I bought a huge green fur hat from Marc Jacobs. It’s very warm, very green and attracts many, many comments.
The people who comment fall into three distinct groups.
1. The people who comment most are African-American men and women who approach me with huge smiles and open hearts and say wonderful things about the hat.
They tell me how happy it makes them. They ask where they could get one. They love the color. They hold me at the checkout at Trader Joe’s and ask if they can touch it. Black school kids holler across the street.
2. White woman tentatively tell me how much they like it, how warm they imagine it is. They rarely look me in the eye and their diminished confidence allows them only the slightest… but genuine opinion.
3. Gay men. I sighed writing that. Gay men. I sighed again.
When gay white men (strangers) talk to me about my hat it is always with sneering disregard. They go out of their way to say something catty and unpleasant. They look at me witheringly, their comments infused with: who do you think you are wearing that absurd hat? They dress compliments up in such a way that confuses the listener.
If the African-Americans who complement my hat had not done so I would have nothing to compare the responses of the gays. I might think I was going crazy. But I’m not.
We all know what a heartfelt compliment sounds like and the gays seem incapable of giving one… unless (of course) they want to get laid.
Here are more pictures of our brief stay in Malibu and our trip home.
If a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended. It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.
I never met Nigella Lawson, not yet.
I only meet women like Nigella when they become irrelevant.
In my distant social orbit, light years from the warming sun of acceptability, circle the flotsam and jetsam of international society. Isolated by ignominy, the ex wives of current politicians, media titans and corporate mega moguls float in and out of the rooms of AA, expensive treatment centers in the Arizona desert, The San Fernando Valley and Malibu.
Aping the lives they once had with limitless funds, they buy a few stems of bruised tuba rose* from the same florist who once filled their many mansions with exotic blooms. Sumptuous bouquets placed on valuable escritoire, on silvered night stands, on grand dining tables.
As she leaves, she stands briefly on the threshold, looking down at her guilty feet and apologizes for the frugal fist of sweet smelling blooms. The florist looks on piteously knowing that her younger, more glamorous successor can spend whatever she pleases.
These cast off ex-wives, these frosty women, their faces wet with angry tears, looking to half-baked sober life coaches in first-rate treatment centers to recalibrate their lives. Drinking away their sorrows, dumped by men whose power they loved and whose money they spent. Yoga, sobriety, macrobiotics, spending, using, crying… nothing seems to work because all these women want is the sweet taste of revenge.
This week, one very lucky ex-wife gets her dues. She waited patiently on the sidelines of her ex-husband’s life to witness the crushing downfall of her Nemesis. Today, American born, Kay Saatchi is not only back in Charles’s life but has had the delicious pleasure of helping dispense the woman who caused Kay pain beyond description: Nigella Lawson.
Kay is delightful. I’ve met her on numerous occasions in Los Angeles. Of course she’s delightful! A man like Charles Saatchi wouldn’t marry an idiot. Kay is everything a powerful man would want, she is elegant, super smart, she has exquisite taste. Kay, nowadays, is sober. Yet, when Kay was drinking, she had an unpleasant habit of blacking out and talking gibberish about Charles. She couldn’t and wouldn’t stop. Even her best friend wouldn’t know how to stem the tirade. Her life, it seemed, could only be nothing… without Charles.
She would disintegrate into a seething mess of Charles Saatchi resentment.
The only hook Kay had in her ex as she watched in increasing horror as Nigella used Charles as a spring-board into her own rock solid career as international domestic goddess… was her/their daughter Phoebe who Kay moaned constantly was ignored by her father. When I asked Phoebe if her father ignored her over Christmas dinner a few years ago… she denied it, looked sadly at her drunk mother and told me that the only problem parent… was Kay.
Now, things are different. Kay is sober (unlike Nigella) and Kay’s undying love and loyalty for her ex husband has been rewarded by his begging Kay to help oust Nigella. Kay will never be Mrs Charles Saatchi ever again but she has made herself indispensable to him during his time of need, once again firmly cementing herself back into his life.
