When Outrage Meets Despair, Moves Toward Anger & Settles On Rage!

So the motherfucker who molested me when I was a child, is dead.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!!!

The childhood friend who shared this information with me, couldn’t find out how, or where he died, just that it happened 10 years ago. Personally, my hope was, he was dropped out a 30th floor window, head first, by — I dunno — maybe the adult version of someone like, oh, say, me!

I also found out, the father of another neighborhood child — this one a girl — actually confronted the fuck’s father when he found out what happened to his daughter (I never told my parents — how could I? I’d suppressed the fucking memories). But for a while, I felt good about all this.

It doesn’t change what happened then, nor does it change the other things that have happened to me, since. But the bastard who started it all is, and has been dead for 10 years. That’s closure, right. I feel better.

No, I really don’t.

When I started writing about this last week, all the new realizations and memories, I thought, this is good, I’m purging. I’m getting all this out of my system. The only problem is, I live in a country that just put a mother fucking molester and rapist wannabe, who they all fucking knew was guilty of the crimes he’s been accused of — they all know he actually perjured himself in front of Congress. So what did these noble statesman and woman do? They put this cock-sucking, son-of-a-bitch on the goddamn Supreme Court of the United Fucking States of America!!! Not only did they put him where he has no business being, they actually started blaming the victims for putting this poor, ignorant, temperamental, over-privileged, white piece of shit, through such a traumatic hearing.

And, why? What’s the real reason behind all this? To help Republicans — many, more corrupt than the newly annointed, Supreme molester — to pass the kind of laws they want. Laws that will set this country back 50 years — if not more! Laws that feed the rich and starve the poor. Laws that strip rights away from any group who isn’t them! And let’s not forget that all-time-favorite reason (the actual reason this incompetent was nominated in the first place) — because Brett Mother-Fucking Kavanaugh, will protect his fellow molester, the orange fuck, sliming his way around the White House, with a Get Out of Jail Free card, because, you know — you can’t indict a sitting president.

That person (and I use the word “person” with the greatest of contempt), in Kavanaugh’s feeble,

Supreme Scumbag

narcissistic, partisan swamp of a mind, is ABOVE THE FUCKING LAW!!!! In a country where everyone is supposedly “equal” (what a croc that is!), let’s watch as they demonstrate just how big a pile of bullshit our system of “justice” is, by demonstrating the most vile, corrupt, contemptible, disgusting excuse for a human being to ever sit in the Oval Office, is so busy doing “the people’s work,” he can’t possibly face the same laws that every other person in this country does (at least, the ones not in orange jump suits).

So, yeah. I felt better for about 10 minutes. Now, like the millions of women, and other men like me, around the country, I feel violated all over again. And this time, it’s 100 times WORSE! Because this time, a bunch of people sitting in Congress, along with that piece of walking, talking shit in the White House, stopped any real attempt at an F.B.I. investigation, and brazenly told the American people to go fuck themselves! This country belongs to them, not us. We have to follow the rules; not them! And what did the mainstream American media do — same thing they usually do — not a goddamn, motherfucking thing! The NY Times sat on a story about Twitler’s criminal lifetime in NYC for months, released it, and then — like magic, it disappeared! Why? Because like the rest of the corporate American media, they jumped on the “hey people, go fuck yourselves!” bandwagon. Lookee here — we got us a brand new Supreme Court Justice!

So no, I’m not outraged. I’m well beyond despair. I crossed anger a few miles back, and am now living in a pure unadulterated homicidal rage! And if this rage — which I’ll be taking into the ballot box with me, later this month, or in the pieces I’ll continue to write so maybe, just maybe, SOMEONE out there may actually hear me — doesn’t have the effect I pray it will, then you can Ghandi me, or tell me how we need to be above it, or better than them, all you like.

But if you even think of uttering any of those phrases, or any other stupid fucking phrases of pacification my way, be forewarned — you’re also going to be one of the first people to see what I’ll be capable of, if this homicidal rage, burning my heart, mind and soul, grows any fucking deeper, and more intense, than it already has.

Molestation — When Will Enough Be Enough?

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this blog for days. It’s not that I don’t know what I want to say. I’ve just been trying to think about how to make it cohesive, easily understood, and not written in a way that gets me pilloried by anyone who only reads part of this (although, I suppose I should be happy when anyone reads any part of my posts).

I wrote a blog back in June, 2016, after the political insanity and outright viciousness within the Democratic party during the primaries (from both Sanders and Clinton supporters) did something to my psyche, that awakened a memory I’d been suppressing for 50+ years.

Between the ages of five and seven, I was molested, repeatedly, by the older kid (male), who lived next door.

It started with two of them — the Protestant fuck next door, and his Roman Catholic buddy across the street. They both came from rabidly anti-semitic families (my family was part of an influx of newly middle-class Jews from NYC, to the suburbs), with the kid next door being the son of a member of the John Birch Society (an organization not particularly keen on anyone to the left of Attila the Hun). But the kid across the street declined to participate after the first time, so it was the guy next door who was the real molester.

After regaining these memories, I can’t begin to state the level of emotional trauma I went through. There was a point I even questioned my memories, my own sanity — did these events actually happen, or was my psyche just losing it.

Fortunately, after posting the blog, I received a call from someone whose identity I’m still protecting. This person told me about the trauma and guilt they’d lived with for most of their life, because they had been witness to this motherfucker molesting several other neighborhood kids (in this case, girls). The trauma came because, as a five-six year old, they hadn’t done anything to stop what they didn’t even have the capability to realize was happening at the time.

Nevertheless, dealing with the trauma of my recalled memories, plus a few other major events going wrong in my life around the same time, I ended up spending 72-hours in a psych ward, on a suicide watch (an experience almost as traumatic as the molestation, which I also wrote about).

However, with the advent of the #MeToo movement, which I feel very much a part of, I’ve been very involved, as I have for most of my life, in fighting for the rights of women. I thought the rage I felt at what women have been, and are continuing to be put through (I’m talking to you, “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” the Republican members of the Senate, and the serial molester in the Oval Office), had to do with having been brought up by my feminist mother. Until recently, it never occurred to me there were deeper reasons, other than my love and respect for women, for my particular passion for this cause.

