Archives for posts with tag: Israel

I always want to start my blog with the title.  Today I have none.  Today has been shit.  God, I’ve been fretting.  Fretting about Gaza, Israel, Ferguson, bad white cops, arming black people, traveling, Alcoholics Anonymous.

I’ve been fretting about one beautiful man.

The Alcoholics Anonymous shit is the usual shit.  The same characters, the same stories, the same mental illness.   I sit in those rooms wondering why I’m there, if I belong to a cult?  Yet,  I never think about drinking.  I mean, I’m not looking for an excuse to drink.   That’s the very last thing I want to do.

Palm Trees Los Angeles

You see, it was one of those weeks when I heard that someone in AA killed themselves.  Someone I heard speak, someone I had spoken to.  Someone I had lunch with, someone I had hope for.  Then he blew his brains out.  No obituary, no news report.  Just another recovering alcoholic who couldn’t take it any more.  I thought about how we collectively accept the plaudits for keeping each other sober yet when a man kills himself it was his problem.  His solution.  Never our responsibility.   He had a six-year-old son.  He dressed very well.  Now he’s dead.

Since getting sober 18 years ago I have known many, many men and not so many women to kill themselves in the rooms of AA/NA.   It is never easy.   Yet, I have become desensitized from these terrible deaths and I hate myself for it.  I’m sorry.  I really am.

This week, I ate a great deal at Gjelina in Venice and these men graciously served me.

Benoit being Read to by Armistead Maupin

Last week I drove to San Francisco to see my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis read excerpts from his book Travels With Casey. After the reading we had dinner with Armistead Maupin and his charming boyfriend.  I told Armistead that I hadn’t read his famous book Tales of the City until I got to The Men’s County Jail.  I found a dog eared copy there. It was a first edition.

That night we stayed in an odd 50’s hotel/ex-motel off of trendy Chestnut Street.  The following day we drove to Napa and had lunch with Gene.  After lunch we wandered the giant redwoods in Muir Woods.  On the way back to San Francisco we watched people flying kites on Stinson Beach.

On my way home to Los Angeles I met up with my Whitstable friend Ben Clayton in Berkeley, we ate brunch then  sauntered all over the UC Berkeley campus.  We talked a great deal about home.  We talked about our mothers.

 

Back in Malibu I picked a huge bunch of bananas from the banana trees at the end of the garden, I harvested (and continue to) an abundance of figs and lemons.   I sold the bananas to my friend Nicolle the pie lady at Gjelina who bruleed them.

 

Yesterday, I went to the Norco Rodeo with Stuart Sandford.  Norco is an hour from Los Angeles.  It was the whitest event I have ever been to.  White people everywhere eating nachos and swilling beer.   The men wore cowboy hats.  The women screamed when the obedient bulls tossed their riders into the sand.

 

We wondered if there were other gays there.  The nearest gay on-line was 3 miles away.  I took pictures of cowboys.  I ate tri-tip sandwiches.  I was looking for bucking bronco Cody Gaines who I met the day before on Malibu beach.   Cody lives in Texas.  Cody loves Jesus.

Cody Gaines

Mostly I have been amusing myself in the garden.  I have been sweeping paths and mending lights and restoring order.  The dogs have been lazing all over the house during the day, finding patches of sunlight to flop into.  At night they spend too much time protecting me from deer and raccoons.  Go to sleep!

 

Michael came to visit from NYC.  He was sweet and charming.  I met the guy with a beard… and here’s a better picture of Stuart.  Stuart Sandford is a very fine artist.  He lives and works at the Tom of Finland House in Echo Park.  My friend Martin arrived from Provincetown.  He’s staying for a few days.

 

All in all it hasn’t been a bad month.  It’s just these past few hours.  I needed to sit down and write a gratitude list… and this is it.  You see, I woke up today and I’m not a hounded black teen on the streets of any city USA.  I’m not a hounded Palestinian in the ever shrinking patch of land they call home.  I’m not a fatherless 6 year old… and lastly, I didn’t blow my brains out this week because I couldn’t take it any more… and for that I must be grateful.

Latex Bondage Wear waiting to be washed at The Tom of Finland House

Latex bondage wear ready to be washed from the dungeon at The Tom of Finland House, Echo Park.

Christmas Cheer

December 2nd 2013.  Just one year away.

1.

I didn’t stay at home last night.

On the way back to Malibu I stopped in at one of those coffee-house chains.  I sat nursing a cup of hot black brew.

