A Word to the Why(s): Privilege and Denial and Hypocrisy, Oh My!

UPDATE 10:45a.m. I had no idea when posting  the below blog entry early this morning that the news would supply me with even more examples of the damage done by religion, read this: Palestinian Teen Abducted and Killed in Revenge Attack [Click Here] 

Why am I a hypocrite?

ACTup-leveledI live a privileged life. There is no question about this. I benefit from the cultural construct of white male privilege. Absolutely. I am part of this culture, many aspects of which I enjoy and embrace, and have not eschewed those privileges, gone anarchist nor off-grid rogue to blow-up the system; so what? That doesn’t disqualify me from pointing out that said privilege is a problem, exists, does do harm.

I am, of late, quite disturbed by the complacency — nay, even the aiding and abetting being offered — of young people and others who are cogs in the wheels of the machine of old boy white male conservative christian privilege. When I was younger, I, too, wanted to blame the generations that came before me and accuse them of complacency and complicity as excuse for my doing nothing, as if being young and not having been alive when the problem began made it — now — not my problem. Well, I call bullshit. That stand is nothing but a diversionary tactic and another insulting, reductive “ism” — called age-ism.

There is much to be done and we are all — to one degree or another — hypocrites to deny that.

Others say it better than I can. For example;

Interestingly, if you look at the LGBT article, though written by a person of color, its photos depict mostly white folks. Just saying.

birth-control-gumball-hobby-lobby-scotus-638x424The influence and prevalence of cultural bias is so perniciously present, one becomes exhausted in simply the effort to stay aware of it. We are inundated, drowning in white male privilege bias and the assumption of its superiority; it has so long been embedded as the ideal, we are so brainwashed from birth, we fail to notice. And too, now that we are noticing with the beginning of real vigor, now that we have begun to object to our place on this plantation, the masters are striking back; and, even more alarmingly and dangerously, the masters have so much power they have terrified and indoctrinated and catechized many of their victim-minions into fighting the masters fight. Witness the recent ruling by SCOTUS denying women basic health care under the guise of “religious freedom” — the new code word for White Heterosexual Male Power & Bigotry:

That we even have to discuss this in 2014 is an illustration of how far we have yet to go as a culture. That a belief in christian mythology should trump anything as basic as health care is freaking unbelievable, but, even more astonishing and implausible — really, honestly, the sort of thing if I wrote in a novel an editor would note “too outlandish” — is that women — albeit religionist women — were celebrating the ruling of the five male conservative christian religionist (in)justices. But, religion — now as throughout time — has ALWAYS been used as a tool to brainwash and control the masses. I quote Christopher Hitchens from God is Not Great; How Religion Poisons Everything [Click Here]:

“One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think—though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one—that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.” [Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great; How Religion Poisons Everything]

And from the same book:

“Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience.”

Yes. It ought to. Yes. We all ought to. I have been thinking about this a great deal the past few days as I house/pet sit by a lake in a beautiful place I could never afford, in a place I — in some ways — covet, a place I am able to stay because of the benefits of the very culture of privilege to which I object.

read my lipsSo, I am a hypocrite. Which I freely admit. To one or another degree, everyone I know is a hypocrite. Even those of us who have been called fag or kike or cunt or nigger or been degraded and denied and abused and beaten up and down because we are who and what we are, even those of us more subtly abjured and shunned by glass ceilings and quieter, delicate, sneakier biases that offer seductive boons if one just plays along with the status quo — those old boy groups are tricky and sly, when they pretend that you’re going to get to share in the wealth, smoke the expensive cigars, sip the finest vintages, live on the lake, and have as many shelves of books as you want —

— long as you still call them master and don’t demand rights too equal — don’t get too uppity.

Well, I am uppity. And I still want to sit by the lake. And I know I am a hypocrite. And I am still allowed to talk about this and question it. As must we all … it is in the fear of facing our own hypocrisy that we hand over even more power to those who control the privilege and the world; it’s part of their perfidious agenda — to keep all of us in our little enclaves fighting against one another for the tiniest toehold — so that they, that 1 per cent at the top who already have most of the wealth and power — can keep accruing more and more as we busy ourselves killing and slandering one another for the crumbs and morsels that trickle down.

I am hungry. I am uppity. And I won’t shut up, and I will own my hypocrisy.

So, there.

 

 

 

 

Sunday briefs … or, sweatpants, actually …

I need to get a grip – TOO MANY THINGS GETTING MY GRIP! Breathe.

Coke homophobia

I need to get a grip. Therefore, I am NOT heading out for a New York Times today. I have huge piles of un-read magazines and New York Times I have not yet read dating back to … never mind. I’m going to DEAL with this backlog.

I need to get a grip. I am in mourning because this Wednesday is the FINALE of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN and I will now have to wait none months for new Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters deliciousness from Ryan Murphy. PLEASE KILL ME!

I need to get a grip. I have been eating in a less than optimally healthy way and slacking on gym visits; on a steady decline since Thanksgiving, blaming holiday season, snow and depression. Enough.  Therefore, once I finish this Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tart (box) – which will be today – I “take care of your body” ways. Back to daily gym and good-bye to sugar, flour, gluten, chips, cookies. carbs and Slim Jims; I will miss you all. It’s been fun.