But social media can have a funny effect on one’s feelings. For example, while a number of women (minus one truly nasty person) truly supported my right to consider myself a member of the #MeToo movement, and while I understand that probably 98% (or more) of the sexual harassment, molestation and rape in this country is perpetrated on women, by men, still, I felt the boys and men who had suffered through these same things, were being given short shrift.

Granted, I have skin (pardon the expression) in this game, but over the past week or two — possibly because of the particularly disgusting treatment received by Dr. Blasey Ford, at the hands of the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, that orange shit in the White House, and Mr. Kavanaugh himself — the fact there were boys and men who had suffered equally, was getting lost in the shuffle. I would also point out, being this is the (supposed) United States, while taking nothing away from any of the women who have shown courage in telling their stories, it’s no easier for men to tell theirs.

So, yeah — I was feeling the small percentage of men who’ve gone through these traumas, were getting lost in the shuffle, among the huge numbers of women who had.

Then, listening to women talk about how they had never told anyone, or honestly believed (at the time, anyway) they did something to deserve what happened to them, a thought occurred to me which hadn’t, before. What happened to me as a child, wasn’t my only experience with what could be deemed, at best, harassment, but also, molestation.

When I was 20 years old, and just starting my acting career, I spent a short period of time, working in the psychiatric department of a hospital in Queens, NY. Every morning, I would hop on the express subway from East 86th St., near my apartment, down to 59th St., where I would transfer to the RR or N line to Queens. When I was 20, especially clean shaven, I looked closer to 15 or 16 years old. And if you’ve ever taken a rush hour subway in NYC, you know what it feel like to be a sardine, packed in tin.

One day, as I was making my way downtown from 86th St., there was this very strange looking man standing in front of me. He was tall, dirty, with long, straggly hair, and an unkempt beard. If you’ve ever seen the album cover of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, that’s pretty much who I was facing.

In any event, “Aqualung” was kind of moving up and down, with a very strange expression on his face — to put it bluntly, he looked like he was cumming. Then, I realized I was feeling something I shouldn’t have been. I looked down, and realized this guy was rubbing his hand over my crotch. The subway was too packed for me to move, and I was beyond way too shocked to say anything. But as soon as we hit 59th St., I pushed my way out of that car — fast!

I’ve told that story over the years, thinking of it as a really strange, if very NYC subway, experience. In all the years since, it actually took until this very week for me to — or, maybe, accept is a better word — I’d been molested.

My second subway story was also kind of strange. On another day, I was one of only two passengers on this particular RR car, headed toward Queens. The only other passenger in the car, was an old man in a long, black trench coat. For anyone old enough to remember Artie Johnson’s dirty-old-man on the bench character from the 1960s sketch comedy show, Laugh-In, that’s about as close a description as I can give of this guy.

Anyway, as the subway pulled out of the 59th St. station, I was seated on one end of the car, the old guy at the other end, across the aisle. But as the subway started moving, so did the old man. First he moved halfway up the car, in my direction. Then, he crossed the aisle to my side of the car. Finally, on this otherwise empty subway car, he sidled up next to me. And by next to me, I mean he was leaning into me. As soon as we hit the first stop, Queens Plaza, I jumped off that train. Again, I thought it was just another typically bizarre NYC subway story.

The final story I want to recount regarding these events, may be the strangest. A number of years ago, my wife and I were driving cross-country. We’d either stay in cheap hotels overnight, or, if we had friends in the area, we’d crash with them. In one city, we crashed with a friend — a woman — who was kind enough to give us her bed, while she took the bed in her son’s room, since he no longer lived at home.

The following morning, my wife woke before I did, and went to take a shower. A few minutes later, I woke to find our host — nice person, but not someone I was sexually attracted to, in the least — in bed with me. To say it bluntly, I woke up to find her sucking my dick! That brought me to consciousness, really quickly. I stopped her, trying to be polite and not offend her, saying I didn’t think my wife would appreciate walking in on that. In truth, I was repulsed. But as we’ve all heard and read in so many variations, I was a guy, and she was a woman, so it had to be a misunderstanding. It couldn’t possibly be considered molestation…or, g_d forbid, rape!

I recount these last three stories, because up until this week, it never occurred to me what these events really were. I have no idea if it was denial, or because I was an adult male, or what. The point is, realizing all this regarding myself, I believe I now understand much more clearly, why, every time I hear a similar story from a woman who’s been put in a similar situation to those which I was, I go into something of a homicidal rage that’s not pleasant to feel, or be around.

As those who’ve been there during these times can attest, were I within striking distance of, for example, a Chuck Grassley or Orrin Hatch, especially while they were questioning Dr. Blasey Ford, or even making their disgusting, misogynistic comments about her (and all the women victimized by men) to the press, I would happily take a baseball bat, and break every fucking bone in their worthless bodies.

The final story I want to recount in this saga, kind of goes in a different direction. I want to preface this by saying how incredibly grateful I am, to have had the parents I was blessed with. I believe it was their deep love, care, concern and respect for each other, that helped my brothers and I become the men we are.

When I was 29, I was performing in a show at a regional theatre. When working away from home, it’s natural to bond, and spend time with your cast-mates and crew. But at this particular theatre, there was a young lady working in the box office, who I would speak with regularly. She was cute, sweet as could be, and the mutual attraction was fairly obvious.

So one night, after the show, I asked if she’d like to go to a nearby diner and get something to eat. She said she’d like that very much. So off we went to grab a meal. Over dinner we talked about a myriad of subjects — me, what it was like being an actor; her, why she enjoyed working in a theatre so much. We told each other a little about our lives. She was only 19 or 20 at the time, and had graduated a very strict, all-girls Catholic school. I told her about my life and aspirations, and we got to know each other a little more.

Afterwards, she drove me back to my hotel, where I asked if she’d like to come up to my room, which she did. We talked a little more, before we started kissing. The kissing developed into more intense kissing, followed by a bit more than kissing, ending up with us naked on my bed.

