GAY MOVIES | GAY RIGHTS | GAY LIFE | GAY HISTORY | GAY BOOKS | & M/M ROMANCE |
HISTORIC LOVE STORY ...
OPINIONS OF "THE HADRIAN ENIGMA" - excerpts logged at global Amazon stores, especially the USA ...
JANE (Canada), at Amazon USA
"...I recommend it to any historical fiction fan, especially any fan of the redoubtable Mary Renault. ..."
J.R. Tomlin, author of historical fiction, at :- http://jeannetomlin.blogspot.com/
"Five stars ... a tour de force ..."
Elisa Rolle, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer, USA & UK, & at : http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1092070.html
" ... an absorbing new book ... compelling writing ... action sequences that are brilliantly staged & paced ... on a higher plane than mere homoerotic titillation ... courageous & convincing ..."
Reader Down Under (Australia), at Amazon USA
"... extensively researched picture of life in the Roman Empire ... a mix of mystery, comedy, gay & straight romance - is an entertaining read ..."
Laura Staley, Historical Novels Review, USA, at :-
"... an age-old love story with a twist ... an unexpected delight ... his storyline hooked me immediately ..."
Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson of READER VIEWS, Austin TX, USA
"... You will feel engaged and challenged ..."
Nan Hawthorne, author Beloved Pilgrim, at Amazon USA
"... extremely readable ... it's a page turner ... Gardiner has written an interesting & gripping story ..."
Kim at http://www.desicritics.org/ India
"... Five Stars ... a compelling crime mystery ... a hard book to put down ..."
Terence Charters, Hobart, Australia, at Amazon USA
"... An adventure through Hadrian's world. The story is easy to read and full of the homoeroticism that we love about this era. ..."
P. Novotny, London, at Amazon UK
"... a definitive Five Star read for me ..."
Aleksandr Voinov, UK, reviewer at Speak Its Name
"Five Stars ... A masterful recreation of Ancient Rome ... the historical details are a delight ... characters are outlined in a vivid way which is like meeting old friends ... "
Ernest Gill, Hamburg, at Amazon USA & UK
"Five Stars ... as a reimagining of the Hadrian-Antinous relationship in the context of the age it is fascinating."
Muriel Perkins, Texas, at Amazon USA
" ... this is a novel about the nature of love ... but this is far from just being a gay romance. ..." Kit Moss, historical author, at :- http://kitmossreviews.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/the-hadrian-enigma-forbidden-history-by.html
"A truly exceptional book on 'What Greek Love" is all about ..."
John R. Shelton at Amazon USA
"Five Stars. I so enjoyed this book. Highly recommend it ... "
NOTE: ***Amazon USA's book or ebook purchase website with its 18 reader's reviews (nine awarding Five Stars for excellence!) can be read in full by clicking on :- http://www.amazon.com/Hadrian-Enigma-Forbidden-History/product-reviews/0980746906/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA: A Forbidden History
(C) George Gardiner
ISBN13: 978-0-9807469-1-4 (at Amazon USA, UK, Europe, Australia etc) in 498-page paperback or Kindle ebook.
The scene: ancient Rome, 130 years after Christ yet two centuries prior to Christianity being legal. Caesar Hadrian is the popular ruler of a vast pagan empire at the height of its power & wealth.
Hadrian, one of Rome's "five good emperors" searches for & eventually locates the love of his life .. Antinous, an elite Greek athlete, huntsman, & cavalry cadet. They become 'companions' under the ancient Greco-Roman mentoring tradition of an erastes (mentor) & his eromenos (student).
During an imperial pleasure tour of Egypt Antinous is discovered dead in the River Nile. Hadrian is distraught. Is the death a drunken prank gone wrong, suicide, murder, or something far more sinister? Hadrian assigns historian playboy Suetonius Tranquillus to investigate.
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA is the outlawed record of Caesar's investigation into one of history's most suspicious fatalities. It reveals more than Hadrian may want to know, or wants others to know. Set in a society increasingly reflecting facets of our own times, it portrays an era of torrid relationships, raging ambition, wealth inequalities, & uninhibited morals within a severely macho culture of honor, shame, pride & prejudice.
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Monday, March 30, 2015
---- excerpts from a video sales review by Matt Hinrichs at DVD Talk (USA), 31 March 2015 :-
'Switzerland's official selection for the 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, The Circle (Der Kreis) deftly mixes drama and documentary to shed some light on the reality of gay life in the '50s. The movie delves into the operation of the Swiss magazine Der Kreis (a.k.a. "The Circle"), an underground prose-and-erotica publication made by and for gay men from 1932 to 1967 - and the enduring relationship that emerged from that far from out-and-proud scene.
The Circle illuminates a part of LGBT history that's often forgotten by today's gay youth. Astonishing as it might be to consider it now, just a generation or two ago being gay meant living in a coded, secret world of passwords, covert meetings, underground parties and the constant fear of being arrested and exposed. ....
.... Opening in 1956 Zurich, Switzerland, The Circle dramatizes the hopes harbored by that era's LGBT people, despite their repressed environment. Director and co-screenwriter Stefan Haupt frames the story of influential Swiss gay magazine Der Kreis around two young men brought together by the magazine's underground social circle. .... '
---- seed more of Matt Hinrichs' review at www.dvdtalk.com at :-
---- and check the trailer video in the sidebar opposite.
---- Buy the VOD and DVD from WolfeVideo.com! https://www.wolfevideo.com/products/c...
Sunday, March 29, 2015
---- the opening pars of an extended opinion-piece by Zack Ford at Think Progress (USA), 27 March 2015 :-
'HBO announced this week that it would not renew Looking for a third season, but would allow for one more special to wrap up the series about gay men in San Francisco.
