Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Now that the Feds have backed off, California is simply considering legalizing marijuana. And they might as well. Everyone in LA is stoned all the time. Every party you go to, there is pot. Always. And usually the one with the biggest bag is Bill Maher.

If you see someone on a leisurely stroll, chances are, they are high.

It’s the weed state. Humboldt County grows it like Kansas grows corn.


It just makes sense. If everyone is smoking pot, and they are, you might as well make money from it. Nevada is the gambling state. California will be the pot state. Big deal!

One of the things you notice in New York City, whether you’re high or not, is that no one in New York City is getting high. Lack of availability or the devoir that one retains perpetual aggressive behavior in order to succeed in business, precludes rampant pot smoking.

I have to say, the people in LA are having a better time. But, they are not getting as much done. But, maybe, if you consider a lot of what comes out of LA, it might be wise to keep production levels compromised by a mild hallucinogen.

They tax booze, don’t they? Legalize weed, tax it, and build that bullet train. And when you get to the smoking car, light up a joint and fly through the central valley, wave to the poor animals lolling ‘till slaughter at Cowschwitz or Burger Belsen, and think, “Ah, another reason why the living in California is so easy.”

But bring your spinhaler. The air is rough there.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Public, The Sex, The Kings

These three things.

The Public Option is on the table because almost everyone wants it, except for people who are afraid of others.

Much of race prejudice has to do with sexual revulsion. Or, the prejudice leads to sexual revulsion. One way out of prejudice is for society to publicly sexualize everyone. The United States did this very well. Years later, our first couple is very attractive to all of us, and brown.

The titans of business run groups of people that are the same size as kingdoms of yore. It takes about that many people to make a king naturally feel like a king. This king, attached to his ambition, aggression and worth, needs three things: great material wealth, the ability to control others, substantial personal perks. No matter what the government does to try to regulate this, they will fail. The kings will always find a way to deliver what their DNA requires in order to function as leaders. Animal stuff.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

We saw Where the Wild Things Are and when it was over, I was deeply shaken.

Spike Jonze directs movies beautifully and, for me, this is his most beautiful of all. Letting in this kind of movie is not that natural for me. I am not drawn to kid stuff. But this movie is primal. And it is very very sad. Leaderless wild things. A kid who is lonely and loving and powerless. James Gandolfini, a very emotional, bullying, needy monster mess, who has fits of controlling rage followed by crushing disappointment and longing for love and sadness.

The original soundtrack by Karen O and the Kids is also quite moving. Light, lyrical, right on.

Visual poetry, this movie. As a kid, I never really liked the book. I did not understand it, exactly (mostly because I was not the conquering type). But I always liked the images of the monstery beasts. They were funny. They also looked like mischievous, knowing creatures, which I liked. Their pointy teeth were unsettling to me. In the movie, they are all a bunch of existential messes with free floating depression and anxiety. It’s an interesting writing choice, all a transference from the inner life of Max.

James Gandolfini voicing over the main monster, Carol, standing at the edge of the sea when Max takes his farewell, crying and wondering why they can’t all just be together, in a happy pig pile, pretty much did me in. It could have been saccharine if it wasn’t so real and base and, yes, again, I’ll type it—primal.

It’s one of those movies about love, but somehow makes love, again, primal.

Solid. Beautiful. Love the big hairy suits. Max Records is a winning kid. Catherine Keener’s edge is always palpable. James Gandolfini could get a Golden Furbie Award.
Lauren Ambrose schlepped around admirably, with smart care.

It’s a great movie. It is a strange takeoff from the book. But good movies are.

The Dave Eggers short (from the novelization) in The New Yorker was also very good. He wrote the screenplay, too, along with Mr. Jonze.

This movie did not exactly bring me back to being a kid. But it did bring me back to being much younger and thinking about what it was like to think about what it was like to be a kid. We do grow up. But it does get nasty.

