The one and only big-budget movie I have ever been a part of was as an extra in “The Manchurian Candidate.” I spent 10 hours on a convention floor, with Liev Schreiber and Meryl Streep on a balcony above us.
One part, we all needed to do something simultaneously. We did it in one take. The director rushed out to the balcony, and raised his hands and silently shouted in celebration. So, in between directing some of the amazing films he’s responsible for, he celebrated the brilliance of the extras.
Thank you, Mr. Demme. RIP, sir.
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The one and only big-budget movie I have ever been a part of was as an extra in “The Manchurian Candidate.” I spent 10 hours on a convention floor, with Liev Schreiber and Meryl Streep on a balcony above us.
So, let’s talk about this Old Navy “controversy”.
Yes, there was another ad by a major corporation, featuring a mixed race couple, and their son. Just like the cheerios Super Bowl thing.
Yes, there was immediate backlash.
Yes, there was backlash TO that backlash.
It’s nice that it was met with people posting pictures of their loving, varied families.
People yelled, people trolled, people felt justified.
Meanwhile, I laughed.
I found it just too ridiculous. I read the messages and the comments left by a bunch of racist (I can only assume) teenagers who had just learned a brand new word: miscegenation.
The term goes back to the mid 19th century. The ignorance behind it goes back much, much further.
The idea, of course, is that people of different races should not meet, mate or procreate, for fear of… Well, I don’t rightly know what the fear was. In broadest terms, it was meant to discourage people of different cultures from hooking up. Asian with European, European with African, etc. Although, the law breaking seemed to be considered most egregious when Black people were involved (surprise, surprise.). The miscegenation laws were a great springboard for scaring people into towing the societal line. You cannot be socially or romantically involved with anyone outside of your own race. And, although it was defined as ANY race (Asian, Hispanic, European, etc.), it wasn’t QUITE as vehemently enforced as when it involved a White person with a Black person.
Their involvement was called all kinds of things, including “an abomination of God.” And any offspring resulting from that were let’s say “rejects.” But, these laws were set in place all for the sake of the children. Now, where have we heard that before?
Now, the industry of slavery in America began in 1619, which means the Africans were captured and kidnapped (that’s right, kidnapped, stolen from their own land) and have been here in these United States, since the early 17th century.
Now, White agenda people, pay close attention. Spoiler Alert:
If your great great great great grandaddy had a plantation with slaves, odds are good that he slept with them. Oh, not some torrid love affair, mind you. He took them by force. Be it for lust or power or breeding, he did it. Oh, but don’t worry. Legally, they could deny it all. So, that part of your family history won’t exist.
If your great great great grandaddy dealt with imports, exports, merchant marines, or sailed anywhere in the world to make his living, he most likely slept with someone in the nearby city during a stopover, regardless of whether or not they could pass the White purity test, whatever that is. Any port in a storm, you know.
If your great great granddaddy came from a European country and was in any way involved in the European colonial expansion that lasted nearly 120 years and extended its resource-reaping reach as far as Algeria, Nigeria, Australia, North America, India, and the Mongol Empire (because the name of your native country only counts if the White people give it to ya), just to name a few, then trust me: away at sea, for months at a time, in the heat of the moment, they weren’t picky. The British Empire, the French explorers, the Spanish conquerors, the Italian, the Dutch, the Portuguese all had absolutely NO problem with spreading their… colonialism everywhere they went.
Such, my angels, is the role of sex in history.
So, if you are so concerned about preserving the traditions and “superior genetics” of the “Great White race,” that you feel threatened by a PICTURE of a happy couple with a child, I’ve got bad news for you.
You are too late.
That ship sailed about… mmm… 400 years ago.
You came, you conquered, you got your freak on. The diluting of the genetic barrier between you and every other race on the planet began before your patriarch was even an idea. And, here’s the kicker: your ancestors are the ones responsible. They felt no compunctions whatsoever to actually keep it in their pants, just so long as no one called them out on it. They spread their seed, they were never held accountable, and the abominable offspring have been increasing ever since.
You have seen the enemy. It is you. And without all of this mixing, YOU wouldn’t be here.
And so, I laugh at you.
I laugh at your feeble attempts to maintain “purity.”
I laugh at your outrage, over the threat of interracial relationships.
I laugh at your demands that this not infect your laptop’s atmosphere, because of how “disgusting” it is.
This has all been going on LONG before you even heard of the word “miscegenation,” and it will continue to go on long after you’ve had your DNA tested and your privilege checked.
