My friend Scott kindly scanned and sent me the back page of Details Magazine. I'm on it, modeling as the "Gay or TV bachelor?". I can't read the catty comments attached to arrows that point towards me, but just look at that swish in my step. Is there really any mystery here?
Sure, Scorcese deserved it for Best Director...The Departed was testosterone-fueled entertainment. That's it. What a joke. My only consolation is that they didn't give Best Picture to Babel, a movie which had me ready to slit my wrists. (And would somebody PLEASE fuck that Japanese girl!?)
What about its other awards? Sure, ok, Scorcese deserves Best Director for Taxi Driver if nothing else. But then why didn't Peter O'Toole win, for Lawrence of Arabia? I couldn't help feeling for the corpsicle on the aisle. There will be no "next time" for him. How could the Departed get best adapted screenplay? It was a REMAKE. And then, the worst: best editing?!?!
As a SAG member, I got a screener copy of The Departed. I'm a stickler for continuity. There's a scene where Jack Nicholson has Leonardo Decaprio bent over a pool table and he's beating his hand (ludicrously, they can't think of anything more menacing?) with a Timberland Boot. (!) After he's done beating him, Leo slumps down off the pool table. Cut to Jack Nicholson walking away, and Leo is in the background still up on the pool table, THEN he slumps down to the floor as he did in the previous cut. This is not a Scorcese "Stylistic Choice." This is an ERROR, folks. A big fat error. And it won best editing.
I was rooting for Little Miss Sunshine because at least it was well edited. And it had heart. Then again, so did Brokeback Mountain.
The protocol for drugs at Sydney parties seems to be "use them wisely" instead of "just say no." At the pool party there were rangers wandering about to check for any overdoses, and posters in the bathrooms advertising their services: "You're a MATE, not a MEDIC...find a ranger." After seeing that mature approach to drug use, imagine my surprise when afterward I go with to the sex shop "Toolshed" to pick up some poppers because Bam Bam can't have sex without them (yeah, I know..). He demurely approaches the counter to get some amyl (that's POPPERS in Australian).
"I need some amyl," he asks in barely a whisper. The clerk tells him they've been taken off the market. "WHAT?!!?" he yells, any shred of decorum tossed out the window. "NO AMYL?!?!"
The clerk says that a midnight session of congress outlawed amyl, just in time for Mardi Gras. Odd, considering I just was at a party in full view of ecstasy, G, coke, K, you name it. But poppers... the government has to put its foot down somewhere! It affects the entire state of New South Wales.
Apparently we may have to make a road trip to Australian Capitol Territory where they sell it. It's only a 4 hour drive to Canberra (each way). "We'll stop at some colonial site along the way," says Bam Bam. Yeah, it's not desperation. It's tourism.
When you think of Australia, what comes to mind? Kangaroos, Koalas, Duck-billed Platypus, and dildos. Yes...dildos...and no, it's not a new marsupial.
I wrote about this Aussie fixation in a previous post, but perhaps these are not isolated cases. It could be a cultural movement. You heard it here first.
Bam Bam took me to his friend Fiona's spread up in the Blue Mountains. She's married, with a child, and she graciously showed us around her magnificent property. "There's my warmbred stallion," she says and, wandering back into the house, she points skyward. "Look! Kookaburra in the gum tree!" Back in her home, she opens her freezer to exclaim, "And here we have...my frozen homemade dildos!"
Mommy and Daddy have a right to play with toys, too!
"What does your daughter think of your frozen dildos?"
Fiona: "She helps us make them!"
What is the purpose, you ask, of a frozen dildo?
First of all, they are an environmental choice. Second, they are a creative outlet (fun for the whole family). Third, and most important, Fiona says that when her husband lovingly shoves it up her clacker (that's vagina, in Australian), all the capillaries rush with blood which causes a powerful sexual sensation. "Does it work the same for the anus?" we ask, and Fiona gushes. "I don't see why not!"
Interested? Try her recipe:
Fiona's homemade "down under dildo"! 1 colored balloon. water. Saran Wrap. Directions: Fill balloon with water, and tie-off. Use Saran Wrap to shape and mold into penis (or battering ram) Freeze overnight. Insert salaciously in and out of body cavity until orgasm is achieved, or until fully melted. Use once, and discard (tip: prepare several at a go) Possible Side effects: Ensure that balloon rubber will not stick to inner lining of body cavity. Serving size: depends upon recipient.
