Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Have a Prediction, and It Includes Women

This is my prediction for the 2016 ticket for the Democratic Party Nomination for our executive branch:

A pair of Women:  Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton.  Together. One ticket.

And I think it is Ms. Warren who is going to reach for the top. Hillary as Biden.

It is time for women to take over. Men, we had our chance and we blew it.

This is my request to the future women who will lead this country:

1. Make capital punishment illegal. It's simply absurd. It does nothing for anyone.

2. Make war illegal, too. Simply enough...you can't declare war on anyone. If someone does declare war, then the entire world has to put a stop to it. Not just us. EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY must agree that war is illegal and must stop all war.  This will free up some of our resources, too, so we can get down to the business of educating our populace.

3. Push for birth control. Everywhere on earth. The population has doubled since I was born and it makes me and everyone I know crazy. 14% of all people who have ever lived on earth are alive right now. Freak out with me.

4. Make gender parity on earth a reality by 2030. It can happen. I can't listen to these women screaming about it any longer. They are right. We just have to do it. Now.

5. Make ambition a word that has a new meaning. Ambition that serves the greater good. That greater good is the planet. Once and for all.

6. Solve our energy problems, today. No matter the cost. Force the energy industry to change their tune. Yes, I'm being naive. But this Pollyanna needs you to do this immediately.

7. Here I go being sexist:  Use your innate ability to build consent, nonstop. Never flag. Wear everyone down.

8. Lastly: and this is a rough request-- separate church and state worldwide. Figure out a way to make that appetizing. Come on, ladies.

Do it.

You lead, we'll follow.

Bonus Round: Make half of all cheerleader squads men.


I like the gold leaves.
The pumpkins.
Event the shorter days are fun.  I can go up on my roof and catch the sun going down at 6PM. Perfect time for a sunset. Like being in Africa, near the equator.

Then it will get darker and darker. Saturday we fall back and on Sunday the sun will set about 4:54PM.  This is when we all start to need each other.

The darkness. The horrible darkness says to us all, "Come together, ye wretched beasts and do something about this lack of light. Get cozy. Makes meals together. Put up some lights."

And then, after that?  It gets really cold.

I am going to use this year as an experiment. Last winter was so awful, you sort of could not believe what was happening to you. Agony. Depression. Disbelief. People, including me, did not fare well.

This year, my goal is to assume it is going to be really really cold outside for three or four months and to accept it, on its terms and then see if my mood can remain sort of perky. Just by accepting it.

In the dark and the cold...you have to sort of take charge of yourself. And you have to be with people with all sorts of warm lights on. And you have to decide what the future holds. It's a start.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Look, you can't really review this kind of movie without a big spoiler alert.

So this is the big spoiler alert:  I will reveal NOTHING of the plot...so nothing will be spoiled.

This IS what I can say:  David Fincher is a brilliant director who took a script that started out as something exceptionally intriguing and pushed it through and made it as believable as he could, given the story.

It is worth it, to watch this thing, at first.  By the end, you just want to go home and wail, WHY DIDN'T THEY FIGURE OUT WHAT THE FUCK THEY WERE DOING?!  Oh, Lord Jesus, carry me off to the land of peace where I will no longer have to endure these types of misses ever again.

And now I will go back on my promise about the spoiler:

The butler did not do it. Because there is no butler. (But I've ruined nothing here, since there is never any talk of any butler.)

Slick stuff dishonestly drawn.

Come on, everyone. Try harder.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ebola, My Dreams

The Girl of My Dreams      by Sunny Clapp

Gorilla My Dreams            by Bugs Bunny

Ebola My Dreams              Not as funny

I mean, I take the A train. I'll keep taking it. Until they put a DO NOT LEAVE sign on my apartment door.

The strange thing about Dr. Craig Spencer, the man who lovingly went to West Africa as a Doctor without a border, is that he is specially trained to deal with public emergencies.  At Columbia University. You imagine they would teach a class in that fine program that mentions something about not getting on the subway to Brooklyn from 147th Street in Manhattan the first twelve days after you return from working closely with Ebola patients.  Seems to me.

But, you know, I've been paranoid about human error since I was born.  So I try to give people like him the benefit of the doubt. That perhaps, he knew what he was doing. If I do not do this sort of optimistic thinking, I simply could never get on a plane for fear of it always crashing.

