Archives for posts with tag: New York Times

Republican Jesus

1.

Election night 2012.

As my gay friends, blindly devoted to President Obama, danced with joy at the news that gay marriage was being approved by popular vote in three states… the first of its kind, that an ‘out’ lesbian had been elected to the US senate and that ‘their guy’ was going back to the White House… I shifted uncomfortably in my bed.

 In May, after years of unconvincingly claiming that his (Obama’s)  view on gay marriage was “evolving”, it miraculously matured five months before an election as support from gay and lesbian voters and young people – who are far more likely to support marriage equality – appeared to be softening.  A month later he halted the deportation of thousands of young undocumented immigrants with an executive order.

He could have done either one at any time.

The Guardian

As the results came in I watched my Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr feeds explode.

Lance Black told us that he was crying so hard with gratitude for the people of Maine, so blinded by tears he could scarcely post his thanks on Facebook.

“Thank you,  thank you, thank you.”  he wept.

I kept thinking:  Republicans want your money, Democrats want your hope.  What’s worse?

All night I knew that I was witnessing something sickeningly dishonest, as ersatz as the twin towers crumbling seem to conspiracy theorists.

I wondered again and again about the relative values of my gay brethren.

You see,  I couldn’t stop thinking about just one gay man.

I was plagued with the young face of Bradley Manning who presently sits in jail, a victim of Obama’s rarely mentioned dark side.

Since July 2010 he has been kept naked and  in solitary confinement.  According to his family he is going slowly insane.

Manning, you may remember, had blown the whistle on American war crimes in Iraq.  He posted videos, unleashed a  torrent of classified information to Wikileaks… his fury knew no bounds.

He had every reason to be angry.   He related to the wholesale cruelty and injustice being perpetrated on the Iraqi people.

Manning’s had a crippling history of emotional abuse, neglect, bullying and abandonment .

As a teenager he was taken to the UK by his British mother.  At school in Wales he became the target of bullying because he was the only American. The students would imitate his accent, and they apparently abandoned him once during a camping trip. His aunt told The Washington Post: “He woke up, and all the tents around him were gone. They left while he was sleeping.” He was also targeted for being effeminate.

As an adult he had one of two choices, he could take it out on himself like so many gay men and kill himself… or he could take it out on those who gave him the most pain.

He was rightly furious at how he was being personally treated by the military… facing his own demons as well as the worlds.

Every day he bore witness to atrocities against the Iraqi people, (the very people he was apparently trying to protect) and the atrocity of institutionalized homophobia.

Some soldiers, driven mad by war,  punish Iraqis.  A soldier walks into a village on his own and kills innocent men, women and children.   Some take it out on each other, a soldier rapes or damages or kills a colleague.  We know these stories.  They are legion.

Bradley Manning knew the truth had to be revealed.

The material he disseminated included videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 250,000 United States diplomatic cables; and 500,000 army reports that came to be known as the Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs.

It was the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public.

The Wikipedia page for Manning has a great deal of unsubstantiated detail describing his ‘true nature’,  over turning tables, punching women in the face, carving words into a chair. 

Meanwhile, the heteronormative lesbian (Tammy Baldwin), looking like Laura Bush in her puce, slubbed silk jacket was on her way to the Senate. Hailed by the gays (even the ones who have no lesbian or even women friends) as the great Sappho answer to the LGBT political conundrum, applauding as she goes down on the neo-liberal pussy… rainbow bunting festoons her office.

Is Tammy Baldwin our LGBT hero?  Will the people of Maine win a GLAAD award like the people of Europe won the Nobel Peace Prize?

Bradley Manning is a true hero, a gay hero, a young man of conscience… yet he has been all but abandoned by the gay community.

Where are his GLAAD awards?  His rainbow bunting?  His gay applause?

Don’t weep for the people of Maine for voting on something that shouldn’t even have been on the ballot.  Weep for Bradley Manning who sits in a cell today for showing all of you the crimes being committed in your name.

2.

According to the New York Times, preparing President Obama for his first Presidential debate against Mitt Romney proved an impossible task for even his most trusted advisors.

