Monthly Archives: October 2005

Introducing the Brand New Q

Quote of the Day: “I’ll give you love, I’ll hit you like a truck/I’ll give you love, I’ll teach you how to … ” -– Madonna, “Erotica”

Hey loyal (and new) readers of THE SPB Q:

Starting this week, there will be some changes at the site.

As of Tuesday, there will be a new method to the madnes that is THE SPB Q: Each day will will be devoted to some aspect of the THE SPB Q: One day to TV, one day to music, one day to sex, one day to an actual SPB Q Interview pertaining to one of the subjects already mentioned. Oh yeh, the pic quality will be better, too. Because I’m about to simultaneously start the HUNG book tour AND finish a new book, time won’t be as free as it has been since the launch of the blog this past summer. But I will definitely be posting at least three times during the week from now til the end of January, when I return to Miami. After that, I’ll be in rewrite mode and blog entries will probably occur with a bit more frequency. Also, the official RUHUNG.com site should be up live by the top of next week. You’ll be able to go there to get the latest news on HUNG and some of my other book, tour, and film projects. It will be a sort of “first draft” of a site, but I hope you like it. So, til tomorrow, stay tuned. Things might get interesting. Especially tomorrow, when I’ll be running some of the letters I’ve gotten from readers of HUNG.

All I can say is this: If some of these letters were CDs, they’d have parental advisory stickers on them…

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In HUNG News: I’ll be in Oakland next week, details to come about the dates and places. Look out for the nice HUNG ad in tomorrow’s NY Times. If you’re in NYC, look out for the HUNG snipes hanging up around the West Village, Chelsea, East Village, Harlem and downtown Brooklyn areas.

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Friday On My Mind

Quote of the Day: “You made my soul a burning fire/You’re getting to be my one desire/You’re getting to be all that matters to me…” — Stevie Wonder, “All I Do”

Just got my hands on the new ESPN magazine, so I can read the Sheryl Swoopes interview where she comes out of the closet. It’s a topic that’s been on my mind lately. Particularly since HUNG has come out and I’ve told stories in the book about my own heteroflexibility, about the sexual experiences I’ve had with both men and women. Some peeps seem completely surprised, others take it for what it is. Still others, at least from a coupla emails I’ve gotten, want to know if the rapper I write about—the one on the DL—is a certain rapper that I’d allegedly been involved with back in my hiphop heyday.

It isn’t. He is pretty popular, he’s doing his thing. But “Darren”, as he’s called in HUNG, is not him. Nor did I have any kind of affair with the NFL star I interview in the book. We’re just buddies. I changed all the names in the book to protect both the innocent…and the guilty.

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Batter Up?: Now that baseball season’s over and I have no more games to watch til next summer, I guess I’ll have to occupy my time and satisfy my baseball jones by reading about how some of our favorite baseball players get their off-the-diamond grooves on, giving “On the DL” a whole other meaning—at least from what some groupie chicks have to say…Or I’ll just find out who’s, uh, how should I put it, sporting the biggest bats in the game?

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Up All Night Long: I’ve been trying to figure out what I’ll take with me to read on the plane when I head out west to the Bay area and Los Angeles on the west coast tour for HUNG in two weeks. Then, in a meeting with Stephen Rubin, the publisher of Doubleday, all my problems were solved. He gifted me with a copy of the newly revised edition of Salem’s Lot, the Stephen King masterpiece of smalltown vampires, which Centipede Press published in 2004 and Doubleday is reissuing November 1. Not only is it full of beautiful photo illustrations by Jerry N. Uelsman, but also previously unpublished material and a new intro by King himself. 587 pages of heaven, sheer heaven (to quote Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie…)

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In HUNG News: On Tuesday, November 1, I’ll be chatting with Miss Jones on the Hot 97 Morning Show in NYC…then, Wednesday, November 2, I’ll be reading and signing HUNG at Brownstone Books in Brooklyn, located at 409 Lewis Avenue. The next night I’ll be reading and signing and talking about sex at GMAD (Gay Men of African Descent) at 103 East 125th Street, ste. 503, in Harlem. Looks like I might have a special guest that night: Karamo Brown, from MTV’s Real World Philadelphia, sharing a convo about brothas and sex….I’ll be getting to Oakland on November 8th and doing some readings and signings…more info on those dates to come soon.