No need to turn Dr. S into a monster. Chances are, New York City will not turn into the Zombie apocalypse. If just one or two random people from the A train or the bowling alley in Brooklyn get sick with Ebola, friends...all bets are off and I will be able to watch people walking to NJ from my roof over the George Washington Bridge. I'll take pictures.

But what if they don't let people leave? Imagine that. Will people make rafts and try to cross the Hudson? How about human chains? Or up through the Bronx...that's probably the easier way to the mainland if they close the river crossings.

Anyway, no time for a film treatment or for too much obsessing. Business as usual. I'm watching Journey You Tubes. And not just for the tight pants. I'm pretending. Back in 1979, we just had less Ebola. It was a gentler era.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I've been to Wyoming.

The guy who played Hans Solo, he lives in Wyoming.

I think his name is Harrison Ford.

I once hung out with a gay man actor who used to do movies with Harrison Ford.

This gay man actor rented a house up on a bluff in Pacific Palisades.

We met each other in New York when we were both living there in the 90's.

That gay man actor is dead now.

He could never let Harrison know that he was gay. He told me that Harrison was a phobe.

This does not mean that Harrison is a phobe, at all.

In fact, I believe the gay man actor was just, overall, very afraid to let anyone know he was gay. He often played tough guys on T.V.

But whenever I think of Wyoming, I think of Harrison Ford having my gay man actor friend over for dinner and how that friend felt obliged to remain entirely closeted.

I remember, in 1993, sitting on my gay man actor friend's couch, smoking pot, and singing along to all of Joni Mitchell's album, For the Roses. We almost had sex. But I would have been doing it more for the house than for the guy so I just didn't do it. Or more truthfully, I knew he'd want to keep doing that sort of thing and I couldn't imagine myself with the closeted mini movie star for the long haul. Plus, he chain smoked.

My gay man actor friend stopped hanging out with me when he said he could not spend time with me if we were not going to start dating. He had talked to his shrink about it and his shrink advised him to not spend time with men he wanted to date that did not want to date him.

I never saw him again after that phone call. When he died of a massive heart attack, I felt sort of cold.

I have felt cold about the death of a lot of gay men. It was the AIDS days and all I wanted was to survive. So I carried on. I am not proud of this. But perhaps the reason the gene of selfishness is so rampant on the planet is because it has saved the lives of quite a few people.

I imagine the career of my gay man actor friend was saved because he was afraid to come out to anyone.

I think of the poor Matthew Shepard, whom I just Googled, who I can't believe how sweet and cute he was. I am sure the guys who killed him were attracted to him. Simple enough. So they had to kill him. Big fucking square state. I did not feel too much for Matthew at the time. I was just freaked out that he did not learn, like I did as a teen, to keep your mouth shut, tell no one about who you really are, and to run away from strangers that had any inkling that you liked guy-on-guy sex.  Clearly, I was traumatized and terrified for the poor young man, left tied to a fence to die. I cannot believe how horrifying that night had to be for him. It is truly disgusting. My rage is so huge, I guess I'll just have to have another swig of my ginger tea and continue editing this blog entry.

Wyoming isn't the only place where gay people were once killed. It is happening everywhere on earth, still.

Welcome, Wyoming. You monstrous cowboy town of a place. Welcome to the modern era. We know you weren't all killers of gay people, of course. Of course. Of course. But there's that image...and people generalize. I'll let you off the hook.

I recently found someone online who used to endlessly torture me as a child in the suburbs of New York, so much so, that I hid inside my house for about three years. I asked him if he was who I thought he was. He did not respond to my request. Of course, it may not have been him.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Do you have Amazon Prime?  Then watch Transparent.


Do you not have Amazon Prime?

Then get Amazon Prime here.

Amazon Prime

And then watch


In case you do not know, and most people do, but I may as well tell you: For 99 bucks a year, you get all your Amazon stuff shipped to you for free, two-day. And, you get all the Amazon Entertainment that is free, for free.

Transparent is a free one. Ten episodes. Gulp them down over a weekend.

Created by my sort-of friend Jill Solloway--I  used to do Sit N' Spin in LA with her--Jill has done something wonderful here and I would like you to watch it.

