Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Beau: David Tennant





Thank you, Steven!

OK: I still love Matt Smith as the Doctor (because bowties are cool!) but I've fallen for David Tennant, and thus, prefer him to Matt. (Sorry, Matt: you can still whisk me off to Europe and marry me!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Art



Bücherleuchtturm by Quint Buchholz

This is one of my favorite illustrations!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Glee Beau: Teenage Dream



Thank you, Virginia!

So...is this Kurt's potential beau?? :)

Good Morning Saturday Book Beau



Will some doppelgänger of mine please come to the library and let me go home and back to sleep? Ai!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



Read about this image at Wikipedia

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'm not going home but I'm expecting to be busy enough over the next couple of days that I won't have time to post. I'll be back on Friday, and come back next week for my review of Justin Spring's very excellent Secret Historian and as always hot guys, my ramblings and music.

In the meantime, enjoy this article from the NYT:

The Pilgrims were...Socialists?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It IS My New Bible!



Bow before her fabulousness, foul mortals!

Kylie, Drag Queens & Flash Mob - Oh MY!



Man! Those Australians guys are hot! (obvious statement of the day)

Thanks, Towleroad!

DJ Beau: Mark Ronson


Via Wikipedia



Get your hipster clothes on and dance, bits!

I Hate This Woman



Via Thomas L. Friedman at the NYT:

In case you missed it, a story circulated around the Web on the eve of President Obama’s trip that it would cost U.S. taxpayers $200 million a day — about $2 billion for the entire trip. Cooper said he felt impelled to check it out because the evening before he had had Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a Republican and Tea Party favorite, on his show and had asked her where exactly Republicans will cut the budget.

Instead of giving specifics, Bachmann used her airtime to inject a phony story into the mainstream. She answered: “I think we know that just within a day or so the president of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day. He’s taking 2,000 people with him. He’ll be renting over 870 rooms in India, and these are five-star hotel rooms at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. This is the kind of over-the-top spending.”

First of all, Anderson apparently has a really important bill to pay, otherwise, the bitch wouldn't be on his show.

Yes. I've convinced myself, that like Parker Posey - my still reigning queen of Indie Film (Flirt, Party Girl, House of Yes, Best in Show) - who shows up in horrible movies like You've Got Mail and Blade 3 (though she as a vampire kicks seven kinds of ass) because she has a bill to pay, Anderson Cooper would not let the worse thing to come out of Minnesota since The Codependent No More book-on-tape read by author Melody Beattie, dontcha know, onto his show. *Shakes fist vehemently at CNN for turning into such a crap news channel.

However...

The next night, Cooper explained that he felt compelled to trace that story back to its source, since someone had used his show to circulate it. His research, he said, found that it had originated from a quote by “an alleged Indian provincial official,” from the Indian state of Maharashtra, “reported by India’s Press Trust, their equivalent of our A.P. or Reuters. I say ‘alleged,’ provincial official,” Cooper added, “because we have no idea who this person is, no name was given.”

“It was an anonymous quote,” said Cooper. “Some reporter in India wrote this article with this figure in it. No proof was given; no follow-up reporting was done. Now you’d think if a member of Congress was going to use this figure as a fact, she would want to be pretty darn sure it was accurate, right? But there hasn’t been any follow-up reporting on this Indian story. The Indian article was picked up by The Drudge Report and other sites online, and it quickly made its way into conservative talk radio.”

Cooper then added: “Again, no one really seemed to care to check the facts. For security reasons, the White House doesn’t comment on logistics of presidential trips, but they have made an exception this time." He then quoted Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, as saying, “I am not going to go into how much it costs to protect the president, [but this trip] is comparable to when President Clinton and when President Bush traveled abroad. This trip doesn’t cost $200 million a day.” Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said: “I will take the liberty this time of dismissing as absolutely absurd, this notion that somehow we were deploying 10 percent of the Navy and some 34 ships and an aircraft carrier in support of the president’s trip to Asia. That’s just comical. Nothing close to that is being done.”

Cooper also pointed out that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the entire war effort in Afghanistan was costing about $190 million a day and that President Bill Clinton’s 1998 trip to Africa — with 1,300 people and of roughly similar duration, cost, according to the Government Accountability Office and adjusted for inflation, “about $5.2 million a day.”