I need to get a grip. I got a question from someone, a request, actually, for some advice, about faith, about not believing in god, about how to recover from not being loved the way you thought you were/wanted to be. I’ve been working on a response – carefully working – but it becomes increasingly difficult for me; ME, who spent DECADES being a sort of “go-to” person for those in need of therapy who couldn’t afford a therapist; ME, whose office and days and life were filled up with people needing a safe place to talk or be; ME, who put his own stuff and needs on hold to tend to the stuff and needs of everyone else; ME, yeah, that ME, now has a hard time advising, counseling, answering. Lots of reasons, not the least of which is, often, what I sort of understood before and eventually came to see with terrifying clarity is, the people doing the asking all too often are not seeking an answer to the “questions” they are posing or a solution to their “problems” – but, really and rather, they are looking to develop what amount to tactics for deluding themselves into “happiness” and “acceptance” that fits into this ridiculous pseudo-reality we’ve all made in which “happiness” has to do with conforming to idiotic and un-achievable economic, romantic, socio-cultural standards. I can’t pretend to care about that shit anymore. And I can’t encourage people to do things to conform to it. It is now IMPOSSIBLE for me not to say, “You see that what you want is brainwashed bogus bullshit you’ve swallowed without really examining, right?”

So, grip. Yeah. And brief. I meant not to go over 500 words and so – I SHUT UP and offer a few videos worth seeing. Two to make you think. One to make you really think. Happy Sunday.

Respect … everybody … thank you Dr. King

MLK 4It’s Martin Luther King Day, and I wonder at how far we have come … and how far we have to go. And since all politics is personal, I am again pondering those who have personally dis-respected me.

I turned two years old in 1963 on the day before The Reverend, Doctor Martin Luther King Jr wrote his Letter from the Birmingham Jail and I was eleven days away from turning seven when he was assassinated in 1968. Because Dr. King dared to speak and march and make real his dream of equality for all people, I am able today to enjoy rights and freedoms not dependent upon my gender, race, sexuality, age, economic class, or any of the other labels we use to divide and define one another.

I am in Dr. King’s debt. Thank you Dr. King.

MLK 3

Still, as far as we have come since 1963, it would be disingenuous to pretend that the dream of equality has come true. People are still discriminated against because of gender, race, sexuality, age, class, and many another arbitrarily assigned label. In fact, there is some not little evidence that a concerted attack has been and is being made to disenfranchise, deny, and demonize those who have long fought hard to win equality by claiming that said equality is somehow a disparagement, depreciation and debasement of some “natural order” – code-speak for those who wish to continue dominating others by keeping in place the patriarchal-heterosexist-gender-biased-bigotry-fueled-classist structure under the boot-heel of which most “others” (and do not fool yourself that you are OTHER than OTHER, my friend) of us have long been enslaved.

MLK 2

All politics are personal (a phrase which was, by the way, attributed to feminist Carol Hanisch based on the work of C. Wright Mills: thank you both) however and so, I, who am sexually attracted to my own gender and this gay-identified,  have been particularly troubled of late not only by the careless speech of some public figures, but, worse, the defenses mounted after the fact by people whose thinking ought to have evolved beyond specious apologia conveniently citing sources and theories irrelevant to the bigotry being spewed.

It hasn’t just been the homophobia and racism of the Duck Dynasty fellow. Joining him in his careless hate speech have been Sherri Shepherd, of ABC’s The View, and Liam Payne, member of the boyband, One Direction, and Juan Pablo Galavis, from ABC’s The Bachelor. And while these people are just flashes in pop culture pans, they are parroting things voiced by those with purchase in the power structure, politicians and religionists, one of the worst of which currently is Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, and creator and defender of hate laws targeting homosexuals.

MLK 1

It is the kind of biased regurgitation of bigotry and ignorance as promulgated by Mr. Robertson, Ms. Shepherd, Master Payne, Mr. Galavis, endless Tea-Party conservatives, and President Putin, that creates an atmosphere encouraging of hate and violence toward those who are “other” and, worse,  to exacerbate the hatred by trying to justify it using “free speech” and “religion” as excuse is not only ridiculous, but offensive. And those who do so are culpable and guilty for things like this:

RUSSIAN GANGS KIDNAPPING AND TORTURING GAY TEENS (Click here for story)

And this, Kaique Batista dos Santos:

Kaique Batista dos Santos

Kaique Batista dos Santos

a 16 year old, tortured and teeth pulled out with pliers, assassinated. Because he was gay (CLICK HERE FOR STORY).

And the millions of lesser indignities suffered every day by “others” – as privileged as is my life, still, I have been on the receiving end of  the same sort of dismissal and abuse because of my sexuality, class, age, hell, even because of my beliefs about those things. It is bad enough to be beaten and denigrated by strangers, but perhaps even more insidious are those attacks and derogations of a more subtle variety, those that come from unexpected sources, those that come from acquaintances, friends, even those who have claimed to love you. I have been whisper-campaign-insinuation-slandered using cultural-biased-based-bigotry about age and sexuality and class, and by people I trusted.

It is not easy living in this world no matter who you are, but if you add into the mix any sort of “other” to any degree, things do become exponentially more difficult. The more “other” you are, the easier it is for people to dismiss you, to ignore you, to belittle you, and to treat you with a lack of respect. Because of who I am attracted to; because of my beliefs about money and class and capitalism; because of my philosophical positions; because of my spiritual beliefs,  because of my age and beliefs about age; because of my place in this world, this society; because of who I am, I have been targeted and trashed and talked down to, dismissed, betrayed, lied to and about, defamed and mocked and abandoned.