I give away very little when I tell you the father of Transparent, played by the brilliant Jeffrey Tambor, has decided in his 70s to follow his true nature and live full time as a woman.  Then, it's pretty much Jewish King Lear, with the three horrible kids vying for the spoils of an upcoming very fancy house sale. (What, No Cordelia? Ah, modern times.) Sure, I just summed it all up, too much.  But honeys...it's all in the playing. And the playing here is amazing.

These smart yet clueless people are doing the best they can. They are ill-formed and need each other desperately to finish up the baking of their personalities. It's a slow burn shit show. Funny. And sad. And nothing beats watching Jeffrey Tambor become the woman he was meant to be.

Friends, it is time to get behind the Trans beings of this world. They are as real and wanting as you, me and the Mormon next door.

The three actors playing the three grown children, well, all of them hit their marks brilliantly, with the right tone.

The ex-wife of the father, played by Judith Light, is a bit cliche, but I bet she is modeled on someone who is a cliche. Plus, Judith eats the scenery. In this case, a large stainless refrigerator in a large white kitchen in a weird condo in the Marina.

Jill wrote and directed most episodes. The ones she did not write stay within the tone, spot on.

I love this show. Not every bit of it. And certainly not the final episode. Come on, Jill!

But you will see things here that are so human and funny and real, it can only happen when some new entity like Netflix or Amazon Prime says to an executive producer of a show: Go for it. We don't have any notes for you.

And what do you get when you don't get notes?  You get incredible human originality. In this case it is Jill Solloway's. And it is non-cynical. It is reaching for the truth about what it is to be a human being facing your hellish self, hellish others, love and death.

Watch it.

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll wish you were a trans retired Jewish professor.

Tell your friends.

And Jill, give me a job.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fish and Bicycles

Words are awful tough.

People put on them what they want. No matter how clear.

I don’t care much about particular words. I like, more, how words are placed together. Each word is just okay. When some person gets up and says Vagina Vagina Vagina—I don’t think much of a point is being made.   What is this Vagina doing? And why do you assume that I am compelled to react to one word, repeated?

Words lose meaning because they only have the meaning we give to them. Like money. We can decide at any time that fork no longer means anything at all.

It is essential that words, basically, keep their meaning for a few generations so when we see them we understand them.  But it is truly their placement that makes the difference more than the intrinsic meaning of each word.

I love this dog in my arms today. You put that all together, you have a feeling, an action and a relationship. The words are relational. The experience of the words creates a relationship inside you with the outside when you read them. I chose love, dog and arms because those words are quite solid in meaning, for us. Of course for a culture that is not so fond of pooches, or sees them as food, well, that sentence means something else entirely. But it is still relational.

Slogans lose power quite fast. Fight the Power. Save the Whales. Hell No We Won’t Go. A Woman without a Man is like a Fish without a Bicycle.    Though, the last one, Gloria Steinem’s, still holds some saucy vitality since each word is so clear and the choice and placement of each one is pretty spectacular. I imagine she was not so calculated, that it just came to her.

Slogans assume too much. So if someone were to say to you today Fight the Power what on earth are they assuming you think this means?  Get the top dogs off your back and take some control? Shut down your computer? Or, sadly, if something powerful comes through you, fight it, because it is probably not real, perhaps something arising from your defenses? There are not enough words there and there is not enough relationship.

I do not think writing and words are as important as actions and deeds. A quiet kind of love is better than a noisy kind of person trying to make it sound like they have love in them. I do hope that writing can be a reflection of the relationship between subject and deed. And hopefully capture some of that aliveness, or deadness if necessary.

Our language will change. Mostly because the words will change. But the need that words come together in some form of clear relationship to each other will always be the same. It’s all about what is against what and how something else works against that and how if feels when it is all together.

Though this sounds very obvious or similar to a milder form of a Lenny Bruce screed about the arbitrary powerlessness of negative words, I do hope today that I think more about how words are put together. Because I am relation to the others. Even though a part of me tries to protect myself into thinking I am not.

Let's Get to the Root of Materialism

I am in the forgiving mood today. Probably because October in New York City is about as nice as getting a bunch of virgins in heaven. We are given May, June and October as gifts for our enduring the other nine horrendous months in this town-without-its-own-weather.

