Queer Whitstable

Get Out of the USA

I’ll never recover from my love of LA.  However badly it treated me.  I will never forget our ill-fated house in Malibu.  The restaurant at the end of the pier.  The Jacaranda, the delicate pepper trees, those tall palms glistening like cellophane when the rains finally came.  Have you seen Pharrell’s video for his song Happy?  That’s how I’ll remember LA. The light, the streets, down town Los Angeles, the fat and the thin.  Looking heavenward, remembering why we moved there armed only with dreams. Pleading for security, good traffic, and a god who loves us even if the dream slips further from our grasp…

When I left LA I earned more money than I ever earned.  What foolishness made me give it up?  Fear.  The same fear I had in NY and no longer feel here in Europe.  Fear of the speeding bullet, the rogue cop, fear of mud slides, wild fires… and me.

Last week I purged almost all the white, American gay men from my Facebook friends list. When I announced I was doing so… Facebook banned me for a week.  Thank you Big Brother, no Facebook means no compulsive checking.  I didn’t recognize any of the gay white American men who claimed to know me, or I had friended because I am weak and colluded with the notion the gays gather as many other gays around them as we possibly can so we may perpetuate the myth of gay solidarity.

According to Facebook, this declaration to purge unknown faces from my FB page was hate speak.

I was an unwilling participant in an anonymous gay web.  I don’t know the 50 people we have in common.  I don’t want to know the 28 mutual friends.  The 42 people who don’t know each other more than passing their clone on Robertson, Old Compton St, Commercial Street or Ocean Walk.  Lives as the gays chose to document on FB, so utterly boring, so stultifyingly limited.  Haunting the same locations, using exactly the same language we used 50 years ago… and on… the perpetual hunt, the same miserable polemic.  One hundred thousand likes for a shirtless picture.  A million Instagram followers for the most perfectly honed of them.

Recently a young gay man, beset by righteous indignation, complained to his 5 thousand followers his profile pic had been stolen and used on a well-known dating app.  I wondered out loud (amongst the commiseration) why they had bothered stealing the image?  The picture they appropriated was so utterly boring, so drearily identical to any number of equally dull gay men.  There was nothing distinguished or vaguely fascinating about the stolen photograph.  My comment caused OUTRAGE.

Their outrage is misplaced.  The gays are so often angry but unwilling to take action. Emboldened by changing laws: each new generation of gays relive their very own glasnost, embracing ersatz activism.  Their muscle drag and occasional militancy leads nowhere.  Built like warriors, Spartans… fucking not fighting.  Marching in the gay parade, holding their radical (campy) signs high above their heads then… a few hours later it’s back to the soupy hot tub for more identically built/identically aged/undressed… perpetual strangers.  Cock first, talk later.

I seemed, during my time in the USA, to know two types of (repugnant) white gay men:

1. Semi aquatic gays who hang out in hot tubs and swimming pools.  Boasting on-line about their open relationships, their poly amorous lives, one assumes they are ok smelling the stench of other men’s cum over their husband’s perfectly sculpted bodies.

2. Then there are gays like John Derian, the fay New York based purveyor of knickknacks.  Publishing pictures of their grand houses, their grand friends, their holidays in equally magnificent surroundings.  They need me to know what they eat, how they dress their surrogate children, how they arrange flowers and prepare the canape.  These gays have open relationships built on mergers and acquisitions.  Choosing men as they choose tuba roses at the farmers market.  As far from love and monogamy as one can get.

The purge is complete.  The result of this time-consuming exercise?  My feed as dictated by Big Brother’s algorithms is now more representative of who I am. People I know in the world posting pictures of things I want to look at, asking questions I can answer, engaging meaningfully with me.

Good God!  I knew so many white, American gays, fledgling proto fascists.  Echoing fake news, convincing one after another what they want to us all to believe… amplifying easily digestible myths then greedily consuming them like protein bars.  Post by post confirming their collective denial of what the gay community has become and where the community is headed.

During the election the noise of the myth makers in the pink echo chamber became deafening.  Everyone, of course, claimed to know Robby Mook, Clinton’s gay campaign manager.  Armed with their exclusive Robby Mook whispers they convinced themselves and others Hillary Clinton was unassailable.  They believed everyone was thinking just like them.  The violence I suffered at their hands when I told them bluntly they were wrong… was worse than any abuse I had ever suffered from any heterosexual homophobe.  As it turned out, my take on the gay community was right… they were indeed wrong.  Trump won.

