Tuesday, December 31, 2013

FREE Gay Excerpt; 2013 My Book List; Naked Adore You Parody

Naked Adore You Parody

Author Jon Michaelsen sent me this link earlier this week and I wanted to share. It's a sensual video parody of Miley Cyrus's Adore You by model, Brian Hawn. Brian has several Ass-ets worth mentioning. I thought about posting something more solid to welcome in 2014, you know, like good old Joe Konrath did. But then I figured WTF? This naked parody really is a naughty guy with a strong story, my readers don't really give a damn what my predictions for 2014 will be, and this really is about as good as it gets in life sometimes. So Happy New Year!!

2013: My Book List

Here's a list of the books I wrote and had published in 2013. I'm putting notes with some to explain things I think are important, and providing links where I can. These little posts actually help keep me organized, because I honestly wouldn't remember offhand what I did this past year without them. Here's a link to my full published list.

Pledges  An anthology with Cleis Press edited by Shane Allison
With This Cowboy I Love so Freely A Collection of Western Short stories 50,000 words
Bad Boy Billionaire Books 8 book series:
The Vegas Shark Full length novel
The Wall Street Shark Full length novel
The Actor Learning to Love Full length novel
The Ivy League Rake Full length novel
Silicon Valley Sex Scandal Full length novel
Cowboy in Love Full length novel
Palm Beach Real Estate Scoundrel (not yet published)
Small Town Romance Writer (full length 110,000 word novel not yet published)
Glendora Hill 4 book Series:
Cowboy Christmas Miracle Full length novel
Sheriff and the Outlaw Full length novel (not published yet)
Bruno Gmunder Books German Publisher:
Daddy Knows Best short story in anthology
Straight No More short story in anthology
Cherry Soda Cowboy novella
Fangsters full length novel Riverdaleavebooks.com
Internal Desires novella
Second Chance Series:
Second Chance: Book 1 novella
Second Chance The Littlest Christmas Tree novella
Second Chance Book Three (not yet published)
The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance 50,000 word Anthology edited and published by Ryan Field

I think this is a complete list. It's been a busy year and I may have missed something, and if I did I'll update. I've also included a few that were published in 2012 to keep each series together in case someone asks me for a link to one particular series. It happens and it's nice to just give readers one quick link.

FREE Gay Excerpt

This free excerpt is from my newest, yet-to-be-released novella in the Second Chance series. It's so new I don't have a title yet. But I will soon. I wanted to post this excerpt to show how this series follows a pattern. Each novella is completely different, with storyline and character development. However, the basic formula is the same, where each character in each story winds up in the same place at one point, and this point is where the main character is offered his second chance to go back and change the events of his life...if he so chooses to do this. I set it up almost like a television series, so readers know there are certain things to expect. At the same time, each novella will have more than a few surprises and a chance for each main character to get his own happy ending...again, if he so chooses.

The one recurring character in each novella is Rory, and he's part of the excerpt below. He's the guide each main character meets at the Department of Second Chances. Keep in mind this is still the raw version and there might be a few revises made in the final e-book.

“Not exactly,” Rory said. He grabbed Lance by the waist and lifted him up so he could sit on the table. Then he jumped up and sat beside him. “I haven’t mentioned the real reason you’re here. What just happened was only you getting a chance to live out your fantasy. It’s like a bonus. But it’s not all that important.”

            Lance laughed. “That’s easy for you to say. I just got pumped by more men than I can even count and I need to use a bathroom.” All those men had left him a mess and he wanted to clean up.

            “You don’t need a bathroom,” Rory said. “There won’t be enough time.”

            “What’s next?” He felt a thump in his chest. “I don’t think I can take on any more guys today.”

            Rory turned and sent him a stern look. “The main reason you’re here has nothing to do with sex. You’re here because you’ve been selected to go back to your life and get a second chance.”

            “You’re joking.”

            “I wouldn’t joke about that,” Rory said. “It’s not complicated, so pay attention. You’re going to get a chance, if you want the chance, to return to the most pivotal time in your life. It’s the time when you made a choice, and that choice affected the outcome of your entire life. In most cases, people return to their youths. But your case is a little different because the most pivotal point in your life happened when you were forty-two. Do you know what I’m talking about?”

            Lance didn’t have to think twice. “Of course I know.” He’d led an uneventful life until he was forty-two, and he hadn’t been prepared for what had happened.

            “You don’t have to go,” Rory said.

            “What happens if I don’t go back?”

            Rory shrugged. “I can’t disclose that. I’m sorry. I stick to the rules.”

            “Let me get this straight,” Lance said, “I get a chance to go back and redo my life. I can do things differently if I want to.”

            “Not exactly,” Rory said. “It’s not that simple. If you choose to go back for a second chance there’s no guarantee you won’t make the same choice twice. That’s really up to you. You won't be aware you're getting this second chance.”

            “That’s not fair,” Rory said. “Now that I know all the things I know about life I should be able to draw from my experiences.”

            “Nothing in life is fair,” Rory said. “And you’re no exception to the rule. Everyone gets their chances and everyone is treated equally. But sometimes we like to offer second chances where there were unusual circumstances.”

            “I’m not sure I want to do that,” Lance said. “If I do everything the same all over again I’m only repeating myself.”

            “Most people get some kind of sign the second time, so you might not repeat yourself,” Rory said. “It’s not anything obvious, and sometimes people ignore their intuition. But most of the time it works out well. The only risk you run is doing the same thing twice. And if that’s an issue you are by no means forced to take your second chance.”

            “Can I think it over for a day or two?” Lance asked. He knew if he took the second chance he would be returning to the time when he’d first met Sergio. His first partner, Davis, had been away on business so often and he’d been so lonely. He’d always wondered what things would have been like if he hadn’t left Davis for Sergio. Now Rory was offering him a chance to find out.

            “No, there’s no time,” Rory said. “You have to decide now.”

            He thought for a moment. He remembered the passion he’d first experienced when he’d met Sergio. Then he remembered the pain all over Davis’s face when he’d told Davis he was leaving to be with Sergio. He’d never seen a grown man with such a horrified expression since then. And yet, through all the pain, he’d loved Sergio with all his heart.

            “We don’t have much time,” Rory said. “You have to decide.”

            Lance squared his back and said, “What do I have to do?”

            “Close your eyes,” Rory said. “You’ll never remember a thing that happened here.”

            Lance closed his eyes and said, “Wish me luck. I have a feeling I’m going to need it. I’m not even sure what I would choose right now, and I’m aware of everything. I loved both of those men very much, and my life wasn’t easy with either of them.”

Monday, December 30, 2013

Homoerotic? Utah Against Marriage; Coke Cuts Gay Wedding Out in Ireland


Trust me, this link is mostly for photos. I can't post them. But when you get there you'll see what I mean.

I know a lot of gay men who don't get this. They see straight men rolling around on a mat, with their arms and legs wrapped around each other, and they think it's homoerotic.

