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Ebola, My Dreams and more...

Ebola, My Dreams

The Girl of My Dreams      by Sunny Clapp

Gorilla My Dreams            by Bugs Bunny

Ebola My Dreams              Not as funny


I mean, I take the A train. I'll keep taking it. Until they put a DO NOT LEAVE sign on my apartment door.

The strange thing about Dr. Craig Spencer, the man who lovingly went to West Africa as a Doctor without a border, is that he is specially trained to deal with public emergencies.  At Columbia University. You imagine they would teach a class in that fine program that mentions something about not getting on the subway to Brooklyn from 147th Street in Manhattan the first twelve days after you return from working closely with Ebola patients.  Seems to me.

But, you know, I've been paranoid about human error since I was born.  So I try to give people like him the benefit of the doubt. That perhaps, he knew what he was doing. If I do not do this sort of optimistic thinking, I simply could never get on a plane for fear of it always crashing.

No need to turn Dr. S into a monster. Chances are, New York City will not turn into the Zombie apocalypse. If just one or two random people from the A train or the bowling alley in Brooklyn get sick with Ebola, friends...all bets are off and I will be able to watch people walking to NJ from my roof over the George Washington Bridge. I'll take pictures.

But what if they don't let people leave? Imagine that. Will people make rafts and try to cross the Hudson? How about human chains? Or up through the Bronx...that's probably the easier way to the mainland if they close the river crossings.

Anyway, no time for a film treatment or for too much obsessing. Business as usual. I'm watching Journey You Tubes. And not just for the tight pants. I'm pretending. Back in 1979, we just had less Ebola. It was a gentler era.



    



Wyoming

I've been to Wyoming.

The guy who played Hans Solo, he lives in Wyoming.

I think his name is Harrison Ford.

I once hung out with a gay man actor who used to do movies with Harrison Ford.

This gay man actor rented a house up on a bluff in Pacific Palisades.

We met each other in New York when we were both living there in the 90's.

That gay man actor is dead now.

He could never let Harrison know that he was gay. He told me that Harrison was a phobe.

This does not mean that Harrison is a phobe, at all.

In fact, I believe the gay man actor was just, overall, very afraid to let anyone know he was gay. He often played tough guys on T.V.

But whenever I think of Wyoming, I think of Harrison Ford having my gay man actor friend over for dinner and how that friend felt obliged to remain entirely closeted.

I remember, in 1993, sitting on my gay man actor friend's couch, smoking pot, and singing along to all of Joni Mitchell's album, For the Roses. We almost had sex. But I would have been doing it more for the house than for the guy so I just didn't do it. Or more truthfully, I knew he'd want to keep doing that sort of thing and I couldn't imagine myself with the closeted mini movie star for the long haul. Plus, he chain smoked.

My gay man actor friend stopped hanging out with me when he said he could not spend time with me if we were not going to start dating. He had talked to his shrink about it and his shrink advised him to not spend time with men he wanted to date that did not want to date him.

I never saw him again after that phone call. When he died of a massive heart attack, I felt sort of cold.

I have felt cold about the death of a lot of gay men. It was the AIDS days and all I wanted was to survive. So I carried on. I am not proud of this. But perhaps the reason the gene of selfishness is so rampant on the planet is because it has saved the lives of quite a few people.

I imagine the career of my gay man actor friend was saved because he was afraid to come out to anyone.

I think of the poor Matthew Shepard, whom I just Googled, who I can't believe how sweet and cute he was. I am sure the guys who killed him were attracted to him. Simple enough. So they had to kill him. Big fucking square state. I did not feel too much for Matthew at the time. I was just freaked out that he did not learn, like I did as a teen, to keep your mouth shut, tell no one about who you really are, and to run away from strangers that had any inkling that you liked guy-on-guy sex.  Clearly, I was traumatized and terrified for the poor young man, left tied to a fence to die. I cannot believe how horrifying that night had to be for him. It is truly disgusting. My rage is so huge, I guess I'll just have to have another swig of my ginger tea and continue editing this blog entry.

Wyoming isn't the only place where gay people were once killed. It is happening everywhere on earth, still.

Welcome, Wyoming. You monstrous cowboy town of a place. Welcome to the modern era. We know you weren't all killers of gay people, of course. Of course. Of course. But there's that image...and people generalize. I'll let you off the hook.

I recently found someone online who used to endlessly torture me as a child in the suburbs of New York, so much so, that I hid inside my house for about three years. I asked him if he was who I thought he was. He did not respond to my request. Of course, it may not have been him.






    


Transparent



Do you have Amazon Prime?  Then watch Transparent.

