Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm Completely Content and Absolutely Happy About Everything

April Fools!

I remember well when our good friend David K would call us on April 1 with a gigantic hoax. One year, he got Adam to believe that he owed an enormous amount of extra dues to the WGA. It wasn't until Adam started throwing fits on the phone that David let him in on the prank and did the ol' April Fools! yell.

I am not a prankster. I do not like surprises, rubber chickens, whoopie cushions, garage door openers that squirt water in my face. Though these things are simply juvenile, they do have a whiff of cruelty about them.
However, if someone really does go to great lengths to pull a huge prank, there is art in that and maybe worth the trouble.

April really is the cruelest month, not so much because it begins with this silly "holiday," but because it is spring and it is still cold. The flowering trees do not start up until mid to late April. Spring does not really take hold until May. But I digress. Back to silliness.

I do not like Renaissance festivals or body paint. I do not like people in furry outfits. April Fools Day feels like the silliest thing ever. And maybe, just maybe, it is good for little kids to learn that lying can be a bit fun-hearted. I don't know.

Don't let anyone fool you today. And if they do, it better be worth it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This Blog Entry is Brought to you by J. Kaufman

Thanks, J.K.!

Look at this link that compares castle prices to shithole NYC apt. prices, and vomit.

Provided by J. Kaufman, we are all lucky to have such a clear picture.

My friend, B.F., who is not my B.F. but a good friend, has been boasting about living in the greatest city in the world, publicly, and chiding all those who do not live here. Perhaps it is the barely erupting spring that has pushed him into optimistic boosterism. Have your pride, and have a good time.

But the reality of New York, supplied by J.K., is a weird real estate madness, fueled by weird market madness, that makes this city pretend it is a collection of Versailles. Be delusional as you will, all you can hear from inside all the other Versailles around are screams that sound something like, "I went to Yale and have a masters degree in _______ and now I have to live with cockroaches the size of Donuts??"  or  "Go fuck yourself!"  or  "I just  hate my life. My bonus was only 450K this year!"  Things like that.

I love New York, mostly for the trains and subways that whisk you along and through rivers, bays, oceans and mountains. It is enjoyable to never drive and to see a lot of things and people all around. But there is a misery quotient here, measurable in real estate woe and weather horrendosity (don't judge me) that is not only pathetic but borders on tragic.

With that, we do have a density of experience...but it was a mathematical fluke. This density was earth-formed, bounded by watery limits, infused with historical arrivals and was, basically, London's West-Pond money printer gone nuclear. It was not great men that made this place, but great chance and timing. Although, all the stories that are bandied about, on the stages, in the magazines, in the papers, verbalized on the streets, spit out a monster self-congratulations. I say, go slap a bearded hipster, sell your box, take the cash to Europa, and live in a castle. So what if the taxes will kill you. If you stayed in New York, you would have worked yourself to death anyway.

New York, you are interesting. But you're just too expensive. And for create hacks, drones, depressives, fearful shut-ins and exhausted workaholics without an ounce of creativity. Take that. And keep me entertained and busy until I go live in a castle.

I do love the geography. A lot comes together here. It must have been amazing Pre-Columbian.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Remember when People were Funny?

Listening to Prosac? Make me Laugh!

There used to be a time when you could be a real fucking hardass depressive or anxious mess and you could turn it into a good time.

The true antidote to disastrous mental health was humor. Some people figured out that physical exercise helped. But really, humor always won the race.

You could find a clever way to complain about your dark abyss, and you sort of had to, because no one would put up with your whining miserable self loathing sun-starved hopeless ass otherwise. You had to get creative if you were going to be useful company. So you dug into the darkest reaches, took one good look at those miserable crags, and you figured, "I better turn this into an amusement park or I'm going to die alone on these sharp, empty rocks."

Anxious? That was easy. You just ran around screaming, "I'm a mess! I'm a mess! Let me tell you about _______."  And you'd insert your latest neurotic tale and flap your fucking arms up and down and everyone had a good time at your expense. If you had a sense of proportion that is, and knew when to bring down the curtain.

We have all died on the rock of productivity and normative behavior. We want and want.

