Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm slowly making my way

through WORD IS OUT, a landmark documentary composed of interviews with 26 gays and lesbians which was originally produced in 1978 and recently restored, thanks to the Outfest Legacy Project. It just ran on TCM last week and I was lucky enough to run across it and get on my DVR; it's just amazing and a nice precursor to Outfest, one of the highlights of my summer. So far I've enjoyed insights from Harry Hay and San Francisco gay activist Rick Stokes, but my favorite so far is Pat Bond, who describes trying with some difficulty to fit in amongst all the butch lesbians in the Women's Army Corps.

The restored version is on DVD and I hear the extras are amazing too. See the trailer below.

I feel bad

for not taking in more of Hollywood Fringe, although I've been paying attention on the blogs and LAWeekly. I did get to one show but it was kind of a work(ish) thing so.... Anyway, the Weekly's had some fun writing on the matter, particularly today.
The following anecdote, told here by Bill Raden was overheard from the production's stage-manager:

"At Thursday's performance of Euripides' Medea (at The Complex), they had a whopping house of five people. Two of them, both men, sat in the front row, which at the Dorie, means their knees were jammed into the apron of the stage. Seven minutes into the show one of the men's heads began wobbling and then plunked down onto the stage, apparently passed out.
There's more where that came from. Check the link here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Buy your copy of 32 Candles today.

My dear friend Ernessa T. Carter's first novel is out in stores today. It's called 32 Candles and even has its own website. Check that out here.

A brief synopsis--
Growing up unattractive and nerdy in her Mississippi hometown, Davie wishes her life could be more like 16 Candles. Finally, a school prank goes too far, and Davie runs away, only to reinvent herself as a successful lounge singer hundreds of miles away: in Hollywood. Just when everything seems to be going her way, her high school crush walks in, and more importantly, he doesn't recognize her. Davie can't bring herself to end the fantasy, and just as they're about to ride off into the sunset, the past comes back with a vengeance, threatening to crush Davie's dreams forever.
I'm very much into buying from local bookstores when I can, so I'm going to try and find it at Skylight Books today. Maybe Vroman's or Book Soup has it too. (UPDATE: I got it at Vroman's! They have 5 more copies so go buy them out.)

I know you can get it online at Powell's, Alibris, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

If you're in L.A. and want to hear Ernessa read in person, she's going to be at Barnes & Noble at The Grove next Monday, June 28. She's also going to be at Vroman's in Pasadena on Monday, July 19.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Huckabee in the New Yorker

This lengthy profile has already gotten some play, as it highlights Huckabee's (already well-documented) homophobia and support of anti-gay legislation. And of course there's his sexist statement about Helen Thomas and Nancy Pelosi, which I hope he's appropriately embarrassed by. Since he wasn't embarrassed to publish a book with the title Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork! I'm not holding my breath.

All that aside, the article is an interesting analysis. Here's a passage I liked best--
When Wolf Blitzer pushed Huckabee to say whether he believed in evolution, at a debate in New Hampshire in June of 2007, Huckabee expressed exasperation that the question “would even be asked of somebody running for President—I’m not planning on writing the curriculum for an eighth-grade science book.” He said that the question was unfair, because it “asked us in a simplistic manner whether or not we believed, in my view, whether there’s a God or not.”

As President, though, he would appoint the Secretary of Education. And it is difficult to comprehend what is unfair about the question when he has written, “Everything you do and believe in is directed by your answer to the ultimate question: Is there a God? It all comes down to that single issue.” According to Huckabee, a person who believes God created man has a world view that is “absolutely irreconcilable” with that of someone who believes man created God. And “either by numbers or persuasion, one side of this polarized culture will defeat the other in setting public policy.” This is the defining paradox of Huckabee: his adamant resistance to being branded a zealot paired with his insistence that faith defines character and, consequently, has an essential place in government.

Monday, June 07, 2010

There's a nice interview

of a playwright named Gregory Moss on Adam Szymkowicz's blog. I particularly like this bit:

Over and above technique, which is teachable and learnable, all you’ve got as a writer is your unique chemistry and point of view. It doesn’t matter if you like it, if you think it’s good or bad, or how it compares to what anyone else is doing – this way of processing the world and putting it into writing is YOURS and you’re stuck with it (or blessed with it). The playwright you are is already decided. So, rather than bemoaning your shortcomings, spend your time working on finding better ways to value, excavate, and generously present, what you’ve already got. Be rigorous, be disciplined, follow through.
I relate to this mostly because I'm occasionally reminding myself that I write better when I just write, and don't write so much in relation to what else is out there.

I do take a slight issue with that line "the playwright you are is already decided," as I am most assuredly not the playwright I was ten years ago, or even two years ago. And thank GOD for that. I do get his point though.

Check the whole thing out here.