Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Sex and Stigma: Stories of Everyday Life in Nevada’s Legal Brothels”— Working the Sex Trade

Blithe, Sarah Jane, Ann Wiederhold Wolfe and Breanna Mohr. “Sex and Stigma: Stories of Everyday Life in Nevada’s Legal Brothels”. NYU Press, 2019.

Working the Sex Trade

Amos Lassen

“Sex and Stigma” is an intimate and original look at the lives of Nevada’s legal sex workers through the voices of current and former employees, brothel owners, madams, and local law enforcement  

Nevada is the only jurisdiction in the United States where prostitution is legal. Of course with that there are bound to be stories and these stories always seem to make headlines. These stories along with the stigma of being a sex worker contribute greatly to experiences of oppression and unfair labor practices for many legal prostitutes in Nevada.  Here are stories of women living and working in these “hidden” organizations to interrogate issues related to labor rights, secrecy, privacy, and discrimination in the current legal brothel system.            

We have interviews with current and former legal sex workers, brothel owners, madams, local police, and others as we examine how widespread beliefs about the immorality of selling sexual services have influenced the history and laws of legal brothel prostitution. The authors gained unique access to a difficult-to-reach population thus allowing us to read about their struggles to engage in their communities, conduct business, maintain personal relationships, and transition out of the industry. The authors also examine how these brothels operate like other kinds of legal entities, and how “individuals deal with balancing work and non-work commitments, navigate work place cultures, and handle managerial relationships.” The book is a resource on the policies guiding legal prostitution in Nevada and provides an intimate look at the lived experiences of women performing sex work.

First-person perspectives combine with feminist scholarship demystify the brothel as a workplace. Here is the groundwork for greater understanding of the everyday routines and work-life considerations of legal sex workers. We attach real faces, lives, workplace, and home issues to these women and learn a great deal from them.




“After the Protests Are Heard: Enacting Civic Engagement and Social Transformation” by Sharon D. Welch— Creating Social Change Beyond the Barricades

Welch, Sharon D. “After the Protests Are Heard: Enacting Civic Engagement and Social Transformation”, (Religion and Social Transformation), NYU Press, 2019.

Creating Social Change Beyond the Barricades

Amos Lassen

Of late, we have seen a rise in protests and social activism and I am quite sure that we all know why that is. Be it the Women’s March in D.C. to #BlackLivesMatter rallies across the country, we are showing our discontent like never before. These events have been an important part of the battle to combat racism, authoritarianism, and xenophobia in Trump’s America. Yet, the struggle for social justice continues long after the posters and megaphones are packed away. After the protests are heard, how do we continue to work toward lasting change?  Sharon Welch gives us a guide to creating long-lasting social change beyond the barricades.

This is an invaluable resource for anyone invested in the fight for social justice. We are given examples of social justice work at the institutional level and from the worlds of social enterprise, impact investing, and sustainable business, we have descriptions of the work being done to promote responsible business practices and healthy, cooperative communities. Welch illuminates how colleges and universities educate students to strive toward social justice on campuses across the country with examples such as the Engaged Scholarship movement, which fosters interactions between faculty and students and local and global communities.  In each of these instances, activists work from within institutions to transform practices and structures to foster justice and equality. We ask if there is an advantage to working from within and we are given the answer here.

Welch takes on the difficult reality that social change is often followed by increases in violence and authoritarianism. She then offers important insights into how the nation might more fully acknowledge the brutal costs of racism and the historical drivers of racial injustice, and how people of all races can stop such violence in the present and prevent it in the future. For many members of the social justice community. It becomes obvious that the real work begins when the protests end. This is a must-read for everyone interested in social justice and activism on whatever level.

The book looks to those with  institutional power and influence, helping navigate obligations and opportunities to build communities that promote equality and respect. We become aware of the nature of the challenges we confront, including the forces that try to change our identities and values. We explore the specific strategies that are available and, indeed, already being used by creative activists to bring about a better world. Everything here is “theoretically informed, and engaging antidote and response to the authoritarian turn in contemporary politics.” The strategies we have here are practical and utilitarian that will hopefully bring about the dissipation of protesting.  The stress here is on
progress and process rather than difficult goals and we are given more of a call to reason than a call to arms.

These are actionable responses to systemic injustice that makes a  case for enacting a hopeful, constructive, and inclusive feminist progressivism. We go beyond the reasons why social change is necessary right now and consider how it can be done.

