Archives for category: Film

Birthday Cake 2014

 

They had the complexion of wealth, that white complexion that is heightened by the pallor of porcelain, the sheen of satin, the luster of fine furniture, and is kept in perfect condition by a moderate diet of exquisite foods.  Those who were beginning to age seemed youthful, while those who were young had a certain look of maturity. Their faces wore that placid expression which comes from the daily gratification of the passions; and beneath their polished manners one could sense the special brutality that comes from half-easy triumphs which test one’s strength and flatter one’s vanity.

Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

It’s a hot and humid morning in NYC. Tompkins Square Park is dripping.  The dog walkers are melting.

We drove from Provincetown yesterday, leaving the pretty streets, the clapboard houses and verdant gardens to Bear Week. Thousands of large, hairy shouldered men smiling and engaging not scowling or isolating like the circuit boys who infested the town two weeks previously during the 4th July celebration.

The past six weeks in Provincetown were, on the whole, a great deal of fun. I met a huge assortment of extraordinary and not so extraordinary people. I saw people I knew from LA and NYC. I met men and women from DC, Nashville and Florida. Mostly enjoying their week off, some of them… not so much.   Americans get so few vacations.

The A gays who live in Provincetown were kind and considerate.  They have beautiful homes and make them readily available to those they trust.

The extraordinary designer Ken Fulk has restored a perfect gem of a house in The East End where I was privileged to spend the 4th July and then see photographed by famed society doyenne Douglas Friedman for Elle Decor.  Editor Robert Ruffino scampering around arranging flowers wearing his Florentine winkle pickers.

The walls are the color of raspberry mousse, the windows frames and architrave painted chocolate-brown.

 

My birthday dinner:  an anonymous donor very kindly paid for.

I really didn’t know anyone very well at my party, except Michael Goff and Michael Cunningham.  So when it came to making my speech, after the candle was snuffed, I said: “I don’t know any of you at all… but this delightful group of strangers came together to celebrate the birthday of another stranger… and with such magnanimity it brings tears to my eyes.”

The following day I told someone from the party that I had no intention of making friends with him beyond Provincetown because our friendship could only flourish on the Cape.  He looked a little perplexed but one has to be realistic.  When we return to the city a tsunami of gay gossip will drown the truth and ones expectations will be dashed.

Michael Cunningham

The utterly adorable Michael Cunningham (who I had known previously through Amelia Rizo) made a necklace for my birthday.  We sat in his exquisitely decorated water front home, surrounded by magnificent art, picking out trinkets for a silver chain.  I had a moment of unrestrained excitement as I realized that a Pulitzer Prize winning author, writer of The Hours, was making me a birthday present with his bare hands.  He continued, throughout my stay, to delight and engage.  We discussed Emma Bovary.   We… of a certain age, share the same literary starting blocks… but he won the race.

We talked about Neil Bartlett‘s beautiful book Who Was That Man.  Required reading for any young gay.

There were many occasions these past weeks when I noticed how relaxed I was, at peace, living in my own body, inhabiting the life I have rather than the life I thought I wanted.   There were, of course, other occasions when a face from the past popped into view and caused momentary consternation.  The vile, blond publicist from NYC.  Or the ex boyfriend who cycled around town with his thin calves and sad eyes.  I ignored the ex and engaged with the publicist who sat in his chair, unable to keep and love another man because of his crippling narcissism.

I met Jim Lande, producer of the hit burlesque/freak show Audition and talked about his flawed film: Love is Strange directed by Ira Sachs.  Shown at The Provincetown Film Festival this beautifully shot and directed film promises so much but fails to deliver… relying on coincidence and melodrama.  The film lacks any real emotion.  Two old gay married men separated by circumstance and bad choices.  Could have been brilliant but… wasn’t.

I kept away from the drag shows and the theatrical events but I saw Ryan Landry‘s inventive and surreal Pantomime: Snow White and The Seven Bottoms which reminded me of Charles Ludlam.  Go see this if you can.

Jim Lande

I spent a great deal of time chatting with the adorable Andrew Sullivan and his husband Aaron Tone. The gays, on the whole, are openly hostile to Andrew, they accuse him of being a ‘traitor to the gays’ because he aggressively posits an alternative view. Our politics couldn’t be more different yet we agreed about so much, mainly our loathing of powerful lobby groups like AIPAC, GLAAD and the HRC.  I found him to be gracious and engaging.

 

Andrew told fascinating stories about his private dinners with President Obama, his short-lived stay in NYC, the history of his three-legged dog. We sat outside The Wired Puppy coffee shop on Commercial Street where I witnessed at first hand the disdain the gays show him and the delight straight people have… in equal measure.

The white gays may never understand his POV because by now they think they rule the world.

Andy Towle

I spent time with Michael Goff and Andy Towle in town to promote their site towleroad.com, we greeted the first of the bears at the dock with 20 drag Goldilocks who boasted that they had eaten all the porridge.  We sat in their charming house and ate whatever they had in their fridge.  We took my friend Caroline Reid to a Bear-B-Q, Caroline is cult performer PamAnn.  We took her to more bear events where she was the only woman.   Her fans adore her.

Andy Towle, Caroline Reid and Michael Goff

And that was that.  There were other amusing people to play with who I haven’t mentioned.  There were less amusing people who I hope I never see again.

Thanks Provincetown and… adieu.

 

calming reeds

After the Solange/Jay-Z/Beyonce/Bodyguard family fight in the elevator of The Standard Hotel  (after the very glamorous Met Ball) I hear, from a friend who works at the hotel, that a perfectly innocent person was accused of selling the video to TMZ … and fired.

A statement made by all persons in the elevator during the inciting incident explained that it was a private ‘family matter’ and would remain so.

Then, amazingly Whoopi Goldberg… who has become a kind of wise, day-time-TV Maya Angelou lite sage (speaking slowly to underline the import of everything she says) wades balls deep into the soupy narrative.  Her conclusion?  That if you get hit by anyone you should be able to hit them back.

Huh?

I wondered why Whoopi wasn’t commending Jay-Z for his dignity and restraint?  Because one thing is certain… if Jay-Z had hit Solange in the face and broken her jaw Whoopie would be leading the deafening chorus of disdain for those men who hit women.

So, Whoopi, if Jay-Z had retaliated… how hard should he have hit Solange?  I’m wondering what the appropriate retaliation would be for a man hitting an angry woman whilst she is being held by his bodyguard?  Knock her out maybe?  So she no longer poses a threat?

Whoopi thinks STAND YOUR GROUND is a very good idea.  Well, we all know where that leads.  Trayvon Martin.

Let’s remind Whoopi what we are supposed to do if we are attacked… Whoopi, we don’t smack them in the face… we call the police… that’s what they’re there for.  That’s why we pay our taxes .

Didn’t Whoopi learn anything from The Color Purple?

Cherry Blossom

I wonder if Michael Alig hated the movie Party Monster as much as I did?

I wonder if someone at Fenton Baily’s World of Wonder who filmed Alig’s ‘reactions’ whilst he watched the docudrama about himself… paid him?  I can’t imagine that he won’t be on Fenton’s payroll before the year is out, just like his friend and the gay douche James St. James… who I was once bored to meet in LA with Ian Drew.

Meanwhile, the soggy Michael Musto pretends Alig is a very bad man yet seems secretly in awe, unable to stop writing about him.   There are articles about Alig everywhere in the gay press.  Of course, The Gay Voices section in The Huffington Post want his ‘opinion’ about EVERYTHING.

The gay frenzy around Alig’s release from prison is beyond macabre.  What does Michael Alig think about the progression of gay rights?  What does Alig think about the overturn of DOMA?  Does he have an opinion about the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?

Am I crazy?  This murderer gets out of jail. A murderer who dismembers another gay man and we ask his opinion about DOMA?

For those of you who don’t know Michael Alig… and there are many… Michael Alig (born South Bend, Indiana, April 29, 1966) is the co-founding member of the Club Kids, a group of young club goers led by Alig and his long-time best friend James St. James in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1996, Alig pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Andre “Angel” Melendez  in a confrontation over a drug debt.

If Michael were a straight, white guy getting out of jail for killing and dismembering another man… would other straight people be fascinated by what he had to say about… the Affordable Care Act?  Mind you, if he was a black man… we wouldn’t ever hear his opinion about anything… because he would still be in jail, convicted of first degree murder rather than the white man’s sop… manslaughter.

It’s so exciting to have him home in New York City!  Let’s read more about Michael Alig in Vanity Fair!  Imagine what it must be like to be free after 17 years!  Everything’s so incredibly different!  Here… play with this.  It’s called a smart phone.  These are ‘apps’.

Michael Alig tweet his fans.  Michael looks at Manhattan as he crosses an unnamed bridge into the city and has a moment of trepidation .   Did he remember dumping Angel’s body into the East River?  Alig drinks Starbucks and eats Arctic Char.  He scarcely seems like a man who would murder and dismember another gay man as he eloquently discusses fish seasoning.

Later, Michael forgets to take a shower because no one is telling him to wash.  It’s ‘amusing’ to see Michael use Grindr for the first time and wonder if and when he hooks up… will he tell his on-line fancy… the truth?  Will he conceal his true identity?  The truth about his murdering and dismembering past… huh?  Are you kidding?  Nobody tells the truth on Grindr.  A world of wonder… indeed.

“Michael you’re my hero.”  The young gays squeal on social media.  ‘We still love you!’  ‘You helped me become the man I am today.’  The elder ones tweet:  ‘You made me true to myself.’

Michael Alig has become our best, brightest and newest gay celebrity.  Hankering for a second chance in a country that loathes giving second chances to anyone.   He will become a living legend, his gay apotheosis assured by Fenton Baily and Michael Musto who may make fortunes from Alig’s gruesome celebrity.   Nor must we forget Ramon Fernandez, director of the upcoming documentary Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig, he too expects to win big riding on Alig’s murder and mayhem.

No doubt Alig will be invited to GLAAD events, his crimes diminished by celebrity and pithy comments about hetero normative gay life… he will champion individuality,  he will sit at The World of Wonder table with Ru Paul.  He will work tirelessly for the HRC.

Michael Alig will be loathed and loved in equal measure when in fact… he should be totally ignored.

2.

Meanwhile, a truly talented filmmaker kills himself.  Malik Bendjelloul, director of Oscar winning film Searching for Sugar Man.  When I heard it, your personal story moved me.  It’s tough to be a star.  I know what you went through.  I was there for a moment too.  Same age.  It’s very disconcerting, all that attention after years of solitude.  Making art in a vacuum… then Hollywood comes calling with their lies and false promises.

Two different tales, different intentions.  Two very different filmmakers.

Fenton Baily and Ramon Fernandez add a miserable, self indulgent post script to a stark and soulless documentary making themselves more money from the death and dismemberment of a brown man… no doubt delighting other soulless white people… whist you dear Malik made an inspiring documentary that touched the hearts of many and was so deserving of the international acclaim it received.

Sometimes it seems like a shit, shit world.  A world where people like a gay drug addict and murderer Michael Alig get all the attention on exactly the same day a brilliant man like Malik Bendjelloul ends his own life.

Rest in Peace.

There is a moment when you know it’s over.  That his proximity disgusts you.   That no amount of love can disguise what was or what could be.   These photographs were taken at the moment, the moment I knew for sure.  The fast train to Paris from Cannes.  A beautiful boy sat opposite me and I wanted to ravish him.  I couldn’t wait to say goodbye to the loved one.  Yet, I knew, the moment we parted I would not stop thinking of him. From the moment I woke up to the moment I fell into a fitful sleep.  Gone, the door slammed.   He was dead to me long before I made it impossible for him to do anything but take drastic measures.  It was the worst kind of grief because nobody died…

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Bryan Singer

Most of you know there is little love lost between me and gay Hollywood… the gay establishment, our unelected leaders, our taste makers and moral guides… or lack of them.   From Chad Griffin (who now claims to be the Rosa Parks of marriage equality) at the HRC to the bullying tactics of gay mafia org Glaad I have made my voice heard and paid the price.

During the last year I have had death threats and put up with the gay rumor mill distorting facts about me.   So, today, old acquaintance Bryan Singer finds himself in my world… the shadowy world of innuendo, accusations, smears, allegations and (unlike me) the hard to remove stains of rape and pedophilia.

The gays are springing to his defense.  The boy was 17.  Old enough to know better.  Old enough to say no.  Well, as we all know, whether it is Jerry Sandusky or Bryan Singer power and prestige can be very alluring to a damaged soul and let’s face it… many young gays are very damaged.  It’s difficult to say no if you think saying yes will change… everything.

Dorian Gray was a damaged soul.  Just a boy.  Would he give in to love… or power and prestige?  We all know the answer.

Duncan. Unknown, Brandon Boyce, Bryan Singer Fire Island

I first met Bryan on Fire Island 20 years ago.  He stayed at our house with Brandon Boyce and some eager young twink.  Latterly I stayed with him in Hollywood, and we have kept friendly but distant ever since.  When I was arrested he (and his friends) delighted in my jail time* and made snide comments about me getting into trouble.  Their arrogance, like most sexually unmanageable people, was legion.

Bryan and I have discussed his boy obsessions and sex tourism. We have discussed his prescription drug addiction.  We have discussed his drinking problem.  We have discussed his point that it is useless to know anyone socially unless there is a sexual point.

Today Bryan finds himself at the center of a roiling  sex scandal.  It is of his own making.  Everyone one knew… but no one said a word.  Young boys on his arm, on his set, at dinner with equally vile boy obsessed Hollywood grandees… the lamentable Adam Press, the teen dating Dustin Lance Black.

If you want to get on in Hollywood straight or gay… you better learn how to please the directors and producers you meet at drug fueled, drink sodden gay parties.

Of course, when someone cries foul, the gays think it is the victims ‘fault’.  They have played victim for so long.

Somebody suggested to me this morning that it was ‘homophobic’ of those accusing Bryan of rape.  No, it’s not homophobic to accuse someone of rape, it’s homophobic to forcibly sodomise someone.

Bryan’s close friends include Guy Shalem (Jane Lynch’s red carpet plus one), Transformers Producer Tom DeSanto and Teen Wolf director Toby Wilkins.  Finding themselves on private jets, at Elton John’s Oscar party and vast Hollywood mansions overlooking Los Angeles.  They are surrounded by a stable of beautiful young boys.  They are delighted to be included.  It’s always so much fun.  Bryan can make anything happen.  He has so many cool toys.

Bryan films a group of eastern european ‘barely legal’ porn performers ejaculating over him… then shows the video to who ever wants to see.   Many do.   Bryan audaciously dresses as a catholic priest for Halloween, amusing his friends with his ‘ironic’ choice of costume.  Bryan loses his Ferrari in The Beverly Center parking lot and has a panic attack.  He drives with the parking attendant in a golf buggy until he locates the car.

Amy Berg, the Oscar nominated documentary maker has been researching predators like Bryan for the past two years.  Her explosive documentary about sexual misconduct in Hollywood will blow the lid off  those who perpetrate these heinous sex crimes and those in power (sex therapists, law enforcement, prosecutors and the judiciary) who collude with wealthy pedophiles and rapists to keep their sex crimes secret.

This story is no longer just one lone victim brave enough to tell the truth about Bryan Singer.

I like Bryan Singer and rather than sneer at him (as he did me) I am hopeful that someone is keeping a seat warm for him at a Sex Addict meeting where he will find solace and understanding from many other ‘important’ Hollywood men who have fallen from grace whilst arrogantly thinking they could get away with what ever they pleased, when ever they wanted, regardless of price or consequences.

As we shall see.  There are always consequences.  Even for Bryan Singer… and his ilk.

From an earlier blog:

So, this beautiful teenager arrives at a party I’m at last week in the Hollywood Hills.   Fresh off the boat.  He’s beautiful.  He has a fresh, open face…his pale skin is flawless.

Boy

He hadn’t been in Hollywood for longer than a month but already he’s on the arm (unwittingly) of a so called LA ‘producer‘ who, it seems, has immediately pimped the boy out to the head of programming for a popular music network.  The no name, no hope LA producer pimping the boy out… so that he might curry favor with the TV grandee.  Just to be clear… the same LA producer hires young boys to ‘read scripts’ so he has access to their young boy world.

The whores and the pimps and the fairies…

The network head ain’t no beauty. He looks like Dobby from Harry Potter.