When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, we have a problem. It becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues — deficit reduction, health care, taxes, energy/climate — let alone act on them. Facts, opinions and fabrications just blend together. But the carnival barkers that so dominate our public debate today are not going away — and neither is the Internet. All you can hope is that more people will do what Cooper did — so when the next crazy lie races around the world, people’s first instinct will be to doubt it, not repeat it.

Thank you, Thomas L. Friedman!

Ah! Sweet Kentucky



Two men avoid jail for forcing man TO EAT HIS BEARD

Via Lexington Herald-Leader:

LAWRENCEBURG — A man who was forced to eat his beard at knifepoint said Tuesday he is satisfied with the punishment of his two assailants, even though they avoided jail time.

"There's no hard feelings," Harvey Westmoreland, 41, said in an interview at his home in Anderson County. "I mean, I ain't going to speak to them, and they better not pull in my driveway."

Troy F. Holt, 47, and James E. Hill, 51, were sentenced Tuesday in Anderson Circuit Court in connection with a bizarre altercation in May 2009, when Holt cut off Westmoreland's beard and forced him to eat it. Hill, meanwhile, held a sickle blade to Westmoreland and his brother, Joseph, 33.

Asked what it was like to eat his beard, Harvey Westmoreland said, "Well, did you ever chew on a sponge? That'd be about what it would be like."

What started the assault is in dispute. Harvey Westmoreland said it began over a riding mower that he sold to Holt. Holt said it was over a woman.

That's right, folks, a man was forced to eat his full-and-manly beard because of a riding mower or a woman - they're not sure!!

Ah, Sweet Frenemies


So, I was under the impression that "frenemies" came from Sex in the City. I don't know why I was under that impression, but there it is...

Actually the word "frenemy" was first used in print in 1977 by Jessica Mitford in a piece she did for The Daily Mail:

Actually, I soon discovered that a substantial number of the names listed in my address book belong in the category of Frenemy, an incredibly useful word that should be in every dictionary, coined by one of my sisters when she was a small child to describe a rather dull little girl who lived near us. My sister and the Frenemy played together constantly, invited each other to tea at least once a week, were inseparable companions, all the time disliking each other heartily.

I wonder whether most of us do not, in fact, spend more time with frenemies than with actual friends or outright enemies? Those fringy folks whose proximity, either territorial or work-related, demands the frequent dinner invitation and acceptance of their return hospitality? Pondering the potential guest list, dear reader, how often have you and your spouse bickered on in this fashion: “Well, if we ask Geraldine, we’ll have to ask Mary and her awful boy-friend.” “We can’t just ask Peter from my office and not the others—makes for bad blood. If we ask Peter, we’ve got to have the lot.”

Read the whole piece at A Different Stripe

Two Heads Are Better Than One Beau



Via Dudetube

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

60s 70s Book Cover Design



After watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand, I went in search of the Spartacus (the history) and was directed to Howard Fast's novel that was turned into the original movie Spartacus directed by Stanley Kubrick. Isn't this cover lovely??



Everyday we get donations here at the library, and sometimes we receive the mother lode of pulp novel goodness. Here are a few selections that we received this week - there was more but they'd been sent to the bookseller in the basement before I could get my camera.





I love this, but now, I have Kate Bush singing "Wuthering Heights" stuck in my head.







OK, not a pulp, but still a nice cover - not as nice as the very bawdy cover on the second copy of Droll Stories that was received in the box with this, but still...



Happy Hump Day



Via StudFarm

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Beau: Owen



Via Dudetube

Click the link and scroll down for more of Owen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Currently Reading


...the question of being important inside in one...
~Gertrude Stein to Samuel Steward,
letter of January 12, 1938

I started Secret Historian about an hour after finishing The True Deceiver, and as of last night I'm about five chapters in. As I posted on the author's Facebook page, about halfway into Mr. Spring's preface, I realized that my heart was beating at an increased rate - like it did when I collected vinyl and I had just found something that I'd been looking for for a long time, or as though I'd found some really important document proving some genealogical line.

Mr. Spring's writing is wonderful and already I know that I will love and hate this book for the same reason, as any really good biography should do: I will love the book and want to be the subject's friend and in this case even his lover but I will hate the book because I cannot be either.

Already I can tell that Samuel Steward (can I call you, Sammy?) was an amazing man that I wish I could know better.

