Archives for posts with tag: Huffington Post

I felt both overwhelmed and liberated in 2013.  Simultaneously.

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

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

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

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

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

We are presently finalizing our divorce.

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

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

I wrote indignant things like this…

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

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

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

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

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

Because I wanted to be free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I wrote this instead… it was never sent.

An apology is owed.

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

It took two years to own up.

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

Let’s see what 2014 will bring.

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

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

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

Carpenter NYC 21

In the separate but equal ‘gay voice’ section of the Huffington Post yesterday there was another ‘outraged’ homo article about the Pentagon censuring  LGBT web sites like Towelroad but not ‘hate speak’ web sites Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter.

The Pentagon, like many large companies that control internet access, have deemed that LGBT sites are mostly inappropriate for work place viewing.

Why?  The gays scream.  Why do you censor us and not Rush Limbaugh?

A quick comparison.

Rush and Anne, although not my personal cup of tea, do not illustrate their ‘hate speak’ web sites with images of copulating straight people.

In hetero land hard core pornographic images are rightly limited to porn sites.

In homo land we are subjected to random pornographic illustrations (or advertising) on sites purportedly aimed at debating current queer affairs.  Images that I would not want to share with my co-workers.

Today, in the reputable queer news site Towelroad, well written articles about Bradley Manning run along side a pornographically illustrated story about the death of a gay porn star.

Interestingly, the porn star died of HIV related complications.

Something that supposedly doesn’t happen any more.

Even though every recent statistic sadly proves that HIV is on the meteoric rise in the bare back obsessed gay community… to say so out loud is deemed homophobic/selfloathing.

As for hate speak?  Have any of you read the hate filled rhetoric on most homo web sites… aimed mostly at other gay men?

As I have written many times:  queer men willingly take up the cudgels to beat and bully fellow queers where their supposed hetero persecutors dropped them.

BTW Gays…  a differing opinion is not hate speak.

The separate but equal ‘gay voice’ section of The Huffington Post is filled with either outraged queens claiming homophobia or cooing doves describing a gay kiss on net work TV.

A reflection on the vapid, with us or agin us culture so many of you subscribe to.

As usual we refuse to look at our part in the problem. We claim:  They are doing it to us.  They are to blame.  We are blameless.  We do not deserve scrutiny or self-examination.

The Elmo guy is not a pedophile.  He’s a persecuted, misunderstood gay man hounded by the straight media.

In the separate but equal ‘gay voice’ section of the Huffington Post there is a story about an angry ex ‘gay for pay’ porn star who claims that the devil comes out of his ass.

Why?  Why is this story about straight insanity in the ‘gay voice’ section?  Surely it should be on the ‘crazy white hetero’ page along with all those crazy white, straight mass murderers.

By the way, I’ve never understood why it isn’t ok to be ‘separate but equal’, sometimes it’s just easier.

Like being a Hasidic Jew, I want to be separate so I can get on with my business and enjoy my culture without prying eyes.

Of course I need to be equal, however, so I don’t live in resentment.

As a charming postscript I wanted you to know that after my ‘i am not gay piece’ the other day, the gay and lesbian Legacy Project contacted me and as a result my films will not be burned by jack booted gay men… but all of my queer themed films will now be archived (with pride) at The Legacy Project.

As for the film I am currently making?  Let me tell you.  We have come a long way in 20 years.  A very long way.

When a black straight producer wants to make your white queer film… that’s what I’m talking about.

Lady Rizo in Kokon To Zai

Sunday 23rd 2012.

New Harris tweed trousers.  They are so thick and keep the cold wind from whipping around my legs.

I had two very different experiences on Friday.

1.

The first, an unfortunate spat on Facebook with a Canadian writer called Michael Rowe.

I think you know, those of you who read this regularly, that I struggle with marriage as the means by which gay and straight people find parity.

That marriage in of itself doesn’t seem to work for many of the people who sign up for it… so why do so many men and women in the LGBQ community want it so badly?

Is it just because they want the ‘benefits’?

I thought about it a great deal this week.

For those of us gay men and women who are now in our early fifties marriage was never an option.  I never hankered after it, nor cared to think about it.

I read this in a British newspaper.

British MPs are planning to create an “exception” in marriage law for same-sex couples and will not alter the definition of adultery.