The show had a small group of devoted followers, but has also been panned by many in the gay community for being boring and nonrepresentative, despite having some Latino characters. Arguably, it was serving its purpose of showing the challenges of what somewhat-post-political gay life might look like, where character conflicts arise from “bottom shame,” HIV and PrEP, ageism, monogamy vs. open relationships, and the overall importance of sex in relationships — not from homophobia, bullying, and the fight for marriage equality.
If a deep, focused look at the lives of gay white men is no longer of interest to a wide-enough television audience, it may in fact be an indicator that the era of such prominent shows is over — having completed its Will & Grace-Queer as Folk-Looking arc.
Looking‘s cancellation coincides with the recent series finale of Glee, another show that also emphasized its gay characters from the start, but relied on more traditional coming out stories. Arguably, one of the only other gay-focused shows left is ABC Family’s The Fosters, which features a lesbian couple’s family .... '
---- see more of Zack Ford's challenging opinion-piece at http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt at :-
---- [Editor: With LGBTQ characters everywhere on global television from Empire to Modern Family, plus occasional mainstream cinema, there is still nothing that really encapsulates the modern gay experience as Looking has done. I predict its stance will revive again in some more compatible format suited to societies which endorse social diversity.]
Saturday, March 28, 2015
---- visit a specialized site introducing seven new LGBT titles
'This past week, www.WatchBGPFilms.com launched as LGBT distributor Breaking Glass’ first direct-to-audience VOD store -- and with it comes a collection of their most popular LGBT and indie titles .... The following films are now available for rent or purchase on Breaking Glass’ VOD store:4 Moons : 4 MOONS tells four stories about love and self-acceptance.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
---- excerpts from a substantial news report by Colby Itkowitz at The Washington Post (USA), 25 March 2015 :-
'There was a time when you could be thrown out of the foreign service for being openly gay. In 1997, when the first gay U.S. ambassador, James Hormel, was nominated, many senators opposed him because of his sexuality.
Less than 20 years later, six gay U.S. ambassadors gathered to celebrate progress –but also to underscore the work ahead.
They discussed how far the foreign service, the nation and the world has come on the issue of equality. They discussed their varied experiences around the world being representatives not only of America, but the gay community. ....
.... Also in the audience was the State Department’s new LGBT envoy, career foreign service officer Randy Berry, who officially starts the job April 13.
After the event, we asked him how it feels to be the first ever tasked as the point person on gay issues around the world.
“It is huge … even just hearing you say that makes me a little nervous,” Berry said. “I think I’m probably more nervous about this job than any I’ve ever done because I think the stakes are very, very high. I think the need is immediate in places … but I am also very confident about making tangible progress.”
---- see more of Colby Itkowitz's report at www.washingtonpost.com at :-
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
---- brief excerpts from an extended salute by Frazier Moore (Associated Press) at LGBTGQ Nation (USA), 20 March 2015, celebrating 121 episodes (2009-2015) of a popular social influence :-
'NEW YORK — The “Glee” series finale delivered glorious news that William McKinley High School is being turned into an arts school and that Will Schuester, who started its glee club way back in 2009, will become its principal.
Oh, and that wondrous show choir, New Directions, won the national championship.
But “Glee” always had the underlying message: With a song in your heart, dreams do come true. ....
.... That’s how it went – happily ever after – as the Fox song-and-dance show concluded its six-season run Friday night. ....
.... For the characters at McKinley High, as well as the audience that has followed them with every note, graduation day has come.'
---- see more of this 2-page salute to a six-season international audience-winner at www.lgbtqnation.com at :-
Monday, March 23, 2015
---- brief excerpts from a questioning piece by Daniel Mendelsohn at New Yorker Magazine (USA), 16 March 2015 :-
'.... One day not long after New Year’s, 2012, an antiquities collector approached an eminent Oxford scholar for his opinion about some brownish, tattered scraps of writing. .... When pieced together, the scraps that the collector showed Obbink formed a fragment about seven inches long and four inches wide: a little larger than a woman’s hand. Densely covered with lines of black Greek characters, they had been extracted from a piece of desiccated cartonnage, a papier-mâché-like plaster that the Egyptians and Greeks used for everything from mummy cases to bookbindings. After acquiring the cartonnage at a Christie’s auction, the collector soaked it in a warm water solution to free up the precious bits of papyrus.
--- the opening pars from a substantial piece by Ross Murray at The Daily Beast (USA), 22 February 2015 :-
' .... Last week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) became the latest Christian denomination to affirm marriage equality, after a ratification vote in the Palisades presbytery on Tuesday night pushed the number of affirming presbyteries over 51 percent—thus making marriage equality official doctrine. With this move, the PC (USA) joins the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, Conservative and Reform Judaism, Quakers, and Unitarian Universalists in affirming and supporting LGBT people.
The Presbyterians bring us ever closer to the tipping point of a majority of mainline Christian churches affirming LGBT people, including marriage equality. In fact, even those denominations that have not affirmed marriage equality all have strong, vocal minorities, advocating for change within them. But while observers might be asking themselves “Who’s next?” the changes to come will likely be more cultural than doctrinal. .... '
---- see more of Ross Murray's report at www.thedailybeast.com at :-
Saturday, March 21, 2015
---- selective excerpts from an informed review of an exhibition of major archaeological artifacts by noted British historian James Davidson at The Guardian (UK), 20 March 2015 :-
'.... The Greeks could see their nudity was a bit odd, and wondered how it came about. One theory was that an early competitor at the Olympics had accidentally or deliberately lost his loincloth and went on to win the 200m sprint, thanks to some aerodynamic advantage. Not to be outdone, the other competitors copied him. More likely it has something to do with primitive rituals of “stripping off” one’s childhood cloak and “running out” into the ranks of citizens at the age of 20, practices still going on in Sparta and Crete in the historical period. ....
