Archives for posts with tag: History

Hand on a Thousand Years Living Thing

Driving through the last remaining Redwood Forest in California.  Sequoia.  Only 5% remain.  Strange birds calling out to each other, echoing… high above us.  A vast cathedral of magnificent trees.  The oldest living things on the planet.  Awed by the spectacle.  Out of the car.  8am.  I touched one of them.  I expected it to speak to me.

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Croquet and tennis, cold lamb.  Another perfect Saturday afternoon in Brentwood with Vinny, Tristam and Josh.

 

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Sunday morning, Malibu.   You understand don’t you that I have not been to an AA meeting, therapy or spoken with my sponsor…not properly, for a week or so?  It leaves one feeling quite raw.

I should devote myself to healthy choices this week.

Joe left yesterday afternoon.   Back to NYC.  A friend popped over for dinner last night. I made the most delicious Italian feast.  We had a cuddle.  He left.

Totally forgot all about the party I was meant to be going to yesterday.  Instead I hung around in Hollywood.  Met a bunch of cool, young Hollywood types who shared their Obama disillusionment.

How in hells name will he turn this around?

Obama is fucked, the liberals have been fucked over.

How will he turn this around?

He can’t, it’s too late.

If only he would grow some balls, stop goofing around, stop reminding people that he is President.  Tap dancing when he should be banging heads together.   Somebody should remind him that he’s not a contestant on Dancing With The Stars.

Can you imagine what’s going on in the White House?  Obama looks petrified.  Overstretched, isolated, mocked.  When he speaks I can barely listen.  Continually grasping for the flayed notion that consensus politics will save him…us.   Grinning inanely.

When CNN anchor Don Lemons suggested to me at dinner that “Obama was frightened of white people.”  I was shocked.  But, I’ve seen it in Obama’s eyes.  Lemons was right.  He’s frightened of everything.  The most ill-equipped man ever to preside over the free world.

Who is running this country?

If you’re wondering why we are still sending drones into Afghanistan?  Perhaps it’s because Obama has no control over the military.    If you are wondering what happened to his inspiring oratory? Realize that even his speech writers have deserted him.

I wonder what he promised Geitner to stay by his side?  A penis enlargement?

If you are a liberal who is sick of watching Obama partying and quipping when your country is falling into a fascist abyss…demand that he is replaced by Hillary.

The Clintons, after all, have already stolen the money.

What will come next?   I urge you to worry.  Especially my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.  There is a real and present danger that we cannot, must not ignore.  Perry and Bachmann have every chance of being elected.

There will be a time, very soon, when you will start taking this threat seriously.  You will set aside your hook-up sites, your apple martinis, the marriage sop you take for granted, the liberal air that you breath…and remember this:

In the 1920s, homosexual people in Germany, particularly in Berlin, enjoyed a higher level of freedom and acceptance than anywhere else in the world.  

However, upon the rise of Adolf Hitler, gay men and, to a lesser extent, lesbians, were two of the numerous groups targeted by the Nazi Party and were ultimately among the 6 million Holocaust victims.

Beginning in 1933, gay organizations were banned, scholarly books about homosexuality, and sexuality in general, were burned, and homosexuals within the Nazi Party itself were murdered. The Gestapo compiled lists of homosexuals, who were compelled to sexually conform to the “German norm.”

Between 1933–45, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, of which some 50,000 were officially sentenced.   Most of these men served time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of those sentenced were incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps.

It is unclear how many of the 5,000 to 15,000 eventually perished in the camps, but leading scholar Ruediger Lautman believes that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%. Homosexuals in the camps were treated in an unusually cruel manner by their captors.

After the war, the treatment of homosexuals in concentration camps went unacknowledged by most countries, and some men were even re-arrested and imprisoned based on evidence found during the Nazi years.

It was not until the 1980s that governments began to acknowledge this episode, and not until 2002 that the German government apologized to the gay community.   This period still provokes controversy, however. In 2005, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the Holocaust which included the persecution of homosexuals.