Either they don’t take us seriously or we don’t take us seriously?

Perhaps gay marriage is indeed separate from straight marriage because we can’t be trusted with monogamy?

Those I respect seem to value marriage equality… so I have been posting thoughts and feelings on my Facebook page.

I am perturbed by how many angry responses I get whenever I write about my marriage equality concerns.

If marriage equality was all we needed or wanted are we selling ourself short? Are we like any cultural minority that lives side by side the majority needing to be tolerated rather than nurtured? Do we need to be understood? Do they need to learn our language? Or, like Hasidic Jews do we evolve separately once we are ‘equal’. Somehow this is not attractive to me.

This question incensed Michael Rowe.

Where are you getting “all we needed or wanted” from? It’s a basic right. That’s not “tolerance,” that’s equality and strength.

The conversation continued privately.

Talking to Michael was like talking to a Zionist.  Realizing that his problem with what I was saying was more about me than the conversation I decided to tread carefully.  He is the sort of man who believes that any gay who comes out of the closet is an unqualified hero.

I’m not an intellectual, nor am I particularly bright… but I am willing to listen… and I am desperate to understand why I am so conflicted about marriage equality.

Because, I think,  it doesn’t seem like equality at all.

So, why am I bothering to fight for something I simply don’t believe in?

It feels like another way to join another elite gang.  A gang that will, if given half the chance, bully you mercilessly.

I’ve seen straight women do this.  Brag about their married status to their unmarried friends.  Causing those unmarried women to burst into tears when they are far enough away from their persecutor.

I asked Michael what he thought marriage would do to our gay culture.  I said, I really want to understand your position.

Not sure what there is to “understand.” Until there is no foundation of complete legal equality for LGBT people, the rest of it, worrying about “our culture,” is frosting with no cake. That’s my position.

Our gay culture is very important to me.  Even if it is on a separate page, in it’s own section at the book shop or the video store or on Netflix.   I enjoy the separation.   You see, I’m not very interested in what straight people make of me or the culture that has sprung up around me.

What will marriage equality do to the gay community?

How will these huge changes affect us and our behavior toward other gay man and women.

If a gay man tells his straight friend that he is getting married will his straight friend feel a flush of envy?

I asked if Michael felt ‘more equal’ than his American friends? He said:

Of course I do. I have approximately 300 more rights than American gay couples whose relationships are not legally recognized, rights that have financial and legal implications.

And no, I don’t feel sorry for gay couples who aren’t married by their choice, but I do feel sorry for those who don’t have that choice.

I don’t think that screaming about how proud you are not to be married carries a lot of weight when that right isn’t even on the table.

Like employment protection. Or do you also feel that a law that protects LGBT Americans from being fired also hurts “our culture?”

Oh dear, Michael was watching the NRA press conference at the time so his irritation may be excused.

He is, as you know, a very important Huffington Post blogger.

A ‘gay voice’.  In the separate but equal ‘gay voice’ section of the Huff Post.

There is a great deal in this last quote that may make you wince… as I winced.

I come from England where Tony Blair gave Waheed Ali carte blanche to equalize the lives of hetero and homo sexual people.

I remember eating lunch in Malibu with Waheed who explained to me how the legislation was written.

He explained that the word Marriage may have been attractive to some but perhaps a little too divisive. They chose civil unions as the way forward.

Total equality (excluding the word marriage) was a great incremental step in the right direction and one that the majority of my gay friends in long-term relationships were happy to embrace.

Michael is not so sure.

“Civil unions” aren’t marriage, and they’re not equality.

He continued inaccurately:

They weren’t “chosen,” they were all they could get because no one would allow them to be married, with full marriage equality, including the rights of citizenship for spouses.

Just to be perfectly clear: the British do have rights for citizenship for spouses and UNMARRIED partners.

Now, that’s what I’m talking about.

After many years of legal parity, the British gays… from a position of strength are asking for the word marriage and asking a very conservative government to boot. They are certain to succeed.

Civil Union may be the best incremental baby step on offer?

What are the incremental baby steps that seem to get American gays no closer to federal recognition of same-sex marriage?

Married Michael Rowe is very proud of his life.