It's not. It might look that way. But the straight men doing this (unless there's something we don't know) are not even slightly aroused. If you still don't get this, picture me rolling around on a mat with Rachel Maddow.

I can't promise you much in this life, but I can promise I will NOT get aroused if Rachel Maddow climbs on top of me.

Photo attribution here

Utah Against Marriage

Last week I posted about a federal judge, Robert J. Shelby, declaring the ban on same sex marriage in Utah unconstitutional.

And now the fight to keep the ban is beginning and this next article states Utah is prepared to spend millions to have the ruling appealed.

'To go through the court process on an issue that, on a 2-to-1 vote, the people of our state felt was important to have in our constitution, I think is of value,' the speaker told KSL.

In 2004, voters supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and woman.

This is interesting to me for more than one reason. Tony's brother and his family live in Utah now and we just saw Tony's niece and her partner (she's straight; her partner is a man) on Christmas day and they were telling us some of the cultural changes they've had to deal with since moving to Utah from the east coast over a year ago. For one thing, they said people in Utah don't curse. They say "Son of a Bishop" instead of "Son of a Bitch." Now, that's hearsay, I know. But it's not the first time I've heard this.

But what also interests me is that Tony's niece and her partner also stated that they find Utah to be progressive and they never see any hints of homophobia in their circles. They have no reason to lie. So the 2004 vote where the people of Utah defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman makes me wonder. A lot has changed in ten years. And I can't help wondering how things would turn out if the people of Utah were able to vote on this all over again. Almost every single poll I read in most places it says the attitude toward same sex marriage has shifted in an almost polarized direction, in favor of same sex marriage.

Coke Cuts Gay Wedding Out in Ireland

There's allegedly an ad not yet released in Ireland for Coke with a gay wedding scene. And Coke decided to cut the scene and now they've come under fire. You have to read this carefully and think about it for a moment.

But in Ireland, the gay couple scene is replaced with an image of a young straight, interracial couple walking down the aisle.

They always gear ads like this to the country in which it will be shown. Even though 73% of Irish people support same sex marriage, it's still not legal in Ireland. Coke wants their ads to reflect this. And I actually do get it this time. If gay marriage isn't legal in Ireland why show an ad with two men getting married? They aren't selling a brand to make political statements. They are selling a brand to make money and all they are doing is following facts.

You can read more here.

Robin Roberts Inspires; Pretty Boy Dead Best Book; Wicked Gay Blog

Robin Roberts Inspires


In the summer of 2007 Robin Roberts disclosed she had breast cancer. By August 2007 she had surgery and the follow up treatments she underwent continued into 2008. At the time, I followed her story closely because that same summer Tony was going through his life/death crisis. And the bravery Roberts showed during her own crisis left an impact on me personally and I think helped give me a sort of indirect support to deal with all the things I was going through that summer. She was a huge inspiration to me, and I never forgot that. And once again, Roberts recently became an inspiration to millions of LGBT people in disclosing that she's a lesbian and has been with the same woman for ten years.

Unfortunately, Roberts was diagnosed with a bone marrow disease in 2012 and it gutted me to hear that after all she went through with breast cancer she had to deal with something else. You'd think once in a lifetime would be enough, but we all know that's not how it works. Once again, Roberts has showed the same strength, dignity, and grace she showed while battling breast cancer.

On December 29, 2013, Roberts came out on Facebook:

 "At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude. I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health...I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together." Roberts and Amber Laign, a massage therapist, have been together for 10 years. This was the first time Roberts publicly acknowledged her longstanding same-sex relationship.

You can read more here. Photo is in the Public Domain.

The support I've seen for Roberts has also been inspiring. This isn't just fandom. It goes way deeper than that.

 Pretty Boy Dead Best Book

I usually don't post these things because I find that any best book list tends to be fundamentally flawed at best, and highly subjective at worst. In small genres like M/M Romance where there are thousands of wonderful "best" books, best book lists also put writer against writer and book against book in ways I don't always think are fair. It's also a way for aggressive book bloggers to promote themselves and garner hits. As a small, humble blogger I absolutely refuse to do these things to exploit authors. I don't mind doing it to other bloggers. But not to authors.

In the same respect, there are exceptions to every rule. The reason I'm mentioning the book, Pretty Boy Dead, by Jon Michaelsen, is because sometimes book bloggers do get it right and sometimes best books are given the credit they deserve. As it happens, I'm right in the middle of reading Pretty Boy Dead and it's such a great book I wanted to post something about it. There's a "best" book post up at the now defunct Jessewave web site, and Pretty Boy Dead is listed as one of the best books of 2013. In this case, I couldn't agree more with this choice.

You can read more here. Along with Pretty Boy Dead, there's a list of other best books for 2013. Some I read, some are excellent choices. But one or two leave me wondering...without the ambition to comment further because they're so bad. Like I said, it's all highly subjective. 

Wicked Gay Blog

Once in a while I come across a blog that's for gay men that makes me smile. In this case, it's a blog titled, Wicked Gay Blog, and you can check it out here.

I'm not going to link to any post right now because I like the whole package as far as blogging goes. I just want to give examples in a general sense to nudge people over there. There are posts about gay news, posts that are more personal, and topics discussed that are geared for gay men without a hint of judgment. And the photos are excellent, too. I have no idea how they get permission to use these photos, but I can only assume they have taken copyright into consideration, they are aware of how litigious people can be nowadays, and they know what they are doing.

They do have ads, but I don't find them intrusive or annoying. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bethenny Frankel's Ass; Anne R. Allen on Writing; Gambian President Gay Hate

Bon Jovi/ Versace

For some reason, this older photo of Jon Bon Jovi started floating around social media over the holidays and it reminded me of a post I wrote last year about photoshopping, body images, and the difference between how celebrity photos are often altered in direct contrast to how fashion designers create what has always been considered artistic images that often border on the abstract. But even fashion designers photoshop celebrities sometimes, and this one photo in particular of Jon Bon Jovi is classic photoshopping at its best.

You can view the photo here. The guy looks great for 50 years old. But a photo can hide certain things that you can't in real life. And 50 year old skin is not the same as 25 year old skin no matter how hard you try. That's life. Plain and simple. And to take this to a writer's POV, you can't write about a 50 year old the same way you can about a 25 year old unless you're writing paranormal or science fiction.

And this article goes deeper, with a few excellent examples of how celebrities really look before they're photoshopped. I love the photos of Bachelor Clooney. And frankly, most of the photos "before" don't look all that bad anyway and I don't see a reason to photoshop them. This link also comes with a warning. You'll have to look at before and after shots of Bethenny Frankel's ass...something I'm sure we can all live without seeing either before or after.

Anne R. Allen on Writing

Unfortunately, I'm a little late with this link, too, due to family things Tony and I have been dealing with in the past few days. But I wanted to post it anyway because I think it's an excellent example of many short posts I've written on the topic of writing rules. In fact, many of the comments in this post made me smile because I used to follow some of the rules when I first started out. And, as a writer who is constantly trying to evolve, I've also changed a few of my own opinions at times. And I think that's why I like Allen's post so much.

