Everyone Is Always A Racist All The Time


We live in a time when everyone is hunting for the next villain. Anything that is misunderstood or taken out of context is automatically labelled as offensive.  If you’re a celebrity you should just assume that at some point Twitter will decide that you’re racist, sexist, ageist, transphobic or homophobic. The most recently villain is Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic. She has come under fire after comments she made on about Zendaya’s dreadlocked hair at the Oscars. She said that her hair looked like it “smelled like patchouli oil.” A voice off camera adds in “… and weed.” The Twitter universe exploded like an angry mob of torch wielding villagers. Zendaya herself even released a statement explaining how hurt and offend she was by the comments.  If that wasn’t enough, Kelly Osbourne jumped in and elevated the drama by threatening to leave Fashion Police if the situation wasn’t rectified. In fact the story only made real headlines once Kelly got involved. As a diehard Fashion Police watcher and Joan Ranger I have a lot of opinions on this so I figured the easiest way to handle it was to break it down one at a time.

1. Twitter. All of Twitter thinks someone is racist? SHOCKING!! (said no one ever) The nameless mass of Twitter generally assumes everyone is a racist all the time. It’s the ultimate social media platform for self-righteous attention seekers who get butthurt over everything. In the case of Giuliana, I genuinely don’t think race was ever a factor in her thought process. In fact the funny thing is that her comments are actually referring to a very white stereotype. Dreadlocks, patchouli oil, and weed are the foundations for any self-respecting neo-hippie stoner. Patchouli oil is a very common perfume scent used by said stoners to help mask the stench of weed. (I am very familiar with this type of person from my college years in the ultra-liberal earthy crunchy mecca of Amherst, MA.) So while everyone assumed the patchouli oil comment had racial undertones, she was in fact labeling Zendaya as a white hippie stoner. I wounder if patchouli oil is so specific to that niche that outsiders might not realize it’s context. With no context many would then assume any oil reference was meant to signal a racial remarks. The perfect example of this is from Wendy Williams. At the very beginning of her rant about this subject (around the 2:45 mark) she mentions, “I was offended as well because I don’t know what patchouli oil is but I just know my people use a lot of oils on their skin so it’s ashy.” She’s offended by something that she actually knows nothing about. I don’t know = You’re a racist. It’s the most Twitter thing anyone has ever said.

2. Zendaya. Why should I care that your feelings were hurt? More importantly, who the fuck are you? Seriously? While your response on Twitter was well thought out and professional the fact that you said anything at all is the problem. As a person climbing your way up the ladder of success and fame this is probably one of the nicer digs that will be said about you. I know you are trying to stand up to intolerance but believe me when I tell you that this is just a snowball fight in a larger world war. If you can’t handle a minor dig from Fashion Police then I am guarantee you will never survive when real hate is thrown your way and they attack every detail of your work, body, and life. As Rupaul has said in the past, “You need to toughen up and grow a thick skin if you want to survive.” I do agree with Wendy though that if you had to address the issue you should have either thrown Giuliana some serious shade or read her to filth.

3. Kelly Osborne. Oh Kelly, would you please shut the fuck up. I only read about this story when you threatened to leave the show. Your Twitter rantings took this from a minor Twitter feud to a headline story. There was no reason for you to get involved because this was not your fight to fight. You’d probably say you were just trying to defend your friend but you picked the worst way to do it. You could have taken Giuliana aside and explained your feelings and you could have even asked her to apologize to Zendaya personally. Maybe send her some flowers. Instead you chose to shoot your mouth off. It’s becoming clear that you’re probably not a good fit for the show anymore. You are increasingly becoming friends with the celebrities you talk about (Zendaya, Miley Cyrus etc) and it’s starting to hinder your ability to perform as needed on the show. Like Wendy said, Bye Felicia.

4. Giuliana Ranic. Of everyone I know, I tend to be the person who always sides more with the group that is calling out racist behavior. I agreed that Paula Dean and Donald Trump, amongst others, have deep racist undertones that shouldn’t be tolerated. I even wrote about the inequalities of SNL. With that said, I’m still team Giuliana all the way on this one. Even I can see that this is just a pure overreaction by an overly sensitive media culture.  I respect that she did the politically correct thing by apologizing but I’d bet she was still thinking “This is total bull.” Keep your head up G.