It is hard to explain to ordinary people the intoxicating effect of unlimited cash, how women like Kay and Nigella and now Trinny Woodall would willingly get involved with brooding Charles Saatchi. A man who throttled his ex wife in public. A man so ruthless he recruits his vulnerable ex-wife to destroy his current wife.
Do yourself a favor and read Andrea Dworkin’s Right Wing Women: the politics of domesticated females. Money and power are everything to some women. It defies logic and rationale. The patriarch, the provider, the batterer… do what ever you will to me and for me… I am yours forever.
The harsh glare of media scrutiny is lighting up every dark corner of Charles Saatchi’s famously private life during the trial of his former employees, The Grillo Sisters. It must be a painful time for secretive Charles. During the trial there was constant mention of the grown women (who were no more that indentured servants) as ‘family’ yet, as Deborah Orr points out in the only pro Grillo piece on offer this week…
“You cannot insist that someone is in your family, then cry fraud when they behave as if they are.”
The rich are different. They like to live beyond scrutiny, they operate without care for consequence. Partially, this week, on a micro and macro level justice was done. For servants like the Grillo sisters and for ex wives who crave revenge… like Kay Saatchi.
* Princess Diana‘s favorite flower.
It started with a short message and ended up with a whole bunch of choices I never expected.
Not in my wildest dreams.
I’ve read what you had to say. Now it’s my turn.
Stepping away from the mess. It’s not so messy. It seems like it was planned.
This pantomime. Look at the cast of unusual, freakish characters. Look at them.
Boys and men, trans and women.
Young girls. Yes. They are here too.
So you wrote me a poem. No title… of course.
We were connected .
When it expires we are expired.
The order? It was a good idea. It was a great way to formalize the end of our association. I can only imagine that you feel much the same way I do.
I wish we had never met.
Don’t you shudder whenever you think about it?
I understand why you needed to rewrite the narrative.
I took advantage of you?
You had far more to lose by telling the truth.
When assigning blame, I take full responsibility. I should have walked away.
Everyone I trusted advised me to do so. Everyone I trusted.
Instead, I pinned my hopes on you. I found your interest in me all at once baffling and inspiring.
A romantic relationship was impossible.
Because I am a broken, sick man. Incapable of intimacy.
You sold me:
A big fat lie.
Yet, we never talked about my lies. Yes, I lied to you about almost everything.
Lies I had held onto for a very long time.
This man is a liar. Just like me. Did you ever think that?
The last time I checked, and that was some time ago, you seemed very happy wearing your new clothes, your relationship, your job and your family.
I am delighted. You will make a much better job of being a gay than I ever could.
Your ability to form and maintain relationships will mean that you’ll have everything you always wanted. Everything you ever dreamed.
The questions I wanted to ask… I have no reason to ask.
The truth set you free and I am very proud of you… even though I have no desire to set eyes upon you ever again.
May 6th 2013
When did you have time to write that? Was it really meant for me?
Did you wonder if I should reply? Did you think I could?
There are no words left.
The storm rattles the house, thunders down the drain pipes. Torrents of rain over the mountain. Hammering down onto the wide, new leaves.
Make some toast and lime marmalade. Boil some eggs. Stand naked in the warm rain.
I’m sure you want to know.
Firstly, I want to thank the ACLU for co-counseling my suit against the Sheriff.
They have worked for months on this case and they have every reason to believe in a positive outcome.
My personal suit separated from the class action.
I am suing the Sheriff’s Department for a considerable amount of money.
I arrived early at the ACLU office down town. I met with my lawyers. I watched the 30 or so cameras being set up from TV stations all over the USA.
Jennie Pasquarella spoke first. A more eloquent speaker one could not hope to listen to. A more brilliant lawyer one could not hope to meet.
Like all of the lawyers who work for the ACLU she is motivated by fairness for all.
The principle of bail is something so fundamental, that you shouldn’t be held until you’re found guilty.
I waited my turn.
I listened again to this startling fact: The Immigration Department is mandated to deport 400, 000 people a year from the USA.