But let's get back to being forgiving of the crass, grabby wretchedness of materialism, which is where I wanted to begin.

I believe materialism is there because people can actually decide to do something about their surroundings and it can make the day better. I was standing in front of my average looking kitchen cabinets that we gussied up with some new knobs a few months ago. The knobs are pretty, sort of grayish black, each one a little different than the others but all the same kind. The knobs are made to look handmade but they are certainly factory made. Anyway, the knobs give pleasure. It was something you could do. You could buy them. I state the obvious. But why not? It's late stage capitalism and we all know that that makes one a little stupid.

In this crazy world full of death and loss and other wackolas, if you can just look at a knob, ordered online from Home Depot, and it can give you this little hit of pleasure and YOU HAD CONTROL OVER GIVING that to yourself...well, there's materialism.  It makes you happy. And no chanting, religion, abnegation, great books or almost anything can do that for you that easily.

Basically, materialism is the easiest thing you can get into. And people are scared and busy. So it just frigging took over.

I just want it to be quiet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What I Want for Christmas

I was informed by my nephew that certain stores are already gussied up for Christmas.

Are pumpkins and scarecrows and witches losing the respect they deserve?

If Christmas can start this early, I say, bring on Easter in November. Show Christ being born and crucified all in one Seasonal aisle.

The smart money is on Christmas, I imagine. These marketeers know what they are doing. And maybe the decorations will help with retail's consistency, spreading the profit over three months. Of course, January is doomed.

Poor January, the month that everyone forgot. Maybe we should leave the decorations up and have a late-to-the-party sale. Or think of it like a thirteen episode show on Netflix that is released all at once. You can choose when to watch.

And with that on order, maybe just have Christmas run right through to May where it will put out its last light as the barbecues and air conditioners fill up the stores.

When I was young, I would have been happy having Christmas all year long. I loved the color and the warm feeling. It was exciting. Or, I was excitable. Either way, Christmas never marred my mood.

So bring it on. A Nine Month Christmas, every year. Don't we owe it to Christ? That little narcissist?

And now, Here's Lucy.


(What would the Vatican think of THIS gay ol' thing?)

Get Your Ebola Facts HERE from WHO

You know, I am not someone to panic. During the height of the AIDS epidemic, I just made sure to keep informed and to follow instructions.

It sounds like the worst thing you can do is to go to West Africa or to become a healthcare worker dealing with Ebola patients.

On the other hand, it does sound much easier to catch than AIDS. It is much quicker in its development. If you are going to die from Ebola, you die quickly.  It does sound like something out of a horror film. And let's face it, our big movies do come from a paranoia based in probability.

Ebola has been confirmed to exist since the 1970s. I am amazed a vaccination has not yet been developed. What does it take, humans?  Why so slow? Why AIDS for years on end without proper funding? Why Ebola for decades and no vaccine? This is such strange behavior. 

This latest outbreak is enough to finally get people to get serious about a vaccine. Let's see if they pull through. Someone, I am sure, is very excited and staying up all night working on this.

Care or don't care about the hell of poverty and war in some strife-ridden countries in Africa, but it does not take a Socialist to point out that we are all one in the face of an opportunistic virus.

Good luck everyone. Stay healthy. Don't eat a dead porcupine from the side of the road in Africa or anywhere. Watch out for fruit bats. Avoid the dirty linens of others.

Men who have been infected with Ebola and survive still carry the virus in their semen for seven weeks after recovery.  Be careful, ladies and gaydies.


Thursday, October 09, 2014


It's not really procrastination. It isn't.

All this stuff is formulating while you rest.

And then, it's all birthy.

It happens all the time.

Why corral yourself when you will be naturally corralled anyway?

Your horse will be much more alive, even though fenced.

Not to beat a dead horse metaphor.

I like procrastination.

The guilt can be energizing.

But preferable will be when the waiting is simply enjoyed.

We're getting old. It doesn't matter.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Gay Thinking: The 1980s. And some Thanks.

Leftover from the acceptance of fact that gay men actually existed in the 1960's and 70's, psychiatrists had to say SOMETHING about them.

In the 1980s, I remember reading in a very prominent book by an expert in mental health something to the effect:

"Gay men can live happy, productive lives, in a committed relationship, but because of the nature of their difference as compared with normal society, mostly only find happiness at home. With that, it is advised that in order for a gay man to be happy, he should primarily live his life at home."