“The Autobiography of Solomon Maimon: The Complete Translation” by Solomon Maimon and edited by Yitzhak Y. Melamed and Paul Reitter— An Annoyed Translation

Maimon, Solomon. “The Autobiography of Solomon Maimon: The Complete Translation”, edited by Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Abraham Sochar and Paul Reitter,  Princeton University Press, 2019.

An Annotated Translation

Amos Lassen

Solomon Maimon’s autobiography has pleased readers for more than two hundred years. Goethe, Schiller, George Eliot, Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt are known to have read it and it is considered to be one of the most crucial Jewish books of modern times. This is the first complete and annotated English edition of Maimon’s influential and delightfully entertaining memoir.

 Maimon was born into a down-on-its-luck provincial Jewish family in 1753 in Eastern Europe. He was a prodigy in learning. And even as a young child, he worried about the constraints of his Talmudic education and rabbinical training. He sought stimulation in the Hasidic community and among students of the Kabbalah and he shares rare and often very funny accounts of both. After a series of misadventures and things going wrong, Maimon got to Berlin, where he became part of the city’s Jewish Enlightenment and received and achieved the philosophical education he so desperately wanted and winning acclaim for being the “sharpest” of Kant’s critics, as Kant himself described him.

This new edition restores text that was cut from the abridged 1888 translation by J. Clark Murray, which has long been the only available English edition. Paul Reitter’s new. translation is sensitive to the subtleties of Maimon’s prose while at the same time, provides a fluid rendering that today’s readers will enjoy. The introduction by Yitzhak Melamed and the notes by Abraham Socher give valuable insights into Maimon and his extraordinary life. The book also has an afterword by Gideon Freudenthal that gives us an authoritative overview of Maimon’s contribution to modern philosophy.

Maimon describes his humble roots in a deeply impoverished rural Jewish community in Eastern Europe, his enlightenment, and then his strange and rough journey to find others as enlightened as he thought himself to be. He yearned for wisdom, Maimon oscillates between the mystical and the skeptical, with the skeptical side gaining influence as his life (and the book) progresses. He eventually arrives in Germany and surrounds himself with the urbane intellectuals he’d always hoped to join, but he never quite feels at home. He sinks into depression and drink, having chosen his career and status over a path with more heart and having left his family and roots behind.

Maimon is a joy to read even though his philosophical writings can be very abstruse. He’s neurotic, but self-aware and honest. He never loses sight of a faint glimmer of hope in spite of all his tribulations.

This is an autobiography of a troubled genius. We become aware of the differences in cultures and temperament between Jews in Poland and Jews in Germany. Life in Poland was difficult and wretched, largely due to the fact that it had a monarchy and was mostly rural.

The autobiography itself is fascinating and fast moving. The philosophical musings are necessary to fully understanding the author and as a philosopher, I appreciate their inclusion.

I found the descriptions of the early Hasidim to be extremely interesting and we see that the Hasidim followed in the steps of earlier mystics and ascetics, and it is suggested that the Hasidim met with hostility from leading rabbis because their anti-ascetism.

Maimon’s internal criticism of Transcendental Idealism paved the way for the theories of the post Kantian Idealists. He was one of the thinkers who helped with the transformation of ‘critical’ to ‘dogmatic’ idealism. This is a concise, well written autobiography that is written with wit and humor and it recounts the memorable events of his extraordinary life. Maimon was a man of exceptional intelligence and that was obvious not only to himself but also to his countrymen whose high esteem he commanded from a young age due to his excellence in the Talmudic studies to which he grew skeptical towards and set out to seek rational and scientific enlightenment in Germany.

His story from successes to misfortunes goes from the hilarious to the tragic and reveals a personality of a genius whose naivete in social relationships and insistence never to pursue anything but knowledge kept him in almost constant destitution.

Solomon Maimon was one of the most important philosophers of the Jewish Enlightenment. Both brilliant and eccentric, he set out in 1792 to write the first autobiography ever written in German by a Jew and it is a work of literary and philosophical significance.


