Paul Festa's online clips

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See also:
Paul Festa's Archive Fever (a blog)

The New York Times Book Review

Nonfiction Chronicle: New Books by Sarah Manguso, Joe Blair and More
6 July 2012


The Daily Beast

My Marriage Was Annulled on an Otherwise Happy Night
Response to the passage of California Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage
6 November 2008



No End In Sight: What my friends - aged 27 to 106 - have taught me about the indestructible male libido
Personal essay on sex life expectancy posted on my 38th birthday.
28 May 2008

Foresight: Can recent studies about the health benefits of circumcision be trusted?
News essay: Making sense of conflicing evidence on circumcision and STDs.
20 August 2007

Speaking in Tongues: Did oral sex just get riskier?
News essay: How worried should we be about HPV and throat cancer?
29 May 2007

Bad Sex with Paul Festa: My nights with Miss Trannyshack
Personal essay in Nerve's "Bad Sex" series: Even the most open relationship has its limits.
30 April 2007

How Insensitive
News essay: A new study confirms a longtime fear: circumcised men are missing out.
2 April 2007
***Anthologized in Best Sex Writing 2008***

The Starfucker's Complaint
Personal essay: My first time with a screen idol
7 March 2005
***Anthologized in Best Sex Writing 2005***

Fear Factor
Personal essay: My first time with someone I knew to be HIV-positive.
27 Jan 2004
***Anthologized in Nerve: The First Ten Years***

My Depressed Libido
Personal essay: How antidepressants put my sex drive into reverse.
28 August 2003

Face Off
Personal essay: Posing for art, thinking about pornography.
19 October 2000



Naked on the Set
Six-part diary about auditions for John Cameron Mitchell's Sex Film Project, now called Shortbus.
(Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6)
March/April 2003
***Anthologized in Best Sex Writing 2006***

Book review (of the biography by Richard Bosworth): Il Duce fought duels, seduced women, crashed planes, allied with Hitler, lost a war and ran Italy into the ground, but at heart he considered himself an artist.
9 July 2002

Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi
Book review (of the biography by Katherine Frank): Indira Gandhi led the most populous democracy in the world, but finally, ruthless and paranoid, she couldn't resist the lure of tyranny.
26 March 2002

The Last Face You'll Ever See: The Private Life of the American Death Penalty
Book review (of the book by Ivan Solotaroff): The ravaged lives of two men hired to pull the switch testify to the hidden costs of America's death penalty.
4 Dec 2001

The Juilliard String Quartet Fiddles On While Classical Rome Burns
Appreciation of the Juilliard String Quartet on its 50th anniversary.
16 Dec 2001

Dead Man Walking
Opera review: Terrence McNally and Jake Hegie adapt the movie adapted from a very good book.
11 Oct 2000

As long as he doesn't sound gay
Political essay: How Tom Ammiano lost his race for mayor of San Francisco
16 Dec 1999

Flaming Man
Cultural essay: How the gays discovered Burning Man
16 Sept 1999

Does a good conductor have anything to say after 10 years?
Music essay: Seiji Ozawa's players in the Boston Symphony say his departure has been a long time coming.
28 June 1999

Yehudi Menuhin, 1916-1999
Music essay: The century's most beloved violinist brought to his life a brilliance he lost in music.
16 March 1999

Mommie Dearest in Drag
Cultural essay: How Christina Crawford finally learned to stopped worrying and love the gay cult celebrating her child abuse
1 July 1998

Sergei Rachmaninov
Music review: Jean-Yves Thibaudet tries to come up with something new to say about Rachmaninov.
25 March 1998

John Dowland
Music review: The complete lute works.
27 Jan 1998

And the Band Played On
Music review: Tunes associated with the Titanic.
19 Feb 1998

Bruckner, Symphony #9
Music review: Bruckner has no greater champion than Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
19 Nov 1997

Paul Paray
Music review: Joan of Arc Mass and Symphony #1
22 Oct 1997

Classical music, R.I.P.?
An email debate with Sarah Vowell over the future of classical music
27 June 1997

Walter Braunfels' The Birds
Music review: An opera by a composer the Nazis banned as "degenerate."
21 March 1997

Berlin Cabaret Songs
Music review: Ute Lemper.
21 Feb 1997

3 Russian Fairy Tales
Music review: Natalia Makarova narrates The Firebird.
10 Jan 1997

"Great British Film Music"
Music review: National Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Herrmann, conductor
6 Jan 1997

"Exotic Dances from the Opera," "Stravinsky"
Music review: Minnesota Orchestra, Eiji Oue conductor
23 Dec 1996

The Portrait of a Lady

Music review: "Portrait of a Lady" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, score by Wojciech Kilar
17 Dec 1996