.... The gymnasium was criticised by both Plato and the Romans for promoting Greek homosexuality and it certainly seems to have been where much of the action took place; and not just looks and stares and love affairs but the homosex itself, mostly frottage in a standing position which they called diamerion “between the thighs”. Doubtless chemical analysis of ancient boy gloop would be found to reveal traces of sperm almost as frequently as do swabs of modern computer trackpads.
The gymnasium also seems to be the setting for a unique scene on a vase in the British Museum in which a handsome ephebe climbs on to the erect penis of another ephebe sitting on a chair, while a trainer (perhaps) and a woman wait outside: Life in the Socratic Circle is how Sir John Beazley, the great pioneer of the study of Greek vase-painting, described it, tongue not entirely in cheek.
Life in the Socratic Circle has a place in the stunning new exhibition at the British Museum, Defining Beauty, but its mind is mostly on higher things. ....
.... When first reading about this exhibition, I had my doubts about it. There are some fabulous loans from abroad, a multi-veiled bronze dancer from New York, a lifesize bronze athlete discovered only in the 1990s in Croatia, a reclining Hermaphroditus from the Borghese. But the stars of the show are undoubtedly the museum’s own masterpieces and in particular the Parthenon sculptures ....
.... Defining Beauty opens at the British Museum, London WC1B, on 26 March and runs until 5 July. britishmuseum.org. James Davidson’s books include The Greeks and Greek Love.'
---- see more of James Davidson's substantial commentary about this British Museum exhibition at www.theguardian.com at :-
---- see too another Guardian review of the exhibition at :-
Friday, March 20, 2015
---- the opening pars from a statistically controversial post by Emily Badger (The Washington Post) at The Columbian (Vancouver), 20 March 2015 :-
'WASHINGTON — The San Francisco area, with its long history of gay rights and progressive politics, has the highest share of LGBT adults of any large metro in the country, according to a massive new Gallup survey out Friday that included interviews over the course of two years with 374,000 people. More than 6 percent of adults living in the Bay Area identify themselves this way. And San Francisco is followed, perhaps unsurprisingly, by Portland, Austin, New Orleans and Seattle.
San Francisco's lead isn't, in fact, enormous, nor all that far from the national average (about 3.6 percent of adults identify as gay). The difference between the largest and smallest gay populations among the 50 largest metros in the country is only a few percentage points - Birmingham comes in at at the bottom at 2.6 percent. But the list of cities that appear the least gay-friendly here is noticeably full of Southern and Midwestern cities in parts of the country where gay rights have not yet expanded as fast as they have in places like San Francisco. Birmingham's appearance at the very bottom is notable given the very public intransigence of public officials in Alabama lately on marriage equality.
This is a lot less geographic variation than we see with other demographic groups, a pattern mirrored at the state level too. But these modest metro-level differences may matter to you even if you don't identify yourself as LGBT - or even know anyone who does - because acceptance of gays is a good stand-in for the broader degree of tolerance in a city. .... '
---- see more of Emily Badger's post at www.columbian.com/news at :-
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
---- the introductory pars from an arts report by Mark Brown at The Guardian (UK/USA), 18 March 2015 :-
'London LGBT Film Festival (UK) launches a free worldwide viewing campaign in 70 countries, as part of a British Council initiative.
Five gay-themed films are to be made available free of charge to a worldwide audience and actively promoted in more than 70 countries, the British Council and the British Film Institute will announce on Wednesday.
The bold initiative is about showing support for freedom and equality and getting the message over that “love is a basic human right,” said Alan Gemmell, the British Council director who hit upon the idea about six months ago.
All five films have been chosen from BFI Flare, the UK’s leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender film festival, which opens on Thursday.
Each one will be on the BFI player during the 10-day festival and on Wednesday 25 March there will be a “fiveFilms4freedom” campaign day, when people will be encouraged via social media to come together to watch a film. .... '
---- see more of Mark Brown's report & the films included in the project, plus details of accessing your own free screening, at www.theguardian.com.film/2015 at :-
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
---- excerpts from a medical news report by Charles Pulliam-Moore at the ever-popular Towleroad site (UK/USA), 17 March 2015 :-
'Experimental stem cell gene therapy that could act as functional cure for HIV infection has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to move into early human test trials. Unlike other treatments that use healthy stem cells from uninfected donors, this form of therapy uses cells harvested from a positive person’s own body.
The stem cells are genetically manipulated to develop into white blood cells that are missing the key cellular receptors that the HIV virus uses to insert its genetic code into healthy cells. The modification effectively models a HIV-positive person’s white blood cells after the cells of people who have a natural resistance to HIV. ....
.... The FDA’s authorization of further tests means that a larger group of people will be able to participate in a future study exploring the therapy’s efficacy. As of now trials are planned for California’s City of Hope medical research center with funding help from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
---- see more of Charles Pulliam-Moore's report on this important development in HIV therapy at www.towleroad.com at :-
Monday, March 16, 2015
---- the opening pars from an extended literature feature by Nick Duerden at The Independent (UK), 17 March 2015 :-
'In the dozen years that US author David Levithan has been writing young adult (YA) novels that focus either on or around LGBT issues, teen-marketed books with gay narratives have come out of the closet, and into the mainstream.
When his 2003 debut, Boy Meets Boy, became a runaway bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic, it also courted – as runaway bestsellers often do – an attendant controversy, not merely because his lead characters were gay, but because they weren’t persecuted or in peril, but simply in love.
