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Nov 06 2015
BOY CULTURE Turns 10! Share This Post Or Shoot Me In The Head Comments (0)

11949515_10153512878756183_361519919304021015_nBoy of my dreams
It's been another year of Boy Culture, and that makes 10.

Img100 copy 2 Img100 copy 3I've spent a decade of my life posting think-pieces, don't-think pieces, sexy butts, sexy bulges, infuriated protests, news of the day, news of the gay, surreptitious photos, self-promotion, self-deprecation, humor, pathos, dead celebrities, celebrities you thought were dead and what passes for my powers of observation. I've acquired fans and anti-fans and momentarily interested passers-by.

The first blogs I encountered (I was a late bloomer) were Perez Hilton and Pink Is the New Blog ... and I barely understood how to read them. The concept of scrolling down for information, which is now becoming passé, was so new to me, they just looked like a jumble of information.

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As I became accustomed to the idea, I noticed Towleroad—a specifically gay blog.  Color me inspired, and by the end of 2005, when I was living in misery in a temporary apartment across the street from the dream apartment into which I would soon move, I spent my free time figuring out Typepad. I was off-the-charts thrilled when I became adept at uploading images and formatting captions. I had previously experimented with Blogger, but now I was in business. Posting some old Blogger pieces and plunging ahead with all my thoughts on Madonna's new album Confessions on a Dance Floor, Boy Culture was born.

Why did I start this blog? (Besides an excuse to disseminate images of guys in their skivvies.)

AFUwhiteHow many FU Underwear images have I posted over the years?

Mainly, I thought I could promote the theatrical release of the movie of the same name, which Allan Brocka had co-adapted and directed from my debut novel. I was proud of the movie and wanted to help get the word out, so I posted about each screening in-between quirky, topical entries on music, movies, Madonna and me.

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Over time, I began to crave hits, much like Diana Ross in the late '80s. That's the thing about a blog. You may not create it to change the world, but even if it's highly personal in nature, it's a hungry-and-thirsty blank slate that needs to be filled every day, so when you hit upon a winning formula—something that attracts eyes—it's hard to resist revisiting that formula. In that way, my blog probably became far more lascivious.

I probably have as well.

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I've struggled over what to do with my blog. I had a preliminary offer to buy it once for $10,000, but the offer went away. I used to make more on ads right after I left a restrictive ad network during a period in which I was unemployed (so was able to pour content into it around the clock), but in truth I've never made much money on this venture, and yet I have devoted to it an unknowable number of hours. It almost certainly hurt my relationship, now ended, and I have at times wondered if my drive to keep Boy Culture going has kept me from writing another novel or successfully devising a plan to maintain that dream apartment into which I moved (I'm soon going to have to sell it, unless you wanna go halfsies with me—I'm a great roommate, seeing as how I spend all my time writing my blog and not throwing parties).

I've thought of abandoning the blog...

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...but even though it's been in some ways a productivity-anesthetizer, it has also brought me many positive things: I've kept my writing ability well-oiled, I'm extremely well-informed on news events and have an opinion on every one of them, I get wonderful movie and theater invites, I've interviewed many fascinating subjects, received tons of free products, I've interacted with the LGBT community deeply—and I've received lovely comments and praise from so many of you.

*******FINACL BW COVER JPEG Starf*cker-Matthew-Rettenmund-Lethe-PressI also have to say that my blog was helpful in marketing my first-published book, Encyclopedia Madonnica 20, and now my memoir, Starf*cker. Am I a brand? Yes! Maybe a little one, but a brand, nonetheless.

So even though I have mixed feelings about the future of the blog—change it? leave it the same? drop it?—today I am celebrating the amazing-even-to-me reality that I have managed to maintain this enterprise for 10 solid years.

I'm happy. I'm relieved. I'm grateful to you. I'm exhausted.

—MATTHEW

Unnamed-1I'll be shooting models in vintage beefcake-wear I recently acquired. If I can find the time!

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Tumblr_ng86f8iDOl1rc5lyjo1_250 copy Tumblr_ng86f8iDOl1rc5lyjo1_250 copyLast year, I listed my 100 favorite posts. Visit the full list here.

This year, I'm going with 50 posts/types of posts, in the hopes that you'll actually click on everything and even share some.

ALL TITLES IN ORANGE ARE CLICKABLE LINKS!!! 

As always, you can find me on Facebook (personal and blog), Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (plus, here are my YouTube greatest hits). I also have a Work Unfriendly dirty Tumblr.

