“Those who doubt that laughter is the best medicine
haven’t met Bryan Raybon.”

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[This post has updates below]

There’s so much bullcrap happening in today’s politics and pop culture that “I so can’t even,” as the Millennial kids say.

For Profit Media’s pivot to the national election while the Dem primary is still active is where I *would start if I didn’t want to send another beat down to North Carolina’s and Pat McCrory’s HB2—the transphobic, wingnutty nonsense that N.C.’s religious right has crammed down the throats of its residents.

a-gender-neutral-bathroomThe fact of the matter: if that bill is pushed on one person in North Carolina, it’s pushed on all of us. Much like with Voter ID laws, HB2 is a widespread, radical-prejudicial solution in search of a non-existent problem. Statistics show that there is no problem, but yet here we are.

If Tony Perkins is for something, it’s a safe bet that I’m against it. Religion is too often laced through our politicians language and actions, as evidenced by former presidential dingus John Kasich who invoked the lord in his decision-making.

“The lord has a purpose for me,” Kasich said in his typical avuncular style, speaking in what looked like a paneled basement Man Cave. “I have a deeper faith that the lord will show me the way forward.”

Religion has no place in our lawmaking. None. When states’ rights conservatives want limited government, they are more than glad to blow that up with TNT when it comes to issues that don’t comport with their belief system. In other words: it’s only limited government until someone’s offended. HB2 only came about because the city of Charlotte passed an anti-discrimination law. The law not only requires transgender men and women to use bathrooms that correspond to birth gender; it goes a step further to nullify any N.C. city law that bans LGBT discrimination.

This is usually how the hypocrisy goes: “We want government out of our lives, but we’ll use it as a tool when we disagree with something.” The lie of limited government. The scourge of religion as a basis for lawmaking.

29906170001_4878528740001_video-still-for-video-4878502660001

The latest turn in the saga—and there have been many, including Georgia Gov. Deal vetoing similar legislation—is that the U.S. Justice Department has given North Carolina five days to respond to the allegation that the state is in violation of Title VII—putting millions of dollars in federal aid in jeopardy. The law is also facing lawsuits from all sides, including gay-rights groups and the ACLU of North Carolina.

Truth is, there’s nothing Christian or Lord-y about laws like HB2. We can ask “What would Jesus think?” but none of us actually know that, and our lawmakers shouldn’t make laws that guess the answer. The most un-Christian thing anyone can do is discriminate, and yet it’s the religious right leading the charge to do exactly that.

I’ll do a follow story next week because this story will likely blow up in the next few days and week or so.

UPDATE: on Real Time, Dan Savage argues perfectly about how these bills have come to pass: “They couldn’t demagogue gays and lesbians because too many of us are out, too many people know us. ‘They’re praying on children and creeping in bathrooms.’ That’s what they said 40 years ago about gay men and they’re just taking the same script and applying it to trans women.” (read my recap)

 

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You could say the floor fell out from under the Ted Cruz for President campaign… But could you also arrest him for assaulting Heidi, his wife? I’ll let the clips to the talking:

When you couple those two mishaps with the white crap fleeing Cruz’s mouth from a recent debate, it hasn’t been a good past few weeks for Teddie.

Keith Olbermann used to feature model-catwalk fails on Countdown, and I’d fall out of my chair every. Single. Time. So it’s definitely time to bust out some model falls… and check out how a local anchor loses it after an epic stumble at the end.

 

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The new AbFab trailer dropped and it’s as scandalous as it is glitzy. Have a look.

I’d like to ask Jennifer Saunders why the switch from sweetie-darling to sweetheart—I never got that. But still, I will be gathering a gaggle to go see this on opening night. Some much-needed comic relief.

Release date (wide): 1 July 2016

 

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We lost Whitney Houston in early 2012, and two weeks later I attended a Kelly Clarkson concert with a friend of mine. I nearly lost my shit when, about midway through, Tamyra Gray came on stage and the two American Idol finalists rocked a duet of Whitney’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop).”

I met Tamyra in the lobby and she’s as beautiful as she is gracious and nice. Still waiting on a new record girl. Get at it.

But I digress. Cut to last week at the curtain call for The Color Purple, and Jennifer Hudson came on to give a moving, stately, gracious tribute—followed by a chill-inducing cover of “Purple Rain.” You must watch the entire clip on full volume. Crank it up!

 

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(photo credit: Michael Baker)
(photo credit: Michael Baker)

“Those who doubt that laughter is the best medicine probably haven’t met Bryan Raybon.”

We lost another Atlanta giant and my best bud Chris “Crusty” Haddle to cancer last month—and I recorded a direct-to-camera tribute to him. (A slideshow will follow shortly.) As a combo Throwback Thursday and a Calming Capsule, have a look at the piece I wrote for The GA Voice back in 2011 on how I connected my pal with legendary comedian Margaret Cho.

As Bryan was ill with terminal cancer, he asked me to arrange a meeting with his heroine—and I didn’t think I could do it. But Bryan taught me to think expansively and expect kindness. As a result of some wrangling on my part, a meeting was afoot.

Margaret appeared at Bryan’s doorstep earlier this year wearing snakeskin leggings and referee socks; he was floored by how everyday and down-to-earth she was. “She looked so cute, had funky glasses on and just looked like… Margaret,” he says. “That’s the part of her that’s really powerful: she embraces her ordinariness. She does fashion and can be really fabulous, but it’s just her own style and her own way of being in the world.”

More than anything, be yourself. That’s true in fashion choices; trying to connect a superstar with a terminal-cancer patient; or in fighting bigotry in the Bible Belt. Read the whole GA Voice article here.

 

That’s it from me this week Cranker Darlings… We’ll see you right back here next Thursday at 2 p.m.


Will Pollock is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist and author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.

 

 

 

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