Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, unable to incise the living because he had no anesthesia, performed autopsies on the dead.
A young man killed during a chariot race. Hippocrates discovered his gallbladder contained golden, yellow bile… considered normal for a healthy young male. A middle aged woman dies from a heart attack also had gallstones, the bile in her gallbladder was black. Hippocrates went to the woman’s family and asked what kind of person she was. They described her as withdrawn, irritable, short-fused, depressed.
He called the condition melancholia. Melan means black and cholia… bile.
It has been nearly two years since my piss turned the color of coca cola, my eyes turned yellow and I was rushed to the New York Presbyterian hospital. Two years since they performed the emergency Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal). This week two years ago I was discharged and back at home recuperating in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Since then my moods have evened, I am less interested in this blog. The more I read over the past few years I see now that I was angry, irritable and discontent.
The surgeon described my gall bladder as ‘profoundly traumatized‘. Exactly how I felt these past ten years… profoundly traumatized. The pain associated with gall stones is remarkable. It is so violent, so extreme, they say it is worse than the pain of child-birth. When ever I had an attack I thought I was panicking, that the pain wasn’t real… that it was imagined. I thought I could cure it with an AA meeting.
Instead, I was dying. In the jail I had several attacks but I never said a word. I knew the pain would pass eventually (believing it to be anxiety) but every time it got worse and worse until I found myself on a morphine drip in the ER.
My mood and temper deteriorated, the emotional effects of a damaged liver or gall bladder are well documented. During the Jake debacle a doctor used to write urging me to get help… psychiatric help. Little did he know that the pain was driving me insane.
The fear of another attack… debilitating.
Yet, during that time, I felt strangely motivated. The anger, depression and pain motivated me to get things done.
Positive and negative.
Now I am mostly calm, I seldom write this blog because I am mostly calm. I am no longer in pain. I no longer fear the onset of an attack. I am no longer jacked up on adrenaline.
I need to buy another home. Fill it with flowers and beautiful things. I need to grow peonies, keep chickens and listen to the brook as I doze into later life.
Good things are happening… slowly but surely. Old scores I no longer need to settle… are settling themselves. The truth reveals itself sometimes slowly… sometimes quickly. I have time to reflect and make better decisions rather than make limited, fear based choices.
I am writing less and designing more. I am happy to be so far from Hollywood.
There is a handsome someone for whom I have a great deal of respect and love.
I promised I would never mention his name… he is deeply private even though he has a public face.
I write often that men together do not get married to cement a loving relationship but more a merger and acquisition? Well, in this man I have found both things. He is a practical man, a radical man, a socialist, anti-establishment, he has integrity and humility… and so incredibly kind.
When I met him he immediately held my hand. Because he understood.
How many hours have I spent waiting at stop signs?
NYC, the weather is wet and miserable. I am staying at The Standard. Too wet to walk the latest stretch of the High Line. I want to fall asleep in my chair. It’s that kind of day.
I feel uncomfortable. No reason. Some people might think I was depressed. No, just tired.
Once, I told a particularly insightful therapist that I was depressed she replied that she didn’t believe in depression. She asked me what depression meant. What did it mean to me? I described a brain filled with dark thoughts. “Depression equals dark thoughts?” She asked.
She asked me to unpack the various components of the state I had described as depression. She urged me to use other words like sad, lonely, anxious, confused, bleak. After a moment my mind was clear.
Part of my ‘depression’ was my fear that I could never shake the misery, that I was in the grip of an infinite chemical maelstrom, trapped until certain death.
These past couple of decades this trick served me very well. Now, whenever I feel sad, anxious or even tired… I intuitively know what to do. Unpack the symptoms and deal with them accordingly. The word depression seems so overwhelming. I say to myself, ‘I am powerless over ‘depression’, if I am depressed I may require medical intervention’.
If, on the other hand, I am sad (self obsessed) I can meditate or help others less fortunate. I can take the dogs for a walk. I can jump on the phone and call people I know make me happy… I can own my sadness knowing that the feeling will pass.
Whereas I was once a victim to ‘depression’ I am now willing to understand, overcome and prosper using less grandiose words to describe other feelings.
I think you all must know by now that I have a profound distrust of realtors… gay ones especially. So, with some sadness, I have another story about gay realtors attempting to rip me off.
Last month I made a cash offer on a small unfinished ‘bunker’ near Hudson NY. The ‘bunker’ listed with Peggy Lampman Realtor it was contingent of course on the usual inspections.
“Modernist concrete shelter is in a quiet setting with views of the Claverack Creek. Originally built to be the basement of a two-story house and dug into the hillside, it has a concrete slab roof covered with a rubber membrane at ground level from the street. The 30 by 40 foot open space has glass doors letting in light and the sounds of the rushing stream below. Septic, town water, 200 amp service, radiant floor heating system, and hook ups for plumbing fixtures are in place. The concrete slab roof was built strong enough to park cars on it, as the original intent was to have a garage under the house with the existing structure as a work space. Perfect for a weekend retreat or build your dream house on this solid foundation.”
Sounds lovely doesn’t it?
At first I was represented by Peggy’s husband who although a nice man is NOT a realtor. Then another of her representatives Tom Swope agreed to rep me. An erudite gallery owner Tom poured on the charm.
The woman selling the property has a sad story that the realtors never stop telling you: her husband died etc. Actually he died 14 years ago. The sad thing is, her husband left her a huge can of worms. I felt so sorry for her I even offered to lend her money.
We started the process of buying the property.
We had an amazing inspector Mr Sacco who was very thorough… alerting me to problems that were repairable, he suggested a 22ins concrete buttress on the back wall where there are two huge cracks. He also asked about the certificate of occupation and indicated that a trip to the local town hall to inspect the permits might be a good idea.
We met with two concrete specialists. Both suggested that Sacco was being overly cautious. Better to me more than less cautious.
I wanted to know more about the structure so I asked two heating engineers to check the heating, both told me that it was not sufficient to heat the space. Every person I asked to see the structure Tom would bad mouth, the concrete guy was an idiot, the heating specialist was a fool, the contractor was a moron, the inspector was below par.
I was told by Thome Swope who was also representing the seller and again by Rick Rector, another Lampman Associate realtor, that when I signed the contract it would be contingent on a structural engineer clause which, as it turned out, was NOT in the contract.
They told me I would be ‘buying time’ if I signed.
Thankfully I was told by a friend to get another realtor involved… so I fired Swope. The new realtor immediately uncovered the lies I was being told.
Actually, in the contract… the property was being sold ‘as is’. If I had signed the contract I would have lost my deposit.
Inaccuracies in the listing include: the fact that another floor can be built on the existing structure. This is a lie. There is no assurance from the city that another floor can be built or that a c of o can be issued.
An expensive structural report is required to satisfy the city inspectors. This requires excavations at the front and the back of the structure.
The city inspector told me that I would be buying ‘ storage on a plot of land’. That because of the bad foundations documented at the city (trenches and concrete) it would have to be fully inspected for any inhabitation or further construction.
The heating system mentioned in the sales literature is not adequate to get c of o and was put in to heat a workshop. The property is being sold on the basis that it is appropriate radiant system for domestic use.
When I attempted to get a structural engineer Peggy Lampman withdrew from the sale. I WARN ANYONE GETTING INVOLVED WITH THIS PROPERTY TO TAKE A TRIP TO THE TOWN HALL and look at the file that previous to my investigations had lain unopened.
I have spent time and money doing my due diligence and all Peggy Lampman’s representatives have done is lie.
While few of us would think to ridicule Jews for still harboring less than warm feelings for Germans some 70 years after the liberation of the concentration camps—we would understand the lack of trust, the wariness, even the anger—we apparently find it hard to understand the same historically embedded logic of black trepidation and contempt for law enforcement in the USA.
Revealed, these past weeks, for the world to see: America’s racist underbelly. News stories narrated by dumb white folk, binging unashamedly on their justified racism. The condescending white news anchor asks a black man to explain his fear of the police… then scoffs at his reply. Others crudely condemn the dead black men “He was no angel.” “His parents were known to the police.” “He was resisting arrest.” The same ‘news’ shows use the millions of crowd sourced dollars raised for the white murderer as proof, as if any were needed, that Darren Wilson and men like him are: “Innocent until proven guilty.” “The grand jury proved there was no case to answer.” “Let him get on with his life.”
The KKK leave cruel and hateful messages wherever they can all over social media, proudly letting the world know: ‘a good nigger is a dead nigger’. Black men doubly assassinated, in life and death… white supremacists proudly spew vitriol over the bodies of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.
They demand, “This isn’t about race.” “Why do you bring race into this?”
White folk have no incentive to let go of their white power, their white privilege, their sense of superiority… their entitlement. White people remind you with their slippery smiles that slavery was abolished in 1865. “It’s up to the blacks to help themselves.” “If we weren’t killing them, they’d be killing each other.” “They have the same opportunities as everyone else.”
Every Mexican, working illegally in California, is a slave. White people loathe manual labor. White people love slaves. Everybody needs a slave in SoCal. The fruit growers would have nobody to harvest fruit without Mexican slaves. Slaves stand outside Home Depot offering themselves for hard labor. Mexican slaves mow my lawn, scrub my hot tub. Slaves clear brush in the Santa Monica Mountains under the midday sun.
Serried ranks of plump Mexican women smelling of disinfectant and carbolic soap clean house, serve slim, white wives their afternoon mint tea. There are thousands of them! Thousands of enslaved, undocumented maids.
Have you ever seen a white person use a mop, hand wash dishes or polish a crystal glass? Have you ever watched a white person try removing a stain from a carpet? Have you noticed how inept white people are? They don’t know how to look after their own stuff.
“Do you know how to remove a stain from a carpet? When your dog pees on your rug?”
He shrugs, “Mexican people know how to do that. I don’t need to know.”
Those Mexican slave women used to be black slave women.
Last week President Obama liberated 5 million slaves by giving them the opportunity to ‘come out of the shadows’. Watch the white elected officials in Congress and the Senate balk. Their fat, pink cheeks huffing and puffing indignantly at the partial liberation of more slaves.
Without slaves the USA ceases to function. The USA is addicted to slavery. The USA was built on hard work… the hard work of unpaid black slaves. Conveniently written out of white history. California’s false economy is carried on the backs of Mexican slaves.
When the black slaves were freed the white folk wanted them to go back to Africa. “The slaves are free… free to go home.”
Those black folk who thought they were equal to white folk were outlawed, harassed. If they had entrepreneurial ambitions they were made to think again. When they opened stores on main street, their stores were looted by white folk whilst the police watched… and did nothing.
There was no opportunity given to black people which could not be taken away.
A black face reminds America’s of its not so distant violent racist past (black neighborhoods were being bombed and burned in Boston and Chicago by white police as recently as 1970). To liberal white people a black face remains a shameful embarrassment: liberals never did enough for black people. Liberals turned from the thorny problem of race to an easy fix: marriage equality.
White people who claim to hate racism are privately racist. Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin at Sony Pictures are revealed to be private racists… when this is discovered from hacked emails they call Jesses Jackson so assuage their guilt. They publicly call prominent black people to apologize for being private racists… but they merely confirm what we already know: white liberals say one thing then do another when they think they can’t be seen or heard.
For the dogged racists a black face reminds them of an unfinished problem… a problem they tackle every 18 hours when another black man is murdered by the police. Shortly after the shots are fired, the body transported to the morgue… the excuses begin, the character of the dead black man maligned, the Grand Jury is called and the murder justified… forgotten.
Did it seem this time… after Eric Garner’s Grand Jury refused to indict… fewer people agreed with the decision… or made excuses for the police? Was it my imagination that after the whole world watched the video of Eric Garner’s murder a million times on TV and the internet that people who might have before… did not want to forget. In fact they cared a great deal for murdered Eric, his dignified widow and their forgiving daughters.
When the people watch the unnecessary take down and murder of Eric Garner for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on the streets on New York they are forced to acknowledge 350 years of racism: state sanctioned torture, murder, rape, abuse, theft…
The people (all ethnicities) began to drag themselves out of apathy and onto the same streets. The people saw a black man bullied to death and none of the usual excuses from the police or the mayor or the kkk were very convincing. The people saw Eric Garner bullied and murdered by the police in a country where the police are meant to protect the people from bullies and murderers!
Fear underpins the systematic oppression of America’s black minority.
This week people understood that the criminal justice system isn’t broken, that police brutality, secret and corrupt grand juries, the deliberate disenfranchising of black men and the unreported/undocumented incidence of murder by police force… is not evidence of a broken system but the system functioning exactly the way it was designed.
Did you know that once convicted, in many states (11 southern states) a felon is never allowed to vote again… ever. Why don’t you know that? Most people don’t. When a black man is convicted of a felony in 11 southern states he is never allowed to vote again. He is excluded from the democratic process. How many black felons did you tell me presently reside in jail and prison? How many of them are working for free (cotton picking, uniform stitching) in American jails and prisons?
America’s untreated racist wound stinks like Michael Brown’s uncovered, bloated corpse on a humid Ferguson street… and no amount of Fox News deodorant will take away the stench.
Did you know, that until modest changes were made to the selection process, people of color were excluded from the Grand Jury? Those modest and unenforceable protocol changes were made within the last few years.
They say, the secretive Grand Jury was originally conceived to weed out malicious prosecutions. That’s just a big fat lie. The Grand Jury is now as it always was… a secret court used by the police and police friendly prosecutors to help crooked cops out of difficult situations so they can continue waging war against the black minority.
The cop’s unwritten law of the street: all black faces are fair game.
The Grand Jury is unknown anywhere else in the world. It works so effectively because there’s no one in the room defending the victim. In the case of Darren Wilson he was presented as the victim by the prosecutor rather than Michael Brown and this wholly spurious narrative persists.
Criticize racists and the police at your peril.
