Thanks to Matt J. Horn for this fun interview (and for posting a pic of me from 2005! Note to self: update the gallery!) on his blog. I share my experience filming Going Down in La La Land, mean queens, travel, and somehow we got to seating leggy Cyd Charisse at a table beside math whiz Bertrand Russell. Read it here - it's all the goss that's fit to print!
I gotta say it's not everyone who can put up with me, but those who do are dynamos!! And it's always good to spend time together - even if it's never enough time. Not sure what's the point of missing (or, for that matter, regretting). It seems like misplaced, wasted energy - missing is a form of backpedaling, and easily exacerbated with alcohol.
If you started missing everyone and everything you wouldn't take another step forward. So: hello friends, goodbye friends. It feels just like I never left you. And that makes me very happy.
I appreciate football. The pomp and circumstance, the grandstands, the excitement, but appreciation is not understanding. Imagine attending a Broadway drama in 1922. The audience is rapt, weeping uncontrollably at a performance you consider not only utterly un-moving, but unbelievable. This is the way I feel when I enter a football stadium.
I don’t understand the lathered effect football produces upon its fans, the irrational highs and lows –always seemingly one beer short of murder or suicide. From the perspective of an outsider, fans - a cute abbreviation for fanaticals – don’t seem to remember it’s just a game.
But game can be a scary four letter word, especially if you’re in ancient Rome and the fans are screaming for the lion to tear your Christian ass to shreds. Or if you’re a lion today, you’re game. Game like the Grizzly killed only because he’s got a head and you've got a rifle, space on the wall, and a taxidermist father-in-law. Humans have dominion over the other animals – large and in charge, but instead of looking after lesser species, we're wont to hunt and kill. Worse, we look the other way as others hunt and kill for us.
They’re not living creatures that feel pain and fear – they’re only game. Game as in the hunted. In that same genre of game, unspools the sordid pedophilia coverup by Penn State football. The lesser creatures, in this case, being human boys. Sucked, sodomized, fondled rampantly for years as easily poachable prey. How this Sandusky racket endured for so many years is a disgrace to our race.
Assistant Mike McQueary saw him raping a ten year old boy in the Penn State showers. McQueary did not stop the rape. As key witness for the prosecution, McQueary must have immunity as “whistleblower” even though his whistle was a whisper. Here was a 28 year old man who put his career and school sports program ahead of protecting a child from rape. He skittered off, told his father and, the following day, the coach. Who are the Penn State apologists for “JoePa”? Imagine being told your assistant was anally raping a ten year old boy! Coach did not want to know details, coach did not call the police; coach did not, in his capacity as head coach, help the kids. He told two higher-ups, they told the President. For the love of the game, not one of them called the police.
Reputations took top priority, as fanaticals prefer pom poms to perspective in this blurry thing we call reality. Reality TV is not even reality. We allow, even encourage our news cycle to cough up yet another “story” about the rumors surrounding Obama’s birth certificate or how gay marriage is tantamount to terrorism, but (even with an eyewitness) the media (and law) can’t sniff out assistant coach Sandusky sodomizing youth for years.
Until the actual game is measured less between stadium goalposts and more in sensitivity to the suffering of others; until victory is not pummeling an opponent but prioritizing empathy, our hometown scoreboard (have I exhausted this metaphor yet?) will continue to flash a big bright LOSE.
As the scandal unravels, how it blackens: Another married Republican in a sex scandal– who has adopted several boys. A timely early-retirement. A missing DA, presumed dead. Sandusky having founded a victim mill he fronted as a charity for “at-risk” (ahem) youth. His autobiography titled “Touched” (you can’t make this up). Now we see clearly – now, after how long? How many years with how many people simply looking the other way?
Maureen Dowd nails the truth: “Like the Roman Catholic church hierarchy, the Penn State hierarchy appears to have covered up pedophile crimes to protect its brand.”
Madonna sings the truth (about the AIDS crisis, and apt here): Some say life isn’t fair/I say people just don’t care/They’d rather turn the other way/And wait for this thing to go away.
And, for the triple shot, Martin Luther King, jr: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Wonder what breed of human beings are embroiled in the scandal? Many only became complicit because they willingly refused to know, report or look into it. How do we know that under the same circumstances, would want to know the details - to protect and serve the prey?