His new book, Hold Me Closer, illustrates just how much. It’s what he calls a “musical novel”, (in the way that Glee was a musical TV drama; in other words, it frequently breaks out into song), .... ---- see more of Nick Duerden's article in www.independent.co.uk at :-
Sunday, March 15, 2015
---- excerpts from a news-post by staff at On Top Magazine (USA), 14 March 2015 :-
'Austrian singer Conchita Wurst (aka Thomas Neuwirth) says she has been living her dream since winning Eurovision. 2014.
Wurst, known as the bearded drag queen, told Associate Press, “I am living my dream. Everything fell into the right place for me.” ....
.... Wurst will co-host next year's Eurovision song contest to take place in Vienna (Austria) in May. She will interview contestants in the Green Room and perform during the show. .... '
---- see more of this post about Conchita at www.ontopmagazine.com at :-
---- and check the video in the sidebar of "Conchita" singing her 2015 Eurovision Song Contest-winner "Rise Like A Phoenix" at the finale of the Melodifestivalen 2015 (Stockholm, Sweden), 14th March. (Or is it? Are you sure it's not Christer Bjorkman instead?)
Friday, March 13, 2015
---- two brief excerpts from a extended and challenging opinion-piece by British gay activist Peter Tatchell at the IBTimes UK, published at Yahoo, 11 March 2015 :-
'.... In a society that has, until fairly recently, victimised and marginalised LGBT people, the affirmation of our identity, culture and history is a welcome and much-needed correction.
But what about the future?
.... Lesbian and gay identity is largely the product of anti-gay repression. It is a self-defence mechanism against homophobia. Faced with persecution for having same-sex relations, the right to have those relationships had to be defended - hence the emergence of gay identity and the gay rights movement.
But if one sexuality is not privileged over another, defining oneself as gay - or straight - will cease to be necessary and have little social relevance or significance. In other words: the need to maintain sexuality differences, boundaries and identities disappears with the demise of straight supremacism and homophobia. ... '
---- see more of Peter Tatchell's provocative views at https://uk.news.yahoo.com at :-
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
---- brief excerpts from an opinion-piece by Bryan Hood at Page Six of the New York Post (USA), 10 March 2015 :-
'During her 32 years in the limelight, Madonna has had a special relationship with her gay fans in part, she says, because they were the first to understand her. .... The “Living for Love” singer is glad for the support from the gay community, and has done much to champion causes, but says that “gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights.” ....
.... “People are a lot more open-minded to the gay community than they are to women, period,” she said. “It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass. To me, the last great frontier is women.” .... '
---- see more of Bryan Hood's challenging piece about Madonna's views on women's rights, plus links to several related essays on Madonna, at http://pagesix.com at :-
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
---- brief extracts from a new report by Swank-mo-tron at Big Shiny Robot (USA), 6 March 2015 :-
'In "Lords of the Sith," the new "Star Wars" novel scheduled for release April 28, 2015, writer Paul S. Kemp has given us the first LGBT character that is part of the official canon. .... Moff Mors is an Imperial who has made some very serious mistakes but she is an incredibly capable leader and spends much of the book working hard to prevent absolute failure. She also happens to be a lesbian. ....
.... And it's doubly encouraging knowing that the book after this one is written by a women and features Asajj Ventress as the lead.
The book, "Lords of the Sith," by Paul S. Kemp, comes out April 28, 2015. We'll have a complete review of the book as we get closer to release. .... '
---- see more about the character of Moff Mors in "Lords of the Sith" at www.bigshinyrobot.com at :- http://www.bigshinyrobot.com/58601/star-wars-introduces-lgbt-character-canon/
---- see too a related report at The Guardian (UK) at :-
Monday, March 9, 2015
---- On the publishing of Larry Kramer's magnum opus, The American People, famed author Andrew Holleran asks the USA's angriest activist & author ("Faggots", "The Normal Heart") all that he has learned in life in an extended interview at The Advocate (USA), 9 March 2015. Here are the introductory pars only :-
'Larry Kramer’s long awaited new novel, The American People: Volume I, subtitled Search for My Heart, is finally seeing the light of day this April. It’s just the first volume, though “just” may not be the right word, since it’s 800 pages. There are times when the reader will feel like the audience at “Springtime for Hitler.”
One will also find oneself laughing out loud, thinking hard, and being thrilled that someone has taken on American history from the viewpoint of gay people. The book is the history of syphilis, hepatitis, hatred, ostracism, the settling of America, concentration camps — American and German — Jews, the CIA, and something called The Underlying Condition (which we suspect will become, in the second volume, AIDS).
It begins in pre-Columbian Florida, with monkeys in the Everglades, and goes on to the Puritans, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and World War II, ascribing same-sex desire to George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and so many other figures central to American history that there is no point in listing them here. .... '
---- see Andrew Holleran's fulsome historic interview with Larry Kramer at www.advocate.com at :-
---- brief excerpts from a publishing report by Gay New Zealand (NZ), 5 March 2015 :-
'A Victoria University researcher has found homosexuality was prevalent in the early Christian Roman Empire, contrary to what historians have previously believed.
Dr Mark Masterson from Victoria’s School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies analysed a range of communications from the late fourth and early fifth centuries. It included correspondence between men, as well as legal notices from the authorities of the time which initially ruled against homosexual prostitution - and later perhaps against homosexuality itself, although, Dr Masterson says, the law is unclear. ....
.... Dr Masterson’s findings are detailed in his book, Man to Man: Desire, Homosociality, and Authority in Late-Roman Manhood.