Peak Weekend, Mahwah, New Jersey

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Friday, October 23, 2009

The Royal Family

The Royal Family, by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber: What fun?

Splendidly acted on a splendid set. But one wonders why do this ol’ chestnut?

Well, for the FUN of it! Why not? Fun is fun.

She’s a long one, with two intermissions.

The Biltmore Theater is quite pleasant now that it has been refurbished into the Manhattan Theatre Club at The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Lovely building. Great columns.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Long Days

Be careful what you wish for. In a good sense.

The day has now come that I am writing all the time, interrupted only by my social schedule and business assumptions.

Lucky me.

But what this means is, while the whole world is out there working, talking to each other, carrying on, making a difference or no difference at all, I am in my hamster house on my wheel.

It is fun. And you can certainly fit in doing laundry, sinus lavage, stomach crunches, a little guitar playing, a run to the cheap (but very good, we are near Elmhurst, you know) Chinese take out, a meditation during sunset looking at the skyline, some phone calls, email. Really, a perfect day.

But, you do build up a libido for yacking.

There is something interesting about getting what you want. You can still feel antsy, if you are someone who has been antsy for a long time. And trusting it, well, trust is a whole thousand other blog entries.

But when you settle into it and you really take it on, that feels right.

I have always been ridiculously romantic about being a writer. A big part of the romance is being able to be alone every day for long periods of time. But the capper is to see people after all is said and done. And when you tend to work late…it’s hard to make that happen.

So, you spend some days completely alone, working. And then, you spend days with people and you don’t work as much or not at all.

You go in and out. You go in and out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Republic Morphs

The Feds have backed off. If you have medical marijuana flying around in your state and it is legal by state laws, the Feds will stand off.

Pretty good. If you’ve been on Melrose lately in Los Angeles, you would need a few tanks to take out the medical marijuana stores.

13 states have laws on the books allowing marijuana to be grown for medical purposes.

The Feds don’t want to mess with 13 states.

Lucky 13.

I believe if we wait for about 13 states to allow gay marriage, the Feds will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

Sometimes, a Republic is a good thing. But it takes patience. Which blows. I have no patience. It takes a certain generosity of spirit to exercise patience. And trust.

Here we go.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ulster County, New York, Autumn

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Camera Phone, capturing the Fall death. I did not remember how beautiful everything is, mid-October, in New York. When every berry has dried and split and every leaf has crinkled red and brown, you get pretty riled up looking at it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

For the Record

I am so fucking totally for the public option.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Informant!

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Matt Damon, The Informant!, is funny, smart and odd.

Wonderfully, this movie (if I am remembering correctly) had no soundtrack at all.

Matt Damon is pleasingly, well, I would say plump, but he’s fat. He put the weight on for the role. He walks around like a refrigerator. It’s quite something.

The style of the early 90’s was worth the gander.

Okay, so it’s a whistleblower movie, but it turns out the whistleblower (M. Damon) is a liar.

Based on a true story, you might get some chuckles out of this one.

At times, I was a little bored. Matt Damon is a fine actor. Soderbergh knows what he’s doing.

Dancing Lemurs of Madagascar: Join us

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday at the Movies

Stella Adler, the famous ol’ timey acting teacher, once said something like, “All stories are about class difference.”

And today, so were the two movies I saw, sort of.

People are sick of Michael Moore. Frankly, I can’t get enough of him. I think what he makes is total leftist porn. But when I am politically jerking off, this is exactly the kind of smut I want to watch. So, since no one was interested, I went ahead and popped into the movie theatre in Chelsea on 23rd and 8th and had me some Capitalism: A Love Story.