This fact alone never ceases to shock and amaze me. The implications, I’m sure, are not lost on any of you.
The last time I faced a barrage of press like that I was at the Sundance Film Festival. It was all about me.
Yesterday I was representing thousands of the disenfranchised, the oppressed and the wrongly imprisoned.
In light of Jerry Brown’s veto of the Trust Act and set against the back drop of a recent, damning report documenting violence and abuse in The Men’s County Jail, this case could not be more relevant.
Sheriff Lee Baca has been effectively told that he is incapable of running a jail by the board of supervisors.
Humiliatingly the Supervisors, not the Sheriff, will find someone more competent to run the jail.
Within minutes of the end of our press conference the Sheriff’s representative disputed the charge that the Sheriff’s Department has denied bail to anyone because of ICE holds.
“If you are able to post bail — say it’s $10,000 — and you’re an immigrant from wherever. With or without an ICE hold, we accept that,” said the spokeswoman, Nicole Nishida.
An outright LIE.
A report by prison expert James Austin cites data from Baca’s office indicating that at least 20,000 Los Angeles County inmates, nearly all of them Latino males, were subjected to ICE holds in 2011.
Latino males arrested, held in the MCJ, forced to accept spurious guilty pleas and deported equals: ethnic cleansing.
Nobody cares about them. Nobody gives a damn about undocumented workers. They are treated like animals. Even by my most (so-called) progressive friends.
Latinos spending their lives doing jobs white people don’t want to do, refuse to do in SoCal. They are the real victims of the economic catastrophe.
During the good times, we turn a blind eye to these men and women working at our behest for minimal wages.
When things get bad they are thrown out like yesterdays trash, rounded up like cattle to satisfy immigration deportation quotas.
It’s the same everywhere, when things get tough: blame the immigrants.
I heard my own mother blame Eastern Europeans for ‘taking our jobs’ back at home in Britain.
The Spanish-speaking press asked me: “Do you think Lee Baca is anti-immigrant?”
“You mean, do I think Lee Baca is a racist?” I replied. “Well, he is just part of the racist problem in the USA but he gets to be the executioner.”
In a country where most people are enslaved by debt, lack of education, obesity, religious/corporate ideology and hubris it is very easy to forget about ones own enslavement and think nothing of enslaving and demonizing others.
The primary reason I would never vote (if I could) for a second Obama term, regardless of his so-called pro gay marriage smokescreen (designed largely to melt liberal hearts) is his appalling deportation record.
The Obama administration’s deportation policies, which rely on cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, have already been challenged in California.
Legislation that would have prohibited sheriffs and police departments from enforcing ICE holds in most cases was, as I have already written, vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month.
Barrack Obama has deported more people from the USA than any other President in this country’s history.
It goes without saying that the Gay media and my local Malibu newspaper will totally ignore this story. I am neither pretty enough nor non-controversial for either to cover the story.
Even though it may be of interest to both communities.
Most gay men are unaware that if they fell in love with a non-American their state marriage certificate or their Foreign marriage certificate would mean absolutely nothing to the Federal Immigration Department.
Their husband/wife would risk deportation.
The gay men I know think that deportation happens to other people… you know… brown people. Not people like us.
Those same gay men run the gay media.
Scott McPherson from The Advocate told me recently that he totally supported The President’s immigration policy and (after I explained to him what a drone was and who was being killed by them) he told me he had no interest in who drones were killing.
All Scott wants is marriage equality. Apparently, only for Americans to marry other Americans.
You might think that Malibu is a liberal, open-minded place…. with all those rich über gays living down there on the beach… but I have endured more homophobia in Malibu than even my small home town village of Whitstable in Kent where one might expect the crushingly narrow-minded.
My Armenian neighbor was so vile about me and my young gay renter, her invective so shocking… it almost took my breath away.
So. It has begun.
Where the runes fall… is none of my business.
Somehow the very act of laying ones self bare, open to all sorts of scrutiny, is a relief.
Regardless of the outcome, I am very happy to be of service to those who can least help themselves.