I would like to thank the following for their help over the years in providing tips: Anonymous, Tim Hamilton, Joseph Mora, Gordon Wallace and Kevin Young. There are many others, but these guys, at various times, have truly offered me a site-changing volume of hot tips.

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Special thanks to other bloggers who have been inspiring or supportive in various ways: David Goulart, Frank Griggs, Joe Jervis, Michael K., Sean Mandell, Rod McCullom, Andy Towle and Kenneth M. Walsh.

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8 08Surreptitious-guysSmile, you're on man-did camera! 

GUYDAR (1/17/2008—2015) & ENDS OF THE WORLD (1/13/2008—2015)
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For many years, I've posted countless photos—all taken surreptitiously—of sexy men I encounter on the streets of (mostly) NYC. At one point, I polled readers to ask who found it creepy, who found it hot and who found it creepy but hot. Hot won the day. To answer some oft-posed questions: I've only been caught once (called a fag, threatened to be spat upon), I never aim and yes, I think they're art. Also, they're not illegal—I don't shoot where there is a reasonable expection of privacy. I also avoid anyone I think might be under 18. No, I don't intentionally avoid men of color. Oh, and my surreptitious photography is also found at my Instagram.

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DdddActress Lupita Tovar is 105 years old.

LAST STAR STANDING: A COMPREHENSIVE (?) LIST OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST LIVING STARS 80 & OLDER (2013)

One of my most exhaustively researched lists, and yet I add to it weekly in order to be sure I have everyone. Who did I forget?

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BobnolanDASHsopDOTnet Iris-Meredith-1976-facial-cancer copyThis snap of Iris Meredith at an early autograph show helped spawn my fascination with the events.

ALL MY AUTOGRAPH-SHOW POSTS (2010—2014)

I have attended over a dozen of these crazy shows—at which you hand cash to Oscar winners and Oscar losers for photo ops and autographs—and I wouldn't trade my experiences at them for anything. Except all my money back!

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JOSH HENDERSON WOWWe're going through personalities like toilet paper.

IT'S IN THE iSTARS: IN 15 MINUTES, WE'LL ALL BE FAMOUS (2009)

One of my best essays, whose premise I stand behind—surreptitious photography will become moot once we begin approaching each other openly to take pictures as if we are all famous.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef019103caf001970c-800wiAndrew Glaszek, one of NYC's finest. No, he's not a cop, he's just fine. And a great theater companion, BTW.

ALL MY BROADWAY BARES COVERAGE (2008—2013, 2015)

I'm obsessed with Broadway Bares, but why wouldn't I be? It combines my favorite things—beautiful men, helping others, the arts and ways to literally throw my money away. Check out 100s of sexxxy images and videos here.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef01a5119081aa970c-800wiBook 'em!

COVER TO COVER: FIRST AND LAST SENTENCES OF GAY NOVELS & NOVELLAS (2014)

I'm in love with this post, which collects over 120 gay novels and novellas and presents their first and last sentences, plus their jacket art. I think it becomes a great gay reading list, even though I wasn't intending to gather only the best of the best so much as examples of the wide variety of novels correctly categorized as gay.

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MadonnaGot 'er covered

ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE: MADONNA'S 200+ GREATEST MAGAZINE COVERS (2014)

I excavated my entire collection in order to cook up this massive Madonna mega-list. You also see a huge variety of them in Encyclopedia Madonnica 20.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef019b00e1499d970d-550wiI want this on a screen over my bed.

HISTORY'S 50 HOTTEST TV ACTORS: MY LIST & HISTORY'S HOTTEST TV ACTORS: MY LIST—PART 2; HISTORY'S HOTTEST MOVIE ACTORS: MY LIST (#100—#51), HISTORY'S HOTTEST MOVIE ACTORS: MY LIST (#50—#26) & HISTORY'S HOTTEST MOVIE ACTORS: MY LIST (#50—#1) (ALL 2012)

Two long-ass lists broken into five parts, characterized by extensive research. You can't not enjoy a list like this, even if you can certainly find things with which to vehemently disagree.

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51K6LWVgKPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Boy-crazy

FROM BOY TO MAN: BC B.C. (2007)

This post encompasses the entire history of the novella I wrote in college that would become my novel Boy Culture, as well as the details leading up to the pretty great movie adaptation. I launched my blog to plug the movie, and this post did that while also paying tribute to the source material—this is how it all came together. For those reasons, I will always think of this post first when I think of the most personally important things I've posted at Boy Culture. I hope you will enjoy this post, and I hope you enjoyed this expansive walk (marathon?) down memory lane.

