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:
First, if you’re going to out someone, then out them. Itay Hod did not out Schock in his piece, he outed a “hypothetical” congressman who just happens to fit Schock’s resume. He also presented thin evidence, which consisted of hearsay from an unnamed journalist friend and video footage that he claims TMZ has of Schock “trolling gay bars.” Hod knows a Facebook post is the only place this cuts it; that’s why it appeared there and not at any publication.
Secondly, a group of several gay journalists and activists on Twitter — including Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, John Aravosis and Josh Barro — have decided that mocking Schock for exhibiting stereotypically gay attributes, like caring about his clothes and body, or following Daley on Instagram is the way of dealing with him. This is the same sort of behavior that the same people have said is harmful when it happens to closeted LGBT kids in schools. And, when I look at this happening publicly, I know that those closeted kids could be seeing it too. If it’s harmful for those kids to see athletes say anti-LGBT things, how isn’t it harmful for them to see prominent out people teasing Schock for his pants?
Chris Geidner is the sole brave gay journalist who dared criticize the velvet mafia for their inchoate name calling and bullying… aimed at Republican Politician Aaron Schock… the reason for this gay vitriol? Hunky journalist (we only agree with the good-looking ones) Itay Hod posted some ugly, muddled references on his Facebook page to a man who might hypothetically be Aaron Schock.
I’m not a fan of Aaron, he’s a typical… loathsome republican with typically unpalatable views with an unlikely sartorial edge, an atypical personal aesthetic and a body that most gay men seem to die for.
Most gay men seem to think Aaron has a ‘gay body’ so must be gay.
Rather than homosexual… Aaron Schock looks to me like a right-wing narcissus. Remember the art of the Third Reich? Remember Die Partei, Arno Breker‘s statue representing the spirit of the Nazi Party, fetishizing male perfection? Like most young contemporary gays, young nazis were encouraged to aspire to an idealized body as proof of their loyalty to the state (the state of gay) and their undying patriotism. A common right-wing obsession.
Aaron has embraced the people’s fascination with his perfect abs and pecs whilst extolling the values of racial purity, militarism, and obedience. Perhaps that’s exactly why the white, elite gays believe Aaron is a homosexual… because he is a full on, 100%, bone fide narcissist.
And, if you are wondering… defending him from the gay mafia does not make me a self loathing homosexual. It makes my blood boil that hate speak usually reserved for gay people is being used by gay people against a man who may or may not be gay.
Aaron! If you had only kept your abs to yourself, your (some might say) good looks under wraps… and your Instagram private… the gays wouldn’t have noticed you in the first place. But all those pics of you with your bronzed pecs and tight white underwear have driven the gays wild. And, like Tom Cruise before you… all the gays really want… is… to fuck you… convincing themselves and others that if they want you that badly… there’s no chance you’re straight.
You’ve confused the average gay, blindsided him with your million watt smile.
If you had been an ugly troll saying hateful things… the gays wouldn’t care less who you were fucking. Anyway, they’d have already caught you with your mouth behind a glory hole or paying for boys on rentboy.com and dismissed you with a limp wave and a meh.
But Aaron, much to their consternation, you seem to be sexually abstinent. Nobody has caught you with your pants down with anyone… male or female. Because you don’t take your pants down? The gays NEVER understand celibacy or abstinence or how all men are not exactly like them. It drives them crazy that they can’t catch you, shame you, kill the demon of homophobia within… then fuck you.
Itay Hod and his jacked up supporters are crude, repellent people. Old fashioned bullies… judgmental and prescriptive. If you dare disagree with their group think assessment you will be damned to hell… just like Chris Geidner…
For a bunch of guys who loathe judgement in others the gays sure got judgmental about the rest of the world. Since the Supreme Court DOMA decision the gays have woken up… emboldened, embracing their power. Like children, testing their parameters, the boundaries of what can and what can’t be said or done. Sadly, after a life time of hibernation, they have taken on the attributes of their worst enemies.
Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, John Aravosis, Josh Barro.
They are, after all, just men. White gay men, looking down their noses at the rest of us.
While the affluent, white gays sink into a sanctimonious swamp the rest of the LGBTQ alliance look on at them with barely concealed embarrassment.
Their treatment of Schlock, their asinine assumption that he is gay based on pics of his bare-chested, manicured body… his trousers, his shoes… says more about them and the type of gays they are… than the kind of straight man Schock is.
Dodgy circumstantial evidence convicts Aaron Schock of homosexuality in the court of the velvet mafia. Using gossip and here say, bad shoe pics and plaid pants as indisputable proof of his gayness.
This is BULLSHIT!
I thought is was who we were fucking and loving rather than who we were aping that made us gay?
Perhaps Aaron Sch-jock is truly asexual? Maybe he’s waiting for the right guy… maybe he’s a pedophile practicing abstinence… or suffers erectile dysfunction and hates the gays because they are so obsessed with hard cocks?
What of it? It’s all conjecture until he tells us what he is if he feels so compelled.
The guy is a republican hater who dresses like a european and loves showing off his abs… have you seen Instagram or Tumblr recently? Based on this proof… this ‘criteria’… the whole world (hopefully) would be gay. All of my young straight friends are posting pics of their abs and their shoes on Instagram and Tumblr every day.
Haven’t we got past this crap? That only pansies and girls do that sort of thing?
God forbid, what happens if Aaron comes out? Like Ken Mehlman before… who caused untold harm to fellow gay people. If indeed Schock is gay and comes out? There will be a parade. It will take the baying gays about ten seconds to shamelessly forget his homophobia, objectify his abs… go to his pool parties and drink his vodka whilst he condemns immigrants, destroys women’s rights and turns a blind eye to racist colleagues.
But don’t worry… he’ll be out and proud.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, a woman I know sent me a revolting picture of a skinned, live puppy attempting to escape a pot of boiling water.
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.
Even though these charming conversations have become legendary within the fashion industry… receiving great reviews from all who attend, there’s very little on-line that proves that they happen at all other than tiny, badly edited clips.
Fern deserves her own YouTube channel and somebody needs to organize this for her tout de suite.
Indomitable Fern is known most notably for her creation of New York Fashion Week but more importantly she is the consummate glass ceiling smasher. A brusk Russian jew prone to surliness, an inability to suffer fools, she also has a huge charisma and charm that softens her incisive questioning.
One feels that if anybody can, Fern can.
Interviews with Donna Karan, Polly Mellen, Tom Ford, Andre Leon Talley, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang charting the genesis of their personal style, describing the homes where they were brought up, relationships with their parents and their personal adventures within the fashion industry have moved and delighted her audiences.
I arrived at her Bruce Weber interview expecting a great deal. In the theatre sat fashion luminaries Grace Coddington and Ralph Lauren.
The lecture series was announced, Fern introduces a short film by Bruce Weber with notable scenes including his own days as a model, numerous famous names and an elephant Bruce likes to take pictures of draped with naked boys.
The problem with Bruce Weber? He’s not that interesting. When all is said and done Bruce is a married man obsessed with the homoerotic. With his wife Nan, sitting in the audience it would have been difficult for any great interviewer to ask pertinent question about the other elephant in the room. The humongous pink elephant in the room. The question I wanted answered… like all the others who sat with bated breath wondering if Fern would go there. The question we wanted answering but was never answered, “Bruce Weber, are you gay?
In 2013 post DOMA this would not be an unusual or impertinent question. He has, after all is said and done, devoted himself to photographing naked, young, super-fit, white boys. He is brilliant at photographing naked white boys because he loves them. He worships them. Everything else he photographs dulls by comparison.
Bruce says that taking a picture of a beautiful boy is like a ‘handshake or a hug’ I would go further… every time he takes a photograph of a beautiful, naked, white boy he is fucking that boy, caressing his ass, sucking on his cock. The photographs and the films of beautiful, naked, white boys ooze sensuality, eroticism and the merest suggestion that we are only one shot away from seeing them hard and proud… shooting jizz all over their perfect white bodies.
