Friday, June 29, 2012

Things That Are Good # 3 - Songs About the Golden Girls

I didn't expect there to be so many things that are good, but they just keep coming! 
I don't know how I ever lived without it, but:

The FANTASTIC "Songs About the Golden Girls" includes the songs:
  1. Zbornak
  2. Blanche Deveraux
  3. Take Me To Saint Olaf (A Song for Rose)

Scissor Sisters

Amazing time tonight at the Scissor Sisters show at Sound Academy.

Love them!

Steven Tyler drove past us in a taxi and waved on the way there.

A pair of nice strangers let us share their taxi home and they paid.

We were in the VIP section.


I think I want their logo tattooed on my body some where.  Any good ideas where?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault

The Last of the WineThe Last of the Wine by Mary Renault
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a lot of work, the most challenging book I've read, but it ended up being worth it.
I read this for a book club and if I had of been reading it on my own I probably wouldn't have finished it. I'm glad I did.
Before reading, I was advised to brush up on my Greek history. I have no idea where one would do this. I've never studied Greek history and knew nothing, nothing, going in.
I've never before read a book where you have to take notes, I've always kind of believed reading to be for pleasure, not work, and that the author has a responsibility to perhaps provide more clarity. But with the historical framework in place for this book and the constraints around accuracy, I think Renault did a fantastic job and if I had it to do over again, I would take notes.
I read the first 70 pages or so understanding very little and was expecting to hate the book, but suddenly the clouds cleared and I started to understand. There were periods where the lack of understanding came back, I still don't understand why people were exiled at the end fully, but there was a lot there. The fantastic precursor to the Olympic games, the starvation of the town, the implicit relationship between the hero and Lysis, all fantastic points in the book and overall the book really I feel gave me a foundation for Greek history that I'd like to now build on. It was great spending time in this far away, long ago world.
The book is very lyrical, the following passages stood out for me:
"Time and death and change are unforgiving, and love lost in the time of youth never returns again."
"Nor do I fear death as an evil, more than one fears sleep after a full day."
"Old sock, meaning that he would fit on either foot"

This book is not for everyone, it required work and took me about 3 weeks to read it.
The book is not perfect, it was published in 1956 and a few of the elements are dated to the period it was written. For example, the war is very black and white, Athens is good, Sparta is bad. Although the homosexual aspects of the book are everywhere, they are couched in discreet phrasing. When one of the characters swears, he doesn't say the words but rather refers to "I said something I shall not repeat here". Sex is all implied. I think these things all speak to the period the book was written and the British upbringing of the author.
These are not really flaws though. There's quite a lot going on, a lot to take in, and a lot to take away.
I still feel the book could have been a little more clear, and the pacing was a little uneven, so four stars.

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AIDS Walk Toronto

Guess who the number three fundraiser is for the whole AIDS walk Toronto?


Please support my metoric rise, oh and the fight against the disease, by pledging me here.

Thank you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Things That Are Good #2 - Five cup salad

My favourite author Brian Francis runs a cooking blog in his spare time.

The speciality of this cooking blog is it's for lazy people, so there's no too much actual work involved with the receipes or too many ingredients. And it's REALLY funny!

I've made a couple of his receipes, including Mars Bars and Low-Cal Peanut Butter Cup Pie. But it was with this 5-cup salad that things hit the stratosphere.

Also known as Alaska Salad, or Ambrosia Salad, if got were a salad, He would be this one.  I can't believe how amazing this is, there is no baking in making it, and with all the fruit and fat free sour cream, how bad can it be for you.

I love it.  Plus no one knows if it's a salad or a dessert, so you can have 5-cup salad for dinner and ambrosia salad for desert.  Yum, yum!

  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows 
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup pineapple pieces, partially drained
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup sour cream

Friday, June 22, 2012

Things That Are Good #1

And now we come to a new feature of our program, Things That Are Good.

In this the first installment, I recommend the blog of author Rupert Smith, link here.

Smith is a great author, writing one of my favourites last year, Man's World, and he also writes erotica under the name James Lear.  So multi-dimensional!

Smith has started a fantastic idea project, counting down his 100 favourite books, with a new post every couple days, and is up to number 64.