Pavarotti and Friends
Music review: An elephant attempts to dance with a mouse, and Sheryl Crow throws herself from the Modena clock tower.
2 Dec 1999


Discipline and Publish
Heralded as one of the early blogs (though not really a blog), was a Website I maintained from my 29th birthday until my 30th. Modeled after Yale's undergraduate writing course Daily Themes, the site had one rule: I had to write something every day and publish it. Because I turned 30 in a leap year, the project wound up producing, over the life of the Website, 366 essays, poems and short stories (many of these published in installments over the course of several days or weeks). Here are a dozen representative posts:

23 March 2000: on stealing a kiss from the Steve Lady
28 February 2000: milestone VI: three quarters (quarterly report ii)
28 August 1999: quarterly report
5 August 1999: ode to Virginia Kelley
3 August 1999: death on the beach
2 August 1999: ceci n'est pas un post
31 July 1999: cameo
18 July 1999: the rope swing
30 June 1999: attention!
23 June 1999: smoking
19 June 1999: ballgame
30 May 1999: write from a height



Post-Gay Poster Guy: Michael Johnston assumes the missionary position
October 1998

Gay Guru: Men and the art of satsung in the Castro (profile of Adrian Brooks)
March 1999


From 1996 until 2005 I was a staff writer for CNET, where I reported on computer and Internet business and technology. In that time, according to the search engine, I wrote 2470 stories, a number that does not include the "Skinny DuBaud" rumor columns I wrote between 1998 and Skinny's mysterious disappearance in 2002. Here's a selection of my stories, news analyses, interviews and columns:

Who says there are no second acts?
Newsmaker interview: NSI CEO Champ Mitchell.
10 Aug 2005

A standards truce in the browser war?
News analysis: Microsoft warms to standards.
5 Aug 2005

Amazon faces the challenges of its second decade
News analysis: How much can Amazon continue to grow?
15 Jul 2005

Microsoft and Adobe to square off?
News analysis: Fortified with Macromedia acquisition, Adobe poses more of a threat.
28 Jun 2005

Video content set free on Web
Trend story: Everyone on the Internet, from corporate giants to nonprofits, wants to host your bulky video content--free of charge.
14 Jun 2005

Open-source divorce for Apple's Safari?
Scoop: Two years after selecting open-source KHTML as the basis of its Web browser, Apple proposes scrapping it.
22 Feb 2006

Net tightens gray-market retail vise
Trend story: Welcome to the gray market--a $5 billion dollar-a-year problem newly worsened by the Internet.
21 Mar 2005

A long winding road out of beta
Trend story: Once considered the final stage of software development, beta versions are taking on a life of their own.
11 Feb 2005

TiVo hacks flourish
Trend story: Five years after TiVo introduced the rewind and fast-forward buttons to broadcast television, hackers are pushing its digital video recorder to new heights--and possibly giving the company some ideas about where to go next.
11 Nov 2004

Netscape: Bowed, but not broken
News analysis: The Netscape browser turns 10 years old on Wednesday as a shadow of its former self, but the lights haven't gone out yet on one of the most storied brands in Web history.
18 Oct 2004

Blog's the word in big business
Trend story: Long heralded as a way for the masses to wrest the Internet back from corporate control, the Web log has emerged as the hottest new enterprise tool.
24 Jul 2004

E-voting: Nightmare or nirvana?
Debate: Four e-voting experts and critics square off on the issues surrounding the electronic voting booth.
1 Oct 2004

Investors snub Friendster in patent grab
Scoop: Alarmed by a potential expansion by Friendster on their turf, two competitors who are also investors in Friendster have teamed to buy a patent they call a key asset in the battle for the nascent social networking market.
19 Apr 2004

Microsoft's in-house sociologist
Newsmaker interview: Microsoft's newsgroup maven Marc Smith
9 Aug 2003

Battle of the blog
Special report: War over key syndication technology threatens a Balkanized blogosphere.
4 Aug 2003

End of the road for SMTP?
Trend story: With spam taking over, a core foundational protocol gets a thumbs-down even from its co-creator.
13 Apr 2004

Spam-bot tests flunk the blind
Trend story: An increasingly popular technique for preventing e-mail abuse vexes the blind, setting the stage for a conflict between spam busters and advocates for the disabled.
9 Feb 2003

Mother of invention
Special report: How the Mosaic browser triggered a digital revolution
***Winner of "Maggie" award from the Western Publisher's Association: "Best Online Article, Interview or News Story."
(with John Borland, David Becker and Mike Yamamoto)
17 April 2003

