Monday, July 19, 2010

Not Asked To Leave - Dundrum Town Centre

The two OpenFM Crew were not asked to leave due to their sexuality, only asked to stop being intimate in a public premises with children present. The situation was fully resolved by the Dundrum Town Centre Management and the couple in question. OpenFM would like to apologise, for causing undue stress to all parties involved, for posting this story with out confirming the details first.

OpenFM Management

Saturday, May 15, 2010

No he didn’t, yes he did!

Here in the United States there’s a serious LGBT controversy involving a provocative Newsweek article which asserts LGBT actors can’t play straight roles. In other words you, pinky , should take of the Abercrombie T-shirt right now and stop calling girls your honey- you’re only fooling yourself. We both know, you can’t pull it off and even if you did it’d just look weird right? Well, not exactly. Certainly Ramin Setoodeh of Newsweek makes a rather convincing argument, it just came out wrong. Maybe we should get all Oprah on his ass and ask him what he was really trying to say? And investigate what the flowery reaction says about the LGBT community.

Setoodeh (a gay guy) innocently enough wrote the piece about LGBT actors who play heterosexuals. He starts off talking about Sean Hayes, who plays the queeny, eccentric, dude loving doll of a guy that is Jack from Will &Grace. Setoodeh says that Hayes is well known for his ‘slapstick’ comedic performances within and outside Hollywood, but rightly says ‘his sexual orientation is who he is’. Then, Setoodeh suggests that Hayes when playing a straight guy comes off ‘wooden’ and ‘insincere’. Insincere to whom exactly isn’t exactly clear, but his example follows a line of different characters he asserts just shouldn’t be playing straight.

Another example Setoodeh uses is Glee tottie Jonathan Groff. He again, drives that dagger further into the delicate hearts of our fellow queens, tweens and teens by asserting ‘something about his performance feels off’. Apparently, there’s something uniquely ‘distracting’ by the way Groff is getting down with a high school gal. You see, in Glee season 2, Groff is a hot jock frolicking on another team in direct competition with the Glee club. He plays high school football and isn’t afraid to try and bed his gal by playing Madonna’s Like a Virgin.

However, Setoobeh sees this as a ‘distraction’ and wonders if Groff’s character is ‘secretly gay?’ Madonna hello! Setoobeh makes an Interesting argument; over here the media has vilified him as someone who is making a controversial comment about the LGBT community. Personally, this reporter understands his argument, but totally disagrees with his insinuation. Setoobeh asserts in order to play straight you need to drop the tiara, and your hopeless mission trying to find your Edward Cullen. His assertion is what’s wrong with his argument, not necessarily the argument itself.

Setoobeh, kind of contradicts this assertion when he asks ‘why should sexual orientation limit a gay actor’s choice of roles?’ Agreed, (Oprah moment). Isn’t this the real question you need to be asking within your article? What a good question. Why should anything, sexual orientation, skin colour, hairstyle, choice of clothes, limit anyone’s opportunities- either at acting or not.

The LGBT community tends to be a tad dramatic when anyone makes a controversial statement about them. This is one of our biggest faults- that and Jay Manuel’s hair- seriously one light and it’s in flames. We should always stand up for what is right. But, Setoobeh’s argument was loosely based on his own personal opinion- which he is rightly entitled to- it just happens to be wrong.

The LGBT community needs to relax, put on some Cher videos and go have a game of rugby. For we, should always be tough and have an aspect of flamboyance and straightness. We should also not dish too hard when an opinion is wrongly constructed.

-Liam Cahill

NewsWeek Article

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gays and Music

From the outset the opening premise was clear: what she wanted was love, what she desired was a guy and somehow it was to be kept a secret. The throbbing beat of the song kicks in much like a car backfiring followed by smoke escaping into the night sky which illuminates a revolving disco ball.
 For gays, Donna Summers was that revolving disco ball centred just right in the tapestry of studio 54. Her music spoke to the gay audience like no other- it was by far gay people’s first encounter of music which spoke to them.
“Among the most loyal members of Summer’s fan base were gays” says author of Popular Music in America: the beat goes on Michael Campbell. He accounts how Summer’s with her ‘wispy’ voice and her desire to explore new areas of music managed to bring home the ‘erotic dimension of love’ which compounded gay audiences across the globe.  
Gay people took a particular liking to Summer’s style, innuendos and continuous search for forbidden love- the quest it seemed started with her and the disco scene of the 1970’s.
Disco music had strong gay connotations amplified by artists such as Gloria Gaynor or The Village people.  Although the music spoke to an audience which was seen by society as outsiders-  it also acted like a bridge slowly building social acceptance through its lyrics and beats.
“Disco had clear gay associations as ‘Y.M.C.A.’ makes clear, but it was more music for gays” cites Campbell. He also suggests how working class youth in particular used disco music as an outlet for outsourcing inner feelings.
More importantly this music allowed gay people to have a new sense of social freedom which was helped in big part by lyrics and the beats of each song.
“They have everything for men to enjoy, you can hang out with all the boys” recited a bashful Y.M.C.A. many moments of disco chic.
As decades moved on the relevancy of gays and music become more potent. Wolf and Kielwasser in their book Gay People, Sex and The Media recalls how bands where propelled to the forefront of music as a direct result of their provocative gayness. From Frankie Goes to Hollywood to The Petshop Boys being provocative was very much second nature.
Wolf and kielwasser recount how The Smith’s lead singer Morrissey’s music was seen by Rolling Stone as a ‘rejection’ of the typical provocative nature of music which embraced gay themes but continued to be overtly outrageous.  “I am human, and I need to be loved, just like everyone else” recites Morrissey within “How soon is now?” which details his attempts for gays to gain another step towards being accepted within mainstream.
These songs provided a base for mainstream audiences to be educated about the details of gay life. The songs also spoke volumes about the hurt in which gay people felt as appearing socially inept -this was fuelled by the aids crisis of the 1980’s.  This gay voice only became stronger propelled by artists such as Madonna and Kylie who used their music as a way of reaffirming that it was a new day for the gay.
A new day indeed.  At OpenFM, a large portion of the week was spent discussion what music we will play.
It’s easy to assume that most members of the LGBT community all like Kylie and Madonna- but I think to assume never gets us anywhere. The LGBT audience are very diverse they like a mix of everything from new music to old classics. Over the next few weeks I’m sure the playlist will be on everyone’s minds- or not. But what’s for sure we should never forget the value of music- especially when it speaks with words not just with beats. Gays have a long standing with music and OpenFM will give you the best in new and old.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just An Introduction

This is just a little note to introduce myself to all, my name is Jill and I am the proud member of OpenFM. This involvement came about in random ways as it always does in Ireland, it is a friend of a friend who knows someones get the idea but it was Sam Lyons who got me involved and so far the whole thing looks brilliant. I know it is going to sounds great.

So it is a new era for radio and for one week we are going to get the air waves going.

I want to explain to you a little more about my background, my road to radio is only starting! Prior to taking a career change into the world of journalism I was and still am very involved in the art sector. This is what my background has been in but in the business side of art, this meant working in galleries, art charities and most of all promoting young artists. Since the R world became very dominint in Ireland it became harder to sustain a job in this sector so this is where the transformation to journalisim has come in and I love it.

The real push came when I saw there was not enough being written about young Irish artists, so I went back to do a Cert in journalism, which I am nearly finished! People have been super helpful but it comes with hard work. The LGBT community gave me my first leg up and I had a small feature published in THE magazine