Sunday, May 30, 2010


This weekend, I watched the Eurovision song contest for the first time in my life. Well, it's true I may have channel flicked over it in my youth, but I have never sat down to endure the gala in its gargantuan glittery glory.

I did not watch the first semi-final, but I did watch the second along with my friends Chris and Richard. Chris is a Eurovision Aficionado of the highest calibre. What he doesn't know about Eurovision is not worth knowing - and some of the stuff he does know is also not worth knowing. So I was in the best possible company as I had my EuroCherry stolen from me.

Chris initially thought I was detesting the entire night due to my critical barbs, but eventually he realised that this was all part of my enjoyment.

A few points.

1) If you are a boy band with sequined hotpants, do not at any point admit that you're all straight. The majority of your audience are probably gay and you just lost millions of votes. Silly Lithuanian boys.

2) If the advertisers want us to buy their albums, please spell the artistes names correctly. It's Cliff Richard and Matt Monro, not 'Richards' and 'Monroe'. Asswipes.

3) Although I don't believe it should be judged on spectacle (costumes, dancers, lighting effects) I will give bonus points if you're cute.

I watched the final on my own on and had flurries of texts between my friends Chris and Nola regarding the various performances. My two favourites to win were Romania and Germany and I was pleased to see them both finish in the top three.

The UK entry was absolutely dire. No, that's being too kind. I cannot even begin to describe who utterly dreadful it was. The one consolation was that Josh seemed to have smuggled a badger into Oslo down the front of his pants. Now, that sounds good to me!
Another appalling entry was Ireland. This song was pathetically wet and bland. Our Australian hosts kept referring to her as 'Royalty' - what? Fergie?

Tom Dice from Belgium was a decent entry, but it felt a little out of place. I didn't mind watching him though, cute as a button. (Whatever that means).

Germany won. Hoo-bloody-ra! Somebody said she was Germany's answer to Lily Allen. No, that can't be true. Germany's answer to Lily Allen should be a rifle to the face.
So, it's Berlin to host next year?? You've gotta love those Germans. Sure, World War II was a bit of a hiccough, but give 'em credit where credit's due; their music is fun and their genes are stunning.

See! I got into it. Who'd have thought it?

*(Sure, I know it was in Oslo... but next year, Berlin?)

Friday, May 28, 2010


Something occurred to me recently. The peaceful, gentle café of yesteryear has died a death; well it has in Metropolitan Australia. Maybe it never actually existed here.
When I lived in England I was much more fond of sitting in a ‘greasy spoon’ café than whittling away my time in a pub. Picture me flicking through the papers whilst nursing a large mug of strong tea and picking my way through a fruit scone or demolishing a decent bacon sandwich.
(You cannot get a decent bacon sandwich anymore! White bread, butter, crispy bacon – HP sauce optional – it’s not that hard. These days it is all ‘bacon and avocado on rye’ – give me a break!)
The ‘greasy spoon’ as it’s commonly known, is not as vile as the name implies. This breed of café has its own charm and ambiance. Sure, there is something rather geeky and retro about the tomato-shaped sauce bottles and the gingham curtains whose length can only cover the lower half of the window, but it’s a style I seem only able to reminisce about.
If music was to permeate the air, it would have been something faint and melodious from an old radio balanced on a rickety shelf behind the counter next to an old biscuit tin and a porcelain figurine. The cable would stretch precariously down to the plug socket but invariably remain intact for the duration of its life.
These days, every café has to be ‘funky’ and blast music of jaunty tempos and pumping rhythms into acoustics worthy of Sydney Opera House. (“Pump up the jam?” “No thank you, just some marmalade and a knife, thanks!”) One can barely hear oneself think as one tries to do the quiz in the back of the local paper. Even as you cradle your beverage, the frenetic energy surrounding the venue bullies you into a scalding swallow and enforced ejection as it appears no one wants you to stay longer than ten minutes.
If I wanted to have to shout at my friends and those who are there to serve me, I’d hang out in a nightclub!
Yes, I know I sound like an old man, but I am sure I am not alone. We live life so fast these days and there is little room to take a break and relax without feeling the burdening pressure of capitalist notions and speedy delivery. Angst is thrust upon us in our daily lives through work and through the media; we don’t need it injected into our coffee breaks too.
So, bring back the old cafés, ditch the loud music and let’s enjoy the slower aspects of life before we all die.

N.B. It’s pronounced ‘Scone’ as in ‘Cone’. It’s only ‘Scon’ when there’s none left.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Designer Life

One of the things I hate about being gay is the myriad expectations that come along with it.

Just because I like some musicals, does not automatically make me gay – just as how the fact that I love the 'Die Hard' films does not make me straight.
I don’t like all musicals. In fact I genuinely despise some, including 'Rent', 'Grease' and anything with Zac Efron in it. 'West Side Story' doesn’t stir my loins either, despite being directed by the superb Robert Wise. Sure, I love 'Little Shop of Horrors', 'Sweet Charity' and 'Bugsy Malone', but that’s not an entire genre.

