Category: new zealand

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

New Zealand Sings for Gay Marriage; Challenged Books of 2012; Transgender Banned from Store; New York’s Income Inequality

Everyone broke out in song after New Zealand became the first place in the Asian Pacific to legalize gay marriage. This would make them number thirteen, in the world, to recognize gay marriage legally. One lawmaker mentioned how her own daughter took another young woman to the prom last year. She spoke with pride about this and received huge applause.

As the announcement was read out, spectators watching in the gallery spontaneously started singing the New Zealand love song “Pokarekare Ana.”

It’s an amazing thing to see, and you can get there by clicking this link.  You don’t see that kind of emotion often.

Challenged/Banned Books of 2012

The American Library Association came out with a list of the 10 most challenged books of 2012…those that were talked about being banned. I’ve had a book banned myself (Skater Boy), and for reasons that were strictly related to search engine issues. I posted a lot about this when it happened. In my case, the word “Boy” in Skater Boy was considered taboo because it implied underage characters involved in sexual situations. And there was nothing like that in the book. I don’t do that. It was just one single word that got me banned.

I’m surprised to see The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, and Beloved by Toni Morrison, on this list. I’ve read both and can’t believe anyone would want to ban either of them. In fact, if you haven’t read Beloved and you’re a writer, shame on you.

The most challenged books of 2012 are: “Captain Underpants” (series), by Dav Pilkey; “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie; “Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher; “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E. L. James; “And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson; “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini; “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green; “Scary Stories” (series), by Alvin Schwartz; “The Glass Castle,” by Jeanette Walls: and “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison.

You can read more here.

Transgender Banned from Store 

A transgender person was banned from a grocery store in Idaho this week for using the “wrong” restroom. He identifies as a woman and he used the ladies room. A few women in the ladies room freaked out and complained. The transgender was banned from the store.

I’ve actually always wondered how it worked with transgenders and public restrooms. Is there some kind of law that states he or she must use a specific restroom…male or female…and would those same laws apply to a transgender who has gone through a full change as opposed to a partial change?

“The store employees didn’t want any further problems, and they chose to exercise their right to trespass this individual from the business,” said Lanier. “Anyone who owns or controls their property can make that decision.”

You can read more here. This is a tough one for me. As a former small business owner who owned and controlled my property, I had to exercise my right to ban certain people from my store on occasion. Though I never did this based on discrimination of this kind like the incident above, I did like knowing that I had the power/freedom to do it. Frankly, I’ve always wondered why there weren’t unisex bathrooms designed, with completely private stalls where doors can be locked, for everyone. Maybe that sounds a little way out there to some, but I’ve never been too fond of urinals myself, and I rarely ever use them. And maybe men’s rooms wouldn’t look so awful compared to women’s rest rooms.

New York’s Income Inequality

The New Yorker recently published a piece about how incomes vary in New York City, and they titled it with the word “Inequality.” They should have chosen another word.

I know there are variables here, and sometimes personal circumstances come into play over which people have no control. I’m also not fond of the fact that professional sports players make millions of dollars compared to cops and teachers, however, I do think that if someone works hard enough in life to enjoy the benefits of more money they shouldn’t be penalized for it. And I know a lot of people in New York who do work hard, damn hard. I also know many who don’t and complain about not having money all the time.

 “It’s particularly bad in New York City—according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, if the borough of Manhattan were a country,” the magazine explains in its “Idea of the Week,” “the income gap between the richest twenty per cent and the poorest twenty per cent would be on par with countries like Sierra Leone, Namibia, and Lesotho.”

It’s true, and that can’t be disputed. But New York City has always been like this, so it’s not something new. As far back as I can recall everything was more expensive in Manhattan, and the differences between those with grand wealth and those in poverty hasn’t changed all that much. But then again you can find this anywhere in the world, and this also isn’t something new. So I’m not quite sure where they are going with this, but I do think the New Yorker should get over itself. If anything their own elitist attitude promotes inequality.

This article links to another article that talks about people who’ve lost their jobs. One in particular is about a small town sports writer who worked for his local newspaper. I have to wonder where this sports writer has been for the last ten years. I was told, about ten years ago, by editors that if I didn’t make the switch to digital I wouldn’t work in the future. Up until then, I’d only worked in publishing with hard copy, phones, and snail mail. I didn’t even own a computer until ten years ago. But you know what? I did what I had to do in order to survive.

You can read more here.