It was more fun when people were fucked up and sang about it.

BOX Premiere in Europe

Hello Friends,

Our short, BOX--Chris Dolman and I in cahoots--was acquired by TVShorts International, based in London and we had our broadcast premiere in Europe on March 2.

Other (older) news about BOX, below, including its many festival inclusions:

More news coming, soon, to supporters about how you can watch BOX at home.

BOX.  It opened.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Tale of Three Cities

As I was leaving midtown Manhattan after seeing a sweet little musical review called GREED, directed by pal, Chris Scott, at New World Stages, I was reminded of when I was a student in Paris, having to always leave the center of town to get back to my place on the edge of town. Though, here in New York, it’s a little faster. (And go see GREED. Entertaining and talented stuff.)

In Paris, I lived at 61 Blvd Soult. It was on the ring road in the 12th. You can see it here. There is nothing special about this building on the edge of town. It could be a Miami Hotel.

But there was always something exciting about leaving it in the morning and it was always exciting coming home. Leaving, because, well, look at it. Who would want to stay there? But coming home at night was interesting. You’d leave all that Paris that you see in movies, on posters. And then you travel for 30 minutes and you are on the edge of nowhere. Nowhere feels good. You can really get to know yourself in nowhere. (Christopher Isherwood says Americans are more advanced and more spiritual than Europeans because we have to come to terms with ourselves living in unadorned boxes, whereas Europeans get distracted by all the material beauty around them.)

I was only in Paris for a semester because I was a science major and I did not have the time to hang around, smoking Gitanes, for a full year. But the spring semester I was there was one of those, “Yeah, I found out some things,” times of my life. It brought me off the straight and narrow. Plus, I was a little crazy at 20 and I used the time to pull myself together.

When I was coming home tonight, it had a similar feeling. Early spring. Going home to another edge of another city. And it felt good. I was tired. I just had to get there. And when I did, it was quiet and exciting. To be somewhere that is on the edge, where you can be involved with just being yourself and know that just five stops away is the center of a city. It’s a good deal.

But, in LA, you can be right in the center of town and be nowhere. And that, is why LA is so brilliant.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Officially Declare

Any more language based art about people's inability to connect and ersatz Pinteresque alienation is over.

It's about connection now.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Besides basic tragedy, most news items are about money. Someone is about to make money. Someone made a lot of money. Someone has no money. A country grabs land so they can secure their money. Legislation to make sure someone keeps their money. Legislation to make sure the money is shared. Money here. Money there. Money.

I celebrate the free market. It's pretty creative.

But aren't we bored with all this? As a species? Endless conflict over money?
Which is really just endless conflict over--Who deserves what.
It's like sibling rivalry.

And so there are the people who shrug--"This is just how it is." And then everyone jumps along. Splat. Repeat. Deadening repetition.

I do not propose that I have an idea of how to do any of this differently. And I am not silly enough to think you can scratch it all out and come up with something else. But what I am proposing is this. Since money is ultimately shared--we all are in this huge system of money and we all use it--and money is often not shared, but squirreled off--I have mine, you have yours, now let's play nice or not at all--then why don't we just accept that we are part generous and part selfish and with that consciousness, force the issues into the light and maybe break up this pattern some? Because the issue isn't really money. It's more about whether or not you have any desire to share or not to share.

I am bored with people basically playing poker with each other, hiding their hand, grabbing what they can. But I am equally bored with the whining experts who try to shame people into giving people stuff for no reason other than it is morally a solid action.  Both methodologies cause everyone pain.

I wish there was something we could do so that our narratives weren't so much about money. But then, that might be asking us to not be this particular species. I do hope when we are extinct that packs of dogs rise up and have a very different experience. They may be calmer and less neurotic. But it is impossible to know.

Monday, March 17, 2014

So Damn Gay and Irish: Do the Math

Approximately 10% of all Americans have major Irish ancestry. At about 34 Million people, this is about five times the actual population of Ireland (6.8 Million).

Of these 34 million, it is safe to say that at least 3% of them are full-on gay.  That's over a Million gay Irish people in the U.S.  And let's face it, I am being conservative here. It could be double that.