I like this one rule about show and tell because I've posted about it more than once.

Authors who follow this rule closely can write such murky stuff you never know what's going on.

Is this really the best way to present a character? "He wore a helmet with a wide brim, longer in the back to protect the neck, big black boots, a protective coat, and overalls held up with red suspenders. He smelled of ashes and soot."

Why not just tell us he's a fire fighter? After three pages of these guessing games, the building has burned down and WE DO NOT CARE.

You can read the rest here. And I highly suggest reading them all. And this goes for those who might be considered critical book reviewers who often comment on writing rules and styles in book reviews. In other words, if you're going to mention in a book review that the author shows and tells (or anything writing related) you should know the full meaning of how this works and that writers often balance show and tell on purpose, otherwise you're going to look a little dumb and you won't even know it...but other people will know.  
Gambian President Gay Hate

My first thought when I read this was that I'm glad I'll never have to set foot in Gambia. But then I thought how awful it must be for LGBT people in Gambia to have a President who would actually give a Christmas speech and compare being gay to having a social cancer.

The president said homosexuality will ‘never be condoned’ and warned parents to steer children away from ‘alien cultures that could corrupt their minds at this stage of their moral and psychological development’.

Naturally, there are plenty of gay people in Gambia and they're fighting for their rights. Homosexuality is a felony there and LGBT people can get up to 14 years in prison for being gay.

But it gets worse. This President, this sick idiot, wants to pass laws where it would be legal to behead gays.

You can read more here.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Duck Dynasty Saga; Vampire Diaries' Gay Role; Gay 4 Pay Pornsters

Duck Dynasty Saga

I know this isn't fresh news, but I thought I'd post about it anyway. Tony and I have been dealing with family things all week and I haven't had much time to blog. In any event, creepy looking Duck Dynasty dude, Phil Robertson, is back on the show and this article analyzes a few possible reasons why he's back after making some of the most hateful comments about LGBT people in recent history.

But what probably helped turn the tide in the Robertsons’ favor was that the debate wasn’t as clear-cut as the network and many in the media initially assumed. Robertson and his supporters argued that his anti-gay statements were an extension of his passion for the Bible. Once that frame gained a foothold — that this fight is about religion, and the freedom to endorse biblical teachings — A&E was stuck in the awkward position of appearing to advocate against both its own star and orthodox Christianity (ironic, considering A&E Networks garnered such goodwill from Christians for taking a chance on its The Bible mini-series on History this year).

Blah, Blah, Blah...

If you ask me it's all a publicity stunt created to increase ratings in a dying medium: reality TV. We all know by now there is no such thing as reality TV. The good thing is that it's all on record and it will be interesting to see how they ALL go down in history.

Read more here...  

Vampire Diaries' Gay Role

In a more positive announcement, this next article says TV show Vampire Diaries will be getting a gay character.

A new hottie is enrolling at Whitmore after winter break! And he'll be spending time with Caroline! Except he's so not into her in that way as Luke, handsome and sarcastic, is gay. And also happens to have a sister on campus, one that he will do (or sacrifice) anything to protect.

You can read more here, and see the comments people left.

Gay 4 Pay Pornsters

I don't think there's a gay man alive who hasn't wondered about this. Are male porn stars in gay adult films actually gay or are they really straight guys looking to show off a little and make a quick buck?

Before working at Next Door Studios I had heard of the term gay-for-pay, but I wasn't really sure what all that label entailed. I, like many gay men, always had a fetish for straight men. The difference was my relationships with straight men didn't involve money or the spotlight, but usually involved alcohol and some pretend sleeping. Most of these guys are married and have kids now and I was a part of their "experimental phase. " A phase that they have moved on from and probably have not continued into their adult life.

I think the comment above is one many gay men can relate to. I can. And I never really "got" it either. But the article is interesting and you can read more here.

Reminds me a little of a new book I'm in with German publisher Bruno Gmunder, with a short story titled, Straight No More. You can read more about that here. It's the kind of gay for you anthology that will leave a lot of people wondering how much is fact or fiction.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Don Weise's Views; Victoria TX Kicks Gay Dancers Out

Don Weise's Views 

Don Weise is a publisher/editor who has been working in LGBTI publishing for over twenty years. I've worked with him in the past, and he edited my novel, Fangsters, with Riverdaleavebooks.com. I met him a while back when he was senior editor at Alyson Publications when Alyson bought the rights to An Officer and His Gentleman. I have never worked with a more gentle editor than Don. I know gentle might sound like an odd word to use, but it's the best way to describe my experience with him. He's also a very interesting man and through a series of e-mail exchanges I've learned a good deal about more than one topic. Huff Po recently did a great interview with Don where he talks about LGBT publishing, the changes we've seen, and what changes still might happen.

DW...I think that with publishing at the big houses becoming so blockbuster-oriented, it leaves little room for midlist titles which is what most LGBT books are. Relatively few will sell over twenty thousand copies. However, that leaves the field open for small presses, gay and otherwise, to bring out more LGBT literature. The readers are definitely there.

I recently had a conversation with an author and we were both saying the same thing. And both of us have done indie publishing, but we both still prefer working with small presses.

You can read the entire interview in full, here.

Victoria, TX Kicks Gay Dancers Out

In a Texas town I've never heard of...Victoria...a gay couple dancing together was allegedly kicked out of a "straight" nightclub.

A dance club for heterosexuals (yes, they exist!) in Victoria, Texas is being slammed this week after ousting a gay couple for dancing together during a country music song. The director of operations at Cactus Canyon claims he was trying to “maintain the peace,” though we’re pretty sure he was just jealous of the couple’s superior dance skills.
Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/straight-texas-club-boots-gay-couple-for-violating-same-sex-dancing-ban-20131226/#ixzz2odKG1om1

The owner of the club has since apologized and claims it was all a misunderstanding. ACLU of Texas has offered to assist the couple.

One of the reasons I set my Glendora Hill series in Texas Hill Country is because I know a lot of gay people who live there and I've never once heard them complain of discrimination...at least not any more than in any state in the US. Trust me, I have plenty of Pennsylvania discrimination stories from first hand experience. So I think this is an isolated incident, and one that could have happened anywhere in the US. It's important to point those things out so people don't misinterpret things.

You can read more here.

Beyonce's Top; M/M Support for Authors; Dell Blocks Gay Web Sites

Beyoncé's Top

After handing out more than thirty five thousand dollars in gift cards a few days ago to Wal-Mart customers, Beyoncé has done it again with a new video that surfaced and proven she cares about her fans deeply and that she's at the top of her game. This time Beyonce made a dying teen's wish come true at a concert.

Taylon, whose last name and age have not been released, is suffering from inoperable brain cancer and her dying wish was to dance with the mega-star.

