Monthly Archives: September 2013

“Growing Up Golem: How I Survived My Mother, Brooklyn, and Some Really Bad Dates” by Donna Minkowitz— A Memoir

growing up golemMinkowitz, Donna. “Growing Up Golem: Learning to Survive My Mother, Brooklyn, and Some Really Bad Dates”, Magnus Books, 2013.

A Memoir

Amos Lassen

(Written with thanks to “Tablet” magazine and to Don Weise for sending me a copy of the book).

A golem is a magical clay servant that is part of Jewish legend and folklore and this is what Donna Minkowitz says that her mother created her as. (Have patience and you will understand it all, I hope). The golem of Prague was a magical whatever and Donna’s mother told her that she could do Jewish magic just like the golem and, of course, Donna believed her. I remember once, about two years ago, receiving an email from Donna when I was trying to organize a Jewish LGBT writers’ organization that has still not happened and I knew then that I had to have her as a friend and even though we have never met, I feel like I know her after reading her writings and this memoir.

Donna became a queer activist and a reporter for the Village Voice and although golems do not have human feelings, she does. I love that she has reached back into Jewish history to write this memoir and I especially like the golem idea. I found it amazing that she published this just as I began teaching a course on the golem and its relationship to Judaism.

Many Jewish mothers are domineering and we certainly see this here and the idea that her mother did not just give birth; she created her, is a novel and clever approach. Donna grew into a “radical, take-no-prisoners lesbian journalist”. She tells us about her family, describing it as “eccentric” and she feels the compulsion to do what others want. The results are usually very funny and often horrible.

Donna Minkowitz is one of three sisters growing up in a Brooklyn working-class, secular and intellectual family. (Do you remember when we actually used the term “working-class family”?) In her memoir she takes us through her childhood and career as a writer as well as through more personal aspects of her life including her romances and her bout with an illness that cost her the loss of her journalist career. Her mother told her early on that she has magical powers from the Kaballah and that she was her mother’s personal golem and that is why she is here.

Donna describes herself as “fey, impish, effeminate, will o’ the wisp; mercurial, multifarious—counterfeit in my very being, like a photocopy of a human”. There is, in her words, a sense of “twoness” in her and that she is really half a person. She further says that she has never felt being a “real person” and unable to taken apart and/or beguiled. She relates that Purim, the holiday that Jews celebrate about a catastrophe that eventually brought freedom to the Jews of Persia, was her favorite—a holiday about “tragedy and trauma” about a time when the Jews were to be eradicated. On Purim we dress in costumes of the heroes of the time but Donna and her mother decided, when she was just 6 years old, to dress as Haman, the arch villain and she loved the idea about dressing as someone who personified evil. She knew what Haman represented to Jews yet she agreed to dress like he did. Her mother labored over the costume and she realized that she was wearing it to please her mother more than herself and in it she transgressed gender and brought attention to herself as a villain. She knew that she was little more than a creature of her mother’s creation and in this costume, she hated it.

As for her father, she felt she had been brought into this world as not much more than athletic equipment; the “birdie in his games of badminton, the pins and ball (and sometimes the alley and the next lane) in his games of bowling, the puck (yes, my reader, the Puck, the two have always been connected) in his games of field hockey, the ball and clubs and beret in his games of golf” and so on.

Both parents were sensitive but there were obvious differences between mother and father with the father being the punch line of many of her jokes. Father and daughter did not really get along and Donna says that he never did act like a father to her.

I recently read that Minkowitz has been writing this book for eight years and as we read we see her love for the written word. It is the passion of language and the love of life that we feel here as she writes. We also are aware of the love she has for her mother and her sisters even though her mother was controlling. As we read, we see Minkowitz struggling to maintain control over her life and even when she comes out publicly as a lesbian journalist, she remains true to herself. However, she does admit to do what others want her to do and the results range from the horrible to the humorous. Things changed for her when she was almost helpless due to an arm injury that slowed her down almost to helplessness. She was unable to do much but knew she had to resume working and stay true to what she believed.

