This might be hard to articulate, but I was talking to a close friend recently about something that doesn’t matter. Some dumb joke lead to another dumber joke and after a few moments we just started flailing our arms around in the air for a long time in the middle of the conversation. No speaking, just wild, uninterrupted, exaggerated movement with huge grins on our faces that gave way to uncontrollable laughter. And I realized that that’s all I want, and probably all anyone really wants deep down: the flailing. We don’t want to explain ourselves, we want to be understood on a million levels and we want to know people deeply and we want the responsibility of keeping secrets and having innate ingrained layered knowledge. We want inside jokes and we want to to be vulnerable and we want to feel like we are safe. I think that’s why as time goes on, awkward first dates and testing-the-waters Facebook messages and conversational icebreakers creep into daily life so much. We’re trying to recreate experiences that we’ve had with other people, or have with with people currently that we don’t see or talk to as frequently, or have a few of in daily life but want more. We’re greedy. It’s not a bad thing. It’s normal. It’s disgustingly human. We’re gluttons for attention and affection and love and understanding and we might never get our fill. Except for loners and hermits and misanthropes, but who wants to talk about them anyway? Let them write about themselves.
Dear America, Please Don't Fall for This Shit Again
This election season there’s a billowing cloud of misinformation being sprayed into the American psyche like a burping tail pipe on a primered Vega.
And its smoke is thicker and blacker than ever before thanks to the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision.
Billions have been spent for one purpose and one purpose only: to obscure and distract from the fact that Mitt Romney is backing the identical agenda George W Bush did.
It’s really and truly that simple.
Lower taxes for the rich, cutting regulations for Wall Street, hawkish foreign policy with in many cases the same neocon foreign policy advisers W. Bush used make Romney/Ryan “W Bush 2: The Sequel to the Greatest Disaster Movie in Recent U.S. History, Available in Imax.”
So please, America, don’t fall for this con all over again. Taxes for the rich are at record lows. The uber-wealthy and corps hide profits overseas and work the loopholes to avoid paying what they should. And because of the resulting tax shortfall, deficits soar and education and infrastructure are cut. Why in God’s name would anyone in their right mind support cutting taxes for the wealthy more? Especially when it’s been proven over and over again to do very little for the economy?
And the idea of cutting regulations for Wall Street after the ‘08 collapse is as crazy as a guy in a hospital gown by the side of a highway waving Barbie dolls at passing cars. With the derivitives market larger than ever we need way more regulation of Wall Street, not less. And worst of all, Romney’s hawkish foreign policy is a beat for beat redux of the Bush doctrine of attack at the slightest hint of threat that led us into the disaster of the Iraq war. Call it “the edgy drifter with a knife” policy.
Voting for Romney after the train wreck of that was the eight years of W. Bush is like losing your pay check playing a rigged game of three-card monte and then playing the same game again a week later cause the cards are a different color.
But Obama is a socialist! He’s made things worse! What about the deficit?! Stop your witchy liberal word spells!
These objections to Obama are nonsense and lies at best. They just are. This isn’t a “liberal” POV. It’s just the truth. Obama does have real failings as a president (illegal drone strikes, a baffling desire to make more trade deals, failure to prosecute past war crimes), but being a socialist big spender is not remotely one of them. The stock market and corporate profits have soared under the Obama administration. And the deficit is 60 percent from tax short falls from the ‘08 collapse and 20 percent from the Iraq war finally being properly counted. Only $1 trillion of the $5 trillion deficit is from spending that was for the stimulus package that stopped our nation from falling into a depression by any economic metric available. The fact is Obama has spent less than any president in 50 years.
Even Obamacare is a private mandate that will drive billions to the insurance industry, much like the auto insurance mandate. Hardly socialism. In fact, it was a Republican plan to begin with.
But Romney and his billionaire backers have twisted facts and outright lied like we’ve never seen before. And why? Because if they had to stand on the issues they wouldn’t receive a vote. Because Romney and Ryan are exactly on the same page as W. Bush. And that page is stained with champagne and sturgeon eggs.
If Romney wins it will be because voters voted for the lies and the brand ID of the Republican party, not because of facts, context and reality. This is the essence of how a con works. The con man gets the mark to respond emotionally rather than logically. Please, don’t fall for it. With climate change becoming the biggest challenge of the next hundred years we can’t afford four years more of corruption, misinformation and inaction. We just can’t.
We must give up on this blind brand allegiance nonsense — “the Republican party is for self-reliance and America” — and start looking at the reality of what they do. They ignored warnings on 9/11, making us far less safe, give billions in subsidies to oil companies, no-bid contracts to the former vice president’s company, cut taxes for the rich during a war, stand against equal pay for women, froze the budget to drive our AAA rating down. They are corrupt, for the rich getting richer and for dismantling our government including FEMA, Medicare, and Social Security.
And worst of all, the Republicans do everything they can to make it hard for people to vote. This isn’t just creepy and dirty. This is anti-American and an insult to all those that have given their lives for our right to vote.
