Genderless

I wrote a previous blog on this subject a few months ago but at that time the Fanbacked website was not truly up and running.  It was unveiled yesterday with plenty of “What did you say, MotherF***er” swag so you can walk your talk on ending bully mentality.

http://www.fanbacked.com/c/message-tolerance-and-love-all/

As you will see, many of the featured rewards for helping out are relatively inexpensive.  If you are a theatre-lover, actor, someone who has been bullied, has a family member who has been bullied, please consider supporting two brave men, John Lacy and Anton Troy, as they take their message of tolerance to the streets of our theatre capital, New York City.

Let’s help stamp out judgment and raise awareness.  100K is not much to ask for when you think about the groundswell that could happen as a result.  I see all sorts of things happening with this play and that is, it will continue to be performed at theatre companies in the United States and all over the world.

As John would say, “Yep Yep Yep, my homies”.   Thanks for reading and sharing this message.

A lot has happened since I first posted about the incident which precipitated an avalanche of support for these two brave and compassionate men, who have taken it upon themselves to lead the vanguard against hate and homophobia.  They have created a Twitter account, @toleranceinc, a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/toleranceinc?ref=br_tf, and now, a fan-back webpage to help fund one of their ultimate goals; take Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to off-Broadway and keep spreading the message of love and tolerance, love is genderless, love is non-exclusive.  The reports of the incident, if you haven’t already read about it, after which John Lacy was fired and Anton Troy quit the play in support of his colleague are contained in my previous blog post.

I ask anyone who has ever felt disenfranchised, looked down on and shamed by society for simply being who they are, who want to support their friends and relatives, to follow Tolerance Inc. on Twitter and Facebook, and then visit the web page which was unveiled this morning, http://www.fanbacked.com/c/message-tolerance-and-love-all/

As with any campaign like this, you can receive some very cool items for your donation or just donate because you want this message to be heard, and heard it will be in New York City.  Things have to change and when presented through the Arts, it will.

THANK YOU for checking all of this out.  There are many interviews, photos, and commentary posted at Facebook at Twitter so you can get up to speed!

http://www.whosay.com/status/ansonmount/916712?wsref=fb&code=Lrz8uSQ

“Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up with such grace. What you need is someone to take hold of you–gently, with love, and hand your life back to you, like something gold you let go of–and I can! I’m determined to do it–and nothing’s more determined than a cat on a tin roof–is there?”
― Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Sometimes the only available transportation is a leap of faith (Film Director/Producer/Writer Tim Sullivan)

Lacy & Troy

If you haven’t heard, there was a big ‘ole brouhaha at Repertory East Theatre on Saturday, May 31, and since Sunday, June 1, I have assisted my friend Tim Sullivan with contacting media such as TMZ, Perez Hilton, the L.A. Times, the New York Times, The Advocate and L.A. Weekly to name a few, along with compiling an archive of the legit media coverage that has burned like wildfire across the Internet, the United States, internationally.

The bare bones of the incident are that well-liked and respected Los Angeles-based stage and film actor John Lacy, came off the stage at the theatre that evening to confront a drunk heckler who alternately whistled, cat-called and booed cast members, booed/yelled homophobic slurs at Anton Troy, for approximately half the show. Said heckler and friend were removed by Tim Sullivan and a friend but not before Lacy had, not violently, shoved the heckler. The oft-repeated question is, “Where was the house manager, the producers, the director, anyone?” The answer is, some staff were there, including either one or both producers. No one called the police, no one intervened on behalf of the cast and had them leave the stage to deal with situation. Lacy was fired and his colleague playing Brick, Anton Troy, quit the show to support him. The links below give an excellent overview/opinion of the events.

But beyond all of that, is that the aftermath is coming. That’s why I swiped the photo Tim used on Facebook. Something very positive is about to come out of all the anger, recriminations, and innuendo: healing. compassion. understanding. Hopefully change on a huge level. There is more to this story which will be revealed soon and I cannot wait for the U.S. and the world to know about it. What an opportunity to raise awareness and consciousness. And this POSITIVE will hopefully rebound around the world, just as all the blogs and articles and video interviews hashed and rehashed what happened at the theatre.

I feel proud and invigorated to be a part of this experience, assisting a friend of mine, helping two men I don’t know but who didn’t deserve what happened. Let me tell you something: Don’t mess with theatre people. While upsetting to learn of this initially, the response since Tim merely letting off steam about how pissed he was by the situation, to people taking notice, to me beginning to help out with researching and contacting, to have things move so fast in mere hours really, exemplifies the spirit that is inherent in the theatre, and in life, for what is any theatre piece but a reflection of the sum total of who human beings are at any given time?

I love what one of the blogs which wrote about the incident used as its heading – damn if that isn’t perfect synchronicity with Mr. Lacy, who it has been said is not a little like Big Daddy:

“I got into a brawl one night in a saloon in Greenwich Village. Elia Kazan, a great director, saw me put out a couple of hecklers and figures there was some Big Daddy in me, just lyin’ dormant. And out it came. ”
–Burl Ives, the original Big Daddy

So read on, enjoy the differing perspectives, and I will update or post a new blog detailing the Big News when it’s been officially announced.