As I said earlier, I heard from Donna at the very beginnings of my attempts to bring Jewish LGBT writers together and it is still my dream. I assumed she was comfortable with her religion so I was surprised to learn that she feels that what shocked her the most about writing this new book is just how Jewish the book is. Now as a semi-observant Jew, I find that Judaism totally permeates my being and as much as one wants to divorce him/herself from it, it is just not easy. Judaism is not just a religion; it is also a way of life and one can run from it but cannot hide. For so many of us, being Jewish is a major part of who we are. Minkowitz admits to being a nonobservant Jew who goes to the Passover Seder when invited and who sometimes wishes she was more involved in Judaism. As a writer, she says that she is more of a lesbian than a Jew and this is an unnecessary division. In fact here it is no division at all when we read her memoir and see just how “Jewish it is”. She has also said that she has experienced much more homophobia than anti-Semitism and of course we know that the two do not go hand in hand unless someone lives, as I did, in Arkansas.

Here Minkowitz remembers as so many of us remember—we are our parent’s children and in many cases first or second generation Americans. Our parents (or their parents) came to America to avoid the raging tide of anti-Semitism in Europe and many grew up being afraid of who they were (similar to the way gay people felt in this country for a long time). It is our parents and their parents who instilled religion in us and for me, at least, I was never allowed to forget that I am a Jew (and I suspect that is true for Donna as well). I can still remember being told to always have a suitcase ready because we never would know when there would be a knock on the door. For me, Hurricane Katrina was the personification of that even though there were no anti-Semitic overtones to it. I suppose what I am trying to say is that we are Jews whether we observe our religion or not and there is something that always reminds us of that. When we least expect it to happen, we suddenly remember who we are. In Donna Minkowitz’s case, her parents were intellectual Jews and her mother had been educated about Jewish mysticism and the Kaballah and she passed that on to her daughter. Parents who came to this country from somewhere else wanted their children to be raised with a set of Jewish values and a sense of Jewish identity that comes forward even when sublimated. Therefore the “Jewishness” of this memoir did not really surprise me. We hear that the stories that she remembers best are those from the Hebrew Bible (which, by and large, are just stories with little truth to them). Bible stories are tough and the characters that we read about are members of dysfunctional families in every sense. So Donna Minkowitz tells us that her formal high education was in the realms of deconstructive literary criticism and the British literary tradition which is basically Christian so it is no surprise that she wonders how her book came to be so Jewish. (Interesting enough that those were also my fields of study).

To say that I love this book is an understatement. It is going to have a special place in my library and I will refer to it often. Those of you who know me also know that I spend a lot of time working in and around the Jewish LGBT community and this book has some of the answers to questions than many ask. I am so glad that it has been published and that it is written in such style and grace.

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“A Little Night Murder” by Joanne Soper-Cook— Love or Revenge

a little night murder

Soper-Cook, Joanne. “A Little Night Murder”, Dreamspinner Press, 2013.

Love or Revenge

Amos Lassen

Joanne Soper-Cook is one of those writers you do not hear much about. It could be because she lives in Nova Scotia. We should be hearing more about her because she is an excellent writer and always has new ideas to present. I have read and reviewed several of her books and I am always pleased. “A Little Night Murder” is set in 1942, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The war was still raging. Frank Boyle, an insurance investigator from the Bronx with a secret male lover, Nicky Brooks who happens to be the local mob boss. Brooks accidentally shot and killed Frank’s younger brother in a mob shootout and now Frank has a very hard decision to make—is his love for Nicky stronger that how he feels about his brother’s death and should he seek revenge?

Frank also has a secret admirer—police detective Sam Lipinski who has lusted after him for a while. When Sam makes a move against the mob, he winds up in the middle of Nicky’s plans. He goes to help Frank get out of New York City and stay safe by moving him elsewhere but once there an insurance investigation places him in danger once again. What happens between Sam and Frank and Frank and Nicky is just one reason to read this. It is well written and the characters are well drawn. It is also a book that will keep you on the edge of your chair as you keep turning pages as quickly as you can.

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“SEXUAL TENSION: VIOLETAS”— Attraction and Desire

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Sexual Tension: Violetas” (“Tensión sexual, Volumen 2: Violetas”)

Attraction and Desire

Amos Lassen

Marco Berger returns with another series of short films in his sexual tensions series but this time he deals with women and again works with Marcelo Monaco. These are all about seduction. We see six shorts about women in different stages of both bonding, coming together and vulnerability and it is as if we are voyeurs watching both the taboo and sensational aspects of women connecting and uniting for sexual pleasure. Each story is different and very sexy. They are all from Argentina and we witness the heat that has always personified the Latina woman.

