The It Gets Better Project is maybe Dan Savage’s most ingenious creation, and that’s really saying something given that I’m referring to the man who made Rick Santorum’s last name synonymous with a frothy mix of lube and fecal matter. The initiative Savage formulated in 2010 with his husband Terry Miller in the wake of a string of gay teen suicides incentivized activism by conflating it with something young people of today find irresistible: talking about themselves. Seated in the comfort of their own homes, and by barely lifting a finger, gay people could share attempts at goodwill, inspiration, and accrued wisdom with those struggling with issues regarding their sexuality. One day, gay youth, your life will be better than it is now, the flood of selfie videos said. One day, maybe you’ll get to feel righteous by filming yourself talking about yourself, too!
Last night, Sex Box premiered on Channel 4 in England, apparently confusing a bunch of Twitter users in the process. That's weird because the premise is simple: A couple enters a room in a box onstage and has sex while a panel of sex experts (including the U.S.'s own Dan Savage) discusses sex amongst each other. When the disheveled, blissful couple emerges, they join the conversation for a perfectly cringey interrogation. Supposedly, having sex before such a talk opens people up (emotionally, that is). Also, this is a show and shows need a gimmick.
Syndicated columnist and anti-bullying activist Dan Savage delivered the keynote speech at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle two weeks ago. Never one to mince words (or make up new ones), Savage once again criticized the hypocrisy of justifying anti-gay attitudes with bible passages while ignoring the parts that advocate for slavery or torture or other things considered offensive today.
Santorum, as followers of politics know, is the Bible-thumping Republican underdog who tied Mitt Romney at last night's Iowa Caucus. Santorum is also, as users of Google and followers of Dan Savage know, a neologism for "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex."
Sure, Dan Savage rebranded Rick Santorum's name to mean a piece of shit, but here is the right-wing candidate for the Republican presidential nomination behaving like one while discussing his stance on gay marriage at Penn State. His argument against gays getting married is painfully easy to debunk, but you have to give credit to someone who can do it to his face.
Rick Santorum has long struggled with his "Google problem," in which the first result of a "rick santorum" search defines "Santorum" as a filthy anal sex byproduct. This has been the case since gay activist and columnist Dan Savage coordinated a successful Google bomb in 2003. But Santorum finally appears to have accepted his fate as a search engine joke, and is now trying to raise cash off of it.
Joy Behar, the View fixture and host of her own show on HLN as of last week, is turning 67. Former Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O'Neal turns 58. American Idol judge Simon Cowell is 50. American Idol winner Taylor Hicks is 33. John Mellencamp is turning 58. Toni Braxton turns 41. Rachel McAdams is 33. Nation editor-in-chief Katrina Vanden Heuvel is celebrating her 50th. Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 54. Russia's most powerful man, Vladimir Putin, is 57. Sex columnist Dan Savage is turning 45. Tico Torres of Bon Jov turns 56. Nobel Prize-winning activist and cleric Desmond Tutu is 78. And Oliver "Ollie" North turns 66 today.
• Just when you think members of the Jackson family can't possibly stoop any lower comes confirmation they've agreed to do a reality TV show for A&E. It's going to be "genuine," says the show's producer. Clearly. [THR]
• Because the public has been clamoring for 24/7 access to fake wrestling matches, the WWF is now hoping to start up its own cable network. [NYP]
• More on what went down when Vogue editor Anna Wintour sat down to chat with David Letterman on his show last night. [WWD]
• Sony unveiled its electronic reading gizmo/Kindle competitor today. [NYT]
• The Observer's Jason Horowitz is leaving for the Washington Post. [NYO]
• A homeless woman has scored a four-month internship at Elle. Just wait until Elle "employee" Olivia Palermo gets her hands on her on the next season of The City. Homelessness, we presume, will never have looked so good. [Gawker]
The Stranger editor and sex guy Dan Savage thinks that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is a big fat liar. While recounting a 1996 visit to Bosnia to a crowd at George Washington University the other day, Clinton recalled, "I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ram with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base." But Savage insists the following photo is proof of her guile.
Salon recently asked "some of [their] favorite experts and opinion makers" who they were supporting in the Presidential election. One of the respondents was Dan Savage—his response is reprinted above. It had to be screengrabbed because Salon took down his answer once they realized they'd emailed this Dan Savage and not this Dan Savage. Designer Dan Savage even included his URL in his response, figuring they'd catch on. Not until they ran it last night, falsely attributed! We kinda love that Salon would just run this nonsense as long as it was from the right Dan Savage.
Gossip maven Michael Musto has figured out what's wrong with New York City. It seems that no gay dudes like to get it in the rear any more. This week, he writes: "The weird news in gay land is that no one's a bottom anymore....Tragically enough, a whole generation of bottoms passed on some time ago, and then came a whole new generation that learned from day one that being a wide-end receiver is risky, so they've always been testy and squeamish about it." While it is true that Confessions of a Bareback Top has been notably quiet lately, a quick perusal of Craigslist and Manhunt suggests otherwise to this thesis. However! This week's Dan Savage indicates that getting popped in the butt is solely a heterosexual activity now. Typical. Straight people will co-opt anything. Even kinda embarrassing and maybe conceptually dubious gladiator-ey sex practices.
"Seattle sucks. New York and Chicago are real cities. Seattle is Dubuque, Iowa, putting on airs. People here think Seattle is Paris... it ain't. I've been to Paris, and this place isn't Paris." (Seattle sex columnist Dan Savage in an interview with Claire Zulkey of Zulkey.com)
The Dan Savage Interview [Zulkey.com]