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Tumblr_mgzo0i1LQJ1s43sd6o1_1280I'm offering a $500 reward for the real Bill Henson's death certificate or printed obit.

HISTORY'S 125 HOTTEST GAY-PORN STARS: MY LIST (2013)

I may have left off a few good ones, but this post has generated more comments and more heated discussion than any other. Good to see we always have our priorities straight!

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Jon-Erik-Hexum-shirtless-Making-of-a-Male-ModeJon-Erik Hexum and Madonna were my porn. Porn was also my porn.

AN OBSESSION IS BORN (2009)

One of my best posts about my obsession with...obsession.

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Tumblr_mlzwnemLVg1qzsq0xo1_500Nell'd it!

UNDER THE GAYDAR: 10 PEOPLE YOU MAY OR MAY NOT REALIZE WERE OR ARE QUEER (2012)

I got lots of feedback on this, mainly because nobody realized Nell Carter was with a woman at the time of her death.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef01b7c7a6e9d1970b-800wiTake two and call me in the morning.


BURSTING WITH PRIDE: 150 IMAGES FROM NYC GAY PRIDE (2015)

More and more, I'm becoming addicted to taking/making my own images, and this self-assigned gig turned out to be one of my favorite events I've ever covered.

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2013-10-13_2046If we took a Polly Holliday ...

GOLDEN OLDIES: 100 MOST MEMORABLE GOLDEN GIRLS GUEST SPOTS OF ALL TIME (2014)

My exhaustive list of Golden Girls guests probably should've been a book. And it kinda was, judging by the length of this post. If you've ever enjoyed the show, you'll enjoy this collection ... and you'll undoubtedly scratch your head at my rankings.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef019b00bf77fe970c-550wiHomophobic up top, open for business down below.


DI-VINE & HARD AT TWERK & TRIMMING THE VINE & THE GIFS THAT KEEP ON GIVING (2013)

These related posts document the meteoric rise of NC athlete John Mangum, who became the Twerk King in two (or three) shakes. Even though some other blogs ignored hat-tipping me, I was first with Mangum, and that was enough to net the blog about 200,000 page views in the first couple of weeks. He was later shown to be anti-gay ... of course.

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BLANSKY_S_BEAUTIES_4555454She's a (Blansky's) Beauty!

RE: RUNS (2011)

My gone-too-soon TV candidates, this was one of my first mega-lists. Why are so many bad TV shows so good in my recollection?

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Sc000c8c68 copyEnd credits (Image via Life Magazine)

REFLECTIONS IN A VIOLET EYE: ELIZABETH TAYLOR DIES AT 79 (2011)

The biggest living star fades out. This post is just one representative of a variety of post I hate-to-love writing: The obit.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 11.39.18 AMCher's opening act really warmed up the crowd.

SAVE UP ALL YOUR PIERS: CHER SERENADES THE FAITHFUL (2013)

My second big Cher event was amazing in that I was literally just a few feet from the icon, giving me access to great photos and video that went everywhere. I have friends who consistently say I should put my camera down and enjoy the moment, but this is my way of enjoying something—documenting it. Oh, and the menz at Cher's gig were fucking hawt.

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Boy-Culture-Marilyn-Monroe-shirtlessSomething had to give. 

LOST ANGELES (2009)

My favorite photographic travelogue of L.A. 

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Madonna-The-Egg-1974-movieOmelet down your guard. 

MADONNA, OVER EASY (2006)

This simple post, calling attention to Madonna's infamous egg movie from high school, was what got me my first Towleroad (and only Boing Boing) link. It was my first major burst of traffic.

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Weather-GirlsI feel it...it's cumming.

BUBBLING UNDER: 50 '80S SONGS I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE DIDN'T HIT THE TOP 40 ON BILLBOARD'S HOT 100 (2013)

This list could have gone on forever, but some of the ones I spotlight on it are jaw-droppers.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef0147e2f3dae8970b-400wiHandy man (Image via National Enquirer)

GOTTA HAND IT TO ZAC (2011)

The mere rumor of Zac Efron being gay got me 20,000 hits. I remember I saw my numbers exploding inexplicably while in an airport during a downpour while on a business trip to the Walmart HQ. It blew my mind then. Still does! People really, really want Zac to be gay.

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Debbie-Harry-topless-posterNervous titters as I asked her to sign a nipple-exposing poster.

WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN?: PLATINUM BLONDIE IN THE FLESH (2010)

Meeting Debbie Harry for the third time. 

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef0177448ef915970dMattwoman

AS OLD AS YOU REEL: A TRIP TO CINECON (2012)

My trip to this nostalgia-fest was so long ago I'm already becoming nostalgic for it. Loved meet Baby Peggy, Debbie Reynolds and the openly gay Carleton Carpenter.

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Raquel-WelchPiss her off and this bitch will Rex Reed you!

PRIVATE PARTS: RAQUEL WELCH VS. MYRA BRECKINRIDGE (2012)

Raquel wigs out on Mae West while reluctantly reminiscing about Myra Breckinridge. Still more of Raquel on Mae is here.

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Willam-BelliBelli up!

CARD-CARRYING DRAG RACISTS: MEETING RuPAUL'S QUEENS @ XL (2012)

Had a blast, as I always do with the ladies, plus my Phi Phi interview was visually sampled in that legendary Scissor Sisters fan-made video and my Willam interview was a scorcher.

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MADONNA-MDNA-PHILLYThe Queen's throat

GLOCK A VIRGIN: A REVIEW OF MADONNA'S MDNA TOUR IN PHILADELPHIA (2012)

I don't know how I could have not liked “Like a Virgin” initially...it became one of the most memorable moments of the tour. My best images from the tour are here and here and here and here and here. and here and here. More on MDNA here.

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6Y0EV1xJonathon Trent got the part on the first audition.

BOY ON FILM (2006)

An account of the NYC launch party that I threw on my own dime and in my own apartment for Boy Culture as it played the TriBeCa Film Fest.

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Hot-gay-guyThe hottest human being in the universe.

THE HOTTEST MEN OF NORTHALSTED MARKET DAYS (2013)

I think I ran into more hot men here than at any other event in the history of my interest in peen.

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SHIRTLESS-hot-guys-Comic-ConI have spent many a sleepless night wondering if this hot pair was also a hot couple.

THE HOTTEST, CUTEST BOYS & MEN OF NEW YORK COMIC CON: PART 1 AND 2 AND 3 AND 4 AND 5

My second trip to Comic Con was even more fruitful, and I had my pro camera, which made people even happier to pause 'n' pose.

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Death-Life is short...and meaningful.

PASSING BY (2008)

Mourning the loss of a sweet, thoughtful young man I only met once. This was at my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration—she's still with us, he's been gone a long while.

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Nick-Adams-James-DeanIf fame were heroin, Bill Dakota would be shooting stars

HOLLYWOOD STARFUCKER (2011)

Bill Dakota's life as a metaphor. This bizarre and wonderful book really does it for me.

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Marco-DapperI still get clicks from this seven-year-old post...can't imagine why?

DREAMBOY: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARCO DAPPER (2006)

Like all too many hot studs on the 'Net, Marco has posted that he thinks the country is going Socialist...but he's still nice to look at.

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Black-SparkGuess who, let's screw!

ANONYMOUS SEX: AN INTERVIEW WITH BLACK SPARK (2011)

The barebacking (con?) artist speaks. Whatever became of this guy/these guys, anyway?

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Lady-Gaga-MadonnaHomo hummers

BEATING OFF TOGETHER: THE 150 GAYEST SONGS EVER (THE LIST) (2012)

God, I had a blast compiling this! So many great and so many just plain gay songs. All the links to the tunes are here, and they're queer...get used to it!

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef017c3506ecae970b-550wiMy Buddies, my buddies ...

HISTORY'S 150 BEST TV THEME SONGS: MY PERSONAL LIST (2013)

Another exhaustive list, and one that was a total pleasure compiling, even if I had to edit out some obvious classics to fit my personal faves.

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Madonna-Into-the-GrooveI shook my "Groove" thing.

IMMACULATE PERCEPTION: EVERY MADONNA SONG, BEST TO WORST—MY PERSONAL LIST (2013)

My ability to do exhaustive lists would later be severely compromised by my inability to survive without having a day job. But toward the end of my run as an unemployed nogudnik, I completed this opinion piece on every song Madonna ever officially released. I still stand by it ... but I prefer to dance next to it.

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BI'm a gonna love ya, too ...

“CALL ME” (NO, SERIOUSLY!) (2005)

My first post on this blog and still one of my favorites—it's about meeting Debbie Harry at an exclusive AOL Sessions taping for The Curse of Blondie, but it's about more than just that. It's also rather mean toward a rando, which I don't like doing too often.

