Tuesday, December 31, 2019

EYE CANDY: Robert Oliveira (4th Time!)

Longtime readers of this blog know I have  a "thing" for Brazilian boys (of any color!) Many  have appeared here over the years (several from MundoMais and other websites) such as Maxs Souza, Jones Tamar, Alan Taurus, Guilherme Rofino, Erasmo Vianaand Diego Barros (to name a few)!

Robert Oliveira has been one of my favorite Eye Candy models, having appeared 3 times already (July 16, 2018; September 3, 2018; November 5, 2018). He has 286,000 followers on Instagram (@robert.officiall).

As this blog comes to an end (or a pause?) I want to leave you with these beautiful images of beautiful men. Enjoy!

Monday, December 30, 2019

EYE CANDY: Mike Thurston (6th time!)

Mike Thurston is still one of (if not my very top) favorite male models. He has appeared as Eye Candy the most frequently of any model on my blog (December 31, 2018; June 4, 2018August 31, 2015October 19, 2015December 28, 2015. In addition to having a ridiculously muscular body, he is devilishly handsome and if you have seen any of his YouTube videos (like his 850,000+ followers) you know that he has a delightful British accent and is a successful entrepreneur.

Monday, December 23, 2019

EYE CANDY: Justin St. Paul

Justin St. Paul is a British bodybuilder I discovered on Instagram through Mike Thurston. He is a 27-year-old personal fitness trainer (@justin_stsmall) who is listed at 6-feet and 215-225 pounds. I guess sometimes he shaves his chest, sometimes he doesn't. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Since the televised adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale became a viral sensation it was inevitable that The Testaments, which is a sequel to the book the show is based on would also have a significant cultural impact. Margaret Atwood, the author of both books and consultant on the show, is the creative source of the terrifying alternative history in which the United States becomes a theocratic, patriarchal, authoritarian state named the Republic of Gilead.

I haven’t read the original The Handmaid’s Tale book but like many other people I have been mesmerized by the television adaptation and fascinated/horrified by the subtle (and not so subtle) connections between its depiction of the fictional Gilead and the current United States. It actually works out fine to read The Testaments without having read its predecessor, since the first season of the show essentially covers most of the main plot points of the original book. The Testaments is timed exquisitely well as it covers events that happen roughly 15 years after the end of the third season of the show, which aired on Hulu earlier this year. Important characters from the show play central roles in the book, especially Aunt Lydia (who in the show was played with alarming gusto and chilling commitment by Ann Dowd, who won a Best Supporting Actress Emmy award after Season 1 in the process). The lead character in the show, June/Offred, played by Elizabeth Moss (who also won an Emmy for her Season 1 portrayal) is barely a presence in The Testaments (while it's my understanding that Offred was the main character in the first book).

The structure of The Testaments is that it is presented as three first-person accounts of three women whose lives are dominated by experiencing life in Gilead. It’s supposed to be a secret to new readers who these authors are, and the experience will be different for people depending on whether they are simply readers of the first book, consumers of the television show or both.

Regardless of your prior experience with the previously produced materials, The Testaments is powerful stuff. The central horror of what Atwood has created is how fundamentally plausible the existence of Gilead is. As she herself says (in the author’s note at the end), all events depicted in the book or the show have been documented to have happened in human history, at some point. So one major strength of this alternative history novel is its verisimilitude. Another strong point is the characterization of Aunt Lydia, Agnes and Daisy. The book allows the author to provide the internal monologues of the characters, which is where it has an advantage on the show. (The show has the advantage of visual depictions of the people and events that occur in the books.) This is especially effective in the case of Aunt Lydia, a woman whose role in Gilead is to encourage/coerce/cajole other women into not rebelling against Gilead's murderously violent patriarchal society. Lydia in the show is an unmitigated villain, while in the book her status is far more nuanced. (For people who have only watched the show this will come as an incredible and somewhat unbelievably radical change, but in the end I was convinced that it was possible Aunt Lydia could secretly be working against Gilead. I hope that the show gets to depict the events of The Testaments. I am convinced it would win Dowd another Emmy.)

Overall, The Testaments is an effective, cautionary tale to read. Its depiction of theocracy, autocracy and patriarchy are chilling, and chillingly familiar. These descriptions are of situations/ideologies that are dependent on the perspective/politics of the viewer/reader. However, for most, I believe that the central question of “(How) could it happen here?” will stick with you long after you have finished reading the last page. It well deserves all the accolades and awards it has won (including the 2019 Booker prize) and will win.

Title: The Testaments.
Margaret Atwood.
Paperback: 419  pages.
 Chatto & Windus.
Date Published: September 10, 2019.
Date Read: December 13, 2019.

★★½☆  (4.5/5.0).

OVERALL GRADE: A- (3.92/4.0).


Monday, December 16, 2019

EYE CANDY: Adrian Conrad (5th time!)

Adrian Conrad makes his 5th appearance at this blog in a short time (January 14, 2019; January 11, 2018; December 11, 2017; November 27, 2017). He is the most recent addition to my list of all-time favorite male models (which includes Simeon Panda, Mike Thurston, Raciel Castro, Robert Oliveira). He has several hundred thousand followers on Instagram (@adrianconrad_)--you owe it to yourself to do so!

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Expanse Season 4 Is Available NOW on Prime Video!

Now that Game of Thrones is off the air, my favorite television show is The Expanse, based on the amazing 9-book space opera series written by James S.A. Corey is my favorite show. After the first 3 seasons aired on SyFy, that network failed to pick up the show but it was revived at Amazon Studios, which has produced Season 4 (based on Cibola Burn) and is currently in production on Season 5 (based on Nemesis Games). Season 4 (all 10 episodes!!) is now available for streaming on Amazon Video. Once my semester is truly over I expect to binge all 10 before the end of the year!

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Patrick Bumatay Becomes First Openly LGBT Federal Appellate Court Judge

Openly gay, Filipino Patrick Bumatay, 41, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a 53-40 vote to a lifetime seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Cort of Appeals. Bumatay is the first openly gay man to be appointed to the federal judiciary at the Circuit Court level (one rung below the U.S. Supreme Court) and is also the first Filipino to serve in that capacity. His nomination was opposed by both of California's U.S. Senators, Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, which prior to the Trump administration would have doomed his candidacy. He was also opposed by basically every major LGBT and/or civil rights organization. He is Trump's 49 confirmed appointee to the circuit courts.

Monday, December 09, 2019

EYE CANDY: Raciel Castro (5th time!)

Raciel Castro is another one of my all-time favorite models. He has numerous Instagram followers (@racielcastro) but I am surprised that he doesn't have even more. He has appeared as Eye Candy at least 4 times  before (May 19, 2014December 29, 2014; July 7, 2014May 21, 2018). Enjoy!

Monday, December 02, 2019

EYE CANDY: Simeon Panda (6th Time!)

Simeon Panda is one of my all-time favorite models. His body is ridiculous, but as you can see, he is extremely handsome as well. This is his sixth appearance as Eye Candy. Surprisingly, he has not graced these pages in over 2 years (February 6, 2017)! Most likely it will be his last, since I am planning on ending my blog on January 1, 2020.


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