Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Please click below to listen to yesterday's interview on Beneath the Surface (KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles and 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara), a progressive, independent news and talk radio show in Los Angeles. Michael Slate is conducting the interview.



    In the beginning of the interview, you hear William Burroughs' "A Thanksgiving Prayer" -- I was so moved by this prayer, I had to post it for the holiday season!

    Thanks for the wild turkey and
    the passenger pigeons, destined
    to be shit out through wholesome
    American guts.

    Thanks for a continent to despoiland poison.
    Thanks for Indians to provide a
    modicum of challenge and
    danger.

    Thanks for vast herds of bison to
    kill and skin leaving the
    carcasses to rot.

    Thanks for bounties on wolves
    and coyotes.

    Thanks for the American dream,
    To vulgarize and to falsify until
    the bare lies shine through.

    Thanks for the KKK. For nigger-killin' lawmen,
    feelin' their notches.

    For decent church-goin' women,
    with their mean, pinched, bitter,
    evil faces.

    Thanks for "Kill a Queer for
    Christ" stickers.

    Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

    Thanks for Prohibition and the
    war against drugs.

    Thanks for a country where
    nobody's allowed to mind his
    own business.

    Thanks for a nation of finks.

    Yes, thanks for all the
    memories-- all right let's see
    your arms!

    You always were a headache and
    you always were a bore.

    Thanks for the last and greatest
    betrayal of the last and greatest
    of human dreams.

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 9:28 AM :: 15 comments

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    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Check out my interview with Seal for Advocate.com. Also, thanks so much for submitting your questions, which I was able to squeeze in a few.

    Seal candidly talks racism, his gay following, and Barack Obama... saying, "He's not black," -- comparing Obama to Tiger "Don't Call Me Black" Woods.

    I love Seal - but did he miss all the Rev. Wright, black church radical/black Muslim radical, Acorn, paling around with terrorists rants from Clinton and McCain? Then again, the Brits are much more progressive so I am sure Seal sees it differently. I just think it's odd when people say Obama isn't black, if he wasn't, some of the vile tactics he endured from McCain and Clinton surely wouldn't have happen. Click below for the interview.

    Advocate.com: The Soul of Seal

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 11:48 AM :: 11 comments

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    Los Angeles Radio Interview

    Today I will be a guest on Beneath the Surface, a progressive, independent news and talk radio show in Los Angeles.

    Beneath the Surface airs today from 5 to 6 p.m. Pacific time (8 to 9 p.m. Eastern time) on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles and 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara. The show is hosted by Michael Slate and if you are not in Los Angeles, you can tune in on the Internet at http://www.kpfk.org/ to listen live.

    I'll be discussing my op-ed piece for Advocate.com, "An Unpopular Opinion: Blacks, gays, and Prop. 8."

    Tune in if you can!

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 10:20 AM :: 2 comments

    ---------------oOo---------------

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    I know this might be an unpopular opinion. I know many people in the black gay community, and especially the black heterosexual community, might not want to hear the points in my online exclusive for Advocate.com "An Unpopular Opinion: Blacks, Gays, and Prop. 8." However, I also know there are people who want a point of view from the other side.

    First, I admire and respect Jasmyne Cannick for her activism -- she makes no apologies. Nonetheless, I think it's okay to disagree in the black gay community. So, after reading her piece in the LA Times, I felt like it was important to explain the other side, who might not feel like Cannick -- and I'm sure there is another side who doesn't agree with me or Cannick. Thankfully, the black gay community isn't a monolith.

    Click below for the link.

    Labels: ,

    Posted by Clay :: 5:40 PM :: 30 comments

    ---------------oOo---------------
    D*ck will make you shoot somebody!

    Well, it's true dick will make you kill somebody-- especially if it's a big one! Just a couple weeks ago, In Durban, South Africa, "three men were shot dead and two others critically wounded in a Durban tavern following an argument over the size of male genitals, police said on Thursday." Allegedly, a man of Indian descent made a comment about a white man's itsy bitsy wanker.

    The argument apparently began when a patron of Indian descent made a comment about the size of a white patron's genitals while both were at the tavern's urinals.

    An officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "The white man went to the toilet and an Indian guy followed him. While in the urinal, the Indian man told the white man that his penis was bigger than his (that of the white man).

    "The white man left the urinal and told his friends about what had happened and this is when the argument started."

