RuPaul speaks about society and the state of drag as performance art

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Few artists ever penetrate the subconscious level of American culture the way RuPaul Andre Charles did with the 1993 album Supermodel of the World. It was groundbreaking not only because in the midst of the Grunge phenomenon did Charles have a dance hit on MTV, but because he did it as RuPaul, formerly known as Starbooty, a supermodel drag queen with a message: love everyone. A duet with Elton John, an endorsement deal with MAC cosmetics, an eponymous talk show on VH-1 and roles in film propelled RuPaul into the new millennium.

In July, RuPaul’s movie Starrbooty began playing at film festivals and it is set to be released on DVD October 31st. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone recently spoke with RuPaul by telephone in Los Angeles, where she is to appear on stage for DIVAS Simply Singing!, a benefit for HIV-AIDS.


DS: How are you doing?

RP: Everything is great. I just settled into my new hotel room in downtown Los Angeles. I have never stayed downtown, so I wanted to try it out. L.A. is one of those traditional big cities where nobody goes downtown, but they are trying to change that.

DS: How do you like Los Angeles?

RP: I love L.A. I’m from San Diego, and I lived here for six years. It took me four years to fall in love with it and then those last two years I had fallen head over heels in love with it. Where are you from?

DS: Me? I’m from all over. I have lived in 17 cities, six states and three countries.

RP: Where were you when you were 15?

DS: Georgia, in a small town at the bottom of Fulton County called Palmetto.

RP: When I was in Georgia I went to South Fulton Technical School. The last high school I ever went to was…actually, I don’t remember the name of it.

DS: Do you miss Atlanta?

RP: I miss the Atlanta that I lived in. That Atlanta is long gone. It’s like a childhood friend who underwent head to toe plastic surgery and who I don’t recognize anymore. It’s not that I don’t like it; I do like it. It’s just not the Atlanta that I grew up with. It looks different because it went through that boomtown phase and so it has been transient. What made Georgia Georgia to me is gone. The last time I stayed in a hotel there my room was overlooking a construction site, and I realized the building that was torn down was a building that I had seen get built. And it had been torn down to build a new building. It was something you don’t expect to see in your lifetime.

DS: What did that signify to you?

RP: What it showed me is that the mentality in Atlanta is that much of their history means nothing. For so many years they did a good job preserving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a preservationist. It’s just an interesting observation.

DS: In 2004 when you released your third album, Red Hot, it received a good deal of play in the clubs and on dance radio, but very little press coverage. On your blog you discussed how you felt betrayed by the entertainment industry and, in particular, the gay press. What happened?

RP: Well, betrayed might be the wrong word. ‘Betrayed’ alludes to an idea that there was some kind of a promise made to me, and there never was. More so, I was disappointed. I don’t feel like it was a betrayal. Nobody promises anything in show business and you understand that from day one.
But, I don’t know what happened. It seemed I couldn’t get press on my album unless I was willing to play into the role that the mainstream press has assigned to gay people, which is as servants of straight ideals.

DS: Do you mean as court jesters?

RP: Not court jesters, because that also plays into that mentality. We as humans find it easy to categorize people so that we know how to feel comfortable with them; so that we don’t feel threatened. If someone falls outside of that categorization, we feel threatened and we search our psyche to put them into a category that we feel comfortable with. The mainstream media and the gay press find it hard to accept me as…just…

DS: Everything you are?

RP: Everything that I am.

DS: It seems like years ago, and my recollection might be fuzzy, but it seems like I read a mainstream media piece that talked about how you wanted to break out of the RuPaul ‘character’ and be seen as more than just RuPaul.

RP: Well, RuPaul is my real name and that’s who I am and who I have always been. There’s the product RuPaul that I have sold in business. Does the product feel like it’s been put into a box? Could you be more clear? It’s a hard question to answer.

DS: That you wanted to be seen as more than just RuPaul the drag queen, but also for the man and versatile artist that you are.

RP: That’s not on target. What other people think of me is not my business. What I do is what I do. How people see me doesn’t change what I decide to do. I don’t choose projects so people don’t see me as one thing or another. I choose projects that excite me. I think the problem is that people refuse to understand what drag is outside of their own belief system. A friend of mine recently did the Oprah show about transgendered youth. It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar. We’ll learn the difference to that. One of my hobbies is to research and go underneath ideas to discover why certain ones stay in place while others do not. Like Adam and Eve, which is a flimsy fairytale story, yet it is something that people believe; what, exactly, keeps it in place?

