Jun 26, 2016

Q&A about our short story "The fountain of Geneva"

Cool, folks, we have a Q&A about our short story The Fountain of Geneva on Matthew Bright's site.

The main question...

Tell me about a piece of yours that you’re particularly proud of/didn’t get the attention you feel is deserved?

...and so we answer this question to the best of our abilities...ever wondered about the fountain of Geneva (jet d'eau de Genève), why its there? Does it mean anything? Is it a monument perhaps? What does it commemorate? All these questions are answered by our unreliable narrator John Lee, the first-person antihero of the GREEN EYES, and by his even less reliable interlocutor Richard Zugabe, librarian of Geneva's municipal archives. And the answers? Scandalous, of course, cum-drippin,' and unheard-of. Enjoy. Here's the link again.

Brexit no.2

French for beginners

Jun 20, 2016

Trump Trump

Here are a few lines from Frank Rich, our favorite we-told-you-so artiste, about Donald Trump, in a Q&A:

Donald Trump's renewed call for a ban on Muslim immigration after the Orlando shooting not only drew condemnation from President Obama and Hillary Clinton, but appears to have deepened the gap between Trump and Establishment Republicans: Paul Ryan responded with a statement of support for Muslims, while Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn have refused to talk about their party's candidate to the press. Will there be any fallout for Trump within the GOP?

No. We’ve just passed the first anniversary of Trump’s declaration of his presidential campaign, and the dynamic within the GOP has never changed. We know the drill: Trump says something outrageous or hateful. A few GOP leaders timidly say that what he’s said is racist, misogynistic, “not what the Party of Lincoln stands for,” whatever. Then those leaders fall back in line. The dynamic will not change now, and for a simple reason. The GOP elites are frightened of Trump and frightened of their own party’s voters, who overwhelmingly supported Trump in the GOP primary.

What Trump has been saying post-Orlando, it should be added, is not inconsistent with what many other Republican politicians have been saying for years. When he claims that Obama is secretly allied with terrorists, he is echoing Sarah Palin’s charge that Obama was “palling around with terrorists” when she was on the GOP ticket in 2008. When Trump purports that failing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” is tantamount to surrender, he is following a time-honored Republican script. (I would hope that when he trots it out in a debate Clinton will ask him whether “radical Christian terrorism” should be applied to the fringe Christians who have, among other acts of terrorism, murdered abortion doctors or bombed abortion clinics.) Trump’s hate campaign against all Muslims, smearing an entire religion for its fanatics, is also nothing new in the GOP. It’s of a piece with the 2010 Rudy Giuliani–Fox News–led campaign against the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” (which was, in fact,a proposed cultural center, and not at Ground Zero).

Even so, Trump doesn’t care that his Muslim ban wouldn’t have stopped Omar Mateen, an American citizen born in New York. Nor did it matter to him that his Mexican wall would not have thwarted the Indiana-born federal judge Gonzalo Curiel. Spewing bigotry is its own reward for Trump. We have to hope that the American electorate will end his political career in November. But surely, a year in, there’s no point in hoping that feckless Republican elites can or will do anything to stop him.

Continues here: Frank Rich

Jun 16, 2016

Back in Switzerland

(These are Chang's pictures, of course, all taken yesterday:)

Fragment, fragment: Well, we used it before, but here we go again; it's from our as yet unpublished short story Rilke's Ghost:

Years later. We’re now summering in Bürchen, Valais, Switzerland, in the chalet of a friend, our own house is rented to holiday makers. The village of Bürchen is wonderful, 1,600 meters up on the Alp, and so much cooler than the muggy summer-Riviera (the road up to Bürchen was finished in 1934—the preceding thousand years the villagers were left to their own devices). There is only one problem: Rainer Maria is buried nearby, yes, Rilke, in Raron, a small, historic town right beneath Bürchen down in the valley, three klicks as the crow flies. We’ve given Raron a wide berth so far, but Chang is playing the social networks and has to feed the hungry Facebook beast. His Korean followers can’t get enough of snow-topped mountains and Geranium-studded chalets, and the 24 hour cycle dictates daily posting. We’ve ravaged the entire region already—natives of many cultures believe that you steal their image when you take their picture—along those lines we’ve grabbed photons until nothing seems to be left of the Valais—from the Matterhorn via the James-Bond-historic-marker up on the Furka pass to the longest glaciers and highest vineyards of Europe—save Raron. 