I showed the house for the first time yesterday.  A Persian man who lives not far from here.

He was looking for a cheap house as an investment.  I really don’t care who buys it.

I spent the morning rearranging.

I rearranged the furniture so the dining area is set above the sitting room on the terrazzo plinth.   It looks great.  I used the black leather chairs that I bought for ElCerrito Place.  I tried using the Morrison chairs but they looked too complicated.  Compromised the aesthetic.

I am going to sell my Jasper Morrison dining room chairs.  They are now stacked outside looking really forlorn, they need to go else where..where they can be loved.

Had tea with JA in West H’wood yesterday.  Everybody is in such a funk.  Things have ground to a halt.  Is this just on the West Coast?   Nobody knows how to crawl out of this hole?  Maybe we don’t crawl out of anywhere but learn to live with new parameters.

Popped in on Trevor at the bottom of the canyon to see the young doe that the coyote had savaged in his garden.  It was all gnawed at.  Its tongue sticking out.  Trevor’s wife was a bit pissed that I had made the effort to see the dead deer but not their new baby.  Sorry Jen.

Meg Whitman the ex Ebay CEO is running in the Gubernatorial race here in California against Jerry Brown.  She has spent over $119, 000, 000 of her own money on her campaign.  She becomes the largest self-funded political candidate in history.

Yet all of this might come to naught if her ex-maid and nanny of nine years Nicky Diaz Santillan swings the vote.   Nicky’s story is a familiar one in California.  An illegal immigrant (undocumented) who worked hard for Meg and her husband is cruelly let go when she asks for help to become legal.

“Thown away like trash.” she sobbed on TV.

The latino population in SoCal will take notice.  They know what that feels like.  To be part of a family, whether Witman’s or family USA only to be thrown away when things get tough.

The economy in this part of America has relied heavily on the cheap labour that these illegal immigrants offer.  Making the rich richer, they are hard-working, uncomplaining people.  I have employed Spanish-speaking men at the local labor exchange and they work tirelessly in scorching heat, lugging great hessian bags of garden waste up and down the mountains like donkeys.  I don’t ask any questions.  Nor do my neighbors.

These latino workers have no expectations, except to be treated poorly by white folk like me.  They don’t have much choice.

When they do not get treated poorly they are grateful and go the extra mile.

The truth is, frustrated white people in the USA very begrudgingly gave up their slaves so having illegal Mexican immigrants who do as they are told for very little somehow placates their desire to be slave owners.

White people may say they are pissed off by illegal immigrants yet I don’t know any one of them who would be prepared to do what these people do.  Washing up, gardening, busing, etc.  Menial tasks.  White people wouldn’t know how.  They don’t know how.

We tried to import a bunch of colourful faces into the UK to do the same during the 1950’s but they opened corner shops and restaurants and got richer than the people who imported them.  Anyway, we had colonial apologists who refused to see these people used like American white people use Latinos.

Thank GOD for bouts of socialism.

I could bang on about the racism that exists here but I can’t be bothered.

White people are hurting.  They have lost their jobs and their homes. There is no industry.  They can’t seem to relearn working skills and get humble and wash dishes for other white folk.  The dream is dead.  Arianna Huffington is on TV telling people that America is a Third World Country, that the middle class is over and that the American Dream has been compromised.

Similar circumstances existed in Germany before the second world war.  Crippling debt (war reparations) unemployment, hunger, desperation, hopelessness.  Do not underestimate the gruelling effect of hopelessness..regardless of how comfortable you are if you feel hopeless your view on the world changes.  It gets easy to blame the immigrant, the jew, the gay…the innefectual black President.

I pray that I am wrong but given the current state of the USA, these extreme economic circumstances I am guessing that the people of America will, come the next election, elect a far right, socially conservative Palin type President who will irrevocably damage the entire world.  We are desperate for strong, innovative, modern leadership yet it seems that only the far right have the balls to serve what the people hanker.

We are witnessing the cynical destruction of the USA as we, and millions before us, dreamed it.  It is a crying shame.

