Fabulousness

We have PAPERBACK! + REVIEW offer

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My cover design for the paperback version

Sorry to SHOUT BUT I’M REALLY EXCITED!  Oh, fuck I started SHOUTING AGAIN BUT I CAN’T HELP IT!

Really, really sorry about my lack of control.  But it’s not every day that you PUBLISH A PAPERBACK !!!.  Oh, god.  This is really embarrassing.  Just try to bear with me as I tell you a little bit more about MY PAPERBACK WHICH IS NOW ON SALE!!!!.

<awkward>

This is what my friend Shaun Proulx, life-transforming guru extraordinaire and architect of the #ThoughtRevolution, tells me is a “soft launch”.  Well, I’m going to take his word for it, as what he doesn’t know about gorgeously shameless self-promotion and roll-off-a-log success wouldn’t fit on the smallest, fiddley-ist hors d’oeuvre Martha Stewart could stamp out with her heirloom cookie cutter.

In fact, he’s been cheekily dubbed “The Gay #Oprah”; word has it that Ms O’s acolytes occasionally forget themselves and refer to their bossatrix as “The Big, Black, Obscenely Rich and Heterosexual Shaun Proulx, Except Shaun Doesn’t ‘Balloon'”, which earns them a great, big, corrective “love tap” from the CEO.  I can picture her now as she hauls back and, with a follow-through like a Wimbledon champ, cracks the back of that jewel-encrusted hand across each penitent face while screaming, “This is gonna hurt you more than it hurts me!  KIDDING!!”

The book is for sale on Lulu.com, who are the gentle and helpful publishing midwives to this elderly primo gravido.  Once I’ve approved the physical copy, it will be sent for possible distribution on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other so KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED!  I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Sheesh.

May only, get 20% off. Click on the cover image above to go to my product page on Lulu.com and to purchase.

REVIEW OFFER

If you’ll go onto Lulu.com and write a review, I’ll send you a PDF of the paperback final version, free of charge.  Shoot me an email at david@davidroddis.com with subject line:  Paperback review offer and I’ll get it off to you within a day or two.

~

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In Defence of Deviance

Toronto’s PRIDE 2017 celebrated diversity and inclusion. Yet some people—even some gay men—still think that’s a shame.

Men, men, men!  Not a flicker of humor in a back room full of us!  Forever shooting our wads, then rolling away from the damp spot and falling asleep; forever forgetting that ejaculation is for Christmas, but a snuggle is for life.

trudeau pride

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Toronto Pride Parade, June 25, 2017.  [From MSN.com]

I’ve come fresh from Pink News online, the British gay rag that’s the equivalent of Canada’s Xtra (but with better fashion and that string of pearls that you didn’t buy at Winners, but inherited from Great-Aunt Prunella) where the headline read—and you may want to sit down for this bit, lest you collapse onto your vitrine filled with Lalique crystal—

Men tell homophobic jokes because of their own fragile masculinity, study finds.

Well, slice me to ribbons under the Queen streetcar!  That gem ranks as news right up there with “Sun Rises in East” and “Dog Bites Intruder, Then Pees on Carpet”.

Personally, I’m gobsmacked.

So imagine our surprise when a whole Ford F-150-full of fragile masculine egos came out to defend themselves against the “feminists” who designed and conducted the study.

madonna quote(Feminist in this context fulfills the same function as Nazi does elsewhere, describing as it does not an actual specimen of the genre but a scarecrow, only dressed up in dungarees and a tool belt instead of black leather and jackboots;  and instead of translating as “someone I disapprove of on principle”, it reads, “women I’m extra scared of”.)
Take a gander, or maybe a gender, at this response:

The folks who are most threatened and defensive are the writers and editors at PN who relentlessly push effeminacy and gender deviance whilst denigrating traditional masculinity and manhood. It’s almost as if they know that they are failures as men and want to use sexual orientation as an excuse. But decades of studies have shown that effeminacy manifests only in a minority of gay and bi men. So sexual orientation is no excuse for their personal failure to function as men.

And here’s my response to that :


“Gender deviance”? Holy Krafft-Ebing,

where’s my laudanum? I may have an attack of the vapours!

worldpride2014_20140627_0009.jpg

Pride 2014 / Photo by David Roddis.