“My work pushes the conversation further along about sexuality in ancient times. The usual image of the early Christian empire is that society was all buttoned up and much more careful, but my research suggests that people don’t always obey society’s ‘rules’—they don’t now and they never have.” .... '
---- see more about Mark Masterson's new book at www.gaynz.com at :-
Friday, March 6, 2015
---- brief excerpts from an observant post by James McDonald at OUT online magazine (USA), 6 March 2015 :-
'We all know that male nudes are a major theme in Western art, but according to classics professor Andrew Lear, New York's Metropolitan Museum doesn't have a lot. “I am the expert on male-male love in vase painting, and so of course I knew the Met had some important collection in that regard,” Lear explains on a recent winter day, with a mischevious look and eyebrow raised. "Although the Met doesn’t have a lot [of male nudes], on the other hand, it’s a gigantic museum, so there may not be a lot percentage-wise, but there’s a lot anyway. It’s kind of, it’s enchanting to find [them].”
Until last year, Lear taught classics at New York University, now he’s reinvented himself — as the founder and frontman of Oscar Wilde Tours, a company he created to bring high-end gay history tours to the high-earning gay masses. ....
.... One of the "cool emperors," according to Lear was Hadrian. "A military hero, Hadrian was very into Greece, and the cool thing is we not only have Hadrian but,” he explains, grinning as he points to the attractive face displayed directly adjacent, “we have his boyfriend. Because not only did he have Greek style philosophy, but he also carried on, very publicly, a Greek-style relationship with this guy. The first pouting fashion model of time: Antinous.” .... '
---- see more of James McDonald's report at www.out.com/art-books at :-
Thursday, March 5, 2015
---- excerpts from a revealing statistical assessment by Pornhub (USA), a leading source of online porn, 6 March 2015 :-
'Pornhub Insights is research and analysis directly from the Pornhub team. We've compiled data from billions of hits, all to explore the intricacies of online porn viewership. Pornhub.com is the world's biggest porn site.
If it’s true what they say about married couples not having sex, then many are still turning to porn for their sexual satisfaction. Pornhub recently got together with our friends at Buzzfeed to bring you our latest porn statistics. They asked us if the same might be true about gay married couples? Do the states with legalized gay marriage watch more gay porn than the states where it is still illegal?
The quick answer: Yes. At 4.41%, states with legalized gay marriage watch 7% more gay porn than states without at 4.13%. ....
.... In number one, holding a record 5.58% gay users, is a state where, funny enough, butt sex is still illegal: Mississippi. .... '
---- see more of Pornhub's revealing stats & analyses at www.pornhub.com at :-
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
---- presented by the Ad Council (USA), and reaching 1,500,000 viewers on its first day of 3 March 2015, this YouTube video has touched the heart of many Americans.
'While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability.
This may be a significant reason many people in the U.S. report they feel discriminated against. Subconscious prejudice—called “implicit bias”—has profound implications for how we view and interact with others who are different from us. It can hinder a person’s ability to find a job, secure a loan, rent an apartment, or get a fair trial, perpetuating disparities in American society.
The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues. Rethink your bias at lovehasnolabels.com.
---- & visit the heartening 3'20" video in the sidebar, opposite.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
---- very brief excerpts from a whimsical-if-challenging view of gender roles by Nico Lang at The Daily Dot (USA), followed by a list of candid reader's comments to rattle your certainties about the birds & the bees :-
' .... In a recent study for Mic, Eliel Cruz put men’s capacity for sexual fluidity to the test. “A gay friend of mine told me that he had slept with a ‘straight’ guy using Tinder by changing the stated gender on his profile to female,” Cruz writes. His friend kept all the same photos and info, but the guys of Tinder “still swiped right and started chatting with [him].” Skeptical that something like this would work, Cruz did the same to call B.S on his story.
While Cruz claims that “swiping right on a guy made some men freaked out and defensive,” others were surprisingly into it. Cruz reports, “Men complimented me, telling me I was ‘hot’ or ‘handsome.’ I got asked for sexual favors along the lines of ‘I'm not gay but I'd let you blow me.’ Some even went as far and asked to have sex with me as long as I didn't do other ‘gay shit.’” While some of these men said they were “possibly bisexual,” other men Cruz chatted with were “afraid to use that label.” Cruz continues, “There were men who publicly identified as straight who were up to trying new things and testing the boundaries of their sexuality, sometimes with a witness/participant.” ....
.... The reality is that a majority of LGBT folks’ orientations change over the course of their lives. According to blogger Leh Miller, “84 percent of women and 78 percent of men [report] that they had changed their sexual identity label at least once.” ....
.... During an interview with On Demand Entertainment, One Direction members Harry Styles and Liam Payne were asked about what they’re looking for in a mate. Payne quickly said, “Female, that’s a good trait.” Styles scoffed, “Not that important!” .... '
---- see the whole of this fascinating article by Nico Long at www.dailydot.com/opinion at :-
Monday, March 2, 2015
---- four brief extracts from an extended opinion piece by Evan Beck at The Atlantic (USA), 30 January 2015 :-
'With marriage equality imminent, few social issues affect the entire group equally. ....
History has a tendency to airbrush a culturally accepted arc. Gay identity is no different. In his book Gay New York, Yale professor George Chauncey dispelled the myth that gay culture sprang from nothing out of the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots. Yet this inferred “beginning” of gay culture—and therefore community—exists today as the springboard for LGBT America. ....
.... More than thirty years after the first cases of HIV/AIDS spurred an organized response by the budding gay community, the final frontier of gay rights has been reached: the ability to assimilate into the mainstream, the equity of legal standing, the right to marriage. But as gay men and women realize legal equality, some gay individuals still face uneven social challenges that diverge from the perceived interests and needs of the group.
