"From the moment you are born, you start to die."

So says Pierre Anthon when he decides that there is no meaning to life, leaves the classroom, climbs a plum tree, and stays there. His friends and classmates cannot get him to come down, not even by pelting him with rocks. So to prove to him that there is a meaning to life, they set out to build a heap of meaning in an abandoned sawmill.

But it soon becomes obvious that each person cannot give up what is most meaningful, so they begin to decide for one another what the others must give up. The pile is started with a lifetime’s collection of Dungeons & Dragons books, a fishing rod, a pair of green sandals, a pet hamster – but then, as each demand becomes more extreme, things start taking a very morbid twist, and the kids become ever more desperate to get Pierre Anthon down. And what if, after all these sacrifices, the pile is not meaningful enough?


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Man Up that Sissy Kid of Yours!

Gay marriage opponents in the United States have long used parents’ fear of having gay children, but now it seems a martial arts academy is capitalizing on this fear, too. The Academy of Martial Arts RDCA ran two ads showing a little boy participating in generally feminine practices: applying lipstick and wearing high heels. The ads have just two words other than the group’s logo: “Karate lessons.”

The Facebook page of RDCA describes the academy as “Your Ultimate Empowerment Group.” It continues, “If you are serious about your self improvement and empowerment you have reached the right group.” But the advertisements seem to imply that the martial arts academy is not looking to empower students who have alternative gender expressions. Towelroad accused the Fla. academy of targeting  “parents wanting to ‘man up’ kids who express an interest in their mother’s clothes.”

Florida is known for its anti-gay politics. Gay adoption is still illegal there, and now a gubernatorial candidate has suggested going further to ban gay foster parenting too. [via 365gay]


Close to Léo

If you grew up bickering with your siblings, you’ll be jealous of the French family you see sitting around the table as Close to Léo (original title: Tout contre Léo) begins. Mum and Dad have apparently done a great job because 21-year-old Leo, his two teenage brothers Tristan  and Pierrot, and 11-year-old Marcel all get along famously and couldn’t be closer. Not even Leo’s homosexuality has caused a problem. Everything is just fine until Leo gathers the family, excluding Marcel, and announces that he’s tested positive for HIV. The family quickly closes ranks and decides together that it’s best not to tell Marcel, who is too young to handle such bad news. The problem is that Marcel has overheard some of the conversation, and he knows something is going terribly wrong in his perfect world.