    Damn, dude says at the urinal, "Your hand is bigger than that pinky flesh of a shalong!" Well, this starts a race-dick war at the tavern.

    Racially motivated?

    Vulgarities were exchanged and then a group of five Indian men left the restaurant and all five returned with firearms.

    Mngomezulu said: "The men opened fire and three victims aged between 30 and 55 years died on the spot. Another two were rushed to St Augustine's Hospital in a critical condition." ngomezulu said he believed that as the argument had developed between the two groups, it had possibly become racially motivated.

    However, a senior staff member at restaurant, confirming the shooting said that the initial argument had been over genitals.

    The men are definitely going to prison. I hope the dick was worth it -- they'll be getting more dick in prison!

    Click here for full story.

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 9:59 AM :: 5 comments

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    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Mary Mary has a new album out. I have heard many of the black gays are rocking their new song "God In Me" and someone recently told me they heard the song in the club. The gospel duo are great singers -- I sure can be a sucker for good voices. However, all you gays getting your praise on to Mary Mary should remember that almost two years ago I did an interview with them for Vibe.com. They outwardly don't approve of you and even hope you will "align" yourself with the Bible after hearing their music.
    In case you forgot:

    I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but you have a large gay following. How do you feel about homosexuality and having a gay following?

    Erica: We are aware. Um... how do I feel about homosexuality? I feel how God feels about it, um… but I still love them. You know what I mean? I don't agree with the lifestyle, but I love them. They can come to the concert; I'm going to hug them just like I hug everybody else. They have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else - just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute, everybody needs God. What your struggle is may not be what my struggle is, but we all need Him. So, that's what our music is about: giving and God. Not to condone the lifestyle or to say, Oh it's okay, but not to bash - but just to give them God. I mean, I'm appreciative of all of our supporters and fans. Hopefully what their hearing and saying in our music is my love for God.

    Tina: You know, I think the fact that our music is very, very upbeat and works well in clubs - you know, I think that's something that makes more people gravitate to it. Like Erica said, we don't necessarily agree with the lifestyle, but we don't pride ourselves on bashing. Everyone has things in their life that they need to correct, everybody has struggles. Even though that's the way we feel, we don't bash, and we embrace everybody who enjoys our music. Hopefully our music is impacting them in a way that, if they see there's some things in their life that's not quite right and doesn't align themselves with what the Bible says - hopefully our music impacts them in a way that makes them want to change it.

    One thing I've always found peculiar is that many of us will support artists, churches, and organizations that are damning us to hell. Unknowingly, we teach the younger generation of LGBT people that it’s okay to tolerate this ignorance. The abuse of religion is murdering the lives of LGBT people. Let Liza, Barbara Streisand, or Madonna say anything negative about gays -- they would vanish from gay land instantly. Now, I understand some people just don’t care, it's just music. Well, I guess if you're getting the monster mash on your back with married men, tragically closeted, and still believe gay is “temporary” -- although you’re wacking your tacky to Nubian101 -- this might not be an issue for you. Seriously, Mary Mary is allowed to feel the way they feel. I just hope some of us can do a lil' something by not supporting their music in our clubs and especially our home.

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 25 comments

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    Monday, November 17, 2008

    Wanda Sykes has made it official -- she is a lesbian. Now, I know many of us will say, "That is no shocker!" However, you'd be surprised how many straight black folks I know who look at me like I'm crazy when I mention Queen Latifah's sexuality. Many of us forget, gayness is still very much associated with whiteness. Every black person in entertainment who comes out is an achievement.

    Wanda Sykes joins the list of very few well known black celebrities who are openly gay. I truly hope some people will open their Jim Crow eyeballs.

    God, now that Wanda is out, maybe I can finally forgive her for Pootie Tang.

    Has anyone heard of this movement -- Day Without a Gay? On Wednesday, December 10th gays and their allies around the country are supposed to "call in gay" from work and not support any businesses -- similar to the day without immigrants in California, which many people say was a disaster. I am not sure how effective this movement will be. Lord knows the Gap will completely collapse!

    To find out more -- click here.

    Watch the video below with Wanda Sykes ranting on gay marriage over a year ago.

