Archives for posts with tag: Rupert Murdoch

Forgive me for rambling….

Rather lovely day yesterday.

Had lunch with Daniel Darling and his adorable girlfriend (?) in Cross Creek.

We were joined by Toby Mott and his friend Elizabeth.  Daniel went surfing and we drove to Malibou Lake where we sailed and then had a wonderful dinner at The Old Place on Mulholland.

Excellent food and service.  Charming!

A bird just hopped into the house and is now flying around.  We have just been for a five-mile walk so the dogs are strangely disinterested.

Willie is here visiting and we are all getting on like a house on fire.

I am going back to NYC next week.  I have people to see.  I think my Navy Seal may visit soon.

It has been fun having Toby visiting.  I sort of fall in love with my house all over again when he is here.  I am proud of the mountains, the house and the garden.

I see that my nemesis Amanda Eliasch and her truly talented friend Lyall Watson (whoring himself out to artifice) have written and performed in a ‘play’ called As I Like It.

Apparently it is rather ‘whiney’.  Apparently Amanda’s son Charles serves the actress who plays his mother as a weird, incestuous acolyte.  He has a huge head.  Apparently there is an opera singer with real talent who barely gets to sing.  Apparently the writer refers to ‘hairy legged lesbians’.  As we know, at her core, she is a homophobe.

Apparently this ‘play’ is crap.

It really isn’t any wonder, Amanda can scarcely string a sentence together.   It’s worth quoting the theatre programme notes:

This is a play what I wrote for my Father several years ago which he asked me to do after he had died. I turned it into a play with the help of Lyall Watson who had taught me at RADA in 1989. There are only a few plays for women and I wanted to contribute and increase the material available. It is a modern restoration comedy.

Yes.  You are going to do wonders for women with this pile of  tripe.  Wonders.

I once played Mr Puff at The Edinburgh Festival in Sheridan’s The Critic.   Have you seen that play?  A comedy of manners.  A real one.

Like Mrs Eliasch Mr Puff, the author of a terrible play, invites critics Sneer and Dangle to a dress rehearsal.

Puff explains to Sneer that he is ‘‘a Professor of the Art of Puffing’’: an author who has taught newspaper men and advertisers how to inflate their diction so they may ‘‘enlay their phraseology with variegated chips of exotic metaphor’’ and ‘‘crowd their advertisements with panegyrical superlatives.’’

Break a leg Amanda.  Read the review here.

By the way.  I was a terrible actor.  Terrible.

OK.  Next!!

What’s going on?  What’s really going on in the UK?

This ousting of the Murdoch family is well over due, applauded by the regime, the chattering classes, the aristocracy.

The public are baying for blood, hollering at the beastly Murdochs, “Get back on the boat like your criminal Australian ancestors.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.  Take your newspaper with you”

Hold on.

The British relish tittle-tattle.  We love it!  We love gossip!  The steamier the better.  Surely we didn’t lose our appetite for rooting through other people’s dirty washing?

Now The New of The World has gone…and the other news media get more cautious…

What, in heaven’s name, will replace it?

Are we witnessing the changing of the guard?  Has the internet (Google, Facebook etc.) and on-line news outlets like the Huffington Post trumped traditional media?

Apparently people don’t read The Huffington Post for the news..they read it for the gossip.

Was Murdoch simply too old, too complacent, too rich to have a grasp on our changing world?

Is this coup de grace being played out in the British press a pantomime we will see in the not too distant future in the USA?

One of the most telling quotes of the entire debacle:

The BBC’s business editor Robert Peston points out, the News of The World phone hacking scandal has hurt the entire UK newspaper industry, making News International less attractive to potential buyers if, as is now being posited, the British arm of News Corp is amputated and sold.

Does real, forward thinking money sees a future for print media?

Controlling the British has always been a huge problem for any invader and Murdoch will end up like all the rest.  Chucked out on his ear.  Romans, Saxons (initially invited), Norsemen, Murdoch.

The British public don’t a give a fuck about Jude Law having his phone hacked, that was just par for the course.  He deserved it.  They only started giving a damn when they realised that the police (who they loathe) were benefiting financially.

They only started caring when ordinary people just like them were proved to be abused, their ordinary stories sold, their phone messages ransacked.

Until Milly Dowler they didn’t give a flying fuck.  Then, rather amazingly, for an usually inert general public…they did.  And when the public speaks (remember Diana’s death) the establishment listens.

Remember the Queen of England reading/performing that excruciating statement televised by the palace at the behest of Tony Blair before Diana’s funeral?

The British let their leaders get away with much until they take too much.  A prudent leader will know when to stop.  Murdoch, his son and cohorts became too..how shall I say this without provoking your ire…they became too American.

