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A sweet weepie for romantics ...
NOW MEET HISTORY'S FIRST 'OUT' SAME-SEX COUPLE : Hadrian Caesar & Antinous ...
READER'S OPINIONS OF "THE HADRIAN ENIGMA" ...
"Five Stars ... The best book I've read on Hadrian and Antinous."
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
" ... 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 (scroll further below to unedited review)
"... 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
"... 5 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 5-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 ... "
(***Amazon USA's 16 independent reviews, 7 awarding five stars, 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: 978-0-9807469-0-7 (at Lulu)
ISBN13: 978-0-9807469-1-4 (at Amazon US, UK, etc)
in 498-page paperback or Kindle, iPad, Nook & ePub ebook formats
The scene: ancient Rome, 130 years after Christ yet two centuries prior to Christianity being made 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.
Only purchased online (not in street stores), CLICK NOW ON A LINK BELOW to select best price & delivery options ...
For an Amazon USA paperback :
for Amazon's Kindle ebook or Kindle-For-PC's download :
for Amazon UK :
for The Book Depository UK paperback with free global shipping:
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for Barnes & Noble NOOKbook download:
Asia & Pacific residents can access a paperback more speedily, or download an instant Kindle ebook copy (or for reading using the free Amazon Kindle-for-PC's or Macs app) at Amazon's new Australian store at :-
COOL GAY STUFF'S NAVIGATION HINT !! ...
Sunday, March 9, 2014
---- a brief report following Berlin's February festival dates
Following its premiere at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival, "The Circle" (Der Kreis) is doing the rounds of other film festivals.
Synopsis: Zurich, 1958. The young teacher Ernst Ostertag falls head over heels in love with the transvestite star Robi Rapp and finds himself torn between his bourgeois existence and his commitment to homosexuality. Ernst becomes a member of the gay organization DER KREIS and lives through the high point and the eventual decline of the organization, which in the whole of Europe is seen as the pioneer of gay emancipation.
Director: Stefan Haupt Writers: Stefan Haupt & Christian Felix.
Stars: Babett Arens, Aaron Hitz, Martin Hug |
---- see the English sub-titled trailer in the sidebar, opposite.
Friday, March 7, 2014
---- brief pars from an extended report by journalist Iram Sawar at the Huffington Post (UK), 7 March 2014 :-
' .... At the launch of the Rainbow Jews exhibition and film at the London School of Economics, Esther's story is one of a multitude that have been recorded to celebrate LGBT history month. The two-year "Rainbow Jews" initiative, the first of its kind in the UK, was awarded a grant by the UK Heritage Lottery Fund to research, record and archive the experiences of LGBT Jews from the 1950s to the present. The project was conducted by the Liberal Judaism, whose Chief Executive Rabbi Danny Rich, believes there needs to be more work of this kind.
"It's a matter of justice. The main issue is that the Jewish community don't want to talk about being LGBT because there's a prejudice there and because of that the LGBT voice is absent."
Liberal Judaism was the first religious movement to introduce an official liturgy for blessing same-sex ceremonies back in 2005. However, according to the project's director and instigator Surat Knan argues that more needed to be done to recognise Jewish-British LGBT rights. .... '
---- see more of Iram Sawar's report at huffingtonpost.co.uk at :-
Thursday, March 6, 2014
---- a brief excerpt from a challenging article by Nigel Farndale at The Spectator (UK), 8 March 2014 :-
'.... With the exception of Fifty Shades of Grey, a not very literary novel about bondage and sadomasochism, heterosexual sex doesn’t even register on the cultural radar any more, other than as something to be mocked at the Bad Sex Awards. Forget Lady Chatterley’s Lover, even Updike’s Couples or Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint wouldn’t get noticed if they were published today. In the age of online pornography, there’s nothing to say about polymorphous couplings that hasn’t been said already, nothing remarkable, nothing shocking.