The police say they have been ‘thrown under a bus’ by Bill de Blasio, Mayor of NYC because Mayor de Blasio told the world he advised his black son Dante: should he ever have occasion to be stopped by the police, Dante should be very polite, not reach for his cell phone or make any other sudden movement. Dante should assume, like all black young men stopped by the police, that at any moment the police may kill him.
The following day white, bull necked cops feign indignation. They know they’ve been rumbled, their credibility smashed to pieces. They’ll have to do what bullies hate having to do: next time they’ll have to think twice.
Bill de Blasio has been warned by the police union not to attend Police funerals killed in the line of duty. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association posted a link on its website telling members not to let de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito “insult their sacrifice” should they be killed. The union posted a “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver officers can sign requesting the two politicians not attend their funerals due to their “consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve.”
Good cop? Bad cop?
Are there any good cops? There’s no incentive to be a good cop. The good guys are weeded out. It’s a tough time to be a good cop. Crime figures diminishing, the police have to justify their huge organization, their overtime. They say policing is a dangerous job. How dangerous? Policemen are not all killed by criminals, 30% are killed in road traffic accidents… the police are too arrogant to wear seat belts.
Whilst men like Eric are being harassed and murdered on the streets of New York for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes by police thugs, a couple of miles away in another part of the same city the most audacious crimes this century go unpunished. Wall Street steals a world of wealth and gets away with it. They say white-collar crime is too sophisticated for most regular cops to grasp.
The cops protect the rich, protect the 1%… as it turns out they’re protecting them from us… from you and me.
Cops are used to raise revenue for local government, make politically motivated arrests, used by the rich to silence and poleax their enemies. Cops illegally hold undocumented workers without opportunity to post bail then deport them after lengthy stays in private jails. I’ve met undocumented workers who were introduced to their mule (a mule illegally smuggles an undocumented worker back into the USA) by the same border patrol guy who originally arrested and deported them.
The cops take their cut, trafficking slaves.
The conspiracy theorists I scoffed at 10 years ago… well, they got it right.
The jails are kept artificially full to justify more cops. The artificial wars on drugs and terror are in fact… a war on us.
There is a profound connection between criminality abroad and criminality at home. The so-called “war on terror” and military aggression abroad are linked to repression within the United States. The drive by the American ruling class to build up the infrastructure of a police state is in preparation for the inevitable confrontation with the working class. This is what lies behind the unprecedented levels of domestic spying, the assault on basic democratic rights, the CIA’s trampling on legality and the Constitution, the militarization of law enforcement and the ongoing police rampage against working class youth.
The Hollywood street performer shot in the head by the police, the Down’s syndrome kid choked to death by the police, the homeless woman repeatedly punched in the head by the police, the deaf guy trying to sign tasered by the police, the countless murders committed by the police remain uncounted.
A pattern emerges, you better be a healthy, able-bodied white male to survive the streets of now USA. You better not be black or disabled or deaf or performing or homeless. You better blend in, become invisible, forget any aspirations you might have to be extraordinary.
White Americans may protest that our racial problems are not like South Africa’s. No, but the United States incarcerated a higher proportion of blacks than apartheid South Africa did. In America, the black-white wealth gap today is greater than it was in South Africa in 1970 at the peak of apartheid.
America: it is still a nation of slaves and slave owners. The system that perpetuates this must be deconstructed and if you are white that deconstruction starts with you… asking yourself this question: am I willing to give up my slaves? My white power? My white privilege? My unfair advantages? Am I willing to acknowledge that implicitly and explicitly I colluded with the historical suppression, bullying, false imprisonment and murder of a minority?
My gay friends believe that winning human rights for black people will be as polite as winning human rights for gay people. They think it’s THE SAME.
There must have been a moment in 1945 after the American’s liberated the concentration camps, when the German people were forced by the allied forces to watch news reels of what was found there… there must have been a moment when the German people collectively owned up. A moment when they realized what they had done. I’m waiting for white people in the USA to own their part, their collusion with a system that murders, brutalized and demeans a minority… then blames them when they complain.
It never really occurred to me until yesterday that the mass murder and incarceration of black men in the USA is deliberate, systemic, entrenched and unlikely to change until white men learn to share their power.
I bought my first house when I was 20 years old. Remember that cottage? 13 Island Wall, Whitstable. 15 years later I sold it and bought Peter Cushing’s house and the house beside it. 2 and 3 Seaway Cottages, Wavecrest. That was a pretty address. I sold them both and moved to California. 2828 Hume Road, Malibu. Now, it’s time to head east. It’s Time.
I sold my house. Goodbye Malibu. I hope the new owners are happy here. It has been quite a ride up (and down) this mountain… literally and figuratively. This is where I buried my dog and this is where I will leave her. This is where the twins lived, this is the location of many spectacular parties, lovers and probably the worst decision I made in my life… to reply to Jake. But there you go, it’s sold now. The furniture has been packed, the art wrapped and stowed in boxes. I am relieved.
I am only a few months away from having the gagging order lifted so I get to tell my side of the story… how another rich man used the police and the prosecutor to hide the truth.
Recently, at a private club overlooking the lawns and azure swimming pools of Beverly Hills, I met screen writer Graham Moore. Graham is a short, boyish man with a winning smile. I thought he was cute, I thought he was gay. He was finishing his lunch, I wanted to know more about him.
I was delighted when he told me he had written Alan Turing’s long awaited bio pic The Imitation Game now starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He was also chemically castrated by the British government for being gay. After questioning Moore about his film and the route he had chosen to take… specifically regarding Turing’s gayness, Graham rapidly lost his sweet smile, becoming very tight lipped.
I wanted to know if there was any gay sex/love in the film? “No”, he replied abruptly, his tone changing… as if this question had been asked too many times, or… this was a question that he had been expecting, but didn’t want to answer. Realizing there was something amiss, I asked Graham if he was gay. Graham told me that he is a straight man.
I told him rather grandly that all of my films had gay themes. Perhaps, sensing my ire, my gay militancy or simply knowing that a gay film maker in Hollywood is perceived as a lesser film maker, to some… no more than a pornographer, Moore boasted that he had gone to great lengths to purge the film of anything gay. He didn’t want Turing’s gayness to be a ‘distraction’. He didn’t want gay sex to ‘put off the majority’. He was adamant that he didn’t want his film to be a gay film.
I warned him that his rather old fashioned attitude could cause a backlash… that Turing was an important part of our LGBT history. That Alan Turing had been tortured by the state for being gay. Moore scoffed that I was still in a minority and people were interested in Turing the man and not Turing the gay man.
Apparently Graham Moore did a very good job of avoiding the truth….
Benedict Cumberbatch has defended the lack of gay sex in his upcoming Alan Turing biopic.
The gay World War II codebreaker – often hailed as the grandfather of modern computing – was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 after having sex with a man, and was chemically castrated, barred from working for GCHQ, and eventually driven to suicide.
However, the upcoming biopic of Turing’s life, which stars Cumberbatch, has attracted criticism for focussing on his brief engagement to fellow codebreaker Joan Clarke, played by Kiera Knightly, instead of his romances with other men.
Cumberbatch told The Wrap: “You don’t see him having sex. It’s not an exploration of someone’s sex life.”
He added that the film attempted to make his sexuality known through dialogue, saying: “The fact [is mentioned] that he’s chemically castrated because he admits to being a homosexual – he talks about entreating a young man to touch his penis. I mean, it’s pretty explicit.
“If you need to see that to understand that he’s gay, then all is lost for any kind of subtle storytelling. It’s not something that needed to be made obvious.
“The conversations are so naked in themselves that the idea of having to see two naked men wasn’t something I ever thought was missing in the script.”
Turing’s biographer Andrew Hodges previously said he was “alarmed by the inaccuracies” in the film, adding: “They have built up the relationship with Joan much more than it actually was. Their relationship is invented.”
There are further problems with the historical accuracy of The Imitation Game, notably the absurd implication that Turing may have been a traitor, read about this in fascinating Guardian article HERE.
In the jail I was enveloped by the trans community. They showed me the way. Black trans women. They were not entitled white girls, passing themselves off on the street like women born women. They were black trans women subject to everything a black women suffers (and more) on the streets of racist USA. These women are considered worthless, trash, undignified. I related to these people. They taught me more than I had learned for decades.
This winter I will be wearing couture suits. A jacket and skirt. Based on a Charles James classic. I found a brilliant couturier to make them, one in dark green tweed and another in aubergine silk velvet. They are interchangeable. Deliberately, I get four outfits for the cost of two. A lady has to look after her pennies.
My hope? To look like a lesbian geography teacher from an exclusive private girls school. I rather think I’m going to look like the chef from Two Fat Ladies, Clarissa Dickson-Wright. I have no desire to look feminine. Butch lesbians are far more attractive to me than pretty girls. If I ever had a sex change I am sure to be a lesbian.
Without the power of the penis I am a free man.
I have, these past couple of years since I left the jail, submerged myself in trans culture. My silly film about Jake became an audacious film about a trans woman and the men who chase her. My desire to reprimand my ex became a beautiful treatise on my own trans curiosity. One thing is certain. If I am true to this path I will never leave the big city. I will never live in Whitstable.
There is something about rotting pears on the pavement, wasps feeding on the smashed fruit that transports me to my hometown of Whitstable. There is something about the occasional warm day in October when I hanker for my home.
Last week I had a serious meeting about a play. I have not written a play or thought about the theatre for years. This is an exciting possibility once again. I have no desire to direct. NONE. Write… yes. Direct… no.
I met a young trans person yesterday.
There is a chasm between gay men and trans people. My friend Our Lady J disputes this but my other less glamorous, non performing blue-collar trans buddies tell horrible stories of gay people and their rudeness and transphobia. Bluntly, why should a gay man be interested in a trans woman? Gay men sleep with men… not women. However, out of their trans costumes some young working class non theatrical trans m to f are berated and insulted when they tell gay men what they are into.
If you are a young trans person where do you go to meet empathetic straight men? Many young, transitioning straight men misguidedly think they can meet men through gay dating apps like Grindr. They make their trans position clear.
He said, “I tell them I want to dress as a woman when I meet them, that it’s only going to work if I am dressed as a girl. They tell me it’s not ok. They let me wear panties but won’t tolerate anything else.”
I am taking him on a date this week. He’s excited to wear a dress and paint his nails. He says, “There are two of me, straight me wants to meet trans me and fall in love.” That was very beautiful.
I met another white gay man in NYC, an undergrad at NYU, who condescendingly lectured me about trans culture. He vehemently posited that any man who wears a skirt is transgender, that make up on a man is transgender, that drag is indisputably transgender. That the word transvestite was like saying nigger or faggot. He told me he wants to help his trans brothers and sisters at his university. What help will he be? I couldn’t be bothered to fight. We had sex and I threw him out of my room.
Since I embraced this new path I have come to love my body. No longer interested in what metropolitan gay men think I should look like to enjoy a full life. I have been watching endless documentaries. Paris is Burning versus Candy Darling. The concerns of the former oblivious to the latter.
I am looking forward to wearing my new suit in the big city. I’m excited.
Today transvestite (self described) artist, honored by Queen Elizabeth and the British Government, Grayson Perry writes brilliantly in the New Statesman about default man. Read it here.
I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.
Today is my sober birthday. My 18th year.
The non-sober people who warmly congratulate me on my sober birthday are unaware that within the benign cult of Alcoholics Anonymous abstinence, is not good enough. The first question many non alcoholics reasonably ask, “Why, after so many years, do you still go to meetings?” The truth is, sobriety as defined by William Griffith Wilson has become an absolute way of life: a total immersion, a divine calling, a cross onto which we nail ourselves and each other, a commitment to a God of our own invention that leads unquestioningly to a daily reprieve from the disease of alcoholism.
Last week, I traveled north to East Dorset, Vermont to the birth place and grave of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was shown a plank, casually nailed to the wall, behind which Bill Wilson was born. The gentleman sitting beside me pointed at it, lowering his eyes, telling the story of Bill’s birth with the same reverential gravity christians afford the Nativity. The following day I sat at my lap top and wondered out loud to fellow gay alcoholics (on a gay sober Facebook page) how things have changed since Bill W and Dr Bob Silkworth framed the beginnings of what would become a world-wide phenomenon.
Much has changed in the rooms of AA since I got sober 18 years ago. AA has evolved. When I walked into my first meeting the message was clear. AA was a ‘bridge to normal living’, it was the nearest a person like me would get to being ‘born again’. It was suggested that I look for the similarities and not the difference when people qualified. It was suggested that I find a sponsor. A sponsor is a man or woman willing to take an AA new comer through the ubiquitous 12 steps.
Men sponsoring men and women sponsoring women to avoid romantic complications.
Sponsorship used to be a humble service, a helping hand, unraveling the mysteries of AA. A familiar face to show a newby around the rooms… as well as to go through the 12 steps. That first year I did whatever I was told to do. I made tea, cleaned up cigarette butts, I diligently read the Big Book. I was advised to find a sponsor who had what I wanted… all I wanted was peace of mind. I met Vince who took me swiftly through the steps. I remained willing and teachable. Vince was the perfect introduction to AA and to him I will always be grateful. It is because of the solid foundation Vince helped me build in early sobriety that I remain sober today.
Since then, sponsorship has become a monstrous beast riven with ego, co-dependence and self-aggrandizement. Sponsors congratulate themselves for the number of sponsees they have. Sponsors throw extravagant anniversary parties, positing their bloated and wholly personal ideas about sobriety, none of which has anything to do with Bill and Bob’s original intentions. Sponsors have become demi-gods, using and abusing their sponsees at will.
They say: Call me every day, don’t have sex for a year, we’ll do this my way… or the highway.
Originally the newcomer completed the first 8 steps in a day with someone who had already completed all 12 steps. Step 8 to step 12 would be worked a few weeks later. Today sponsors can take years to go through the steps, they might not have completed the 12 steps themselves. Too many sponsors make step work as hard a task as becoming a brain surgeon.
