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Ben Miller Posts

Timely Tribute: The Rise and Fall of Opera’s Voices (Pelican Bomb)

Thoughts on what an opera singer must give up in order to achieve divadom. An anecdote from Wayne Koestenbaum at soprano Anna Moffo’s wake: “I signed the ‘Relatives and Friends’ book, but didn’t write down my address. I feared that her stepchild or cousin would send me a chiding letter:…

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It’s Like Arrival

I went this morning to get my Aufenthaltserlebnis or Aufenthaltsgenehmigung or Aufenthaltstitel, my residence permit. They gave me one with flimsy evidence of health insurance or income or institutional affiliation (for the record: I have all three, at least in theory); in any rate, I will be permitted to stay in Germany…

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Notes From A Siege

As I write this, 50 people in Orlando are dead and dozens more are in the hospital after an antigay gunman, apparently motivated by antigay hatred and ISIS allegiance, opened fire in a gay nightclub with assault weapons and a handgun. The firearms were legally purchased (he had a Florida…

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A Queer Ear: Paul Bowles’ “Music of Morocco” (Pelican Bomb)

How Paul Bowles’ recordings of traditional Moroccan music might have served an agenda of resistance. Three Americans—a woman, her husband, and his friend—sit in a café in Morocco a few years after the end of World War II. The woman, bored, muses on their travels, “The people of each country…

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The Queer Art of History and Larry Kramer’s The American People (Soonest Mended)

Click through the quote to read at Soonest Mended: I too believe in a queer volksgeist — a unique cultural and social approach, a rainbow lens through which we see the world. I believe this volksgeist is shaped by our sense of outsider-ness, our gender non-conformity, our insistence on questioning.…

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Review of Emmanuel Levy’s “Gay Directors, Gay Films?” (Lambda Literary)

A mostly-salty review of a book with potential that fudged the execution: undertheorized and exclusionary. Click through the quote to read: The notion that there is a distinctly gay gaze and sensibility in the work of openly gay directors “has not been thoroughly explored in the fields of cinema.” This…

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Sexuality As Gender Non-Conformity As Labor

A few days ago, trans* woman writer, academic, and activist Meredith Talusan (who prefers ‘they-them’ pronouns) published an article about the erasure of gender non-conformity from the musical version of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home as opposed to the book. As is typical of their work, the piece –…

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