Archives for posts with tag: BBC

Forgive me for rambling….

Rather lovely day yesterday.

Had lunch with Daniel Darling and his adorable girlfriend (?) in Cross Creek.

We were joined by Toby Mott and his friend Elizabeth.  Daniel went surfing and we drove to Malibou Lake where we sailed and then had a wonderful dinner at The Old Place on Mulholland.

Excellent food and service.  Charming!

A bird just hopped into the house and is now flying around.  We have just been for a five-mile walk so the dogs are strangely disinterested.

Willie is here visiting and we are all getting on like a house on fire.

I am going back to NYC next week.  I have people to see.  I think my Navy Seal may visit soon.

It has been fun having Toby visiting.  I sort of fall in love with my house all over again when he is here.  I am proud of the mountains, the house and the garden.

I see that my nemesis Amanda Eliasch and her truly talented friend Lyall Watson (whoring himself out to artifice) have written and performed in a ‘play’ called As I Like It.

Apparently it is rather ‘whiney’.  Apparently Amanda’s son Charles serves the actress who plays his mother as a weird, incestuous acolyte.  He has a huge head.  Apparently there is an opera singer with real talent who barely gets to sing.  Apparently the writer refers to ‘hairy legged lesbians’.  As we know, at her core, she is a homophobe.

Apparently this ‘play’ is crap.

It really isn’t any wonder, Amanda can scarcely string a sentence together.   It’s worth quoting the theatre programme notes:

This is a play what I wrote for my Father several years ago which he asked me to do after he had died. I turned it into a play with the help of Lyall Watson who had taught me at RADA in 1989. There are only a few plays for women and I wanted to contribute and increase the material available. It is a modern restoration comedy.

Yes.  You are going to do wonders for women with this pile of  tripe.  Wonders.

I once played Mr Puff at The Edinburgh Festival in Sheridan’s The Critic.   Have you seen that play?  A comedy of manners.  A real one.

Like Mrs Eliasch Mr Puff, the author of a terrible play, invites critics Sneer and Dangle to a dress rehearsal.

Puff explains to Sneer that he is ‘‘a Professor of the Art of Puffing’’: an author who has taught newspaper men and advertisers how to inflate their diction so they may ‘‘enlay their phraseology with variegated chips of exotic metaphor’’ and ‘‘crowd their advertisements with panegyrical superlatives.’’

Break a leg Amanda.  Read the review here.

By the way.  I was a terrible actor.  Terrible.

OK.  Next!!

What’s going on?  What’s really going on in the UK?

This ousting of the Murdoch family is well over due, applauded by the regime, the chattering classes, the aristocracy.

The public are baying for blood, hollering at the beastly Murdochs, “Get back on the boat like your criminal Australian ancestors.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.  Take your newspaper with you”

Hold on.

The British relish tittle-tattle.  We love it!  We love gossip!  The steamier the better.  Surely we didn’t lose our appetite for rooting through other people’s dirty washing?

Now The New of The World has gone…and the other news media get more cautious…

What, in heaven’s name, will replace it?

Are we witnessing the changing of the guard?  Has the internet (Google, Facebook etc.) and on-line news outlets like the Huffington Post trumped traditional media?

Apparently people don’t read The Huffington Post for the news..they read it for the gossip.

Was Murdoch simply too old, too complacent, too rich to have a grasp on our changing world?

Is this coup de grace being played out in the British press a pantomime we will see in the not too distant future in the USA?

One of the most telling quotes of the entire debacle:

The BBC’s business editor Robert Peston points out, the News of The World phone hacking scandal has hurt the entire UK newspaper industry, making News International less attractive to potential buyers if, as is now being posited, the British arm of News Corp is amputated and sold.

Does real, forward thinking money sees a future for print media?

Controlling the British has always been a huge problem for any invader and Murdoch will end up like all the rest.  Chucked out on his ear.  Romans, Saxons (initially invited), Norsemen, Murdoch.