Because Dr. King marched and dreamed and died for us all, I am able to write about it. And because he died, because he dreamed by example, I am trying – and not always successfully – to respect even those with whom I completely disagree, who I think live in ignorance and bigotry and blindness; because while I find the words and actions of Mr. Robertson, Ms. Shepherd, Master Payne, Mr. Galavis, endless Tea-Party conservatives, and President Putin, to be repugnant and abhorrent, I do not want to create an atmosphere or world in which they would be targeted for the physical and emotional violence and abuse, the assassinations that killed Dr. King and so many others of the “others” among us.

Respect. Everybody. Thank you, Dr. King.

half-naked men, boners and popular posts … (not part of the new york chronicles) …

WordPress is selling ads on me. I wanted to be a writer admired and followed for my insight and introspection and emotional connection and empathy – but instead, seems like I’m being followed for my penis. What The Actual Fuck?

All the introspection the New York chronicling is bringing is – I am well aware – likely to lose me readers. This year-end shit all over the place – this year-end shit in which I do not indulge because time is an illusion – this year-end shit that caused me to check my most popular posts from 2013 just validates what my friend C told me on our New York trip:

“You get enough hits on your blog for WordPress to put ads on it – so, you must be doing something right. Although I’m pretty sure it’s the naked men and dicks getting you hits.”

Well, MAYBE. Because – according to my stats on this free WordPress account which is apparently doing well enough that WordPress feels free to sell ADS ON THE BLOG I’M WRITING (which makes me want to go on a diatribe about the number of times in my life my writing has been RIPPED OFF and other people have benefitted from it while I have NOT and I’m NOT just talking about monetarily you plagiarists and freely thieving borrowers and adapters.) the most popular posts of the past year have been:

5) “… …. …. …..” THIS UNTITLED ONE (CLICK HERE TO READ) from October 5, 2013 in which I was too fucked up to speak and tried to tell my story with just pictures – many of which were personal, but, a few of which were – as C calls them, “big dick pics” – including the one below. I cannot quite imagine how this entry achieved so many hits, and I don’t really WANT to know WHY. But it did.

charlie at 3big penisCharlie attitude

4) The next most popular was “Greatest Hits 2: Joe Jonas comes out … AGAIN” (CLICK HERE TO READ/SEE) from August. And, again, any mention of a Jonas Bro coming out does wonders for my hits and sprinkling the essay with the words “naked” and “JoBros naked” and including pictures . . . well, yeah. There it was (Is) again – the whole “big dick” theory thing.

Jonas-Brothers-Selfie-400x300Joe-Jonas-Selfie

3) Number 3 makes me feel a little better. It was from May 5 and was called “SMASH-ed again: 3 Steps To Acceptance” (CLICK HERE TO READ) and while some of the unkind-er (and more attentive) among you might assume this to have been about my increasingly frequent episodes of drunken-ness – BUT NO – it was about one of my favorite characters on the late, lamented NBC television show about making Broadway musicals – SMASH – being killed off. And then it launched into some lengthy philosophical introspection about loss and discovery and telling ourselves stories. I’d LIKE to pretend it was my deeply thoughtful life advice that got readers – but I know better.

kyle & jimmy gifkyle and jimmy 2Tom & Kyle

2) Speaks for itself … and was one of my SHORTEST posts of the year. From August it was “GREATEST HITS … Blues and Boners” (CLICK HERE TO READ) about … well … you can probably catch on without my explaining it but it had that SAME CALVIN KLEIN CLAD DICK that is in 3 of my top 5 including this and …

1) … the original post from April; “WORDS TO THE WISE” (CLICK HERE TO SEE/READ) –  in which the erect “big dick” wrapped in Calvin’s was posted along with, well, my words to the wise as follows:

I knew a man once who was obsessed with the size of his genitalia. Here’s what I have learned from having known him:

big-penis

It is a genetic accident how big your dick is; it is a personal choice how big a dick you are.

I wonder if he’s learned this yet?

I still wonder. I, myself, have learned a lot about dick size this year in many different ways, both literal and metaphoric, and the PRIMARY lesson has been that if I work a big dick into my writing (or write a big dick into my working  or … not sure but somehow this should have been a better, clever-er sentence about working a big dick) I will get A LOT of hits.

The key is then to caress and finesse that big dick with some writing and HOPE somebody reads it and gives a damn about the words and thoughts and feelings and not just the dick. Which, when you get right down to it, is sort of the story of my life in a lot of ways . . . this life in which, here I am. Going.

… these masks we wear … these masks we won’t wear …

I just spent 45 minutes working on today’s blog and thanks to WordPress having update issues, it disappeared. Lost in the ether. Sadness. And from the loss and sadness, change. Because what I was going to write about – had – in fact, written – is crowded out by my musings about loss and its requisite sadness and the changes that occur.

University of Portland in Oregon "The Servant of Two Masters" production, directed by Michael O'Neill. Mago Hunt Theatre

University of Portland in Oregon “The Servant of Two Masters” production, directed by Michael O’Neill. Mago Hunt Theatre

Last night I went to a delightful updating of a Commedia dell’arte performed by a talented group of high school performers as directed by a dear friend, L. My heart was warmed by the energy, the effort, and, most of all, that my dear L. manages still to have a heart of such abundant Love and Light and Joy that she can continue to teach and make art, and blaze trails for youth who need trails blazed. She is a treasure. She makes the world a better place and she grows better, more thoughtful and insightful and contributing citizens by providing these outlets and exposing her students to wider ways of thinking and seeing the world. We are blessed to have her. I am blessed to call her my friend.