This is where the story becomes kind of an inversion of the usual way this would go. I was on top of her, ready and more than willing to proceed. But I looked at her face, and could tell there was something wrong, so I stopped. I didn’t know if she was scared, felt she wasn’t ready for this step, or whatever. So I asked her what was wrong. She told me she really liked me, and wanted to, but was also scared, and not sure if she was ready to take this step. So I got off her and said, “then we don’t have to do this.”

Here’s the part that freaked me out. It seems she felt, since she’d gotten me “excited,” and we’d gone this far, it wasn’t fair to me, and she didn’t think she had the right to stop at this point. To say I was totally shocked by that comment would be the ultimate understatement. I mean, this was the 1980s, for crissakes!

I held her for a minute, looked at her and said, “listen to me. It doesn’t matter how excited I am. I could be halfway inside you. If you decide you’re not ready or don’t want to do this, you say, no — and I stop! No questions, no arguments, no nothing. And, I added, this didn’t apply to just me — it applied to anyone.” Her response stunned me — she asked, wouldn’t it make me mad? Wouldn’t it make any guy mad?

I responded with, if I was the kind of person who got angry over something like that, then I have the right to not see, or go out with you again. I’d be a dick if I did, but you never have to do anything you don’t want to do, or are not ready to do. And if anyone ever tries to make you think you have to, or you owe it to them for some sick reason, fuck them (I know, ironic choice of words)! And get away from them, immediately!

What was unfathomable to me at the time — and still is, all these years later — was the fact I had to explain this to her. How did we get to the mid-1980s, with women, even young ones, not understanding they have the right to control what they do, and don’t do, with their bodies. The fact that, to a frightening degree, that lack of understanding still holds true today, is something I cannot comprehend.

In any event, I held her for a while longer, we talked some more, and she left. We remained friends for the run of the show, but the relationship never gained any traction after that, mostly, I think, because she was embarrassed. But I have never forgotten that night, and will forever be grateful to my parents for helping make me the kind of person who reacted the way I did.

It is often said, as justification by men who believe women exist to service them — people like the orange pig whose name I refuse to say, the Brett Kavanaugh’s, and their ilk, “a hard dick has no conscience.” That’s very convenient thinking if you’re an over-entitled, spoiled, narcissistic, misogynist. But that hard dick is attached to a human body, with, hopefully, a brain attached. One that understands right from wrong. Unfortunately, as we have seen all too clearly in the year 2018, that is far from the case.

The Best Laid Plans

I had planned on writing a blog about the craft of acting, today, but, as the saying goes, the best laid plans…

The change in my subject matter began, as so much does these days, with a Twitter debate (I’m putting it kindly), regarding the 2016 election. I was attempting to have a rational conversation with an anonymous anti-Clinton, seemingly Sanders-‘Til-Death person. I figured, we agreed on a number of points. I was a Sanders supporter during the primaries. Even though I voted for Secretary Clinton in the election, I absolutely consider myself a Progressive. Surely we had enough in common to have a rational discussion.

Silly me.

I am still learning that, engaging with those to my left, can be every bit as filled with vial and vitriol as trying to do the same with someone on the far right. But I really wanted to try and understand this person who thinks having a narcissistic, racist, homophobic, criminal, with delusions of dictatorship in his eyes, occupying the Oval Office, was better than having an experienced, knowledgeable person, who has served in government most of her adult life, and might, however remote you believe the possibility, do some really good things for the country.

But, as we all know, Hillary Clinton is actually Satan incarnate. (Side note to Agolf Twitler & Co: If you want to know what an actual with hunt looks like, how’s this?):

25 solid years of investigation after investigation, and hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars — all brought to you by your friendly neighborhood GOP. But wait! There’s more! All of this bullshit, is capped off by an 11-hour Benghazi “perjury trap” on live television. But, hell! At least they got her, right! Oh wait — how many indictments did all that congressional time, and OUR money net them? Oh, right — not a single motherfucking one! But, oh, those emails…

Naturally, the conversation got ’round to a point I keep making, over and over — Hillary Clinton did not lose the election. She won the popular vote, by a plurality of almost three million people. Not only is that the most votes ever won by a “losing” candidate, no winning President, other than Barack Obama has won that much of the popular vote.

But then there’s that silly Electoral College, which, even without voter suppression or Russian interference, gives smaller and less populous states (who contribute far less than, oh, say, California or New York do, to the Federal budget) more say in the Electoral College than do the larger and more populous states. That makes sense.

So that’s where we were, when my debate opponent asked the following snarky question:

“So who’s fault was it? Jill’s? Bernie’s? Russia’s? Electoral College? Who we blaming this week? Space Force?”

I really wanted to let the conversation die, right there. I knew I should. After all, I had already had it hammered home, there was no difference between the Republican party and the Democratic party. There was no way I was going to get through to a Democrat who had a) voted for Twitler; b) stayed home & didn’t vote at all; or c) voted for Jill Stein.

Naturally, I responded. What I said was the following:

“I’ll say the same to you as I say to Democrats who refuse to admit Hillary Clinton & the DNC fucked up, too. GET OVER IT! We have a fucking Nazi in the White House, & fascism taking over this country. So you can either get over your righteous anger for the moment, or you can help the Nazi.”

This is what I, a registered Democrat since 1973 — a Proud Progressive — believes. No one in our party has the right to self-righteousness. Yes, it is my firm belief that any Democrat who voted for Jill Stein, or stayed at home and didn’t bother to vote, in protest, or, worst of all, actually voted for the orange cretin, beyond being semi-certifiable, is, at least in part, responsible for the mess we’re in.

However, don’t get too cocky, Clintonians. Secretary (who should be President) Clinton, and the DNC are also culpable. They were unquestionably arrogant and dismissive toward Progressives who already felt abandoned by the party; who believe the party and most of its candidates are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Wall Street. This smug attitude (and the Bernie-bro’s bullshit, not to mention — but I will — the, if you don’t vote for Hillary, you’re a misogynist, crap) helped give lefter-leaning Progressives, all the excuse they needed.

