Saturday, May 28, 2011

Plank You Very Much!

Planking: Proof that Australians are seriously BOARD!! When the world imposes all too many rules and regulations the only thing a civil disobedient minded citizen can do is to...take it lying down. The planking craze - lying face down, arms at your sides, basically anywhere - has taken off with massive popularity even after one of its enthusiasts died in Brisbane after attempting to plank a 7 story balcony railing.

Despite the tragedy, plankers promise not to give up.  They will down fighting.  It's the planking spirit!
What else is there to do? So far there are 160,000 plus fans on the "Planking Australia" FB page.

You can find it all here. Including a celebrity (Aussie-speak for "wife of a footballer") who recently made good on a dare to plank the red carpet at the Logies awards ceremony.  Which you must admit is genius:

I'm just thrilled there is a sport I can excel at.  It's fun for the whole family! My gorgeous friend Yvie took us glamping (glam camping) last weekend up in Yengo National Park. She cooked home-made pasta and a whole snapper (below) to provide nutrition/ammunition for the planking that was to follow. 
Yvie, marry me!
I am totally stumped.

Bam Bam planks the water tank
Yvie, stiff as a board!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Violet Tendencies now on DVD!

It's been two years since we made this film and we're really proud of the finished product! Of course the film couldn't have been made at all without a ton of collaborators - I remain grateful to everyone from investors to volunteers. It takes a village! Violet Tendencies is available on DVD. 

It's got deleted scenes, on-set interviews with Mindy Cohn, Marcus Patrick and other stars, as well as a commentary with director Casper Andreas and myself. Order the DVD or watch instantly streaming online - and please help spread the word!  XOXO

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ding Dong! Eurovision 2011

Millions of horny teenage girls can't be wrong.  Well, at least this time I'm with them.  Check out Sweden's Eric Saade - from Eurovision 2011.  He was robbed of the win, but he'll certainly get his wish: He will be popular! 

Eurovision is always kind of, um, folkloric.  And this year it was set in Germany, with a "German comedian" hosting which really carried the event from quirky folkloric to downright legend.

Eurovision got more bizarre after the break-up of the USSR and the addition of so many more nations, like this year's winner Azerbaijan.  Now they have to have several rounds (and days) of semi-finals.  You watch totally mesmerized at, for example, the entry from Moldova.  They wore long cone hats and out of nowhere comes a unicyclist in pink blowing a tiny trumpet. This may be the first and last impression I may ever have of Moldova. 

So if it's a statement, is it...artistic?  Political? We are so fun and carefree in Moldova!

Take Sweden's entrance above, him of the winning smile - and brown eyes.  Was he selected to prove not all Swedes are blond and blue?  They are so ethnically diverse and inclusive!  Or Israel's entry - Dana International - she won Eurovision back in 1998 which made huge waves, but not because her tune "Diva" wasn't catchy and deserve to win.  She made waves because she is a transgendered.

Dana International was back this year - and you have to wonder -  firstly, about her dress.  It was green with a pattern like palm leaves platted.  Like what they use to wrap dumplings in as they get steamed. 

Secondly, you have to wonder about the star-making power of Eurovision if its winner from 13 years ago returns not to give out a crown, but to compete again. She represented her country anew with a song called: "Ding Dong". I just about died when I heard that. But then the TV said, without a hint of irony: "Being true to who you are and finding inner-strength is what Ding-Dong is all about."


Shockingly, she did not squeak into the finals this year.  Somehow, Moldova did.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hungry? Yes, Yes!

Here's the very best in the anthropomorphism ventriloquy trend taking over the web.  Apparently it's also youtube's number 1 video. How have I never seen this before? I'm so out of the loop. Anyway, this totally makes me want to get a dog and make it talk.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Jesus is coming.  Look busy!!  My friend Tony was heading into Barnes & Nobles in Virginia when he saw God pimping this ride in the lot.
Already packing my bags! 
I actually saw signs with this same message strapped to the backs of Christians in the Union Square subway station. Apparently it's very real.  Writes Tony:

This thing is the brainchild of a fundie radio preacher named Howard Camping whose group "Family Radio" is promoting this new date for Armageddon through a nationwide campaign that has been featured on NPR and ABC.  Hence the truck. Problem is, he's already been wrong a bunch of times, but his followers are sure that it's gonna happen, and they, the true believers, will be taken up on May 21 in the "rapture." Turns out he's 84, so who knows what'll happen to him.

Holy hell. Armageddon begins this weekend! Can I just tell God that Saturday is really not a good day for me?  I'm sure he sleeps in, however, so I'll be fully awake by the time all the subservient blast upward.  I've already joined the popular online event: post-rapture looting.