I thought about this as I sat in the very small crowd, many of whom I knew from my long history in theatre in this town. Attending theatre here (anywhere, really) anymore is bittersweet for me. I loved making theatre. I loved blazing trails. I believed in the good I did. Unfortunately, the cost to my soul and self, the compromises I had to make in order to make theatre, these outweighed the rewards and made me increasingly ineffective as creator and mentor. That was a loss for me and in many ways sorrowful, but I knew that I had to change my life.commedia masks 4

Sometimes loss and sadness lead to change. Sometimes change leads to loss and sadness. In my case, it was a storm of both, a storm that tossed and turned my world, my reality, and for which the cleaning up of the after effects continues. But last night, in that audience, I sat and stood and walked and interacted with some who knew me before the after, and on the other hand, wasn’t talked to by some for whom the after was too much. The Commedia dell’arte masks in which they have cast me, make me the villain.

So be it. I long since stopped explaining myself. Everyone is entitled to their own reality and I realized – quite painfully and only after long bouts of weeping and wailing and “why”-ing – that once someone has made the decision to see you as a villain, once they have needed you to be the bad guy in the story, if that is where they go and how they spin it, then why in the world would you want to win their love or affection again?

commedia masks 3As a dear, cherished loved one said to me recently; “Charlie, face it, most of your family and friends are somewhat insane, and you are expecting rational behavior from people who are not well-balanced or grounded in reality.”

Sort of true, with the caveat, I don’t much believe there is a baseline “sanity” or “reality” – we all have our own for whatever the journey we are on, and sometimes, you (I) just have to accept that only a very few people can see you behind and without the mask, and for all the rest, you (I) must realize – it’s a scripted farce. Don’t take it personally because you are (I am) not a person to them – you are a mask of a character they need in their drama.

Happy Saturday.commedia masks 2

 

… crush(ed) … the Sunday zeit-wrap … and half naked men with books …

ZEITBITES SUNDAY:

No bother to read, really. I had a crush this week. I was crushed this week (as recently as this morning) and I found a new Tumblr with naked men reading books (sprinkled liberally through this week’s Zeitbites) after I got sad in the grocery store because I wasn’t making dinner and cleaning house for a hot boyfriend – the latest candidates for which all moved to Texas or are planning on marrying women or hate my guts even though they really love me.

Library Art 2FML. Now then …

It’s Sunday, and I need to (want to) catch up with about six months worth of New York Times and magazines and … so, I have a lot on my mind but the development of the theme and finding its beginning, middle, and end without writing far too personal essays involving stories about people who have a right to their privacy would require far too much effort today. So, I’m doing a highlights and hints reel.

Theme of the week: Holiday and relationship stress. 

Let me say this about that: Love comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It is my considered opinion that this culture in which we live has missed the mark when it comes to Love and Sex and Relationships – by confusing and confuting and instilling Fear where there should be Love, and Dark where there should be Light, and Secrecy where there should be Open-ness.

This morning I was walking around a grocery store, alone, which I almost always am, and had a brief conversation without words with someone who was also – sort of – alone – in that “with someone but wish I wasn’t because they don’t really validate who I am” sort of deer in the headlights look in his eyes – and I was struck – IT QUITE LITERALLY FELT LIKE A PSYCHOLOGICAL EMOTIONAL SLAPPING – by the number of hours and amount of heart and emotional energy I have spent making worlds for people who did not validate who I was, who thought I should bend and shape and be what they wanted and needed, and who never acknowledged or returned the energy of Love and Light I put forth for them.Library Punk

And I was really sad. And I was wishing I was shopping with and for a book reading hot man. And lo and behold, perusing BuzzFeed(click here) I saw an item about the plethora of penis stories this week(click here), one of which referred me to this site, a Tumblr called (sorry) “Eat A Bowl of Well-Read Dick” (click here – lots of naked dick, some erect by the way) – and, wow, I started crushing on lots of these guys (who are used to illustrate this column.)

And thinking about that word; CRUSH.

Library Explosioncrush (krush) vt to suppress or overwhelm as if by pressure or weight; to oppress or burden grievously; to reduce to inactivity or passivity; to press or squeeze so as to squash, deform or break; to beat down or overwhelm; to subdue; to defeat soundly; to ruin; to extinguish; to reduce to particles by pounding or grinding;  AN INTENSE AND USUALLY PASSING ATTACHMENT OR INFATUATION; a crowd that produces uncomfortable pressure; pulverize; pulp; conquer; humiliate; DESTROY

I know, right? You know what this proves? I own waaaaaayyyyy too many dictionaries. And that’s only about one tenth of the definitions, carefully chosen to illustrate the point I am not making out loud.

I had a long week of crush experience as in feeling and being and it reminded me of a past column in which I discussed what a friend had said to me about my tendency to feel crushed by the weight of the worlds of OTHERS I carried. And here is a quote: Because the shit you’re carrying doesn’t even belong to you and it is crushing you and I’m afraid you’re never going to recover from the weight.” (And you can click on the quote for the whole column: …words (not that they mean anything) from the wise”)Library Man 2

And as I checked my archives, it was THAT COLUMN which got a lot of hits this week … along with the ever popular “WORDS TO THE WISE (Click here for that)” which continues to get huge hits because it has this picture of a huge dick wrapped in Calvin Klein tighty-whities and so all those tags get porn hits.

big-penis calvinkleins

Should I feel bad about that? No. I mean, it’s good that SOMEWHERE IN MY LIFE I am getting hit on instead of rejected because of my dick – and, too, also typical that it’s only the dick they’re looking for – ENTIRELY SKIPPING THE WORDS I SHAPE INTO BRILLIANT PROSE. (I know, but somebody has to compliment me.)

