Archives for posts with tag: Japan

Japan.  Spent zirconium fuel rods, usually submerged under forty feet of water, now lie uncovered in the drained spent fuel pools where they are stored.

The fuel rods at all six reactors at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi complex contain plutonium — better known as fuel for nuclear weapons. While plutonium is more toxic than uranium, other radioactive elements leaking out are likely to be of greater danger to the general public.

Only six percent of the fuel rods at the plant’s Unit 3 were a mixture of plutonium-239 and uranium-235 when first put into operation.  The fuel in the other reactors is only uranium, but even there, plutonium is created during the fission process.

This means the fuel in all of the stricken reactors and spent fuel pools contain plutonium.

In the heart of not one but six nuclear reactors some fuel rods maybe broken…ready to melt down, ready to spew radioactive material into the atmosphere.

We are facing a potential catastrophe in Japan.

Here I link you to the Vlogbrothers simple yet elegant explanation of nuclear fission…for those of you who may not understand what is going on.  Technically.

Critical mass imminent?  Likely?  Who the hell knows.

Critical mass means that there is enough fissionable material to produce and sustain a chain reaction, which grows exponentially within a miniscule passage of time. This chain reaction is precisely what happens in nuclear weapons and could happen in Japan.

We are witnessing critical mass in other parts of the world:  Bahrain where the government saw fit to shoot little children demonstrating with their parents.  Libya where after the United Nations imposed a ‘no fly zone’.  Gaddafi proclaimed a cease fire…then promptly bombed the rebels.  Where, you may ask, were the fearless British and the noisome French?

Critical mass in Wisconsin is growing daily but completely ignored by almost all of the US news media who are frankly perplexed when confronted by white Americans behaving like anything other than bovine subserves.

Last night I, uncharacteristically, turned on the TV and sat with Rachel Maddow for a few irritating minutes.  She was blathering on about how in the 1950’s the Democrats benefitted from the last time the Wisconsin Republicans tried to vote away collective bargaining, unions and the like.   Well, that was then Rachel…when the Democrats served the people and as an effective opposition to the rabid corporation obsessed Republicans.  In a time, long ago, when America and Americans were relevant.

Occurs to me that even if Rachel Maddow believes the Democrats can benefit from getting behind American Working People (she may be right) the working people of America will not be served by those Democrats they elect…most of whom are already bought and paid for by the corporation.  Who said that capitalism means the enslavement of the people?

As fabulously bright as Maddow is there is something vaguely mithering and condescending in her tone.  More worryingly..her solutions are rather naive.

Meanwhile…if it couldn’t get any worse for the LGBT community…

In Congress the ultra right-wing, motivated by crazy house leader John Boehner (Boner), is so deeply committed to dialing back rights for LGBT Americans that nearly 100 of them are co-sponsoring a resolution condemning President Obama for his decision last month to no longer defend DOMA in court.

As Americans struggle to recover from the recession, they just want their government to do right by them.  Republican House leaders are doing the exact opposite – committing taxpayer money and precious time to defend a law that most Americans oppose, and a social agenda that most Americans reject.

Finally, critical mass at the micro level rather than the macro…I am suing somebody.  It stinks…but it has to be done.  Business is business and I hope that he doesn’t take it personally.

I should have called this post: Pre-Existing Condition.

I have always been embarrassed by my piles.  Hemorrhoids.  I have always had them.  Ever since I can remember.  Thank God I was never a bottom.

Whilst the rest of the world looks on in horror at the inevitable nuclear meltdown in northern Japan, the brutal attacks on protestors by the Bahrainian police force, the Libyan civil war I spent this evening with a complete stranger from the internet who arrived at my home with a bag of groceries and cooked me dinner.

Whilst he did that:  I fainted.  Very, very Jayne Eyre of me.

The upshot being that I badly bruised my back on the fucking chair Michael Temple made for me.  The chair looks nice but it’s a FUCKING DEATH TRAP.

That’s what we do in LA.  Strangers come to our mountain top mansions and prepare Penne Carbonara.   I served coffee in delicate Sevres coffee cups.   The dog was FREAKED OUT when I fell over.  He ran away from me when I tried to placate him.

This morning Charles left in his neat black suit and freshly pressed shirt and tie.   He looked so sweet.  I had film stuff to do after he left.  After a few film related conversations on the telephone I walked to the PCH.  All the way there and all the way back.   He chased many ground squirrels.

I sold some art.

This afternoon I watched Sophia Coppola‘s film Somewhere.  I really enjoyed it.  The language and locations of our Hollywood lives.  Too many afternoons floating on the pool, too many hasty hook ups.  Too many facile conversations.  Too many text messages from people who either want to fuck you or fuck you over.  Not enough substance.  Set against a back drop of elegant hotels with fancy toys to play with.

I once lived in the Chateau Marmont for a month.   I moved there when the mountain burned.  I have spent many hours there making new friends.

