Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The Y Chromosome has been getting a lot of press lately.

First of all, it is sturdier than they thought and is not degrading into nonexistence anytime soon. Luckily, we will continue to have men. (Or unluckily, if you like.) At least that is what the latest studies show. But you know how latest studies get usurped by even later ones.

Men came into being late in the game. You always had to have something giving birth for a species to continue. This just feels like a double X thing, or its equivalent.

The Y chromosome has evolved faster in the last six million years than any of our other genes. This most likely has to do with fertilization pressure or motility wars, if you will. The Y wants to win. It dukes it out with the other Y’s more intensely than the other genes are duking.

This is what concerns me about the Y chromosome.

I have an idea that nature likes stability, or at least that stable things don’t change that much for the reason that they are stable, they work. Circular thinking, but in this case, the gut feeling works here. We may be up against some sad things for fickle, fast-changing men, these flesh Gods that are Y driven.

As the climate changes and the air gets filled with more CO2 and the earth is swathed in greater detritus from plastic compounds and heavy metals, the funky, highly changeable Y, may change even more quickly, at an unstable rate, which could lead to more problems for men. I’m not talking only about lower rates of college enrollment and an increase of the male population on the autism spectrum; I’m talking about infertility and perhaps, extinction.

Women  used to say, “If men got pregnant, abortion clinics would be drive-thru and ubiquitous.”

Now, let’s think, “If the Y chromosome is so fragile and responds so quickly to change, is in fact so competitive that it could fight-to-the-death for its right to supremacy, maybe what men need is more environmental stability.”

The large oak falls. Its greatest strength is its demise.

Men, basically, need to be controlled less by this drive of the Y and to start driving the Y.

As we learn more at the chromosomal level, it should truly be applied to the macro level.

Don’t you think? Or is your Y making you too fidgety? Or have you become too dependent on someone else’s warrior Y?


Ten Hunches

  1. There is no Right Wing equivalent to Karl Marx.

  1. There is no anti-Christ prophet with as much reach as Christ.

  1. Marx and Christ will be remembered because they were very clear and had impeccable timing.

  1. Both men were dogmatic and did not fully understand the human condition. But we need our extremists to point the way.

  1. Drug companies just make their prices up. It’s their way to suck money out of governments and insurance companies (since people can’t really afford the real high cost drugs).  Maybe, this is how our tax money goes to work. Though, the drug companies force this redistribution of wealth not unlike a band of thugs. It is organized crime. Don’t listen to their bullshit, no matter how much you believe in the right-to-profit, the right-to-freedom.

  1. Eating a lot of baloney at an awards ceremony followed by three slices of pizza is a terrible thing to do on a Monday night. Christ and Marx help me. (I don’t want to deal with the drug companies tonight.)

  1. There is no need for racism. But there is a need to have fun with different kinds of races. I would hate for my WASP husband to suddenly act like Beyonce—though he would love to pull it off, it’s simply not going to happen. Ever. (Okay, surprise me.)

  1. I believe in the Einstein adage about creativity being better than intelligence. Intelligence can feel very solidifying. But it often does nothing more than succeed at organizing the past into a narrative. It is comforting. And, communicating this narrative is helpful to others. But this approach will never grab at the larger possibilities. However, it makes us feel safe.

  1. See 10.

  1. Sometimes, you choose an even number by habit. But you may run out of things along the way. Always be ready to revise.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Then, the Cherries

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Let Ralph Waldo Emerson do the Blog Tonight

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Without Fear and Selfishness, What would Happen To Comedy?

Years ago, so many, I was an intern with the Manhattan Comedy Club run by the smart and helpful Steve Kaplan. Illeana Douglas got her ass over there first, after we all graduated from the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater, and very kindly did her generous best to pull in a few of her fellow Reality-of-Doing-Every-Moment-Has-A-Meaning Alumni. It was one of those rigorous internships where you had to do script readings, take improv classes and lo' and behold, do a tech assignment (the main slave maneuver). Attendance was key. Many didn't make it. Illeana did not last the year, moving onto other things. Patricia Heaton came in two times, got cast on a TV series and  never looked back. I, of course, did the whole thing, dutifully, and even ran the sound board as my tech assignment for the future creator of Nurse Jackie and gave out gag canned goods on our Sunday Matinee Easter show. I can still here Linda Wallem saying to me, "Oh Boya, thanks for the Goya."

