By Gregg Shapiro
Photo: 20th Century Fox
“The Hunger Games” have been won. The “Divergent” series was diverted. The insipid and humiliating (2nd) film adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” was anything but smooth. So, who thought “The Darkest Minds” (20th Century Fox), a movie version of the Alexandra Bracken Y/A novel of the same name, would be a good idea?
Essentially, “The Darkest Minds” is 105 minutes of set-up for a proposed series. Managing to be too much, too little, too late, “The Darkest Minds” features mediocre special effects and a serious lack of original ideas. Making matters worse is that the derivative screenplay is by Chad Hodge, an out gay man. Seriously, we expect better from our queer brethren.
In an unspecified future, children and adolescents are rounded up and put into concentration camps due to their special powers where they are ranked, and sometimes eliminated, by color. Green are smart, blue are telekinetic, orange have mind-control abilities and the most-feared red are fire-makers. President Gray (Bradley Whitford), whose son Clancy (Patrick Gibson) is in the orange category, tries to make an example of his son, putting him through all sorts of painful treatments.
Most of those in the orange group are put to death. However, orange Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) is spared when Cate (Mandy Moore), a doctor affiliated with an underground rescue organization known as The League, realizes her true identity and helps her escape. Nevertheless, Ruby has her doubts about Cate. When an opportunity arises, she flees and teams up with others also on the run, including Liam (the dreamy Harris Dickinson who was exceptional in the 2017 gay-themed film “Beach Rats”), Chubs (Skylan Brooks) and Zu (Miya Cech).
The quartet sets out on the journey to meet up with the legendary Slip Kid who is said to have created a safe space for people like them. Ruby, however, is determined not to reveal her true identity as an orange. Along the way they encounter ruthless tracker Lady Jane (Gwendoline Christie), as well as a fearless foursome, like them, inhabiting an abandoned mall. When they finally reach the encampment, and meet the Slip Kid, who, as you might have guessed, is actually Clancy (!), they discover that not everything is as it seems. Clancy, who has designs on Ruby’s mind (and body), is in cahoots with evil military man The Captain (Wade Williams), leading to an epic battle between Ruby and Clancy.
Bear in mind, at the time that Bracken’s novel was written, the idea of children being ripped from their families and placed in internment camps was unthinkable. The fact that it’s happening now, and 20th Century Fox decided to release this junk into theaters is, frankly, unspeakable.
If you don’t “mind” the feeling of déjà vu, because we’ve seen most of this before, then “The Darkest Minds” is for you.
Rating: 1 peach
By Scott King
So many fish, so little sea.
You know, there’s a lot of people out there.
Six million in metro Atlanta, to be exact. Just under one million in Atlanta proper. If you take the fact that one in five Millennials identify as LGBT, and one in two people on planet earth are male, that means that there are a hundred thousand gay men inside the perimeter.
And miles to go before I sleep with them all. I’m basically like a virgin.
Let’s say 1 in 4 are attractive enough to swipe right. That’s 25,000 first dates, give or take an ex or two.
Can you tell I’m single again? My summer fling fizzled out. He was a mean drunk, and I’m way too sensitive to date a Scorpio.
So, what to do? How bout we go fishing? I will make you fishers of men.
Here are my types:
TALL DARK AND HANDSOME
I like the strong but silent type. Minus the silent. I come from a long line of talkers, so I don’t want some dude who makes me feel like an idiot for filling the air with noise.
Send me dark, poetic text messages in the middle of night. I’ve never thought Russell Crowe was very cute, but I like his brooding nature. Now, if I could only find an available, local guy who is stoic yet present, well, it would be my favorite mistake.
SWEET AND CUTE
Pretty much the opposite of my first type, at least on paper. Nice to have someone to brighten my day and bring me out of my darkness and sardonic, existentialist self-indulgence.
They get my jokes, but they would never make them themselves. They are cute and fit, but they don’t see the gym as a life-or-death situation. They are intelligent, but they think intellectualism is overrated. I am drawn to all of these qualities. The key to a good relationship with someone who is cute and sweet is to allow them to infect me with their light, rather than seeing it as a binary of daydreamer versus night music.
If you are this person, please say hello to me on Facebook. You know you want to. Awww.
I like a man who can commit. It seems like I always meet them at the wrong time tho. Usually on the dance floor. They give me the vibe. They give me the look. I’m like oh yeah this is going to be my date y’all. Then they act all disingenuous when I go in for some real human interaction. They usually buy me shots as a consolation. No, you cannot take a selfie with me. Okay byyyyyye.