Transparent

Do you not have Amazon Prime?

Then get Amazon Prime here.

Amazon Prime

And then watch

Transparent

In case you do not know, and most people do, but I may as well tell you: For 99 bucks a year, you get all your Amazon stuff shipped to you for free, two-day. And, you get all the Amazon Entertainment that is free, for free.

Transparent is a free one. Ten episodes. Gulp them down over a weekend.

Created by my sort-of friend Jill Solloway--I  used to do Sit N' Spin in LA with her--Jill has done something wonderful here and I would like you to watch it.

I give away very little when I tell you the father of Transparent, played by the brilliant Jeffrey Tambor, has decided in his 70s to follow his true nature and live full time as a woman.  Then, it's pretty much Jewish King Lear, with the three horrible kids vying for the spoils of an upcoming very fancy house sale. (What, No Cordelia? Ah, modern times.) Sure, I just summed it all up, too much.  But honeys...it's all in the playing. And the playing here is amazing.

These smart yet clueless people are doing the best they can. They are ill-formed and need each other desperately to finish up the baking of their personalities. It's a slow burn shit show. Funny. And sad. And nothing beats watching Jeffrey Tambor become the woman he was meant to be.

Friends, it is time to get behind the Trans beings of this world. They are as real and wanting as you, me and the Mormon next door.

The three actors playing the three grown children, well, all of them hit their marks brilliantly, with the right tone.

The ex-wife of the father, played by Judith Light, is a bit cliche, but I bet she is modeled on someone who is a cliche. Plus, Judith eats the scenery. In this case, a large stainless refrigerator in a large white kitchen in a weird condo in the Marina.

Jill wrote and directed most episodes. The ones she did not write stay within the tone, spot on.

I love this show. Not every bit of it. And certainly not the final episode. Come on, Jill!

But you will see things here that are so human and funny and real, it can only happen when some new entity like Netflix or Amazon Prime says to an executive producer of a show: Go for it. We don't have any notes for you.

And what do you get when you don't get notes?  You get incredible human originality. In this case it is Jill Solloway's. And it is non-cynical. It is reaching for the truth about what it is to be a human being facing your hellish self, hellish others, love and death.

Watch it.

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll wish you were a trans retired Jewish professor.

Tell your friends.

And Jill, give me a job.
    



21 Years Together October 20, 2014

Married for three.


    


Fish and Bicycles

Words are awful tough.

People put on them what they want. No matter how clear.

I don’t care much about particular words. I like, more, how words are placed together. Each word is just okay. When some person gets up and says Vagina Vagina Vagina—I don’t think much of a point is being made.   What is this Vagina doing? And why do you assume that I am compelled to react to one word, repeated?

Words lose meaning because they only have the meaning we give to them. Like money. We can decide at any time that fork no longer means anything at all.

It is essential that words, basically, keep their meaning for a few generations so when we see them we understand them.  But it is truly their placement that makes the difference more than the intrinsic meaning of each word.

I love this dog in my arms today. You put that all together, you have a feeling, an action and a relationship. The words are relational. The experience of the words creates a relationship inside you with the outside when you read them. I chose love, dogand arms because those words are quite solid in meaning, for us. Of course for a culture that is not so fond of pooches, or sees them as food, well, that sentence means something else entirely. But it is still relational.

Slogans lose power quite fast. Fight the Power. Save the Whales. Hell No We Won’t Go. A Woman without a Man is like a Fish without a Bicycle.    Though, the last one, Gloria Steinem’s, still holds some saucy vitality since each word is so clear and the choice and placement of each one is pretty spectacular. I imagine she was not so calculated, that it just came to her.

Slogans assume too much. So if someone were to say to you today Fight the Power what on earth are they assuming you think this means?  Get the top dogs off your back and take some control? Shut down your computer? Or, sadly, if something powerful comes through you, fight it, because it is probably not real, perhaps something arising from your defenses? There are not enough words there and there is not enough relationship.

I do not think writing and words are as important as actions and deeds. A quiet kind of love is better than a noisy kind of person trying to make it sound like they have love in them. I do hope that writing can be a reflection of the relationship between subject and deed. And hopefully capture some of that aliveness, or deadness if necessary.

Our language will change. Mostly because the words will change. But the need that words come together in some form of clear relationship to each other will always be the same. It’s all about what is against what and how something else works against that and how if feels when it is all together.


Though this sounds very obvious or similar to a milder form of a Lenny Bruce screed about the arbitrary powerlessness of negative words, I do hope today that I think more about how words are put together. Because I am relation to the others. Even though a part of me tries to protect myself into thinking I am not.
    



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