A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘glbt issues

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO notes the continued rise in rental prices for apartments.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at a time in the Earth’s history when there was a lot of atmospheric oxygen but not much life.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting there is an authentic lack of gas giant planets beyond 10 AU.
  • Itching for Eestimaa notes the British politicians who favoured the recognition of the Soviet annexation of the Baltics, and notes that those imperialist times of old are back.
  • The Map Room Blog notes that Trump voters tend to prefer Duck Dynasty and Clinton voters preferred Family Guy.
  • Marginal Revolution notes California’s ban on funding travel to jurisdictions which discriminate against people on grounds of sexual orientation or gender.
  • Peter Watts describes a trip on hallucinogens.
  • The NYRB Daily shares Masha Gessen’s concerns about the threat of moral authority.
  • Spacing links to some article about improving bike infrastructure.
  • Window on Eurasia warns of a new consolidation of Russian federal units.

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto building houses the world’s largest independent LGBTQ archive”

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blogTO’s Phil Villeneuve describes the CLGA, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, to his readers.

You might never guess it to walk by, but inside 34 Isabella St., sits the world’s largest independent LGBTQ archive.

Built in 1858, the three-storey house that holds Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is bursting at the seams with a mind-boggling number of collections. They also house some of their archival materials at Church and Wellesley and lesser-used materials in a larger storage facility outside of the city. But the real juicy stuff is in this downtown home.

“I think that people are kind of unaware of archives in general, not just the CLGA,” says Raegan Swanson, the Archive’s new executive director. “It’s one of those things that until you need to use one, you never realize how much they’re used.”

All those historical images you see in magazines, newspapers articles or online pieces about LGBTQ happenings in Toronto? Yeah, they probably came from this archive.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly calls on journalists to stand up to Trump.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at exocomets.
  • Language Log shares an ad from the 1920s using the most vintage language imaginable.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money talks about globalization as a mechanism for concentrating wealth at the top of the elite.
  • The LRB Blog talks about the ghosts of the Cold War in the contemporary world.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen argues that Germany has its own responsibility in transatlantic relations.
  • The New APPS Blog looks at the importance of administrative law.
  • The NYRB Daily celebrates John Berger.
  • Savage Minds proposes a read-in of Michel Foucault in protest of Trump’s inauguration on the 20th.
  • Towleroad reports on the latest statistics on the proportions of LGBT people in the United States.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the continuing depopulation of the Russian Far East and examines the shift to indigenous naming practices in Kyrgyzstan.

[LINK] “Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit aims to revive photographer’s work”

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Robert Everett-Green’s long article in The Globe and Mail, published this September past at the beginning of the run of Focus : Perfection at the Musée des beaux-arts, places the exhibition and Mapplethorpe in their proper contexts. Recommended.

The outward focus of today’s culture war is what Muslim women should be permitted to wear on their heads or at the beach. In the late 1980s, it was whether a publicly funded museum could show art that some elected officials considered obscene.

Robert Mapplethorpe was a key figure in that fracas, which peaked when Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art backed out of a touring exhibition of the American photographer’s works, and police raided Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Cente (CAC) for going ahead with it. The radioactivity of those events, which included an obscenity charge against CAC director Dennis Barrie, clouded discussion about Mapplethorpe for years afterward.

Now that we have burkinis to quarrel about, the art tempests of a quarter-century ago seem almost quaint. But Mapplethorpe’s photos still have the power to startle and even to shock, which is why the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts put part of its retrospective Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe behind barriers of smoked glass.

Mapplethorpe, who died at 42, shortly before the Corcoran cancelled his show in 1989, would probably have been pleased to know that some of his work is still hot to handle. He often said, when talking about his shots of faceless men encased in vinyl or fisting each other, that part of what thrilled him about the gay porn magazines he saw while growing up in Queens, N.Y., was that their explicit contents were slightly hidden: inside a plastic cover, with black bars across the models’ eyes.

The current campaign to reset the discussion about Mapplethorpe began a decade ago with a couple of serious shows in Europe, and continues with the MMFA’s iteration of a joint double exhibition by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, drawn from a huge cache of works acquired by those institutions in 2011. An HBO documentary about the Getty/LACMA shows aired last spring, and production has started on a Mapplethorpe biopic, directed by Ondi Timoner and starring Matt Smith.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 16, 2017 at 9:23 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Cardinal Rule shacks up with Glad Day on Church”

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NOW Toronto‘s Natalia Manzocco describes another good reason to go to Glad Day Bookshop: Roncesvalles diner Cardinal Rule is setting up shop in the location’s kitchen. I really like this addition to Glad Day’s business model, not least because the idea of indie businesses collaborating for greater profit for everyone has a lot of appeal for me.