Identity thieves strike eBay
Trend story: When Deborah Fraser's credit card number was stolen, the thief didn't use it to buy a new car or a high-end laptop. Instead, the number was used to buy something potentially much more valuable--a domain name with the word "ebay" in it.
22 Nov 2002

MIT tries free Web education
Scoop: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology decides to publish online all its course materials--a $107,840 value.
10 Oct 2002

Sites bow to Microsoft's browser king
Trend story: Despite Web standards, sites continue to code to Internet Explorer exclusively.
9 Jul 2002

At the center of a high-tech legal storm
Newsmaker interview: High-tech legal eagle Tower Snow
18 Jun 2002

Charting the Web's next transformation
Newsmaker interview: Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee
12 Dec 2001

SKINNY DUBAUD RUMOR MILL: Three against 12 Entrepreneuring
"They've burnt through an incredible amount of money," one person close to the irate investors said of the fund managers at 12. "They were supposed to be an incubator, but they've become an incinerator."
November 9, 2001

SKINNY DUBAUD RUMOR MILL: Dot-com drama or Internet idiocy?
In attempting to portray the inner lives of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, a play boldly goes where no playwright has bothered to go before.
2 Nov 2001

Present at the 'e'-creation
Newsmaker interview: When Ray Tomlinson sent the first e-mail 30 years ago, he didn't think enough of his achievement to record the message or the date.
10 Oct 2001

The dirt behind the Industry Standard's demise.
28 Aug 2001

Standards group ignites common-code war
Trend story: Web standards advocates say they've accomplished their biggest goals with browser makers--now it's on to the Web-authoring-toolmakers.
11 July 2001

Probing IBM's Nazi connection
Newsmaker interview: Edwin Black's book IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation has stirred unprecedented controversy among students of the Holocaust, American enterprise and information technology.
28 June 2001

ICQ logs spark corporate nightmare
Enterprise story: Thousands of confidential messages between the CEO of an Internet company and top executives have been posted on the Web, stirring up a hornet's nest of corporate intrigue and providing a rare glimpse into a dot-com as it struggled to cope with a brutal shakeout.
15 March 2001

Is Google ogling Yahoo's crown?
News analysis: Feature by feature, Google appears to be moving from pure search to muscle in on Yahoo's "portal" turf.
10 April 2001

SKINNY DUBAUD RUMOR MILL: The year in rewind; it wasn't too kind
'Twas the night before Christmas, and drunk at their trough/Were the e-commerce reindeer, who'd just been laid off.
26 Dec 2001

Did Netscape jump the gun with new browser?
Enterprise story: Long heckled for being late to market with its new browser, Netscape Communications is now the target of critics who say the company jumped the gun in releasing the browser this month.
30 Nov 2000

Gay start-ups may form alliance
Scoop: and PlanetOut are on the verge of merging or forging an alliance, according to sources close to the companies.
12 Nov 2000

PSINet assailed as spam contract surfaces
Scoop: Troubled Internet service provider PSINet acknowledged providing access to a sender of bulk unsolicited commercial email, bolstering critics' claims that some of the world's largest ISPs knowingly do business with spammers in violation of stated anti-spam policies.
6 Nov 2000

AT&T admits spam offense after contract exposed
Scoop: AT&T acknowledged Thursday that it had violated its own spam policy by providing Web-hosting services to a purported sender of unsolicited commercial email.
3 Nov 2000

High-tech advocates clash over school vouchers, skilled labor
News analysis: Fed up with a chronic shortage of skilled labor, Silicon Valley leaders are spending millions of dollars and twisting arms in the fight over two controversial education reform measures on California's November ballot--a fight that in many cases is pitting high-tech advocates against one another.
22 Sept 2000

Ask Jeeves grapples with question of sex
Scoop: The search query Web site built around the mascot of an avuncular, tuxedoed butler named Jeeves may be on the verge of loosening its straight-laced image with a deeper foray into the world of online sex.
18 Jan 2000

Year-ender: 'Twas the night before New Year's/And all through the Valley/There was joy for the Nasdaq's/One-millionth rally.
23 Dec 1999

Microsoft does multimedia in slow motion
Enterprise story: At Microsoft's computer graphics laboratory, they are running out of back burners.
20 Aug 1999

Why open standards are a myth
Special report: The rhetoric behind the technological control over instant messaging is beginning to resemble campaign speeches on family values in an election year--and is inspiring similar cynicism.
6 Aug 1999

Easing browser interface development
Browser engineers are cooking up a new way to create user interfaces that could have broad ramifications for application programming.
26 March 1999


Other clips

Wired for Sex
Personal essay included in Paulina Borsook's so far unpublished collection of writings about sex and the Internet.


Paul Festa's writing