INTENSE AND INTELLIGENT
I like a man who makes me feel stupid. Not because I’m a masochist, but mostly because there’s so much to know and I have a tendency towards arrogance intellectually.
Brains brains brains! All these sexy brains. You need to be pretty on the outside as well, but I can dampen my normal levels of superficiality and vanity if you can get through one book a week.
Deal? I think I’m dumb, or maybe just happy.
I’m a fun guy. I can occasionally pay for dinner. Let’s have drinks sometime. Pick you up at 8?
BEASTS OF BURDEN
Do you remember the last five minutes of the very last episode of Six Feet Under, when they flash forward to all of the main characters’ deaths? David’s is my favorite. He’s at a picnic table with his second husband, and he has a vision of his first husband and one true love Keith, previously deceased. In that moment, Keith is just as he remembers him. He is beautiful, smiling, warm, and gentle as he plays football non-hegemonically.
That’s what I want. That warm smile of knowing.
Are any of these types you? If so, you know what to do.
Even though the competition is over, and the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 has been found, a portion of the drag queens from the VH-1 show are declaring war on the catwalk in a spectacular live show.
Get ready for a night of outstanding drag and incredible performances by some of your favorite contestants from Season 10 including The Vixen, Blair St. Clair, Dusty, Monique, and the viral sensation Va-a-a-a-a-a-anjie!
Hostesses Miz Cracker and Monét X Change will guide you through the live stage performances and head-turning lewks that will grace the catwalk in a high-energy show that will surely leave fans and their friends gagging and gasping for air!
Don’t miss your opportunity to see the queens strut their stuff on the catwalk in this fierce lineup of drag excellence. Get your tickets via Ticketmaster.com.
The What, When, and Where
What: War on the Catwalk with the Queens from RPDR Season 10
When: September 6, 2018, 8pm
Where: Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is a 24-year-old, 501c6 membership organization that exists to drive economic success for the LGBT business community and their allies. On September 21 they host the annual Community Awards Dinner, and we spoke to Sheila Merritt, Corporate Partner Relationship Manager, about the dinner and the mission of the AGLCC.
Why do you think Atlanta needs an organization like the AGLCC?
We serve as the LGBT leader and advocate for an inclusive business environment through 5 strategic pillars: Certification; Community & Networking; Business Development; Tourism, and Policy & Advocacy. Each one of these makes the AGLCC important to business owners and corporate partners alike- and all together, makes our organization uniquely positioned to serve as a leader in the fight for full equality and inclusion.
Tell us about the upcoming community awards ceremony?
It’s a GREAT event! We will celebrate the best and brightest among our members. This year’s program is scheduled for September 21 from 6:30-10. There’s a pre-dinner reception, then the awards dinner and an after-party with dueling DJ’s! The Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta will host this year. Tickets are $155 each. We’ve got a block of rooms so if anyone wants to make a night of it, mention the AGLCC when they make their reservation and receive a hotel room discount. Raffle prizes will also be available. To purchase tickets, go to atlantagaychamber.org
Can you highlight a few of the nominees and why they have been nominated?
We have seven categories in which voting is required, including Business Man & Woman of the Year, Guardian Angel, Rising Star, Corporate Ally, Small Business of the Year, and of course, Member of the Year. It would be impossible for me to highlight just a few – every category is SO impressive. Anyone could nominate during our open nomination period; then we narrowed that to the top 5. Member votes are combined with Executive Committee weighted votes to decide the final outcome. I’m THRILLED that so many people from across our community have been recognized as nominees! For a full list, you can go to atlantagaychamber.org/events/community-awards.
We will present two other awards: our Rosemary Jones Icon Award, which is the equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement Award but is named to honor the memory of a longtime advocate and champion of Atlanta’s LGBT business community and the AGLCC. The other is our AGLCC Vanguard Award, which is given to someone on the national scale who has had success in their chosen field or industry, shows great leadership and whose achievements will have a lasting impact on the LGBT community as a whole.
What is the importance of certifying businesses as LGBT?
Once you have that designation, a business has access to and is able to build relationships with America’s leading corporations, generate prospective business, and collectively team with each other for contracting opportunities.
As corporate America becomes more inclusive and further diversifies supply chains, certification offers the opportunity for LGBT-owned businesses (LGBT Business Enterprises, or LGBTBE) to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
What is the current business climate in Atlanta like when it comes to LGBT businesses?