DS: What keeps people from knowing the difference between what is real and important, and what is not?

RP: Our belief systems. If you are a Christian then your belief system doesn’t allow for transgender or any of those things, and you then are going to have a vested interest in not understanding that. Why? Because if one peg in your belief system doesn’t work or doesn’t fit, the whole thing will crumble. So some people won’t understand the difference between a transvestite and transsexual. They will not understand that no matter how hard you force them to because it will mean deconstructing their whole belief system. If they understand Adam and Eve is a parable or fairytale, they then have to rethink their entire belief system.
As to me being seen as whatever, I was more likely commenting on the phenomenon of our culture. I am creative, and I am all of those things you mention, and doing one thing out there and people seeing it, it doesn’t matter if people know all that about me or not.

DS: Recently I interviewed Natasha Khan of the band Bat for Lashes, and she is considered by many to be one of the real up-and-coming artists in music today. Her band was up for the Mercury Prize in England. When I asked her where she drew inspiration from, she mentioned what really got her recently was the 1960’s and 70’s psychedelic drag queen performance art, such as seen in Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What do you think when you hear an artist in her twenties looking to that era of drag performance art for inspiration?

RP: The first thing I think of when I hear that is that young kids are always looking for the ‘rock and roll’ answer to give. It’s very clever to give that answer. She’s asked that a lot: “Where do you get your inspiration?” And what she gave you is the best sound bite she could; it’s a really a good sound bite. I don’t know about Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, but I know about The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What I think about when I hear that is there are all these art school kids and when they get an understanding of how the press works, and how your sound bite will affect the interview, they go for the best.

DS: You think her answer was contrived?

RP: I think all answers are really contrived. Everything is contrived; the whole world is an illusion. Coming up and seeing kids dressed in Goth or hip hop clothes, when you go beneath all that, you have to ask: what is that really? You understand they are affected, pretentious. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s how we see things. I love Paris Is Burning.

DS: Has the Iraq War affected you at all?

RP: Absolutely. It’s not good, I don’t like it, and it makes me want to enjoy this moment a lot more and be very appreciative. Like when I’m on a hike in a canyon and it smells good and there aren’t bombs dropping.

DS: Do you think there is a lot of apathy in the culture?

RP: There’s apathy, and there’s a lot of anti-depressants and that probably lends a big contribution to the apathy. We have iPods and GPS systems and all these things to distract us.

DS: Do you ever work the current political culture into your art?

RP: No, I don’t. Every time I bat my eyelashes it’s a political statement. The drag I come from has always been a critique of our society, so the act is defiant in and of itself in a patriarchal society such as ours. It’s an act of treason.

DS: What do you think of young performance artists working in drag today?

RP: I don’t know of any. I don’t know of any. Because the gay culture is obsessed with everything straight and femininity has been under attack for so many years, there aren’t any up and coming drag artists. Gay culture isn’t paying attention to it, and straight people don’t either. There aren’t any drag clubs to go to in New York. I see more drag clubs in Los Angeles than in New York, which is so odd because L.A. has never been about club culture.

DS: Michael Musto told me something that was opposite of what you said. He said he felt that the younger gays, the ones who are up-and-coming, are over the body fascism and more willing to embrace their feminine sides.

RP: I think they are redefining what femininity is, but I still think there is a lot of negativity associated with true femininity. Do boys wear eyeliner and dress in skinny jeans now? Yes, they do. But it’s still a heavily patriarchal culture and you never see two men in Star magazine, or the Queer Eye guys at a premiere, the way you see Ellen and her girlfriend—where they are all, ‘Oh, look how cute’—without a negative connotation to it. There is a definite prejudice towards men who use femininity as part of their palette; their emotional palette, their physical palette. Is that changing? It’s changing in ways that don’t advance the cause of femininity. I’m not talking frilly-laced pink things or Hello Kitty stuff. I’m talking about goddess energy, intuition and feelings. That is still under attack, and it has gotten worse. That’s why you wouldn’t get someone covering the RuPaul album, or why they say people aren’t tuning into the Katie Couric show. Sure, they can say ‘Oh, RuPaul’s album sucks’ and ‘Katie Couric is awful’; but that’s not really true. It’s about what our culture finds important, and what’s important are things that support patriarchal power. The only feminine thing supported in this struggle is Pamela Anderson and Jessica Simpson, things that support our patriarchal culture.
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=RuPaul_speaks_about_society_and_the_state_of_drag_as_performance_art&oldid=4462721”

High winds in Texas cause property damage and utilities loss for many

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wind storms swept across a large part of Texas on Wednesday, leaving property damaged and many homes without power.