I loved it. And I highly recommend seeing it. I don’t think it’s really about Capitalism. It’s really about the richest people of our country getting away with profound theft and the culture of corruption that is Wall Street-Washington-Saunders-Rubin-Greenspan-Cheney-Bush-Goldman Sachs-you name it. Okay, so it is about Capitalism, and how Capitalism hijacked our Democracy. From a Michael Moore email below (yeah, I’m on his blast):

And it's true. I've been surprised (and slightly annoyed) that, with all that's been written and talked about "Capitalism: A Love Story," very little attention has been paid the mind-blowing stuff in the film: (airline) pilots on food stamps, companies secretly taking out life insurance policies on employees and hoping they die young so the company can collect, judges getting kickbacks from the private prison industry for sending innocent people (kids) to be locked up. The profit motive -- it's a killer.

He’s a fun filmmaker. Not the best ever. Not the smartest. A total chubby clown. But he’s our chubby clown. And we need to laugh now more than ever. Bring it on Falstaff!

Capitalism: A Love Story

Nick Hornby, writer of About A Boy, has adapted Lynn Barber’s memoir into a screenplay. An Education

There’s nothing but spoilers if the movie is remarked upon in detail. But, we know this: an older man seduces a high school student. And it’s problematic. There, I said it.

Acting is superb, really. Though Sarsgaard—he gets cast and, well, you know there’s smarm a-comin’.

Good story, but such obvious dialogue in the screenplay, you get sort of annoyed. Plus, the language doesn’t feel quite British. It’s almost as if they made sure this movie could be easily understood by an American audience.

But who am I to judge? I’ve never made a movie. Okay, once. Sixth grade. About a lemonade stand that turns people into monsters. And the film didn’t film. But I’ve told you this before.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

You Say Obama. I say Christian Bigot

I watched Obama on You Tube give his speech to the HRC. I mean, the President does not believe in Gay marriage, but does believe in all the same rights for gay couples. So, basically, he’s a separate but equal kind of guy.

I wonder which water fountain he uses at The White House.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Friday List


Something about the Healthcare Plan and the budget and it all working out--and Democrats are whooping and hollering and Republicans are getting all conspiracy about it, like the Dems have one set of books for the public and another set for themselves-- well, it cuts many ways here. Republicans are paranoid, by nature (at least your latter day, what’s-left-of-the-party-ones)—but it would make anyone paranoid if all you ever spent your time doing was worrying that someone less advantaged than you got something that they didn’t deserve.


Sometimes, when you get sick, it is best to relax into it. It has its own kind of Dengue Fever pleasure.


There are some damn fancy stores in Manhattan.


Doing your own laundry is a good reminder of something, of what, I don’t know. But my momma taught me: Just let your good button-down shirts tumble in the dryer for only five minutes. Then, hang them up to dry on hangers, buttoning and straightening. You don’t have to iron later on.


I saw a dog in a dog stroller today. I would like one of each.


As the days get shorter, we have to be grateful. We get to see the sunset even sooner than we did the day before. It’s fantastic.


Why do we write using “we”? There are so many assumptions with “we.”


I read, yesterday, in the NYTimes that after some experiments, they have concluded that evolution cannot go backward (at a cellular level). This is something we all know intuitively. I love, and sort of hate, when something you just kind of know is scientifically proven.


COMPELLED to get to ten?


I wish every great movie, show, art thing, dance were not all premiered in autumn. This seasonal stuff seems a little old timey, sheep-like. NO MORE SHEEP!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Autumn Can't Be Stopped

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GET OVER IT! Summer is Over! YAY! However, the wind, leaves and mold (that is eating the leaves?) are in cahoots---pounding my eye sockets with sinus trouble. Ah, I thought it would be over when I left LA.

There is only one remedy at this point: I have to have a tiny hit of weed and watch ELF.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Greetings from Woodside, Queens and Points Beyond

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There are some things in New York City that are so old and falling down, you just have to stand there in awe.

