Saturday, July 30, 2016

The traditional pre-wedding drag show

Big fun at Aqua Key West...

The bride and the bride


Me at the drag show



Aquanette Maya


Aquanette Inga

Aquanette Faith


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Heading to Key West

This will be the fourth time I've gone to Florida, but the first time I've flown there. I've driven twice and took a train last October. I really hate to fly but it's only a three hour trip.

I will report more from the Sunshine State.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I love you Sarah Silverman

All is forgiven!

Silverman, herself a fan of the Vermont senator, on Monday night brought the crowd at the Democratic National Convention to its feet with a rousing speech calling for party unity.
“To the Bernie-or-bust people, you’re being ridiculous,” Silverman said after heaping praise on both Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the party's presumptive nominee for president. 
“Not only did Bernie wake us up,” Silverman, 45, said, “he made us understand what is possible and what we deserve.
“I support Bernie Sanders and the movement behind him. And Bernie’s already succeeded in so many ways.”


Monday, July 25, 2016

Jock's father was Payne Whitney

I had actually heard of Payne Whitney long before I knew about Marilyn Monroe's connection to the Psychiatric Clinic named after him, thanks to this New Yorker cartoon, which I had already blogged about, almost six years ago - I commented on the inscrutability of the caption, and mentioned I looked up Payne Whitney and discovered he was a rich guy. Payne also has a mansion, a street and a gym named after him.

I still don't get the humor of this cartoon though - is it supposed to be funny because blue collar workers are talking about the lineage of a rich guy?




Sunday, July 24, 2016

NJATPWPC

Well NORMA JEANE AT THE PAYNE WHITNEY PSYCHIATRIC CLINIC finally has its premiere performance dates in the Venus/Adonis Thespis Festival: January 3, 7 & 8. I've already started the web site and logo - I think I might need to bump up the lightness on the text though.



And speaking of Marilyn Monroe, my Monroe aficionado buddy April VeVea has just published her book Marilyn Monroe: A Day In The Life and gave me a shout-out in the introduction. Whoohoo!

Monroe trivia - I've been re-watching MAD MEN (since I have a Netflix account now) and in the third season they mention Monroe's last movie "The Misfits" - one of Sterling Cooper's clients is concerned that her dog food company has falling sales thanks to the movie pointing out that horses end up in dog food.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

When worlds collide: Evan Marc Katz and Amber A'Lee Frost

Well it was inevitable - Evan Marc Katz, gender-traditionalist dating-industry huckster who likes to use men's rights activist lingo to categorize men (alpha and beta) admires leading Ladies Auxiliary brocialist feminist-hater Amber A'Lee Frost.

Katz and Frost are made for each other.

The piece that Katz links to by Frost demonstrates the deep hatred of feminists shared by Katz and the brocialists. Just as leading brocialist Hillary-hater Doug Henwood criticizes feminists much more harshly than he does the Koch brothers, Frost likes and admires Tucker Max and Neil Strauss far more than she does any feminists. Frost much prefers to harshly attack feminists, supported and encouraged by the brocialists at Jacobin and The Baffler. Frost previously defended misogynist men of the left - admiring men who are assholes and shitting on feminists is what Amber A'Lee Frost does. As a comparison - she's much less sympathetic to women talking about sexual assault in a public forum, calling it "industrialized confession" than she is towards industrial-grade assholes like Max and Strauss. No doubt Katz believes this indicates Frost would approve of him too, and he's probably right.


All kinds of inter-connections among the feminist haters. But the main connection between Katz and Frost is that they both want women to defer to men. Katz explicitly tells women to be passive - in order that they may have relationships with traditionalist men (who are single in much greater quantities than more enlightened men, and so more likely to increase his match-up hit rate and further his career); while Frost, along with her contemptible brocialists-at-arms Liza Featherstone and Doug Henwoood want feminists to shut the fuck up about glass ceilings or careers or even the universality of rape(!) because the men have more important things to talk about.

Yes, dating hucksters and brocialists have much in common in their attitudes towards women.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sophie Blackall and the Caldecott Travesty

Speaking of illustration, what's my arch-nemesis, the draftsmanship-challenged Sophie Blackall up to these days?

Turns out she won the Caldecott Award in 2016, which is the highest award for children's book illustration. The judges at the Caldecott Award must be blind. I'm so glad I didn't go into illustration as I originally planned in college, I'd be killing myself right about now.

