READING: Walter Kirn’s “BLOOD WILL OUT”

Before you read what I have to say about Walter Kirn’s “BLOOD WILL OUT” – you ought to CLICK HERE ON THIS LINK to a New York Times interview with Kirn. By Kirn. Genius.

BloodWillOut_Cover.indd

Click on book pic for link to Norton Publishing and book details.

The blood-splash of a cover graphic and its subtitle; The True Story of a Murder, A Mystery, and A Masquerade, promises that Walter Kirn’s Blood Will Out is going to be a true-crime tale, and, while it is on the surface about the duping of Kirn by a con-man who called himself (among other aliases) Clark Rockefeller, a man the blurbs compare to Ripley and Gatsby, in fact, the real story is a bildungsroman about a culture of lost souls gone mad, addicted to the idea of ambition and accomplishment while unable to escape the inertia of entitlement.

The real mystery of the story is what has been learned?

Kirn’s prose is captivatingly stylish, provocative, confessional. The book is quick, a one-sitting sort of night out with a gifted raconteur.  He’s been places we will never get to go, a balls-to-the-wall, live on the edge, daring and defiant, loaded pistol in the glove compartment, Ritalin dissolved in Dr Pepper kind of guy. And he tells his truth —  his introspective, irony-soaked, been-there-done-that, literary cowboy truth — careful not to spare himself from his brand of eviscerating Zeitgeistian insight. Listen:

I lied on occasion, chiefly about sex. I could be two-faced around authority figures, kissing up to them while resenting them. At times I relished speaking caustically. And what I regarded as my trusting nature was, upon introspection, a kind of sloth. Instead of patiently working to get to know people, I’d decided that they were who I wanted them to be and discard them when they proved otherwise. This cycle of disappointment happened often. That it hadn’t come close to happening with Clark — that he never diverged from my fantasies about him — should have been a sign.

And later, Kirn refers to his own persona creating gambit:

“Being myself” at Princeton involved some guesswork, but eventually I settled on a persona. I bought a black thrift store raincoat and wore it everywhere, rarely taking my hands out of my pockets except when I had a chance to startle someone by whipping out my silver Zippo and lighting his cigarette with its oily flame. I wrote and helped direct a trio of imitation Beckett plays whose characters stood at strange angles to one another as they spoke their stiff, emphatic lines, which weren’t to be confused with natural speech because there is no such thing as natural speech, not in the theater and certainly not in life, the most artificial form of theater because it denies being theater at all. These were maxims I took from books by Frenchmen. The duty of the artist, I read somewhere, probably while I was smoking hash, which is when books about the artist’s duty most appealed to me, is to show that artifice is all. That’s why I wore my raincoat on clear days.

And he goes on, at some beautiful length, speaking of sex and image and paradigms lost and truth claims as opposed to truth and the deconstruction of self — which is the real subject of this memoir which uses a crime-story as scaffolding. It has been compared to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, but Blood – while brilliantly shaped – was all about subterfuge and Capote’s spin; he was author as grifter,  re-shaping narrative and treating fact and truth as nagging details, entirely disposable if they got in the way of his beautiful deception.  Kirn, on the other hand, is picking away at the scabs of mendacity and flim-flam, investigating his willingness to be beguiled.

In the process, he entrances the reader. And he makes no promises that the truth has been or is being told.

We all understand that you can’t predict the future, but getting to know an old friend, however perversely, through his murder trial, reveals a truth less commonly acknowledged : you can’t predict the past. It can change at any time. … When fresh information discredits past perceptions, the underlying memories remain but they no longer hold their old positions; you’re left to draw a new map with displaced landmarks. You thought you were found but you realize that you were lost, and someday you may discover that you’re lost now.

That is a paragraph worthy of Joan Didion — there can be no higher praise — and answers the question posed earlier, “What have we learned?” That, perhaps, no matter what we think we have learned, there is more there than we see, or, seeing more somewhere along the way will alter what we saw before, that time and reality and truth are plastic things.

Blood Will Out is a thought-provoking, deeply felt, timely book about spin and the duplicity of self, the ways we all indulge in pretending to be who we imagine we are, and in allowing others their own delusions and deceptions – that we might be allowed our own.

Read it. Why not buy your copy at your local independent bookseller, as I did. My favorite place in Frederick, Maryland other than the comfort of my own bedroom/batcave, The Curious Iguana [CLICK HERE], a local, independent bookseller and friendly place to hang and meet people with an acceptable level of delusion and deception.

