Friday, February 28, 2014

Cold and Clear

1. Arizona, you are a nutbag.

2. So much attack on people who post, tweet and look for approval. In a culture where competition and success are everything...how can you blame a person for looking for affirmation? Isn't it clear that people have been needing this for a long time? And as the population grows and the jobs shrink and the tenor of human interaction gets colder and meaner and the need for love remains constant, why wouldn't people be looking for some good rays of human warmth? Columnists call this behavior narcissistic. But isn't it narcissistic to have a column? These established writers are simply competing with the posters for attention. They unconsciously want to bring the posters down because they are taught to compete. And then--love deficit again. Thus, proving this point.

3. This winter, as we know, is horrendous. But you have to give yourself credit for getting through it. In complete awe of Canadians and all the United States citizens who live within 1000 miles of the 49th parallel. You go, girls. And you're probably going to have to keep those tights on through all of March, too.

4. The publishing industry is dead. Long live the publishing industry. It's actually getting interesting. On demand. E. Hard. Self. And they are all getting integrated. Oh, the slowness of business! But here we are, finally.

5. Theater is dead, too. Long live theater and the strange interactive thing it is becoming. It just proves that in the end, people like a good rib eye when they are watching Macbeth. And a potato with sour cream.

6. Marijuana is everywhere. I like it. But it makes me a bit crazy. So I kind of don't like it. Sparingly, sparingly, sparingly, kiddies. You wouldn't eat a whole bag of Smarties, either, would you?

7. Oscar weekend, or what we like to call it: the biggest holiday season of all in Los Angeles. Watch out for helicopters getting caught in your wig, friends.

8. It has nothing to do with race or size, but I can't help but sort of hate Africa right now. And strangely, what is exempt is South Africa. Change, turn, surprise.

9. No more time for boasting. Only time for doing.

10. I once wanted to be important. Now, I want to be important while having a good time.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Want to Say Something to the Ladies

First of all, there are so many jokes that could be made here so it is essential that we do not do that in this little message-in-a-bottle-thing-that-is-a-blog. Who even blogs any longer? Oh, me.

So, there I was, reading and reading about all these women who are upset and all these parents of girls who are upset about the images that are being fed to them...of women.  Nice looking ones. Look. It's awful. No one denies that. It's all computer manipulation and other horse shit. But I want to put my foot down in one place. Can't the women in movies and on T.V. still be pretty? We all like to look at good looking people. Sure, we want them to be able to act, too. And be charismatic. And have that ability to behave so naturally that you think they are your best friend. All that. But sometimes, I've noticed, that when a young woman is attractive and she is real comfy with that (just like young men) then a lot of these other traits are more permissible. We give the more attractive, naturally, more attention. They often blossom under this positive gaze. Let them have it. Let them get rich on it. Let them enjoy it. Let them be beautiful. Would you stop a physicist from understanding String Theory or a cafeteria lady from screaming, "Eggs!" when she runs out of them in the steam table? I don't think so. As far as magazines go, the air brushing and slimming and all that, well that's just hell. But please leave me my good looking film and television actors. I'm getting old and loose and I like to be reminded of what it once was like. Hot is hot. It keeps us going. Some joy, please.

Now, let's hit abortion. I've talked about this before. If you are an atheist, and it seems I am, at least in any way that a religious person would define me by how I view how the world is here...then there is really no way that you can even begin to talk about when-a-soul-enters-a-fertilized-egg. There is only fertilization and non-fertilization. So, once there is a mash-up of an egg nucleus and a sperm nucleus, I don't see how you have anything else there BUT a future person. However. If it were me and some frigging future person invaded my body and I didn't want it, I'd simply kill it. Yeah. Kill. You're killing it. So kill it. And let's not pretend that it is anything less than that.

People kill and are killed and die and cause death every day. Sorry to be so callous. But there it is.

So here is my plea:  Let women be beautiful. At least on the screen. (And PLEASE, let the men be beautiful, too, by all means.)  And if you are invaded by sperm and it hits your egg and you have a new life in you and you don't want, Fucking kill it and let's all stop crying about it.

JR, a cafe owner in LA, once said so eloquently about Reproductive Rights, "Men just have to stop talking about it. Now!" She's right. Sort of.

But when it comes to beauty and Biology, I kind of can't stop talking about either one.