He has achieved what his parents probably wanted for him all through his childhood. The dream of a heteronormative existence.

The rest of the conversation disintegrated into name calling. He called me tiresome, I ended up calling him a cunt and he blocked me on FB and that was that.

If I were in my early thirties I might think that this is a golden age for gay men and lesbians.  That I could enjoy a fully ‘out’ existence,  meet the man of my dreams, marry him, buy some surrogate children and live happily ever after.

That is a perfectly lovely dream to have.

But I am still in two minds.  Shouldn’t we all be fighting for something more than marriage, that marriage should not allow those who are to have so much more than those who are not?

This is not equality.

Some married gay men (like Michael)  are already behaving like my mother and grandmother behaved toward their spinster/old maid/barren friends.  Looking down their married noses.

Do I feel cheated out of different sort of gay life?  If I had grown up around gay men getting married would I have thought differently about the men I dated and the future we could have had?

I have, undoubtedly, missed the man/man marriage boat.   Joe and I talked about it briefly.

When I was growing up the thought of marriage (one man to another) was simply not a consideration.  Like an orthodox jew would never think about eating bacon.  I didn’t really think anything of not being married.

Being brought up in a small town where the majority of my straight peers had children but no marriage… marriage seemed Victorian and absurd.  The people who were getting married were not… cool.  They were… boring.

My straight friends who remained unmarried with many children did very well for themselves.  They ran successful businesses. Their children went to great universities.  They struggled and excelled equally along side those children who came from married families and broken homes.

There really was no difference between them and any other child.

The emphasis on family values seems to have gripped the gays as firmly as the straights.

What ever family means we don’t want to be left out of the explanation.

We all have a family of sorts.  Some have blood relatives, others have an extended family of strangers.

Obviously, I have invested in the latter and have never been let down.

Which brings me to the final part of my blog today.

2.

Sitting with the dogs on Franklin outside my coffee shop of choice I met a young Rabbi.

Charming, Cambridge educated and very enthusiastic.

He invited me to Shabbat the following Friday night.

I had, of course, enjoyed many a Friday night with the Cohen’s in LA.   David, his wife and their 6 children.  40 people for pot luck dinner around a huge table on the lawn then talking about world events with a talking stick.  It was perfect.

This Shabbat was very different.

There were several rabbinical students.  I arrived mid prayer.  For an hour we prayed.

The most exquisite boy with the most beautiful voice (and a baby) sang something on his own before the others joined in.   When he started singing I began to cry.

They prayed and sang (they sang in Hebrew) and faced East, my rabbi friend was particularly enthusiastic.  I sat beside him and he kept apologizing for everything, as if it were a trial for me to be there… when in fact it was beautiful.

I sat there thinking about the gays.  After my run in with Michael.

I wondered if they would have confused my thoughts about how beautiful the singer was with wanting to fuck him.  That most of my gay friends wouldn’t have just enjoyed him, they would have wanted to fuck him.  “He’s hot…”

We ate a huge dinner.  We washed our hands ritually.  After the dinner and conversations with truly wonderful people (I avoided talking Palestine) we sat together for more prayers and a fascinating chat about the Torah.

The young rabbinical students and scholars discussed in a really modern and interesting way what I had been taught was the Old Testament.

Jacob, Joseph and the blessing of the Pharaoh:

My years have been few and difficult.

They talked about other things.

A young man with thick, raven black hair told us he had just visited Sandy Hook.  To offer ‘solace’.

At first I was irritated by the apparent intrusion, it seemed so arrogant.

I was wrong.

He explained that the town was packed with people from all over the world.  That he had witnessed a funeral of one of the murdered children and the parents of the dead child were holding up signs in the car that said, very simply:  “THANK YOU.”

I found him after dinner and thanked him for reminding me that it’s easy to let other people do the difficult tasks.

If Sandy Hook had been an isolated incident then I might have felt differently but Sandy Hook is part of a macabre American theme and we must all, collectively… own it.

It is our responsibility.

That young Jewish man and his five friends had taken responsibility and travelled to Sandy Hook.

By doing so, they had a spiritual awakening.  They were thanked by the parents of dead infants.

They understood (unlike those of us who did not go) something more about America, about bravery, about priority, about consequence.