Walked from Jackson Heights, Queens, to Greenpoint, Brooklyn today with pal, Margot. It's a two hour walk. It goes through some well known sections of Queens: Woodside, with its old and still highly functional Irish pubs, Sunnyside, with its cute brick buildings surrounding gardened courtyards, the hip-art area of Long Island City near Vernon-Jackson Boulevards (and PS1-MOMA and the tallest building in Queens-the Citibank blue rocket), get to Newtown Creek. Now, really, this creek is an industrial canal. Much like the Gowanus in Brooklyn. To get to Brooklyn from Queens, at this spot, you walk across a well traveled bridge. Cars, walkers and bikers all use it, the walkers and bikers together, protected by a concrete divider. And then it happened.

And it's the reason why so many of us don't ride bicycles.

This young man put on his brakes because he was flying too fast down the lump-toward-Brooklyn part of the bridge and another biker cut him off (who might have been trying to avoid hitting us walkers) and well, the guy who got cut off put on his brakes too hard and went flying to the ground. It was a bloody scene.

So we helped him. Now get this---there we were helping this guy, and he's a Black guy, and I can't really recognize his scrapes, for a long time.

I remember when I saw a dog's erection for the first time as a kid, I knew it was some sort of inner-blood thing---and it took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on.

But there it was, today, and I am full grown--and this guy has scrapes all over his arms and leg and a very bloody hand...and my mind is taking the longest time registering what the hell these marks are on his body. With the exception of some guy named Lance from day camp a million years ago, I don't remember having seen bloodied black skin. And there I was...agog...slowly registering reality. I even wanted to stare longer than would be polite in order to fully register this new visual experience.

So, let's give eggs a break. We are all different and sometimes, even when it's blood, it takes a while to take in the new information. Or at least, give me a break. I felt so stupid taking that long to recognize simple road burns. (But I DID vote for Obama even though it did register, immediately, that he was a Black man running for president.)

We walked our poor guy to a store and got him bandaids and such. Afterward, he limped off to the subway to finish out his ride to Fort Greene with the aid of the MTA.

Margot and I then went and had Polish at Christina's. When in Greenpoint, go to Christina's. On Manhattan Avenue, right across from the huge red brick church. I love Greenpoint.

And always wear your helmet. Anne. Jeff. All of you.

Monday, October 05, 2009

New York Now

The ten things I have noticed about New York City since I lived here back when I was a younger man.

1) Central Park is crawling with raccoons. In broad daylight, they forage through trash receptacles and eat like pigs. They are cute. They are like our local pets.

2) Really rich people take themselves very seriously. This behavior would not fly so well on the West Coast.

3) Manhattan has lost its young generation of artists. With an older, less-risk-taking crowd, the island has become safer, easier to manage and better maintained. But less interesting. However, it is comforting to know that if you are crawling the streets at 4AM, chances are you will not get bopped over the head.

4) There are still dive bars and they are still very cheap.

5) Outer boroughs have become perfectly fine places to move to. Though Queens is still not considered that hip. Brooklyn, while hip, is almost ludicrous.

6) People work hard in the way that people used to always work hard. In Los Angeles, people work toward big pay outs. In New York, people sell, sell, sell so they can buy, buy buy. Endlessly.

7) There is so much water here.

8) The flora is truly lovely. The trees are extremely old and large.

9) The sound systems in most movie theatres could use upgrading.

10) Most people in New York do realize that it is just one place and not THE place any longer. However, it is amazing to listen to the smug narcissism that spews forth…I mean, the depth of narcissism a person must be gripped with to still feel like the center of the universe when there are all those other people around—stops the mind.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tsunamis and You

No one particularly likes a tsunami. But what I don’t understand is why anyone dies at all in one.

I mean, if you live in Canada, you pretty much make sure your house has heat.

If you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific, wouldn’t it make sense to have SOMETHING that would help you out in case of a big old wave surge? A very good warning device?

It is tragic, of course, when people die in a natural disaster. And I don’t mean to be flip here.

But why are people not prepared? And it can’t all be about poverty. Really poor people in Canada have heat.

Something is up.

I Love the 14th Amendment

Get Ready Folks. It’s coming.

Equality Across America