These sponsors use the book of AA against the newcomer, a hopeful… enthusiastic day counter (a day counter is someone who publicly announces how many days sober they are until 90 days have elapsed) may become disillusioned with the huge amount of written work he or she is required to do. These ghastly sponsors tell the newcomer that they have to be thorough, scrupulously honest, that half measures avail them nothing.
Step 1: the simple act of owning up and surrender is now a protracted treatise on powerlessness and unmanageability. Step 2: accepting God into my life as a power greater than myself requiring me to bow to anything other than my own will… has become a religious conversion. Step 3: the elegant proposal that ones life has been so poorly managed that it is best handed over to a higher power or… God. Step 4: (a moral inventory) designed originally to swiftly clear away the wreckage of ones past so one might better embrace God and sobriety has become a monster of self-examination, scrutiny and fear. A monster so fearful most will not get beyond step 4 to step 5.
This is not all. There are endless stories of Sponsors taking advantage of their sponsees sexually, taking their money, abusing their trust. In gay AA, because men are sponsoring men, romantic and sexual entanglements are rife.
The problem is: many gay men I meet in AA or NA are not alcoholics or addicts. They are lonely, friendless and stuck in a miserable half-life that the gays offer in lieu of community. They are drinking and taking drugs and hooking up. The gay dream. When they realize this is all there is… they turn to AA where they find friends, fellowship and community. A frat house of sober gays who never had a drinking problem in the first place.
When real alcoholics, desperate drug addicts wander into this clean white environment the gays simply don’t know what to do. They look askance at the homeless, the beggar and scarcely offer their manicured hands.
The gays have created a ghetto at the edge of AA where they get away with murder. Literally. Only last week I heard of another man who killed himself because he couldn’t connect or feel included by gay AA. If this gay sober cabal were working to keep the majority sober (happy joyous and free) then I would have no argument with gay AA but the facts are: many, many gay men leave AA after 5 years. This is evident from the ‘countdown’ where we celebrate anniversaries. After seven years there is a chasm, a ten-year gap… between those who stayed and those who left AA.
The enthusiasm (pink cloud) a new comer experiences during the first five years tails off into abject misery as they realize AA isn’t about making friends, fucking cute sober boys and going to sober circuit parties. It is about being present for ever. For ever and ever.
As with any small, incestuous group of men and women desperately holding onto cultish beliefs… anyone who challenges what and how they believe is destined to be ostracized. It happens in Gay AA, LA AA, Men’s Stag AA. Christ, I sat in a men’s stag AA meeting above a Palisades bank at 7am for nearly a decade. I witnessed and experienced bullying, homophobia, misogyny, ageism, racism… every day. Yet, somehow within the rooms of AA, this is perfectly acceptable. I returned recently to that room above the bank after having written about the ogres who live there. Those I had written in my blog looked disgusted… then conveniently reimagined AA in their own image.
A sniveling, grey haired, Dickensian lawyer called John told the group how ‘unsafe’ he felt that I was sitting in ‘his’ home group. Choosing to ignore the AA ‘suggestions’ and ‘traditions’ he personally attacks me. His greasy hair limp on his pink, mottled forehead, his uneven yellow teeth, his waxy hands trembling with fury.
Another pompous member of that same group, perhaps the vilest of them all, surrounded by the vapid newcomers he sponsors… momentarily forgets his ‘singleness of purpose’ and tangles himself in a crippling scribble of resentment and self pity. To the amusement and horror of the other alcoholics in the room he lambasts a recent widower who had foolishly delivered a favorable pitch about forgiving and forgetting. Warning (me obviously) that he holds onto resentments… then magnificently back tracks… realizing how pathetic he sounds to those recent converts to Alcoholics Anonymous he hopes to inspire.
Too many men have left that dank room above the bank and killed themselves.
Online, the gays reacted very badly to my mild critique, my gentle questioning. They told me I wasn’t sober… that I was ‘dry’, (dry is a pejorative term in AA meaning sober without working the 12 steps of AA) they tell me to go have a drink. They tell me to leave AA. More evidence of the sickness that exists not only in gay AA but also within our larger gay community.
I am not leaving AA any time soon. If I drink (as they suggest) I will return to AA a hero. If I don’t drink I will return to AA a hero. There’s very little they, my detractors, can do. When they tell me to drink they are really telling me to kill myself… and many will attest that is exactly what the weak-willed have done. Excluded by the cult of gay AA they have taken their own lives.
Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose — that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
What used to be a trickle of exceptionalism that marred a tiny portion of the white gay male community has recently become a lethal torrent. Perceived ‘equality’ has revealed the true nature of many, many gay white men. No longer humbled by their treatment at the hands of an unfair, homophobic society they have sprung ahead of the pack, claiming that a ‘seat at the table’ is not good enough… instead we must build, decorate and chair the table… governing any meeting it may entertain. Moreover, we don’t really want to share the table with anyone other than really, really good-looking gay white men who all agree and never get angry.
Being gay is like joining a cult.
At gay AA… the greeters don’t greet you unless you are ‘hot’ or ‘famous’.
A Provincetown celebrity (aren’t they all) posted a picture of his smiling mug along side two other grinning, bearded gay men. All three based in Provincetown, on perpetual vacation, they look for all the world as if they are happy. As if they are care free… as if trouble seldom blights their gay paradise. Great pic! They may very well use the pic and pics like them to lure boys on a well-known gay hook up app. In gay paradise everything is perfect. That’s what they insist you believe. Of course… scratch a little beneath the surface of any gay man and one releases the foul odor of resentment, addiction, crippling narcissism and judgement.
I mentioned to Jim Lande who posted the pic that everyone seems so happy all the time in Provincetown? He replied, “Only for the deserving.” Of course, we know what that means. Jim means there is no room in a perfect gay society for an opposing view, an ugly mug, for poverty, for people of color, for mental illness… the deserving are hand-picked from the glut of meat delivered weekly to Provincetown, Fire Island and resorts like them.
Jim describes himself as a Boulevardier, a bohemian… he compliments a video I posted of Sebastian Horsley my great friend… I remind him that Sebastian was a bohemian, Jim is just a gay man wearing a velvet jacket… there’s a difference. He retracts the word bohemian from his description. He attempts to shame me for going to a boarding school that helps kids who have been abused. It’s the gay go to punishment: SHAME. Did you read that? This exceptional, best little boy who worked in government all his life spying on the good people of the United States is doing what the rancid gay does best… he is trying to shame me for something I could not help. I had no say.
Jim Lande is trapped in Provincetown, posting pics of his amazing life, his amazing friends… he posts endless reviews of the film he helped fund, Love is Strange by Ira Sachs. He describes Ira as a ‘Hollywood Darling.’ Blighted by gay exceptionalism… he reminds me how much money he is going to make, the awards they will win… the plaudits they receive.
Dan spends his summer hop-scotching across the world from gay resort to gay cruise to gay sightseeing. He travels in a pack of identical men. The same age, the same color, the same body weight, hair distribution, the same dietary obsessions… the same unresolved traumas. He is the ‘deserving’.
I met a young man on-line the other day. We had the briefest moment of intimacy. He is ‘desperate’ to be in the film industry. He is ‘discreet’ which is short hand for: I’m careful who I tell I’m gay and what I’m into because it might ruin my career chances. He’s not scared that straight people will find out, little Austin is scared the gays will judge him, the gays will shame him. He doesn’t want gay men to know anything. He is secretive, sneaky and as a result… thoroughly unattractive. He has built himself a hybrid closet (like a panic room) protecting himself from the gays.
(The actor I dated this summer was secretive, sneaky and lied about everything. The gays live in a shadowy world of fantasy, make-believe and lies.)
The society photographer boasts that the boy who loves him is ‘disposable’, he boasts that he fisted him… when I ask the boy what happened… he tells me that the hardest thing about the photographer were his fingers. We seldom talk about erectile dysfunction. Anything other than a hard cock renders a gay man utterly useless. You know, the gays hate me writing my blog. They write snarky notes insisting that I correct tiny details… (“I’m not a director I’m a producer”) as if any one cared!
On Facebook I am pretending to be an old Whitstable codger, enjoying a thread on Julie Burchill‘s Facebook page. Julie hates all Muslims, her page is rife with anti islamic rhetoric. If you disagree with her POV you are immediately branded a ‘jew hater’. She says, “I think I may have mentioned a FEW times that I am a Gentile Socialist Zionist? Why would people come here just to get cross? If you don’t like the tiny democratic state of Israel, surrounded by fascist fiefdoms, fuck off to one of the thousands of Jew-hating Facebook pages? Cheers!”
Her fans scream with joy! Her fans ecstatically revile Islam. Her fans start out by reminding us firmly that they are not racist (they don’t support the British National Party) then, without irony, they go on to say how much they hate all Muslims and want to kill them. I suggested meeting one of these crazy women to discuss exacting revenge on the Muslim population of Chatham…. amazingly she private messaged me in the hope of exacting revenge on Muslims!!!
Then it got pretty scary… these people are fucking INSANE. Julie has no idea what her crazed followers are capable of. She really needs to take that seriously. Whipping those guys up the way she does may lead her to some unsightly trouble… exactly the same trouble other radical preachers have, facing the same criminal charges. You need only one crazy person to do something dumb and cite Julie B as their inspiration…. well, you know the rest.
BTW what exactly is a ‘gentile socialist zionist’?
The only person to spout that kind of anti Muslim shit to me here in the USA was a white gay Producer who told me he believed (as a patriot) that all Muslims should convert or be eradicated from the earth because they didn’t like gays. I said, my deceased father was a Muslim and several of my 12 brothers and sisters too. He didn’t care. He still thought they should be murdered. Whilst I can sort of understand Julie’s naive zeal as a pre op convert to Judaism I found this Christian hatred and rabid insistence to kill millions of people based on their beliefs… utterly stunning. Mind you, this guy has always been a person to be suspicious of, he tells everyone who will listen that he will help anyone he can… any way he can… but when the time comes… he is nowhere to be found.
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.
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.
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.
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 ready to be washed from the dungeon at The Tom of Finland House, Echo Park.
They had the complexion of wealth, that white complexion that is heightened by the pallor of porcelain, the sheen of satin, the luster of fine furniture, and is kept in perfect condition by a moderate diet of exquisite foods. Those who were beginning to age seemed youthful, while those who were young had a certain look of maturity. Their faces wore that placid expression which comes from the daily gratification of the passions; and beneath their polished manners one could sense the special brutality that comes from half-easy triumphs which test one’s strength and flatter one’s vanity.
We drove from Provincetown yesterday, leaving the pretty streets, the clapboard houses and verdant gardens to Bear Week. Thousands of large, hairy shouldered men smiling and engaging not scowling or isolating like the circuit boys who infested the town two weeks previously during the 4th July celebration.
The past six weeks in Provincetown were, on the whole, a great deal of fun. I met a huge assortment of extraordinary and not so extraordinary people. I saw people I knew from LA and NYC. I met men and women from DC, Nashville and Florida. Mostly enjoying their week off, some of them… not so much. Americans get so few vacations.
The A gays who live in Provincetown were kind and considerate. They have beautiful homes and make them readily available to those they trust.
The extraordinary designer Ken Fulk has restored a perfect gem of a house in The East End where I was privileged to spend the 4th July and then see photographed by famed society doyenne Douglas Friedman for Elle Decor. Editor Robert Ruffino scampering around arranging flowers wearing his Florentine winkle pickers.
The walls are the color of raspberry mousse, the windows frames and architrave painted chocolate-brown.
My birthday dinner: an anonymous donor very kindly paid for.
I really didn’t know anyone very well at my party, except Michael Goff and Michael Cunningham. So when it came to making my speech, after the candle was snuffed, I said: “I don’t know any of you at all… but this delightful group of strangers came together to celebrate the birthday of another stranger… and with such magnanimity it brings tears to my eyes.”
The following day I told someone from the party that I had no intention of making friends with him beyond Provincetown because our friendship could only flourish on the Cape. He looked a little perplexed but one has to be realistic. When we return to the city a tsunami of gay gossip will drown the truth and ones expectations will be dashed.
The utterly adorable Michael Cunningham (who I had known previously through Amelia Rizo) made a necklace for my birthday. We sat in his exquisitely decorated water front home, surrounded by magnificent art, picking out trinkets for a silver chain. I had a moment of unrestrained excitement as I realized that a Pulitzer Prize winning author, writer of The Hours, was making me a birthday present with his bare hands. He continued, throughout my stay, to delight and engage. We discussed Emma Bovary. We… of a certain age, share the same literary starting blocks… but he won the race.
We talked about Neil Bartlett‘s beautiful book Who Was That Man. Required reading for any young gay.
There were many occasions these past weeks when I noticed how relaxed I was, at peace, living in my own body, inhabiting the life I have rather than the life I thought I wanted. There were, of course, other occasions when a face from the past popped into view and caused momentary consternation. The vile, blond publicist/image consultant, owner of Black Frame Brian Phillips who, wether he likes it or not, is in my social orbit but never bothers to be cordial. Or the ex boyfriend Chris Shipman who cycled around town with his thin calves and sad eyes. I ignored the ex and engaged with fey Brian Phillips who sat in his chair as I forcefully reminded him what an evil cunt he can be and how he seems unable to keep and love another man due to his crippling narcissism.
I met Jim Lande, producer of the hit burlesque/freak show Audition and talked about his flawed film: Love is Strange directed by Ira Sachs. Shown at The Provincetown Film Festival this beautifully shot and directed film promises so much but fails to deliver… relying on coincidence and melodrama. The film lacks any real emotion. Two old gay married men separated by circumstance and bad choices. Could have been brilliant but… wasn’t.
I kept away from the drag shows and the theatrical events but I saw Ryan Landry‘s inventive and surreal Pantomime: Snow White and The Seven Bottoms which reminded me of Charles Ludlam. Go see this if you can.