Monday, February 24, 2014

Gay Marriage and My Caddyshack Secret

Let us be warmed. The New York Times is reporting so much on gay marriage, gay oppression, hateful laws against gay people, gay sportsmen and the unalienable rights of gay men and women to love how they need to love, that you’d think it was just a liberal rag. ;)

I say, bring out your liberal rag if that rag is doing the right thing. Which it is, of course. Clearly, the paper has an agenda, and that agenda at its furthest reaches have almost nothing (but everything) to do with each other:  To give me a greater tax break, and to stop African governments from torturing, imprisoning and killing its gay citizens.

I do hope in a few hundred years, a gay woman in Nigeria can marry her girlfriend without reprisal. Or much much sooner.

And now these:









And for a bonus:





Long live Harold Ramis. In addition to seeing Animal House about 900 times (I was a kid looking forward to college), my greatest memory of Mr. Ramis’ work, unhappily, was of Caddyshack, which I saw at one of the last drive-ins to exist with some best friends from high school. We were in a large customized van. There was a whole lot going on. I barely drank anything when I was younger, so I do believe the culprit was food. My stomach went south and there was a certain disgusting mess that accumulated in my drawers. I felt it coming on and I thought I was in charge. But I was wrong. I waddled over to the drive-in bathroom, hoping nothing would reach past my socks and into broad moonlight to expose me. I made it. Naturally, the horrendous toilet was without toilet paper so I had to think quickly. My underwear became my mopping device. After I got pretty clean, I threw them out. I slinked back to the van and watched the rest of the movie in jeans and shirt, only. Everyone in the van continued to drink and carouse. People seemed to notice that I was gone a long time but no one asked me why so no one knew what had happened to me. Until now, of course. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ten Things I Love Today


2. When Hannah (Lena Dunham) talks in GIRLS in very flat, declarative sentences whenever she is uncomfortable. She starts mad and blaming and often ends up hurt and crying. Yeah, that. Girls.

3. House Plants.

4. Sea to Shining Sea: California, The West, in general. The density of travel opportunities in the Northeast.

5. The middle class and all its average solidity. When it’s there.

6. Spinach. Noodles. Cheese. See 1 above.

7. All those good body things you’d rather not hear about from me right now.

8. France. Up, down, all around.

9. Didion, Beckett, Woolf, Nabokov.

10. Recorded music, more than live. Mostly without drums.

Bonus:

11. My friends, of course.


ENJOY your weekend.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Time to Come Clean About Ten Things

1. I don't mind monosodium glutamate. In fact, I eat flavor packets.

2. Better drones than full out wars.

3. I don't care much about the unheard voices. Everyone is unheard.

4. Pain is pain and no one's is that much more interesting than anyone else's.

5. Beavers are taking over Massachusetts. Time for a thinning?

6. If I can live this entire life without ever going to Russia or China, I'll live.

7. I sleep late because I'd rather be alone at night, getting things done without any noise, than listen to the whir of the daily musts of others.

8. Cold is not the problem. Lack of light and lack of being outside with others---is criminal: NY.

9. Everyone has a mood disorder. It is interesting to know how and when it kicks in.

10. I want a dog. But not like this. Not without a dog door.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fresh like Vik, Iceland

Windows full open.
Cold rain.
Storm is ending.
34 degrees.
Feels like spring.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Super Storm Pax has Begun

Okay, earlier this winter I had a certain attitude about all the bellyaching. It was, "Yeah, this is winter. Like back when we had winter."

Frankly, the very cold temperatures, always under freezing, are fine. People are talking about how they are used to it now. No one is shivering. We have become Icelandic.

But it's this endless filthy snow that never melts that just keeps building up. The well worn paths---they are covered with sand over frozen bridges of snow and ice. People walk over all this horror and go about their business. Everyone is wearing huge ugly boots. Souls are encrusted with salt. Walkways are encrusted with salt. It's like a huge crunchy dirty pretzel. But even saltier. It's hideous.

This could get a person down. But you start thinking this---after every storm, you are done with one more storm. The earth does orbit and the axis shifts. It has shifted quite a bit lately. The days are longer. The sun is pushing up toward a higher angle. You KNOW that spring will be here in five weeks. At least in name.
So there is hope.

We are a hopeful people.

But this PAX snow just started. And people are talking 8 or 12 inches. You just hope the rain that is coming in afterward will destroy the whole mess. Obliterate the dirt and salt.