Library ManWhich, again, THIS WEEK was about… so here they are (going nowhere)…

My Tweet-highlights for the week:

  • Just when you THINK you’ve met someone nice – they ask you to piss on them. To me – NOT romantic.
  • I should either have died in 1985 or been born in 1920 but I definitely do NOT belong here in 2013.
  • UN-following anyone mean. Stop trying to gain followers by being cruel & cutting. We need LOVE AND LIGHT. I am so tired of nasty.
  • This week I was told by person 1)”I have never met anyone nicer & kinder than you” and person 2) “You’re the meanest person I’ve ever known”
  • I can’t be bothered by the people who hate me, cuz they’re the same people who claimed to love me best. So, uhm …love, hate both=bullshitLibrary Boys
  • tomorrow i win publishersclearinghouse $7000 a week for life…then EVERYONE will want me. Im gonna buy a 20 yr old. Eff dating
  • Wow … CW and the Greens all in one day – this is turning into a good holiday – unfortunately someone just called me a liquor soaked whore
  • I mean…if you want to call me a liquor soaked whore you should either be a blood relative or buy me dinner first.
  • How early is too early to drink a glass of wine when you’re alone for the evening? Happily alone, but, alone? Is 6:30 too early?
  • I am surprised (& a little ashamed) to confess I am weeping while watching the MAKING of the Sound of Music Live. I am way too sensitive
  • Who says I need to know a person’s real name? I knew lots of people’s real names who managed to hide EVERYTHING from me so trying this now
  • Working on project & realizing there is no one currently in my circle who’s read Jane & Paul Bowles collected works.
  • I tried to make so many Frankensteins, & each one I shocked into being eventually tried to kill me for birthing them.
  • I love being around people: And I love getting home AFTER being around people to the QUIET even more.
  • Love people’s holiday photos BUT why do people think tongues sticking out & middle fingers sticking up cute? Why the urge to F.U. everyone?
  • It is AMAZING how quickly the story of an underdog & a little coincidence can render me completely defenseless and STUPID
  • Oh dear… 24. Can’t read. Can’t come out. Grew up in 2 rooms. Wants to keep it a secret. I’ve done it again. I am hopeless.Library Art
  • At least he’s not married. Yet.
  • Oh for a world w/an intellectual-hook-up site where people listed IQ & lit preferences instead of genital size & preferred sex acts
  • Oh for a world in which whether you are a “top” or a “bottom”matters less than whether you’ve read Jane & Paul Bowles.
  • Seen on a social-interaction site: “U have the intelect of a nat. I have good education so eff u.” Oh my. The level of discourse . . .
  • Furthermore, on the theme, I am confused by writing “Eff U” instead of “F You” which seems far more logical?
  • How many times does 19 go into 52? I mean … 42? Always been really bad at math.
  • Where you’ve been needn’t dictate where you’re going; it’s the journey, not the destination; don’t let anyone else dictate your map.
  • Being young & pretty is an accident of nature & temporary gift; you can throw attitude when you’ve earned it by becoming mature & beautiful
  • It is so difficult for me not to point out to you the irony & intense Meta quality of so many of your Tweets. Library Bed
  • I am often gobsmacked by the ridiculous suggestions for “who to follow” I receive. Twitter needs to tweak its algorithms. Or, stop tweaking?
  • Forgive yourself for the things at which you think you’ve failed; Forgive yourself for not being able to make everyone love you; Forgive YOU

See you next week . . .

… sanity and other ridiculous, meaningless cultural tropes …

You know how in life there are those times when it seems as if the universe is trying to send you a message?

In the preceding twenty-four hours I have been told three times how sane I am. I suppose I must include the caveat that all three of the people telling me that also added that they were hearing voices – well, one voice, mine.

I suppose I should also say that although I am quite close in different ways to all three of these people, none of them know how much time I spend each day maintaining my Publishers Clearing House eligibility, certain that on November 26 I will be seeing the Prize Patrol at my door.

Christine Wu; Ghouls Night out (Click on pic for her website)

Christine Wu; Ghouls Night out (Click on pic for her website)

That aside, let me say, the concept of ‘sane” means very little to me. Its definition varies – like every other word – from consciousness to consciousness, and I have very little use and even less patience for most of those definitions and the culture’s use of them to bludgeon and judge and berate.

That said, despite the number of times it has been suggested gently and not so gently that perhaps my grip on reality was less than full, I have never doubted my sanity. At the same time, I early on discovered how little benefit came from arguing with people about the shape and content and landscape of reality. This has resulted in some people thinking me eccentric, an embracer of crackpot theories. Others think me full on delusional.

Well, we all have our stories.

However, I have no doubt that I have achieved a level of clarity and an acuity of vision which are both rare and bordering on magically insightful. So, no, I have never doubted my sanity, my only doubt was whether or not being clear and seeing reality was worthwhile or beneficial in this particular world in which we live.

It comes at an incredible cost. In addition, maintaining clarity and insight in a world so determined to live in illusion and delusion and confusion is exhausting. It becomes even more so when one evolves to the point of recognizing that definition and boundaries and finality are all illusions. It can be terrifying to discover that everything is constantly in flux, re-shaping, re-naming, re-defining, plastic. It make one want to run to one or another concrete, ten commandment of a belief system when one realizes that reality is NOT in fact a finished product, but rather a becoming, growing, blossoming, ever in flux creation of which one is part. Yes, even one’s own mind and beliefs are subject to complete and total revision each and every second. Living in that energy requires a huge amount of courage and stamina and self-esteem; refusing to accept the presumptions and tenets and cultural biases, insisting on examining life fully – it is a lonely and terrifying path to follow – because there is NO PATH, there is only faith in moving forward.