The only hope for humanity in the Grand Jury Report lies in the reaction of one single janitor, and even he didn’t alert authorities. Read it. Read the report and ask yourself if Sandusky is guilty, if the witnesses testimony is credible. Ask what you would have done. If you don’t want to read the details in this report and you are a coach, teacher or parent of young children you need to ask yourself why not. Why exactly aren’t you game?
Not last night - or ever. And I can't tell what I hate more, that shit is going on or that shit is going on and I'm not there for it? The hive of activity swarmed my Facebook and Twitter (this is to say not via mainstream media) as I was informed concurrently that a) Fire Island was on... FIRE and b) OWS was raided and destroyed by the NYPD. It was a most remarkable night (mare) in NY.
Fire Island Pines went up in smoke. The central harbor: Sip & Twirl, Pavilion, apparently all gone. So far, no injuries or deaths reported. I'm happy to know it didn't burn in August, when all flamers would have gone up in flames, but I can't help thinking of not only my wonderful friends who live and own businesses there, but the memories. If you haven't been it's hard to relay the magic that Fire Island is. I've seen grown men cry on the departing ferry, fearing return to the cruel real world. It's a safe homo haven that exists nowhere else on earth. I've no doubt this special place will rise again, resilient.
The next thing to blow up was the sudden 1am raid on Zucotti Park and Occupy Wall Street by the NYPD. They moved in with batons and pepper spray and took back the park from the protesters, telling all press they were "no longer press" and claiming they needed clear air space to avoid helicopter news coverage. The MTA halted all subway service to downtown Manhattan, cutting access to supporters. Still there were hundreds of supporters who heard, via Twitter, and hit downtown.
I predict today a seriously massive rally/protest, that involves what's left of New York's middle class. Perhaps it was time to transform, perhaps tent city had run its course, but OWS now has the support of the 99%. There's a reason 2/3 of my parents children had to seek employment overseas. A reason why believing your politician cares about you is like believing your rapist loves you (credit: Judah Friedlander). It's interesting to note US capitalism is touted as the best political system when we owe millions to communist China. Explain that shit!
Explain why instead of changing the lobbyist maws that feed off your representatives and the fact that corporations are considered people, why the government shuts down peaceful protest with force and a media blackout? If you don't allow citizens a peaceful protest, despite nihilist anarchists and addicts who may suckle onto the movement, may I predict a future of desperate (times and measures) third world tactics: kidnapping and ransoming of the smarmiest of the 1%.
It took the left (and middle) a long while to come together, but now... it's (ahem) too big to fail. Bloomberg, you've got some 'splaining to do!
Congrats to my pal Mike Cavnaugh on celebrating two years of his non-profit gaylifenyc.org, a news, resource and entertainment site for newly diagnosed people living with HIV/AIDS. Here he speaks with two fabulous females: Wanda Sykes and one of my personal favorites, Cyndi Lauper (showing her true, very serious, colors).
To celebrate gaylifenyc.org/hivhero.org's 2nd anniversary party, join Mike and the hot boys of Chicago (the musical) Peter Nelson, Broadway hero Brian Spitulnik, Mr. Broadway 2011 Michael Cusumano; afruitfli Jamie T. Ranieri and knockout performances by Kelly King and Jonathan D. Lovitz! Tuesday, November 22, 11pm. @ The Ritz: 369 West 46th.
It's like Burning Man - without the dust. Radical self-expression is still self-expression, even if you have the same complaint. OWS is not huge, but it's representative of something huge.
Down at the park, I overheard one woman telling an occupant what he needed to do differently to be a more effective activist. They got into an argument with him telling her he'd do things his way, and she could do things her way, and that together they will enact change.
Needless to say, there's a lot of cat-skinning going on.
Funny to see other agendas attempting to use OWS hype to fuel their own causes. Free Tibet (above)
I like this attitude above: This is not a protest, this is an AFFIRMATION of the vitality and idealism underneath the present American nightmare. The Whitman quote, "I contain multitudes... Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself" reminds me of a piece from Emerson's Self-Reliance:
"Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. - Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood." To be great is to be misunderstood. Maybe OWS is misunderstood as it doesn't seem to elicit any single definable demands or goal, but may it speak with hard words today and hard words tomorrow!