So the good looking kid arrives and he tells me that he’s working in NYC with an equally scummy NYC ‘producer’ who always has some starstruck kid on his arm.  The NYC producer looks like he has downs syndrome, he looks like his teeth are too big for his fat, useless head. He looks like he’s wearing a wig but the fringe ain’t deep enough to cover the alcohol bloat, the never was visage.  He was a bullied kid at the expensive school his mother sent him to… signed him up the moment she heard the sperm had hit the egg.

Both of these producers have one thing in common: they have loads of inherited money and never produced anything.

David

They might have their names attached to invisible projects, they might have inveigled their way into the production meeting of some meaningless movie, thrown a little cash behind an artless indi. But, they ain’t never winning no awards, they ain’t never been invited to no Sundance, Berlin or Cannes.  They’ll go anyway, keeping their mouths shut to those who matter and lying to those who don’t.

Should I tell you who they are?

No.

So I’m keeping my head down. I’m not saying a word. I’m instagramming the bar man, I’m already elsewhere…waiting for something real to happen.   Dobby (the music TV network head) shows the man I’m standing with his very smart, smart phone. He’s so excited. There are hi def pictures and video of the same wide eyed teenager at Dobby’s huge house wearing just…a towel.   Yes. The kid is wearing a towel around his waist, his perfectly sculpted body on full view and standing beside him is another, equally cut young teen.

Two young boys.

The inference? You don’t need me to explain this to you do you?

So I take this kid to one side and I ask him if he’s gay? He’s not. I ask him what he thinks of the network head showing everybody his new naked body to anyone the network head needs to impress.

‘They are good guys.’ he reassures me.

No, I say…they are anything but good guys.

You know, all he wants (this kid) is a job, a chance, an opportunity, the dream of celebrity…freedom. He can almost taste it. He knows that these men make all the difference.

His desire for a better life is palpable.  He’ll drink the drinks. Undress, get into the hot tub.

You know, I love beauty. I love it. Look, I’m surrounded with beauty.  My ex-friend might say, oh your just jealous. You’re just jaded because you want what they’ve got,  Believe me, I do just fine. But on terms that do not compromise my integrity.

Would I show random strangers the body of some boy who stands feet from me? Knowing that those artless, semi pornographic images suggest that we are more than just…innocent friends?  The network head winks, smiling…dribbling over the screen on the smart phone.  Dobby’s nose is dripping from undisclosed snorting.

He says, without saying anything: That teen boy…the boy with the perfect abs. He’ll do anything..because he thinks I’m going to get him a role, find him an agent…make him the next teen sensation. LOL.

LAUGHING OUT LOUD!

He lets seasoned Hollywood gays believe that this boy will do just about anything to get on.  Dobby wants you to believe he fucked the boy. Dobby is powerful. Dobby can get whatever he wants. Even the virgin ass of a young boy fresh off the boat. Particularly… the young ass of the boy standing feet away from us, oblivious that he is now the victim of rank objectification and intrigue.

Proud to be gay? Not today.

So I wrote a short email to the NYC ‘producer’ guy. I told him what was going on with his protege. He wrote back immediately…he thought it was hilarious. I reminded the fat, vodka marinated, creep…that the boy…has parents.

P.S.

* For those of you who want to know why I was in jail and why I am currently suing LA County:  my civil rights lawsuit arises from the fact that I was unlawfully held in the Los Angeles County jail for 85 days, in violation of my constitutional right to post bail. (I was a pretrial detainee and eligible to post bail yet the jail did not allow me to post bail). I was denied the opportunity to post bail because U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had issued an immigration hold (sometimes referred to as an “ICE hold”). An immigration hold is a request from ICE to hold a detainee so that ICE can look into their immigration status; it doesn’t mean the person has violated immigration laws or even that ICE has probable cause to believe they’ve violated immigration laws. At the time of my arrest, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department routinely denied bail to pretrial detainees with immigration holds, which is illegal under California and federal constitutional standards. Since the filing of my lawsuit, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department discontinued this practice and now permits pretrial detainees with ICE holds to post bail.

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Jacob Brown and Andrew Durbin

1.

Yesterday the HRC hijacked another celebrity coming out to further their own white, elite agenda.  Shame on you Chad Griffin.

So, Ellen Pagecomes out‘ with Chad at her side and (as scripted) is immediately hailed as ‘brave’ by the neo liberal media for telling her truth.  Big fucking deal.  Did Ellen Page come out in Uganda, risking her life?  Did Ellen Page use her power and prestige to help those less fortunate lesbians in other parts of the world who risk being imprisoned or worse for the luxury of telling their truth?  No, she talked about how hard it was for her to crash stereotypes.

Poor Ellen.  My heart bleeds for you.

As more and more celebrities come out it is no longer good enough to expect and prepare for fanfare without their truth becoming a political gesture.   It is not good enough for a celebrity in the free world to expect a ‘small gesture’ toward acceptance to be adequate.

Small gestures need to get bigger.  It is the responsibility of every lgbtq celebrity who comes out to address the disparity between their free lives and their oppressed brothers and sisters else where.  For Ellen Page not to mention Uganda, Russia etc. was willful and selfish.

After all, what did she expect… a fucking medal?  No, all she was doing was safeguarding her job and her position and her fame and fortune.

2.

Party last night at Jacob Brown‘s East Village duplex.  Celebrating his birthday were cute thin people, two old farts… me and the perfectly adorable producer Hunter Hill.   Crowd included (amongst others) the delectable poet Andrew Durbin and former MOCA head honcho Ari Wiseman.

I loved that my controversial green fur hat found favor with this cool, queer crowd.

3.

Valentine’s Day, enjoying my burgeoning relationship.

We decided to have dinner at Isa in Williamsburg.  We’d heard good things and it looked very lively when we passed by this summer.

We popped in at lunch time to make our reservation and the young lady maitre’d dutifully jotted it down, took names and numbers and the promise of a two top.

At 8pm we arrived at Isa.  The booking was lost, we were given the end of a community table under a loud speaker playing the most intrusive music, the waiters seemed to be very eager to process EVERYONE in and out very quickly.

We were asked by 4 separate people if we were sure we didn’t want alcohol.

Anyway, I ordered the rustic tomato soup and the skirt steak.  The soup was ok but served in very small dish.  The skirt steak entree was ghastly.  It was like chewing through a shoe.  A rubber shoe.  I sent it back and the duck special was whisked to our table in its place.  The duck was ok, not very well seasoned, the polenta was soupy and badly prepared and $30.  The tiny dish of $7 brussels sprouts were tepid and badly flash fried leaving most of them untouched by the pan… temperature issues at Isa became an irritating theme.

Our coffee was also cold so I left it.

The staff were the kind of people who try to shame you for making a complaint.  Condescending young people who are used to old people putting up and shutting up.  “Do you think you’ll like the duck better.”  He asked after I sent back the inedible steak… he asked as if I had some sort of learning disability.  No, I’m just past 45 years old.  I can hear and understand just fine.

We attempted to leisurely enjoy our dinner but the waiter was eager to snatch our unfinished dishes, “Still working on that?” they pestered.  YES!!  Leave us alone I wanted to scream but I didn’t.  This was obviously the worst choice for a Valentines dinner.   A total waste of time and money.

Here are some recent moments:

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I didn’t tell you about New Years Eve.  We, DL, LM and I… drove to Cold Springs, Upstate New York to the elegant country house of ace fashion PR Kelly Cutrone.

A beautifully decorated cottage, marquee in the garden, 3 delicious courses for dinner including wild Salmon and filet mignon served by charming staff.

Amongst Kelly’s 50 plus amusing friends included the delightful director Lloyd Kramer and his wife.  Lloyd directed Liz and Dick with Lindsay Lohan.   We swapped bad actress horror stories.  He told me about her and I told him about Liz Hurley.  You should have been the fly on the wall.

After dinner we all watched a wonderful firework display.

Anyway, here are the pics and vid from that night:

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I felt both overwhelmed and liberated in 2013.  Simultaneously.

I spent the past few hours un-subscribing from 100 mailing lists from whom I receive emails begging for money.  All perfectly decent causes, gun control, black theatre, saving the ocean, climate control, Unicef, the world wildlife fund, democratic causes, mercy for animals, slow money…

I un-subscribed from cook shops, travel companies, furniture stores and fashion lines.  I spent a few moments each day erasing my name from the lists I added myself in the hope of being better informed, no more Gawker or Huffington Post or the Daily Beast.

It was an odd year.  It was unusually diverse.  I continued writing my film tho I stopped talking about it.  I met thieving producers and film industry liars.  I spent time with weed smoking Susan Sarandon in the back of her ping-pong club.  

Away from the film I travelled to Martha’s Vineyard, to Des Moines and over the Rocky Mountains.   I travelled by car all over America.  Los Angeles to New York and back again… three times.  I was constantly surprised by American kindness whenever I found it.  

I fell in and out of love with AA.  In and out of love with the gays tho… mostly out of love.

We are presently finalizing our divorce.

During the past months I began a strange adventure with a young man who I tentatively call my boy friend.  I began to dream again… of better things… even though I am still cautious and burned.  Erring toward single at all times.

I wrote a great deal but never published a word of it.

I wrote indignant things like this…

I am queer.  They are gay.  They are white and affluent.  They want to get married and join the army.  They want to assimilate.  That’s what they say.

When you question them… when you ask them what assimilation looks like… they still want to keep gay pride, gay bars, gay apps, gay film festivals, gay morality.

They want the gay section in the bookshop, the ‘gay voice’ section in The Huffington Post.  They don’t really understand what assimilation looks like because most of them are too comfy not assimilating.

He said, “This is all about your internalized homophobia.” I smiled.  “It’s not internalized, it’s externalized.”

One can devote ones life to betrayal.  Betrayed by parents, family members, institutions, schools, by loved ones even the country of ones origin.  I have felt a smidgen from all of the above.  Yet, I forgave my family, my school, the class system, my beloved country.

Because I wanted to be free.

I huffed and puffed about the NSA, I applauded Glen Greenwald and Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowdon.  I stopped worrying about who could read whatever I was writing privately or which ever websites I was wacking to because there is nothing private.  Not any more.

I met literary heroes on Fire Island like Andy Tobias and had breakfast with John Walters, I spent sultry nights on Cape Cod.  I started Anger Management classes and enjoy them tremendously.

My counsellor asks things like, “Where in your body to you feel the anger first?”

I began to identify the genesis of my anger and feelings of uncomfortability.  It usually starts with a demand for money from a worthy cause.  A picture or video of a screaming rabbit as it is having it’s fur pulled off or a pile of euthanized dogs waiting to be incinerated.

It was the hopelessness that infuriated me, the cruelty, the stupidity, the hypocrisy.

I came to conclusions in 2013.  That I do not, have never had, am not interested in… A CAREER!   Careers, I realized, are… for other people.  For those who may be interested in a legacy.  I stopped calling myself a film maker and started telling people, if they asked, that I do… nothing.

I understood that wherever I found myself both good or bad I was meant to be.  It was all for a reason.  A reason that would one day be revealed to me.  That my life was a series of choreographed moments. The life of a narcissist.  That the cameras I learned to love whilst in the reality show had always been there and had never gone away.

In 2013 I never gave up.  I waited patiently.  I didn’t worry about the future nor was I enslaved to the past.  For this I was grateful.

Occasionally I hankered to go home but knew that after a few days in Whitstable I would find my life shrinking and darkening.  I did not go home.  Though, I spoke more to my Mother this year and was curious about my nieces and nephews.

Finally the JB entanglement came to an end one nondescript day in November.  I wanted to write to him and make amends for the mess I had caused.

But I wrote this instead… it was never sent.

An apology is owed.

I was wrong to lie to you.  I was wrong to lose my temper.  I was wrong to fight you.  I was wrong to have asked for money to be paid when you owed me nothing.  I was wrong to have blamed you for any part of our unhealthy association.  The blame must fall squarely at my feet for everything that went wrong.   The moment you came out I should have politely walked way… I did not.   I was advised by everyone I knew and cared about… to walk away from you but chose to ignore their good suggestion.   I should have thanked you and walked away.  I regret very much that I did not.  I am extremely remorseful.  Due to my weakness of character I initiated a drama that harmed you and caused distress to your family.  I should have walked away.  The moment you told me you were gay.   I know that you are happy now.   I know that your happiness will continue.

It took two years to own up.

2013.  Un-subscribing to websites, making amends, keeping my side of the street clean, owning up, anger management.

Let’s see what 2014 will bring.

As the years pass by, unrelenting, amazing, fulfilling, desperate, happy, sad.

Even though I have filled my homes with art and furniture and friends and the lingering smells of delicious feasts… even though I have made films and plays and paintings…. all I have ever wanted, really craved… was peace of mind.

I’m getting there.  Slowly.  A Happy and Prosperous New Year everyone.

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Tuesday,  a woman I know sent me a revolting picture of a skinned, live puppy attempting to escape a pot of boiling water.

The following email I opened that day was from a friend telling me that the young Olympiad Tom Daley was dating Dustin Lance Black.

The similarities between these two emails far outweigh the differences.

Black, known to his friends simply as Lance has been around my life as long as we have both been making gay films.  Despite how we have been described, Lance and I are NOT friends. Never have been, never will be.

Recently, Lance’s films have fallen by the wayside. His famous friends and perfect Hollywood pedigree can not augment his startling lack of talent.  Despite the luxury of many recuts his film Virginia remains almost unwatchable.  One of his producers told me that Lance cannot and should not direct.

He claims that he loves my British Academy Award nominated film AKA.   Yet, for all his ‘love’ of my work… he and me have never really connected.  I’m not… a) a young blonde boy,  b) a Hollywood grandee,  c) interested.

Like so many gay men in Hollywood he is ruthlessly ambitious.

Lance Black (born to the Morman faith) is an affluent, white, gay man.  I stress this because it defines who he is as a so-called gay activist.

We see each other at gay apartheid (white only) parties in the Hollywood Hills.  I am usually the plus one.

He lives in a nice house on Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood.  It is sparsely decorated.  For all his riches Lance lives a frugal life.  One might say the house lacks imagination which is odd for such an imaginative man.   One of the bedrooms in his humble home is reserved for the two surrogate children he is planning in his not so distant future.

The only fly in the ointment?  He will not have children unless married.  Sadly, his seeming inability (like so many gay men in Hollywood) to keep just one man, a man to marry… the bassinets remain empty.   He is drawn predominantly to much younger gay men.   The subject of child rearing, when discussed, often leads to amicable separation.

It seems that Lance may have found in Tom Daley a young man he can marry who shares his desire for an immediate family.  Let’s wish him all the best and that child-birth comes quickly… he doesn’t want to be an old dad, too old to play football with his young child.

Lance’s pre occupation with a nuclear family is at odds with how I would determine an activist.  But Lance is no ordinary activist.  He passionately wants for all gays to perfectly ape what heterosexuals seem to have.  Nothing less than full integration will do.  He fights vehemently for the gays to participate in the traditionally right-wing institutions of marriage and the military.

He hangs primarily with a gang of affluent white men who share similar mores.

Gay activists like Lance Black were quick to blame California’s African-American voters for the defeat of Proposition 8, the anti gay marriage amendment.  People for the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert, criticized “the speed with which some white gay activists began blaming African Americans—sometimes in appallingly racist ways.”

Black is wedded to right-wing gay organization the HRC who once famously refused to support the rights of trans people then issued a groveling apology.  Not learning from their white gay mistakes the HRC recently silenced the voices of trans and queer undocumented activists outside the Supreme Court during the DOMA Supreme Court decision, again… apologizing after the fact.

The gays at the HRC, it seems,  have a very narrow view of sexuality. The LGBTQ coalition leaves many affluent, white gay men feeling uneasy and confused.   Unsurprisingly, like so many gay men, Lance questions the legitimacy of bisexuality.  A nettle the gays prefer not to grasp…

Read more about the dark practices of the HRC here.

“In recent years, HRC has been working to contradict its former reputation as an organization overly focused on issues of concern to affluent white gay men, combating long-simmering charges of transphobia within the organization.”

When Lance first started calling himself an activist and regularly going to Washington to meet President Obama I bumped into him at Cafe Solar de Cahuenga on Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood.  Solar is a tatty south American coffee shop/restaurant popular amongst young actors and writers within sight and sound of the busy 101 Freeway.

