The Dictionary Of Jack: A Bible From Which We Should All Draw

Dude, you need to "CHILLAX." I officially have a new You(s)Tube crush...

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'Welcome Home': Rev. Paul Beats Back 'Wave of Hate' At Atlanta Pride


By Will Pollock

(ATLANTA :: 24 June 2007) Amidst the angry shouts of hellfire and wished damnation from protestors at Piedmont Park yesterday,
one lone voice stood up at Atlanta Pride and declared, “Welcome Home.”

Rev. Paul Graetz, an eight-year pastor at First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta, was manning his church’s booth at the largest gay and lesbian Pride event in the southeast. He became fed up with signs that read, “JESUS THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE CONDEMNS YOU TO ETERNAL HELL,” and stormed out to the park's entrance to counterprotest.

“They’re lying to my parishioners,” Graetz said, holding his lone sign. “It’s just an unacceptable wave of hate as you approach the park. Georgia doesn’t tolerate hate. Hate speech is not free speech.”

The religious objectors’ words blared over a bullhorn as they manned numerous entrances to
Piedmont Park as well as the 10th and Piedmont intersection in Midtown. Rev. Graetz questioned their purpose.

“Why are they here? They’re adamant about their homophobia, their fear. Radical groups need someone to hate, yet the bible’s message is one of love. There’s no room for hate. God said he did not give us a spirit of fear. God’s love is here for all.”

For their part, Pridegoers proceeded past the protestors peacefully, with one woman entering at 14
th street calmly saying to a protestor, “Have a nice day, Sir.”

“I am having a great day,” the protestor retorted. “Y’all think about eternal life, it might be right around the corner.”

Despite their somewhat sordid welcome, thousands of visitors to Pride were undaunted and enjoyed the many vendors and other attractions at the event.

But for Rev. Graetz, the angry language is a stark reminder.

“This is really a symbol for the type of world gays and lesbians face,” he said. “We have to walk through hatred to get home, just like people have to walk through these people’s hate to get to Pride.

“So I’m welcoming people here in love,” he added. “The hate was just too overwhelming as you approached the park. Jesus would be saying, ‘Happy Pride!’”
(Additional reporting by Thom Anderson)


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Rev. Paul Graetz Represents At Atlanta Pride

Thom and I ventured out today and met Rev. Paul... For more, visit the my Pride captures or go directly to the Atlanta Pride YouTube channel. Cheers!

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New Captures Page Coming Soon!

stay tuned...

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Not Your Average Complacency

Here's a hint: it's a comment about our "ho hum" attitude about what's happening in our country... unless Paris Hilton is having a perp walk -- then we're glued to the TV.


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Digital Maître d': OpenTable Lands In The NYTimes

The NY Times reports on a phenomenon that we Atlantans know all too well: OpenTable.com. How else would one lock in a night of ice jimmies at Repast?

Click here for the story.
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Weekend In D.C.: A Meeting Of Minds (And Appetites)

Great thanks to Ted and Rolando for hosting me in D.C. ...and to Michele "Snush" Segre for organizing our great outing in Bethesda, Md., at Mia's Pizzas.

The day itself was expansive to say the least. Ted, Rolando and I hoofed it in Bethesda to
Discovery Galleries -- a destination that caught Ted's eye from a mailer to area residents. The hybrid-concentration gallery was showing pieces by Christos Palios and Anne Packard -- both of which had stunning works on display. I'm going to try and pitch a story about this gallery in the coming weeks.

We were joined later that afternoon by Michele, Rebecca and Larise at Mia's as the six of us did "market research" for the forthcoming sixth annual
NYE Gourmet Pizza Extravaganza. But we also connected with our great host (and Mia's' owner) Melissa as she graciously donated a gift certificate for the HRC's Eleventh Annual National Dinner, an extravaganza in its own right being co-chaired by our very own Ted Toon!

Volunteer possibilities abound for this event, so make sure to learn more and get involved.

Back to the matter at hand: If you haven't checked out Mia's, this new hip and happenin' joint, definitely make the trip. For more on this great day,
jump to the captures.
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Anchor Blues: Who's Tarting Whom?