I sat quietly.  I am wearing my black pantaloons (Miu Miu), a Stetson, raspberry colored hand knitted socks with sky blue trim.

I sat listening to a bunch of affluent white men in their 50’s and 60’s dressed in motor cycling leathers, complaining about President Obama.

They were rudely spouting one ill-informed cliché after another, rudely condemning: green solutions, ‘cripple’ access around Santa Monica, the ‘fiscal cliff’ etc.

These same men defend Israel.  Even though this week Israel and the USA find themselves horribly isolated on the world stage.

The old white men are stuck in another age, another time… baffled by a changing world… still unable to comprehend how Mitt Romney lost the election they were convinced he’d win.

I wanted to ask them questions but I knew nothing they had to say would tell me anything I didn’t already know.

Their fears laid bare:  Black leaders, electric cars, marriage equality.

“They’ll all cry that they voted for him.” they convinced each other.

I felt like I was on the winning side.  Their Schadenfreude didn’t feel dangerous… it felt old-fashioned.

On the way home I listened to something on NPR about a group called LA Jews for Peace.

A group of Jewish Americans committed to peace in the Middle East through a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and opposition to American militarism, imperialism, and exceptionalism.

Their spokesman bemoaned America’s UN vote against Palestine.

America, like the old white men at the coffee shop, seems unable to comprehend or adapt to the changing world.

What the white men at the coffee shop don’t seem to acknowledge:  they have more in common with their President than they seem to realize.  I mean… Obama is only half black, raised by white folks… cup half full lads?  Surely?

Obama owns his whiteness in the Whitehouse and flays his blackness on the stump.

Barry Goodman (old white jew),  unfriended me on FB the day the UN recognized the Palestinians right to statehood.

Just nine nations voted against the Palestinian Authority’s upgrade to nonvoting observer state status, which passed the General Assembly 138-9, with 41 abstentions.

Voting “No” on Thursday were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The Pacific nations typically support the U.S. and Israel at the U.N. on key General Assembly resolutions.

In the face of this terrific news self hating jews like Barry Goodman reacted like spoiled, entitled children.

In a unanimous resolution passed Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet said it would not negotiate on the basis of the General Assembly’s recognition of a state of Palestine in the occupied West Bank,  East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

“The unilateral step taken by the Palestinians at the United Nations violates peace agreements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained, justifying Israel’s rejection of the U.N. vote.

Astoundingly, he bleated:

“The only way to Palestinian statehood and peace is through direct negotiations with Israel.”

Then he told the rest of the non compliant world  he was going to hold onto money that was owed to the Palestinians and build all over their shit.

2.

I don’t trust any of the gay men I meet in LA.   Industry men.

Bryan.  WTF?

I had lunch with one of Bryan’s boy toys yesterday, the second in one week.  I met a technician Bryan works with, Bryan says, “I don’t want to direct movies, I want someone else to direct them and I critique their results.”

After I started defending the Palestinians during the Israeli bombardment Guy S (second rate Bryan sycophant)  tells me that they all hate me.  That’s like music to my ears.

I call Tom.  Tom denies what I already know to be the truth.

They know, they all know that sooner or later I’m going to write everything down.

Hollywood Babylon style.

It’s just a matter of time.

3.

December 2nd 2013.   Just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait.

1.

I have been listening to Max Richter‘s re imagining of Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons.

Listen to it.

Doesn’t it inspire you?  Inspire you to write or paint or reach out?

I have been re-writing my script.  Tinkering.  It’s all about nuance now.

The balance of power shifting subtly between two lovers.

I saw new pictures of him.  He looks less grotesque.  Like he is finding his own style. Owning his beautiful smile.  Owning it.

It makes me happy to know that he is thriving.  That he is going to make a better job of this than I ever could.

That he will enjoy the benefits of being a young gay man in 2012.

I have been all over the place recently.  High and low.  Good and bad.  Always present.  Never shamed.

At LACMA I was more interested in the spectator than the art.

Some people are art.

I have been in the company of old men in those strange AA rooms.  In basements, church halls, galleries.  Yes, there is an AA meeting in a gallery in Venice.

I like old people because I am in training to be one.  Surround yourself with old people and you might learn to age with dignity.

I like getting old. Watching the lines on my face get deeper.  For those Peter Pan gays amongst you… you’ve got it coming. ha ha ha.

2.

I’m sitting in The Chateau with Elizabeth and a professional gambler.