Nine years ago, Andrew Sullivan foreshadowed the dissolution of a communal gay identity in his article “The End of Gay Culture”, writing, “[W]hat encompasses gay culture itself will expand into such a diverse set of subcultures that ‘gayness’ alone will cease to tell you very much about any individual.” Arguments that the gay community should redirect and broaden its approach beyond marriage equality, while well intentioned, rely on the existence of a monolithic gay community. .... '
---- see more of Evan Beck's challenging article at www.theatlantic.com at :-
---- excerpts from a hilarious showbiz post+video placed by Andrew Roberts at Upproxx Movies (California), February 2015 :-
'.... Now they’re back [the two young Korean gals] to give their thoughts on another American export: Channing Tatum. Namely his showcase in Magic Mike and its upcoming sequel. The response was much different this time around and I’m pretty sure you could force feed them an entire box of Pop Tarts if it meant that a shirtless Tatum would slide his way into the room. .... '
---- now savor a few minutes of the ten-minute YouTube video in the sidebar opposite to be charmed by the cultural chasm confronting these young Korean ladies, and see more of Andrew Roberts' post, with thanks, at http://uproxx.com at :- http://uproxx.com/movies/2015/02/watch-these-korean-gals-get-all-hot-and-bothered-while-watching-magic-mike/
Saturday, February 28, 2015
---- brief excerpts from a substantial report by Mel Evans at Sunday Style magazine in the Sunday Telegraph (Australia), 1 March 2015 :-
'Sexual orientation isn't as simple as it used to be. Heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, oh my! There can’t possibly be another sexuality to talk about? Think again.
Last year Shailene Woodley, star of the wildly popular dystopic movie franchise Divergent, was incorrectly labelled bisexual when she said she “falls in love with human beings based on who they are, not what they do or what sex they are”.
Josh Hutcherson expressed similar views in Out magazine. The 22-year-old Hunger Games actor said, “Right now I’m 100 per cent straight. But who knows? In a year I could meet a guy and be like, ‘Whoa, I’m attracted to this person.’”
Research published in The New York Times found “an increasing number of guys [Hutcherson’s] age identify as ‘mostly straight’” ....
.... Interesting words, and ones that usher in a brave new world of pansexuality. .... A pansexual is someone who can be attracted to males, females, transgender people and those who identify as non-binary (not female or male). .... '
---- see more of Mel Evans' eye-opener report on this social phenomenon at www.daily telegraph.com, with thanks, at :-
Friday, February 27, 2015
---- the opening pars of a speculative essay by Daniel Scheffler at Connections.Mic (USA), 26 February 2015 :-
'First, there was My Best Friend's Wedding; then came Sex and the City and, of course, Will & Grace. Jump ahead a few years, and it's even cropped up in Lena Dunham's Girls. The trope is officially and stubbornly solidified in pop culture.
It's the Gay Best Friend — the paradigmatic relationship between gay man and a straight woman — that has swept thoroughly through our culture, becoming a classic character on screens and in real life. It's a rise that is possible in part because of an increasingly accepting society, one that's open to visibility for gay men, validates their orientation and recognizes their contributions.
But it's exactly that positive progress that makes one thing clear today: The Gay Best Friend has got to go. In an era when marriage equality is sweeping the nation and acceptance is on the rise, it's a dated stereotype that, ultimately, does more harm than good. That's why it's time to replace the nonsensical "Gay Best Friend" with a more accurate term: friend. .... '
---- see more of this propositional opinion by Daniel Scheffler at http://mic.com at :-
Thursday, February 26, 2015
---- the opening pars from a speculative medical science report collated by staff at LGBTQ Nation (USA), 26 February 2015 :-
'Same-sex couples are a step closer to having their own biological children thanks to breakthrough stem cell research by scientists at Cambridge University (UK) and the Weizmann Institute in Israel.
The international team of scientists have shown that it is possible to create human sperm and eggs from stem cells derived from adult skin, regardless of the donor’s gender, reports Medical Daily.
“We have succeeded in the first and most important step of this process, which is to show we can make these very early human stem cells in a dish,” said lead researcher Dr. Azim Surani.
While this breakthrough could help men and women who have been rendered infertile by disease, gay groups have also expressed hope that this project will eventually lead to the creation of children made from stem cells derived from same-sex parents.
The researchers published their findings in the journal Cell earlier this week, stressing that it’s early days for this type of research. .... '
---- see more about this controversial development at www.lgbtqnation.com at :-
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
---- two brief excerpts from a substantial article by Cavan Sieczkowskie at The Huffington Post (USA), 19 February 2015 :-
'In 1935, Sigmund Freud penned a response to a mother who had asked him for help with her gay son. Despite the broader perceptions of homosexuality at the time, Freud took a different approach, telling the woman it's "nothing to be ashamed of."
"I gather from your letter that your son is a homosexual. I am most impressed by the fact that you do not mention this term for yourself in your information about him. May I question you why you avoid it?" he wrote. "Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; ....
.... [Page One of the letter includes the following paragraph, with a more expansive assessment following :- ]
'By asking me if I can help, you mean, I suppose, if I can abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place. The answer is, in a general way we cannot promise to achieve it. In a certain number of cases we succeed in developing the blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies, which are present in every homosexual in the majority of cases it is no more possible. It is a question of the quality and the age of the individual. The result of treatment cannot be predicted. .... '
---- see more of Sigmund Freud's 1935 opinions about gays in Cavan Sieczkowskie's revealing article at www.huffingtonpost.com at :-
Monday, February 23, 2015
---- excerpts from a news report by Hayden Manders at Refinery 29 (USA), 23 February 2015 :-
'Some of the speeches at the 87th Academy Awards have been short, sweet, and insider-y. Others, like Graham Moore's for Adapted Screenplay, speak to a larger, more universal topic.
