Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Social Science At Its Best

Study: Tolerance Can Lower Gay Kids' Suicide Risk

by Joseph Shapiro

All Things Considered, December 29, 2008 · Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts — and some other health and mental health problems, including substance abuse. A new study suggests that parental acceptance, and even neutrality, with regard to a child's sexual orientation could have a big impact in reducing this rate.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that the gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults and teens at the highest risk of attempting suicide and having some other health problems are ones who reported a high level of rejection by their families as a result of their sexual orientation.

"A little bit of change in rejecting behavior, being a little bit more accepting," says lead researcher Caitlin Ryan, "can make a significant difference in the child's health and mental health."

Ryan, director of Adolescent Health Initiatives at the Cesar Chavez Institute at San Francisco State University, and her researchers conducted lengthy interviews with more than 200 gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults. Ryan tried to judge whether, as adolescents, they had faced low, moderate or high levels of rejection from their families.

They found that kids who, by Ryan's measure, experienced high levels of rejection were nearly 8.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. They were nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and almost 3.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in unprotected sex. That was compared with adolescents whose families may have felt uncomfortable with a gay kid, but were neutral or only mildly rejecting.

Acceptance Can Go A Long Way

Because the level of rejection is hard to measure, Ryan looked at things like whether the parents tried to get their children to change their sexual orientation, or tried to stop them from being with other gay kids.

"Parents thought that by trying to change them, that would make them happy. But actually it put their children at great risk," Ryan says. "When we shared that with parents, they were shocked."

The study shows that just a little bit of acceptance can go a long way. That's what has other health researchers excited about Ryan's work, says Effie Malley, a senior prevention specialist at the federally funded Suicide Prevention Resource Center in Newton, Mass.

Malley has done her own research and released another study this month that shows that gay teens have very high rates of suicide attempts. She says parents matter — and so do peers, teachers and society in general.

"What I'd like to see down the road," she says, "is that parents and people who work with families counseling them would really take to heart Ryan and her co-authors' research about not trying to change who the parents are or their beliefs, but just to help them to recognize the words they use and the actions that are harmful to their kids and to stop using those behaviors."

Mom Becomes An Advocate

Leonor Holmstrom of Los Angeles is a parent who has faced her own worries about having a gay child. She's an elegant 64-year-old with bright red lipstick and a ready laugh. She and her husband John went to Santa Rosa, Calif., Christmas week to visit their daughter Juliana, her partner and their two young children at a modest house tucked into a cul-de-sac, with colorful plastic toys across the small front lawn.

Fifteen years ago, after Juliana told her mother she was gay, Holmstrom figured she'd never have these grandchildren to spend Christmas with.

"I really didn't want her to be gay," Holmstrom says. At first, Holmstrom tried to hide that her daughter was gay from family and friends. Her church taught that homosexuality was a sin. She had a couple of friends who were gay whose lives, she says, were "disastrous." Mainly, she worried about her daughter's future.

At first, her daughter did suffer. She dropped out of college, dealt with depression and lived in poverty. But Holmstrom reached out to Juliana, who returned to college and then graduate school. Today, Holmstrom is close to her daughter, her daughter's partner and their family.

Now Holmstrom works as an advocate with PFLAG en Espanol, a group she helped start. She works with other Mexican-American and Latino parents of gay kids. The new research shows that gay males — particularly Latino males — report the highest levels of family rejection.

"I did a lot of things that I tell the mothers don't do, because I did them — and my daughter suffered because I did them," Holmstrom says. "She was acting like normal for her. And I think that's very damaging for a kid, because she's feeling one thing and you're telling her, 'Your feelings don't count or they're not right.' "

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

At the movies.

Every Christmas we go to Jason's parents and they have a whole new batch of "must see" movies on DVD for us to view. I thought I'd give them each a little review over the holiday weeks so that you know what to put in your Netflix rental queue during those cold S.A.D. months!