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 11 comments

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    Friday, November 14, 2008

    This interview with Naomi Campbell on the Tyra Banks Show was one of the most hilarious interviews I have ever seen on daytime television. The interview aired a few years ago and for some reason Tyra rarely airs the rerun. Also, it never hit YouTube until now and I'm sure it will be pulled in a few days.

    What makes the interview so hilarious is the whole time Naomi has a look on her face like, "Bitch -- you are lucky I don't have a cell phone in my hand or it would go right to your fivehead!" Tyra is going on and on how she was wounded in the glamorous world of modeling by the big she-wolf known as Naomi. Naomi's argument is I was high, young, and the baddest bitch at the time -- get over it! How can Tyra expect Naomi to remember over 14 years ago when she was doped up? Poor Tyra starts fidgeting and getting jumpy if more than 15 seconds go by and the conversation isn't about her.



    My favorite line is Naomi asks, "Did you ever know Gianni Versace?" Obviously Naomi knew she didn't and before Tyra can barely get out a "No" - Naomi continues - lol!

    To view the entire interview, click here.

    Labels: ,

    Posted by Clay :: 10:00 AM :: 8 comments

    ---------------oOo---------------

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    I don't encourage people to attend many events. However, after all the rants I have read on this site about the black gay community, I truly hope there will be a presence of people of color at the protests in NYC this week on Prop. 8. Many reasons why blacks associate gayness with whiteness is because many of us remain in the shadows waiting for white gays and transgenders to fight for us.

    There will be two protests in NYC this week. Hopefully, LGBT and straight people can see beyond the smokescreen of race and realize this is a human issue. The discussion of racism is exactly what the ruling class wants. When honestly, white supremacists put niggers and faggots in the same category. Imagine how much power there would be if the LGBT and black community united?

    Here is the information for the protest tomorrow:

    Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Temple on Wednesday, November 12, beginning at 6 p.m.:

    Protest at the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Temple in Manhattan
    125 Columbus Avenue at 65th Street
    Wednesday, November 12
    6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    Remember, Mormons were pro-slavery and up until 1978 African-Americans were not welcomed to their church. Are we going to allow Mormons, thirty years later, to transfer their hate from one group to another?

    Yes, the Mormons are about to hear it because not all gays are passing the buck to blacks. Nonetheless, it's long overdue for black to examine their homophobia regardless of Prop. 8.

    There is a second protest at City Hall on Saturday, November 15, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

    Labels: ,

    Posted by Clay :: 1:13 AM :: 1 comments

    ---------------oOo---------------

    Monday, November 10, 2008

    Written by John Walker

    Yes, I've heard the arguments that the passing of Proposition 8 should not be blamed on blacks because there wasn't enough "outreach" to the black community. True, but I am not really grappling with "blame."

    Blacks voted yes on Prop. 8 at 70% -- higher than any ethnic/racial group. Asians voted at 49% (same as whites) and there wasn't significant "outreach" to them. Do us black folks need extra special outreach methods to combat our ignorance?

    I am not willing to make excuses for black folks (let's not even discuss Florida and Arizona), simply because I am black. At this point, farm animals have more rights in California than gays. I am aware of the recent riots with faggot and nigger hurled at two oppressed groups. Racism from white gays is no shocker. Therefore, my focus is on blacks voting at 70% -- regardless of any other religious groups, ethnic/racial groups, white gays, or if the black vote made the ballot pass. Yes, I know white Republicans voted in the 80% range -- but I am not white or Republican and they aren't an oppressed group.

    Know this - if this Prop. 8 ballot turns into a debate of whites versus blacks, then that is the true failure. This is exactly what the white, rich, heterosexual, ruling class want -- for those niggers and faggots to hate each other!

    While I can go on my regular rants, guest writer John Walker, who is a New Yorker, penned this opinion piece.

    ***

    I'm disgusted! Some claim I'm crazy when I talk about the peculiarity of black folks. Now, the success of Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would amend the California’s Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, passed last week.

    Whites and Asians were split on the matter, voting yes at 49% and Latinos at 52%. It was the tomfoolery of Negroes who voted an oppressive yes on Prop. 8 at 70%. It's ironic to me, blacks may have not been the difference in getting President-elect Barack Obama into office, but may have been the difference on this issue, which was only lost by 500K votes.

