Tuesday, September 30, 2014

@ College: Stopping Unwanted Sex

California has signed into law the sexual consent thingy that is so unclear you wonder how it is a law.

Perhaps students should be filmed at all times. This might curb insane sexual behavior.

I know when my mother-in-law is in town, I drink less and behave more gentlemanly. Someone or something overseeing the unruly is not so bad.

Fraternities are terrifying places. My college wasn't even that much of a frat school, but if there was a frat party on a Saturday night, I did my absolute best not to go. The beer and aggression were out of control. Why would any woman on earth ever want to step into one of those places? So their shoes could get all sticky with beer?

I know, I know, it sounds like I am blaming the victims.

I am not.  Campus sexual assault by idiotic drunk guys (and gals) can just as easily happen in the corner of a calm little dormitory.

But the idea of someone 19 years old stopping before each action with the questions:

Can I kiss you now?

Can I touch this now?

Can I enter that now?

Can I just lightly rub it against your anus until my roommate comes back?

I mean, I just don't know how this is really going to work.

And then when there are court cases...and some girl or guy says, "Yeah, she or he said yes by the yessy look in their eye," and some lawyer says, "But did he or she say Yes? I mean, a real yes?" And the defendant says, "Well, from what I know about how people behave in our culture, the look in her/his eyes said yes..."

And then it goes on and on.

I have never been sexually assaulted--that I can remember--but really, let's do take care of this my way because it is time to be very practical:

1) If you are a girl and there is a frat party, don't go. Under any circumstance. Do something else, if for no other reason than to protect your liver and your hearing.

2) If some guy or girl takes you back to his or her room, alone, and it is Saturday and s(he) is carrying a bottle of booze, leave the door open at all times, with the lights on, bright.

3) If the state of California wants to protect you, ask them to install a me-cam on your head connected to a video feed at the police station.

4) Wear armor. Or a garlic necklace.

5) Trust no one. Even if that seems severe right now, it will help you out in the business world once you graduate.

Friends, it's a disastrous planet full of crazy people who want to get into your pants. Especially while being young. We all want you safe. God knows, you've already had enough trauma in your life. But this consent thing is going to be weird to police.

But maybe I'm an out of touch old cow and this is a step that needs to be taken. Maybe if it is hanging over everyone's head, at least there will be greater awareness.

I am waiting for the wise cracking guy who wears that first T-shirt that reads, "I consent to every step. Just ask me."

Back in my day, we fucked. But who knows what the hell went down that I did not hear about. Horrible horrible things may have happened. And that has to stop. Those horrible things. Now.

Good luck, California. Keep records. Tell us all about it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mr. Fix It

A good friend of mine recently said, "You can't fix things. There's nothing you can do."

I understand his hands-off approach to the social scene of the planet, man.

But let's go a little further and admit...we have tried to fix lots of things and we have fixed them. Other things, we have not.

Since we have and can fix lots of things, it is time to take on the biggest problem we have.  We need to fix the birth rate.  Why?  Because it would be so great to have more tuna in the sea and less carbon in the sky, more animals all over the place, more stable weather conditions. Less people in the way.

And though I am sort of a pacifist, I'm really not.

My suggestion is this. (And you can delete me from your memory banks as if I never existed.):

We need to instill a population collapse.


I can't talk about sterilization, because, really, who can?

I can't talk about genital mutilation, because, you know, that wouldn't be nice.

I can't talk about any of the obvious things you would need to do to bring this about because ethically, most of the immediate methods have been agreed upon by almost everyone to be reprehensible.

So what do we do?

I don't know.

But if we just cut the population on earth in half, can you imagine how much nicer this place would be?

Collapse it.


Maybe my friend is right. It probably can't be fixed.   Fuck.

I can't stand all these people.

Thursday, September 25, 2014





Problematic Climate Change Deniers.


Like the slaves are doing fine.


Gimme it.


Pussy. Doing it all for pussy.


Girls. Girls. They don't get the fair shake.


It ends.


You're not black. Not yet.


You will be.


Kill everyone. No more wars.


There's always a screen on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Iran, such Art

We finally watched A SEPARATION, the 2012 Oscar winner for best foreign film (and nominated for best original screenplay).

It's been on my list. You know that list. The one you make and you swear you're going to get to them. Books. Music. Movies. Mercy Killings.

