Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chris Offutt: my father was a workhorse in the field of written pornography

Image and quote via NYT

In the mid-1960s, Dad purchased several porn novels through the mail. My mother recalls him reading them with disgust — not because of the content, but because of how poorly they were written. He hurled a book across the room and told her he could do better. Mom suggested he do so. According to her, the tipping point for Dad’s full commitment to porn, five years later, was my orthodontic needs.

Kentucky author Chris Offutt is apparently turning the New York Times piece into a book to be published in 2016. Read more on NPR: Chris Offutt reveals a family secret in My Father, the Pornographer.

Branded the Worst Gay Ever

Image via theguardian

Russell Tovey may have shown himself to be a thoughtless ponce, but he didn't "disparage effeminate gays." He talked about his own life experience - he spoke off the cuff about his life, his experience. The problem is not so much what he said which was given more weight because of his "celebrity," but that other people reading those remarks thought said remarks were about them. They weren't.

Tovey's remarks say nothing at all about the group of gay men considered (by themselves or others) as effeminate and if you took them to say something about you, that is your issue. Not his. Speaking of "internal homophobia," maybe it's the internal homophobia of those upset because it agrees with these comments that need some looking to.

Speaking as a slightly effeminate gay, have we become such victims, such weaklings, that absolutely everything has to come with a "trigger warning" label? Woman up, for Willow's sake, and get over yourselves. Not everything is about you.

Click above for the article.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Neil Gaiman's reviews Kazuo Ishiguro's new book The Buried Giant

Via the New York Times Book Review

Ishiguro is not afraid to tackle huge, personal themes, nor to use myths, history and the fantastic as the tools to do it. “The Buried Giant” is an exceptional novel, and I suspect my inability to fall in love with it, much as I wanted to, came from my conviction that there was an allegory waiting like an ogre in the mist, telling us that no matter how well we love, no matter how deeply, we will always be fallible and human, and that for every couple who are aging together, one or the other of them — of us — will always have to cross the water, and go on to the island ahead and alone.

I am SO excited about this book. The fact of it cuts through the fog I've felt inside for some time.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Will Always

Via BuzzFeed's The 15 Greatest Spock Quotes as Motivational Posters

Leonard Nimoy's Last Tweet

Via The Verge

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Via Narratively: The Secret Life of a Public Library Security Guard

Very good read...maybe mostly because working at a public library, you work closely with these guys, and I'm grateful for that.

Image and quote from narratively

In a city of more than 66,000, there might be as many as 2,000 visitors every day. Indoor spaces that are actually open to the public are a rare find, and in a city like Portland, Maine — with months upon months of winter and an immense homeless population — the library becomes a living room of sorts. Keeping good guard of the library is delicate work. One must disrupt as few people as possible. Keeping the building safe and comfortable while at the same time truly public can be a precarious balance.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What is home?

Image via NYT

Cuban, gay poet Richard Blanco has a piece newly up at NPR: An American Dream, A Cuban Soul: Poet Richard Blanco Finds Home

It's said that every writer spends his or her entire life working on a single poem or one story. Figuratively, of course, this means that writers are each possessed by a certain obsession. As such, their entire body of work, in one way or another, is generally an attempt to dimension some part of that obsession, ask questions about it, answer them and then ask many new questions.

But — writer or not — I think that's true of any life; we all have an obsession that permeates and shapes our lives. In my case, my life is my art, and my art is my life — one in the same — and my personal and artistic obsession comes down to a single word, one question: What is home? And all that word calls to mind with respect to family, community, place, culture and national loyalties. A word, a universal question that we all ask ourselves, especially in a country like the United States, home to so many peoples and cultures.

But will he speak to me in Dothraki while he's doing unspeakable things to me?

Jason Momoa (or as you may know him Khal Drogo) as Aquaman

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

NPR: Selected Letters of Langston Hughes

Via NPR

In addition to poems and plays and stories, Langston Hughes also wrote letters — a lot of letters. The letters — compiled for the first time in Selected Letters of Langston Hughes — offer insight into a man deeply devoted to his craft, and chronicle his often tumultuous personal and professional relationships.

"He was an inveterate letter writer," Arnold Rampersad, co-editor of the compilation, tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "He would write sometimes 30 or 40 working late into the night, into the early morning. He believed in letters and he also saved them."

And if you love to read letters, NPR has a selection of collections of letters in honor of Black History Month.

LaShonda Katrice Barnett's Jam on the Vine

NPR's Rachel Martin interviews LaShonda Katrice Barnett about her new book Jam on the Vine

It is the beginning of the 20th century, and a young African-American woman named Ivoe Williams is determined to carve out her own path in the world. As a black woman attracted to other women and determined to become a journalist in the Jim Crow South, she will have no choice but to make her own way.

Williams is the central character in the debut novel from LaShonda Katrice Barnett. The book is called "Jam! On The Vine." And it guides the reader through this dark chapter in American history and the story of one woman who tried to change it with a printing press.

We're All One

Via NPR

The recording gives us a new insight into Abu-Salha, 21, who was killed Tuesday along with her husband, Deah Barakat, 23, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Chelsea Manning OK'd for hormone therapy

Image and quote via USA Today

The Army has approved Chelsea Manning's request for hormone therapy.

In a first for the Army, Chelsea Manning, the convicted national-security secrets leaker, has been approved for hormone therapy for transition to a woman at the Army's Fort Leavenworth prison, according to a memo obtained Thursday by USA TODAY.

Manning remains a soldier as well as an inmate.

"After carefully considering the recommendation that (hormone treatment) is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks presented, I approve adding (hormone treatment) to Inmate Manning's treatment plan," Col. Erica Nelson, the commandant of the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas, wrote in a Feb. 5 memo.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Welcome to the Dark Side

Via NPR

Beau: Hozier

Via NYMag;s The Cut: Hozier on Gay Rights, Sexuality and Good Hair

The song serves simultaneously as a message about human rights, a commentary about Hozier's upbringing in what he calls a "cultural landscape that is blatantly homophobic," and a strong statement about the institutional homophobia in Putin's Russia.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tamayn, Check Out Take Me To Church

12 Downloads You Won't Regret? Pretty True So Far

Via audiomack

Found this looking for the song Coffee by Sylvan Esso. Check it out.

New Greek government to extend civil union recognition to gay couples

Image and quote via Joe.My.God.

Greece's new left-wing government has promised to grant same-sex couples legal status, in response to a 2013 international court decision condemning the country for discrimination. Justice Minister Nikolaos Paraskevopoulos told parliament Monday that civil partnerships, first legislated in 2008, would be extended to gay couples but did not say when the changes were planned. The pledge was made two weeks after the left-wing Syriza party ousted conservatives in a general election and formed a coalition government with a right-wing, anti-bailout party, one which in the past has opposed awarding gay partners legal status. In 2013, the Council of Europe's Court of Human Rights awarded plaintiffs damages after they successfully challenged the Greek state over its civil partnerships law. (AP)

By far, the best performance of the 2015 Grammys

Via Billboard

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The curious love of reading

The image and quote from the New Yorker's The History of "Loving" to Read

Romance structures literary life, and to be a reader is, often, to follow its choreography, from susceptibility and discovery (“I just saw it there in the bookstore!”) to infatuation, intimacy, identification, and obsession. We connect with books in an intellectual way, but the most valuable relationships we have with them are emotional; to say that you merely admire or respect a book is, on some level, to insult it. Feelings are so fundamental to literary life that it can be hard to imagine a way of relating to literature that doesn’t involve loving it. Without all those emotions, what would reading be?