Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We took a road trip up New South Wales and it's always like a nostalgic trip back in time.
Santa looks out of place
Produce section of a 1950's film set or Forster, NSW circa 2012?
idyllic subtropical sands
Greetings from the Mercantile

Monday, January 23, 2012

Off With Their Red Noses!

The Republican Presidential candidates represent Republican values - if you squint hard enough! Abortion = SIN! Homosexuality = SIN! Adultery = HOW DARE YOU ASK ME ABOUT THAT! (followed by a Christian standing ovation). 

While Newt Gingrich was having an affair on his ex-wife with his now third-wife, he was leading the charge to impeach President Clinton for an extramarital blow job. Of course, now he declares it despicable to question him about his own infidelities. The good ol' boys club (and a few crosshair-wielding women) always resort to crying victim of the "malicious media" when exposed for their glaring hypocrisy. 
How interesting to find you have to make a choice between a thrice married, cheating lobbyist fat cat and a multi-millionaire Mormon. And so the party base looks up to see that, on the political stage, it's not like looking in the mirror anymore. Why, that's exactly the way I felt growing up! 

What's it like to experience that disconnect as a fully grown adult? And so, the Republican Party is revolting. As Kevin Sessum notes, that last sentence can be read two ways - bless homonymy - and both reads are correct. This lesser-of-two-evils schism resulted in a South Carolina primary win for Newt Gingrich, and so we see multiple marriages still beat a cult based upon polygamy! Both choices, in their minds, beat a black muslim socialist! 

I'm inclined to agree with Andrew Sullivan's Newsweek essay, "Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?" which argues that the current POTUS' long game will outsmart everyone. Except, of course, as he mentions, that startling (nasty) bit about being able to indefinitely hold US citizens without charges (WTF is with that?) and perhaps the policies that 

Even so, as the overpowering stench of grease paint wafts off the circus clowns masquerading as Presidential hopefuls, Obama looks primed to coast through November, laughing all the way at such farce. He may not be perfect, but unlike these half-cocked hypocrital hopefuls and the bumbling half-wit who went before him, this President of the United States remains an elegant leader of men. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

For Your Edification: Gifting (Lack of) Etiquette

Giving and receiving is a special time meant to involve surprises - just probably not these ones!

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: Much like Chlamydia, a brain or a billion dollar bank account, you can't tell by looking who may be in possession of a gift.

On the set of A Four Letter Word, I was in Central Park with my co-star Charlie David. Our director, Casper was nearby wearing a tank top with little hot dogs emblazoned all over it. I turn to Charlie to scornfully ridicule ("hot dogs?!) such a ridiculous shirt, and I remember ending with "You'd think, being Swedish, he'd have some sense of fashion!" Moments later, Casper comes over and I say, "What the hell is that shirt?" Casper smiles brightly and says, "Charlie gave it to me!"

RE-GIFTING: It's pro-environment and I'm all for it. And, much like theft, it's totally cool until you get caught.

Like the time I re-gifted a gorgeous journal to a girlfriend. I wrapped the thing up, and as she opened it she began to read what she thought was an inscription. It was, to our mutual horror and later hilarity, a diary entry I had once written and forgot about...

SAFE RECEIVING: Unwrap before you speak - it could ruin the mood.

At a birthday party, my friends Chad and Scott handed me a wrapped gift that resembled, in size and weight, a brick. So I launch into a story, laughing hysterically, about how my brother once sent me a brick. For my birthday. A brick! Could you believe it? He found it in "historical" Boston and sent it in the mail, and have you ever had more of a stinker for a gift? Moments later I unwrap, to the mortification of all assembled, a brick. Granted, this one had my name on it, but it was, unmistakably, still a brick.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Poor Unfortunate Souls!

Depression is such a western luxury, as you never seem to see brown people in huts with five children and no food struggling with depression, or a crippling case of anorexia. Maybe it’s because we have so much time to think about existence, so much time to ponder why we’re here and not be distracted by daily survival, that we can claim depression, but tell me if you’re really thinking – isn’t existence the most marvellous thing?