 

Love Has No Pride … I’d give anything to see you again …

It’s the weekend.

Dame Maggie Smith, Indeed.

Dame Maggie Smith, Indeed.

Saturday morning and I am EXHAUSTED.

Library ExplosionLast night I was supposed to hang out with friends, watch the NCAA tournament and do the whole social thing. But, I’m easily seduced, a book-slut without shame, and though I had every intention of leaving my house, once again I ended up —  like the out-of-control lit-o-maniac I am — jumping lit-miscuously into bed with four books, a magazine, and my E-reader.

I’m not even going to tell you what some of the books were. NO, I’M NOT ASHAMED, but, one learns with age that there some details one should just keep to one’s self. This is my world, and while there are certainly days when I wish parts of it were otherwise, certainly moments, hours, days of lusting for … other, the truth is, most often, if I allow myself to just breathe and be, I am almost always contented and at peace in my bed with my books.

I think John Waters said it best:

books_waters

Isn’t that the truth? No, actually, it isn’t. Don’t marry them, perhaps. But, fucking is an entirely different matter. As in, I read both literary and popular fiction. Not every novel is going to be Didion’s Play It As It Lays. I love a nice book-centric, mystery cozy, or a crime-adventure by John Sandford or Harlan Coben. That’s who I was fucking reading last night.

Now, today, it’s all gray and damp and there is a prediction that between this afternoon and tomorrow night there will be more than two inches of rain dumped here. This just give sme ONE MORE excuse NOT to move from my couch/bed. Once I give in to the “stay home and read and hide” urge, it becomes increasingly difficult with every passing hour/day/book to convince myself I must again leave the house and engage the world. My engagements with the world have never really gone that well. Bring on the rain, it’s better than another foot of snow, but, also, a perfect excuse to stay in, snuggled, with a pile of books full of other worlds into which to escape.

I might need to escape, it seems. Twice yesterday I was almost killed on the highway, both times by vehicles which either did not see me or did not care and pulled at 60-plus miles per hour into my lane, forcing me off the road. Three times in the last 48 hours I have been — out of the blue and without prompting of any sort — messaged by friends making sure I was okay, saying they were thinking about me or sending me love. In the middle of the night two nights ago I woke at 2a.m. scratching myself unto bleeding, broken out all over in hives — something that has NEVER happened to me before — and had to take drugs and bathe in SeaBreeze to get it to stop. This morning when I brushed my teeth, and did the rinse and spit, the sink was filled with blood. This on top of that weird, eight hour, heaving stomach virus I had last week. Am I on my way OUT?

TW STILES Possessed 1000 yrs oldTW Stiles POSSESSED

All of these weirdnesses were then topped by last evening’s dream.

hay-loft-2-scott-norrisIn brief; I have not dreamed about him since he died. Ten years ago. When he was alive, and we were apart, which was almost always, I dreamed about him regularly. Now, last night, I had this beautiful – sort of – dream in which we were together again, it was now, somehow, and I asked – “Where have you been? Why did you wait so long to come back? Why couldn’t you do this when we were both alive?”hayloft As in life, he didn’t answer questions that made him uncomfortable – or, made him think – he said, “I’ve been waiting for you.” We were wandering around this huge, ancient barn, all full of the detritus of a farm which had long since stopped operating as a farm, and we made our way up into a loft – floated actually – and we were sitting on huge, thick beams of old wood I knew was full of splinters, leaned against pillowy bales of hay, his arms around me, me falling asleep on his chest, trying to stay awake because I knew – somehow – we didn’t have much time. Hay 2And as soon as I thought that, he said, “You have to sit up, I’m getting tired and I won’t be able to stay here much longer.” I started to cry and said, “Please, just let me sleep on you for a little while again, you don’t have to stay awake.” He laughed and said, “Chuckles, YOU have to stay awake, just a little longer.”

And I woke up. Weeping. Saying his name.

I want to go to sleep. Really. I do.

Are you talking to me? You’re a birthday present, aren’t you?

DC Jan 2014 3 NY Times Press Seat at White HouseI’m completely confused. And I will thank you very much, my smartass/think you’re funny friends, to keep your snarky comments to yourselves. And call off the people you have remunerated to make me feel – whatever it is I am feeling.

Never in my entire life has anyone ever been attracted to me. I got this. I was no prize in the physical appearance department, and, thanks to a lethal combination of social anxiety and negative life experience, I developed what passed for a personality that, on first impression, came across in a variety of unpleasant ways depending on whether it was the Passive or the Aggressive multiple in control.

