28Barbary.com is a blog by a fan of the Tales of the City series of books by Armistead Maupin, in which I’ll be sharing commentary, discussion and other relevant details for those who are re-reading TOTC, as well as those who are exploring other creative works that have been inspired by the books (including the mini-series, musical, audio books, radio plays, etc.)
This blog is NOT authorized by Armistead Maupin and is not affiliated with him. On this blog I’ll be sharing MY perspective on the books… which might be quite different from that of other readers or even the author himself. But I do hope that all will hear my commentary through the lens of my fandom and deep respect for TOTC and its positive influence on my life and our culture.
I do need to share a few important details/disclaimers with my readers:
- The TOTC deals with mature subject matter (including sexuality, religion, politics, drugs, culture, gender identity, etc.) and hence my commentary will as well. But I aspire to follow Armistead’s example of writing about these topics with frankness, kindness and especially open-mindedness. Also, please note that while I said TOTC has mature subject matter, which is different than “adult” subject matter. I think many mature teens would find the books to be appropriate and helpful. I also think there are adults who are not capable of reading these books with an open-mind. In other words, maturity is not only about chronology.
- As stated above, this blog shares my opinions. You might disagree with my opinions, which is not a problem. Instead of complaining, I would suggest you join the conversation through writing your blog/commentary/etc.
- To help pay my web-hosting bills, I do have sponsored-links (mostly through Amazon and Scribd which pay me a small percentage of any sales paid for through the links. But I’ll do my best to keep these ads unobtrusive.
- Since this blog will be discussing some of the major social justice issues of our day (as TOTC itself does), I will be sharing links to resources and organizations that I think are worth checking out. But… please do not assume that a link implies a full endorsement of the group being linked to.
- With regards to copyright – I will do my best to follow the rules of Fair Use in this context. But if you see any content on this website that you think breaches those rules, please do not hesitate to contact me.
- On the subject of spoilers: TOTC is a deliciously twisted maze of interconnected characters and plot lines, with some of the books veering into the territory of the mystery genre. As such, I strongly recommend that new readers of TOTC not read this blog, or at the least to not read further in my commentary, than you have made it in your own reading in the TOTC series.
- More about spoilers: I may occasionally mention that a character/situation/place comes up in a later book, but I will not give details. --- For instance if a character makes his introduction as a small character in book #1, but later comes back a major character in a later book in the series, I might mention in commentating on book #1 that this character will come back later, but I won’t tell the details about it until commentating on the later book.
- Cultural references – These books were mostly written in the contemporary moment (meaning Armistead was writing about the 1970’s when he was living in the 1970’s, etc.) which makes the book a delightful window into another time, but also can be a little confusing to younger readers (like myself --- I was born near the time that the first book in the series was set), so my commentary will give some explanation and/or links to explain these references.
Lastly for anyone who wants to know more about me, I work as an activist attorney as well as the editor of Humanistic Judaism magazine. I have also written a blog for more than 20 years.
I am also proud to say that I'm autistic (which I think gives me a great appreciation for the power of fandom, since the love of special interests is a common autistic phenomenon.
I should also mention that like TOTC character Brian Hawkins, I'm a mostly straight/cisgender man, but I have long thought of myself as part of the LGBTQ+ community, due to the many LGBTQ+ folks in my logical family. I wasn't always so open-minded though, but TOTC played a big role in pushing me towards embracing the power of radical inclusion, but also the power that comes from rejecting rigid binaries.