Of his #65 choice, Lolita, he says:

65. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (1955)

‘Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze./ Hair: brown. Lips: scarlet./ Age: five thousand three hundred days./ Profession: none, or “starlet”.’ That sinister little jingle has been going round in my head ever since I first read Lolita in the early 80s. Back then I thought it was exciting and taboo-smashingly controversial – which it is – but over the years I’ve found it harder to go along with Humbert Humbert’s horribly seductive persuasions. And that, of course, is exactly what Nabokov was up to, pinpointing what was to become one of the biggest anxieties of our times, paedophilia. Lolita is without doubt one of the greatest masterpieces of C20th literature, and the only reason it’s not higher in this list is because I find it really gruelling to read these days, even though it does all the things I want novels to do. It’s funny, it’s got engaging, pacy narrative and an unmistakeable voice, that of HH himself – likeable, plausible, pitiful. Just typing about him makes me feel uneasy. I love all the Nabokov I’ve subsequently read, particularly the magnficient Despair, but Lolita towers over the lot of them. Footnote: I never knew until now that there had been an ‘acclaimed but failed’ musical Lolita, My Love by no less a team than Alan Jay Lerner and John Barry. What were they thinking?

Of his #64 choice, London Belongs to Me, he says:

64. London Belongs to Me, Norman Collins (1945)

OK, I’m cheating here, because I’ve just finished reading this and it’s been washed into the Top 100 on a tidal wave of enthusiasm. London Belongs to Me is exactly the sort of novel that I dream about discovering, and so rarely do. It’s a big busy book about the residents of a south London boarding house during the Second World War, and it’s written in an elegant, conversational tone that disguises the superb craftsmanship of the narrative. Collins (a hugely successful author who went on to become one of the most important post-War TV executives) handles his large, diverse cast with a juggler’s skill, and manages to juxtapose sentiment, comedy and hard-boiled action without ever striking a false note. There’s a camp old retired actress living upstairs, a phony Spiritualist medium in the basement and all human life in between. They eat disgusting food, smoke a lot of fags and trundle around streets that we are still familiar with. The fact that it’s set in Kennington, just down the road from my house, makes it a special joy. Oddly, the introduction to the Penguin reissue goes to great lengths to tell us that London Belongs to Me is a second-rate novel, ‘just a soap opera’ etc, which is absolute bollocks. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Excellent article from this month's ATTITUDE (click to enlarge)

The Hard Return by Marcus McCann

The Hard ReturnThe Hard Return by Marcus McCann
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked this up based on some fantastic editorials I have seen the author write on the witchhunts of sexual minorities.

It is difficult to review books of poetry. It can always be said that you are not well versed enough to understand the deeper meaning behind it, or that you simply didn't "get" it. I think though the author has some responsibility to help us get it, to not write for himself but rather for an audience with the understanding that he is letting us into his world and that we may need navigational assistance.

There is a lot of ideas at play in McCann's sophmore effort, for example taking one poem by another author and spreading it over 17 different poems, taking lines of poems from MANY other authors and combining them into one poem, turning a review of a Britney Spears record into a poem, creating a poem with found text from the internet, etc. It's a lot of ideas for a slim volume.

The work is best with a reoccuring theme, taking inconsequential objects, a t shirt, a flip-flop, a mug, a chicken wing, and giving the items new life and purpose.

For example, the fantastic, thought-provoking "DUNK TANK" ends with:




But this is just one of the many, many ideas in the 63 pages of poems.

For every great one like AT FIRST I FELT SMALL, AND THEN, there are far more where the ideas presented are not at all relatable to the audience or to anyone but the author himself. And with the ideas at play constantly changing, the reader cannot really keep up.

For example, I was excited to see a poem about Toronto, HASSLE FREE CLINIC, TORONTO:









Now this is not part of the found words poetry, or the inconsequentional objects poetry, but something else. I get that occasionally poems will use metaphor and creative license and we don't need to understand every line. In "Heart-Shaped Box" for example, Kurt Cobain talks about eating his cancer, the meaning of which is only known to him, but the audience picks it up again at the refrain with "Hey, Hey, I've got a new complaint". You don't have to get everything, every word, to like it.

There's just too much here for the idea being expressed to get through. "My torso a rabbit ear above him". "I used to stand on shins". "a half cup of sugar poured into a shot glass". None of these ideas will ever make sense to anyone without the writer standing beside you to explain. I think it's unfair to expect an audience to like your work when you leave them in the lurch without a map. Even "BEING ALWAYS-FOREVER-CONSTANTLY... Sex" makes less sense when there's only a couple of poems about sex in the book, how can sex be your being "always-forever-constantly" when it's never discussed?