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We go to a youth hostel where a butch woman ends up after missing her train and must find a place to spend the night. Another woman who is quite the flirt agrees to share her room and together they pass a passionate night together. Then there are two friends who have known each other for years cross a line they had never before considered. Another film is about female escorts who get to know each other sexually after spending the night with a male client. In yet another film, a shop assistant helps a woman who cannot decide which dress to buy. Girls begin to share passion while on a picnic. In another film, some women discover mutual attraction while discussing movies over lunch in a restaurant. We find ourselves in a world where men offer no competition and women call the shots. Finally there is the woman who lusts after her neighbor.

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What I really love is the way tension is built in each of the films and we are never really sure if what we see actually ever happened or is simply fantasy and imagination. If I were too try to compare how these films are like their male counterparts in the other collection of the series, I would have to say that does so wonderfully. There is very little dialogue and the emphasis is on the action. There is a coyness that we see here at times and there is great passion that we see at other times. From embraces to actual sexual coupling, these shorts display the passion between women and sensuality is the key. We find ourselves being taken through the different stages of sexual tension and these films are dramatic and erotic, humorous and romantic. I highly recommend your having a look.

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“ASSAULTED: CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER FIRE”— A Look at Our Second Amendment

assaulted

Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire

A Look at Our Second Amendment

Amos Lassen

The citizens of the United States are granted the right and the ability to defend themselves against tyranny and corruption by the second amendment to our constitution. Today there are those who feel that this is no longer necessary and the idea that a corrupt and tyrannical government could rise up in this country seems a bit far-fetched. We just have to look back at our history to see that this is not true. After all, we never thought that there would ever be a terrorist attack in this country either. Long before gun control was considered to be a “common sense” measure to deal with violence; it was used as a way to keep tabs on and to oppress certain minority groups. Today it is the wealthy who are in favor of gun control and they use their connection to the Second Amendment as leverage while those less fortunate struggle with the issue. This film gives us a look at that amendment and causes us to rethink the issue of gun control and the effect it has on the civil right and liberty of this country. The film takes us to the center of the controversy; a controversy that has divided this country. The documentary is narrated by Ice-T and it is a critical look at this country’s current gun laws and the movement to restrict the rights guaranteed by our Second Amendment.

The most striking thing about this film is how it examines the roots of the Second Amendment and the reasons as to why we even have it. We have not had the chance to be given a lot of information about it. Here we see the amendment in several different contexts— the civil rights movement, violence prevention, a detailed (rather than broad) look at statistics of gun violence, and the number of intriguing profiles of gun owners.

The film uses testimonies from a diverse group of people—PhDs, community activists, the leader of a pro-gun LGBT group known as “The Pink Pistols” and so on and the narrative that we get is both a lesson in history and an opinionated collection of editorials. We hear that legal gun ownership in this country dates back to the 17th century and that laws that were passed after the Civil War regulating those who could own guns were designed for the purpose of making sure that ex-slaves would not have guns that could be used for retaliation. We then learn that the only threat of retaliation kept the Ku Klux Klan from attacking Southern Black communities during the civil rights movement of the 50s an 60s.

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The film further goes on to say that those carrying guns may be the last defense in times when civilization breaks down. We are again made aware of the Deacons for Defense of the Civil Rights movement, the abandonment of Koreatown during the Rodney King riots and the action taken by public officials after Hurricane Katrina (which I remember all too well because I was there). What we see is all forms of tyranny. The films introduces many who speak to the topic eloquently. These include:

Ted Nugent – Rock Star and Second Amendment Advocate

Chris Cheng – Professional Marksman & Winner, “Top Shot” Season Four

Dan Gross – President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Bobbie Ross – Civil Rights Lawyer & Chair, American Bar Association’s 2nd Amendment Committee

Alan Gottlieb – Founder, Second Amendment Foundation

Eugene Volokh – Professor UCLA School of Law & Blogger, “The Volokh Conspiracy”

Adam Winkler – Professor UCLA School of Law & Author, “Gun Fight”

David Kopel – Research Director, Independence Institute

Margot Bennett – Executive Director, Women Against Gun Violence

Alan Gura, Esq. – Civil Rights Lawyer Attorney, Lead Counsel for Heller (District of Columbia v. Heller)

Gene Hoffman – Founder, CalGuns Foundation

Thomas Boyer – Chairman, Pink Pistols, LGBTQ Gun Rights Organization.