Jun 13, 2016

Lets get into the act

Donald Trump claiming today that President Obama should resign because he failed to use the words "Radical Islam."

If you are listening, Donald: How about using the words "fraudulent bankruptcy."

NYC (4) --- Modern times

Jun 6, 2016

NYC (2)

(A walk through downtown, pictures by Chang:)

The 9/11 monument, partial view

Statue of Liberty, seen from the Battery Park

Cell phone use, skyline of Newark

The new World Trade Center 1

Jun 5, 2016

Great fun and well-writen --- New praise for the Green Eyes

Bycharleson May 28, 2016
I too was given a book by the author and thoroughly enjoyed this publication.. It is erotic with a twist, it's chocked full of wonderful gay fantasies well and uniquely written by a master story teller! His style of writing is short, to the point and I found truly refreshing and unusual in style. Its a welcome bit of 'froth'---although Im not saying the content is light but its great fun, never misses a trick, and is a real delight. A good read with an creative twist. Its shaken and not stirred and good for a most amusing time! Buy it.

Now a Lambda Literary Award finalist: 

Green Eyes

Jun 4, 2016

NYC (1) --- The Martian

Chang took this picture from the v. Wyck express way

So we fly to NY, NY for the Lammies, nominated as we are in the category Gay Erotic Fiction, and watch The Martian with Matt Damon directed by Ridley Scott (international flights are practically the only effective opportunity for us to watch movies). We’ve read a few rave reviews when the film came out last year, among others by Manohla Dargis, the NYT chief celluloid critic.

Well…(you don’t have to read further).

Damon is stuck on Mars but will be rescued, yet not before an avalanche of complications has caused much nail biting hither and thither.

What we liked best were the potatoes---Damon cultivates potatoes in martian soil---although---although at one point his tarp-sheated indoor potato farm blows up of course.

Jun 2, 2016

Fragment, fragment --- or: the mystery of success

Okay, let's turn this around, and start with a fragment from the GREEN EYES, Chapter 44, "A surgical strike into semantic space," (Jack Horn talking to John):

He directs me to a large paper backdrop rolling off the wall, flips two Klieg lights, and points his Nikon D3x in my direction. He isn't even snapping, the thing is on speed repeat.
"In the past,” he says, “you would think first and then shoot. Now it's the other way round." Then he adds, as if bowing to conventions: "Give it to me, baby, give it to me." He's already done. “You no longer have to think at all, in fact, you dump the whole set on Tumblr and see which ones bounce back through re-blogging, those are the good pics. But the feedback takes weeks, we don’t have the time.”

We're sitting at a long desk that had to be cleared of the worst debris (think of Juras-sic Park, one of the best scenes, when Attenborough wipes the messy desk of the greedy programmer), and downloads the pictures from his Nikon. He flips through the pictures at high speed—he has me spinning like a dancer in a silent movie. "Hold on," he inter-rupts himself, "I forgot."

The screen changes to Google’s search window. "As outlined earlier, one should let somebody else do the thinking," he says. "Who’s going to make our life easier? The Windsors. That's it, the British dynasty." He googles for "Windsor porn pictures," and arrives on a page with royal obscenity involving all members of the dynasty, in particu-lar an elderly woman with petrified white hair. "How many have jerked off on Eliza-beth, you think," he asks as if expecting an answer. "I wonder whether the Queen realizes.”

And now what? Yes, the picture, or issue, or handle. Well, we posted a picture on Pinterest, and it's garnering 10 times the interest of other pictures we posted there ("likes," "repostings," "new followers," and the like). It's a good picture, sure, but still. You say:

Chang, sitting next to me on the king-sized bed of the Crown Plaza Hotel of Milan's Malpenza airport, turns his head, peeks at my screen, flabbergasted, and comments: "My God, this is really a sexy guy,"..."My God, this guy is really hot." 

Okay, so, case closed.

No-no, hold on. Scroll down.

Here's the next picture we posted on Pinterest, a picture taken by Chang tonight on our way back from a restaurant to the hotel. What do you think?


(Vote for it, vote for it!)

Jun 1, 2016

"If people blame Obama for anything 200 years down the road..."

Fragment, fragment, (very short) from a future part of the GREEN EYES, Alex and John talking:

John: "I voted for Obama, yes."
Alex: "If people blame Obama for anything, 200 years down the road, it'll be Donald Trump."

(We're off to NY, NY, for the red carpet event of Lambda Literary---cross fingers.)

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