Social attitudes do ebb and flow, of course. Could Lolita (1955) be published for the first time today? I doubt it. The publishers would be surrounded by torch-carrying mobs calling for Nabokov and other ‘paediatricians’ to be lynched. But I can’t see novels dealing with consensual ‘vanilla’ sex, be it heterosexual or homosexual, ever having the power to shock again. .... '
---- see more of Nigel Farndale's provocative view at spectator.co.uk at :-
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
---- the introductory par to a substantial list of hot gay activist's sites, posted by Joseph Atkins of Gay Dating Sites (USA), 4 March 2014 :-
'Gay activism is strong within the LGBT community. Such activism may be expressed in the form of music, song writing, poetry, rallies, legislation lobbying, and more. It is through such works that the gay community is able to show solidarity, as evidenced by the following activists on Google+.
Many activists for gay rights will often become politically involved by joining various organizations that can better facilitate change through growing its membership or championing the cause.
Check out our list of our favorite 101 LGBT activists you can find on Google+. .... '
---- see Joseph Atkins' list of sites, activities, and addresses at gaydatingsites.com at :-
Friday, February 28, 2014
---- brief excerpts from a tv-report by Tim Isaac at Big Gay Picture Show (USA), 28 February 2014 :-
'Following the success of Behind The Candelabra and Looking, HBO certainly hasn’t had enough of gay-themed entertainment. One of its biggest original movies of 2014 is The Normal Heart, directed by Glee’s Ryan Murphy. The film, based on Larry Kramer’s acclaimed play about the early days of the AIDS epidemic, is a bit of an all-star affair.
Now it’s been announced the date it will first air in the US, with ComingSoon revealing it will debut Sunday, May 25th at 9:00 pm (ET/PT) on HBO. ....
.... Larry Kramer’s play is considered one of the most important reactions to the early AIDS epidemic, written by someone who has on the front lines of the fight, such as co-founding Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP. .... '
---- see more of Tim Isaac's report at biggaypictureshow.com at :-
---- [HBO's The Normal Heart stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, & Taylor Kitsch.]
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
---- the opening pars from a substantial book review by Joshunda Sanders at PW (Publishers Weekly) USA, 26 February 2014 :-
'Sparked by societal changes, some evangelical Christians have begun to break from a deeply anti-homosexual history. In 2013, Exodus International--the largest Christian organization conducting gay conversion therapy—shut down and issued an apology to gays. Even Pope Francis now-famously remarked, "If someone is gay ... who am I to judge?"
---- & see another set of stats highlighting a comparable phenomenon among US religious groups reported by Cathy Lynn Grossman at The Washington Post (USA), 26 February 2014, at :-
Sunday, February 23, 2014
---- the opening pars from an extended news report by Jim Buzinski at Outsports (USA), 22 February 2014 :-
'If Michael Sam handles blockers the way he handled the media at the NFL Combine today in Indianapolis, he has a bright playing future ahead of him. Sam, who came out publicly as gay two weeks ago, gave a press conference at the Combine and said all the right things and was never rattled. He smiled throughout and showed a ton of poise. He said his focus is football and being drafted, not being an activist.
"Oh, heck yeah, I wish you guys were just saying, 'Hey, Michael Sam, how's football going? How's training going?' I would love if you'd ask me that question," he said. "I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam, the football player, rather than Michael Sam, the gay football player ... I just wanna do what I love to do and that's play football."
Most of the questions directed at Sam focused on his decision to come out publicly three months before the NFL Draft. If selected and he makes a roster, Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL. .... '
---- see more of Jim Buzinski's revealingly-candid article at outsports.com at :-
---- brief excerpts from a promotional announcement at Bent (UK) by Indiewire, 19 February 2014 :-
'The BFI [British Film Institute] London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has announced their 2014 program, and a new name... BFI FLARE.
“After extensive consultation with our audiences in 2013, we have renamed the Festival to reflect the increasing diversity of the programme and the people who identify with and embrace it," Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Cinemas and Festivals said upon announcing the new name. ....
.... As for the first FLARE films, the festival -- which runs March 20-30, 2014 -- will open with Hong Khaou's "Lilting" (which was featured on /bent out of Sundance), and close with Sophie Hyde's "52 Tuesdays," which just won the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
Overall, the festival will include over 50 features from the UK, USA, Australia, Cuba, Spain, Canada, Slovenja, Denmark, Croatia, Brazil, Switzerland, Nepal, France, Chile, Argentina, Philippines, Mexico, Poland, Nigeria, and India.