David Axelrod, a senior strategist, told a surly Mr. Obama that he seemed distracted, but the President shrugged him off. “I’ll be there on game day,” he said. “I’m a game day player.”

As it turned out the President was not a ‘game day player’, famously caught off guard by Romney’s meticulous  debate preparation he crashed and burned leaving many of his most ardent supporters wondering why they were supporting him at all.

There’s something horribly revealing about this story.  It betrays exactly who Barack Obama is.

Aloof, dismissive and far more confident in his own ability than he should be.

For those who have performed on stage can confirm, no amount of rehearsal is long enough for any performance.   The dress rehearsal is imperative, it is at the dress rehearsal where all catastrophic mistakes will be made, never to be made again.

To have no rehearsal, no dress rehearsal, to stand on stage without any rehearsal whatsoever is arrogant at best, monumentally dumb at worst.

Arrogance may be Obama’s defining character defect.  More details reveal the President to be an even less sympathetic character.

Two startling facts:

He has never entertained either President Carter nor Clinton at the White House and complains frequently about being under valued.

“Stories abound of big donors who stopped giving as much or working as hard because Obama never reached out, either with a Clinton-esque warm bath of attention or Romney-esque weekend love fests and Israeli-style jaunts; of celebrities who gave concerts for his campaigns and never received thank-you notes or even his full attention during the performance; of public servants upset because they knocked themselves out at the president’s request and never got a pat on the back.”

There is an obvious lack of sophistication about the first couple that no amount of Jason Woo, Simon Doonan table settings or fancy interior decoration will ever mask.

Obama’s arrogance, his ego maniacal obsession with his own success would be worth something if he had some huge scheme, some Housman type plan, some Churchillian grandiosity, some Napoleonic zeal but all his arrogance boils down to… well, a miserable compromise.

Many liberals were annoyed during the first Obama term that Bush-era strong-arm tactics (including the ubiquitous executive order) were not used…  even as the President was bullied relentlessly by house Republicans after he lost control of Congress.

After the ‘shellacking’ he continue his obsequious placating of the far right of the Republican party.  Rather than insist on defending his oft lauded centrist position he crawled ignominiously further right to placate his foes.

The most annoying leitmotif of President Obama’s last four years, a recurring theme… must be his constant reference to himself as The President because if he didn’t remind you who he was… you might forget.

“I’m the president.” he tells anyone who will listen. “I’m the President!” he smiles, like JayZ might tell you he had sold more tracks on iTunes than any other artist since the Beatles.

And if that sounds vaguely racist, I remind you again what Don Lemons told me about The President, “Obama is the kind of black man who looks scared of white people.”

There’s something to be said for this analysis.

Not wanting to prepare for the Presidential debate reveals Obama’s fear of the very men the rest of us want to see him stand up against: The Good ol’ Boys.

The very same men who are at this moment witnessing the end of their white America, the very same white men who could not believe America would elect a black President twice.

The man they had humiliated with obstructionist politics, like tripping the nigger on the side-walk… just because they could.

His fear of white people coupled with the pitiful jokes, the self-deprecating bon mot.

“I was too polite.” he offered up after the first debate.

It caused radical friends to throw up their hands in fury.

Barry Obama, against all the Republican odds, is President re-elect.   It is up to him to start taking those who elected him seriously and not for granted. It is up to us to drag this  weedy President firmly into the 21st Century.

Americans, it seems, are baying for a modern America.

The cabal of white (Republican looking) social engineers who stand behind Obama (Tim Geithner et al) , using their half-black, amiable front man as a shield behind which they steal the money…. well, they need to wake up.

There are too many vocal opponents to the wholesale compromise that defined Obama’s first term.

Those who supported Obama the second time around are delivering a firm rebuke.  They want stuff.

The white men who have been controlling Obama, offering false hope to the Latinos and the gays to motivate their base… have opened Pandora’s box… yet the evil in the box seems poisonous only to the Republicans… for the rest of us it is the liberal air we breath.

3.

A Gay Poem

by Duncan Roy 2012

Don’t let climate change ruin your gay wedding.

