Jonathan Groff on Getting Pounded; Gary Sinise Anti-Gay Rally; Andrew Rannells and Lena Dunham At Gloden Globes

Jonathan Groff on Getting Pounded

As an erotic fiction and erotic romance author I have been in this position more times than I can remember…especially with older gay friends whom I know personally. It doesn’t happen with younger friends, at least not as often.

I’m talking about sex in books, and in this case with Jonathan Groff the sex scenes in Looking. Evidently, he’s often asked questions about doing the sex scenes and how he feels about them, or people comment in ways I would imagine he didn’t expect.

The other night we were at the premiere and they were all like, ‘So brave. So brave. So brave. To be an out actor and getting fucked against a tree and doing anal bleaching and all of that stuff.’ And I was like, OK. It doesn’t feel brave to me! I think it’s a couple of things. Raul was calling it an occupational hazard, that all of us are really comfortable talking about graphic elements on the show because we experience them on the show and they become comfortable things.

You can read the rest here. What I’ve found is that many people are so uncomfortable about sex…gay and straight…they often joke about it. They have no idea who Anais Nin is. You would be amazed at the gay men I know who found Fifty Shades of Grey scandalous, to the point of backhanded whispers and giggles. And then, of course, there are those who were born without a sense of humor.

Side note: I’ve seen Looking this season and I also think that when you agree to do certain things you should own them. I feel that way about my books, even the most erotic. And there are recent scenes in Looking where Jonathan Groff does get “pounded” against a tree, pants down to his knees and legs spread. So don’t try to play innocent either (smile).

Gary Sinise Anti-Gay Rally

A fairly well known actor, Gary Sinise, who has been in notable films like Forrest Gump, recently canceled an engagement where he was supposed to speak at a rally that’s being dubbed in LGBT articles as a “Antigay Hate Rally.” It’s an organization that supports things like NOM, National Organization for Marriage. Last year, I posted about Bob Newhart speaking at the same rally, and he canceled as well.

This is what Sinise said:

For me, faith has been a catalyst for my mission to honor the men and women who serve in our nation’s military. When I accepted the invitation to speak at the Legatus conference on Veterans issues and share my story, I was unaware of the controversy surrounding some of the participants, and their views on personal matters. I don’t want my mission — which is designed to be unifying — to be disrupted by these, or any controversies, and therefore have decided to withdraw.

You can read the rest here. I actually believe he didn’t know about the controversy. Not everyone is up on these things. And why would he accept if he was aware of it? Only to cancel for fear of being labeled a hater? That wouldn’t make sense.

We all have to be careful these days and fact check ahead of time. I self-censor every single day and that has nothing at all to do with terrorism.

Andrew Rannells and Lena Dunham At Golden Globes

Posting about this really bothers me because I like Andrew Rannells and I’ve been a huge fan of Lena Dunham’s TV show, Girls. I like the way gay characters are portrayed on Girls, and the way the show always reminded me of the antithesis of Sex in the City…which I always considered 90’s chick lit porn that did more to harm gay men than help. The only reason I stopped watching Girls is because of the way they made publishing as an industry look.

Not too long ago Dunham released a memoir and commented in the book on “things” she’d done. I’m not getting into all that here, but I do know it turned a lot of people off on Dunham, especially on my Twitter feed the night of the Golden Globes. Whether or not this memoir had anything to do with the recent snub both Dunham and Rannells received at the Golden Globes remains to be seen, however, the way they were treated is about as odd as it gets.

The entertainment channel identified the pair in its graphic as ‘Liza Minnelli and guest.’ 

Rannells posted a screen grab of the flub on Twitter on Tuesday and wrote: This is really special. I assume I am “guest” but… you never know.’ 

Dunham, a nominee for lead actress in a comedy series, did most of the chatting with Seacrest who did not engage Rannells. It’s not clear if he knew who he was.

The rest is here. 