And I’m sorry, but the choice of Tim Kaine as running-mate, was a slap in the face to every Progressive in the party. The Bernie-wing, as it was being called, were promised inclusion, and then quickly kicked to the curb. The DNC was so sure the election was a shoe-in, they felt secure in flipping the bird to Progressives.

How’d that work out?

There are no angels, or paragons of virtue in this scenario. We all fucked up. Accept it, own it, and get the fuck over it! At least, for now.

Hopefully, we have reached the point where most of us realize, every Democratic vote, and voter, counts. Like it or not, we are in a fight for our lives — in my opinion, quite literally. The very soul of this country and its people are at stake. This country is currently controlled by an obsessively tweeting psychopath, who has surrounded himself with sycophants and people so greedy, they’re stealing every penny they can, before the walls of D.C. come tumbling down.

The Republican party, which still has the unmitigated gall to call itself the party of Lincoln, is filled with racists, craven cowards, and jack-booted thugs who think the Constitution, and the oath they took to defend it, are a joke. They are terrified of Twitler, and his army of lemmings and racists, a situation of their own creation. There will be no help there.

Yes, to my friends on the left, the DNC has treated Progressives like shit. The leadership doesn’t really want to see the future of the party, because they know they’re not it. I don’t know if Hillary Clinton would have been able to change things for the better, or simply maintained the status quo. Right now, though, that status quo is looking pretty damn good.

As pissed off as you may have been, and as much as you would like to deny it (I would love to be able to), the Russians did interfere with the 2016 election (and are now attempting to do so with the mid-terms), handing it to their stooge. There are many who still see this claim as part of a grand conspiracy against Progressive change. To those of you who actually believe that bullshit, I urge you to open your minds, and take a real look. If there is a conspiracy, it is between the Russians and the Republicans, who just want to maintain their gravy train, and don’t care where the gravy’s coming from.

In the coming mid-terms, if Progressives who want real change, stay home, or make protest votes in petulant righteousness, believe me — you’ll get change. The exact same change Germany got in 1933. Don’t fool yourself into believing it can’t happen here — it already is. So put aside your anger, your disenchantment, and your disgust. We can fight that out, later. I’ll be there with you on that fight. But right now, we don’t have that luxury. Everyone has to GET THE FUCK OVER 2016, get the fuck over self-righteousness, or the fact there is no such thing as the perfect candidate!

Right now, the real fight is for our lives.

Addendum: Shortly after writing this, I saw another pissed off Progressive venting his/their (it was a band) anger at me, because I was sucked in and voted for Hillary. I am frightened by the unbelievable refusal to comprehend what is happening to this country, by people who, on most counts, I agree with. They simply cannot, and will not see the threat. To them, the only threat is the DNC, and the arrogance (their word) Hillary Clinton showed during the campaign. They keep saying and/or implying the DNC is a bigger threat than that greedy, narcissistic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic asshole in the Oval Office. They are wrong. I only pray they don’t end up being tragically wrong.

“The Family” Doesn’t Just Stand For The Mob, Anymore!

For anyone who doesn’t get it, we are living in terrifying times. As a youngster, I lived (as did we all) through the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the ever popular ducking under our school desks practice, to protect us from a nuclear bomb blast. That was the 1960s version of today’s kids training to hide from maniacs invading their schools with guns (a far more terrifying reality than our nuclear bomb practice, but with about the same level of protection).

Today’s blog was supposed to have been about great, and all too frequently overlooked, movie comedies that have helped inform my thinking as actor, writer & director. Unfortunately, this morning’s edition of the Sirius progressive radio show, Make It Plain, hosted by Mark Thompson, featured an interview with Jeff Sharlet, a journalist, and Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth University, the author of a terrifying book entitled, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. I was so incredibly terrified by Professor Sharlet’s research and exploration of this, for lack of better words, cult, any thought of comedy was immediately wiped from my head.

I’d heard of The Family, before. As I understood it, they were a group of right-leaning congressman, sharing a house in Washington, D.C. when not in their home districts or states. They were, supposedly, also the group behind the “National Prayer Breakfast,” a yearly gathering of powerful politicians and businessmen, more often than not, including the President. According to what I’d read, this yearly breakfast was an ecumenical, and fairly benign event. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

According to Sharlet, the political power of The Family, or The Fellowship, as it’s known to insiders, was based on being a secretive, fundamentalist Christian group, wielding the power of its membership as a means to control governments, and the people they governed. Before his 2017 death, the group was led by a man named Douglas Coe, known to many as “the stealth Billy Graham.” His name was recognizable only to members of The Family. But within, he was as close to G_d, as you could get.

Sharlet says the organization fetishizes power by equating Jesus to 20th and 21st century leaders such as Vladimir Lenin and Osama Bin Laden (how you wield the power is less important than actually having power). As I understand Sharlet’s thesis, The Family believes there is, and should be, a small group of leaders who change the world via the strength of the covenants they’ve forged with their “brothers.” (Note: to my knowledge, not many, if any, “sisters.”)

As Coe designed it, the cult — and make no mistake, they are a cult — believed in a blind devotion to Jesus Christ, that bordered on the same kind of blind obsession demonstrated by other personality cult leaders from the past — Hitler, Stalin and Chairman Mao, not to mention, the current occupant of the Oval Office. The difference in The Families philosophy was (and remains), only a chosen few, were entitled to have that direct relationship with Christ, and thus, were meant to lead the huddled masses who weren’t among the chosen. We are sheep; they are the shepherds.

The Fellowship, which began hosting their Prayer Breakfasts in the 1930s, was given validation in the 1950s, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower, attended, at the urging of evangelist, Billy Graham. Since that time, every single U.S. President has appeared at these yearly events. Again, not everyone is aware of the true nature of these breakfasts. But those who do, consider themselves the leaders and power brokers of the world. They have taken the Latin term “Vox Populi” (Voice of the People), to mean they are the voice of the people.

Ironically, one name in the news recently, Maria Butina, arrested last week as a Russian spy, seems to have had something to do with helping create a Russian branch of The Family, filled with oligarchs closely aligned with — wait for it — Vladimir Putin.