The British public don’t a give a fuck about Jude Law having his phone hacked, that was just par for the course.  He deserved it.  They only started giving a damn when they realised that the police (who they loathe) were benefiting financially.

They only started caring when ordinary people just like them were proved to be abused, their ordinary stories sold, their phone messages ransacked.

Until Milly Dowler they didn’t give a flying fuck.  Then, rather amazingly, for an usually inert general public…they did.  And when the public speaks (remember Diana’s death) the establishment listens.

Remember the Queen of England reading/performing that excruciating statement televised by the palace at the behest of Tony Blair before Diana’s funeral?

The British let their leaders get away with much until they take too much.  A prudent leader will know when to stop.  Murdoch, his son and cohorts became too..how shall I say this without provoking your ire…they became too American.

It is obvious that American politicians are bought and sold by The Corporation.   They live huge lives with fantastic wealth and are applauded for doing so.

What baffles me is why a regular British MP with nothing much to gain should ideologically side with those who seek to do us, their constituents, harm?

During this entire scandal as heads began to roll I wondered again and again how British politicians benefitted financially from New Corp.  Unlike the paid for politician here in the USA it is unlikely that anyone in Parliament could benefit financially from anything…ever.

There are simply too many prying eyes.  Unless I am being absurdly naive.  Am I?

Is it simply the acquisition of power that our MP’s crave?

In spite of myself it was simply too thrilling to miss.  So, late last night, I tuned into the BBC‘s excellent news website and watched the Royal Wedding.

We, the British, are just so extraordinarily good at pomp.  I looked at the small computer screen in the middle of the night and what I saw took my breath away.  Why was I surprised?  Because, when it comes to state theatre, we are so consistently awesome.  The costumes, the characters, the music, the fanfare, the subtle variations on ancient themes.   The great processions inside and out Westminster Abbey of meticulously timed choir boys, guards, clergy, government and the Royal Family.

It was interesting to watch the inexperienced Duchess of Cornwall, waiting in the nave, not slip effortlessly into line as her husband obviously expected.  She was unsure of where and how to stand as they waited with The Queen before they walked down the aisle.

Both William and Harry looked so sweet in their ill-fitting uniforms and cheerful grins but one couldn’t stop ones self from remembering them with their mother.  The affection she had for them.

This was such a different wedding from that of their parents.

Miss Middleton, when she arrived, with her severe make-up looked like the daughter of the evil queen from Snow White.  In spite of the make-up I really loved the Sarah Burton designed dress, it reminded me of Grace Kelly’s and Princess Margaret’s.  I am sure it looked exquisite off the television.  I thought the Cartier tiara (made in 1936 and purchased by King George VI for his wife Queen Elizabeth) could have been bigger but if you are not used to diamond tiaras one might opt for a humble stack rather than a glittering pile.

The vows brought a tear to my wrinkled eye.

What was Charles thinking as they read the vows?  Was he thinking about Diana?  Does he ever?  His own vows read so cynically thirty years before.  Knowing that he would never keep them.

Princes Charles and Andrew, Princess Anne had all made those vows before the British public and all had failed to keep them.  Indeed, the rancid hag Camilla had been explicit in keeping Charles from ever honouring his vows to Diana.  As this motley crew of vow breakers marched down the aisle only The Queen and Prince Phillip had kept up the very royal appearance of monogomy…even though they both have well-known romantic skeletons in their armoires.

The Queen’s affection for her now deceased horse trainer Lord Porchester is very well known..some say that her last two children are his children not Prince Phillip’s.

The American commentator on CNN was dumbfounded that the bells that pealed before and after the service were pulled by real live campanologists.

When I first heard that Diana, Princess of Wales was dead (Joe called me from NYC) my first tearful thought was for those two poor boys.

Seeing William’s face with Diana so evidently in his smile, his complexion and his demeanour.  The warmth and evident love he showed his bride at the altar.  I was moved to remember her.

Like so many people I wondered if she had lived, what Diana would have worn, who she would have arrived with.  Her new husband maybe?  Children?  I wondered what she would have made of William’s decision to marry Catherine and I concluded that she would have been very happy indeed.

