Archives for posts with tag: Youth

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All this talk about bullying.

How do we teach kids not to bully when we pay Gordon Ramsey and Simon Cowell to bully others? When we invade Iraq and kill the innocent people we were there to protect?

It’s not just the gays who get bullied….

homophobic/racist/classist/fatist/ginger/glasses/smelly/poor/good grades/bad grades… all reasons kids are bullied.

Go on add to the list…

I’ve done my fair share of bullying. On set. Within relationships.

Growing up gay: you have two options… let the homophobes beat you down or fight back. I’ve always fought back. Spent my life fighting.

Probably to my detriment.

They called me BLEACHED NIGGER at Primary School ’cause I had black curly hair.

Yet, the worst bullying in my life occurred after I left school from other gay men. Especially as a youth. Bullied into sexual liaisons.

Vicious bitchery. Cruel and catty.

Yet somehow forgiven because it was meant to be funny.

My body image shot to pieces by gay men. Having to subscribe to their standards of beauty.

Ultimately… as my granny said: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

I embraced my curly hair, my gangly legs, fought off the men who tried to shame me into sex or told me to lose weight, shave my head and balls, go to the gym…. and carved my own little niche which ended up being quite a crowded place with other like-minded people.

In The Hot Tub Under The Lantern

Did you ever play Monopoly? Do you remember winning? An embarrassment of riches. Did you ever cheat? Letting your friends stay at your hotel on Park Lane for free because you wanted the game to go on? The thrill of being benevolent, philanthropic?

Did you enjoy forcing your enemies off the board. Did you learn about risk, acquisition, luxury?

Whenever I won the game of Monopoly I felt badly. It gave me no pleasure bankrupting my friends.

The game ends when one player takes total control of the bank and the board.

We are witnessing in the USA the end game. A few men and women who have won over all the rest. They have trillions of dollars. Some have acquired this cash from (amongst other things) war profiteering. From private prisons. From bloated healthcare costs. From gouging oil, gas and utilities. Stealing directly from the people.

The rich pay for laws to protect their interests, the rich consider the rest of us expendable.

Their riches and how they acquired them have not gone unnoticed.

In London, the people know something is up with the system. They couldn’t articulate what is wrong…because we have deliberately kept these people stupid. They just needed an excuse to act upon their frustration.

They have an inkling that they might be able to throw the Monopoly board in the air. Fuck the winner. I’m taking mine.

The rich have some serious thinking to do.

It is all very well to take all the money but what use is it when the cities are burning?

The rich must surely know that their ‘hard work’ and ‘good fortune’ without paying fair taxes is destroying their country…perhaps the world. It has not gone unnoticed. For that is the way of humanity. The people wake up and disparity is challenged.

British Prime Minister David Cameron sounds like he has a handle on the British riots.

Cameron said: “In the banking crisis, with MPs’ expenses, in the phone-hacking scandal, we have seen some of the worst cases of greed, irresponsibility and entitlement. The restoration of responsibility has to cut right across our society.”

The leader of the opposition agrees!

At last. An intelligent, cross party reaction to the shopping with violence that devastated London and other British cities.

Times they are a changing.

Solution is hard. What can any government do to put the pieces of society back together when it seems irreparable? Blame is frankly irresponsible, context is key.

Is it impossible to teach young people how to respect the established order when the established order is revealed to be corrupt? Respect cannot be forced upon our youth. As much as this breaks my heart to write: we must listen to those thugs and vandals.

Now, I am not interested in sitting down with a bunch of dim-witted, inarticulate youths. They have nothing to say that will teach me anything. Their actions, however, must be respected and understood.

There is no boot camp, army training, national service, prison that will change these young men and women. We have created monsters. We have given them false hope, rancid dreams, easy money.

They do not aspire to anything more than gadgets and fancy trainers.

Their limited aspirations are shocking to someone like me. Gadgets and trainers. Good God.

When Bagdad was sacked the youth took really valuable antiquities from the museums. They seemed to understand the value of their culture. Perhaps we are what we steal?