I became accustomed to being un-noticed, or, noticed in ways and for things I’d rather not have been. I accepted the fact that I would never be the hot one, that no, no one was ever going to fall for my deep soul, sparkling wit, and intellect. All good. I got it. I was not it. I was never going to be it.

SO WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN ARE SO MANY MEN HITTING ON ME? I have been approached at the gym three times in the past three days – two of those times were in the sauna where I was wearing just two towels. Trust me when I tell you that despite the number of hours I spend in the gym, I am far from a pretty sight. I see in the mirror a not very toned, not very alluring body, and the face of an old man. All three of the men who approached me were some combination of way younger, way better built, way hotter than should be bothering with me at all, ever, for even a second.

It can’t be my personality. I haven’t talked to any of them. We were strangers. I wear a huge black hoody at the gym – hood up – and go out of my way – especially in the locker room – never to ever look at anyone or make eye contact. I stay in my “I know I am unattractive” bubble, minding my own business and trying NOT to see attractive men.

In addition to this, a younger fellow I spent a little time with keeps messaging, calling, texting me wanting to spend time together. He can do way better. And another fellow from my age cohort with whom I spent a little time is also stalking me. He, too, can do way better.

This has NEVER happened to me – truly – and I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone seeing me half-naked would want to – approach – me, let alone the three really good-looking men who have done so this week.C BLOG 1

Which leads me to believe that my friends are behind this and have given these men money in a misguided attempt to make me feel attractive. That is not going to happen. So, call off the dogs – or, rather, call the hotties off this dog, please. We all know I am no good at this.

Now, back to my reading.

A Little Sunshine . . .

Last night was another “one of those nights” when I ended up wandering and wondering outside very late, unable to sleep, unable to quiet my mind or body; truly, rest-LESS. After very little sleep, I wakened this morning to record-setting cold temperatures for this date. I needed something to take off the chill. What would REALLY help would be if you would follow me here on this blog and ON TWITTER – CLICK HERE FOR MIRACLECHARLIE@TWITTER! Please? Spread a little sunshine, dammit.

(OH AND ADDENDUM – Whilst restless last night I was obsessing on it being the 50th Anniversary of FUNNY GIRL opening on Broadway and Streisand achieving ICONISM; view that post here CLICK ME also a little Julia Murney and Idina too –

Normally I completely ignore – on principle – any suggestions given me by Twitter, etcetera. However, this morning when I headed to YouTube to find something classical to which to listen through my earphones as I began my daily site surveying, it was suggested I might enjoy a clip of Spread A Little Sunshine from Pippin. Hmph. Somehow I doubted this.

During my career I was twice in the show, each time becoming one of those “show-thing” experiences of all-night long Pippin-ing it up in ways that resulted — as do so many show-things — in eventual unhappiness, and, later in life,  I once directed the show, during which adventure there was no Pippin-ing it up, but, rather, far too many all-night-longs involving just me, in a theatre, alone until the wee hours of too many mornings(SONDHEIM) doing sets and lights and various other shit with which one finds one’s self ultimately and exhaustively stuck when one is running a tiny little theatre company trying to do great big things with tiny little resources and great big egos fighting against you.

But, bygones. And eventually be-gones; somebody threatened to drop a house on me. Well, actually, the house was  . . . never mind. I never wanted the power those damn shoes conveyed anyway. Gave ’em to the farmgirl, no worries.

Point? Oh, right, so the YouTube suggested clip had a pic – and it LOOKED like Fastrada was being played by Julia Murney, who I love. I opened it, and damn if it wasn’t her. And damn if this isn’t my favorite FAVORITE rendition of Sunshine since Leland Palmer gave it Fosse’s original spin. Just, WOW. What a voice. I am CERTAIN this is the best sung version EVER ANYWHERE.

I know, right? Sunshine, consider yourself spread.

“FUNNY GIRL” is 50, too! (Not that I am)

Are you following me on Twitter at MiracleCharlie? CLICK ME AND FOLLOW!

UPDATE ON MARCH 27 – FOUND THIS ON QUEERTY – ACTUAL FOOTAGE – HORRIBLE QUALITY BUT – WOW! If I believed in god or heaven – I would think that death and ascension involved being able to see Broadway musicals and stars I missed – and, too, ones that never happened and I just imagined – IN ANY EVENT – check here too!

http://www.queerty.com/50-years-ago-today-barbra-streisand-became-the-worlds-greatest-star-in-funny-girl-20140326/

March 26, 1964. FUNNY GIRL opened on Broadway [CLICK HERE].