“HORROR EXPRESS”— On a Train to Moscow

 “HORROR EXPRESS” On a Train to Moscow Amos Lassen Horror stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee act together in this story of mad monks, primitive humanoids and bloodthirsty zombies on a train bound to Moscow.  Renowned anthropologist Saxton (Lee) boards the Trans-Siberian Express with a large crate containing the frozen remains of a primitive humanoid which, he believes, may prove to be the missing link in human evolution. All hell breaks loose when the creature thaws out, turning out to be quite alive and begins killing passengers.
Directed by Eugenio Martin, “Horror Express” is  one for the most thrilling chilling horror efforts of the early 1970s. Cushing plays an acquaintance of his. Both men are aboard the train and Dr. Wells’, Cushing’s character is very interested in what Saxton has in his trunk.
The film has a great story with this mystery surrounding the as to whether it is the missing link, some sort of alien or the devil himself. It’s all eventually revealed and I liked where they went with it. The acting is excellent throughout and Lee and Cushing are both great actors. They have a great chemistry and I can see why they were paired up. There’s a sense of mutual respect and hatred all at the same time between their two characters and it’s very believable.
At the station, a thief is struck dead trying to rob the crate and his eyes turn white. After the crate is loaded in the baggage car, the curious Wells bribes the baggage man to drill a hole in the crate to see what the fossil looks like. But the monster thaws out and when his eyes turn red in the dark he kills the baggage man by intently staring at him and escapes on the train. The dead man’s eyes also turn white, as we further learn the monster drains his brain and absorbs all his knowledge. This is just the beginning.
The train journey will have many more victims and this  results in a power-hungry Cossack, Captain Kazan (Telly Savalas), boarding the train with his soldiers to investigate the murders and bullying everyone aboard, especially the weird acting Russian police Inspector Mirov (Julio Pea) and the even weirder acting crazed monk Father Pujardov (Alberto de Mendoza). Since the monster was killed by the police inspector, the Cossack hunts down the party who became possessed by the alien creature and is carrying on the murder spree.
The film is pure entertainment and speedily paced as well. The new pristine blu ray transfer is a real treat. Colors are vivid and framing also looks accurate throughout. SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS   Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements   High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation   Original Uncompressed mono audio   Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing   Brand new audio commentary with Stephen Jones and Kim Newman   Introduction to the film by film journalist and Horror Express super-fan Chris Alexander   Murder on the Trans-Siberian Express an interview with director Eugenio Martin   Notes from the Blacklist Horror Express producer Bernard Gordon on working in Hollywood during the McCarthy Era   Telly and Me an interview with composer John Cacavas   Original Theatrical Trailer   Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys   FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully-illustrated collector s booklet with new writing by Adam Scovell

“Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design” by Bess Williamson— A Look at Designing for the Disabled

Williamson, Bess. “Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design”, NYU Press, 2019. A Look at Designing for the Disabled Amos Lassen I feel certain that I can say that most of us do not think about designs for the disabled if it does not affect us directly. Do we even know why the blue button for automatic doors is there and used curb cuts while out walking. These are what is known as accessible design and is meant for those with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. It was not always this way. Disability advocates fought tirelessly to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities became a standard part of public design thinking. This was a fight that took many different forms globally, but in the United States it became a civil rights issue and activists used design to make an argument about the place of people with disabilities in public life. After World War II, injured veterans returned home and the polio epidemic  was raging. The needs of people with disabilities came forcibly into the public eye as they never had before. The U.S. became the first country to enact federal accessibility laws, beginning with the Architectural Barriers Act in 1968 and continuing through the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, bringing about a wholesale rethinking of our built environment. This progression wasn’t straightforward or was it easily achieved. Early legislation and design efforts were often haphazard or poorly implemented, with decidedly mixed results. There was strong political resistance to accommodating the needs of people with disabilities and there was resistance among architectural and industrial designers, for whom accessible design wasn’t “real” design. Writer Bess Williamson gives us an extraordinary look at everyday design, uniting accessibility with aesthetic, to provide an insight into a world in which we are all active participants, but often passive onlookers. With stories of politics and innovation, we go through this important history, showing how American ideas of individualism and rights came to shape the material world and often did so with unexpected consequences. This is an incredibly informative history of accessibility design in the United States that begins around World War II and ends in modern times. The book is largely focused on those who are either paralyzed or missing limbs. Whether this is because disability discourse did not include other disabilities or whether Williamson herself chose to only focus on this subset of disabilities is not really explained. Williams looks into the evolving changes in society in regards to how we view and interact with the disabled. We have a balanced and informative look at the changing attitudes towards disability in the United States over the decades and we become very aware of the amount of research went into the book. Many of the facts that Williamson shares are truly fascinating, resources. While this can certainly be an academic text for research or design courses, it is also  an excellent resource for both research and teaching as well as for lay readers in the field. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because for the last tree hears I have been involved in a program of making synagogues and temples accessible for people with disabilities. I found the book to be extremely relevant and useful.