I spent a great deal of time chatting with the adorable Andrew Sullivan and his husband Aaron Tone. The gays, on the whole, are openly hostile to Andrew, they accuse him of being a ‘traitor to the gays’ because he aggressively posits an alternative view. Our politics couldn’t be more different yet we agreed about so much, mainly our loathing of powerful lobby groups like AIPAC, GLAAD and the HRC. I found him to be gracious and engaging.
Andrew told fascinating stories about his private dinners with President Obama, his short-lived stay in NYC, the history of his three-legged dog. We sat outside The Wired Puppy coffee shop on Commercial Street where I witnessed at first hand the disdain the gays show him and the delight straight people have… in equal measure.
The white gays may never understand his POV because by now they think they rule the world.
I spent time with Michael Goff and Andy Towle in town to promote their site towleroad.com, we greeted the first of the bears at the dock with 20 drag Goldilocks who boasted that they had eaten all the porridge. We sat in their charming house and ate whatever they had in their fridge. We took my friend Caroline Reid to a Bear-B-Q, Caroline is cult performer PamAnn. We took her to more bear events where she was the only woman. Her fans adore her.
And that was that. There were other amusing people to play with who I haven’t mentioned. There were less amusing people who I hope I never see again.
Thanks Provincetown and… adieu.
Jay originally sold it to Charles Saatchi for $300,000. Why did Jay Jopling want it back so badly? Sentimental?
The art market remains totally unregulated. An audacious art market ploy, it is an open secret that gallerists operate a cabal that controls bidding at auction, maintaining an artists credibility and in this case artificially inflating Tracey Emin’s waning prices.
This con is not illegal.
Transforming art of questionable value into work of capital value that can be tendered with the Inland Revenue. Money laundering in plain sight until the ‘art work’ has an ersatz value all of its own… independent even of its secondary market value, it can then be offered to the State as an asset by its owner, in place of whatever they owe in taxes. The Lucian Freud estate recently traded 15 million gbp worth of Art in lieu of death duties.
A foot note: Tracy hid in her bed for three days presumably on housing and other benefits. Benefits she received for 30 years. Benefits she, as a Tory, wants to deprive others.
Wanna read about the bed….
A consummate storyteller, Tracey Emin engages the viewer with her candid exploration of universal emotions. Well-known for her confessional art, Tracey Emin reveals intimate details from her life to engage the viewer with her expressions of universal emotions. Her ability to integrate her work and personal life enables Emin to establish an intimacy with the viewer.
Tracey shows us her own bed, in all its embarrassing glory. Empty booze bottles, fag butts, stained sheets, worn panties: the bloody aftermath of a nervous breakdown. By presenting her bed as art, Tracey Emin shares her most personal space, revealing she is as insecure and imperfect as the rest of the world.
Provincetown, for those who have never been, is basically one long Victorian street… Commercial Street. Primarily an LGBT resort most everyone seems welcome here. At all times of night and day Commercial Street teems with pedestrians, bicycles and many dogs. Cars edge cautiously amongst the chaos. During the season (June-September) there are themed entertainment weeks (Saturday to Saturday) for gays, lesbians and trans visitors.
Near the Town Hall at town’s center there are bars, candy stores and tourist favorites like The Lobster Pot serving lobster rolls and oysters. Provincetown has become an unlikely hen night/bachelorette party destination. Rowdy, drunk girls dressed in cheap veils patrol the streets screaming raucous songs and hitting men on the head with large dildos… true story. Drag queens, by the way, love dildos and hate Bachelorettes.
Commercial Street is divided into East and West Ends. It’s probably best to work out which end is which within minutes of arriving here. So, facing from the bay where the ferry disgorged… the west will be to your left, the east to your right. I start my day, every day at 7am, after my beach walk with the dogs… unleashed, on the patio at:
Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Delicious, fragrant coffee served by an attentive bunch who remember both your name and what you want. Joe’s is a staple breakfast haunt for most of the cool ‘townies’ (locals). It’s common to see straight-backed, imperious Andrew Sullivan arrive with his husband on their ancient dutch bikes or watch John Waters sail elegantly by dressed in Issy Miyake. Ryan Murphy and his adorable family chowing down on their morning baked goods.
Try the delicious, freshly baked almond croissant… but get there early to avoid disappointment.
A perfect place to eavesdrop! Who fucks who? Learn all the local gossip: “They bring their terrible taste from the suburbs…” A great way to start the day with everyone who works or lives in Provincetown… and a few tourists.
Meet this man drinking coffee and eating his breakfast:
120 Commercial Street Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657 Phone: 508 413-9500
Run by Josh Patner ex Rome based fashion journalist and stylist, this charming haunt is brimming with local and international art. Possibly the chicest most eclectic store in town. Beware! By August almost everything has been sold. Look out for beautiful and reasonably priced ceramics by: Gail S. Browne.
I bought a beautiful vase by Gail Browne and a gorgeous 18th Century throw.
3. Room 68
377 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 617-942-7425
Room 68 is Eric Portnoy’s 21st century gift shop. Originally out of Boston’s Jamaica Plain – 68 South Street, originating the store’s name. Look for Debra Folz ingenious extending ash table and more of her award-winning work. For those drowning in bad art glass and cat portraits… Room 68 is a welcome high style lifeboat on the choppy sea of capey mediocrity – quite unlike any other found on Commercial Street… or on Cape Cod.
225 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-3800
Opened in 2013 Canteen continues its stunning success. This charming restaurant is perfectly situated at the heart of Provincetown, offering a simple, unpretentious menu that capitalizes on local favorites like the ubiquitous Lobster Roll but served in a wholly original way. Like the interior of this nautical themed dining room the food is fresh, clean and authentic. The deep-fried smelt with tartar sauce are not everyone’s cup of tea… but I love them. Order everything with re-fried Brussels sprouts doused in an aromatic balsamic reduction and remember to sit in the newly opened garden overlooking the dunes and the spectacular sunset.
5. Red Inn
15 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-7334
Away from the madding Provincetown crowd, either a 30 minute walk or a ten minute rickshaw ride is the legendary Red Inn. Consistency, taste and prompt service make this elegant venue an essential but expensive must see. Last night we ate perfectly prepared filet mignon, served by delightfully charming staff at the bar over looking the spectacular bay. Older bearded gay men with their well behaved hounds sit on the terrace and drink cocktails. One eats reasonably priced oysters during happy hour (4pm-5pm) or lounge in the very British country garden: lavender, roses and sweet-william perfume the early evening breeze.
6. Mimere’s Homemade
281 Commercial Street #4, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 917 670-7561
Opened by ex-banker Andrew Hood just this year to sell his vast array of delicious home-made, seasonal jams and jellies using old-fashioned techniques. I bought 6 different flavors including hefeweizen (wheat beer and orange) and red onion preserve. The chunky peach jam is particularly delicious, slathered on crusty toast from the Pain D’Avignon French Bakery found at Provincetown Farmer’s market held every Saturday by the Town Hall.
7. Provincetown Film Festival
Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-7000
This years Provincetown Film Festival, hailed a huge success, attracting viewers from all over the world. I met women from Europe and a couple from Australia who coincided their holiday with the film festival. A well-organized and international feeling festival The Provincetown Film Festival grows in reputation every year. This year I saw Andrew Sullivan rip a new ass hole in the makers of the ghastly Chad Griffin propaganda film: The Case Against 8, at a festival breakfast. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend $25.
As I left the breakfast feeling exhilarated, I bumped into a huge and handsome man, I said, “Did you see that! Andrew Sullivan is my hero!”
He replied, “Me too, that’s why I married him.”
8. Fag Bash at The Governor Bradford
312 Commercial St Provincetown, MA 02657
I’ve already written at length about this wonderful, subversive spectacle. A delightful Wednesday night basement party. Arrive at 11pm, leave at 1am. Wear your finest drag. I expect the ghost of Leigh Bowery to make an appearance at any moment. Remember, most everything closes at 1am in Ptown.
9. John Derian
396 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-1362
The queen of decoupage Derian runs a tiny showroom a world away from his NYC empire. It is packed with essential nick nacks at the back of his Greek revival Ptown home. Black, $500 paper hollyhocks are not immediately alluring or justified… but… with time… anything is possible. I love the meat dolls by Nathalie Lete and the papier-mache hippo head. At night, as you pass by, envy his candle lit parties for Martha Stuart… and other gorgeous celebrities.
This boy will serve you. His name is Kevin and he is DIVINE.
145 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA Phone: 508 487-5151
Once a week I drop into see the charming, flirtatious Joey to have my hair and beard trimmed. It’s essential whenever you are anywhere for longer than a week to locate a great barber and Joey is he. Very reasonably priced, very funny and he’s… totally gorgeous. In fact, I’m off there, right now to get my neck shaved.
There’s a party thrown every Wednesday night in Provincetown called Fag Bash. I popped in late last night. It’s perhaps the best $5 you can spend in this little town. It seems that everyone (crammed in the tiny dark basement) takes hours applying meticulous makeup and dressing in gorgeous goth/romantic costume. Thick black eye liner, masks and glittering lipstick. Organza capes, knitted horns for devilish girls and boys, a carnival of creative wonder.
This procession begins weaving its way up Commercial Street at 10 o’clock and back again, disheveled and drunken, after the decadent party in the wee hours. It’s so heartening and invigorating to see. Inspiring! I’m going to dress up next week. Count me in. She’ll make an appearance. I promise you.
Thank God for Fag Bash! Earlier, yesterday evening, I had to sit through perhaps the worst gay themed film… ever. Tom Dolby and Tom Williams’s co-directed travesty: Last Weekend.
Billionaire, Tom Dolby is the Dolby sound system heir. In lieu of any real talent he has bought himself a free pass into the film industry. Last Weekend is his debut film made after the crashing disaster of his first novel… I’m assuming another vanity project? Tom embraces the ‘right to fail’. Why not? Tom and his husband and their two surrogate daughters have nothing to worry about. It really doesn’t matter how miserable their artistic endeavors… because money is no object.
Co-Directors Tom and Tom arrived at the opening night screening wearing their crisp navy/cream linen suits, their Hollywood team in tow… their ‘award winning’ producers, their manager; my old friend Danny Halstead and their leading lady Patricia Clarkson. Tom introduces the film with a sullen one liner and so it began… the dirge.
After a confusing opening moment… Clarkson gazing wistfully, maybe perplexed (perhaps she has cataracts) over Lake Tahoe, family members arrive for Memorial Day Weekend. They are served by a phalanx of miserable latino staff. There are bad jokes about celebrity, alcoholism and how ‘crazy’ Clarkson’s character is. The pace is languorous and indulgent, the characters are clichéd and increasingly… unwatchable.
After twenty minutes the roof of The Provincetown Town Hall begins to sag with disappointment. Members of the audience leave. Feet shuffle, somebody drops their change.
Patricia Clarkson is an accomplished actress, yet in Last Weekend she is left flailing, undirected, spewing appalling lines in badly constructed scenes. Left to her own devices… she resorts to pleading hand gestures (elephant’s testicles) and shrill, post menopausal delivery. The director of photography does her no favors with unflattering close-ups and clumsy framing. I felt so sorry for the actors. Trapped in trite scene after trite scene. Forced to act out the life of the writer/director… was it shot in the Dolby family lake house?
Heartless, bereft of emotion, contrived.
My friend, the talented actor Zachary Booth plays a screen writer… obviously Dolby. Yes, another film about a conflicted writer. Why can’t these people have real jobs? Lazy writing by rich, entitled, white gay men. Neither director seems to have any compassion for their characters, just as they had no compassion for the Provincetown audience. This film is terrible and no amount of Dolby gay millions could save it.
These two local events (Fag Bash and The Provincetown Film Festival) serve as a metaphor for gay life in the USA. On the streets and in the bars the club kids are brimming with creative genius, embracing modernity. Wearing their extraordinary costumes they stand in opposition to mediocrity. Last Weekend is what affluent, heteronormative, white gays serve up as ‘gay culture’. My fear is that the obscenely rich and bourgeois Tom Dolby and his terrible film will be used as evidence for what queer life is like now rather than the vibrant party thrown by the disenfranchised in the dingy Fag Bash basement.
As the elderly gray-haired gays tittle-tattle at Joe’s Coffee shop on Commercial Street, making snide comments about those they like and those they don’t… like so many teenage girls, bullying, name calling and whispering. The lesbians remain dignified and polite. They say good morning or make easy conversation. They comment on the weather or ones choice of croissant in such a way that improves the quality of the day.
Not all lesbian are like this of course but my experience here in Provincetown is irrefutable.
We chanced upon a lesbian memorial at Herring Cove a few nights ago, a memorial for a woman who died last October. There were photographs of her set around the fire on sticks. I sat with her wife of 30 years and she reminisced. She told me their story. I wondered how she would cope on her own.
“Oh, you get used to it.” She said.
I didn’t believe her. Dude sat on her lap. She loved Dude and Dude loved her. We ate her Red Velvet gluten free cup cake and sprayed ourselves with insect repellent.
Last night I stopped for a slice of pizza with Brent and Derek, my crime fighting buddies.
We’d had a long day, I was up at 5am. I’d spent an hour or so on the phone with lawyers. I spent time answering emails. I filled in forms and scanned them. I made time to have a pair of sandals made here:
Like most days I walked the dogs in the graveyard with Benoit. I walked the dogs on the beach. I walked the dogs to Joe’s coffee shop. I walked the dogs to the West End and back east again. Dude is still fat. The Little Dog is lithe and eager.
I found a beautiful dusky gray/mauve tamarisk at Captain Jack’s Wharf.
Brent and I poked our noses into John Derian’s home/shop. His little shop of curiosities. He sells French glass cloche and rattan and decoupage. Who buys decoupage? Everyone apparently.
I ordered the slice of Pizza and sat with Derek. It was delicious. As I was leaving, I heard a Northern English accent. Two elderly women from Manchester… eating the largest pizza I have ever seen. They looked embarrassed.