By the way.  Rich Sanchez the latino CNN host fired this week for saying that Jon Stewart was pompous and that the media was controlled by the Jews.  Well, that’s how it was reported.  Not quite the way he said it.  Actually he said he felt bullied by Stewart, looked down upon.  That people like Stewart look down on latinos..and he’d be right.  I am sure what he felt about Jon Stewart may very well be right.

I rather like Rick Sanchez.  Isn’t it amazing that Sanchez can get fired for saying two rather obvious things (one an opinion and one true) and that Glenn Beck gets to say terrible shit everyday but nobody lifts a finger?

Willie just took a huge dump on the carpet…nice.  Thankfully I know how to clean a rug without resorting to calling a maid service.

Veselka, 9th St.  East Village.  NYC

Leon drove me and the art to LAX.  The little dog loves his traveling bag and climbed into it willingly.

The flight arrived 55 minutes early at JFK.   5am.  I was knackered.  We dragged the art onto a trolley and into a cab then dropped it off at Phillips.  I stayed there for an hour drinking coffee and ate a pain au chocolat.   I sat on my own reading The Times waiting for Dan to wake up so I could drag my sorry ass over to the East Village.  Finally we just walked from 9th Ave.  It was so GOOD to be back in NYC…after the operation I will be here full-time.

The Little Dog was determined to explore Tompkins Square Park so I acquiesced and he got his wish and stared at squirrels for an hour until I just had to go home and rest.

By 10 I dropped off art at the auctioneer.  Very cute lighting man to gawp at prepping a fashion week party.  The whole area around Meat Packing ALIVE with fashion week events.  Bumped into my friend Liz who invited me to Mulberry party.

Took cab back home and slept until 3 when I met the first of my Manhunt dates.  Date 1.  Nice guy, did not misrepresented himself in any way.  Charming. If I had been JB I would have had sex with him but I am not JB so we had coffee and went for a long walk around the East Village.  Not much eye contact but I think that might have been my fault.

At 6ish I went home and took more of a nap.  Dan arrived at 7.30 and we had dinner at Westville where I saw you know who’s ex.  That was rather fascinating.  We were obviously aware of each other but were not going to swap war stories any time soon.

Walked to Mulberry party where I had a blast being told how good I looked by old friends.  I have lost a lot of weight..mainly because I have been so unhappy-but this seems to have paid off!

Saw Preston and snuggled with him.  He’s an ex of mine from LA.

Walked home, ate frozen yogurt.  Cute man stopped me in the street and made me feel even better about myself.

This morning I had manhunt date number 2 with very sweet Brazilian man who said that I come off as the sort of bloke who has a very active sex life. HAHAHAHA.  That’s FUNNY!  I told him my miserable fuck count (12 people) and he was shocked.

JB has probably had 12 fucks in one week.  More.

Anyway, everyone I am meeting could be a friend…maybe more but to tell you the truth I am just not feeling it.   After feeling so connected with JB and so loving and SO intellectually compatible…I don’t know if I will ever feel that again for anyone.

Busy day ahead.

Onward and Upward!

This is far better than the original…

I JUST REREAD THIS POST.  IT IS SO BORING!

Hahahaha

Without intensity and drama what becomes of me?

I woke up feeling really positive.  I am really beating this one.  Really.

A simple day.  I am losing weight.  I saw my reflection.  It gives me great pleasure to see a flat tummy.

I decided to give Manhunt a try as I had paid for that account to snoop on u know who.  It was good to get some interest from cute looking men but I felt as if I had come full circle since I was last living here.  At least I am being myself on Manhunt rather than disguised by some fake profile just to hear the reassuring ping of interest.

Almost immediately two men recognized me from the show and two friends.  It was fun.

Talked to realtor about what he wanted me to do to the house before we put it on the market this November.  He said nothing.  He said whoever bought it would probably tear it down.