Don’t let staff shortages due to deportation destroy your special day.

Try not to think about drone attacks on foreign shores.

Concentrate on the $160k baby you can’t really afford, grown in the woman whose name will never be known to the unborn child.

You’re spending your bonus money on Botox and patching your 25 years old lined forehead with restylane.

Thank God you’re marrying a fellow american or ICE officers might be your groomsman.

Thank God you can get married, you’ll never be turned away from the hospital as your husband lies dying of a meth overdose.

They found him in the sauna, multiply penetrated, cream pied, still dripping, swaying gently in a sling still wearing his military boots…

on your honeymoon in the leather bars of Berlin.

4.

1.

It was a day.  Yes.  Yesterday was a long day.  Good.  Kind.  Revealing.

I walked the dogs.  Through the bourgeois streets of suburban Malibu.   Early morning.  Before the sun breaks through.

I have struggled with writing both the end of the film and the novel.  Because, I suppose, they are both so firmly planted in the experience of being me.

My Producer is fine with everything.  Everything but the last page.  He wants an epiphany.

So, that’s what I am striving for.

The film is about a sociopath, a charming sociopath.  In fact, the film is about two sociopaths.

I can’t discount my own bat shit craziness.  Let’s face it… I did some terrible things.

For those of you who have been reading this blog for the past two years… I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the balanced and sensitive way I have drawn the characters… but that is not my credit to take.. it is my dear Producers influence.

If I had my way there would have been murders my dear…

His genius for editing and re positioning.. for making me (and you) care for the person I loathed and loved.

For revealing the truth.

I headed into town at 11 to meet my assistant at the club.

I’m test shooting cast this Sunday and having informal crew meetings.  I met a very competent First AD this week.

At the club I met Scott Cooper who made Crazy Heart and we stood in the bathroom discussing his new film, Out of the Furnace with Christian Bale.   He is understandably excited.  Really lovely man.

I bumped into Nona Summers who was with a loathsome Greek from my distant past.

Kevin and I sat with Jacob Brown from the New York Times. A super cool kid who is making his second short film.  We watched his first at the table.  Enigmatic, sexy and very well shot.

Jacob has excellent taste.

He and Sean Devany are the up and coming generation of young gay film makers fearlessly re-imagining their own experience as gay men, using film for their catharsis.

I am heartened that these smart young gay men are once again beginning to tell their stories.

For the longest time young gay film makers shucked their own experience in favour of chasing a bigger, straighter audience.

As a result… our community became less vibrant.

The gay film festival circuit, until recently, was lack luster and uninspiring… this year, at Outfest, there were so many interesting and well made gay films.  It warmed the cockles of my homo heart.

Gay men want, understandably, well made films with high production values but financiers are loathed to invest… scared that the audience wont come.

The tide is turning.

2.

Brock pitched up looking incredibly sexy in a tight, pale blue polo shirt.

We ate Caesar salad with added chicken.

After lunch we met Rafi Gavron the hot, hot, hot British actor who was ass raped in the TV series Rome.   He was with his cousin Dean McKillen the owner of the super chic new restaurant Laurel Hardware in West Hollywood.

Dean invited us for dinner on Saturday.

Brock and I hung with Kevin and Fielder at their home on Martel then decided we would preempt the Saturday invite and go to Laurel Hardware.

The place was packed with a really interesting crowd.  A smattering of Young Hollywood and some cool looking gay men.  Dean made us feel very welcome, sending us delicious pizzas covered with burrata and basil.

The boys drank beer and I didn’t.

I drove Brock back to his car and met up with my night-time companion,  collapsed into bed.

3.

There is an odd collision of circumstance:

Jacob is the best friend of the best lesbian friend of you know who.

One degree of separation.

It doesn’t surprise me.  It is a very small world.

We trawled through Facebook.

I looked in awe at pictures of my ex and his new boyfriend.   They are indeed an unusual couple.  Dressed in outrageous and colourful garb.   When my ex’s bf wears his heels he must be 7 foot tall.