 

 

(originally posted on MySpace in 2008 — lost and now found)

Can someone answer me this?  Are penises evil?  It seems so, they are so neglected, given brief glimpses, with the camera cutting away to … someplace else as soon as possible.  Apparently female actors in film can be objectified 20 ways from Sunday as far as their pubic area goes but you can’t tell me moviegoers  are not squeamish about penises.  “Oh God, you can’t show a penis, let alone an erect penis on a legit theater screen!!!”  I can hear the screaming now.

We’re into the year 2008, aren’t we?  (and in the year 2014 now, in a show like Game of Thrones, female nudity outnumbers male in alarming percentage) I’m afraid to look around and suddenly find all this modern-world trappings stuff I “thought” I was living in is utter bullshit and we’re really still walking around with clubs and wearing Mastodon skins. Really, in terms of cinema and the human experience, we are far behind the times when an unrated film version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is still not a definitive adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s novel, i.e. one that celebrates sexuality.  One reason is that the film (Lady Chatterley) is based on the second published version of Lawrence’s story, Lady Chatterley et l’Homme des Bois, published as John Thomas and Lady Jane.

It’s softer, without all the luscious rolling around in bed that Constance and Mellors do in the first version of the novel, and the coming to grips with, in very descriptive language, acceptance of the human body and its functions; sexual and otherwise.  And I rather like that version and its implications in the words and actions of other characters, at least in the beginning, that women who want to have orgasms are just creatures who are out of whack with nature somehow, unnatural.  And then goes on to prove how sick a concept that is.

Directed by Pascale Ferran, this is a film about nature, human and otherwise.  It leaves most of the political and social conventions of Version 1 of the novel, in the background, and instead focuses on how nature, its sounds, its touch, and sex, can heal a human being.  This Constance has never known sensual pleasure or so it would seem, and that lack is killing her in every way.  When the new housekeeper innocently suggests she pick early-blooming daffodils near the gamekeeper’s cottage, the beginning of her sensual journey begins.

It’s a gorgeous film, make no mistake.  Utterly sensual in every way as you experience Connie’s unfolding from misery to joy.  But it is so puzzling to me that scenes which had great promise ended abruptly.  Connie wants to touch (Parkins in this story, not Mellors) Parkins, explore his body, look at his penis instead of making love in the dark.  “Wait for it, here it comes, the brief glimpse of Parkin’s semi-erect penis …. Aaaaargh, there goes the camera.”  This of course, is more due to the director’s vision of the material than fear of showing too much.  

You can’t even accuse (“J’accuse!”) the filmmakers or producers of being puritanical because they’re not Americans!  The film Intimacy at least was going in the right direction of combining simulated sex and unembarrassed nudity with a real moment of oral sex between the two actors.  This has been a somewhat oft-discussed conundrum in my own movie forum and other websites I’ve frequented in the past.  How do you show genitals and sex without it being labeled base pornography?  Easy.  Artistically and with great skill.

It’s not that inroads aren’t being made, but films that have come out post-Intimacy have been experiments with real sexual content and with varying degrees of success; Shortbus and 9 Songs, neither of which I’ve seen yet but heard about.

But real sex on film is one thing.  Non-leering and realistic nudity is another.  The studios are still afraid of the penis.  It’s obvious.  So it’s up to the independent filmmakers to drag the resistant 60 or 70 percent out there, kicking and screaming into the modern world.  The body isn’t evil, and neither is the penis.

Mads as Lecter

 

 

 

Simply put, another brilliant episode. Not only turning up the narrative several notches, but adding an element that made my gag reflex kick in; a Hannibal Lecter that can believably sleep with a woman. We know from Harris’ last novel that Clarice runs away with him but it anything but a normal relationship. Hannibal has never been presented that way in the past so to say it is unsettling is a giant understatement. But I have to say, this addition to Lecter’s psycopathy actually deepens the mystique surrounding him. It almost makes him a superman in my eyes (see below about Mads’ approach to Lecter), this ability to appear so normal, so reasonable, cultured, musically talented, an athlete, a linguist, a chef, and not above playing chopsticks on his fine harpsichord. There is no one like him. And now he’s presented as a sexual being. Well, Mads Mikkelsen is hotness walking and so you can see why I gag, because no one should find Hannibal Lecter a likely sexual partner. Unless you know nothing about all of his “game on” hijinks, which Alana does not. I wonder what will happen to her psychologically speaking, when she finds out who she slept with. Again, GAG.

I read at the Wiki for Hannibal, Bryan Fuller’s comments about Mads’ take on Lecter: “He talked about the character not so much as ‘Hannibal Lecter the cannibal psychiatrist’, but as Satan – this fallen angel who’s enamoured with mankind and had an affinity for who we are as people, but was definitely not among us – he was other. I thought that was a really cool, interesting approach, because I love science fiction and horror and – not that we’d ever do anything deliberately to suggest this – but having it subtextually play as him being Lucifer felt like a really interesting kink to the series. It was slightly different than anything that’s been done before and it also gives it a slightly more epic quality if you watch the show through the prism of, ‘This is Satan at work, tempting someone with the apple of their psyche’. It appealed to all of those genre things that get me excited about any sort of entertainment.”