Rampaging through a city, stealing, breaking and screaming….takes a certain amount of guts. Physically challenging an army of police officers. Their actions must be understood.

We will never return to a time when young people respected their elders, the establishment, society and themselves. That time never existed. Young people have always and quite rightly challenged the status quo.

I’m glad Cameron mentioned the banks. Nobody would do that here.

The more I dwell upon the bank bailouts in the USA the more I realize just how catastrophic it was for the American People. Cauterizing the banking crisis with huge amounts of cash rather than letting those institutions fail has proved very problematic. It confused the message of capitalism. It undermined capitalist principles and laid bare the lies of successive US governments.

Mostly it disheartened those of us who understand that change is imperative for growth.

If the banks had been allowed to fail a new order would be established. A power shift. Other men would hold the reins. New ideas would have flourished. Capitalism would have sorted it out all on its own. Where there is weakness others come to make good. New opportunities revealed for the brave. The next generation of fearless entrepreneurs would have made themselves known.

By bailing out the banks we merely hold on to what we know rather than doing what humans are best at…striking into the unknown.

Does the USA deserve it’s AAA credit rating? Does it matter? I heard many times that Americans, after losing their AAA rating..had their self-esteem knocked.

America’s self-esteem exists in a putrid vat of delusion and self aggrandisement.

I am told over and over again that the US economy is the largest in the world. That may be true but somehow the people have become confused. They tell me that their police, fire department, health system etc. is the best in the world. We are the best at everything. We are the champions of the world. My army keeps you free.

I keep my mouth shut.

It is obvious to those of us who have lived in many different countries that this simply is not true.

I often tell the gays in this blog to get off their asses and break some windows if they want to see change in their country. I am scolded for doing so. Government is petrified of insurrection, rebellion, people on the streets.

David Cameron and the leader of the opposition have impressed me with their willingness to understand what is happening in Britain. Commentators, baffled by the violence, murder and mayhem are trying to work it out. It just didn’t make any sense. Now it is.

The British, like the French are good at letting their frustrations boil over onto the streets. It is part of the fabric of our lives. It sends messages, good and bad, to everyone who complacently enjoys a peaceful life. That peaceful life cannot be taken for granted. Peace, harmony, respect, order…they are earned together.

Together we create society so together we must find solution if we are to keep what we value.

P.S. Yesterday the beautiful deaf boy came to the house and came over my chest.

Dinner at AXE on Abbot Kinney.

So happy that it reopened after the fire that took it out a year ago. Great food, lovely people, delightfully limited menu. We ate goat stew. We ate delicious flat bread. We ate home-grown tomatoes and burrata.

Party at Gabe’s. Sat by the fire talking to a beautiful surfer with long blond hair and thick thighs.

Finally, this beautiful army man blew his brains out because he thought no God would ever forgive what he had done to others in Iraq. Very sad.

No, I don’t want to kill myself.

There have been times recently when I have seriously thought about suicide but life always delivers so much more than death ever could.    Why would I want an endless night when I have the glorious day?

This too will pass.  A tiny rule that reminds me daily that life is worth living.  That love, lust, hate and anger all have a certain shelf life and it’s only a matter of time before relief is found or misery returns.

U.S. Suicide Statistics

1.3% of all deaths are from suicide.

On average, one suicide occurs every 16 minutes.

Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for all Americans.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 year olds.
(1st = accidents, 2nd = homicide)

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 25-34 year olds.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.

More males die from suicide than females.
(4 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide.)

More people die from suicide than from homicide.
(Suicide ranks as the 11th leading cause of death; Homicide ranks 13th.)

There were over 800,000 suicide attempts in 2010

Sobering statistics.

When I was a kid things were so confusing, so traumatic I made two attempts at taking my own life.  Once with a knife and secondly with pills.  I failed to complete my mission on both occasions.  Thankfully.

When I had my breakdown during my mid twenties I met young people, at the Henderson Hospital, who seemed determined that life was not worth living and had made far more serious attempts at ending things than I had.

Sarah’s story, particularly, sticks in my mind. I may have written about her before but let me refresh your memory.