So, having been told three times in the past twenty-four hours just how sane I am, one might think I brought the topic up. One might think the conversation arose from relating the same story to three different people. One might think. But one would be wrong.

I cannot reveal the discussion topics without invading the privacy of others, so, I won’t. Suffice to say that the build-ups to the crux of the matters at hand were quite different and only one of the conversations was about me and my current situation. What was the same about all three was that the friends doing the talking all said something like the following – I have joined all three into a paraphrased monologue – but the essence remains:

“Recently I find myself in difficult situations and I start hearing things you’ve said to me.  Those philosophies of yours about how everything everyone says or does is mostly about the spin and to take time to be silent and listen to the story under the words. Behind the words. And let go of the spin.”

Exactly.

And my favorite discussion; “I heard you telling me that story about how you came to terms with people’s judgments about you, about the stories they were telling about things you did which seemed like total lying versions, and you said, No. Not lies. That’s how they saw it. That’s how they need to see it where they are. You can’t tell other people they can’t have their stories because that gives them permission to doubt your truths, too.”

Exactly.

Sanity. What a concept. It turns out – IN MY STORY – that sanity seems to equal the ability to ALLOW all the possible stories about each TRUTH into being, and still manage, somehow, to maintain your connection to the grounded Light and Love of your OWN version – without belittling, degrading, or berating others for theirs.

If we could manage to allow for that possibility – for the possibility of different ways of seeing – maybe this world of arguing and division and constant effort to frame the story in our own terms would become more loving, more light, more … sane?

(A note about the art: I have used “Ghouls Night Out” by Christine Wu to illustrate what I consider to be the dichotomy of trying to maintain sanity in this chronically over-stimulating world in which we live. Her art speaks to the many faces and phases within people, and, for me, the exhaustion that occurs when trying to express those faces and phases. Please check out her website and portfolio. Click the pic or click here; Christine Wu.)

… it was 26 years ago today … marching on d.c. …

April 2013 5Twenty-six years ago today I marched with some dear friends in Washington, D.C. along with an indeterminate number of people in support of equal rights for everyone regardless of who they loved. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful event, and in the quarter century since, there have been many, many beautiful changes and forward strides toward equality and embrace of all people which have made the world a better, safer, more loving place.

Are we finished? Never. Being alive is about evolution. There will always be ways we can improve – ourselves and the world. But, having fought and pushed and argued and striven for equality and recognition and understanding in ways that were sometimes angry, strident and reactionary to wounds I felt I (and others) had suffered, the very most important thing I have learned is that freedom begins in my individual soul, heart, and mind.

I am more and more careful with my words, with my reactions, and am much more easily shocked by the things people say to and about one another. I have learned now to remain silent – sometimes – at least until my heart stops pounding, until I am breathing normally again and can acknowledge the humanity of all the sides, all the points of view, until I can remind myself that everything – every word, every action, every atom of reality – no matter how heinous, hateful, and incomprehensible I may find it – begins at Love. It may become distorted, twisted, poisoned – but my goal as a human soul, is to always REMEMBER that somewhere – somehow – the initial intent, at the beginning, somewhere in EVERYTHING – there is a seed of Love.

I try NOT to respond until I have ACTIVELY thought that thought. And then, I try to respond FROM that thought.

I fail, every day. But, I’m learning. And still, quite surprised. As in today when I received an anonymous attack which began: “You talk waayyyyyyyyyy to [SIC] much. Why don’t you shut the fuck up.” And went on in that vein. I knew that I should NOT engage, but NOT engaging is difficult for me. So, I did, in a questioning way, saying, “I’m sorry my words caused this response in you but I’m not sure why you think it is incumbent upon you to share that with me. And, it should be ‘too’ not ‘to’.”

You can imagine the vitriol that ensued, including “The world is full of pussy faggots like you” and “Lucky me to get a spelling lesson from a pissed on old queen.”

First of all, no one ever has nor ever will piss on me. Secondly, many a Queen would be insulted to have me added to the ranks. And, old? We know how I feel about old.

It’s 26 years after the march. So, I had to wonder to myself where was the love in this attack? All I saw was sorrow that someone could be so full of hate and anger they had to strike out in such a way, and anonymously? And too, what had I done to encourage such a thing? c blog 3

That’s my sticking point: in those things – the behaviors and words of others with which I have difficulty finding the seed of love – how have I shaped my life to make space for them? How have I allowed them in? And how can I let them (and the people who bring them) go? Is it hubris to think that I can help to heal such disconnect? Certainly I have been burned in the past by my ego telling me I could or should save someone. Who am I to decide someone needs saving? Maybe I should shut the fuck up. (Happy now?)

It’s about evolution. It’s about asking the questions and looking for the Love inside even the hardest, most hurtful situations, and moving on, growing on, becoming on.

Happy Weekend, Friends. And happy loving whomever you love.