    Why did blacks vote yes at such a high percentage? It is the insistence upon seeing everything as a matter of religion, which is our downfall. This is why Adam Clayton Powell could feel comfortable with threatening Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to avoid protesting the democratic convention in 1960 or he would float a rumor that he and Bayard Rustin were lovers. Perhaps this is why blacks folks didn't give birth to Obama; he came to us, but not from us. Obama boldly proclaimed the humanity of gays, something I haven't seen from any African-American male leader who had so much at stake.

    Until black folks become more informed, educated and determined to embrace the humanity that 356 years of chattel slavery and Jim Crow segregation should have taught us—we are doomed to fail. Why today are black folks still patriarchal and religious even though just in our parent’s early lifetime folks used religion as an excuse to deprive us of equal rights? Religion is the most common justification for oppression, but it is particularly ugly coming from the mouths and hands of ex-slaves. We need to keep religion personal and let the laws of the land reflect freedom, a full and complete freedom.

    If you actually want to talk about religion and homosexuality, I say the debate is long overdue. I can dance all the way through the books of the Bible and Qur'an and prove that homosexuality wasn't even on the radar in the way we think of it today. I'm willing to bet that most of the people who say they are against homosexuality in general and gay marriage specifically have never read the Bible (and the Qur'an if it applies) from cover to cover.

    Negroes of the 21st century spend too much time fascinated by "brothers on the down low" and not enough time watching the food we eat, our fiscal responsibilities, or reading and talking about things that matter. The truth is that most black men are straight and marry black women. The obsession with gays is docile and oppressive. Marriages are threatened because too many married men are chasing women—not other men. Marriages are threatened because we live in a society that is just too damn short-sighted.

    The only good news is that the margin of victory for opponents of gay marriage this year (5%) was smaller than in 2000 (22%). Change is a comin’...

    John Walker is a guest writer for ClayCane.net. This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of Clay Cane.

    ***

    Check out this clip from Real Time with Bill Maher this past Friday.



    PS. Crash was a dumb ass movie!

    Labels: ,

    Posted by Clay :: 12:15 AM :: 30 comments

    ---------------oOo---------------

    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    This must be what my grandfather talked about when he lived through major American movements in his lifetime and was proud to be everything he was. I'm glad to say to every naysayer -- you were wrong. I'm ecstatic you were proved wrong. While I am sure you will still have other rants, you were still wrong about the biggest moment in American history. We as black people need to let go of some of our doubts. Times have changed. Obama won by the biggest margin since President Lyndon B. Johnson. He won Florida and Virginia -- Gore and Kerry couldn't do that. It's a new tomorrow.

    Damn, it was reported Obama won North Carolina and Indiana - Al Gore, John Kerry and even President Bill Clinton didn't win those two states. You know how black folks always complain, "We never stick together! Jews stick together! Asians stick together! Not black people -- we are just crabs in a bucket!" Well, now you can say we stuck together and created success.

    Lastly, let's not forget -- whites supported Obama by 61%. People have changed and I hope we, as black people, let some of our assumptions go.

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 7:42 AM :: 21 comments

    ---------------oOo---------------

    Monday, November 03, 2008

    This election is tomorrow and I am overly anxious. I can't get it off my mind, I feel like Sen. Obama is going to win, but as my grandfather used to say, "That train is never late." Then I think times have changed. Then I think there will be voter fraud. Then I think Obama has run the best campaign in presidential history. Then I think he win by a landslide. Then I think it will take two weeks, like previous elections, to find out who the winner is. Either way -- I can't take it and need something else on my mind. Please check out my interview withe the ladies of Labelle!

    ***

    Nona Hendryx, Sarah Dash, and of course, Miss Patti LaBelle, are the ladies of the funk ‘n soul group Labelle. After thirty years, the gals who made the lines, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?” and “mocca chocolata ya ya” famous reunited for the highly anticipated album Back to Now.

    Back to Now revives their signature fusion of soul-rock-funk that made Labelle an international smash. The ten-track album includes production from Wyclef Jean, rock divo Lenny Kravitz, and of course Nona Hendryx, who produced many of the songs for Labelle over three decades ago.

    In a one-on-one, the vibrant Labelle chats about the new album, gay fans, and how they were once mistaken for ladies of the night! Plus Miss Patti, talks about the current Aretha Franklin vs. Tina Turner feud.

    Tell me about the moment when you realized it was time for a Labelle reunion.
    Nona: There was an accumulation of moments that happened. The first one was I felt like I needed to speak to Miss LaBelle and say, "You have to stop announcing that we're doing this tour reunion if we're not going to do it." I thought at some point we needed to do this, it just grew out of that place.