There are too many ideas, the book needs more structure, and the author needs to present concepts that can be understood consitently by others, otherwise why publish a book for an audience at all?

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Pride Weekend events

Several Pride weekend events coming up the weeknd of June 30 and July 1. 
I currently have no one to go to any of these events with so if that person can be you, let me know.

June 30

Noon - Book sale at Glad Day, the world's oldest GLBT book store.  Items from all sections at $1, $2 or $5.

7 pm - Poet Marcus McCann signing copies of his latest book at Glad Day

8 pm - Singer Corey Hart performs

11 pm - Naked Boys Singing performs.  Are they launching a Toronto version?

July 1

2 pm - Pride parade

7:30 pm - Kids on TV performs

9:30 pm - The Hidden Cameras perform at the Waterfront.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

An Excellent Day

Had an EXCELLENT day today!

First I met up with Wayne, a friend of mine who used to be a teacher of mine in high school.  We went to a reading of Nick Green's play BODY POLITIC, which was co-presented by the CLGA.

The reading was hosted by Sky Gilbert and the play chronicled the making and unmaking of Canada's first gay newspaper, The Body Politic.

It was a packed house and because of the archives connection I new several people there.  The play itself could not have been better, the cast was fantastic, it was really as Sky described it, "the Canadian Normal Heart." The play deserves a huge audience, I hope it gets it, we're talking Dora award, we're talking THE play for gay rights in Canada, the new standard, it was fantastic.  The play went back to the bathhouse raids, AIDS, men loving boys loving men, everything.  I cried, I laughed, I cried again.

From there off the the Centre Space gallery for the new Kent Monkman exhibition Miss America.

The exhibit had five new works:

With the stunning new Miss America work in the centre.

The exhibit is on until August 14 but really, go now.  It was so fantastic I kept seeing new things in Miss America every time I looked at it, I probably looked for about 15 minutes, I love it. So colourful, so much to say, and brilliant execution.  A triumph.

From there off to Glad Day Bookshop, the world's oldest gay and lesbian book store. During Pride Week they are having a live erotic photography shoot next weekend.  Whatever that is I'm going.  I went to get tickets, they said the tickets will be available tomorrow.

While I was there I saw the new book by Marcus McCann, Hard Return.

I don't know how I would have found out this book even existed without a local gay bookshop like Glad Day.  Marcus McCann has written some FANTASTIC editorials for Xtra! and Fab magazines about the modern day which hunt against sexual minorities so I had to read this.
I mentioned to the very friendly sales clerk that I would buy the book at the Proud Voices signing event at the store at 7 pm Pride Saturday. It should also be noted they're having a sale at noon that day with items either $1, $2 or $5.
Anyway, he said "Why don't you read the book, bring it, and tell him your favourite poem while you're here" which was clearly the best idea ever so I did.
I noticed they also had copies of Lake on the Mountain by Jeffrey Round:
in their display but I couldn't find any of the shelves.  They helped me find a copy and I thought it was very cool it was in a regular old paperback, not a huge expensive trade paperback, you don't see that very much any more. There is also some talk of the author coming to one of our book club meetings, and although I do have the ebook, it would be nice to have something for him to sign.
I mentioned that the version they had was unsigned and asked if they were planning to organize an event with the author.  He had already been into the store and left some book marks promoting the book.  The clerk grabbed a book mark and said he would contact the author and organize an event.  How nice was that?  Amazing staff, nice as pie.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sugar Shack

After a lifetime of sugar and sugary drinks, frankly my waistline is noticing it. 
I decided to give up sugar for the whole month of June and then reevaluate in July.
There are SO many artifical sweetners on the market, the question is which one to use.  I have reviewed a few products and present my findings and grades below.
It should be said that no product was as good as sugar, so if you give sugar an "A" grade, here's how the rest stack up, from worst to first.