They said, “This is too big for us, d’you want some?”
I overcame my English reserve and sat with them and ate their pizza. They were retired PE teachers from Bolton. They had lived together the past 15 years. They had a small house and garden and took the bus into central Manchester which, they assured me, was very safe and had loads to do.
I wanted to know what they were doing with their retirement.
They said they went to concerts and the theatre and sat outside ‘weather permitting’ enjoying Manchester’s ‘cafe society’. They rode their bikes and looked after their cats. Mostly they travelled, this year they had been to The Galapagos and seen the giant tortoise and snorkel with penguins, they had taken a safari in Africa and showered out doors under the stars. They had visited a brother in Sydney and driven to Melbourne along the coast, like I had with that beautiful boy… all those years ago.
I found myself talking about getting older.
“Old people aren’t the same as when I was growing up.” I wondered. “Yes,” they said, “Not the same at all.”
“They retired and spent time just waiting to die.” I said. “Yes.” They nodded in unison.
I told them about my grandmother who was widowed when she was in her 50’s and at that very moment became an old lady. Cut her hair short, permed it and let it whiten. She died when she was 96. I didn’t cry. My mother did, she sobbed like I sobbed when the big dog was killed. She was inconsolable, as was I about my dog.
I thought a great deal about my grandmother, chatting with these dear old lesbians. I wondered how she could have lived so long feeling so miserable, stuck in one town, complaining about this and that… isolated from all her daughters (how can a mother hate her own daughters?) other than my mother. I remembered just how much she didn’t want to die. She was terrified. I wondered if my uncle Norman killed her. There was little love lost between them and he was with her at the end. She would have been too weak to fight.
We said our goodbyes and good nights. I’m sure I’ll bump into them again. I hope I do. I wish I was an old lady.
The light is beautiful here today. The sea is sparkling. I want for nothing. Happily looking over the Atlantic, the Cape swinging around me teaming with life. Lobsters, basking sharks, oysters, cod and herring. I had fish and chips for lunch yesterday.
Here are my finished sandals:
Gay men in Los Angeles told researchers that they believed a culture that focuses on one-night stands and partying, that emphasizes perfect bodies and good looks, that prizes material possessions, that sees gay men tearing each other down as they compete for attention and that pressures gay men to fit in or conform is bound to create unhappiness, stress and unhealthy behaviors.
The word on the street in gay resort/haven Provincetown? The straights are coming, they are coming thick and fast, young affluent heterosexuals buying property, renting holiday apartments and day tripping. I was reassured by a cool, 31-year-old, straight person yesterday that this was the heterosexual ‘tipping point’. Of course (if true) the reasons are obvious. The older more affluent crowd of gay men and lesbians who bought affordable homes here twenty years ago are simply not that interesting to a less ghettoized younger gay crowd who go to Fire Island or Mykonos where a good gay thumping time is assured, where they can find an affordable share for the summer… anyway, the drag is so much better the closer you get to NYC.
Young straight men and women who used to actively avoid hanging in gay ghettos… or felt uncomfortable no longer have any reservation. This, my dears is one of the more unexpected changes that comes with ‘integration’. Our gay communities, gay clubs and gay bars will dilute as we become more heteronormative.
How do the gays feel about straight people buying into the gay and lesbian ghetto dream? I hear grumblings from some, but what can they say? We can’t restrict straight people from joining the party? Before the great shift, the Obama ‘evolution’, the Blair/Mandleson equality bill I would regularly challenge straight people who came to our clubs and bars, wondering why they were there… if they understood why gays and lesbians created safe spaces for themselves… now apparently we all live in a safe space… together.
If the war is won do we abandon the notion of a safe space, a gay bar, an LGBTQ community? Is that what we were fighting for? As it turns out, gay men are still living shameful and secretive lives… safely hidden from prying eyes. No longer behind the blacked out windows of the gay bar but on the internet where we can fully reinvent ourselves as muscle-bound avatars, 10 years younger than we really are.
The gay bar, meanwhile… becomes a themed experience for enlightened neo-liberal heterosexuals. After all, gay men don’t need to meet one another in real life when we can meet on-line, reducing our interaction before a sexual encounter to the barest possible exchange of relevant facts. Hung? Looking? Party?
The same heterosexual land grab is happening in the Fire Island Pines gay community. Straight people are buying and renting homes at a faster rate than gay people. Of course… the truth is, we never really owned the lions share of Fire Island Pines… it was always owned by straight people. Three heterosexual families who control The Pines real estate market.
In San Francisco‘s iconic gay area The Castro we are facing extinction in our natural habitat, bought out/selling out to silicone valley billions. What are we left with? Our sad LGBT ‘pride’ parade: a blinded corporate-sponsored dinosaur serving only the breweries and distilleries, no longer a political defiance… no longer worth a pilgrimage by those newly out yearning to see gays en masse… the gay parade and all it seeks to celebrate merely adds to our woes, confirming the worst about who we have become.
How long will it take for Provincetown to lose its unique identity and become just another Cape Cod town? The Pines, just another beach community on Fire Island? How long will it take for our history to be lost, forgotten or ignored by apathetic gay white men who have no interest in those who came before? The heroes who fought decades of violent oppression, the ‘gay plague’, who demanded equality… how long will it be until their names are erased?
Do you know who they are? Harvey Milk… and…
The politics of invisibility.
As the quality of our lives collectively ‘improves’, as we ‘integrate’ due to the passing of progressive equality laws why are we still facing a crisis? Why do gay men continue to struggle with life-threatening health problems at alarmingly high rates compared to straight men — alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicide, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Gay and bisexual men are still most impacted by HIV/AIDS and syphilis, they suffer higher rates of substance abuse, they are more likely to drink heavily later into life, and they are more likely to commit suicide and suffer major depression and anxiety and bipolar disorders.
Gay men with mental health problems are more likely to use illegal drugs and commit suicide. Or regularly using drugs and alcohol can lead to risky sexual behavior, which increases the likelihood of getting infected by an STD.
Our health problems, in other words, are feeding into each other, we’re literally killing ourselves through suicide, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS at higher rates than straight men. Let’s say that again: We are killing ourselves at higher rates than straight men through suicide, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS.
Some gays are quick to point to the stresses of living as a gay man in an overwhelmingly straight world — one that passes anti-gay laws and constantly spews homophobic rhetoric — as a reason for mental health and substance abuse problems. With that argument, they are coming very close to saying that we are powerless victims who have little control over our own lives and choices, that homophobes have more power over us.
That’s a ridiculous notion — lethal and self-defeating.
Since homophobia still exists and is not going away any time soon, the victim theory, if embraced, dooms us to a life of external, homophobic stressors that forces us to drink too much, commit suicide too frequently and get depressed too often.
Go, then! Then go to the moon-you selfish dreamer!
I left Fire Island on Wednesday. Driving north with my Persian friend Iliad. The clouds were low, the air muggy and thick. We took the ferry from Orient Point to New London, there was a British aristocrat on the ferry stitching needle point. Beautiful raspberry and pistachio coloured yarn.
My intention is to return to Fire Island… maybe…. next month. The last couple of days there blighted by torrential rain and chilly winds. Friends came, David visited from NYC for the day and Lorne made an appearance but mainly to fetch his forgotten/lost bag.
May proved to be chillier than I remember. Memorial Day and the biscotti queens came and went. John, the owner of the house arrived and made everything broken… work. I cooked a huge dinner and he and his friends the Scots seemed to love it. Andrew from Dover Street Market swept in wearing incredibly chic pants. John baked Halibut en cocotte.
During the week those of us who stayed were thrown together at the Canteen (I think they call it The Cultured Elephant) and it’s true when they say that one makes gay acquaintances in the city and gay friends on Fire Island. I got to hang with the resort staff who are genuinely the sweetest, most handsome men… see above. They have a grueling season ahead of them, working the bars, the clubs, the hotel and the restaurants. Only the most robust will survive. It’s a tough, unforgiving business serving entitled, demanding gay men. The day before I headed North one of the newbies left the island in tears, torn apart by gay unreasonableness.
I met Joey the little person who is a particularly inspiring soul. I was in awe of his ability to be the hugest man in his little body. He has a captivating story.
Everyone has a Fire Island Pines story. There are love affairs and breakups, tears on the boardwalk and fights in the elegant cedar homes. There are couples and thruples and orgies, there are undignified old men last gasping for their youth. Wide eyed first timers arrive on the ferry, amazed that such a place as Fire Island Pines exists. I remember that day, the first day Joe-Baily brought me to Fire Island 25 years ago. I will never forget it.
Everyone has a story. I was told one hundred times by stick thin youths that they were too fat or not pretty enough to meet the man of their dreams. They told me that boys talk to them in real life like they do on Grindr. “Hung?” as an opening gambit. “Party?” “Looking?” The single word pick up. So lazy and charmless. I did not envy them, these young boys… so far from serenity. Of course, not all young gay boys are wracked with self-doubt. I met young gay men who were comfortable and confident and conquering all… whilst the vulnerable fell by the wayside or let old men blow them at the dick dock.
There’s a degree of gay anarchy on the island. Every one of the local laws are broken every day by almost everyone.
The AA meetings are vile. The recovering alcoholics looking down their nose at those who drink and take drugs. I met a dozen gay men who were once sober who now drink… taken out by a beautiful boy and a meth pipe.
One story particularly moved and disturbed me. A grey eyed, erudite black boy no more than 28 years old who works for a renowned artist. We met on the beach and he described his Fire Island experience. He was embarrassed to tell me that he had encountered a great deal of racism during his time at The Pines. There are few black people on Fire Island and now I know why.
I made it to Ptown. I had dinner with Benoit the night I arrived, we ate fish and chips. The ex-gay story he wrote for the New York Times Magazine is now a film produced by Gus Van Sant, starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto. I am very proud of him. Except… it’s another entirely white cast. Why? Why? Why?
Yesterday, a local fisherman brought two pounds of freshly caught lobster knuckles that we shucked for dinner.
The dogs loved Fire Island. They miss it! Dude and The Little Dog bounding up the boardwalk, chasing rabbits and deer. They are a little more restricted here even though we live directly on the beach and they are allowed to walk unleashed. Today we walked a mile or so to the West End and visited the pier shack where Tennessee Williams wrote The Glass Menagerie on a stolen type writer.
My favorite and the most obviously poignant Tennessee Williams line from The Glass Menagerie:
I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further-for time is the greatest distance between two places.
Which made me think momentarily about Jake Bauman who I kinda owe my love of both Cape Cod and the Catskills. Both of whom he introduced me. If he hadn’t mentioned them with such fondness… I wouldn’t have explored them years later. There are times when I wonder about those crazy few months with Jake. They sure seem indelible. There are brief moments when I wish I could pick up the phone and ask him how he is and what his life is like now. Then I think better of it and let the memory, the moment… the past… slip back into the black, bombazine black water of what was but could never be.
Wow, this immigration thing is getting serious for you brits? I get that you’re feeling uncomfortable in your own country and many of you don’t seem to fully understand why you’re feeling so uncomfortable.
What do you people want? I can hear what you DON’T want. You don’t want foreign languages spoken on YOUR streets. You don’t want Eastern Europeans taking your jobs. You don’t want to do business with Europe. You don’t want to lose the Scots. Some of you don’t want gays to get married.
It seems like a lot of you are drowning in nostalgia, kidding yourselves that you can reclaim some beautiful ideal England. The bucolic lie we tell ourselves England once was: White faces, full employment, strict adherence to the class we were brought up in… Is that what you want? I’d genuinely like to know.
Tell me what you want. Tell me what this great british utopia looks like… once you have kicked out all the Romanians, the eastern Europeans, the muslims, the jews, the homosexuals… once you have purged your cities of indian, chinese and mexican restaurants… once your boarders are iron curtains with strictly regulated tourism… in and out of your country. Is that what you people want? I really have no idea when I hear UKIP and their supporters… what the end game is?
If British people bothered to learn and speak other languages (like the UKIP leader‘s wife learned English) they might feel happier taking advantage of the free movement of labour within the EU. But let’s face it, the basic brit is a retarded xenophobe who blames anyone but himself for his woes.
Oh, and here’s a picture of a foreigner with big tits to grab your attention.
For centuries great artists have been isolated, opportunities withheld for being homosexual, women and people of color. Amazingly, black, gay and female artists are still side lined, deliberately obscured, forgotten. One of them might have been Robert DeNiro‘s gay father, Robert DeNiro Sr. who is currently having his gay moment in the sun… albeit posthumously. His famous son and names sake pledges that he isn’t going to let the establishment forget his father’s name. DeNiro keeps his father’s studio like The British National Trust keep Vita Sackville-West‘s tower. In aspic.
DeNiro cries because he regrets not forming a loving relationship with his father. Why now? Why is DeNiro telling us now about his gay dad? Because he can. DeNiro is rewriting his personal history to include his previously forgotten father. Yet, it turns out that it wasn’t just DeNiro who erased his father’s memory for so long… predictably, so did the arts establishment.
For hundreds of years the male-dominated arts establishment didn’t want women written into art history, as recently as the 1930’s painter Gwen John, the more talented sister of Augustus. Side lined. Ignored. Considered an acquired taste. Black directors of theatre and film… considered inadequate. Gay men passed over for straight directors or their gay films/scripts/stories ignored… often by other gay men in positions of power.
You know, gender/race apartheid still happens in Hollywood. Fine directors, black, women and gay… side lined, excluded and maligned by otherwise ‘liberal’ or ‘forward thinking’ agents managers and studio heads… in favor of straight white men. Most of the decision makers, ironically… are gay white men. Colluding with the status quo.
We all have our Hollywood horror stories, I used to think my Hollywood story was unusual but sadly I share my experience with black directors, women directors and fellow gay and lesbian directors. I used to think it was just me, Duncan Roy… the ‘difficult one’ but I have met some really nice people, some really talented folk who share this Hollywood experience word for word, blow by blow.