There was a picture of them holding each other in a bucolic setting.   My ex is quite short and his beau wore heels.  The height differential was staggering.  It looked like a post wedding picture.

You know, after the vows.

I wondered what they would wear when they actually got married.  If Thom Browne would make the costume.

They looked very, very happy.

Diane Arbus would have photographed them.  I mean, it was like that… like a Diane Arbus picture.

I expect to feel different things when I see them together but I always feel the same.  I am truly happy that he is happy.    From a distance I share their obvious happiness.  It is a relief.

I am pleased that even though we will never know each other… will never speak ever again… that I was indeed somehow, in some way responsible for forcing that boy out of the closet and into the life he should have enjoyed since his teens.

Mostly I congratulate myself for saving her.

It baffled me, for the longest time what terrified him about being gay.  I understand now.  He wasn’t scared of being gay, he was scared of being that kind of gay.  Flamboyant, creative, a dandy.

Every time I see him in the virtual street my questions are answered.  A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words.

I hope that she is doing ok, that she has found a good man.  An honest man.  I wonder if she forgave him?   I mean, there’s only so long one can hold such hatred in one’s heart.

Perhaps one day she will thank me.  I don’t expect any thanks from him.

4.

My great friend, the abundantly talented Lady Rizo is off to the Edinburgh Festival.  Packing her Marchesa frocks and her false eye lashes.  I urge my British friends to urgently seek her out.

You will not be disappointed.

5.

I am headed to Provincetown to stay with Benoit.

I am downtown. Downtown LA. We are drinking coffee in a chic coffee shop.

It is reassuringly sophisticated.

It feels like NYC. It feels like a city.

Spring Street. Coffee bar.

The people who pass by are dressed well and don’t have that Hollywood vibe. The women are not showing off their chests and legs, the boys are wearing well cut pants and have covetable accessories.

Having the car makes life more interesting.

I am scarcely at home.

I am writing this on my phone.

I had dinner with an old friend on Saturday night. We ate at Bossa Nova then we saw Clash of the Titans 2 at the Chinese Theatre.

There were less than 10 of us in the theatre.

The film was terrible, Olivia was terrible. Everything about that terrible film that could be said…was said.

He brought two young men. They didn’t say much. One was gay, the other ‘in training’.

Outside the theatre there was a costume exhibition. We poured over the ormolu costume jewelry Elizabeth Taylor wore in Cleopatra.

We explained to the boys the history of Century City.

You know that story don’t you?

How Cleopatra bankrupted 20th Century Fox? How the back lot was sold and Century City was built?

Everybody should know that story, if they live in LA.

It was pouring rain.

Under the theatre, in the parking lot, valley girls were vomiting out of SUVs onto their fake Louboutins.

We drove west, we sat together at my club and they drank cocktails. I drank coffee.

The boys remained mute.

Not feeling at all combative, I found myself passionately discussing racism and gay equality which quickly disintegrated into a nasty UK v USA argument.

At one point my friend told me that if he could press a button and eradicate all Muslims he would.

I pointed out that my father was a Persian Muslim and technically so were the majority of my 11 brothers and sisters. That he would have to kill my young sister Rebecca.

How did he feel about that?

His genocidal zeal was not diminished.

How come it’s become ok for reasonable men to become so islamaphobic?

The conversation further disintegrated into how retarded the Brits were for accepting equality without the word marriage in the equation.

It made my blood boil that he would rather have nothing if he couldn’t have the word marriage.

Civil unions in the UK seem, to those who have them…just like being married and my friends who have civil unions think of themselves, describe themselves, as married.

Anyway, the m word is now being fought for in the UK but more as a nice after thought attached to the equality that we already enjoy.

You know how I felt, and people like me felt about that word. Archaic, patriarchal bull shit…antiquated in the secular UK.

Then, this morning, I found myself listening to Democracy Now on the radio as I drove the 101 Freeway.

Van Jones being interviewed.

He pointed out that in the civil rights game played out in the USA…if you are prepared to be arrested for what you believe…and there are enough of you, change happens quickly.