The festival’s films are grouped into themed sections as follows (with descriptions provided by the BFI): ....
---- for more, see the original post & movie groupings at indiewire.com at :-
Friday, February 21, 2014
---- the opening pars from a news report by Justin Hernandez posted at The Advocate (USA), 20 February 2014 :-
'When Match.com held a recent press event to announce the results of its 2013 “Singles in America” study, there wasn’t much time devoted to gay singles. It was questionable whether any data was inclusive of same-sex dating. As it turns out, the website actually studied a large enough sample to ensure that gay and lesbian people were represented.
---- see more of these revealing stats & their implications in Justin Hernandez' report at advocate.com at :-
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
---- the opening pars from a disturbing opinion-piece by Sean Howell & Peter Ian Cummings at The Humanist.com (USA), 13 February 2014 :-
'Few could argue that the Internet hasn’t revolutionized gay life. A generation came out on the web, and the freedom to launch a website adhering to one’s own standards of quality and authenticity has always gone along with that. That’s what both of us did, creating the social networks XY.com and Hornet. (In fact, equal Internet access may be how you found this article, and the Humanist for that matter.)
All this freedom could be coming to an end, unless the Federal Trade Commission and the Obama administration strongly change course to defend free speech. Otherwise, independent voices on the Internet could soon be entirely replaced by corporate websites or wealthy subsidiaries of AOL, Amazon, and Facebook; or silenced altogether. .... '
---- see more of this challenging essay by Howell & Cummings at thehumanist.com at :-
Friday, February 14, 2014
---- the opening pars from an extended science report by Ian Sample at The Guardian (UK), 14 February 2014 :-
'A study of gay men in the US has found fresh evidence that male sexual orientation is influenced by genes. Scientists tested the DNA of 400 gay men and found that genes on at least two chromosomes affected whether a man was gay or straight.
A region of the X chromosome called Xq28 had some impact on men's sexual behaviour – though scientists have no idea which of the many genes in the region are involved, nor how many lie elsewhere in the genome.
Another stretch of DNA on chromosome 8 also played a role in male sexual orientation – though again the precise mechanism is unclear.
Researchers have speculated in the past that genes linked to homosexuality in men may have survived evolution because they happened to make women who carried them more fertile. This may be the case for genes in the Xq28 region, as the X chromosome is passed down to men exclusively from their mothers.
Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Illinois, set out the findings at a discussion event held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on Thursday. "The study shows that there are genes involved in male sexual orientation," he said.
The work has yet to be published, but confirms the findings of a smaller study that sparked widespread controversy in 1993, when Dean Hamer, a scientist at the US National Cancer Institute, investigated the family histories of more than 100 gay men and found homosexuality tended to be inherited. More than 10% of brothers of gay men were gay themselves, compared to around 3% of the general population. Uncles and male cousins on the mother's side had a greater than average chance of being gay, too. .... '
---- see more of Ian Sample's report at theguardian.com/science at :-
Thursday, February 13, 2014
---- an extract from a news report at Screenerblog (USA), 11 February 2014 :-
'Our correspondent at the Berlin Film Festival and France 24 writer, Jon Frosch, recently spoke with the director of standout LGBT film Test, Chris Mason Johnson. Test is set in 1987 and follows a young gay dancer as he agonizes over whether or not to take the new HIV test. Johnson shared his views on the state of queer cinema today: “I think after an initial phase of amazing queer cinema in the ‘90s, we entered a phase that was less adventurous. And now I think we’re coming out of that into a more artful, realistic representation.”
Frosch’s final dispatch from the international film showcase includes his thoughts on the harrowing 1945 documentary, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey. The work was filmed by British, American and Russian cinematographers .... '
---- see more of this report at screenerblog.com at :-
---- & check the English-language/German-subtitled trailer for "TEST" in the sidebar here.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
---- two excerpts from a news post by Luiz M. Alvarez of Associated Press at The Guardian (US Edition), 12 February 2014 :-
'Pascal Tessier becomes first openly gay Boy Scout to achieve Eagle rank weeks after organisation lifts ban on gay youths
On Monday night, Boy Scout Troop 52, one of the nation’s oldest, formed a circle and gave Pascal Tessier sustained applause and some handshakes and pats on the back. His achievement comes just weeks after the organization lifted its ban on gay youth.