“The Secular Enlightenment” by Margaret Jacob— A New Look

Jacob, Margaret. “The Secular Enlightenment”, Princeton University Press, 2019. A New Look Amos Lassen Margaret Jacob’s “The Secular Enlightenment” is a major new history of how the Enlightenment transformed people’s everyday lives. We look at the radical ways that life changed for the ordinary person as the philosophies of historic figures such as Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau took hold. We hear from voices that have been largely unheard until now and these include  freethinkers and freemasons, French materialists, anticlerical Catholics, pantheists, pornographers, readers, and travelers. The new secular outlook “was not a wholesale rejection of Christianity but rather a new mental space in which to encounter the world on its own terms.” We go to London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Turin, and Naples to read rare archival materials that show how ideas central to the emergence of secular democracy touched all facets of daily life. What was once considered sin becomes seen through the eyes of the social sciences which now appeared on the scene. It seems that now people went to church to admire the architecture rather than to pray and God took a back seat to reading a newspaper or an erotic book on Sunday mornings. The secular-minded looked for their own temporal and commercial well-being without concern for an afterlife and considered their personal  successes as the rewards for their actions. Their failures were seen as the result of blind economic forces. In “The Secular Enlightenment” we clearly see how secular values and pursuits took hold of eighteenth-century Europe and spilled into the American colonies, leaving a lasting imprint on the Western world for generations to come. Writer Jacob has done fantastic research to bring us this new understanding. Basically she is concerned with the social history of the Enlightenment and how it was experienced by everyone and not just by its luminaries.