I praised him for his film Milk which he valiantly produced and won an Oscar for writing.  I didn’t ask him about the controversy whirling around the gay gossip vortex in which we are both hapless victims.

Amongst the back stabbing gays his success and authenticity were being questioned.

Hadn’t he stolen the Milk project from another gay producer?  Did he in fact write the script that won him the Oscar?  Some people said that Ron Nyswaner had in fact written the final script that Gus shot?   The gays told me that he took his Oscar everywhere.  That he couldn’t put it down.  They scoffed that he used his power and prestige within the gay community to snare impressionable young boys.   They said that he should have been wearing a condom when he was fucking his ‘boyfriend’ in the infamous shots of Lance with a cock in his ass… if he was at all interested in being an ‘activist’ he should have been wearing a condom.  They said that he should practice what he preached.  They said that the original documentary about Harvey Milk was far better than the film.

Harvey Milk made Lance Black famous.  What Milk would have made of Black personally… I wonder.  What Black would have thought of Milk if he had met him contemporaneously… I wonder.  Milk was a charismatic, bombastic, driven, older jewish man.  Lance channels Milk’s political inclusivity when he claims that all he wants to do is ‘give people hope’, this wholesale appropriation of Milk’s legacy… sticks somewhat in the caw.

Lance hangs with Milk’s contemporary and true activist Cleve Jones.   Lance riding Cleve’s activist coat tails?  Cleve seduced by Hollywood glamour?

What kind of political activist is Dustin Lance Black?

Whilst whistle blower and trans hero Pvt. Chelsea Manning rots in jail, ‘activist’ Lance Black lead the ‘human rights’ charge on The Castro for San Francisco Pride.   SF Pride chose to controversially exclude Manning from the official Pride demonstration in fear of upsetting Pride’s corporate donors.

Back in Hollywood, Lance sits writing on his own in the middle of the coffee shop sipping green tea.  Everyone could see him there.  We talked about British equality legislation fashioned by Waheed Ali.  I told Lance about British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.  He seemed enthralled by Peter’s unique brand of direct action so I organized an introduction.  When the time came for him to meet with Peter… Lance bailed.

I sent a dismissive note.

We didn’t speak again until he started dating a dear friend of mine who was at that time living at my home.

My friend is perhaps one of the sweetest man I know.  Kind, considerate, thoughtful, intelligent, curious and recently out of the closet.  In fact, history repeating itself, my friend came out for Lance.  My friend made the first move.

Knowing that my friend was falling for Lance I tried to stay as impartial as I possibly could.  It didn’t last long.  I was furious.  I was supportive and kind for as long as I could be.  I asked Lance over to the house for his new boyfriend’s birthday lunch.  Lance bailed.

During the next few months of their relationship I watched my friend fall apart.  My friend started therapy.  He was torn and confused and miserable.

At one particular gay pool party Lance rudely left without telling my dear sweet friend that he was leaving. Lance ended up at another Hollywood party, at Roland Emerich’s surrounded by more young boys.

My friend was distraught.

Thankfully, when Lance took my friend to The White House he didn’t bail.  They ran around with Don Lemons stealing Christmas cookies.  They had access all areas.  They hung in the Oval office.  My friend was delighted to see history being made… for affluent white gay people.

I maintained my impartiality.

I have no opinion about Lance and Tom.  Sadly, others do.

Tom Daley is being scolded in the bully chat rooms by the petit bourgeois gays for ‘making the first move’ as if his teenage innocence and delight can be construed as a devious attempt at star fucking.

The British public love Tom Daley and they will not let him get hurt or tangled in anything other than a relationship they deem appropriate.  For the time being they will give Lance Black the benefit of the doubt. I am sure that the British press will keep tabs on Lance.  If he thinks for one gay moment that he can get away with any duplicitous behavior around Tom Daley… he had better think again.

The problem is:  no one expects gay men to have morals, or stick to the rules.  Gay white affluent man have written their own rules and nobody dares question them.  They have become a super elite, their access to the world stage unparalleled.  But with wider acceptability comes broader scrutiny.

Elton John once said in front of me, “10 gay men run the world… and I know all of them.”

Tom Daley is a beloved young British boy.  We may begin to see this corrupt, elite gay world through his teenage eyes.  It is a shadowy world of sexual un-manageability, pedophilia and other unsavory obsessions.

It is not what the elite gays want you to know,  whilst they paint a public picture of themselves that makes them seem… just like you.

Farmers Market

Gay and Lesbian cinema is enjoying a well deserved revival and two very special films are garnering a great deal of post Sundance attention.

Concussion written and directed by Stacie Passon and Kill Your Darlings written by  Austin Bunn and John Krokidas, directed by John Krokidas.

By way of full disclosure, I was once very friendly with John Krokidas who stayed in both my ex boyfriend’s house on Fire Island and our house in London.

The similarities between Concussion and Kill Your Darlings, both opening in NYC this weekend, are legion.

Both are first features by writer/directors in their 40’s, both incredibly accomplished, both fatally flawed during the middle of the third act and both produced by lesbians.  Concussion, produced by the venerable Rose Troche.   Kill Your Darlings,  by equally lauded Christine Vachon.

Thankfully,  both have found their way into the mainstream at a time when the mainstream have developed an appetite for gay and lesbian culture.

After their opening night screening Troche, when asked what had changed for gay and lesbian film since she showed Go Fish at the Angelica twenty years earlier, said, “Social Media.”

We, as gay and lesbian film makers, are no longer so isolated, so dependent on traditional media to get our message to what was once a niche market but has become, due to the marriage equality debate, a broader church.

Kill Your Darlings is a ‘bigger’ film than Concussion.  There is a great deal of Oscar talk around Darlings and film industry infra structure to support that claim.  A period film, a grander stage, a huge cast.  My gay friend who saw it before me called it one of the ‘best films they had ever seen’.

There are flaws in both of these low-budget movies that maybe, with a little extra cash, could have been resolved.

Yet Darlings suffers most for its low budget.

When all is said and done, Darlings is a cold film, lacking substance.   It seems scared of embracing man/man man/boy emotion.  The characters lack depth and focus.  It is a cruel film.  Not least because it deals with a murder.   Yet, the murder only really becomes apparent toward the end.

A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.’

Described thus on IMDB… the film does nothing of the sort.

Before the murder is picked at like an unsightly, syphilitic scab in the middle of the third act Krokidas sets up a youth orientated world where older men are vilified, where young boys (Daniel Radcliff and Dane DeHann) run from party to party, taking drugs, reciting poetry and jacking off .

Young, attractive, sexually ambiguous, entitled, partying college students vaguely remind one of Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisted but sadly… without the wit, subtext or the huge budget.

The two main performances are, on the whole, lackluster.  Yet, every single performance beyond the unrequited lovers are… brilliant.   Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Jason Leigh etc. etc. Brilliant!

Poor Michael C. Hall playing David Kammerer, the soon to be murdered older man, turns up periodically looking forlorn and pathetic in his period coat and beard like a homeless person had wandered onto the set by accident.  Both he and the equally talented Jack Houston are horribly underused and sidelined while the less talented ‘youth’ continue to take drugs and quote Yates.

If Kill Your Darlings had really focused on the murder, the resulting trial and  aftermath this film might have succeeded.  Yet, the backdrop becomes the foreground, the story held hostage by pretentious fluff and circumstance.

Unaware of this compelling murder story before I saw Kill Your Darlings.   I Googled Kammerer, Ginsberg and Carr.

I remembered  William Burroughs coming to my 21st Birthday party.  I began to see how the story had been massaged by Bunn and Krokidas to suit their own 21st Century gay agenda.

How do gay men want to present themselves and our history?

The murderer in Darlings is a bad gay not because he murdered a so called predator (his defense) but because he subsequently got married and had kids and didn’t ‘come out’.

The ‘older man’ is dispensable… worthless… the murder almost… forgivable.

Even though the victim Kammerer was seven years younger than forty-year old Krokidas is now, the writer and director show this character little compassion.  Krokidas directs the audience to incorrectly believe that Kammerer was somehow a much older pedophile rather than a love struck gay man…  that he deserved to die.

One final note.

The spectacle of Daniel Radcliffe being fucked in the ass, his hairy legs forced over his shoulders is perhaps the most daring yet superfluous, unnecessary and redundant scene in the entire movie.  Sadly, it is for what this film will be remembered, which is not what the writers intended.

Both Concussion and Darlings are very white films.  There are no black people at all in Concussion which I found utterly baffling.

Kill Your Darlings has perhaps one of the most racially offensive scenes where Radcliffe and DeHann are the only white faces in a black speak easy imagining what trouble they could cause by manipulating the clientele if they were negro puppets frozen in time.

As a metaphor it was sickeningly on point: this is how white gay Americans treats black gay Americans.

How could this appalling white casting have happened?  Whilst Darlings can use the ‘period’ excuse… Concussion cannot.

The colorless casting issue aside, Concussion, because it seems to comfortably inhabit the parameters of a low budget film is a more accomplished and polished tale.

After a blow to the head, Abby decides she can’t do it anymore. Her life just can’t be only about the house, the kids and the wife. She needs more: she needs to be Eleanor.’

Concussion as described on IMDB only scrapes at the surface of what this ingenious film unpacks.

Concussion’s provenance is by way of the IFP script lab and Sundance Post Production fund.

The delicate performances, elegant settings, this thoughtful and spare film (compassionately told) delighting from beginning to end… well, until mid-way through the third act.

Concussion is Robin Weigert‘s film.  Her performance is sublime.

Weaving interconnecting tales of Suburban and urban lesbian life, an ordinary sexually unsatisfied house wife strays into a world of sexual diversion.  Selling her sexual self to other woman.  It’s as simple as that yet the adventure she chooses becomes our teachable moment.   Those who crave sex over emotion, or emotion over sex.

The questions posited pester long after the film ends.

Films about double lives are always intriguing.  How those two lives collide.  Picking up the children from school juxtaposed with violent images of remembered s and m sex.

Abbey is an interior decorator who is renovating a small apartment in lower Manhattan.  She uses the apartment to meet women who hire her as a sex worker.  After the loft is sold and her secret life revealed a choice has to be made.

Will Abby stay with her wife or move on?

I’m not going to spoil it for you other than to say that the answer gets lost somehow in a melee of loose ends.

Both Concussion and Kill Your Darlings are welcome at a time when almost every Hollywood studio is contemplating larger budget gay themed movies.  Gay film makers must continue to tell stories that use the language and locations of our own lives.   Although I had problems with Darlings it is imperative that these films go on being made.

White,  gay male youth orientated stories have become bankable.  White female middle-aged lesbian movies… not so much.  Powerful white gay men in Hollywood make sure that some gay stories get applauded whilst others (Liberace) are ignored.

The Weekend by Andrew Haigh (Creator of Looking for HBO) although breaching the straight/gay divide was not given the ‘A Gay’ benediction Krokidus is currently enjoying.  The gay men in The Weekend were too old, poor and took public transport… some of the criticisms I heard from the velvet mafia.  The film was consequently marginalized by Hollywood gays.

John Krokidas waited ten years to enjoy the dream of making his movie come true, within that ten years the face of film making, gay film making, distribution and post production have undergone a revolution. The culture, the matrix from which these films are conceived and born has changed beyond recognition.

Krokidas could not have made this film ten years ago.  Nobody was interested in making films like this.

The recently democratized means of production and distribution allow any young (or not so young)  gay film maker the freedom to tell our tales without masking their truth.

For too long gay film makers were advised to turn their back on their own stories for fear of marginalizing their careers.

For those of us who waited, remained tenacious it is maybe too late to find a place at the table.   Yet, I am thrilled for those… like John and Stacie who do.

 

Liberace Scott Thorson

I was asked to direct this movie, or a movie like it, ten years ago.

It was a script based on the autobiography of Liberace’s lover Scott Thorson.

I read the script, I met the producers, I met Michael Keaton who was, at that time, attached to the project.

Now, I don’t remember the script, I don’t remember the producers.

I remember meeting Michael Keaton in an obscure room in Santa Monica. Michael was very quiet, not at all enthused.

I remember asking myself why he would want to make this movie. I remember sharing ideas about performance and parameters.

He didn’t want to do an ‘impersonation’.

Another script about Liberace arrived, a more dynamic, dramatic and excessive script. It piqued my interest.

It began with Liberace’s final moments in the back of a limousine.

Liberace is often damned for claiming he wasn’t gay, for never admitting to his HIV status. That those around him at the end of his life went to extraordinary lengths to hide that he died of AIDS.

Of course, there are still people, (living people) who never admit they are HIV positive.

Such is the shame around HIV and AIDS.

But equally there were many people at the time of Liberace’s death who went to extraordinary lengths to reveal that he died of AIDS.

They exhumed his already buried body to prove their point.

There were too many people eager to shame him. For that’s what they wanted to do. Shame the gay man.

Liberace never said publicly that he was gay. He denied it. Again and again.

I sympathise with his denial. It was his choice, a choice we now condemn.

In these prescriptive times if you are not willing to say you are gay… someone else will.

Liberace was a brand.

Like Posh and Becks.  When David Beckham was caught cheating… they went to extraordinary lengths to protect their brand.

It’s understandable that Liberace lied on oath. He had everything to lose.

In those miserable homo-ignorant times there were plenty who would have delighted and profited from his downfall.

Lonely?

Reading the reviews for this film a theme emerges: Loneliness.

Mary McNamara LA Times: ‘A darkly moving look at two lonely men who briefly found something like love.’

Michael Thornton The Telegraph: The Lonely Liberace I knew.

There are countless other references to this ‘lonely’ man Liberace. His ‘lonely’ mother, his ‘lonely’ boy friend Scott.

Scott was ‘damaged’, Scott was a ‘gold digger’, Scott was a ‘lonely soul’. Scott was ‘played too sympathetically because he’s in jail for burglary’.

It seems like the prophecy of fearful mothers comes to pass in this movie, that their gay sons with end up alone, abandoned, unhappy.

The relationship between Scott and Liberace may seem familiar to any powerful, older man who lets a younger man into his life:

“They establish a bond that is a blend of romantic love, father-son affection, brotherly playfulness, and prostitution.”

Liberace, like Brokeback Mountain before it brings into hard focus the lives and loves of queer men.

There is the obligatory delight and revulsion (in equal measure) of the kissing. Two men kissing.

Two men kissing seems to remind many straight men that a tender intimacy can exist between men and that may very well interfere what they imagine we do.

The gay butt fucking they imagine… immediately… after meeting one another.

Men kissing, like men getting married, seems to inflame the homophobe.

I’m wondering why Steven Soderbergh wanted to make this movie, why a gay director wasn’t chosen?

Did he do it because it seemed like a cool thing to do? A straight man, so comfortable in his own skin that he can work with queer subject matter?

It still feels to me like straight boys (actors and director) getting together to prove a point.

With so many talented and extraordinary gay directors in the world how did this end up being made by a bunch of straight guys?

Was Liberace too difficult and distasteful and potentially divisive for a gay director?

When ever I have stood before a queer audience with my queer films (confirmed by other queer, male directors) the audience who have the most problems are those who want to say: I didn’t see me.

Gay man are desperate to see themselves and their lives as they live them in TV and film. It is perfectly reasonable for them to expect this.

Rather than the gay freak, the gay priest, the comedy gay… they, understandably, want to see themselves fairly represented. They want to see gay detectives, gay wedding crashers, gay teachers, plumbers, gay undocumented workers.

Many reviewers of Liberace: Behind The Candelabra smirk at the foolishness and naivety of the straight women who swooned at this obviously gay man.

I once researched a documentary about fag hags. All the women I spoke to who identified as fag hags felt adored and listened to, appreciated, respected by a man. Even if that man was gay.

Those women provide the clue to Liberace’s denial and downfall.

Liberace wasn’t lonely. He was a performing artist who found solace and validation, like many do, on the stage.

Every night he performed he bathed in the glory of his screaming fans. The unconditional love of his audience.

An adoring audience of many thousands will never be any match for the love of just one man.

I remember saying that to Michael Keaton as I sat there in that small room realizing who Liberace was.

 

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Dawn. So much to be grateful for.

One day, when the storm has past, I will tell you everything. Not just the pretty pictures. Not just the elegant parties.

1.

Saw Premium Rush with John and Valoree Papsidera at a plush private screening room.