I made jam.  I made a jam.  Strawberry jam.  Tomorrow I am going to finish up after the gardeners.   Today the little dog ran around after me in the garden.   We drove to Venice and ate breakfast at Sauce.  How quickly the staff get to know me.  They remember after just two visits what I have and how I like it.

I like that.  I like being taken seriously.

Scrambled, tomatoes..grilled.

Taking a Shit

British class shame is nothing a regular gun-toting American would or should know anything about.   Whether or not one has an understanding of manners, social hierarchy or top hats is neither here nor there.

I have spent blog time bashing America but really, the Brits are just as bad-if not worse.  My friend Pierre in New York, upon moving here at the behest of his company, missed London terribly but after a short while, much less time than I, understood why we come here and why we want to stay.   Pierre began to notice a change in himself and those around him.  He felt valued, pumped up, fearless.  In America he could feel like a man.

Like me, when he meets Brits who stay at home he marvels at their naivety.

It takes a huge amount of self-loathing to ‘know your place’.

In the USA there is no shame about bettering and reinventing ones self.  There are rules, of course, but every one of the rules (guiding principles) is designed to be broken.

You may have to pay a disgruntled employee a ton of money for a spurious sexual harassment claim but that’s how the dispossessed get their share of the pie.

Everyone is on the make, everyone!  It’s an on the make, nickle and dime affair that I am having with the USA.  It’s better than pecan pie and nuclear waste!  It’s more thrilling than Guantanamo Bay.

As a Brit I still hanker after public art and healthcare but the rampant small mindedness of my countrymen, their embittered jokes masquerading as irony, their post imperialist arrogance and their total inability to allow anyone to grow beyond the class they were born into keeps me from going back home.

I suppose for all my anti-American sentiment I love the hurly-burly, the hegemony, the extremes, the greed, the excess, the stupidity.  I love their terror of art and history.  I applaud their dogma and their denial.  I love that they think that they are the very best at everything they do when they are patently not.  I love that they behave like willful children.  I love that they think knowing about nature or food is elitist.  I love that an engaging presidential candidate can emerge from nowhere and take the world stage-where as the British produce a bunch of familiar, threadbare politicians like so many provincial repertory actors delivering lackluster performances in what passes for political theatre.   Imagine British MP’s sitting in their shared dressing-room waiting for lurid makeup to be applied before performing their ‘great scene’ during Prime Ministers Question Time.  Smoking, sinking rummers of whiskey, discussing their expense claims, squabbling over cabinet positions and who’ll wear what at the state opening of parliament.

We don’t cast our parliament terribly well.  Here they cast the Whitehouse like a huge movie.  No wonder Rahm and Ari Emmanuelle are behind Barrack.  They recognized his star potential and like a baby starlet hanging out in the Chateau Marmont plucked him from obscurity and handed him the best role ever in their box office blockbuster political thriller-so whilst the Emmanuells steal the money they got themselves the bestest alibi ever..a black president.  They got themselves a well-dressed first lady descended from slaves.  They got tears of joy at the inauguration and a divided, blind sided America whilst the spoils of the middle class were being divided up by unscrupulous hedge fund managers and Ponzi schemers betting on the downfall of their own and other nations.

So, there’s Barrack blustering over the war and the economy in his professorial tweeds, his sweet and sexy demeanor softening the hearts of the liberal elite and providing drama and focus for the next lot-the emboldened white Christian right.  There he is dithering over healthcare and everything continues just the way it was.

Am I the only one who can’t imagine Tim Geitner having sex with anyone other than himself?   He is such a WEED.

If China wasn’t running the world-this could look dangerous!

When British politicians get caught with their hand in the till-what paltry amounts of money they steal!  Awarding their friends dodgy $150,000 construction contracts and creaming a few quid and a meat pie for themselves…subsequently getting caught and fired.   An American politician wouldn’t waste his time or his position stealing so little.  Tony Blair is the only politician to get away with stealing real money.  He got away with the money and murder.  He understood what few in the UK do-that American politicians are not elected to represent their constituents but to steal as much money as they can within their 4 years in office.