I love that the end of the world is "awesome" news, according to the motor home.  The awesome news here is that they actually spelled judgment correctly. Philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote this once (in a letter), and I readily apply it to both conservatives and the religious - as mostly they are synonymous:

I did not mean to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. 

And the kicker is his next sentence: 

I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.

They're not all stupid, but look at that truck!  That shit is stupid.  It will be extra stupid on May 22.

I would like to think that Christians here are using the word "awesome" as it's awesome how volcanoes make islands, but no - they are using it as "fantastic" - not fantastic like their beliefs, but fantastic as in fabulous.  They know this whole Armageddon concoction is a mass genocide and they are THRILLED about it!!!

Of course, one can avoid said genocide if one simply believes. I'm still trying to figure out who the hell is this holy ghost? But don't ask questions. The holy ghost is a spirit -with God and Jesus it's three! What? That doesn't make sense? STFU and believe it! Questions are anathema to the whole charade - you don't get a communion wafer with questions.  Blind belief is the name of the game - unfaltering faith - there's a reason they call themselves a "flock".

Meek is a four letter word and the meek shall inherit only more mealy-mouthed sheep.  

And how quickly their humility turns to hypocrisy; meekness to declarations of absolute 100% certain conviction (May 21, 2011!) served with a side of smug, gnashing teeth (we are only lobotomizing you because we LOVE you!) There is such a dearth of neighborly love and such an overload of suffering created via "god" that I remain hesitant to concede religion can be good for anyone. Though in rare times I do reflect on how it might be comforting to some. That maybe it's not all bad. That trying to love others despite their choices could be something I can try to conceptualize - through a veil of acid.

Hey - look at me when I'm rolling my eyes at you!

The Bible may indeed hold some truths.  Like for example that shellfish are an abomination. Leviticus says that anything in the sea without fins or scales is an abomination. Yes, God hates shrimp.  Is it because the mighty shrimp is not duly meek? Did shrimp have too many questions about their nature  - such as where they came from and why they were not given scales and/or fins like all the rest?  

There is some truth in the Bible, yes even worthy truth.  There is also heady wisdom in Dr. Seuss and I hardly think any gentleman - indeed any thinking, fearless person - would dare try deny the wisest truth ever told is not Believe In God, but rather I Don't Know.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I dream of Smurfette

I got the chance to talk to fab blogger Adaumbelle's Quest about a few of my favorite things including travel, movies, Angelina Jolie and Smurfette.  Not in that order!  Thanks for the fun interview, Adam!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Strangers in the Castro, 2011

I’m not sure at the exact moment it happened, and I’ve never felt this way before, but I decided I could live in San Francisco. 

Staying with my friend Jerry in the Castro, the temperature skyrocketed to 60F and locals literally peeled their shirts off to soak it all up. Mark Twain famously quipped that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.  So you can imagine this was epic heat.  60F in Sydney and the weatherman talks cold front and wind chill factor.  In the Castro there I caught a guy strolling down the street absolutely 100% butt naked, save for a strategically placed bandana. 

Nearby, a homeless man (fully clothed) limps doiwn the sidewalk.  He shuffles past a bar that’s just opened for Happy Hour and Britney Spears’ latest blares out its windows.  She sings:
If I said I want your body now...

And is joined by a deep gravelly voice, as the bum disinterestedly belts out the next lyric with her:

Would you hold it against me?

That night, I’m seated inside the Twin Peaks Tavern beside two older men as they sip cordials. Watching the royal wedding on the TV, they’re trying to understand why all those British would gather in hordes to glimpse the couple when they can see it all so much better at the bar. “Frankly,” one says to the other, “I’d rather be in Thailand with Fergie.” 

Next door, there is an animated all-night American café called Orphan Andy’s.  There’s a long line out the door and not a single available stool at the counter - but I spot an empty booth.  When I point that out, a patron ahead of me says booths are reserved for parties of two or more and we’re all drunk and alone.  His name is Mike and I ask if he’d like to join me. 

Why not? 

No sooner do Mike and I sit down in the busy café than we meet a woman named Mariah and her gay friend in the booth behind us.  Mariah is passing out drunk into the gravy of her chicken fried steak.  As she does this, she mumbles how she sure is not looking forward to driving home to San Mateo.  

I ask how far away is San Mateo and she slurs, “Half-hour south”, before dipping her head back into her untouched chicken fried steak.  Across from Mariah, a sassy gay friend promises he will not let her get behind the wheel tonight.  He then hands both Mike and I an onion ring - “And don’t forget the ranch dip!” 