Scoutmaster Don Beckham walked to the middle of the scout circle after a series of announcements about supplies for the next campout and announced the 17-year-old Tessier was officially the troop’s newest Eagle. For Tessier, it represents six years of work, 27 merit badges and projects in service, leadership and outdoor skills. He put all that at risk, though, to advocate publicly against the scouts ban on gays.
“A scout is brave,” Beckham told the troop, quoting from the Boy Scout Law after presenting Tessier his Eagle badge. ....
.... For more than a year, Tessier, who lives in the Washington, DC, suburb of Kensington, has been one of the most prominent openly gay scouts speaking out to change the Scouts’ longstanding ban. After a vote last year, the organization of 2.5 million youth members officially opened its doors to include all boys, regardless of sexual orientation. A ban on gay adult leaders remains in place. .... '
---- see more of this historic development in US Boy Scouts' policy at theguardian.com at :-
Sunday, February 9, 2014
---- brief opening excerpts from a news item posted by Laura Mandanus at Autostraddle (USA), 6 February 2014 :-
'After having been lost to the world for a couple thousand years, two poems written by Sappho have unexpectedly turned up in London following an anonymous collector’s submission to Oxford. The reconstructed ancient poems now join a scant handful of surviving works by the famed bisexual author from the island of Lesbos, the most famous woman poet in antiquity. ....
.... Sappho was a woman born in the 7th century B.C. During her day job she ran an academy to teach social graces to unmarried young women; on the side, she also found popular success as a poet. Unfortunately, as times and social mores changed, Sappho became the butt of salacious jokes about lesbians and prostitutes.
Considered deviant, Sappho’s works were burned on the order of Archbishop Gregory Nazienzen of Constantinople in 380 A.D — and then again in 1073 on the order of Pope Gregory VII. Out of a believed nine volumes of work, we are left today with only four(ish) poems and a variety of fragments. .... '
---- see more of Laura Mandanus' report at autostraddle.com at :-
Friday, February 7, 2014
---- the opening pars from a news report by Hans Meyer & Ilya Arkhipov at Business Week (USA), 7 February 2014 :-
'Google Inc. (GOOG:US) joined protests against antigay legislation in Russia on the opening day of the Sochi Winter Olympics as President Vladimir Putin urged “less aggression” on both sides of the issue.
A Google Doodle posted on its home page depicted athletes in Olympic sports such as ice hockey, bobsled and snowboarding, in the rainbow colors, used to represent gay pride. Underneath, the world’s largest search engine quoted the Olympic Charter saying that every individual “must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind.”
As Putin uses the Winter Games to showcase the world’s eighth-biggest economy, multinational companies are caught between their business interests in Russia and pressure from customers and activists to publicly oppose the law. .... '
---- see more about Google's approach to the Sochi Olympics at businessweek.com at :-
---- or see another version at CBS12 (USA) at :-
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
---- the opening pars from a substantial medical news report by Tracy James at MedicalXpress (USA), 5 February 2014 :-
'(Medical Xpress)—A first-of-its-kind study by researchers at George Mason University and Indiana University Bloomington (USA) draws some conclusions to an age-old question: What does love have to do with sex, in particular, among gay and bisexual men in the United States?
While most research about love has been conducted among heterosexual-identified individuals or opposite-sex couples, the focus of this study on same-sex couples suggests experiences of love are far more similar than different regardless of sexual orientation.
The study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, finds nearly all (92.6 percent) men whose most recent sexual event occurred with a relationship partner indicated being in love with the partner at the time they had sex.
"This study is important because of myths and misunderstandings that separate men from love, even though the capacity to love and to want to be loved in return is a human capacity and is not limited by gender or sexual orientation," said Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.