Eating Out 4 is now out on DVD! Buy it, please don't pirate it. Support independent filmmaking and save your pirating prowess for big budget bullshit! In Sydney, pick it up at Darlinghurst Bookshop.
Not much budget was spent on my costume, er, cocksock! Here's a screenshot from the shower scene with sexy Chris Salvatore:
Notable as the only film this year where Jesse Archer did keep his clothes on, and playing prestigious closing night at Chicago's 30th Reeling International Film Festival is Going Down in La La Land!
Whaaaa??! I know!
La La Land is scorching the circuit! Lauded director Casper Andreas and Allison Lane (who rightly won Best Actress at the Iris Prize in Wales for her role as the outrageously ambitious roommate Candy) will be present. Not sure if the superstar center of it all Matthew Ludwinski aka he who went down will be there, but dammit - get to Chicago and lick the poster!!
Also playing Reeling is my thriller flick Into the Lion's Den! It's playing Tuesday and my co-star, pal and supermodel Ronnie Kroell will be in screening attendance, and also hosting an after-party!
Where am I and what am I doing missing all of this action?! I do not even want to talk about it. Luckily, I was able to join for the Into the Lion's Den in Washington DC last month at Reel Affirmations. Fantastic to see the gorgeous cast and crew; fast friends made during the hectic shoot. It was also different and special to see them outside of rape dungeon!
writer Philip Malaczewski, Ronnie Kroell, Kristen-Alexzander Griffiths and me
Joey DiGuglielmo at the Washington Blade called Into the Lion's Den genuinely suspenseful and nerve-jangling. He also called me a grown-up-and-gay Dennis the Menace. Ha! And that was before I went blond!
Lovely cast and crew!
The lineup. Below, writer Philip talks about writing the script and popping his cinematic cherry. Ronnie is just happy to have passed the mic and not have to talk about how he couldn't drive stick shift!!
The outrageous Fire Island (set and shot!) comedy Half-Share, just had a successful run at the NYTVFest and we're finishing up some hilarious video promos I'll be sharing here shortly!
In the meantime, have you seen the trailer? Alec Mapa kills me every time.
As Half-Share plays more shorts festivals, we're already in talks for circulation and distribution. And speaking of births - Violet Tendencies is not only now available for download and purchase, but she made her debut on the LOGO channel last month!
She was also, tramp that she is, recently spotted hanging out in a DVD vending machine in King's Cross, slumming between Vin Diesel and Justin Bieber. This is not a pleasant sandwich for a fag hag, please rent/rescue her!!
Because her cooter's gone feral! Check out these fearsome vintage vaginal douching ads from 1948. "Feminine daintiness and charm" is in grave danger here. If the marriage is foul - it's her own foul fault! That's the scare tactic approach to get you to buy Lysol douche. Couldn't be he's stepping out with the maid or a man... it's you and your non-disinfected, unsanitary vagina. Click on this QUIZ:
Lysol Vaginal Douching - Or Else
I'm not sure how this qualifies as a quiz if all the answers are supplied. But you'd better squirt Lysol up your vagina - to save your marriage! Forget that Lysol is now used to disinfect toilet bowls, the fine print guarantees it is "non-injurious to delicate membrane". I'm no expert here, but this cannot have been good for you -- do women even douche anymore?
The ads are otherwise fairly consistent with what you see today - lose fat with "Protam" and oxidize fat at a rate of 7 pounds a week with no: drugs, hardship, exercise or massage! Buy "mum" to keep you free of underarm odor (a bath is not preventative; a bath only removes current man-repellant odors). Also, dont' forget to join the "tampax millions"!
Clearly it's women reading "Silver Screen" magazine - and though advertising is and has always been scruple-free, don't you feel sorry for these fretful housewives whose feminine daintiness is besieged by such "scientific facts", "doctors" and "facts"? Even worse, pity the models! How does your career recover after inhabiting the role of the nailbiting young wife who realizes, too late, she could have saved her charm had she only zapped her shameful, disgusting, marriage-killing coochie with Zonite?
