Thursday, September 29, 2011

There Goes Another First: COLONICS!

Sometimes you really DO want to feel empty inside! I've done it, my first colonic irrigation "treatment". I've met people who swear by colonics, and word on the advertising street is that they will not only clear your bowels, they'll clear your complexion, cure cancer and probably do your dishes (don't visualize that one).

I lay down on a table beside a panel of knobs and levers that look like something from the Apollo shuttle. The intrepid aeronautical engineer (aka "therapist" Cecilia) sticks a well-lubed tube up my bum and massages my stomach while we literally talk shit for an hour!

She fills me up and lets it out just as I feel full, "There's a good movement," she says as we watch it float by in a large glass tube in the mechanical panel, "Looks like you have a bit of candida, oh - take it easy on the fizzy drinks and whoa...there goes Ali Baba's treasure trove!"

Afterward - I did feel lightweight and like giving high-fives to the world. Yes, I finally understand why ads accompanying colonics always feature exuberant women gaily frolicking in wheat fields:

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
All of this kinda makes you wonder what is REALLY going on at the nunnery?

As an anniversary gift, I brought Bam along for the experience, but(t), er, not in tandem. Later that day, we went to the dentist for a cleaning and checkup. One day, two men, four orifices! It was epic.

According to Cecilia, you're actually supposed to get 3 colonics over the course of a month in order to reach the black crud tucked away far up there in the transverse or ascending colon. Three colonics would obviously result in a Katy Perry video:

Who's ready to go full-firework?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hang On Little Tomato

Dared open a book as thick and musty as The Neverending Story. I can practically visualize Etrayu and Falcor while reading the 'Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell'. And just when you're slipping into the swamps of sadness (or madness, as the case may be), a dose of a wise old philosopher like Russell will halt your descent, if not yank you out.
Artax, TRY!! (How sad was this scene?)
Of the future, and hope, Russell writes in 1951:

"Men are slow to learn even when all that is to be learned is the road to happiness. Perhaps they can only learn by even more bitter experience than they have already had of the opposite road. But if they are to learn, if torture is to bring them sanity rather than madness, it will only be because some men have preserved sanity and hope throughout. And the more such men there are, the more chance there is that experience will bring wisdom.  Each separate one of us can do something to increase this chance, by steadfastness and courage throughout the days of darkness."

In a more pedestrian way, this reminds me of a piece of graffiti I read on a wall somewhere in Paris. It read better in French and I'm butchering the translation, but it was something to the effect of: if the crazy person survives the crazy times, he will become wise.

Wisdom is a funny thing, no? It is love, you can see that, yet it retains distance from passion. It is above anger, envy and ego; it is quick to admit it does not know. You can trust wisdom not to have ulterior motives or an agenda. Wisdom is more than intelligence. A janitor may be wise where the biophysicist is a simple scoundrel.

But what's the perk? Why would you want it? it's not as if wisdom is a career option. It doesn't pay, not in dollars. It pays only in the currency of civilization, and only to those who pay attention.

Crazy person, if you're paying attention: I wish you steadfastness and courage.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Suicide Rollercoaster!

A mile high. 7 loopty loops. 10 G-Force. Guaranteed death! I'm obsessed with the euthanasia coaster.

Who needs death with dignity, when you can have death with...euphoria? That's just what happens when the blood flows out of your brain for too long: you get silly, then you die of cerebral hypoxia. But first, euphoria. What a way to top an action-packed life! 

The coaster is hypothetical and remains a scale model that won't be built until "the politics of technology become more democratic" but read all about it - and tell me it shouldn't be an option?

One day, choosing when and how to end your own life/pain will not be criminal, and the future will be filled with euthanasia. I find that life-affirming.
I definitely want to take the rollercoaster. Loved ones there to bid you farewell. The slow 3-minute ride to the peak, as you contemplate life. A 223mph descent, screaming as you whip at 10 G-force, mouth agape, and - flash! - that was the coaster taking your photo. You laugh imagining pulling an emergency handbrake because, honey, you're seconds from dead but still vain enough not to want your final photo to be in the freaky throes of cerebral hypoxia on the roller coaster. That look cannot be pretty!