At a certain point if you’re voting for Romney you have to look around the room and see who you’re with. W, Bush and Cheney will vote for Romney. Sarah Palin will vote for Romney. Glenn Beck will vote for Romney, as will Rush Limbaugh. Rupert Murdoch, Hannity and Donald Trump are voting for Romney. Have these people been right about anything in the past 20 years? For real. Think about it.
This election needs to be the end of the con. The end of “trickle-down economics.” The end of the loopholes. The end of no rules for the rich and powerful. The end of veiled racism, sexism and homophobia as a way to distract those you’re ripping off.
This era of “relative truth” can end. We can return to science, facts and fairness. But it means stopping this right vs. left, Dem. vs. Repub., North vs. South idiocy. A lot of money was spent to divide us like this and every day that we don’t stop and question the messaging this country slips a notch.
We’ve been having the same argument for 30 years and the evidence is clear: Cutting taxes for the rich, deregulating all the rules set up after the Great Depression and needless wars don’t even remotely work, whether it’s George W. Bush or Romney who’s at the wheel of the belching sputtering Vega.
Seriously, America. Take a beat, think and look hard at the numbers. You’re better than this crap. And we’ve got real stuff to work on together.
I went on a date last night and then you texted and asked, again, whether I would come there. Start our days with coffee, end with you making dinner. Forever. I feel myself tug towards yes and then I remember why it will always be no with you and I.
There are people in your life who are going to love you for all of the wrong reasons. They will love you for the best part of your face, the best part of you naked, the best mood on your best day, the best story you ever wrote, the best outfit you ever wore.
They are going to miss the scar on the underside of your nose from the time your older brothers dared you to run across a pile of logs. They won’t know that you fell on a hidden nail just as you completed the challenge. They’ll miss the scar on your finger, too from the time you were seven and closed a swiss army knife on it. They won’t understand that these are two of only a handful of things you can remember about your childhood. They’ll notice that you have great tits, but they’ll miss that your thumb tucks into their palm when you’re walking together and that your eyes have darker circles when a migraine is coming. They won’t know you get migraines. They won’t ask where the story you wrote came from, so they’ll never know that it was true. They’ll love it because it feels real to them. They’ll miss knowing the sweatshirt full of holes that they criticized you for wearing was your dads. You might tell them some of these things along the way, but they will remember the best things instead.
They will love your good moods, your energy, your sense of humor, but miss that you never turn to them, but rather to a shower or a pillow or the back of your throat to shed tears. They won’t ever consider you strong.
When the parts that aren’t your best come out, some people will shield their eyes as if you have just forced them to look directly into the sun for hours until their irises burn. They’ll silently make you promise to never show them that again. Those things are not to be shown. Be at your best so I can love you. I would love you more if only you never show me those things.
And you do not marry those people. You do not sit and sleepily drink coffee with those people. You leave those people and you remind yourself that they missed the better parts of you.
The Big Parade was a huge hit. When MGM discovered that a clause in Vidor’s contract entitled him to 20% of the net profits, studio lawyers called a meeting with him. At the meeting, MGM accountants played up the costs of the picture while downgrading the studio forecast of its potential success. Vidor was persuaded to sell his stake in the film for a small sum. The film ran for 96 weeks at the Astor Theater alone and grossed $5 million (approximately $50 million in 2003 dollars) domestically by 1930, making it the most profitable release in MGM history at that point.
Later, when asked about the decision, Vidor said, “I thus spared myself from becoming a millionaire instead of a struggling young director trying to do something interesting and better with a camera.”
Feeling guilty, Louis B. Mayer offered Vidor assurances of being able to freely select his own subject matter in between studio assignments and the director went on to make Hallelujah!, the first studio film to feature an all-black cast.