Sarah was a young, pretty blond girl who had been serially abused (sexually and physically) by both her parents, foster parents and finally by her adopted father.

By the time I met her she was a husk of what she should have been.

She trusted no one.  Why would she?

Every day at the hospital we would congregate for an obligatory house meeting.   Sarah was missing.  I was sent (by the nursing staff) to her room to find her. When I opened the door I was met with a blood bath.

There was blood everywhere, on the sheets, the floor, sprayed on the ceiling and the walls.

Sarah saw me and said sweetly, “I’ll be down in a minute.”  She was pathetically dabbing with a blood sodden rag at the mess on the walls.  “I just want to clear this up.”  She smiled at me.  Softly.  She had severed an artery in her wrist and as fast as she mopped up the blood more spurted out.

I grabbed her wrist and called out for help.  Screamed for help.  Eventually someone arrived.  We were hustled (still holding her as a human tourniquet) into a car and to the local ER.

By the time we got to the hospital I was welded onto her and had to be surgically removed from the congealed, bloody wound.

I have no idea what happened to Sarah.  Perhaps she succeeded and did indeed kill herself.  I have no idea.  She didn’t come back from the emergency room.

I don’t remember ever asking about her.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Those who threaten suicide are frightening people.  A disregard for their own life could very easily become a disregard for yours.  A suicide is a murder.  A murderer may kill you too.

During the past decade of sobriety I have met many men and women (mostly men) who managed to kill themselves.  It always amazed me that even sobriety could not save them.

Death seems so alluring to some people.   There is nothing alluring about death: a premature death is just absurd to me.   We are dead all too soon and for those of us who do not believe in heaven we may as well find heaven on earth.

Anyway, I am too much of a coward to kill myself.  Too much of a coward to drink or take drugs.  Too much of a coward to be successful.  Too much of a coward to say no…to open letters…to say goodbye.

I have learned to live with depression (without drugs) mental illness (without therapy) inertia (without fear) and love (without conclusion).  Some people cannot face the power of life itself.  The beauty, the grandeur, the mystery seem so threatening to them and end up dead by their own hand.

Perhaps they cannot/will not respect this extraordinary world, this abundant place.

Recently, as documented here, I have felt vulnerable and sad.  I felt (falsely) as if life could only be lived in a certain way…with a lover at my side.  On those occasions I am blinded to what I have and drawn to those things I do not have.

These past weeks since the great ‘closure’ my eyes are open, I am bathed in light.  The night is no longer a terrible and foreign place.   The day begins without yearning nor ends with tears.

God damn it…

This too will pass.

“What you looking at?  Slag!”

“What the fuck are you looking at you slaaag?’

“Slag!”

I love the word slag.  It fills me with joy.

We live in timid times.  Nobody wants to offend anybody.  Yet, everybody seems so angry.   We all need to live more robustly.   I loathe lots of things..but I should not be defined by my anger.

Some fluffy queen left comments for me yesterday.  He had that part of his brain missing that determines’rational thought‘ or ‘over view’ or ‘context’.  He felt ‘sensitive’ and marveled at my well-documented insanity.   He thought I might be ‘obsessed’ and accused me of ‘cyber-bullying’.

Ho Hum.

I could hear through the written word his rasping voice…his terror of living in the light.   As ‘Ryan’ defends fellow tribe member JB I want to drink a glass of neat whiskey.

I want to drive fast up the PCH in a red sports car to escape his whimsy.  I want to call hookers and tell them that I will only pay them if they remain mute.  If they keep their fucking mouths shut.  If they said one word…I would not pay them.

Of course, I don’t have a red sports car and I am not interested in any kind of hooker..even a mute one.  Ever.

Like the cancer in my balls the cancer in my head is JB.  I am plagued with him.  His flapping gait like some kind of untreated Victorian cripple.  His wide eyes, open mouth, the face he affected of child-like-innocence that had indeed sucked a thousand cocks…just before he choked down mine.

I think I should give Ryan JB’s address and have them meet.    They could be very happy together.