Moore scored the Oscar for his work on The Imitation Game, the movie that, on the surface, deals with Alan Turing's quest to crack the Nazi enigma code during World War II. The Imitation Game, however, was more than just a war film; it explored Alan Turing's personal trials as a homosexual living in Britain at a time when homosexuality was considered a crime. Turing's story was, for whatever reason, widely unknown to popular culture until Moore's film hit Hollywood. [Turing was posthumously pardoned by the British government for his "crime" in 2013 - sixty-eight years after its supposed committal.] So, when Moore won this evening, he used his time in the spotlight to inspire weirdness. .... '
---- the opening pars of a popular-literature report by Victoria Sue at USA Today (US), 23 February 2015 :-
'Victoria Sue, author of Pure - Indulgence, talks with Damon Suede about why male/male romance is so dang appealing to so many romance readers.
Victoria: So what is it? This complete fascination women have for reading about two guys falling in love? (And often having lots of really hot sex.)
In 2009 on
.... Published in 2011, Hot Head by Damon Suede showed two firemen falling in love in the aftermath of 9/11 and became a watershed novel for gay romance. It spent six months at No. 1 on Amazon's gay romance list and remains a perennial bestseller.
Since that first novel, Damon Suede has become a hugely popular author, and I couldn't resist firing a few questions at him. (Actually, I was squealing in excitement and busy trying not to fall off the chair.) .... '
---- see more about the publishing phenomenon of 'm/m romance' by Victoria Sue at www.usatoday.comat :-
Now COOL GAY STUFF shifts to mixed miscellany in both columns ...
TRAILERS OF RECENT GAY-THEMED MOVIES OF INTEREST ....
Don't Ask, Don't Tell is recalled ...
WEST HOLLYWOOD MOTEL (US 2013) - NSFW
Various lives intersect in and around a West Hollywood motel in this kaleidoscopic comedy about sex, love, and the meaning of life.
The characters include a medical student (Matt Riddlehoover), his extrovert boyfriend (Andrew Callahan), an adulterous actress (Starina Johnson), her lover (Heather Horton), and a dutiful husband (Phil Leirness) whose wife (Amy Kelly) wakes to find she has a penis.
Available November 12 on DVD/VOD from TLAgay:http://www.tlavideo.com/gay-west-hollywood-motel/p-356790-2
HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY review of "THE HADRIAN ENIGMA" ...
A fair-haired young man, dressed in rich ceremonial armor, is found dead in the Nile River. When he is identified, everyone realizes the dangerous political implications of this death, because Antinous was the eromenos—the lover and protégé—of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
A grief-stricken Hadrian appoints two members of the court, Suetonius and his patron Clarus, to find out how and why Antinous died. They have two days to find the answer, permission to interrogate anyone except the Emperor and Empress, and the promise that they may forfeit their lives if they fail to satisfy Hadrian.
Failure is a distinct possibility. While Antinous was well-liked and respected, the circle of suspects is wide, as it often will be when the victim is the confidant of an absolute ruler. The two sleuths quickly draft unlikely but able assistants to help them, including a scribe and an observant, multilingual prostitute.
The book offers an extensively researched picture of life in the Roman Empire of 130 AD. Gardiner is equally convincing when writing about imperial politics and succession laws, marriage and sexual customs, philosophy and the theater.
But The Hadrian Enigma—a mix of mystery, comedy, gay and straight romance—is an entertaining read.
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA - an unedited review by historical novelist NAN HAWTHORNE ...
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA | A review by historical fiction author J.R. Tomlin ...
" .... In 130 AD, while accompanying the Emperor Hadrian on a tour up the Nile, the beautiful youth Antinous plunges into the Nile and drowns. Hadrian, near maddened with grief, declares Antinous a god. However, Suetonius just happens to be along on this imperial tour. Already the author of juicy books on contemporary Roman life, he is perfectly placed to investigate this mysterious death, so Emperor Hadrian commands him to investigate and find the murderer within 48 hours or suffer the consequences.
In the imperial compound on the Nile, Suetonius searches for clues. Here, semi-isolated, the bubbling cauldron of the Roman court has been transplanted to a fabulous tent city. Yet, the mystery of Egypt is an ever present backdrop to this baffling death. .... Why was Antinous clad in heavy ceremonial parade armor and weapons when he died? How did he come by a slit on his left wrist and strange marks on his throat? And how can Suetonius unravel all this when the Emperor refuses to let Suetonius even touch the body to examine it? The characterization is vivid and the historicity meticulous in this novel. I enjoyed savoring the characters and setting as Suetonius unraveled the imperial goings on. .... "
See more of J.R. Tomlin's review at her author's blogsite "Writing & More" at : http://jeannetomlin.blogspot.com/
AN UNEDITED REVIEW OF 'THE HADRIAN ENIGMA"....
By a reader down under (New South Wales, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is for: THE HADRIAN ENIGMA: A Forbidden History (Paperback)
George Gardiner's absorbing new book, which focuses on the relationship between the Roman emperor Hadrian and his young paramour, Antinous of Bithynia, quite possibly heralds the thrilling emergence of a new Mary Renault. (As uneven as it is in some places, to my mind it is a big improvement on Margeurite Yourcenar's book on Hadrian from the 1950s).
Gardiner begins his narrative with the discovery of the dead body of the beautiful youth, who has apparently drowned in the Nile. He coopts as his central figure cum narrator the actual historical figure of Suetonius Tranquillus, who is charged by the supreme colonial ruler Hadrian Caesar with the urgent responsibility of uncovering the reasons for, as well as the manner of, the death. Suetonius works night and day as a kind of investigator/ prosecutor and his dogged inquiry drives the plot. The narrative unfolds as a kind of antique murder mystery, then, and one of the book's great strengths is in the well-paced twists and turns of the plot, throwing up a number of suspects and scenarios along the way that keep the reader intrigued until the very end. Gardiner's humour shines through this character, who is forced to carry out his investigation under the double pressure of a pressing deadline (why is Hadrian so intent of winding it all up in such a short time, we wonder) and the threat of execution if he doesn't come up with the answers.