I did live in Britain for 16 years and I read Pink News all the time. But that was pre-Internet, so perhaps their relentless pushing of effeminacy was less effective; I’m pretty sure I have at least half a testicle lying around somewhere.

A man is a man is a man, to rewrite Gertrude Stein; if you got the right bits and feel comfortable with them, that’s all it takes. If you don’t feel comfortable with them, that’s called “gender dysphoria” according to the bible of psychiatric diagnosis, the DSM-5, and the word dysphoria in the new edition refers to the anxiety caused by SOCIETAL pressures and the prejudice coming from those who do not accept “deviance” – and what an extraordinarily, umm, nostalgic word choice, by the way.

Nostalgic, or bathetic to the point of laughter, conjuring up as it does the kind of sleazy soft porn novels my dad would have read in the ’50s: “They’re wild! They’re dangerous! They’re: DEVIANT DAUGHTERS!”

But back to your ridiculousness: Men learn how to be men; it’s not innate and it’s not written somewhere in a manual. We learn from fathers, mentors, leaders, heroes (and sometimes the wrong heroes: the most superficially impressive instead of the wisest).

The problem is evident: We men more often than not learn from walking, talking, blustering, posturing models of manhood who have mastered nothing but bravado. We think they’re the reference, but in fact they’ve had a few of the most important pages ripped out.

It’s as though we’re seated at a formal dinner and, at a loss, look to the distinguished older guy on our right; then, following his brave example, we mix our petits pois with the mashed potatoes, then shovel them in with the grapefruit spoon.

Not pretty.

To call a man a failure because he does not fulfill your checklist of “real manhood” tells us perhaps a bit more than you would have us know. That checklist is nothing other than plain old garden-variety homophobia — dressed up in its “Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells” best, maybe, but homophobia all the same.

Normal is the average of deviance — Rita Mae Brown

In fact, what you have angrily and perversely crossed off your list is exactly what a man needs: everything you label “effeminate”. But a tablespoon, or more, of “effeminacy” does a man good. Women, you might have noticed, have a refining effect on men; or perhaps their presence helps men lower their guard and discover their own sensitivity, intuition, esthetic sense, all those things we’re taught to push aside by other men who are afraid and unsure of themselves.

So, put a little more mascara on, sweetie.  Slip into your silk peignoir and take a night off. I hereby relieve you of what must be a thankless, lonely burden: of being the self-appointed arbiter of what’s butch.  Us real men will decide that for ourselves.

Real men are works in progress, and we haven’t explored even the first ten percent of what we might become.

HAPPY PRIDE ~

Dedicated to every drag queen in
plexiglass pumps who ever threw shade;

every Quentin Crisp who “didn’t know how to
be any other way”; and

to the little boy who chose the Kewpie Doll
as his prize at the fair—me.

Never change.

pridecomp1

Pride 2014 / Photos by David Roddis

» Link to the Pink News article  (opens in a new window)

After All I’ve Done For You— ! (a.k.a. Shameless Self-Promotion)

Look into my eyes. Sink back, back,

back into your chair.

But not so far back that you fall out of the chair onto that straggly-looking cyclamen your grandkids brought you six months ago and that you keep “forgetting” to water, and have to lie there helpless on those freezing-cold tiles for eight hours with your day-time-casual hospital gown all hiked up around your waist as you watch the cleaning staff come in, point at you and laugh.

You know, like last time.  Just a little bit far back, OK?

OK.

Now look into my eyes and hear my voice. Feel the soft—honestly rather pervily-sensual— squish of your filled-to-the-brim adult diaper. Oopsies!  Press the big red button to call for help from the nursing station—except they’ve all gone to smoke crack in the utility closet, and you know, can I just say, honestly. This is how socialism always ends up.

Or is it capitalism, I always get them confused.

‘Cause no matter if they’re gussied up like Chairman Mao and eating monkey brains with chopsticks—or stuffed into a three-piece suit from Brooks Brothers and scarfing duck confit at Per Se—

—no matter whether those rulers you never voted for are crushing protesters in Tiananmen Square with army tanks—or driving stretch Hummers through Times Square as they toss Planet Earth out the windows like so much used kleenex—

—It’s the very same one percent.