I’ll tell you my story. It’s a true story. I have not disguised the names of those I met. Here it goes. Get ready. Ten or so years ago after the initial success of my British Academy nominated film, AKA I found out that old ideas about who should succeed based on gender, sexual orientation and the color of your skin flourished in Hollywood…
I made a feature film.
Making an independent film is difficult. Making a gay, independent film is almost impossible. After shooting the film we had no money to finish it. Margaret Matheson the award winning Producer came to our aid, she took the film to The Briitsh Film Council who reluctantly agreed to finish the film.
I was told by Paul Trijbits at the UK Film Council that “No one will be interested in your film… only you and gay people.” He spat the word gay at me. Paul was a renowned ladies man. He had slept with Gulshan Jaffery the producer of my previous films. Paul could get away with that kind of homophobia ten years ago. Both Margaret Matheson and I were, by that time, used to snide and homophobic remarks from straight men like Paul Trijbits. We learned to ignore them.
After the film was finished we realized that we had a cult gay hit on our hands. AKA travelled the world opening and closing gay and lesbian film festivals winning many awards. We were invited to Outfest, the LA gay and lesbian film festival. They offered us a prime time screening at The Directors Guild if we could provide them with a 35mm print. We agreed. Until that point I had never seen my film on a huge screen. I had never seen it projected on 35mm. I had never experienced it in Dolby surround sound.
The weeks leading up to the screening I was camping at the sprawling, un-renovated home in Santa Monica of writer/actor Brandon Boyce and his Italian child bride Roberto. The film had been winning awards but I did not expect the cynical film industry to respond very well to a gay film told (think Abel Gance Napoleon) on three screens running simultaneously throughout.
Paul Trijbits’ remark lingered like an acrid fart and I wondered the night of our Hollywood screening if Paul’s prophecy would come true. As it turned out, he was completely wrong and completely right.
As Brandon and I arrived for the screening he said, “God, the entire velvet mafia are here.” I had no idea what that meant. I wish I’d asked. The film played to a hushed crowd and after the final credit the audience erupted. Applause like I had never known. In the lobby afterwards I was assaulted by every one who was anyone but I had no idea who anyone was.
That night Jason Weinberg from Untitled took me to dinner at The Chateau Marmont, he said he wanted to be my manager but Stephen Macias from Outfest had already told me that he was my manager and so, not realizing what a terrible mistake I was making, declined Jason’s kind offer. Macias, as it turned out, was going to be one of the worst people I ever let into my life. A more conniving, drunk/drug fucked and foolish man you ever did meet.
During dinner at the Chateau people were coming to our table and congratulating me.
That night I took a taxi home to Santa Monica and even though this had been the most triumphant day of my life I had never felt more alone and uncomfortable. I learned a great lesson that night, for all their foibles Americans believe inherently that they are destined for greatness so when it happens to them… they are prepared. They graciously accept the award, the money and the plaudits. I had, that night, in my greatest hour… only the lingering promise of defeat. Paul and men like him poisoning the moment with their homophobia, their doubt and their jealousy.
During the next few weeks I met everyone who was anyone in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio came to a screening of the movie, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston had a screening at their house and I was invited to meet every major agent, every studio, every independent production company.
The previous year I had been in Cannes and met John Lesher who is now a fine producer with exquisite taste but was at that time an influential agent at Endeavor. So, when it came to choosing an agent I was clear about who I wanted representing me. Brian Swardstrom, Tilda’s agent, had seen the film and had reintroduced me to John. I made the decision and told Steve Macias.
Macias told me that it was Hollywood etiquette to take every meeting. So, I was forced by Macias to go to CAA, William Morris, UTA and ICM even though I had already made a decision to sign with Endeavor. The agents I met were utterly appalling. At every agency I was introduced to the token gay agent and every one of those gay agents told me definitively that if I wanted to make further gay themed films I should kiss my Hollywood career goodbye.
It was like being forced back into the closet.
My favorite line, delivered by lesbian agent Rowena Arguelles at CAA, was said with such gravity I thought it was a joke. I told her that I had already made a decision to go with John Lesher at Endeavor. She told me that Endeavor was going bankrupt, she told me that I would just be another director at Endeavor but if I chose CAA to represent me I would be a star. I laughed out loud. Not because I was being a dick… but because I thought it was a joke. Because nobody had ever spoken to me like that… not seriously.
On the way out Rowena looked scathingly at my Smythsons, black leather diary and thinking it was a bible asked me what chapter I was reading… I opened it and said, August.
As it turned out, my representation at Endeavor was short-lived, deliberately upended by then ICM agent Nicole Clemens. Nicole made a particular nuisance of herself in her attempt to sign me, coming to Brandon’s house in Santa Monica at 7am and calling 24/7 begging for a meeting that my ‘manager’ Stephen Macias insisted I take. After the third unsolicited call to my home Nicole delivered this apocryphal line.
She said it through the letter box.
“You and I have to work together because we have so much in common.” I opened the door. “What,” I asked, “Did we have in common?”
“Well,” she spluttered, “We both love being fucked in the ass.”
I slammed the door. That incident really happened.
I told Stephen Macias but he insisted that I meet with her and her boss at ICM even though I was already represented by Lesher. When I finally met Nicole at her office I told her again that I had signed with Lesher. She tried to persuade me to change my mind. She told me that I would end up like Ken Loach if I didn’t change my attitude. I laughed. I told her I couldn’t think of a better way to end up. I told her I was leaving, she picked up the phone and had her assistant call Swardstrom, she told him I was at ICM taking a meeting with regard to representation.
Brian, understandably, went crazy and that was that. No more Endeavor.
Finally, I signed with Bobby Thompson who had discovered and nurtured Tim Burton… but it was over for me in Hollywood. Between the rabid homophobia, my lack of experience, Macias and Clemens I kissed my Hollywood career goodbye.
During the next few months I met all the above again, firstly at Sundance where the film played to enthusiastic audiences and at the British Academy Awards where I was nominated for a best new comer award. I didn’t win. I stayed in the UK. A very long way from Hollywood and the homophobia, conniving and lies of the people I met there.
At Sundance I bumped into Paul Trijbits, he looked sheepishly at me over a dinner that was thrown by my agent for me and Tilda Swinton. He was wrong that nobody was interested in the film… but he was right that at that time gay product was worthless. Ten years later all of that has changed. I, of course, was in the gay film making vanguard. I often wondered if I stumbled so young gay directors could flourish?
No. That hasn’t happened. Gay directors are still sidelined by gay agents and gay studio executives. Gay projects hijacked by established straight directors… Liberace, Dallas Buyers Club, Brokeback Mountain… to name but three gay themed films made by straight directors and producers. The work we all put into changing attitudes toward gay film making and gay story telling worked… but not for gay directors.
Homophobic people like Nicole Clemens who may very well have ‘evolved’ since then… put the kibosh on that.
The 35mm print shown that extraordinary night now rests peacefully in the vault at UCLA as part of the Outfest Legacy Project.
The HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s stage play The Normal Heart is being hailed as life changing and inspirational… by some. Others are doubting its genius. Some are challenging Larry Kramer’s revisionism, lesbians and people of color are wondering where they were whilst the war against aids was being fought by these heroic white gay men.
There is no mention of lesbians, save one scene, in which a woman enters the offices of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and cries about the loss of her best friend, a gay man named Harvey. She says that she wants to help the GMHC in any way possible, “even though,” she says to Jim Parsons‘ character, Tommy Boatwright, “all my lesbians friends say ‘What have you guys done for us?'”
This is a spectacular inversion of resentment from the original playtext. Instead of gay men scoffing at the idea of lesbians being included in the movement (“I don’t believe in lesbians”), you have a woman who is only indirectly identified as a lesbian describing her lesbian friends’ disdain for gay men. The disdain is made exponentially worse by the fact of it being reactionary (“What have you guys done for us?”), as if lesbians are inherently heartless misandrists.
Both Kramer and Director Ryan Murphy perpetuate ideas about the uselessness of women for gay men. Of course, my acquaintances who love and count women amongst their best friends will accuse me of gender myopia.
They will tell me that was how it was and not how it is.
At the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Director of hit film GBF gay white Darren Stein maligned lesbians during a Q&A telling the audience that lesbian stories were not worth telling and lesbians are ‘not funny’.
This weekend on Fire Island I had to endure friends of others. Jacques Correia the Ralph Lauren accessories designer and his very young, red headed spanish boyfriend David who rarely smiled during the three days we shared a space but found time to tell me at very great length about the bi yearly concept publication he wants to start, apparently it will have no online presence at all and will be a ‘classic’ like The World of Interiors… but with fashion… you know, a Chanel frock in a Chanel interior. Blegh.
Within minutes of their arrival David swept the yard, Jacques filled the fridge with $500 worth of food from the overpriced local store The Pantry. Food I would ultimately have to pay for. They scoffed at how little food was in the fridge. He followed meticulous online recipes from which he would not deviate. Worst of all… Jacques was not prepared to share the kitchen with anyone else.
He prepared a nice but forgettable curry with over cooked basmati rice. The following day he concocted a ‘soup’ which was more like a stew and had far too many ingredients. I politely told him how wonderful everything was. I ate it. I had diarrhea.
Jacques is the kind of person who adores Lee McQueen and Issy Blow and Hamish Bowles. He hates conversation unless it is about him or his insular Ralph Lauren world. I can only imagine what his home is like. Small black pebbles placed artfully on chipped mirrors.
Jacques and David ‘hate’ the internet but can’t keep away from their phones. They think they have style. They think they are funny, educated, entertaining and open-minded.
The day after Jacques and David arrive Jacques Indian ‘friend’ Basher pitches up. Ralph Lauren menswear designer, annoying but charming. He realizes immediately that three against one is not very fair.
To Jacque’s horror I offer to cook dinner on Sunday night. I ignore Jacques endless rhubarb crumble suggestions… he wants to put coconut flakes in the crumble. I refuse. To punish me for commandeering the kitchen, for this impertinence, they were late for dinner, they were very drunk when they arrived for dinner and were incredibly rude to the other guests. Jacques whispered jokes to his friend Basher all the way through dinner and refused to join in with any conversation other than his own. When he finally engaged it was to malign lesbians, particularly masculine lesbians whose bodies and sexuality he found hysterically funny.
His friends boasted that they knew no lesbians because knowing lesbians would be a ‘waste of time’.
The following day, using ingredients that I paid for, Jacques baked delicious looking biscotti. Tons of them. They sat on the stove wrapped in tin foil. I was not offered a biscotti.
Lady Rizo, Rob Roth and Rizo’s friend film director Gill arrived at the house. The loud, rude women pulled off their clothes, revealing wide white hips and full breasts and long hairless legs. The gay men in the house looked appalled. Real women behaving like gay men.
Jacques left with the biscotti within hours of their arrival. He wasn’t going to let lesbians eat his biscotti.
What a CUNT.
A letter from Fire Island Pines.
More power gays maligning others today. Something they do very well. Today it’s TV producer Fenton Bailey and Noah Michelson. Both tiny gay men with Napoleon complexes…
The Sicilian Mafia was known as Cosa Nostra or… in English “Our Thing”
The gay mafia, like the Sicilian mafia… like any mafia… is corrupt: intellectually, culturally and aesthetically. The gay mafia is rife with cronyism, anointing the chosen few to control a largely white gay male message.
The gays are in a constant state of justified anger/indignation about anything they claim is homophobic. They hate comics who make inappropriate jokes, they hate politicians who disagree, they hate mothers who may or may not be anti gay christians… they oust people from their jobs for once being homophobic… they have TV shows cancelled and they bully those with opposing opinions into cruel submission.
This week Huff Post DON Noah Michelson spent time gushing over a ‘brilliant’ Huffington Post interview with gay man Michael Alig who murdered and dismembered another gay man but has ‘paid his debt to society’… then, without catching his breath, specifically maligned and targeted reality star Michelle Duggar for having nineteen children:
After a life-threatening bout of preeclampsia in 2010, followed by a miscarriage at 19 weeks in 2011, this has been the longest stretch of time that Michelle Duggar has been not-pregnant in 27 years. So the 47-year-old went to a high-risk pregnancy doctor to see if she’s able to have any more kids.
Jim Bob and Michelle don’t practice birth control, choosing instead to leave the size of their family “up to God.” But on tonight’s episode of the family’s TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggars—who are now grandparents—are interested in a little bit of medical intervention to see “if there are things physically I need to know, that I need to do, health-wise just to be ready to catch a baby if God saw fit to give us one.”
I have published what is now left of the comment thread. There were many more comments (since removed) that were either misogynistic or described the vagina in a way I have only heard gay men describe them. When I suggested that a gay man’s anus multiply fucked by nameless men several times a day might be equally ragged… I was called a hater by a well-trained female fan.
Noah, you will see, rounded up some impressive female support… but mostly gay men agreed with his anti large family, anti women, anti reproductive rights stance. This comes as no great surprise. Women who count gay men amongst their friends would be appalled if they could hear the way they and their vagina are described behind their backs. The gays, when on their own, make inappropriate jokes about other gays, people of color and fat people. But their most corrosive vitriol is reserved for women and the vagina.
Gay men, like straight men… talk shit about women behind their backs. Rather than straight subjugation and objectification, gay men simply don’t see the point of women unless they are entertaining us like circus freaks.
I may very well not like Michelle Druggar and her husband for the choices they have made. My point in support of Michelle Druggar is this: she is entitled to use her body the way she sees fit. As a liberal I have to honor her decisions like I would honor her if she was having an abortion. This is at the heart of the pro-choice movement. That we do not control the reproductive rights of women.
My sister-in-law had many miscarriages, there is a history of sudden infant death syndrome in my family. As you will read, Noah suggests that one’s body is ‘telling’ you something if this is happening? Like AIDS was telling the gay community, Noah?
