashamed to say it. Caesars also happen to be one of my favourite salads as they manage to combine the healthy goodness of lettuce with the artery clogging goodness of cholesterol. Really, what could be a better combination? Courageous folks such as myself use raw egg yolk for the base of the dressing but in the interest of avoiding law suits I use a different binder when I make it for friends. I really don’t see what the big deal is with a bit of salmonella but I bow to general opinion on this matter. People who use store bought caesar dressings are guilty of a serious offence and I shall continue to petition the relevant authorities to get it into the law books.

Since finishing my writing my life has been a lot more calm and I when not at work I have managed to catch up with a number of films that i had been meaning to see. I especially like the disturbing animated documentary Waltz with Bashir which is an Israeli film in Hebrew about exploring the massacres at Sabra and Shatila when Lebanon was invaded. The basic premise is that some of the men in the IDF who took part in the invasion of Lebanon have blocked memories of the massacres and trace back the events in order to remember. They realise that the trauma of the IDF being present and either not being fully aware or simply casting a blind eye on the atrocities committed by the Christian Militia in Lebanon makes for a fascinating movie. I wasn’t sure about the use of semi-rotoscopic animation until I saw the film and I really don’t think they could have made the film as effective in any other way. This is one film well worth a viewing and, though I recognise it is but one perspective on the tragic events, it is still an interesting one.

I also saw Frozen River which is a gripping look at smuggling people over the Canada/US border by driving them over a frozen river. The true beauty and depth of the story is in the interactions of the two women involved in it. It is a bleak film but somehow the insight into what motivates us as humans to do certain things made it worthwhile for me. I empathised with the characters and not every film can get me to do that.

Other than that all is quiet on the work front with the crew up to their usual antics but still getting the job done. I have managed to get this weekend off so I will be heading off to Toco to be a guest at Mark’s place for a beach bonfire on Valentine’s night ( must remember to pack my Rachel Ray effigy) . The usual suspects will be there for a “couple’s night” so I suspect there will  be much cooking and drinking smart cocktails in the pool.

Further to follow.

December 25, 2008

Green Christmas

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It is raining gently on an eerily quiet Xmas night in Cascade and I am happy to be home. I am stil working every day without a break and writing for Fodor’s at night and frankly I am almost at breaking point. I worked today at the station and read news but the bonhomie and fun nature of the staff meant that it was actually not a bad choice of places to be so that at least put me in a good mood.

Yesterday was a different picture as i woke with that lovely anachronistic affliction called ague. I was shivering under the covers followed by sweating and with waves of nausea flowing over me for good measure. No chance of staying home so I finally cobbled my senses together with the help of handfuls of medication and went in. I made it through the day but it was also the evening of Alvie’s Xmas Eve get-together and i knew I was not in fit shape to make the drive. That was before I remembered what Alvie is like. I got the requisite call threatening me death should I not show up ( and that was the mildest of the threats) and I was informed that i would be advised to “get your sick ass here”.

Fortunately, Sam came to meet me at the station and assured me that should I faint he would drive the rest of the way and in any case fainting was better than imminent death. We made it and I saw that Alvie had laid out his usual spread and all I had to do was cook the 2 lbs of escargot. And really, what is Xmas without the traditional gastropod? 

Thankfully, I had finally taken the plunge and done all my Xmas shopping in 21 minutes the day before at Stetchers ( T&T’s equivalent of the perfume and cosmetics section of Bergdorf’s ). By simply spending enough money to keep a small family alive for 2 months I was able to get all 4 gifts that i needed. Alvie got a hamper of Clarins Men’s face products though he wanted Clinique ( sadly Stetchers does not do downmarket) which was a bit pricey but he is certainly worth it. Thankfully I didn’t decide to get him a book because he presented me with a framed Boscoe Holder original sketch. Whew! That was close!

So now I am home on Xmas evening glad to be quiet and uploading this little blog entry. The simple things in life are always the nicest.

December 21, 2008

Another mini post

image-50ec0199aac911d9 I had a wonderful birthday quite above my expectations. Firstly I am really grateful to all the people who took the time to just wish me a happy birthday. Some did it on Facebook, some via text message, many called ( thankfully not too early) , people like Milo and my brother Vic who wrote me on this blog and, of course, my colleagues at work and my friends who spent time with me last evening. I don’t like my birthdays and my Mum tells me as a child I once had a crying fit and refused to attend my own birthday party – that explains many things.

As much as I hate the sign of another step towards the graveyard ( not that I have any fear of death – I don’t – I am a journalist) the thought that anyone would be sweet enough to send me a greeting makes me rather misty.

