Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chinatown, oh My Chinatown

Okay, I've got to make this quick, since it's like 2 3 AM and I've got an 8:15 pickup to O'Hare airport.

It ended up pretty well!

When I got to set for my last day of shooting no one looked like they wanted to fire me. No one gave me that pitying glance or avoided me. The writer of the episode (a fine and talented man who I didn't recognize from last shoot day or even THE AUDITION and foolishly introduced myself again, heh heh oops, sorry, heh heh) even came up and said I was doing great and that the last scene I did (the dreaded Cantonese debacle) was "awesome." Really? Either I totally misjudged how badly I did or they liked the William Shatner emoting and didn't get how mangled the Chinese was. Oh, silly, silly Roundeyes!

(Another note about not recognizing the writer: STUPID. The writer hired me. He championed me "in the room." Slow down and recognize who that person is. Though he did look a lot scarier at the audition. And he did shave in between my shoot days... nevertheless, my friend Denis always says, "Make friends with the Writers." They're the ones who make the shit up, you know?)

This scene involved two cops coming to the restaurant in Chinatown where I work to question me. It starts off in the kitchen (where I'm kinda like a plongeur, cleaning up scraps and taking out garbage) and ends with me in the alley, spilling the beans. We shot in Chicago's Chinatown, on Wentworth, an avenue I was extremely familiar with, having eaten many bowls of noodle soup with fried bread sticks at Seven Treasures just down the street.

It felt comfortable right away. The restaurant with the dirty dish towels and the steam tables, the giant woks and the mounds of bok choy and green onions. The skinny cooks in white with the shiny foreheads, greasy hair and generous smiles. It was my home turf, I admit. I grew up working in Chinese restaurants, from sixth grade through high school. Busboy, host, food packer, and waiter; I've done them all. Sitting at a round table waiting for the second team to finish I felt an urge to fold napkins and dip silverware in tea water to polish them. I wanted to hang with the help.

I haven't always felt that way. Early on, I had my share of Chinese waiter/cook parts, and pretty much detested them all. The last one in Chicago I did was for "Early Edition" (that series starring Kyle Chandler where he gets the Sun Times a day early and saves peoples lives by reading it-- is there an app for that?). I played a cook who doesn't understand the phrase "go boom" and ends up covered in--wait for it-- chow mein noodles! Hilarious! (shudder).

But it's different, now. For one thing, I'm playing a character who has lines and motivation and whose purpose in the show is not to just stand around make goofy faces, or serve tea. Also,  the status conferred upon you when you're a guest star is a whole lot better than when you're just featured or, god forbid, an extra. The director talks to you. You can make a suggestion. Your trailer is a little bigger. It feels like the first time you ride first class— "Oh, so this is what I've been missing!"

The scene went pretty well. With no more Chinese to memorize I could concentrate on, well, acting, a nice change, as well as not bumping into Camera B behind me. The star of the show liked to "make it real" and so the scene had some back-and-forth which was exciting to feed off of. Does it translate to good TV? Who knows, but the director seemed happy. We broke, they gave me a nice round of applause, and it was over.

So, yes, a generally positive experience overall, despite its rocky start. I have to give a big shout-out to CHICAGO, a beautiful city with some very beautiful people in it (more on that later). The weather was terrific. Thanks, Chicago, for hosting me.

But don't invite me back in winter. I'd like to forget that part.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tongue-twisted: An Autopsy of a Language, Butchered

Okay, this one’s gonna be hard to write.

It’s partly because I feel responsible. How could I not? I’ve done this drill many, many times; I should have known it was going to go down the way it did because it always goes down the same way and why should it be any different in this case? Maybe it was because everything was running so smoothly; maybe I was lulled by the free internet service and the nice hotel and the efficient travel coordinator. Maybe it’s because I’ve been away too long. I should have seen it coming.

But I didn’t.

I go over and over the sequence of events, but it never gets any better. Let’s break it down shall we?:

Tuesday. I get the call. I’ve got the part. I tell my agent to make sure they know I don’t speak any Chinese, because there’s a couple of sentences in there, three phrases, and I’ll need them translated. Could you ask them to get it to me as soon as possible, because I want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible and so I don’t waste anyone’s time on set. “Sure, sure,” my agent tells me, “they already know that from the audition. But I’ll tell them again anyway, because my other client, who’s going to be reading opposite you, is in the same boat. He doesn’t speak Chinese either.” Excellent. It’s taken care of.