The very same one percent with the very same hairy forearms shoved up the servants’ entrances of the very same bent over, wide-opened ninety-nine percent, just exactly the way it’s been since time immemorial—and pardon my cliché, but I haven’t had my coffee yet.

Well, then.  Let’s set that aside for the moment and just listen to my voice. OK?

OK.

Life is good, here at the Sunset Lodge.  Oh yes. You’ve made a lot of friends.

People you only ever read about until now! You’ve met Napoleon, that li’l ol’ freckle-faced rascal!  Oh, and Liz Taylor stopped by. Always flogging that cheap cologne! Well, it keeps the flies off, you told her with a saucy wink, then you cackled with laughter!

Dear Liz, absolutely love the child to bits, what a poppet, but she is not known for her self-deprecating sense of humor.

You’ve met Bernie Sanders!  Yes siree, our very own trouble-haired Nutty Professor himself, and you’ve stolen his Birkenstocks, because—

Just because.  Tee hee.

But though life is generally good, one or two details could use some improvement. Like those hot roast beef sandwiches. Gravy???!!!  Seriously??! They call it curry, or dipping sauce, or sports drink, but it’s all the same brown, viscous glop.

You’d ring up The Toronto Star about it, but your arms are still a bit stiff from “exercise time”, and since when does exercise always involve a 200-lb filipina-lesbian nursing assistant and a leather strap?

But hey!  Let’s just wrap that up in the Pepto-Bismol-pink cloud of love and send it to live the rest of its natural life with Jesus. Or Mohammed, or whoever.  Just fucking try to listen the fuck to my voice or I’ll really give you something to fucking cry about!! OK?!?

OK.

Now that you’re in a state of full relaxation, here’s what I want you to do.  I want you—or your Power of Attorney, I couldn’t give a fuck which one of you—to open your wallet and take out your credit card.  That’s it, hold it lightly between your thumb and index finger. And you know what’s coming next, don’t you?

I want you to BUY MY PRODUCTS.

OH, YES.  BUY. MY. PRODUCTS.

And whether you’re chasing some extra sympathy by dribbling saliva down your chin, or just hangin’ with your homies while finger-painting with the yolks of your soft-boiled eggs, these witty, wearable Gandhi T-shirts—in baby-bottom-soft cotton—are designed to look great AND start conversations that don’t begin with,”You naughty boy, look what you’ve done!”, just like it was before you threw in the towel and began faking urinary incontinence!  Good times, pops. Good times…


Gandhi Tees are here!

Inspired and bemused by the

plethora of misquotes and wrong attributions online, I’ve retaliated with this first set of non-existent quotes by the famous, infamous and just plain dead. My Gandhi Tees will leave you and your friends feeling enlightened – yet confused.

These heart-stoppingly beautiful tees with my original “quotes” and design are totally up-snappable @ $25  $20 CAD  until July 16th only! Be the first to own one of these sure-to-be classics!  

Three concepts:

 

About your Tee: This updated unisex essential fits like a well-loved favorite, featuring a crew neck, short sleeves and designed with superior combed and ring-spun cotton. Sizes XS – XL.

Each concept is available in white and two additional colors , chosen by me to match its design. Below are just a few examples.

 

Shop the T-shirts »

(opens in a new window)

I’m sorry that extended quality time with J♥e has interfered with my blog updates. Well, actually, I’m not sorry at all, who am I kidding?

9.__joe_manganiello

When is a cigar not a cigar? When it’s– J♥e.

From our iconic mid-century LA compound.
January 27th, 2015.

~

My thoughts go out to you, sad little readers who’ve been waiting with bated breath for another update regarding my totally narcissistic, useless life of Caligula-style debauchery.

Fact is, I’ve been spending some highly-confidential quality time with J♥e at our LA compound.

As you can imagine, I relish this yearly opportunity to take a Los Angeles-sized break from my usual inner-city Toronto hell-hole routines: doula then undertaker to baby roaches; pulling on another hideous, shredded cashmere-polyester-mix GAP sweater for warmth, and desperately trying to restore the urine-colored bathtub to anything approaching white using a toothbrush and a can of Ajax.

