Monday, April 30, 2012

Look at me now and here I am: PRETENTIOUS!

There is something seriously wrong with Gertrude Stein’s writing style, something RAINMAN wrong. I picked up a collection of her work, Look at me now and here I am and it's not clear why it was bound in book form. She just as well could have put letters on a Rubik’s cube and scrambled.
literary lion AND a dead ringer for Spencer Tracy!
Reading Gertrude Stein is like staring at those 5-D images you have to cross your eyes, twist, squint and VOILA! The image appears just as it quickly vanishes again. Oh yes, she’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery and splattered with nonsense.

She was a renowned art collector and was bosom buddies with Picasso. She penned a “portrait” of him which reveals why they were so close. Because she wrote it in cubist!

Here’s a short excerpt from Picasso's portrait:

“One whom some were certainly following and some were certainly following him, one whom some were certainly following was certainly working. One whom some were certainly following was one having something coming out of him something having meaning and this one was certainly working then.”

Dizzy? Stein had a famous salon, hanging out with Alice B. Toklas, Picasso and even her brother up to a point. No doubt her brother left because he couldn’t appreciate her writing in the way he should have appreciated her writing most people that way appreciate and some would have appreciated if they knew to appreciate and what they were appreciating when. Good grief, Gertrude, I can write in circles, too! Yes, Leo Stein ran out of that salon hands flailing overhead because she had just showed him a draft of his literary portrait. 

Stein is so in love with herself that she works up all into a frothy lather. You just know the woman is typing with one hand while fingering herself with the other: 

No matter how complicated anything is, if it is not mixed up with remembering there is no confusion, but that is the trouble with a great many so called intelligent people they mix up remembering with talking and listening, and as a result they have theories about anything but as remembering is repetition and confusion, and being existing that is listening and talking is action and not repetition intelligent people although they talk as if they knew something are really confusing, because they are so to speak keeping two times going at once, the repetition time of remembering and the actual time of talking but, and as they are rarely talking and listening, that is the talking being listening and the listening being talking, although they are clearly saying something they are not clearly creating something, because they are because they always are remembering, they are not at the same time talking and listening. Do you understand. Do you any or all of you understand. Anyway that is the way it is. And you hear it even if you do not say it in the way I say it as I hear it and say it. 

No I don’t understand.  I don’t understand why you can’t punctuate. I don’t understand why you hate a question mark as much as Proust hates a full stop. But what I love is that within this jumble, this literary autism, you’re attempting to explain how to unconfuse communication. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Darling, you shouldn’t have skimmed Thoreau!

I’ve never read someone with less regard for a reader. But the Times designated her, “one of the greatest writers of modern times!” so perhaps I should give her more of a chance? Maybe it’s like when I first read Shakespeare and hated it. Or like when I first read Catcher in the Rye and threw it across the room because Holden was so infuriating. Or when I watched Fellini’s non-narrative "masterpiece" 8 ½? Taking on a brand new style is always a mind-bending challenge. 

But I've yet to warm to Gertrude. Incidentally, I still don't fancy 8 ½ but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate Fellini. I can also appreciate Gertrude Stein. She was a very important art collector. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Survivor: The Hunger Games

These deserted islands in the Aitutaki lagoon were used for the filming of Survivor: Cook Islands (a production which rented the entire island of Aitutaki, paying out all its businesses and keeping it tourist-free for three months) but what if you were really and truly stranded... or lost at sea?
Have you heard of the 1821 sinking of the whaleship Essex? It was inspiration for the climax of Moby Dick - as the Essex was notoriously rammed, battered and sunk in the South Pacific by a really pissed off Sperm Whale. Captain and crew escaped in small chaser boats, but chose not to go with the wind and currents to the closest land - the Marquesas Islands - because they heard there were cannibals and were really freaked.

So they attempted to reach far flung South America and got lost. As the days and months rolled by lost and starving at sea, guess what? They became cannibals! A fine example of one of life's more alluring ironies: if you don't face your fears, your fears will hunt down and face you.
A very curious aspect about this particular cannibalism story was its startling civility in a savage situation. Starving and adrift, it was decided they would draw lots for who get killed and sacrificed to the feed the others. The captain's 17 year old cousin drew the black lot, and when the Captain offered to spare him - the weary cousin said only: "I like my lot as well as any other". YIKES. There's no I in TEAM! But sure as scurvy hell there is a 'me' in MEAL!
Then they drew lots to decide who would shoot the cousin. And his best friend drew that winning ticket. I can't quit imagining it! Your best friend is about to murder you, hopefully not without some measure of affection, as you have given consent. And the terror of knowing that without further ado your face, eyeballs, ear lobes, body and organs are about to be ravenously torn apart and devoured by your crew. Vivid. Ghastly vivid. Did they draw lots to find out who scored the brain food?