She won it for a book called "Finding Winnie" which puts me in mind of Dorothy Parker's review of "The House at Pooh Corner" - Tonstant Weader Fwowed up.

But hopefully this win, as appalling as it is, will convince Blackall that her strength really does lie in illustrating children books and she will stick with that and not submit her "art" to publications where I might be likely to come upon it.

Like this. Ahhhhh!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nice work, David Cowles



By way of Art.com I discovered this excellent caricature of Marilyn Monroe, probably the best I've seen. I'm thinking of ordering a poster version at art.com. Cowles is an illustrator and this is his web site.

Monroe seems to have been especially difficult to caricature - even Al Hirschfeld had a hard time capturing her, and he tried many times. In this illustration of "Some Like It Hot", the drawing of Jack Lemmon, disguised as a woman, looks more like him than Monroe looks like her.




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Racist scum Milos Yiannopoulos plays the victim card

Notoriously racist, hateful right-wing scumbag Milos Yiannopoulos doesn't understand what "free speech" means. He apparently believes he has the right to violate Twitter's Terms of Service agreement and lead a mob of racist, sexist freaks to attack Leslie Jones for acting while black.

And because Twitter suspended his account, now he's the victim. Aw poor baby.
In a brief interview on Tuesday evening, Mr. Yiannopoulos said, “This is the beginning of the end for Twitter.”
“Some people are going to find this perfectly acceptable,” he said. “Anyone who believes in free speech or is a conservative certainly will not.”
He's a Trump supporter because of course he would be.



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monroe pix from the Getty archive

I still haven't figured out what's what, but they let you embed their photos and these are some I haven't seen.

I am going to get a poster print of this one, since Michael Chekhov makes an appearance in my Monroe play.





Monday, July 18, 2016

Even more Shakespeare in the park


Two good actors as Ferdinand and Miranda - no idea what their names are.

The park in question this time is the The Westside Community Garden just around the corner at 89th between Columbus and Amsterdam. The play is THE TEMPEST, and it turns out I'd seen Shakespeare in this park before, a few years ago when I came to see my actor buddy Doug perform in a production of TWELFTH NIGHT there. Probably produced by the same company as this time, The Stag & Lion Theatre company. I didn't get a program, but I figured I'd just look up their web site to find out who the actors were - the one playing Caliban was especially good. Well the joke's on me - they don't appear to have a web site. Or a Facebook page, or anything else on the Internet except for an expired Backstage casting call for the role of Prospero.

One thing I especially liked about this production was that they made an effort at period costume rather than go the lazy route of modern-dress. Although, as with the MIDSUMMER production I saw a few weeks ago,  in which I said they should cast Puck with a female actor to address the gender imbalance, they should have cast Ariel with a female actor. And TEMPEST is even worse than MIDSUMMER for gender imbalance, in fact it might be the worst in the entire canon - exactly one female character. I think it might be the only Shakespeare play that has only one female role.

Speaking of that production of MIDSUMMER I saw, I took a walk to see my old Upper East Side neighborhood (and to meet my Fitbit daily steps goal) and ended up in Carl Schurz Park, when what should I see but the very same New York Classical Theater production that I saw in Central Park. Although it appeared that they were confined to one area of Carl Schurz, which could only improve the show without all the hiking from one location to another. I got there at the very end, with the rude mechanical performance of Pyramus and Thisbe for the court, and since I didn't stick around until that scene in Central Park, I didn't recognize the production.

But I should have known immediately who I was dealing with when, the second I aimed my cell phone at the actors on "stage" one of their photo-phobic storm troopers swooped in and told me I couldn't take pictures in this taxpayer funded "venue" they'd decided to appropriate.

I got one anyway. But still. Fuck you New York Classical Theater and Actors' Equity for this antiquated, senseless no-photography rule applied to an outdoor public park. This is bullshit.

New York Classical Theater once again feeding at the public trough while forbidding photos.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Peter Thiel: worst person ever

I've been a Paypal user since its very earliest days, but I've recently discovered what a pack of rightwing assholes its founders are.

And especially Thiel:

Exhibit A:
Thiel, a self-avowed Ayn Rand fan who thinks that women’s suffrage has undermined the greatness of capitalist democracy and that freedom and democracy are incompatible, is a rather more familiar figure: a man with a distaste for the messy realities of the political present, over-enamored with his own intellect, and unaware of his own blind spots. If you’ve spent enough time on Twitter, or in the great comments sections of the internet, you know this type depressingly well. In truth the only thing really scary about Peter Thiel is that he has enough money to buy his own serious reception.

