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Justified – and not

Gee, do you think Justify will be going to the White House?

The massive chestnut colt – huge, as a certain American president would say – secured the Triple Crown in decisive fashion Saturday with a win in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York. Schooled by Bob Baffert, 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah’s trainer, Justify is the 13th colt to win the Crown and only the second to do so undefeated (behind Seattle Slew, 1977). Neigh-sayers (I couldn’t resist) note that …

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The literature of rejection

I tend to use this headline to write about young men who have a disproportionate rage at the world and take it out on others as mass murderers, assassins, terrorists and serial killers. I’ve also written about a number of literary works that deal with such young men – Homer’s “The Iliad,” John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” among them.

But I think it is also an appropriate title for a post about the Lambda Literary Awards, which I attended Monday night at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts as a nominee. My book “The Penalty for Holding,” published by Less Than Three Press, the second novel in the series “The Games Men Play” was a finalist in the Best Bisexual Fiction category. (When I got the news, I had two thoughts: This must be an email for somebody else. And, were any of the characters in my book bisexual? It goes to show that the readers sometimes know more than the authors do.)

As I sat there, I had a feeling of disassociation. I didn’t know anyone …

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Why are women so hard on one another?

In my guise as editor in chief of WAG magazine, I had a pleasure of sharing a moment with Ashley Judd on the red carpet of the Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) in Connecticut Friday night. She is an exquisite-looking woman who is, more important, exquisite in her manners and manner. I began by thanking her for her work as one of the leaders of #MeToo and asked her if she thought that this time, the response to the sexual harassment women have suffered would really be different.

It already is, she said, and the result will be an improvement not only in the lives of women but of men as well. …

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A world lit by fire in a reverse fairy tale

In the end – after all the melodrama about in-laws and outlaws, race and clashing cultures – it was both a deeply personal moment and a global event brimming with cultural meaning.

A justifiably proud, almost wistful mother seeing her daughter off into a new life; a father-in-law stepping in to escort a bride who might’ve represented the daughter he never had; a self-possessed scion supporting his adored, rougher-around-the-edges kid brother on his big day; and oh, that kid brother – like a hero out of Jane Austen – waiting, craning his neck, hoping almost against hope, as it were, for “her” to appear. Then, finally, yes, it was she, of course, poised at the entrance of the church, but then, who else would it, could it, be? Looking like a goddess …

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