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“Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes” by Kamal Al-Solaylee— A Memoir and a History

intolerable

Al-Solaylee, Kamal. “Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes”, HarperCollins Canada, 2013.

A Memoir and a History

Amos Lassen

Every memoir is a history to a degree but it usually the writer’s own personal history. Here we get not just Kamal Al-Solaylee personal history but the history of Yemen, his country as well. The Yemenites are not widely known about but I did have the opportunity and pleasure of knowing many and am proud to count them among my friends. When I lived in Israel, there were many immigrants from Yemen who came during Operation Silver Eagle when many Jews were airlifted out of their country and brought to us. Back then it was a trying time for them and for the nation of Israel. Yemen was still quite primitive and they came to Israel believing that they were coming to the Promised Land but then discovered that the promises were still unfulfilled. Now the reason I am saying this is that most Americans have no idea about living primitively and we should be reminded that even today, the country of Yemen is quite primitive compared to the way we live here. Therefore it is important to set up the background; we must remember that not everyone in the world lives as we do.

Kamal was born in 1964 to parents who were Anglophiles and quite prosperous. Because of the anti-colonial movement of the 1960s they went to Lebanon, to Beirut and then on to Cairo, Egypt where they were able to live in the style of the West. Kamal grew up in Egypt but with the values of Western Culture. Even with the primitivism of their home country, Kamal’s family decided to return in 1983 and because Islam in Yemen had become quite radical, they were forced to adjust to a society that was extremist. Kamal knew he was gay by then. His brother was a fundamentalist Muslim and his religious doctrine was difficult for the family, especially Kamal who found it to be oppressive. But if the family was to survive, it had to conform to the orthodoxy of the country. It is also natural to ask why they stayed but then Yemen was the motherland. To be a liberal Muslim Yemenite was to be marginalized and to be gay was disastrous. It was impossible to be open in Yemen and it was a necessity to choose between what was considered “normal” and what was secure and safe.

This is the story of a young boy growing up in a Muslim family in Yemen, Egypt, and Lebanon but it is also the story of the economic, religious, and political upheavals of the region during the past fifty years. Kamal was fascinated by the West and this was in opposition to others in his family. He was aware of his same-sex feelings early on and he struggled to free himself from the fundamentalism of hi religion and of how he was raised. He wanted to build a life for himself in a different part of the world where he could be who he and be able reach his intellectual and emotional aspirations. It is his monologue with himself that is so moving in this book. He struggles to understand who he is and how the both he and the world are changing. He has few options to escape his life but he manages to do so and he is able to make peace with his family and his culture.

Kamal seemingly does not stop reflecting on the choices he has made and the psychological and ethical repercussions he has had to deal with. He loves the life he has been able to have but he is constantly reminded that this displacement (he moves to Toronto) has caused him suffering and separation from his family. He shares with us that his family has had to live in a place where the quality of life has been deteriorating because of the political upheavals in the Muslim world. He is also aware of his existential insecurity which comes with his nationality. He just cannot come to total peace with his feelings about Muslim/Arab culture.

I am sure that this was a difficult book to write—it is certainly not east for one to write from the heart and bare hi soul to strangers especially now with the way Muslims are regarded in the West. However, had he not come to the West, he would have been condemned to a frustrating life of secrecy and deception. The memoir not only describes a personal journey but portrays the “insidious and pervasive” nature of creeping Islamism, the suppression of individualism in favor of religious control over all aspects of life. We certainly must remain aware of this.

In looking at Kamal’s family, we see that he was loved by everyone except by his brother who showed him the most powerful disdain and which was very difficult to live with. His family did not reject him and Kamal, I believe, really wanted to be loved by them. He had to weigh that carefully against his self-exile.

