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Talking Points: Gay country stars, Facebook envy, Avril Lavigne’s emotions

It’s been dubbed the “first gay country video:” Chicago songwriter Steve Grand’s summery All-American Boy portrays the singer falling for another man over bourbon and skinny dipping, and ends with a rebuff in the lake. “We have all longed for someone we can never have. … We all have felt that ache for our ‎#allamericanboy,” wrote Grand, who came out in Grade 8 and survived years of “straight therapy.” The video has garnered nearly half a million views on YouTube and may just land him a record deal.


Welcome to Talking Points, a daily roundup of digital miscellany

Tootsie 2.0

One man has wedged his hairy legs into ballet flats. Another looks unsure in flip-flops and a pale sundress. There's a guy looking downright uncomfortable in a bolero, tights and little Robin Hood booties and another sitting pretty in a floral jumper, resplendent chest hair peeping out. Men Under the Influence is a highly charged project by Spanish photographer Jon Uriarte, who got his male subjects to dress up in their wives and girlfriends' clothes to express their ambivalence about shifting gender roles in the workplace and in the home. "The photos attempt to capture men's sense of loss [of] reference, now that women have taken a step forward and have finally come into their own as equal partners." Welcome to bunion-ville, boys.

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Wall of envy

High academic achievers are more prone to pangs of romantic jealousy on Facebook than their counterparts with lower grades, according to a U.S. survey of undergraduates. The researchers asked respondents to imagine rage-inducing scenes online, like finding faintly seductive messages in their boyfriend or girlfriend's Facebook inbox. ("What are you up to later?" was one titillating example.) Students with higher GPA scores consistently showed greater levels of "Facebook jealousy," with women emerging particularly green-eyed. Oddly, it was the the winking emoticon – ;) – that rattled men most of all. The researchers hypothesize that these people are perfectionists for whom infidelity would prove more earth-shattering than for others. So keep the digital winking to a minimum with your Tracy Flick friends.


"My body was overtaken by emotion. I saw him and he was so calm and happy. He had a tear coming down and he wiped it away. I felt so good walking to him. It made me feel like a complete woman." –Avril Lavigne. The Napanee, Ont., rocker shares her wedding-day feelings after marrying Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger and legalizing Chavril on Canada Day in France.

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