The survivors were so delirious that when they were ultimately rescued, they didn't even realize it. They were found floating the open sea, totally unawares, gnawing away on human bones.

Some consider the Essex disaster the 19th century's Titanic. If you're curious, there's a recent book about it:In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex and it's apparently a real pageturner. I can't wait for the splashy Hollywood adaptation. Tagline: "Save a whale. Eat a whaler!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sexualising the Sea Cucumber

Aitutaki, Cook Islands is home to a primo tropical lagoon which prides itself on being listed on every last incantation of the list: "100 places to visit before you DIE!" Aitutaki's lagoon also boasts a massive concentration of that strange underwater vaccuum and legendarily phallic organism: the sea cucumber. or slug. or big fat underwater black cock, if you ask me.
The place is littered with them. They're plump and tumescent and they never say no. Plus look! They're peeing on me. Well it's not pee. It seems to be a defensive sort of serum - not a leak, these things are real shooters! - because when I picked em up, they sprayed full on serum. And I wasn't even squeezing!

I came to the conclusion that this mysterious 'hands off-me' sea cucumber brain juice serum is going to be the next thing in cosmetics "taking decades off your face!" anti-aging mass marketing.
Get this shiz BOTTLED, Mizz Clairol. I'll soon be forced into writing pithy, punchy, brainwash-worthy copy promoting its time-reversing antioxidant properties far sooner than I'd like!

And yeah, I also had to pose for the obligatory photo of me sexually assaulting the sea cucumber. Take that Mandingo! Yes, I'm sporting a massive 9x6" sea slug of a black cock that even squirts!
 But then I let the sea cucumbers go (they are terrible conversationalists) and paddled on.
Here's Bam, my reluctant photographer and co-conspirialist.
Through the waters of one of those exotic places you REALLY must explore... before you expire!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Greetings from Polynesia!

Here on the Cook Islands, which you may have never heard of. I certainly hadn't! I think their tourism marketing team needs to huddle up and fix this travesty. Why name your perfectly exotic islands after some pasty white explorer?

These islands are just as exotic as nearby Tahiti, Bora Bora or Fiji. And they'd sound just as exotic, exciting and enticing if they were known by their native names: Aitutaki and Roratonga. Right?

I'd elaborate further but... I'm doing absolutely nothing!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Indian Summer Sydney

Summer decided to come to Sydney in the last couple of weeks now that "La Nina" (Spanish for FUCK MY LIFE) has gone and left us with nothing but sunshine!
With the boys at Bondi Beach
Sydney is a city that's nothing without its outdoor scenery, so I can't help thinking if she had behaved this way during actual summer we might have shared something beautiful! As it is, I'm loving April!
Gerald and the Leonas
me and Gerald
I'm still rocking the pink hair, but now it's a mohawk and my friend (and Fijian goddess) Keira, added some "electric amethyst" (aka purple)... at work. The result is all very MY LITTLE PONY. 
Thanks Keira!
Now I'm heading to the Cook Islands (mercilessly off the grid)! Where homosexuality is punishable by 7 years in prison!! Christian missionaries, in all their infinite love, arrived to the Cook Islands shortly after Captain Bligh... and unfortunately the natives did not mutiny but embraced it outright. In any case, surely my butch swagger and pink hair will throw them off.

In the event I don't return, please bake a cake with a nail file and come visit me here:

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Porn Brat Pack

Congratulations to my friend, the amazingly talented writer Chad Darnell on his upcoming film! The Porn Brat Pack is the true story about the wild life and death of porn legend Joey Stefano. I've had the pleasure of reading the script a couple of times, and it is fantastic. Chad's writing leaps off the page as he provides an incredible sense of family and gives these characters layers... they didn't even know they had.

The Porn Brat Pack is set to star the inimitable Missy Pyle, drag diva Willam Belli, and Ryan O'Connor (as Chi Chi Larue). Check out their promotional photo shoot below and read more at The Advocate. Chad's waiting to make more big casting announcements, including which Hollywood up-and-comer will win the role of doomed stud Nick Iacona aka Joey Stefano.

The production is still seeking final investors, so it's not too late for you to be a part of it. See how to get involved at the end of the video and please... spread the word! 

Keeping it Crazy in Melbourne

Great news for two of my films currently scorching the festival circuit! Going Down in La La Land is getting the best Hollywood ending ever - a Los Angeles release at none other than Grauman's Chinese Theaters! This is a huge deal for an indie film, so I hope stars Matthew Ludwinski, Allison Lane, Michael Medico and Casper Andreas are preparing to plant their paws into the cement! Please help with both NY and LA premieres and get VIP tickets, red carpet action, DVD pre-orders and a ton more prizes when you back the Going Down in La La Land Kickstarter campaign.