Now, please, theatre queens, I KNOW that song was NOT in the Original Broadway Production. But it is the ICONIC number from the film, so, please, back off. Try this:

Or, this;

And surely you DID NOT think I would post about Funny Girl without posting my favorite version EVER of People by the inimitable, amazing, gorgeous, brilliant, genius Julia Murney?

And I kind of loved this too – I know – but, well, Idina Menzel from Glee – I wish I could find the scene. It was beautiful.

But this . . . never ever will anyone even come close to equaling this.

 

I OBJECT(ify) . . . Andrew Rannells and Raul Esparza …

Okay, second post of the day, I know, and way too early for it.But, see, the thing is, I’m thinking too much and when I think too much I need to write or read or SCREAM or something and so . . . unlike Norma Desmond, I don’t have a Max or Joe to help me sustain my delusions, I am all alone in this so – would someone get me a fucking drink, PLEASE? Or, a drinking fuck? Or –

I was trolling websites and saw an article about a study into the number of M4M (that’s Male for Male for those of you not familiar with hooking up on-line) postings on a social site fishing for “Straight Identified Males” for sex. I have done a great deal of study and contemplation and discussion about this very thing; what makes for attraction? How much is genetically encoded, how much is influenced by society, after it is determined what particular genitals one desires – when it comes to all the other stuff connected to those genitals – how much does one REALLY have a choice?

As in – if you find yourself as a Gay Identified Male always attracted to Straight Identified Males – what is that about? Is it internalized homophobia taught by a culture that values WASP-het-men over all else?

I was getting all afluster and aflutter about this – and so did what I always do, retreated to musical theatre. Seems that the latest edition of Broadway Backwards just happened to which I was alerted by BoyCulture blog [CLICK HERE FOR STORY] – and in it, Andrew Rannells sang The Man That Got Away. I started searching all over for that – and could not (yet) find it – but, along the way – holy shit, these.

Raul Esparza singing The Man That Got Away at another Broadway Backwards. LISTEN:

Now, I have LONG been in love with Raul, ever since I saw him in the Sondheim Celebration production of Merrily We Roll Along at the Kennedy Center years ago, stopping the show with his Franklin Shepherd, Inc. REALLY, he STOPPED the show – he got a five minute standing ovation – well deserved – I was weeping within MOMENTS.

And I was at that show with – NO – wait – I can’t think about this now – I need to watch more videos. Raul – see, then I saw him on Broadway in Company and he was BRILLIANT.

When he hit that chord on that keyboard, I gasped. I was heave-weeping by the middle of the song. Just dying. It was one of those birthday alone trips to which I referred in this morning’s earlier post [CLICK HERE TO READ] – and it was – oh god – no – I need to watch more videos  – I can’t start thinking about that/this –

Thing is, when he was in Merrily, I knew someone working on show and voiced my desire for him. She assured me he was a hound, seriously hitting on all the women in his vicinity. Alas, I thought, just my luck. It was only a few years later he came out as bi-sexual and shared his long-term relationship with an older man. Again, JUST MY FUCKING LUCK.

Point, Charlie? I am attracted to him STILL – and he is Gay Identified. So, there.

MORE VIDEOS GODDAMMMMMIT.

Like, another Broadway Backwards performance by Mr. Rannells popped up. The Music That Makes Me Dance, from Funny Girl. LISTEN:

If I told you I spent YEARS of my youth performing this song along with Streisand on the Funny Girl OBC into my bedroom mirror, would you be surprised? I thought not. I used to sing, you know, and the only time anyone ever loved me was because of my voice or what happened when I used my voice and NO NO NO – wait – NO, I CAN’T THINK ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW – VIDEOS!

And then, I came to this. LISTEN:

Rannells ButtADORE. Song written by one of the fellows responsible for some of the songs from the late, lamented Smash. At 54 Below in New York. A place to which I have never been. I would have if I could still head to New York for a birthday week but that can’t happen anymore because I had to – NO NO NO – MORE MUSIC DAMMIT – In any event, by the end of this little number, I was in love with Mr. Rannells. Who is Gay Identified. Yes, he is – and his TIGHT ASS as displayed on Handrew rannells nude girlsBO’s GIRLS doesn’t hurt either.