Good night, you sad, sad clowns.
Here it is, folks: The shortest entry you will ever see here on this blog.
My first, last and only response to this Red Cup Con.
A long time ago, when the earth was still flat, I was dating a guy.
A guy who had introduced me to his parents and siblings and, shockingly, still wanted to be with me. Then came the real test: his sister’s wedding.
That’s where you meet the rest of the family. Anyone would feel tension at this point. But, I was a Christian woman, plunged into a very Jewish world. New territory for me, and I was feeling pressure.
I’m in a luxury hotel, at a beautiful, flower-drenched wedding and I’m keenly aware that there is only one other sista on the floor. And she is carrying a tray.
That, my friends, is pressure.
This is where I intend to impress the extended family. Among them, a feisty old lady that was my boyfriend’s grandmother. She weighed maybe 90 pounds, had paper-thin skin, a piercing look in her eyes, and a well-timed potty mouth. I loved her instantly.
Skip ahead two years, and I’m engaged to the same guy.
We’re visiting his family in Florida again, and there’s a big family dinner at a local restaurant.
My future brother-in-law proceeds to tease me in the fashion I’m told is customary for siblings. My fiancé’s young cousins are talking my ear off and I love it. Near the end of the evening, his grandmother quietly pulls me aside.
“Now that you’re going to be family, do you mind if I give you some advice about marriage?”
I don’t think I have ever been so keen to hear another person’s opinion in all my life.
I quickly surmise that this tiny, little woman in front of me has survived The Depression, The Holocaust, World War II and 50 years of marriage and family. And she wants to advise me?
Yes, I think I will shut the hell up and listen.
It’s advice that I hand out to my soon-to-be married friends…
(What, I’m going to give it away on here for free? Getouttahere.)
Over the next decade or so, I see her and her husband at family functions and we talk a little bit. They tell me about their vacations, the crazy things their kids did, how they love being grandparents, how bee-you-tee-ful (her pronunciation) their great grandson is. And every time I saw her, before we said goodbye, she’d leave me with a hug, a kiss and a dirty joke. So help me, she made me blush every time.
The last time I see them together, they are looking… less feisty. I hug them both and wait for my joke. She gives me the punchline, I blush and hug her gingerly before saying goodbye.
About a year later, she loses her husband of 54 years.
Today, my husband let me know that she finally went to be with him.
Now, I have to cling to the memory of that last laugh and that careful hug. It has to sustain me, for who knows how long, until we see her again.
Rest in Peace, GG Deli.
You lived long. You’ve earned your rest. And I pray you’re with your Louis again.
Welcome to the post-holiday edition of:
DUMBASS of the WEEK (week, week, week)*
Got a lot to talk about, so I’m just going to jump right in.
Oh yeah, Happy Christmas, Merry New Year, I missed you, too, every holiday trope, ta-da.
Okay, so it’s like this.
I no longer live in New Jersey, but for nearly all of my formative years, that was my home.
Only certain aspects of it do I miss, and I am not anxious to head back anytime… at all.
However, I cannot deny that through it all, I am a Jersey Girl.
I was raised in Jersey City. I went to high school in one of the all-girl Catholic schools in town. If I’m not mistaken, the rivalry betwixt the two continues to this day. (What up, Snob Hill!)
Like it or not, we are Jersey, and all that title encompasses.
Loud, opinionated, explosive, just a little crazy, with a touch of hood rat, and if you mess with Jersey, it WILL come back to bite you in the ass.
So, in light of Gov. Christie’s intimidation tactics, I need to see a little retribution come his way.
For him to say that he was “outraged” was expected.
To see him fire his scapegoats, uh, staffers, was textbook. He wants to be President and someone has to take the blame.
But, to announce to the state and country that he is quote, “Not a bully,” when there is overwhelming evidence & documented footage, showing him being precisely that, is beyond ridiculous.
Boy, please. You revel in tussling with people. Not just reporters, but teachers, soldiers. Hell, random people on the street are not exempt to your forked tongue.
They’re not quite bon mots, but you try. Bless your heart.
You thrive off of this. You have cultivated your own reputation of being the guy who tells everyone, “Sit down, shut up, you’re a moron.” Now, you’re trying to tell us that not only did you not know about the bridge closures, you were hurt that your trust was misled and that someone in your administration would employ such tactics, fueled by pettiness and vitriol.
Where could they have picked up such nasty habits?
Strangely, the Christie mishegoss doesn’t make me as angry as this does. Maybe because the Christie thing wasn’t a surprise.