You think I got these chapped hands from skiing at Gstaad?  Think again, groveling toadies!

~
As are the chimes of Big Ben to a Londoner,
thus is tradition to J♥e and I in the eternally sunny, almost oppressively perfect Butch Cassidy-Sundance Kid rewrite that is our existence. And it’s no different during the precious spiritual—by which I mean completely focussed on animalistic man-sex—retreat spent in our modest—by which I mean dialed back from palatial to merely luxurious—LA machine-for-living.

We always start by giving Juan and Juanita a surprise staycation, which I like to announce by screaming “la migra! la migra!” while stomping  around in my vintage SS boots and slamming a few doors. My word, how we laugh, “we” meaning “I”!   

Once the illegals have accidentally locked themselves in the downstairs panic room, J♥e and I put our cell phones on vibrate, close the electronically-powered vertical blinds, throw some tastefully-greyed driftwood on the Xanadu-sized fireplace and order in.  It’s gonna be a quiet two weeks!

With these tender hijinks, year after year, begins our cherished ritual of spiritual renewal, with the occasional break for a round of pervy, rules-free naked olive-oil wrestling.  It’s a life-balance thing.

turkish olive oil wrestling Google Search

pervy, rules-free spiritual renewal creates quite a stir with the neighbours!

Also, it’s important to maximize our remaining time here before the entire mid-century structure crumbles in cinematic slow-mo off the cliff-edge. But hey.

That’s the intoxicating level of existential terror that keeps us coming back to Manson country!

~
We have several fave activities
during our brief but erotically-charged catch-ups. “Eye-gazing” is number one, and many thanks to Jorge, our part-time bromance coach, for this technique.

You could probably try it with your frumpy, Goodwill-clad partner some evening, once you’ve finished scraping the congealed Kraft Dinner residue off the plastic tableware.  But I doubt it will have the same effect without the exorbitant fees.

Anyway, eyes are the windows of the soul, or something, and we—that’s J♥e and I if you didn’t pick that up on the first mention—spend a couple hours each day, eyeball locked to eyeball, and J♥e says the utterly black void he sees through my windows is very soothing after a tough day on set.

First bro to break contact gets to “bottom” for Juan, which adds a little extra frisson.

Sorry to be so TMI. It’s the way I get when I feel the subterranean rumble of subsiding foundations.  Mister Devil-May-Care, that’s me!

koenig

Dialed back to merely luxurious and crumbling off the cliff edge:  life in the slow lane.

~
(Evernote reminder to maid:  “Hey, Enchilada! How’s the PTSD?  LOL!! Just goofin’ around, Grape Picker!!

“Listen, this trip our world is all about sourcing wholesale collectibles – recently spotted 40% off marble fruit paperweights at Jonathan Adler, also stoneware vases inexplicably covered with 3-D breasts.  WTF, right??

“To anticipate your objections, these days even the Pope has a couple of those on the mantel! Yes, siree, Ms Francine Vatican Herself!!  And if that doesn’t convince you, two words: electrified fence. Capisce?

“P.S. – I lost the eye-gaze challenge! Again!!  I know, seriously??!  Am I a li’l freckle-faced rascal or what?  Am I?  You know I am!!!!

Ciao, amiga!”)

~
But lest you think that life is all piña coladas and expensive spirituality in our kastle-by-Koenig, let me tell you something.

While you turn three more shades of chartreuse from envy!

It’s not.  Far from it!

Though I bet that’s something that never occurred to you. While you were thinking it was.  All those things.

What was I saying?

Oh yeah. We, too—that’s J♥e and I—have our small yet impeccably man-scaped problems which obviously far outweigh yours. For example, I recently started to obsess about whether he’s secretly disguising some male-pattern baldness with discreet hair weaving—

—but I promised I would let that go.

When I wake him up every night at 3 AM to settle the question once and for all he calls me OCD in a really testy voice, and in response I throw an abalone shell or other similar knick-knack against the polished concrete mantelpiece, then fake-cry.

He has gradually begun to ignore this, and thanks a bunch, Jorge, for that technique, too. Nice work, bromance coach.