And, you might ask, why shouldn’t he?  The Blair’s are just doing what the Royal family and the landed gentry have done for hundreds of years. He just took what he thought he was owed for getting to the top of the pile.  It must piss our lowly politicians off to go through all the pain of getting elected to public office and then once there, look around…bleak…lonely…underpaid.  Servants of the democracy that we hold dear and never really getting what they deserve-compared with the politicians in the USA who are on the fucking gravy train!

Drill baby drill, bailouts, healthcare, there’s money in them there policies..money for every politician in Washington, TONS OF IT!  Politicians accepting donations from whomever and where ever.

Poor old Dennis Kucinich-he’s the congressman President Obama lassoed into helping change the mind of the bold progressives who were holding out for a radical public option during the last few moments before the Healthcare Bill was forced into law.

Well, dear Dennis lives in a one room apartment in Washington…never accepts a dime from anyone..but he lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his wife Elizabeth.   If he had played his cards right, abandoned his principles and cut himself free from the people he was sent to represent then he could be living in a huge house in Georgetown-which is what the people expect by the way.  To the average American there is something vaguely retarded about a man who is able to steal the money but doesn’t.

That’s why we elected you into office!  To steal the money but, mind you, not so much that you piss the other thieves off who have seniority or think you are stealing too much.  Of course, once in a while an odd politician needs to be thrown to the lions so that the public think that the other politicians have some sort of morality.

This is America and once you get a handle on it it’s not that bad.  As long as you understand that to survive here you have to learn how to steal.  You have to learn how to lose.  Learn how to pick yourself up.  Not get trampled in the stampede.

You must definitely learn to rub belly..pat head..

Lil Dog in the Snow

I attended my first acting class this evening in a squalid theatre on the east side. Sixteen of us, two of us were over the age of 35, Mary-Elizabeth and me.

As I sat listening to the instructor I was so frightened it almost took my breath away.   I had an allergic reaction to the fear.  My throat closing, my face flushed, my knuckles swollen.

I didn’t want to be there.  I didn’t want anyone to see how clumsy and inept I am.

Yet, after a few minutes, I began to feel comfortable and after 30 minutes I was totally at peace.   The instructor encouraged us to make fools of ourselves and I relished the opportunity.  The instructor told us that we would feel insulted, that we shouldn’t THINK.   He told us to ‘go with the feelings’ he insisted that we didn’t manufacture jokes.  That we learn to cut each other slack.  The youngsters didn’t know how to do that-to look after each other.   Mary-Elizabeth and I knew how to make space for the others because we came from a different time in space.

After the first 30 minutes I could no longer hear the internal critic-you know the one-the one who tells you you are a bad writer, bad person for trying.  He looks at me knowingly, with my grand mothers eyes, wanting to know who the fuck I am to think I can TRY.  Who told you that you could TRY?  Could fight back?  Could make art?  Who told you?

WHO?

The others were very cautious of me.   I liked that I understood their caution.  I understood them.  They were so frail and sensitive.  Not the two old farts.  We weren’t frail or sensitive.  We were just having fun.  You could see that they were sniggering at me but I just didn’t care.

I was having a blast.

Some of them, the others, some of them sparkled, some of them were just lousy.  I knew immediately that I was lousy.  I knew I was bad but I didn’t care.  I didn’t have any shame whatsoever this evening.

Tonight the class was about freeing my soul not tethering it to shame.

We poured out onto the cold street laughing and happy.

malibu viewThe photographs from the last depression: thin people holding onto life. Today’s depression: the morbidly obese-holding onto life. Jenny saw larger guests who couldn’t squeeze the turnstiles at Disney Land. She saw a woman dipping a huge turkey leg into a vat of mayonnaise. How are these people meant to survive or fight any revolution? They are already dead men walking. Like geese bred for foie gras but with no healthy liver to spread on brioche. These people have nothing, absolutely nothing to look forward to.