After we order, I ask Mike if he has a boyfriend and he says no – he’s single after an eleven-year relationship. When I press, he tells me that his boyfriend of eleven years died in combat action in Iraq.  Although it’s been some time, he has difficulty dating because nobody comes close to comparing with his ex.  Mike was also stationed in Iraq. And no, he didn’t receive his dead boyfriend’s army pension (you know I asked). 

Behind Mike, a man jumps up from a table with his knife and fork, rushes up to the packed counter, and suddenly carves into a woman’s side plate stack of pancakes and syrup.  She looks mildly amused/horrified.  After a bite, he returns to his booth as suddenly as he appeared.

The waiter booms to the man, for the benefit of the whole diner: “That is not acceptable restaurant behavior!” Back in his booth, the man shrugs. The waiter asks the woman if she wants the pancake bandit removed from the premises.  She shakes her head, but pushes her pancakes away.

Back at my table, Mike rolls up his pant leg and shows me a bullet scar from the enemy fire he took in Iraq.  

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Medical Malpractice in Chinatown!

Turn your head to the side, and cough!  Look who has been spotted on the scaffold surrounding a housing project in Chinatown!  Paging, Dr. Archer! 
Free prescriptions.  Free prescriptions for EVERYONE!
This is a cropped version of a medical billboard that's been around since at least 2007, when Crazy Dan spotted me and said, "I know you're sick - but a Doctor?"  That one is still up on the LES, graffiti now covering my face. 

This is one amazing reason never to pose for stock photography!  But at least my parents can be proud of a doctor. 

It could be worse - like the six year old girl who posed for stock photography and got used on this anti-abortion billboard in Soho: 
The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb!!  Ha!!! Her mother is suing, but good luck.  You get paid once, sign the license agreement, and the stock photography service own the image and can use it at their discretion...forever.  

The very worst (or is it the best?) was when I saw was a stock photo of a lovely older woman, very genteel, happy to be modeling, smiling away as she was featured on a magazine article titled, "You're never to old to catch an STD".

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Do you ever feel a little bit retarded?

I do.  Like when I keep bumping into people when I walk down the sidewalk.  Whack!  What is wrong with me? How about that guy I see in the swimming pool - gasping for air, limbs frenetic - and he's not drowning, that's his actual stroke.  Form, it's a four letter word!  Or that spider spinning its intricate web in a disinfected closet corner that makes you want to say: Listen up, Charlotte: Ain't no insects to catch in there. You are a retarded spider. 

I can't rejoice at the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  Though I hope there is resolution for 9/11 families, I hope that resolution came in other ways.  The death of the world's most infamous terrorist doesn't fill me with any emotion resembling joy, retribution, vengeance, victory, vindication. And I was there on that day. 

When I see Americans celebrating in the streets, I recall muslims celebrating in their streets ten years ago as I watched those towers fall.  In either case, I don't see any winning going on.  Instead, I see human life treated as a rival football scoreboard and I find it sad.  All of it.  More than anything, sad.

I'm not a bleeding heart liberal, nor a pacifist. I don't even believe (though I wish) the pen is mightier than the bloodthirsty sword.  Bin Laden is (and should be) dead, but this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. sums up my thoughts:

Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars! 

The best thing, IMO, about Obama killing Osama is that it deflected attention from the reprehensible public relations stunt being perpetrated by the corporation known as the Catholic church: declaring Pope John Paul II a saint.  Here is a man (= no saint) who recklessly spread the plague of AIDS by refusing to condone the use of contraception/condoms; who refused to ordain women and minimized his church's (rampant, relentless) pederasty scandals - yep, his putrid corpse rots beatifically!

Perhaps it's not the spider.  Or the swimmer - or you.  Maybe it's the world that is retarded?  Eyes that open to see might not match up or mesh with the masses, team, or "flock". And so they will call you a blasphemer, a traitor, a fool. Be misunderstood!  People in Australia walk on the left side of the sidewalk, and I don't.  That spider in the disinfected, insect-free closet could be trying vegetarianism, licking Lysol and loving it. 

Prior to the theory of evolution, scientists thought that aberrations in nature were just that: Aberrations.  They never concluded it could be nature trying something new, testing the potential of a better trait. A lone pink fruit in a tree full of yellow fruits was just a fluke. Until Wallace and Darwin noticed maybe that lone pink fruit was nature striving for improvement; that it was more attractive or tastier to birds which would spread its seed and ultimately improve its survival; that it might learn to exceed its previous realm and grasp and success.

Maybe your brand, retarded as it may feel, is the illuminating adaptation our dark nature breathlessly awaits.