Connect with us

Exclusive: Famous Writer Del Shores Endorses Obama. ‘I’ve Got His Back.’



In our exclusive interview, Del Shores, of “Sordid Lives” and “Queer as Folk” fame, tells guest author Jeremy Stubbs he’s endorsing President Obama: “I’ve got his back.”

Del Shores is a busy man. His latest movie, “Blues for Willadean,” has been screening in L.A. and takes on the serious subject of spousal abuse and violence while still providing some of his well known southern comedy. It stars the always engaging Beth Grant, Dale Dickey of “True Blood,” and Octavia Spencer in the first movie following her Academy Award winning performance in “The Help.”

I could feel over the phone his excitement about the screening as he spoke with me about the recent attempts in Texas to block his famous play “Sordid Lives” from going into production. Despite a warm welcome from fans — since 1987 — of his plays, movies, and his production of such shows as “Queer as Folk,” Shores’ work still gets met with strong resistance in places like the Deep South. Has it ever stopped the refreshingly outspoken Del Shores? Not for one second.

READ: Art Imitates Life In A Small Texas Town’s Fight Against ‘Sordid Lives’

“You know what I think?,” he says as we jump right into what felt like a conversation you might have with a neighbor or friend. “That play is about love and acceptance. These people have just refused to enlighten themselves over the years, hiding behind a few scriptures to feel their own hatred. They try to call it offensive or complain because it has the f-word or whatever, but what they are doing is hiding behind their own homophobia.”

“I would like all those people that tried to block the show to come out to the Wimberley Players for the preview so we can have a civil conversation about censorship,” Shores continued. “I’d especially like to talk to the ones that made all those comments and have never even read the play,” he tells me in his message to the very vocal minority who threatened to pull funding from the Wimberly Players playhouse. “If they won’t do that, and they to come out to picket, then bring a camera. I am the son of a Southern Baptist preacher and I will go toe-to-toe with them on scripture. There are gay people in anti-gay states like Texas and North Carolina, where they voted hate into their constitution, that need to know that there are others fighting on their behalf.”

Mr. Shores is also scheduled to appear at nearby Texas State University to speak with playwriting students, LGBT groups on campus, and perform sections of his one man shows on November 8. The show will be followed by a meet and greet and will be hosted by the university’s Honors College, where an LGBT studies program has just begun earlier this year.

Del Shores’ work often includes such subjects as religion, family, and LGBT issues. It all pours onto the page at once after the characters have brewed in his mind like he mentions they are now for his next play, already titled, “This Side of Crazy.”

“I always tell people I’m just this side of crazy,” he jokes. “I just don’t tell them which side I’m on.”

Del Shores is a native of Texas, a well-known Republican stronghold in the upcoming election, and he will be in the state on election night. “I feel good about it,” he tells me. “I was talking to a relative lately who said Obama hasn’t been able to get us out of this debt and fix our problems. There’s something lost when it comes to these people’s expectations. It’s going to take longer, and in my opinion there is one big elephant in the room that hasn’t gone away. His name is George W. Bush.”

“As you might assume, I’m for Obama,” Shores tells me. “What he said about marriage equality was just fantastic. I’ve got his back.”

“I do get political in Naked. Sordid. Reality, also,” he continues. “I talk about Newt Gingrich and Victoria Jackson. The audiences have really been responding to her and the part about Kirk Cameron. They are some of the biggest hypocrites and haters towards the gay community.”

In addition to politics, Shores’ most recent show discusses his divorce, being single again, and his real Aunt Sissy, who is a favorite of his characters among his fans. Sharing how he is looking forward to performing at Texas State University he tells me, “I love playing the South. It’s like group therapy. I start off with one twisted story that no one has been able to top yet. It really is my hope audiences will walk away laughing and forgetting about everything else for a while. If they also walk away thinking just a little bit, then that’s an added bonus.”

Before hanging up we shared the last of many laughs throughout our conversation. It was a bit of laughter through tears after we both got choked up when he allowed me to share with him a cherished memory, from a summer in Alabama at age fourteen, of watching his first movie with my late grandmother. It was the same kind of heartfelt moment we see often in his shows and movies. It indicated to me that when we watch his work we are truly seeing his heart, his humanity, and that he is very much enjoying his true to life characters right along with us.

“Blues for Willadean” premieres at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, CA this weekend.

Images of Del Shores by Bryan Putnam (top) and Alan Mercer (center).