Bruce Weber, are you gay?
Bruce Weber, why do you only shoot white boys? Why is there never a black or asian or pacific islander in any of your pictures? Why do people like Grace Coddington or Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren let you get away with this appalling racism?
Bruce Weber, have you (like Terry Richardson) ever used your power and prestige to encourage those boys you photograph to do other more extreme things for your camera?
I had lunch with a friend on Saturday who was also at the interview and (once we had discussed Terry Richardson sexual unmanageability problems) both lamented Weber’s lack of openness. We concluded that if we are truly looking for clues about this maybe closeted, married sixty-five year old man we may look no further than a dull, almost forgettable story he told about a beautiful man carrying an air conditioning unit.
Walking in the street Bruce stops and, risking a ‘punch on the nose’ asks a half-naked man carrying an air-conditioning unit if he can take his picture. If it is his true intention to simply take a picture why would the man want to punch him on the nose? If Bruce’s intention is to seduce the man… then a punch on the nose seems more likely.
I can shamelessly ask to take anyones picture if I only desire to take pictures. But if I am shamed by my desire for you, I want you to open yourself up to me, let me take you to a quiet place and take pictures of you as a means to watch you do things you keep private… then the implicit threat of violence seems more likely.
Beneath the chubby, bandana wearing kindly old grandfather facade lurks a self loathing homosexual, terrified of clearly and truthfully expressing his desires.
The interview was not as great as it could have been because we all colluded with Bruce Weber’s charade. If we could have gotten past the crust of self-hatred then a perfectly brilliant interview might have happened. No such luck.
Finally, Bruce expressed his frustration… hatred even for the democratization of photography, for Instagram, for Facebook postings. In Bruce’s perfect, elite white world manned by an army of assistants, he advised us that we should take our most treasured digital images and have them printed on expensive paper and make books as perfect keepsakes. Bruce lives in a world of perfect keepsakes, of platinum blonde golden retrievers bred by east coast breeders. Bruce lives by the sea, in the mountains, in the city keeping his eyes peeled for perfect boys who may or may not become stars in a world where naked Russian dancers come on seven month adventures around the world.
“Sergei, come travel with us.”
A faux commune of beautiful, young, white men, strumming guitars in the moon light. Warmed by flickering log fires, sitting on Navajo blankets and always naked, their abs and lats and still wet hair glistening from skinny dipping in crystal clear water and always ready for another perfect photograph.
Hush now, the girls have gone to sleep. Let me lay beside you and enjoy you for a little while.
The narrative is always the same in the cult of Bruce. The gently spoken, self loathing homosexual who needs his wife’s permission to buy another dog….
Is everything hunky dory?
It better be.
Fern asked how I spent my days and I was hard pressed for an answer. I didn’t have an answer for her.
I collect coupons. I should have said that I collect coupons and write yelp reviews about coffee shop loyalty. I should have said that I tinker with my script and have long conversations with my expensive, world-renowned lawyers about THE LAWSUIT.
I should have told her about the house I want to buy upstate. I should have told her that I dream most of the day and that’s ok.
That my day is full of dreaming and dreaming and dreaming and that’s okay.
I should have replied that I have long lunches with beautiful men that I meet in AA.
I should have told her that I found this piece by Robert Indiana.
I should have said that I go stay in The Hamptons with show girls and equity trading billionaires. Billionaires who say things like, “I saw them at Frieze and I bought all of them.” Showgirls who, knowing someone else is paying, fills up the super market cart with pies and cream and cookies. Knowing that someone else is paying.
I should have told Fern that for the past month I have been seeing this man/boy who makes me laugh so hard I nearly pee myself. That we dress up and take pictures of each other.
We have been hanging out in bars with models and freaks and transsexuals. We have been exploring Williamsburg. We have been to book launches and fancy lunches.