So, there. I don’t feel so bad about the kick in the gut I got reading the story about all those social-media-hook-up-I-want-a-straight-man-gay guys. Not that I would ever have anything to do with a married, straight-identified man. Not me. Or, an unmarried, straight-identified man fooling around with his sexuality and using me as  a back-up plan and then . . . NO NO NO Not me.

Fuck this . . . gotta go watch some more musical theatre videos . . . later.

Here comes the sun(set) … come look at the freak(show) …

sunset blvdFor the second week in a row this blog has broken visitor AND view records three days (so far) – I don’t know who you are, but I’m glad that this faded, failed, delusional diva’s scabrous scribbling about just this, my life, and nothing else, is entertaining all you wonderful people out there in the dark.

I’m ready for my close-up now, even though I’ve been through de’mill(e). It would be even MORE exciting if you would follow me on Twitter [CLICK HERE: MIRACLECHARLIE on TWITTER] and SHARE me with your friends. I know that my blog entries are rather LONGER than people say they ought to be — but here’s the thing, I come from another time, really. I’m of a different era and zeitgeist and … well, perhaps it is NOT that my BLOGS are BIG, but, rather, that your ATTENTION SPAN is too small! Yes, that’s it. I am big! It’s the attention spans that have gotten small. Oh dear . . . I’m fading more and more into this imaginary world of mine, follow me quickly, I haven’t much time left, you see . . .

gif sunset blvd2. . . because it’s fast approaching my birthday(month). I’ve no intention of discussing the details – although, there’s nothing tragic with being fifty, unless you’re trying to be 25 — but, I heard somewhere that stars are ageless, and I used to be BIG – before going to the gym and staving myself made me smaller – and so I freely exploit the “subtract 10” theory when it comes to age (and weight) (holy crap, I’m feeling awfully parenthetical today) I still LOVE having a ridiculous to-do to-done about and around my birthday. Once upon a time, I would make a solo Manhattan pilgrimage each year and celebrate there. Not alone, but, rather, at the Algonquin Hotel, surrounded by the spirit and energy of all those who had stayed there before, and, my dear aunt, Sissie, who had never gotten to stay there but who had in her decline, immobilized by blindness and illness in a senior-facility, made me promise not to wait until it was too late — as she had — to “visit the Algonquin”.

I think she meant something else, something more. She had spent her life — mostly — doing for others, serving the needs of others, sacrificing her wants for the wants of others, and to the casual and uninformed observer it might have seemed she was living off of the largesse of others, but that was not the case. Without her, many of those “others” would not have been able to have the freedoms and lives they had, and many, like me, would never have come to know themselves without Sissie being there to encourage and see and support us in our quest for self-dom. The only self she got was the one who put herSELF aside so others could thrive and bloom – she never got to be in love, she never got to go all the places she wanted to go, she put away her own scribbling and exploring so as to take care of others, make others happy. She saw what I was doing, recognized how unhappy and unfulfilled and unseen I was, and felt — I think — that I was her greatest project, the work of her life, and if I ended up as miserable as she had become at the end, she would have failed.

sunset blvd gifI promised her I would go. I did. And don’t you know she was right. I should have gone. And too, rather than get that and understand it, the people who claimed to love me didn’t “get it” or see me and celebrate it, rather, they resented that what I needed and wanted and deserved for ME, putting me first once in a while, cracked the crazy-mirror into which they looked each day like Snow White’s wicked queen asking “Who’s the ONLY person who matters at all?”

Trust me, Snow White I am not and never have been, but I also don’t eat any apples proffered. And I am ALWAYS on the lookout for dwarves eager to take me in and party.

Speaking of, Ryan Murphy has announced that the upcoming season of American Horror Story is going to be called FreakShow. I am a HUGE fan of carnivals, sideshows and freaks — as in Come Look at the … from the musical SideShow … which I never got to see on Broadway, the actual non-seeing of which was the event that prompted Sissie to give me the “don’t wait for the Algonquin” lecture and extract my promise. I used to go visit her on Thanksgiving morning and watch the parade — well, I watched, she listened while I described it — and when SideShow was in the parade and I was describing Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner and weeping because I couldn’t see the show — Sissie started in.

I’m expecting big things from Ryan Murphy on this. And given that he is PRACTICALLY my spiritual doppelgänger and has a fondness for musical theatre divas as deeply embedded in his DNA as do I, it would NOT surprise me (feel free to take this idea, Ryan) if he hires the Ripley and Skinner to play the aging Hilton Sisters who were still alive in the 1950’s when the show is rumored to be set. PLEASE!?!?!