Exhibit B:
Thiel has been secretly financing lawsuits against Gawker Media for several years. He recently confirmed his involvement in Hulk Hogan's invasion of privacy suit against the company and said he is supporting other suits as well.

In Silicon Valley, where both liberals and libertarians have deep-seated fears about Donald Trump's candidacy, Thiel is something of a rarity: a billionaire tech entrepreneur who openly supports Trump.

Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, is an active venture capitalist. He is slated to be a California delegate for Trump at next week's convention.

In a recent interview with CNN, Trump said "I have great respect for Peter."

It's hard to figure out if Thiel has any ongoing association with Paypal, which is now owned by Ebay. If I find out there is still a connection I will find an alternative to Paypal. I don't want a single dime of my money going to misogynist, fascist-dictator-loving Peter Thiel.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Elizabeth Warren rejects Evan Marc Katz's advice - lives happily ever after

Dating advice huckster Evan Marc Katz likes to tell women to be passive. He also believes, like a Men's Rights Activist, that men are divided into alphas and betas.

Luckily for her, Elizabeth Warren never listened to Evan Marc Katz-style advice - and women have been told to be passive long before Evan Marc Katz decided to rebrand that piece of patriarchy-bolstering advice as his very own.

Elizabeth Warren:
I proposed to Bruce in a classroom. It was the first time I’d seen him teach, and I was already in love with him, but watching him teach let me see one more thing about him — and that was it. When class was over and the students had cleared out, he came up to me and asked, somewhat hesitantly, “Uh, what did you think?” 
“What can I say? Will you marry me?” 
He stared back at me. It was not the first (or last) time that I gob smacked him. If I was a hard-charging, go-to-the-mat-for-whatever-you-believe kind of professor, he was more of a scholarly, camping-out-in-the-archives-poring-over-an-old-legal-manuscript kind. I’m usually the one with the wild schemes, and he’s usually the voice of reason, calmly explaining why it isn’t a great idea to paint the ceiling dark purple or rip all those unknown vines out of the overgrown flower bed by hand (lesson learned: poison ivy).

But he blinked a couple of times, then jumped in with both feet. “OK.” 
To make sure the deal was sealed, I smiled and said, “Good. Let’s do it.” 
It made no sense at all. Bruce was teaching in Connecticut, and I was teaching in Houston. And besides, there was the small matter of the fact that I had a complicated life: two children, both of my parents and my Aunt Bee popping in and out all day, a red station wagon and a mean little dog that bit people. Bruce had lived with none of the above — children, seniors, station wagons or dogs — but he never hesitated.
We got married 36 years ago today. It made no sense at all, but maybe that’s how love works. All I know is that I’m sure glad I asked — and sure glad he said yes.

Happy anniversary, Sweetie! I love you.

I totally get Warren's feelings. There's something incredibly sexy about a man being articulate and sharing his knowledge in an open, accessible, non-snobbish way. That and a man who can do impressions and accents/dialects - both incredibly arousing.

Friday, July 15, 2016

No Jamelle Bouie, Robin DiAngelo is not helping

I was very disappointed to see that Jamelle Bouie cited Robin "intentions are irrelevant" DiAngelo in his latest piece about Donald Trump.

The first time I ever heard of Bouie was when he used my blog posts as a resource - because I had been documenting Razib Khan's racism for years -  to make a case against Khan when Khan was up for a steady writing gig with the NYTimes. I mention this fact in my anti-racist bona fides (bottom of this post and on the right-hand side of this blog.)

Thanks to social media, there are times when people are falsely smeared as racists - I have had that very thing happen to me. The thinking seems to be that because black people have been treated horribly on the basis of their ethnicity, it's now appropriate to turn the tables and treat white people badly on the basis of their ethnicity. You can casually smear a white person as racist, for any reason, if you feel like it because black people have suffered. And you will be considered a hero by many on the left, as Mikki Kendall was.

This is not justice. This is revenge.

