Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Confederacy of Dunces

You know one of those books that's always on the periphery, that you've heard recommended but never quite got round to picking it up? A Confederacy of Dunces finally landed in my lap - and at first I wished it hadn't! I wasn't jibing with the humor, it felt alien, and the protagonist, Ignatius J Reilly, is utterly repulsive. He's the definitive anti-hero: a gluttonous, massive, lazy, deluded, pompous, unemployed 30-year old who lives with his mother (who he mistreats).

Yet when given an opportunity to reveal itself, the alien can expose you to a fascinating new worldview. So it was with Ignatius and this book. His mother forces him to get a job, and as Ignatious goes through a series of misadventures in employment, staging abortive coups, revolutions, belching, writing manifestos and railing against the machine, society, manners, decency (you can see why I'm liking this), even his anarchist, absent girlfriend Myrna Minkoff (the Minx), and most of all his mother Irene. He's constantly complaining about his "valve", the latest hideous offense "Fortuna" has wrought upon him, brandishing a cutlass and enlisting a calvacade of characters to his cause - my favorite being half-wit elderly Miss Trixie, who calls him Gloria. More than anything, Ignatius is written with deft, scathing, ultimately wholesome innocent humor.

The path to its publication is an extraordinary one. Its author, John Kennedy Toole, committed suicide at 31 (reportedly because he couldn't get this published). It was only through the perseverance of his mother, who shopped the manuscript around, that A Confederacy of Dunces, written in the 60s, was published in 1980 - going on to win the Pulitzer in 1981.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Lovin'

I'm very excited to announce my Fire Island comedy Half-Share has come in top 10 across all cable markets for HERE! Television!
If you'd like to see more Half-Share, please let HERE! TV know what you think by messaging them here at this link. Sean and I had a lot of support and creatives involved who would love to see this take off. If you haven't seen the hilarity, rent, buy or stream Half-Share from just $1.99. We also got a nice mention in this month's DNA magazine. I wonder how that happened!?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Running The Hunter

Look how pretty Newcastle is in the dead of winter. 

 Gerald, his brother Mark and I headed up there for the winery 10K "fun" run. 

...But not before tearing through town. Dinner at Darby street, and then onto Unity nightclub - wherever that was! A taxi dropped us off here on the train tracks. Gerald and Mark got out of the car and gave me the jesseonthebrink... what fresh hell is this look. 

But the best part was getting back to our hotel, Noah's. We crashed a "Christmas In July" corporate event with a band, booze, and large ladies wearing taffeta. The "financial controller" pegged us quickly as not with the company (what gave us away?) and they kicked us out, wagging fingers and snatching glasses out of our hands (not before we pounded them). NOT the Christmas in July spirit!

Waking up at the crack of dawn was not pretty. Somehow we didn't make the dip in the convict built ocean pool I had sworn we were going to do...
 But the course was calling. It could have been worse, as there was a marathon option. The Hunter Valley 10K was an ideal (although Gerald kept threatening to do the 5K walk/run "Winery Wander") and it was a beautiful day.
The course had more hills than the Adirondacks and though I actually like hills, not having trained for months means it takes a lot longer to recover from them.
The views were spectacular, however, and thanks to my father being a distance coach.. I'm better the longer I go. I started to hit my stride after the 5k mark. Did a horrendous time of :45 but came in 29th, beating all the grannies, kids and was 20 minutes ahead of these two who phoned it in together!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Who Wants To Come In My Room?

I got a glory hole cubicle named after me at Signal Sex Club. Yes darlings, I have ARRIVED.

