If they’re not going to give us interesting queer stories, maybe they should just stick to queer villainy.

It’s become something of a yearly tradition for corporations to trot out their rainbow-themed merchandise to capitalize on the fact that queer people have become increasingly accepted by mainstream American society. After all, in American literally anything can be a commodity, and that includes minority groups who have long been shut out of power.

Now, I’m not one of those queers who bristles when corporations make use of the rainbow flag to sell their products. It’s important to remember that, for better and worse, corporations wield a lot of power in this country, and so having them on our side…


The fourth novel in The Witcher series heightens the tension and puts its characters through even more trauma.

My voyage through the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, the renowned Witcher, continues with the fourth book, Tower of Swallows. He continues on his quest to find Ciri and save her, joined by several companions, among them the vampire Regis, the archer Milva, the Nilfgaardian soldier Cahir, and the troubadour and miscreant poet Dandelion. Meanwhile, Ciri struggles to recover from a grievous wound, while Yennefer undertakes her own efforts to save Ciri.

Tower of Swallows sees some pretty substantial changes to Geralt’s character. In the third novel in the series, he increasingly found his studied neutrality under pressure, as he…


The West Virginia Senator is proving to be a major stumbling block to a progressive agenda, and progressives are going to have to change strategies to deal with him.

Ugh. Here we go again. No sooner did the digital ink dry on my last broadside against West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, then he once again went out of his way to undermine everything that his party, led by President Joe Biden, has set out to achieve. Writing in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin stated that he would vote “no” on the sweeping election legislation passed by the House and would likewise oppose any efforts to substantively reform, still less abolish, the filibuster. …


Sapkowski continues to cast his unique spell with his third novel focused on the Witcher, Geralt, and his quest to save his ward, Ciri.

It’s hard to convey just how much I’ve been enjoying reading the various books about the Witcher. Every time I sit down to read one of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books, I think, “I’ll just read a few pages.” Several hours later, and I’m still reading, desperate to finish whatever chapter I’m on.

That was once again the case with Baptism of Fire, the third book the central Witcher saga. Chaos reigns after the incident at Thanedd, in which the sorcerers were rent apart by conflict and treachery. While some of the sorceresses set about creating a new organization that will privilege…


The GOP has turned Fauci into a human punching bag, with effects that could be deadly for al of us.

Every day makes it that much clearer that the GOP has well and truly lost its collective mind. The most recent indicator that the Republican Party has run out of ideas is their concerted attacks on Anthony Fauci. …


The fanciful stories related by Sophia are far more complex than they appear on the surface.

If there’s one thing that you can count on in an episode of The Golden Girls, it’s a story courtesy of Sophia Petrillo, the wise-cracking matriarch. Prefaced with her catchphrase “picture it,” these stories are as much a part of the show’s enduring appeal as cheesecake, ’80s fashion, Dorothy’s zingers, Blanche’s sexcapades, and Rose’s naïveté.

As with Rose’s St. Olaf stories or Blanche’s various anecdotes about her sexual escapades (Blanche: The Miniseries, anyone?), Sophia’s stories are a source of humor and fun. I challenge anyone to hear the story about Golda Meir (whose husband, Oscar Mayer not only perfected the…


It may not be, but time is running out for Democrats to take some necessary actions.

Upon a recent trip back to West Virginia, I drove by a house that had a striking sign out front. “Fuck Biden,” it read. Nothing more, nothing less; just a brutal cry of rejection of the Biden administration and everything that his victory represented. I wasn’t surprised, of course, given that West Virginia was and remains a tremendously Trump-friendly state. Still, there was something incredibly ugly about this sign, especially since Biden is acknowledged, even by some of his detractors, to be a man of dignity and respect. …


The second novel in the Witcher Saga is yet another triumph from Andrzej Sapkowski.

Having finished Blood of Elves in just a few days, I immediately dove right into its sequel, The Time of Contempt, which drew me in and refused to let me go.

As with its predecessors, The Time of Contempt is breathlessly-paced, hurtling us along from one conflict to another. The conflict between Nilfgaard and the northern kingdoms reaches a boiling point, with each side preparing for all-out war. Meanwhile, Yennefer plans to enroll Ciri at the school at Aretuza, but before she can do a sequence of events leads to a reunion with Geralt. …


If we don’t fight back against it with everything we have, the Big Lie will be the end of America as we know it.

At the risk of sounding alarmist, I think at this point it’s pretty safe to say that the Big Lie — that the 2020 election was rife with fraud and that it was somehow stolen from Donald Trump — could very well be the poison that finally causes our fragile republic to collapse from within.

Don’t believe me? Well, look at the evidence. The “recount” currently ongoing in Arizona is, to put it bluntly, a bit of a clusterfuck, with almost no quality control or appropriate oversight. …


Gazing at male beauty online arouses a complicated mix of feelings, not all of which are positive or healthy.

Like many (far too many) gay men, I have a deeply conflicted relationship with my body. While I do my best to stay consistent in my workout regimen, I grow quickly frustrated when my body doesn’t show the signs of muscular development that I keep hoping to see. There are times, usually late at night, when I’ll look in the mirror and recoil at my reflection. How is it possible, I’ll ask myself, that I can still look so bad when I work out so much? …

Dr. Thomas J. West III

Ph.D. in English | Film and TV geek | Lover of fantasy and history | Full-time writer | Feminist and queer | Liberal scold and gadfly

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