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Barack-ObamaHello, Barry.

“YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE!”: HOW I MET PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (2012)

I didn't tell a living soul that I was about to meet President Obama because I just couldn't believe it would really happen. It did! I even got a pic-with and autograph out of it.

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THIS WAS THE NIGHT (2010)

The one where I finally locate the long-lost video of my drag performance as Samantha Fox from high school! Now, if I could only find the only known video shot of my one and only turn as an actor, in a University of Chicago production of Torch Song Trilogy...my life would be complete. (And I could then move on to focus on my many other obsessions.)

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Madonna-Desperately-Seeking-Susan-1985No, Madonna wasn't there. No, not even in spirit.

THE MOVIE-MAGIC CLUB (2010)

My surreal time at the Desperately Seeking Susan 25th-anniversary screening. It still makes me sick that Madonna wouldn't attend this. It was such an amazing, warmly nostalgic remembrance of and celebration of a movie that deserves to be called one of the best films of the '80s.

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Chaos-Men-Troi-stripper-underarms-shirtlessThis place is the pits!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ADONIS: MEAT AND GREET THE DANCERS (2013)

I spent a frustrating, nearly lap dance-free night, at the strip club's birthday bash. But at least I got to shoot some of its beautiful moneymaker-shakers.

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LookerThey're killing all of the beautiful girls...so you're safe, Ann Coulter.

UNFUNNY FACE (2006)

Is Looker the best movie ever made?

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Steve-GrandGrand bargain

COMING OUT OF SOMEWHERE: A Q&A WITH AND GAY POP CULTURAL OPINION OF STEVE GRAND (2013)

I was on the Steve Grandwagon from Day One, communicating with him enthusiastically about his talent and giving—unasked for!—my advice on how he should handle the avalanche of racy images surfacing from his past. He was a sweetheart, but also thoughtful and smart. I have been proud to watch his journey. I was also proud of my response to a malevolent take-down piece Grand endured from a blogger who thought a drinker who falls in love with a straight guy was a bad image for the gay movement. The writer's own personal résumé wasn't exactly playing against type: AIN'T THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME GRAND? (2013). I'm also fond of my coverage of Steve here: HUGGING IT OUT: STEVE GRAND TAKES MANHATTAN (2013).

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F0036619_4e5a856c57c60There is no other movie.

“IT WAS ALL AT ONCE...EVERY WHICH WAY!” (2007)

A review of Parting Glances and of Outfest's event celebrating its restoration.

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Madonna-promo-poster-Whos-That-Girl-rareHung up, hung up by me!

WALL TO WALL (2011)

I've had plenty of posts about my room and about pop culture in general, but this labor-intensive installment of What Makes Matthew Tick? is more specifically about my obsession with posters ... and I show every one of my Madonna posters, including some I've never found anyone else to own.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef019b00e20f7a970d-550wiHe's my man Godfre.

STRIKING POSERS: HISTORY'S HOTTEST 100 MALE MODELS (2013)

I'm weak on models, so even though I made an effort to consider all of them for this post, I admittedly neglected some pretty A-lister clotheshorses. But it was a blast putting this together. Maybe it's time for the next 100?

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DuranMy favorite Duran Duran member.

POP QUIZ: VIDEOS THAT KILLED (2011)

Take this visual quiz to see how many classic music videos you can ID.

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Madonna-Matthew-RettenmundMy like a prayers were answered.

 THE ONLY WAY THAT THIS MAKES SCENTS: MADONNA'S TRUTH OR DARE LAUNCH (2012)

The first time I ever got a posed photo with Madonna was here, with the rest of the evening described in this fuller post. It's the best picture with Madonna I could never have hoped for. I still owe Liz Rosenberg and Kevin Mazur a huge debt of gratitude. As fun as it is to meet stars and get pic-withs, once I had this, I was dunzo.

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Sc000c2674 copyDeath of the party—Jeff in high school, already halfway through his life.

BURNING MAN (2007)

This tribute to my late high school friend and first romance is often cited by readers as a favorite. It's probably because I felt every word of it, and wrote it while still in shock after discovering a person I'd long been out of touch with was actually already long in his grave. A version of this appears in Starf*cker.

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Tumblr_nvdfsalFHL1qczbido1_540I can take anything you can throw at me.

That's it! I hope you have enjoyed discovering or rediscovering these posts. Please share, and please keep your feedback coming.

BaseballTHE END.

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