I remain isolated.

Most of us are isolated here.  However successful we are or we are not.  However many parties we are/are not attending, however ‘connected’ we are.

Sitting around.

Waiting for a great idea.

So now the next great idea has come upon me and I have convinced others to work with to make a dream come true.  Suddenly this town makes sense.

Los Angeles, oh you strange and terrible place.

The christian twins are coming to stay.  The beautiful, twenty-year-old twins are coming to live with me at the house, live at the house whilst I am in NYC.   When they return from Utah.   My born again beauties.

I ate the pasta/caprese salad/garlic bread and he left soon after we finished our coffee to my strange, secluded mountain top life.

He was perfectly nice.

The bruise on my back is worth photographing.

just part of the bruise

There are occasions in life when no really means no.   I am not really the kind of guy who accepts no for an answer but occasionally I hear the word No and I can’t possibly ignore the implications.

When I first got sober I had to make endless amends to many people.  I had to address the wreckage of my past.  It is not always easy to hear an apology so I rarely use the word sorry.  When I had to make amends to people I had hurt whilst using drugs and alcohol I started any apology with these words:  “I was wrong.”  I was wrong to have stolen from you, I was wrong to have lied to you, I was wrong to have deceived you etc. etc.

Some people were simply no longer around to make amends to or some I had made so angry that they could never hear even one word from me let alone an apology so I made, what we call, a living amends, which meant that whatever I had done to the aggrieved I would never do again to another person.  That if I had cheated I would not cheat.  If I had stolen I would not steal.

Obviously they, the other, would not care either way if I cheated or stole ever again but my commitment to the living amends meant that I never need bring more people to the same sad conclusion about me.  This may seem obvious to you but to a selfish, self obsessed addict this is not obvious at all.

I am in an odd mood today.  I am happy but I am expecting the worst.  I am sure about my path but too lazy to take the next step.

Insanely busy day yesterday.  Climbed Runyon.  Popped over to see Amanda and Kay.  Saw Sean over in Malibu at his farm.  Had lunch with Mel.  Drove home, CRAWLED home on the congested 10 Freeway and then couldn’t, for the life of me, find parking so parked illegally.  I was just desperate to get under a hot shower.  Thankfully, I did not get another parking ticket.

Had delicious dinner last night at Osteria Mozza.  Actually, it was an OK dinner but the company was great.   The food was expensive and poorly executed.  I sent the first course back because it was literally inedible.  Bad food made better with inspiring conversation.   I left my phone in the car so when I got back there were lovely text messages to read.

I slept long and hard.

This morning had very long, shitty conversation with HSBC in the UK.  Really bad.  Then, on the way to Runyon, my friend JP called me to make a reservation for him at a restaurant he couldn’t get into but apparently I can.    Made me feel like a glorified personal assistant.  Had long, very long (but delightful) conversation with Philippa about my June trip back home to the UK.  I really can’t wait to get home for a little while.

The NO came after that.  It was so definite and clear but rather than it rattling me I simply asked to get my own needs met and handed the whole caboose and caboodle over to God.

Amen.

Lil Dog in the Snow

I attended my first acting class this evening in a squalid theatre on the east side. Sixteen of us, two of us were over the age of 35, Mary-Elizabeth and me.

As I sat listening to the instructor I was so frightened it almost took my breath away.   I had an allergic reaction to the fear.  My throat closing, my face flushed, my knuckles swollen.

I didn’t want to be there.  I didn’t want anyone to see how clumsy and inept I am.

Yet, after a few minutes, I began to feel comfortable and after 30 minutes I was totally at peace.   The instructor encouraged us to make fools of ourselves and I relished the opportunity.  The instructor told us that we would feel insulted, that we shouldn’t THINK.   He told us to ‘go with the feelings’ he insisted that we didn’t manufacture jokes.  That we learn to cut each other slack.  The youngsters didn’t know how to do that-to look after each other.   Mary-Elizabeth and I knew how to make space for the others because we came from a different time in space.

After the first 30 minutes I could no longer hear the internal critic-you know the one-the one who tells you you are a bad writer, bad person for trying.  He looks at me knowingly, with my grand mothers eyes, wanting to know who the fuck I am to think I can TRY.  Who told you that you could TRY?  Could fight back?  Could make art?  Who told you?

WHO?

The others were very cautious of me.   I liked that I understood their caution.  I understood them.  They were so frail and sensitive.  Not the two old farts.  We weren’t frail or sensitive.  We were just having fun.  You could see that they were sniggering at me but I just didn’t care.

I was having a blast.

Some of them, the others, some of them sparkled, some of them were just lousy.  I knew immediately that I was lousy.  I knew I was bad but I didn’t care.  I didn’t have any shame whatsoever this evening.

Tonight the class was about freeing my soul not tethering it to shame.

We poured out onto the cold street laughing and happy.