STEVIA: This was a disaster.  Price was $11.50 for this 60 ml bottle.  The brand advertises as "non-bitter formula", well I'd had to see the bitter formula.  I can't imagine it being worse.
Taste was like a plant, like I had stuck a bunch of weeds in my iced coffee and stirred.  Perhaps I put too much in, but anything less and it wouldn't have been sweet, which was the whole point of the stuff.
The taste drinking it was kind of bareable. The taste afterward was not.  It was the most bitter disgusting taste I've ever had in my mouth.
All the others I tried more than once, this one once was enough.

SUCRELLA (SPLENDA) - This is a generic version of Splenda with the exact same stuff inside. This cost me about $9 but it says it sweetens like 10 lbs of sugar, or maybe 5 pounds, anyways, a lot.
I knew going in to this that I didn't have to sample Aspertame, I've tried it all over.  McDonalds has a sugar free version of their iced coffee but I found the aftertaste from the aspartame lasted about half an hour and was disgusting.
This product is similar to aspartame.  The aftertaste is just as bad, maybe if the aftertaste from Aspartame was a 8 out of 10 bad, this one would be a 7 out of 10, it's not good.
I tried this in coffee, lemonade and in baking.  It worked best in baking and I didn't really notice an aftertaste in my peach cobbler, but it doesn't brown like sugar so it's harder to tell when the dough is cooked.
Based on the aftertaste, this is really unuseable in drinks.

SUGAR TWIN: This cost about $4.50 and is very concentrated, 1/4 cup = 1 cup of sugar. It's hard to get the dosing right as it comes out in drops, they could have opened up the top a bit more.
Compared to Splenda, this has a much better aftertaste. I put it in lemonade and it made it taste a bit like medicine, I find if you use less than you would sugar it works out better.  There's a level where it's more bitter than you're used to, but any more sweet and you can tell it's not sugar, so you have to work to get the balance right.
So the aftertaste on a badness scale out of 10 is like a 2, hardly noticeable.  Taste is sweet but not quite sugar. I like that this is in liquid form so it's good for drinks, portable.  I will buy this again.

ZERO (Erythritol): I bought this at a health food store and although it's the most expensive, it is the best.  This package cost me $10.00 and is 1/6 the size of a regular package of sugar. Also it's only 70% as sweet as sugar so you have to use more.
This has no after taste, is natural and tastes almost exactly like sugar.  It doesn't absorb water easily so when putting it in drinks, I have to add water and microwave it until it boils, then stir it to disolve, then add the to drink, which isn't really easy to do on the run.
I liked this the most but cost and convenience have to weigh against it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice by Peter A. Conway

Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to JusticeCobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice by Peter A. Conway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the story of two men, both desperate for money and fame, and willing to do almost anything to get what they want. Two young men that rely on older men for support, all the while maintaining control of the strings, able to always turn the situation to their favour.

The book details how the first man, Brent Corrigan, aka Sean Lockheart, became a porn star at age 17, providing a fake ID. According to Lockheart the man who owned the company, Brian Kocis, was complicit in this cover up, but then Lockheart contradicts himself by saying Kocis kept hounding him for a physical copy of the ID, something he wouldn’t do if he knew for a fact it didn’t exist.

Lockheart had a fake ID made, provided it to Kocis, and things went along for a while with Lockheart signing a lucrative modeling contract after he had turned 18.

During this period, Lockheart’s life was in turmoil with his family and his relationships, and he would confide in Kocis, saying he needed a phone, which Kocis provided and paid for, saying he had no money and was unhappy, so Kocis gave him a place to stay and a job. Lockheart seems to compulsively perceive himself as a victim and of being used, and dismisses these gestures as self interest on the part of Kocis.

An argument between the two men led to Corrigan telling Kocis he was underage when the movies were shot, led Corrigan to ask that the movies be destroyed, and led Corrigan to go to the FBI on two separate occasions in an attempt to organize a raid on Kocis’ home and close his business. This is clearly one guy you don’t want to piss off.

Corrigan advised he was breaking his existing modelling contract and starting his own company, despite already having taken possession of the $20,000 new car. He returned to his home in California and he and his business partner/manager Grant Roy contacted other companies for work, specifically looking for ones which would provide a percentage of sales as part of the deal, unheard of in the industry.

One such company they contacted was BoyBatter and specifically it’s star, Harlow Cuadra.

The couple, Lockheart and Roy, met Cuadra and his manager/partner in Las Vegas and explained their situation, they were looking for more money, they were looking for a backend deal, they couldn’t actually film as Lockheart was still in a contract he had not honoured. Murdering Kocis was discussed at this meeting, though the sides differ on who said what. Two weeks later Kocis was dead.

