Another Talent Lost – Amy Winehouse

amy winehouse

I have no doubt that you’ve heard the news already. Of course, something like this travels fast across the tangled web of the Internet. Twitter lights up with fans expressing their grief, Facebook goes into overdrive with fan pages and memorials, bloggers start tapping away with gushing emotion… And I join the outpouring.

I hope you like metaphorical posts, because that’s the way I plan to do this.

I was a little late to the Winehouse party. A good friend of mine who knows I love house parties invited me along, suggesting that the music was something a little different, and that people really loved it.

So while I don’t normally like that kind of popular music, I was actually really impressed to hear it when I got there. It was a great mix of blues, soul and jazz with a modern twist, and I found myself dancing along to it. It was a really great house, quite beautiful. The whole place was packed with original style and the owner seemed to have a lot of pride in the place.

It was packed with all kinds of people, old and young, alternative and mainstream. I guess I was having a great time for the first hour or so, meeting new people and checking the place out. But then I started to look around and realized that something wasn’t quite right.

There were a couple of kids throwing up on the balcony. When I went to the bathroom I squeezed past a stumbling young guy to get in and there was a sheen of white powder across the wash basin. In the hall a couple were getting far too friendly while others walked around them. Outside the front door a young couple were screaming at each other, yelling obscenities and slapping each other while the neighbors looked on in disgust.

Then something happened to the CD player, and the music started to jump. It sounded so terrible and everyone who had been dancing and having a great time gave up and took a seat. A few people tried to fix it, but after another hour it was obvious that whatever they were doing was just making it worse. It was really bad, you couldn’t understand the lyrics and although the music seemed to make sense, the energy had gone.

People started to leave. Every time another bottle smashed or another person fell unconscious the numbers thinned out. But a few stuck around and kept on listening to the stereo even though the music was impossible to appreciate. I guess they’d never heard such music before and were not quite ready to let it go just yet.

That’s when I left. I had the music playing in my head, and I really didn’t want to ruin what had otherwise been a good night. It was so sad to see the house being trashed in front of me and hear that music becoming nothing more than a horrid noise.

What had been a beautiful home had become little more than a crack house. There were a few people who were trying to stop the destruction, but it seemed futile. As I walked out the door I knew the party would be raided and closed down pretty soon, and I didn’t want to be there. Plenty of people I talked to as we were leaving thought the house might even be totally destroyed; it was so out of control it was more like a riot than a party.

In conclusion, the party started great. But soon it became clear that it was out of control. I think we all knew that it would end in a mess, we just hoped that maybe it would calm down and could carry on.

Ultimately, Amy Winehouse was an adult, capable of making her own decisions and responsible for her own health. While it is probably right to feel sad that such talent was lost, do we celebrate recklessness and addiction in any other aspect of life? I believe we should mourn, but with a certain perspective – just as we mourned the death of Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix or Marilyn Monroe.

R.I.P. Amy.

New Yorkers get arrested for Marijuana Possession more than any other crime

Seriously what is the deal with all the marijuana arrests in this country? Do you really think it is making any sense any more for this drug to be criminalized. Actually let’s get this right in the first place and call it not a drug but a PLANT. In NYC the 2010 Marijuana Arrests Top 1978 to 1996 total. The reform of drug laws is needed now than ever with all the killings in Mexico, the violence that could be prevented, overdosing of prescription drugs, and over-crowding of jails which is bankrupting municipalities.

More people were arrested last year in NYC on charges of marijuana possession than during the entire 19-year period from 1978 to 1996, according to an analysis released this morning by the Drug Policy Alliance. Last year was the sixth year in a row that marijuana possession arrests increased where a staggering 50,383 people were arrested. This is according to a report recently released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and obtained by the policy alliance.

Box Mods

The new figure adds up to 140 arrests a day which makes marijuana possession the leading reason for arrest in New York City. This also makes an 8 percent increase over 2009 and a 69 percent increase since 2005 according to the alliance.

From1978 to 1996, there were 49,326 marijuana possession arrests according to a sociology professor at Queens College and an expert on marijuana enforcement. The increased enforcement is due to harsher enforcement not to increasing consumption.

