Saturday, March 26, 2011

Close Encounters Of The Erotic Kind

Sean Wolfe's collection of gay erotic stories is called Close Contact: Tales of Erotica (Kensington Books). The stories take place in San Francisco ; Denver; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, among other locales and the steamy sex scenes occur in a variety of venues: a bathhouse, a park , the back of a bus, etc. One story takes place in a motel and is a send-up of Hitchcock's Psycho. Like an O. Henry story, a few of these tales reveal a twist ending that's hard not to chuckle at.

If you are easily offended by graphic descriptions of sex, Wolfe's collection is probably not your cup of tea, or should I say, cum since in these stories, plenty of it flies around--on chests, faces, walls. Need I say more?

These 28 stories start off innocently, establishing setting, characters, and plot, and before you know it, you're in the middle of hot, no-holds-barred liaisons of every conceivable kind between two or more consenting adults.

In stories that without nary a word about HIV/AIDS, condoms abound. And they are quickly pulled off 9-inch penises (Wolfe's obsession) in time for those flying cum acrobatics. Too bad there isn't a story about a guy trying to break a Guinness record in how fast cum can travel.

One drawback of the stories in Close Contact is that the sex scenes are formulaic: they begin and end the same way most porn films do--oral, then anal sex. Otherwise, Wolfe is a gifted writer, who should not limit his talent to writing erotica .

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Controversial African Historian

Historian Yosef ben-Jochannan (born in Ethiopia in 1918) is "controversial," he said, in a lecture published in Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America, edited by Herb Boyd and Robert Allen (Ballantine Books, 1996), "not because something is wrong with my documentation, but because I challenge Western hegemony." It was "the African," he further stated "that caused people to understand science, medicine, law, engineering, etc."

As an expert on the history of North and East Africa and the Nile Valley, he has self-published several books, including Africa: Mother of Western Civilization. He has also distributed lessons and lectures on records and tapes, such as Black Man, Wake Up. Major publishers refused to publish his works. As a result, he co-founded Alkebu-lan Books in 1969. ("Alkebu-lan" was what the Moors and the Egyptians called Africa. It is the most ancient name of Africa that is known, according to Dr. ben-Jochannan.)

In an interview with me several years ago, he told me that he saw the black historian as a leader; one who "records the events and charts the future," and who must never subjugate his or her veracity for money.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Breezin' With George Benson

This month marks the 35th anniversary of Warner Bros. Records's release of guitarist George Benson's album Breezin'. Recorded in Hollywood in January 1976 and released two months later, it became, says the CD liner notes "the first album ever to simultaneously top Billboard's Jazz, R&B and Pop charts." It "also won three Grammys." Two of the album's most memorable tracks are the title tune "Breezin'" and "This Masquerade."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Eloquent Reverend Gomes

The first time I saw the Reverend Peter J. Gomes, the chaplain at Harvard University, was on a Bill Moyers program on PBS. I was impressed with his eloquence, erudition, gentlemanly manner, and his openness, as a clergyman, about his homosexuality.

I want to re-read his book on the Bible, The Good Book, especially the chapter regarding the Bible and homosexuality.

I regret not having the opportunity to meet him or hear him speak publicly.