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In The Pocket

Quote of the Day: “I know you as if I’ve known you all my life/I know you, I live you…”—Chaka Khan, “I Know You, I Live You”

Well, HUNG has been in bookstores a coupla days now and it feels weird. Good-weird, but weird. I was in the Barnes & Noble on 8th street last night and I saw two dudes picking up the book. Good feeling. Didn’t have the heart (or the balls?) to go over and say, “Hey, I wrote that!”. I just let them flip through it and buy it, with a little smile dancing on my lips and in my mind.

Been doing some press since Tuesday. Yesterday, I did three cool interviews: one with Blanche Williams, who does an XM satellite radio talk show called Greatness by Design, another with Nerve.com, and another on a radio talk show out of Cincy called The Buzz with this guy named Nathan Ive (great tagline: “Picking a lock to your brain…”) Today I’ll be doing Star & Buc Wild on Power 105 in NYC and a coupla others. Friday, I’ll be chatting with Miss Jones on Hot-97’s morning show. Hope you guys check ‘em out.

Big Up to Dallas over at Drive Like Hell. He invited me to be a guest DJ, let me put a playlist of songs up at the site, and gave a little shout out to HUNG. I’ve heard great things about his novel Drive Like Hell, which came out earlier this year. Sounds like a blast.

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THE CONTEST WINNERS!!!: In honor of the good vibes felt by the release of the book, Team HUNG decided to pick three names for the final HUNG Contest drawing. The first name that came out, Frederick Smith, will receive a signed copy of the book as well as a signed poster. The second and third names were Maurice C. Cherry, Jr. and Joy May-Harris. They will get a signed copy of the book. Congrats to all the winners and thanks to all the peeps who entered. Hope you still get to read and enjoy the book. There may be one more drawing for a winner over the next coupla weeks, in celebration of some other HUNG news that can’t be revealed yet, but will be soon. Stay tuned.

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A Day Like This One

Quote of the Day: “You may be right/I may be crazy/But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for…” — Billy Joel, “You May Be Right”

HUNG is Here. Today’s the day, after the long road of writing and editing and getting it all together, it’s finally in bookstores. Whew…

You can click on the link above to buy it online or you can go, as they say, to anywhere books are sold.

Hope you peeps go buy it. Hope you like it. If you do, tell ya friends…

Radio Stuff:
I’ll be on the radio a few times today. In NYC, I’ll be on the 98.7 KISS-FM Wake Up Club with Jeff Fox and Shaila. That’s at 9:20.

Then later in the day, at 3pm, I’ll be chatting with Curtis Waller at MTV XM Satellite Radio.

After that, at 4:30, I’ll be talking to Michelangelo Signorile on his XM show.

Gonna be a crazy week. I will list some of the other radio and TV dates later today.

Also, later today, I’ll be posting the names of the two latest winners of the HUNG CONTEST.

Stay Tuned…

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If Real Street Could Talk, or Thinking about TV, Identity, Desire and Noah’s Arc

Quote of the Day: “You tell yourself you’re not my kind/But you don’t even know your mind/And you could have a change of heart” — Steely Dan, “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number”

A friend of mine once told me that he didn’t watch TV because there were no people like him anywhere on any channel. By people like him he meant very lightskinned black people. “You’d think we didn’t exist,” he told me once. I asked him if he ever watched soap operas, where most of the black people are fairly lightskinned, but he said no. I thought my friend’s reason for not watching TV was a little ridiculous, but I did understand the identification thing, the need to feel connected. Most people who aren’t white or straight or male (who see “their stories” everywhere) probably look to pop culture—watch TV shows and movies, read books or listen to music—to speak to their experience, to have their identities reflected back at them, to make them feel better or stronger or just there. How else can one explain, for instance, some of that stuff on UPN or some of those scary-bad rap tracks that pass for music these days?

I identified with Jonathan Rollins, the young, hot-shot black attorney played by Blair Underwood on L.A. Law back in the early 90s. He was what I call a Solo Negro, experiencing Solo Negro Syndrome, the only colored dude in an all-white environment, making his way through the world, finding a way to represent both his race and himself, even when there might be inherent contradictions in trying to do both. I identified with Peter Benton, the young black doctor on ER, often angry, sometimes sullen, but trying to make his way in the world, balancing family issues with work stress, trying to make enough cash while following a dream.

But I’m not one of those black people who thinks that the TV characters with whom I empathize or identify have to be black—light- or medium- or dark-skinned—like me. I’ve tried not to make the culture I appreciate dependent on or some extension of typical American identity politics. What’s the point in that? There’s more to peeps than race, gender, sexuality and class…uh, right? Especially if a character is well-drawn and interesting, right?