Noah, like so many of the neo-liberal gay men on this thread (who have no interest in women’s bodies unless they are commodifying them) lacks compassion, calls the mother of 19 an asshole… he alleges that she is a christian who hates gays, suggests that her choices will lead to child abuse, that she is making money from her baby hoarding.
You will note too that Mr. Druggar is not mentioned by either the gay men or the women in this thread.
If Michelle had been less red neck, less Christian, less fat, less of an ‘asshole’ more liberal, had claimed in a short weepy YouTube video she wanted 10% of her children to be LGBTQ Noah would have hailed her a modern hero, like those women on Ellen who adopt or foster many children but never get accused of kiddy hoarding, or the women who have endless kids for gay couples… who never get their vagina maligned by gay men or their sympathetic women friends… in public.
Here is Noah Michelson’s thread. I warn you. It gets vile… and stupid.
In reaction to the above article in italics about Michelle Druggar and her husband after Noah Michelson (public figure) published a picture of them on his Facebook page entitled #assholes.
Ivor Pine and they don’t pay taxes either!
May 20 at 6:26pm · Like · 2
Christian Gabriel #meatcurtains
May 20 at 6:28pm · Like · 6
Dan Avery her ovaries hopped out of her body and slapped her face
May 20 at 6:30pm · Like · 3
D.j. Jeschke Have they thought of collecting seashells instead? Psssh. So not fair to the kids on several levels. After how many kids should people like this be required to get psychological evaluation before having any more?
May 20 at 6:32pm · Like · 3
Michelle Knight Tague seriously?! how has her uterus not fallen out yet!!??
May 20 at 6:37pm · Like · 4
Cate Crowe Clown car vagina.
May 20 at 6:41pm · Like · 5
Duncan Roy Excuse me! My grandmother was one of 19, I am one of 12. These abusive, mind numbing comments are so fucking offensive. Just because you were probably only children or have JUST a couple of siblings.
May 20 at 6:41pm · Like · 1
Duncan Roy Yes, that’s right. There must be something wrong with people who want large families. How can those dumb cunts even remember their names? In between scrounging off the state and probably abusing them sexually. What evil people.
May 20 at 6:43pm · Like
Duncan Roy This just looks like an excuse for misogynistic gays to insult vagina. Let’s put it this way, this woman having babies from her vagina is less likely to be as ruined as gay men who get fucked in the ass by multiple partners day after day…
May 20 at 6:48pm · Like · 1
Alicia Paintner I don’t think having a big family is inherently evil but why can’t they adopt some children! Foster care? There are so many needy children out there all ready. Why so they think their genes are so superior.
May 20 at 6:49pm · Like · 5
Alicia Paintner Ok I was willing to accept you had a different perspective but as some one that has a vagina you just went way the hell over the line. Some one turn this ugly hater in please!
May 20 at 6:50pm · Like · 3
Tom Gualtieri Interestingly, Duncan, just as many women have made crass comments about her vagina as men. My point is in agreement with Alicia’s. Why not adopt? After 20 children, there are millions and millions who have no parents and need loving families. If this is an example of a good, Christian, family, why not help the needy instead of bringing more children into an overcrowded world?
May 20 at 6:50pm · Like · 3
Duncan Roy I am a gay man Alicia.
May 20 at 6:50pm · Like
Duncan Roy I used to remember when people hated the ideas of us gays having children. Now we hate straight people for having too many?
May 20 at 6:52pm · Like
Duncan Roy Alicia, let’s get one thing straight. As a gay man I know many men who
Have multiple partners every day and get fucked in the ass. I can’t imagine how their Anus is holding up. That’s not homophobic. It’s the truth you ignorant bitch
May 20 at 6:53pm · Like
Honey Nut Queerio NOT ONE OF THOSE KIDS IS ADOPTED. SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR REDNECKS, PEOPLE.
May 20 at 6:54pm · Like · 6
Duncan Roy If that was said about gays you all would be having a FIT
May 20 at 6:55pm · Like
Duncan Roy Interestingly Tom, do you know anything at all about adoption?
May 20 at 6:56pm · Like
Adrian Martel Chances are that at least two of their kids are gay…poor kids.
May 20 at 6:57pm · Like · 3
Duncan Roy Why poor kids ? They will have twenty loving siblings? Large families are amazingly supportive
May 20 at 6:59pm · Like · 2
Honey Nut Queerio A society that accepts this hoarding behavior, but makes it almost impossible for single parents and gay folks to adopt!
May 20 at 6:59pm · Like · 6
Unzipped Nready they keep having them while the siblings have to raise them….. tie ur tubes honey!
May 20 at 7:03pm · Like · 3
Duncan Roy Unzipped and ready has an opinion about fertility. Lol
May 20 at 7:05pm · Like
Unzipped Nready yep…… bend over
May 20 at 7:06pm · Like · 3
Duncan Roy Hear that Alicia?
May 20 at 7:06pm · Like
Cate Crowe Oh, how lovely to see a man explaining misogyny to a woman. And, managing to slut shame gay men at the same time. Wonders never cease.
May 20 at 7:14pm · Like · 15
Duncan Roy I can slut shame my own Cate. Just as you would shame this mother. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d be happy if she went to jail.
May 20 at 7:21pm · Edited · Like
Cate Crowe Excellent typo, Duncan. Slur instead of slut. Well played.
May 20 at 7:22pm · Like · 2
Michael Haynes WOW lil right wingers populating the earth with brainwashed stupidity.
May 20 at 7:22pm · Like
Duncan Roy Slur and slut. It’s all the same.
May 20 at 7:23pm · Like
Duncan Roy Of course, in cates world only women get to cry misogyny. Lol
May 20 at 7:24pm · Like
Duncan Roy Most white gay men are right wingers. Not that Americans would know a left winger if it slapped them in the ruined anus.
May 20 at 7:25pm · Like
Duncan Roy Great, a British socialist with 12 siblings gets to defend a womans right to choose over those so called liberals who want to control her reproductive rights. Ironic
May 20 at 7:27pm · Like · 1
Cate Crowe You called a woman an “ignorant bitch,” Duncan. That’s “ironic.”
May 20 at 7:32pm · Like · 1
Duncan Roy I was being ironic because look what she called the mother! You people. No
May 20 at 7:35pm · Like
Duncan Roy I know another mother in Portland who has had 18 babies. Disgusting? No, because she had them for childless couples.,, a surrogate. So, it’s ok as long as she does not keep them. I wonder if she has a ruined vagina? I’m guessing that she may have a heroes vagina to this crowd.
May 20 at 7:38pm · Like · 2
Duncan Roy Cate, let’s face it. You want to control this woman’s reproductive rights. Go on.. You do
May 20 at 7:40pm · Like
Cate Crowe Don’t get into a gun fight with a spoon in your hand, Duncan. It’s time to walk away, sweetheart.
May 20 at 7:42pm · Like · 3
Martin Sims Camardella Disgraceful
May 20 at 7:55pm · Like
Annie Van Wie Noah Noah Michelson you know I love you always, but as a person who crusades so beautifully for acceptance of your “differences” (I hate that word but lack one that is better) I am very surprised to see you judging other people for theirs. Who are any of us to judge someone else’s lifestyle choices?
May 20 at 8:00pm · Unlike · 2
Annie Van Wie And btw I still love and adore you!!!! Xo
May 20 at 8:01pm · Like · 1
Kevin Maloney #clowncar
May 20 at 8:03pm · Like · 1
Åbreu Llyod like the world needs more people
May 20 at 8:05pm · Like
Jason Merrell Do you know these people?
May 20 at 8:05pm · Like
Sharon Stephens Duncan – Cate can outclass and outplay you. Listen and learn about what she has to say.
May 20 at 8:06pm · Edited · Unlike · 1
Honey Nut Queerio Noah Michelson has the ‘right to judge’ whatever and whomever he wants. Thinking people have opinions. They also have gut instincts and passions which aren’t always rational. This is a completely appropriate venue for sharing those thoughts and feelings. It is also appropriate to call someone out for the content of their comments. But not for simply having and expressing a negative opinion.
May 20 at 8:23pm · Like · 1
Brandi Boatright They have the most well behaved, loving well mannered children I have ever seen but maybe it’s time to hang up the pregnancy apron.
May 20 at 8:26pm · Like
Duncan Roy Oh wow, we are playing the out class game . I defer to her class. Thx
May 20 at 8:26pm · Like
Duncan Roy Cate, I haven’t heard one salient point. You are a fraud. Both politically and as a feminist. Give it your best shot. I’ll be ready with my spoon
May 20 at 8:28pm · Like
Duncan Roy I’m waiting for the wise womyn of the west to tell me how wrong I am to defend this woman and her right to a large family. I am waiting for cate to justify the misogyny and and the classist comments. I’m waiting fir cate. Bring it on.
May 20 at 8:42pm · Like · 1
Katy Bourne Human puppy mill.
May 20 at 8:48pm · Like · 3
Julian Damiani This isn’t about choice. How is it fair to make children raise other children? You think they raise 20 kids alone? No. They have to force their older children to become parents. How is that fairness or personal choice/responsibility?
May 20 at 8:51pm · Like · 5
David Ninh Ugh!!!
May 20 at 8:54pm · Like · 1
Cole Robertson My prediction: next season shows her spitting out 12 clear jellyfish babies.
May 20 at 8:56pm · Like · 2
Cate Crowe You’ll be waiting a long time, Duncan.
May 20 at 9:06pm · Unlike · 1
Kieran Keller Honestly Michelle roll a stone over that cave already.
May 20 at 9:08pm · Like · 3
Noah Michelson wow. when the cat’s away the mice will play, eh?
i want to apologize for simply writing “assholes” and not explaining WHY they’re assholes.
1. i have always said that people should be able to do whatever they want to do as long as they’re not hurting anyone else or themselves. well folks, that certainly doesn’t apply here. let’s look at the last two times (that we know of) michelle duggar got pregnant:
“Michelle most recently gave birth in 2010 [it was actually december 2009], following a life-threatening bout of preeclampsia. The next year, she got pregnant again — only to suffer a miscarriage at 19 weeks.”
about her birth in 2009:
“On December 10, 2009, Michelle gave birth via emergency Caesarean section to Josie Brooklyn, three months prematurely. Michelle was rushed to the hospital for gallstones and it was there that doctors discovered she had pre-eclampsia and performed an emergency delivery. Josie weighed 1 lb, 6oz at birth.”
obviously her body does not want to be having children. not only is she putting herself in harm’s way — she’s also putting her un/born child’s life in danger.
2. these people have made thousands and thousands of dollars off of having kids. it’s a modern day freakshow and their kids’ best interests are not being put first by any means. as someone else noted, they have so many children they can’t even take care of all of them — and their other children are forced to raise and care for their brothers and sisters. i find that offensive.
3. this family is anti-gay — in fact — josh, the eldest is (or was as recently as 2013) working for the family research council, which has been designated as a hate group by the southern poverty law center.
i never said people shouldn’t be able to choose how many kids they want to have. i never said that that she’s a woman so she doesn’t know what she’s doing. i said these people are assholes — and they are — and i see very little here to celebrate.
May 20 at 9:08pm · Edited · Like · 32
Angella Guth Kelemen I can’t wait till one of their kids comes out. I hope they will be loving and supportive.
May 20 at 9:38pm · Like
Jeremy Adkison I completely agree with you Noah. This sort of behavior is disgraceful and a cultish obsession with having more children, and more children. It is, as you put it, a freak show. There are various reasons why this is so unsavory, and I think Noah hit them all fairly square.
May 20 at 10:16pm · Like · 3
Annie Van Wie For the record…I don’t like them either. Just needed to weigh in. Also…just to clarify, I had pre-eclampsia with Elsa and every Dr out there said I could have perfectly healthy pregnancies after that. .
May 20 at 11:42pm · Like · 1
Jeremy Adkison Did you have 18 kids before? lol.
Yesterday at 12:07am · Like · 3
Duncan Roy Oh sorry, I had dinner, theatre and stuff to do.
Yesterday at 1:38am · Like
Duncan Roy “I don’t like them either” pretty much sums up what stinks about this thread. If they were liberal and pro gay we might just cut her some slack. Because she is anti gay and makes money (huh? This is America ) we demonize every decision she makes,
Yesterday at 1:42am · Like
Duncan Roy Your comments about her medical complications stink. As I told you earlier my brother and his wife had multiple miscarriages . Was her body trying to tell her something ? Was the cot death of her baby trying to tell her something? Perhaps aids was trying to tell us something?
Yesterday at 1:46am · Like · 1
Jeremy Adkison Did she have a nonstop obsession with having children, endlessly, that she can’t even take care of on her own or with her husband? Let’s not compare a large family to a family with two heads of house who have a heterophilia like obsession with making babies.
Yesterday at 1:47am · Like · 2
Duncan Roy Do gay men have a non stop obsession with getting laid ?
Yesterday at 1:48am · Like
Duncan Roy I thought she made thousands of dollars from a tv show ?
Yesterday at 1:49am · Like
Duncan Roy Let’s not have compassion for this woman because she doesn’t like gays
Yesterday at 1:50am · Like
Jeremy Adkison What compassion is there? Compassion to a women with a heterophilia like obsession in fucking and making babies she can’t even raise? An obsession with having children that may kill her, and leave her husband to care for 19+ kids, or to be more truthful for her children to care for her kids? It’s selfishness. As to her anti-gay beliefs, this has nothing to do with them, but I find your obsession with defending people that demean your very dignity to be… teling.
Yesterday at 1:57am · Like · 2
Duncan Roy Telling… Hmmm. You are obviously incapable of compassion. I do not need this woman to validate me when I am already on the winning side . She does not demean me. You do. As I mentioned earlier , there are many women making many babies they can’t raise fir money. They are called surrogates and make babies for gay men. A practice outlawed all over the world.
Yesterday at 2:03am · Like
Duncan Roy You don’t care about this woman or her health or the health of her children. You care that she allegedly hates gays .