Guest author Jeremy Stubbs credits his parents for his twisted sense of humor. He currently lives just outside of Austin, Texas with his wonderful partner and their pesky cat. When he’s not working to pay the bills he is photographing and writing about the world around him.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Reporters Reveal Some Republicans Don’t Understand What a Default Means – and Don’t Believe the Debt Ceiling Is Real



CNN’s Jim Acosta and John Avlon compared notes on Republicans speaking on raising the debt ceiling over the weekend only to realize that the far-right members refuse to support the deal between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden.

Acosta cited an interview he conducted Saturday with Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), who said he’s voted for shutdowns and would vote again this week.

After ranting about cutting spending, Acosta said, “Well, you can have the argument about cutting spending during the budget and appropriations process, but as you know, Congressman, the U.S. has never missed making payments on its bills before. In the last 45 years, Congress has raised the debt ceiling 65 times. So, again, I go back to the question: is it responsible — I understand what you’re saying about how much your daughter spends, but we’re not talking about $15. We’re talking about the American economy. Is it responsible to be the deciding vote to send the country into default?”

Burchett claimed that the country wasn’t going to be sent into default. He crafted a conspiracy that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen kept changing the date the U.S. default would happen.

“Nobody is, as the young people say, nobody has provided the receipts. Nobody has called her into Washington and said, ‘Show us the math on this,'” he said.

Yellen works at the Treasury Department, which is in Washington.

Burchett also had his own math, saying that if they cut the budget spending to the 2022 levels, the country would be in a surplus. The House passed a massive defense spending package that would have required cuts from other places.

“All they’re doin’ right now is scarin’ people,” Burchett claimed. “They’re talkin’ about cutting programs that have no need other than political cronyism, we’re tellin’ our seniors — and the Democrats will, and I get it — they’re tellin’ the seniors they’re gonna be cut. Veterans are gonna be cut. And nothing can be farther (sic) from the truth. And that’s just the reality of politics.”

The reason Democrats were citing cuts to seniors and veterans goes back to the Republican Party budget bill that required cuts to seniors and veterans. That’s because returning to the 2022 budget levels means making cuts to increases already passed by Congress.

Acosta turned back to Burchett to ask if he believed the debt ceiling wasn’t real.

“I think the debt ceiling is — it’s just a creative thing to hold us into responsible — into check,” said Burchett.

Avlon cited Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), who claimed he refused to sign a bill that would bankrupt the economy.

“Well, hold it right there,” said Avlon. “I mean, if you let the country default on its debt, that’s functionally the same thing.”

An annoyed Avlon was frustrated the process was even something allowed to happen.

“It’s a fact, Congress has to control the pursestrings. So, frankly, someone should figure out the 14th Amendment side of this because I think this is not the way we’re supposed to play ball, the greatest nation in the world constantly every couple of years when there’s a Democratic president flirting with defaulting on our debt because it’s fiscal policy by extortion,” said Avlon. “This is a win to the extent that we came up to a bipartisan agreement, but this is not the way the greatest nation in the world should conduct its fiscal policy. It’s ridiculous. And it didn’t happen when Donald Trump was president because Democrats worked with Republicans to ensure the debt ceiling was raised three times.”

See the discussion below or at the link here.

Image: GOP Rep. Tim Burchett


Continue Reading


‘Start the Kevin McCarthy Death-Clock’ After Biden Wins Debt Ceiling Battle: Rick Wilson



Appearing late Saturday night on MSNBC after it was announced that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had reached an agreement “in principle’ on a budget deal, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson claimed this could be the beginning of the end for McCathy’s speakership.

Sitting in on a panel with guest host Michael Steele, Wilson suggested that McCarthy’s decision to compromise with the president to avoid a default that would spin the economy into chaos will not go over well with far-right members of his House caucus who could make a motion to “vacate the chair” to express their displeasure.

Asked by host Steel about what comes next, Wilson stated it was a win for the White House which will not make conservatives happy.

RELATED: ‘Crazy cuckoo MAGA people’ could sink debt ceiling deal: Dem strategist

“Great night for Joe Biden, great night for the White House even though I think their messaging has been kind of tentative the past few weeks” the Lincoln Project founder began. “I think though we are now going to start the Kevin McCarthy death-clock. He has certainly got a very angry part of his caucus tonight who probably burning up his phone no matter how good it is for the country not to default.”

“It’s not going to please the chaos caucus in the GOP,” he added.

Watch below or at the link:


Continue Reading


Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats



As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.

According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.

As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.

“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump in danger of heightened espionage charges after bombshell report: legal expert

Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.

In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”

With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”

Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.