 

Friday Rants … Positivity a sham (told you so); STEREK is losing! VOTE!; Ebersole to be on COVEN!; PROJECT RUNWAY! rules; and…

Well, well, well … it took eight years for a graduate student to recognize the bogus math in a study on “positivity”. Barbara Fredrickson’s work has been cited THOUSANDS of times as evidence in support of one or another of those new-agey-social-psychology-pop-self-help-medically-tinged-load bullshit theories about the power of happiness and good-attitude with which we are CONSTANTLY bombarded, and which, if one is LESS than sunny all the time, serve to make one feel not only LESS THAN but, too, GUILTY and LAZY for being less than POLLYANNA SUNNY 24/7.

HA! I say, HA! Read it here in The Daily Beast.  And while you are at it, read this related article about THE BULLSHIT POLICE.

Sterek 2And while you’re clicking around, do me a favor: CLICK HERE and go to THE BACKLOT, and vote for Sterek in the SLASHMADNESS event. I am on a life-quest to get MTV’s TEEN WOLF to ship Stiles and Derek. Some people call me crazy – but I am FILLED with POSITIVITY that I can make the impossible happen. I mean, some people believe in some sort of – you know – god – that is in charge of everything; why can’t I believe Derek and Stiles can become a couple? IT’S A FREAKING T.V. SHOW ALMOST ENTIRELY BASED ON HOMOEROTIC SYMBOLISM – LET THEM FUCK!

And while I’m on television; yesterday my idol – Ryan Murphy – announced in an interview with DEADLINE (click here) that CHRISTINE EBERSOLE is joining this season’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN. WHAT THE FUCK? As Wesley Taylor said on TWITTER: “MERRY CHRISTMAS GAYS!”  (P.S. If you haven’t watched WesTayTay’s webseries: IT COULD BE WORSE, you really REALLY should. CLICK HERE! He is one of my current pretend boyfriends. HE WAS ON SMASH TOO!) Just take a look at these AHS teasers!

I have LONG worshipped Christine Ebersole (which is DIFFERENT than SHIPPING Derek and Stiles) – I first saw here DECADES ago on the late, lamented soap opera, Ryan’s Hope; and then, too, as Guinevere in a tour of Camelot when I was living in California, and then, well, the day she became a goddess: in the musical GREY GARDENS, which I saw SIX times.  Her delivery of “Another Winter in a Summer Town” – well – JUST WATCH IT (a million times).

Yes. I saw the show Six TIMES. And I am not ashamed. Including the FINAL Broadway performance (a Sunday matinee) which ALSO happened to be the same day that Patti LuPone gave her final performance of the “concert” version of Gypsy at City Center – before the full revival – and I was also THERE for THAT. Yes, that was a BIG GAY DAY – I’m surprised my heart held out.

In any event – and speaking of my BIG GAY HEART – last night was Project Runway night. I am unabashedly, unashamedly, unrepentantly, IN LOVE with this season. Last night was a crazy explosion of bickering and bitchiness and I would have LOVED to have seen that nasty piece of work, Ken, get his ridiculously self-aggrandizing ass kicked off – but alas – crazy, new-agey, gorgeous Sue was lost to us. I think if only she had had the prescience to repeat to Heidi the line Ken spouted about “I don’t design for 40 year olds” – as if 40 year olds belonged in Madame Tussaud’s or something – SON OF A BASTARD! And, P.S. Ken, the use of the word “highly” in every other fucking sentence as adjective and adverb reveals you to be just the sort of under-educated poseur idiot you ARE. GO HOME!

Speaking of GOING HOME – yesterday I was interviewed by an arts project consultant (or something like that-and he’s from New York City and has his offices in THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING – of course I hated him – while I loved him) about what I think are the needs for the arts in Frederick – and in particular, what I think ought to happen with the McCrory’s Building, the old Cultural Arts Center. I did NOT hold back. I’m not going to go on about it here, but I think it is a RIDICULOUS shame that a town this size is suffering the dearth of decent theatre and training that it now is when once upon a time it was a very active incubator for companies and talent – coming and going and growing – and now is reduced to so few companies and venues, and, really, only one of those companies has any vision at all. There are so few directors (let alone producers) in this town with ANY courage or ORIGINALITY – it makes me sick –

OH WAIT – I said I wouldn’t go on. So, I won’t. But – I am planning now on winning the MegaMillions (or the miracle of getting one of my “bankable” projects Coke Buildingpublished and selling the film rights – see “POSITIVITY” section above) and buying the old CocaCola building on North Market Street and turning it into a theatre/ theatre & music school/ literary-poetry slam salon/ bookstore/ NY type-Algonquin-lobby-esque cabaret/cafe-hangout – so watch out, bitches – this bitch is coming back.

And I’m going to open with GREY GARDENS. And I JUST MIGHT play Little Edie MY OWN DAMN SELF. I would ROCK this number.

 

. . . i got love . . .and a BOT that cares, too . . .

Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

@MIRACLECHARLIE

No longer see the point.

That’s my Twitter tag – up above – hmmm. Here’s the story –

Life is FUNNY. Right? Synchronicities. On Sunday in the New York Times –

(WELL – I think in the New York Times – but I’m not sure – and I’m not searching and linking because the NYT is so damn stingy about how many articles you can look at a month without paying and I am not made of money, busters – sell yourselves to Bezos, too, why don’t you? He’s got all my cash! And everyone else’s.) –

In any event – I read an article about Twitter-bots being used as marketing tools, and I was completely fascinated by this technological leaping going on in the world. So, when I received a suspicious Tweet last night from someone who had “liked” a Tweet about this blog, and then ANOTHER from someone who liked a Tweet I’d posted saying:

“New HouseSitting gig WITH A POOL & wellstocked liquor cabinet starts Sat. – who’s gonna visit me?”