Last night I cooked dinner for a friend.

This morning I have more research to do.

Last night I watched the last Chilean miner pulled out of his tomb and into the light.  I cried but wanted to cry more.

The Manhunt assignation is proving more interesting than not.  For others it seems mostly about sex but for me it’s all about the people one can meet, the stories they tell and the places they take you.

This evening I met a young man right at very end of Wilshire Blvd at Takami, a rather grand sushi bar on the 21st floor of a building overlooking LA’s great success story:  Down Town.

In all of LA this is the most like a recognisable big city, complete with tall buildings, pedestrians, store fronts and a huge film crew shooting LA for NYC.

All the lights in all of the high rises seem to be left on all night to delight people like me hankering for a world city.   The city streets teaming with city people.  I can quite understand why so many young people want to live there.

I rather wish I did..but by November I will be in a real big city.

The young man I met this evening was a deaf, thirty-year-old graphic designer from Mexico City.  He asked for a seat in a quieter part of the restaurant.  The hostess put us under a speaker blaring very loud music.  When I asked to be moved she looked at me pityingly and told me that this was the ‘brightest part of the restaurant’  I snapped back that he was deaf not blind.  He was delighted.  She was not.

Dinner wasn’t nearly as challenging as it threatened to be until the internet date told me that six years ago he was kidnapped.

Well, if someone tells you that they have been kidnapped you might want to know why and how.  I asked a few careful questions but apparently that was the wrong thing to do as he promptly burst into tears.

We left the expensive lobster rolls uneaten.

He very kindly paid for dinner.  Phew.

As he tearfully relived the details of his kidnapping my mind wandered.  I looked out over the city scape and thought about how intriguing this internet connecting phenomena is.  I mean, I wouldn’t usually get to meet half the men I meet on-line and the best thing is I never have to meet them again.

Could you imagine how fruitful it would be if I liked having sex with strangers?

After dinner we wandered the streets and then I drove 30 miles home.

Good to get home.

What else happened today?  Walked the dogs down to the sea.  Returned emails and calls.  Met Frank over at SHLA, Frank is a darling.   Spent an hour or so at the Hollywood house and packed more stuff in the car.

Slowly, slowly making progress with the move.  So much kitchen stuff.  Christ, can I chuck it out?  This evening I will get on my knees and pray:  Please God..let me have the strength to chuck this junk.

The mouse in the house is not dead despite poison and traps.

By the way…have not looked in the mirror recently and enjoyed what I have seen but today I did.  It’s as if the corner really has been turned.

Must buy shoe trees.  My shoes all look crushed after the move.

July 18, 2006 – Tuesday

PARIS

I love the smell of Paris. I love the streams of glistening street cleaning water on a bright morning coursing over the cobbles. I love the great boulevard. I love my secret lovers courtyard and her cour. I love her white skin at night, my black hands on her breasts. In the hot afternoon she sprays her hands with eau de cologne. The pungent smell of vetiver filling the apartment with a promise of erotic nights. Guy de la Bedoyere wore vetiver, so did John Jermyn and Jay Jopling still wears it but he is most undeserving.

I am on a precipice.

There is a small boulangerie on the Boulevard St Germaine where they sell delicious croissant almonds; they are soggy with almond paste. This afternoon I will go to Trocadero and drink lemonade and eat macaron. This afternoon I will buy a white shirt in Charvet and wear it with my secret love at dinner on the rue de cherche midi. How strange and different a womans body is after so many years of hairy men. How they yield, how they do not judge you. I never mind taking off my underwear in front of a woman. Taking off your clothes in front of a man who spends hours in the gym. The last man I slept with had a firm, hairy body. I had to apologise for mine. He said, I like it, I really do. He was lying. He did not want to see me again. He cancelled. He lied.

I am not a very good gay. Bad Gay. I don’t like men. Of course I am useless as a straight-after making her climax with my tongue I wonder about the boys on the street. I think about that beautiful Russian boy I met on the train who I am almost in love with. Even so, when PH and I were together I needed no one else. I simply needed her. I have only been in love with one woman and one man. The love is quite different. It means something different.

