Letter To A Young Artist # 1

I cannot help notice that every time I have a conversation with a young artist is that when my age comes up, there is an odd sense of competion present in them mixed in with a kind of misplaced relief. I find it sad too that when I ask someone young their age they often stutter uncomfortably in order to whisper “around 25” or “around 30” as if youth is the only thing that can guarantee them a leg up.Competition may not be the best word to use to describe what I am talking about but there is a sense of “Oh! I am on the way up and you are on the way out.” Or maybe it only is “I STILL have TIME to make it”.Perhaps it is a only sense of relief that they feel in the face of me and my age, in this very ageist time,that they have another 30 years before they reach my age. At 26 or 30 I know that those 30 years feel like more than one life time. But I thought it might be useful to mention a couple of things. 30 to 60 happens almost overnight. Time moves twice as fast from 30 to 60 as it does from ten to 40. Another is that despite the fact that I started performing in the downtown experimental performance scene at 18, with people far older and much more accomplished than myself, between the ages of 21 and 31 I lived several different lives, lives that included performing but were grounded by really living in the world, all very far from the all encompassing ambition of NY.From the 60’s to the early 80’s there was still standards for excellence that were upheld by a very selective and demanding audience of connoisseurs. Since…

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I Loved LA

Hearing of  the LA earthquake, I  was suddenly overcome with sadness about leaving LA. I barely got to live there. I guess the sudden end of my marriage in 2008 eclipsed my feelings about leaving, an exodus I never mourned. I loved the near absolute anonymity of LA, an anonymity NY has lost since becoming suburbanized. Oh, I know everyone thinks LA is suburban but I never felt that way about it. If LA is so suburban, how come you can never find a gas station? I loved the stony winter sunlight, the stillness of the desert that lies beneath it. I loved the hollow emptiness of LA  in the daytime and the howling emptiness of LA  at night. I loved walking down Fairfax , a journey that never bored me. I loved coffee at The Farmers Market early in the morning with homeless people propped up on chairs, before it bustled with tourists and regular people. I loved sitting at empty bus stops with a book during my long aimless walks and going to Las Feliz’s for breakfast at Figaro , feeling like I was in the Marais in Paris in 1960 because the painter George Stoll  always has his breakfast there. You can  sit at a sidewalk table and watch people walk by. Yeah, I know it is only one block but that’s all you need for a bit of people watching. Anyway you are watching people enter the cafe. That’s the point. They are walking, from their car. I loved the quirky old spots of Hollywood and the ghosts that accompanied me everywhere. Ever since I was a child, I was intrigued by the history of Old Hollywood that I ferreted out of the 1950’s movie star magazines I found. I was obsessed with then.  Those magazines…

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Queerer Than The Queer

One of the most frightening aspects of organized hatred is how the Christian Right has taken  it’s fight against Homosexuality and exported it to third world countries where the issues are not  same sex  marriage or adoption but the right to life: Theirs. Yes, the right to life for homosexuals. In Africa, The Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean coming out amounts to a death sentence. In many  countries I have traveled in, I have seen see up close the choice between  violence or silence regarding homosexuality. How the Christian Right can balance Christ’s message of Love with hate mongering that incites people to murder is beyond me but that Death Ministries are occuring  NOW with American dollars is irrefutable. Read this excellent article from Mother Jones. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/07/evangelicals-gay-rights-ihop-god-loves-uganda-sundance I post this 2009 article because it is gives alot background http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v24n4/us-christian-right-attack-on-gays-in-africa.html As American Gays and Queers relax into their sense of entitlement thinking that the war is over , few are aware of the evil underfoot. The Christian Right built it’s ProLife Mandate over a 40 year period,  beginning with Roe Vs Wade in 1973.  The fruits of their work are becoming the rule across America and becoming a greater, more terrifying reality for American women, particularly for the ultra poor. When we talk about Russia and the Olympics we don’t seem to understand that our worlds are  connected. It is not only to support homosexuals and and trans people that we demonstrate against Russia’s hate laws but to protect our own future. Sadly it is human nature that someone will always be queer, someone will always be unacceptable to ‘straight middleclass society’. In the 1960’s straight meant narrow minded, not necessarily heterosexual . Jack Smith divided people into two groups Flaming Creatures and Pasty Normals. It is not 1962 and…

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