I mean, maybe your life sucks, but (cue Liza)... it's marvelous!

Recently a girlfriend told me the reason her family is in Australia is that long ago a female ancestor had stolen some jewels from her boss in England and, stupidly, wore them down to the local pub to show them off! The lady-thief was sentenced…to death. But before she was to hang, her sentence was commuted to: banishment! And off she went on a convict ship to Australia. Fascinating story, and not only would my girlfriend not be in Australia had her relative not stolen those jewels, but if that sentence had not been commuted, she wouldn’t be here at all. Simple as that. 

How lucky we are to have benefited despite the mistakes of each ancestor; the beneficence of some judges, twists of fate; counting on them to have survived scurvy, the plague, poverty, even an unappealing face long enough to successfully breed in successive generations that ultimately led to you. As if this miraculous accomplishment alone isn’t enough to boggle the mind, think of your luck in the biology department.

You conquered impossible odds to become the one sperm out of millions to successfully penetrate that one egg. That one particular egg out of how many eggs bleeding out for how many months, not to mention that one sperm from that one load of how many loads (and potential lives lost) found in crunchy handkerchiefs? 

The sheer incredibility of your existence is too remarkable to not comprehend. The most amazing thing by far is that you're here at all. Depressing, isn’t it?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sydney's a Superficial Bitch...

and trust her love ain't Platonic! Check out this hilarious piece on Sydney by Joe Hildebrand in The Telegraph. He satirizes the place so perfectly, as shallow insipid and vacuous. I've been saying this for a long while - Sydney is a supermodel, absolutely drop dead stunning but what does she have to tell you? And would you wanna listen? I mean, Capetown is just as much a stunner but at least she's dangereuse.
Isn't she a knockout?!
Imagine my surprise when the piece concludes that yes Sydney is shallow and vacuous; she's stupid and sucks but... she rocks! He's never been prouder to live here! Too stupid too understand why, I'm left wondering if I should move to Melbourne? He says that if Sydney were a person it would be Paris Hilton. What's NOT to love? Seriously. And if Melbourne were a person it would be Jean-Paul Sartre...

On the topic of philosophers, and resting my (his?) case, I went to Sydney library yesterday to check out writings by Plato. I wanted to read some of his work, any of it really: Symposium, Republic, I didn't really care. I found the philosophy section at Custom House library contained on a shelf the length of my arm, but I couldn't find anything there, or in the system, for Plato.

So I asked a librarian to help me, see if there was something from another Sydney library to transfer, but there wasn't. Zilch. Not one work by Plato could be located in all of Sydney's library system. PLATO! The librarian herself seemed stymied and keen to oblige when I asked, "Can you maybe... buy some Plato for your collection?"

Imagine how much easier it all would have been if I asked to check out a volume of that great philosopher and scholar, Paris Hilton! 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Envisioning 3012: Future Predictions

Check out the Gen-Yers with their vague sense of entitlement and suave assurance (having been thus led to believe) they’ll found a billion dollar start-up or, if not, at least become (in)famous via youtube or (why not?) Xtube, without working too hard because they’ve all been raised by helicopter parents who hovered over their every move, not letting them out of sight, and if they did manage to make it to the backyard, a liberal application of 70SPF sunscreen shall have without exception (even on cloudy days) been required. 
What could the Gen Y offer us. we the older wiser and better mannered? The natural tendency to characterize succeeding generations as sloppier than our own is itself a perilous mistake, because if you do look around, things are improving and always have – in areas where civilization is permitted to persist.

So let’s look around and imagine – what things are improving, at least in my opinion, and imagine the loftiness subsequent generations, who will no doubt be always maligned and discredited by their elders, may lift us.