I heard, via my own sources, Clinton beat Mook on the chest, crying and wailing…

Now the gays are right behind the liberal ‘reds in the bed’ narrative. Unquestioningly wedded to the dream of impeachment.  Telling each other it’s only a matter of time before Trump is gone for good.  They shyly, foolishly ask their friends on Facebook if another election will take place? After all, they bleat, we won the popular vote… even if the Russians lost Clinton the election.  Their muddled polemic evolved amongst their good-looking selves on social media. Like in needle point class they stitch the narrative of their dreams as if it were true.  Trump will be impeached they chant, Trump… is not my President!

My most violent confrontations on social media seems to erupt when I challenge American gay white men to explain how, as they claim, if they were hypothetically living in Nazi Germany would they take on Nazis? Contrary to their stringency most of the white gays I know would have willingly signed up to become Nazis… like most Germans did, to save their scrawny asses and of course wear the fabulous black and gold Gestapo uniforms.

My friend Bettina’s father, he lived in Germany during the war, told me he only heard about the concentration camps from annoying conspiracy theorists.  The sort of people one didn’t want to believe.  He was genuinely shocked, at the end of the war, to see the truth.

Few people are brave enough to challenge the regime under which they live. Most American white gays are incredibly comfortable.  What would motivate any them to up sticks… unless forced to?  Until the knock on the door.  The stench of unwashed policemen in the kitchen demanding ‘papers’.  Looking for evidence of homosexuality. The gays would hang on ’til the last-minute… until the authorities came looking for them.

The dumbest gays think in 1930 they would still enjoy the connectivity they enjoy today… their mobile phones and the internet. They think they would have access to a large group of similarly minded people, their mutual friends on Facebook. They do not understand the isolation of the activist.  Activists in 1930 constantly wondered if they were the only human alive who thought the system… the regime was wrong.  They were scared to articulate thoughts and ideas with others for fear of being arrested.  Even gay or lesbian friends could not be trusted… lgbt friends regularly turned acquaintances over to the party for punishment.

Activists are often annoying, their message difficult to hear.

The pink triangle worn by gay men in the German concentration camps was the worst of all the badges… because it so often lead to violent and unexpected death from both guards and other inmates, the Jews in the camps would kill a gay wearing a pink triangle as easily as the Nazi. The Pink Triangle became something to aim at by bored soldiers looking for something to kill.  Alan Davies the well-known and well-loved British comedian, lived in Whitstable whilst at Kent and Canterbury University.  We knew each other but we were not particularly friendly.  He wore a pink triangle badge into The Neptune pub in solidarity with the gays… yet continually indulged in casual and not so casual homophobia.  He enjoyed his white heterosexual entitlement and when I challenged him to take off the badge he angrily determined it was his right to wear the triangle regardless of a gay man telling him he had not earned the privilege.

In the Neptune Pub I was told with sneering contempt marriage equality would never happen in my life time.  Sadly, I believed them.  However hard I fight, I thought, I’ll never live in a fair and equitable world.

When I made a fuss others insisted it didn’t matter.  Making a fuss = activism.

Physically and verbally attacked for articulating (complaining) the iniquity and injustice gays endured every day.  Made my friends feel uncomfortable.

Complaining = Activism

I wore pale blue overalls in LA County to determine I am gay.  For all the world to see. There can be no mistaking what you are.  They like to know exactly what they are dealing with… the authorities.  Making me wear a pale blue uniform taught me a huge lesson.  It flagged to the others:  I am what you see me to be.  I no longer enjoy invisibility.  You will never let me forget my vulnerability.  I am at your mercy.  I learned what it was to be black in the USA wearing those overalls. My human rights lawyers assigned by the ACLU… Barry Litt and Lindsay Battles, perhaps the most ghastly people I ever met, never really understood how egregious the uniform was.  They didn’t understand much other than their own egos.  I hated them.  I hated being around them.

I left the USA because I could no longer excuse how many innocent black men were murdered by the police paid by my tax dollars… and I asked myself: what would it take for me to think enough is enough and the first plane away?  How could I justify living in a country that exploits vulnerability in all?  All Americans I know, republican, democrat or progressive, buy into this version of capitalism:  VULNERABILITY equals OPPORTUNITY.  It is their DNA, add this to their inability to own up to uncomfortable historical facts about race and the people they displaced to live in the USA… and you have Donald Trump’s America, no different from how it always was but now the mask has gone.

Trump is going to be here for a long time.  Get used to it.  Nobody cares about the Russians, nobody cares if Trump is a fucking idiot. Everybody is now fully committed to the drama, the intensity of his high-octane reality TV style presidency.  And get this, after his second term you’ll be voting for Ivanka who I assure you will be the first female american president.