Loaded with anti depressants they smile haplessly-their lives stolen from them by corporation and successive governments. Looked upon by the rich as no more than deep pockets that have to be emptied at any cost. In Disney Land animated parlance these people are held upside down by a duck or a cow and shaken until every last penny is dislodged from the rolls of fat that keep these people slow moving and slow witted.

They are, as Chateaubriand said, no more than canon fodder-economic cannon fodder-regarded as expendable in the face of enemy fire. The enemy is the very government for which they proudly vote. They are at war with their own survival. Forced to deliberately fight against hopeless odds with the foreknowledge that they will suffer extremely high casualties.

These people are kept stupid, fat, fearful and in debt. Easy to control when (or if) they ever come to their senses. Feed them cheap food. Refuse to educate them properly. Tell them the terrorists are coming and hike their interest rates. Then, just when they think they have a Sunday moment to themselves hit them with religion: the easiest way to keep them in check. In shame. Shame, as the Catholics found out, is a wonderful tool to control those who will not bend to your will.

Even the middle class, with no more that 7 days of paid holiday per annum to look forward to, finally go insane and end up in rehab for 6 month having the time out they should have had incrementally as the years passed.

This lie of Eden, this garden of painted, plastic fruit and false promises. How delighted the bankers must be that they dodged the bullet, that no one is coming after them. They watch gleefully as the crumbs they leave behind are fought over by lawmakers for basic human rights like healthcare.

The banker is hugely paid to take risks with the money of those for which he has no regard. Why bother with healthcare? They don’t deserve anything! Those fat foolish fools. Go on..let them die young, die miserable deaths, send their sons to war. Force their daughters to suck on the cock of humanity. Take away any hope they might once have had and give them more pizza. Send them 5-foot sandwiches made of tasteless, mass-produced, processed ingredients. Pizzas the size of cartwheels. Over charge them for the pizza, charge them interest on their credit card used to buy the pizza and when it poisons them refuse to treat them and let them die.

Incidentally-it took me an age to understand why Americans thought we had lousy food in London until I realized that they didn’t mean the taste..they meant the size of the portion. The taste was meaningless. A hearty meal is a huge plate laden with food-any food will do.

I read today that there are more homeless teens on American streets than since the great depression. They are squatting foreclosed homes, they are selling their young bodies and they are numbing the pain with drugs. It could be Brazil or Romania but it isn’t it’s the country that genuinely believes that the rest of the world is jealous of it. Listen to Arni S, Governor of bankrupt California, brag about having the best fire fighters, the best hospitals, the best policemen etc. But, nobody is jealous of you. Not any more.

In London, whilst the economy roared, the government invested in roads and schools and hospitals so that now, during the down time, this prudence means that the people scarcely notice that times are tough. The British do not live in fear of illness because they have free healthcare and know that if they are unemployed we have collectively vowed to take care of them. The British are relieved that their children will and can go to any great university without being saddled with $500,000 of debt. They enjoy publicly funded art-of which the people are inordinately proud.

When I was last in London people briefly moaned that their house prices had gone down in value by 5%. I chuckled as my house in Malibu has devalued by 35%.

Meanwhile, the President of the United State-leader of the ‘free’ world and his First Lady are building a victory garden at the White House. Victory over what? Victory over the people who did not complain as the risk taking, MBA educated, Wall Street bankers who were rewarded for the greatest heist in US history? Hurrah! Victory! We got away with it! A double whammy. The hedge funders sing joyfully: We lined our pockets with war profits and then we just took what we needed when we became too big too fail. And, lol, we did it right under their big fat noses by threatening catastrophe on both occasions. First by the terrorists then a destroyed economy.

The bankers sing: Let them eat pizza, and 24-inch subway sandwiches and genetically modified, carcinogenic turkey legs dipped in mayonnaise and call it haute cuisine whilst you are at it.

They cry joyfully: I’m off to see Ivanka Trump get lavishly married in a dress styled after Grace Kelly’s in a marquee..a marquee that may be used in years to come to house some of the legions of placid, homeless obese standing in line to fetch water, food and anti depressants-unable to dream of better times-unable to dream at all.

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