Joso Danshi to Menhera Ojisan: Fumiko Fumi

Menheru_FumiThe years keep rolling by, and yet my love of men enjoying the pleasures of other men never fades. Here we are at another 801, this gloriously smutty day when we all reaffirm our love of hot guys smooching, and I am still reading, writing about, and translating their books. So welcome to all of my fellow fujoshi, young and old, who also enjoy a little phantom peen in their lives! Celebrate this world we live in with something pornographic! Or deliciously sweet! There are no rules in this world of man-loving, save for the defining rule that men must love men in some fashion.

How are you celebrating this year? There’s so much to be thankful for! SuBLime continues to bless us with new licenses and licence rescues in English, and the BL industry has maybe never looked better in Japan. BL corners in even the smallest bookstores, and even BL sommeliers to help us find the perfect smut for our own personal fujo requirements! And the scope of what’s possible with BL only seems to get bigger. Like a story about a high-school cross-dresser hooking up with a man with depression twice his age! Sounds like it could only end well, doesn’t it? (Spoiler alert: This is BL. It does.) Continue reading

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Bright-Sided: Barbara Ehrenreich

The subtitle for Bright-Sided is “How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America” and Ehrenreich builds a solid case to support this idea. Like her previous books, Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch, her writing is compelling and effortless, carefully and confidently guiding the reader to all the important points in her argument.

The book starts off on a personal note as Ehrenreich tells us about her breast cancer and how it brought her face-to-face in a rather alarming way with the cult of positive thinking. The first encounter comes before “the mother of all mammograms” in a changing room filled with pink ribbons, poems and a list of the “Top Ten Things Only Women Understand”. She tells us, “I didn’t mind dying, but the idea that I should do so while clutching a teddy and with a sweet little smile on my face—well, no amount of philosophy had prepared me for that.” She then gives an overview of current and past cancer treatment and the growth of positive thinking in the world of cancer. In her search for information and options, she grows more and more isolated, noticing that no one is asking hard questions, like why breast cancer is so common in industrialized societies or why the death rate had changed so little over the past eighty years or so, and instead, that the women were instead going so far as to embrace their cancer as a gift. When she dares to express anger at the frustrations of treatment and battles with insurance companies, the others in the forum are quick to call her out for her “bad attitude”. Continue reading