But you don't really care. You're euphoric. 
At the end of the ride you arrive, a quickly cooling cadaver, as a technician unloads you into a silver cylinder. This technician, now imagined on this blog, will be the anti-hero of a dystopian sci-fi novel and later, a blockbuster screenplay.

He unloads your body into a silver cylinder because you have ordered (it's all decidedly dignified) the works and will become the main ingredient in a solution also involving lye, 300 degree heat and 60 pounds of pressure. In 2011, dissolving in this way was done only infrequently to dispose of animal parts and human bodies donated to science. But now, in the space-conscious, ethically aware future, going out as the brown goo alkaline hydrolisis is all the rage.

If all the action on your final day is at all reflective of your life, there will be much cause for celebration. Your friends have planned a massive party in your honor. And they have promised to toast you...with you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Half-Share plays for *Free* in NYC!

Re-live all the glamor scandal of your summer in Fire Island Pines as Half-Share plays at the New York Television Festival this week! This is the industry's first festival for independent TV artists and a pioneer for showcasing innovative, risk-taking pilots. We're thrilled just to be nominated :) But c'mon,  let's hope the festival serves to find it a fitting home on cable!

Sean created a totally jawsome teaser for this week's festival:

If you are in New York City this week, hit Tribeca Cinemas where Half-Share is playing for *FREE* (my absolute favorite four-letter word) this Thursday, Sept 22 at 7:45 or Friday, Sept 23 at 6:15.

Mark your calendars and share the laughs! You can also guarantee entry by reserving multiple seats to either screening for one small fee.

For more on our pilot, catch the trailer below featuring the all-star cast (Alec Mapa! Sam Pancake! Jack Plotnick! That mindless eating, machine Anita Spinoff!) and more on the Half-Share website.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Unweaving the Rainbow

Richard Dawkins notes how poet John Keats blamed Newton for destroying the beauty of the rainbow by ‘reducing it to prismatic colors’ instead of marvelling at it in ignorant poetic bliss. 
After unweaving the rainbow, Dawkins delves into dizzying tangents of enthusiastic science. It's not always cohesive or easy to follow, but when I wasn’t in over my head, I was rapt. Confession: I had to check it out twice (two renewals apiece) and still wound up with overdue library fines! 

I’m curious about human behaviour, even if it is terrifically predictable (see later notes on “redundancy”) and there is a lot to glean here. We begin as children both curious and credulous (favoured to listen and obey), not testing when parents say not to swim with alligators or touch burning stoves. This key to our survival also holds a dangerous by-product: blind belief in untruths. Santa’s watching, Jesus lives, masturbation blinds.

How then do we stop being credulous and question? To keep creativity and curiosity and alive, yet not kill the cat? The exciting thing about scientists is they are willing – thrilled, even – to be proven wrong with the right evidence.

Dawkins honors poets (and prefers Keats the man over Newton), but believes in the poetry of our natural world – without laziness or poetic leaps.  If there’s a lapse in the fossil record, don’t poetically conclude the Cambrian explosion bloomed brand new species via macromutation. Perhaps the correct fossils have yet to appear?  

And about our intelligence– how did it evolve?  Did cave drawings lead to maps which led to language?  Did the rudimentary act of tossing projectiles to hit fleeing prey – anticipation and timing -– literally toss our thinking into the future?

Our brains are so small, yet able to comprehend so much in because of the economy of “redundancy”. Our brains are layered with the expected, not taking note of our every step or sight because it’s familiar. It doesn't need to pay attention. Explorers and scientists are constantly experimenting, discovering, and absorbing new stimulus. Keep traveling! Without new information it gets stagnant up there; a dead end job performed by rote.  