2018 National Jewish Book Award Winners and Finalists

2018 National Jewish Book Award Winners and Finalists *Those marked with an asterisk have been reviewed here at

Jewish Book of the Year
Everett Family Foundation Award *Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Beate and Serge Klarsfeld
Beate and Serge Klarsfeld; Translated from the French by Sam Taylor
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Carolyn Starman Hessel Mentorship Award Susan Shapiro Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writing professor who has worked with more than 25,000 students throughout her career, freelances for Tablet, the Forward, the NY Times, NY Magazine, WSJ, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Elle & She’s the bestselling author/coauthor of 12 books her family hates including Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Lighting Up, Unhooked, The Bosnia List & the new inspiring writing guide The Byline Bible. She and her husband, a scriptwriter, live in Greenwich Village, where she teaches her popular “instant gratification takes too long” classes at The New School, NYU and in private workshops & seminars. American Jewish Studies
Celebrate 350 Award Winner: *The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice Their Religion Today
Jack Wertheimer
Princeton University Press Finalists: On Middle Ground: A History of the Jews of Baltimore
Eric L. Goldstein and Deborah R. Weiner
Johns Hopkins University Press Pennies for Heaven: The History of American Synagogues and Money
Daniel Judson
Brandeis University Press Beyond Chrismukkah: The Christian-Jewish Interfaith Family in the United States
Samira K. Mehta
University of North Carolina Press Autobiography and Memoir
The Krauss Family Award in Memory of Simon & Shulamith (Sofi) Goldberg Winner: *My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace
Ehud Barak
St. Martin’s Press Finalists: Sara Berman’s Closet
Maira and Alex Kalman
HarperCollins Publishers *The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America
Mohammed Al Samawi
HarperCollins Publishers Biography
In Memory of Sara Berenson Stone Winner: *Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom
Ariel Burger
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Finalists: *Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death
Lillian Faderman
Yale University Press *The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth
Ken Krimstein
Bloomsbury *The Woman Who Fought an Empire: Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring
Gregory J. Wallance
Potomac Books Book Club Award
The Miller Family Award in Memory of Helen Dunn Weinstein and June Keit Miller Winner: *The Girl from Berlin
Ronald H. Balson
St. Martin’s Press Finalists: *Promised Land
Martin Fletcher
St. Martin’s Press *Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor
Yossi Klein Halevi
HarperCollins Publishers Children’s Literature Winner: All Three Stooges
Erica S. Perl
Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books Finalist: Sweep
Jonathan Auxier
Abrams Books *All-Of-A-Kind Family Hanukkah
Emily Jenkins; Paul O. Zelinsky, illus.
Penguin Random House Children’s Books Regina Persisted: An Untold Story
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Margeaux Lucas, illus.
Behrman House Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice
Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award Winner: The Going: A Meditation on Jewish Law
Leon Wiener Dow
Palgrave Macmillan Finalists: Recharging Judaism: How Civic Engagement is Good for Synagogues, Jews, and America
Rabbi Judith Schindler and Judy Seldin-Cohen
CCAR Press The Case of the Sexy Jewess: Dance, Gender and Jewish Joke-work in US Pop Culture
Hannah Schwadron
Oxford University Press Debut Fiction
Goldberg Prize Winner: The Book of Dirt
Bram Presser
Text Publishing Finalists: I, Sarah Steinway
Mary E. Carter
Tovah Miriam The Dream Stitcher
Deborah Gaal
Anchor House Publishing Ariel Samson: Freelance Rabbi
Multikosheral Press NYC *Sadness is a White Bird
Moriel Rothman-Zecher
Atria Books (Simon and Schuster) Education and Jewish Identity
In Memory of Dorothy Kripke
 Winner: *The Talmud: A Biography
Barry Scott Wimpfheimer
Princeton University Press Finalist: *Mavericks, Mystics & False Messiahs: Episodes from the Margins of Jewish History
Pini Dunner
Toby Press *The Talmud of Relationships, Volume 1 & 2
Rabbi Amy Scheinerman
The Jewish Publication Society *In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism
Scott A. Shay
Post Hill Press Fiction
JJ Greenberg Memorial Award Winner: *The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
Michael David Lukas
Spiegel & Grau Finalists: The Mandela Plot
Kenneth Bonert
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Mother India: A Novel
Tova Reich
Syracuse University Press Lake Success
Gary Shteyngart
Penguin Random House History
Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award Winner: *Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations
Ronen Bergman
Random House Finalist: *In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea
Michael Brenner
Princeton University Press Italy’s Jews from Emancipation to Fascism
Shira Klein
Cambridge University Press *Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History
Steven J. Zipperstein
Liveright/W. W. Norton & Company Holocaust
In Memory of Ernest W. Michel Winner: Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz
Omer Bartov
Simon and Schuster Modern Jewish Thought and Experience
Dorot Foundation Award in Memory of Joy Ungerleider Mayerson Winner: *Does Judaism Condone Violence? Holiness and Ethics in the Jewish Tradition
Alan L. Mittleman
Princeton University Press Finalists: Martin Buber’s Theopolitics
Samuel Hayim Brody
Indiana University Press *Dear Zealots
Amos Oz
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt *A Rich Brew: How Cafes Created Modern Jewish Culture
Shachar M. Pinsker
New York University Press Poetry
Berru Award in Memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash Winner: Holy Moly Carry Me
Erika Meitner
BOA Editions, Ltd. Finalists: Years I Walked at Your Side: Selected Poems
Mordechai Geldman; Tsipi Keller, trans.
SUNY Press Fruit Geode
Alicia Jo Rabins
Augury Books Scholarship
Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award Winner: Historical Atlas of Hasidism
Marcin Wodziński
Cartography by Waldemar Spallek
Princeton University Press Finalists: Time in the Babylonian Talmud: Natural and Imaged Times in Jewish Law and Narrative
Lynn Kaye
Cambridge University Press Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature
Vered Noam
Oxford University Press Hasidic Commentary on the Torah
Ora Wiskind–Elper
Littman Library of Jewish Civilization Sephardic Culture
Mimi S. Frank Award in Memory of Becky Levy Winner: Dominion Built of Praise: Panegyric and Legitimacy Among Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean
Jonathan Decter
University of Pennsylvania Press Finalist: The Holocaust and North Africa
Aomar Boum and Sarah Abrevaya Stein
Stanford University Press Women’s Studies
Barbara Dobkin Award Winner: *er a Native
Alice Shalvi
Halban Publishers Finalists: The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought
Mara H. Benjamin
Indiana University Press Braided: A Journey of A Thousand Challahs
Beth Ricanati
She Writes Press Writing Based on Archival Material
The JDC-Herbert Katzki Award Winner: Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe
Rebecca Erbelding
Penguin Random House – Doubleday Finalist: Italy’s Jews from Emancipation to Fascism
Shira Klein
Cambridge University Press Additional Jewish Book Council Honors: Paper Brigade for New Israeli Fiction
In Honor of Jane Weitzman Winner: Our Lady of Kazan
Maya Arad An excerpt from the winning selection has been translated into English by Jessica Cohen and appears in the 2019 edition of Paper Brigade.