But back to my thing, here.

What Steve taught us--in addition to what everyone knows about improv: Never say NO to what someone puts forth--and a whole bunch of other things, was, Comedy is basically selfish. If you want to be funny, you have to want something and you have to want it selfishly and just go for it.

Easy enough. We were all young actors looking to own the world. We did this trick and the scenes ended up being funny. It's just funny when people are selfish.

Without this selfishness of the soul, comedy would hardly exist. Think of guys and gals just going for their venal needs, without thinking of the welfare of others, and watch the problems fly. It is so recognizable and so humorous as shit hits the fans, relationships fall apart, fights break out, and revenge rears its funny fangs.

One of the things we did, too, was character work. But most of us were bad at it. I was terrible at it. I did not want to slant my eyes and go, "No ticky, no laundry," or anything like that. This was the late 80's and everything was thankfully changing, so making fun of hackneyed stereotypes was not really the way to go.

And so today, I was thinking about that. How, there we were, a few decades ago, already moving away from silly accents and regional tropes, but today, all you have to do is open up every third or fourth issue of The New Yorker, and you can still find yourself a cartoon of a thug, which is usually a depiction of a Goombah, which basically says, "Southern Italian American criminal" --and everyone gets a good laugh.

I do not get upset when I see louche-bitchy gay cartoons in The New Yorker because usually the cartoon is making fun of the privilege this class of gays have. Or the animals. Everyone loves funny talking animals. The only ethnic group, really, The New Yorker continues to make fun of, stereotypically, is the Guinea Gangster. Can you imagine if they were still doing Step-and-Fetch-It type characters or doing little quips about Jews sitting on pots of money? No, that would not fly. Or an Irish drunk singing to himself? Or, even, a Swiss person being all neutral? Okay, I went too far.

But the privileged editors of The New Yorker let these thug imagines go into print.

But let's face it. The Goombah cartoons are often, on average, as funny as the other cartoons. They are tinged with dark wit about the meaninglessness of life in the face of death. They are in the similar camp as The Grim Reaper character who continues to rear his dead head.

Basically, without TYPES, you can't have humor. You just can't. If you don't have things collectively defined, then you don't create a collective understanding and then, usually, a twist on that understanding. So you need a little prejudice. Which is really just fear. Fear of the other. So for now, we let the Greasy Goombahs slide because we need them so we can hear them do something UN-Goombah-ish so we can have a twist and a laugh. But I bet not for much longer. That type has disappeared in reality. Or, maybe, The New Yorker is going to stick with it and then, too, bring back a tap dancing Buckwheat? Or a selfish Shylock?

Or maybe fat opera divas?

Or let's not stop there...children with learning disabilities. We're all afraid of that. Where are those cartoons?

Our fears continue. It is interesting to note what we allow ourselves, publicly and collectively, to make fun of.

Sort of makes you want to find out where the Staten Island Ferry is...and then you hear the guy with the big limp wrist over his head, sashaying, winking and exclaiming in a lispy high pitched lust cry, "Over here!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easy fix to Income Inequality

Everyone should be rich. That's all. There is no need for this crazy income problem.

It is very easy to make all human beings rich and there is no reason to scare the wealthy into a corner, thinking everyone is coming for their heads to put be put on pikes. Plus, why should they be punished for being wealthy? It wasn't exactly their fault.

Here are my ten easy steps for deep wealth for all:

1. Create an atmosphere of acceptance. If we are all going to be wealthy, it is important to accept everyone, today, for exactly who they are and for what they have. This will put the wealthiest on the side of everyone else and so they become less afraid. We don't want our wealthiest people to be afraid.

2. Understand the math support. There is always some sort of pyramid that keeps a few people at top. Though, these days, the top of the pyramid does not need much support to be at the top--they are floating more than being supported--there is still the truth that SOMETHING has to be stable underneath that little plutopoint in order for it to exist at all. I would call that stability right now: law and order and easy tax laws.