5. Kathy and Brad. Kathy, you seem to have totally escaped this controversy much to your dismay. As the leading shock comedian it’s supposed to be you job to create the controversy. With that said I think your doing a great job and I imagine it was very hard coming into a fully formed show. As for Brad, I can’t believe how wonderful you are on the show. In fact I must admit I thought I was going to hate you. When you split from Rachel Zoe I was totally team Rachel and resented everything about you. I never thought I’d like you as much as I do. You totally won me over. Applause. Applause.

P.S. If Kelly does leave I suggest replacing her with Kimora Lee Simmons. She’s guest hosted the show before and was fantastic.

P.P.S This just in: “Twitter has labeled The Gay Gasp as insensitive, intolerant, and racist for his use of the word Mecca in and earlier statement.”

Goodbye Blogger. Hello WordPress.

First Winter Snow Wallp TLGAs you’ll notice The Gay Gasp has a new look and that is due to a change in blog platforms. Until now I have always used Google’s Blogger as my blog platform and for the most part I was very pleased with the service. Unfortunately they just announced that starting on March 23 they are changing their policies with regard to nudity. Nudity and sexually explicit images will no longer be permitted in Blogger. While The Gay Gasp isn’t primarily centered around nudity, I loathe the idea of eliminating it just because they tell me too. This forced me to make some decisions. First I thought about simply complying with their rules and removing all sexual images and continuing my blog in an edited PG-13 form. While I would still be able to talk about sex I wouldn’t be able to actually show it. I really didn’t like this option as I said because I don’t like the idea of someone else telling me what I can and can’t post. If I remove Joe’s Spank Me Time I want it to be my decision not theirs. Second I strongly considered just ending The Gay Gasp all together. I wondered if this was a bigger sign that things were changing and it was time for me to call it quits. There are moments when I have trouble coming up with new material and blogging can feel more like a burden. However the more I considered that option the more I came to the conclusion that I haven’t gotten everything out of my system yet and it’s not  time to say goodbye. It was at this point that I came to my senses and realized I could just move everything over to another blog service with more liberal policies. So after some tinkering behind the scenes, The Gay Gasp is now brought to you by WordPress. (And yes they allow nudity)

To most of my readers this will have little to no impact on your viewing habits. All of my new and past posts will still be found at thegaygasp.com as before. The only people this may impact are the few that actually followed by blog through Blogger. That’s the only thing I can’t replicate. Sorry to those loyal readers.

To conclude, I’ll continue to write The Gay Gasp and hopefully you’ll continue to enjoy it.


14 Random Oscar Facts

I’m a bit of an Oscar geek and very little research was needed for these trivia factoids. 

1. Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz were both nominated for Best Picture is the same year. (Gone With the Win won)

2. Citizen Kane is widely considered the greatest movie of all time but it lost Best Picture to How Green Was My Valley. 
3. The only movie ever to win in every category it was nominated for was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
4. Hilary Swank has never lost at the Oscars.

5. Bette Midler and Leonardo DiCaprio have never won.

6. J.K. Simmons’ first name is Jonathan

7. Meryl Streep holds the record for the most Oscar nominations of any actor. She also holds the records for the most losses by an actor. (16 losses and 3 wins)
8. Halle Berry is the only black woman to ever win Best Actress

9. 2/3 of Best Picture winners are movies based on other sources (books, plays, etc)

10. Orson Welles never won Best Director for Citizen Kane. The film’s only award was for Best Original Screenplay. 
11. Only 3 women have ever been nominated for Best Director. Kathryn Bigelow is the only women to ever win in the category.

12. Since 1990, only 6 Best Director winners have failed to win Best Picture.

13. Regardless of who wins Best Actor this year, it will be his first time winning.

14. In the past 10 years (since 2004) 7 of the 10 Best Actor winners have won for playing real men. This helps to predict that Eddie Redmayne will be added to the list after Sunday’s ceremony.
Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote
Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin
Sean Penn as Harvey Milk
Collin Firth as King George VI
Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln
Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof

Oscar Week: Best of the Best

The Academy Awards are this Sunday and to celebrate I’m devoting the whole week to the Oscars. I decided to start by focusing on past winners. This year’s film selection was pretty beige so if you were left wanting more, here are some past winners that I promise won’t disappoint. Also I realized while putting this list together that I rarely like the Best Picture winner.