Let's start with this little gem.

Guys, if you haven't seen this yet you are in for a TREAT! You see, Matthew McCornholehey just can't commit!!! He can't do it! Maybe he's been hurt by his possibly African American fiancee' dying years ago? Maybe not. I don't want to spoil it. But dang it all if that grown man doesn't live with his PARENTS!!!! AND his dad is a football commenter! His parents are ready for some private Cialis moments so they hire Sarah "Tell us how old you are by stomping your leg" Broderick to get that boy oh you tea of the house! That's her job by the way. A professional get men to move out of their parents house-isiologist.

The funny thing is she accidentally falls in love with him! Oh don't worry.....he finds out her real ways and makes a big dinner to trick his parents and My Friend Flicka and really gives it to them. Kind of a waste of what looked like a gourmet dinner if you ask me but that's none of my business.

Anyway, I won't spoil the ending but let's just say you should get your hankies ready because I think a certain blond surfer boy MIGHT just finally let down his guard and let her in.

BONUS FEATURE: You see Terry Bradshaw's bare buttocks for a full 30 seconds. If THAT doesn't reel you in I guess you just hate film.

Stay tuned for a review of National Treasure 2! Guess what. Speaking of National Treasures, Nick Cage has still got it!

Can you dig it?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Charlie Bit My Finger

I know this shit is everywhere, but it's still awesome. and it could be Riff and Brendan as toddlers.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Photo Gallery

Here are some band pictures I took with my phone in 2008:


Red Red Meat

Randy Newman

Okkervil River

Headache City

Bon Iver

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Follow-up post!

While Googling potential images for the preceding post, I came across this little gem...

Happy Chrismakwanzukah!

This may be the best holiday song performance...ever.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Village Voice Worst Lyrics 2008 Competition

No RHCP Album Leaves The Title Wide Open......

ODB Bracket

1. The Killers “Human”
Lyrical line: Are we human / or are we dancer?

2. Weezer “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived”
Lyrical line: You try to play it cool like you just don’t care / But soon I’ll be playin’ in your underwear.

3. Nickelback “Something In Your Mouth”
Lyrical line: You look so much cuter with something in your mouth.

4. Lady GaGa “Boys Boys Boys”
Lyrical line: Love it when you call me ‘Legs’ / In the morning buy me eggs.

5. The Streets “Alleged Legends”
Lyrical line: Do what you think’s right and you will feel all right / ‘Cause when you’re bad you will feel sad / That’s the religion I live by.

6. Usher “Trading Places”
Lyrical line: Skip dinner and gon’ rent a movie / You order Chinese food right before you do me.

7. Nas “My President Is Black”
Lyrical line: She ain’t a politician / Honey’s a pole-i-tician.

8. T-Pain “Therapy”
Lyrical line: I don’t need your sex / I’ll masturbate.

Bono Bracket

1. Lil Wayne “Dr. Carter”
Lyrical line: Swagger tighter than a yeast infection / Fly go hard like geese erection.

2. Metallica “Broken, Beat & Scarred”
Lyrical line: What don’t kill you make you more strong.

3. Kate Nash “Mariella”
Lyrical line: If I want to think / I’ll think with my head.

4. Katy Perry “Hot N Cold”
Lyrical line: You change your mind like a girl changes clothes / You PMS like a bitch / I would know.

5. Ne-Yo “So You Can Cry”
Lyrical line: I won’t attend your pity party / I’d rather go have calamari.

6. Lucinda Williams “Honey Bee”
Lyrical line: I’m so glad you stung me / Now I’ve got your honey / All over my tummy.

7. The Game “My Life”
Lyrical line: Hated on so much / Passion of Christ need a sequel.

8. Pharrell on Common’s “Announcement”
Lyrical line: My dick is like a Blow Pop, baby.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


How many of the (loosely defined) celebrities that Eva & I saw in L.A. can you name?