I learn our brains are so used to the redundant they make things up– take poetic license to fill in the blanks and maintain normalcy. In one example, Dawkins uses the hollow face mask illusion (check out a great visual here). Our brains fill in the hollow mask to make it 3D because we’re used to faces being 3D. We see what we expect to see - and that includes scary monsters in the moonlight on your curtains to virgins in your toast. To the credulous, they’re as fleshed out as that hollow face.  

I surmise this is why it’s so easy for us not to think outside the box, to be lazy and not expand, why it’s so easy to gaze at a rainbow without wondering why. It’s most likely the reason behind the human tendency to look out for evidence which supports, rather than refutes, our current belief system.

But we do evolve. Dawkins likens the human brain to technological innovation. How software reaches a critical mass that forces hardware advances. There is a self-feeding pressure to evolve, which works for everything, from technology to genes to fads to memes – anything replicating itself from brain to brain:

·      Bestseller lists
·      popular actors
·      proliferance of ridiculous rubber bracelets
·      why this video went viral at this particular moment in time
·      how that dumb “Who runs the world (girls)” song got stuck in your head

It’s curious to imagine how we might infect others with memes. There may indeed be something to the collective power of thought, wishes, prayer. If enough put it out there, the world will have no choice but to bow before popular demand. So can we please stop making war, walls and reality TV?

“Ahead of their time” individuals have infected the globe with once fringe ideas like anti- slavery, suffrage or environmental awareness. What germinated small, grew to critical mass and toppled to victory. Victor Hugo said: there’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. One might add irrefutably powerful because many ideas, like the millions of sperm that tried to make you, fail. Each and every successful idea, breakthrough and revolution underwent a rigorous, unseen Darwinian selection.

How cool is that?

To put it more superficially, it’s that monologue from Devil Wears Prada, where Miranda Priestly rips into Anne Hathaway about her lumpy "blue" sweater:

This... 'stuff'? Oh... ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff. 

After all this don’t you want to know more about the proverbial pile of stuff? Is ignorant appreciation (exemption) not now less fascinating than understanding the why behind the colors of the rainbow, cerulean and otherwise?

As Dawkins argues, a rainbow unwoven is even more wondrous. It’s poetry, with a glossary. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bible Belt Bulletin: Please Read

The Tar heels are definitely NOT doing the Cha-Cha in North Carolina!

I have friends in the state, hear beautiful things about Charlotte and Asheville, and it is the only remaining southern state without a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Perhaps because they have bigger things to worry about: Massive unemployment? Hurricane Irene cleanup?

Nope! The Republican dominated Senate this week approved a house bill this week to put an anti marriage-equality constitutional amendment referendum on the ballot in May 2012.

An editorial in the Asheville Citizen-Times reads, in part:

The unemployment rate in North Carolina is at 10%. Against that backdrop, the General Assembly met in a special session this week, at a cost of $50,000 a day, to railroad onto the ballot a measure to amend the state Constitution to ban gay marriage. Well. That should fix everything.

Chris Hughes, the gay co-founder of Facebook and a NC native, wrote to the assembly to say this is bad for business:

The amendment would show the state “does not welcome the diverse workforce that any state needs to compete in the international marketplace. The nest Facebook or Apple or Google could be created by another North Carolinian,” Hughes wrote. “Be mindful of how you treat them and their families.”

With double digit unemployment, legislating discrimination is a priority? Can you imagine all the money they’d make at the Piggly Wiggly if they were to allow it? What’s more – it's redundant as gay marriage is not even truly legal in any state because federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) blocks its way. For the unaware, even if you are gay married in a state where it is legal, you still cannot file federal joint tax returns.

If your same-sex partner is a foreign national, as mine is, you cannot provide him or her US citizenship as straight marriages are afforded. In fact, the US government has been using gay marriage as justification to deny visa extensions to married foreign husbands and wives citing said marriages as “probable cause” they will overstay visitor/work visas and thus breaking up state-legal families. Check out the heartbreaking injustices from the stories on my friend Lavi Soloway’s presciently important website Stop the Deportations.