This is compelling writing. Suetonius is a good choice, as he is known for his history of a dozen Caesars, and the author brings him vividly and humorously to life. Indeed, Gardiner skilfully and imaginitively re-works established historical figures and creates a cast of composite characters where necessary to serve his narrative ends. The fact that he can do this convincingly, with such an extraordinary mixture of ethnicities and beliefs, is writing of a high order. The mastery of research is remarkable, not only for Gardiner's command of the details of ethnic artefacts, weaponry, costume, architecture and so on, but also for the complex politics of Roman colonial expansionism in its abrasive encounter with other cultures. The era was marked by a complex intermingling of belief systems, and Gardiner's fictional world is woven from a rich and amazingly detailed fabric. Very occasionally the research seems almost oversupplied but for the most part it serves to underpin his imaginative reconstructions with persuasive authenticity.
Also among the book's strengths are the finely imagined conversations between characters, both historical and concocted, that move the investigation so beautifully along. There are certain set action sequences pieces, too, that are brilliantly staged and paced--the boar hunt, for example, when Hadrian rescues Antinous, and the marvellous climactic scene where Suetonius brings his prosecutorial charges home (albeit uncertainly, with some lines of inquiry that don't pan out).
The only thing that broke the spell for me was Gardiner's occasional jarring choices in language idioms. There's no doubt that the language(s) of the time and place would have been salted with colourful vulgarities, and the dialogue should reflect that, but some of the terms chosen have such strong contemporary associations for us, here at the beginning of the 21st Century, that they they jar and jolt in the reading. `Toyboy' is one example, `getting your rocks off,' `muscular stud' and `gaga' are others that don't ring well to my ear. It's a pity, because sometimes they drop the reader right out of the spell he weaves so skilfully, otherwise.
In contrast, many of the scenes and dialogue move with stately Latinate constructions within a convincing and well-sustained narrative voice. Gardiner has set himself the difficult task of creating a hybrid language that can include both convincing formal language, and everyday vulgarisms, that ring true within his own reconstruction, yet sound right to our contemporary hearing. It's a delicate juggling act and sometimes he drops his balls. (If he had perhaps reserved their use strictly in dialogue, say, to help with characterisation? Perhaps some of his choices might be better realised in a second edition.)
Another of the book's great strengths is hinted at by the book's sub-title. It's a `forbidden history' not simply because Hadrian issues an edict that only the official `party line' should be recorded (and by implication, Suetonius' project of recording events for us to read goes dangerously gainst the edict of his Emperor). It's forbidden history too because Gardiner has constructed a counter-narrative to the centuries of heavily judgemental readings of this iconic same-sex relationship. Positive affirmations of same-sex bonding were exiled in silence as soon as the early Christian commentators started to impose their dominant narratives over all acceptable behaviours and ideals.
In Yourcenar's 50s version, Antinous's moody adolescent pouting makes Hadrian looks like a bit of a fool for dallying with the youth, but Gardiner proposes a heroic reading here that highlights the finer elements of the erastes/eromenos partnering, which was not only tolerated but celebrated in ancient times. For me, this moves the book onto a higher plane than a mere homoerotic titillation and places the relationship where it belongs, in the heroic company of Patroclus/Achilles and the legendary band of Theban warrior-lovers.
Gardiner successfully and daringly recuperates the much-despised and consistently misrepresented ideal of man-to-man love, here based on respect, admiration and the inspiration of noble ideals, as much as the undeniable and enjoyable erotic attraction, which we see only fitful glimpses of among sporting figures and others today. During the continuing culture wars of our own times it's a relief to read this inspiring alternative with its healing potential as an affirmative voice emerging from the diminishing, culturally imposed silence.
In a strange way `The Hadrian Enigma' is reminiscent of E.M. Forster's gay-affirmative novel `Maurice', which Forster was unable to publish during his lifetime. Forster's wistful happy ending for a same sex coupling was unthinkable in the mid-twentieth Century, and even today, it's hard to read such partnering as anything other than morally sinful - such is our pervasive indoctrination by churchmen - or psychologically misdirected (`homosexuality' is still construed as a kind of `failed development' in conventional psychological readings). Certainly such a relationship will still be regarded as second best to the pressing imperative of reproduction. Gardiner has struck a blow with this courageous and convincing re-telling.
So, for me this is a 5 star book for the outstanding and detailed research and the creative work that underpins the imaginative reconstructions; at least 4 stars for its plotting, but only 3 stars for the strange inconsistencies in his prose style. This averages out to a solidly earned 4 stars.
I do hope Gardiner is deep at work on his next book of historical fiction. He certainly has all the skills required.
See this review in situ at Amazon at :-
"SPEAK ITS NAME" reviews THE HADRIAN ENIGMA :
A specialist review site for gay historical fiction, Speak Its Name has reviewed The Hadrian Enigma. I am told Speak Its Name receives 700 hits a day from readers of this genre, making it a prominent source of opinion for readers of gay historical fiction. Speak Its Name pursues a tough line in its reviewing standards. It says it takes gay history, history in general, & the quality of the writing into critical consideration.
Aleks Voinov, an author in his own stead & one of the site's key reviewers, has given the book a satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5, by which it defines the book as VERY good in Speak Its Name's eyes.
As a reviewer Mr. Voinov finds a great deal to admire and many things to critique. But that's the way it goes in literary criticism, folks. Check Speak Its Name's fascinating website & review lists, plus read Mr. Voinov's full 2-page critique at :-
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Bye-bye for now from George Gardiner's COOL GAY STUFF ...