Georgia is 4th among certified LGBTBE’s throughout the US – and many of those are in Atlanta. That’s an impressive statistic. Our businesses are an integral part of the engine that keeps Atlanta’s economy moving forward. BUT; in a state where you can still be fired for being gay, and elected officials still try to legislate discrimination, we have much work to do. Thanks to the efforts of the AGLCC, our members, partners, and allies, we will continue working toward full equality and inclusion in Atlanta and beyond.
Jarrell is originally from Jersey City, NJ, but he has lived in Atlanta since 2005. He works as a sales rep for New Relic, which is opening up an East Coast HQ in Atlanta. In his spare time, he keeps busy with rugby – Jarrell has been an Atlanta Bucks since 2016 – yoga, and kickball, and when he winds down it is done with video and board games. Otherwise, he loves cooking, food, and travel – in fact, he plans to visit all 50 states by 2020. Follow Jarrell on IG @father_of_superman which will also give you access to his hilarious insta stories!
Do you feel the chill in the air?
Wear heavier fabrics
Mute your color scheme
Mix texture and pattern
Reorganize your closet
Wear darker shoes
Style with scarves
Get mad for plaid
Wear braided belts
Think outdoorsy hats
By Gregg Shapiro
Kameron Michaels, born Dane Young in eastern Ohio, stands apart from her fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant queens in the following ways. While she’s far from the first Muscle Mary to turn up on the show, Nashville-based former go-go boy Kameron Michaels is easily the hottest. Perhaps it’s those tattoos that might have something to with the additional heat generated by Michaels. A fan-favorite Season 10 runner-up who was bested by fellow competitor Aquaria, Michaels is currently on the Werq the World Tour, hosted by Michelle Visage and featuring fellow Drag Racers Aquaria, Asia O’Hara, Eureka, Kim Chi, Valentina and Violet Chachki.
How did you come up with your stage name, Kameron Michaels?
Kameron was chosen because I wanted something androgynous. Michaels was chosen because there were no Michaels in Nashville when I chose my name and I wanted to be different from other local queens.
In a season which featured competitors named Eureka, The Vixen, Miz Cracker and Aquaria, how much value do you think is in the naming process of a drag performer?
I don’t really care about names. My name has nothing to do with my value as an entertainer.
What was it about RuPaul’s Drag Race that made you want to be a competitor on Season 10 of the show?
I’m quiet but competitive. I knew it was my time and I knew it was my season. That’s why I sent in my audition tape.
One of the characteristics that set you apart from the RPDR competition is your “Body Builder Barbie” moniker. Please say something about body building and your workout routine.
Well, now that I’m on the road and never at home, that unfortunately has taken a toll on my body. Before the show, I was in the gym six to seven days a week with a rigorous workout routine and a strict diet. It was the most important thing in my life until drag took over.
Which came first your interest in hair and make-up or drag?
Hair and makeup came first. Drag wasn’t on television when I was younger. The only time you really got to learn anything about drag was when you were old enough to go to the bars.
Why do you think you survived so many lip-sync challenges on RPDR?
I’m an entertainer, in my soul. It’s what I do. People that didn’t even like me on the show have said when they come and see me live that they become fans. You can see the passion in a true entertainer when they step on the stage.
You also have a considerable amount of ink. What can you tell me about your tattoos?
I started getting tattooed when I was around 26 or 27. All my tattoos are by the same artist and they were all done in about a year and a half. (They depict) favorite movies from my childhood and sentimental things in my life.
You’ve talked about being bullied as a child. Have you had a chance to meet any of your bullies who are now fans?
No. I don’t really have any contact with anyone from my hometown. I’ve had some people reach out and apologize for the way they treated me, but that has nothing to do with the show. I left that place behind because I knew I was bigger than that.
You have an incredibly busy tour schedule, including several dates on the Ru Paul’s Drag Race Werq the World Tour. What will you be performing on the tour?
I’ll be switching up songs here and there on the tour. The dancers and I have an evil queen mix that I’m doing right now that we will probably revamp and keep. Anything else will be at my discretion.
Are you going to places on the tour to which you’ve never been before, and if so, what are some of the cities you are most excited about visiting?