Downed lamposts and trees were reported in multiple locales. One media source reported overturned playground equipment in the city of Rockwall. Winds up to 40 miles-per-hour (mph) were reported over much of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Approximately 9,500 people within Tarrant and Dallas counties were without electrical power as late as Thursday afternoon.

Late Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service reported winds at Dallas Love Field up to 66 mph. The city of Edgewood recorded wind speeds up to 70 mph during the storm; three homes, two barns and two business buildings sustained damage. A home in Chandler was damaged when a tree was toppled during the storm (see photo at left).

Dust from as far away as west Texas covered vehicles and other property early Thursday morning in the eastern part of the state. A car wash manager in Tyler told media his business cleaned about three hundred cars on Thursday, busier than usual even for holiday season.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=High_winds_in_Texas_cause_property_damage_and_utilities_loss_for_many&oldid=2714893”

Stacey Abrams becomes first black woman to gain major U.S. party nomination for governor of Georgia

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, May 25, 2018

On Tuesday night, Stacey Abrams became the United States Democratic Party’s candidate for governor of the state of Georgia, the first black woman nominated for this office. If she wins the election scheduled to be held in November, she would be the first woman governor of Georgia and the first black woman elected governor of any state in U.S. history.

“I will be the governor who brings more than jobs to Georgia,” Abrams said in her acceptance speech, “together, we can build career pipelines in renewable energy. We can spur creativity through a growing entertainment industry, and we can increase the strength of our trade unions to grow an economy that lifts every Georgian.”

In the primary election, 76.5% of participating registered Democrats and eligible independents voted for Abrams over her opponent, Stacey Evans, to a total of 423,163 votes. Evans won 23.5%. Ahead of the primary, Abrams had announced a plan for winning the scheduled November election that focused on mobilizing and motivating liberal voters who would otherwise stay home on election day. Evans, who is from Georgia’s rural northwest, sought to win over the contested moderate vote from the Republicans.

Adrianne Shropshire of BlackPAC, a group that supported Abrams, attributed her victory to strategy. “Stacey Abrams won this election because she reached out and engaged communities of color, particularly black voters, on the issues that they care about. This historic victory is a model for candidates all across the country.” After the election, Evans immediately announced her support for Abrams.

Abrams is originally from Gulfport, Mississippi, but moved to Atlanta, Georgia, as a youth. She holds three degrees, including a law degree from Yale Law School and has worked as a lawyer and entrepreneur as well as serving in the Georgia state legislature. Her accomplishments include being the first woman to lead a major party in the Georgia General Assembly and being the first black person to head the Georgia House of Representatives.

Abrams stated her plans on her campaign website assuming victory in the November election: “As Georgia’s next governor, I will prioritize economic mobility as key to ensuring our state is known as a place for prosperity. Poverty and inequality stand in the way of economic growth for our state through higher social costs, lost earnings, and weakened competitiveness.” Specifics included an earned income tax credit, expansion of protections for Georgians with disabilities, and ending workplace discrimination.

The other major party in this election is the Republican Party. The governorship has been held by Republicans since 2003, but previously Georgia has a long history of governors from the Democratic Party.

Abrams’ opponent for November has yet to be determined. The current front runners for the Republican nomination for governor are Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, scheduled for a runoff election on July 24.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Stacey_Abrams_becomes_first_black_woman_to_gain_major_U.S._party_nomination_for_governor_of_Georgia&oldid=4411149”

Australian unemployment at lowest level in 30 years

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, June 9, 2006

Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced Australia’s unemployment rate for May 2006 on Thursday. The rate had dropped to 4.9 percent, the first time since 1976 that unemployment in Australia had been below five percent.

Mr Howard said 56,000 full time jobs were created in May with 38,000 of those taken up by women. He said it was a symbol of how well his government was managing the economy. “The result is a wonderful symbol of the success of the Government’s economic policies.” said Mr Howard.

According to the government 1.8 million jobs have been created since it took office in March 1996.