I continue to love Raul Esparza as Dr. Chilton; as deceitful, duplicitous and self-serving as I remember Chilton being. As an actor, he is really a superman. Is there nothing he can’t play?

This is the kind of entertainment that makes you question yourself, which, while disturbing, is a really good thing. I can’t wait to see how this season will keep unfolding. Even if it’s sick, I just find this Lecter ‘verse, so very very very compelling.

 

AnimatedCandleInCrystal

Du'a

 

 

 

 

 

It is that time of year when I post a blog honoring the memory of Du’a Khalil Aswad, a teenager beaten and stoned to death in an honor killing by the men of her village, including several of her own relatives.  The date was April 7, 2007.  My membership with Equality Now began shortly after reading the piece by Joss Whedon, http://whedonesque.com/comments/13271, (Let’s Watch a Girl Get Beaten to Death) at a weblog called WHEDONesque, expressing his heartfelt bewilderment at living in a world that seemingly still believed the female sex, half the population, could be tortured, killed, maimed, repressed, and vilified as second-class humans.

I post the same sort of information, year in, year out, hoping that some will see her story and do what they can for girls and women all over the world who live in fear and without hope.  As Joss says in his piece, Equality Now (http://www.equalitynow.org/), is a place of sanity, whose staff combat ignorance, effect change, and educate on the issues we are facing.  Still.  In the 21st century of mankind:  Honor killings, death sentences for living in the wrong country, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking of abducted victims.  The list goes on.

But is there anything worse than being murdered at the hands of one of your relatives because of a faulty and inexplicably cruel tradition which trashes a woman’s humanity, makes women subhuman in the eyes of men, and even their mothers and sisters who go along to get along?  It is heinous.  It is unthinkable.  And it happens with tragic regularity.

Please consider joining an organization like Equality Now, Avaaz (http://www.avaaz.org/en/), or The International Campaign Against Honor Killings (http://www.wluml.org/contact/wrrc/content/international-campaign-against-honor-killings) or donate to their causes.  It will be the best thing you can do for women in these dire straits.

Here is some information to reflect upon.  Bless you for taking the time to read and watch if you stop by:

 

The Girl who was Stoned to Death for Falling in Love:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-455400/The-girl-stoned-death-falling-love.html

Memini (a remembrance of the fallen):  http://www.memini.co/

Personally, I like my truth unvarnished; I’m not much of one for fairy tales and yet I do have a romantic side; thus, for example, the fact that Glen and Maggie still want to get married in the face of the daily slog of terror and survival,  The Walking Dead ‘Verse, is truthful, bizarre, and yet life-affirming.  But in the episode The Grove, we get a big heaping of truth about the human condition; particularly, what can happen to people under the most adverse conditions.  You see it in war, in being lost in the wilderness or a deserted island, and you see it in The Grove.  There have been a few other episodes during the life of the show that have been this good, this clear, including, ironically, the episode Clear.

I couldn’t believe how intensely I was drawn into this episode; the kind of Walking Dead episode that is horrifying and fulfilling on just about every human level, the kind of drama, frankly, you live to hope to witness. I was literally yelling at the TV screen when Carol almost spilled she was the killer at the prison to Tyrese out in the yard, afraid of what he might do to her. I’ve read that people are totally put off the violence done to, and perpetrated by, a child. Well, I say to that, thank you Walking Dead and Scott Gimple for not pandering, for NOT making children into little pets who don’t have intellects, feelings and sensibilities, as they clearly do. Horrible things happen to children in real life every single day, and this show is so clear about what can happen in a horrible situation, be it domestic violence or an apocalypse. Children can be fragile, and they can also be tough. The show, in my opinion, has earned its right to verisimilitude time and and time again.

Someone at an Entertainment Weekly article described Carol (in no small part or skill as embodied by Melissa McBride) as “the smartest, toughest character on the show”, having morphed from her Season 1 persona as a meek, battered housewife. I would say yes, but after Rick, who held things together for the group for a long time when no one else could have. But I don’t know that even Rick could have put that poor, deranged kid out of her misery.  Online I’ve seen ridiculing of the scene in which Carol does just that.  I don’t think people really get that isn’t just a similarity to Of Mice and Men, but how very hard it is for Carol to lose another kid, even if wasn’t her Sophia, and by her own hand.  That’s what made it riveting for me; just how much humanity Carol still has, despite everything.

Huge props also to Chad Coleman as Tyrese, who brought the proper tension and compassion in his scenes with Carol and the girls.  Speaking of “the girls” – what great performances from these youngsters. Excellent job of directing, Michael Satrazemis. I thought those young actors were passable before. With the right director and material, they soared.