An exciting, gritty movie with a huge problem at its core: The bad cop played by Michael Shannon is not really a bad cop… he’s too funny.

So, come the last scene, the conclusion… I was left feeling cheated.

The last scene is terrible.

I did not feel as engaged with the story as one might have hoped.

There were too many chances for the main character Wilee (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to make different sorts of choices. He could have called the police. He could have returned the package. He could have stayed at home.

Great use of New York and great ethnic casting.

2.

Perhaps, like so many people, I am in denial?

It is not far off… the conclusion.

I have had a lingering cold/flu. Sweats.

Script notes arrive and I am loathed to open them, even though I know that they will be good. Brilliant.

How does one turn a life event into a work of fiction? Well, obviously, you have to jettison the truth.

I spent the larger part of yesterday in Venice. My favorite location. Stalking my favorite haunts. It’s like Whitstable. I know so many people. Casual acquaintances. Unlike my home town, where they have known me all my life, their understanding of me is based on what they read.

After the LA Weekly piece they are well aware of what is going on and mask their desire to pry with small talk.

Sometimes I wake up and think I should go to an AA meeting but I’ll wait until I am in another city.

It is the truth: art heals. Remember when I was sick five years ago with my leaky spine? Good God, that was painful.

Convalescing, I stayed with David Philp and his wonderful wife (art critic and broadcaster) Hunter Drohojowska-Philp in their gorgeous Beverly Hills home. She brought beautiful books for me to look at and set art work at the end of the bed.

The pale yellow room designed by Jenny Armit became a temporary sanctuary. Until I was well again.

3.

I had a long chat with an old buddy in London, someone I worked with repeatedly in the old days. A great benefactor.

It’s cold outside and hot inside the house. I open the door and let the mountain in.

The garden, this year, has matured into the garden of my dreams.

Bumped into Drew Pinsky at CNN, we were both sprayed orange for our various TV appearances. He was sweet, as he always is. We hugged and gossiped. He asked if I had read Jennie’s book. I told him that I hadn’t but I’d get around to it sooner or later.

The children make me laugh. I sit with them watching Barbie cartoons and they mock Charlie’s new girlfriend (Charlieissocoollike) children can be very cruel and very funny.

Weird clicking on my telephone. I think my phone is being tapped. Why?

Cocksucking Fame Whore

Continuing my occasional ‘Fuck you’ series of LA essays I nominate the ‘award winning’ illustrator and elderly Greek queen Konstantine Kakanias as my latest Fuck You.

Konstantine threw a party last night.

Who put the kaka into Kakanias?

This guy has tried it all.

Artist, writer, illustrator, jewelry designer.

B’jesus with this much talent this homo should be a household name!

He’s tried so hard to be something but for poor old Koni, nothing seems to stick.

He’s  just a socialite with a great talent for persuading other socialites to take him seriously.

You know, I have known the rancid Konstantine for many, many years.

We first met with Manolis Mavrakis and Fred Hughes in New York in the early 80’s.  Fred loathed him.  Manolis laughed at him.

Koni painted my portrait then tried to have sex with me.  I declined.  He was smelly and creepy.

I left the portrait on the easel.

We periodically bump into each other all over the world.  Much to his chagrin and my infinite amusement.  It was he I referred to as Nona Summer’s vile Greek escort last week.

Konstantine attracts the WORST sort of people.  Nona, Peter Dunham, Justin Kern, Alex Hitz etc.

As his last incarnation he was calling himself an artist.   He had a laughably sophomoric show at The Light Box Gallery in LA before it closed down.

Kimberly Light (heiress) rues the day she ever let this cretin have his own show at her gallery.

He was the only artist who did not sell at the Angel Food project auction at CAA several years ago.

That’s how seriously the art elite take him.  Look for his work in the collections of important collectors and you will not find his name.

His work is absurd.

Yet, within that sub-world of dodgy socialites and rich kids looking for a purpose he has carved himself a ‘career’.   Some how he persuaded Swarovski to manufacture his designs.

Silly rings, “Inspired by Byzantine royal jewels.”  He brays.

Did they sell?  They were a total disaster and can now be found on the Swarovski website knocked down to a fraction of their original price.

Last night Konstantine was up to his old tricks.

Konstantine is now a film maker.

He has made a ‘film’ and to launch this seven minute animated masterpiece he assembled LA’s elite…  including ‘designer’ Justin Kern and his pretty side kick Stephanie Danan for whom the ‘film’ was commissioned and QVC favorite… fried chicken go to guy and Coca Cola heiress Alex Hitz and a gaggle of loafer wearing euro trash.

“They’re very collaborative people and they’re really creative. They like playing with other creative people and that’s where it all crosses over,” Indeed, Danan and Kern enlisted the efforts of friends like Tatiana von Furstenberg (heiress), “They’re not in a singular mind-set and they can pull from other mediums.”

I walked in and immediately saw twenty people I knew well enough to kiss and twenty people I knew well enough to ignore.

I waved at Konstantine… he flew out of his chair…

“Who invited you…”  he trembled.  His voice deserting its usual treble… escalating into a Maria Callas soprano.

Alex Hitz who I kissed lavishly (after all he had paid for a wonderful dinner at the Sunset Tower) said, “This is Konstantin’s party.”

“I know,” I said, “And I am the wicked fairy.”

Alex shrank into the shadows.  I turned to face the outraged Greek.  Like his country… in debt and struggling to save face.    He held out his fingers like 10 wands and told me to get out.

I left, greeting people on the way out with smiles and kisses.  Clo Perrin (heiress) looking gorgeous in white silk jersy.

Justin Kern waved.  Justin is proof that there is life after modeling… just.

“I’ll be writing about this!”  I grinned cheerily!

Before I left one of the guests, a beautiful young Parisian flew up to me and laughed, “Darling, what a waste of time.  You didn’t miss a thing.   Poor Konstantine.”

Dinner at Laurel Hardware with a cute jew.    Great kisser.

On Friday night we saw Lily perform a charming play after her month of theatre camp.  She played a slutty demon.

After the show I met the parents of a 12-year-old gay kid who was easily the star of the show.  He is obsessed with fashion.  Begging his mother to take him look at wedding dresses in Beverly Hills.

I smiled, remembering my own fashion obsessions when I was his age.

He is not having a great time at school.  The other kids are mean to him and he in turn is a pain in the ass.  I know that feeling too, being an obviously gay kid who spent the larger part of his childhood at war with other kids.

I rather hoped I would grow out of it but…I didn’t.  I am still at war.

The entire weekend was spent rehearsing and shooting tests for the movie.  I look forward to viewing the material.

After day one we met Jacob and Fielder at Laurel Hardware.  The dinner was spectacular.

We scoffed the heavenly pig cheek, sharing the lamb, the char, assorted salads and the most delicious rhubarb and strawberry cobbler and roasted peaches.

Perfection.

The ingredients are locally sourced,  incredibly fresh and the flavor combinations were perfectly well judged.

After day two of rehearsing and shooting the most dramatic scene in the film… we all took off for the local watering hole.

Boys leaping a hundred foot out of the air into the ice-cold water.

Policeman confiscating beer and … of all things… an axe.  A mostly Mexican crowd they looked horrified when the cops turned up.

After my time helping out the ACLU I now know why.

So, here it is.  Up and running.

My controversial, contemporary retelling of Oscar Wilde’s 1890 Lippincott version of  The Picture of Dorian Gray.

I really hope you enjoy it.

I thought you might want to see this.  I don’t think it’s ever been seen online before.

NYC streets once again. I am staying until Sunday then I am going to Fire Island for a few days. I love it there at this time of year. Wandering around the deserted Pines, exploring the unoccupied houses.

I imagine that everyone who had a house there when Joe and I lived on Bay Walk… well they must have long gone.

Tommy Tune, David Geffen, the kindly big guy whose name I can’t remember who lived opposite. The lesbians next door who never really approved of Joe.

Joe would call out to Geffen when we saw him on the board walk, “You’re the best looking billionaire in the world.” Geffen would smile and pass on by.

Joe and I spent an entire winter together in that house on a deserted, frozen Fire Island. Nobody does that. Just the deer to keep us company. Standing silently in the snow, staring at us in the house going about our business. Warm, well fed.

I can tell you stories if you want?

It must have been this time of year that I was there with my difficult boyfriend Jamie Page and Bryan Singer and Brandon Boyce turned up with a bunch of friends (including a very young John Krokidas).

It was wild. I remember laying in bed, listening to men running over the roof.

I was drinking and taking drugs in those days so Fire Island… the gay bit, suited me just fine.

One bright, spring day I remember walking from Cherry Grove through what they called The Meat Rack or The Judy Garland Memorial Park. Why did they call it The Meat Rack? Why did they call it The Judy Garland Memorial Park? This well trodden scrub grew on the bay side of the island separating Cherry Grove and The Pines.

It was prone to mosquitos and cruising.

At night, after the dancing was over or the drugs were leading the way, the gays would high-tail down the boardwalk into the swampy thicket, the vacant dunes.

The sea pounding on the sand, night birds singing in the moon lit wood.

Here the revelers would remove the very little that they still had on and laze naked, like nymphs, will o’ the wisp. Smoking cigarettes. Checking each other out with the slightest blaze of light.

I only ever went to watch this very unique sexual theatre. Even when I was totally fucked up.

Being a terrible prude I did not let them touch me because they were patently no use. They were so inauthentic. I need men to retraumatise me…not play act. Easily resisting their insistent hands and breathy suggestions. As dawn broke over Fire Island, piercing its way into the meat rack, I would watch men grope and kiss and suck and fuck, often unable to cum as they had taken so many drugs.

Dawn breaking over their ripped and muddy underwear, their blood-shot eyes (as if they had been crying) their blood and cum and shit…like so many rape victims shamefully dragging themselves away from the scene of the crime.

It amused me that the very same men who would not go near me as they danced in drug induced congas around the stinking dance floor would be all over the ugliest trade in The Meat Rack.

As we know, after a few drinks one is not so choosy.

After a sack full of cocaine/crystal/mdma these men didn’t give a flying fuck.

Occasionally straight men would meander down the beach to The Pines, try a little something different from what was available in heterosexual Ocean Bay Park. Turning up in baggy khakis and polo shirts. We knew what they were there for. What they were looking for.

I would dream of these doe eyed nuggets turning up for me to mine.

I remember walking back from Cherry Grove one day and wandering into The Meat Rack for no better reason than it was a shorter route for getting to The Bay than walking along the beach and traversing the island…anyway, it was usually deserted during the day, mid-week, off-season.

I didn’t expect to see a soul.

I had a bag of groceries. I was 31 years old. I saw a young, blond man…no more that twenty. His sun bleached, tousled hair, baggy shorts and flip-flops betrayed him. When I said hello, the fear in his eyes, his deep voice confirmed my suspicions. A straight boy on the turn. I set the groceries by a tree and without a word I touched his face. He bit his bottom lip and let out a tiny gasp.

I let him undress me.

Boys! I had a body in those days. I looked fit! I loved the gym.

He tentatively touched my chest and ran his fingers over my biceps of which I was very proud. Guiding his hand into my shorts he cupped my balls and kissed me. He loved me so.

He was pleased to suck my nipples, he did it gently like a calf. His soft white skin, the delicate filigree copper hair on his forearms.

I pushed his fringe from his forehead so I could better see him sucking my cock. He was passionate and greedy.

I am benevolent.

Looking up at me with his flawless blue eyes. I smiled down at him, pulling the back of his neck toward me so as to better fuck his throat. He gagged slightly, his thorax constricted around my penis. The effect was very pleasing. He pulled away, a string of saliva briefly attaching us. I rolled my cock over his distended cheeks. Flushed from the recent choking.

Thanking him for his attention to detail as he set too again, as he sucked and kissed my balls working his way toward my ass.

I knelt on the leafy, forest floor and he spread my cheeks so he could better lick, probing me with his tongue. I let him work on it. Licking me, pulling my balls and cock between my legs. He ran his hand up my back. I pulled myself up so I was no longer kneeling, his face completely obscured by my thighs…as if he were being born out of my ass. A fully grown boy being born out of my ass.

He stopped for a moment and said, “Have you got anything up there for me?”

Realizing that this perfect boy wanted to eat my shit I pulled up my shorts, gathered up the groceries and didn’t look back.

Be careful what you pray for.

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1.

Before I hit the doctor’s office I stepped into Regen Projects on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Owned by Shaun Regen this is by far the most interesting gallery in LA and consistently shows challenging and stimulating work.

Regen Projects is currently showing work by German artist John Bock.

Born 1965, Gribbohm, Germany

Lives and works in Berlin.

The show reminded me (inevitably) of fellow German Martin Kippenberger.

Kippenberger is one of my favorite artists.  His work has been inexcusably and crudely plundered by the YBA (Young British Artists).

Bock influences  include: Paul McCarthy, Otto Muehl, Paul Thek and Maurizio Cattelan.

John Bock is a performance artist and sculptor whose three-dimensional works often serve as props for his performances.

Bock creates entire universes using a wildly eclectic range of materials, described in multiple languages, and presented with an antic energy that is equal parts mad scientist and Buster Keaton.

A dizzying mix of pseudo-scientific, aesthetic, social, and political commentary,  Bock’s works defy logic.

This view of the world has various precedents, notably in the post World War II Theatre of the Absurd, a movement whose goal was to shock audiences into facing up to life “in its ultimate, stark reality.”

Bock believes the pre-conscious associations inherent in words are unavoidable and that only through experience and empathy can we penetrate what he terms the “heavy numb dumb world” of daily life.

Bock’s lectures seduce and confound, simultaneously proving perhaps, the inexplicability of the interrelationship of man and his universe.

2.

When I let God take the reigns of the humble buggy I drive down the promised path of happy destiny I am sure of one thing: things are going to turn out just the way they are meant to.  Good and bad.

When I angrily push him out-of-the-way and drive myself I am sure of nothing.

I used to think that if I let God take control of my life, my life might be ever so slightly boring but that simply isn’t the case.  God and I can still go on a wild ride, we can still have excitement and ambition.   We just do it the right way.

I get to have all that life has on offer without paying the terrible price I seem to pay when I wilfully drive the buggy myself.

I used to think (convinced myself) that doing the right thing meant that I had to live a pious life.

This simply isn’t true.  God doesn’t want me kneeling at his feet all day praying that his will be done.  He knows that I believe in his will being done, but what I have come to understand of late is that his will needn’t be dull.

Everyday things get better in my head.  Everyday without the grip of obsession, compulsion and the like I am calmer, more centered, more and more in my own skin.

Getting back to work and in touch with my God-given desire to create (and a means to do so) I feel more like the man I was meant to be rather than the man I have been lately.

Yesterday I went back to the doctor, had more scans and lo and behold there are yet more problems to deal with.  The difference between this time and the last is that I now have a skill set to deal immediately and healthily with these problems rather than the last time when I associated the problem with him.

It is remarkable to me that for nearly a year I let somebody else rule my head and my heart.  By so doing I allowed the deep shadow cast by another to blot out the sunlight of the spirit.

When I talk about God I don’t mean a christian…organised religious God.  I mean a God of my understanding, a higher power to whom I must defer at all times if I am going to live a healthy life.

As I was stacking boxes for my move I found a whole heap of diaries from the 1980’s.   The first day to day diary I kept was in 1982 and that was primarily because life had become so exciting.

We open the first book on this day September 5th, 1982.  I am 22 years old.

I am in Greece, on the island of Spetses staying with Sir John and Lady Russell.   I am still, at this time, Lord Rendlesham and have flown from Paris to Athens with an older nobleman called Guy de la Bedoyere of whom I had tired.

It was Guy’s Turner that I had marveled in Paris a few days earlier and whose butler, much to my horror, had washed in a washing machine my new Crolla ties.

The magazine Harper’s Bazzar had published the pictures of my infamous birthday party thrown for me by Scott Crolla at the Almeida Theatre.  Word was just reaching me in Greece that people were not at all happy.  Not at all.

If you click on the diary pages you can read the original entries.

I am in love with a beautiful Swiss boy called Robert and it is he that I wave goodbye to at the beginning of the entry.

The following year September 1983 there is no diary entry until I am released from prison on the 18th November.