Here I am looking possessed in Melbourne's MX paper.
Our comedy short Half-Share just played two sold-out screenings at London's BFI and got great notice!  James Waygood writes: "For those familiar with the American scene they’ll notice that this short is crammed full of staple talent who don’t fail to deliver. The film is a knowingly outrageous portrait of gay excess on Fire Island through the eyes of the introvert (by comparison) Mac. Insane outfits, larger than life personalities, and over-clocked sex drives, this comedy here is brilliantly written with some side-splitting one liners. But the narrative still has time to be sweet and find heart."

Green Park Hotel is Not a Gay Bar!

At Green Park Hotel last night my friend Gerald was accosted by a hostile lesbian named Ashley because he had walked by and said to her, "Hi Lesbian!" He didn't say it meanly, and but she ran over all erupted, "I'm the manager and I can kick you out for that!" Which is the role of a manager, right? Managers exist to snap and escalate non-situations.

Gerald told her he meant no offense but she carried on. "How would you like it if I walked by you and said Hi Faggot!?" Gerald said he wouldn't care. It's a gay bar. "This is not a gay bar!" returned Ashley.

Green Park is a mixed bar, sure, and it was a lot gayer a couple years ago when it was cooler - with an outdoor patio that no longer exists. But looking around it's still pretty gay with its clientele; its listings in the Star Observer and SX magazines which are stacked in the corner... so I ask her, "What do you mean this is not a gay bar?" Ashley spits, "We don't call it that because it would scare away everyone else," an answer that sounds disingenuous, like a closeted celebrity or a cagey politician.

Gerald apologized and she left. But I went over to the bar and took a photo because I'd like to help publicize her marketing message. 
Ashley's ready to rumble
Ashley came right back over and declared we were all kicked out and, "Why did you take my photo?!" I turned and said, Because I'm going to blog about you.

Then she had her man-servant push and shove us out of the not-gay bar. Why oh why are certain lesbians so militant? It must be exhausting. And penis envy... must be excruciating!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

I ❤ This!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Little Kim's Reign of Terror

Bam’s reading Escape from Camp 14 and relating to me the story of Shin Dong-Hyuk, the only person ever known to have escaped the brutal North Korean labor camps. Born in the gulag, he wasn’t even aware of the outside world until he met a knew inmate who told him about it – in a scene I imagine like that old dude in Count of Monte Cristo who told the hero about hidden treasure. 
Too bad, unlike Count of Monte Cristo, Dong-Hyuk isn’t able to exact any revenge. In the camps, he was raised to snitch and witness regular executions, including those of his mother and brother. He endured torture with coals, a finger chopped off, starvation and it’s all just so intensely hectic. I like this word, hectic. South Africans use it in place of awful or unbearable. “Did you hear Josh was murdered?” one might tell another and the response, “Hectic!” which to me spins an atrocity into something almost surmountable – a quality that people used to facing atrocities must always possess. 

So I haven’t read this book because it all just makes me angry. Angry that this goes on, and angry that we so often think we know what evil looks like, that it wears a hoodie, a swastika or hides in a swamp. When most of the time, it lurks in your kindly-looking, chubby Asian great-aunt Kim Jong-Il. 

Curiously, when this totalitarian tyranny began with Jong-Il’s father, Kim Il-Sung, he fashioned a new religion. In the early 50’s, he borrowed Christian metaphors for himself and then banned Christianity so there was no competition. Their calendar starts on the day of his birth (they are now in year "Juche 101"), as our calendar starts on the year of Christ’s birth. Together with his son and successor, they are “father and son” and children are indoctrinated from nursery school to worship this divine duo (check out this curriculum!). Their new cult even rips off “original sin”.

And check out this Sunday School-ish propaganda:
Jesus Kims love the little children!
I wonder how much of this people actually believe? Just as you can never underestimate the stupidity of the American voting public, you can never underestimate the ability for otherwise intelligent people to be easily, readily, often joyfully conned. Some man (because it’s always a man) says “I’m the prophet” “I am God” “There were golden tablets, I swear!” and people bow down before L Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ. And Kim Jong-Il? It's not far-fetched because it's all far-fetched!

Sure it's different in North Korea because if you admit to unbelieving, you get tossed in a work camp and same goes for the rest of your family. There are over 200,000 people living, starving and dying in these camps, (have you google-earthed them?) If only North Korea had oil we would have crashed that party long ago. Speaking of evil regimes, maybe there is a hell? Can you imagine dying and having your heart donated to one Dick Cheney!? Who else is reconsidering organ donation? 

Rachel Maddow’ has a book out – “Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power” which talks about how the founding fathers cautioned against unnecessary war, that it would be the downfall of the nation, and yet how the USA today has come to be at peace with perpetual war. I suppose constant war is a reflex of fear, as is religion, and both exploit fear to great effect. 

So how do you liberate concentration camps while combatting fear and war and self-appointed gods? If nothing else, you can talk about it, write about it, make people aware about it. Because while silence gives a free pass to free reign, exposure makes it just a little bit harder for hectic things to thrive.