Frankly, I’m not a fan of any of these old time Hollywood awards shows. And I don’t think I’m in the minority, at least as far as ratings go…not to mention the fact that most younger people don’t even watch TV anymore.


 



Lena Dunham Slams Book Critics; Two Naked Raw Aussies; Twink on a Plane In a Speedo

Lena Dunham Slams Book Critics

I wanted to link to something fairly neutral with this Lena Dunham topic, but it’s been hard to find so I’m linking, mostly, to a local piece in Philly.com. The reason I wanted something neutral is because I’m not focusing on the allegations everyone else is talking about. Frankly, I don’t care what Dunham wrote in her book or what she did when she was seven years old. My only focus with this part of the post is the WAY Lena Dunham reacted to criticism of her book and HOW she mimicked the worst badly behaving authors. 

But more important, the Lena Dunham shitstorm, that Lena Dunham created herself, has been raging for a while now and I have yet to see one single book reviewer comment on what Dunham did as an author, or how her actions relate to book critique and free speech. And that’s odd because I’ve seen authors who did far less than Lena Dunham come under fire. And their content wasn’t nearly as questionable as Dunham’s.

Lena went into a “rage spiral” on Twitter over the weekend after Kevin D. Williamson wrote in the National Review that Lena’s behavior with her younger sister, when both were children, was “very disturbing” and possibly sex abuse.

More disturbing is that Williamson didn’t pull the notion out of thin air – he pulled it out of Lena’s new best-seller, “Not That Kind of Girl.”

In the book, Lena writes of bribing her sister Grace with “three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds . . . anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying.”

But even better, Dunham’s attorney sent a letter of legal action to TrueRevolt asking them to take down their criticism and cease and desist. This is how TR replied. Pay attention bloggers. Even the smallest bloggers are part of this. 

We refuse. We refuse to withdraw our story or apologize for running it, because quoting a woman’s book does not constitute a “false” story, even if she is a prominent actress and left-wing activist. Lena Dunham may not like our interpretation of her book, but unfortunately for her and her attorneys, she wrote that book – and the First Amendment covers a good deal of material she may not like.

Here’s a link I found on Twitter through free speech attorney, Marc Randazza, that discusses Dunham’s attorney and the letter. You’ll have to read the entire post before you get to the Dunham part. But it’s worth reading in full, especially the “chucklefuck” comment.  It states, in part:
 
So with that, here’s a really stupid demand letter from Lena Dunham’s attorneys. It isn’t just dumb because it tries the aforementioned tricks — but substantively, dood… really? You’re supposed to be a better lawyer than that. 
 

My final comment on the topic is Lena Dunham as the author, not the privileged celebrity, has branded herself a certain way and she needs to buck up, take the criticism like the big badass feminist she is, and let people critique her book as they see fit. Isn’t that what we’ve always been told it’s all about?

So far Dunham has offered her apologies with regard to the content, but has said nothing about her aggressive reaction to the criticism.

Two Naked Raw Aussies
Two guys from Australia have come up with one of those trendy raw diets for humans…I’m only familiar with the raw diet for dogs, which I don’t believe in for dogs…and they’ve taken to video in the raw themselves. Naked raw. 
But clearly the raw diet is doing these two Aussies justice, as they’ve decided to appear in the buff to promote their new raw cafe called Acai Brothers.

If only raw walnuts tasted remotely like bacon.

You can check this out here, where there’s a video. Maybe I’m jaded and I’ve seen too many good looking naked men in my life, but it just seems like another piece of click-bait to me. But I could be wrong about that. I’ve also been on almost every trendy diet ever invented and the one thing I’ve found with all of them is that diets don’t work. Unless you make it a habit and a lifestyle you’re only fooling yourself and setting yourself up for disappointment. How do you lose weight? Eat less.