September 1984 I am in rehearsal for Pornography: a Spectacle at the ICA in London.   There are huge articles about us all in Time Out, The Face and a now defunct London mag called City Limits.  I am living in Balham with a girl called Victoria.  By day I am in a play about gay pornography and by night I sleep with what was effectively my girlfriend.   So was the complexity of my life.  “Every gesture must be full and complete.” says Neil.  Neil Bartlett, director of the show.   During these days he and I began to fall out.  Irrevocably as it turned out.  When we left each other in Toronto months later after our North American tour we would never speak again.

September 1985 I am writing whilst stuck in a tunnel under the alps on a train from Paris to Venice.  My and Ivan Cratwright’s great adventure to Venice.  Staying, en route with Fred Hughes in Paris.

The diary for 1986 was missing but now found.  I will transcribe the entry.  I am yet again in another heterosexual relationship with a woman called Louise.  Why?

“Oh dear, I am in The General Trading Company off Sloan Square – Louise by my side.  Firstly I did not expect the Bahamian bombshell to come back to Whitstable to see me.  I rather thought that she might have given me a miss.

Yesterday before Louise arrived my pinks from Kingstone (?) Cottage arrived, they came to me in a brown cardboard box wrapped in local newspaper.  I planted them carefully, laying a foundation of stones for good drainage and surrounded the root system with peat. Maria helped out the best she could but spent the best part of yesterday drawing on the beach.   The day before that too she had worked hard on minimalist drawings incorporating the seascape – noticeably the foreshore and the horizon, terribly witty references to dead fish – (?) a family with prawn.

Ivan (Cartwright), we collected him from Whitstable station – Korda (Marshall) and I, he was in such a good frame of mind .  He prattled on about being arrested for car thieving and told a remarkable story about having been picked up on Park Lane (London) dressed only in a full length pink, synthetic fur coat, cowboy boots and a micro polka dot bikini!  He was picked up by a vast black men in a Buick.

Korda was completely freaked out by Ivan and as soon as he had the opportunity – left.  However, Ivan enchanted both Rachel (Whiteread) and (?) with his wit and intelligence.  We left for the pub far too late.  Ivan was wearing a pair of black cotton stockings, a black tee-shirt and short black sweat pants all topped off with this platinum blond hair and that face which as you know contorts like nobodies business.

We all slept late and woke early, that’s why when big bertha arrived (Louise) I was knackered.  We took off for a long adventurous but utterly fruitless journey to a closed park.  We did go to Beech House (Hospital School in Chartham)  I remembered yet again the horror of being taken there when I was a child – I remember that it was in that place that my life changed direction and I began to fight, so it was rather apt that I went there – my life again on the edge of a potential nightmare.  India,  8th October 10.15 – 9 months.   It rings in my ears.

As we drove to London yesterday Louise and (?) wrote that evening’s narrative.  For she as an eye for the ironic.  Firstly we locked ourselves out of Louise’s car and house then we saw the corpse of a man freshly killed, his legs crossed at the ankles, in the road.  His clothing partially hidden under a green waterproof police modesty blanket.  All of us knew that ambulances take only the living to be mended as best they can.  Death has no care.  I wondered about his family.  The pulse stopped and the narrative ending for him.  We drove slowly.  Later the image of the corpse quietened me and made me listen.

Louise is my strength whom I do not deserve.  Late last night I felt truly happy and secure.  That’s enough isn’t it?  Enough for a man who rarely lives safely, who is destined to become a lonely old man with personality problems.”

September 1987 I am a patient in the Henderson Hospital in Sutton Surrey where I spent the majority of that year.   I had a breakdown after a particularly bad bout of Hep B.  The Jay who would be fetching me from hospital is, of course, Jay Jopling.

For some odd reason I did not keep a complete diary in 1988.   I am not fully well from my breakdown but have decided to go to New York to see Ana Corbero and Colin Cawdor.  Paul Benny the artist was also staying in the huge apartment.  An entire floor of a converted girls school just over the Williamsburg Bridge.

There is no entry for these dates in 1989.

1990, my thirtieth year.  Living in Chelsea with Phillipa having what looks like a rather glamorous time.

1991 Coppers Bottom has opened at Sadler’s Wells.  Karen, the lead actress is threatening to walk.  I am now living with Anthony H. in South London.

1992 Tim and I are laughing about Damien Hirst not winning the Turner Prize that he seemed so certain to win.  I rather cruelly called Jay and told him how sorry I was whilst sniggering with Tim.

Not long before I get sober.  Just another 5 years.

After 1992 I kept a journal less and less.  I began every year enthusiastically writing everyday like I do now in the blog but by July had lost interest or life was simply too overwhelming.

Anyway, that was fun?

Notes on a Scandal

Yesterday, in the hotel dining room, there were a sweet couple who are visiting Toronto for the weekend to get married. One was a very young, very tall, strapping jock and the other a much older, smaller, Jewish man who did the talking for the both of them. An odd couple. A pair that I would never even had pegged for a successful date let alone as lovers or as married but there you go, they were obviously very happy and excited by the prospect of their ‘big day’.

After an hour of quite baldly intrusive questioning I determined that they were getting married for all the ‘right’ reasons. They loved each other. They were committed to each other. They wanted to celebrate their union in the company of their friends and family. They were not concerned to have retirement/health/tax benefits. This is Canada so that is already part of the deal. In the USA the gays who bay for marriage seem to think only of what it means to them fiscally.

Why is it that US gay political figures have not advanced the rights of gay people in any meaningful way during the past 20 years where as we in the UK (with our deliciously out gay, joint toting cabinet ministers) and Canada, South Africa, Australia and across Europe gays have equal rights? The tactics used by American gays are obviously not working.

My gripe, ultimately, is with the gays and not the withholding ‘straight’ majority. The majority are just that: THE MAJORITY. Using the gay marriage stick to beat the straight donkey just makes the old mule stubborn and refuse to budge.

Gay activists must make many lawyers across the US very rich indeed. Demanding things from the entrenched. Making headway then having it all taken away. You can get married, you can’t get married. The wailing of the gays. Stop asking to get married because you are doing it for all the wrong reasons. AND you are pissing them off or worse delighting them every time they flick their tails and repeal your meagre reforms. I know that it may seem an odd question but given that you can’t and wont be able to any time soon in any way that equalizes your financial/inheritance situation. Why do you even want to get married? I want to know. The Toronto boys would have been perfectly happy with a get together on the beach with their family. All they wanted the world to know was that they were in love.

My concern for gays in the US is that they just want to be like ‘everyone else’ that they refuse to acknowledge their obvious difference and embrace and celebrate it. The middle class gays that determine the gay agenda are committed to the politics of invisibility. They want the right to get married not because they love each other GOD FORBID but because they want to be just like them (straights). Gays want to get married, have children, and live in elegant houses just like them. Sit on the school board just like them. The middle class gays with heterosexual aspirations want the trappings of the lives their parents had, the comfort and middle class normalcy and when they get it genuinely believe that the OTHERS might not realizes that there is any difference between them and us.

Huh?

There is a huge difference, no matter how much we hide in fear from their reproachful eyes. We are different. However much we love ‘straight acting‘ ‘100% masculine’ we will always be evident in the way we walk, talk, dress, play-it is time to acknowledge that we are the ‘other’. In accepting who we are we can then stop demanding from the majority that they respect us. Nurture us. Give us permission to be just like them.

I have no intention of being anything other than what I am, I will not pretend to be more like them so that they can tolerate me, or worse ignore me because I have made such a great job of pretending a life that they have prescribed.

I have made a choice to live in a ‘free’ society. I have made a choice to commit to the freedoms of the USA. Yet, from my meager bluff overlooking the sea I don’t think that many people in the US are free at all. How can you be free when you live in fear? When you weigh so much that your ass can scarcely fit into a car, when you cannot identify the flora and fauna around you?

As I tour the US and the world with Dorian I listen to the way gay artists make work-although most gay artists are only eager to talk about money-and I am fascinated by how little new drama for this huge audience is being made. Where as once we were thrilled to have our stories told, the language and locations of gay life revealed-now we are perfectly satisfied to see ourselves on Desperate Housewives. Yet, ironically, mainstream gay and lesbian product is being made but it is not allowed at gay and lesbian film festivals. Gay and lesbian film festivals are not allowed to show Notes on a Scandal or Transamerica because the distributors of these films don’t want to be ‘pigeon holed’ as if amazingly they cannot embrace both kinds of audience. As if showing these films to gay audiences will some how devalue their product? This is unbridled homophobia and we colluded with it. We have little or no respect for our own culture so whilst the distributors get away with willful homophobia then gay film makers are not going to show or make work for gay audiences because they understandably feel that their work will not be taken seriously by those who hold the purse strings.

When gays devalue their own culture when deferring to the mainstream they become a lot dumber in the process. We have traded our rich culture for the mindless thump of our clubs and bars, spend our money on drugs and alcohol yet if prodded pretend that we are just like them, no difference at all. The similarities between Quentin Crisps 1940’s London and present day USA are startling. The attitude of gay men that by being different we ruin it for the rest is all too common.

I see men my age at bars in West Hollywood at the big cock contest, or men older and more powerful than me who will only sleep with straight guys. What have we become? I almost want to buy a wig and paint my nails, after all, drag in its purest form has always been an effective act of aggression.

3:04 AM

May 17, 2007 – Thursday

Isabella Blow

There is a large John Lautner house out on the PCH for sale,  it will cost who ever buys it 33 million dollars. At night it looks like it has been carved in amber.

I am in Toronto, here for the gay film festival. I am staying in a bed and breakfast that was once a very grand house. Dorian is the opening night film and I can’t get out of bed. I can’t move out of my room. I am ‘on line’ to various friends. Various websites. Looking, my eyes getting very tired.

Jay Jopling and Issie Blow

Death:

Isabella Blow killed herself. She drank weed killer, paraquat, and took 3 days to die. Her husband’s father did the same. Her grandfather committed suicide too. She was an occasional friend to me. When I made The Baron in The Trees she oversaw extra ordinary pictures of me for Vogue. The week before she died she visited with Philippa in Langton St with her sister Lavinia. The last time I saw Isabella she was at a party Lucy Ferry threw with Si Newhouse at Lucy’s home in Kensington. She was with some Argentinean man who looked like a second-rate gigolo. I don’t remember her for her hats. I remember going to Hilles to see her and Detmar and Amory with Philippa and my friend Justin from Whitstable who was a simple lad who also committed suicide a few years later after he was set upon by homophobes in Camberwell. Isabella took him under her wing, realizing that he was totally out of his depth and said,” You know what you need young man-a pork pie!” and dragged him in his car to the village and bought him a HUGE pork pie.

I have one very funny picture of Isabella and Jay Jopling in my photo album. He looks bemused and she looks like an alien in mourning. He looks young.

You know that she was Tim Willis’s girlfriend for years but left him for Detmar Blow. I called her the night before she was to marry Detmar to ask why she was marrying him and she said, “I’m not marrying a man, I’m marrying a house.” Which was true. I used that line in AKA.

KB wrote yesterday:

Vogue Pics Styled by Issie Blow

‘Sorry, darling Duncan, missed all the excitement around Dorian – though I saw Mrs. Merton last week, who mentioned she’d seen you. Issie’s funeral yesterday. Amazing send-off with horse-drawn hearse (very beautiful – though I forgot to remind Detmar that she had wanted a glass coffin a la Snow White!) from Glos Cathedral. kept remembering their wedding there and was sad, but service was rather uplifting and Rupe Everett gave a very good address. Detmar did a good wake at Hilles afterwards and I saw lots of old friends.’

I met Issie when I was twenty-four. She was seeing Tim Willis in those days and they had just moved into Tim’s apartment in Notting Hill. Tim Willis married Joanna and then I became the God Father to their child. Issie could not have children. There was some shenanigans about Hilles and children and how Detmar’s mother wanted her daughter (can’t remember her name) who married Crusty Levinson (who was married to Philippa’s sister Francine) and their children to have the house. In aristocratic circles to lose out on the big house is a DISASTER. She indeed married the house but it was stolen from her.

Good-bye Isabella Delves Broughton nee Blow.

Since I last wrote my blog I have moved to Malibu and now sit high above the sea on a small bluff. Everybody visits so I am not alone. I am in Toronto unable to leave my room and I miss it terribly-my house. The very light traffic outside my hotel room woke me at 5am.

I moved from Whitstable finally-just as the peonies were about to bloom, ants on their sticky buds. I have not really stopped grieving my Whitstable loss but will do when my stuff gets to Malibu. In some ways I wish that the whole lot would sink in the Atlantic. But that might mean that people would get hurt which I don’t want.

Dinners during the past month included: Birthday dinner for and with John Dewis and Kevin West where I met the utterly adorable Elliot Hundley. Opening of Dan Flavin show at LACMA. New age baby shower on Mulholland with babies spirit guide who had been ‘communing with foetus’ and wanted us all to celebrate that the baby was looking forward to being born, to be made flesh. Derek Frost and Jeremy invited me to dinner in Pimlico when I traveled to London for premiere of Dorian. Dorian, up on the big screen in Leicester Square. How did it feel? Not great. I love the film but others were not so kind. People who get it-get it. The others are the others and perhaps they are right. Even so, this experience is more exciting than AKA, which was only great when it got to Outfest. Then that soured when the onslaught happened and I was unprepared for them, for when they love something and you don’t believe it.

Melanie threw a dinner for me with Mickey Wolfson and others came too. My new best friend Wendy A had lunch in Malibu with her and Barry Levinson and others.

Seeing a great deal of Joe who made moving effortless and wonderful. In fact he is making my life all that much nicer by being good to me.

I gave my brother Martin my Porsche, which seemed to delight him. I gave my fridge to Babs and Tony. I took down all the curtains and deconstructed the house. I said goodbye to every one of my plants. I felt like such a traitor for leaving them behind. Tim came by with Jo and Sibbley. He brought gypsy tart and we ate it at Babs house with hot tea.

When I returned from my final month is Whitstable Dom collected me from the airport and when I got back to the new place Joe was in the new kitchen cooking dinner. The new garden is a huge undertaking. Thankfully I have discovered a nursery that is closing down on the PCH and is selling everything very cheaply. Yesterday I bought an 8 foot cactus and planted it.

Bought Euphorbia and aloes and agaves.

I listen to the coyote at night howling and chattering and eating baby deer. I am eager to see a rattlesnake. I saw a mountain lion. A raccoon got into my car and ate skittles. A Blue Jay raided the humming-bird nest and stole all the baby humming birds. Trevor stopped by and heated the Jacuzzi and we lay in it with Eyal the Israeli boy who is dark and mysterious.

So much more has happened but I can’t remember or don’t want to remember. I had a great time in Miami and lay by the pool at the Raleigh with VD and CZ. I am as brown as a nut and looking forward to great wrinkles on my face.

10:10 AM

April 9, 2007 – Monday

Flint

Whitstable. April.

I walked from my house on Wavecrest to Janet Street-Porter’s house half a mile away toward Seasalter. She has attached an ugly wooden fence to the sea wall since the coastal defense agency raised the height of the beach.

I only saw two dogs. The beach is much brighter than it was. They spent last summer trucking tons of new stone onto the old beach filling the gaps between the new wooden groins. They used a whole forest of timber, I wondered if it came from a sustainable forest.

From the train the new beach looks beautiful but the new stones are mostly flint like a Deal or Dover beach rather than a Whitstable beach. The stones on a Whitstable beach are small, treacle and honey colored pebbles. These flint rocks are huge and difficult to walk on. This has caused much consternation to the dog walkers and weekend strollers. People collect the larger flint pieces and stack them up for others to see. The spring tide had obviously been very high as there was a ribbon of black, dry seaweed swept onto the new pale shore.

I walked back into town and bought a free range corn-fed chicken that I am going to cook for Cathy and Rufus. I stopped in at Wheelers and drained a cup of tea. Mark Stubbs the genius chef arrived, as I was half way through my cupper. I sat in the parlor at the back and finished my tea and flicked through the Whitstable Times. Mark Stubbs is the chef at Wheelers and I have known him and his delightful family since he was a teenager. I have seen him evolve into a fine chef. He understands how to take risks with flavor, he knows how to set something onto a plate and make it look delicious. He is a master because he cares.

Most of the shops on the High Street were closed, as it is bank holiday Monday. I had promised Cathy that I would make bread and butter pudding as per Arabella Boxer’s recipe. It requires that I use stale French bread. Thankfully Dave was in the deli and gave me a heap of stale brioche so I will use that instead. My God, what a change! When I first started making bread and butter pudding 15 years ago it was impossible to buy a vanilla pod on the High Street let alone stale brioche from a friend.