I read and produced news on my birthday and it was nice being around colleagues I love. Earlier on I ran to the supermarket and bought a lot of liquor and after the news I ordered a ridiculous amount of Chinese food considering I only expected about 8 people to show up. Who knew that a 1/4 portion served two? I now have a fridge full of leftover food. My few close friends and other came over and we had a few short but bonhomie and wine filled hours. Alvin had to open Sky so he and Binky had to leave at 10:30 but it was still wonderful having them. After that, because I had to work the next day, all the rest dispersed but one The two of us ended up popping into Sky as Alvin had forgotten his float at my place so we spent a quiet hour there before leaving.

All in all a really wonderful birthday and a reminded that growing older is not in itself a bad thing. I have made many great friends over the years and I seem to have the capacity to add another one to the list every now and then. Pity I can’t look like I did when the photo for this entry was taken.

And Milo thanks for the referral on my WALL-E review from your blog. I was wondering why I saw a big spike in hits. May I return the favour by suggesting everyone learn something about honesty in blogging and read your blog … The Year Zero.

I admire his willingness to bare his soul. It pleases my journalistic heart.

November 18, 2008

No blog for you today.

100_6221 I could not resist the Seinfeld reference but seriously it was a really long day today of inspections and reviews. I started at 7:45 am and was dropped back at my new home Breezes Curacao at 9:45pm. Glamorous life of a travel writer ….yeah…sure.

At least I had a great dinner at the Marriott with the lovely woman from marketing who hails from New Zealand. Now that would be a great place to visit. The rack of lamb was also quite amazing. 

 

Off now to have a quick Pernod poolside so I can face another day of this tomorrow. At this point on the trip I don’t know if I am coming or going. I also note with alarm that rains in Trinidad have turned the area of my condo into a disaster area..a fact verified by Alvin who was spending the night at my place and is now stuck.

June 6, 2008

Happy Together

 

 

It has been an interesting week thus far culminating with me sitting here nursing a sore throat and a fever. I don’t handle illness well and I tend to take a strange approach to handling it. When I woke up this morning convinced that someone had forced me to swallow a tennis ball coated with glass shards I went into my normal mode of action. I downed as many pills as I could drank several cups of coffee and headed to the shops. I bought every medication known to man, several gallons of gatorade and a slim volume of poetry by Rimbaud. My solution to such health dilemmas is to follow my Mum’s advice….over medicate and read something interesting. If this entry is a bit disjointed you can either blame it on medication or Rimbaud…much the same in the long run.

 

Wednesday I hosted a little soiree for Peggy which turned out rather well. I decided that I was not going to stress myself with elaborate plans and thus even the cooking was approached with little or no plan. I had purchased about $1,000 worth of stuff for the party the day before and basically tossed the whole plan out the window. Peggy and Steve arrived early and we simply engaged in excellent conversation ignoring the arrival of others. At some point Peggy managed to make a Rajasthan beef dish and I cobbled together a quick tiger shrimp and mussels balti and some basmati rice. It also learned that my cousin Satu Ramcharan was also coming over in addition to Alvin, Binky and Kavir. All I know was that the evening turned out to be a lot of fun with Peggy and Satu keeping everyone entertained. I had never spent any time with Satu before but apparently the gene thing makes for great company so the three half caste cousins fitted together perfectly. Things were so animated I never actually got around to serving the Haagen Dazs. Who knew that Steve would be so interested in  politics that he and Satu would almost have to step outside to have it out? I tell you he might be my friend but he is also a cameraman and they are a strange breed.

On Thursday, with my fever beginning to start I had my old friend Monique Tosello-Pace over with Peter and Naz for another smaller soiree. She is here from France and sadly my state of health and burn out from the previous night resulted in us just having roast beef and watching Hitchcock’s The Birds . Still, it was good seeing Monique again if only for a brief time. At least we managed to consume the Haagen Dazs that was unused the previous night.

 

Back to the murders tomorrow as I have to work ( I believe we have had 10 since I last wrote) but there may be changes in my work situation coming around the corner. I know that I will have to have both Peggy and Satu over again soon and, if I am lucky, perhaps I can have Peg do a short reading from Jahajin for us. I have said many times in this blog that I am not a family kind of guy (except for my immediate family) but having known for decades that Peggy was something special I am now wondering how I could have not noticed Satu. Are there other interesting half-castes in my family ( and we all are) that I could have overlooked? 

 

The final good but not surprising news is that when I bought the Rimbaud I asked the sales clerk how Jahajin is selling and she said “really well”. Apparently certain people in this country can still have great taste.