Kamal’s life was one of choices from the very beginning. I do not think that any of us who have been raised in the West in a democratic society can even begin to imagine what he had to deal with. Yes, it is similar but we are not condemned to death because of our sexuality. It is difficult for anyone to accept that he is different but even when our society was not so accepting as it is today, it was never like that of the Muslim world. I personally saw too often what happened to Palestinian gay males who were forced to leave home and tried to find a place in Israel. They left the closet of Palestine to enter the Palestinian closet of Israel.

Reading this makes us realize just how lucky we are here. Kamal had to make great sacrifices to be who he is. Today he is a journalism professor in Toronto and we hope that his life will be full. While his story is certainly not unique, Kamal chose it share it with us which makes it very special.

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“UNDRESSING ISRAEL: GAY MEN IN THE PROMISED LAND”— The New Gay Capitol

Undressing-Israel-doc-by-Michael-Lucas

Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land”

The New Gay Capitol

Amos Lassen

I must begin this review with a disclaimer—I am not a Michael Lucas fan and quite honestly I do not like him very much if at all. I have never bought into his views on Israel being his home and I am not sure that I can make peace with his kind of Judaism that allows him to be the uncircumcised Jew (for his own financial gain) and the spokesman for the gay people of Israel. With that said, I will review his film without bias but with the knowledge that it was my group of friends who were living in Israel that were responsible for the gay liberation of the country in the 70s and 80s and which eventually led to Israel becoming so gay friendly as it is today.

Nonetheless, I cannot deny that Lucas has been an outspoken ally of Israel (not for the usual reasons) and when we heard that he was doing a documentary on gays in Israel, most of us were fairly sure that this was being done to help him advertise the three porn films he had made there. We were wrong or so we think. (I am still not ready to concede that point). Instead what we see is a look at one of the most beautiful countries in the world as one of the most gay-friendly (now but it was not always that way). Israel has embraced her gay citizens and same-sex weddings are legal as is support of children and gays serve openly in the Israel Defense Forces (as did I). What is missing here is how it was before the milk and honey of today and what of those men and women who went to jail for what was considered abominable sexuality just a few years ago. I saw no mention of the struggles it took to bring the country to where it is today. I also know that not a single one of the founders of the gay movement in Israel was contacted about his film.

Israel is one of the most diverse countries in the world with a totally diverse population. This is because every Jew has a right to live and become a citizen there. In the United States and the rest of the world, however, Israel is seen as a war torn country and people really do not know much about the country. It is a country that is liberal in her views especially the way she treats her gay residents today but it was not always like that. It took many years to make it so. I moved there when the country was still in her mid-teens and at time when there were no gay rights and in fact, one could go to jail if found in one of the many parks cruising for sex. There were no gay bars or places where gays could meet aside from the parks but that has all changed now and because a small group fought hard for the country to change its laws. Today gay life is integrated into Israeli society.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, repealed prohibitions against sodomy in 1988, fifteen years before the American Supreme Court did the same. Discrimination against gays in employment has been prohibited nationwide since 1992. Gay Israelis can adopt their partners’ children, which is still illegal in many states and today gay people may sponsor their partners for immigration, which is not yet legal in America. Gays have always been allowed to serve in Israel’s military and all of the rights that go along with being married are also granted to LGBT couples. Gay marriage is not legal in the sense that it is in some of American states but that is because the religious minority is very powerful. However, “common law” marriage is recognized for same-sex couples and they gain many financial and legal rights that we do not yet possess in America. However, gay marriages that were performed outside of the country are recognized officially. The highest number of children with gay parents is found in Israel.

Israel, by and large, accepts transgender people and one of the most famous celebrities is Dana International, a trans woman who won the Eurovision song contest in 1998, a contest that is held annually among members of the European Broadcasting Union.

Today, gay nightlife in Israel rivals club scenes in other major cities but here it is basically in Tel Aviv where there are clubs, bars, discos, gay beaches and a huge Gay Pride parade. Perhaps what helped Israel become so gay friendly is that when gay rights were up for discussion in the government, a country-wide stance was taken unlike in America where individual states have the rights to dictate these. What is truly amazing is that in terms of gay rights, the country acted quickly. What “Undressing Israel” shows us is that Israel is a progressive and accepting country and she is an inspiration to other countries that are dealing with the issues of gay rights. Here we see Israel as an example of liberalism and modernity in an area of the world where many countries are not.