So, hate to be all prissy. But it's not the snow or the cold. It's the mess.

Fun

What is fun?

Watching over your money and getting your taxes ready?

Trudging through the ice and frozen dirt because you have to?

No. Neither are.

But you have to. You have to. You have to.

So, since you have to--you may as well make an effort to enjoy yourself.

They say that looking back too much causes depression and looking forward too much causes anxiety. That staying in the moment, on task, is the road to enjoyment. Unless, of course, you are traumatized, then the past will simply grab at you.

Bringing everyone up to the present, having fun, even while doing taxes or crawling through another filthy 15 degree day, is possible. But it means that those who were mistreated need a little extra loving. We can all do that. Love the unfortunate. The loud. The stupid.

There are so many people. It really is like the great fungus of New Hampshire out there--huge and spreading. It can't be healthy to have all these people around. But there they are.

I'm no big lover of abortion. But, you know, a woman's right to choose and all that. Certainly.
The greatest birth control is a bad economy. Maybe it needs to continue at a pokey rate.

I hear we are going to top out at 9Billion. And then, somehow, by some sort of equation or prediction or I don't know what--we will level off at that level. Though, there are competing papers. Some say we will hit 9Billion by 2050 and then crawl up to 13Billion and then level off.

All those people need to have some fun. They can't all be slumped over their bicycles in Lagos, waiting for their next customer. Yes, that's what happens in Lagos. It's a crazy high-trade society. Many people have little businesses and they sleep at their business. That's what they have. A guy who cuts wood by pedaling his bicycle, in place, that is connected to a saw, has nowhere else to go but there. And he sleeps on the bicycle. Maybe if he stays in the moment he is then having fun?

I don't know.

Sometimes, I think we are reading all these things and doing all these things, and we don't really know what the hell is up. We make movies about it. We hit the issues. But we are not mathematicians, most of us. And it is math, the numbers of strivers, that dictates so much at any given moment.

Chaos. A bit. Hopeful. Some.

I complain about preparing taxes for my accountant and freezing ugly streets. None of it is fun. But when I do try, and I do try, to stay in the moment during any and all tasks, I am happier than when I don't.

But I do not think I would be happy living on a bicycle in Lagos. But that's just me.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Woody and Michael

So little else needs to be said about Woody Allen and his crazed family life.

Except this:  We won't know, ever, what lurked in his heart. Or loins. Maybe it was proven that he did nothing untoward to his daughter. But, of course, he married the daughter of his girlfriend and everyone got pretty upset about that.

Michael Jackson and Woody Allen and millions of other men like them young. It seems. Men will do what they can, too, to satisfy an itch. Go behind a closed door. Make a whole movie about it. Open up a theme park. Etc.

Beyond any criminal activity, this also becomes a biological problem. Why on earth are some men sexually attracted to children?

You can understand the men who want kids in their late teens. Not long ago, that was when people got married. Rich men got to have very young women as their brides. Beyond the questions of power and property and control, most of us can agree that kids in their late teens are sexual. But young kids? Who are not sexual? Yeah, that's the difficult one.

I know so many people who were wrongly handled as children. It's a true crisis.

We have to figure out why and how men are sexually attracted to children. And if it is genetic, then it is time for some genetic engineering.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Good News About the World

Though we hear all this anti-gay hell about Russia...and it is hell...

Think about this:

The entire Western World, almost, is supporting all athletes of all sexual orientations. Think about it. Just twenty years ago, you would not have had a major corporation jumping up and down with its rainbow flags, saying, GO GUUURRRRLLL!
Now, it's just what is done. It has become the norm. It's brilliant. (And it sure does remove a certain amount of tension from my life.)

So Russia, yeah, you are a drag. But the civilized world?  It's pretty damn civilized. And for that, I have to say this: I am going to continue to live in the United States, in the usable places, and there is no need, really, to ever go to Russia. I'm no Olympiad.

Happy Sports to all.

We always progress. Always. Toward including everyone. That's the groovy thing about democracy.
Now, let's get behind our trans friends. And our one armed paper hangers!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Moby on LA

Thanks, BC.

I agree with everything Moby says, except for this line:

That's what New York became, a victim of its own photogenic beauty and success.

Moby is as Moby does:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/03/leave-new-york-for-los-angeles

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

PSH

Post Seymour Hoedown:

There has been so much bandying about the tragic end to the heroin user and wonderful actor-artist, PSHoffman.