The two parts of my day could not have been more different.  The childish spat with an entitled gay man and the spiritual warmth of new family offered me by a group of heterosexual strangers.

Inclusion versus exclusion.

Last night Lady Rizo and I had dinner with Winston Churchill’s granddaughter.  I was not the only gay at the dinner for 50.  I avoided the other gays.

I have nothing to say to any of them.

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.

runyon viewEarlier this year, the LGBT/Queer Community violently protested outside the Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd after it was revealed that the LDS had paid for damning, dishonest advertisement that scared the general public into voting against gay marriage in the state of California.

People felt compelled to march on the streets. It was a heartening sight. Bringing the city and traffic of LA to a roiling standstill.

Governments are filled with fear when people march on the streets. It is very effective.

Weeks after the event, hope that a young, fearless leader would emerge from the attacks on the LDS did not materialize.

Another missed opportunity to parley genuine outrage into political leverage.

The gay community lacks any kind of secular leadership. The politics of invisibility reign. Sadly, the invisigays determine the political landscape and are as unwavering and intransigent as any Born Again.

Ridgid, dogmatic…blind to other possibilities. Hung up on the notion that if gays can get married, have babies and retire behind a white picket fence THEY might not notice we exist.

President Obama has left the door wide open if the gay community wants to accept Civil Union as the way forward but the invisigays have set their sights on Marriage and nothing less will do. The invisigays arm themselves with the lackluster ‘separate but equal’ argument against civil union. They hook their marriage cart to hate crimes and refuse to engage with any other argument for change.

As dozens of young gay men and women, inspired maybe by Dustin Lance Black‘s film about Harvey MILK, leave their communities…escaping from people like Rick Warren (and Christians like him) flock into their local big cities in search of cherubic Dustin Lance Black (and boys like him) what can they expect?

They can expect gay bars and nightclubs and happy hours and gyms and free condoms and? And what else? A gay church maybe? What If they are looking for political leadership where do they look? If they are looking for moral guidance or evidence of who came before them or what battles were fought..what can they expect to hear?

Currently LA invisigay aspirational thinking is this: Abandon negative ideas and anger, keep your abs hard and after a few well placed naked pool parties, learn to ape straight culture by buying a baby.

Max Muchnick, creator of Will and Grace is very rich and ‘married’ to attractive lawyer Erik Hyman and as well-connected as any gays can be in Hollywood. Max recently penned an article for the Huffington Post about his motherless daughters. Children made thus: eggs from appropriate donor (white women can charge more for their eggs), womb donor, sperm from either or both of the gay couple = a $300,000 baby and Mother/women erased permanently, effortlessly from the picture.

Max complains that at LAX he had to explain to a security guard that his daughters had no mother. No mother? The security guard asked politely. How did the babies..happen? Max is outraged. Isn’t it evident to you that my husband and I are GAY.

There are pictures of Max and Eric awkwardly holding their babies in the LA Times. ‘There is no mother.’ Max boasts. Therefore, no hope of either of those little girls understanding where they came from or what kind of woman could rent room in their womb or sell their eggs. No one to explain how that could have happened. Would Eric and Max want their own girls to sell their eggs and wombs or be written out of their grandchild’s history?

Other gay men with motherless children explain patiently to me that because their children will be so loved they will not have to ask such uncomfortable questions like: WHERE’S MOMMY?

Gay men are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to create ‘families’ regardless of the outcome. The marriage/baby aping of straight society smacks of the’ politics of invisibility’. If we get married, have children ‘they’ might not realize we are here, ‘they’ will have to treat us ‘normally’.

What are we meant to aspire to in 2009? What are we teaching the next generation of gay men and women?

At a West Hollywood party recently an invisigay father made a pass at me. It set me to wondering if his marriage meant anything at all-a marriage that others had fought so hard to get. Newly married, surrogate babies on the way and making a pass at a comparative stranger. When I put this to him he was visibly shaken. He told me that he felt bad, that I was making him feel bad. Worse, I said, than having had sex with me then going home to his newborn? He said, well, straight people do it. I laughed. What kind of straight people do we want to be? The kind that cheats or stays loyal? The kind that blows his family apart with infidelity, or the sort who honors the vows of his marriage? Do we, in fact, just want all the trappings of marriage and babies and behave like we always did?

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