As a Jersey City teen, when I wanted to go out with friends, we hopped on the PATH on weekends and headed straight for 9th St. Back in the day, when the Village had all of the shops your parents would be loathe to know you frequented. Trolling up and down 6th Ave. to Astor Place and back. To the bookstores, the vintage clothing hangouts and the displays of pure Shoe-topia. (Loved walking into Funhouse.) And when you’re young, broke and hungry, only one place could help you out: Gray’s Papaya. When you’re a starving artist, meeting with others of your ilk for a brain-storming session, you scrounge up $3.00 and get yourself a couple of dogs with the onion sauce & some mustard. When you have been out clubbing with your friends, it is 2:00 am and you feel like splurging, you get the recession special with the pineapple or papaya juice (those cost a little extra.)
So, to suddenly be blindsided (Sorry, Christie) with the news that the institution that is Gray’s Papaya on 6th Ave. closed, was devastating. I couldn’t possibly count the number of hot dogs I have devoured there in my youth. Were they healthy? NO! But they were the perfect cure for hunger pangs.
And now, it’s gone. No warning, no nothing, it’s just… gone! A New York landmark, for crying out loud. To be replaced by a juice bar! It hurts me. There’s only one left now, the original location on the Upper West Side. And according to EaterNY, we can thank their landlord for deciding for hike up the rent to the point where they simply could not stay. Yes, it’s prime real estate, but this is a stand alone, authentic NY experience. For the natives, it’s a comfort. For the visitors, it’s a welcome. For the kids who dream of one day living in the Village, it’s a rite of passage. And now, it’s gone, thanks to possibly the (new) greediest jerk in the city.
P.S. Yes, all of New York hates you.
But of all the things that have ticked me off in the news this week, this is without a doubt the most sickening.
Pastors Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner of Colorado were on their Generations radio show, bemoaning the decision of Rose Bowl parade organizers to incorporate a gay wedding on one of their floats.
I understand that they are homophobic pastors and that’s what they do, but dude…
It’s a parade.
The entire thing is all about fabulous design and stunning floats, mainly comprised of flowers. Did you really think gay people were not involved before this year?
But instead of letting it go, they take it 9 steps further by musing about how the committee and audience would feel if they introduced a float in the parade, staging a gay person being stoned to death.
Well Kev, I’m guessing they’d feel the same way anyone would feel about ANYONE BEING STONED on live television. HORRIFIED.
It’s statements like this that reaffirm my belief that the “War on Christians” is complete bunk. You don’t hear gays and transsexuals discussing stuff like this in private conversations, let alone on the air. “You know what would be fabulous for Pride? If we got a random, devout Christian and hanged them in the middle of Christopher St.”
THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN!
Then, for some reason, they tried to “cushion the blow” by suggesting they just re-enact a stoning by throwing flowers at them.
How many times have they seen “Jawbreaker?” Just wondering.
Look, if you have not gotten the message yet that gay and lesbian people are human beings with the sole agenda of being able to live their lives without shame, denigration self-hate or I don’t know, the constant threat of DEATH hanging over their heads, then I don’t know what to tell you.
They’re not out to get you guys, okay? First off, pastors like you rejected these kids ages ago. They’ve mostly learned to accept themselves for who they are, and your opinion of what God wants them to be has been taken into consideration. It won’t dictate their lives, but they don’t bother with you or your indoctrination. You don’t understand them, you won’t accept them. They know that, they’ve made their peace with it.
Second of all, no offense, but you guys are not hot enough for them to want you. In any sense of the word.
Gay men and women are not minions of the Devil. Move on.
Now, of all these dumbass moves of this week, Christie is surely one of the dumbest. No one believes he was “unaware” and in the grand history of NJ political strong-arming, this deal is relatively tame.
But I have a feeling this is just the tip of his Iceberg of Stupid, so I’ll wait until it all spills out.
No, this week, I award the crown to our biblical stoners.
Good job, guys.
Way to make Christians look unreasonable and ultra-violent.
Oh, and special honorable mention goes to the pastor in West Africa who proclaimed himself capable of walking on water (just like Jesus) and taking his congregation to the beach to watch him do it.
Yeah, that did not end well.
* My echoes need work. I realize that.
Y’all remember last year, when a friend of mine was twitter-abused by a bitter actor?
He’s posted a tumblr page about my playwright friend and labeled it king duncan the douchebag.
No, I will NOT be posting the tumblr page and giving this fool traffic.