This is where the second man comes into the picture, Harlow Cuadra. Also in a relationship with a much older man, he too was seemingly controlled, although he was most definitely the brains of the operation.

It’s unclear what exactly was said during the meeting in Vegas, both sides acknowledge they talked about murdering Kocis. Both sides acknowledge that after Kocis was murdered by Cuarda or his partner or both, an email was sent to Lockheart and Roy saying that they had recorded the Vegas conversation and if they went to the police that Cuardra would give them the damning evidence.

When Cuarda was arrested, his first question to police was “Are Lockheart and Roy here too?”

It will never be known definitively what happened at that Vegas meeting. Lockheart and Roy agreed to wear a wire to entrap Cuadra and testify against him in exchange for immunity. Lockheart makes much of the fact that this was voluntary and he put his life on the line for justice, both these statements are debateable. It was voluntary in exchange for immunity, and they were followed by police the entire time. As Kocis’ sister said “If he wasn’t involved at all, he should have warned Bryan of Harlow and Joe after the famous Las Vegas dinner.”

What I really felt was lost in all this was that a man was killed, and by all accounts an innocent man. It seems neither Lockheart nor Cuadra are able to get past their egos and selfish desires long enough to really let this sink in, which is sad and the murder itself senseless.

One thing I will say is I’m impressed the police put so much work into the case. A gay porn magnate is killed in a conservative town and they actually do their job, no endless insinuations of his lifestyle or that he deserved it, good for them.

As far as the book itself, we have to weigh it against the greatest crime book ever written, In Cold Blood, so if we assume that is the five star standard than this is a four. A very different approach than Blood though as Capote went directly into the field, whereas I don’t think, judging by the book itself, the authors ever left their homes. All the information provided is public knowledge.

I am glad it was all put together in a readable format, I had heard lots about the case and was eager to know all the facts. The book is well paced and researched and for the most part impartial. One note on that though, after Lockheart’s testimony the authors seemingly exonerate him (“If anyone had any remaining down about any possible involvement by the two in the murder, their detailed testimony knocked that out”). Whereas after Cuadra’s testimony it’s stated that his comments could never be proven (“No one has ever been able to verify or confirm any of the elements of Cuadra’s version of events”). Well, both their comments could never be proven for the most part. It’s a momentary slip though and impartiality does return.

One other thing, due to the nature of the book, different people appear in different lights depending on the source of the material. For example at the start of the book, which is mostly facts, and at the end of the book, where opinions are given by Cuadra and Kocis’ sister, Lockheart comes off as more manipulative and self-serving (“If his bravado and self-centred assessment passed over the fact that it was Kocis who ultimately suffered most, he didn’t seem to care.”) than he does in the middle of the book which is presented mostly from his own testimony. These differences are not really highlighted and it is up to the reader to decipher which one is the true.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cobra Killer - book update 1

I'm really enjoying reading the new book Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice by Peter A. Conway and Andrew E. Stoner.

I am a fan of Brent Corrigan/Sean Lockheart and have all his movies, but what I'm so surprised at is how reading this book is changing my opinions.  I wrote the following on the book's blog today:

I'm really enjoying the book and I really want to thank you for writing it.  Putting all this information together into a readable, cross-referenced format must have been a TON of work, and although I was disappointed by the delays, I'm so glad it's out, I have been waiting for this book for years.
I'm reading it slowly to savour it.  I'm wondering if you as the authors have an opinion on the case and if you'd like to share it?
I feel that some allowance must be made for Lockheart's age, but most of the story occurred after he turned 18 and was legal, so not too much. I realize Brian isn't around to give his side but I'm finding the portrait painted of Lockheart interesting, I didn't know he was so heavily involved in the case.
Lockheart's stories seem to contradict themselves, saying Kocis was complicit with the age cover up, then saying Kocis was harassing him for ID. Kocis was a small-time producer in PA, not Falcon, the idea that he might be a little careless with legal requirements, especially on his first shoot, Poolboy, is believable.
Lockheart admits to being broke with no options, but then when Kocis offered him money, a lot of money, he makes it seem like it was sleazy and in his own interest, although he does admit Kocis agreed to a business only relationship. He calls himself a "Siren" that men were willing to kill for, but he did say he wanted Kocis out of the picture to the man that killed him, and what was the meeting with Cuadra in Vegas except an attempt to cut the house, Kocis, out of the financial equation?
In a way I'm feeling bad for Kocis, which I never expected.  Whatever his involvement he certainly didn't deserve to be murdered.
Lockheart has no phone and complains, so Kocis gives him one and Lockheart says he only did it to further manipulate him. Lockheart has no money so Kocis offers him a place to stay, a new car and 6 scenes at $3,500 per scene.  Again Lockheart spins it and later calls the deal a joke. I get that Lockheart feels manipulated but I'm not sure why, or sure that's he's admitting his own part in the manipulation scenario.
I have NO IDEA how you managed to write all this without putting your two cents in.

