H *#^m il m^
i ,-'■■■*% '-'■ ■
Al IXielwassep I
HOUSTON VOICE /AUGUST 23, 1996 19
Nada Surf's new hit single "Popular"
(Elektra Records) is an incisive, sarcastic swipe at high school mores and teen
social conventions. However, it's not
the song's biting lyrics—hut a few seconds of video tape—that have one school
official crying foul.
Tlie music video for "Popular" contains a brief shower scene that recently
raised the homophobic hackles of Leo
Smith, vice principal of New Jersey's
Bayonne High School. The video's closing scene—which portrays young male
athletes showering and (gasp!) smiling at each other—is offensive, says
Smith, because it suggests that some
members of the Bayonne football team
might actually be homosexual.
"Popular" was shot on location at Bayonne High — with administration
approval—and the cast made use of the
school's c h e e r I e a d i n g and f o o t b a 11
uniforms. However, Smith says, he
never would have consented to the production had he known the video would
contain such "suggestive" imagery.
According to Nada Surf, the shower scene
was never intended to suggest homosexuality. Indeed, both the song's lyrics
and the hulk of the video's imagery are predominantly —and blatantly—heterosexual. The video features passionate, heterosexual kissing scenes, for
example, which go well beyond any
"suggestive" smiles that so offended
Significantly, (he band members
quickly took exception to Smith's homophobic attack. During an "MTV News"
report on the controversy, Nada Surf
lambasted Smith's ignorance—calling
the vice principal "small minded" for
singling out "homoeroticism as more
offensive than straight eroticism."
Nada Surf could have easily (and perhaps
more profitably) defended the heterosexual intent of iheir music WITHOUT
ever defending homoeroticism.
Instead, the band refused to ignore homophobia—the principal vice.
Action/Options: Remind Mr. Smith that
school administrators are supposed to
foster understanding, not ignorance.
Contact: Leo Smith, Vice Principal,
Bayonne High School, Bayonne, NJ.
201-858-5900; copy complaints to the
New Jersey Department of Education.
225 W. Slate St., CN 500, Trenton. NJ
08625—0500. 609-984-7454. As always.
your correspondence can do double
duty as "letters-to-the-editors" of
leading local newspapers; write to
"The Record." 150 River St.. Hacken-
sack, NJ 07602, fax 201-646-4135 and the
"Newark Star—Ledger," Star-Ledger
Plaza, Newark, NJ 07101, fax 201-643-
Supportive feedback should be sent to
Nada Surf, c/o Elektra Records, 345 N.
Maple Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210-
3827. 310-288-3800. Web browsers can
access "The Official Nada Surf Home
anet/) for band member bios, song lyrics, and other fan information: e-mail
n a d a s u r f @ aol.com.
To encourage MTV's coverage of issues
largely ignored by other news outlets,
contact Judy McGrath, President,
MTV Networks, 1515 Broadway. New
York, NY 10036, 212-258-8712, e-mail
Various artists and activists are working to combat the larger, on-going problem of popular music censorship. The
Massachusetts Music Industry Coalition (Mass. M.I.C.) has joined forces
with Rock Out Censorship and Rock &
Rap Confidential, setting up a web site
and petition drive to "support all artist's right to create music and all individual's right to choose the music they
will listen to." The organizers encourage politicians and other would-be censors "to make more beneficial and positive use of their time, money, and power
by striving lor belter opportunities,
education, and support for young people." Contaci: Mass. M.I.C, P.O. Box
333, Leominster, MA 01453, 508-
537 —1669, e-mail crowleyn@ult r-
c row ley n/m mic html.
An effective (and exceptional) new tool
for combating homophobia in the classroom is "It's Elementary; Talking
About Gay Issues in School." This film by
Debra Chasnoff and Helen Cohen
recently won "Best Documentary" at
the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and—thanks
lo limited theatrical release—has also
qualified for Academy Award consideration (if won, the Oscar would be
Chasnoff's second!). Contact:
Women's Educational Media, 2180 Bryant St., H 203, San Francisco, CA 94110,
415-641—4616, fax 415-641-4632, e-
More on Kolbe's Outing
The recent slories about Congressman
Kolbe's (R-AZ) "outing" only mention
his vote against same-sex marriages. In
fact, Kolbe's own Dec. 12, 1995 rider
destroyed funding for an Indian AIDS
prevention program and inserted a
clause to withhold cultural, religious
and environmental protection laws
that protect a sacred Apache mountain.
Mt.Graham. Kolbe promoted these
exemptions so University of Arizona
telescopes could desecrate this sacred
mountain," says openly gay candidate
Eric Resnick, who ran in the Democratic
primary in (he district of Rep. Regula
(R-OH), Interior Appropriations
chairperson. Regula and Kolbe conspired to sneak the rider in at the last
The Congressional Record read
"Amendment No. 178: Deletes Senate
language requiring the Indian Health
Service to prepare a report on HIV-AIDS
prevention needs, and inserts in lieu
thereof a provision which allows the
construction of a third telescope on
Mount Graham, in Arizona..."
Kolbe sold out the A IDS-afflicted Indian
community and replaced it with a rider
allowing Kolbe's U of A pals to desecrate
a sacred Apache mountain, claims Res-
nick. Kolbe claimed the homophobic and
racist aspects of his rider were coincidence, and the HIV study costly. In faci. he
intentionally waited many months to
inject his "coincidence" at the final
1995 joint Senate/House conference.
According to Resnick, "It was no coincidence." The irony of this non-coincidence is tharthe AIDS study cost was
minuscule compared to the billions in
grazing subsidies, below-cost timber
sales, and coyote killing for private
ranchers in the Kolbe/Regula bill.
Resnick further charges, "that every
U.S. university has rejected or abandoned tins U of A outrage against human
rights, the environment and due process." Only foreign partners remain and
Resnick says, "Outing is likely for legislators who pursue homophobic, racist agendas".
(3 blocks Wast or Montrose)
^P% (713) 529-1414
• Brakes ^tSEStW
BILL CLAIRE FAMILY MORTUARY
1 xnd Concern for the Fimily
Complete Funeral ■ Pre-Arranged Services
In-Home Services ■ Pre-Need Insurance
• Al Insurance PoScies Honored
con GAQf. 2603 Southmore
Cjttt~*yUOUHouston, TX 77004
► Financial Assistance
*■ Placement Assistance
► Natural Motion
*■ Color ► Perms ► Nails
COLLEGE OF COSMETOLOGY
864-4717 2103 Yale St
All work performed by students and
supervised by licensed instructors.
Model - Venture-N
onger Power Hour-Lower Prices
OPEN to CLOSE: SUN-MON-TUES-WED-THORS
NOON to 7:00pm: FRI 6 SAT
ALL WELL/BEER/WINE $1.75
NEVER A COVER CHARGE
Cuervo Shots $2.50
Everyday All the Time
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 9:00pm till ??
£Guest Bartenders on the "TOP" *
!§-,-1 Houston Area Bears *-t
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 5:00pm till ??
_ Guest Bartenders on the "TOP'
CO Females In Search of Trouble CO
Thurs: 4-8pm HIV Testing - Fiee S Confidential