The film includes interviews with Knesset member “Nitzan Horowitz; a young Arab-Israeli journalist; a trainer who served in the IDF; and a pair of dads raising their children”. However, do not let the title or the name Michael Lucas fool you, everyone keeps their clothes on. It is nice to see a film, a documentary, about Israel that does not talk about the Israel/Palestine conflict but instead concentrates on the social issues of the country. We see gay life and politics as we have never seen before.

I am quite sure that those who accuse Israel of “pinkwashing” will take the film to task. “Pinkwashing” is one of the causes of professor Sarah Schulman who feels that Israel uses its treatment of gay people as a way to hide its “oppression of Palestinians”. It has been by and large discredited because it is not true and was built on false ideas. There are always people that need a cause to keep their names in the news and in this case, the concept fell flat during a conference in New York last year and we have not heard of it since and Schulman has yet to find a new cause. When I reviewed Schulman’s book “Israel/Palestine and the Queer International”, she claimed that I did not really review it but used my review as a way to debase her claims. However, there was no need to debase any claim because the book was based on a false premise. It is so important to understand here that the rights that Israel gives to the LGBT population are the result of hard work, work that took close to twenty years. Gay rights did not just happen, they were fought for. I look at the guys who were active in the fight and I am so very proud of how far the country has come.

Because throughout history, Jews have been the target of persecution, when the gay community of Israel did not share equal rights with others, many felt that the time had come to change things. Discrimination against those with a different sexual orientation is inhuman and Israel now understands that in a democracy, everyone must be treated with respect. While I disagree with much that Lucas has said about Israel in other areas, I must concede that this is a beautiful film and that Yariv Mozer has done a wonderful job of directing. My only problem here is that much of the history of Israel’s gay movement is absent and I would love to see a movie about the brave men and women who took the country to task and changed it so that so many can live there and enjoy life like everyone else. The film gets a big 4½ “Magen Davids” from me.

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“THE PERFECT WEDDING”— A Different Look at a Modern Family

the perferct wedding poster better

The Perfect Wedding”“

A Different Look at a Modern Family

Amos Lassen

Gavin (Jason T. Gaffney) and Paul (Eric Argagon) are two young gay men who met and fell in love on a weekend where plans were being made for Paul’s sister’s wedding. Gavin is there in the guise of the boyfriend of Paul’s ex-girlfriend so they must be very careful about publicly expressing their feelings for one another. The film gives us a look of a gay romance as it blooms. Paul is a recovering alcoholic who gets interested in Gavin as his sister’s wedding is being planned. There are no gay stereotypes here and gay is seen here as just part of an entire person. It is a feel good and sensitive film.

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The performances are excellent throughout the film and it has already won several awards. We often get “Behind the Scenes” feaurettes on DVDs but we do not often get entire movies that are behind the scenes. Here we go there via a wedding and this becomes a very sweet romantic comedy that eschews stereotypes and offers us a new look at the way gay characters are depicted on film.

Admittedly this sounds like a fluff film and it is. There is nothing to be learned here; there is no message and we are not faced with yet another look at homophobia as it rears its head. There is nothing wrong with fluff—Katherine Hepburn won Oscars acting in fluff movies (“On Golden Pond”, “Adam’s Rib”). Sometimes we just need to be able to relax and enjoy something just for the sake of enjoying and here is a new chance to do just that.

Touching and funny story of the many perfect ways that love can be expressed.” – Sarasota Film Festival

Heartwarming . . . illustrating a fresh take on a modern family.” – This Week in Sarasota

Instead of preaching about marriage equality, The Perfect Wedding simply shows life in futuristic world where it’s taken for granted. And that world looks pretty good.” – Herald-Tribune

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“The Night Visitor”— Sexual Exploration

the night visitor

Creed, Ewan. “The Night Visitor”, Wilde City Press, 2013.
Sexual Exploration
Amos Lassen