Bonus questions:

Which one did I go to high school with?
Where did we see the guy holding the CD?
Which guy was I too stoned to recognize?

Not pictured: our gracious hosts. Or Amy Brenneman, who was very pretty and nice.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I hate it when Pitchfork makes me laugh, but this one got me. Its from their 20 worst album covers of 2008 piece.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Simo's Soapbox

The papers keep talking about the "Shockingly Low" Blago approval rating of 8%. That means that 8 out of every 100 Illinois people actually of approve of the job he's doing as of this week? That seems shockingly high to me!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A price we can afford

Based on more bored perusal of the gov'ts case, I believe we can get rid of Blago for a lousy $250,000, probably less if we bargain hard.

In the documents, among many other wonderful things he says he 'does not want to be Governor for the next two years.”' and "... that he is interested in making $250,000" [a year].

That is just 2 cents for every person in illinois, for each year we pay him not to be the governor!

Round up to only adult taxpayers and it's probably still under a dime. After a year or so, he'll likely be in jail ... and we'll get the use of that dime back.

So he wants out, and his price isn't bleeping bad. Totally worth it.

My Competition

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blago Gone WILD

Some fave snippets from the 78-page Blago indictment:

90. Later on November 3, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with Advisor A.
By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an advisor to the President-elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, “unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH later stated, “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.” Later, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

92. On November 4, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with JOHN HARRIS
regarding the potential vacant Senate seat. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the “trick ... is how do you conduct indirectly...a negotiation” for the Senate seat. Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH analogized his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to various teams, stating “how much are you offering, [President-elect]? What are you offering, [Senate Candidate 2]?...Can always go to...[Senate Candidate 3].” Later ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he will make a decision on the Senate seat “in good faith...but it is not coming for free...It’s got to be good stuff for the people of Illinois and good for me.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH states “[President-elect], you want it? Fine. But, its got to be good or I could always take [the Senate seat].”

96. On November 5, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Advisor A about
the Senate seat. During the phone call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the President-elect can remove somebody from a foundation and give the spot to ROD BLAGOJEVICH. In regards to the Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”

101 c. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another
consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.”

104. On November 11, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with JOHN HARRIS
about the Senate seat. ROD BLAGOJEVICH suggested starting a 501(c)(4)organization (a non-profit organization that may engage in political activity and lobbying) and getting “his (believed to be the President-elect’s) friend Warren Buffett or some of those guys to help us on something like that.” HARRIS asked, “what, for you?” ROD BLAGOJEVICH replied, “yeah.” Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that if he appoints Senate Candidate 4 to the Senate seat and, thereafter, it appears that ROD BLAGOJEVICH might get impeached, he could “count on [Senate Candidate 4], if things got hot, to give [the Senate seat] up and let me parachute over there.” HARRIS said, “you can count on [Senate Candidate 4] to do that.” Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”

and last, but not least:

73. In another call between ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Deputy Governor A that occurred a short time later on November 3, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Deputy Governor A discussed an editorial from the Chicago Tribune regarding the endorsement of Michael Madigan and calling for a committee to consider impeaching ROD BLAGOJEVICH. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife can be heard in the background telling ROD BLAGOJEVICH to tell Deputy Governor A “to hold up that fucking Cubs shit. . . fuck them.”

Monday, December 8, 2008

DB of the Year, local edition

I mean sure print is dead, but the Tribune papers could be doing ok - they just don't make enough to cover all the money borrowed to pay the over-inflated price(s).

Update: Why it was a bad deal from the beginning.

Taking pleasure in others misfortune

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Battle of the Network D-Bags

Joe Satriani is suing Coldplay for copyright infringement. This would indicate he has a point:

Do Chrissy and Gwynnie listen to a lot of Satriani? Did he absorb the melody while browsing in a Limited Express? Is it possible that it's a coincidence (one that includes a 4-bar melodic phrase captured in its entirety, including key and tempo)?

And did he steal that jacket from the touring company of Les Miz?