Most of it has been kind and compassionate.

Some people are terrified and have blamed him for his own demise. “How could he do that to his three children?”

How could he not?

What happened happened.

I was shocked about this news. I had no idea he even had a drug problem. Maybe I was too drunk/high to notice?

Strangely, I have been able to “abuse” alcohol and weed at weekend levels that in other cultures would be considered just a tame Wednesday evening. It’s hard to know the extent of the damage you are doing. Luckily for me, I have a very sensitive, weak system, so there is just a limit to what I can handle and I just stop. For days at a time. For weeks. Sometimes years. Depending on the bender.

At the root of whatever it is that keeps me from going off the deep end, chemically, is I am terrified of illness and refuse to destroy myself (even though, at times, I do believe that others would be happy with my disappearance). My self preservation is stronger than my desire to numb out.

The primal horror in reaction to the death of this wonderful actor is that we all have a very questionable impulse. To self-obliterate. We all, while standing on a tall bridge, feel the desire to jump over the divide into the nothingness. We all want to escape this fucking veil of tears. Those of us who are high functioning, or medium functioning, or functioning within the legal limits of our house pants while sitting on a stained couch, find it terrifying that we could be so self destructive. Not to mention what we are doing to others by self immolation. But we all have some kind of wish to disappear. Even if only occasionally. Certainly, we all want pleasure, even if that pleasure is nothing more than a lack of pain.

There is much talk about brain chemistry. The chemistry of addiction. All that. I believe we will fully understand the chemistry of this whole addiction mess more fully in decades to come. But then, I do believe we may use our scientific ability to genetically engineer human beings who will then not have problems with addiction.

However, I fear the world will be less colorful.

I sort of know, or have the sinking feeling, that my creativity—which is really a form of reaching for transcendence—comes from the same area as my need to obliterate my negative feelings and increase my warm feelings. This is not dissimilar to drinking gallons of cheap beer at the HofbrÀuhaus am Platzl in Munich (and why didn’t Duncan ever call me? We got along so well that evening!) or like when I am stoned on some of the good weed you can simply have delivered to your door, anywhere in livable U.S.A., and use it to enhance ye ol’ sex life or dry pot roast.

Of course, there are limits. For me. But I completely understand that old saw you hear in 12 step rooms, “One is too much and a thousand never enough.”  The desire, “To find God at the bottom of a bottle.”  Pascal’s “God Shaped Hole,” Etc. There is a need FOR SOMETHING ELSE. And maybe for some people this need is filled while watching sun motes dance around their sweet children’s heads who love to eat noodles with their hands. But many people don’t have the luxury…of noodles. More abstract things can take over.

Death always lurks. For all of us. Horrible, horrible death. Yet on some level we crave death because for one thing, life can be too hard or too boring and also, it’s a curious place, death. Like, what the hell is it? And if we are going there, anyway, wouldn’t it make sense to get there sooner? Who likes to wait for anything?

Life is better, we say. But we don’t really know that. I have come out of anesthesia three times—each experience leaving me thinking, “Damn, if death is that kind of nothingness, why on earth is anyone afraid of it? I’ve never felt more well rested!” (And on my tombstone, please write, “My sinuses have never felt better”)

I believe the righteous indignation that people hold against addicts is a projection of the fear of their own death and the death of the ones that they love. People hate the idea of no longer existing. But why? They did not exist for all those long years before they were born. Are they mad about that, too? And does someone have to pay for this most great probability that we are not immortal?

I did not know PSHoffman. I know some people who did. They are all saddened. Sad. Not mad. Just sad. Anyone who did not know him who is angry at his action is projecting a fear onto him. Anger will not change anything here.

One day, we may figure out how to handle ourselves better on this earth, with all its pitfalls and problems and aggressions and miseries. But until then, I think we are going to drink and do drugs. And probably after that, too. It’s tricky.


Rest in Peace, Philip. You gave more than most. Sorry you’re gone. It’s sad for all of us. Living, unlike being dead, is often sad. 

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Hudson

We're sleeping right on it. Windows Open. Fresh air. It's geography right in the right wet good place. And today: 45 degrees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River

Sure, helicopters and planes use it for their visual. And you want to kill. But it calms down. And it's quiet. And all the windows are open.

Air blown across salt water is fresh and good.

Air blown across Fresh Water is the breath of fucking Jesus.

I love you, Jesus.