As these bi-national marriage cases, and more, wend their way toward the Supreme Court – the Obama administration has refused to defend (not to enforce, the law is most certainly enforced) DOMA because he believes it is unconstitutional.

Bearing this in mind, what is North Carolina thinking? Last gasp to codify hetero-supremacy in basic “civil” rights? You know big bucks will flow to NC from the usual (out-of-state) suspects like NOM, AFA, church congregations and members of my own family. You can counter bigotry by visiting and donating to Equality North Carolina – to assist the fair-minded, unprejudiced and reasonable people of that state save face.
Meanwhile, the younger set doesn’t give a shit – the culture war they see being perpetrated by grey-headed bible beaters is already over. The young are for equality and on the right side of history. More importantly, they just want a job.

At what point did wisdom and leadership become qualities we must expect of our youth? Because Americans today, quite literally, cannot afford to trust their elders. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Know What Happened Last Night

Have you tried the new Sleep Cycle app? You put it next to your head in bed and somehow it knows (by how much you rustle? Telepathy? Invisible alien probing?) how much and how well you slept. I caved to peer pressure and finally gave it a whirl - I even went to bed before midnight. Check this out:

I'm nocturnally bi-polar! More hills and valleys than the Himalayas!!!

I tried to blame each unfortunate peak on the lumbering oaf beside me rolling over or sawing wood.  The lumber oaf countered that the only peace he gets in a 24-hour day falls within those remarkably short dips. So what's this pseudo-knowledge good for?

Let's face it - the app probably gives you brain cancer as it measures your REM (be sure to switch off wifi) and the only real advantage I can see is a masochistic curiosity - because now if you have a foul night of "sleep" not only do you know it - you can show it! Sorry to be so cranky today, but have you seen my sleepcycle flow? It's gender-free PMS, a perfectly excuse to be a bitch! Hmm, I may be onto something here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who Says Alcohol is a Depressant?

I decided to go on a reverse binge (only extremes pour moi) of no alcohol all month long. I’m having, yes, a “September to Remember”. And I’ve never been grumpier!! I have no idea what’s going on, but I imagined being productive, thinking clearly, intimating happiness. Instead, I’m a bitter little pill. Snip, snap.

I’m not even halfway through September, and I realize that what’s supposed to be a depressant actually works the opposite for me. I’m happier with alcohol! Which got me thinking: maybe it takes more time for positive results? Maybe pineapple juice, like a hermit,  is enough on its own? When I suggested to Bam the possibility I’d carry over my experiment in teetotalism into, er, “Ocsober”, he said flatly: “No, you won’t!” I'm that bad! 

Is there too much blood in my alcohol system?  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembrance of Things Past

How does Ayn Rand fit into the 9/11 terrorist attacks?  Probably in many ways, but on a personal level, Bam bought and began her epic last novel, Atlas Shrugged, ten years ago on 9/11/2001.

I only found out recently that on 9/11/01, Bam boarded a cross-continental flight from New York at 6am to San Francisco on United Airlines. He could have been on one of those planes! Still, he's completely un-phased about it, doesn't read into why he lived, didn't find god or anything drastic. 

His plane made an emergency landing that morning in Kansas, where he stayed for three days and where he picked up Atlas Shrugged. It's still with him, he says he'll have it read by the 10th anniversary, tomorrow. He's been about 100 pages out since I met him, and still it waits there on the shelf - the 1168 page manifesto of Dagny Taggart vs. the insidious looters who would poach all that achievers create. Good luck, Bam!

I remember 9/11. Making breakfast, I heard a loud crash, looked outside my Lower East Side window, and saw it couldn't have been lightning - weird - the sky was crystal clear blue. It was voting day, so I went and voted. Saw the smoke billowing out of the towers, went to my roof and took photos. Then I took the subway to 23rd street. It was still running, and the conductor kept apologizing for the delay, "due to the explosion at the WTC". When I got out of the subway at 23rd street, the first tower fell.