(a side note: for the audition, my brother-in-law Tom very kindly gave me two simple sentences in Chinese to say that approximated what the lines were supposed to be. But they weren’t exact, and I thought the producers would be looking for something specific. I could have easily memorized them, since I’d spent many days with that translation. But I didn’t. Fool.)

Thursday, 3PM. I arrive in Chicago and go to the studio for a wardrobe fitting. On the way out, I ask if I can see a script. Get the pages. See my line in English, but no translation. At the hotel, I call the Assistant Production Coordinator. “Hi,” I say cheerily, “I don’t see any translation and since we’re shooting tomorrow, I’d really like to get it as soon as possible so I can be prepared as possible and so I don’t waste anyone’s time on the set.”  “Of course, of course,” she says. They’re working on that at this very moment, and she’ll get it to me as soon as it comes in.”

If you’ve ever tried to memorize a language you don’t speak, especially a tonal language like Chinese, you really need some time for the words to settle into your brain, for your cranium to pickle in it for a while, just to get it in. It’s got to set. Otherwise, it’s a bunch of gibberish words that you have no connection with and it’s crazy hard to memorize. At least it is for me. But, with only a couple of sentences, three phrases, to remember, I should be okay if I get it soon. To be able to study and then sleep on it works wonders.

Thursday, 5 PM. I get an email, finally! And it has a sound clip attachment. It’s someone going through the line one time. That’s it. There’s not one at regular speed, then one slower, then one slower still. There’s also no pin yin (phonetic translation), to let you understand what you’re hearing, let alone tone marks. 

It’s Cantonese, which I have even less familiarity with than Mandarin. A hard language. I call again. This time I get the Production Coordinator. “Uh, thanks for the sound clip, but there’s no phonetic translation, and I need to be sure that I’m saying the correct syllables. Heh heh, could I get that by any chance?”

The PC seems… a bit unconcerned. “Well, the guy who did it is gone now, and, uh… maybe we could get it off of the internet?”

I explain, with infinite patience, that that idea is not really a well-thought out one, since I need to know what this particular person has translated, not get another translation from the internet. “OK, OK,” he says. “We’ll work on it and get something to you as soon as possible.” I thank him and remind him that sooner is better than later, because, well, I want to be as prepared as possible and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time on the set.

“Sure,” he tells me, “And they’ll be a dialect guy on the set.” I murmur that perhaps that would be a little too late.

Here’s where I should have panicked, where I should have gone down to Chinatown and gotten another damned translation myself, but I didn’t. I figured, they just have to make a phone call and it’ll be all good. Meanwhile, I spend an hour listening to that clip over and over again, and write down what I think are the syllables:

Lay Why Me’em, gong bay ong tang, ung doi ing loi, wa song li, bong hai tao jzao

And I start to memorize that.

Thursday, 10 PM. I get another email. It’s a translation for my lines. One problem. IT’S IN MANDARIN.

Ring Ring. I get another APC, since the other one’s gone home. I explain the situation. “Oh, that isn’t much help, is it?” she says astutely. Only trouble is, there’s really nothing to be done at this late hour. She’ll leave a note for the people in the morning, and they’ll call me back.

Thursday, 11:30 PM. Phone rings. It’s the 2nd AD. Call time tomorrow is 6:30 PM.

A long night. Lay Why Me’em, gong bay ong tang, ung doi ing loi, wa song li, bong hai tao jzao…  I sleep with that clip on a loop.

Friday, 10:30 AM. The PC calls me. He’s got the tailor for wardrobe with him, the man who’s female employee (was that a woman’s voice?) did the audio clip. He’s going to help me with the translation. Thank the Lord. Trouble is, he doesn’t quite get what I want. First, he thinks that I’m accusing his employee of not translating the phrases right. “No, she’s saying the right words,” he tells me. Then, he thinks I want an English translation of the Chinese. I play the audio over the phone for him, and he tells me what it’s saying in English. “Thanks so much for that,” I say, again with infinite grace and patience, “but could you tell me what she’s saying, the syllables she’s saying?”

This takes some time for him to comprehend, but finally I’m able to (I think) hammer out from him what sounds are coming out of that woman’s mouth (“Is it a ‘b” or a “d”? A ‘b-b-b-b-‘ sound or a ‘d-d-d-d-d-d” sound?”). He cleans up her pronunciation. Turns out that gutteral tone that I’ve been memorizing so assiduously is really just a stumble on the speaker’s part. Oh. Here’s what I come up with this time:

Lay why mayo gong bay wo tan. Gum doy inlay, wa xiang li, bong kay toe zao.