This is the first time a study has described sexual behaviors engaged in by those men who report being in love, or not, during a given sexual event with a same-sex partner. ....'
---- see more of this revealing report by Tracy James at medicalxpress.com at :-
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
---- a news report published at The Huffington Post (UK Edition), 4 February 2014 :-
'Scotland legalized gay marriage on Tuesday, becoming the 17th country to do so.
The Scottish Parliament passed The Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill by a whopping 105-18 margin, according to multiple sources. Scotland's first same-sex marriages could happen this year.
“We’re doing a remarkable thing today, we are saying on behalf of Scotland to the world, loud and clear that we believe in [recognizing] love between same sex couples as we do between opposite sex couples,” Scotland's Health Secretary Alex Neil said, according to the Daily Record.
The bill contains protections so that religious groups can't be forced to officiate same-sex weddings. Neither the Scottish Catholic Church nor the Church of Scotland support the bill, the BBC notes. .... '
---- see more at huffingtonpost.com at :-
Monday, February 3, 2014
---- a brief excerpt from a substantial review by Damian Barr at The Guardian (UK), 1 February 2014 :-
'After more than 30 years documenting the lives and loves of a group of friends in San Francisco, Armistead Maupin's series has finally come to an end. Damian Barr makes a pilgrimage to 28 Barbary Lane.
Armistead Maupin began Tales of the City in 1976 – the year I was born. Told from multiple perspectives at a breathless pace it was first published as a newspaper serial, and featured real news: the Jonestown massacre, the rise (and fall) of the Moral Majority and even the Queen's visit to San Francisco in 1983. It was among the first fiction to tackle Aids. Nine novels later, Maupin has written The Days of Anna Madrigal – what he claims is the last instalment (he's said that before – please let him be fibbing again). Heart-warming and heart-breaking, Tales takes us from 1976 to 2012, from shared landlines to Facebook, from Quaaludes to Molly (MDMA), from the fringe to the mainstream.
If you've somehow missed the multi-million-selling series turned mini-series turned musical by the Scissor Sisters let me tell you how very jealous of you I am.
You're about to meet the most fascinating people in the most fantastical place. Situated at the top of some wooden stairs on a fairytale lane in Russian Hill, 28 Barbary Lane is a boarding house ruled by the mysterious Mrs Madrigal. It's here that all the central characters live, love, grieve and from where they eventually leave. ....'
---- see more of Damian Barr's reflections on Maupin at theguardian.com at :-
Sunday, February 2, 2014
---- the opening pars from a substantial art history item by Christopher Harrity at The Advocate (USA), with 18 associated historical artworks, 1 February 2014 :-
'February makes us think of love, and its many forms, so here we offer a valentine to the mentorship romance of Chiron and Achilles.
Chiron wasn't like the other centaurs. He was sensitive. More refined. Educated. He was so highly evolved that his front legs were human. Centaurs tended to run with a racy crowd: other lusty centaurs, satyrs, and fauns. They were basically the frat boys of the ancient world. Fun, but troublesome.
---- see more of Christopher Harrity's comments on his collection of portrayals of Achilles' romances across the ages at advocate.com at :-
Saturday, January 25, 2014
---- the opening pars from an extended report by Zachary Woolf at the New York Times (USA), 26 January 2013 :-
'In the acclaimed 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain,” based on the short story by Annie Proulx, Heath Ledger played Ennis Del Mar, a Wyoming ranch hand in a furtive, decades-long gay affair. He kept his words gravelly, mumbling and few, as if he’d been blocked up by a life of secrets. It was a voice powerfully affecting in the quiet close-ups possible in the movies, but it wouldn’t register in the grandeur of an opera house.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
---- excerpts from a news report by Scott Bixby at The Daily Beast (USA), 17 January 2014 :-
'Uganda doth protest too much, Google thinks: it’s one of the highest ranking on Net search terms for man-on-man love.
Search trends released by Google indicate that the African nation, which recently passed a bill sentencing those guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” to life in prison, is the third-most popular source for searches of “man fucking man.” The gold and silver medal winners for search terms related to gay pornography? Kenya and Pakistan—two more nations where gays face legal punishment ranging from two to 14 years in prison. In fact, of the ten nations where searches for same-sex porn are the highest, nine are places where homosexual activity is explicitly banned. Uganda’s recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill is actually a softening of the original proposal, which would have executed repeat offenders. ....