“THE DICK CAVETT SHOW: Inside The Minds Of: Vol. 2”— George Carlin, Martin Mull and Steve Martin

“THE DICK CAVETT SHOW: Inside The Minds Of: Vol. 2” George Carlin, Martin Mull and Steve Martin Amos Lassen
Since 1968 Dick Cavett has been host of his own talk show, in a variety of formats and on a number of television and radio formats. These episodes were taken from shows that aired between 1990 through 1995 and feature some of the insightful, thought provoking and satirical brilliance of George Carlin, Martin Mull and Steve Martin. Cavett has also gathered 7 Emmy nominations and 2 wins. Comedians appearing are: George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) one of the most influential and revered comedians of his era. Lauded by Rolling Stone as second on their 50 best stand-up comics of all time. While Carlin appeared 5 times on The Dick Cavett Show, 3 were as a part of panels and we’ve chosen to use the two ‘one-on-one’ shows he did with Cavett on June 5, 1990 and December 1, 1992. Martin Eugene Mull (August 18, 1943) is a multi-talented comedian, actor, singer and artist but got his start in show business in 1970 after writing A Girl Named Johnny Cash for country star Jane Morgan. If you remember Garth and Barth Gimble, then you remember Mull’s first major acting role. He started as Garth Gimble on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (produced by Norman Lear) which led to the spin off, Fernwood Tonight, where he played Garth’s identical twin Barth, with sidekick Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard). Mull sat down with Cavett on June 4, 1995 during the time he was appearing on Roseanne and just before starting work on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Stephen Glenn Martin (August 14, 1945) is a multi-talented individual, excelling at comedy, acting, producer, musician (piano and banjo, winning two Grammys for his prowess on the banjo) and playwright. Not a joke teller, per se, Martin’s act was more absurdist and off beat…(who can forget the arrow through the head routine? Or ‘excuse me’?) Steve Martin appeared just this one time on Cavett on December 17, 1992, after completion of 3 films in 1991 and 2 more in 1992.

First Global LGBTQ Streaming Network Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign on SeedInvest

First Global LGBTQ Streaming Network Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign on SeedInvest January 3, 2018 – First global LGBTQ+ streaming network, Revry, makes investing in the queer community a family affair by launching an equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest ( Revry’s streaming network brings the queer experience to the world through its diverse mix of films, series, music, podcasts and originals. Revry is committed to inclusion and creating a space for all voices in the LGBTQ+ community to be seen and heard.
“SeedInvest is excited to be working with such a diverse, passionate team of founders who are creating something meaningful for a historically marginalized community,” says SeedInvest’s Alexandra Tynion. “Not only that, but partnering with SeedInvest gives the company the unique opportunity to give its users and loyal brand advocates the ability to become investors while it’s still a private company. This means early investors can support and be a part of the company’s growth for the long run.”
“We started Revry because we saw the need for truly authentic entertainment made for the ever-growing queer community as it is: diverse, outrageous, groundbreaking, and global,” shares Revry CEO Damian Pelliccione. “In the past, TV channels and VOD services that claimed to represent queer people tended to water down our community, often only focusing on gay white males and superficial stories. Given the size of the LGBTQ+ market ($917 billion in the US and $3.7 trillion worldwide), luckily the new digital age of TV has created an opportunity to disrupt the old TV model and to introduce new upstart voices into the mix to redefine niche TV for a new generation.”
Revry aims to be the new voice of queer entertainment. More than just TV and film, Revry is breaking the mold by showcasing LGBTQ+ music artists, short films, digital series, and boasting one of the largest queer podcast networks in the world. More than a simple content platform for a niche audience, Revry is a community – a lifestyle brand, with a mission not just to distribute LGBTQ-themed content, but share genuine queer culture with the world. To that end, Revry is currently available via 7 native apps, 3 linear channels (Pluto TV, XUMO, and Zapping TV), expanding into over 100+ countries, with a reach of 35 million, closing hundreds of content contracts totaling over 4000 hours, and streaming over 21 million minutes to its global audience.
Revry’s target audiences are those who identify as LGBTQ+ and are primarily millennial and generation Z (between the ages of 18-35). Currently, 50% of Revry’s core audiences are located in the U.S. with the other 50% spread out across the world with their highest international traffic coming from the markets of Brazil, India, and China.
Since its launch, Revry’s unique mission, diverse team of founders, and innovative approach to distribution have been covered by major media outlets including WIRED Magazine, MacWorld, and The Hollywood Reporter. This year, Tubefilter stated “Revry is making its mark in the niche SVOD world” and Instinct Magazine has written that Revry is “dedicated to showcasing the best entertainment spanning the breadth of the entire queer experience.”
Revry has continually paved the way as a leader, not only in the LGBTQ+ space but in the ever-changing mainstream streaming world. One of the first networks to stage an exclusive release of an original series through the new Instagram-powered IGTV app, Revry was featured by TheWrap only last month. Additionally, Revry’s high profile collaborations with industry heavy-weights like Funny or Die, with whom Revry co-produced an Emmy nominated series GAY OF THRONES, have garnered the company significant mainstream attention. Revry continues to make impressive collaborations including having recently entering a 2-year deal with the LGBTQ suicide prevention not-for-profit, The Trevor Project, to be their Official Streaming Network and exclusive live streaming partner for their star-studded award show, TrevorLIVE, that just honored industry legend Ryan Murphy amongst others.
Dedicated to their global LGBTQ+ community, Revry saw crowdfunding with SeedInvest as an opportunity to not only engage but allow the LGBTQ+ community to be invested in themselves.
About SeedInvest
SeedInvest is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that provides individual investors with access to pre-vetted startup investment opportunities and has only accepted 1% of those companies to feature on the platform. For more information, visit About Revry
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“Oranges” by Gary Elder Peter— A Collection of Stories