Be seen to fight for what you believe in, rather than playing the faceless gay equality/marriage ‘incremental’ tactic…employing expensive lawyers and fighting state by state…

He mentioned the names of 5 or 6 black civil rights leaders. I got to wondering where our civil rights leaders were? Who are they? Why can’t I name them?

I suppose Lance Black has become a recognizable leader/voice of the gay community but this seems accidental rather than deliberate.

It has always been my dream for the gay men and women of the USA that they get the human rights they deserve.

But…what are they prepared to risk when demanding those rights? How many windows do they need to break?

There is something weedy and unfocused about the movement.

Worse, by articulating this frustration I risk people like my friend telling me that I am letting down the cause.

We need leaders, we need direct action. It is the only way the unelected justices (who get the final say) at the Supreme Court will truly understand how important equality is to us.

The system has failed us.

Meanwhile, Justin Bond shared on Facebook a piece he found in the NY Times about the suicide of a gay man struggling with the notion of old age…amongst other things.

Read it here: gay suicide

Some of Justin’s friends dismissed the piece as worthless. Some of them understood how important it was.

Some of them, quite rightly, wondered why the piece was in the style section.

Our community wrestles with all sorts of problems peculiar to our people. It is absurd, at moments like this, to pretend that we are just like everyone else.

Our generation of gay men, used to unlimited sex, sexual validation, Peter Panism at its worst…has to wake up and acknowledge the wrinkles.

So, it’s been quite a week. A date last night that went really well. Passionate discussions and…well the dogs.

What more could I want?

20120403-120523.jpg

Here are some of the pictures Dan took last week at my party…I will add them as and when they arrive.  I am having my LA birthday party tonight….should be fun.

Lady Rizo

Lady Rizo sang Lilac Wine, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend and a Brittany Spears mash up.

Devon, Aleksa and Me

Aleksa came with her husband Devon…straight from the set of Boardwalk Empire

Dan and Stephen

Dan took all the pics but thankfully had one of himself.

Ian and Bradley

Ian Drew and Bradley from US Weekly…who told me yesterday that I am indeed in the upcoming A List.

Rob Roth who sang ‘I’ll Melt With You‘ rather wonderfully and the legend who is indeed Chandler Burr.  The performance artist and NYT scent editor…

Duncan and Robby

This trip to NYC changed darling Robby’s life.

Sweet friends from LA Jess and her lover.

Victoria Whitbread and her friend Tom with Dee Mansfield who flew from Hong Kong for my party.

Yaniv, Michael (GLADD) and Cyndi Stivers who started Time Out NY

The Black Soft

Chase and Joey from The Black Soft came and not only performed their new song for me but totally wowed their new audience.

Zach and Alex

Joan, Lady Rizo and Joe

Greg Lucas and David Stillman Meyer

Kaolin, Friend and Zach

Lady Rizo and Donovan.

Duncan, Charlie Parsons and Tom Desanto

Jeff and Robby

And over to you LADY RIZO!!!

OK, that’s it!  More tomorrow from tonight’s party.

Woke at the usual time.

Nothing unusual about the rain, the gray sky, the walk around the park.   Empty, wet streets.  Nothing unusual.  The Little Dog did what he was meant to do.  He was subdued.   I am perfectly sure that the leash must have communicated my apprehension.  Today is the day.

The first time in 10 months since I last laid eyes on him.

Perhaps we can both solve something today?

Last night I met Zack for dinner.  His friend Pony joined us for desert.  We explored a little night life after.  Ended up at some club on 21st and 5th.

A very tiny, very drunk man approached me and said, “You can fuck me but I don’t want to end up in your blog.”

I reassured him that he would never appear in either my bed or my blog.

Mike Tyson once told a bunch of men I was hanging out with that a sexual encounter only really meant something when the sheets were covered in shit, blood and cum.

He really said that.

I am going to get a tee-shirt made with that Tyson inspired mantra printed on it.  Blood, Shit and Cum.