It was awful.

And now, gay men can openly marry, almost, in Idaho.

The last to fall will be Mississippi and South Carolina. No surprise.

There are three simple reasons that this discrimination has taken place all these years. It comes from the same nasty place that has harbored racism and extreme religiosity:  Fear, greed and rage.

The greed part may sound surprising. But I do believe that greed, which fuels much competition, is a great unconscious excuse to turn a bunch of people into losers so one can then say, "Yeah, I beat that group. One fell swoop. I shall keep up my daily conquering. Increase my buffalo grab."

The fear and rage stuff...well, people are loaded with that garbage. No explanation needed.

And now to change the tone:  Thank you Supreme Court for kicking the ball back to where it belongs. Nowhere. And thank you citizens of the U.S. for being, percentage-wise, more in favor of this whole "Gay Marriage Experiment Redefinition," especially you people under 30 who are all for gay equality at an astonishing 80%.  Fight that, Alabama. (Oops, my bad tone came back.)

Okay--back to good tone.

Let's have a march on Washington. Let's go and give thanks. Just go say Thank You. Sure, we fought and we fought. But now, wouldn't it be fun to have a big easy-going grateful picnic on that mall to say Thank You?

As soon as it is 50 states, let's do that.

Helping Both Sides of the Gay Marriage Issue, with Dessert

First of all, the triumph for gay marriage has now become land-slidish.
One of my favorite things is how the Gay Marriage Map uses RED to show a Gay Marriage State. It's like we have appropriated the Republican Ink to mark our states.  Do you love that? Or am I just silly to care about color choice?  Egad, I'm gay.  But they could have chosen tons of other colors. Brown, for coprophilia or bright pink for scissoring. But no, it is red. Like G.W. Bush's tie.


And now this, Socially Conservative friends (of which I have none):

If you no longer want to feel pukey from watching gay people kissing on Court Steps...just stand back and let this thing fly into completion. Sea to shining sea to gulf to Alaska to Guam. Then, the celebrations will stop, it will become commonplace. The media will stop filming it. You can go back to watching NASCAR or whatever else you like without the disgusting-ness in your face or fear of interruption on the front page of your newspaper, if you ever get one.

Gay people, we're not just for breakfast anymore:


Monday, October 06, 2014

Wolfe Tracks Bootleg

Hello Friends,

Here is an interview I wrote for Interview (Online):

Henry Wolfe.


Catch Henry on Tour in California in October.

Catch Henry in Los Angeles at The Bootleg on November 11. I'll be there. 

Watch his video with Jena Malone embedded in the Interview Article above.

Great stuff. :)


The Walk Over to New Jersey

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Homeland: Haul Out your Ipads for SHO SYNC!


Haul out your iPads and download the Sho Sync App and watch Homeland while your iPad interacts with it and asks you all sorts of questions and offers up all kinds of bonus goodies! Interactive television is here.

Why? You ask?

Because my hubby makes all this magic happen and it's really quite something. When he tells me about how it's done (uses similar technology as Shazam to hear what is happening and then knows exactly what to do from the sound of the show)...and how the material is all put together...and how the broadcast all happens from the ground, getting beamed up to a satellite and then brought to you by your cable or dish source...I mean, it's wild.

Of course, he does the content. He's no techie.  But really, now...how is it that this is all even possible?

I remember when cable television first came into existence. My best friend from high school, Bruce, got it. HBO. I was shocked. Shocked! A movie? A good one? In your HOUSE? My fave was When a Stranger Callshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_a_Stranger_Calls_(1979_film)

Homeland premieres this Sunday...so go on!  Give it a whack!


So there I was in Nigeria, not getting Ebola...

Time and time again, we see that science (and money) and rational effort, can take care of huge problems. The Nigerians are ON it and they do not have an outbreak.

So listen up, poor people. Put down your prayer beads and your old crazy ways. and join us in the empirical world of measurable knowledge. No matter how broke you are.

The Enlightenment was a good thing.  But apparently, American optimistic exceptionalism often thinks it can trump math and reality and now we must ask...why are people flying to Dallas, after spending time in Liberia?

Ebola...It's not just for Africa anymore--