Saturday, December 10, 2016

Susan Olsen of "Brady Bunch" Goes on Anti-Gay Attack Against Critic; Ends Up Losing her Radio Gig

I shared my deep fondness for all things Brady late last month after Florence Henderson's death. Sadly, my fondness was challenged yesterday with a reminder that you should never know too much about your Hollywood heroes.

News broke yesterday about a minor controversy involving Susan Olsen (FKA Cindy Brady of the "Brady Bunch." She has a radio talk show on LA Talk Radio. I understand that it's a talk show featuring two hosts, one (Susan Olsen) who is coming from the right and another host who isn't.

I've never heard the show, but I've seen her Facebook page. She's very pro-Trump. She is anti-Muslim. She peddles (or at least dances around) right-wing conspiracies, like the stupid #pizzagate theory that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex-slave ring out of a DC-based pizza restaurant. Then again, she seems to be pro-pot and is supposedly gay-friendly...

... Except when a gay man crosses her! A gay actor/writer named Leon Acord-Whiting was on the show earlier this week. Once again, I haven't heard it. But things apparently got heated and he was appalled at some of the stuff coming out of Olsen's mouth. So he posted about it on Facebook and said that he would never appear on the show again, at least not alongside Susan Olsen:

This angered Olsen, which prompted a series of Facebook posts on her own page. Like this:
I thought Monday night's show was really great. But it would seem that one of our participants was less than sporting. SINCE he has done nothing but talk smack about us! Sheena is a much better person than I am. She tells me to take the high road. "Please don't engage with Leon." 
That is Leon Accord Whiting = AKA Pussy of the Year! 
You fucking snake in the grass. Don't have the nads to stand up to me? You don't have the balls to stand up to Cindy Brady? 
How could a person who is agreeing to a venue where there will be disagreements be such a SPOILED SPORT when it's all done? I thought everything was cool because that's the way we want it at Two Chicks. But no, 
it would seem that this lost soul had an ankle to bite. What a very sad and tiny person he must be. 
This only makes the show stronger and DEFINITELY my resolve 
We all posed for a nice picture after the show and you turn coat? What a nasty little man you are!
And this:
My partner Sheena is far nicer than I am. How dare anyone accept an invitation to our show and take a giant dump on us?
And this:
He has blocked me. If you want to try to talk some peace into this guy, please do. Leon Accord-Whitting. Maybe peace can be struck
And this:
I'm sorry, this a-hole also dissed my best friend,. Leon, you had better hope you never see me in your world.. And I mean that!
And this:
This is the little piece of human waste. He blocked himself from me before I could even get one hit in. If you can find him, please send him my love.
This is somewhere around when things began to turn. Acord-Whiting shared a private message that Susan Olsen sent him before he blocked her:

Another screen-cap also began circulating from Acord-Whiting's Facebook page:

Meanwhile, Olsen's followers had flocked to his page to leave all sorts of crazy responses, most of which he deleted.

The story showed up on various gay blogs about Susan Olsen AKA Cindy Brady throwing around anti-gay speech and then she posted this:
People can have different opinions, thats how we learn. That is exactly what makes each and every one of you so precious to me! I LOVE to be told that I'm wrong and to actually see that I AM wrong! How blessed am I to be trusted in the hearts of so many people that I have never met? You people are almost as good as getting residuals for the reruns
...OK not really as good.
But hey, this is what we got
And I love you!
Ultimately, the story got away from Olsen and she was fired midday yesterday:

What a whirlwind! First, I don't understand why Susan Olsen didn't just ignore Leon Acord-Whiting. Why did she rage after him? If she's such a pro-gay celebrity (which I've been assured that she is), then why go off on an anti-gay rant on the guy's Facebook account? And why all of the name-calling and why encourage all of her followers to go over and bug the guy?

This story would never have gone anywhere if she had just controlled her initial reaction and ignored the guy. She certainly wouldn't have been fired.

Anyway, my fondness of all things Brady was sorely tested this week. Thanks Susan...

Updated: Of course, we're now at the stage in the fight where all of the LGBT people and allies are swarming to Olsen's Facebook page and posting their own nasty messages (including talking about her being a has-been or noting that she's old or racist or whatever) and posting doctored pictures there (like the one to the side).

People need to learn how to drop things. We don't need to destroy others' lives. What became a public tit-for-tat between two minor celebrities has now captured the attention of hundreds who have nothing to do with their beef. And now they're trying to destroy the opposing side.

Susan Olsen lost her job because of a poor decision. Stop kicking her while she's down.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Archie Comics Launching New LITTLE ARCHIE Series? // Updated Below: More New Titles Coming in March 2017?