It’s different than what I thought, not a lot, but enough to trip me up. The tailor tells me I sound like his kids trying to speak Chinese. “You have a lot of work” he tells me cheerily. Yes, I believe I do.

I’m optimistic. 8 hours. I can do it. Here’s how:
  • I write out the sentences over and over again.
  • I pretend I’m doing Pimsleur language tapes, break it down, put it back together, repeat, repeat, repeat.
  • Mnemonic aids: “Okay, his line before ends with ‘justice’ so justice lays. I’m asking why, so Lay Why. Why Mayo? Mayonnaise on a gong. Lay Why Mayo Gong. Bay wo tan, I got that, I know that, and then, Gum! Like gums, and an inlay, like a tooth inlay? Gum doi inlay, the inlay needs to be washed, Wa xiang! Gum doi inlay wa xiang li! And then you need to wash a bong, and then toe zao, that’s the end. Just get to toe zao. No! Bengay! It’s Bengay for your toe! Lay why mayo gong bay wo tan. Gum doy inlay, wa xiang li, bong kay toe zao!”
  • Meditate. Practice the lines.
  • Work out, to calm the body. Practice the lines on the elliptical.
  • Have lunch. Practice during lunch.
  • Put the syllables together so that you’re memorizing less units: Lay why mayo gongbay wotan. Gumdoi inlay, waxiang li, bongay toe zao.
  • Remember that there was that study that said sleep was important in order for you to store information in your brain. Try to take nap.
  • Practice some more. Write it on pieces of paper like you’re practicing your signature.

Friday, 7 PM. Turns out I don’t have to be on set for a while, so I spend my time in the trailer, doing the Cantonese lines fast, and slow, and angrily, and calmly, and in a monotone. I think maybe it’s setting, it’s coming more easily. I must have it. I must. It set.

Friday, 9:30 PM. I get a knock on the door. It’s a PA. “Uh, did you learn your lines in Cantonese?” he asks me. I just nod and stare wildly. “Oh, man. Hmm… cause the other guy has his lines in Mandarin.” The room begins to swirl. “Maybe we can, uh, change the—“ I begin spluttering, sounds flying out of my mouth in no particular order. He leaves with assurances that it will “all work out.” Ten minutes later he’s back. The director thinks it will be fine. I’ll be speaking to the other actor in Cantonese, he’ll be speaking to me in Mandarin. OK… Syllables start swirling around my head. Breathe. Justice lay… Lay Why Me’em, gong bay ong tang, ung doi ing loi, wa song li, bong hai tao jzao.

Friday, 10 PM. On set. No Chinese dialect coach. The cast is so welcoming, the director, a very respected man I’ve listened to many times on DVD commentary tracks, is friendly and assuring and very encouraging. “I like it, I mean, these Round Eyes don’t realize how many Chinese languages there are! But I think it’s a happy accident. It’s like, he doesn’t deign to speak to you in your native tongue, but speaks his dialect. I like it!” I nod, like it makes some kind, any kind of sense. I want to confess. I want to throw myself on the mercy of the court. But I don’t. Because I got it. It’s all in there. Trust it. It’s there. Let it just come out.

First rehearsal. The Chinese lines come at the end of the scene, and the scene’s going well. The actor opposite me says “This is just a conversation about justice.” Justice. CUE LINE!

“Lay why mayo… gong bay wo tan… wo…”

Planets revolve in their orbits. Stars wheel over head.

It hasn’t set. It’s premature Jello. I reach for the pieces of syllables and they become runny in my hand, melt away. I eventually get the rest of the lines, in some fashion, and we go on. 

Break the 1st team, 2nd team in to adjust lighting. The lead actor says, “So, you speak Chinese?” I shake my head and he says, “Well, I’ve been there and that sounded good!”

Dear God. I’ve got 20 minutes. I pace in the police locker room set, go over the mnemonic aids again. Gum! How could you forget the gum! The Gum! OK, open your hands after the gong line, and then when you open your hands, you will think of gum! Hands open, gum!