Monday Review: The True Deceiver



I don't think I can ever satisfactorily say how much I love the work of Tove Jansson. Though I proclaim myself a (hypothetical) writer, words only get in the way of some things and this is one of those occasions.

As a child, I read what Moomintroll books were available to me in my small town's library, though in the past couple of years I've been able to read some more Moomintroll, but it wasn't until this past year that I was made aware of Jansson's adult fiction. The first book I read was The Summer Book.

The second and sadly the only other of her adults books translated into English, The True Deceiver, I finished yesterday. And once again, I have to admit, I was amazed.

The True Deceiver is about Katri Kling, an outsider in a small snowbound village called Västerby, who is raising her brother Mats and attempting to earn through whatever (but honest) means enough money to build her brother a boat (of his own design) and to make them secure. Katri is seen daily walking through the snow with a dog, untethered, always at her side. To gain monetary security, she begins a relationship with Anna Aemelin, the village's wealthiest and most reclusive member. Anna makes her living illustrating children's books about a family of rabbits and while she is lauded for ability to recreate the forest floor.

Anna Aemelin had the great, persuasive power of monomania, of being able to see and embrace a single idea, of being interested in one thing only. And that one things was the woods, the forest floor. Anna Aemelin could render the ground in a forest so faithfully and in such minute detail that she missed not the tiniest needle...Anna Aemeling made people see. They saw and recalled the essence of the forest, and, for a moment, experienced a vague yearning that felt pleasant and hopeful. (12-13)

However...

It was a shame that Anna spoiled her pictures by putting rabbits in them...[m]oreover, the fact that she drew little flowers on the rabbits dispelled much of the deep-forest mystique. (13)

But, alas, as I said, she was illustrating children's books. Through Katri's interactions with Aemelin in becomes clear, that Anna is somewhat of a rabbit herself - even the house she lives in is called The Rabbit House by the people of the village.

Katri and Anna couldn't be more different: while Katri is cold and calculating with her night thoughts, Anna seems warm and caring. Katri keeps to herself and Anna is more social. Katri is a good judge to whom many of the villagers brought their disputes and questions about money, while Anna had no head for money. But, at least, in Anna's case most of this is surface: it was a way to keep people at bay. Most of what Anna does is in reaction to other people: she accepts gifts of liver from the town storekeeper though she can't abide the sight of blood. She starts and continues correspondence with fans of her artwork (children) that she really wants nothing to do with. She lets herself be cheated by not only local shop owners but also the national businesses that use her illustrations or in which she has money invested. And all in an effort not simply to be nice, but to be left alone. It seems that while Katri is nominally willing to deceive Anna to gain access to Anna's money - though even this Katri eventually acknowledges openly to Anna - it is Anna who is the true deceiver of the title because most of her life she has been deceiving herself.

In the process of Katri and Anna developing a relationship, Anna seems to grow up and aware, but also loses her ability to trust and her ability to draw the forest floor. But Anna isn't the only to suffer, Katri's life is thrown in disarray as Anna begins to lash out at just about everyone: Katri's dog no longer answers her commands and at one point tries to attack Katri. Katri's plan to have built and to give her brother Mats a boat (which is the very foundation for her relationship with Anna in the first place) is stolen by Anna.

Ultimately it is Anna's inability to draw the forest floor that brings the book to its conclusion, because Katri finds that she must deceive Anna in an effort to save her.

There is so much in this book. Though even in some of Jansson's Moomintroll books there is darkness, The True Deceiver is the darkest thing that I've ever read by her, but it isn't the darkness of suspence or horror but of a long, ice-covered winter, of self-deception, of the forest floor. Jansson's has a way of writing that is very evocative - it's almost a spell of creation, an equation of a chemical reaction. As Jung said, "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction, both are transformed."

In this instance for Anna to be able to live in the world, Katri who had begun Anna's transformation must lie to pull Anna happy medium between two extremes, and in the process Katri changes herself.

I highly recommend The True Deceiver - hell, I highly recommend anything by Tove Jansson that you can get in English...or if you can read Swedish, more power to you. I hope since both True Deceiver and The Summer Book have both been released as New York Review Books Classics that soon more of her adult books will be translated as well.