Michael Costiff had a book signing at the Marc Jacobs book store on Bleecker St. There was an after party at the Soho Grand.
Diego arrived from Paris and we ate lunch with Hamish in The Gramercy Park Hotel.
I should have told her that I met Orlando Soria who is a dream and has a huge, winning smile and writes a fantastic blog that you can read here.
My friends from New Jersey supported a young artist so I took Ryan. Ryan comes everywhere. Like a sweet puppy.
Philomena, starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, is the story of a teenage girl who gets pregnant, is sent away to a convent to have her baby. The baby is consequently sold to rich Americans. It is a gut wrenching film. I cried nearly all the way through. Fern stayed dry-eyed throughout. I thought about my own mother and remembered that this was her story too. Teenage pregnancy, sent away to a local convent to scrub floors until I was born into a pool of blood and shame.
After the film we sat 30 floors above Manhattan in a bar called The Skylark. I met Sophie Kennedy Clark the girl who plays the young Philomena Lee. We smoked rolled cigarettes on the terrace and she explained that Vivienne Westwood had dressed her. That Vivienne had told her to take a pair of scissors to the dress if she needed or wanted to.
I met Philomena Lee and told her about my mother. She held my hand.
The Little Dog is, as usual, very chill. He becomes more trusting as he gets older.
I spent two days in the hospital having a stent removed from my gall bladder. Yes, I did.
I had dinner with Fern Mallis… who, as you know, invented fashion week.
After dinner we decided to attend the Giorgio Armani One Night Only event.
When we arrived we were whisked off to meet Armani who refuses to speak english but spoke english to Fern… because Fern is a legend.
On Sunday we went to the doggy Halloween parade in Tompkins Square Park but we couldn’t be bothered to wait in line.
In Woodstock we met a man wearing a lovely sweater.
I met a friend of Wendy Asher’s.
The hedge fund billionaire who owned the apartment also owned a perfect Nakashima coffee table.
The lounge is perfectly beautiful and looks like the Beverly Hills Hotel interior on Acid.
This is my Halloween costume:
It is a paper napkin with two slits torn into it.
The following day I went back to Woodstock to look at a lake house I want to buy.
This is me and The Little Dog in the view taken by Angelo:
Before I start. Before I show you more pretty pictures.
(I am loyal to those I love.)
I have something to say.
Something that needs capitalized.
I want to remind you that ARTISTS WILL PREVAIL. Unfalteringly. However or how often they are plagued by false accusation or malicious slur. However their friends are forced to defend them. Everything gets added to the pot.
The older, the more immune one becomes. I hear it all. Before… it made me crazy. Now I am inured. Eventually those who dare say it are forced to face me. Try stopping me.
These plebeians. No, no, no.
I was house hunting this weekend upstate. Looking at pretty interiors. Imagining cottage gardens. The full, fleshy petals of pale pink peony around the house. Imagining blackberries and apple. Dahlia in the autumn.
Gay and Lesbian cinema is enjoying a well deserved revival and two very special films are garnering a great deal of post Sundance attention.
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.
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.
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.
I spent most of last week staying with friends on Fire Island.
The Island community has all but vanished for the season. I spent my time writing and rewriting the script… exploring abandoned holiday houses and taking pictures of them.
I walked most days to the Canteen, a little coffee shop, and sat with a dwindling cast of island stragglers.
When I returned to the city I moved into my glorious apartment on Gramercy Park.
I am having a very Manhattan experience. Doormen, broken elevators, great views, little old lady neighbours.
The best thing about this apartment? It’s so damned cheap.
Returned to see Rufus Wainwright and support a friend’s charity.
I hung at SPiN with Franck and ate sliders and spicy chicken.
I was invited to the RRL Motorcycle party and sank into a mire of Americana.
Occasionally I would take the L to Brooklyn and see old friends.
All in all it has been a very easy return to Manhattan. Heading East. Heading in the right direction.
