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Let Go, Honeys and more...

Let Go, Honeys

Stop trying to control everything.

Do not not serve gay people because they are gay because of your religion.  This suggestion holds especially true for emergency room staff.

If a storm is coming to town, and it happens to be entering an area that receives vectors of weather from all directions, North, South, East and West, like New York City does, then it makes no sense to call the game before it even starts.

If you do not believe in government, you should leave the United States since this country actually has a government. If the government isn't submitting to your dogmatic views, especially those of the constitutional conservative kind, it is because there are other people who voted for other things and we sort of live in a democracy. There is nothing you can do about democracy but make your voice heard, and then stand back and be in a little pain because things are not always going to go your way.

Your dog is not human. Stop pretending and stop forcing the canine. Cross species love does not require submission from the less sovereign animal.

Stop trying to control everything.




    



Get Their Maws Off Your Wall

If you need to keep certain people from seeing your posts on Facebook, just put them on your restricted list.

Don't want Mom to see you partying?

Don't want people of the opposite political spectrum shitting all over your celebratory posts about your favorite politicians or legislative breakthroughs?

Sick of the alums from your high school who think everything is cute or a reason to praise the owl gods?

Just restrict them. They will not see your posts unless you tag them.

Happy Days are Here Again.

https://www.facebook.com/help/206571136073851

    


Snow Peace

All these weather reports, you would think we are all about to die.

Listen, back in the day, when I was a kid, they called this, "It's snowing out."

Is it accumulating? Certainly.

But what it is more than anything else is quiet, peaceful, white, like a dream.

Forget all this snowmageddon stuff they are talking about.

It is really quiet and easy.

Lucky.

    



Art Abuse: Whiplash

Just watched it, Whiplash.

http://sonyclassics.com/whiplash/

You know, I did not want to see it because I heard that J.K. Simmons plays an abusive instructor and I did not want to revisit this sort of thing. I had one of those guys in my life for two years at The Neighborhood Playhouse in NYC and it was very demoralizing. And I was one of the liked and lucky students. It was very unmooring and simply painful and embarrassing. Let's call the teacher who behaved horrendously, Ed Windsor.

Ed attacked, withheld support, used students as negative examples, yelled, shamed and basically told us that we were all a bunch of spoiled pussies. His behavior was erratic. At times he was kind. But that was usually only after he made you cry. He was a classic bully and took great pleasure in his power.

Ed was an abuser. But he also loved acting and wanted those of us who could get there to get there.

Strangely, Whiplash seems to land on the side of the abuser's philosophy. It's all worth it in the end if you can weed out the losers so the truly committed will rise up.  A sort of Darwinian puzzle that has its final Galapagos moments in Carnegie Hall.

Blech, really. Too simple.

However, it is shot so well.  It is acted very well. The music is great. The relationships very clear. The screenplay very surprising. The theme of Whiplash/reversal is very present.

There is a lot of blood spilled on drum kits.

I don't know what is to be gained from any of this. The experience of watching the movie was very much like the experience of being attacked and ridiculed in conservatory in the name of art, in the name of idol worship and some arbitrary idea of perfection. So if you want to feel the terror of really wanting something while having the person who has that key to wanting be a mood-disordered, unexamined bully, have at it.  J.K. Simmons does an amazing job.

The old man who was still presiding at my school at the time, Sanford Meisner, the founder, the boss of Ed Windsor, was someone I also had the strange experience of studying under occasionally. He, clearly, was full of rage. There are so many stories of how great Sandy was. Maybe. In his youth. But as an old man, smoking cigarettes while speaking through the hole in his cancer-carved trachea, and shaming and ridiculing students for not living up to his expectations, he was anything but someone to look up to. We were all examples to be pinned to a board, to show everyone how not to do it.  He had an agenda and that agenda was to scare the hell out of us, to make sure we knew that we were miles away from any kind of greatness. He, like Ed, enjoyed ridiculing his students. It was simply a game. Perhaps something taught to him by his furrier father during the Great Depression.

There was this knocking exercise where you would knock and enter and your scene partner would say, "That was a _________ knock," and the improv would begin.  I decided to try a timid knock, figuring it was sort of an original idea. Like, "Who could this timid person be, knocking?"

The exercise did not last long. And Sanford Meisner turned to the class and said about me, "If you make love the way you knock on doors, all the girls in this room would become lesbians."