Will it go on like this? Probably. Does she think she's the only one who's tired, hiding there under her coverlet, giving up because the world isn't the way she imagined it? Is it my fault!? How long does a person have a right to go around with blinders - what does she expect, this Anna Aemelin...what more does she want me to do? If she really were what she pretends to be, everything would have been wrong, everything I did and said and tried to get her to see, it would all have been monstrous. But her innocence left her a very long time ago, and she never noticed. She eats only grass, but she has a meat eater's heart. And she doesn't know it, and no one has told her. Maybe they don't care enough about her to take the chance. What should I do? How many different truths are there, and what justifies them? What a person believes? What a person acomplishes? Self-deception? Is it only the result that counts? I no longer know. (175-176)

And though there is no mention of it, winter in Sweden or Finland makes me think of the Northern Lights, so I present this Time Lapse Video of Earth from Space.

Monday Beau



Via Dexx

Daddy might need some help in the bath. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

For Sean...



...who had surgery yesterday and is today in pain yet doped up. I was worried. I love you.

TGIF Beau



Via StudFarm

I didn't intend the couples in shower/bathtub theme this week, it just happened. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day: End DADT!


Via WickedGayBlog

As one of two gay grandsons of a Veteran on my Mom's side AND the gay great-grandson of a Veteran on my Dad's side, I wish all Veteran's a happy Veteran's Day. And though I wish there was no more cause for war, those of you who felt you were doing the right thing, I hope you have a wonderful day, and I hope you celebrate Veteran's Day by calling your Congresspeople and showing your support for the end of DADT.

The Supply Guru



Until the recent reorg of my library, I was the supply guru for my department, so I was constantly having to send out emails imploring my fellow employees not to give out supplies to customers. I had to send out such an email this morning involving pens which always makes me think of the above skit from Kids in the Hall. (Yes, in this scenario, I would be the "MY PEN MY PEN!!" guy.)

Beau: Cole



I was talking to someone to a couple of people yesterday about Active Duty, and it made me remember this lovely, military hunk Cole.

I even think the farmer tan is sexy. LOL

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Hump Day



Don't worry: I didn't forget the weekly High Holiday of Hump Day!

Thanks, 41North87West!

And let's have some Belle & Sebastian to help us celebrate, shall we:

Wednesday Beau



Obviously ads for chat sites are meant to be sexy, but I thought this one was a little sexier than usual. Yum!

This Must Stop



Via Queerty:

"I'm sure that even when I'm gone, you'll find the strength not to let this happen to anyone else."

Kurt's First Kiss



I don't get to watch Glee, but apparently last night Kurt got his first kiss, and it wasn't at all what anyone was expecting. I think the expectation was that Kurt would be sucking face with the ever-shirtless Chord Overstreet - or maybe I was fantasizing that I was Kurt kissing Sam, IDK.

And while I'm like "Wow, cool. A gay-kiss on the most watched TV show. WOW!" Part of me is also like "Why does it have to be all wrapped up with guilt, complications and drama?" First kisses can be awkward but do they necessarily have to leave a WTF expression on Kurt's face and cause the other character to slam his fists against the lockers??

Why is it so necessary for gay characters to be put in pain to allow middle America to identify with gay people? Why can't Kurt have a first kiss that isn't followed by sadness and questions, questions, questions?

Why can't Ennis and Jack buy a ranch together and live happily ever after? Why can't middle America identify with that?!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nice Package



So...we've been getting a lot of really, really tacky Urban Lit lately. I've always hated bodice-rippers but in Urban Lit, they don't even have bodices and everyone just seems to shimmer with oiled-up skin - like in those heterosexual phone sex commercials I sometimes find in the extras of the gay porn DVDs I occasional buy - yuck.

But I thought of posting this cover for a Vagina Lit post, because I know how much you all like a well-read Vagina, and then thought "meh" but then I noticed how much gunpower the guy on the cover is packing and couldn't help myself.

Damn, I wanna be HIS friend with benefits. Bitch, get out of that bed!

Music I'm Wearing Out This Week

"Armistice" by French band Phoenix:



Here's the album version that's been burning up my iPod this week.

Then, there's "Sweetest Kill" by Broken Social Scene. I'd originally told my friend Steven that this was sung by Feist (and it totally sounds like her), but, alas, it sung by BSS's Kevin Drew.



Once again, here is the studio version. Listen, and if you're familiar with Feist's voice, you'll hear what I mean.