I hate drag queens. I think the majority of them are talentless hacks (or hags?) and also slightly offensive – are these grossly exaggerated performances an insult to the female gender? If you must insist on the whole female-impersonation malarkey, at least have the decency to sing rather than mime – and please, I beg you, stop with the Shirley Bassey. Anyone would think the gay community were trapped in a time warp bubble.

I don’t own any Kylie Minogue or Abba albums. Sure, I have some Madonna, but I also have albums by The Commitments and The Kinks. Don’t tell me Andrew Strong is a gay icon.

I hate clubbing.

I am not promiscuous.

I do not own a leather harness.

I do not mince.

I do not attend Pride marches.

I don’t have a lisp.

I don’t have anything with a rainbow flag on it.

I don’t own a West Highland Terrier named Judy.

My jokes aren’t solely based around innuendo.

These clichés are not merely stereotypes. It seems some gay men feel the need to adhere to this strict code of application. Since when is it compulsory to lack individuality? Granted, the whole horrifying nature of ‘coming out’ in a still-homophobic world is cause to seek something accepting and comfortable. The gay community (for want of a much better and more appropriate phrase) is abundant with people who have been through excruciating times and are more than willing to aid and assist those who are spinning out of control due to apprehension and fear. I expect this is why these young men begin to adorn these attributes, just so that they can feel a part of something bigger. I feel I can say this because I was one of those young men and I too had mentors who helped guide me through those heart-achingly distressing times. However, I resisted a lot of the more flamboyant accessories – although I did attempt to try them for a period… (picture me singing 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' in a cafe full of fags)

Unfortunately, because of my lack of ‘gayness’, I have had some queens say I should have my gay card revoked. (I think mine just got lost in the post.)
I have come to realise that, ironically, some gay men are also the most bigoted; especially those who deny that bisexuals exist or hurl abuse at lesbians.

Simply, I am gay because I prefer the company of men in the bedroom. And I mean ‘men’, not effeminate, skinny, mincing ladyboys with fluttering eyelids and a penchant for squealing “Ooooh!” every time the word ‘big’ is mentioned.

Sure, people should be allowed to be whoever they want to be. This is a basic freedom – as long as you’re not hurting anybody else. Just don’t expect me to fall into the same category just because I like cock.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Affair

I have been single for quite some time now and I am in two minds about it.
Part of me is quite content to be single and live a quiet, peaceful life in which I can do my own thing, live at a leisurely pace and enjoy those quiet evenings in snuggling up to my cat and watching an old movie on DVD. If I was a woman in an Eighties movie living in America, I'd also have a big baggy New York Nicks sweatshirt and massive bed socks to complete the tableau.
Then there is the other part of me. The part which yearns for company, contact, comfort and other words beginning with 'co'. (Don't be so filthy minded!)

In the past few years, there have been moments where I have ventured out into the world of dating, be it social interaction in smokey venues or in the privacy of my own home via a keyboard. However, I tend to come home empty-handed and a little forlorn. It is in those rather tedious moments that I begin to ask myself "Whose type am I?" as it appears I am no ones. Yes, I admit it's maudlin to think that way, but don't tell me you're all perfect and never have those moments of self-pity! Go on, admit it! ;)

I try to evaluate where I have gone wrong in each instance and I think I should draw up a set of rules to abide by strictly each time I open myself to the possibility of attraction.

1) Don't talk too much. I tend to suffer from DBS (David Beckham Syndrome) - I look all right until I open my mouth.

2) Don't invite them to the apartment. My belongings of the nerd variety are enough to frighten anyone off. (Can you count how many times you see the words 'Doctor Who' in my living room? It's a billion.)

3) Don't break the ice with the circumcision story. Sure, it's hugely entertaining, but it can wait until I get to know someone better.

4) Don't do the self-deprecation comedy routine - it's simply not attractive.

5) Don't try and flirt. I am horrendously bad at it.

6) Don't sing. I must remember I am not as good as I think I am!

7) Don't tell the joke about Father O'Brien, the fisherman and the big fish. Too many people don't like the C-bomb.

8) Don't be too earnest. It looks desperate.

9) Don't be too generous. It's creepy, albeit genuine.

10) Don't mention the war.

I am sure that somebody out there suits me and I suit them. I am hoping it's the wonderful Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy, but I doubt it somehow.

The truth is, all these rules are a load of old bollocks. This is me. I am a little over-the-top at times and I can be annoyingly enthusiastic and pathetically tense. Despite all these flaws, I am a good person with a kind heart and a rather odd sense of humour. I like these positive attributes and I wouldn't change them for the world.

I just hope there is someone out there who can appreciate them too.