So, you have over a million gay Irish people and you don't want them in your parade?  Why, now?

You are phobic fecks!

Irish Americans, listen up. In Ireland, whenever there is a St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Gays are out and proud and stomping on their floats. As one Irish person put it, "Aren't all parades pretty much gay?"
If the gays in Ireland are having a good ol' time, why can't the gays on this side of the Guinness pond be included too?

I love being Irish, that is 3/8 Irish, myself. I would be half Irish if my father's mother's father had not been a Dietrich. But what's in a number?  A lot.

In addition to the 10% of Americans who have major Irish ancestry, another whole boat load, not even countable, also have Irish ancestry. Next after the Germans, there is more Irish blood coursing through the veins of Americans than any other ethnic corpuscle. Being Irish is practically like being American. For God's sake, get over your foolishness and let a gay leprechaun in. We're magic.

Next year. 2015. Enough already. You bunch of drunken sods!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The New Guard: Paul Kouri


This is my good friend who is making a stab at great governance. He's a well balanced Democrat with solid ideas and a killer work ethic. He also has a heart of gold and is smart like, well, you.

Oh let's face it. He's one of us! A person who wakes up every morning--who looks at the world and says, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE??!!  But instead of doing what I do, which is to do something else, he is doing something about it.

You won't be Sorry, if you head for Kouri.

Yours, in politics, sort of.


PS--For those who need to know, I am a pragmatic moderate Democrat with both Socialist and Libertarian leanings. I believe different things can be put in different baskets and everyone will be better off for it. I can't say Paul is like me. But I can say Paul Kouri has his eye on all the baskets. And, Paul was the name of the witch's tarantula on Bugs Bunny.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Last Day of Frozen Hell

After Last Night's Rain
The Wind Blew In

Fucking Frozen

The End of It


Two Weeks Ahead
40's  50's

Haiku Gets Long
When You Are Completely Done

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nothin' Doin'!

Sometimes, you put on an ugly hat and cut a move.

Start at 7:20 when Alfalfa is assured of the love of his object of affection.
She sets him straight ten seconds later.

I love how Georgia Jean Larue, ten years old, is Going Hollywood and she already looks 47.  Good luck, girl. She should have left Alfalfa’s farm when she was 3. Maybe then she could have played some aged action hero’s girlfriend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ragey Lady, I Love You

I was coming back from Brooklyn from my smarty writing group of funsters, clanking over The Manhattan Bridge on the Q train, when I noticed the lower middle to lower class woman sitting opposite and a little to the left was glaring at me, hard, as I read Caryl Churhill’s Top Girls.  Now, it’s a pink tattered library copy and the title sounds sort of sexy and the only parts of a woman’s body you see are the feet in serious white and black pumps.

So maybe that was why she had the look on her face? Like, she thought I was reading smut, openly?

Anyway, I didn’t even know the cover looked like that until just now when it Tony Orlando and Dawned on me that maybe that was the problem.  But maybe not. I don’t know.

So I continued to Times Square and somewhere around 14th Street I looked up from my book and I noticed this very angry woman staring at me and I wondered, “Where have I seen this woman before?” 

Of course, it was ten minutes ago on the bridge. I just sort of forgot. I was tired. It was a long day. But did I really forget?

No, I got rid of her in my mind. I just pushed her out.

But then I noticed something, once I remembered that I knew exactly who she was, the woman who had been sitting there all along. She was pissed off but she was interested. She sort of wanted to know what I was doing. She liked that someone was actually reading?  Who knows!

But she was angry. Real angry. And because she was paying attention to me, or my pink book with the perhaps-smutty cover, or she figured out I was doing some work because she noticed the book had a library catalog number on it and I was taking notes, anyway, she would soften, then harden, soften, then harden. Something was going on.

People are furious. I have always tried to ignore furious people. I don’t want to be the object of rage. And though we are all capable of deep murderous rage (so the psychological pundits tell us), I have tried, mostly, to get the hell away from that side of myself.