American men have perfected the art of seduction. When the firm, hairy one told me that he would not stay the night-he had screamed out my name so loud I put my elbow in his gob so the neighbours would not hear. When he told me that he would not stay the night and wake up in the morning with me. It made me curse him. I left my body-floating just above the ceiling-and I could hear him say, you’ve gone quiet. And I replied, I knew that you would do this. And then he said, So you’ll not be disappointed then. He said it in that other way that Americans have when you see their true colours, when you realise that their charm is skin deep, that their intentions are dishonourable.

He said at dinner the line that makes a woman melt, Sex means nothing to me outside of a relationship I had already blown him ten minutes into the date. He paid for dinner. The champagne was chilling in the fridge. Champagne he had bought/acquired and that I would never drink. He did not think to ask if champagne was an entirely appropriate gift. I went to bed early that night. The smell of him on my fingers. It was my birthday-I had chosen to spend it with a total stranger rather than the friends who wanted to see me. It was not a good choice.

Bad Gay.

The following night the same thing happened with a red-headed boy who when I called him the next day was obviously petrified. Bad gay. I am a very bad gay. And then there is Ed. Ed, who sits in his room and has cam-to-cam sex with men. I think that he might have the right idea. He will never be disappointed.

I have lent my apartment in LA to a friend. I hope that he looks after it. People have very different ways of living than I do. I have a new bed. Hope that he does not stain it.

Susanna S. once said that Duncan will give you the world, then one day he will take it all back. She did not actually say that, that is better than what she would say-as she is an inarticulate grunt. That is what people would like to believe. She meant that people take advantage of me until I get pissed off. My friend who is borrowing my flat then asked if he could borrow money from me. Then you begin to get pissed off. Then you think to yourself-what the fuck? Joe T let me buy him alcohol and dinners and let me cook for him then when he had money expected me to pay the valet. I do not think so.

I am going to be a grumpy old man who has to defend himself like a prize-fighter. Resentment will kill them before it gets a sniff at me. I want to be on my own. People distress me. Their ways. When I took cocaine (ten years ago) it made me even more solitary, made me walk from Kensington to Soho at 4am. My toes bruised yet I could not feel the pain.

Do you remember the day Diana died? It made my blood boil. People said that I looked like Dodi. Now they say that I look like some actor. Cant remember his name. That is maybe why people look at me funny when I am in shops. They look at me like I am well-known. They think that I am that man.

Bad Gay.

We walked the Seine last night. It was perfect. The pedestrian bridge-the one adjacent to the Pont Neuf, is covered with young people puffing on weed. They have food and guitars and the police just wander on through. It’s like a little strip of youth revolution in the heart of the city. I could not imagine that happening in London-oiks would ruin it with their crude behaviour. At night it is incredibly warm on the streets. My secret love drank menthe and lemonade. We came home and had that sort of time you only remember from your youth: enthusiastic, passionate, and perfectly connected. Did that really happen? Nobody crept out after they came; there were no lame excuses. This morning we had breakfast and then we shopped around the rue de Bac. I bought a raincoat and a velvet romper suit for LA from Sonia Rykiel. We had lunch. I ate a delicious garlic tart with celeriac and rocket salad. We saw a glamorous woman dressed in black linen-her haircut immaculately severe-we saw her meet her affectionate lover.

Tomorrow my secret love has to go to the American Embassy and get her working visa. I will buy fabric for a lampshade. Tomorrow I will catch the wonderful train and be back in London, away from her arms until we see each other again in California. As I write she is playing with my beard. Her fingers glancing my nose and eyebrows. She looks tenderly over at me and smiles as the laptop noisily corrects my spelling.

She will learn to see me in less attractive circumstances. She will see me frustrated and sad and furious. She will see me rudely demand a better table in the restaurant or shout on the telephone at a moronic bank person-my least favourite phone call is to the bank/credit card/cell phone company-the thieves that come into my life monthly. She will see what I am like. The other side of this coin.

So. This bad gay has to kiss his secret love on the lips-adieu.

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