For those who think I had to... work my ass off for such an honor, I didn't! I just asked the friendly manager Matt what it would take to get my name hanging on a door in that illustrious establishment. He said it would be no problem and he'd make my dreams come true if I brought him a name plate. Since my name isn't popular in Australia, I enlisted Gerald who was traveling to the US. I got a text message from him in NY that warned he had found the perfect sign:

How exciting to have my name associated with furtive orgasm. "And shame," says Gerald.
For context, Jesse's room at Signal.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crowd Funding: Do The Right Thing

I'm also excited about Jesse Matheson's new arts magazine THE FEED. He threw a launch party at protohub last Saturday for the crowd-funded first issue of his fabulous quarterly. When's the perfect time to start a new print publication? When nobody else is! Jesse and his creative friends realized they were already writing for free, so why not put their efforts into their own magazine? Read the most engaging stories on fashion, travel, arts, and why cinema needs more robots... in The Feed!
Jesse will be on my radio show, Gay Panic, this Thursday at 7:30pm. Yes, that show is still rocking the airwaves on 2SER 107.3, so tune in for all that glitters PLUS the latest on my co-host Jack Crane's sexual misadventures.

Sick of filling up landfills and contributing to the plasticization of the oceans? Support DIZM eco-eyewear - they're high performance (coming at you direct from the surf capital Hermosa Beach), super stylish, meant to last in outdoor action and made from cellulose acetate which is renewable, recyclable and compostable plant-based material - and not petroleum. 
The best part is, they're manufactured by my friends so please support their crowdfunding campaign here and get onto all those perks! You can also check it out on my blog's right margin. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why I'm Not A Christian

Sexy singer/songwriter Steve Grand went from virtually unknown to viral with his country song video for "All-American Boy", about unrequited love. It's touched and captivated thousands, and blown up the internet racking up over a million views on youtube in just over a week.

Steve is a former cover boy for a magazine I write for, DNA.
Click here to back order issue #127 for his 10-pager!

In an interview with Good Morning America, Steve mentioned how when he came out in 8th grade, his parents put him into an ex-gay conversion program. He survived that destructive nonsense, and in coincidental (great) news, Exodus International, the largest and most insidious of Christian ministries which calls gay a sickness and dedicated itself for 37 years to "praying away the gay" shut down and offered a sweeping apology to the LGBT community last month.

Its President, Alan Chambers, issued a lengthy apology for the harm he's responsible for. He said, in part, "More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection.  I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives."

Chambers is married with two children and admits he will never overcome his same-sex attractions. I applaud Chamber's announcement, and the courage that took because surely he's getting it from both sides - and not in a good way. His followers are enraged with his betrayal, and the gay community says apology is not enough after the harm he's done. Chambers is married with two children and admits he will never overcome his attraction to other men. I feel sorry for someone confined in his belief system, unable to live freely. I feel more sorry for his wife. But how can you feel sorry for people who trap themselves? 

It's always curious to me when Christians decide they should love others unconditionally - basically, being decent human beings (which you certainly don't need god for) is a kind of a major revelation for them. It's like they have to climb down from this lofty cloud, through a veil of dogma to be decent towards others which at that point is hailed as some kind of achievement. In actuality, it's the godless golden rule you should have learned in kindergarten.   

I remember a girl in college, a devout Christian, who was very sweet and well-intentioned. There was a homeless woman, Connie, always hanging outside our dorm asking for money and clothes, and this girl was trying to minister to Connie and Connie was rather receptive to conversion if it would improve her circumstances. The girl ended up giving Connie a bunch of her clothes. A very Christian thing to do, right? A week later, the girl runs into Connie who asks for more clothes. "But I just gave you some clothes last week, where are they?" Connie gave a rambling answer and the girl realized Connie had sold those clothes for money - money which was probably used for alcohol and drugs!

The girl related this story to me, sharing how she gave those clothes with the expectation Connie needed them to wear but Connie had lied to her. After thinking it over long and hard she came to the conclusion she should love Connie even though she had lied; that it didn't matter what Connie did with the clothes as she should be giving them unconditionally. The whole time she's explaining this, I'm thinking: you actually have to think about this? I mean, double DUH.

Thank you for shutting down your evil ministry, Mr. Chambers. But this is precisely why I'm not a Christian.

Thursday, July 11, 2013