After learning of her wish, The Philanthropy Program Partnerships made it happen and organised for the youngster to meet and dance with her idol.

You can read more here. You can watch the video there, too. In this case, you can tell when someone really cares. It's just all over both of their expressions.

M/M Support for Authors

Here's an update on M/M author, Eric Arvin, who is going through a serious health crisis right now, and at this moment (I think) undergoing brain surgery. I only have an overview of the medical issues and I don't want to post anything inaccurate, so I won't go into detail about them now. But his health issues are serious and I've been amazed to see how readers and other authors continue to support Arvin, and his partner, T.J. Klune.

I think most of us have gone through fairly serious health issues with family members, so we know. I've been through my share with Tony. And reading and seeing all the emotion and support for both Arvin and Klune has left me speechless more than once. It's just mind blowing how people in this genre have reacted with so much love. And it really hits home for me because I know what Klune is going through right now. I've been there and it's a strange place to be. To watch someone else go through it isn't easy. You act and react on instinct and raw nerves. It's like being in a long term state of shock and you focus on the most important things at hand and everything else seems to diminish. All of this is happening on social media. There's also a fund set up to help offset medical costs, and all kinds of other things that happen during times like this.

It's also a little strange for me to watch all this unfold because I don't know Klune or Arvin very well. I've only noticed things on social media and how T.J. Klune seems to have an interesting way with people most authors don't have. But in my recent release for a book I wrote months ago, Cowboy Christmas Miracle, one of the main characters in the story goes through a serious health crisis in fiction that's a lot like what Arvin is going through right now in real life. I'd never done anything like that before in a book because I don't like to go that deep with emotions too often. It's not only draining to write about, but also tends to darken a romance if it's not done with care. I gave my characters a happy ending, and I'm hoping the very same for Arvin and Klune.

And, another author I know, Jill Elaine Hughes, spent the holidays in the hospital with her infant. Jill is a seasoned writer who has been around for a long time and she's written M/M romance and recently a few new adult novels. She's also a great mom who balances a full time writing career and a family, and I think all moms will agree there's probably nothing worse than seeing your child hospitalized. And I just wanted to mention her and offer some support, too.

Dell Blocks Gay Web Sites

This is interesting because I've seen this discussion over and over again...all my life. Even when something isn't deemed adult content and is rated G, there are people who think ALL gay content is unsafe and harmful just because it is gay content. In other words, a web site could write and post about LGBT people who are deeply religious, and that content would still be considered not suitable for children.

And now Dell and other companies are feeding into that mindset:

Leading computer companies are helping anti-LGBTI people to block public access to ‘gay and lesbian’ websites – including vital services. The policy, including at Dell, has been condemned as ‘incredibly poor business sense’ and dangerous for vulnerable people.

But more interesting than that, two companies are known to support LGBT people in public and yet they are also supporting a product designed to filter out gay content altogether.

You can read the details here.

I have to think about this one for a while. If I could block and filter the Bristol Palin types of the world I wouldn't mind them blocking and filtering me.

But that's not how things work. The bigger picture here is that ALL LGBT content is considered porn in some places, by some people and no one's blocking the Bristol Palin types. I've seen it with books and the way books are sold and categorized. A perfectly harmless little love story with no sex at all could be classified as porn just because of gay content.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Straight No More; FREE Gay Xmas Read; Charlie Sheen Ducky Dynasty

Straight No More

It's nice to open the mailbox on Christmas Eve morning and find an author copy of a book you weren't thinking about. And that's what happened this morning when I found a print copy of a new release with German publisher Bruno Gmunder titled, Straight No More. This book kind of has a "gay for you feel," and as we all know in real life these things can and do happen all the time. My story is titled Things His Wife Never Did. The book was edited by Winston Gieseke.

You can read more here at Amazon.  This book is available in both print and e-book.

FREE Gay Xmas Read

In 2010 I wrote a 20,000 word novella titled, The Christmas Gift, that was included in a holiday book titled, Well Hung By the Chimney. I haven't posted any long excerpts, and not even a short one since 2010, so I decided to put a long excerpt up now because I probably won't be blogging tomorrow. As I've done in the past, I'll put part of the excerpt up here on Google blogger, and I'll add a link at the end where you can read the rest of it in full on my other web site. Here's the Amazon link.

Please remember this is the raw version before edits (because it works with Google blogger) and there may be a few errors that eventually went to copy edits and were revised in the final book. But I actually like putting them up this way to show readers how the process goes. I also had to self-censor a few things here. I replaced "certain" words with the word elbow in parenthesis.

When Nathan discovered Lance was an avid golfer, he wasn't surprised. Back in high school Lance had been one of those all around jock types, always running to football practice, baseball practice, or basketball practice, with a gym bag in his hand and a deep, intense look in his eyes. If Nathan remembered correctly, Lance was even on the track team four years in a row. And he hadn't changed much in ten years. He still had that fresh watery smell that comes from showering in locker rooms and dressing fast without being fully dry. He still towel dried his thick black hair and let it fall into place on its own without too much fussing around. And he still went the entire weekend with black stubble on his face.

But for some reason, Lance did seem surprised when he discovered Nathan had a premium cable television package and still used his mother's fifteen year old cast off television in the bedroom and a twenty year old RCA in the living room. Lance just gaped at the old televisions and shook his head without commenting.

In a time when most people had switched to digital flat screens, Nathan continued to make due with the old televisions in spite of their broken speakers and off color tones. When Lance asked him about the TV in the bedroom, Nathan said he didn't believe in buying new appliances when the old ones were still good. And if a television was in working condition, there was no need to buy new just for the sake of it.

"You're missing all your favorite cooking shows in digital," Lance said. Nathan was obsessed with cooking shows, especially baking themed shows.

The day Lance mentioned this TV business they were still in bed, a Sunday afternoon in March. Lance was naked and his slightly hairy, muscular legs were wide open and Nathan was only wearing a pair of black boxer briefs. Lance had one arm around Nathan's shoulders and one leg across Nathan's legs. Nathan was leaning into Lance's chest with the remote control in one hand and Lance's (elbow) in the other.

"I don't mind," Nathan said, never one to count his short-comings. Besides, life was too good to complain. Lance had just (elbowed) him and they were watching that prim and proper TV personality make Christmas cookies. They'd been seeing each other every weekend since they'd met up again on Christmas Eve three months earlier. Lance usually drove down to Martha Falls from Baltimore because Nathan had to keep the video store open on weekends. Lance didn't seem to mind the hour drive either. He said it was nice to get out of the city to a quieter place.

Lance caressed Nathan's shoulder and spread his legs a little wider so Nathan could rub the tender spot beneath his (elbow). "I just don't get it. Why did you bother ordering a premium digital package with these old televisions?"