3. Immediately let go of all law and order and go ahead and stop paying any taxes at all. Everyone. Stop. The wealthy hate taxes. We more Socialist types don't love forking it over, either. Just stop paying taxes.

4. After the collapse, a new world order will arise. This one, of course, will look just like the last one because nothing ever really changes.

5. Then, sterilize everyone.

6. As the population ages, there will be no possibility for anything new to happen.

7. The cycle will be broken.

8. At the last minute, let ten people have about ten babies. Do this in Southern California.

9. These ten will be equally wealthy because they will pretty much own everything on earth.

10. If this plan doesn't take, then just ask a rich person to fund your start up, make it successful, sell it, and stop complaining. Business ideas: Sex sells. So do services for pets. Aim low and stand back.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Means a New Beginning

For everyone.

Or not.

But look at this magnolia.

The Bronx, 4-20-2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring: The Equal Opportunity Energizer

Surely, people dance more and fall in love more and get outside more and smile more.

This is a great thing.

But it increases other externalized behaviors. THE CRAZIES are OUT, TOO!

And don't get me wrong, I like the crazies. They're people, too, they're just a little crazier.

I saw three guys in some sort of guitar trio on the subway break out into a power struggle, with one guy accusing the other guy of going all gangster. It felt like something was about to go down. And yeah, someone threw a punch and the brawl went into full swing. I got off at the next stop and changed cars. Who knows who has a gun these days?

In the next car, a man spoke gibberish and sang loud and asked for money loud and blamed people loud for his misfortune. All of this, in a sort of growling howling, a cry against injustice. He was not dangerous. He was just exceptionally unhappy.

He was easy, compared to the prim guy sitting next to me, ninety degrees, with an instrument in a case between his legs...it looked trumpety. He had on ear buds. He smelled of a perfume spill at a Macy's counter. If you didn't have sinus trouble before meeting this guy, you will be needing an E.N.T. almost immediately after. So as the homeless man was wailing, and the entire inside of my skull was contracting in olfactory disgust like a beaked mollusk around an echinoderm, the smelly trumpeter, ear buds in, started in with his volcalise. Quiet, at first. But pretending the ear buds blocked his inability to hear himself so he could sing louder than he should, or he really could not hear himself so he just sang louder than he should, I eventually had to jump up and escape down the way. Monster.

I was like a man being controlled in an obnoxious live-action app game where foul asteroids or color blobs of hell were trying to kill me and I simply had to get out of the way.

I survived, of course. And clearly ready for more, when the final thing happened in the village, when a woman, in crazy black mules not made for running, ran past me just a few feet to the building we were both going to so she could stick her key in and not have to wait for me to pass?--or something, and then we both got in the same elevator and she was about to start a fight or a good cry or a big gas ball, or miss an appointment, who knows?--I decided to get out a floor early and just walk the last flight up.

Be gone crazy early bulbs!

Of course, I love them all and wouldn't have traded it for anything. They're just crazy. And there is nothing holding them back now. They are coming at you and you better bob and weave. No complacency as the daffodils send out their yellow warning signs. When summer comes, and the crazy rompers all get turned up to boil, the fun thing will be to watch whose carapace turns a bright red, who gets overcooked and who, simply, wafts away in a bloof of steam.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ten Things to Buy with Your Tax Refund, for 99 Percenters down to .01 Percenters

1. A bus ticket to Nanuet, New York where you can go shopping at one of the many malls or centers.

2. A bus ticket from Nanuet, NY to Paramus, NJ where you can get all the things they didn't have in Nanuet.

3. Dinner with Chris Christie at one of the finest restaurants in Toms River, NJ called "Shut Up & Eat." And four Altoids.

4. A fur coat made from high quality fake fur. Underwear not included.

5. Two nights at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. With chocolate and seriously trendy California wine. Morning and evening massages. A muzzle for the guy in the man-moo who won't stop talking about fair market quinoa and the supremacy of bisexuality.