Note: They films are not ranked in any order. 

Bear or Frat?

Bears are the frat guys of the gay world. Dudes being dudes.


They’re labeled as an all white elitist institution


They go one wild and debaucherous vacations


They are infamous for taking their junk out in public


There is an unspoken dress code


Beer pong tournaments are at every party


Steroids are as common as Tylenol


Someone will end up getting the paddle



They love an American flag bathing suit


 The kung fu panda move is a party staple


They’re not afraid to show affection


Beer beer and more beer


In the end they are just dudes who are trying to have fun and show enough ass to

get laid

Oscars So White

When the nominees were announced for the 87th annual Academy Awards the one common thread amongst all of them was the very light color of their skin. It was a Caucasian love fest. The hashtag #Oscarssowhite quickly started trending. A lot has been made of the mini controversy which highlights the ongoing problem of diversity in entertainment. 

Nominee Luncheon for the 2015 Oscars
This is a complex topic with a lot of layers. On the surface I truly believe the Academy members are not actively racist. When I use the term actively racist I’m referring to an active campaign or plot to keep black actors out. I don’t think there are a bunch of old white guys in a smoky room laughing as they tear up nomination ballets for Selma. I bet if you asked them personally each voter would tell you they support black actors. I suspect they would tell you something akin to “We pick the nominees based purely on the performances and skin color has nothing to do with it.” While I know that’s what they honestly think they’re doing, the process is still infested with problem areas.
Choosing the best is always subjective when it comes to the arts. Picking the movie with the highest sales is easy to find because it’s a clear number and calculation everyone can agree on. Picking the best movie however is all based on tastes and preferences. While exact numbers have never been known, reports are that Oscar voters are 94% white and 77% male. This is where the hidden racism creeps in. Unfortunately even the most well intentioned white male voter still probably has a subconscious inclination toward white actors and movies with predominantly white casts. He simply might not be able to identify with a cast of minority actors and therefore doesn’t see their work as the best. Although it’s not a conscious choice the evidence of this hidden racism becomes more damning when you step back and look at the big picture. Pretend you were looking at a person’s Oscar voting record and that person has picked a white man for leading actor every year over the last 25 years. Sure he can claim all the best performances this year just happened to be from white actors but it becomes harder to believe when that person has never voted for a minority actor ever. Do you expect us to believe that in the past 25 years there hasn’t been any worthy performances by a black person? While this is an extreme example it illustrates the point that we all see the world through our own filters and those filters can sometimes cloud our perspective. It’s the same as if I were tasked with choosing People Magazine’s sexiest man alive every year. If I were in charge there would no doubt be a disproportionate amount of men with moobs and facial hair.
When I heard about this story it reminded me of Saturday Night Live. Much like the Academy Awards, SNL has been been criticized for years for it’s tremendous lack of diversity. I think Lorne Michaels’ idea of diversity is women. Michaels has said in the past that he hires people only based on how funny they are. However his natural inclination toward straight white upper middle class comedy means that he has blinders on for anything outside that realm. When the people making the decisions lack diversity their choices will usually mirror that fact even if they don’t intentionally try an exclude people. 
The argument that winners and nominees are chosen purely based on talent and performance is also pure bullshit. Regardless of skin color, we all know that winning and Oscar is as much about popularity as it about performance. How many times have they given an award to someone because she was the gorgeous young ‘It Girl’ of the moment (Jennifer Lawrence) or because he looked so hot in that gladiator armor (Russell Crowe). Awards are given out as an excuse to honor careers and make up for past loses. It can sometimes even work in the favor of minorities. Last year’s Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave won as much for it’s quality as it did for it’s powerful white guilt. So if they are going to give out awards for trivial reasons why not add affirmative action into that mix.
Every category always has one or two people who you know are never going to win. With affirmative action in mind here are my choice of the white people who could’ve easily been swapped out for a black person this year:
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper 
Best Supporting Actor: Robert Duvall 
Best Actress: Felicity Jones
Best Supporting Actress: Meryl Streep
Best Director: Bennet Miller
The funniest part about all this is that while everyone focuses on black vs white all the Mexican, Gay, Asian, Latino, or fat actors are literally just ignored.