I took a look at this, because Duncan just finds this funny as hell.
I, however, am puzzled.
How are you going to think to yourself, “what I really need to do for my career, is fixate on one rejection from a year ago and make as much of a show of it as possible?”
And he tries to turn it around and blame HIM. “He took it the wrong way,” “It was innocent”, “I was being jocular and facetious.”
No, you’re just being redundant and, well… infantile.
Are you reading the same exchange I’m reading?
Because I’m reading someone trying to get a reaction out of the playwright.
YOU started the exchange.
YOU started the name calling.
YOU begin several attempts to bait him, justifying the original decision to stay as far away from you as possible.
And YOU claimed to have better things to do, yet after a year, you posted this page.
I’m pretty sure actors who are that good and that busy, don’t have time to do this mess.
The playwright, I’m sure, had forgotten all about you.
Oh, but that’s the point, isn’t it?
Let me guess: that week when your posts were everywhere in what NOT to do as an actor was the most popular time of your life, wasn’t it?
Your name and Twitter action was at the top of many lists, and you thought doing this would get it going again.
Well, congratulations, Pumpkin.
I’d never seen an actor sink so low and honestly thought you’d hit rock bottom.
Clearly, I underestimated you.
I honestly cannot think of a more asinine concept than this.
If you are in a low-income family, just barely scraping by, and your child is doing poorly in school for whatever reason, this guy wants to let the government punish you by holding back Temporary Assistance for Needy Families by 30%.
Okay, I’m going to need someone, ANY one, a teacher, a parent, anything to explain to me how this will work.
Not, HOW it will work, but how it will WORK.
The senator has explained this concept on his blog.
And while he explained that his plan has been used successfully in 40 other countries, he neglected to mention that HIS plan is not quite the same as the plan that, apparently, is closing the income inequality gap in places like Mexico and Brazil.
Where their government is giving low-income families the minimum already and adding incentive when their children stay in school and maintain good grades, and the parents participate in workshops to improve their health and education, Sen. Campfield believes that they should be inspired by the idea that the government will take away what little assistance they’re getting in the first place!
I am asking, imploring, SOME body tell me how this man has come to the conclusion that this is a plan that will help poor families.
I’m so done with politicians right now.
And that’s your irony for the day.
For the past week or so, I’ve been watching friends talk about making things happen in the new year. While this is all well and good, I hadn’t really thought of anything I needed to do.
Until about 3 days ago.
I have now decided to take on a personal project.
‘Cause, you know, raising a family, looking for work, hunting for auditions, and being in a band just doesn’t keep me busy enough.
So, I’ve been looking at my home in a completely different light.
And believe me, if I could anything about the lighting, I would.
But I’ve been surveying the rooms and thinking, I have to change this.
I need to find inexpensive, family-friendly ways to turn my house into a home.
We have a thousand gorgeous pictures of a gorgeous little boy with a pretty fabulous family and they’re all stocked up in the computer, never to see thelight of day. That seems unfair.
We have a pretty big kitchen that has its faults (almost no counter space, plain white walls with muddy brown accents. yikes.), but it also has its charms. I want to emphasize what I love about it and make it our own. We’ve been living in “somebody else’s house” for two years now.
I am a novice, but I think that with the help of Crate & Barrel, The Container Store, Sur La Table (and probably my mother), I can do make it show off OUR family.
I just hope I survive the avalanche that awaits me in the living room closet.
I was originally planning on writing a completely different post.
But, I’ve been completely changed by today.
I was practicing a song this morning and turned on my laptop to check Facebook and sift through email.
I saw the updates.
I went to check news feeds.
Then I cried.
I stifled a scream.
I wept, for an hour.
Then I remembered I have to go pick up my son from school.
Dazed and out of sorts, I didn’t know what to do.
I wiped my eyes, a lot.
I walked from my house to his school, because I felt so lost.
And when I got there and found my little boy so happy to see mommy, I knew that the teachers had said nothing to the kids. I also knew I couldn’t be the one to break the spell.
So I just held him.
I hugged him so tight. And covered him with kisses.
And I thanked God and every circumstance under the sun that my boy was in my arms.
On the way home, he asked for some ice cream.
Ice cream before his homework or dinner or anything.
And I said, “Yes.”
I suppose I went a little overboard, and I’m sure I was not the only parent who did.
But I didn’t care.
My baby was in my arms and coming home to me, wonderfully oblivious to what happened in the world today.
And then he made me laugh.