It wouldn't happen like that anymore. No more inertia. Nothing we can do to change what's changed, and ten years on - have we changed for the better?  The new tower is still not built - largely due to the victim's families, who, despite payouts, desperately bid to make lower Manhattan a hallowed cemetery. That wasn't the spirit. Neither was the trillion dollar wars which continue to get blank checks from the government despite the fact none of my friends have jobs.

Most memorable about the attacks was the outpouring of goodwill - at home and worldwide - which followed. It felt less Atlas Shrugged and more Atlas Hugged - and then, the sprouting of flags, the war-hawk lies, that idiot in the White House. What if, instead of vengeance, we had harnessed that goodwill and used it to foster more? That's what you can take from 9/11. When an opportunity for goodwill presents itself, no matter the circumstance, don't squelch, don't squander, don't fuck it up.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Felons Need Friendship, Too!

Trolling cyberspace, I happened upon the prison pen-pal website  I had ulterior motives, researching a prison script, but I became quickly taken by the personal blurbs from the men behind bars.

They might be in for a guesome murder, and introduce themselves with, "Sure I made some mistakes in my life, who hasn't?  But I'm a good person with a big heart and a lot to offer..." which I thought was hilarious and tragic in equal measure - and in the middle, always ripe for exploration, fell considerable intrigue. Why can't someone who once murdered be a good person with a big heart and a lot to offer?

I mentioned the site first on FB, which lead to the editor of SameSame writing a piece. Everyone seemed to be curious about a prison pen pal. My curiosity led me to the wittiest, most articulate and engaging writer of the gang - Andy, who, in his ad, promised "super-delish" correspondence. He also happens to be in jail for pedophilia.

Note how that word - pedophilia - is an immediate door-slammer. You summarily dismiss the man, the topic, the discussion. You'd probably rather write to a mass murderer. You might have already stopped reading this.

Especially the gay community - which even more vehemently distances itself from mention of the topic, if only because the religious right always resort to accusing us all of preying on their children. Nevermind the fact that most pedophiles are heterosexual.

With no disrespect to victims, it's pretty fucked up how we readily forget the forgotten - the ignominious, the criminal, the maligned. As if they aren't human. Andy won't ever escape the pedophilia label.  A term he hates, as he does "sex-offender", which implies he's still offending even after ten years in the slammer. So yeah, I wrote him pen to paper and you know what? He writes back with the most super-delish correspondence.

There's something refreshing about being able to write to a condemned convict, what are they going to do? Judge? They're locked up, but that makes them free-er than any of the facsimiles I meet every day - to be open and honest. I felt okay being candid: "Do you get raped?" and "WTF were you doing with an 11 year old boy?

Andy offers reasons,  including the toxicity and deceit of the closet, and all the rest that led him introduce a boy into a world he was far too young to understand. Andy gets all that. He's taken his licks, paid the price, learned his lesson - and is avowedly "off the chicken". What's not clear is why he's meant to feel the weight of guilt all the rest of his days. At what point do we forgive ourselves and at what point do we forgive others?

Prison is, in his words "Chaos...between the cops & other cons & the neverending cat and mouse game it can all be crushingly wearisome...I've witnessed men crumble mentally quickly as the machine devours them." He recently lost his janitorial job to budget cuts (the recession hits the big house!). He likes WrestleMania and describes prison food: "brutal, turkey-ham bologna in gravy with biscuits. Really?! Really. Oh, the humanity..."

He even knows who I am (they get OUT magazine in jail) and no, he hasn't been raped. But he has plenty of sex, like a long-standing steamy affair with a former cell-mate called "Butters", a goofy guy from Missouri who was blond and loved to be naked. Recalling Butters, he laments, "Ah....2006".

The oldest of his many penpals is old Boopsy, 87, who lives in the desert in Cali and who's been writing since '04. Andy says the key to survival is establishing and sticking to a routine, part of his routine are the letters: "I've been at this pen pal gig for a long's what's kept me sane, relevant, inspired and determined to survive the mental war that is incarceration..."