"I got this fantastic promotional offer for six months from the cable people, and I have good intentions," Nathan said. "And, these old things can't last forever. When they die, I'll get a new flat screen. Besides, I don’t' want to waste any money right now in this economy. The store isn't doing well at all and I'm going to have to figure out what to do next with my life." Then he repositioned his body and squeezed Lance's (elbow). It was soft now, but still thick and meaty in his palm.

Nathan's video store had been slowly declining for a long time. People were renting their movies right from their televisions, downloading them from their computers, and joining those Internet video web sites. And Nathan's little store just couldn't compete anymore. Oh, he'd seen it coming for a while, but he'd never expected it to get this bad. For some reason he’d been hoping all the new technology would pass Martha Falls by. But he was lucky now if two or three people rented movies on a Saturday night.

"I hear you," Lance said, frowning while TV personality rolled little balls of chocolate dough, boasting about the extravagant kitchen in her Maine mansion. Lance scowled at the TV screen and said, "I have a friends in real estate who haven't sold a house in over a year, I have friends in Florida who can't pay their mortgages, and I'm barely making ends meet since my divorce. And things don’t seem to be getting better."

Read More Here @ Ryan-Field.com

Charlie Sheen Duck Dynasty

Ever since reality TV personality, Phil Robertson, made his anti-gay slurs public, there's been a firestorm from all sides. I've posted about it all here, and I've even linked to an objective web site that talks about free speech, here. And now actor Charlie Sheen is coming to the defense of the LGBT community, and Sheen makes strong references to Robertson's offensive comments in a way that I think most LGBT people took those comments. They weren't just about free speech and not supporting the LGBT community. Robertson's comments were some of the most vituperative slurs I've ever heard.

Angered by recent comments by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson likening homosexuality to bestiality, Charlie Sheen has taken to Twitter to launch a blistering attack on the show’s patriarch. ‘You have offended and hurt so many dear friends of mine, who DO NOT have the voice or the outreach that I do,’ Sheen posted yesterday.

That last comment says a lot. Most of the people offended don't have the outreach Sheen has and it's just amazing to see Sheen use his power this way. I know he's straight, but I always found him attractive in many ways. Even more so now, and I'm not just talking about his looks.

You can read more here.

Side Note about Duck Dynasty: Maybe my conspiracy concerns are working overtime, but I can't help wonder if all this gay hate with Duck Dynasty isn't a huge publicity stunt in order to improve ratings and gain more of a following. Of course I could be wrong about this, but photos are already surfacing of Phil Robertson and his other cast members that date back to before their Duck Dynasty days. Could they all be fakes? Should they be vetted more thoroughly now. They didn't have the beards or long hair before the show. One bleached his hair on top. In fact, they look just like everyone else. And all this brings up a few interesting questions about authenticity, ethics, and morality on their part. Do we really believe there is such a thing as reality TV? Do we really believe Duck Dynasty wasn't a planned, staged commercial venture meant to exploit others? And do we really believe that the people connected with Duck Dynasty would have found any fame or fortune if they had remained the way they were? I've had more than a few e-mails from southerners telling me how offended they are by Duck Dynasty because they feel it promotes the worst stereotypes. If there is anything beneath the surface to expose about Duck Dynasty, maybe we should be digging a little deeper instead of only concentrating on the gay slurs made by Phil Robertson.

It actually would be hard to call a boycott on Duck Dynasty because most LGBT people wouldn't bother watching it anyway.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gay QVC Proposal; Duck Dynasty & Gay Porn; Slutty Little Xmas

Gay QVC Proposal

I remember when QVC started to gain in popularity about twenty years ago. Once in a while I would hear something or see something and I'd wind up staring at the TV while someone went through more than one hundred ways to use a scarf. And even though we don't watch much TV anymore, to this day I can still sit and watch QVC until Tony screams for me to change the channel. I was, proudly, one of the original Kathy Levine and Jeff Hewson groupies of the 1990's. It states here that Jeff had a stroke in 2010, but oddly, that's all I could find...for the time being. In any event...this is what happened on QVC recently with a gay marriage proposal:

British QVC salesman Will Gowing got quite a surprise over the weekend when his boyfriend asked him to marry him on the air.

Gowing didn’t realize what was happening when a text message popped up on the teleprompter. The other host, Alison Young, asked him to read it. The text was a marriage proposal from Gowing’s boyfriend of over nine years, Steven.

The only drawback to when I had my book, Loving Daylight, sold as a group of Romance novels on HSN a few years ago was that the books were sold on HSN, not QVC. I would have loved to see them on QVC, too.

From GalleyCat: September, 2009

Today, at 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific), the Home Shopping Network will welcome Holly Schmidt, the president and founder of the digital publishing house Ravenous Romance, who’ll be bringing the company’s first printed products with her: three sets of six books in the contemporary, historical, and paranormal genres plus a fourth sampler set containing two of each.

At the time I kept that toned down because I was using a pen name, Malia Sutton, and this was a hetero novel with a pg rating. It's the only novel I ever wrote with that pen name and I started talking about it about a year ago. This is the novel that I wrote in three weeks, and it's one of the books I look back on with the most fondness, to date.

Duck Dynasty/Gay Porn

In one of the most ironic, amusing twists I've seen in a long time, it now seems reality show, Duck Dynasty, has ties to gay porn through the creator of the show, Scott Gurney. For those who don't know, Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, made gay hate speech last week and I've been posting about it here. Scott Gurney, creator of Duck Dynasty, starred in a well-known gay film about the adult entertainment industry that millions of young gay men at the time worshipped.

Gurney starred as a gay-for-pay porn star and meth addict who comes under the obsessive gaze of a male film student turned the titular on-set “fluffer.” For those who may not be aware, a fluffer has the (un)enviable job of “prepping” the porn star before a scene. It’s a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it. Preferably somebody without a gag reflex.
Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/watch-duck-dynastys-gay-porn-connection-20131223/#ixzz2oLlXOlWO

The Fluffer is actually one of my all time classic favorites. You can read more about Scott Gurney here.

I wonder what poor Bristol Palin's thinking now. Ugh!

You can read even more at Buzzfeed. Andy Zeffer, co-star in The Fluffer contacted the author at Buzzfeed and added more to the story. Evidently, Scott Gurney is straight and not comfortable around gay people, but he didn't mind taking the lead role in a gay film. It doesn't get richer than that. Zeffer's comments about how insulting/homophobic Gurney was to him at the time are worth reading at the link above.

Slutty Little Xmas

I would imagine most people have already begun their holiday, so I thought I'd keep the posts lighter and of a more festive nature, so to speak. And this link to several GIFs are entertaining in a slutty little Xmas way. Or maybe not. I guess it depends on who you are.

In any event, here's the link.

Dylan Sprouse Nude Pics; Beyonce Amazon War; Best Artists of 2013

Dylan Sprouse Nude Pic

Dylan Sprouse, a former Disney star, had a few nude photos "leaked" on twitter recently. The photos were removed, and Sprouse didn't deny they were photos of him. Allegedly, one photo showed him in sheer boxers, the other was nude and he was covering his privates...partially. His statement went something like, "Oops, I guess I messed up." If that doesn't make you smile, nothing will.