At some point I walked the dogs and eventually I made it to my bed.
The thrupple, along with the cult of Daddy, was a recurring theme throughout the summer.
Three men glued into a happy relationship, usually two older and a younger man working out the sort of relationship most people (straight and gay) might find not only convenient but also very rewarding.
My friend W met and fell for a couple he met on Fire Island and they have since become a thrupple. I like the word… don’t you? It’s as easy on the lips as wimple, one of my favorite words.
Robert arrived from London with his two boyfriends. My friend Fernando lives with two men in one large bed in LA. This, of course, is not a new phenomenon. Derek Jarman introduced me to three beautiful boys who lived on Shaftesbury Avenue in the early 80’s. I was entranced.
I find a relationship with one person nearly impossible, the idea of loving two men… well.
That’s just greedy isn’t it?
The cult of Daddy suits me just fine. The older man mentoring and investing in a younger man seems to have a superb historical provenance.
“He’s a semi gay, he needs my help to open a gym on Long Island. He’s very happy to see me and spend time with his girl friend.”
The big winners in this recent gay perestroika have been bi sexual and more sexually fluid folk. Curiosities become realities. The beginning of a seismic social shift in this country.
One the ‘other side’ is desperate to quash. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
This sexual revolution, because that is what it truly is, is not allied to any left-wing or socialist principle like it is in Europe. There is an American entitlement and arrogance built into the process.
‘I can have what I want when I want it. If they are getting something good… I want it too.’
The gay white, male lifestyle with its glamour, easy money, few rules of conduct, social mobility etc. is very alluring to many young heterosexual men. Especially for the poor, the disenfranchised and the beautiful.
We have learned to communicate with them and without the veil of shame or potential violence in tow they have come to us for advice and succour.
Straight women rarely compliment men. They never tell them they are good-looking, that what they are wearing is attractive, that they recognize the effort men have gone to.
Gay men are good at complimenting straight men.
They blush like girls. It’s only a moment, it seems, before a blush turns into something hot and heavy. If only for a moment.
The political conversation has shifted for thinking gays in the USA. Conservative organizations like the HRC lead by the lamentable Chad Griffin are forced to become more radical. They have achieved their wish for some partial, piecemeal marriage equality. Though the legislation is hardly a road map to equality for all Americans.
Women and black people are still second class citizens in the USA.
At dinner last night, three gay men and three lesbians. Between them they could not identify one female leader of industry. They could not identify one black leader of industry. The CEO of Yahoo was the closet we got.
The only other woman to be mentioned within this context was Martha Stuart but the very mention of her name unleashed a torrent of misogynistic vitriol from an older gay man.
I got to thinking about the Third Reich, we were discussing Yom Kippur, we were discussing the Germans. We were discussing the gays in the concentration camps and it suddenly dawned on me. The answer to a question that had been bugging me for decades: How were there so many gay men in the SS yet the camps were full of gays and lesbians?
Of course, we are seeing the same thing now. An elite corp of rich, white gay men with profoundly right-wing values who would gladly imprison people like me with radical, left-wing ideas.
The concentration camps were full of undesirable gays. The trannies, the butch dykes, the trouble makers who didn’t see things Hitler’s way.
No wonder the trans community are fighting particularly hard to be recognized, respected and their freedom to be acknowledged. Yet, unsprisingly there is a push back from the elite white gay men… as if the trans are spoiling the party.
Remember as you celebrate your so called equality… it is still possible to be fired from your job for being a gay or lesbian if you live in one of 35 states. In 45 states you can be fired for being a transsexual or by redefining your gender or simply wearing clothes that are generally supposed to be worn by the opposite sex.
The elite white gays are not interested in trans people, black people (unless used as sex toys), women, poor people or inclusivity.
The moment they achieved some sort of parity they turned their backs on the coalition of outsiders who had helped them achieve their equality aims.
My idea of hell: A White Gay President.
Last night we cooked dinner, we ate pork. We walked to the tea dance.