Herewith, my predictions for 3012 (feel free to offer your own):
  • Euthanasia will be humane, legal and a popular end-of-life care option.
  • Most illicit drugs will be legal, taxed and responsibly sold – a governmental cash flow, draining drug warlord power, and lessening futile wars on drugs with their inherent bloodshed.
  • A lessening of violence in general, and its acceptance in entertainment. It will be less appalling in 3012 to see two men naked and kissing on-screen than it will be to watch 200 men being gruesomely murdered.
  • Vegetarians will no longer be mocked by meat-eaters as unbearable party poopers. The conscious disconnect between eating meat and slaughtering live animals will be exposed and vegetarian food will taste as good as it is popular.
  • Circumcision will be seen and discouraged for the mutilation it is. 
  • Monogamy will not be seen as an undeniable symbol of fidelity.
  • Organized religion will be, on a large scale, abandoned in favor of individual spirituality.
  • A new fuel source will end dependence on barbaric nations and the rape of the planet’s resources. Back 2 the Future’s garbage alternative, perhaps?
  • Genetic modification of your child to weed out handicaps, disease. And though this tool may be used to weed out red-heads or gays, it will be used just as much to create a red-head or a gay.
  • Death of the circus, but rise of the zoos (traveling zoos?) with the exciting return of the Dodo Bird and the Woolly Mammoth. 
  • The 9-5 work week will be an archaic joke as work is handled remotely, for the most part, and around the 24/7 clock.
  • Less borders, less walls. Nations will be run less like rival football teams, and more like enthusiasts of the same sport.
  • The use of non-biodegradable plastic, especially single-use plastic drink containers and disposable plastic bags for groceries, will be looked upon as insidiously wasteful, crude and sooo last century. Much like today  we watch horrified as Betty Draper, in an episode of Mad Men, non-chalantly shakes out her 1950’s picnic blanket littering all its garbage onto the park’s grass.
  • Gender roles and designations will be more fluid. Colours, pink and blue in particular, will have no sexual assignation. We will think: why did they ever?

What else; what are your predictions? Future doesn’t look all bad, eh? Of course I left out the bad news: We’ll all be dead! 

Thursday, January 05, 2012

My Latest Film Now On DVD

My first foray in Grand Guignol, the thriller Into the Lion's Den is now for sale, you can buy it at this link: Breaking Glass Pictures! With a stellar/disturbing script by Philip Malaczewski, the film takes all sorts of unexpected twists and turns as I head on a road trip through Amish country with co-stars Ronnie Kroell and Kristen Alexzander Griffith who are getting some great praise for their performances.
Here's a sample of the great buzz online (some below) to help entice you to pick up the DVD!

In this review from the Horror Fan, Into the Lion's Den is a hatchet-fest worse than a dozen American Idol wanna-bes with their claws out! And I play a ne'er do well who "reminds you of all the messed up, slightly charming bar boys with a destructive streak you've crossed path with." Wait, only slightly!? I'm losing it!

Christian Cintron at Edge says the film is sexy, startling and provocative - going beyond its B-list gore-fest to address deep topics, such as the gay community's flirtation with thanatos. Ronnie is captivating and "Jesse Archer shines as a washed up party boy with the perfect blend of sexy mischief and pensive introspection".

The Independent Critic calls it a relentless thriller, hailing Michael McFadden and Jodie Shultz as terrific villains and saying I have tremendous screen presence as the free-spirited Johnny. Awww. It was worth all the dungeons and electroshocks and slobber... oh my!

Check out more reviews, film stills and behind-the-scenes stuff when you like the fan page here on Facebook!

Along Came a Leader

Governor Gregoire of Washington State held a press conference to articulate succinctly what equality advocates have been saying for years: it's not the business of government to discriminate.

Echoing Hillary Clinton's speech in Geneva that gay rights are human rights, Gov. Gregoire's speech here is enhanced at the end, when she mentions the battle with her religion. I know of nothing else, no rational reason, to deny equality besides religion. Religion consistently pits brother against brother, and not just my own brother, his wife and sundry relatives ('family' for me is a suspicious thing not to be trusted, for I never know who's with me and who's against me - thank you, "god") but it insidiously divides the brotherhood of humanity. Look around - not even the Presbyterians can support each other!