“It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.”—Chris Kluwe’s open letter to Emmett C. Burns Jr. as a response to this abhorrent letter that Mr. Burns sent to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens
“Apparently, no one among the RNC attendees or the pundits pontificating thereupon ever read Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, Invisible Man. When Clint Eastwood decided to make President Barack Obama invisible, he re-instituted the social invisibility Ellison described and all African-American’s lived then as many live now. Mr. Eastwood managed to deny President Obama’s right to exist and be seen with a brilliant piece of staging. While the pundits laugh at him as the embarrassing old uncle, I tremble with the evil brilliance of his act. I doubt Eastwood even read the book. He may not fully realize the racism of his actions. Nonetheless, he denied our first African-American President of his face then put foul language into his imagined mouth in a manner that would make the most despicable member of the Ku Klux Klan dance with glee.”—Why #Eastwooding Was Racist (via azspot)
In Lauren’s grandparents’ car coming back from JFK I am a zombie vibrating off of a pink football alprazolam, a pre-airport Boddingtons, an airport beer, and two free airplane whiskeys thanks to the healthily Nordic flight attendant who had a crush on me, I’m a regular Jack Shephard, and now my tingling shredded body is pretending to listen to a story about a house on the parkway and a cousin in Colorado Springs but I’m a good-with-the-family soldier and I nod with precision while noticing how much I miss trees, non-palmed, and now we’re in Huntington with curving hidden roads and large houses with even larger spaces between them. In Caruso’s we purchase an Italian feast and by the pool I fit more food into my body than I have in the last week combined and Carl tells me about the time he won a jackpot in a casino thanks to a tip from an angel, or a ghost, seriously, and I love it and he tells me more and I appreciate it wholeheartedly. I am super faux-boyfriend and I help clean a guinea pig cage and the Heineken’s start coming and suddenly my glass has half a bottle of wine in it and I’m not complaining. Lauren’s tiny sister is a born comedian and they show me a video of her making her armpits talk to each other and it’s better than most bits I’ve seen in a year. I hear a horrible story about a family member dying with a knife to her throat and the poor decision to play at the funeral a recording of her beautiful and distant voice singing The Corrs’ “Breathless” and it shakes me a bit, this really happened, and then Lauren’s mother plays me the recording and we sit there listening to a song of the dead. The insects outside whir non-stop and we can see a thousand stars and Lauren tells me a nice way to die would be to take a Virgin flight to the moon and eject yourself into expansive space and float into nothingness. I contemplate whether or not I would ride it out until I starved to death or take my helmet off and pop. A screaming comes across the sky but it’s not a V2 it’s a shooting star and I can never stop thinking about the moon, wherever I am, whenever it is. We talk about Frank O’Hara and drink too much and smoke too much and pour ourselves into bed and I fall asleep imagining Sam Spade in a smoking jacket with the buzz of a reality tv show cutting the dark bedroom. In the morning I fight a hangover with two cups of extra strength Dunkin Donuts coffee. Lauren is still sacked and her mother, her brother and I go to Bay Deli for egg sandwiches. The high school girl who hands us our food is named Kristie, according to her Huntington High School Stage Crew t-shirt with clouds of flour smeared across the black cotton, and she forces a smile to match our genuine ones. Back at the house I talk to a dog and drink an Arnold Palmer.
It’s Lauren’s birthday. It’s Lauren’s birthday and we’re at a beautiful potluck brunch with new brilliant friends and Mike’s eggs and beermosas and the sturdy air of California spring. This is half the surprise for lovely, stubborn, don’t do anything for my birthday,…
I was retelling this story to a friend at dinner last night and it was only then that I realized how truly crazy it was of my friends to come to my house, and under the guise of breakfast get me “feeling nice,” and then say “You think that’s all we got planned? Get in the car.” Until last night, all I could talk about was how crazy that gun club was to allow us entry, and not take our IDs, and scream the instructions over the blasting 90s metal. But let’s be honest here, the real culprits are you, friends. And I love it. And I’m happy we’re alive.
A lot of my friends are super awesome, talented beings that are constantly creating great stuff. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by people who are inspiring and motivating, and I feel like I don’t share enough of that on here. I’m terrible at using tumblr in a timely manner so some of these projects are probably old news at this point, but I’m going to do my best to keep up with it from now on.
Chad Hartigan’s feature This is Martin Bonner needs some finishing funds so check out the link to see some of the footage - and throw him a buck if you can! I was the assistant director on this film and not only is everyone involved in this project a wonderful gem of a human, but they’re also extremely talented.
There are so many exciting things in the works right now for all these folks and many others. This post has been sitting on my computer for awhile waiting for me to find time to throw the links in. I finished it while sitting on my roof this morning as the sun was rising and almost got goosebumps. I’m happy as hell to be in Los Angeles with these beautiful people.
“All I’m saying is this: Life gets crazy. Life gets sad. Things don’t always turn out the way you hoped, and situations can get messy. Sometimes the lists pile up, and sometimes your plans get thrown out the window. But the root of it all is this: you will adjust, you will move forward. You will get things done (in one fashion or another) and today probably isn’t the end of the world. So take a deep breath. Accept disappointment, accept change. Accept that things aren’t always easy, and accept that being uncomfortable now maybe be the very thing that will push you forward into what’s next. You will adjust. You will grow. You will learn, you will be happy. You will … Life is beautiful. And it’s only cliche to say that because it’s written everywhere. And it’s only written everywhere because it’s the TRUTH. You’re not supposed to forget it. So don’t.” (August 6th, 2011)
“I remember my first visit to Cape Cod after my parents divorced. I was 11 and my mother brought my father’s new address on a scrap of paper so my sister and I could copy it onto our postcards. That was the week I got my first period and there was no air conditioning in the cottage. One afternoon, I broke down on a sidewalk in Chatham and angry, hot tears ran down my face. I decided then that it was miserable to be a woman. Fourteen years later, and I’m still crying about the same things, and still as utterly resistant to change.”—No Great Illusion: Shadows
“The person who successfully combined the two would move through the world as a ‘shadow of light.’ Can you picture a shadow of light? A person in whom the luminous and the dark are inseparable? Reminds me a bit of neutral angels, if you’re familiar with the term.”—Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Tom Robbins