Twink on a Plane In a Speedo

Speaking of those of entitlement and privilege, a little vine twinkie, Jerome Jarre, decided that flying was boring so he striped down on a crowded flight and started strutting up and down the aisles in a speedo. Evidently, not eveyone cares about his vine status and not all were thrilled with his stunt:

His version of “fun,” however, is up for debate. While we might agree that donning a speedo and and plastic pool floaty while strutting down the aisle could potentially be fun, American Airlines and the rest of the passengers on board weren’t as easily convinced. Go figure.

According to Jerome Jarre, who happens to be the fourth-most followed person on Vine with 7.5 million followers, his little airplane stunt earned him a private meeting with police and the FBI after his plane touched down in Miami.

Here’s the link, with photos and a little twinkie vine video of the vine twink in a speedo. I probably wouldn’t care on way or the other if I were on a flight and saw this happening, but with security and all the things people are facing now with flying I think people like this need to be held accountable for their actions. In this case, he was released without charges.

What really bothers me about all this is that he was allowed to take videos of people and invade their privacy. I know there’s a law about this being okay in public places, but I’m starting to think we need to revisit that law. I saw one photo on Facebook of a local restaurant with people I know dining who didn’t even know their photo was being shot. I would be livid, and I’m not going to that restaurant any time soon. It’s not the photos I object to. It’s the lack of consideration and the audacity to think that everyone wants their photo plastered all over the Internet without permission.

The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance
.99 Kindle E-book
 Amazon Link



Judy Blume/Lena Dunham; No E-books for 70%?Gay Fired Catholic

Judy Blume/Lena Dunham

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JudyBlume2009(cropped).jpg

This looks fascinating. There’s a “mini” book coming out that focuses on a personal conversation with Judy Blume and Lena Dunham. (Dunham is the star of TV show “Girls” and I’ve posted about her here a few times. For the first time, gay characers are portrayed well on her show.)

Here’s more about the book: “What does surprise, though, in this 80-page book chronicling the pair’s first meeting and a conversation that touches on writing, celebrity, sex, censorship, and favorite breakfasts, is just how naturally the two get along. The generation gap doesn’t stand a chance—perhaps because Dunham and Blume have reading in common.”

From Galleycat.

I think the book is supposed to be about 8,000 words, but it’s only coming out in a limited run. I’m not certain if it will be launched in digital format (I really hope it is, and that the publisher “gets” digital). If it is, I’m buying it.

No E-books for 70%?

Speaking of digital format, this is one of those articles I just find hard to believe. And the main reason is that e-books sales rise in some articles, and then fall in others, and no one knows WTF to believe anymore. There’s been a long running small scale poll over at Nathan Bransford’s blog since (I think) 2007 where he polls his blog readers about whether or not they’ll switch to e-books. I’ve followed it each year, and each year the numbers reading e-books seem to rise. You can check that out here. He does a follow up post with links to other years. What’s been amazing to see is how some who stated they would NEVER switch to e-books have changed since 2007. I would consider his readership a mix of elite and mainstream. And with Bransford’s poll, there’s no hidden agenda, so I tend to believe it more than other things I read.

In any event:

The main reasons for preferring print are that these consumers like the look and feel of a real book, they don’t have to strain their eyes to read print and they like putting books on the bookshelf.

“The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for US Book Manufacturers and Printers” report also revealed that college students prefer print textbooks to digital textbooks, for reasons of concentration. According to the report, respondents reported that a digital display is too distracting.

Interesting. I have bad eyes, from years of working on a computer. I only read e-books because I can adjust the size of the print. Last study I heard in September many college students, in order to offset the cost of rising tuition and student loans, aren’t just reading e-books, they are downloading from sharing sites in digital in questionable ways.

From my post in September:

This morning on a local Philadelphia news channel, the morning anchor, Sheinelle Jones, mentioned the rising cost of a college text book, which she said is about $200.00. Then she started talking about social media messages she’d received on the topic from college students headed back to school this month, and carefully discussed how some students are getting around this by finding digital books in places where it’s not allowed.

