Month: May 2014

June Official Gay Pride Month; Michael Arden Out Actor On Charlie Sheen Show; Jim Parsons on Sheldon

June Official Gay Pride Month

The President has officially dedicated the month of June to Gay Pride. With that, a call to end all  discrimination in the US followed.

 ‘Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month,’ he said.

‘I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.’

You can read more here.

I never thought I would see a US president do that in my lifetime.

Please don’t comment with politics on this one. It’s not a political issue up for discussion it’s a declaration by the President. I don’t get into politics on the blog, and please don’t mistake me for Dr. Phil. Someone did that recently on Facebook and he’ll think twice before he does it again (smile).

Michael Arden Out Actor On Charlie Sheen Show

It’s getting harder to post about positive topics lately. But I think this type of piece is interesting just for the sheer fact that it talks about an openly gay actor on a TV sitcom…or rather another openly gay actor.

Actor Michael Arden plays a gay character on Anger Management where Charlie Sheen is his anger management therapist.

‘I get to play a gay character which I love and get to be a guy who is bit of an asshole, a self-centered asshole,’ Arden tells Gay Star News.

 ‘I get to exercise that part of my make-up at work then my boyfriend doesn’t have to deal with it at home.’

You can read more here. Arden’s boyfriend is best known for Smash and they both work on different coasts.

I haven’t seen Anger Management, but I’m going to make a point to see it now. I’m curious about Arden’s role, and I’ve always had this minor gay for you crush on Charlie Sheen. It’s the bad boy thing.

Jim Parsons on Sheldon

I’ve been amazed at how huge The Big Bang sitcom has become in the last year. Tony is a dedicated fan and records so many episodes it fills up my DVR to the limit sometimes. Jim Parsons, who plays the emotionless Sheldon on the show, recently talked about his character.

‘I was 33 when I started the show and I’d never done anything in the public eye before. But I do feel I had a decent handle on who I was when all the s**t hit the fan, in the best of ways,’ he told Metro.

There’s more here.  I thought he was in his late twenties. You can also see Parsons in the HBO feature film this month about AIDS in the early years, in The Normal Heart.

BEA 2014; Futuristic Condoms; Maya Angelou Sex Work History

BEA 2014

This article states that floor traffic has been heavy at BEA 2014, and it’s the most active, the most popular, and the best BEA ever to hit the face of the planet. I almost expected to read that a choir of literary agents stood up and sang Let It Go. This information also comes from the VP of Publishing Strategy at St. Martin’s Press. I’ve heard other versions.

The one thing that remains consistent from everything I’ve read and everything I hear from people at BEA this year is the Amazon-Hachette dispute is a big part of conversation. James Patterson offered a few interesting words:

When Patterson was announced for the award, he received a standing ovation for the support he has shown independents with his million-dollar grants. A second ovation at the end of his talk came for his remarks, which opened with, “Hi, I’m Jeff Bezos.” He added, “All we can ask of people is that they try to do the right thing, the best thing.”
 
But according to Patterson, it also means taking a stand. “There is an evolution, revolution going on and it affects everybody,” he noted. “Every publisher is feeling a great deal of pain and stress. I’d like the press to think about this: publishers are not terribly profitable.” If publishers don’t make money, he said, they won’t be able to support good literature.
 
Once again, Amazon must be doing something right. I’m still rooting for publishers. I really am. I just wish that kind of thinking would go away. Steve Jobs wouldn’t have been slamming Bezos with snark and telling us something we already know. Jobs would have been eating him for breakfast.
 
You can read more here.
 
Actually, I’ve been doing searches for interesting things to share about BEA 2014. I’ve asked people I know who are there to let me know if anything interesting happens. But since nothing earth shattering seems to be happening at the biggest publishing event of the year and at the most exciting time in the history of publishing, I won’t bore readers anymore with future posts about BEA until next year.
 
You would think just one publisher, just one, would grand stand in at least one hugely significant way with a major announcement that really means something to readers and authors. Something about the future of publishing that would rock everyone sideways. Like maybe lowering the prices of digital books because they literally cost a fraction to produce compared to print books.
 