Try this at home, kids. Then tell me all about it!
That's the motto for the gay indie feature Boy Culture--a story about a hustler with scruples. So yeah, I'm not starring. I am, however, featured! I'm credited simply as "Hottie" and in the film I've got about five lines. You can see me for a second in the trailer below (--I'm the guy putting his shirt on---saying "Hi").
I haven't seen the film myself, but I hope to see it in Sydney...as it's playing in the Mardi Gras film festival. If you see it before me, comment below and tell me what you thought! It was shot in Seattle a couple of septembers ago and opens in LA, NYC and SF on March 23.
Thought I could get away from Anna Nicole down under?She did the "Bridge Climb," too, back in 2005.
I would've stolen this photo (it'll be worth something to Daniellyn one day!), but it was behind plexiglass.
On Tuesday I did the Harbour "Bridge Climb" where they suit you up and you hike to the top of the bridge--for an expansive view of the harbour and all of downtown Sydney. It's stunning, and the water was completely packed with sailboats, catamarans, speedboats, rafts....all sidling up to the see the entrance...of a cruise ship?
Cruise ships Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2 both rolled into the Sydney Harbour on the same day...for the first time ever. Who cares, right? Wrong. We marched up the bridge and our guide was beside himself. "I haven't seen the harbour this full since....the bicentennial back in 1988!" It was quite a sight, but all that fanfare? You'd of thought it was Kylie Minogue and all her dancers on deck, not 5,000 pasty white pommies.
At the tippy top of the bridge (where Anna Nicole stands) we look down hundreds of meters into the busy waters, and I'm not afraid of heights, but I'm afraid I might suicide. Thankfully I was strapped and locked into a cable leash because at those heights, a strong voice always calls to me: do it, pussy. Jump!
Instead I stand staring at the thousands of boaters accompanying the Queen Elizabeth 2 into Circular Quay. Our guide points to the already docked Queen Mary 2 and gushes. "This is the first time we've had the 2 queens in the harbour at the same time!!" Excuse me? Make that 2 queens in the harbour...and one on top of the bridge. I raise my hands regal-like.
Here's the QE2. Before she docked, I watched her come in from the top of the bridge behind.
Fireworks over the Opera House.
After we got down off the bridge, they shot off fireworks as than 300,000 locals crowded around the harbour. For a minute, I thought I'd been transported back to 1902. Back when special events brought people together. Back in the good old days.
I've heard from a couple of people that are concerned I could be racist. Why? In my March OUT column (see above) I wrote a bit on stereotypes, including the phrase "Black people enjoy fried chicken." Apparently, because I am not black, I cannot notice blacks enjoy fried chicken.
Is this really up for debate? I live in on Avenue D, and I've often been to Harlem--both of these black neighborhoods have fried chicken joints that outnumber churches 2 to 1. In Atlantic City, there's a beach called "Chicken Bone Beach" which (during segregation) used to be a black beach, and got its name from the chicken bones they left behind.
Chinese people enjoy rice, Argentines enjoy squiggly cow glands, Gay People enjoy truffles. And yes, black people enjoy fried chicken. This means as a group, a generalization, not every individual. There are black people who don't like fried chicken, Vegetarian Argentines, and Chinese who don't enjoy rice. Personally, I've never had a truffle.
The column was about gays and irreverence. In the same vein, free speech is not free speech if it pleases everyone. That doesn't make me racist.
Sydney is so pleasantly provincial, it's almost too perfect. I can't find an edge. Then again, after New York City, it's hard to find an edge on a razorblade.
The other night I met up with a couple of Bam Bam's friends: Sam and Craig. They're a couple, and over wine at their apartment they start casually discussing their double dildo. They like to use it ass to ass, bent over, each facing the other way. "That doesn't sound very intimate," I say. "Well, we do the scissor position too," says Craig, "Like lesbians."
This could work in NYC, I'm thinking, with its dire shortage of tops.
The double dildo is Craig and Sam's favorite thing, but Sam enjoys it more. Or at least more of it. "When we pull it out," Sam says, "we can see from the wetness how far Craig got, and how far I got." Each time, they say, Craig's ass eats about three times the length of the dildo that Sam's ass does. "Greedy bitch," says Craig. "Amateur," laughs Sam. I suddenly realize I could live here. This is just the edge I was looking for.
After a minute, Sam turns to me and Bam Bam. "So how's your sex life?" he asks non-chalant.