Kevin is a young gay man who has exotic and erotic dreams. When he wakes up he knows he has had these dreams but he does not understand why or what they mean. As we read about these dreams we realize that they are partially based on reality and Kevin learns that once he understands his past, what he dreams begins to make sense to him.
He is involved in what he thought was a good relationship with Hank and they had no borders when together but obviously something was lacking and this is what his dreams were about.
Let’s face it—exploration is fun and what we are not able to experience in real time, we tend to experience subconsciously. It is pure fun to find out what makes us horny and sexy and we either embrace this or shy away from it. However, when fantasies takes over both our waking and sleeping moments, the time comes to explore what causes this. Sometimes there is more to it than just fantasy.
As most of you know, I am an avid reader and sometimes I think that I live to read. However, I do not really enjoy erotica as many others do. I read it when I am asked to review it but otherwise I would prefer to read an engrossing novel or stimulating non-fiction. I like to be challenged and questioned when I read but that does not often happen with erotica. I had never read anything by Ewan Creed before this but I must say he challenged me. While this book is practically all sex and erotica, it is also something else, I have, like everyone else, had sexual fantasies but I have never that I could or that I even wanted to share them. Then I read this and while Kevin has a much broader imagination than I do, I realized the importance of fantasies and dreams and that there is nothing wrong about acting on them (with the right person). As I read Kevin’s story and traveled with him on the road to sexual nirvana, I understood that it is perfectly all right to dream. Shyness is for wimps and if we want to enjoy sex, we must take the ball (singular) and run with it. Inhibitions have no place in the bedroom and shyness should be outlawed.

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First Look At Meryl Streep “In Into The Woods”

First Look At Meryl Streep In “Into The Woods”

Posted: 28 Sep 2013 06:25 AM PDT

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With filming beginning a few days ago on Into The Woods, Disney has released the first image from the adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical. It features Meryl Streep doing her very best wicked witch in the fairytale musical adventure.

Here’s the description Disney released alongside the image: ‘Meryl Streep ventures “Into the Woods” as the Witch who wishes to reverse a curse so that her beauty may be restored. The humorous and heartfelt musical, a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, explores the consequences of the quests of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, and the witch who cast a spell on them. In theaters Dec. 25, 2014. ‘

James Corden, Anne Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Lucy Punch and Christin Baranski also star. Expect to see much more soon.

First Look At Meryl Streep In Into The Woods from Big Gay Picture Show

“STRAIGHT MEN & THE MEN WHO LOVE THEM, 2”— International Shorts

strsight2

Straight Men & The Men Who Love Them 2”

International Shorts

Amos Lassen

Straight Men & the Men Who Love Them 2” is a collection of eight short films about all kinds of relationships between men.

Jorge Ameer gives us four films:

Tease” is just that—a tease. A sexy man (John Shaw) strips to his briefs and…

Courtship at the Office”shows us how one man reacts when he is sent an anonymous bouquet of roses in the midst of a business presentation. They were sent to him by his boss and the short looks at how one man reacts when another man sends him a gift. Then there is the innocence of the line
“Let’s see what you got,” that was made to shift the awkward declaration back into the arena of commerce.

Midnight Snack is a dream of an orgy comprised of the main characters from the realm of Caligula. It takes place at a 6 year anniversary celebration by picking up a good looking man and taking him to a bar where he is bound and gagged.

The House of Adam” (later developed into a full length film) is about a first kiss amid beautiful scenery.

Reunited” by Jean Carlos London looks at what happens when two long-lost friends meet at a hold up and they are the only ones there.

Subconscious” directed by Zach Voytas shows us some rehearsed shop entries mixed with some interesting cutaways.

A Soldier’s Choice” comes from Ireland and is directed by Adrian Benjamin Burke. Damon is in search of Mr. Right as well as Mr. Right Now. He meets a New Yorker, John, a man who has been in the Marines for ten years and he loves it. He tells Damon that they will not have sex that first night that they are together. They go out on a dinner date but John is called to return to his unit and Damon remains alone.

The two final films are directed by William Blake Binn.

Thirteen Minutes or So” is about two young men who have had sex after never having been with a man before. They are filled with that after-sex glow but they also realize that society has a different view of what they have done. This is a very clever look at self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Finally, “Confidences” is about getting to know oneself. Clay is always horny and loves having sex with his fiancée anywhere and anytime. Just as he is cooling down from sex in the kitchen, his girlfriend tells him that she cannot go through with the planned wedding. Reggie, Clay’s best friend, risks their friendship when he confronts Clay who has no regards for anyone’s needs aside from his own. The rest you have to see for yourself.