(Originally written on 12/08/16): Archie Comics dropped the following image onto its Facebook age earlier today:

The implication is that Art Baltazar and Franco, the comic book creators behinds "Tiny Titans" and "Itty Bitty Hellboy," will be working on a new title for Archie Comics, featuring Little Archie and Friends!

I'm sure that more information will be forthcoming. But March 2017 should be a fun month!

Updated on 12/09/16: More images have been popping up today on Archie Comics' social media sources. I was over on Facbook tonight and noticed more images related to March 2017, including...


New "Sabrina" Series?
And... This!

New "Archies" Series?
And... This!

New "Vampironica" Series? New "Vampire Josie & the Pussycats" Series? New "Someone's a Werewolf" Series???
Basically, I'm left guessing when it comes to that last one. But I'm pretty excited if Archie Comics is trying to do something new (and regularly scheduled) with its Archie Horror imprint. And I'm all about new books featuring the Riverdale Gang!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Spiritual Science Research Foundation: Gay Men Are Possessed by Female Ghosts!

I learned of a group today called the Spiritual Science Research Foundation. It's basically a group that explores spirituality and the metaphysical. They have some interesting stuff on their website about spiritual healing and energy work. But that's not what I'm writing about today. The SSRF has a wage devoted to the symptoms of spiritual possession. Trust me, there are lots of symptoms of spiritual possession. Pretty much anything and everything (including headaches, skin problems, back pain, digestive problems, reproductive problems, fidgeting, tics, being accident prone, etc.) is a symptom of spiritual possession!

According to the SSRF, most gay people are possessed by ghosts! Not only ghosts, but opposite sex ghosts:
The main reason behind the gay orientation of some men is that they are possessed by female ghosts. It is the female ghost in them that is attracted to other men. Conversely the attraction to females experienced by some lesbians is due to the presence of male ghosts in them. The ghost’s consciousness overpowers the person’s normal behaviour to produce the homosexual attraction. Spiritual research has shown that the cause for homosexual preferences lie predominantly in the spiritual realm.
They assert that most gays and lesbians (85% of us) are gay because of ghosts or other spirits. 5% of us are gay due to hormonal changes and 10% of us got laid when we were teens and enjoyed it.

According to the SSRF, you can overcome your homosexuality using a variety of chants and meditative postures and motions:

I've been peripherally involved with the metaphysical community for the past 2-3 years. Generally speaking, they tend to be fairly gay friendly. So I find it interesting when I find incidents of anti-gay and ex-gay beliefs in those communities.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mall of America Hires Its First Black Santa

A story broke last week that the Mall of America hired its first black Mall Santa. The Santa in question is Larry Jefferson. Jefferson will work at the MOA for four days this Christmas season before returning to Dallas, MN. He's popular enough that your kids will need to schedule an appointment with him.

The MOA is this huge sprawling mall near the Twin Cities in Minnesota. It's been around for 24 years. I've been there 3 or 4 times in my lifetime.

The MOA has celebrated its new Black Santa, but his appearance has not been without controversy. (Follow the link for some of the negative reactions.)

I was listening to the "Michelangelo Signorile Show" late this afternoon on SiriumXM Progress 127 and Mike was talking with a listener about the controversy over the MOA's new Black Santa. The caller was arguing that MOA's Black Santa was all about pandering to the PC crowd. He argued that there are hardly any black people in Minnesota and most of the blacks who live near the MOA are Muslim refugees. The caller then asserted that "PC nonsense" like Black Santas are cultural reasons for why Trump won the presidential election.

It's hard to argue that the MOA wasn't banking on attention from the hiring of a Black Santa. After all, they were all over the news touting his hire. But the Twin Cities are filled with people of all colors and nationalities. Seriously. And if you are one of those Minnesotans who takes your kids to see Mall Santa, but can't stand seeing Black Santa, you can wait and see one of the numerous White Santas at the MOA.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Shelter House' Winter 2016/17 Temporary Homeless Shelter in Iowa City to be Located at Former Unitarian Universalist Society Church Building

Over the past two winters, Iowa City's Shelter House has operated a temporary homeless shelter that was capable of housing 20-25 people per night during the months of January and February. These temporary shelters were created to alleviate some of the overcrowding that happens each winter at the Shelter House. They were also used as a form of "wet shelter" (i.e., allowing individuals to access the sheleter who had been drinking alcohol). Those individuals are turned away from the Shelter House. It was set up in the old Aldi's building back in 2014 and at the old TMone building last year.

It was announced yesterday that there will be another temporary homeless shelter this winter, located at the former Unitarian Universalist Society Church building at 10 S. Gilbert Street in Iowa City:
"It really is an important service that we’ve been able to offer for the last two winters," said Mark Sertterh, associate executive director at Shelter House, "because it truly does target those who are chronically homeless and on the streets during the winter time when it is really dangerous to be out."