Yet this religious Governor has gone on a journey and discovered religion is a personal thing, not to be influenced by - or to influence - government as it relates to civil rights. Sadly, most don't get to this place because organized religions have a mandate to infect others with the "word" (as if those "called", most of whom knowing nothing of the world, let alone the inner workings of themselves they have sublimated - are qualified to minister to anyone) and whenever this gets me furious - people being bigots, immune beneath a veil of piety as they hypocritically speak for their chosen deity, I simply look to the past and remind myself: foolishness ain't nothing new.

In the words of philosopher Bertrand Russell:

People choose the book considered sacred by the community in which they are born and out of that book they choose the parts they like, ignoring the others. At one point in time, the most influential text in the Bible was: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Nowadays, people pass over this text, in silence if possible; if not, with an apology.
Yet how many "witches" had to suffer, burned at the stake before this particular piece of ancient text was passed over? How I would like to live to the day where Governor Gregoire's speech above is as archaic, as much a statement-of-the-obvious as the day there surely must have been when a press conference was held to declare that witch-hunting would no longer be the business of the government. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

New Years Tribe - Glamping in Lismore!!

Totally wretched after a New Years spent at the Tropical Fruits Festival. I blew a fuse, or maybe a total short circuit. It all began with a crude mood board. You see, the theme was: "Tribe"
the mood board: we were particularly taken with the slutty squaw at right
After senseless hours and dollars at the crafting store, Bam and I set out on our journey north. On the second day we stopped at our artist friend Carmel's in Red Rock. She enlisted her lovely lady friends to help, whipped out a sewing machine, and it was like a fag hag sweatshop! They began constructing our Indian costumes as we watched in awe.
Thanks Kelly and Carm! At right, Carm slices and sews my hedgehog beanie baby into a purse.
We left them the next day and get up to Lismore and set up camp. Tropical Fruits is a NYE dance party on the local country showgrounds, kinda like a farm. You camp out in tents with all locals, lesbians, transfolk and boys. Some of them really go all out.. in fact they couldn't stop comparing outposts: "my, that's the best erection I've seen yet!" 
The Shirley Temple erection nearly killed me.
this is what you call GLAMPING
Decidedly more downtrodden, this was our home - after hours
and happy hours!
It was hilarious to hear the queens setting up camp - making sexual moans while hammering stakes, their friends commenting, "I don't care what they say - you can give a good pounding!" Or another claiming he needed to stretch before such heavy lifting (the esky cooler) when another said dryly, "C'mon - if you were any looser you'd be inside-out!"

The whole event really is as camp as a row of tents. The first drag queens even made their appearance in the campgrounds before noon.

We met all sorts of colorful creatures. Including this older man (sewing Bam Bam's feather headband). His name is Ivo and he's Belgian. When his flemish family rejected him for being gay, he sailed for Australia at 18, in the early 1960's, and he never spoke to them again. It amazes and inspires me what some people will do for freedom. Thankfully we had enough burlap and finger paint to make him an Indian, too.

heather numberone, clark, nick and denton: "all the ex-pats that Lismore allows!"
When I put the eyeliner on Bam he complained when he looked in the mirror, "What have you done? I don't want the flick at the end... it's too feminine!!" -- and he instantly became the laughing stock of the campground, known as the guy who thought his eyeliner was not masculine enough.

they're playing our favorite song
The dancing is in what's essentially a massive barn. The grounds also have an art exhibit, several chill out tents...
and a cabaret where my pal Heather NumberOne performed her famous glow in the dark routine. 
Outside, I'm on a warpath without a tomahawk. 

You know she's debating using my head as an ashtray.
The fireworks were so flash and explosive, my face felt dirty just watching them. 
And then all the activity became too much for Haiawatha's burlap loincloth to handle:
My teepee for a safety pin. Thanks, Wade!
I pretty much got shot out of a cannon. So a New Year begins much as the one before! Happy 2012!