Later, I looked on-line to see what was going on. I lay in bed I wondered how long it would take for the right wing gay elite to look upon the left wing noisy gays… the anti establishment truth tellers as undesirables and start freezing them out. Throwing them into jail, silencing them? Like they did to Peter Tatchell in the UK.
My guess is, this is already happening… my guess is… this is happening to me.
I’m trying to write everything down but somehow the past few weeks have blurred into one long delicious adventure.
NYC and back again in the car.
Let me remember.
I drove east through death valley and this was the temperature:
I drove through Utah during the day which was very wise. Utah is very beautiful. Devastatingly beautiful.
You see. I can’t find the words.
I stopped in Des Moines and enjoyed the state building and the wonderful contemporary sculpture park given to the community by John and Mary Pappajohn, a Des Moines venture capitalist and his wife.
I met a young hair dresser with blue hair.
I stopped in Chicago and met a huge football player.
I spent the 4th July in Chicago. The Fireworks terrified Dude, my little brown dog.
I arrived in NYC. Just in time for the horrible heat wave.
It was so hot I had to leave the dogs inside the apartment during the day or risk them dying of heat exhaustion.
I sat uncomfortably in AA meetings.
I stayed on the upper west side. A block from Central Park.
We walked every day off leash at dawn around the Great Lawn. We saw beautiful young men exercising. We, being me and the dogs.
I met a beautiful man in the street and kissed him.
Why was I there?
I had gone east to reclaim my gayness after months of feeling like an ex-gay. Hanging onto the word queer as the only way to describe my isolation from the gays.
I spent my birthday at the cloisters with Richy.
I read from my blog at a Lower East Side gallery and they paid me for doing so.
I met more interesting people on the street.
I helped a friend edit his movie.
I rented a small house on Cedar Walk but didn’t spend any time there at all.
From the moment I arrived I had one extraordinary experience after another.
I met cool people, and coveted their things.
I was invited into their homes and onto their yachts, I met their friends and ate their food. I returned their hospitality by paying for them as and when they would let me.
I walked to Cherry Grove where I had breakfast with John Walters.
I had dinner with Andy Tobias…
… in my favorite Fire Island Pines home.
I met a gang of charming gay men from NYC who were kind and considerate.
I spent time with all of them in the city once I returned.
This one is called Jon.
As I let myself fall into the gay Fire Island days I began to remember how much fun being gay is. Even if I was sober and a little bit older.
I walked the beach.
I had a huge old man crush on this beautiful boy:
Who worked here:
I saw Justin Bond.
I looked in at the house where we lived for so many years.
And I met more men.
I spent time on my own. I found an abandoned cock ring on the board walk.
I walked miles of boardwalks with the dogs who came home covered in tiny ticks.
I finally met a beautiful man who left for India but lives in Paris who stole my head/heart.
I was so god damned happy.
The morning after the Pines Party I prepared to leave.
After ten days I took the ferry, then another ferry to Provincetown.
I rented a small apartment on the beach and met more men.
I hung with my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis but the sparkle that used to exist between us has gone.
We explored the graveyard. We found Norman Mailer’s grave and a pretty headstone with a small dog carved into it.
I ate a great deal but didn’t put on any weight as I walked so many miles every day.
I found this beautiful ceramic mirror frame:
I met more men.
Eventually I drove back to New York and stayed with friends. This is their view:
I partied with Jeremy Kost…
…and his friend.
I had dinner with Dan at Mary’s Fish Camp.
I had dinner with Thom at my club on the roof by the pool:
I wore this chic watch:
We worked on my film.
Then, after another week in the city I took the car all the way home again.
I met a hitch hiker who travelled all the way to California. His name is Albert.
I stayed in The Lincoln Hotel in Chicago.
I stayed in Denver.
I stayed in Utah.
We drove from Cedar City to LA in half a day.
We drove up the mountain in Malibu, up the drive and finally slept in our own bed.
It has been misty and cool.