Friday, 10:45 PM. We start shooting. Camera on me for the first set up, plus wide shot. I think about going very slowly, like my character is saying this deliberately and clearly… I try not to panic. I will get through…

Oh, who’s kidding who. It was mostly awful. Sometimes, it got better. Sometimes there was a semblance of flow, but even then, it wasn’t anything near approximating Cantonese. Oh, I was throwing off extra syllables everywhere, jamming them into spaces and pauses like I was trying to keep a table from wobbling. And during the worse takes, I would have these ENORMOUS spaces in between phrases, as I screwed up my face and tried acting real hard, like … these words…were so difficult… so emotional… for me…to say…
Lay why mayo… gongbay… wotan... Gum…doi inlay… waxiang li… bongay TOE ZAO!

Who knows how many words I split up? It would be like the equivalent of saying “please… put the ap… ples on… the ta….ble. I can’t look at the other actor until TOE ZAO!  because a) I’ll forget the lines even more; and b) I know he knows how utterly I am crashing and burning. I made a complete William Shatner hash out of the Cantonese language.


Now here’s the thing. We do about 5 takes; the director gives me direction on many parts of the scene, but never mentions the Chinese. The dialect coach for the British guy playing the Chicago cop comes over and thinks we speak Chinese and when disabused of that notion says, “Well, it sounded authentic. I think you really captured the tones.” The tones. There were no tones. I was lucky if there were sounds. Could it really be that none of these “Round Eyes” could really tell I was inventing a new language? And, given all that went on before, will they care? It would be great if they called us back during post-production to redub the lines, maybe do a shot of my back while I corrected my errors, but I’m not sure it really matters to them.

But it does to me. During the turnaround (to film the other actor) the director gives me a vigorous thumbs up; the assistant director comes up and says, “Good work.” Really? I don’t say anything to them about the Chinese. Should I have? I know I’m embarrassed by how I’ve mangled the language, and by any possible Cantonese viewers who will surely choke on their dinners when they hear what comes out of my mouth. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it.

I didn’t end up wasting anyone’s time on the set. I wonder if that’s necessarily a good thing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tales from the Front: 1st Class Infancy

A good friend of mine works as a backup singer to a pretty famous pop singer who is currently jump-starting her career (again) with a world tour. Though grateful for the job (when she gets paid), my friend is in disbelief at how incapable this singer is at doing even the most simple of personal tasks. Waking up, dressing, putting on makeup, arranging for child care, this singer could do none of these things without help. She chewed out a personal assistant for not packing her luggage. She once left her bags on the carousel at the airport while she hopped in a cab, expecting that someone would get them for her. How, my friend wondered, could this woman have reached this age in such a state of dependency?

The answer is, she had a lot of help. It’s not hard to become reliant when there are so many people willing to get you there.

Last Tuesday, I found out that in two day’s time I would be boarding a plane to Chicago to guest star in a TV series that was coming out in the fall. This was completely unexpected; I hadn’t even been called back for the role, and my experience with this kind of out-of-state work was pretty limited. I went into full-on logistics mode with my agent: How was I going to get there? Was I being considered as a “local hire,” and did I need to find accommodations?

My agent laughed over the phone. “This is the networks, baby,” he said, “you don’t have to worry about any of that.” (full disclosure—I’m not sure he called me “baby,” but I think of him as someone who might.) He told me that I would be staying at the swanky Sutton Hotel in the Gold Coast of Chicago, and that the travel coordinator would be contacting me soon.

Now, I’m used to being the organizer in the family; even the smallest trips require military-strength planning. I’ll spend hours on Expedia, sorting flights according to arrival times and prices. I try to think of everything, from where we’re sitting in the plane to which electronics we need to charge to distract the child (and Benjamin, too), what food we’ll bring along in case of an island emergency landing, and where are the coupons for long-term parking?

For this trip, all I have to do is fill out a questionnaire stating m preferences, and Poof! It’s all done. I mean ALL. First Class, of course. Need an aisle? It’s yours. Prefer to come back to Palm Springs instead of LAX? No problem. Transportation to and from the airport? It’s taken care of! I should have asked for a pony, too.

On the morning of my departure (yes, I did pack), I got up, walked the dog, and there was the town car already waiting for me. I forgot what airlines I was leaving from, but HE knew. At the airport, I pass through the first class check in, then start meandering up to my gate. I feel… untethered, like I’ve forgotten to switch on my brain, because there’s no need to. I kinda forget what I’m doing. I wander past my gate. I sit in the wrong seat, where am I going? First class is LOVELY, and the flight attendant is LOVELY, yes I’ll have another glass of orange juice, and when I touch down there’s a driver waiting at the baggage claim, ready to take me and my bags to the hotel? What is it called again? No need to know. I’m deposited at the hotel, it’s all reserved, they give me a key, wireless is paid for by the production. A teamster will arrive shortly and bring me to the studio for a wardrobe fitting.