“Over the last 20 years, N.Y.P.D. has quietly made arrests for marijuana their top enforcement priority, without public acknowledgment or debate,”

the alliance said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg more conservative than we thought? The policy alliance claims there have been about 350,000 arrests for marijuana possession since he took office in 2002. 70% of those arrested are younger than 30.

Isn’t having possession a violation or a slap on the wrist? Possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana has been a violation, not a jailable crime in New York since 1977. It is when you have pot “open to public view” that it is a crime. The advocates are saying that many people who simply have marijuana in their pockets are charged with having the drug “in the open” after officers order them to empty their pockets.

Cure to HIV Found?

A weak spot of HIV may have been discovered and the world may now be a safer place from the HIV battle.  Doctors in Houston may have found the cure to destroy the disease in some breaking news about HIV treatment.  Although the bad news is that it will take at least five years for people with HIV to be helped by the research.  Even then its best not to get our hopes up too much but we should stay ambitious about finding a cure to this virus.

Can HIV Be Destroyed?

Roche to Suspend HIV Research

We had just commented about an article on that foreshadowed the rough days ahead for HIV med research.  Today, some sad news comes out that one of the big pharma’s will be pulling out of HIV research.  Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, plans to suspend HIV research “because none of its pending medicines represent significant improvement over existing drugs,” says a company spokesperson.

Box Mods

It is too bad to see one less big pharma involved in saving HIV related deaths.  Let’s hope this brings opportunity to smaller pharma and something positive comes out of this in some way.

HIV Drug Pipeline Drying Fast

The last few years have seen some big name combinations and rollouts of HIV drugs but we are seeing a slowdown in the industry that looks like a well gone dry.  An article written by claims that we are in a big surprise ahead when it comes to any promising drugs in the future.

As for those drugs in human studies, the closest to approval is rilpivarine (TMC-278), an NNRTI for first line treatment being studied against Sustiva. Vicriviroc, Schering’s CCR5 drug, continues to flounder but is still viable. Bevirimat, a maturation inhibitor from Panacos, has been hamstrung by formulation problems. Other drugs we are following are Pharmasset’s racivir, and Avexa’s apricitabine.

The article points to the fact that we need more treatment activists who can work with scientists, companies, and regulators.  This will call more action to more HIV drugs being in the pipeline and hopefully be approved if they are safe.

We need more programs in colleges and more gay community focused on science and getting more involved with the research.  I think alot more can be done to further the HIV research programs and focus on a cure.  As a community effort more money could be given to research and science and/or the treatment activists.  Their could be a crisis ahead if we stop being persistant and pushing for a better treatment or a cure.

Help With Meth Addiction?

I received an email today about an all-natural new product that aims to curb methamphetamine use. You know the drug known as Ice, Tina, and Crystal Meth. I read through the process of this supplement and it looks promising but you have to keep in mind it is a supplement compared to an FDA approved prescription medication.

The system is called Crystal Clear which was featured in Newsweek and endorsed by some Naturopath’s. While I am always sketpical of any supplements or herbal remedies I think sometimes even as a placebo effect anything should be tried to stop such a horrible addiction.  This is a twelve week program so it seems like it would take a lot of self-control and personal rehab to complete.

The gay community has seen rising rates for years with the meth addiction and we should try anything we can to stop this evil substance.

Best Erection Products

Now then, I am not necessarily here to sell you some tablets or creams or whatever but just to have a quick look at some of the things out there that claim to help you get, and keep, a better erection. I know we’ve all see the spam e-mails that come in trying to flog us Cialis tablets and the like but forget about them, I am going to try and search out some of the more serious products available on the web today so you now that you can shop in relative safety.

But first of all, why get a ‘better’, harder and longer lasting erection? Well, o.k. so it makes sex more enjoyable; some people clearly don’t need these products while others use them for a confidence boost. When you take a Viagra you know you are going to get a stiffy no matter what. But if you actually need to look for these kinds of product for a medical reason, if you truly can not get an erection, then you should be visiting your doctor not reading this. This is for fun rather than therapy.

I mentioned Viagra and that is probably the most famous of the remedies available. Originally it was only prescribed by doctors for cases of impotency as taking it without consulting your doctor first can be dangerous – particularly if you are taking certain other medicines. Later though the tablets sneaked onto the market and you seem to be able to pick it up just about anywhere these days. But it may not always be the real thing so watch out. (See for the definitive Viagra site.)