Although she paid with her life, Diana’s loving influence over her sons bore fruit for all to see, not only for the monarchy but for our nation.

The ring did not fit but together they made it work.  A good metaphor.  This relationship may very well have ‘legs’ as they say here in Hollywood.

There was something deliciously bucolic about the interior decoration of the Abbey.  The trees, the green and white foliage.  They had somehow redressed this huge Abbey as a local church.  The scale of the event that was very, very human.

As much as I loved watching two young people get married I was also aware that many modern British folk, contemporaries of mine, loathe the idea that this wedding cost them so much and when pressed, err toward the idea of a republic.

The same people believe that come the death of The Queen ‘things will change’.  I very much doubt it.  This inherited power/money is hard to re-imagine for those who inherit it.

There was a moment when The Queen, The Duchess of Cornwall and Carole Middleton were standing together outside Westminster Abbey chatting.  Carole’s leg was buckled into a static curtsy, a look of bewilderment on her face.  The daughter of working class labourers and miners from  Northern England.  This woman is perhaps the most perfect example of how Britain is changing and how our attitude to class is subtly evolving to be perhaps more inclusive rather than overtly exclusive.

Carole’s buckled leg betrayed her class shame.  Knowing inherently that she had no right to be there, or rather…as her class rights had been originally written.

Only the Queen has the power to suck the confidence out of whom ever of her subjects she is speaking, leaving one a mere husk.  Quaking.  I was on Smith’s Polo Lawn in 1984, stamping divots after the first chukka, the first time I met her.  I was perplexed that she was wearing dark glasses, that her suspenders were visible through her skirt. To then be introduced (even if I had been Lord Rendlesham for a few years) nothing could have ever prepared me to meet my Monarch.

I was uncharacteristically speechless.

The Queen is neither ego centric nor ruthless, she doesn’t need to be either.  She is known to be grumpy, obsessed with punctuality and desirous of simple pleasures.

I listened intently to the service, the words that are used during the matrimonial agreement before God.  It was very heterosexual.   A man and a woman wedded so that they may have children etc.

I listened closely to those words and wondered how they might apply to me…me and another man.

Then, foolishly I looked at Twitter and there was the reprehensible Perez Hilton checking out the boys at the wedding and tweeting lewd, inappropriate comments about Katherine’s brother.  Even if he was gay Perez, would he consider being ‘snatched’ by a fat ugly monster like you?

Then I check Facebook and my gay friends are also making lewd comments…objectifying Harry and Katherine’s brother.  It made me sad.

How do we square our childish behaviour with our desire to be taken seriously enough to demand marriage?  A fairy tale marriage?

P.S. My dear friend Tara Palmer-Tomkinson  looked amazing.

I am compulsive and it gets me into trouble.

I used to compulsively look at porn.  I have not done that for nearly two years.

I have looked at porn but I have not looked at porn compulsively.

I compulsively write this blog.  I used to really enjoy it.  The blog used to be lively and light-hearted.  Of late it has become a tool for me to compulsively work out my problems, my resentments and my fears.

I get up in the morning and compulsively check the numbers of people who read these pages.  My breath is shallow and I become pensive, my fingers ache and my mind races.  The modern opera that plays almost constantly in my head is, as I check the blog, full volume.

That’s not all I do.  I compulsively look at Huffington Post and the BBC then check the MLS and other regular sites.  I use the internet as a distraction from living life.  Instead of wasting my time I could be writing other stuff or doing more constructive things.

At therapy this morning I talked about being authentic as a way of dealing with my compulsivity but its going to take more than that.  What is it to be authentic?  For me it’s neither about being bigger or smaller than I am.  I need to be the right size.

I ruthlessly seek authenticity in others as well as strive for it in myself.  As a result of these unrealistic expectations I am disappointed by those I love then tend to isolate.  Risking being seen is just too overwhelming.  This accounts for why I felt so let down by him.  When you reveal yourself absolutely to another and they have little or no respect or appreciation..well..out comes the great protector who forces me to sweat in the armour of distrust.