I finally spotted the Sydney Opera House---through a veil of blood!
I competed in a biathlon. It was a 4km run, and a 300 meter swim at Boy Charleton pool in the Sydney Harbour. Something inside of me gets competitive when faced with, well, competition. I seriously figured I was gonna kick some Aussie ass. However...
My heaving run around the harbour (there's the opera house, it's looking gorgeous, but I'd rather be home in bed) wasn't stellar, but that didn't kill me. What I didn't count on was the swim...I'd blissfully forgotten about the pool portion. Reluctantly I dove in - front crawling until it happened. I gagged, burped, gurgled....came spewing up for air, and realized how close I was. So close it even jolted up into my mouth for a second. Yes, I nearly puked in the pool.
Now I've peed in every bathtub, every pool I've ever been in. But puke? I wouldn't exactly get away with that one. A little urine, sure. But there's no such thing as an anonymous pool puker.
Plus, I became concerned that if I barfed in the pool I could very well drown. So I did a floppy backstroke to the finish. Lips to air. Keep kicking. Lips. Gasp. Oxygen. That's the key.
The next biathlon is a few days away. Wish me redemption.
The fantastic drag queen road movie Priscilla: Queen of the Desert has a MUSICAL version here in Sydney which is a hot ticket, and soon moving to West End....and hopefully Broadway one day. My friend Matthew introduced me to one of the producers at a bar in Darlinghurst who invited me to see it next week. Then he asked if I'd like to dance on the Priscilla Mardi Gras float. Hello!!
It'll be the pink bus, with the gigantic high heel shoe on top. "Give me the shoe," I kept insisting. "Promise me the high heel!" So the producer promised I'll be dancing on Priscilla's high heel in the Mardi Gras parade, wearing a wig and hotpants...and if that isn't just the gayest thing EVER... listen to this: the Priscilla float follows the float for "20 years of Kylie"!!
I fear I may spontaneously combust into pixie glitter.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell is a fellow columnist at OUT. His memoir (buy it here) about his drunken days as Aqua, a NYC drag queen with fish tits -who dated Jack, the crackhead with a heart of gold -- is both laugh-out-loud funny and rip-your-heart-out poignant.
Little fish like these swam cramped in Aqua's clear plastic tits. Somebody call PETA.
Josh was kind enough to take time from writing his latest novel to read my upcoming book You Can Run (It's about my 2 years in S.America, and going to print in April) and write a prepublication review/ blurb for the cover....
Here's what he had to say:
If Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were gay, not dead, and actually funny, "You Can Run: Gay, Glam, and Gritty Travels in South America" is the road movie they'd make. Hilarious, sophisticated and soulful, Jesse Archer writes with an inescapable charisma."
Author of the New York Times Bestseller "I Am Not Myself These Days."
In other news, Bam Bam has been to the Sydney sperm bank.
In Sydney, I'm learning all sorts of nocabulary. Who said Australian is not another language? I give you examples:
Daggy: common Stroppy: upset wingy: whiny spoof: sperm clacker: ass/cunt
I'm not going to be wingy, but let me recount my Valentines day in Australian. My Aussie boyfriend Bam Bam is Down Under not only to visit home, but because he's going to inseminate a lesbian friend of his (I'm not stroppy about it, but..eww!) so he timed this visit with her ovulation. Anyway, today was a little un-daggy, because as I went down on Bam Bam in the shower, he stopped me. "I can't come today," he said, "Tomorrow I'm injecting my spoof up the lesbian's clacker." Yeah, happy Valentine's day to you too! Where's my drink?
I'm jetlagged in Sydney after spending approximately 3 years on that forever flight. I'd do it twelve times over to escape a brutal NYC winter, let me tell you. I'm here for a few weeks with Bam Bam. We'll do the whole Mardi Gras thing--and I plan on earning my beads the hard way!
Traveling these past few months, I've noticed the shoe x-ray shenanigan is back on full force. For a while, only certain airports x-rayed only certain shoes, but this embarrassing "security measure" is back. One person tries to ignite their shoes, and we're forever unlacing shoes in line to throw them in a bin through the x-ray. Then someone tries to bring liquid bombs, and suddenly our shampoo is forever surrended. There is absolutely nothing secure about these knee-jerk reactions. Terrorists will always try something new, and we'll always be ONE STEP BEHIND. Why can't we (instead of them) try something passionately proactive?