If any of this is beginning to make your head spin, good. I have never been a believer in coincidence. At the very moment, the highest office in this land is held by a wannabe autocrat, with an obvious and astounding man-crush on the person who maintains complete and utter control over the Russian Republic; a man who readily imprisons or murders his enemies (an enemy being anyone who disagrees with him in any way), including those living in foreign lands, should scare the holy living shit out of anyone with an IQ over 20.

When one puts this together with the fact the American branch of The Family, is made up of wealthy and powerful, right wing, fundamentalist zealots, who see themselves as the rightful leaders of this planet, you begin to wonder if you’re losing your mind. Things get even more insane when you add the fact the Republican party, most of whom are fully aware of the role Russia played in the 2016 elections (and are currently trying to repeat in this year’s), have not only done nothing to stop the Russians, but are effectively working to enable them. When you add all these “coincidences” up, it’s easy to make the very short leap to the conclusion, the current relationship between Vladimir Putin, and his American lapdog in the White House, is intentional, and has been on the drawing board, for quite a while.

I keep hearing people on the right talk about “the Deep State.” The term flows easily and readily from the lips of the average Republican voter. But when you ask just what the “Deep State” is, and who’s involved in it, they can’t really say. They seem to believe it has something to do with George Soros (the rich liberal), Barack Obama (aka the black guy) and Hillary Clinton (you know, the woman who ran a child sexual slavery racket, out of the basement of a D.C. pizzeria which, interestingly enough, doesn’t have a basement!). They regurgitate Fox “News” talking points, as if they’re facts, totally ignoring the actual fact the station is owned by publishing billionaire, Rupert Murdoch, the man responsible for turning his network into the propaganda arm of the Republican party.

After listening to this morning’s interview with Jeff Sharlet, and doing a modicum of research on the web, I have come to the conclusion, in all likelihood, the Deep State, if it exists, is not a group of American lefties, whose goal is to take control of the United States. Rather, it’s an international group of ultra-rich, mostly white, fundamentalist Christian, right-wing corporatists and politicians, who have taken and twisted the words of Jesus Christ, so they, alone, can look at themselves as the chosen people. Naturally, because borders have no meaning to this new world order, it makes perfect sense they’ve allied themselves with Russian oligarchs, and their dictator-in-chief, Vladimir Putin. Professor Sharlet didn’t say it, but my takeaway is, their goal is nothing short of, complete and utter control of the planet. For some strange reason, that reminded me of someone else — another “world leader” of the 1940s, who believed he was the leader of a master race, and had no problem murdering millions to prove it.

If this doesn’t scare the ever-living shit out of you, you’re either insane, dead, or a member of The Family.

This Is the Year That Is

So, I joined Twitter this year. Now that may not mean much to most people, but I had spent years avoiding Twitter like it was the plague. My youngest brother pleaded with me to open an account. “It’s the best free marketing tool for indie filmmakers, anywhere,” he said. Other friends echoed that thought. But through it all, I stood strong. “I do not need another social media site, usurping my time & mental acuity.”

There was another reason I never opened a Twitter account — I love words. I love describing things vividly, and in great detail. Hell, I’m a writer! Okay, I’m also an actor-director & acting teacher. But given the current non-state of my voice (that’s another blog), writing is the only hyphenate I have left. And, Twitter, especially when it first took off, only allowed posters 140 characters. It was my feeling then (and is now), there is nothing I think important enough to write about which I could possibly express in 140 characters. What kind of word-smithing can you do with 140 characters?

Toward the end of September, 2017, Twitter doubled the allotted characters allowed posters to 240. For me, that still wasn’t enough to bother with it. If I had something to express, I’d either post a blog about the topic here, or on Facebook and LinkedIn, where I do have accounts.

Even so, the pressure exerted from friends, demanding I join the Twitterverse, continued unabated. As 2017 came to an end, I retained my virgin-status re Twitter. I was so happy to leave 2017 behind, it never dawned on me what fun surprises 2018 might have in store for me.

As described in a previous blog, 2018 started with a bang. Early in January, my doctor found a double hernia which required surgery. The surgery was performed on February 12th. Considering my fear of hospitals and surgery, I went into it with as positive an attitude as possible. I was chattering away as the anesthetic took hold in the operating room. I woke up a few hours later, barely able to make a sound, other than a croak. And now, almost six months on, time which included a second surgery to try and fix the damage caused by the first surgery, my voice is still a bare shadow of it’s former self. I can talk a little. But it comes out sounding incredibly hoarse, is painful, and is usually gone by the end of the day. Oh, joy.

What to do?

The obvious answer, write. My fingers still worked. As it was also pretty much the only way I had to communicate, especially if I wanted to express emotions like anger, frustration, rage, love, happiness, fulfillment, joy…Oh, who the fuck am I kidding. Love, yes. But happiness, joy, and fulfillment were/are in somewhat short supply at the moment. On the plus side, for communication, I had email, instant messaging, Facebook, and this blog. I also have a screenplay which needs a bit of reworking (fuck you very much, Harvey Weinstein!). With all these at the handy, at least one of my professional hyphenates was still open to me.

And then there was Twitter.

It was March, I believe, when a group of friends pretty much ordered me to open a Twitter account, which I finally did — grudgingly. I started out following, and finding followers among my friends and family, extending into the various communities to which I belong. I had other actors, writers, directors and filmmakers. I had progressives, and members of the kink community. I did my best to stay away from anyone who even hinted at having positive feelings towards He Who Must Not Be Named (dubbed Agolf Twitler by someone on the web, which has pretty much become the only name I use when referring to the bastard. I sometimes shorten it to, Twitler, but either way, it fits).

I was fairly choosy about following people at first. I chose from among people I like and admire — smart, talented, funny, politically-oriented. But over a period of time, I started to get hooked. I spent less and less time on Facebook, and much more on Twitter. The immediacy of communication with large groups of people at once, was like a drug. The 240 character limit has been less of an issue than I expected. I’ve been teaching myself to edit comments down to only the most necessary of words, which has been an interesting experience for me as a writer. Oh fuck! I was hooked.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, sounds pretty good. And to be honest, I have found there’s an unexpected upside to Twitter I didn’t expect. But life is balance — if there’s an up side, it means there’s also a down side.

