Elsewhere on Liberty Avenue, Justin clutches Brian's hand as they walk down the street. Justin's channeling Sybil some more. Brian asks him if he wants to go back to the loft. Justin doesn't, but when someone bumps into him, he loses it and curses him out. Brian hugs Justin and tells him to calm down. They stop in front of the bookstore we just saw Ted enter. A display featuring The Gay Gauntlet by Harold Bellwether is in the window.
Inside the store, Mr. Bellwether -- who, yes, bears a resemblance to Andrew Sullivan -- is cheerfully signing his book. It's Ted's turn, and he gushes, "Mr. Bellwether, I am so validated by what you write. You are a font of inspiration and wisdom." Howie smiles benevolently and takes Ted's book. He asks Ted's name, and Ted tells him, reaching out his hand so Howie can shake it. Bellwether ignores it and just signs the book. Ouch. All of a sudden, Justin shoves past Ted and throws another book down in front of Bellwether. "Sign this!" Justin demands, "'To Brian Kinney, Please accept my apologies for what I wrote about you. I'm a sack of lying shit. Love and luck, Howie.'" Bellwether is amused. Ted is thoroughly embarrassed. Bellwether guesses that Justin is "the teenage lover." Ted looks around for Brian, who cheerfully waves at him from the back of the store. That cracked me up, too. Aside from the cop incident, Brian is pretty amusing throughout the whole hour. It's so unprecedented, it wasn't until I watched a second time that I realized what was going on. And even now, I'm kind of ashamed to admit it. The end is definitely nigh. Anyway, Bellwether tells Justin that he's "a brave young man. If anyone should get an award for heroism, it's" Justin. Justin snaps that Howie had no right to bag on Brian like that. Even it was the truth. Did I say that? Yeah. I did. Bellwether calls it his "obligation" to write that article. Who asked ya? The award's for saving Justin's life. It's not like Brian's getting the Gay Advocate of the Year award. Trust me, we deal with this stuff in Black World all the time. Fifteen rounds of "Blacker than thou." What a black person is supposed to be. Living up (or should I say down) to stereotypes in the media. Which is better: LL Cool J or Snoop Doggy Dogg? Boondocks or Jumpstart? Do we still want Jesse to run, Jesse, run, even though he has a four-year-old illegitimate daughter? Blah blada blada bling blang blong. I'd sympathize with you, but I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about Condoleeza Rice.