My friends, please read and watch my friends / by alix clyburn

I’m so overdue to blog I think I forgot how to do it. So let’s just dive in and see what happens.

I’ll start by touting the work of my friends. Two of my friends have big time stuff out in the world for all of our reading and viewing pleasure. Check It , Dana Flor’s documentary, is out on, and Matt Klam’s novel Who is Rich? is on sale everywhere. These are the two most brilliant and important works out now, and I’m not just saying that because they were made by my friends. 

Check It

On the surface, Check It seems to be like a deliciously scandalous bit of true-life tawdriness—young gay men band together in a violent gang when they’re not cross-dressing, turning tricks, and producing a fashion show. So yes, it delivers on the OMG. But what makes the movie so powerful is the way she shows you who these kids are beneath the makeup, wigs, and heels. Dana is the funniest human I know, so she doesn’t skimp on the humor, but she’s also brilliant. Her film pulls you in to see the sincerity of their relationships with each other and the caring adults who try to help them. I saw it when it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in the spring and I was so in love with every young man in this film by the end. Apparently, so was Louis CK who was also there, and he’s now a fan just like me and the The Washington Post. Check it yourself.

Who is Rich?

After waiting and waiting, I’m so happy to be once again reading Matt Klam’s fiction. (Others have been waiting too, including New York Magazine, and this writer of a now legendary Rumpus column.) His new novel, Who is Rich?, is out. Forget sunscreen and shades—this is what you need in your beach bag. The Post and the Boston Globe and all his fancy writer friends agree with me that this book is fantastic. The truth is I read this book before it had the sharp cover design it does now. I loved it then, but hearing him read a bit on Thursday night in Brooklyn reminded me how much I’m going to love reading it again.

It’s got a little bit of everything. Don’t read it if you’re averse to lustiness and thrilling honesty, or don’t like satire, or avoid random silly humor, or social commentary. If you do like seeing the world through the eyes of horny, neurotic, tortured but witty soul at mid-life, here's a book you'll enjoy. Do read it if you have a good sense of humor and appreciate spectacular writing.

Ok, those are my two big recommendations for now. Please share with your friends and your enemies and your frenemies. 

I’m going to put another one of these out before the week’s through, I promise.  I've got loads more to say, including a little rant I'm formulating about the New York Times and their piece about Amy Pascal. Did anyone else feel a little cheesed off to get halfway through an article that talked about how her life was "blown apart" and included the line: "What, she thought, with not a small bit of fear, do I do now?" I trust it was a teensy tiny bit of fear, because you have to read several more paragraphs, including one that describes her mindfully petting her labradoodle while scented candles perfume the air, before you learn that in the world of this writer and Amy Pascal, life getting blown apart is an acceptable description to a $40 million payout deal with an addition $9 million annual extra thing for "overhead"? That little piece of info comes quite late in the story. I can't really formulate my response to this at the moment, but I do think they missed the lede. For $40 million plus $9 million I will gladly be hacked by North Koreans and fired from my fancy job. Blow my life apart, world. Jeesh.