Yesterday at 2:04am · Like
Kate Blair I care that the planet’s human capacity is around 350%, too many people, to few resources….thinking China might be onto something with child limits.
Yesterday at 2:30am · Like · 2
Jacob Michelson Josia?
Yesterday at 3:07am · Like · 1
Jeremy Adkison I don’t care that she hates gays on this subject. I care that she is a deranged and dangerous women who would potentially rob her children of a mother to have more children she does. Not. Need. To. Have.
Yesterday at 3:14am · Like · 4
Eric Ball are they looking for a 20th season? Must not have been a bumper tax season for them either–bump up the dependents!
Yesterday at 3:54am · Edited · Like · 2
Noah Michelson Annie Van Wie you didn’t have 18 kids before your issues. Not the same thing. This woman does not need — and shouldn’t be — seeking more children. It’s irresponsible to say the least.
Yesterday at 6:29am · Edited · Like · 2
Duncan Roy Noah Michelson how many children should a woman have before she becomes deranged? I mean, I’ve seen whole Ellen shows devoted to women who adopt many many children. Are they hoarders or heroes? Are they deranged? Are they irresponsible? Noah, have you any idea what the miscarriage rate in this country is? Did you know that the USA has the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world? Again, you hate this women because she allegedly hates gays.
Yesterday at 6:44am · Like · 1
Noah Michelson Dude — how is someone who has had 19 kids and is seeking to physically give birth to more after needlessly putting herself and her kids in danger the same as some one who adopts?
And I never said someone who has a miscarriage is irresponsible or shouldn’t try to have kids after.
I’m talking SPECIFICALLY ABOUT MICHELLE DUGGAR. Not anyone else.
I get you obviously have a personal connection to these issues but take a step back and get a grip on what and who I’m talking about. You’re grasping at things that aren’t there and it’s getting embarrassing.
Yesterday at 6:48am · Edited · Like · 4
Duncan Roy Embarrassing? Lol. I’m not embarrassed. You should be embarrassed for needlessly attacking a mother. I mean, if she were a liberal… You would be hailing her as a hero. You suggested that a miscarriage was ‘your body trying to tell you something ‘ . Tell that to women who have them. After many many miscarriages. And yes, I do have a personal connection… Because I believe in large families. I believe women should be able to choose and control what they do with their bodies. You do not. You should be embarrassed by that.
Yesterday at 6:57am · Like · 1
Leah McElrath Has anyone read the short article? It appears they are not seeking assistance w fertility (not their issue, clearly) but rather with seeing if there is anything they can do to prevent future miscarriages or premature births. Which, given their no birth control stance and the inherent risks of pregnancy and childbirth (especially for a 47 year old woman) strikes me as an ethical use of medical care. More ethical would be for them to stop trying to conceive or to use birth control so that the mother of 19 children won’t be put at risk. But that’s their choice.
Yesterday at 7:12am · Unlike · 1
Leah McElrath And I, as a feminist and anti-misogynist, appreciate Duncan, as a gay man, taking on the nasty vagina and labia related comments. Thank you.
Yesterday at 7:15am · Like · 4
Leah McElrath Btw, I agree w Noah that they are assholes and don’t agree with their choices or religious views, but that’s another issue.
Yesterday at 7:21am · Like · 3
Duncan Roy They may very well be assholes whose choices and religiosity I disagree but this thread reveals the ease with which we condemn and malign women using old ideas about the way women use their bodies and the latent disgust some gay men have for the vagina. I would never have bothered defending these people had I not read the kind of hate speak I only usually read when I bother to read comments posted by the rabid right about abortion. Wether you choose to have twenty abortions or twenty children the same rational should apply.
Yesterday at 7:30am · Like · 2
Cate Crowe I think it’s time to do another fourth step, Duncan.
23 hours ago · Like · 2
Noah Michelson i’m not condemning women and i’m not maligning women. i’m condemning and maligning michelle duggar. just her. just her irresponsible, dangerous and immoral approach to having children. i have no problem with vaginas — i don’t particularly want to be in one anytime soon, but they’re a-ok by me.
22 hours ago · Like · 6
Duncan Roy Cate, thx. I’m actually doing one right now. I tend to revisit the steps from 1 to 10 every three years. You don’t make my inventory. Sorry.
22 hours ago · Like
Cate Crowe You’re welcome, hun.
22 hours ago · Like
Ricky Marson This Huffpo-level comment war is fucking hilarious.
22 hours ago · Like · 5
Noah Michelson welcome to my facebook page, Ricky. these kind of threads are the norm.
22 hours ago · Like · 2
Duncan Roy Yeah Ricky, Noah is so fucking controversial.
22 hours ago · Like
Noah Michelson hey duncan — if you’re not happy here, no one is making you stay. i rarely use the block button but i’m not against using it in special cases.
21 hours ago · Like · 7
Eric Ball Oh Christ..Duncan, while you’re hanging people for not having compassion or hating vaginas, the Duggars just made another 5 k off this morally corrupt social experiment.
21 hours ago · Like · 4
Michael Rogers This is funny. Noah Michelson, SURELY Duncan Roy is kidding around. No sane person would defend this woman’s decision.
21 hours ago · Like · 4
Cate Crowe Or, exhibit such rage and contempt in doing so, Michael.
21 hours ago · Like · 2
Carrie Bechill I’ve been reading this thread and I’d like to point out that while many women birthed several children several decades ago – it’s not the 1940’s anymore. We know that this world is overpopulated and have scientific proof that humans are doing grave damage to the earth and its resources. Michelle Duggar is acting irresponsibly and selfishly.
21 hours ago · Like · 1
Nathan Garrett Seems to me that working with a fertility doctor would be going against God’s Will, which I assume is a big deal w them. Sort of like birth control in reverse.
21 hours ago · Like · 1
Leah McElrath Again, if you read the article, it’s clear she is NOT seeking fertility treatment. They went to a reproductive endocrinologist to find out if there was anything to do to prevent future miscarriages or premature births. Personally, I think the most ethical choice in this situation is birth control or sterilization, so she doesn’t die and leave her other 19 children orphans. But their pursuit of this information is an ethical use of medical resources, even if I disagree with their choice.
21 hours ago · Like
Leah McElrath Never mind. I don’t know why I bother. People clearly don’t care about the facts. They just want to mock and rant. So carry on.
21 hours ago · Like
Noah Michelson the very fact that she is in a doctor’s office trying to find out how / if she can have more kids — with or without outside help — is ridiculous. it’s a parade for the reality tv cameras and it’s sick. so yah — she may not be going in to get IVF but she shouldn’t being having kids at all. (and let’s not even get started on her family’s thoughts on birth control and abstinence — or sex and sexuality in general…)
21 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3
Leah McElrath Since they do NOT use birth control as a result of her religious beliefs and since she is clearly fertile, it is NOT ridiculous to seek input on how to prevent future miscarriages or premature births. You may not agree with their choices, Noah – I do not agree with them either – but it is not ridiculous to seek information that might help her save her own life or that of another fetus if she gets pregnant again.
21 hours ago · Like · 1
Leah McElrath But again, never mind. This thread disgusts me almost as much as the Duggars do. I’m out.
21 hours ago · Like
Noah Michelson oh come on. i am not saying that it’s ridiculous that she would seek information on how to save her own life or her fetus’s life. i’m saying it’s ridiculous that she would even remotely consider THINKING about having another child. those are two very different things.
21 hours ago · Like · 2
Leah McElrath Thank you for the clarification. I agree with you on that point. For better and worse, we all have the freedom to make ridiculous choices.
21 hours ago · Like · 1
Noah Michelson yes. we do. and — happily — we all have the freedom to call out and judge those ridiculous choices.
21 hours ago · Like · 2
Kate Blair I also couldn’t give a shit about who she may or may not hate, unless she says something hateful on TV. But I sure as hell hope she’s not on any kind of public assistance.
21 hours ago · Like
Cole Robertson They are on public assistance; they don’t pay taxes.
21 hours ago · Like
Terrance Heath People shouldn’t be famous just for reproducing. It doesn’t take talent or skill, after all.
21 hours ago · Like · 3
Tom John Jackson There’s already way to many people in the world, and plenty of kids who need a home. These people are assholes.
21 hours ago · Like · 2
Shawn Shirey In this day and age it is NOT responsible to litter the world with your children. Maybe in the 50’s that was an OK thing to do, but not now. My ass is in tiptop shape, just sayin’.
21 hours ago · Like · 1
Alfonso Munoz In defense of Duncan… there are benefits to big families and religious belief aside, i sat down and watched this program. I couldn’t fathom the concept at this level but I gave them kudos for a few things… they have a system and many aspects of the upbringing are to be observed and adopted. This mother focuses on the new born and so does the rest of the kids by helping and learning responsibilities. She has an aproach that is all about showering the baby with love. Most studies indicate that giving a baby up to the age of 2 constant touching and play will make them very independent, stable adults. So these kids have their shores and it is fascinating how happy they feel to help, a very good quality to have as an adult. Human’s and others species live in large families. The modern small model of family is a very new thing. It is difficult nowadays because gone are the cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmothers that use to be a far greater presence in the growth of a child. As for adoption, my childhood ended when my parents adopted a 30 day old baby from the projects. All the love in the world does not prepare you to raise a mentally ill person. It is a commitment that does not ends with college. they are less likely to deal with this possibility.
21 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Jamie Casertano I give it up to Noah Michelson for being willing to read all these tedious responses. I could give birth to my 30th child in the time it takes to do that!
20 hours ago · Like · 3
Alfonso Munoz LOL
20 hours ago · Like
Nathan Garrett I can’t wait for the library full of tell-all books written by the kids that will surely come out over the next 30 years!
20 hours ago · Like · 4
Christo Max This really bothers me. Thankfully more people are choosing to have only one or two children than two fucking baseball teams worth of them.
Could you imagine if everyone were this selfish?
20 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3
Michael Rogers Sorry, Leah McElrath… This woman no longer cares about her family as much as she cares about fame.
19 hours ago · Like · 3
Kevin Maloney Let’s be clear- in many/most Western historical contexts, the size of a family was hardly a woman’s “choice.” It was usually the father’s choice and often influenced by the Church as well. My grandmother was one of ten (though her mother had 13 pregnancies). She grew up with very little, but her father kept pushing for more children, because the Catholic Church was in a population war with the Protestant Church in Quebec at the time. My grandmother loved all of her siblings, but she thinks back to the way she grew up and acknowledges it was absolutely ridiculous to have that many kids because the Church said to. The boys went to work instead of high school and the girls helped raise the little ones. Maybe this was an ok set up for some families. There’s certainly room for alternatives to the nuclear family prototype. However, in the first half of the century, these large families were often associated with poverty, and the children had very little ability themselves for upward economic mobility. I’m not saying that large families are automatically going to be in this situation – there are certainly a variety of other factors involved – but having many mouths to feed and bodies to clothe is inherently an economic stress on a family, not to mention a time sink. By all means, make your own choices in life, but also realize that there are some very valid criticisms of these choices. This is not the same thing as being intolerant.
19 hours ago · Like · 5
Michael Sharkey Noah, I spent an entire day with the whole family. Can’t believe I made it out alive! Remind me to tell you about when you come to dinner.
19 hours ago · Like · 2
Duncan Roy I note that most of the anti family haters are gay men. As for : It is not ‘responsible’ to litter the world with children. How vile of you. God you people are so prescriptive and judgmental. Just like I remember people being about us the lgbtq community. Shawn is unlikely to have children thank god
18 hours ago · Like
Christo Max False equivalency runs freeeee! Yaaaay!
17 hours ago · Like · 2
Keith Lutman If you’re seeing a fertility doctor, you are no longer “leaving it up to God.” Also, you’re addicted to being pregnant
16 hours ago · Like · 2
Terrance Heath For the record, I don’t care how many children these people have. It’s their business. I’m just tired of people becoming celebrities for reproducing. (Or making sex tapes.)
15 hours ago · Like · 1
Patrick Reynolds Coooooor! what an interesting dialogue…i haven’t read anything so good for a long time. My tuppence-worth…addictive, repetitive behaviour is at play. But I am not one to judge otherwise i would be throwing stones from inside my greenhouse.
13 hours ago · Edited · Like
Michael Rogers Duncan Roy WTF does someone’s sexual orientation have to do with this? Someone is desperate.
10 hours ago · Like
Duncan Roy Read the thread you moron
10 hours ago · Like
Nehemiah Saycsar Fleurima And the more she has kids the less likely they’ll come put strong and healthy.
7 hours ago · Like
After the Solange/Jay-Z/Beyonce/Bodyguard family fight in the elevator of The Standard Hotel (after the very glamorous Met Ball) I hear, from a friend who works at the hotel, that a perfectly innocent person was accused of selling the video to TMZ … and fired.
A statement made by all persons in the elevator during the inciting incident explained that it was a private ‘family matter’ and would remain so.
Then, amazingly Whoopi Goldberg… who has become a kind of wise, day-time-TV Maya Angelou lite sage (speaking slowly to underline the import of everything she says) wades balls deep into the soupy narrative. Her conclusion? That if you get hit by anyone you should be able to hit them back.
I wondered why Whoopi wasn’t commending Jay-Z for his dignity and restraint? Because one thing is certain… if Jay-Z had hit Solange in the face and broken her jaw Whoopie would be leading the deafening chorus of disdain for those men who hit women.
So, Whoopi, if Jay-Z had retaliated… how hard should he have hit Solange? I’m wondering what the appropriate retaliation would be for a man hitting an angry woman whilst she is being held by his bodyguard? Knock her out maybe? So she no longer poses a threat?
Whoopi thinks STAND YOUR GROUND is a very good idea. Well, we all know where that leads. Trayvon Martin.
Let’s remind Whoopi what we are supposed to do if we are attacked… Whoopi, we don’t smack them in the face… we call the police… that’s what they’re there for. That’s why we pay our taxes .
Didn’t Whoopi learn anything from The Color Purple?