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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Moving to Tumblr

For the time being, I'm going to be posting material on a Tumblr site: johnvsantore.tumblr.com. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Observed

In the long tile tunnel connecting two lines of the train, four young men sing together, tenor and base, harmony reflecting, deepening, reverberating everywhere. As they sing, crowds flow past in each direction, rushing, and the music flows over everyone.

During a period of quiet in between one train and the next, and with the tunnel nearly empty, they begin to fill it with Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come."

I was born by the river, in a little tent...

And as we walk away from those four young men and come to the end of the tunnel, the music is behind us, but its echoing words are still clear, still spirited, still hopeful, still joyful.

Oh and just like the river I've been running ever since.

And there, at the end of the tunnel, there is a single small trash can, and a man of about forty-five or fifty who was previously seen moving through the tunnel with a distracted, aimless air, almost appearing as if he were perhaps given pause by the music (until he is seen closer up), this man is going through the trash, and he's pulling out a McDonald's bag he has found (which is crumpled up) and he is reaching into the bag, and he is pulling out a hamburger that has already been partially eaten, big bites already taken out of it, and he is still leaning over the trash can as he takes a bite of what's left, and then he throws the rest away again, and continues digging.

It's been a long time, a long time coming, but I know, a change gonna come, oh yes it will.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A night at Homolatte

Walking east on Argyle Street away from the Red Line stop on the El, you’ll pass a stretch of Vietnamese businesses and restaurants. Taking a left on Sheridan reveals an unremarkable half-a-block until the neon lettering of Big Chicks appears on your left. Inside the Lakewood bar, you’re met with low light, an indy soundtrack, and cheap beer. Every available space on the walls is covered in a framed photo, drawing or painting. The emphasis is on portraiture: strong women, many bearing their bodies unapologetically, gaze at you. The space is attached to an adjacent restaurant called Tweet, where on the first and third Tuesday of each month, a microphone is placed at one end of the room. Shortly after 7:30, queer Chicago musician Scott Free stands up, passes a guitar strap over his wide shoulders, and announces the start of the latest edition of the music and poetry gathering he’s run for, by his estimation, 12 years: Homolatte.

New play, "Pink Milk," examines the life of Alan Turing

Last year, Alex Young, then a junior at Northwestern University studying creative writing, began working on a poetry project in response to incidents of bullying and suicide plaguing gay teenagers and gaining increasing national attention.

Young said he started to research prominent gay figures from the 1950s, especially those who had faced some form of abuse or personal tragedy. In the process, he discovered Alan Turing, the British mathematician and scientist widely considered one of the founders of computer science, as well as a visionary in the field of artificial intelligence. Setting aside his poems, Young started working on his first full-length play, one inspired by Turing’s life. The result, “Pink Milk,” just finished a five-show run at this year’s New York International Fringe Festival, and will be coming to the Chicago Fringe Festival in September.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Profile of comedian and actor Jason Stuart


Comedian and actor Jason Stuart reflects on his career, the personal and professional benefits of coming out of the closet, and the artistic options available to LGBTQ performers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Same-sex marriage ceremony at Halsted Market Days


The above audio slideshow portrays a mock same-sex marriage ceremony that took place at the Halsted Market Days in Chicago on August 11, 2012. It was organized by the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, and was presided over by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-12).