Friday, February 1, 2013

Matt Bomer Fifty & Shades Again; The Vegas Shark; RIP Mayor Koch

I haven't posted on this for a while, but the interest in actor, Matt Bomer, playing Christian in the film version of "Fifty Shades of Grey" has not subsided much. I'm not sure it will either, at least not until the part's been given to someone officially.

Would Bomer be the best Christian? I think he could do anything and play it well. I'm actually looking more forward to him in the upcoming HBO film based on Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart." In other words, he just might be too good for Fifty Shades. While I don't think anyone should ever be defined by their sexual preferences, Bomer has, in a way, defined a generation of gay men without even trying. He's taken the old stigma about being gay and famous and turned it around, which in turn will make it easier for the next generation.

In any event, Bomer was recently asked about how he feels about playing Christian, and this is the first time he's responded in public:

“No comment. That’s my line on that. But it’s very flattering I’ve got fans who would like to see me in these things.”

Well done, sir.

The Vegas Shark: ending a novel with the first line you started with.

My upcoming novel, "The Vegas Shark," will be released next Tuesday as part of the ongoing gay romance series about bad boy billionaires I've been doing this year. This book was interesting to write for many reasons, some of which I've talked about. But one thing I haven't talked about is how well the book worked out for me in a structural sense. I like order; I like novels to fall into place the same way things often fall into place in real life sometimes. And one of the things I like most in a novel is when I can end it, in the very last line, with the same line I began with on page one.

That doesn't happen often for me. It's not something you can really plan either. Tying up the lose ends in any novel can be tricky, and ending a novel with the first line you started with is almost impossible unless you force it too much. And I like those things to come naturally. And this time it did. I'll post a little more about this novel next week before the release, but here is the line I'm talking about. It's the first and last line of this book, and I don't think it's a spoiler.

Whenever Treston had a man of his own, he felt special in a way that gave him both hope for the future and peace of mind about his sordid past.

It would be nice if every novel was able to end this way, tied up so neatly and precisely. But that's not always how it works.

RIP Mayor Ed Koch

When I was a kid, Mayor Koch was a daily fixture in the local news. I remember him being almost a caricature of himself. He was the kind of man who seemed to command attention even when he wasn't trying too hard. He could be tough, abrasive, friendly, and often unpredictable. And he did something a lot of Mayors aren't able to do: he created an era of his own while he was mayor.

He passed away earlier this morning from congestive heart failure. He was 88 years old. He was also the best kind of politician:

The mayor dismissed his critics as "wackos," waged verbal war with developer Donald Trump ("piggy") and fellow former mayor Rudolph Giuliani ("nasty man"), lambasted the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and once reduced the head of the City Council to tears.

"I'm not the type to get ulcers," he wrote in "Mayor," his autobiography. "I give them."

When President George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004, Democrat Koch crossed party lines to support him and spoke at the GOP convention. He also endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg's re-election efforts at a time when Bloomberg was a Republican. Koch described himself as "a liberal with sanity."

We don't see that kind of bipartisanship much at all anymore. But more than that Koch was never married and never spoke about his personal life in public:

During the 1977 mayoral campaign against Mario Cuomo, posters that read, "Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo" mysteriously appeared in some neighborhoods as Election Day approached.

A lifelong bachelor, Koch offered a typically blunt response to questions about his own sexuality: "My answer to questions on this subject is simply, `F--- off.' There have to be some private matters left."

He never did talk about his sexuality again either. And I understand that completely. He came from a generation that guarded privacy and he didn't want a label. He also came from a generation that was taught we don't discuss certain topics aloud because they are wrong or bad, homosexuality being one of them. Though we'll never really know whether or not Koch was gay, I've never heard anyone say he was straight either.

As I said, I understand his reaction to questions about being gay because of the times in which he lived. But I also would like to see an end to the negativity that always seems to revolve around all gay people. In other words, we should not have to worry about whether or not it's right or wrong to admit we're gay, because there should be nothing wrong with telling the world the most fundamental part of our being.

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