He’s my age, boasting about the 20-year-old girls he can snare. But he’s not owning it.  He’s not proud.  He’s telling me like he tells his friends that he owns a Water Lily by Monet.

The painting just stares back at him blankly.

It has no value.  She stands at the end of his bed, naked… looking at him blankly.  Wondering what to do.

I re-imagine the grotesque freaks.

3.

I watched in awe as the audacious Israelis, once again, killed Palestinians.

They have not attacked either Lebanon or the people of Gaza since the mid east shape shifting Arab Spring.  Times have changed, time has strengthened the international hand of Hamas.  Making the incredible credible.

So, it came as no surprise when, after a week, a ceasefire was brokered by the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt.

It heralds the new order.

Within hours of Hilary Clinton‘s departure from Egypt the new president announced (temporary) extensive new personal powers.  There are popular demonstrations planned in Cairo today.

I railed against Israel on my Facebook page.  In Europe they ‘liked’ my stance, in America they didn’t.

Here their brains are fried by Israeli propaganda.  Pro Palestinian aristocrats in England wrote private notes of support.  Americans urged me to stop my public support of the people of Gaza.

Sneering at pictures of dead Palestinian children.

The temptation is to see the tragic bloodshed in the narrow terms of the Hamas rockets and Israel’s right to self defence.

Israel has that right of course… and it’s worth restating.

This is not just about rockets and self-defence. It’s about 1.3 million Palestinians crowded into a tiny strip of land (or “prison camp” as David Cameron called it), most of whose families were refugees from land now occupied by Israel and who feel that their hopes of a viable Palestinian homeland are further away than ever.

Yes, the Israelis withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but Israel’s continued blockade has strangled Gaza’s economy and only served to encourage the militants.

“When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing… You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”

~ Noam Chomsky

4.

AA.  It has been a welcome return.  Looking for a sponsor, working out a year of resentments.  Sitting in those rooms with those beautiful boys.  Refusing their interest, I cannot be trusted with it.

Based on a True Story.

This is based on a true story.  Everything you see has some basis in truth.  The sun is shining.  I am in bed.  Over looking the Pacific. Getting older, a performance artist.  A sober man.

Not dead yet.  I wondered who would love me and the love (when it comes) comes from the most unlikely source.

Last night we sat in the Chateau Marmont with a professional gambler.  We ate pumpkin pie.  We drank hot chocolate.  Vincent arrived with two beautiful Swedish boys.  I was in bed before 12.

The fridge groaning with left over Thanksgiving food whilst the starving homeless roam the streets like so many tatty zombies.

Enhanced by Zemanta

 

Fun in the city with the twins.   On our way to Hollywood.

It’s their 21st birthday today.  Happy Birthday Twins!

I spent time with John.  Met up with Jenny in the Grove.

We saw Miral yesterday at the Arclight Cinema.  Julian Schnabel‘s amazing new film.  It was really beautiful.  Good to see the other side of the Israel/Palestinian argument.  Many people in Europe are pro Palestinian.  More so that here.

How wouldn’t anyone become radicalized being tormented so?

The Bauman family should move to Israel, they would fit in very well there.

Jenny and I had coffee in Venice where we met a charming, beautiful boy.

When the twins got home late last night they bounced into my room and massaged my shoulders and feet.   Random.

 

Greenpeace demonstrating against Esso. March, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Dinner with Jason, Jennifer, Hilary and Rex Weyler.

What an incredible man!

I will let you discover who he is and what he does.

Discussed his film…the film he wants to make with Viggo Mortensen about the creation of and how he co-founded Greenpeace.

We discussed potential directors and (rather unusually) how much a film like this might cost.  Can one really justify spending 50 million dollars on a film?  Really?

Naturally we discussed Egypt and how when the people speak governments are forced to take notice.  We congratulated Julian Assange.  We mourned the dead in Bahrain.  We wondered about Israel.

The demonstrations in Madison Wisconsin are particularly heartening as are the angry British protestors who are presently targeting Barclay’s bank over claims of tax avoidance.

Is this Glenn Beck’s ‘coming insurrection’?  Let’s hope so.

Ultimately the question one has to ask ones self is:  Am I prepared to take a bullet for what I believe?

I told him that I knew people who were oblivious of what was going on in Egypt.  In fact more than half of all Americans were not aware of what was happening in Egypt.

Why are people not more inquisitive?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,123 other followers