It’s bloody difficult when one has acted a convincing role all of ones adult life to be authentic.  The role that was assigned to me by my family of origin.

For the time being I have to do the right thing.  Be that right guy, avoid difficult or challenging people, strive for a peaceful head.

Peace of mind.

Of course the last few months acting out my love and sex addiction with him may one day be looked back upon as some of the most destructive time that I have ever spent with another being.  It may not.  I am tied in knots about it.

My part in everything, every situation I am in, it all has to be owned.  Owned by me.

If I refuse to take action and stop this destructive behavior then the peace of mind that I crave, that when I first got sober used to be mine…will never, ever be achieved.

Picked four small peaches from the tree.  Had date last night.  Spent time packing art.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.   Loads on my mind today: Taxes, Tiger Woods, and Mr. Darling NYC.

The dogs are sitting on the bed looking expectantly but God only knows when we will walk again judging by the gloomy weather reports.

I seemed to have stirred up yet another hornets nest.

I want to make something clear to my hornets.  Like many of you I pay thousands of dollars in tax: federal, state and local taxes.  I pay sales tax, road tax and property tax.  In fact of all the taxes I pay the one that galls me most is my property tax, which at  $17,000 a year is unforgivably huge.

SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR.

An equivalent property tax in the UK for a similarly priced home would be $3,000 at most.

I pay all of my many and various taxes begrudgingly because if I don’t the state will take my home.  Why begrudgingly you may ask?  Well, a good proportion of my tax funds bogus wars I do not agree with and bank bailouts that counter my free market sympathies.   Wars and bailouts that just make a few people very, very rich and kill many, many innocent people.

My tax dollars help kill thousands of innocent people.

As one reader points out, I can’t vote so I am not able to have a say in the way my taxes are spent.  I am not allowed to get involved with politics here in the USA so I have no legitimate soapbox from which to stand and complain.   I only have this blog.

Rather than cast me as unpatriotic, ungrateful or as an America basher why can’t you understand that I, as a taxpayer have every right not to agree with the status quo.  The attitude some of my readers have that we have no option, that we are powerless in the face of government, that an opposing view is un-American, that the IRS has a right to rip us off so we may as well get used to it..is simply astounding.

My desire for all of us and our children is that we get what the rest of the developed world takes for granted:  that for just about the same amount of tax we pay or less in the case of the British the PEOPLE get so much more.  Let me tell you again:  three free years of education, public transportation, well maintained highways, healthcare, public arts, BBC etc. etc.

It is sickening that the majority of our tax dollars are simply drained away from the public to fight expensive wars, imprison people in private prisons, subsidize the pharmaceutical industry..the list is endless!    As a taxpayer I am outraged that so little of our hard earned cash works for the common good, for the investment in people so that we might halt this rapid decline and encourage invention, entrepreneurialism, and industry.

The price for a total lack of investment in the American people will be catastrophic.

Is it even logical to saddle the young with huge student loans and expensive health insurance whilst you fight costly wars or fund bank bailouts?  Can’t you see that education and healthcare are basic human rights and serve any prosperous nation? An educated and healthy workforce will serve a country so much better than those who live in fear of economic insecurity or health related bankruptcy.

I maintain my assertion that yesterdays mad Joe into the IRS stunt was a metaphor and should be understood as such.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear to all of you.  I believed in this country so much I moved all of my personal wealth from Britain only to see it vanish because of appalling fiscal mismanagement and endemic government mandated greed.  Greed that has not only destroyed our shared dream, the American Dream that many of us still believe in but the dreams of the next generation.

Of course I don’t want to fly an airplane into an IRS building but can understand the murderous frustration of someone who does.

Waiting at JFK outside a Peet’s Coffee and Tea drinking a paper cup of inflated airport priced coffee.  Peet’s charges a dollar extra to drink coffee at JFK than at any other location.