Futuristic Condoms
 
At least someone is worrying about the future, the future of penis caps that is. There’s a guy who invented a new scaled down version of the condom that he thinks will improve sex. It’s a cap for the tip (head) of the penis. I’m not sure if it comes in different sizes, though.
 

California native Charlie Powell claims to have invented a new kind of condom that he is calling the “Galactic Cap.” Instead of a latex sheath covering the full length of the penis, Powell’s condom encases only the tip. That way, semen is trapped without dulling sexual sensation, according to Powell.

Just one problem: It may not be as good as conventional condoms at stoping STIs.

This invention was spawned through a competition sponsored by Bill Gates and his wife. But the guy didn’t win any funding from Gates and now he’s turning to crowdfunding at indiegogo. Of course I have about a million questions about this penis cap. But I’ll refrain for now.

There’s more here, with a video and a more in-depth explanation of how the penis cap is actually used. It’s very well presented and interesting.

The comment thread is a real gem this time.

Maya Angelou Sex Work History

Ever since news broke about the death of Maya Angelou there have been hashtags, articles, and so many things trending it’s hard to keep up with them. But according to this next article no one has bothered to mention that Maya Angelou was a sex worker. It is by no means a negative article, and it in no way, shape, or form judges or slams Angelou. If anything, it supports what Angelou spoke about openly.

We can, once again, boil it down to respectability politics and stigma. I am angry about it. I find myself ruminating, considering, wondering: If her work had been talked about as much as her dancing with James Baldwin or even her considerable, commanding and lovely height of six feet, what would the sex work community look like today? If we had talked about her wonderful compassion for sex workers, how she never looked down on them, and her refusal to be intimidated by invasive and obnoxious questioning about her sex working past, what would sex workers around the world be saying today in memory of her life?

There’s even a quote about this from Maya Angelou. Angelou spoke about her past openly and never hid it from anyone.

It’s a good article about respectability politics and how the facts are often distorted in one way or another after someone dies. 

There’s more here.





 

 
 

Straight-Gay Marriage Modern Family; FREE Excerpt; Advertorials Suck; Hot Cop of Castro Street

Straight-Gay Marriage

This article brings a whole new conversation to the table with marriage equality. It’s not about same sex marriage. It’s about a straight person marrying a gay person. And it’s being promoted by the two actors who play a gay couple on Modern Family.

I don’t watch Modern Family, but I think I’m getting this right with regard to the characters. The guy who plays “Cam” in gayface, Eric Stonestreet, and his acting partner who plays “Mitch,” Jesse Tyler Ferguson, talked about straight-gay marriage on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show.
 
Our course this was also a “spoof” public announcement.
 
 Said Stonestreet in a spoof Public Service Announcement:
 
‘We’re proud to advocate the latest frontier in marriage equality: the union between one straight person … ‘ Finishing his sentence Ferguson said: ‘… to one gay person. Straight-gay marriage.’

Frankly, and feel free to call me crazy, I don’t completely get why this is a “spoof.” I didn’t even know anyone used the word “spoof” anymore.  For those of you who may not be aware of this, straight-gay marriages are not all that uncommon and I see no reason to “spoof” about it. I’ve known gay men who are happily married to straight women. I’ve known gay women who are happily married to straight men.  And yes, I’ve even known a straight man who was happily married to a gay man. I don’t know what any of these people do in their bedrooms and that’s none of my business. All I know is they are, and have been, happily married for a very long time. I see no reason to laugh at them. And this is one reason why I don’t watch Modern Family.

You can read more here.

Advertorials Suck

I’ve posted about advertorials in the hopes that I might be able to show a small segment of readers how to spot them. They are basically paid advertisements that are designed to look like real articles and news stories, geared toward misleading the general public. This is one I spotted this morning on AOL news.

It’s titled like this, to resemble a news item:

Have Scientists Discovered the ‘Magic Bullet’ for Healthy Weight Loss?

Here are the first few lines…

(Boston) – With all the controversy surrounding today’s most popular diets, it’s no wonder more and more consumers are looking for safer, healthier, ‘enjoyable’ alternatives.

The growing number of these health conscious consumers has paved the way for new, innovative ways we think about our health – specifically, our weight.

The Breakthrough That Has the Industry Buzzing

New research has uncovered something surprising: emerging science suggests that combining a probiotic with a fat burning component can help improve digestive health and promote healthy weight loss – smart.

This isn’t news or journalism. What does “New research” mean? Nothing. This is a paid advertisement designed to dupe people into thinking it’s news.

You can check the rest out here. I have no idea how this product works, but I do know, for a fact, the best way to lose weight is about as simple as life gets: Eat Less. 

Hot Cop of Castro Street

That’s not the title of a new m/m romance. It would be a great title, but it’s actually a real story and there is a real hot cop of Castro Street. Evidently, this cop works in San Francisco and Armistead Maupin of the old time Tales of the City fame recently posted about the cop on Facebook. (I’ve noticed how older celebs tend to lean more toward Facebook than Twitter…just an observation.)

‘Well, I finally got to see him in person,’ Maupin writes on a Facebook post accompanied by a photo he snapped of the cutest cop since Kent McCord on TV’s Adam 12.

Maupin shares their exchange: ‘I told him he had become something of celebrity on the web to which he replied with a sly smile: “So I’m told.” He graciously consented to a picture then sent us on our way with: “You guys have a nice day.”

Sounds like Maupin went out on a mission to track him down.

You can read more and check out a photo of the hot cop here. He’s every bit as hot as they say he is. But then I have rarely seen a cop I’ve found unattractive.

FREE Excerpt

I just submitted a short to German Publisher, Bruno Gmunder. It’s one several stories I’ve submitted this year in between my regular contracted books and indie projects. I like working with them. I like the books they produce. I like the editor and the process.

The excerpt below is a never before published version of the one I just submitted…Jersey Jacks. Just for clarification, the word Jacks does NOT have an apostrophe for a specific reason, which should make the storyline more obvious. And, this is the unedited raw version.

Hardy Johnson wore beige slacks and white cotton shirts with button down collars to work. He had a different necktie for each day of the month and his shoe color always matched his belt. Sometimes he wore a suit jacket, depending on his mood or the time of the year. And he always wore a more conservative suit for important meetings that required a less casual look.

            At the boxy concrete and glass suburban insurance building where Hardy worked from nine to five forty hours a week, his co-workers would smile at him when he passed. He would return each smile and exchange casual comments about the weather, something significant happening in the office, or joke around about something involving current affairs. When he arrived in the morning the unmarried young woman who sat behind the reception desk on his floor often smiled a little too long and batted her eyelashes a little too fast. The married guy in his early forties in the small office next to Hardy’s would pat his paunch and joke around about how Hardy’s looks wouldn’t last forever, especially after he turned thirty.

            Hardy would smile evenly at the receptionist and laugh along with the married guy, and then he would go into his office and work without giving any of them a second thought.

            After work, he usually went to a gym not far from his condo. He would change into loose baggy shorts, a comfortable T-shirt, and cross-training shoes that would work for weight lifting and cardio machines. He preferred to keep things simple and he always focused on specific parts of his body. His intention was not to become a hulking body builder with bulging muscles in his arms, legs, and back. He was twenty-eight years old and he wanted to maintain his thirty inch waist, but without becoming obsessed with those washboard abs so many other men at his gym seemed to crave.     

            He wasn’t the type of gay man who could be identified easily, which is why the young woman at his office often flirted with him and told him he looked like a blond male actor on a popular TV show. He wasn’t in the closet either. His family and good friends all knew he was gay. At the office he said nothing about his sexuality because he didn’t think it was anyone’s business.         

            For the most part, Hardy knew other people considered him mild-mannered, polite, and easy to get along with. He wasn’t too aggressive or shy. He kept his two bedroom condo neat and clean but no one was afraid to sit on his sofa and just relax. When good friends and family members asked why someone like him was still single, he would just shrug and tell them he wasn’t looking for a permanent relationship yet. It wasn’t a lie, at least not completely. He just couldn’t go into detail with friends and family about what he needed in a relationship, which wasn’t always easy to find. In fact, it was so personal and so complicated sometimes he didn’t always understand it himself.

            On a warm Friday night in early June, he returned from the gym and listened to his voice mail. After that, he stripped out of his shorts and T-shirt, went into the bathroom, and lathered his body with depilatory cream. He did this once a week, every Friday, and he didn’t have that much body hair in the first place. The hair remover only took a few minutes to work that night, and he stepped into the shower to rinse his entire body until it was silky and smooth.

            After he dried himself off, he walked naked to his bed and turned on the TV to watch one of his favorite home renovation shows on the Home Channel. He didn’t eat dinner on Friday nights because he didn’t want that full stomach feeling for what he was about to do later that night. They were talking about a mid-century modern home on TV and he climbed slowly onto the bed and rested his head on a small throw pillow. He always napped before he went out on a Friday or Saturday night, partly because it was still too early to go out and partly because he knew he wouldn’t be home until three or four the next morning.

            As the soft voices coming from the TV talked about real hardwood floors as opposed to laminate floors, and a woman with a soothing British accent discussed them with a cute young guy, Hardy closed his eyes and drifted to sleep thinking about how smooth and clean he felt all over.

            When he woke three hours later he sat up in bed and reached for the TV remote. The clock on the cable box read eleven, which meant he’d slept longer than he’d planned. He switched the TV off to avoid the eleven o’clock news saga of murder and crime, climbed out of bed, and loped back to the bathroom to get ready for the night.

            After he shaved his face and styled his short blond hair, he went into the walk-in closet off the master bathroom to choose his outfit for the night. He had a basic idea and it didn’t take long to pull a pair black workout pants off the top shelf. The tight white V-neck T-shirt with the deep scoop at the chest wasn’t hard to find either. He put the V-neck on first, and then turned to a large basket where he kept all his underwear.   

            It took a few minutes to decide between the black see-through boxer briefs or the tight raspberry briefs with the thick leathery waistband. He tried both on a few times and checked them out in a full length mirror on the back of his closet door. The black see-through pair made him feel sexy and dangerous, but there was something about the raspberry pair that really made his heart beat faster. The raspberry briefs with the thick leathery waistband weren’t boxers and they weren’t bikinis. They fell somewhere in between and he worried they might be too conservative. But as he turned and saw how they hugged his ass and made it round out and bubble, he finally put the black see-through briefs back into the basket and turned toward the back of the closet where he kept his shoes lined neatly in double rows.

            This was always the hardest part: choosing shoes. His more dangerous side leaned toward the black leather army or work boots. He had over a dozen pairs in various designs. When he tried on a pair with side zippers and looked in the mirror they just didn’t seem to work with the raspberry briefs. So he went for a simple pair of black high top sneakers he normally would have worn anywhere during the day with shorts or jeans.

            After that, he fastened thick black leather bracelets to each wrist, a thicker black leather choker collar to his neck, and he wrapped a black leather cock ring around his dick and balls. He didn’t wear the cock ring to enhance anything; he wore it for effect and because it made him feel so different.  

            In order to get out of his condo building without calling any attention to himself, he put on his black sweat pants and a plain black leather jacket. That night he didn’t run into anyone he knew and the moment he sat down behind the steering wheel of his brand new blue mini-cooper he removed the jacket before he even started the engine. As he slipped the car into gear, he glanced down and smiled at the way half of his bulging chest muscles popped through the low-cut white V-neck.

            He drove about twenty-five miles east to an older building in a northern New Jersey town not far from New York City. It was so close to the Holland Tunnel he had to watch the road with care so he wouldn’t make the wrong turn and wind up in New York. When he reached his destination, he turned left and drove down a narrow alleyway that led him to a small parking lot at the back of the old brick building. There were no signs or neon lights in this neighborhood. Except for a few small grocery stores and bars, this was a low end residential neighborhood with unkempt row homes and crestfallen apartment buildings that had been around since World War II.

            As he climbed out of the car and headed toward the building, he shoved his hands into his pockets and kept his head down. He glanced around the parking lot a few times and noticed there were more cars there than usual and his heart started beating faster again. This wasn’t a nightclub or a formal gathering place, at least not in the usual way. This place was a private club for men only called Jersey Jacks that he’d joined. The fact that there was no apostrophe in Jacks was highly significant. He’d found this place through someone he’d met casually for sex on Craigslist a year earlier and he’d been going there almost every weekend since. In fact, the only way to discover Jersey Jacks was through word of mouth, and always in a very discreet way.
 
Chase of a Dream


Gay Marriage Continues; BEA 2014

Gay Marriage Continues

I think this is one of the best articles I’ve read that talks about how gay marriage is gaining strength everywhere thanks to last June’s SCOTUS ruling.

“With each one, it becomes harder for states to argue that these bans should be upheld, and it becomes harder for courts to uphold them,” says Camilla Taylor, marriage project director at Lambda Legal, one of several gay rights groups juggling multiple court cases. “No court wants to be the one court that got it wrong and upheld the discrimination.”

It becomes a legal issue, not a religious or moral issue, which is exactly what it should be.

You can read more here.

This comment is interesting:

“The test of success is not whether you win every single ruling in every single court,” says Evan Wolfson, who launched the advocacy group Freedom to Marry in 2003. “The test is whether you have the right answers, whether you have a critical mass of victories and whether you are conveying to the judges and justices that the country is ready.”

BEA 2014

Here are a few links for what’s happening at this year’s BEA (Book Expo America) in New York. This one is about debuts and breakouts. It also talks about advances, which many authors have been wondering about for the past few years.

One title where the advance became an early story is Matthew Thomas’s We Are Not Ourselves. Simon & Schuster’s Marysue Rucci plugged the debut novel, which she had acquired for a rumored seven figures at the 2013 London Book Fair, on the panel. While Rucci did discuss the author’s appealing rags-to-riches backstory—he worked on the novel for a decade and was living in a one bedroom apartment with his wife and twins when he sold the book in a splashy deal—she focused on the work itself. Calling the novel, about three generations of an Irish American family, “transcendent” and “one of the most beautiful and moving” books she has “ever read.”

It’s hard to comment on that without reading the book. But seven figures? And frankly, most writers have rags-to-riches stories, at least most of the writers I know do. I wish I could get more excited about this.

This next article is a little odd, too. There’s this guy who comes from old money who decided to live like the common folk live. I guess because he was tired of money and he wanted to struggle like everyone else…like those who don’t have the choice?

He tells Show Daily: “I wanted to write a comedy about money. I think it’s one of the few taboos left, and it’s an important subject. The decisions people make about money are really philosophical choices that affect lots of things.”

He traveled the world, went from terrible job to job, and returned to write a book about private clubs. He took a sabbatical from old money…I guess.  He allegedly writes about the private clubs of the most elite where they don’t even talk about money openly. I guess he’s trying to market this to those who don’t have mortgages, and those who don’t have to deal with finding affordable health insurance?

In any event, this is what he plans to do at BEA:

“As for Book Expo, I intend to eat up the whole place.”

No comment. It might be the best book ever written, or that ever will be written. I just hope he’s figured out a way to “eat up” the vipers on Amazon and Goodreads.

Now this article talks about something interesting for a change. I’ve mentioned my brother (the gay one) who lives in New York and in this building, which is only blocks from the Javits Center where BEA is held. The article talks about the High Line, which isn’t far from the Javits Center. I was there a few times recently with Tony and my brother and loved it. The photo above was taken by me and the high line is not far from there.

Step outdoors and you’ll see a massive construction project unfolding in the new district known as Hudson Yards. It embraces 360 acres, stretching north to 43rd Street and extending from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River, but its beating heart is the rail yards that wrap around the northern end of the High Line. Michael Bloomberg called this patch of real estate, which is twice as big as Rockefeller Center, Manhattan’s “last frontier.”

 And, of course, here’s a BEA related article about those big old meanies, Amazon. It mentions the recent issues between Hachette and Amazon, and questions whether or not anyone will ever be able to compete with Amazon.

Research conducted in March by the Codex Group found that in the month Amazon’s share of new book unit purchases was 41%, dominating 65% of all online new book units, print and digital. The company achieved that percentage by not only being the largest channel for e-books, where it had a 67% market share in March, but also by having a commanding slice of the sale of print books online, where its share in March was estimated at 64%.

It’s hard to comment on it because Amazon must be doing something right. I truly wish big publishers would get their acts together and stop looking so backward and antiquated.

This last piece I’m linking to about BEA talks about two panels that discuss YA and Middle Grade books.

Ehrenhaft will share his enthusiasm for a debut novel by an author who has often been in a different spotlight. A member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a multi-Grammy winner, Cynthia Weil has written (along with Barry Mann, her writing partner and husband) such classic songs as “On Broadway,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” Set in 1963 Manhattan, her novel, I’m Glad I Did, tells of a young songwriter who must untangle a sinister web of hidden identities and dark secrets surrounding a legendary former nightclub singer.

Some of the titles look very interesting. I’m actually a huge fan of reading YA and Middle Grade crossovers. YA author Michael Northrope is one of my favorite authors. I’ve also read Nathan Bransford’s first Middle Grade book and loved it because of the writing. The problem now is that there’s so much competition out there with indie authors who are absolutely relentless in their quest to sell books. It’s become a vicious nightmare for the honest author who is only trying to get his or her book our there to readers. I’ve seen some of these indie vipers and what they are capable of, and this also includes many authors with some of these sleazy start up digital presses who have a cult-like appeal. I’ve seen them tell their readers they have cancer and two days later claim is was all a huge mistake. Praise the Lord I’ve Had a Miracle! And the readers believe them…they do, indeed actually buy all of it. I’ve seen them flock together and work their readers to the point where I often wonder if what they do is legal.

At first I used to think that these bottom feeder indie authors would just disappear eventually. And actually most of them do vanish in time. But the problem is that when the old vipers disappear a whole new breed of aggressive snakes take their place it the cycle starts all over again.

I really feel for the new honest author out there…indie or trad pubbed…who has to learn how to deal with the ethical decisions that come up almost daily with book promotion. But even more important, I worry that we’re losing a lot of good authors because they just don’t want to deal with the subterfuge anymore.


Storme DeLarverie RIP; Russian Olympics: John Fennell; HBO Gay Drama "Open City" Follows Normal Heart

Storme DeLarverie RIP

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stonewall_Inn_1969.jpg

One of the pioneers of equality who helped us all achieve the rights we have today died on Saturday morning. Storme DeLarverie lived to be 93 years old and was 49 years old during the Stonewall Riots in 1969, an event that sparked what we now know as The Gay Liberation Movement.

When the police raided the bar her scuffle with them spurred patrons to fight back.

DeLarverie, dubbed by some ‘the gay community’s Rosa Parks,’ was born to a black mother and a white father in 1920 in New Orleans and in the 1950’s and 60’s was a drag king in a traveling drag show called the Jewel Box Revue.

In her later years she worked as a bouncer in bars well into her 70s.

You can read more here. For photo attribution click the photos.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gay_Liberation_Monument_(Manhattan)_-_01.JPG

Russian Olympics: John Fennell

An Olympic luger, John Fennell, came out to his teammates during the Russian Olympics in February, and recently came out in public during an interview with the Calgary Herald. It’s actually a two fold interview because he talks about his fears during the Russian Olympics and his fears about coming out in a sports oriented macho world.

 ‘The thing that scared me the most is our Canadian Olympic Committee debriefing that said any information in Russia is subject to being seen by the government,’ Fennell said.

 ‘I didn’t travel with my phone or my computer when we went there, which was a testament to how nervous I was going in.

 ‘I was a basket case going to Russia.’

The piece also goes on to mention how Fennell struggled with coming out prior to the Olympics, and how he dated girls to cover his tracks.

There’s more here.

HBO Gay Drama “Open City” Follows Normal Heart

The Normal Heart was so successful that HBO is now developing a new drama series that is set in the 1960’s. It will be directed and produced by Adam Shankman best known for directing the film version of Hairspray and as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. I’ve never seen either, so I’m totally unfamiliar with him.

Open City is set also set in New York but in the late 1960s, nearly 20 years before The Normal Heart which is about the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Open will tell tell the story of characters from various corners of Manhattan who are navigating a cultural revolution at a time of great political turmoil.

It should be interesting to see how they do this. I still have a lot of good friends who are/were gay and around during the 1960’s and I love listening to their stories…even when they repeat them a little too often (smile).

Frankly, I would have preferred another Queer as Folk series, but it’s too soon to tell about this one. The retro/historical angle could be interesting. And none of the characters have to deal with condoms or safe sex.

You can read more about this here.

Seth Rogen & Misogyny; Bianca Del Rio on Tranny Word

Seth Rogen & Misogyny

I’m purposely linking to different articles about this issue to show how the comment threads vary in opinion. The gist of it all is a Washington Post critic, Ann Hornaday, wrote an op-ed piece about the shootings in Santa Barbara and Elliot Rodger where she slammed pop cultural media (mainly the film entertainment industry) for possibly leaving misguided impressions on Elliot…and all of us. One of the films on which she focused was Judd Apatow’s Neighbors starring Seth Rogen.

How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like “Neighbors” and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of “sex and fun and pleasure”? How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, “It’s not fair”?

Evidently, Seth Rogen read Hornaday’s piece and he responded, and where else but on Twitter, the typical venue of the Hollywood privileged and elite.

Rogen tweeted this, among other things:

.@AnnHornaday how dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.

This one particular tweet has garnered a few heavy online discussions about misogyny, one of which seemed to think Rogen really missed the point altogether.

For the love of Judd Apatow movies, GIRLS ARE NOT A THING YOU GET. They’re not the goody bag at the end of the frat party. It honestly feels like Rogen could not miss the point more if he were participating in some kind of point-missing contest.

According to NY Daily News, Judd Apatow retweeted all of Rogen’s tweets.

As I said earlier, the comment threads with these articles are interesting to read.

My only comment is that the world is still run by straight, white, privileged men like Rogen and Apatow. That’s just a fact. As far as I know it can’t be disputed. They say what they want, do what they want, and even give us the content they want to give us. I would have thought Rogen had the capacity to respond in a more professional manner.

When Seth Rogen started doing the gay parodies I laughed along with him at first. I didn’t think it was harmful. But it reached a point with the last one where I even posted that I think he should know when enough is enough. From my post…

 There’s more here with a photo. I think it would be wiser for Rogen to focus more on those painful roles he’s been taking on in recent years rather than focusing on drag as a straight man. If you don’t believe me just try to sit through The Guilt Trip or This Is the End. A few wasted hours of my life I’ll never get back.

Bianca Del Rio on Tranny Word

The tension with the tranny word debate continues to evolve. This time Bianca Del Rio of Rue Paul’s Drag Race is going after transgender, Carmen Carrera.

“There’s all this madness about sh*t we can say and sh*t we can’t say, and I’m sure most of you saw on Twitter today that Ru was speaking her mind. And I think this is actual proof — I’m a man in a dress, and if it brings out straight people, black people, Asian people, then come and f*cking celebrate. It’s not that f*cking serious.

And let’s face it. We wouldn’t know who the fuck Carmen Carrera was if she didn’t f*cking get on Drag Race. Maybe she should take what’s left of her d*ck and stick it in her mouth and shut the f*ck up.”
I think this is going to continue, and it may even devolve to a lower level than the most eloquent quote above.

You can read more here. This comment thread is interesting, too.

In full disclosure, I’ve never actually seen RuPaul’s Drag Race, so I don’t know either of them. But I don’t use the word tranny either.


 

RIP Maya Angelou; Edward Snowden Interview; Gay Batman Interpretation

RIP Maya Angelou

When I reviewed Maya Angelou’s most recent book in April of 2013, Mom & Me & Mom, I thought we still had more time with her. She still had so much to say. Unfortunately, Angelou passed away at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina today. (I did a check in several places and I don’t think this is an Internet hoax.)