It's one thing when social media zanies like Mikki Kendall promote revenge, but Robin DiAngelo has taken that revenge-based approach and codified it into a series of lectures and workshops given to established, respectable organizations. One of DiAngelo's techniques is to bow to the personal prejudices of some people in order to discriminate against others, on the basis of ethnicity. Now it certainly wasn't the intention of the woman who cried to distress a POC - she was expressing sadness for what happened to a POC - but since Robin DiAngelo's belief is that intentions are irrelevant that means that bigotry against a white person is perfectly acceptable, even if what they are doing is expressing sympathy for a POC.

This is why Robin DiAngelo is so incredibly pernicious, because she packages garden-variety bigotry as social justice.

I completely agree with Bouie's article about Donald Trump and racism. And Bouie does not lump all white people together. As he notes in his piece:
For its American Values Survey, the Public Religion Research Institute asks respondents whether “discrimination against whites is a significant problem.” In last year’s survey, 43 percent of Americans—including 60 percent of working-class whites—said discrimination against whites had become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.
But as far as an identitarian like DiAngelo is concerned, "43 percent of Americans" saying discrimination against whites had become a bigger problem is meaningless - because as far as DiAngelo is concerned, 100% of white Americans are racist. She says exactly that - that your beliefs and actions, as an individual, ethical-decision-making human being are irrelevant.
if we are well-intended and do not consciously dislike people of color, we cannot be racist. This is why it is so common for white people to cite their friends and family members as evidence of their lack of racism. However, when you understand racism as a system of structured relations into which we are all socialized, you understand that intentions are irrelevant.

So because we are all socialized in the system, we are all the same. DiAngelo does not allow for individual human beings becoming aware of, and consciously rejecting the existing race-based system of structured relations - at least without paying Robin DiAngelo to run a workshop.

All white people are equally racist to DiAngelo because all white people are equally white.

This absolutely does not help the race problem in the United States. I resent very much being lumped in with a member of the Ku Klux Klan because Robin DiAngelo has decreed that my individual beliefs and actions mean nothing - only my ethnicity matters.

Just like people of color, white people resent being lumped together with others in a negative way on the basis of some physical trait. So naturally Robin DiAngelo is only going to fuel white resentment in her wrong-headed approach to social justice.

Robin DiAnglo is not helping.

More of my thoughts on Robin DiAngelo.

My Anti-Racist Bona Fides
Because the reflex response of all Social Justice Warriors/Identitarians like Robin DiAngelo is to smear their critics as racist, here is my statement on racism:

Although I was smeared on Tumblr by infamous bully Mikki Kendall and identitarian extremist K. Tempest Bradford (and thanks to the cozy relationship between Tumblr and Google, the smears show up in Google search results on my name), in fact I have a long history of opposing racism, and the evidence for the past 10 years is on this blog. Unhinged extremists like Kendall and Bradford don't care to know anything about the strangers they randomly smear. That's why they and the people who promote them like Verso books are horrible and don't help solve the problem of racism in the United States.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Preach, David McCullough!

From the NYTimes:

Mr. McCullough, raised in a Republican home and now aligned with no party, said the prospect of a Trump presidency so distressed him that he felt he could not remain publicly detached. “When you think of how far we have come, and at what cost, and with what faith, to just turn it all over to this monstrous clown with a monstrous ego, with no experience, never served his country in any way — it’s just crazy,” he said. “We can’t stand by and let it happen. The Republican Party shouldn’t stand by and let it happen.” 
“I should say, I’m a registered independent,” he added. “I’m strongly in favor of a number of Republicans both past and in our own time. It’s not as though I’m doing this from lifelong ideology against Republicans. By no means.” 
Mr. McCullough said he contacted Mr. Burns after seeing him tell this year’s graduating class at Stanford University that despite 40 years of avoiding advocacy in his work, he no longer had “the luxury of neutrality or ‘balance’ or even of bemused disdain.” After a few conversations, Mr. McCullough said, the two men came up with a plan: “Why don’t we see if we can round up some other people who care about the American story, and who have given so much of their life’s work to it, see if they are willing to step out and make themselves heard.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Spotlight

I finally got around to seeing the movie Spotlight and thought it was very good. But frankly I'm surprised it wasn't more controversial. I thought it made very clear that the Catholic Church is a criminal enterprise, the way it freely enabled pedophiles to keep attacking children.

Unfortunately there are too many people who have made a deal with the Catholic Church to give them eternal life in exchange for a few prayers and weekly Mass attendance, and if it turns out that you have to sacrifice some children in order to keep the deal going, well, that's what you have to do. Eternal life is a pretty big fucking deal.