This was his other comment, verbatim:

 "The reason I’m making light of the situation is because I don’t think what I did was wrong," he writes on his personal tumblr page. "To be blunt, I was proud of my progress in the gym, thought I looked hot, and wanted to share it. There is an odd taboo with the human form (especially in the USA) and I don’t particularly think its a good thing to teach people that you should 'hide yourself' as something incredibly sacred. Blah blah blah, that’s a medieval notion."

Then why didn't he do a full frontal photo? Just curious. I recently watched the film, Take This Waltz, which focused on a "happily" married woman who falls in love with a hot young guy who lives across the street. Don't waste your time with this one, especially if you've been "happily" married for any length of time. Seth Rogen was excellent, but you'll wind up hoping the female main character gets run over by a car and suffers a long, horrible death. But the interesting thing to me in this film was that I noticed several female full frontal nude scenes, some of which took place in the women's locker room. And yet not one male full frontal. What's that about? Take off those pants, Seth Rogen.

You can read more here. You can view the pics here. NSFW.

Beyonce Amazon War

I posted last week about my own disappointment when I wanted to offer a free brand new release holiday book on Amazon, The Littlest Christmas Tree, and also distribute that book for free at other retail web sites where e-books are sold. However, Tony informed me that in order to put the put up for free on Amazon I would have to sign a three month exclusive with them (meaning I couldn't distribute the book anywhere else for three months but Amazon), and I would only be allowed to offer the book for free for a set amount of time. So I opted out of the Amazon lending program this time, didn't sign the three month exclusive, and released the book for free everywhere else but Amazon. The book is on Amazon for .99, but everywhere else it's free. I would gladly have put it up on Amazon for free, too, if they'd let me. I don't do those things very often and with indie books I've been sticking to .99. On a much, MUCH larger scale, I recently read about Beyonce's Amazon issue, and she took her stand to a completely different level.

According to this next article, Amazon and Target refused to sell Beyonce's new album because she released it on iTunes first, with a one week iTunes exclusive. It's interesting because the very thing Amazon did to me with the exclusive they require for the lending program is the exact same thing they penalized Beyonce for doing with Apple. Beyonce retaliated by going to a Wal-Mart store this past weekend where she gave 750 shoppers a fifty dollar gift card, an amount that totaled something close to thirty eight thousand dollars.

The article presents an interesting question:

Why would Amazon and Target want to make enemies of Beyoncé, whose antics in Wal-Mart have made them look petty? They probably have their eye on the long game. This is only $10 million or so in lost sales between the two companies, after all—not even a rounding error in either company's revenues. And most artists are not Beyoncé—they need Amazon and Target more than Target and Amazon need them.

It's hard to disagree with that reasoning, however, any kind of negative publicity no matter how small it is often takes on a life of its own. After the Target debacle on Black Friday, I'll personally never look at Target the same way again. That was a huge issue that affected too many people to forget. And in spite of continued growth, Amazon has been irritating people in small ways for such a long time I hate to even go there to write a book review anymore. I'm not the only one who feels this way. This season, for the first time in five years, I did no Christmas shopping on Amazon. And it wasn't even a totally conscious choice. I just didn't feel like going there. And I think that has to do with an accumulation of things that have been happening all year.

By refusing to sell Beyonce's album to spite Apple, the only people Amazon and Target are really hurting are consumers. And if this sort of attitude continues other people will be doing what I've done and they'll be taking their business elsewhere. I'd hate to see that happen, and I'd like to see Amazon more customer oriented. Authors like me need Amazon. Beyonce can be as independent as she wants and it's not going to hurt her. But too many artists need Amazon to work with them, not against them.

Best Artists 2013: Male Nudes

The next link will lead you to the list of best artists of 2013, one of whom is interesting because he's Russian and his art directly opposes the highly publicized Russian stand against LGBT equality. In fact, it's a bold artistic statement.

You can check the images out here. The first one is a men's locker room where a group of men are showering together.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bristol Palin/Duck Dynasty; Defending Gay Teacher in Catholic High School

Bristol Palin/Duck Dynasty

Update: spelling correction with the word duck...it really wasn't intentional. The u and i are side by side and I type fast. So are the f and d. 

Bristol Palin, reality TV personality and daughter of Tea Party radical, Sarah Palin, has a blog on what appears to be a far right web site where she blogs for commercial reasons and hocks her readership with ads that range from those Chicken Soup books to her book. (It's really a messy blog, as blogs go, and not one that will win any awards.) I don't know where the book ad link leads because I'd rather not support her. If you click those ads the blogger sometimes gets some kind of compensation, though most people don't know this, and I didn't see it disclosed anywhere on the blog. In any event, Bristol Palin wrote a short blog post supporting another reality TV personality, Phil Robertson, from the reality show Duck Dynasty. In Palin's post she makes claims about free speech and generalities about the LGBT community and I thought I would comment on a few of them briefly.

For those who might not have heard, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty made a few gay hate comments recently and since then videos of previous anti-gay statements have surfaced. You can read more here. Robertson didn't just come out against gays, at least not in a logical, civil way. He compared gay sex, among other things, to bestiality. If you are an LGBT person or you're familiar with LGBT people his comments aren't just offensive. They don't make sense.

First, Bristol Palin thinks all LGBT people think that everyone should support gays. This is what I mean by generalities, and making assumptions. She thinks we expect every "flippen" person (yes, flippen) to agree with our lifestyle. She also makes the assumption that ALL LGBT people have no respect for what other people believe. Ultimately, she knows very little about the LGBT community and how diverse it is. I'm with my partner twenty-one years and our lifestyle isn't much different from any other straight couple we know.  In fact, most would think we're a little dull. We support equal rights and same sex marriage for obvious reasons, and I blog often and write often about them, but we're far from being activists of any kind. And we don't expect everyone to agree with us.

Yes, there are gay activists who are just as radical (and amusing) in the opposite direction as Bristol Palin's mother, Sarah Palin. And those gay radicals don't always have respect for the opinions of others. I know a few myself. Tony and I have had friendships suffer because of this. But I respect them, too. We're just not like them, and that's the way it works with the entire LGBT community. Although we're all fighting for equal rights, the same equal rights Bristol Palin is allowed to have without even realizing her privileged circumstances, the diversity within the LGBT community is often polarized and LGBT people don't always agree on everything...just like straight people don't always agree. I think that's called normal.

But I don't want to digress. In another part of Bristol Palin's blog post she mentions God and the bible, as if she has a claim to religion and faith LGBT people don't have. But here's where Palin shows again how little she knows about the LGBT community at large. Religion, spirituality, Christianity, and all other forms of faith are not exclusive to Bristol Palin, straight people only, and the radical Christian right wing of America. I get private e-mails all the time from gay men who are still in the closet telling me how hard it often is for them to get through a church service these days because of the gay hate they hear in church. These are not radical gay activists. These gay men are quiet, humble people without an agenda and no one even knows they are gay. I also know gay priests and ministers who could go verse for verse and line for line with Bristol Palin on the bible.