This movie! http://www.sonyclassics.com/aseparation/  You really have to see it if you like any of the following:

Very surprising but believable plot turns
Great acting
A different culture where the human beings are pretty much the same as you or I, but suffering under a strange system
A really fresh thing, overall

I can't really say anything at all about the plot. It would be one spoiler after another. It does start like this:  The wife wants to leave Iran. The husband cannot because of his ill father. The daughter is torn. Someone is hired to help around the house.  Things get complicated.

I have to give this movie five stars and a lamb shank. It is harrowing. And brilliant. And ancient. And new.

It's on iTunes for like four bucks.

It doesn't pay to make art any longer. But it sure is fun when something this good can stream right in your living room and no one (except for me, once) is texting.

Watch it. You know you missed it back in 2012. (It was officially released in the U.S. in 2011)

Tell me how much you love it.

And while we're at it, let's get back to this truth:


Best damn movie, kind of, ever.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Aged Know

Getting off the subway tonight, way uptown to go home, it was about 11:30PM

So everyone was rushing, still. Like the madness of lemmings. Getting off. Wanting to get to their apartments.

And there was this older man. White Santa hair at half length. White beard to match. Not too long. He was walking with a cane, slowly up the stairs.

People were rushing by him. Anxious to get up the stairs. Cool. We all know how it is to want to frigging get home.

And there he was, this Santa type...with the best part about him being the look in his eyes. I caught his look. I liked it. I didn't click any like button.

He was a bit worn out but very aware. It was his awareness. Maybe he has always been very aware. Maybe he has become more aware with age. Maybe the cane did it to him.

But I liked the look in his eyes more than anyone I saw all day.

He could notice things because he was going slowly. It was exciting to watch him take everything in. I know he saw me see him. We enjoyed a two second acknowledgement of how nuts and harried people are.

We're all headed toward this older self.

Why aren't people practicing this way of looking--in preparation? Or just in general.

I am sure he made it home just fine. He was really paying attention.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Only Wish

I only wish I could live to two-hundred (in great health and cheer with others I have known who are in the same boat) so I can see the future.

Cars truly will be electric.

Energy truly will be renewable.

And all the ridiculous people who fought against this...their progeny will kick their heads back and say with proud sentiment,"Oh, well, you know grandpa. He just liked his greasy motors. He really was a great guy. Everyone said so."

People don't change out of fear and greed. It's so fucking lazy.

Grandpa wasn't a great guy.  Grandpa was selfish and terrified.

New generation:  Pick it up fast and hard. Take over. Take over. Take over.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


If you only believe in greed and you don't care about science, you should go to prison for a while.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Did anyone else besides me NOT get a MacArthur Award today?, AKA, The Genius Grant?

So weird.

I've figured out so many things and I have been trying to share these triumphs with all of mankind, but the MacArthurs have turned a blind eye to these varied accomplishments that as a whole body of work, could certainly count as genius worthy:

1. Always take Pepto Bismol tablets while taking Malaria pills.

2. Do not take off your clothes and jump in the stream with your old fat agent when you are twenty-four. He's not asking you to swim naked so you can talk about your future movie career. He just likes young guys. But then again...can you blame him?

3. Always sew on a button within twenty-four hours of its loosening. Otherwise, you're just going to lose the button.

4. Stay away from people who tell you what's wrong with you even if they are right.

5. You can defrost frozen meat on a cookie sheet...or anything metal...very quickly. Metal is known for its conductive properties. You want to maximize the amount of meat surface touching the metal. For further oomf, place that cookie sheet on top of the stove. More metal, more conducting. Watch those pork chops melt in less than an hour.

6. Everything you have to do today is not as important as sitting at the piano and bellowing out pop tunes. Fuck it. You're not a unique genius. Why not use that to your advantage?

7. Spend way less than you make. And then travel a lot. Take pictures. Post them. Tell other people to travel. Try to invent a plane that uses no fossil fuels. Or walk.

8. Be kind to absolutely everyone. If people try to destroy you in the process...just walk away from those people.  This is fun. Blocking someone on Facebook is completely necessary sometimes. People are your salvation and your treachery. Pay attention.

9. Love is fickle. There is no such thing as No Love. Or All Love. There is just love that comes and goes. Success and health and beauty and sandwiches behave exactly like this, too. Stop thinking there is an absolute perfect form. You can handle it.