On the back of Viagra came other meds with similar names. I for one have tried Kamagra which looks similar and does the same thing but which you can buy on-line. I’m not saying that you should do this of course, I only bought some after a recommendation from a trusted friend and after trying some. I knew I wasn’t on any other medication and I wasn’t using poppers (amyl nitrate) which is another thing you should avoid when taking erection meds. Why? Because basically all these things do is open up blood vessels and allow more blood to go to, and stay in, the penis. If you take other meds and things – like poppers – that do a similar thing, you will be laying yourself open to medical problems.

But on to a more cheery thing: a side step, you don’t have to take drugs to get a better erection; buy a cock ring, strap it around your cock and balls and when you get a stiffy it will stay stiffer for longer. This is a simple alternative then there is just turning on some hot twink porn to get aroused.

Back to the drugs: you can find plenty of herbal remedies on line at the moment and you might rather try these first. After a quick search I found: a blend of 15 safe to use herbs (but I’m not sure which ones!) ‘the UK’s foremost male potency pills’ and which had a list of Uprima, Viagra and Soft-Tabs among other things.

I guess my problem with searching for erection enhancers is twofold: firstly there are so many things, including drugs and toys, to choose from I don’t know where to start and secondly I don’t know who to trust. I see so many spam e-mails that I tend to distrust anyone selling sex enhancing drugs. But maybe I am just being cynical – that last site, the Hormone Shop, had pages about all kinds of sexual health, medical conditions and advice so I tend to trust it more. The one that I do trust though is and this site is definitely worth a look if you are thinking about searching our some erection enhancers for yourself.

What do the male porn stars take? There are many erection products out there and even injections that go right in the penile area.. ouch! We did find one really hot product online we have seen talked about in forums called VigRx which has clinical results to prove its effectiveness.

Meth is Not Cool

I do not understand how the meth addicts have to ruin a perfectly good word… Party. They are also ruining another good word… Play. It took me a long time to figure out what PNP meant in chat rooms and at the club but now I know it means Party and Play which means to have sex while under the influence of ice or crystal. I am not here to lecture about gays having sex or converting to Buddha but I am sick of everything meth.

Meth is ruining lives in the gay community and we need to focus our efforts on getting rid of it. The main thing we can do is reach out and try to help our friends that are on ice, crystal, or Tina.

Tina and other methamphetamine type drugs could also be hurting the club scene. These people sit at home and never make it out to the clubs. They constantly smoke on the ice pipes and think they are doing something productive when in reality they have accomplished nothing but the start of a deep cycle to ruin their lives.

When I first moved to a major city I meet some of the coolest people in which I developed a close friendship with. A few of these people I watched fall hard by “trying” some Tina. They thought they could just try it a few times to give them energy to enjoy late night afterparties that followed long hours of dancing. They soon used the drug to help them make it to work and even gave them more confidence than ever before. They did not want to loose that confidence so they kept buying more and more to help them with work and with the nightlife. One person told me it gave them the confidence to get promoted at work.

In a few days or weeks every one of these people who had ever tried this messy substance were up days and days without any sleep. This lead to hallucinations and their minds turning them into someone they are not. They stole from me and everyone they could, lied, cheated on their boyfriends, and even lost their jobs. They developed an extreme confidence and thought they could not do any wrong. The only thing that could help them was getting into trouble or rehab and most of the time that does not even stop this addiction.

I believe in the legalization of marijuana among the legalization of other drugs that do not show proven harm but meth is the worst and most evil thing I have ever witnessed. Yes, it is the most evil being out there to take the soul of someone and change it into something they cannot get away from.

The comedown is supposed to be days of depression and the worst come down of any hangover or day after ecstasy pill. I have heard it is 30 times worse than those combined.

How do we stop meth in our community? We can look for signs of meth use and reach out or maybe get more groups setup to counsel people struggling with this “disease.” I have never done this myself but have been around people on it and am just amazed how horrible it is and what it can do to so many lives. I would like to see the word party changed to its original meaning again!

Copyright © 2005-2012 Gay & Lesbian Queer Blog