Of course, not all gay white men believe we live in an unfair society.  Since the wobbly supreme court equal marriage determination (so easily overturned) some white gay men think they are equal… the fight has been won.  Even with Trump as president they convince themselves they are no longer vulnerable to exploitation.  They are wrong.  I am the annoying activist you don’t want to hear… to remind white American gays the battle is never won, the freedom you think you have is being eroded at this very moment in some back room at the Whitehouse in a deal between rabid Christians and some crazy Trumpista. We must always stay vigilant.  Our battles fought honestly, not forged in the Supreme Court but in Congress and the Senate for all the world to see.


art Malibu Rant

Sweet Thing

The rain has finally stopped pouring over the house and into the view.  The skies have cleared. The sun is shining.  The sea is glistening…etc.

Confined to my room with painfully torn ligaments.

Ashley has been running around fetching and carrying.

Sweet thing.

Paying gardeners, buying logs, feeding me pain pills.

This evening she and her friend Aaron Rose sat by the roaring fire whilst my blue eyed friend Bowdy entertained us with unusually funny impressions. When he started his ‘performance’ I was dreading that he was going to be terrible.  He was GREAT!

It’s incredibly unusual in LA to meet a young actor who can actually act.

Aaron is curating a street art show at MOCA.  Next week he is in Paris working with young artists.  A commercials director..apparently they make a ton of money.  Do I wish that I had the ability to make commercials?  Just talking about it, the prospect of it…made the inside of my mouth dry up.

With Ashley making busy around the house life is filling up again with unusual and interesting people.  She is such a doll.

We discussed these three words:  Nigger.  Cunt.  Faggot.  The impact each word has and the power we invest in them.  It was a fascinating conversation.  We felt really naughty talking about each of them…as if overheard we might be arrested or torn from our lives.  It felt subversive.

We were talking about the concentration camps and Aaron revealed that he didn’t know that the pink triangle, symbol of gay pride, originated there.  The pink triangle (German: Rosa Winkel) was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, used to identify homosexual men, as well as those imprisoned for sexual offenses such as rape, bestiality, and pedophilia. Originally intended as a badge of shame, the pink triangle (often inverted from its Nazi usage)  is second in popularity within the gay community only to the rainbow flag.

Alan Davies the British comedian and I had a fight in the Neptune Pub, Whitstable twenty-five years ago when he started wearing the Pink Triangle to prove his solidarity with gays and lesbians.  The problem was,  he was homophobic towards me.  After a huge shouting match and a bitchy struggle he removed the pink triangle.

I have been reading my old blogs.  The ones written when I first arrived here in the USA.   Not only are they a very good read but life sure was full up with people places and things.  Of late (and more contemplative) the written journey has been internal rather than external.

Every day I get closer to my goal of exorcising the ghosts of past love.  Things are getting so much better.  Not so very long ago I didn’t think I could go anywhere that we had been together..not Paris nor New York or Whitstable.   I feared that just walking down the same street we had strolled would ruin it for me.  But, you know, that was the voice of shame whispering seductively in my ear.  The shame I felt about failing to keep him.  The shame of making bad choices in love.

I am better than that.  Paris is a big city.  I am a bigger man.

I sometimes wonder in whose arms he rests now?  Placating him.  Telling him the lies he needs to hear.  Is he happy?  I know in my heart, I know that he will never truly be happy.  He has made terrible mistakes and those mistakes may never be forgiven.  He will try to put it right but not for her.  He wants her to forgive him so he can feel better about himself.

He will be in perpetual torment until he truly understands a selfless apology. Equally, she needs to fully embrace the act of forgiveness.  Can she forgive him?  Eventually she will.  She has no option.

Living with hate or resentment in one’s heart can ruin your life.

Forgive him for being frail and flawed and weak and cowardly and for telling inexcusable lies?  Yes, we can do that.  Eventually.

We are connected forever.  A dance with death.  A marriage with the Devil.  There is something oddly Gothic about it.

I called the small claims court to have the date moved so I can go to London and deal with this bollocks stuff.  Directly to London.

Sooner or later Jake and I will face each other.  Whether it is in the court room or on the street he will pay what he owes me.  He would be such a fool not to.

We will bump into each other.  I know that scenario.  If he has worked properly on himself he will have undergone the change he so badly wanted.  He will be gay.  Not like when I first met him:  A gay man sheltering in the husk of a straight man’s life.  He will be true to his own nature, to the mannerisms and voice that he was so scared to reveal.  I began to see the occasional gay moment when we were in France, the twist of the mouth, the limp wrist, the effeminate draw on the cigarette.  All quite normal for a delicate, passive homosexual.  Endearing.

Like so many ‘straight acting’ gay men he is petrified of being seen to be gay.

He will be revealed.  He will find happiness.  I pray for it.