.... This isn’t the first time that the loudest anti-gay voices have been coming from behind a closet door. According to the Journal of Economic Perspectives, straight-laced Utah—site of the most recent dust-up in the battle over same-sex marriage in the U.S.—has America’s highest online porn subscription rate per capita. ... '
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
---- excerpts from a news report at The Gay UK (UK), 15 January 2014 :-
'New study shows gays and lesbians have happier relationships than straight couples and how a cuppa tea keeps the love on track rather than a tropical holiday or diamond encrusted watch.
Over 5,000 people have revealed how they are keeping their relationships on track, despite what life may throw at them, as part of a major two-year study into modern couples funded by the Economic & Social Research Council. The Enduring Love? study, conducted by social scientists at The Open University, showed that simple acts of kindness are the things that keep people together. ....
.... Other findings from the survey include:
- Parenthood shapes relationship quality more than any other factor
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer (LGBQ) couples, especially younger people, remain afraid to hold hands in public for fear of reprisal
- However, LGBQ couples are generally happier about their relationship quality and are more likely to act spontaneously. .... '
---- see more of the report's tantalizing findings about both straights & gays at thegayuk.com at :-
---- Pathe Studios (France) announce "Mylene Farmer The Film" to open in March, 13 January 2013 :-
For European readers:- Ten dates at the huge Paris Bercy Arena, 39 other concert dates across four European nations, & 500,000 spectators were filmed of the tour last year titled MYLENE FARMER "Timeless 2013". Filmed in Cinemascope with 30 cameras and sporting Dolby Surround 5.1 audio, MYLENE FARMER LE FILM captures the excitement and beautiful emotions of Mylene Farmer's unique style of arena entertainment. MYLENE FARMER LE FILM opens in select cinemas in France, Belgium, & Switzerland on 27th March 2014.
---- for those unfamiliar with Mylene Farmer's work, check the two videos in the sidebar opposite to taste her unique concert format. It is likely a dvd or BluRay version of LE FILM will be available for global purchase later through 2014.
[In French: '10 Bercy, 39 dates, 14 villes, 4 pays, 500 000 spectateurs, la tournée « Timeless 2013 » de l'artiste française la plus populaire a pulvérisé tous les records…
Le film de ce show futuriste, fruit d’un travail long et minutieux de réalisation et de post-production, est à vivre sur grand écran au cinéma, dans des conditions de confort optimales !
Déferlante de tubes, beaux moments d'émotion sur scène, MYLÈNE FARMER: TIMELESS 2013 LE FILM est une expérience inoubliable !]
Monday, January 13, 2014
---- the opening pars from an extended, cheeky post by Michael Musto at The Advocate (USA), 13 January 2014 :-
'Even atheistic gay men will get down on their knees before their favorite pop diva — for a while, anyway. We’ve traditionally had a worshipful connection with female singers who serve as muses and champions, though we generally end up savoring the drama of bitching out the diva that somehow let us down.
At first, it was all about Judyism. From the 1930s through the ’60s, our leading lady was Judy Garland, because, like us, she’d been knocked down by horrible men, but was always able to stand up and belt out one more song, her voice getting even more riveting with wear and tear. What’s more, Judy could break your heart with her LGBT-like yearning to fit in (her signature song had “rainbow” in the title) while also pining for “The Man That Got Away,” her vulnerability acting as a siren call for gays to bathe her in roses and bittersweet applause.
In 1969, she let us down by dying, just a few days before the Stonewall rebellion changed the face of gay culture forever. But there was an upside, believe it or not. While some historians claim Judy’s death had nothing whatsoever to do with Stonewall, the reality is that every revolution has subtexts, and one of them happened to be the fact that our lady had just passed on and we weren’t going to take shit from anyone anymore. As a result, Judy is not only the ultimate gay icon, she’s become the patron saint of equal rights. (And lord knows she and daughter Liza always believed in gay marriage — they married gays!) .... '
---- see more of Michael Musto's affectionate observations on the gay disposition towards heroine 'divas' at the ever-relevant advocate.com at :-
... COOL GAY STUFF (at url M/M Romance Novels) now returns to mixed miscellany in both columns ...