    What do you think has changed the most about Labelle as a group?
    Sara: The only thing I feel that has changed about us is our age! [Laughs] We're mature, we've come together, we're looking at each other, having individual solo careers defining us as Nona does rock, Patti does R&B, and I do jazz, blues, rock. Bringing all that together, nothing has really changed—it's just we're bringing back our maturity and we are more defined in our direction as to what we can do musically. We still feel there is nothing we can't do. Our ages have changed and with that came a lot of wisdom.

    LaBelle did a remake of Sylvester’s disco classic "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” Patti, I know you were close with Sylvester, could you give us some reflections on your friendship with him?
    Patti: He was a good, good friend. I went to his house about a month before he died, sat on the bed, fed him and he gave me this beautiful gold purse. We did the song, but we didn't do it justice. It sounded just like him so if you're going to do someone's song, try and do it differently. So, we're having a guy do some remixes of the song and it will be available on iTunes.

    Nona, you did some producing on this album. What was your approach to producing for Labelle thirty years later?
    Nona:
    It was very natural. It's very much in a way what I enjoy most, which is writing and producing as opposed to being the artist on stage. It's a little more challenging working with my cohorts! [Laughs] That's the most challenging, specifically producing a Patti LaBelle vocal—I don't know how you produce that! [Laughs] But, once we were in the studio, the music starts and we have we're headed, it creates itself.
    Is there anything challenging about having such an aggressive gay following?
    Patti: Heck no! That's how we've been all of our lives. We've had the biggest gay following and people would always ask me why—I still can't tell you why. It would be a heartbreak if they stopped! Labelle with no gay following? That wouldn't be cute! Patti LaBelle with no gay following? That would not be nice! The gay following has been there forever.
    Is it true that one time Labelle was mistaken for hookers in an elevator?

    Patti: Yes, we were doing a show with Ann Murray and this man thought we were hookers. We took him to the room and had him take off his clothes. We put him in a hall, locked the door, and had his clothes. We made him beg for his clothes back and said, "Every black woman you see, don't assume she's a hooker!" We had on our costumes, which weren't hooker costumes. I forgot about that, he learned a lesson night that! Sara said she was going to be his lady for the evening! [Laughs]

    Patti, do you ever watch yourself on YouTube?
    Patti: Yes, I saw some things that Labelle and I did that I never saw before. Which one are you talking about?

    My favorite one is you performing "You'll Never Walk Alone" for a Motown event at the Apollo.
    Patti: That was with the spiked hair?

    Yes! Little Richard--
    Patti: And Al Green!

    Yeah, it was amazing, it's my favorite.
    Patti: That's one of mine too.

    Labelle as a group were so ahead of their time. Can you point to any artist or group where you see that Labelle influence?
    Sara: I can look at many groups and see that. It started back after we did the space age clothes; there were so many groups that started following that pattern of dress. Also, we opened up a new way of female groups performing. When we go back into the old way, most of the girls had the same wigs and the same gown. We came out and said you can dress differently according to your body shape. When I look at female groups or other groups today, especially black artists, the uniformed look is not as important anymore. I know we influenced them that way. The overall image of performing, we affected The Rolling Stones, Elton John—so many people with what we did.

    Patti, You have spoken so highly of Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. What are your thoughts on this back and forth they've recently had in the press?
    Patti: My thoughts are that they're both queens, they're phenomenal women. Any of them who wants to take that title and hold it as their own, that's her prerogative because they've worked hard enough to be called queens, kings, or whatever they want to be called. Aretha Franklin is one of my favorite singers. Tina Turner is one of my favorite performers. So, it could be that some of the press is getting it mixed up too. It might not be so deep that everybody is saying. They know how great they are. I don't think they would be battling or whatever they're talking about. I don't even listen to it, I couldn't tell you, but I could tell you they are both phenomenal women. The crown belongs to both of them.

    Any last shout to your gay fans?
    Patti: Thank you for 47 years that you've been in my life and Labelle's life. You've been consistent, you never changed. To me that's wonderful because they never turned their back. We appreciate all of the gay following!

    Labels:

    Posted by Clay :: 9:25 AM :: 4 comments

    ---------------oOo---------------






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