I felt sad in bed last night. I kept thinking about Danny. I am a long way away from my LA AA. I received e-mail from one of the morning gang, urging me to come home. It cheered me up tremendously.

I have no idea if I will be moving into my Malibu house when I get back as I have heard nothing from Kelly. I may just stick around in London. I have everything I need here.

The house next door has been renovated so mine looks spectacular. I got used to living next door to a derelict house. I am almost pleased that I am staying. The plot at the end of the garden has been cleared and looks like the building work is well underway. It is good to be grateful for the world around you. I try to and see the best in everything. However, when I get ill I tend to have a very bleak outlook. Jet lag, a cold and a long way from an AA meeting made me feel despondent.

I wish that I had my Premiere tonight I would feel like I could rise to the challenge.

After a few years in the USA with their can do attitude I am dumbfounded by the petty attitude of the British. The ones I know-but mostly I don’t. They say sneeringly, “Oh you art directed your own film.” As a sort of put down. Why should this be? Of course I want to art direct my film. I would shoot it and edit it too if I could. Last week, my head full of cold I was in no mood to defend my film. This week I am.

2:45 AM

April 8, 2007 – Sunday

Finally

Whitstable,Kent.
Wavecrest B&B

I am sitting on the balcony overlooking the pale gray/blue sea. I have been in England for a couple of weeks but have still not overcome my jet lag. Part of me seems absent without leave. I slept in a bed on the plane from LA. It was very odd. I decided to open the B&B for Easter. I hung the freshly painted sign and made the beds with new linen and made a trip to Somerfields to get bacon and eggs. This morning I cooked the eggs and bacon for my guests. They were a nice couple from Stratford; they worked for Carlsberg-good folk from the Midlands. She ate a bacon sandwich but he ate the full English and I was pleased as they left too much on their plates yesterday.

A bee is trapped in my bedroom and keeps bashing its face into the glass. The front of the house is gleaming white as after the guests paid me I took a mop bucket full of soapy water and a stepladder and washed the ship lap. I used a dishcloth on the boards but in fact I should have mopped the front of the house but this idea only just occurred to me.

Rather a lot happened since I last wrote my blog.

So, as I am back in Whitstable with no real plan to return to LA I shall start my walking and writing routine once again. There are no 7am AA meetings here. There are no mountains. I began smoking again three weeks ago. Have stopped this past three days.

The Oscars, lets start with them. They were very dull this year. I spent the few days before the big day and the day after with Todd Eborly the Vanity Fair photographer. Todd very kindly dragged me willingly from one obscure party to the next. We originally met at Eugenio’s house at some function although I may have met him with Samia at Art Basel in Miami. I think we met this time at the Robert Wilson after show party. Amazingly, ever since I had my run in with the ghastly Doug Christmas I bump into him everywhere and it was at the Ace Gallery that Robert had his show. I first met Robert Wilson in Paris when I was 19 years old. He didn’t remember me but we discussed Philippe Chemin and his girlfriend (now his wife) Robin who apparently are still together.

It was because of them that I (apparently) fell out with Samia all those years ago-a resentment that the old ferret had held onto for 25 years. After ten years a resentment has more to do with the person who bears it than the person it is about. Anyway, Robert asked me what I thought about his show and as I had not seen it I made some clever, nondescript remark that amused Todd. Met Darrel Hannah and a bunch of über gays. Doug Christmas and I looked at one another suspiciously across Eugenio’s huge drawing room-past the Twombley and the Warhol’s.

Two days later Ronnie Sassoon, Todd and I watched a huge Jeff Koons, green metal elephant craned high into the blue LA sky reflecting the palm trees and dropped into place in Eugenio’s newly landscaped garden whilst his maid fed us Mexican food and the curator of his collection danced like a demented pixie in the street in a black satin Balenciaga rain coat and fedora. It was bright but bitterly cold. Ronnie and I wrapped ourselves in cream cashmere blankets.

Eugenio has bought a bunch of bronze spiders that look like they are by Louise Bourgeois but in fact are just tat. When I asked Richard Squire at our lunch with Joe Townly and that sweet lesbian he hangs out with why Eugenio would buy such rubbish Richard replied that it was really none of my business as Eugenio was, “Richer than God.” Joe and I, to this day, laugh about his answer.

Soho House opened in LA for their usual Oscar fortnight in a huge house quite close to where Eugenio lives. Ate lunch there with Ronnie and Todd. Given much free stuff. The night before Oscar night snogged Sharon there again. Met Amy Berg who was nominated for an Oscar for her documentary about child abuse. Met Hillary the real producer of Children of Men who was furious that her picture had been ignored by the Hollywood establishment. She dashed furiously about Soho House followed by three assistants who trailed miserably in her wake.

The Diane von Furstenberg/Barry Diller party at their sprawling Bel Air estate was very pleasant. I met Paul Allen and Shirley MacLean. I ate lunch with David Hockney and discussed the camera obscura. Helen Mirren was adorable and I was happy to have had the chance to meet her. I flirted a great deal with a realtor called Chris from Malibu and have met him twice since then. Dennis Hopper and I reminisced about Romania. He had just seen Coppola’s new film-an art film. Dennis was deliciously confused. Rupert Murdoch, David Geffen and other powerful men as well as the prerequisite fashion crowd who were horrendous. Tamara Mellon and her fat, gay, best friend who is some how related to Joan Collins sat with her ex husband. Oswald Botang was there with his bunch. There were a few film stars and a cute waiter as well as some delicious boy from Sydney. Todd and I stayed till the end. I will prob never go to that party again so I was determined to squeeze every moment out of it. Paris and Stavros were also at Barry’s garden party dressed in almost middle-aged, sensible clothing, they looked like a perfectly normal young couple.

Paris Hilton Birthday with Todd Eborle

However, at Paris Hilton’s birthday party the following night at her ugly little house she transformed into PARIS! the celebrity with crop top and trashy hair. I am convinced that she has two homes, one for trashy Paris and one for chic Paris. Her birthday party was only worthwhile as one got to gaze longingly at Stavros who is not only incredibly beautiful but also the most charming man alive. Paris’s trashy house is full of portraits of her and terrible people but Todd, John Dewis and I had our pictures taken by a company who make 3d laminated fridge magnates. We spent more time in the valet parking than the party.

Spent the Oscar awards at Dede Gardener’s (runs Brad Pitts production company) and her husband’s beautiful house in Hollywood. As the ceremony unfolded there was much talk about Brad Gray and Brad Pitt and their involvement with Scorsese’s The Departed. All too convoluted to explain here. Their child is adorable and her house is packed with great stuff and marvelous art. Great vintage wallpaper in the bathroom-huge silver cranes dance against a pale blue landscape.

I spent time at Soho House and did not go to the Chateau Marmont.

Very sweetly Damien (Hirst) invited me to his show at Larry Gagosian’s and the party afterwards at the Bar Marmont. There was a very odd moment when I found myself with Damien and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I didn’t say much. We just kissed and that was it.

Spent a good amount of time with Maia, Damien’s wife. She was wearing a white pleated leather dress by Jil Sander.

I met my friend Justin the model at the after party and we headed over to Eugenio’s when we tired of Damien’s crowd.

Met Lynn Wyatt and a bunch of elderly, stick thin socialites at some gay rich boys Hollywood house. Dominick Dunne and others there. Fried chicken-apparently he cooked the food himself. Todd took wonderful photograph of Lynn Wyatt by portrait of Betsy Bloomingdale.

Ronnie commissioned Todd to take pictures of the Singleton House by Neutre, which she has restored. It was very beautiful but I am afraid not nearly as beautiful as her own house, which is so stunning, I cannot begin to describe it. It was so beautiful it made me cry. Actually, the Singleton House is ruined. I cannot beat around the bush and as much as I love Ronnie she has ruined that house with sunken bars and huge non descript rooms. There, I wrote it.

My film premiered in London to a bunch of sour faced gays and lesbians and five baby celebrities-the Geldof children and some band front man. This is exactly what happened to AKA. Sneered at by UK gays. If I had been a Mexican or Japanese they would have loved it but as I am home-grown I tolerated their pursed lips and arched eyebrows.

I couldn’t care less about them. Two days previous my good friend and occasional lover Danny Ross was killed on an LA freeway so all I could really think about was his sweet face. That night I erased his number from my Blackberry. I was numb. Stayed with Sharon Marshall in Brixton. The girly self-help book that she is writing with Tara PT strewn over the dining room table.

I have stayed numb ever since I heard about Danny. His death has made me angry and despondent. Nothing really matters.

Since I have been home my cousin Caroline came to visit me, her huge, sad Irish eyes and long fingers in my kitchen. She wanted me to remove any mention I made about her father in my blog but I refused. Nothing will make me censor the truth in these pages.

I bumped into my brother Martin; I walked The Kings Road with Joe. Phil and I could not sleep so we sat up into the night drinking tea and giggling.

I have lost a bunch of weight and last night a man I know from London drove here and stayed over. It was a fruitless exchange. My head was with Danny on the freeway, thinking about his body smashed to pieces on the cold hard road. I thought about his smile and delicate kisses. I could not stop thinking about how much I wished I had made time for him the day before I left LA but instead I was finishing a film for a bunch of piss elegant, precious gays who did not deserve my time.

I know that Dorian is flawed, like an unfinished work of art. It is art. I know it.

I know that my film is sort of broken to pieces but I love it. I know what I have to do to fix it but I can’t. It’s too late. I am angry about the death of my friend.

9:29 AM

February 2, 2007 – Friday

Kevin Zegers

I am back in LA. Feels like I am back at work/school/LA. Various pre-Oscar dramas unfolding, Hollywood intrigue playing itself out in front of me. I am not as invested as I was last year. Last year I was at the center of it all with Sharon to see how it worked. It was utterly exhausting. I will not be going to the parties this year. I may pop into the Soho House rented mansion. Anyhow, I am just not interested in the films they have in competition this year.

Went with Kevin Zegers to Hyde. He is a sweet thing. Interesting listening to his take on the making of Trans America. He is Canadian. Liked him a great deal. At the Golden Globes last year Brad Pitt said to him, ‘Trans America is your Thelma and Louise.’ Which is a pretty damned cool thing to hear. Kevin stole Trans America from David Gallagher. David lost TA and made DG instead.

Up on the Canyon this morning it was very cold. It has been really cold here. I like it. There were very few people there, fewer dogs. The guys that tend the path were using a very noisy machine, a ‘low blower’ they said, and that is what it does-very loudly. It blows dust all over the place. What about using a broom?

So, I thought about how lazy we all were and how much I hate the TV remote control and how it was the best and worst invention of the past fifty years. I thought about those ‘home entertainment’ rooms that folk have here and how many remote controls these people have lined up in front of them desperate to be entertained. Last week I invited a friend to my home and he was amazed that I don’t own a television set. American TV depresses me. It makes me miserable. The commercials are grueling, relentless and mind altering. The content is formulaic baby food. When I live in NYC I lay on the sofa when I can’t sleep and watch the Home Shopping Network because there are no commercials and the content is exactly what it is-selling. The Home Shopping Network is authentic, amusing, dramatic, reality TV at its very best. I love it. Occasionally I am tempted, like an alien from another planet, to pick up the phone and buy something. Austrian Art Glass or a cover all powder that gives a translucent glaze to any skin in any tone. I listen to the rehearsed testimonials and I am transported.

Jean Perramon

Jean and I drove in his Mazeratti to Malibu and the mountains around there. As the sun began to set, low in the winter sky, the grassy hillocks at the base of the mountains were covered in silver grass that looked like fur. We had gone to look at a beautiful modernist house perched on 15 acres of land on the top of a huge mountain that is For Sale and we were tempted to pool our resources and buy it. The air was bitter. Remember it had been snowing in Malibu only two weeks previously.

Had lunch with Amanda Ross who invited me to Laurie Simmons event at The Billy Wilder Cinema at The Hammer. It was an ‘art’ film. Meryl Streep can sing! There was much applauding the work but I must be honest, I do not understand why Laurie Simmons feels that an obscure art film needs a conventional narrative. I don’t get it. Laurie’s film was shot by Ed Lachman who had introduced me to Brian Jackson the Dorian DP. She had worked with Mathew Weinstein who I had a brief affair with when he lived in London 20 years ago. He was so gorgeous then. I had dinner with Merle Ginsberg at Red Pearl Café after the film. Met Amanda’s rather handsome fiancé.

Had meeting with my agent at Urth Café flushed from his trip to Sundance.

Back at school, getting on with shit. Every moment of every day, in every situation in LA we work toward our filmmaking goal. Every relationship and situation unfolding in front of us like so many jewels, sifting out the paste from the diamonds.

10:09 AM

January 28, 2007 – Sunday

FIGHTING IS MY GENIUS

I seem to have fought all of my life with people, places and things yet I perceive myself as having a placid soul. For as long as I can remember it was inequity, in all its manifestations, that caused me to become furiously angry. As an infant I knew instinctively that the way my stepfather treated my mother was wrong and caused us all the loss of dignity. I fought hard against him even though his cruelty was more than any match for a small boy. I knew that the way my Uncle Norman beat his wife was wrong and caused her to lose her baby but nobody seemed to do anything about it. The desperate screams of women were familiar to me when I was a boy. My brothers may scoff at this description of our shared history but sometimes I think that they may have lived in a dream of our childhood where their father was some how absolved of his brutality simply because of their blood relationship with him. Because they were his children the beatings they received were not as unjust as mine?

Even though we had a tough time at home it is good to remember that only sixty years before I was born in Whitstable there were still child prostitutes in Victorian London that a man could buy and take to padded rooms in Wimpole Street and kill. We were, my brothers and I, lucky children of the post war, 1960’s modern world and all of the promises of the age were just revealing themselves to the men and women of my parents generation.

When I was born my shamed mother and I were hidden away from society yet only ten years later life in Britain had changed so radically that my ‘behavioral problems’ had been identified and I was taken to child psychiatrists, sent to hospitals etc. so that my maladjustment might be healed with group therapy and words. The massive head injuries that I received in a car accident when I was 5 would nowadays be factored into understanding my erratic behavior and vile temper but this was simply overlooked.

Like so many men I have tried, all my life, to make sense of myself. To have the luxury of sitting comfortably in my own skin. Ten years ago, after a life of therapy, hospitals, transactional analysis, cognitive therapy, prison encounter groups, sweat lodges, reike, traveling etc., after a life of talking it through and telling my fucking story over and over so that sooner or later the truth of my mad bad head would be magically revealed I ended up in a beautiful house in Kensington on my own snorting coke first thing in the morning knowing for sure that things were not meant to be like this.

By the time that morning came around I was unable to leave the house due to paranoid delusions and periodically black liquid flooded out of my nose at the most inappropriate moments, at dinner in Quo Vadis for instance. Ten years ago I self-medicated with hard drugs and alcohol and even used to attend sessions with my expensive psychiatrist high on coke.

I then began my sober journey.

It became apparent that the question I so badly needed answered by so many therapists I did not know how to frame. I knew that I was a mess, that my life was in ruins, that I was somehow responsible but the fundamental question remained. The question that I needed answered through out my adult life was this: How come I hated my stepfather so much yet became so much like him? How come I had scant regard for those around me when I was so plagued with the terrors of inequity? How come I thought nothing of screaming at those who were only trying to do their best? How come?

The answers are not always palatable, even to me.

The reality is that I do not live a good-hearted world of benevolent people eager to do the very best for one another or even themselves. The skills of hard heartedness that my stepfather taught me are skills I needed to embrace rather than heal with therapies.

Recently I have begun to thank my stepfather for making my skin thick enough to fight for what I believe in or take the hard knocks and learn how to box with precision. I do not tolerate being beaten by those who give me pains or lawyers who give you bad, self-serving advice or untrained, untested co-workers who expect an opportunity but give very little in return. Married women who want you to fuck them yet blame you when you do. Straight boys who put out but hate you for exploiting their desires.

I can thank my step-father for teaching me not to be led by the nose or having overwhelming capitalist fantasies. I don’t want a big house. I have never wanted a big house. All I have ever desired is one room with a perfect view. What else could I possibly want? What is ENOUGH for one man?