But then there was this woman. And she was vacillating between curiosity-warmth and raging-judgment. And she seemed to be surviving that teeter-totter.  So what I usually want to write off as low-rent un-evolved public nasty person, because I am actually afraid of that kind of thing, I sort of let in. I just looked at her once or twice and all she got from me was, “I’m curious about you.” And I think that was enough for her.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Sucky, Fucky in Kentucky

This is quite heartfelt, yes.

I don't, though, exactly understand what the crying is all about. Is there something going on there personally? He mentions his daughter in the end. And he wants to be proud.

Maybe he is simply overcome with the heartfelt warmth of doing what he knows is right.

Or maybe he is crying over the greater pain of the human condition: this horrendous divide of opinion and people fighting over what really should not be a fight at all.

I do not know.

But it is clearly clear that the gay rights of gay citizens are pummeling the land from stem to stern. Another lost item--Kentucky--for the Socially Conservative Right. All the rest of you Rights, you Party-of-Lincolns, you Libertarians, you freedom seeking roustabouts---we all know you are with us, the entire Democratic Party. This is something we all agree on. Let it ring. Let it be done. Sea-to-Shining-Sea equality by 2015.

Churches--go on and marry no one you don't want to marry. We just don't care.

Kentucky. Yes. Kentucky.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Mr. Franco

Obviously, James Franco is a big fan of and for gay people. It is an enjoyable thing to know that he made this movie:

I have been following James on Instagram and it does look like he is actually posting, that it is him. Or at least, he is feeding things to someone who is posting for him.

He is very comfortable being himself, whether he is playing a straight guy or making an art film doc about Pacino's Cruising or a parody video with Seth Rogen, making out with him after a good long motor cycle ride.

The point, it seems, that James Franco is trying to make is that the old labels of gay and straight are sort of fading away. He plays with all of it. Good for him.

He is younger than me by a good chunk and when I look at him on Instagram, it is clear that he is as much in love with the images he is sending out as his fans are. In other words, he is experiencing a clear gayish narcissism. And why shouldn't he? He's lovely and bright. He is enjoying his own image. You feel it.

This pushes people to speculate as to what his sexuality is. And the point he most often makes is that it does not matter what anyone's sexuality is. This is a good point.

I sometimes get bleary when I consider it. The most defining horror of my youth and the later enjoyment of my adulthood was the exact parameters in which my sexuality was confined. I do maintain that had things been a little different culturally and had women been a little less scary to me, that I might have had a more ambi life. Well, in fact, I did have that kind of life in college. A fellow member in the drama department who eventually became a famous person, in angry response to my sleeping with his on-again-off-again ex-girlfriend, threw me into a costume rack and said one word, "Decide."

Which, of course, is funny. I had no idea he was even following my antics. Plus, his girl was fair game at the time. But my bed greed pissed him off. I ran into him years later on set and he was kinder than a pussycat. I did not bring up the incident.

James Franco looks at men having sex with both genders with equanimity. And also, perhaps, with a bit of a boner. We won't ever know. But the point he seems to be making is that there is a continuum. But even larger than that, he thinks all bigotry is a ridiculous load of bullshit.

It's guys like him that help us all out.

I just hope he's doing okay.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Career News: Face It

I have always been happiest when I put things in this exact order/subordination:

I am a person first. I am a career maker second.

Whenever I swap those, I get into wretched trouble.

Of course, what I have been mostly paying attention to as an adult is what it is to be a person. So it would make sense, in order for that to have any career value, to be a person first, anyway.

But even more importantly, if career comes first, then you are a career person and since you are what you do, then you are simply that and you slowly but surely become less interesting. Plus, you burn out and your ego gets inflated, takes a beating, rinse, repeat, blech.

Additionally, you could end up with a very skewed and sad perspective and a very strange face if you are single minded. Look at Goldie Hawn at the 2014 Oscars. She had an idea of her career, or something like that, coming first. She mutilated herself. If she had been a person first, she would not have ended up looking like ___________. There are so many sharp jokes that could be made at her expense. But really, sadly, she got caught up in a thought process that chucked herself first and put some misguided ambition in its place. It's not worth it. And it eats up your time and energy. And who you actually are.

Do not mutilate yourself. Anyone. Have a career. Second. Be a person. First.