At this point, I should explain something. As an actor (writer, director, yadda yadda yadda), you learn to face and accept rejection. If you’re smart and experienced, you can use it to motivate yourself even further. In the entertainment industry, when you hear the words, “no thanks,” there’s usually nothing personal attached to it. More than likely it has nothing to do with your talent. Rather, it’s usually with regard to things you have absolutely no control over. Being a director helps with this. I’ve been on the other side of the table, and know how difficult it is to say, “no.” And the “no” usually has little to do with a person’s talent or ability.

However (c’mon — you knew there had to be a “however), when you’re sharing your views, especially political views, the attacks you may receive, and the vitriol with which they’re delivered, can cut you to the core. What makes things even worse is, when you’re attacked by people who should be on the same side as you.

Most of us who use social media, have become very conscious regarding the use of bots and trolls which have been, and are still being used, to cause and/or maintain fractures within the Democratic party. Being aware is a good thing. The not so good thing, especially on Twitter, is, I’ve noticed people are being so cautious, they’ll accuse anyone whose opinion differs from theirs, even in the slightest way, of being a bot or troll.

I learned about this the hard way earlier this week. I preface the following with this — I’m still trying to understand how Twitter works. It drives me insane that if I make a spelling or grammatical mistake, usually because I’m typing too quickly, and posting before I remember to check for mistakes, there’s no edit your comment tool to fix the damn mistake.

But I digress.

I’ve written about my concerns regarding the rift between progressives who supported Sen. Sanders candidacy in 2016, and President Clinton (she won; it was stolen; I refuse to accept He Who Must Not Be Named, as president), in past blogs.

For those new to my blog, as soon as President Clinton won the nomination, I changed my allegiance to her. As a native New Yorker, I have been all too familiar with Twitler, for the past 35 years or so. I know him to be a megalomaniacal, narcissistic, misogynist, racist, with homophobic tendencies, who doesn’t give a flying fuck about anyone other than himself. He is a legend in his own mind. No way I was going to waste a vote like all too many did in 2000.

And though I originally supported Sen. Sanders, it didn’t mean I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) see he had his flaws. There is no such thing as the perfect candidate. It is my firm belief, most Sanders supporters did what I did. But there is also no doubt, there were a bunch of angry Sanders people who refused to believe the DNC didn’t steal the nomination from him. Because of this belief, they stubbornly refused to vote for President Clinton, either choosing to stay home, or casting a protest vote for (g_d help us) Jill Stein.

I’m not going to rehash the Sanders/Clinton debate here. I’ve already taken that topic on. What I want to deal with now, is the crap-storm that went down on Twitter, earlier this week.

There were people posting moderate comments which echoed my thoughts regarding the election. But there was also a vehement group of Clinton people, still blaming the Sanders holdouts for the election (which I remind everyone, President Clinton won). And their vehemence was matched by the Sanders holdouts who responded.

In the middle of this, I made the stupid mistake of posting my opinion, stating my belief that no one really knows what happened in 2016. You may have a strong feeling about what happened. You may even be certain. But the truth is, no one really knows. And pretending you do, holding on to your anger, is at least part of what got us where we are today. My point of view is, we all have to get over whatever bug remains up our collective asses. That goes for people on both sides.

This country is on the brink of becoming a fascist state. I believe that, without no doubt whatsoever. The only hope we have left is the coming November election. And this fucking stupid in-fighting is insane. We need to learn from history, before we end up repeating it in the most disastrous way.

Boy, was I a schmuck!

Within minutes I was inundated with insults — mostly staunch Clintonians, but also some Sanders people. The barrage was so nasty and vitriolic, I got off Twitter as quickly possible, and stopped looking at my feed. The remarks were biting and hurtful. But thinking about it over the past few days, I can’t help but wonder if there weren’t some bots, or trolls involved in this attack. It was such a perfect way of maintaining, or even sowing deeper divisions between the Clinton and Sanders people, it had my head spinning

As progressive radio and Free Speech TV’s  Stephanie Miller often says, “we all have to stop trying to re-litigate the election.” And she is absolutely correct. The coming election is our last, best chance to save this country and ourselves. Fuck civility, and fuck going high when they go low, because they always go low, and the high road got us to exactly we are.

Every democrat and every progressive has to get over 2016. It’s over and done with. It’s in the rear view mirror. Let it go. We have to join hands (metaphorically) and fight this battle, together. We have to learn from our mistakes — from the past. Our mantra has to be, “if we don’t learn from the past, we’re sure as hell gonna repeat it.” We have to go after Twitler and his Republican enablers as if our lives depend on it, because they do.

 

A Democratic Civil War, Serves Only the Right

I originally posted this blog on April 21st. I was (and continue to be) worried about fractures in the Democratic Party, which, if not dealt with, could sink the much-hoped for “Blue Tidal Wave” expected in November, leaving us with the most corrupt government this country has ever seen, still in power. Unfortunately, since I first posted this, things within the Democratic Party have gotten worse, not better. And since the mainstream media would rather cover their outrage at Michelle Wolf’s brilliant work at the WHCD, rather than actual news, it’s left to the rest of us to keep this story in front of people’s consciousness. With that in mind, I offer this updated version of my original post.

I saw a confusing post on Twitter a while ago (I know, nothing unusual in that), regarding the New York Times contribution to propagating all the bullshit regarding Secretary Clinton’s emails, as well as “Pizza Gate,” and, of course, the “crimes” of the Clinton Foundation.

Growing up in the ‘60s, the NY Times was considered the paper of record; not only in the metro NY area, but around the country. There was never a day my father didn’t come home with a copy he’d pilfered during his commute to and from his NYC office on Metro North (it was a bonanza day if he also managed to cop a copy of The Daily News and — pre-Murdoch — NY Post). In 7th grade, our English teacher made the entire class subscribe to the Times. Going through it was a daily ritual.