6. Four nights at The Pierre Hotel on East 61st Street in Manhattan. Dinner at Per Se. Lunch at Per Se. You and a rodeo clown get to round up all the horses in Manhattan and drive them out to Pennsylvania to cheering fans. Ellen Degeneres has you on her show as a hero.

7. A two bedroom apartment in the Seventh Arrondissement in Paris. Right across from the best petit-dejeuner place you've ever been to and now you get to chow there any morning you like. With a bidet, a concierge and the occasional visit by the Queen of Belgium.

8. Six highly trainable STD-free whores of your choosing, for six months for six hours every day (1 hour each. Why do I always have to do the math?)

9. The other part of the Ukraine that Russia didn't take.

10. An Israeli-Palestinian resolution, which will require the colonization of Mars.

11. Everyone else's money that you haven't yet taken. And you don't have to worry about air quality.

12. The seeable-to-the-naked-eye universe. And everyone tells you you deserve it.

13. And Lucky Thirteen:  Everything else that hasn't yet been claimed. Plus, anything you can invent as long as it is within reason. Surely, you'll have at least one 3-D printer for that job. And a dog. You'll need a dog.

Why Would They Lie?

Not that it ever makes sense to approach things logically with "the other side"---

But my big question is: Why would scientists the world over all get together and in a wacky consortium of deceit for some unknown gain, lie about climate change?

Why would they lie? Do they all want to keep their jobs or something? Who is employing them? Bosses above them who want, like crazy, for climate change to happen because these higher-ups are all jonesing so bad for nuclear energy?

If they are lying, then maybe, too, the moon landing never happened?

Floods and earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes and erratic weather, sure, these don't mean, necessarily, that we have destroyed the climate. Fine. But there are all these other measurements that are being taken. Ice cores. And water levels. And comparative temperatures. Why would they lie about those?

Could it really be collective hysteria that is making this all happen? That it isn't true? That a bunch of people just really want to take down the oil industry so they just keep lying through their teeth?

Lastly, by simply logic, wouldn't it make sense that now, since 25% of CO2 in the atmosphere is man made, that it would be a good idea to scale that back?

Okay, now really lastly, what's in it for you, other side, that makes you want to believe that all these people are lying?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Let's Be Franco

Following James Franco on Instagram is strange, enjoyable and a bit sad.

First of all, his handle is jamesfrancotv    He looks like he is having a great time.

But this is the thing that I don't understand. At all.
How can he be a movie star, a painter, a teacher (in LA on Mondays, his day off from his Tuesday through Sunday Broadway run in New York) be getting a bunch of degrees, it seems, right now from Yale in literature while hopping over to RISD for some classes? Oh, and he's a poet and filmmaker.

I am in awe of his stamina? I remember running at that speed (but not at that level, obviously) when I was in my early twenties. He is in his mid-thirties and I wonder---Is this all catch up? Is this a super-duper runaway train of hyper avoidance?

So I looked a little closer. When he was going to Columbia, NYU and Brooklyn College for degrees in writing, film and...writing, there was a lot of controversy about him not actually going to all his classes. How could he?

So I wonder. Why all this running around, so densely?

I worry about the day he crashes. You spread yourself too thin...and you end up in two dimensions and you keel. Of course, I may be writing this in a vague cloud of jealousy, but nah--more than anything, I am wondering..."HOW DOES HE DO THIS? but really, WHY?"

He must not waste an ounce of energy on worry. He must not, at all, be bothered by the judgment of others. He just does all this stuff.

It's fascinating.

He does seem to be having a good time. Of course, he's an actor and he is doing his "Instagram Show"---so who really knows?

It may just be all performance. And that's fine. But if it is that, I wonder if he knows?

It's been strange...James on my phone. I've not witnessed anything quite like it before.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I Thought I Knew

About ten years ago, I turned to my not-yet-husband and said, “I’ve come to some conclusions.”

And I really thought I was done. As if there was nothing else to know.

I believe I was tired of learning.