It is obvious that American politicians are bought and sold by The Corporation.   They live huge lives with fantastic wealth and are applauded for doing so.

What baffles me is why a regular British MP with nothing much to gain should ideologically side with those who seek to do us, their constituents, harm?

During this entire scandal as heads began to roll I wondered again and again how British politicians benefitted financially from New Corp.  Unlike the paid for politician here in the USA it is unlikely that anyone in Parliament could benefit financially from anything…ever.

There are simply too many prying eyes.  Unless I am being absurdly naive.  Am I?

Is it simply the acquisition of power that our MP’s crave?

I’m in Malibu.  It ‘s 7.30am.

A veil of mist has enveloped the house.

The fierce sunlight refracting through the pure white cloud is exactly the same light as if it had been snowing.

Yesterday, after making peace with the memory of JB, I met Michael at Solar and discussed scripts.  He is a delightful man.  I told him that I’d read his script but was loathed to say anything.

People ask for criticism but they only want praise.

I dashed off to see Danielle and she worked through her slate, her list of projects.

We sat opposite Jane Fonda who looked a little frail but still radiant.  I was briefly introduced and told her how much I adored Klute.   She shared a few anecdotal memories about the making of the film.

Bumped into Degan who is moving in with his younger boyfriend.  I didn’t balk.  I thought to myself (as the ghost of what could have been passed through me) well, that was then this is now.  As I’ve said before it’s quite obvious that I’m never going to have that moving in thing happen to me so I may as well just accept things as they are and get on with it.

There is no room in my life for melancholy.  I have devoted too much time to drama, misery and bad choices.

It’s an illusion that the young are happy, an illusion for those who have lost it.  The young know they are wretched, for they are full of truthless ideal and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded.

My meeting with the accountant was fruitful.  Apparently life is not quite as fraught as I thought it was.

I met Hillary in Venice and walked the entire length of Abbot Kinney gossiping and laughing.

We ate a light supper at Wholefoods.  I’m sorry but eating food outside a grimy supermarket is just too much.  I bought a grilled chicken that I shared with the Lil Dog.

Fantabulosa is the bio pic of actor and British TV personality Kenneth Williams starring Michael Sheen.

BAFTA organized a screening for the members in a small Santa Monica cinema.

It’s a sad film.  I identified very much with Kenneth’s sexual anorexia, his inability to form loving relationships with other men and the mask he wore to get through a life he considered useless.

Met the boy who played Joe Orton in Fantabulosa.  Kenny Doughty and his wife seem very pleasant.

“It is difficult to know people and I don’t think one can ever really know any but one’s own countrymen.

For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the county in which they are born, the city or the farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives’ tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they played, the poets they read, and the God they believed in.

It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can’t come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them.”

It seems so easy, helping my friend in London put his film together without any thought of directing it myself.  It has given me a great deal of pleasure.  Of course I know how to negotiate the making of a film.  A big film or a small film.  Films naturally find their own scale.

I’ve no idea yet what sort of film we will make.  We are currently looking for a great script.

It was lovely listening to Michael Sheen talk about Kenneth Williams.  He obviously developed a profound affection for Kenneth by simply walking in his shoes.   I wondered what the similarities were between these two very different men.

Michael talked amusingly at dinner about meeting Tony Blair at Rupert Murdoch’s house.  He talked about Polari, the 17th Century gay slang, I introduced to Jake B.  He described his friendship with Barbra Windsor.

I hope I helped JB understand the culture and history that precedes him.  It’s so important for gay men to own their history, not as prescribed by straight people as they have written us in the pages of their newspapers…but the oral history that may get lost as another generation of gay men grow up.   We have such a rich history, such joy and tragedy…but we are loathed to own it.

There was a superb Somerset Maugham quote used in the movie:

“What do we any of us have but our illusions and what do we ask of others that we be allowed to keep them?”

When I was a young boy Maugham’s childhood home still stood on Canterbury Road in Whitstable.  It was a beautiful Victorian rectory that savage developers later pulled down and replaced with five vile, mock Georgian horrors.  Anyway, before it was demolished, I made friends with the owners and every Sunday after church I would sit in the huge conservatory, feed their chickens and look at the goldfish in their pond.  They gave me a small piece of amethyst that I still own.

When I went to bed last night I found a poisonous spider folded into the linen.  I didn’t kill it.  It’s nice to share your bed with something living even if it’s only a spider or a little dog.

As I look back over the past months I understand that one can’t do what one thinks is right without making someone else unhappy.

In the time that it has taken me to write this blog the mist has magically retreated revealing the ocean.  I am going for a long walk.