Speaking of SideShow, I was informed last night that I am to keep the date of July 6 open as I will be seeing the tour of the revival of the show at the Kennedy Center that night! HUZZAH!

But before then, I’ve a LOT of birthday partying to which I must attend. For example, next Friday BEGINS the Month of fun. I am seeing CHER in concert!  Yes, it’s true. As if that wasn’t enough, I am being taken out to dinner beforehand at Voltaggio’s D.C. restaurant, PROOF. SO EXCITED!

Then, later in the month, making a daytrip to NYC with a group of my nearest and dearest friends for two — yes, TWO Broadway shows in one day! Seeing Jason Robert Brown’s new musical, The Bridges of Madison County, and Terrensunset boulevardce McNally’s new play, Mothers and Sons. YEE-EFFING-HA!

And then, in early May (which- technically – is outside the birthday month, but, OH WELL) I am being taken to see Megan Hilty at the Kennedy Center. I mean, really, could a birthday month be much better for a dilapidated, desiccated diva descending that final staircase, confessing his sins and nearing death?

MAX, WHERE AM I? WHERE THE FUCK AM I, MAX? And when is Joe Gillis coming back? I wish I’d had the good sense to shoot the bastard — but, unlike in the film, he never really had the balls to turn his back on me and walk away. He just sort of snuck out and pretended he wasn’t going. LIGHTS! CAMERAS! STAIR-FUCKING-CASE!

(Do I REALLY have to tell you AGAIN about the time I saw Miss Betty Buckley in SUNSET BOULEVARD – and how kind she was to me in the alley afterward? OR HOW I HAVE TWICE SEEN HER IN CONCERT AND DECIDED – though I do not believe in God or Heaven – that if I DID – it would be an eternity of Miss Buckley singing.)

 

 

 

I OBJECT(but not IFY today): The 80’s … Gloria Steinem, Stephen Sondheim, Virginia Baltzell

Your insipid blogger is NOT objectifying today – because today is Gloria Steinem’s 80th birthday and somehow, it seems like I ought to be paying a little less attention to the appreciation of youthful depilated pectorals and more to the gifts given of well-aged, seasoned souls and intellects like Ms. Steinem (80) and Stephen Sondheim (84) and my very own Mom (86); AND, I have a few more words to say about someone MUCH YOUNGER – who continues to fight the fight and march the march toward equality and freedom, young Taylor Ellis – who I first wrote about HERE.

gloria_steinemGloria Steinem [CLICK HERE FOR HER OFFICIAL WEBSITE] turns 80 years old today. I would not be who I am and this world in which we live would not be what it is were it not for Ms. Steinem.

This salute to Ms. Steinem by Gail Collins (age 68) in the Sunday New York Times called This Is What 80 Looks Like [CLICK HERE TO READ] is a beautiful reminder and/or precis about Ms. Steinem. Now that I am of a certain age, I am frequently shocked that those NOT yet a certain age are blissfully unaware of and disinterested in that time before the title and magazine MS. [CLICK HERE for magazine website] were a part of our culture, before feminism. I was, once upon a time, offended and angered by their determined ignorance, but now, I am ashamed and horrified.

And afraid. As Ms. Steinem has said when asked what she thinks about the progress made in these past few decades;

If I’d been trying to imagine this time 30 or 35 years ago, I think I would have been surprised that we have majority support on pretty much all of the issues now. In the beginning, we were so subject to ridicule — even to the charge that we were going against nature — that to see majorities in public opinion polls now would have been a big surprise. However, given that, I would have been surprised that we have such a disastrous administration with such anti-women and war-loving policies. I guess 35 years ago, I thought we had more of a democracy than we actually do. Majority support doesn’t help unless the majority is active and votes – but the opposition minority votes a much greater proportion, so we often lose by a narrow margin.