They're at it again... more instances where anchors/journalists are trying to squeeze out actual newsmakers with shenanigans, bold statements and general assholic behavior.

- Dan Rather ignites a feud with his former network. Accusing CBS of "tarting" up its broadcast by hiring Katie Couric, Rather told Joe Scarborough's that the network was trying to "dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience." CBS chief executive Les Moonves called his remarks "sexist," to which Rather replied that Moonves "doesn't know about the news." This spat is such a waste of space... news outlets are spending time on this! I don't particularly like Katie Couric in her new role, and never watched Today, but can't we give her a chance to find herself before we pass judgment? Um, hello, it's been nine months since she started. Many anchors took years to catch on -- and even got fired (Peter Jennings, early on) before they dug in their heels.

- Just getting the story... or too close to the action? Despite how CNN's Rick Sanchez irritates the hell out of me, the kid in Georgia got the wrong sentence for his sex crime and that injustice deserved attention. But in reporting the story Sanchez became outwardly jubilant and pressed himself inside the frame when word came down that the judge threw out the 10-year sentence (the prosecutor is appealing). It was WAY too much, too soon, too close, when Sanchez should have stood back and let the events unfold. Watch the clips on Pipeline if you don't believe me.

- Oh by the way... Longtime NBC Nightly weekend anchor John Seigenthaler was replaced by Lester Holt, in one of the most underreported cost-cutting moves of the year. Seigenthaler had an 11-year run at helm of the weekend broadcast -- a position that, apparently, "was a luxury [NBC] could no longer afford," according to USA Today. Seigenthaler's rich, bass, deadpan (and dead-on) delivery was yet another comfortable chair we'll not get to enjoy anymore.


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Artistic Expression Emits From The Most Unusual Sources...

...including a phone salesman in England. Remember: never second-guess yourself or feel inhibited to chase your dream.

Or, even in what you might deem small or insignificant, never censor your own creative energy -- no matter who you are or what you do. Case in point:


Phone Salesman Amazes Crowd - Watch more free videos
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Andy Roddick Loosens Up On Friday Night With Jonathan Ross

Thanks to Musty for sending this along... He may not be winning much lately, but his self-effacing humor is alive and well.

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Seriously? The Strong Arm (And Fist) Of The Alabama Law

Honestly? If someone let me in the White House I might punch someone out, too.

But c'mon... for those of you who are strictly in favor of states rights, here's an example of those locally generated taxpayer dollars at work. They might as well be at a trucker bar outside Birmingham. And now, in this corner, Mike Tyson...



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Always Pug-nacious: A Must-see Story From The Onion

Those of you who know me know how crazy I get around Pugs... they are a whole lotta hideous and adorable all rolled into one. Click through for the hilarity.

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'Boot In The Ass' Politics: Diplomatic Row No. 1,867

While I agree with Bush (try not to fall out of your chairs) that Russia seems to have abandoned many of its democratic reforms, I'm SICK to death of cowboy politics.

Here's the latest brilliant idea: we're apparently continuing plans for a missile-defense system for some of our European allies and, in the meantime, pissing off Russia and dismissing their objections -- while we are fast on the way to destabilizing our end of once-solid relations. Sound good?

We are led by an administration that espouses "instead of" politics, and we should all be furious. And NOT quietly furious, outwardly so. Don't ever think that holding a contrary opinion is weak, or "un-American," or cowardly. It's none of those things.

The whole '
I've seen Putin's soul' thing sounded phony at the outset, and now, the comment has become irrelevant anyway. As for missiles, one bad move deserves another. (Graphic courtesy of BBC.com)
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The Mutt Stays In The Picture

It was boys' night out at the first official party in the Piedmont Crest club room. The bash went off spectacularly (thanks Crusty). But the real star of the show had four legs, lots of hair and an easy disposition. Click here for the party YouTube channel, or jump to the party captures.

I'm in negotiations with Kynni's "people" about posting his
star turn on YouTube, but it's a sticky situation. Oops... too late. Thanks to everyone for a great time!
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Viral Marketing... In Its Purest (And Most F^&$#%#%ed-up) Form Happy

I was literally crying-laughing at this so I thought I'd share... Thanks to Crusty's dad for sending it around.

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