At Anthony’s house this week he asked me what he needed to do to make a low-budget film. ‘How did you do it?” If I have been asked once I have been asked a million times. How do you do it? As if there were a private door from a previously hidden corridor that they may not have noticed behind which the secret of making a low-budget feature film lay. Usually I am polite when I am asked this question and try to help who ever is asking delude themselves that they will make feature films. For part of the truth is this: If you are asking me this question it is unlikely that you will ever make a film. If you are looking for a softer, easier path then you will never make a film. The secret door does not exist.

The truth of how I continue, against the odds, to make films is: I am a GENIUS.

I am a GENIUS because: I get off my ass, I write the script, I raise money, persuade people to work and then I force the film into the world. I do not feel fear and when problems arise I deal with them creatively and in a way that benefits the final product. When the film is made I call my friends in the press and get them to write about it and then I sell it all by myself. That is how I do it and if I need to do it this way then so be it. I never answer questions about budget because it’s personal. When people ask me how big my budget is I tell them that it is 8 inches long and quite thick. Asking about a person’s budget is more personal than how big his cock is. Don’t ask. Nobody ever tells you the truth.

I am a GENIUS because I am making films and you are not. Do gallery owners get asked endlessly how to open a gallery or novelists asked endlessly how to write a novel? I have no idea. When I made theatre nobody ever asked me what they needed to know, what great secret I had that they needed to know to make theatre.

I am a GENIUS because when I make a film I can’t take no for an answer and for that I am truly grateful to my beastly step-father and Derek Jarman who gave me that piece of advice long before I even contemplated making films.

I am a GENIUS because even if I had to make a film using my mobile phone I would do it.

Remember the other great and terrible truth about film-making: Nobody wants to make your film.

Nobody.

Even if you are really, really famous and well-connected and a marvelous director nobody wants to make your film.

The only films worth making are the ones that you are passionate about.

So, I am a BAFTA nominated, award-winning GENIUS and so is everyone else who gets off their ass and makes a film.

I have only one person to thank for this: My step-father who taught me to never back down, to take it on the chin and ultimately not be afraid and keep on fighting. He taught me to think beyond what was expected of me and anticipate problems way ahead of anyone else. He taught me to ignore what people say about me, the lies they tell, whether it is Oscar or Joe or anyone else. Perhaps that is why I never really found it hard to forgive him and never forgave my simpering Mother.

I have wasted most of my life trying NOT to be like my stepfather David Roy when all along I needed to follow in his footsteps and embrace every single thing he ever beat into me as the living truth.

10:08 AM

January 24, 2007 – Wednesday

The Queen

I killed a mosquito this morning. I slapped it against the wall with a pair of yesterday’s underpants. It exploded all over the place with my fresh red blood, blood it had just sucked out of my foot. I am sitting in the Book Kitchen waiting for Zoë, Anita and Teddy so that I can order my poached eggs. Last night Zoë’s landlord’s Ross and Renata cooked us dinner and their highly entertaining children (Dom 6 and Nick 10) amused us with made up jokes and mayhem.

I spent the afternoon with Anthony S in his rather nice Woollarha house watching The Corporation, which is a very long documentary essay about the history, excesses and fight against capitalism. Susan Sarandon’s voice was very irritating. I was moved by the description of the Bolivian water riots. Decided to make some changes in life when I got back to UK-am already not leaving too much of a foot print but could be leaving less. Anthony’s gruff, rich, stepfather arrived in the middle of the film and Anthony turned it off as if we were watching pornography. We continued watching only after he had left the room. After the film we ate sweet things in Jones The Grocers then I drove home.

Two weeks ago I saw Steven Frear’s film The Queen. I didn’t really want to see it because I find anything to do with Diana very, very disturbing and, like Brokeback Mountain, did not want to risk bawling my eyes out. Anyway, I had to see it as I am a BAFTA voter and take my voting very seriously. The experience turned out not to be as painful as I thought. Helen Mirren was great but I really wouldn’t expect anything less. She is an English Character actress who has worked with really outstanding people-Peter Brook for instance. Pretending is what our actors do best. Pretending to be Tony Blair and The Queen shouldn’t be that hard with a voice coach and a good wig. In fact I thought that Mirren’s range within her role of The Queen was rather limited, she spent the entire film pulling one face, a perplexed look of gentle concern. Like she was gazing into the middle distance desperate for answers. Do people really think that HRH is like this? Do they think that HRH is a sweet, benign little old lady? Do they think that Cherie Blair provided fish fingers and comic relief to her husband and children and is capable of feeble thinking as written by Peter Morgan? Did he forget that she is one of the most highly regarded Barristers in the UK?

This my HRH The Queen evidence:

I saw her once at Smith’s Lawn shortly after I left prison and could see her suspenders quite clearly through her boucle skirt. I saw her on TV crying when Blair took away her yacht Brittania. She did not cry when the rest of her people were crying at the death of Diana.

Strangely, some years ago I was invited to a gruesome, Conservative Party Dinner and Dance held at the cavernous Kings Hall in Herne Bay. I sat next to the ex Mayor of Canterbury. I can’t remember his name but he was a kind, small old man of simple taste and brain. I asked him if he had ever met the Queen. To my amazement he told me this story about HRH The Queen.

In his Mayoral capacity he had to greet the Queen upon her arrival in Canterbury with the Lord Lieutenant of Kent and sit in the car with HRH and Prince Philip for the duration of an official engagement. It was a freezing cold, winters day and The Queen arrived by Royal train at Canterbury Station for some Christian event at the Cathedral she is, after all, the head of the Anglican Church-nothing between her and God. The train arrived late and one of the equerries or Ladies in Waiting sprinted over to the Mayor and his party giving him the heads up that HRH was in a filthy mood as she hates being late for anything. A few moments later a very grumpy HRH got off the train, leapt into her car refusing to stop to speak to wheel chair bound constituents who had been waiting in the cold and wet for hours. The Mayor begged her to stop for a moment to speak with her subjects. “Do we have to?” She moaned. At the Cathedral she met the Arch Bishop performed her function then the worthies retired with her to the Arch Bishop’s home. At this point the Mayor had to present HRH with a book as a present from the people of Canterbury. When he handed it to her she said, “Not another book!” Dismayed the Mayor, a very simple man, said, “It’s a very valuable book Ma’me.” The Queen looks at Prince Philip and says, “Oh valuable is it? That’s good, we’ll sell it when we lose all our money.” The Queen and Prince Philip then have a fit of laughter at their ‘joke’.

The mayor was neither impressed with the behaviour or attitude of The Queen or her notoriously rude husband.

I met Paul Keating (ex Prime Minister of Australia) this week. He has the most famous HRH story of them all. The back touching. The faux pas. International outrage. He was pottering around at his house. Paul Keating is definitely one of my heroes.

Katherine Phillips, my occasional friend, had lunch with HRH in Scotland but was thrown off the table for having a cold, “Has that girl got a cold?” HRH said. Now, I don’t know if this last story is true but worth retelling anyway.

So, I saw Frear’s movie The Queen and I thought that the Royals came off rather well. What really happened at Balmoral may very well have been a lot less calm and openly hostile to the memory of our Princess Diana. The Princess, which The Establishment worked so tirelessly for us to love in their gruesome soap opera was dead. When she died I will never forget how they wheeled out those old, bitter Queens to defend the Monarch, St John Steevas and that hump-backed monster historian who has the history show on TV and The Moral Maze. It all makes me feel sick. Yet, do I subscribe to The Establishment, The Corporation or The People?

When Diana was killed in the car accident and the flowers started piling up outside Kensington Palace Princess Alexandra sneered at them wondering if the poor had better things to do with their money than spend it on the memory of Diana.

Like The Corporation The Monarchy will go to any lengths to protect its power. So, The Princess is killed in a tragic accident. Within hours The Establishment seeks to disable our memory of her and refocus us on the good works and youth of The Two Young Princes Harry and William. It takes time but finally we embrace them once again. We do so eagerly, as we are told to do. But as hard as I want to forget I will never forget that morning when I woke up and, like so many people, believed that I lived in a country that had assassinated it’s ‘people’s princess’ regardless of whether it was true or not.

5:35 PM

Last Days

Book Café, Surrey Hills, Sydney

It is raining today. Hard. The streets are flooded. Rain drops loudly on the tin roofs. Nobody complains about the weather because of the drought. This morning, like every morning for the past week, I have ordered poached eggs and bacon.

I spent the early part of the morning at the dentist having a crown replaced that fell off in the 101 Cafe in LA 6 weeks ago. I did not feel the needle go in. My nose is still numb from the anesthetic and I am concerned that stuff is hanging out of it because that’s how it feels. I have to go back tomorrow to have the last of the mercury fillings removed and replaced with white porcelain. Finally getting rid of all those ugly, unnecessary fillings British National Health Service dentists made us suffer just for an extra tenner a pop. That’s what they were being paid by the government to fill our teeth. Taking perfectly fine teeth drilling them and filling them with mercury. I have been traumatized by British dentists just like so many 40 something men and women. Consequently, my poor gentle Australian dentist has to deal with me in his office sweating and squirming and swearing at him.

As the end of my Australian trip approaches I must tell you all that I have had a lovely, relaxing time. I left my hotel on Oxford Street and stayed with my friend Zoë Wane. Together we have traversed the city from one huge house to another. When we weren’t enjoying the many mansions of her rich friends we sat in the Cricketers Arms that Zoë’s brother runs where we sat with Vito who looks like Bart Simpson all grown up (see pics) and Jack who looks like Castro and her twin friends Teddy and Larry. Last week, Anita, Teddy’s girlfriend cooked a Malay feast at her home which was so delicious I thought that nothing I would ever eat again would ever compare to what she served at her table that night. Zoë and I ate at Fratelli in Potts Point with Zoë’s friend Ben Brady and endless coffee shops in all the Eastern Suburbs with various combinations of the above.

Last night Ben’s girlfriend Jasmine and her mother prepared Persian food and we sat and ate on their balcony discussing Lebanon and Iran and watching forked lightning dance over the sea.

I had dinner with my friend Vassilli Kalliman who took me to his brand new gallery and introduced me to the wonderful work of Sally Smart and David Griggs. We ate at Bird Cow Fish on Crown St., which was very satisfying. I saw Sophie Mears and Anthony Sissian and swam with them at Bondi they told me that they had been living three blocks from me in LA. I walked around Coogee bay with Kate Fisher and we sat fully clothed on the rocks being sprayed by huge waves. I ate pasta on the lawn of the Darling’s beautiful home in Bellvue Hill with their son Daniel and his gorgeous South African girlfriend.

My dear old friend Charles Wilson, the furniture designer, and I ate dinner at his house and whilst trying to assemble his very chic candelabra I spilt a huge mug of coffee over my white trousers. Ken Neal took me to one of many dinners I had at Fish Face on the Darlinghurst Road. I ate the sashimi on every occasion, had everything on the menu once and the fish curry twice.

I saw Jess Cook who prepared a lunch time avocado salad for me to eat in her loft. I saw Rose who took me to a one nighter at the Flinders Arms called Health Club. I tanned on various beaches and had occasional tangled phone calls with people in other countries. Saw Dreamgirls and hated it. Saw Babel and respected it. Saw Marie Antoinette and loathed it but remembered what it was like to shoot AKA in Versailles. I finished the first draft of my new Untitled LA Project and I wrote a gratitude list every day and sent it to my AA sponsor.

I slept alone and often wondered about someone I had left behind in NYC-you know who you are. I thought about Sharon and developed a nasty resentment against Samia who has not returned my e-mails despite the fact that at this time last year she was so obsessed with me that she flew uninvited to LA and behaved toward me like Glen Close in that bunny boiling film. As usual I got all the blame.

Unsatisfyingly bumped into Oscar H at Fiveways who was all snipes and false promises and Peter S at The Bayswater Brasserie who was frankly annoying although I enjoyed seeing his brother Charles and his charming uncle.

I will miss the friendship, the food, the beauty, the vista and most of all I will miss who I become when I am here. The man I allow myself to be. Calm, kind and full of hope. I will try to carry all of this good me back to LA and The Oscars and to Baja Mexico where I started blogging last year and where this year I am meeting Phil H to watch the whales migrate at the beginning of February. Thousands of them.

3:47 AM

January 10, 2007

Rap

Zoe Wane Sydney

The Book Kitchen, Surrey Hills, Poached eggs.

I have found a new walk to walk every morning. Bronte to Bondi along the coastal path. Up at 6.30 I wake poor Zoë and drag her out of bed, drive to Bronte and we walk. God damn, such beauty we pass in nature and human form. “You missed that one.” Zoë said this morning as some perfect being sprinted past us and out of sight. And such is the nature of my addictive personality I want to run back and catch a glimpse of what ever I had missed. We mostly both walk quietly, however, lost in our own thoughts. Gazing out to sea. It always looks so inviting even though there were warnings of bad currents at Bronte. The air is wet and piquant with sea spray that dries the moment it touches our faces. I love my morning walk, all my thoughts are collected there. I don’t have the same sort of meditative experience that I have on Runyon Canyon but quite frankly I am never so full of loathing and resentment here as I am in LA. Here I am calm and fearless. Perhaps my renewed vigor in AA has caused me to be less furious. Perhaps I just feel safer and why shouldn’t I? Anyhow, what ever it is, I am losing weight, being calm, tanned and start the day with a new kind of optimism. I passed three dogs on the path. This is not a dog culture. No tiny house bound, constipated dog children to negotiate, no screamers, no dust.

What will be will be.

We were going to Bronte yesterday to swim with Teddy and Anita but ended up at Nelson’s Park which is a harbor beach packed with Greek families swimming within the confines of the shark net. We swam beyond the net risking being eaten by great whites. Met Eugenie who used to go out with Oscar and had a brief flirtation with one of the Grimaldi boys and a bunch of Zoë’s very thin chums who were being perved over by men who sat like vultures at the periphery of the group. The girls are so thin most of them look like boys. No wonder thin women feel they need breast augmentation. I swam with Teddy and James in the warm water then we went for a precarious rock climb along the shore. I am not a sprightly as I once was and lagged behind these 22-year-old boys who scampered over the rocks like lizards. On the way back we discussed how a lobster sheds its shell. They did not believe that a lobster could shed its entire shell and sit soft and vulnerable on the ocean bed whilst it waited for its new exoskeleton to harden up. This odd knowledge comes from me hanging around the kitchen at Wheelers listening to Delia, who, by the way I miss terribly. When we all got home and verified the disputed lobster information on the Internet I won a $5 wager.

On the way to the beach a small, old woman was trapped in the drive of her huge Vaucluse home by a selfish person who had parked in front of her gate. We commiserated with her and wondered who could have possibly done such a thing. I told her it was probably the muslims which she agreed with without a seconds thought. It would seem that Muslims and global warming account for all most every bad thing that happens nowadays.

Anita cooked dinner for us all at her Mother’s house and then we drove to Hyde Park barracks to listen to Hip Hop, which was all part of the Sydney Festival. Ugly Duckling were the headliners and of course we found ourselves back stage with the politest most unthreatening rappers you ever did meet. I entertained them with my meeting Jay Zee in New York and The Game in LA stories which dumb found people who know about rap. Anyway, Zoë knew the guys who were on before Ugly Ducking who are the sweetest, blue-eyed, public school boys who rap about how nasty stale muesli is and his mum asking him to tidy his room. Very sweet. The white, middle class audience bobbed around half-heartedly. White rap is not as authoritative as black rap. You simply don’t feel that thump in the chest that you do when you hear black rapper men shouting at you. We went to the gaslight after the concert and bid farewell to James who flew to London this morning. I did not envy him flying back to London. Not one bit.

5:22 PM

January 7, 2007 – Sunday

Oscar Humphries

FRUIT BATS

It is cloudy again today but deliciously warm and humid.

Most of my days here in Sydney are spent doing what I came here to do: write. I write in the mornings. I get up at 6am. I spend a good hour messing around on the internet. Read mail, the news: BBC, Huffington Post, look at messages left for me on various web sites. I write my required AA lists then my private diary. I leave the room to write my film (75 pages so far) and this occasional blog at a deli on Victoria Street where I am in love with the boy who serves coffee (flat white). As we all know it is impossible to buy a bad coffee in Sydney. I get back to the hotel room and check the Dorian Gray web site stats. We are getting a huge volume of hits from France where David Gallagher is a TV star. I mean over 2000 hits a day, which is phenomenal for an unpublicized site.