Yes. However, I would add that while I am gratified by all the changes and the progress, by the ways in which it has gotten better, I am also saddened by the size of the fearful backlash and the grip that ignorance, hate, and fear have gotten on such a lot of people’s minds and hearts. I am saddened that a so-called “major political party” has become the tool of financial interests interested only in amassing more and more power for fewer and fewer people. These scions of finance and entitlement have calculated that viciously exploiting class-based fear and ignorance would distract the proletariat from their real fortune/power-grabbing agenda. They were right. It did. However, their efforts to usurp democracy and undermine its spirit and heart has resulted in the creation of a hate-class – as embodied by the Tea Party and rabid-religionists like the Westboro Baptist Church and born-agains who claim to care about god and culture – but who are really operating out of hatred of anyone “not them” – having been convinced that the problems in this country are about those “others” demanding equality and un-doing tradition, when, in fact, the trouble of cultural decline is mostly an invented distraction, an illusion promulgated by the tools of those few multi-national powers with loyalty only to the mighty dollar; powerful interests who have no interest in nor obligation to any country, any people, any principles at all except “GET MORE.”

We are all their dupes. There is enough for everyone. Enough dollars. Enough freedom. Enough love. Enough equality.

Gloria Steinem is 80 today. We owe her and ourselves and the children who were not around before the work Ms. Steinem and all her cohorts did won us all the measure of equality we have gained. But, at the same time, women still earn less than men. For women of color, it is even worse.

Gloria Steinem should be a part of the curriculum in every classroom. As should Harvey Milk – who would be 84 had he not been assassinated. But, they are not part of every school’s core curriculum. Neither, it seems, speaking of people in their 80’s – is Stephen Sondheim a part of every child’s education. The greatest living composer, the re-shaper of musical theatre, and many young people have never heard of him, have never – in fact – learned about the indigenous American art form of the musical.

Gloria Steinemmilk.h1stephen-sondheim-aa58e636211efdc134e6540533fff5cc52c73909-s6-c30

So, I salute them here; these 80-somethings. And I add to the list my very own Mother, who raised six children on her own – six very difficult and crazy children. To her and all of these icons I promise –  I will remember them and remind those younger than myself about their work, their struggle, their fight to pave the paths that have given me – all of us – the freedoms we have to be, to imagine, to explore, to OBJECT.

Taylor Ellis 2Speaking of which: On March 21 I first wrote about Taylor Ellis, [READ IT HERE] who was denied his equality because he is a gay youth, and was speaking up and reaching out. I Tweeted it quite a bit – reaching out to famous people with a wider reach than I had (many of whom ignored it, I am sorry to say) – and nagged people to spread the word and to write to Master Ellis’ school administrator. That charming young man – far from his 80’s – took the time to write to me and say thank-you. Courageous and well-bred and polite. I have hope for the world. And the future.

 

 

Hairy Harry, Sterek, Derek, Davey Wavey, and CHER!: I OBJECT(ify)! Monday: 2014-24-3

Derek Hough Gay MagTonight is BIG. It’s the finale of Teen Wolf — or, as I like to call it, Stiles & His Hot Shirtless Teen Boy Harem as he waits for Shirtless Derek to Turn Him  — as well as the second week of Dancing With The Stars — or, as I like to call it, Waiting for More Shirtless Derek Hough. Both shows exist mostly — let’s be frank (or Derek) — as excuses to ogle good looking, defined-pec-depilated, ephebic, wank-worthy hotties, and, too, exercises in waiting for people named “Derek” to come out.

TW Derek PullUpsAll of which is fine and good and will keep me busy during prime time this evening – and reminds me I need to get back to the gym today after a week’s absence – I WAS SICK DAMMIT – and again makes me wonder if I ought to do a little more manscaping just in case – you know – anything – comes up. But I am definitely missing the proper tools. I need to get me this Norelco . . .

Radcliffe Daniel EquusI’m not the only one who needs a Norelco. Last night I was feeling a bit melancholy (surprise) and for some reason I thought that would be a good time to watch Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings, a film about Allen Ginsberg’s tragic, mostly-unrequited love for Lucien Carr – who Beat-lore tells us made something of a career out of inspiring unrequited – or, rarely-quited – lustings after him by men; like Jack Kerouac — no slouch himself at leading on and throwing an occasional fuck the way of a man who might be useful or amusing to him — and William Burroughs. I’ve seen Daniel Radcliffe naked. In person. Equus, on Broadway, during which the person with whom I saw it leaned over to me during the nude scene and said, “My dick is bigger than his. In case you were wondering.” Had I been a beat, I would, no doubt, have been a Carr and Kerouac luster. Always been a fool for men who built themselves up and fed their weak egos by fooling around with the affections of others. In any event, that’s another blog, and someone else can write it when I’m dead or stabbed to death and drowned by my latest version of Carr. Until then, where was I? Oh, right, Radcliffe doesn’t do much manscaping.

