Opera Singer Fired For FB Update
This is one of those stories that might leave some people questioning many things about today’s society, freedom of speech, the PC Police, privacy, and social media in general. Last weekend I noticed something in my FB news feed that was a little disturbing. Someone posted a photo of an unsuspecting person in a grocery store and I don’t think the person who posted the photo asked for permission. In this case, it was a good looking young guy and it wasn’t anything mean or defamatory. In fact, I’m certain there was no malicious intent.
With that said, I see things all the time on facebook updates that leave me wondering about limits, privacy, and basic judgment. In this case the article I’m linking to is about an opera singer in Canada who was fired because he ranted on FB about a guy’s flamboyant fingernails. It’s a generalized rant, with malicious intent, about how some people make peculiar statements with their appearance and how they want to be perceived. Here’s the update that got him fired:
‘Look at the stupid nails this moron had on while taking a bus in Ottawa,’ Ruminski wrote, ‘I guess he needs diamond studded nails to make up for his face.’
As I said earlier, I’ve seen far worse on facebook than this. What the opera singer didn’t know is that the guy with the nails is a drag performer known as Miss Jade London, and now the entire incident is being reported as a rant about a gay man. At least that’s what the headline to this article says.
But the rant continued:
‘He is asking for criticism by parading his choices in front of everyone like the black males who wear their pants down off their asses,’ he continued, ‘They want you to notice and get angered by it. That’s part of the strategy. He has an agenda by gluing diamonds onto his nails – and so do I by commenting on how stupid it is.’
Of course people then complained about Ruminski’s update rant and the opera company fired him. He went on to make a public apology, but the damage has already been done. The opera company says Ruminski has to prove himself before they’ll even consider taking him back again. I’m not even sure what that means, or how he’s going to go about proving himself.
You can read the rest here, in more detail. It’s a good example of how we all need to think two or three times before posting anything on social media, especially when it comes to taking photos of people without permission. This is how the drag performer responded to the critical updates, and having his picture taken and posted on social media:
‘I felt so hurt, I felt violated, having my picture taken without my knowledge and then being bashed about it… being basically called ugly, having my nails compensate for that, being called a stupid moron, nobody deserves to hear that especially if it’s not being told to their face.’
The comment section is very interesting.
Joan Rivers Crisis
Over the years I’ve written a few posts about Joan Rivers and I haven’t always agreed with some of the things she’s said or done. In my case it’s mainly about how she treats gay men as if they are pet poodles, which is hard because she’s always supported gay men, too. But I’ve written other posts about Rivers where I’ve fully agreed with her on some topics, and most of all, I’ve always made it clear that I respect her and all she’s accomplished in her lifetime, especially considering all the obstacles she’s faced over the years as a woman and as a player in a highly competitive field.
For those who don’t know, Rivers went for an endoscopic procedure at a clinic on Thursday and suffered a cardiac arrest during the procedure. They had to transport her from the clinic to a Manhattan hospital. She’s been in an induced coma, with her family by her side, since then. Here’s the latest update I could find:
UPDATE: Melissa Rivers, the star’s daughter and frequent professional partner, released a statement from New York Thursday evening: ‘I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother. She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.’
I hate to speculate without knowing all the details, but it hits very close to home for me because my mother had three endoscopic procedures this year and we (and her docs) insisted she have them done in hospitals, not in clinics or outpatient facilities. It wasn’t a chance we were willing to take because my mother is turning 80 this November. This procedure is fairly routine for most people, but if you are older it can be more serious. In my mother’s case, she also suffered a very serious heart event during the last procedure in July. Thankfully, she was having it done at Sloan Kettering in Manhattan and they immediately called in a cardiac team to revive her. If she hadn’t been in Sloan, in a hospital, at the time and they had to transport her to a hospital like they did Rivers, I’m not sure what would have happened.
According to this article, I’m not the only one wondering about this.
You can read the rest here. Best wishes to Rivers’ family during this time, especially her daughter, Melissa. I know how hard it is to deal with an aging parent, and how stressful and emotional it can be, first hand. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve driven up the FDR Drive in the middle of the night to Urgent Care at Sloan several times. You reach a point where there’s so much medical information you feel as if you’ve gone numb all over. But it is a great hospital.
Mean Girls and Looking
Daniel Franzese from Mean Girls recently joined the cast of Looking. You know Looking, it’s that show I’ve been raving about that deals with gay men who we rarely see represented on TV…or anywhere in the media. The most vicious critics haven’t been kind to the show, but according to ratings and gay men who haven’t had much of a voice up until now it’s gaining in popularity more than ever.
I think Looking is significant for several reasons, one of which is it just might stifle the loud voices we’ve always known to make room for a few news ones that haven’t been heard. I know a lot of people think I might be taking this to the limit, but those people don’t know what it’s like to see a gay person on TV and have nothing at all in common with that particular gay person. Looking seems to be breaking a lot of the stereotypes in a subtle, tasteful way. It validates many of us.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, he will appear in a multi-episode arc as Eddie, a new love interest for one of the show’s main characters.
You can read more here. I do think it’s important for all gay men to be heard, and not just for the sake of amusement.