On occasions I don’t write at all and just explore the streets of Sydney either on my own or with my friend Ben. On Sunday morning Ben, Jake (the artist) and I found a cafe in Erskinville and ate chicken salad, drank delicious coffee and I poured Demerara sugar straight from the bowl on the table into the palm of my hand and ate it like a child. We sat there for hours discussing Australian art whilst tropical rain fell torrentially onto the streets. A uniformed policeman and his female mate came into the cafe to escape the rain, he was so beautiful I asked him if he was a stripper.

I walk despite my poor burned hip which is horribly painful. I have bought books and food but little else. I am training myself to follow a pre-planned path and not get way laid by beauty. I have only seen one must have item: a modernist carved marble lamp in my friend Ken’s shop in Darlinghurst.

Cooked dinner last night at Zoë’s house. Huge frizze salad with boiled egg, lardons, walnuts and chopped freshly cooked asparagus. We bought some delicious salami and mozzarella and Turkish bread, which we all tore apart and devoured the moment we sat down. Baklava for pudding with guava juice. Ben, Zoë, Rose, Teddy, Larry, Jack, Jack’s girlfriend and another girl all no more than 22 years old. Very Sydney, so much fun.

Zoë is renting a beautiful basement in Surrey Hills and has invited me to move in tomorrow so I rented a car and am suddenly FREE! Whenever I get here I am trapped by old habits. I never really move from Sydney yet there I was washing my smalls in the hotel laundry waiting for the dryer to dry and I started looking at a map of Australia. I knew immediately that if I did not take advantage of this opportunity I never would. I am going to drive into the desert, the red heart of Australia. I have only ever explored New South Wales and parts of Victoria. I have been to Nyngen, Forbes (Charles Wilson’s beautiful country house), Melbourne, Tilba and Condoblin where I travelled with Georgina and Oscar Humphries who wrote very offensively about the Australian country tradition of the Batchelor and Spinsters ball. I took millions of pictures that ended up in a sunday magazine and an exhibition of Australian reportage.

Back in tedious LA things have been going a pace. Before I left Hollywood I realized that I had been the victim of a terrible fraud and so had to deal with it. The worst thing about knowing that things are ‘not right’ when you are naturally paranoid is sorting the fact from the fear based fiction. I had to write a difficult letter. The truth, and nothing but the truth. It took a week to write the bloody thing. That said, when it was done I felt a whole heap better. Lawyers in these circumstances are not your best friends. When I fought my ‘divorce’ in court I did it on my own and as honestly as any one can in the circumstances. The courtroom and the truth are not, one quickly realizes, synonymous. Even after I had written the letter my index finger hovered dangerously over the return key for a good few days. I just kept praying for guidance and asking God and my few trusted friends what they thought of what I was doing.

I hate having to fight fairly yet when I fight unfairly I end up loathing myself. In a world which seems rigged against most of us most of the time this primitive side of my nature becomes essential. The courage to change the things I can, it’s tough to be courageous. It’s hard to turn up in a city with nothing and make a film from scratch. It’s tough to do things in an unusual and challenging way. For all of producer Brad W’s defects of character he taught me to pick my battles wisely.

I pressed the button and off it went for only God to determine the outcome.

I have been thinking a great deal about Tracy Emin-what a great artist she has become. I saw a photograph of a sculpture that reminded me of the roller coaster at Dreamland in Margate and of course that is exactly what it was. A scaled down naive sculpture of the roller coaster at Dreamland. It was so wonderfully evocative. Tracy and I both come from Kent, villages that are not so far away from one another and we are about the same age. She was the girlfriend of Billy Childish who I was at art school with and very close friends with. It was because of Billy, I suppose, that I was suspicious of the authenticity of her work but let’s face it: if she was ever influenced by Billy Childish as he loudly claims she has well and truly flown his coop. When she makes work away from the mirror she excels. Building the Whitstable beach hut in the Saatchi gallery for instance was a stroke of genius. I loved her helter skelter tatlin tower at White Cube and now I love her roller coaster. I remember the experience of Dreamland so well. The coconut matting to slide down the helter skelter. The clockwork ticking of the roller coaster, the abrupt ending and the fearful screams. I loved it, as did she. Tracy has evolved into a bone fide arts star. One of the best of British.

I cannot tell you how much I love being sober, how much I love my sobriety and how I am loving writing the most thorough and grueling step one. Sometimes I feel so ‘here’ that it’s as if all my skin has been removed and I experience the world as a raw unborn thing.

Every night I watch the bats in the sky, huge fruit bats flying haphazardly in the twilight. Streams of them, black flapping chattering to each other all the way home.

7:56 PM

January 6, 2007 – Saturday

Sydney. lay on Bondi beach yesterday with Charles, Anthony and Sophie. Had dinner at Lotus with Cameron and Zoe. Decided to go to bed early. Burned my hip in the sun. I am happy. Not really worrying. Drifting aimlessly when I am not writing or walking or going to AA meetings. I am bored with my hotel so am going to move. I may hire a car tomorrow and drive down the coast. I will. I think that I will.

The script is coming along very nicely. It is better than I expected. Works well.

Decided definitively that I am going back to London to live as soon as I can.

When I walk the streets I am inspired, alive, able.

4:46 PM

December 28, 2006 – Thursday

Sydney

Sydney New South Wales Australia

I am back in the southern hemisphere, arriving on the chilliest day of the summer. It was a relief, however, not to step into sub tropical Sydney. A delicious wind cooled the usually sweltering mid summer city. I left my lap top in the taxi but it was returned to me. At night I noticed how hot the stone buildings were, that my skin was already mildly burned. I managed to deal with the jet lag in two days. This morning I woke at a very respectable 7am.

Since I arrived in Sydney I have eaten three times at the new Tropicana (chicken salad) now finally at home back in its original place on Victoria Street. I have eaten flourless orange cake at the new Dov also on Victoria Street and tasted their delicious, home-made, sticky nougat loaded with candied cherries and almonds. I saw Ursula and Kate who now part own Dov with Matt Onions. I walked the streets to see what else has changed. I walked so hard that my calves hurt. I joined the gym, and worked my chest and shoulders. I found NA meetings and AA meetings and caught a cab to Bondi Junction and met Ben and drank more juice at The Tropicana.

I visited the dentist and had my teeth cleaned. I made further appointments to have a small filling in a tooth on my upper jaw and replace a broken veneer.

I listened to the varied bird song and realized what I missed so much in LA but for all my bitching and complaining how LA had reconnected me with AA, a connection I hadn’t felt for years and years. I bought a phone and got myself a new phone number. I smelt the sweet lush blooms on the trees on the street and listened to the mewing of the birds that sound like crying babies. I looked out for familiar faces and found them. I looked at the bald black-headed egrets in Hyde Park; I gazed at the huge bronze sculpture of Queen Victoria. I was just too damned excited. I have not seen the huge fruit bats migrating from Centennial Park but I am sure that I will.

I walked to Kings Cross, Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Woolloomooloo. I began walking up Oxford Street to Paddington but decided to do that some other time. I realized that the lower gay part of Oxford Street was now filthy dirty and far too many toothless drug addicts asked for spare change. For every fit, beautiful Sydney boy/girl there was a scrawny homeless addict to remind one where one might have ended up or might yet.

Surprisingly Sydney does not feel as optimistic as it once did. It feels like an anxious place to be compared with the ebullience I felt here a few years ago. Apparently, according to friends, China is making some parts of Australia fabulously rich but not here. Buying minerals, feeding the great 21st Century Chinese expansion.

I have no expectations for New Years Eve. What ever happens, happens. May go to bed, may watch the fireworks.

I have written 21 pages of my new script and I am falling over myself to complete it. It flows out of me like a torrent. It always happens like this here in Sydney Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere. I find my voice. It was here at this table that I wrote Dorian, it is here that I am writing Untitled LA Project and already a new world exists on the page. What could be more exciting than that?

1:23 AM

December 19, 2006 – Tuesday

Deal or no Deal

I am still in bed with what has developed into a hideous chesty cough. I should never have gone to my AA meeting last night or had dinner at Ago even though I love risotto and had truffle shaved all over it.

As I lay in my large bed my mind drifted from this illness to the first time I remember being in hospital when I got my scull crushed in a car accident when I was 5 years old. The next time I ended up in hospital was when I was 13 years old for being a nuisance at school. I thought that I might spend some time this morning writing about that. I remember playing canasta with Edna, hiding the drugs they gave me in my ear so that I did not have to take them, St Augustins, Pandora with the flakey teeth and the morgue. I thought that I might write about my being hospitalized when I was 25 in Sutton at the Hendserson Hospital and describe Sarah who killed herself and the blood in her room and knitting during group therapy but I have decided that I am going to write about that some other time.

Instead, I am going to write about people who read this blog and try to use it against me. Who contact friends and organizations with disinformation, who try to derail my film and me. For it came to pass this morning that I was sent a whole heap of e-mails from people I had worked with who are dissatisfied with me, who are working tirelessly against me and my film.

The more damage these people cause, the less likely I am inclined to get the film out of the box and try to raise money to finish it. The less likely I am able to attract an investor. As you may know, if you have been diligently reading this blog, I am about to start making a movie in the UK. Some of you naughty minx seem to be under the misapprehension from you’re e-mails that you can do damage to me. If I lived in the scum you call you’re lives then no doubt you could indeed hurt me badly. But I do not.

Nothing you can do to me will ever stop me being creative or living a wonderful life. Nothing you can do to me can take away my sobriety, which is more important to me than any fucking film or any one of you.

I have passed these e-mails to my lawyer and any further attempts to scupper our film will be met with fierce counter measures. You are not the only ones who can make life very difficult. I urge you to consider this: You do not hurt me when you do these things you merely hurt the people who genuinely want to benefit from making art. the DP, the actors etc. By reducing the value of the film you merely stop yourselves from getting the money you are rightly owed under the agreement of your deferment deal. You do not and cannot hurt me. You merely hurt yourselves and the others that are owed money.

I urge you to work with me to deal with this problem as best we can.

11:09 PM

December 17, 2006 – Sunday

Dreams

Last night I dreamt that it snowed in Los Angeles. The snow glinting in the sun, melting fast, too fast to fetch my camera. The snow held on longer in the valleys in the deep shadow. It was an exciting dream.

I have been very ill in bed with my cold. I am too ill to leave the apartment, too ill to call anyone. Dom came over yesterday but I no longer trust him and eyed him suspiciously over the matzoh ball soup he very kindly delivered me. He is so crazed with love for Joe it is embarrassing and frankly, tragic. Joe is just as bad using poor Dom to fill his time before he does the decent thing and goes back home to England to do something sensible. Dom genuinely believes that he can be Joe’s boy friend.

By yesterday, full of phlegm, I had had just about enough of being here. I craved my little cottage and the brown Whitstable sea. I craved The Tudor Tea Rooms, Wheelers and The Whistle Stop. I craved Mother’s pride and Marmite. I craved poached eggs. I craved anything that wasn’t me here and now. It was apparent that nothing I could do was going to change any component part of what I am suffering.

Joe the mountain scientologist visited me and showed me his new bicycle helmet. Merritt swung by and set up the printer that had been sitting in it’s box since it was bought weeks ago. Devon brought more soup as did Aleksa’s mother Sabrina who made a wonderful, soothing concoction of limes, cayenne pepper and hot water.

Being ill here reminds me of this time last year when I ended up in Cedars (hospital) with that terrible leaking spine. The devastating head ache, unable to speak, to stand up. Then being saved by and staying with David and Hunter. Meeting Hilary. The way the doctor fixed it with that blood patch. I refused the anesthetic. Laying there begging that the pain be taken from me. I thought that I was going mad. I thought that I was having a nervous break down and all along spinal fluid was draining out of me. Just like George Clooney.

Phil left text messages. Cheered me up. She will never make it here-maybe in February for Mexico and the whales.

It was cold when I woke this morning; there was a bite in the air. I cannot stay in bed all day. I can’t do it. I have to do SOMETHING productive. Make lists. Write.

Apparently, if you threw a cat onto a 15th century funeral pyre the cat represented the devil. When I was a child I had a recurring nightmare that I had thrown a kitten into a fire.

9:07 AM

December 15, 2006 – Friday

December LA. I have just returned from NYC. Whilst I was there Will Self walked (for the press) from Kennedy Airport to his Downtown hotel. He is here in the USA to promote his new book. It will be just as bad as all of the recent others. I can just imagine him striding pompously along the LIE puffing on his pipe baffling the accompanying journalist from the NY Times with a whole lot of long words. He is truly the Gerard Manly-Hopkins of our age.

It is not perhaps the time to admit this but whenever he used to visit me in Whitstable I was always terrified that he would break something. He would change a shitty baby on a white bed or open oysters directly on wood causing great scratches in the wooden kitchen counters. One night I had Janet Street-Porter, Will Self, Deborah Orr and Jay Jopling around that tiny zinc dining table in my Whitstable kitchen. They are all HUGE people in stature and ego. Deborah used to be huge laterally which caused everybody I know to think that she was extraordinarily fecund. You just have to imagine Will Self and you start using words like fecund. Will is a sweet man but he uses his celebrity to ensnare then his verbosity to crush too many willing victims. What ever may or may not happen to Will and I, I am glad that we have been friends.

Time is the greatest distance between two people.

From a distance one quickly sees the people one has known for who they are and forgive them their defects of character. Janet is a cold fish, a snob to boot but her eccentricity is what makes me proud to be British. At dinner Deborah asked Janet why she had never had children. It was a question only Deborah could have ever asked Janet. Janet told us that one of her husbands had had a child who died. She said that she never wanted to suffer the pain she saw him endure. It was really very touching.

Deborah Orr. I never really trusted her or her incessant moaning. She is undoubtedly a genius, more so than her husband. Her intellect is a thing of great beauty. I would much prefer to hear her spout than her moribund husband. She endlessly reminds anyone who will listen that she comes from Govan, a very rough part of Glasgow. When Deborah and I met Lulu at Jay’s house one night I made Deborah tell Lulu where she came from and Lulu made a grand whooping noise and brushed her fingers against her nose to indicate how POSH it was. Lulu grew up in the Gorbals, which used to be a total shit hole.

Anyway, enough of the aptly named Self’s.

I walked the Canyon at 7am this morning. It was so pretty but my heart was heavy. I cannot imagine living here after I get back from Australia. I will do a few months of Dorian then it is time to get on and go back to Whitstable. I expect to be there by June. I listened to the same sort of conversations on my way up that I heard when I left, two frumpy women in badly fitting sweats complaining about some one who had wronged them. On the way down two executives were discussing powerful studio men. They were in awe.

I have done my stint, paid my dues to LA. I have stayed sober in LA. LA has been an interesting home for me but as I have said before it is like living in Whitstable, yet there in no allure. LA is a small town with small people. Self important, heartless and occasionally very, very cruel. The squabbles are no different or important from those I might hear in The Duke of Cumberland. The fights I witness in Hollywood are as vicious as any I have seen outside the kebab shop on Whitstable High Street.

Thankfully my shrewd investments may make this year my most profitable yet my ‘profit’ of course would scarcely pay for the mixers at one of Jay’s parties!

I am on the edge of something here in LA. On the edge of a continent or on the edge of my own life? I cannot continue this journey without a serious moment of reflection yet wherever I settle I am at the mercy of my own madness. My life has been all about shopping and fucking yet with none of the irony that this may suggest.

Somebody once asked me if I had ever been proud of anything in my life. I can honestly say that I am proud of every achievement I have ever made. Every play, film, dinner, room, article, sobriety, garden, blog. I am proud of all these things because I have had to do such terrible battle with myself to get anything done. The worst part of ME has always been my most terrible adversary. There is no one else to blame. I used to blame my stepfather but whatever seeds he sowed I have propagated. Every day I wonder who will get the best part of my day, that Duncan Roy or this Duncan Roy.

Finally, whilst in NY I contacted very old friends. A Whitstable friend and someone I had not spoken to for seven years. It was such a relief to call him. I was walking in what used to be the shadow of the twin towers. I suddenly remembered his telephone number and like a spell, a long forgotten spell I dialed the number and listened to his voice. It was wonderful.

Today I counted 27 dogs on Runyon Canyon.

9:20 AM

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