Before that day, I had subscribed to Socrates’ mode of travel which was to approach everything with the fresh face that sings, “All I know is I know nothing.”  This is not the exact Socratic quote and I only followed the spirit of it as I understood it, and then took it too far, but it’s close. The real quote, and I just looked it up, is “I know that I know nothing.” Socrates, in an ego toss, was actually saying that he is wiser than the man who claims he knows something when that man does not know, that Socrates at least knows that he doesn’t know, which makes Socrates wiser than the man who claims he has knowledge.

I simplified all that competition. I just decided to take the quote and live it without any double meaning, taking no one else into it for comparison. I figured if I approached every situation as if I did not know anything, then I would be very open to learning. Thus, I would probably learn something I did not know before. Instead of being a frigging expert, I would always be open to new information.  I did take this on for most of my twenties and thirties. It was a thrill. And it was my misinterpretation of the quote, or rather, my ripping just a hunk of it off for my own use that sent me down my path. Chance.

Eventually, I felt like I had been too open, took too much in, approached things with a constantly quizzical mind and this proved to be overwhelming. In other words, I got kind of worn out. Plus, it was ridiculous to pretend that I knew nothing when, clearly, if you approach a situation completely open to learning new things, well, you would end up learning a real lot. I was done knowing nothing.

So then, at that about-ten-year-ago-point…I just carried on with whatever I had learned, applying it here and there, within my state of mind that was all about very defined conclusions. I was open to new information, but most new information was only bits that I added on. Nothing radically changed.  I knew a bunch of stuff to approach most situations while only adding those little bits. I played it. It did certain things. Going from knowing that I knew nothing to then one day saying, “I have come to some conclusions,” was a pessimistic turn. But more than that, like Socrates, a bit of an ego party: the philosopher, claiming greater intelligence over others, me, figuring I had learned all that was needed.

Eventually…I got bored, being an expert, like all the other experts who were bored. I felt like I was living my life out in this sort of paper trail, or really, an email trail.

Then things got dark. I did not know how to continue, exactly, with my conclusions. Joyless, sort of. East coast winters are depressing. Seasonal living is a bit of a wash, rinse, repeat thing. There is a lot of anger and aggression on the Atlantic. And of course, everyone went to Yale and though I have seen it from the highway, I have not been able to face the birthplace of so much expertise. I had doubts. I had a lot of non-clarity. And despair, which I banished from my life for decades, did creep in, especially on Mondays, and told me that it was in charge.

I did many things to outrun it.

I tried to be fully sober for two years. I succeeded. And that was interesting. But drink was not really the problem. So I started drinking again, and nothing really changed.

I tried being exceptionally industrious for four years. Certain things came from that. But certainly, no great amount of money, or fame or ecstasy. Being disciplined did not bring transcendence, at all. In fact, the discipline felt a bit compulsive. So that was not very fun.

During all these days, I was exceptionally organized. This is nothing new. This is something I have always done. And frankly, the things that I did to be organized, like having systems in place for the care of properties, the paying of bills, the planning for social events, travel and necessary correspondences, was something that came to me naturally, but it all felt a bit dead. (I was going to say old and dead but now that I am getting older, I don’t want to use that phrase. Old and alive. Yes.)

So I was left with a big looking mess at my feet. A history of not knowing, then knowing everything followed by drudgery. The question then became to know, or not to know? To approach with expertise or to approach with an open, flat face?

I knew I would keep the simple things going in a very organized fashion. This has to be done. Unless I want to job it out, which I could do, I may as well take care of the minutia as it arises since managing someone to take care of the minutia as it arises can take almost as much time.

But this idea of either knowing or not knowing, this approach, to decide that you can decide one approach or another, at all, is a form of fear and control that is useless. Socrates was in his head more than he was in his experience, it seems. But then, I might know this or I might not know this or I might know something else that is pushing me to write this.

I do not believe in any dogma. I think the serenity prayer is good in a pinch. However, it is useless for generalized mood states and is not a catch-all bowl for struggles.

I do not believe in any sort of God unless I am feeling exceptionally vulnerable, and then I do…and it is the God of my childhood…some sort of parental figure up in the sky who cares about me, so, in effect, it is most likely my parents and my good grandparents all rolled up into some love-ball in the ethers that I am drawing from. Which is fine. One needs to sometimes feel that a burst of unending love (but really: care) is the force that is keeping things upright. So bully for us all who call upon a made up brain based Daddy-Mommy-God in times of despair.