But I think this line in Palin's blog post is the most interesting.

I hate how the LGBT community says it’s all about “love” and “equality.”

She "hates." That's an important word. That's also a direct quote from the post and I'm not making it up. Unlike Palin's blog, mine is non-profit and I have no viable reason to sensationalize. My only goal here is to disabuse a few myths people may or may not have about the LGBT community. Palin could have said she didn't understand, especially when making reference to the LGBT community as a group of haters. But she used the word "hate" instead. What's that about?

Toward the end of Palin's post, she makes reference to an article written by a "homosexual" at Time Magazine. I'm not a huge fan of Time Magazine because of their politics and I haven't read that article so I can't comment. But in the end Palin claims she doesn't agree with everything this "homosexual" writes but she thinks it's time to stand for free speech. This free speech issue has been going around the Interwebs ever since Phil Robertson made the offensive gay slurs and once again, Palin doesn't seem to get the basic concept of free speech. In case I forgot to mention it, Bristol Palin is an avowed "heteronormative." If she's going to label people as "homosexual" I think she deserves a label, too.

In a simple search, I found this article that seems to sum up free speech about as well written as I've ever seen it done. It's actually titled, The Idiot's Guide to Free Speech. And I purposely decided to link to this article because it was written before Phil Robertson made the offensive gay slurs and the Palin family started ranting about free speech. When the article was written there was no hidden agenda.

Free speech, according to the article, means this:

As an American, you have the right to say most anything you want to say without being penalized by the government

It continues in more detail. But it also states free speech does NOT mean you can do or say anything without reactions. You are not exempt from "Criticism, Shame, The Right to Anonymity, Mockery, and, again, Consequences." In other words, you can say what you want and the government can't come after you (in most cases, not always), but you may face a firestorm afterward. Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, made some of the most hateful comments I've ever read about LGBT people and there were consequences. In his case he was suspended from his TV show and most normal people will now dismiss him completely. No one is exempt from this, especially not Bristol Palin or her mother. I'm not exempt from it either, which is why I always choose my words with care.

But the original point of this post wasn't about free speech. It's about Bristol Palin making assumptions and generalities about the LGBT community and not really knowing a thing about the community. There are gay Christians, gay Republicans, gay Democrats, gay Jews, and so on. And it's that kind of diversity in the LGBT community that is always underestimated the most. Phil Robertson didn't just offend gay activists and left wing political pundits with his offensive free speech, he offended the invisible gay brother/sister who hasn't come out yet, he offended the gay minister who is terrified to come out, he offended the gay neighbor, friend, boss, employee, and cousin who lives a simple discreet life and minds his/her own business. He also offended the straight people who are close to gay people. And that's why this "flippen" issue is far more involved than just making general assumptions with the underlying intention of selling a book or some other product, Ms. Palin.  

You can read Bristol Palin's entire commentary post here. Just don't click the links on the sidebar.

Defending Gay Teacher in Catholic High School

In a post that I think is directly related to how uninformed heteronormative Bristol Palin really is about gay people, I posted last week about a Catholic high school teacher in a Philadelphia suburb not far from where I live in New Hope who was fired from his teaching job because he filed for a marriage license in New Jersey. Something similar happened in Washington state and now students are offering their support.

Students at a US high school in the state of Washington staged a sit-in after finding out a gay teacher had been fired for marrying his partner. Vice principal and swim coach Mark Zmuda worked for Eastside Catholic High School for approximately a year and a half.

You can read more here. It's an interesting article, and one that shows how things are changing in more positive ways than the negativity we've seen in the past. The Catholic school has every right to fire the teacher, and the students have every right to react to the decision. I wonder if Bristol Palin would classify these students as haters.  

If you're a Bristol Palin supporter and you want to leave a comment, please don't bother. You can exercise your right to free speech on your own web site, not mine. This is my world.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Duck Dynasty Star & Rosa Parks by Ian Bayne

Duck Dynasty Star & Rosa Parks by Ian Bayne

One of the nicer things about blogging is that I answer to no one other than my readers, I post what I want when I want, and I don't have to worry about what anyone thinks. This blog is also not for profit, so no one can accuse me of sensationalizing on any topic to make money. And yet I still tread with care most of the time to make sure I don't offend people unintentionally. I also know, as a blogger, if I post an opinion there may or may not be consequences to pay in the future. That's how free speech works. So most of the time when it comes to politics I refrain from comment. And, this isn't really a political blog so my commentary doesn't mean much. However, sometimes you just can't ignore certain things...and certain blithering idiots...no matter how hard you try.

In this case, it was a stupid comment made by some unheard of politician in Illinois running for congress, Ian Bayne. I'm sure people in his district know who Ian is, but those of us in NY/NJ and everything in between to CA, never heard of the idiot before. And now, thanks to the fact that he compared Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, to civil rights activist, Rosa Parks, we'll never forget the buffoon's name. Nor do we want to forget it. I think they should be teaching things like this in classrooms...the guy who compared one of the greatest women in the history of the US to a TV reality show star named Phil Robertson who hates gays. Yes, a TV reality show star. And we all know how real reality TV is.

You can read more about Phil Robertson here in my previous post, and about Sarah Palin and Gov. Bobby Jindal. They only twisted free speech. At least they didn't have the audacity to compare Robertson to Rosa Parks.

This is what Ian Bayne said:

"In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians," Bayne said in an email to supporters.

"What Parks did was courageous," he added. "What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too."

Notice how Bayne refers to those of African descent as "black people." I think most of my blog readers know about Rosa Parks, and what she stood for. To my knowledge, Rosa Parks never made a mean comment about anyone in her entire life. She's been dubbed, among other things, "The First Lady of Civil Rights." She is one of the most significant members of the civil rights movement that fought against African American oppression in the middle of the last century.

From wiki:

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps in the twentieth century, including Irene Morgan in 1946, Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, and the members of the Browder v. Gayle lawsuit (Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith) arrested months before Parks. NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws though eventually her case became bogged down in the state courts.

Parks fought for equal rights, NOT against them. As far as I know, I have never met a gay person in the world who wanted to persecute Christians or anyone else for that matter. Many gay people ARE Christians and many of the more liberal Christian churches are embracing LGBT people. Christianity is a concept/belief/faith that is NOT reserved for the most stifled and conservative in the US.

You can read more of what Ian Bayne said here.

I don't really think Ian Bayne is a stupid idiot. I think he's a cheesy, hack snak oil salseman looking for attention. I think he's using a twisted form of race baiting to get votes and to get attention by comparing Rosa Parks to Phil Robertson. And, he's a radio talk show host. Ratings are important to him, too. It doesn't take long nowadays with a simple search to put the proverbial pieces of the puzzle together.