Then there’s the body hair issue.  As you can see, J♥e is rigorous about nuking every last follicle till he’s smoother than a Vatican choir-boy, which ups the eye-candy but means I keep sliding off his chest. Clamber, slide, clamber, slide. Jesu, Maria! It’s like trying to perform frottage while scaling a glacier.

Which pretty much sums up bromance in general.

~
That’s my status update—call me blogged, Facebooked and tweeted!

While J♥e finishes his cigar, I’m going to take my morning constitutional on Wilshire Boulevard with our Yorkies, Macy and Saks. Those toxic LA breezes help clear the cobwebs, and, bonus—free chemical peel!—while I, with my astonishing gift for 24/7 visibility, whip up a wee bit of a stir in my fishnet tanga.

And let’s be frank: If those little yappers get thrown under a stretch Hummer, oh well, they get thrown under a stretch Hummer.

That’s just life in the slow lane.  Ciao, bello!


(Attention Ge♥rge Cl♥♥ney:  Please don’t start imagining this whole piece is intended to shame you, or that I’ve wasted even one more second thinking about your chiseled jawline. Or the sweet-pervy nothings you might be whispering in my ear right now, none of them about restraining orders.  All is forgiven if you’ll just answer. C’mon. What would Rosemary have done?  That’s right. Answer the phone, baby.)

^


This post first appeared in January,  2015.  
I'm repeating it here, updated and revised, as part of my 
"best of my blog" series.

In which the author, exhausted by maintaining his consistently superhuman level of blogging excellence, fobs you off with a “Twitchie”; +PLUS+ Dave be like “Click the button!”

20140731_084047-motion

First signs of President Trump Stress Disorder:  “The Twitchies”.

You may be wondering.

I’ve been lying in my bathtub since, you know—“the election”—my chin wobbling like my mother’s infamous tomato aspic from the effort of holding back my wild, existential cry of “What The Fuck, dude!?“.

For a little variety I count the missing chunks in the tile grouting,  while I figure out what necessities I’ll take to the special Alaskan holiday camp for homosexuals when Pence sends the order.

So far I’ve come up with:

two pink toothbrushes (one of them manual in case it’s hard to find batteries);

flap-in-the-back longjohns pinned to “open”;

Canada Goose parka, whose astronomical cost will force me to obtain an undercover coatcheck job at The Black Eagle and nab one while its naked owner is firmly strapped to the St. Andrew’s Cross;

the fluorescent stuff your manservant puts on your nose in Gstaad before you frappez la piste;

my own bag of rocks (in case the ones they provide for hacking with a pickaxe “aren’t doing it for me”); and

DVD Special Extras Editions of “Now, Voyager” and “All About Eve” (which latter title always makes me want to scream, in desperate parody of those rabid christians who oppose equal marriage:  “They made ‘All About EVE’, not ‘All About STEVE’ !!).

So you see, though you may think I’m spending my time lolling like a catamite on black satin sheets, peeling grapes and licking Reddi-Whip off the butt-cracks of random 20-year-old skateboarders, I am, in fact, limp as a Cossack after a hard day’s rape and pillage. All this AND a case of severe,  possibly terminal, President Trump Stress Disorder.

PTSD is a parlous state manifesting as reflexive mouse-clicking while asleep, nicotine overdose and an attention span stretched so wafer-thin that I’ve had to several times during my breakfast revisit the instructions on the Kellog’s Frosted Flakes box (for some reason I keep bungling Step 6: “Enjoy!”).

This lifetime-benefits-worthy level of election-induced disability is completely related to my self-imposed burden of riffing on the greatest show on earth, the recent coronation of Citizen Don. Even more than Obama, he proved that, in America, anyone—and believe me when I say, anyone—can make their American Dreams come hideously true.

But The Donald, with his secret, award-winning recipe of a thin coating of élite enclosing a filled-with-nuts Trump-lump of pure white trash, topped that heap without any of that fancy book-larnin’ and puttin’ on airs, don’t ya know;  and, it should by now go without saying, definitely without flaunting any unpatriotic skin tones.