The class roiled with laughter. Especially the ones who were trying to get Sanford to approve of them. It was disgusting. I loathe public humiliation. I probably should have walked out that day. But of course, like in any abusive situation that dangles a carrot, you continue--hoping to win approval. I, like the other students, was under the spell, the promise of future greatness if I could endure the hazing. Like in any cult, there were specific terms defined and used by the cult. There was a charismatic leader. There were promises of salvation...in this case, a career in acting. We were so young and cowed and wanting. I think of the students in my class and I shudder, remembering the ones who were terrified and the Vichy-types who collaborated.

Dylan McDermott was a year ahead of me. He stood up to the power, to this mad-man Ed. He was not afraid. His name was Mark then. He paved the way for a coup. He was a hero. He set the tone for someone quieter to really take care of this mess.

The second year, after Dylan graduated and went to Broadway and the rest of us remained to finish out our second years, a talented actress, who eventually became a Unitarian minister, took it into her hands to get Ed Windsor removed from the staff. No small feat. He was a fixture and the most senior teacher. But clearly, it was time. Sanford Meisner approved of this removal. One of the things Mr. Meisner said was, "Some teachers, they think they are imitating me, but they get it all wrong."

Somehow, Sanford Meisner was insulted by Ed Windsor's poor imitation.  I am certain there were other things going on. But the rumors we heard were not substantiated so I will not put them into words.

After I graduated from the school, my boyfriend and I, who also went there, lived in our walkup, with the bath tub in the kitchen, and we sort of figured out how to live, though stunned and weakened by it all. We got acting jobs. We continued. I don't know that we were any better or any worse than other actors who went to less charismatic-cult-like schools. I do think Sanford Meisner's technique is very useful and it does pretty much insist that you be honest. Which is great. But perhaps not worth the price of admission. Our most famous graduate from our class was Illeana Douglas. She was very good at dodging the nastiness. But she knew how to act before she even got there.

I stayed in touch, strangely enough, with Ed Windsor. I ultimately felt terrible that we got him fired. Stockholm syndrome? The future minister who helmed his being fired got most of the students at the school to sign a petition for his expulsion. It truly worked. She was righteous, smart, a Vassar girl, and she put her talents to good use. I haven't seen her in years. I was blown away by her strength, something quiet and knowing. She was one of my best friends back then. I hope she is ministering well. But the whole showdown was traumatic for everyone. I really wished and wanted Ed to simply "recover" or something...

Ed, maybe, I thought, like one does of all abusers, "Well, if we could have just talked to him. If we just could have all had a sit-down..."   This, of course, was not much different from my reaction to George W. Bush during all his wars. I had a dream that I was the only liberal let into his circle and I was actually able to tame the bully.

Ed Windsor was very talented when he was young but not Hollywood pretty, so his career did not take off like his best buddy's did--John Voigt. Ed was an also-ran. This caused interminable pain to his ego. He was also, it seems, someone who must have endured much abuse from his own father. Ed did soften after his termination. And I did stay in touch with him. I wanted him to know that I succeeded. I wanted him to know that he did help me. I wanted him to know, though, that his behavior was not cool.  Ed actually did teach me many things.  He did toughen me up. He did force me to please him, to learn how to do this thing, this parlor trick, called "living truthfully under imaginary circumstances." And that is what is so odd about artist abuse. You can be destroyed and lifted up all at the same time.

However, I do not recommend it. At all.

Watch the movie, if you want to.  But you can miss it, too.

    


Deanna and Me, Together Forever?

I have a secondary email account I use mostly for these three things:

This blog.

Uploading YouTubers.

Sending drafts of plays-books, etc. as a third level safety backup spot.

Somehow, someone by the name of Deanna Cummings, set up an appleID using that email address. She probably punched it in by mistake, realized it, and then moved on to another Apple ID that is useful to her.

However...once you create an AppleID, it is almost impossible to get rid of it.

So now, this Deanna and I, are connected and I keep getting messages that she has attempted to enter my Apple ID, etc.  But it isn't even my Apple ID.

Frustrating.

So, I did a search for someone named Deanna Cummings on Facebook, sent her a message to please delete her AppleID...however, she isn't even going to be able to do that, poor thing, because Apple doesn't delete AppleID's.

So now--I am connected to her forever?

Annoyance number 247 of the modern era.


    




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