Gay and Lesbian Humanist

Summer 1999

Warren Allen Smith

Gossip from Across the Pond

by Warren Allen Smith

Ian McKellen is the Tony Award-winning actor who continually receives favorable publicity in all the American gay journals. “Is he married?” some potential suitors ask. “Hardly,” they are informed. “In fact, in England he’s a Knight Bachelor!”

Although Sir Ian seldom is quoted for the revelation, he told Tim Appelo of Mr Showbiz (19 January 1996), “I was brought up a Christian, low church, and I liked the community of churchgoing. That’s rather been replaced for me by the community of people I work with. I like a sense of family, of people working together. But I’m an atheist. So God, if She exists, isn’t really a part of my life.”

Barry Manilow was recently asked if he believed in God and said, “Yes. His name is Clive Davis, and he’s the head of my record company.” Asked then about how important his Judaism is, he responded, “It isn’t. My humanism is.”

At Rubyfruit, a prime lesbian bar and Manhattan restaurant, gals were gossiping recently about Pamela Anderson’s having her famous breast implants surgically removed. They were too big, she complained, and she didn’t need all that attention. A quick call to a local surgeon turned up the fact that no males, to his knowledge, have yet signed up for analogous penile surgery.

New York City’s mayor, Rudy Giuliani, has become known as the leader who turned our 1950s to 1990s Fun City into our 1990s Glum City. All gay movies, public toilets and bath houses are now strictly supervised, cinema ushers armed with flashlights lighting up the dark corners of various establishments. However, London gay humanists Derek Lennard and Malcolm Barnes recently took in the Times Square, Chelsea and Greenwich Village areas, paid tribute to Gertrude Stein’s statue, and ended up getting high. On a helicopter trip over Manhattan and being eye-to-eye with the Statue of Liberty, that is.

In some of the more crowded Greenwich Village and Chelsea bars, “fly fishing” has taken on an entirely new meaning.

Quentin Crisp, the 90-year-old ex-British author of The Naked Civil Servant, continues to receive attention for his viewpoints. Regarding Monica Lewinsky, he commented, “In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, if any commoners told tales about sexual encounters with the head of state, they were beheaded.” Asked by a young man if he should tell his mother he’s gay, Crisp retorted, “Don’t tell your mother anything!”

Religion is being satirized in Onion, a Shamanistic Midwestern publication that is online.

Recent stories have had these headlines: Drugs Win Drug War, about public-policy shorfalls; Frog With Human Head Warns Dangers Of Genetic Engineering, about the era of scientific wonders; Animal Rights Activists Release 71,000 Cows Into Wild, about environmental activists.

In one story, which appears to be a heartwarming account of a little paralyzed boy who prays for recovery, the headline is “No”, Says God. Another story in its entirety: “Vanimo, Papua New Guinea — in His first official statement since the July 17 tsunami that claimed the lives of an estimated 3,000 Papua New Guineans, the Lord announced Monday that He killed the island villagers as part of His longtime ‘moving in mysterious ways’ policy, calling the natural disaster ‘part of My unknowable, divine plan for mankind.’ ” Humor, so it goes, may be the best weapon!

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Created : Saturday, 1999-07-10 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2007-12-12
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