Peter, Gary Elder. “Oranges”, New Rivers Press, 2019. A Collection of Stories Amos Lassen Gary Eldon Peter’s “Oranges” is a book of great yet quiet strength. I found myself touched by every sentence and that I got taken in immediately by Michael Dolin, a gay man whose life and loves are shaped by the AIDS crisis, Midwestern social strictures and expectations for men.  I am not much of a short story reader so I was surprised at how quickly I fell in love with the stories here but then these stories were written with great compassion, nerve and bite. Each story stands on its own but is connected to all of the other stories. We do not want to be reminded of what the AIDS epidemic did to us but it is necessary to never allow ourselves to forget and as I read the story “Oranges”, I was thrown back to that terrible decade when we all lost so many friends, lovers, and family to AIDS. But at the same time, I thought about how much progress we have made and how far we still have to go. I became so involved in the stories that I did not want to close the covers of the book. I believe that what makes this book such a fascinating red it due to the fact that Gary Eldon Peter set his stories into the broader context of what’s happening today in our world. This is Peter’s debut book and I must commend him not only on his usage of the English language but for the brilliance of his plots. In nine short stories, We get a look at what it means to come of age and grow older Michael Dolin, a civil lawyer who grew up closeted in Mason City, Iowa, before finding self-respect in Minneapolis as an adult. The stories are about Michael’s and our lifelong journey toward inner peace with care and compassion. In “Blankets,” the story that  opens the collection introduces us to Michael at a time he is at his most vulnerable. He was recent college graduate and struggling to balance his attempts to study for the LSAT with the demands of his job at a local hospital, where he watches over acutely depressed patients and his own dreams of finding stability. He had just moved into the home of his partner, Kevin, who was living with HIV in the eighties. The intimate moments the two men share at their kitchen table are among the most memorable writing I have read lately. The other stories focus on Michael’s adolescent years or how he is dealing with his mid-life. We read of his coming to terms with his sexuality and all of the confusion and turmoil that goes along with it. The final story, “Wedding” is uplifting as it explores Michael’s relationship with his new partner Stephen as the couple prepares for and attends the wedding of his nephew Jason. For much of the story, Michael worries that his sister Susan, Jason’s mother, will react negatively to his male partner’s appearance at her son’s wedding, but his worrying amounts to very little. Susan knows how lonely Michael has been since Kevin’s death, and deals with the unfamiliar experience as best as she can, even if she doesn’t quite welcome Stephen into the family with open arms.  Peter’s writing is at its best is when he’s writing about the nuances of Michael’s close relationships. There are no real conflicts here and the endings are generally forward looking and hopeful, even when in the face of great loss. Over and over again, Michael finds himself in the difficult position of having to help comfort his loved ones as they approach death, but we do not share the frustration he feels but only because we do not know about it. I love the way that Peter captures the quietude of life in the Midwest. His  stories are depictions of an endless longing for human connection against the backdrop of a peaceful landscape.