Sertterh said Shelter House is hoping to open the shelter the week of Dec. 12 and has a temporary-use permit from Iowa City to use the building through March 12. The building will be able to hold 35 people from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day, he said...

Shelter House has also secured a permit from the city to expand the number of beds from 70 to 100 at its main facility at 429 Southgate Ave. this winter, bringing the total number of available beds to 135.
It's estimated that it will cost $60,000 to operate this winter's temporary shelter.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Post-DEATH OF X: Why Is Cyclops Public Enemy No. 1? // Plus, Will Someone Help Me Mourn Alchemy??

Marvel Comics recently had a SECRET WARS event. Once it ended, all of the company's comic books shot ahead eight months. We learned that the Inhumans were becoming more numerous and popular, thanks to their roving Terrigen Cloud. We also learned that something really bad was happening to Marvel's mutants. Terrigen was found to be toxic to most mutants. It infected them with something called M-Pox, which caused infertility and boils all over their skin. Those "lucky" enough to survive to avoid immediate death were instead treated to a long, lingering painful death. Cyclops was universally hated for doing something awful against the Inhumans and everyone hated the mutants even more

DEATH OF X was supposed to show us what Cyclops did to become the most hated mutant around, and that mini-series just wrapped up over Thanksgiving Day weekend. I finally sat down and read DOX #4. And I'm left confused.

Here's what happened. The mutants went to Muir Island and found countless mutant researchers -- including former X-Factor leader Jamie Madrox AKA Multiple Man -- dead, killed from exposure to one of the two roving Terrigen Clouds. Of the team of X-Men that initially investigated the incident, Goldballs immediately became ill and -- we discovered -- Cyclops became fatally infected by the Terrigen Mists. Beast confirmed that Terrigen is toxic to mutants.

Nobody showed any concern. The Inhumans were only concerned about protecting their precious Terrigen Clouds. The Avengers, SHIELD, and all of the other Heroes of Earth were indifferent to the effect that Terrigen was having on their X-Friends. So Emma Frost -- using a psychic projection of Cyclops to motivate Earth's mutants -- led the fight to neutralize the Terrigen Clouds.

They recruited a young mutant named Alchemy -- who incidentally held a precious spot in my creative heart -- and made plans for him to use his transmuting abilities to neutralize the Terrigen Cloud. Which he did! One of them anyway.

However, Alchemy didn't escape unscathed. His briefly exposure to the toxic gas left him bloated and puffy and sick. In fact, he died within minutes of exposure to the gas.

Not that the Inhumans or their Royal Family cared. They are all about the Terrigen Cloud that was lost to them. But they are completely indifferent to the mutants who are beginning to sicken and die from that very cloud. Black Bolt "murders" Cyclops with one stray whisper and the world decides that they are okay watching the genocidal death of a race of humanity.

This is the thing that annoys me about the Marvel Universe. They are okay with robotic Sentinels going out and slaying mutants. They don't care when villains blow up busloads of mutant children. They don't care about the Legacy Virus or the M-Pox. They're okay with mutant concentration camps.

And it's not just the common people -- who could understandably be unnerved by humanity's next stage of evolution. What what about Iron Man or Captain Marvel or Captain America or the Thing or countless other heroes who supposedly like the X-Men and yet do little to help out when they or their children are routinely exposed to threats?

So DEATH OF X happened. Cyclops was killed by Inhuman nerve gas and his psychic image was used to push back against the Inhuman's cloud of mutating mists. That's why people hate him and all other mutants even more today than they did eight months ago. That's why they are indifferent to those with festering symptoms of M-Pox. That's why they don't mind that Avengers such as Sunspot and Rogue and Dazzler are covered in weeping scabs.

Does this make sense to you, because it really doesn't make a bit of sense to me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Behold! The Hipster Nativity!

I just got back from Church Council tonight. I approached our Worship Committee member and showed her something that I would absolutely love to see in our sanctuary: a Hipster Nativity!

It's a 10-piece nativity featuring a solar-powered manager, Joseph taking selfies of Baby Jesus and Mary with his iPod, Segway-riding wise men with presents, and an iPad-watching shepherd. The nativity costs $130 -- and it's apparently already sold out.

The Hipster Nativity was well received at my church and may have inspired some of next year's Christmas decorations at our church!

According to the creator, the Hipster Nativity has been a lightning rod for attention this year:
“We have quickly found out that this product is very polarizing,” Casey Wright, a co-founder of Modern Nativity, the single-product company behind the idea, told CNBC. “It’s usually, ‘This is hilarious, I need one,’ or ‘This is sacrilegious, I hope you burn in hell,’ and almost nothing in between those two extremes.

“Amazingly,” he added, “a lot of people seem very concerned about the proper definition of a millennial and a hipster, too. We get comments like, ‘Segways aren’t hipster. They’re technically early-stage millennial with a tinge of East Coast liberal.'”
In other words, you either love it or hate it.