The number of people actively seeking work also increased, a sign Mr Howard said that people are “confident of finding work.”

At an interview in Sydney, Mr Howard told reporters that he believed the unemployment rate would be driven down further when the benefits of his Workchoices industrial relations reforms begin to show. “I believe, as some of the effects of the workplace relations changes work their way through, then the unemployment rate, particularly in small business, will go down even further,” he said.

Mr Howard denied that Workchoices had any affect on the figures for May saying that it was too early to tell. “I am not going to make that claim. It’s only May’s figures and the changes only came in March. I think it is too early to make that claim” Mr Howard told reporters.

Following the announcement, Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey said that the rise in the number of jobs could not have happened without the government’s industrial relations reforms. “We wouldn’t have achieved these outcomes, particularly in employer hiring, without the changes we’ve made,”

“When employers have confidence in their hiring arrangements as the Workchoices gives them, they’re going to go out and hire more people” said Mr Tuckey.

Stephen Smith, workplace spokesperson for the opposition attacked Mr Tuckey’s claims, stating that all the government’s new industrial relations legislation has achieved is reduced wages. “The suggestion that somehow we’ve got these employment and unemployment figures as a result of 30 days of John Howard slashing wages is a complete nonsense,” he said.

“It’s great that we’ve got a 30-year low in unemployment but that’s a result of 15 years of continuous economic growth and a resources boom.” said Mr Smith.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Australian_unemployment_at_lowest_level_in_30_years&oldid=715474”

What To Consider When Hiring An Attorney

Author: Admin  |  Category: Toys Online

byAlma Abell

With the large number of options of attorneys available, you may wonder how to know if you are choosing the right one. If you choose the wrong attorney in Wilmington, OH it can be devastating to your entire situation, which is why you should do plenty of homeowner prior to making your final decision. Some things to consider when you are selecting an attorney are highlighted here.

Figure Out what You Need

Most lawyers have an area of law that they concentrate on. If you need help with an immigration issue, then you need to find a lawyer that is familiar with this area of the law. This goes for personal injury, DUI, divorce and any other issue that you may be facing.

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Seek Recommendations

Just like hiring a babysitter or a contractor, you should take the advice of your friends and family when it comes to hiring an attorney. After all, you would not trust someone you saw on TV with your kids, so why would you hire your attorney this way? If you do not have any relatives or friends who have recommendations, then there are a number of different places that you can use to narrow down your actual search.

Do Your Research

Prior to looking for an attorney, be sure you understand the legal situation that you are in. When you learn the terms, understand the specific issue and know what your responsibility is, it will save you both time and money. When you take time to research the charges you are facing, you will also better understand what your attorney is talking about.

Additionally, if you have a simple need, such as creating your Living Will, then you will be able to do a majority of the legal work yourself. When you do this type of work on your own, it will likely save you a significant amount of money.

Don’t Select the First Attorney You Find

The lawyer you choose is an important decision and one that can make a huge decision in the outcome of your case. There are a number of lawyers who will provide you with a free consultation, some in person and some on the phone. You should be sure to ask for an estimate for their services and the amount of time that it will take to develop your case successfully.

If you need an Attorney in Wilmington, OH, visit the Rose & Dobyns Co., L.P.A. Click here to know more.

Economics take over Canadian leaders’ talking points

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized
Canadian Federal Elections 2008

Day
Stories from the 2008 Canadian Federal Elections
  • 13 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: Libertarian John Kittridge in St. Paul’s
  • 13 October 2008: Canadian scientists protest Harper’s attacks on science
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Paul Arbour in Carleton—Mississippi Mills
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Jo-Anne Boulding in Parry Sound—Muskoka
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West
National Parties

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

With Bay Street in turmoil in sympathy with Wall Street, Canadian party leaders traded slurs over the slowing economy and measures to secure it against the slump happening south of the border.

“We have the worst economy in the G8, our labour productivity has fallen for nine months straight and over the summer in July we saw the largest single month of jobs losses in 17 years,” Stéphane Dion said as the Liberal leader worked through St. John’s, N.L. Dion is hoping to sweep Newfoundland and Labrador’s 7 seats, capitalizing on N.L. Premier Danny Williams’s feud with the federal Conservatives over broken promises made by Stephen Harper in the Atlantic Accord.