So just by judging from what I see around me, and from what I see younger people doing, I find it hard to believe 70% absolutely refuse to read e-books. They even went so far as to say most e-books downloaded aren’t read. I think there’s a way for companies like Amazon to track that, and I find that statement hard to believe, too.

So take all information like this with that proverbial grain of salt. I only read e-books, and so do most of the people I know. And the ones I know who don’t are the types who can even figure out how to use the TV remote control.

You can read more here, because it’s interesting.

Gay Fired Catholic

I saw this on my local Philadelphia news earlier this past weekend, and Tony and I looked at each other in shock. A young (gay) Catholic school teacher in Philadelphia was fired because he filed for a marriage license in New Jersey. According to what I saw on TV, the teacher phoned in, said he would be late, and also said he was filing for a marriage license. The principal and some other priest in charge, called him into the office when he arrived for work and fired him on the spot. The underlying message seems to be you can be gay, but you can’t get married or let anyone know you’re gay.

Michael Griffin worked at the Holy Ghost Preparatory School for 12 years teaching French and Italian. He said that although administrators, including the principal, knew he was gay, he never had any major conflict with the Catholic administrators until Friday.

Griffin said he was fired on Friday after he had emailed administrators to tell them he was going to file for a marriage license and would be slightly late to work.
 
From what I’ve also heard, the teacher allegedly went to this same school himself.
 
Tony and I live in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia in New Hope where there are gay bars and restaurants. One night we were at a gay bar with friends and a group of priests from a school just like the one mentioned in the article above came into the gay bar, in street clothes, and they had a blast. And I’m going to be writing a long personal post in the near future about two gay priests Tony and I both knew very well for many years. We celebrated holidays with them, and birthdays. But in all the years we knew them we had no idea they were living double lives as Catholic priests. We didn’t have a clue. And that’s not hearsay or third party information. It happened and I was there. It creeped me out for a long time. But I don’t mind posting about this after I read things like the piece about the school teacher above.
 
The Catholic church needs to look deeper into its own gay roots. (Side note: I went to 12 years of Catholic school and I’m more than familiar with the practices.)
 

Another Free Book; Photo of Tony; New M/M Romance Publisher; Male Nude Scenes in "Girls"

Update: Having tech issues with the free promo for Jonah Sweet. I will post more when we get this figured out. And it will be offered for free within the next few weeks.

I will write a new post about this free read sometime this week, but wanted to mention it now so I don’t forget all about it. This blog is often like my big “to do” list, where I can reference a lot of things I might forget when things get busy.

In any event, my last free book at ARe is coming down (or it is down now) and I decided to do another free read with ARe with another indie published book, “Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street.” It takes time to get these free reads organized, trust me, when you’re doing it alone. But it will be sometime this week.

Now, I’ve had a lot of people ask about seeing a photos of Tony, my partner of 20 years. He’s usually very private and he doesn’t even like the things I post about us on facebook half the time. But I’ve been bugging him about giving me a photo to put up somewhere on the blog, and he’s finally granted me permission to use the one above. It’s a nice photo that was taken about four years ago at the Jersey shore…I think that’s where it was…in Brigantine.

I actually understand his reasons about privacy, and I try to post things that don’t cross the line when it comes to privacy issues. But, in the same respect, I also think that if I’m an author with published works out there, and I post about my partner of twenty years all the time, I should be able to at least post one simple photo of him. I have to admit, as a reader, I get a little frustrated (I want the right word here) when I can’t see photos of bloggers or authors…ever. I’m not talking about posting the family photo album, but it can be annoying when you read about someone for years and don’t see a face with the words…ever.

New M/M Romance Publisher on the Scene

According to a blog post I read over the weekend, m/m romance authors, Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day will be starting a new publishing venture this year.