(I kind of love it...)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Decatur, IN: Catholic Priest Refuses to Allow Gay Man to Sing at His Grandmother's Funeral

Yet another story has gone viral involving a gay man being discriminated against by church leadership during one of his most challenging moments.

A man named Connor Hakes from Decatur, IN, was preparing for his grandmother's funeral early last week, which was to be held at St. Mary's of the Assumption Catholic Church. The plan was for Hakes to sing a song at the funeral. But the priest denied that request because Hakes attended a gay pride rally at some point in the past:
I can no longer sing at my Grandma's funeral, because I attended a gay pride rally and a picture was posted publicly (years ago). The priest's reasoning is by attending such event, I am opposing the Catholic Church's fundamental marriage belief. Both my Grandma and Grandpa would be disgusted by their parish. Their compassion and empathy was abundant, no matter who you were. They saw beyond race, religion, sexuality, and social class. They loved everyone. That is what is means to be a Christian. That is what it means to be Catholic.
Hakes then posted a copy of the letter that he received from Father Bob J. Lengerich of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. You can click on the image to make it larger and more readable, but the condensed version is that Father Bob was worried that allowing Hakes to sing at his grandmother's funeral was create a situation that "could scandalize our congregation and neighbors." Because Hakes is gay, he isn't allowed to sing at the funeral. And because of the way that the church structured the service and the burial, it would be impossible for them to insert Hakes into another portion of the funeral.

This went over like a lead balloon, of course. Father Bob denied the request to sing a song via letter, which then got posted online by Hakes. The letter went viral and is all over social media and in the general media. And any sense that Hakes had that Father Bob was actually concerned about him was completely missed:
“This Priest had judged me and really formed an opinion about me without ever communicating with me,” said Hakes... “This was coming from a man, a priest out of my home Parish that I have always felt very loved and welcomed in... All of a sudden I felt very ostracized.”
Keep in mind that Hakes wanted to sing a song as his grandmother's funeral. Nothing more.

As it is, Father Bob missed a great opportunity to represent the Christ to this grieving man. And he's probably done more in one letter to make sure that Hakes and others like him will never return to the Church, Catholic or otherwise.

Meanwhile, St. Mary's Parish is trying to do some damage control with this statement:
Having become aware of the painful situation at Saint Mary’s Parish in Decatur, the diocese is working on fostering healing and reconciliation between the pastor and the Hakes family. We encourage all to move forward with genuine Christian love and mercy and with respect and prayer for one another.
Good luck with that. Hakes and his family have filed a formal complaint with the Diocese.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Check Out the "Riverdale" Television Trailer!

Archie Comics and The CW launched the first trailer today for the new "Riverdale" television series, a "subversive take on the classic Archie mythos."

This live-action series features KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, among countless other folks.

I've purposely kept myself in the dark when it comes to "Riverdale." I know that Archie bulked himself up between his high school sophomore and junior year -- and I also figured out why all of the girls are throwing themselves at his feet -- including Miss Grundy!!

I know that the first season will focus on the mystery of Jason Blossom's murder. I know that Josie and the Pussycats are all black singers. I know that Riverdale will be awash with sex and teen drinking. And I know that Jughead will still wear his beanie from time to time.

You can watch the first "Riverdale" trailer here.

"Riverdale" will make its debut on The CW at 8:00 PM on Thursday, January 26, 2017!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Who Is Miss Muscles?

I wrote last night about Mr. Muscles, his short-lived Charlton Comics comic book series, and Kid Muscles. Mr. Muscles is the "world's mightiest man" and he has dedicated his life to achieving physical and mental perfection.

MR. MUSCLES was a two-issue comic book series consisting of several short stories. It mainly featured Mr. Muscles and, to a lesser extent, his teen sidekick Kid Muscles.

But we were introduced to a third character in MR. MUSCLES #22 named Miss Muscles. No clue what her real name is, but she's apparently a member of Mr. Muscles' gym. And she's very strong!

The women who belong to Miss Muscles' gym are very catty. Two of the women learned from the local gossip column that our heroine. Upset that Miss Muscles gets all of the breaks, they wonder if she would be able to make it to her date with a broken bone or leg! They attempt a sneak attack -- which doesn't turn out in their favor!

And that's pretty much Miss Muscles' one and only appearance. She drives by the gym and shows off her hotshot Hollywood hunk to the two bruised and battered broads!

As far as I can tell, Miss Muscles only appeared in that one two-page short story. Which is a shame! I keep thinking that it would be great to read more stories about Miss Muscles. I mean, her print adventures only provided a template about what could have been! I have an idea for a story that includes Miss Muscles, inspired by CW's "Legends of Tomorrow." Maybe...