I suggest we all fly naked.
While I'm on it, what the hell is with "Life Rafts" and "Life Vests" on airplanes. I would just love to know when a life-raft was inflated after an airplane crash? Yeah, never. They're just these fear-buffering frills. I especially like listening about how to slide down the emergency life raft (take off your high heels!) when the plane is flying to California from New York. After the plane explodes, does the life raft function on a Rocky Mountain glacier?
I'd much rather hear the truth: "The plane goes down, we all die."
My friend Jeremy took me to his barbershop for a quick haircut and a shave. It turned out squeaky soft, but as this was the first time I let a strange man come at my face with a long blade, I was a bit nervous. Thankfully he was an innocuous grey haired type with sure hands and an Eastern European accent; all his words got caught in the back of his throat. He threw a hot towel on my face, then warm shaving cream, and he began to scrape at my face. Then he grabbed my cheek, examined it, and slapped it twice. Then he scraped some more. Cream. Slap. Scrape. Slap. Repeat. "You hab bery strowng beat," he says. What? "You have very strong beard" he repeats. I have a strong beard? Is this a compliment? An insult? I just nod. I spot his hairdresser license on the wall. His name is Yakub and the last name just has a jumble of K's, Y's, Z's and H's. I figure I'll make some small talk so I ask him, "Where are you from?" Yakub looks at me via the mirror and deadpans. "Queens." Sometimes I love New York.
It's not even mid-February, but the OUT magazine March issue is already here. My column is about that time I was fired for insubordination. Wait, I'm always fired for insubordination. Let's be specific: it details the time my insubordinate ass was fired for wearing a midriff-baring tight-titty top to the snobby Upper East Side store (rhymes with Marney's) where I worked.
This time I don't imagine readers will be sending me HATE mail, well perhaps that unhappy automaton Rosanna will (revenge is sweet) but the rest of us are used to living outside of rules.
Have you been fired for insubordination? You can write to the editors at OUT, or just tell me about it (comment) below.
Celebrated Village Voice columnist Michael Musto (his friend once berated me for my mispronunciation. When spoken, it's "Musto" as in "Must" not as in "Moose"--just so you know) has come out with a torrid collection of his favorite columns over the last 20 years. I picked it up and can't put it down. With a wordsmith and wit like this, it's no wonder he's been around longer than most of the celebrities tramps and thieves that he writes about.
Make a wish, toss a penny, and kick up your heel. Anita Ekberg, eat your heart out.
I recently wrote Mr. Musto because I have a tenuous connection in the fact we both write for OUT magazine. I asked him if he would read my forthcoming adventure memoir "You Can Run" and write a prepublication review--and guess what? In the middle of his own busy book premiere, he did just that! Imagine - a snarky writer, and a gentleman!
Here's what he had to say about my book:
“From Evita's palace to Chilean volcanoes and beyond. Jesse Archer TAKES US THROUGH SOUTH AMERICA WITH WIT, WISDOM, AND LOTS OF OUTFITS.”
Michael Musto, Village Voice columnist
This will probably be printed on the jacket. I'm currently going back and forth with my publisher about the cover (an ongoing saga--any ideas out there?), but cover or no cover, it is going to press next month. I'll let you all know when You Can Run (Coming Soon...) is available.
The movie Dreamgirls has so much incredible music, you almost wanted more dialogue just to savor all the great songs. Jennifer Hudson's character apparently is based on Florence Ballard, the original lead singer for the Supreme's (who died in poverty at age 32)...which makes the movie that much more poignant. Plus she is a big bodacious black woman, so naturally we root for her. A lot of gay men actually have big bodacious black women inside of them. I know I do. I haven't named her yet, but here she is -- heading south on the I-405.
Emerson said "To be Great is to be Misunderstood" in which case, the English language is great. I love to see it misunderstood by manly foreign men. On my recent trip to Nicaragua impoverished locals wear T-shirts with English slogans because when a place like Nicaragua has a natural disaster (earthquakes, hurricanes), American aid is sent. Much of it in the form of used clothing. Socked away on Little Corn Island, a local fisherman everyday hauled in his catch wearing the same t-shirt. It read: "I (heart) my Attitude Problem" In Managua, a buff construction worker walked down the street with his friends in a t-shirt that read: "All men are idiots, and I married their KING!" I get a kick out of that one. Ignorance is bliss. Below is a pic sent by a friend now in Egypt.