That was then, this is now.

I stopped my online subscription to the Times a few years back, when I realized it had become a partisan rag, with writers and contributors geared toward the same ideal — taking advantage of anything which would sell more papers, true or not. Their once first-class investigative reporting had become more like a gossip sheet, printing anything salacious or provocative, without bothering to seek out the truth in a story, before printing it. Letting go of the NY Times, a paper I’d been attached to most of my life, was emotionally jarring.

When it came to the 2016 presidential election, there are very few newspapers or magazines in this country, which, in retrospect, were on the right side of history. With no care or concern for the American people, they printed every single negative story regarding former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, they could, solely because it was good for business. At the same time, because he was entertaining and sold papers, they printed story after story about The Orange Taint, never questioning or demanding answers to the bile and lies he spewed. Most television networks followed the print media’s coverage.

A year or so into the presidency of He, Whose Name I Cannot Mention (because it makes me want to puke), many of the print publications, radio, and television shows, who had worked so hard to vilify Secretary Clinton, began to realize what they’d done. No real mea culpas, though, because no one in the media (with the exception of Fox, and other right wing media outlets, who were delirious with joy), wanted to accept their rightful share of the blame for helping lead this country down the road toward fascism, simply as a means to sell newspapers, or to achieve higher ratings.

However, what I found more revolting than almost anything, was the NY Times’s participation in this bloodletting. New Yorkers know who and what Donald Trump is. We’ve dealt with that unmitigated shithead for the past 40 years. This is the same, self-promoting, narcissistic, blowhard, who spent $85,000 placing full-page ads in New York’s four daily papers, demanding the death penalty for the “Central Park Five,” even after it was proven they were innocent (if you don’t know this story, you should look it up. It’s a clear demonstration how racism and propaganda often work together, destroying innocent lives in the process). This is why the citizens of NYC and environs voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. Trump not only couldn’t win NY, he couldn’t win his own Trump Tower.

All of which brings me back to the Twitter post mentioned earlier. Once again, I read die-hard Clinton supporters blaming, among others, “Bernie Bros,” for Secretary Clinton’s loss. And herein lies one of my biggest fears for the future of the Democratic Party.

The term,“Bernie Bros,” as utilized by Clinton supporters, is meant derisively. These are the people who want to blame Clinton’s loss on the Democratic “traitors” who, for whatever reason, refused to vote for the Secretary, or voted third party. Here’s why I believe these Clinton-faithful are not only wrong, but could have a disastrous affect on the hoped-for Democratic tidal wave, hoped for in November.

Before proceeding, in the spirit of full disclosure, I supported Senator Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. It was, and is my belief, he more clearly represented my views on where this country should be headed, then did Secretary Clinton. And while I was furious over the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in favor of Secretary Clinton’s campaign by the DNC, when she won the nomination, she also won my vote.

I wasn’t alone in this. From the Sanders supporters I’ve spoken to, the vast majority felt as I did, resulting in their voting for Clinton, as well. For many, this was not done out of loyalty to the Democratic Party, or it’s chosen candidate, but because we understood the danger of an Agolf Twitler presidency.

I don’t believe in political purity tests. In my opinion, what the Sanders supporters who refused to vote for Secretary Clinton, under any circumstances, failed to comprehend is, very few voters can, or will ever agree 100%, with the position of any candidate for political office. We can’t, because in the game of politics, every successful politician has had to make compromises or concessions, some of which angered their own base. That goes whether the candidates name is Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

To the Clinton faithful still holding on to the “Bernie Bros,” crap, as a means to vilify the Progressives they want to believe are responsible for the Secretary’s loss, it is your continued demonstration of disdain for the opinions of others in our Party, which threaten it’s very existence. The Progressive end of the Democratic Party is growing larger every day, a fact the DNC would be wise to wake up and note.

Since the election, we’ve all heard Democratic Party leaders say we need to start at the grass roots level, getting new people involved in Party politics, and running for office. They tell us they want to encourage a new generation of Democrats to participate in the electoral system.

Unfortunately, when the 2nd highest-ranking Democrat in Congress, Maryland’s Steny Hoyer, involves himself and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which he represents, in the outright sabotage of a Democratic congressional campaign, those words ring kind of hollow.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, I refer to the race in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. Representing the DCCC, Hoyer, told Progressive Democratic candidate, Levi Tilleman, the DCCC had already decided to support his opponent, Jason Crow, a more moderate, corporate Democrat. In no uncertain terms, Hoyer told Tilleman to drop out of the race. The decision to support Crow, Tillemann was told, had been made long ago — it wasn’t personal. Further, Hoyer told Tilleman, there was nothing uniquely unfair being done. As Hoyer put it, “this is how the party does it everywhere.”

In other words, the DCCC gets to decide what candidates the Democratic Party will support and funnel money to, before the primary, making it much more difficult for new, Progressive Democratic voices to be heard. What this also does is remove voter’s right to have a choice. Unfortunately for Hoyer, Tilleman taped their conversation, revealing Hoyer and the DCCC for the back door, old-time corporate Democrats, Progressives have claimed they are since the 2016 election.

This became even sadder, when House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, a politician I have a great deal of admiration and respect for, actually defended Hoyer, and the DCCC’s tactics. What seems lost on the Democratic leadership is, there’s nothing remotely democratic in any of this. What the hierarchy of the Democratic Party seems to want, is nothing more than to maintain the status quo. The damaging part of this is, it justifies and proves the point of Progressive Democrats who claim the party is corrupt, and the playing field not close to being even.

In Montgomery County, MD, where I live, while no tapes have come out, it’s perfectly obvious the DCCC has chosen as its candidate du jour, millionaire David Trone. Even though Trone is running against eight more Progressive candidates, it’s perfectly clear none of these candidates has the money and support behind them to run television commercials, or even post yard signs, as Trone has done. I daresay, most people in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, couldn’t even name two of Trone’s primary opponents.