Even with all the cultural clout that comes from 47 years in business, Glad Day Bookshop had to face up to a tough truth last year: It’s tough for a business to survive on book sales alone.

With a move to spacious new digs in the heart of the Church-Wellesley Village (499 Church, at Wellesley, 416-961-4161, gladdaybookshop.com) at the end of 2016, the world’s oldest surviving gay bookstore gained a few new titles – bar, cafe, and multi-use event space.

Its latest sobriquet: restaurant. Before the shelves of books (several of which are on wheels – all the better to make room for dance parties!) were brought in, the ground-floor unit was home to Byzantium, a martini bar and Continental kitchen that served the community for 23 years.

“Byzantium was mostly known as an eating spot. It was a bit of a martini bar in the 90s, but in the last 10 years, most of the people came for the food,” CEO Michael Erickson says. The space was already fully outfitted for cooking and backing, and though meal service was always in the cards for the new space, they weren’t sure if they were up to the task themselves.

“When we talked about what we wanted to do for food, we were like, ‘We want it to be like Cardinal Rule’,” Erickson says. “And then we thought, ‘Why don’t we just ask them?'” Looks like it all worked out. Last week, the beloved queer-owned Roncy diner (co-owners Katie James and chef Marta Kusel are a married couple) debuted its first slate of menu items out of Glad Day.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Cannabis Culture accused of attracting anti-LGBT clients to Toronto’s gay village”

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James Goldie’s Daily Xtra article caught my eye on the trip out, not least because of Cannibis Culture owner Marc Emery’s comparison of the plights of LGBT people and marijuana smokers.

The smoke is beginning to clear following an online firestorm that appears to have spilled into the street — over a marijuana shop in the Church-Wellesley Village, with allegations it’s been attracting a clientele unfriendly to LGBT people.

On Jan 3, 2017, the Cannabis Culture shop on Church Street received a one-star public review on its Facebook page, alleging that some of its customers have routinely been making homophobic and transphobic comments, both in the store and outside, causing some LGBT community members to feel unsafe in the village. Three days later, someone splashed blue paint on the shop’s storefront.

Joey Viola, who organizes FML Mondays each week next door at Flash, wrote the review, kicking off the controversy.

“When I had my patrons coming up to me and confiding in me that when they go outside for cigarettes or whatever they’re being harassed by certain loiterers that are outside next door, that prompted me to take a closer look,” Viola says. “Now I don’t see it to be [Cannabis Culture’s] fault, however, they are bringing in some clientele that are not necessarily down with the LGBT lifestyle.”

[. . . Marc] Emery, who is featured prominently in Albert Nerenberg’s 2005 documentary Escape to Canada, which examines the battles to legalize both gay marriage and marijuana, says he was hurt that LGBT opponents to his store’s presence in the neighbourhood don’t stand in solidarity with the cannabis community, given the persecution both have experienced historically.

“We’re still being arrested every day in Canada. We still haven’t had any equal rights for 50 years, the cannabis community.”

Written by Randy McDonald

January 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[LINK] “OUTtv joins the Netflix generation”

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Niko Bell’s Daily Xtra article makes me wonder whether I should, at long last, get a Google Chromecast or other like dongle and start watching television, again, after a lapse of a decade and a half.

Canadian LGBT cable channel OUTtv will shift its focus to a Netflix-style online subscription service, after being bought by a Vancouver investment firm.

The cable channel will remain in place until at least 2020, says incoming CEO Brad Danks, but the company’s main asset will become OUTtvGo, a $4-a-month streaming site, available for now only in Canada.

“It’s a transformation that needs to happen,” Danks says, citing a sagging cable broadcasting market and a new generation of customers accustomed to Netflix and YouTube. “We felt the timing was right.”

Vancouver’s Stern Partners, the owners of the Winnipeg Free Press among diverse other holdings, won permission from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to buy a majority stake in OUTtv at the end of December 2016. OUTtv’s previous owner and CEO — and husband of former BC NDP leader Joy MacPhail — James Shavick will stay on as a board member.

Danks says OUTtvGo will include much of the same programming as the cable channel, including every available season of OUTtv’s most popular offering, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Danks also says he hopes the online library will grow to include more shows for young people, lesbians and other groups who were underserved by the cable channel.

OUTtvGo will not deliver adult content; Danks says there’s no point competing with the vast array of adult videos online, and a porn-free collection will make it easier to work with tech partners such as Apple TV and mobile app stores.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 12, 2017 at 9:30 pm