10. Every single bit of dogma is complete bullshit created by anxious monkey minds. Since you are living in complete chaos...I suggest you buy an electronic labeling device and start filing everything. Closest to you: What you are working on. In the cabinet nearby: The stuff you need and the stuff you will get to and the reference things  you refer to. In the garage: Stuff you finished or other things you want to keep for the long haul.  File management, both digitally and physically... is the road to out sized success. Just look at me.


11. Bleach your sponges.

That's it. That's my genius. Worth 650000 bucks? Sure! Why Not?!

There's time for this to swing back at me.

I am not invisible. I am not invisible. I am not invisible. I...use twisty ties to keep the speaker wires off my floors.

Enjoy your creative selves.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My 9-11

We were in Ojai for a short vacation
We slept in.
While at a housewares/decorating/novelty store, about 11AM, a clerk started following us around.
He needed to connect.
He was creepy.
I thought he was hitting on one of us, probably the blond one, Adam, not me.
He asked us if we heard what happened.
We were puzzled.
He told us a plane flew into the World Trade Center.
I thought he meant a small one. By mistake.
Then he told us another plane hit the second one.
Then I thought he was nuts and sort of like Mike White in Chuck and Buck.
Then he told us that both of the buildings fell down.
And while I was thinking that he was off his meds and just making stuff up I noticed that Adam had a hit of recognition on his face. He had caught something out of the corner of his eye on a television.
Adam turned to me and told me that he thought he saw or heard something happened in New York.
It started to seem real.
The clerk still seemed like a strange spastic who needed friends.
He was our messenger.
I went outside and called my father on my candy bar cell phone.
I asked my father if any of this was true.
He said, in his warm and strong Yonkers accent--Yes. It's unbelievable.
We continued to talk. My father's innocence was destroyed. Mine was.
We called other friends on our cell phones.
We only had cell phones for about fourteen months.
We went back to our room and watched the horror for a few hours.
Like everyone else, we called whoever we could, went into shock, checked on whoever we could.
We did not stay at the inn. It was paid for but we left. We felt like we had to go home.
Of course, we got off very easy.
Four weeks later, we got a dog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oh Mighty ISIS

You can look at ISIS as the enemy, or you can get even more grim about it:

Our species is fatally flawed.

If a brain can get so dogmatic as to want to kill anyone in its path that does not agree with it, then this is a biologically based problem.

Why does the brain need agreement? Or getting larger: Is this really just an example of the pecking order gone insane?  What is the mind trying to do here?  Why does it need this incredible one-way order? Is it the same drive that makes for slavery?

It is so wonderful that evolution took our minds to a place where we are able to think about so much and to do so much. But like everything, the process didn't necessarily stop at the nice spot.

Things fall apart.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Just Take a Look at This

It is, pretty much, mind boggling, the link at the bottom of this post.

And the Right---has sort of shut up about it.

I love the Right. Just listen to what they are screaming about the most...it's always a death rattle.

What bullies. What monsters. What creeps.

Sore winner, I?

Okay, maybe.

Let's talk about what is good about the Right: Personal responsibility and incentives. They sort of invented carrots (but let's face it, sticks, too).

The Left gets mushy.

But damn, we on the left mostly get it right.

Eat my map.


Monday, September 08, 2014

The Blog Did Not Die

Hello Blog Friends,

No, Open Trench did not die. What happened, as if I haven’t already inundated you enough with the fact, is this:

It took five weeks, every bit of my middle aged muscle, the last bits of coin I had in my wallet and most of my nerves. But it took. And it is booking like hotcakes at a 1940s autumn fair. So though I could complain, instead I am going to say, “Tell your friends and neighbors and production companies.”

The blog continues. I am back online.

What was interesting is for most of July and August I did not read any news. Now that I have picked up the paper again, what the fuck has changed? Nothing. A few dead people that used to make some people laugh. The Islamic movement got an acronym. The Russians got more aggressive.  Shit. Humans. Are they really worth writing about?

I look forward to a bland news season. I imagine myself, two hundred years after my death, saying, “Finally, the Middle East has become Paramus, just like everywhere else, and people are too busy shopping to give a shit about their differences.”

Chant for Pan-Paramus.

And for rain in California.