Make It Stop.

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One Town’s War on Gay Teens

“Make It Stop (September’s Children)”

Woah, woah.Bang, bang go the coffin nails, like a breath exhaled,
Then gone forever.
It seems like just yesterday, how did I miss the red flags raised?
Think back to the days we laughed.
We braved these bitter storms together.
Brought to his knees he cried,
But on his feet he died.

What God would damn a heart?
And what God drove us apart?

What God could make it stop?
Let this end.
Eighteen years pushed to the ledge.
It’s come to this,
A weightless step.
On the way down singing,
Woah, woah.

Bang, bang from the closet walls,
The schoolhouse halls,
The shotgun’s loaded.
Push me and I’ll push back.
I’m done asking, I demand.

From a nation under God,
I feel its love like a cattle prod.
Born free, but still they hate.
Born me, no I can’t change.

It’s always darkest just before the dawn.
So stay awake with me, let’s prove them wrong.

Make it stop.
Let this end,
Eighteen years pushed to the ledge.
It’s come to this,
A weightless step.
On the way down singing,
Woah, woah.

The cold river washed him away,
But how could we forget?
The gatherings hold candles, but not their tongues.

And too much blood has flown from the wrists,
Of the children shamed for those they chose to kiss.
Who will rise to stop the blood?

We’re calling for,
Insisting on, a different beat, yeah.
A brand new song.

Whoa, whoa [x3]
(Tyler Clementi, age 18.
Billy Lucas, age 15.
Harrison Chase Brown, age 15
Cody J. Barker, age 17
Seth Walsh, age 13.)

Make it stop,
Let this end.
This life chose me, I’m not lost in sin.
But proud I stand of who I am,
I plan to go on living.

Make it stop,
Let this end,
All these years pushed to the ledge,
But proud I stand, of who I am,
I plan to go on living

Howard Stern’s Rant Against Homophobia

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I had no idea that Howard Stern felt so passionately about basic human dignity for gays and lesbians.

Jordin Sparks’ “I Am Woman,” or, More Pop Crap

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Not sure why this has me so annoyed this morning, but here it is, anyway. Have you heard the new song by Jordin Sparks? It’s called “I Am Woman.” And it’s crap. But here, listen for yourself.

Bad, right? It gets worse. Here’s the lyrics:

It ain’t easy walkin’ in stilettos
But somebody gotta do it
Spend a day in my shoes
Then see what the hell I go through
It’s so rigorous
Doing what I do
Always on point
Always on cue
Life’s so hectic
Call it a zoo
Think you understand
If you only knew

I am (I am) woman (woman)
I am (I am) woman (woman)
I’m a woman
I’m a woman
Yes I am
Ain’t nobody else can do it like we can
Said I am (I am) woman (woman)
I am (I am) woman (woman)
I’m a woman
I’m a woman
Yes I am
Ain’t nobody else can do it quite like we can

My first thought? No, Miss Sparks, you are mistaken. No one has to wear stilettos. Women choose to because they think they make them look sexy. But they wear them by choice, not by mandate. Perhaps if you really want to sing an anthem for women, you might want to go with something like this:

Women wearing sneakers and flats
Look just fine ‘cuz we’re all that
Wearing stilettos, look like a whore
Make me do that, I’ll show you the door

Yeah. I know. I’m no songwriter. But really, people, this song is bad. Terrible bad. Like, Beyonce’s new “Girls Run The World” bad.

You’ve been warned.

My Brush With Celebrity, The Go-Go’s!

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I’ll say it. I LOVE Twitter. I love that it creates instant connections between celebrities and fans.

Case in point, this response from the fabulous Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s.

And the backstory. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is opening their “Women In Rock” exhibit, and the Go-Go’s are absent. Stupid, right? Fans were vocally unhappy, and now the Rock Hall is claiming that they reached out to the band but their management never got back to them.

I called shenanigans. And I did so with a tweet to Jane Wiedlin and Kathy Valentine. Lo and behold, Miss KV replied to me via Twitter.

Yeah, I know it’s silly. But it’s fun. I have been a crazy fan of the Go-Go’s for thirty years, and I’m still enough of a kid at heart to love when one of my music faves takes a moment to drop me a personal note.

I’m cool like that.

“What I Cannot Change”

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Just something on my mind today…

“What I Cannot Change”

I know what makes me comfortable
I know what makes me tick
And when I need to get my way I know how to pour it on thick
Cream and sugar in my coffee
Right away when I awake
I face the day and pray to God I won’t make the same mistakes
Oh the rest is out of my hands

I will learn to let go what I cannot change
I will learn to forgive what I cannot change
I will learn to love what I cannot change
But I will change, I will change
Whatever I, whenever I can

I don’t know my Father
Or my Mother well enough
Seems like every time we talk we can’t get past the little stuff
The pain is self inflicted
I know it’s not good for my health
But it’s easier to please the world than it is to please myself
Oh the rest is out of my hands

I will learn to let go what I cannot change
I will learn to forgive what I cannot change
I will learn to love what I cannot change
But I will change, I will change
Whatever I, whenever I can

Right now I can’t care about how everyone else will feel
I have enough hurt of my own to heal

I will learn to let go what I cannot change
I will learn to forgive what I cannot change
I will learn to love what I cannot change
But I will change, I will change
Whatever I, whenever I can

John and the Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Here I am in Denver, being part of the entertainment before the start of the show.

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Yep. If there’s a good time to be had, count me in!

Bobbie Laid The Blues On Me

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I’m that guy. I admit it. I have mad crushes on many people. And I love being star-struck. I am so impressed by songwriters and singers and playwrights and actors who can reach deep into my soul and leave me breathless. And in my life, I have been fortunate enough to meet several such people. Years ago, I sat face-to-face with Janis Ian and interviewed her for the San Diego Gay & Lesbian Times. (You can read that interview here.)

And now, I have Facebook to thank for bringing many of these artists even closer. Are we real life friends? No, not really. But through the power of the web, I have been able to say thank you to artists who have given me so many hours of joy. Whether the songs made me laugh, dance, or cry, they still touched me and I’m never quite the same after hearing them.

My newest crush that has reached out to me? The beautiful and talented Bobbie Cryner. As crazy as it is for me to believe, I understand that not everyone knows this artist. She is an amazing singer, songwriter who has yet to receive the commercial acclaim she so richly deserves. Really, what’s not to love about tracks like these?

And this song written for Trisha Yearwood:

Recently, I found her on Facebook. I sent her a friend request, not really expecting she would accept. And when she did, I assumed it was an assistant or fan club manager running her page. Nope. It was the one and only Bobbie Cryner. Seriously, how cool is that?

And today, I received a message back from Miss Cryner thanking me for being a fan. There was a bit more to the note, but the details are just for me. I’m just bragging and showing off a bit, and sharing with everyone how cool I think this woman is. And soon, when her new CD comes out and she finally breaks huge across radio, I’ll be the guy telling everyone, “I knew her when! I knew her when!”

Thank you, Bobbie Cryner, for two CDs of music that have been played more times than I can count. You keep making music and I’ll keep buying it… and shouting out loud about it to all my friends.

John

P.S. To my friends who are wandering if I have gone completely round the bend with a celebrity crush, don’t worry. Just remember the last time you saw a movie, or a play, or heard a song, and thought to yourself, “man, that is serious talent.” That is what Bobbie Cryner is to me, and I am happily starstruck by anyone who brings that much joy to so many.

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