I’m overseas, on tour, so I’m seeing all of these cities right now. I honestly couldn’t even tell you where I’m going in the US. As you said, my schedule is so insane I don’t even know where I’m going next. I check my schedule the week before, walk in my house for 24 hours, grab clean underwear, switch out costumes, and jump on another plane.
Finally, are you watching or did you watch the Ryan Murphy series Pose. If so, do you see a thru-line from the drag balls of the 1980s to RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I have not. That’s something I would love to do is veg out on my couch and catch up on the series. “Walking” in balls is definitely something that has inspired Drag Race, as that is what we do. We walk in our looks. Paris is Burning is a great representation of the ball scene so I’m excited to see this new series and I’m very happy to see the trans community receiving the roles and recognition they deserve.
By Jamie Kirk
A few years back, I had a eureka moment. I realized my job in Consulting was affording me a nice lifestyle, but not a whole lot more. I didn’t feel fulfilled on a deep, personal level. I didn’t feel I was making a difference or using my talents to the fullest, so I decided it was time to make a switch and pursue my passions. I was not able to completely disconnect from Corporate America, but I did get certified to be a Spin Instructor, which offset the mundane, ordinary life I was creating.
My story is not as interesting as those folks that woke up went to work and quit on the spot. They made a snap decision in a moment of frustration that impacted their entire life. They made a change and never looked back. Or did they? People that make a life change have many considerations that start to rear their ugly heads. Will money be tight? Is this the right thing to do? Perhaps it’s easier just to give up on the dream and continue the ho-hum existence? All valid – but what about being happy and fulfilled?
Faced with a big decision, try to keep the things below top of mind.
Life Isn’t About Talk; It’s About Commitment
A dream isn’t worth anything until you try to put it into practice. When you dedicate yourself to your dream, whatever it may be, you find yourself at the intersection of perception and reality. This idea has probably existed in your mind for years, taking on a particular shape and existing entirely as a function of your own imagination. Now, when you put it to the test, it’s time to get real. It’s time to give birth to the idea and fully commit to nurturing that dream the same way you would nurture a child.
Resilience and Adaptation Are the Keys to A Vibrant Life and Healthy Mind
When you are trying to manifest an idea, there will be setbacks, failures, and disappointments. Newsflash: Setbacks, failures, and disappointments are good for you! They are the best education you can get, as they teach you to adapt. Giving up is like dropping out of school; you miss out on critical experiences and valuable lessons and do not learn the enormous value of failure.
Quitting Can Become a Habit
If you give up on the things that matter most to you, you will likely establish a pattern of giving up on anything when things don’t go the way you hoped. You will not learn the importance of persistence — and anything worthwhile requires persistence.
Values Are the Most Important Thing
Persisting with goals that are important to you means placing more significance on your values, rather than convenience or expedience. Hopefully, you wouldn’t ever give up on your values, and you wouldn’t give up on the ideas that reflect those values.
Self-Belief Is Everything
Giving up on your important goals is tantamount to giving up on yourself. You are a unique person with your own gifts and talents, and no one will invest in them more than you. Perhaps millions of people have had the same goals and dreams as you, but everyone manifests these aspirations differently — and uniquely.
So, what does never giving up really mean? It means believing in yourself. It means a willingness to accept “failure,” so you can learn the critical skill of adaptation. It means not compromising on your most important values, and walking the walk, rather than just talking the talk. It means living the life you want and is passionate about.
Never quit on the things that are important to you. Self-belief is the most important belief there is.
By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Even though the weather still feels nothing like Fall, it is a good time to update your wardrobe so you can transition seamlessly into the cooler season. We have collected a few trends and styling tips so you can get into the comfort of the cooler season.
Strip way logos and elaborate prints and patterns and go for more relaxed fits that hints to the 80s and 90s.
A western style hat finishes the look with a bit of edge.
Go for a layered look with looser fits – perfect for shifting weather conditions.
Forego fitted jeans and get into wide cropped pants – for additional styling add a rolled detail to the leg.
Sneakers will never go out of style, but this season get into more classic footwear as well.
The silhouette remains pretty basic but details like maxi dots are added to create a fun and contemporary contrast.
Layer a simple shirt over a basic crew t-shirt for the right look.
Pair with cropped pants with fun prints or pops of color.
Retro sneakers are back in style (did they ever leave?)
Activewear is going hi-tech with relaxed fits that stretch to fit your physique and effort at the gym.
Both short and track pants have a tighter fit.
Tops are a little looser for added comfort.
Light-reactive, reflective details add a touch of style.