(SIDE NOTE: Might I add that NO ONE I actually KNOW responded to that Tweet – which may be why I am talking to bots?)

In any (another) event – I thought – not un-like an old Star Trek episode, because I was being all pop-culture-y late last night for some reason – “Engage, Mr. Spock!”

(Speaking of Mr. Spock – holy mother of all that is better than erectile dysfunction drugs – have you seen Zachary Quinto’s new boyfriend? Holy mo – oh wait – already said that – HOLY SHIT! Look:

Quinto & mcMillan

Yes. WHAT DID I TELL YOU! Holy mo – SHIT – I already said BOTH OF THOSE – uhm – HOLY BALLLLZ! IN ANY EVENT – I am – once again – FARRRRR AHEAD OF TRENDZ (see how HEP I am, fellow beats, using ZZZZ’s instead of SSSS’s on the endz of wordz?) because MONTHS ago – when I still had a Facebook, Pinterest, and bordering on soft-core Tumblr, I POSTED A WHOLE STORY ABOUT THIS MILES McMILLAN – he is NOT JUST a model – he is a painter. But – being a PAINTER and a MODEL is SO FUCKING CONVENIENT – he can be his own nude model! And, I mean, totes where is he going to find a better one? LOOK!

Quinto's mcmillan tooQuinto's mcmillan

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT!)

Oh, wait – NO – it’s NOT what I’m talking about. I’m talking about Twitter bots. And the one with which I last night engaged. I have to say, we had a not unpleasant conversation. That Bot had my number. If that Bot had asked me out for a drink, I would have married it. I mean, honestly, could that Bot be any more deceptive and duplicitous and shallow and uninterested in me and SOUL-LESS than some of the ACTUAL (note I did not use the word; REAL) human beings to whom I have spoken for hours (days, years, a lifetime)? I think not. Forbes did an entire article on what sort of nutballs fall for Bots – read it here.

I was – no doubt – approached by a Bot because I was – last night – a Tweeting fool – as opposed to my usual, run of the mill, daily being a jackass fool- because – long story short (well, short for ME anyway) I went out to dinner last night with my 2A’s and during the course of the dinner (for which there were two courses and one carafe of red wine) I was tearfully told about myself – which I deserved. I made a promise to STOP talking about suicide, and I made a promise to examine the ways in which I had imprisoned myself in a dark cave of self-denigration and fear and self-hatred and blame – and look for the Light and the Love again.

SOOOOO … I Tweeted 10 (count them, 10!) “YES IT’S A POSITIVE TRAIT” posts about myself. In case you missed them:

  1. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I will pretty much believe anything you say, and will always believe you mean it; not gullible. Hopeful.
  2. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I do NOT believe there are bad people. Sometimes we all have dark periods, so what? Not gullible. Hopeful.
  3. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I believe NO MATTER WHAT that eventually you will remember you love me. Not gullible. Hopeful.
  4. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I don’t believe in forgiveness cause I don’t think we should judge in the first place – it all works out. Yes.
  5. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I feel to extremes-Up.Down.Sideways. But I don’t prevaricate or apologize for it. And I don’t ask you to either
  6. Yes, it’s a positive trait. I don’t think I have ever loved by mistake. And I’m not sorry even for the ones that seem sad endings. All good.
  7. Yes, it’s a positive trait – I can follow my friend’s advice & list my positive traits on social media. Not ashamed to be crazy & volatile
  8. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I have enough patience to wait for everyone to be ready to be who they are and let me be who I am. I adapt.
  9. Yes, it’s a positive trait: You can fool me once. Twice. Three times. Infinity. I’m ok with being fooled – better than suspicion and fear
  10. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I’m strong enough to let you tell any story about me/us you need to- I know who I am/we are. All good. Love wins

LOVE – it wins? See, Alison? I GOT IT. Which leads to the song of the day – I GOT LOVE – two versions, one from last year’s SMASH featuring Jennifer Hudson (WHY WHY WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE CANCELED? GLEE IS STILL ON AND THAT SUCKS WAY WORSE. Sorry, Ryan.) and one from the 1972 Tony Awards featuring Melba Moore. (LOOK AT THAT SHOTGUN MICROPHONE? Remember those kids? We thought we were SUCH a big deal when we first had those around here in local theatre – ha – NOW, every kid and actor in any little podunk workshop piece of shit thinks they need a microphone to sing to five rows of people – IN THE OLDEN DAYS WE HAD MERMAN LUNGS, BITCHES – I PLAYED ENTIRE LEAD ROLES SINGING OVER AN ORCHESTRA TO THE BALCONY OF THE WEINBERG CENTER! Take a deep breath and sing, fool!)

What? Oh – right – I’m a little tangential and discursive today – COMMON when a new mood phase begins (YES, I said MOOD not MOON) – which is all good. But – one last thing – I’m gonna need help STAYING OUT OF THE CAVE – so, Alison, Allison, Andrea, Cody, Debbie, Diane, Pat, Sue (that’s alpha order) – I am – as one of you TOLD ME I SHOULD LEARN TO DO – asking for help – get on your spelunking gear and get me the fuck out of here – I need to walk in the daytime again.

I know I do GOT LOVE myself – it has just felt safer to forget and deny it for a while – because I didn’t want to experience losing anything or anyone else. But, here I am – dear Alison – don’t cry for me (or Argentina) any more (poor Dan!) – here I am – as I said . . . GOING. (But by “GOING” I do NOT mean in that all suicide-y way.)