Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mario Lavandeira, Jr. v. Miss California

My triathlon blog will jump into the Miss USA contest for a day.

As you may remember, Lorrie's cousin was Miss Michigan last year.  Let's face it, these Miss USA, Miss America, Miss Universe contests are farce at best.  Superficial and subjective and product of an age gone by.  

The issue this year is over "gay marriage".  The question was asked by Mario Lavandeira, an American gossip blogger who posts tabloid "outings" of celebrities in a very aggressive manner.  He goes by the name "Perez Hilton" which is ironic because like Paris Hilton he is just "famous for being (in)famous" versus doing anything in particular.

Facts from Wikipedia
Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr.
 (born March 23, 1978 in MiamiFlorida) is an American blogger and television personality. His blog is known as (formerly, which he writes under the pseudonym Perez Hilton. On his website, Lavandeira posts gossip items about musicians, actors and celebrities. He often posts tabloid photographs over which he has added his own captions or "doodles." His blog has garnered both positive and negative attention for its brash attitude, its active "outing" of alleged closeted celebrities and its role in the increasing coverage of celebrities in all forms of media.

Lavandeira graduated from New York University in 2000. Before beginning his blogging career, Lavandeira attempted a career as an actor.[2]He briefly worked as a media relations assistant for LGBT rights organization GLAAD, was a freelance writer for gay publications, worked as a receptionist for NYC gay events club Urban Outings, and was briefly the managing editor of Instinct, a gay men's magazine.[3] He says he started blogging "because it seemed easy."[4][5]

Lavandeira's angle on celebrity gossip includes an unapologetic desire to mingle with and be a part of celebrity culture. He often describes celebrity awards shows, clubs, and private events he has attended, and posts photographs of himself with the celebrities he writes about under the "Personally Perez" category of his blog.[6][7] Some have suggested, however, that Lavandeira's proximity to the celebrities about whom he writes has led to biased coverage on his blog. He purports to have befriended Paris Hilton, the source of his nickname and frequent subject of his posts. It has been noted, for example, that Lavandeira rarely reports on stories or rumors casting Hilton in a negative or unflattering light,[8] and that, unlike most gossip blogs, he often acknowledges and praises her positive achievements.[9] Additionally, Lavandeira has been known to speak out publicly against the discriminatory behavior of celebrities and other public figures. For instance, he called for the firing of Isaiah Washington from ABC television series Grey's Anatomy for making homophobic remarks and called for his readers to do the same.[10] However, in early 2007, Lavandeira was criticized by the blog The Hollywood Gossip for ignoring racist and homophobic remarks made by Paris Hilton.[11]

Lavandeira often promotes his favorite up-and-coming musicians by posting streams of their songs under the "Listen To This" category of his blog.[12] London-based singer Mika's 2007 rise to popular success in North America has been partially attributed to Lavandeira's frequent support.[13][14] Lavandeira and Mika also claim to be friends.[15][16]

Success and infamy

On March 11, 2005, within the first six months of Lavandeira's blogging career, was named "Hollywood's Most-Hated Website" by The Insider, catalyzing an initial surge in its popularity which temporarily crippled its server.[17][18][19] Lavandeira claimed that on July 30, 2007, a seemingly "ordinary day," had over 8.82 million page views in a 24 hour period.[20] Other sources dispute the reliability of Lavandeira's traffic claims.[21]

Pop singer Fergie has confirmed that she is referring to Lavandeira in her 2006 song "Pedestal," in which she criticizes an unidentified person for making negative remarks about her on the internet.[22]

On August 17, 2007, citing exclusive sources, Lavandeira announced the death of Cuban President Fidel Castro, and claimed that he was the first media outlet in the world to break the news.[23] Although Lavadeira claimed that U.S. officials would be making an announcement within hours, no announcement was made, and no major media outlets verified Castro's death.[24] The Associated Press later determined that rumors were sparked by a meeting of Miami officials who were to discuss the city's plans when Castro passes away. Rumors were further fueled by a road closure in the Florida Keys that was due to a police standoff.[25] Castro appeared in an interview on Cuban television on September 21, 2007, "looking frail but sounding lucid," and mocking rumors of his death.[26]

Enough about this douche bag who has seen more court time than air time.

The issue at hand is "gay marriage".  I'll give you my view.  (Gasp)  I have male and female friends who are gay. Who cares who anyone is buggering!  As long as you don't touch anyone under age, hurt anyone, cause damage to property, or do so in public.  Go for it.  Just like you don't want to hear about my buggering, I don't want to hear about yours.  Marriage, as defined by the dictionary, needs an update.  Gay and heterosexual marriages both have the same problem - people.  People do dumb things.  Some people cheat.  Some people find a partner and say together.  Marriage isn't the issue.  

The real issue here are financial benefits and quality of life issues.  AKA: Money.  For example, one friend of mine wasn't allowed in her partner's hospital room after a terrible car crash.  If she were a he...not a problem.  When her partner died due to complications of the surgery she wasn't allowed to take care of funeral arrangements, financial issues etc..  This is a couple who has been together since college - 15 years.  How many of us have been married for 15 years?  Thankfully, the family recognized her as a partner and everything was cool for them; other than losing a loved one.  To change all that, definitions and laws need to change.  So is this a civil union or a marriage?  Honestly, I'm not sure what to call it.  Divorce rates among "standard" marriages are scary at best.  When Lorrie and I made it to 7 years of marriage we joked that we now have a 90% chance of "making it".  Since we are female and male, we don't have issues that same sex couples will.

I support Miss California's opinion (though it may be conservative and perhaps nieve to the real issue).  I turn off the radio or TV when I see leftist personalities who support everyone's "right" to an opinion except when critical of a view of theirs.  It's her view.  If you want this to work out for you you'd be better off trying to educate her and others on the real issue.  Money and rights behind marriage for all relationships.  Opportunity lost, again.  The mind of Mario Lavandeira, Jr. is more about being infamous than really helping the issue he says he supports.

The question is what to do about it when it comes to health insurance, life insurance, property rights and that will take time and state court decisions.  When people understand the issue at hand they will start to make the right decisions. Another issue, not recognized here, is freedom of speech allows for all speech.  Even if it is offensive to some. Lavandeira should stay out of sight, but that won't happen; he has bills to pay.  A better answer from Miss California would have been to say what she said but add about the issue of money.  When she said it, I said to Lorrie, "Her interview coaches should be fired.  She just lost based on that answer." 

One more thing on the pagent itself, Miss North Carolina was the best choice.  California should have been second.  Matter of fact the entire top five was right based on the whole package.  So as much as I detest a Lavandeira, he and his other judges got the order right from a TV viewers vantage point. 

Speaking of don't think Donald Trump and his minions set this up do you?  Andy (my friend who works for Trump)... can you weigh in?  Laughing all the way to the bank...

1 comment:

  1. I agree 100% I'm TOTALLY with you on this one. I didn't see the pagent - but saw the response re-aired... Yes, she's entitled to her beliefs, and while I don't believe someone should curtail their beliefs based on winning something like a pageant, I agree that her coach should be fired. She CLEARLY doesn't know how to diplomatically respond to such a charged question.

    Ah yes, Mr. Trump. There's always something, I suppose, eh? No such thing as 'bad publicity' - right?

    Nice post Bob!