Imagine yourself interviewed today - and being able to then look at what you said and who you were, in the distant future. What would ring true? What would appear uncanny or ironic; what would you think about the unexpected twists of fate that were to befall you? I guess that's why people go to psychics.
I got my hands on a copy of Silver Screen magazine, November 1948, and here are tales of three screen queens found in its pages. Gene Tierney, with her sexy overbite, is to me the most stunning of sirens. Here, she talks about how all the attention of celebrity would make you go mad if you didn't laugh:
Gene Tierney didn't laugh enough, one might discern, as a few years after this issue, mental illness saw her undergo 27 electroshock treatments. She lost a ton of her memory and went on to scorn the use of this method. Gene didn't have it easy, even with the beauty and fame. Her daughter Daria was born severely retarded because of rubella contracted when a female fan broke quarantine (with rubella) to meet Gene Tierney when she (pregnant) was selling war bonds.
Add to that failed romances with prince Aly Khan (his father wouldn't let him marry yet another movie star after the debacle with Rita Hayworth) and JFK (he had political ambitions; she was divorced), and the tabloid headlines after she was discovered working in a dress shop post electroshock-therapy - and Gene's career, together with her sanity, struggled to survive.
She pulled herself together for a couple small roles, a bio "Self-Portrait" (I even read it) and ultimately married a rich oil baron who had previously been married to the next star in this issue, Hedy Lamarr.
It must've been a lot of pressure to be labeled 'most beautiful woman in the world', but such was Hedy's lot.
In this issue, Hedy is returning to the screen in Samson and Delilah, after taking a two years off because being considered not much more than a smoldering glamor girl tired her. She once said "Any girl can be glamorous; all you have to do is stand still and look stupid." Here in 1948, she just wants to be happy, with shades of Garbo's "I want to be alone" or rather, as Garbo clarified, "I want to be left alone" (there's a difference).
Lamarr would soon be left mostly alone, until an embarrassing $21 shoplifting (laxatives and eyedrops, honey) arrest (charges dropped) erupted in the early 1990's. In early 2000, she died alone in her sleep near Orlando, Florida, but not before something enormously surprising would top even her world-famous beauty.
Once married to a jealous Nazi arms dealer in Austria, Hedy had to drug her maid and don the uniform to escape him. But from that marriage, she learned much about weapons, and with a deft composer she met in Hollywood, George Antheil, she would patent frequency hopping, to make radio guided torpedoes harder to detect. She did this seven years prior to this interview - in 1941. Though such technology was not yet available, it was later used in war and her spread spectrum patent became the basis for cell phones and the wifi technology we use today. Finally given credit (but never a penny) for her invention in the late '1990's, she said only, "It's about time."
In 1948, Lizabeth Scott (below) was Paramount's husky answer to sultry vixens Veronica Lake and Lauren Bacall. They even labeled her The Threat.
In private life, she went by "Scotty", wore only men's cologne and didn't care for "frilly" femininity. On screen, she seduced men and audiences alike- but there's a reason you don't recognize her name like you do the above. A few years after this issue of Silver Screen hit the stands, an issue of tabloid "Confidential" outed her as a lesbian. A "baritone babe" - busted as a client on the rolodex of a famous female call-girl house. Her reputation ruined, she sued for libel - lost - Paramount dropped her and it all spiralled.
Of the three ladies here, Lizabeth Scott is the only one alive today. She's the only one now able to look back with perspective, elucidate or comment, but of the scandal, the alleged lesbianism, any of it, for all of these many years, she refuses to speak. The Threat declines all interviews.
What's one thing you take for granted every day that they don't have in Cuba? Pens for writing, shoes for walking, the freedom to criticize your stupid government for perpetuating this grudge of an embargo for so long - and not be thrown in jail? Yes! But here's another luxury you didn't even realize was a luxury: TOILET SEATS!
Imagine the welcoming ceramic as it caresses your backside. Apparently toilet seats/lids are impossible to come by and when they are come by - cost hundreds upon hundreds of US dollars. Mainly, it's state-run hotels have these extravagances. So if you ever go to Cuba, smuggle toilet seats in your bags and do their asses a favor!