Reading that was enough to motivate my friend Jack to get on the website and write to a double-murdering tranny called....wait for it...Angel. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I'm in Your DNA (Magazine)!

It's the only interview you need to be drunk to read! Thanks to Marc Andrews and the fabulous folks at DNA Magazine for featuring me in the August issue #139 . I talk about the Aussie release of Violet Tendencies, and my other film projects out this year and all my co-stars in Going Down in La La Land, Half-Share, Eating Out 4, and the upcoming Into The Lion's Den. But it's much more than that...
not me on the cover, in case you were wondering :)
DNA is like Playboy - you subscribe for the explosive articles! And I'm in a rare mood here - bouncing all over the place with advice, rants, merde and musings. Dodo birds, Stockholm Syndrome, and the reason I'm not into marriage is because I like a little tarnish (?) Do you ever read what you said and go...WTF? And yet I can't ever claim to be misquoted by anyone. Misunderstood, but never misquoted.

click to make it bigger
avatar by Walter Laruccia!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

How to Ruin His Sex Life

Who doesn't love a cunning woman?  My friend Rowena is just that - and we were out the other night, eating when she spotted a very attractive, tall blond man at the bar. Very hot, very her type - and being a sophisticated, sexy lady, Rowena would not have to work to get the man's attention. But then we caught a tall, attractive blonde woman stood beside him. He grabbed her ass, they made out.

Rowena pouted. Clearly she had no chance as she is black and he is clearly into women who look like they could be his sister. We watched them kiss and I said: "Twincest" - which gave Rowena an idea.

"I know how to ruin his sex life," she declared. If she can't have him, nobody will! We watched them grope for a moment as Rowena composed herself and told me to play along. Then she called our waiter, asking him to bring the man to our table - she was a model scout and needed to speak with him.

The blond man obeys - which is what men do when coaxed to tables by sexy women. Seated calmly, Rowena shakes the beautiful man's hand imperiously when he arrives: "I'm with Moda Model Management, and we're looking for brother/sister twins for an upcoming campaign."

"I'm sorry?" he says, flustered. "That woman, the tall blonde," Rowena indicates the woman he was just groping: "She is your sister, right?" ", we're not..." he says and Rowena shakes her head dismissively, "Oh I'm sorry, nevermind, we're looking only for twins for this shoot."

The man is so flabbergasted, he just stares at Rowena - no doubt picturing his girlfriend as his sister - before asking, "You're who again?" "Moda Model Management. Sorry to bother you." And with that, she turns back to me absolutely straight-faced.

Rowena refuses to look back to the bar, she's all business now, having just ruined his sex life. But I narrate what's happening behind her head: "He's pointing us out to his girlfriend..." "He's telling her what happened..."

Rowena cackles: "...And she's drying up like the Sahara!!!"

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Fitness First instructor

It's not even a crush, but he seriously makes my week. He wears these short shorts and smiles and winks and makes jokes while we workout. I never thought you could laugh and exercise - but there he goes all energetic and enthusiastic and totally camp!

You know when you're down in the dumps and feel everything is just sucking your good energy - there's always that one song you can listen to; that one place you can go, that one person you can call for a lift. I never thought it would get to the point where a fitness instructor is that one happy thing, but I'll take it!  Maybe it is a crush on his attitude. His joy is positively infectious. I even told him last time, "you make my week", but I doubt he knows I actually mean it. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

"I have the weirdest boner"

that's the number one comment on youtube for this German video/short film by Cold Star. Watch and tell me, is it loaded brilliance or pretentious masturbation?

Not really clear on much here, but I'd much rather be in that pool than out of it.

The freedom of diving into the fluidity of sexuality and gender roles. The sublimation of desire results in a sad affair with French Fries. I especially dig something beautiful we rarely see - intergen(d)erational hand-holding. It's gonna be okay, everything's fine says the drag queen with her defiant air of reassurance.

I'm gonna run with loaded brilliance.