But does the world of gay publishing really need another press? I believe whole-heartedly that the answer is ‘Yes’. Gay Romance has been growing at a rapid rate over the last two years, and I firmly believe that 2013 will be the year that Gay Romance comes into its own. No longer will it be considered the poor queer cousin of straight romance, and its quickly-growing legion of fans (the vast majority of whom are women) will need quality content to feed their almost insatiable appetite for Gay Romance.

However, when Ethan and I decided to jump into the fray, we were very conscious that many writers of Gay Romance enjoy writing more than just romantic tales, including ourselves. Sometimes a story belongs within the bounds and definitions of romance; but sometimes as a writer you want to break the rules. And so we made the decision to publish both traditional Gay Romance, but also publish other genres. We wanted to create a press that builds a bridge between Gay Romance and all other forms of Gay Lit, and to create a hub where fans of all quality gay tales could come and explore and potentially delve into genres they haven’t tried before.
 
 
I wish them all the best. I like breaking the rules as often as I can. From my own personal experience in indie publishing I know it’s not a simple venture. We just figured out how to do formatting an easier way with Smashwords one year later, and it’s all about the formatting with digital publishing. HTML is a language in itself.
 
I’d also like to add that I hope others in the m/m romance community will support them in this new endeavor. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are those on the Internet who like to critique and slam new publishers before the new publishers even get started. It’s a left-handed bully tactic that I think is changing now because people like me aren’t afraid to challenge these highly opinionated bloggers anymore who sneak around and conspire in the dark corners of the Internet.
 
And when someone is beginning a new venture, especially in gay fiction, I believe in offering them support.  And though I know nothing about either Ethan Day or Geoffrey Knight, from what I’ve read this venture looks interesting to me.
 
Male Nude Scenes in “Girls”
 
I’m a huge fan of the TV show “Girls.” Unfortunately, Tony isn’t so I have to DVR it and watch the shows in tandem sometimes late at night when he’s sleeping. I love that show so much, and the new adult reality factor it has brought to TV, I can’t get enough of it. In fact, Lena Dunham does such a great job, and makes what she’s doing look so easy, I’m hoping this show sticks around for a long time.
 
Here’s more about the show from one almost/kind of snarky reviewer. But, it’s actually a good review overall. You can read more here.  
 
Last season, Hannah had a dead-end relationship with never-working “actor” Adam (Adam Driver), with whom she had painful, afternoon anal sex. It was ugly to watch and uglier to remember that it always took place in his ugly, dirty apartment on sheets that look like they were last changed during the Clinton administration. She should have put paper down before she got down!
 
I think the reason the review was written the way it was is because this show seems to challenge a lot of the fakery of TV and it hits real issues that real people can identify with in an entertaining way. They also handle gay issues, and gay characters, in a different way than what I normally see. I like the way it’s done and I don’t have any complaints this time. And I think that’s because it is so real. Even the setting: they live in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. If you are not familiar with New York at all, you might not get this. Manhattan is now such an expensive place to live it’s virtually impossible for anyone just starting out to actually be there. In old TV, like “Sex in the City,” they would have made it possible by creating a fake storyline.
 
There is also some male (and female) nudity in this show that’s done appropriately with each scene so that it adds more dimension to the scene. In other words, it’s not about the sex in most cases. Unlike the squeaky clean reviewer above, I personally don’t think it’s dirty either. It’s mostly about the underlying issues behind the sex, and what led to that point. I haven’t seen any male full frontal, though. But the one male nude scene I saw in a recent episode was definitely worth hitting the rewind button on DVR. 
 
I also think this type of entertainment is going to be a new trend that’s going to change a lot of things. One of my best friends is a straight guy in his early thirties and I gather a lot of great material from him on various topics, like how men like him think about sex, or how straight men his age think about gay men. It really is, in a way, breaking the ultimate stereotypes and incorporating gay into the mainstream. 
 
There’s not much on the web about the male nude scenes in the show, or much to link to…yet. But I have a feeling there will be more to come if Lena Dunham has her way.