Whaddya think? Best answer wins a kick in the yarblockos.

Friday, December 5, 2008

pursuant to the goat

Crescent, this will put our comments in the proper context....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jerry Lewis Goat.

This goat sounds like a cantankerous old man and/or Jerry Lewis and it's making me laugh so hard that I LITERALLY had to step away from my desk. The ending is a dud but man....I can't take it when that goat starts a bleating.

Best Essay Ever

This essay was written by an 8th grader in Pittsburgh in the spring of
2004. The assignment was to pick an endangered species, and explain why
it's important to save it. The typos and formatting are preserved from
the original.

Richard XXXXXXXX Draft 2

I shouldn't do shit. I don't care about them they all
could die and it won't affect my life. I know a lot about them
but I don't need to think about them. They're just a waste of
time koalas are stupid they don't help me with shit so why
should I help them. If they all die there will be more room for
the panthers and all the other hard animals. Koalas are weak a
pit will get rid of their whole fucking family. That's why I
don't like koalas.
Koalas have sharp claws but they are weak. They all small
and fat and they be climing trees. I hope a storm just come
while theyjust chilling up in the tree thinking they is hard and
they're will all just fall off. They just break they neck and
shit. When they fall they claws are going to fall off and they
going to be crying like some little bitches.
Koalas aren't hard they some little bitches. They start
climbing up the tree soon as they see a deer from like 50feet
away. They stupid as hell they should put their brain in their
pouch and put the kid in they ten they're be able to think
better. They try to be in the fucking kangaroo family. They weak
as hell, talking bout they got a pouch a kangaroo so they their
cousins and shit. Kangaroo's have some big ass legs and whot do
a koala got? Some little ass legs, they tails is little and weak
as fuck kangaroo's got a big ass long tail that can kill a
fucking koala.
If a koala goes in the water it won't be able to breathe
with its little short ass. It'd fucking drown soon aas it take
one step into the water. While they at the river trying to get
something to drink a bear could just come to him and snatch its
ass up. It doesn't know protection because they don't have
protection. What they little ass going to do? It can't scratch
him. The bear will beat his fucking ass.
The important think about koalas is that just don't care
about tem and let them die by all the other animals in
Australia. They're not important just let nature do what it do
and kill them. Koalas do not have a place in this world there's
not enough room for all the bitches in this world. So let all
the koalas that's in the zoos and shit. Let them go and put them
back with their family. If you let them all go they won't
nothing except for that's what they was put in this world for.
Now you know why koalas aren't important. They have
nothing to do except for sitting around in the trees. It's like
they just was like they was sent have to die. Koalas don't do
nothing to help anybody. Thre would be just one more relative of
the kangaroo that will be six feet under. Now you know why
koalas are not important because there are dumb.

For David

Give it on up for Homelessville

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blowing Bongs in Antiquity

2700 Year Old Weed Stash Found

The Story

Do you have a favorite?

Simo's Self-Appointed Celebrity Mix

This past week I watched The China Syndrome on cable. For those who haven't seen it, its an excellent film about a nuclear reactor and associated issues from back in the seventies. Jack Lemon's performance is wonderfully over-the-top Jack Lemonish! I got a shock when I saw Michael Douglas, it was kind of like looking into a time warped mirror. MD has been an oft cited part of my brother Paul's CM since Wall Street, but I now have to add the seventies version to my own CM.

Any of the rest of you have any self-appointed CM elements we don't yet know about?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

900,000 Letters

Long Beach friends Kevin and Craig have organized a letter writing campaign
aimed at Howard Ahamanson, who contributed $900,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign. The idea is to send 900,000 letters to the home of Ahamanson decrying his funding of the proposition. You'll find a sample letter at the link below. If you like, feel free to cut and paste this message and link and e=mail it to all of your contacts and ask them to forward the email to all of their contacts.

Find A Sample Letter Here

If the link is ganked, try cutting and pasting: