Category: James Frey

Where’s the Dildo? Mocking Gay Marriage in New Zealand; Cheyenne Jackson Wedding; James Frey’s Full Fathom Five

Where’s the Dildo?

There’s a game on Tumblr where photos are posted and people have to find the hidden dildo in each photo. I think it’s amusing and the intention is pure fun.

It puts the dildo in its rightful place. Front and center. Well, sort of. I mean, it’s hiding. But it’s asking to be found and — like a car wreck — it’s impossible to look away.

Dildos are our friends. Certainly a friend to the lesbian. But no reason it shouldn’t be a friend to gay men and straight men and women and every other self-respecting adult.

This cute little project makes these oft whispered about toys a little less daunting. It’s hard not to laugh and imagine the little guy holding its breath thinking, “She’s never going to find me! Ah! Look at her looking over there when I’m over here.” Just makes me giggle.

You can rad more here. It reminds me of a story. I had a good friend who passed suddenly and the day after he died his attorney phoned me and asked me to rush over to my friend’s house. When I got there his attorney looked at me with a blank stare, pulled a two foot long dildo out of a shopping bag, and asked me to do something with it. Evidently, the attorney who was handling his estate didn’t want my friend’s family to come into town and find the dildo in my friend’s closet. Of course I took the dildo off his hands, so to speak, but I always wondered why anyone would be more worried about a big latex dildo than the fact that a family member was dead.

Mocking Gay Marriage in New Zealand

This story has been making all the rounds on social media. I saw it first on Twitter, and I didn’t look into it. I thought it was just about two dumb straight guys faking gay marriage in order to win a contest and get attention. As it turns out, and the reason I’m linking now, the contest was held by a radio station in New Zealand to see how far two straight men would go to win something, making gay marriage the butt of the joke.

New Zealand’s The Edge radio station launched its “Love You Man” contest last month. The contest was set up to see how far two best male friends would go to win a trip to the Rugby World Cup in 2015. The Edge has apparently made a name for itself staging outrageous weddings, starting 13 years ago when they married two complete strangers.
“After the announce this morning, and the positive reception from our listeners, I am confident ‘Love You Man’ will add to The Edge’s reputation of pushing the boundaries,” Program Director Leon Wratt said in an August press release. “We’re not out to offend, just to make entertaining radio.”

I like to think I have a sense of humor (I thought the dildo game was funny), but this was really bad timing. Millions of gay couples still can’t legally wed and this group is joking around about it. It might be funny twenty or thirty years from now, but even that makes me wonder. We still have a long way to go as far as respect goes. In other words, be just as afraid of offending us as you are offending other loud minority groups.

You can read more here. There’s a very interesting comment thread, with one comment from a m/m author I know.

Cheyenne Jackson Wedding

I’m not so sure this is good or bad. It seems that gay marriage has finally joined the ranks of Hollywood marriages, and it’s become gossip worthy. You know, where they marry and divorce the same way the rest of us lease new cars every two years just so we can get a newer model.

Entertainer Cheyenne Jackson, 39, has married Jason Landau, his boyfriend of more than a year and who some media outlets are identifying as an entrepreneur (although of what it is unclear), at an estate in Encino, California Saturday night. The couple exchanged rings and vows in front of a group of friends that included Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Lynch and Alicia Silverstone. The two men have been engaged since February. It’s been a controversial relationship. Last summer, Jackson divorced his first husband Monte Lapka after being married for two years and after a total of 13 years together and quickly took up with Landau, who according to a source he met at a 12-step meeting.

And they lived happily ever after.

You can read more here.

James Frey’s Full Fathom Five

James Frey, who became well known with a bestselling memoir titled, A Million Little Pieces, and then even more well known when it was discovered the book wasn’t all truth and he duped Oprah, has launched a digital imprint called Full Fathom Five. First, this is significant because anyone who can last in the vicious world of publishing these days gets credit from me. Second, Frey isn’t questioning e-books or whether or not they will stay around. Third, the titles at FFF look damn good.

FFF Digital begins life with Amanda Black’s The Apartment, the first of many genre e-books that the new imprint believes wouldn’t fit into a traditional publishing model but would resonate with digital-savvy modern readers. It’s also hosting a two-month-long contest to find new authors; the prize is a publishing deal and $10,000 in cash.

You can read more about it here. In spite of some heavy criticism, Frey continues to succeed and he seems to know what his readers want. Take note that some of the bestselling titles seem to be adult romance.

Fangsters by Ryan Field

James Frey’s Hot 7 Figure Deal

James Frey’s Hot 7 Figure Deal

A few might not know who James Frey is, so I’m posting this link for more depth. In a more general sense, Frey is an author who wrote a non-fiction book titled, A Million Little Pieces, that garnered him the title of bestselling author. It was what’s considered “a big book” in publishing. He gained a good deal of fame by going on Oprah. And then it was disclosed that his non-fiction book had been fictionalized, that he’d lied to his publisher, Oprah, and the rest of the world. He returned to the Oprah show and sat in a chair while she basically ripped him to shreds for duping her.

I saw both of the Oprah shows on which he appeared and I watched him give the world a first hand account of the fresh hells he’d been through as an alcoholic, in A Million Little Pieces. It was touching. It was moving. We all thought it was the absolute truth. And then I also watched him the second time on Oprah when he went back after news broke that his non-fiction was more fiction than anything else. He sat there slumped over in a chair while Oprah questioned his motives, and rightly so on her part. But I couldn’t help thinking the book was good in spite of the embellishment.

Anyone would think that was enough to end Frey’s career and finish him off for good. However, Frey went on to write more bestselling books, including YA fiction. And from what I’ve seen it’s all been through what clearly resembles a combination of extremely hard work on his part, determination like I’ve never seen, and the best line of bullshit I’ve seen in years.

It was announced that his most recent book/film deal is the first seven figure deal of 2014:

Deadline reports that Frey has sold a new book to HarperCollins, “Endgame,” along with film rights to 20th Century Fox. The screen deal is for a rumored $2 million to $2.5 million, and is said to include Frey writing the screenplay.

You can read more here. It’s an interesting, though far from objective, article because it gets into Frey’s background a little, and talks about the publishing company he started for YA authors/books called Full Fathom Five. And there’s been controversy there, too.

From Wiki:

In November 2010, controversy arose when an MFA student who had been in talks to create content for the company released her extremely limiting contract online. The contract allows Frey license to remove an author from a project at any time, does not require him to give the author credit for their work, and only pays a standard advance of $250.

Yeah, well, most e-publishers don’t even give advances and authors are thrilled to get the work. I don’t know much about any of this, other than bits and pieces I’ve read. I’ve also heard that Frey gave opportunities to authors who otherwise wouldn’t have had work. But the one thing that does bother me is that Frey has been slammed because Endgame is allegedly similar to The Hunger Games in concept. And in this one respect I don’t think it’s fair, and I don’t think an author…or anyone…should be faulted for taking a concept or idea and bringing it to another level. In the 1960’s the TV show I Dream of Jeannie was a direct result of the hit TV show Bewitched.  It wasn’t that one show directly copied the other, but the idea (magic) was used and reinvented with different characters and different approaches. The same could be said about many other TV shows, and films. Think about how many shows were spawned as a result of American Idol. They took a concept and did something different. I think it happens more often than not in books and authors can get away with it more freely because they know clever little tricks most people wouldn’t spot.

And most of all people are expecting this brand of entertainment. And if an idea or a concept works, and there is someone smart enough who can see that this is what the public wants and he/she is willing to give it to them, should we fault them for doing this? Or should be fault them for working hard and making money? And yet here are two more opinions, from the article link above:

Paul Constant books editor at Seattle’s the Stranger, tweeted, “James Frey is still terrible, and he’s still being rewarded for it. His Hunger Games ripoff sold for $2 million.” Writer Sarah Weinman followed by tweeting, “Suzanne Collins‘ people should be looking at this with a very, very fine-toothed comb.”
Evidently, the public doesn’t agree with Constant, or those who would rather hang James Frey in a public square for being successful and giving people what they want. And I think the public will decide on Endgames, and this won’t be the last time someone took a good idea and ran with it, and it certainly isn’t the first.

Not every author/producer wants to create great art that two or three critics will love and three or four people will read. Some want to entertain the public and give them what they want.