On the other hand, you don't need to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church in order to hang onto Magic Jesus - plenty of people have considered themselves non-Catholic Christians, entitled to make deals for eternal life since 1517.

There's no excuse to remain a member of a criminal organization that uses its wealth and power to try to destroy women's bodily autonomy. None.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Pink Hulk in Paradise

HULK LIKE DRINKS
Paradise Factory that is - my friend Valerie David performed her last show of her PINK HULK run Friday night and I was there.

The show now includes something I hadn't heard before in previous readings - when URINE TOWN was being developed, Valerie was in the cast, but she had to drop out thanks to cancer (the first time - her two bouts of cancer which she successfully beat is the topic of her show) but...

VALERIE

I was afraid I would never be able to sing any of the songs in URINE TOWN onstage.
(the look on her face tells us "until now." She sings lines from the opening number from URINETOWN.)

Valerie has a very good voice and she really belts the song. It was one of the highlights of the show. And she had gotten permission from the authors first, of course.

The photo above was taken at the bar we went to after the show.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Wine on 20

Well the Upper West Side really does have everything I could possibly want. I happened to be walking on 84th Street, the next block over, when what should I see but a French wine bar - the fourth in a chain apparently, called Vin Sur Vingt.

Oh lah lah! I still haven't figured out why it's called Wine Twenty, none of its four locations are on 20th Street. They seem taken by the fact that vin and vingt are homophones in French.

And look at their wine selection. Tres bien.

On the week I moved in, The West Side Rag reported they were coming, although based on their Twitter account it seems like they only just opened in June.

When I was a kid, I liked to think of myself as a tomboy since, from my earliest days, I could see that boys got a better deal than girls. But as an adult, and in spite of the fact that my daughter and lesbian friends consider me to be kind of "butch" (like Diane Keaton) my tastes definitely run, if not towards the more girly, then the more fancy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Suck it Ayn Rand LOL

My daughter, who has a good sense of what shows I'm going to like (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orphan Black) recommended "Frankie and Grace." I had heard of it, and knew it starred Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, so I was definitely already intrigued. Well it was available on Netflix, which I caved in and subscribed to, so I tried it out. I definitely like it. It's more complex than I had expected. And by the seventh episode I really liked it because Lily Tomlin's Frankie, who is kind of a hippie, decided to start a Twitter account.

The dialog:

          Mike 
      (tech support guy)
Are you sure to send your first tweet? 

          Frankie
I sure am Mike.

           Mike
And you're sure you want to make it that profane?


          Frankie
Abso-fucking-lutely.


          Mike
OK bring the cursor up to the blue button and three, two, one click it.


          Frankie
Did you get it?

           Mike
Yeah. The whole world did. You're part of social media now baby.

          Frankie
You're the best.

           Mike

No you are @suckitaynrand

How can I not love that? I really like the Frankie character more than Grace, but  I have to say, Jane Fonda especially looks amazing.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Fireworks

This year I saw Fourth of July fireworks on the roof of an apartment on Park Avenue which belonged to a friend of a friend. I'm not that big a fan of fireworks but I wanted to hang out with my friend. But her friend, the one who owned the apartment is a horrible person who declaws her cats and is completely unapologetic about it. I ended a friendship of five years standing when I discovered my friend declawed her cat. And I'd do it again. I think it's horrible and cruel to do that to an animal. I'd rather have scratched up furniture than declaw my cat.

But I got some cool pix at least.


The happy face fireworks are pretty trippy...


I admit I upped the color intensity in a photo editing app




ESB obvs








Monday, July 04, 2016

Scammer time Part 3

davigoldd was apparently not at all offended when I offered to send money in Reichsmarks. And he made sure to tell me the internet has dangers. What a consummate gentleman!




Sunday, July 03, 2016

Scammer time part 2

I really got davigoldd's attention when I said I would send him money. He immediately came up with ways to convey the money to him. Although davigoldd is probably a woman, since "my daughter" would be calling me should I be insane enough to give a random stranger my phone number.

There was a long pause after I asked him/her to speak German to me. Looking up Guten Morgen, no doubt. And then the considerate confirmation that this was indeed German.



Saturday, July 02, 2016

Scammer time Part 1

Every now and then I just get the urge to mess with scammers on social media. They're usually incredibly stupid (or at least so unfamiliar with English and/or American idioms) that it takes a lot for them to get a clue. I think I finally wore old davigoldd down with my nonsense.