I have nothing to say that is clear or connected to Jesus or any prophet or any political garbage or anything about war. This tends to go nowhere.

I think the free market is fabulous for creativity and gives not a single whit about people who have not figured out how to harness their own power. In fact, it denies they have any value, so this free market is ultimately sparklingly alive and a murderer.

But why I wrote all this when what I really wanted to write was something else, is completely surprising to me. I wanted to write about how it is so important to have your housing and your whole physical life figured out and settled so you can be free to be free, to have a huge free internal life. And I still believe that and it is worth writing and this was all I set out to do.

But why I wrote all that I did, beforehand, in addition to recommending having one’s housing and place on earth all figured out so one could be free, is something I did not have much control over. I felt a strong need, today, to be myself, completely unedited. And for that, this blog entry happened. It may be because I am using my body more, now that it’s spring, so I feel more grounded and happy. It may be because I insist on living on earth in the greatest joy I can find—understanding that that can only happen with a great acceptance of very little control. It may be because I have spent every spring sort of sick and weird with allergies…and strangely, when I feel sick, in addition to being a bit buzzed on low doses of Sudafed, I also feel like great things are possible, that once the ills are over, joy is there, big and strong. (I recently read that joy is the natural state of a person. That one of the great ways to experience joy is to remove pain. But that was just someone being an expert and so it is suspect.)

But I have decided that instead of worrying about knowing and not knowing and experts and dogma, I am just going to be a young thing, a soldier and a baby for joy.

And so, this blog entry is brought to you by Joy. Joy is what we are after here. But more readily, joy is what we are here. 


Let's just say
You were yourself
All the time
And that whole thing
Of taking on a role to get things done
isn't real, isn't even happening

So it's all you
You're always you
no need for performance or the outfit

You do this
every day
It will be your habit

Much more vital and interesting

Please no one.

Note to self.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

News for Today

1 out of every 4 carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere was created by human beings.

Have a good day.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Blacks and Queers and Jews and a Bonus

When I was in high school and then later, college, I used to look at African Americans and I would think, “If I was treated how they are treated, I would be so pissed off, I’d spend every minute of my life protesting. Every single minute.”

This was the 70s and 80s and it sucked. And people did not treat Black people like they were people. Not really. Not yet. It was ridiculous.

Of course, I was also enraged because I was gay and similarly mistreated. But look, I could at least travel incognito. I had little breaks from the horror. They never got a chance. I could distance myself from my own rage and secretly ally with the Black kids. I felt their outsiderness.

Wonderfully enough, the Western World has changed, dramatically, in my lifetime in that most of us, or at least the people I know, don’t even notice skin color any longer and as a bonus, I am married to my male husband and it’s all fine and cool. Thank God/Allah/Nature/theLiberalMedia.

But you never get over the shit. Not really. Okay, you do. You get over it, some. But you were formed when you were formed. And it’s in there.

Living on the West Coast, there is a great sense that all  history is dead, that you should live right now as it is right now and if you are at all hampered by your past, well, you should just make a movie or a cabaret out of it, get it off your chest and carry on, happily. Closure. And in some ways, I agree. But, stuff does creep back up on you from days gone by and you can feel sort of undermined by it.

In the East, the past is never ending. It’s like Europe here. And it’s a heavy energy. My West Coast Jews make fun of the Holocaust. My East Coast Jews are still feeling it. I understand the horror. It was so awful. So much so, I know Jews who are not much older than me who won’t go to Germany. But I have such lovely friends in Germany and I think they’d all get along.  But the horror is too great.

They say it takes seven generations to really get past something. Seven.

I’ll be so dead.

Until then. We inch into better times.

Now, let’s help our transgender brothers and sisters. Immediately. It’s their time.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Fran Lebowitz on Editors, Toll Takers and Pornography

I love Fran.

Thanks, Paris Review Twitter folk, for the posts of great interviews of yore.

Fran Lebowitz is one of our funniest, ever. Because I said so.