Campaigning in Nova Scotia, New Democratic Party‘s Jack Layton lashed the Conservatives for failing to protect consumers. “Of course with Mr. Harper, we don’t see any willingness to really address the need to stand on behalf of Canadian consumers. He won’t even support the notion of the monitoring of gas prices, let alone the kinds of initiatives that really should be taken here in Canada to make sure that the consumers of investment products are being protected.”

Harper was working the Liberal-held riding of Ottawa-Vanier, where he announced a program to allow entrepreneur’s to extend their maternal leave up to 6 months using the Employment Insurance program with an estimated cost of $147 million. He said the country wasn’t ready for “wild experiments”, but should adopt a cautious approach to the economy in uncertain times.

“Canada has been brought to the brink of a deficit for the first time in over a decade,” Elizabeth May of the Greens said in a press release on their website on Monday. “Stephen Harper’s leadership deficit is driving us into economic deficit and his failure to manage the economy in uncertain times must not be allowed to continue.”

The parties also threw out economic planks for their platforms: to support the fishermen of N.L as well as the environment, Dion announced a $250 million dollar fund to help fishermen upgrade their equipment with “green” technology as well as $70 million to retire licenses. The Greens suggested their financial plan, which includes embracing a low-carbon economy, would improve Canada’s economic outlook. The NDP promised $1 billion over 5 years for more nurses and doctors.

The backdrop to all these economic statements was a 515 point drop on the TSX as markets reacted to the bankruptcy filing of 158 year old financial firm Lehman Brothers, as well as a surprising drop in the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar which itself lost ground against the Euro and other world currencies. Even as the dollar dropped, so did the price of oil futures and gold, partially explaining the Canadian dollar’s weakness.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Are Canadian economics really affected by the parties? Should the Conservatives be taking the blame for the current economic situation, or have their actions in two and half years in office helped insulate the country from the volatility of the US markets?
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“Woofstock” dog festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

North America’s largest outdoor dog festival came back to Toronto last weekend for its fifth year. It ran from the 9th of June to the 10th of June at Toronto’s historical St. Lawrence Market. A Wikinews reporter was there on Sunday to report on some of the events that happened on the last day.

The “Woofstock” dog festival attracted as many as 140,000 people with their dogs. The festival had tons of accessories, sold under tents, to buy for dogs; food, toys, designer clothes, and more. About 400 vendors and exhibitors were there to promote their products, which also gave private dog companies or groups a chance to show their new products. The local SPCA and some animal rescues were under tents answering questions from visitors. While walking, all visitors could see the CN Tower and other very tall buildings.

One of the local TV stations, Citytv, was there. They hosted a live event at the show which was broadcast on TV. People came up on the stage and asked questions regarding their dogs and the host and co-host answered them.

A man, who called himself the “Chalk Master”, drew two pictures on pavement with chalk. He did it for free but donations were welcome. One was a picture of a girl’s head beside a dog’s head, and another with a wolf.

“Hello Humans. I’ve been invited here to provide your eyeball(s), with some pretty colours. I don’t get paid as I work this weekend strictly for tips… so, if you like what you see please make a DONATION. If you don’t like it simply reach into the pocket of the person next to you and give me their money. CHALK MASTER.”

A contest called “Canada’s top dog” had its own tent with a professional photographer taking pictures of dogs behind a white screen; the winning photo is to be published on the cover of “Puppy and dog basics” magazine.

Large “Gourmet” dog bones were also served from a cart and table.

Next year’s festival is expected to be bigger and better with even more attractions.

News briefs:April 22, 2010

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized
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646 206 Cisco Sales Expert Is An Imperative Certification}

Author: Admin  |  Category: Construction And Maintenance

Submitted by: David Prado

Cisco Sales Expert

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Paramedics protest outside New South Wales parliament

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Paramedics employed by the Ambulance Service of New South Wales in Australia marched on the New South Wales parliament today. They called for the Government to sack Ambulance Service of New South Wales CEO Greg Rochford, hire 300 additional ambulance officers and 60 patient transport officers. Paramedics gave the Government 48 hours to agree to the proposed staffing levels or face industrial action.

“We are currently at the same levels of staffing that we had in 2002 and these not withstanding, also there’s been an increase in workload of 5 per cent per year every year since then,” said Health Services Union general secretary Michael Williamson.

The union also called for chief executive Greg Roachford and other senior management to be sacked over what has been described as a culture of bullying.