Angelou will be remembered for many great things because she did many great things. But for most I think her literary works will live on forever. I have a short list of books I have read in my lifetime and will continue to re-read over and over again, and her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is at the top of that short list.

She gained acclaim for her first book, her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” making her one of the first African-American women to write a best-seller. More Here.

The intensity of that book is impossible to describe. Unless you actually read it you’ll never fully understand what I’m talking about.

CNN has listed most of her accomplishments in an abbreviated form.

In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
 
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
 
“I created myself,” she has said. “I have taught myself so much.”
 
Even though I was already a dedicated reader of Angelou’s work, I gained a whole new respect for her in 2008 during the Democratic primary when she offered her support to Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama. This was at a time when everyone began to endorse Obama and it seemed like what all the cool kids on the proverbial block were doing. I admired Angelou’s honesty and tenacity. And it wasn’t just because I was supporting Hillary Clinton myself in that hugely contentious race. I liked what Angelou said about why she was supporting Clinton.
 
 

She is supporting Clinton despite her close friendship with television personality and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, a prominent backer of rival Democrat Barack Obama, the first black presidential hopeful with a real chance of reaching the White House.

Angelou is steadfast in her loyalty to Clinton. She said recently: ‘I made up my mind 15 years ago that if she ever ran for office I’d be on her wagon. My only difficulty with Senator Obama is that I believe in going out with who I went in with.’

 
Maya Angelou left a long list of inspiring quotes. This is one of my favorites.
 
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mayaangelo383371.html#QworOkrGcwpKbim1.99
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mayaangelo383371.html#QworOkrGcwpKbim1.99
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mayaangelo383371.html#QworOkrGcwpKbim1.99
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
 
Here’s an article The Wall Street Journal did on Angelou’s personal life in her later years, including a few photos of where she lived. This is what she said when she moved to North Carolina:
 
 “I thought I was going to buy a nice little house,” she says. “I’d wrap it around me in a poetic way, and I’d live a poetic existence. But then I thought, ‘Wait a minute. If I moved from a 10-room house [in California] and into a three- or four-room house, then what am I telling myself? That I’ve been reduced?’ I couldn’t do that.”
 
Now that’s the kind of logic I understand, especially when Tony talks about “scaling back.” Maya Angelou always seemed to be moving forward, not backward.
 
Edward Snowden Interview
 
Edward Snowden is talking now in the first interview he’s done with a US TV network. One of the things he’s saying is that he was a trained spy.
 
EDWARD SNOWDEN: “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas – pretending to work in a job that I’m not.” (Via NBC)


Evidently, NBC has spent months working on this interview in secret. The full one hour interview airs tonight on NBC.

You can read more here.

Gay Batman Interpretation

Batman is turning 75 years old and there’s a highly entertaining gay interpretation out to celebrate what many have considered the gayest superhero of all time.

The ‘gay’ interpretation goes all the way back to 1954, when a psychiatrist claimed that the comic books were ‘homosexual fantasies’.

 The 1995 feature film Batman Forever, and especially its 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, both helmed by openly gay director Joel Schumacher, attracted attention for the homoerotic innuendos.

There is a list of comic photos and examples, and as far as I know all are real and this isn’t actually a parody.

More here.

They’re all funny, but I like this one the most.

Robin talking to Batman:

This is the first chance we’ve had to finish cataloguing these trophies since you returned! Gosh, Batman — remember this leather thong?  It still has your teeth marks in it!

I wonder how Ben Affleck feels about this. Here’s an interesting piece titled, Ben Affleck’s Batman is so sad, it’s sad.

With the recent photo release of the new Batsuit and Batmobile, a superhero fan frenzy has exploded across the web in anticipation of the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film. But extreme fans, like those of the Dave & Buster’s Virginia Beach Instagram page (@dnbvabeach), noticed that Batman was looking a little sad. We think he was just having a bad day.

With the link above you can check out some photos that I think are, indeed, parody. I just don’t get what they all have against Ben playing Batman.