Heck, I’ve also identified with Sex & the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, the suburban kid with a dream of writing and the city life, living a Front Row life when I should have been in the balcony reporting, loving a Mr. Big who often seemed like he would never be Mr. Right. I’ve identified with Meadow Soprano and any other selfish, immature Ivy Leaguer (The WB’s Rory Gilmore? thirtysomething’s Michael Steadman?) chafing against the wishes of parents not educated in the same way, the same parents who only hoped and wished for (and provided for) the best possible life for me. I’ve lived the heartache and anger of a friend’s betrayal, like Dr. Sean McNamara on Nip/Tuck has, pondering my own mistakes as I seethed with the conundrum: can you really forgive?

I like a good story, some suspense, and looking at pretty people as much as the next dude, but I watch TV for characters, the kind you hardly find in the movies anymore, the confused, confusing, lived-in souls who’s ups-and-downs, even while terribly manipulated and manipulative, can often play like stark mirrors of one’s own foibles and successes and flaws.

For all that, it’s been rare that I’ve encountered a gay or bisexual male character on TV who resonated with me far beyond the mere sexuality we shared. I think Jack McFarland is funny but I have no clue what he means outside of his one-liners and clever repartee. Most of the Queer as Folk characters didn’t resemble any one I knew in real life, or wanted to know, really—Brian wasn’t as fine as the writers seemed to think; Michael was so milquetoast he seemed to disappear from the screen several times in the five years the show ran; Ted’s increasing desperation rang hollow to me. Only Emmett seemed like someone with real emotions; he seemed to come from somewhere concrete—literally and figuratively—and seemed to be the only one with any imagination. (I did appreciate Mel and Lindsay’s desire to leave the country as a result of the increasingly conservative political climate as well as Mel’s anger and frustration when Lindsay cheated with a guy…and I loved Debby, maybe because I’m a mama’s boy with a mother who a) loved me to pieces and never hesitated to let the world know and b) is the sort of every-mom other kids always gravitated to. But those three are, of course, women…) As great an actor as Michael C. Hall is, Six Feet Under’s David always seemed as phony a character to me as all of the characters in Alan Ball’s other opus American Beauty, and for the life of me, I just never got him and Keith as a couple—though I loved Bobby Canavale’s drunken come-on to Keith during his pop-star-bodyguard days.

So…I say all this to say I had one of the most refreshing moments of my recent TV viewing when I sat through Noah’s Arc, the new Logo show about a bunch of black gay friends living and loving in Los Angeles. It took me a few minutes to get the rhythm of the show, to decide if I was gonna roll with this crew of brothas, if I’d find them all interesting enough to come back week after week, to give my time and TV energy to. I decided the answer was yes. Not because of Alex’s racy, “crazy mama bear” one-liners (the Whoopi Goldberg/Ghost had me rolling). Not because Ricky will probably have a parade of lookers traipsing through that boutique of his. Not because Noah is a black screenwriter trying to make his shit happen in white Hollywood. No, I’ll tune in because writer/director Patrick-Ian Polk portrayed something rarely—if ever—seen on TV and got it so right that I’ll have to tune in just to see how he can keep it up. That something is this: the sexually-ambivalent black dude. As funny as the rest of the characters were, the most challenging character to me was Wade, the sexy screenwriter on whom Noah is crushed out, the corn-rowed pretty guy with a secret. I don’t recall ever seeing this kinda guy on TV; black guys are either tail-chasing, cool-posing hetero studs or neutered prigs who you’d never imagine getting any ass of any gender. Wade has some of the tail-chasing, cool-posing thing going on, but he’s conflicted about who’s tail he wants to chase: he wants Noah, is, in fact, “sexually enticed” by him, but he’s not “gay”, he wants to fuck a guy but not kiss him, he’s vain and competitive enough to strip his shirt off at a gay bar but scared of where his desire will lead him. Noah’s more experienced, but he’s scared too, of being played-out, of being a straight boy’s toy, of where his desire may in fact lead him. The tension—sexual and emotional, pre- and post-coital—of the last coupla scenes between Noah and Wade positively crackled, ripe with both sexual fulfillment and coming-soon (pun intended) suspense.