Unlike the Teen Wolf boys.

Speaking of COULD I BE ANY GAY-ER – did I mention that my friend, A, got me FLOOR SEATS for CHER on Friday, April 4 as a birthday gift? YES. I am going to see CHER! Be jealous.

And after ALL THAT – this (found on JOE. MY. GOD. [CLICK HERE]) about the back-pedaling of homophobes now that they seemed to have had some wins overseas, acting as if they regret the damage they’ve done. Idiots.

Once upon a time, I would have called them “dicks”-  but thanks to Davey Wavey, my consciousness has been raised.

And, so, on to my day I must go . . . but here’s some morning pics to keep you going through the day and continue my endless objectification of Kerouac-ian types who would keep me around with dick-size alerts and rarely-quitings.

Feb 23 2014 COLOR 2 jan 24 8 jan 24 9BF Blur CropYearbook-Stephen-Homotography-Sinclair-08

Sunday Quickie: Week in Review (and reading – and a little pandering, too, of course)

I OBJECT(ify) daily pandering pic

I OBJECT(ify) daily pandering pic

P.S. to start with . . . I broke records for VISITS and VIEWS for three days in a row this week. I would LIKE to believe it is because of my pithy turns of phrase and insights into literature, but I suspect it’s my pics of barely concealed penises and hot men; whatever works. I’m a hits whore and proud of it. Anyway – thanks for visiting my blog, thanks for sharing it, thanks for sending me pictures of your naked self – oh, you haven’t? WELL YOU SHOULD – Like this – (I know what  the people want!).

It’s Sunday. Day of rest. And I need it. I had great times with the A’s Squared on Friday afternoon, and DB on Friday night and my Greene family on Saturday night, but all these great times cost me sleep, involved alcohol and/or decadently high calorie but delicious food-stuffs. Thus, while they were a wonderful finale to a not so great week that began with that awful virus Monday, the results of which lingered long enough that I have not been to the gym since then, I am left depleted and dangerously low on endorphins and serotonin, so, I am feeling slow and low and find myself wanting even MORE of the less than healthy food I’ve been shoveling in. I am, frankly, a sloth.

I give myself today. Back to the healthy life tomorrow. In the meantime, here I am last night with part of my family, the Greene branch.

March 22 2014 2

That’s Miss Megan and Sir Patrick; Queen Susan was the photographer. We attended Megan’s college dance concert and then went out to dinner at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore [CLICK HERE]. WOW! One of the most beautiful, friendly upscale restaurants to which I’ve ever been and the food was simply fantastic; Fresh ingredients, lovingly and simply combined into glorious taste and textural experiences. Perfect night. And the vodka, ginger, lemon cocktail I had in a copper mug wasn’t bad either!

Lots of thoughts roiling in my head from the weekend; it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a dance concert, since I’ve seen Megan on-stage and that pushed a lot of buttons; and, too, for sad, weird reasons, I was unable to attend a theatre production this weekend that I really would liked to have seen, and the NOT being able to go there also pushed many, MANY buttons; and, too, while dressing for one of these events I found in the pocket of my jacket a collection of theatre ticket stubs spanning back quite a while, through, seemingly, a few different lives, and each one brought careening into my mind, heart, soul, and alcohol soaked brain some powerful memories and emotions with which I am not eager to deal.

So, yes. Exhaustion (again) – thus the brevity of this post. But hey, since – as Queen Greene so aptly put it last night – “Your efforts at keeping your blog entries short – uhm – you’re not trying very hard.” So, why not enjoy this week’s entries in a long, leisurely fashion on your Sunday? Or, not. I’ll be reading the New York Times. But do – please – check out my book reviews –

WASN’T TOMORROW WONDERFUL by Kenneth M. Walsh

Justin St. Germain’s SON OF A GUN

and GO BUY A BOOK FROM YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER! (Like THE CURIOUS IGUANA in downtown Frederick. CLICK HERE!)

Or, celebrate Mr. Stephen Sondheim’s birthday! (CLICK HERE)

Or, put a SOCK ON YOUR COCK – or, on someone else’s – but help raise awareness of testicular cancer prevention methods – CHECK YOUR BALLS. Or, check a friend’s balls. CLICK HERE.

Happy Sunday, friends. And so as it began, so shall it end, whirled without end (well, I may sneak an end in there sometimes) forever and ever – A-to the-MEN.March 21 2014 2 march 21 2014 3 march 21 2014