The problem with all this is, Democratic voters do not get to hear from candidates other than those chosen for them by the party — the system is rigged. They know voters will do exactly what the Party wants them to — go into the booth on primary day, and vote for the only Democrat whose name they know — the one chosen, supported and sanctified by the Party, before the process has even begun. If these two examples are typical of what’s happening around the country, it means the Democratic Party is complicit in silencing a large block of Democratic candidates, cheating voters out of our right to a choice.

If, as is said, the meaning of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result, this is it. Nothing changes, because those in charge — while paying lip service to democratic ideals and principles — work to ensure it doesn’t. In doing so, they prove Progressive Democrats — both old and new — are correct when they say the party doesn’t listen to, or care about our views. And this is what I fear could destroy the Democratic Party, at the exact time we need unification more than ever before in this country’s history.

Party elders who don’t see the direction young Democrats just beginning to get involved with the Party (the Parkland students being a good example), are intent on moving our party and this country, are choosing to remain blind to a future that’s coming — like it or not. If the more centrist members of the Party — those who have held tight to it’s reigns for a number of years — don’t begin to demonstrate an understanding of this, and start to embrace more progressive ideals, they will be the ones responsible for splitting Democrats in half, resulting in a fractured party, and a country headed further down the road toward fascism and totalitarianism.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t sit at the helm of our government today, not because of “Bernie Bros” or Jill Stein voters. Rather, it’s due to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia; the successful targeting of people via Facebook and other social media outlets with anti-Clinton propaganda; successful Republican efforts at voter suppression in states around the country; and the probable Russian hacking of voting machines, in just enough red states, to hand the (outdated) Electoral College to a person unfit in every way, to lead this country…or pretty much, anything else.

If you want, get mad — hell, get furious! But aim that anger in a direction that will force change, and benefit all Americans. A civil war between members of the Democratic Party, serves only those who would destroy the ideals upon which this country was founded.

WTF Is Going On!

I have what is probably a rhetorical question, but one I feel the need to ask anyway. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON??? From the entertainment industry — heavyweights like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Bill Cosby Louis C.K., just to name a few. The list of politicians from both sides of the aisle starting with President Cheetolini, Judge and Republican senatorial candidate gag!), Roy Moore, Anthony Weiner (nope — too easy), Bilbo O’Reilly, the late Roger Ailes, and on and on and…As Al Pacino rightly said in the film, And Justice For All, “there’s something really wrong here!”

I refer, of course, to the epidemic of molestation, rape, flashing and all other forms of unwanted sexual activity, forced on women in this, our sad and sick excuse for a culture. And before anyone, especially if you’re a white male, tries the “women do it to men, too,” routine, yes, that’s true. And it’s every bit as egregious a crime as the other way round. But let’s get real — the scale is probably tipped at 95% to 5% (and that’s being generous) toward men sexually harassing women.

Go ahead — speak to any five women you pick off the street, and ask them if they’ve ever been harassed, molested, raped, flashed, whatever. I’m willing to bet the answer is yes, with at least four out of the five. I honestly don’t think I know a woman — from my mother on down to my wife and daughter, who haven’t escaped some form of this epidemic. It’s sad, it’s disgusting, it’s sick, and it’s criminal. Unfortunately, for all too many women, this is the norm. As my sister-in-law told me, “we expect it.”

What’s even worse, though, is the fact this criminal behavior is still being tolerated. Fans of the entertainers, and supporters of the politicians whose misdeeds have been outed, will go to almost any length to excuse the criminal acts being perpetrated by these deviants (Bill Cosby can still sell out a live show)!

If you fall into this category, you are worse than an enabler — you are complicit in allowing these acts to continue. I don’t give a flying fuck how a woman is dressed (or not), even if she’s in a mini-skirt that lands just below her crotch — that does not mean she’s fair game, easy, or “asking for it.” No matter how provocatively you think someone is dressed, shut the fuck up, and keep your hands off! (Speaking of which, women, please don’t “slut shame” each other. That just adds fuel to an already raging fire.)

Last week, Stephanie Miller, the doyenne of fart jokes and progressive thought on radio (and television, via Free Speech TV), dedicated about 98% of her show to discussing this epidemic. Interestingly, every female guest on the show — and this includes regulars Frangela (aka Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton), and  producer Vanessa Rumbles — as opposed to a group of women specifically selected to bolster the argument — have experienced some form of sexual harassment. For many of them, this was not a one-time thing, but something they’ve had to endure throughout their careers.

Now, if one is of an inquisitive nature, one might ask, “well, why haven’t they reported this to someone?” Who? This is not about sex, folks — this is about power! Men exercising power over the powerless. While I can’t speak to the extent of this atrocity in politics, I have, in my 42-year career in the entertainment industry, continuously seen and heard about the men in lofty positions, using their power against women (and men) — people who are simply trying to make a living in their chosen profession.

Regular readers of my blog may know, I’m somewhat prejudiced in this matter, having myself been molested by neighbor boys, as a child. But that aside, what most women have to endure on a daily basis is insane. It makes me ashamed of my own gender, and so very grateful to have been brought up by my feminist mother.

The one positive light I see at the end of this tunnel is, when one woman breaks the silence, and has the courage to stand up and say, “fuck you! I’m not taking this shit anymore,” and names the person (or persons) who molested them. It helps other women gather the courage to do the same, clearly demonstrated this past week as dozens of women began to share their stories about molestation and abuse from powerful men in Hollywood and the political arena.

As I type, a group which includes some of Hollywood’s most powerful women, including Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Natalie Portman, Kathleen Kennedy, and Amy Pascal, has been formed to help combat these atrocities. They hope to come up with code of conduct that will, hopefully, be adapted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Would that both political parties have the courage to do the same (somewhat difficult whilst a serial predator sits in the White House).

In the meantime, it would be nice if all men remembered that caring and acting for the benefit of others, includes keeping your unwanted fucking hands off women. No actually means NO! And, unless you’re in a consensual  situation, the use of power and coercion to get your way, is not very nice. In fact, it’s criminal!

If you are a victim of sexual abuse, or need information on how to prevent it, click here and visit Rainn, a national group offering assistance and support, as well as information about getting involved in preventing these crimes.