I am now up in the air on my Virgin America flight back to LA writing this.  My back is sore from clambering around Cooper’s air mattress and there is a small child behind me deconstructing the tray table.  Over and over again.  When he is not slamming the tray table he is kicking the back of my seat.  On no occasion has the accompanying parent corrected the child.  I am in no mood to correct the parent.

Apart from my deliciously pro Octomum rant, the blog post that caused the most negative reaction from readers was my blog about civility-also inspired by airplane etiquette.  The lack of civility between people simply interacting, in public life, or between countries.

Some examples stick in my caw:  Paris Hilton’s ex bf pissing on a homeless person, the guy on the flight to New York shoving his seat forcefully back ward or the racist congressman Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar in the White House.

There is little or no politeness/humility/vulnerability evident anywhere and that, as far as I am concerned, is the end of civilization.    Nor, I am afraid, are any of those attributes neither considered virtues nor championed by the media.

Yet, arrogance and self-centeredness is sadly understandable.   The culture of self-obsession encouraged by ‘therapy’ (I’m too selfish to have a relationship, I’m working on MY stuff).  Languishing in self.  We are all we ever think about.

Against a backdrop of unsanctioned wars, lying politicians, unchecked larceny committed by public servants entrusted with our hard earned money!  On top of all THAT-we deal with the cheaters and the liars who  emotionally asset strip within the context of personal relationships.  Who wouldn’t just concentrate on their own stuff?

When I arrived here I warned myself that I risked losing everything and that indeed may very well happen.  The entire system is based on taking as much as possible from any working mans pay cheque legitimately or illegitimately-preferably as quickly as possible.

Do please read Jeremy Rifkin‘s Empathic Civilzation for more about civility.

It still amuses me to hear people here tell me how much more tax we pay in the UK.    That UK citizens are not free, that our healthcare stinks.  Total lies!  Comparatively Americans pay far more tax than the Brits yet get nothing useful in return.  The only thing Americans really love spending huge amounts of money on is security.  Hence the theft of billions of dollars in Iraq on bogus reconstruction projects and bribes to terrorists organizations supposedly keeping the peace.   Their huge taxes, their government, their church and now the corporations enslave Americans.  As I have said on numerous occasions slavery did not end in 1863, that was merely the year slavery was mandated for the rest of us.  We are all enslaved.

Enslaved by debt, obesity, shame and fear.

Whenever I write about inequality I am accused of America bashing.   Go back to Whitstable they squawk-if only I could get back to my darling home town-but for the meantime I am here and whilst here in the land of the free I can exercise my right to free speech.   Is this what freedom means to you all?   The freedom to steal from each other?    To treat each other like shit?  To allow some the right to marry and equal rights and not others? What kind of half-baked FREEDOM is this?

Is it wrong of me to want the very best for every man?  To understand the frailties of men and make provision for them? To face up to the messes of my own making?   Am I responsible to offer my hand when those around me are drowning or do I just think about myself?

We watch images of people desperately trying to feed themselves in Haiti or after Katrina and describe it as looting.  Every day the government and the corporations loot from every one of us.  This time they have gone too far, destroying the middle class, creating an unbridgeable gap between rich and poor.

My detractors fail to understand how much the British taxpayer gets in return for our supposedly huge tax payments.   I can only speak on behalf of my family but during the past half century I have received excellent health care, three free years of university education as well as the BBC, public arts etc.  The list goes on and on.

And, as much as I used to loath them-we even get a jolly good, year round entertainment called The Royal Family with all the prerequisite dramas of any good soap opera: Murder, marriage, duplicity, infidelity.. you can’t write this stuff.

I left behind, on the cold winter New York streets, a man that I love.  Conflicted about us he may be but I believe in my heart that he will find a true path and follow it.   If only he could let himself off the hook.  I looked into his eyes and told him that I loved him.  I kissed his mouth and eyes and remembered how hard it is to say I love you to another man.  I remember the first time I loved another man-when I was just a boy.  To another man?  When two men say I love you how special and different that feels.

Man, manly, love.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,267 other followers