It should be interesting to see if Bayne wins. Or where is he five years from now. One of my New Year's resolutions in 2014 is to put together a long running list of people who fought against equality for gays. We tend to forget them in time. But I like to keep lists of these things for future reference.

The photo above of Rosa Parks with President Clinton is in the public domain.

Short Hills Carjackers Arrested; More Duck Dynasty & Free Speech

(Update to Duck Dynasty Story Below)

Short Hills Carjackers Arrested

I think this has been all over the news by now, but I'm posting about it because I used to shop where this crime happened all the time, at The Mall At Short Hills, and I set my book, Fangsters, in that part of New Jersey. I'm very familiar with that part of New Jersey and I wasn't born too far from there. Short Hills is not only an affluent area, but probably the last place anyone would expect something as horrible as a carjacking/murder to happen. But a young man and his small family went to The Mall At Short Hills to shop and they were carjacked and the man was killed in front of his family.

The carjacking occurred just as Friedland and his wife, Jamie Schare Friedland, were ending a shopping trip. Mourners at Friedland's funeral on Wednesday said he had just opened the door of his SUV for his wife when he was shot.

Friedland had a law degree from Syracuse University and was project manager at his family's heating and air conditioning and heating company.

They caught the carjackers and one was arrested in Easton, PA, about twenty-five miles north of New Hope on the New Jersey border.

It's bad enough we don't feel safe in our cities anymore, now we can't feel safe in places that were always crime free.
When does it stop? When do we take back our quality of life and say enough?

You can read more here.

More Duck Dynasty & Free Speech

Phil Robertson, who was recently suspended from reality show, Duck Dynasty, for gay hate comments evidently has a history of gay hate speech and his most recent comments in GQ Magazine aren't isolated to that one particular article. A new video has surfaced with Robertson making even worse comments and more gay hate speech that leaves most normal people shaking their heads in wonder.

In the sermon, Robertson said gays and lesbians are 'full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless.'

He also said: 'Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions.'

You can see the video here, and read more. It's actually a little scary. But what's even scarier is that the ever controversial political pundit and radical Alaskan Tea Party leader, Sarah Palin, along with some important names within the Republican party like Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, have aligned themselves with Phil Robertson, defended his comments and gay hate speech as free speech, and even went so far as to twist the concept of free speech. Since then, many have been trying to disabuse Palin and Jindal with simple, solid facts.

In this article linked below, it's explained in simple terms what Sarah Palin lacks in knowledge about free speech (or failed to disclose because she doesn't think most Americans know any better). I made a brief comment in an earlier post about how free speech is always associated with responsibility, consequences, and reactions. In other words you are free to say whatever you like without government interference, but you'd also better be prepared for the consequences when people don't agree with your free speech. We have the right to do that...disagree.

As I explained, part of free speech is the ability of others to respond and to express disapproval. Part of free speech is the consequence of bad decisions that are part of any free marketplace.
You can read more here. Although I never agreed with much of what Palin stood for, I used to think she was fairly bright and even honest. I guess the truth always comes out sooner or later. This time by her own admission.

There's also an open letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal about his support for Phil Robertson and Jindal's unfortunate comments on free speech. (Side note: It's amazing how they just assume most of us don't know any better. Don't they realize we have all the information at our fingertips?)

The First Amendment to the Constitution does not guarantee the inaliable right to be on a reality-TV show.

It is meant to protect the free speech of American citizens from being silenced by an act of Congress. And A&E is a company–owned in part by other, larger, publicly traded companies. It does not in any way qualify as Congress, or “the government,” or an agent of the state.

It's a fascinating letter and I highly recommend reading it in full, especially if you don't know much about free speech.

Once again, in a world that seems to be changing daily, the Republican Party is either hiding the best of what they have, or Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin are as good as it gets in that department. And I'm far from being a political zealot on either end of the spectrum. I've never voted straight party line in my life and I've always had respect for smart Republicans and Democrats. But I think I'll pass on both Jinal and Palin after this nonsense.

Update: Ian Bayne, congressional candidate in Illinois, came out (not "as gay") in support of Phil Robertson on Friday, claiming that Robertson is the Rosa Parks of "our" generation. You can read more here.)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Golden Girl Legos; Fed Judge Utah Gay Marriage; Bob Newhart Cancels at Anti-Gay Event

Golden Girls Legos

In a way, the old sitcom The Golden Girls has become a cult classic within gay male circles, to the point where someone has come up with Golden Girls Legos.

Thanks to LEGO CUUSOO, a site that reviews and makes official versions of user-created Lego sets, one person is trying to make Brick Lady-versions of Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia. Misterr's proposed set includes the four girls gathered around the kitchen with everything one needs to recreate the sitcom. And who doesn't want to recreate their favorite GG storylines?

I once went to a small dinner party and a gay couple I didn't know well could actually recite scenes from the GG line for line. I've quoted them here on the blog once, too. I'm not sure why there's such a strong attraction, but I would bet a great deal of it has to do with camp, great lines, and vicious wit. And, the GG was one of the few TV shows in the eighties to tackled coming out of the closet, a lesbian in a long term relationship who lost her partner and grieved as if she'd been married to a man, and open discussion about how AIDS was effecting everyone at the time. There's a lot of historical and pop cultural significance to the show. Another show just like it was Designing Women.

You can read more here.

A lot of people don't know that the GG was originally written with a gay character/roommate. I think he's in the pilot episode and his name is Coco.

Fed Judge Utah Gay Marriage

Judge Robert J. Shelby declared Utah's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, basically stating it went against the 14th amendment.

He wrote this:

Shelby writes in part: 'The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason. Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.'

This is a big plus for equality. Courts typically don't get involved this way unless it's something significant. You can read more here.

Gay Marriage was just legalized in New Mexico. Two women who worked in county offices chose to resign from their positions rather than issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. You can read more about them here. 

Their names are:

Donna Carpenter and Janet Collins. I'm doing this so their names go down in history, too.

Bob Newhart Cancels Anti-Gay Event

I post about this earlier this week, here. Bob Newhart was scheduled to speak at an anti-gay Catholic event and at the time equality groups were asking him to reconsider. He's since canceled his appearance.

Comedian Bob Newhart announced Thursday online that he would not be appearing at a conference organized by a Catholic magazine that blamed the Devil for marriage equality in the state of Minnesota.

Towleroad reported that Newhart’s Twitter feed posted a statement saying, ” Bob will not be performing at the Legatus Summit in Orlando FL on February 6.”

That's all Newhart said and equality groups are speculating Newhart most likely didn't know that organization was so anti-gay. I know a lot of Catholics who wouldn't know about that, too. The Catholic religion is interesting, and in a way like the LGBT community, because only the most ridiculous and sensationalized news is ever posted about them. And most Catholics I know support gay marriage and the LGBT community. I also know a lot of gay Catholics.

You can read more here. And sometimes you have to read between the lines.