Also, here is my all-time favorite BSS song: Lover's Spit. (If you're familiar with Queer As Folk, this is the song played when Brian and Justin get back together and have sex in Brian's office.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ambivalent Book News for the Day



I started doing small press displays here at my library in an effort to keep all the cool small press books that don't circulate all the much from being withdrawn (Lexington typically is a New York Times Bestseller (fuck you, James Patterson) and mass market paperback romance (the ladies love some bestiality erot...I mean, paranormal romance) kind of town). In the process I've learned about some really cool small presses: Soft Skull Press is (was?) one of these; however...

Soft Skull Press, the indie publisher that was rescued from financial ruin when it was acquired by the Berkeley-based publisher Counterpoint in 2007, became a West Coast outfit on Friday after 17 years in New York with the closing of its office in the Flatiron District. Both of its full-time staffers, editorial director Denise Oswald and associate editor Anne Horowitz, were laid off, and titles that were already in the pipeline have been reassigned to editors at Counterpoint.

According to Counterpoint CEO Charlie Winton, Soft Skull will live on from California, though there will not be any one there dedicated to running it. Mr. Winton, who founded Publishers Group West in 1976 and made his name in the book business as an innovative indie distributor, said that while the number of titles published through the Soft Skull imprint will drop from around 40 per year to 20, Counterpoint's editors will acquire and publish books for the Soft Skull list, thus keeping the brand alive.

Mr. Winton's conception of that brand is broad. "We see the role of Soft Skull as introducing new writers," he said, when asked to define the imprint's sensibility. "In general, those writers are probably going to be a little younger and maybe a little edgier."

I added the emphasis to the statement that worries me and which, I think, worries the writer at The New York Observer.

Read more: Indie Publisher Soft Skull Press Closes Its Doors In New York

Hamlet Starring David Tennant



Over the weekend I got to watch (as well as the History Channel's "Bible Battles," "Haunted Houses" and "More Haunted Houses") the Royal Shakespeare Company's new production of Hamlet starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart.

While overall I did enjoy the Hamlet as a whole and also all the performances, there were times that I thought Tennant's Hamlet was a bit too hysterical. While I did like how his performance more explicitly called into question Hamlet's madness/sanity (is he really mad? is he just pretending? is he really mad though he thinks he's simply pretending), some of it was a little too over the top. I'm thinking in general of a scene with between Hamlet and Polonius in which Hamlet makes a face while saying a particular line: I thought it was unnecessary and also a bit hypocritical given Hamlet's speech to the players NOT to add anything unnecessary to their performances as it would only take away from the meat of the piece.

Above is Tennant's "To be or not to be" which I absolutely loved. I loved the intimacy of it and they way that Tennant both engages the camera and then lets his thoughts and eyes wonder from it. Another great scene occurs when Hamlet rips a security camera down from the wall and follows it with the "Now I am alone" soliloquy

On the con side of the new Hamlet, though I liked the actress who played Ophelia, I kept (unwillingly) comparing her to Helena Bonham-Carter's Ophelia. It made much more sense that Bonham-Carter's Ophelia went mad while the actress in the newer production, well, it just seemed she suddenly went mad - though honestly I think that the latter's performance (I can't find her name and imdb is being a bitch) is more faithful to what Shakespeare may have wanted - though I could be wrong.

And it seems that the entire production is broken up into parts on YouTube.

Kylie: Better Than Today



Thank you, Towleroad

Bishop Gene Robinson to Retire



Via Towleroad:

[Kentucky native] Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, announced today to New Hampshire's diocesan convention that he will retire at the end of 2013. It appears as if the decision was made primarily due to the negative attention he has received from all over the world since his historical election in 2003.

“Death threats, and the now worldwide controversy surrounding your election of me as bishop, have been a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark” and on Episcopalians in the state, he said.

RIP: Brandon Bitner



Via Towleroad:

Anti-gay bullying is being blamed for the suicide of 14-year-old Brandon Bitner of Middleburg, Pennsylvania on Friday. Bitner walked 13 miles before throwing himself in front of a truck.

Lunchtime Beau



Via Baxter's Briefs

Keith Olbermann to Return Tuesday



Via WickedGayBlog:

MSNBC has unsuspended Keith Olbermann and he'll be back on the air tomorrow night. "After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy," MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement released late Sunday. "We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night."


Here is Rachel Maddow's response to his suspension:

Friday, November 5, 2010