And, I identified. I knew Noah’s initial hesitation, eventual succumbing, and over-analytical post-intercourse questions. I’ve known my share of Wades, fantasy-figures come to life, heteroflexible dudes unsure of how to express their desire, eager for my experience yet inconclusive about their own. This was truly beyond the down low, if only because, even though Noah’s friends all had words of advice and caution, the show itself seemed to have no judgment, it just gave voice to one guy’s iffyness without condemning him outright. I’ve been Jonathan Rollins and Meadow Soprano and Carrie Bradshaw, but none of them resonated for me the way Noah did. Mostly, I guess, because of the details: I knew Jonathan’s angst but never worked in a law firm. I knew Meadow’s rebellious aspiration but I’ve definitely never been part of a mob family. I knew Carrie’s writerly reach for truth and love but I’ve never worn Manolo Blahnik’s or given up my life to follow a lover to Paris. I have, however, like Noah, been the non-hetero kat crushed out on the probably-hetero kat. I have, however, like Noah, found myself on the receiving end of that offer: the couch, the ambivalent guy, the pretty female between us, waiting to get our threesome party started. I have, however, like Noah, slept with the ambivalent guy, then called my best friend and begged for his advice when I knew the ambivalent guy would only end up breaking my heart when he should be just eating out his own.

I was sure I’d never see anything that close to home on my TV screen. And maybe it’s a little selfish–and little identity politic-al to feel this way–but I enjoyed it. I think I’ll be booking passage on Noah’s Arc.

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In HUNG News: T-Minus 2 days til HUNG hits stores…

And also T-Minus 2 days til the next (and final) drawing of the HUNG Contest…and the word is there might be two winners this time…so get those emails in before Monday at NOON if you still wanna be entered.

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Return of the SPB

Quote of the Day: “The one thing I can’t change is my heart…” –Angela Bofill (with Dave Valentin), “Can’t Change My Heart

T-Minus 6 days Til HUNG hits stores…

TV Q’s: Will Stephen Bochco really make Commander-In-Chief better than it already is? Is Ava the Carver on Nip/Tuck—she did sleep with Christian that one time, might she have saved the Magnum condom found on the scene? How eerie was that last scene on Nip/Tuck—when the Carver strikes he goes for it, doesn’t he or she? How sad was Hurley in last week’s Lost? How touching was it that Rose’s husband Bernard is still alive, just as she’d been saying all this time? How good an actress is L. Scott Caldwell and how good is it to see on a TV as good as Lost? Could Eddie Cibrian be any sexier than he is on Invasion?

Is Boston Legal getting better? Considering it has two of the sexiest peeps on TV gracing it’s cast: Ryan Michelle Bathe, the sexiest sista in primetime, heating up the otherwise silly episode last night with her slaps against the pervert priest and Mark Valley, sorely wasted in those bad suits and sour facial expressions. Anyone else remember (and savor the days) when he was the dim but sexy carpenter Will Gluck on Once and Again, the greatest TV drama that ABC never gave a chance to succeed?

How hot is all the interracial sex on Grey’s Anatomy? It’s like they took all the nervousness of ER’s attempts at same (Peter Benton & Elizabeth Corday, Jing-Mei Chin & a coupla different black dudes) and raised the ante—no guilt, no pressure, just good hot sex and love across the color line. It was a tiny bit expected in that cheap-TV sorta way, but how nice was it to see that Miranda Bailey (the stern attending played expertly by Chandra Wilson) actually has a heart? Did anyone else think the Freddie Prinze was funny, like I did? Or was I just starting at Freddie for thirty minutes and feeling like a Juanabee again?

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In HUNG News: Nice lil q&a I have with Brian Keith Jackson in New York Magazine this week. I like that I made the ish with Wendy Williams and the cover story on whether Jews are smarter than everyone else in the world. Mainly because when I was a little kid I begged my parents for a Bar Mitzvah. Then they had to tell me that I wasn’t actually a Jew. I just played one in my neighborhood.

I did a little longer interview with Felicia Pride at her great site The Backlist. It was an email interview, so it gave me a little room to move around and provide some a’s to some really good q’s. You can check out “Getting Raw With Scott Poulson-Bryant” here (and while you’re there, sign up for the newsletter and buy one of those t-shirts).

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Question to Long Islanders Out there

Are there any Long Island-based readers of this blog who got HUNG promotional bookmarks in their local newspapers?

I’ve heard about some peeps getting the promotional book marks in their Newsdays or Daily News…if you’re one of those peeps, hit me up with an email and let me know…(and if so, did the bookmark come in a book club offer or something like that???)… thanks…you can email me here

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