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
This newest version of the William Shakespeare classic is directed by Carlo Calei and stars attractive youngsters Hailee Steinfield (Juliet) with Douglas Booth (Romeo). Release date: '"Coming shortly" in 2013.
The Cannes Queer Palm is awarded to the film with excellent artistic qualities and that deals best with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transexual issues.
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.
"WINGS" ... movie history's first same-sex kiss ...
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA - an unedited review by historical novelist NAN HAWTHORNE ...
A summer idyll for two French boys. Gaël Morel and Stéphane Rideau play the two boys. The music is the first act trio 'Soave sia il vento' from Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte. Actor Gael Morel later went on to direct gay-themed movies of his own, including "About Him" (France 2008).
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 :-
MAURICE (UK 1987) - A reconstructed bedroom scene - M/M MOVIE MOMENTS
The 1987 film starred James Wilby as the pivotal character Maurice Hall, a young London stockbroker, with Hugh Grant as his initial lover Clive Durham, a university companion. As the story progresses & political considerations preclude Maurice & Clive from continuing their relationship, Maurice finds solace in the arms of Alec Scudder, Clive's estate gamekeeper, played by Rupert Graves. One night Scudder climbs into Maurice's bedroom at Clive's country seat to express his passion.
The movie's bedroom sequence is reconstructed here to its original edited format. The colored shots represent the sequence as depicted in the 1987 movie, while the discolored shots show the scenes included in the first edit but deleted from Ivory's final movie.
With many thanks to YouTube & the clip's original postees - G.G.
Nicholas Hoult in "A Single Man" ... a M/M MOVIE MOMENT
An unedited review from READER VIEWS USA. 5.0 out of 5 stars : Gripping Mystery and Fascinating Love Story, May 2010 :
(c) George Gardiner
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson, May 2010, for Reader Views at :-
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA could be definitely classified as an age-old love story with a twist. “He” is the Roman Emperor Hadrian, a strong and powerful figure. “She” is not really a she, but rather another male, the young and winsome Antinous of Bithynia. The two develop an intense and powerful attachment, based on the erastes-eromenos relationship.
This premise alone would make for an interesting story, but things get really interesting when Antinous is found dead one morning, having obviously drowned in the river Nile. A renowned lawyer, Gaius Suetonious Tranquillus, is hired by Hadrian himself to investigate the death of the unfortunate youth. Was it an accident, suicide, murder, or possibly religious sacrifice?
Gaius Suetonious Tranquillus proceeds to interrogate anybody with possible knowledge of the deceased as well as of the intricate relationships within the imperial court; finally reaching a conclusion and unraveling the tangled web of deceit surrounding Antinous’ death. How will Hadrian react to this revelation?
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA by George Gardiner is an unexpected delight in many ways. While I definitely enjoyed it greatly as a mystery, based on the historical facts, it also opened my eyes to the erastes-eromenos relationships, which were common and accepted in Classical Greece and the Roman Empire. It prompted me to do quite a bit more reading and research on that topic, which was so far unknown and definitely very exotic to me. As somebody who appreciates having her mind stimulated and who loves to learn about new things, this was a welcome challenge to me.
I’ve also greatly enjoyed Gardiner’s attention to detail, vivid descriptions of people, customs and rituals as well as intricate political games depicted in his book. His characters were well defined and believable. His storyline hooked me quickly, and even the many excursions into the tangled past did not confuse me. He truly brought the ancient world to life for me, and I am thankful that I dared to venture outside of my usual comfort zone.
This book would definitely appeal to open-minded people who are curious about “alternative” lifestyles as well as those who simply enjoy well written historical fiction, based on real events. Regardless of the reasons prompting a reader to pick up this book, I am certain that everybody will appreciate Gardiner’s lessons on love and human relationships.
Reader Views, Austin TX, USA, May 2010
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