How did I get here, exactly?

It feels a little like I’m a child again, like someone above me is taking care of everything, and all I have to do is go where they tell me to. I do understand what’s going on here: they want to free up the mind of the “talent” so that they can concentrate on doing what they’re being paid to do: learn their lines. Act. Be brilliant. Also, if they manage the artist’s movements, well, there’s a better chance that that artist will actually show up where they’re supposed to be. In a way, the production does consider the talent to be like children, children who need to be minded, looked after, kept track of, occasionally coddled, sometimes scolded, and fed at regular intervals.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great. I know how amazing is it to have the opportunity to act in Chicago in these circumstances. I’m realistic enough to know that this kind of treatment won’t be swinging by my door every day. What happens, though, to those for whom it does? When what was a novel experience becomes expected, how soon before the capacity for self-reliance atrophies and one becomes stuck in a state of permanent pre-adolescence?

I’ll let you know, as soon as someone brings me that bottle of water I’ve asked for. Ten minutes ago.

Is the rest of the shoot as smooth? No.
Next: A Cantonese Nightmare; or, Autopsy of a Language, Butchered. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Zen and the Art of Eating Drowned Sailors

I remember when I was a child a particular punishment my father used to mete out to my sisters and me. It involved kneeling. That was it— just kneeling, for prolonged periods of time, straight up, head down, like you were at Mass but you weren’t in a church you were in your living room, paying the price for some transgression or in order for you to confess to one. Hours passed (probably minutes) while I knelt on the powder blue rug in the room just off the foyer, people entering the front door, pausing, then passing by. I would pretend to be at prayers, just to mitigate the humiliation. I don’t know the provenance of this particular penance (was it Chinese? Catholic?) but I remember it being agony.

It’s interesting that, four decades later, I find myself in the same position. Willingly.

Just got back from a meditation retreat at the Zen Center of Los Angeles. It was an all-day session, from 5:45 AM to 5 PM. There was walking in a circle meditations (kinhin), mindful work, chanting, and silent meals, but mostly just sitting/kneeling. LOTS of sitting/kneeling. It may sound simple, but in reality all that sitting absolutely still is pretty rigorous. The last time I did a retreat (2-day) sitting cross-legged on a cushion I paid for it with six months of rehab for a bulging lumbar disc. This time I swallowed my ego and alternated kneeling on said cushion and sitting in a chair. Big difference.

The purpose of all of this silent sitting (zazen) is to cultivate Samadhi, an intense state of concentration. The whole day is designed for this purpose. We go the entire day observing a Great Silence, at meals, in between sessions, even in our rooms. No text messages. No ipods. Normal civil interactions are dropped. Our gaze is always lowered, to avoid intruding into the Samadhi of another. The day is minutely structured, guided by the chime of bells, the clack of wooden blocks, the strike of a drum, so that few words of instruction are ever needed.

Those who look fondly upon Catholic rituals would be right at home here. Ever action you take during the day is according to ritual. The idea, in theory, is that if every move is according to a plan, you don’t have to think about what you’re going to do next, what kind of interaction you’re going to have. And this opens up space in your mind. It eliminates some of the chatter that typically occupies your brain.

And what does one do with all that wide-open, new-found retail space? Well, nothing, really. Or, No-thing. According to my limited understanding, all of this Silence gives you a chance to simply abide in the present, without having to worry about what will become or what just happened. You’re not trying to eliminate, or stop, thoughts; you’re just trying not to become enmeshed in them. You observe the thoughts that arise and let them pass, without becoming attached. You strive for non-reaction.

That’s the theory, anyway. In practice, I attached myself to plenty of thoughts.

Meal were particularly challenging. We ate according to the tradition of Oryoki, the three-bowl eating practice of Zen Buddhist monasteries. It’s a fascinating ritual but maddeningly complex if you’re wanting to, you know, actually just eat something. Every move is orchestrated, from the precise laying out of your place setting to serving the food to the length of the eating itself. Everyone starts and finishes eating at the same time and, an everything in your bowl must be finished. No waste. Even the hot water we use to clean our bowls at the table is ceremoniously poured into a large bowl and used to water the garden. You eat to simply nourish your body for the sitting to come. Everything is done swiftly, efficiently, and, except for the prayers, in total silence.

A video of the laying out of the bowls.

What to do, then, when a giant bowl of tofu comes hurtling down the long table in your direction?