I feel I must say I don't know these people, I only am reading and learning all the facts now, my impressions may be wrong.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Going Down in La-La Land by Andy Zeffer

Going Down in La-La LandGoing Down in La-La Land by Andy Zeffer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No one is going to say they disliked this book.
You know what you're getting going in, a story about LA, star-fucking, and gay porn. If that's your thing, buy this book and read it, you'll like it too.
The narrator goes through many details of his life with a light breezy tone and interesting set-ups with payoffs. It was a fun book.
One thing kept this from getting 5 stars and it was for me a sense of detachment from the narrator. I felt like he was letting you in, but not all the way. A few things contribute to that, some not his fault. The version I read was badly formatted with superfluous hyphens in nearly every line which I found annoying, this is the Kindle retail version available in June 2012.
Next is I'm guessing for legality reasons he had to change a lot of the names. I am terrible at guessing games and couldn't figure out the thinly veiled references. I did get that Hollywood Windows is actually Hollywood Squares and The Voyeur is actually the Fluffer, but the last one I got off this website.
The last thing was that the author comes off as lily white. Others are doing drugs, not him, others have a problem with drugs, not him, others are perverts in for a life of porn, he just dabbles, even suicide is brushed off as "Whoops!". I got the impression he felt everyone was out to get him and he thought he was the innocent, which is part of the plot of the book I suppose but it's taken too far.
All this being said, again, it's good. There's porn, there's sex, there's Hollywood, there's fame, there's humour. A good read, I would read something else by this author.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette

Becoming a Man: Half a Life StoryBecoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this book tonight and I cried. I cried because I had never before read such powerful, proud words on what it means to be gay.
Monette contracted the HIV virus and with it a clarity I have never seen before. He knew at that time that it would be the cause of his death and that combined with all the events of his life up until that point, it made all the pieces fit together in a way that staggers me.
Monette with his verse is able to still maintain the smarts from his earlier work, and yet now approaches it with a passion and a directness that few people will ever possess. His post HIV work is a revelation.
It's hard to discuss this book as it brings up so many issues. What I really feel is that Monette realized truly that every step he made up until this point brought him to this moment, and although some of those moments are difficult, he shares them all in this book. It seems like an addition problem, my life and HIV and losing my husband equals this man I am today. The only way I can accept it, the only way I can get through it, the only way I'm still here on earth is to accept.
Monette talks about finding out someone from his childhood had always thought he was gay and at 45 feels a flash of disappointment that he didn't act straight enough, a part of him wishing he could go back, do it again, try harder, be straighter. I think all gay men can relate to this. I wonder if it ends, if the damage done can ever be undone.
Monette taps in to the anger, calling the AIDS epidemic a holocaust, calling the straight white ruling class murderers. By refusing to act, by ignoring the disease, by being homophobic and making the disease a gay problem, these men directly cost millions of people their lives. There's a sense of that anger in this book but it doesn't override. I see it as more of a warning to our gay brothers and sisters that we must not let this happen again. We are valued, we are strong, we are good, and we must never let this power be taken from us.
I cried at the end of this book as learning this cost Monette his life. I am so greatful he was able to share this message before he left.
I found it difficult in the last 10 percent of the book as he kept sleeping with women. I suppose this is my own issue but it felt like a betrayal of the side, like he was cheating on the gays. Monette ties it up nicely at the end though saying that every moment of his life brought him to meet Roger, his husband, and so he wouldn't change any of it.
The book ends with the realization that yes he is dying and his partner has died and his friends have died, but they die as gay men, strong and proud. They have learned how to become a man.

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