Real ‘Murcans, as it turns out, like a bit of authenticity with their despots.  Not grace under pressure, but pressure sans grace, sans eyes, sans teeth, sans everything. President O, are you taking notes?  Really, some of my best friends are Hahvad grads, but did you hafta be so goldarned – well, <whisper> BLACK about it? Property values, dude, property values!

And dull!?  OMFG!! The country that invented serial killing then brainstormed it into production-line hamburger franchises was hardly in the mood for Percy Faith and his hundred and one strings; this high-minded mellow; this,“let’s take it slow, ACA, baby, and if I said you have a beautiful body politic would you hold it against me?”  No tantrums, no marital problems, no scandals —

Basically, Barry:  Who the fuck do you think you are?

You have patience alright, my fine dusky-feathered friend, patience in spades; and I’m very sorry about the crude pun, but hey. Come February, 2017, you could probably find a job watching glaciers melt.

I hear there’s positions opening up as we speak.

~

Moving right along, allow me to throw off this lead apron of despair that god-the-invisible-dentist has fastened around my neck as casually as Luigi at the Spaghetti Factory used to fasten the red and white bib so you shouldn’t get sauce on your tie.   And while I’m lightening the tone,  may I say, to the accompaniment of the little smooching noises I make into my webcam,  I’m just LOVIN’ ME some new header (see above. Where did you think the header was? Are you a Luddite? I mean, seriously, dude).

I’ll be honest—and you may want to sit down for this bit after getting your impressionable youngsters out of earshot—it’s a “me” thing.  Ya know??!   I like it because it’s created by me, which makes it a macaroni pic par excellence, and I like it because it’s all portraits of me at various points in my life, including the day I invented “male camel toe”, when I was five.

Oh yeah, baby.  I had ambition back then.

I like my header because Hillary’s in it, gallivanting in rainbow pantsuits across my gaunt, vicarious election-losertard face. How many millions of people can say that?

Exactly!

Do I come across as shallow?

Please, please don’t despair. Just because I’m my own schizoid fan club, including the mousey, horn-rimmed secretary, a phone-it-in role for Patricia Hitchcock, AND the sultry, wisecracking, torpedo-breasted head of the social committee, a turn that simply begs for the ministrations of Lauren Bacall – that doesn’t mean I don’t, you know. TOTALLY CRAVE your clicking my “Like” button.  

No, you can’t go to Breitbart just yet, honey. Settle down, OK?

Don’t think for one second that your opinion doesn’t matter, because, dudes, since you asked, and I’m only going to say this once:

« I’m the neediest friggin’ cocksucker from here to Des Moines. »

No question.  I’m so fucking needy, it’s insane.  I’m like the baby bird in the nest, cheep cheep!  opening my naked maw for the slimy, wiggling worms of your validation;  I’m your golden lab puppy whining for food and water, yapping its promise of total, abject love from the cold basement room;

I’m Richard Burton tied to the bedpost while Liz sits at her dressing table, removes her bra, puts scarlet lipstick on her nipples:-

That’s how much your opinion matters to me; in fact, this may be the ONE TIME today, in your life even, when your opinion matters so much to someone.  Or at all!

Think about that, my collective Virginia. Think about that really hard. But only for a short period of time, because the implications – well.

It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?  Unless you make sure you think with extreme, concentrated effort, and keep it, like, under twenty or maybe thirty seconds, tops. That could work.

Alrighty?  So, just to make absolutely nail-it-to-the-floor certain we’re all on the same page, my final instructions are:  Think REALLY hard for a SHORT time about your opinion mattering.  To me. OK?  Let’s see how well you get on.

Frankly, with most of you we’re happy if we can hold a mirror to your lips and see some fogging, so the bar is, I admit, extremely low. But I’m reasonably confident about the “Like” button thing being within your grasp. At least for some of you.

OK.

I feel, and don’t ask me how, that at this point one or two of the more-or-less uncoachable ones amongst you may be wondering:  Is David being bossy ? Is David, like, a bossy person?

PUH-LLLLEASE!  Let me set the record straight once again.  Since you asked.

I am not bossy.  I am goal-oriented.  Like, MY goals for YOU.  OK?

Now, CLICK, dammit.

CLICK!!??!!

-£-