As some of you may know, I have had a lifelong aversion to tofu AKA bean curd AKA that-slimy-mushy-stuff-always-found-at-family-banquets. I find it similar, in look and texture, to what I imagine the flesh of drowned sailors to be. Nausea-inducing. And here was tofu, huge squares dotted with minced green onion and bathed in soy and sesame, that was the main offering for lunch. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t simply refuse it; I had to put something in my main Buddha bowl. According to tradition, the person on the opposite side of the table serves me. How to tell her to go easy on the serving? During the chanting of the names of the Buddhas I’m desperately trying to figure out a way to signal to the woman across from me that I only want a token portion. I know the hand gesture for “no more,” but what’s the hand gesture for “more than one cube and I’m gonna puke”?

The bowl nears. We bow to those passing it to us. My server digs the serving spoon in. I raise my Buddha bowl… and in a last-minute gambit, I try to signal “just a little bit” with my thumb and forefinger, realizing belatedly that that is also the signal for “just a little more.” SHE PLUNGES THE SPOON DEEPER. The spoon emerges from the bowl, mounded high with glistening cubes. About nine of them plop into my Buddha Bowl. I almost flinch. Nine! Buddha bowl very unhappy. I was sitting next to the Sensei’s assistant, so no hiding it in the napkin (which had to be folded perfectly at the end of the meal anyway). I managed to get it all down by pretending I was in “The Amazing Race” finishing an eating challenge. Do it for the million bucks! Do it for the million bucks! Hmm… not really cultivating a Buddha mind, exactly…

One day is almost too short a period for this kind of practice; by the end of the day I felt like I was ready to begin. I did have some moments of clarity, though, enough to jump-start my daily practice. And though I never got to talk to my fellow black-garbed participants or even get a good look at their faces until after the day was over, I really felt like I had shared an Experience with them all. It was an Inward Bound.

My favorite moment was in the early morning. It was so quiet; even the birds hadn’t woken. The distant drone of traffic could have been waves on a far-off shore. At this first sitting of the day we face each other in the meditation hall instead of the usual wall-gazing. We’re all perfectly still, frozen in our postures, like statuary in the dim light. Our shared dharma stretches between us like a sheet. We are Buddhas, patient and serene, awaiting the coming of the day.
The thought manifests as the word,
The word manifests as the deed,
The deed develops into habit,
And habit hardens in character,
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love,
Born out of concern for all beings…
As the shadow follows the body,
As we think, so we become.
—The Dhammapada

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pssst! The Gay Agenda, Revealed!

In this rare moment of peace, now that Judge Walker has donned his shining knight’s armor and slain the beasts of bigotry and fear; now that our side is winning this current bout of tug-of-war and the dread Proposition 8 is temporarily being cast into the mud; and now that marriage is (at least in theory) available for everyone, I can finally divulge the secret no one has dared reveal before:

There is a Gay Agenda.

I felt it was only fair to give fair and complete disclosure. The marriage “traditionalists” have been so thoroughly trounced by the Court (of law, and of common sense) that I feel the need to throw them a bone. They are right: there is indeed a Master Plan brewing, concocted by all my lavender brethren. Before I send the pertinent documents to Wikileaks, I’ve decided to post them here. Forthwith:

The Gay Agenda:

  1. Take over Bravo TV;
  2. Outlaw pleated pants;.
  3. Create a stable, loving home for our families, without the threat of it being dismantled by any capricious law or proposition;
  4. Be able to cross over state lines without our families being questioned, reclassified, and/or harassed;
  5. Raise children that have a strong, sure sense of who they are, who never feel ashamed of where they come from, that feel safe and secure in their homes, knowing that their parents are married married, and not that shadowy, confusing “other thing” (domestic partner, civil partner) that means they’re “like married” but not really married;
  6. Have children who can love their two dads or two moms (isn’t that a Commandment? To Honor thy parents?) without being beaten up for it;
  7. Be able to enter a hospital room during an emergency without having to explain what a “domestic partner is;
  8. Bring up kids proud to be Americans (Cue John Philip Sousa music) Though we know they will encounter intolerance and prejudice in their lives, we don’t need the federal government codifying it. Our children should be proud of their country, not fearful of it. Let them believe, that at our best, the United States stands for liberty and justice FOR ALL. (Music swells and… out)
Oh, and—
  1. World domination and pagan idolatry. Preferably with farm animals;
  2. Pick up dry cleaning.