You know, it’s easy to get depressed around Christmas time.  It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself as others are so obviously having a good time.  Take away the booze, the drugs, the porn etc. etc. and what are you left with?  It’s not just about what I can’t do it’s more about what I won’t do.  Invitations are left unanswered.  Parties unattended.   Why go out when I can throw my very own pity party?

This Christmas is miserable for other reasons.  My malaise is the countries malaise.  Diffident people, unresolved policies, a new President who arrived with such hope and is not delivering.   The undeserving bankers partying on the taxpayers dime.  ‘The have’s and the have mores.’  Do you remember Bush saying that?    I read about whole families in homeless shelters and growing incidence of hunger in the world’s richest country.

My friends are becoming more frustrated and less patient.  I only hope that their frustration leads to dissidence and activism.  Listen, this is not my fight.  This is not my country.  Why should I care?  Well, I do.

This week I wrote about sexual fluidity and my usual detractors came at me with the usual arguments.   One writer challenging my assertion that there is more sexual fluidity than we like to admit posted a link to an interesting piece in the New York Times.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/health/05sex.html?_r=2&pagewanted=2&;_r=1

I think that it is worth reading.  Rather than proving his point that most men are one thing or another or gravitate toward one or other end of the sexual spectrum it proves only one thing:  we tend to ask men the wrong questions about sexuality if we want to hear the truth.

Bisexuality is not the point.  Sexual opportunism amongst men is the point.  Most men, initially, are simply not honest when asked about their desires, fantasies or experiences. Of the hundreds of men I have spoken to about their sex conduct-when they finally feel safe enough to tell the truth, the truth is always far more complicated and often more harrowing for them to admit.

Our personal and evolving sexuality is far too complicated for most humans to own up to.  Sexual honesty is further complicated by the hysteria whipped up by organized religion.

Sexuality is simplified by those at either end of the sex spectrum who are sure (for the time being) of their own desires and cannot be aroused by anything else.   These people are in the minority.  For the sexually opportunistic when sex options become available those options are gravely considered.  Hence the problems many men face with the internet and the availability of previously unseen or considered (often illegal) pornographic images.   Men trawling for pornographic images on the internet start by looking at ‘vanilla’ type images but very quickly find themselves looking at and aroused by images of sex acts and sex scenarios that they may never even considered previously.  Why do they look at them?  Because they can.  Once the door is open to this world of taboo it is very hard for most men to close it again.

How many men who are languishing in prison today, their lives destroyed, for looking at illegal images would have ever sought out those images if they hadn’t had the internet?   Once, not so long ago, before the internet those criminals might have thought about those things-maybe.  They might have had terrible desires or feelings but feelings are not facts.

Feelings are not facts.

Is it only a matter of time before the leap from an imagined world to reality?

The internet takes us very quickly to places that we wish we had never been.  From the safety of my own apartment I can explore the darkest reaches of my own mind.

Most of us never have the guts or the inclination or the opportunity to make real what was previously a fantasy.  The moment we step from fantasy into reality we create another life.

Tiger Woods will tell a reporter that his wife and family come first.  This scene is played out endlessly on TV to confirm that Tiger Woods is a liar.  No, Tiger Woods did not lie.  Tiger Woods really does believe that his wife and kids come first but he Tiger, like so many men, has multiple lives and like many, many men he compartmentalizes those lives.  He has his real life of wife and children and his fantasy life of hookers and escorts.  Because of his power, position and social mobility he gets to act out what is usually, for most men, a fantasy.

I serially cheated.  I had two lives.  My real life with my lover and the discardable life of quick hook ups.

‘It meant nothing’ means something.

I was acting on my most basest desires because I could.  Because I had no morality?  I balked at writing that but actually I mean it.  I had no code of conduct.  I had no guiding principles around my sex conduct.  I found myself at the mercy of my desires. Is this peculiar to me?  No.  One does not need to have had a traumatic past to become the victim of ones desire-just ask Tiger.

Sexuality is not as dull as gay or straight or bisexual.  It is infinitely more interesting.  My detractors want you to believe that sexuality is simple.  That they have the answer for all of you-that you are one thing or the other.

The truth is that until we can all honestly, shamelessly tell our sex stories we will never really know.

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