My fellow sex addict friends think he is. I am not so sure. Not sure until he is sure.
It is not up to me or anyone else to diagnose his problem, it is up to him. We live in prescriptive times. It is certainly not up to my sex rehab therapist Drew Pinsky and ‘experts’ like him who will no doubt castigate poor Weiner dog for his unmanageable sexting/twittering if he hasn’t done so already.
If I were Anthony Weiner I would be feverishly trying to plug the broken sewer that is currently flushing away his political credibility, his relationship with his heavily pregnant wife and his healthy 61% majority. I too would be heading for a spell in a ‘therapeutic facility’. Treatment might just mean a little time away from the media incubus that presently seeks to impregnate Weiner with all the evil of the modern world.
What the fuck do we expect of our elected representatives? That they are no longer entitled to the shortcomings we all share?
Why should congressmen have such unrealistic expectations heaped upon them?
Anthony Weiner has not broken any law. Not yet. He allegedly chatted innocently with a 17 year old girl. What ever improper thoughts he may have had he did not act upon them. This isn’t, as the media are describing, a ‘SEX SCANDAL!’ because there isn’t any sex.
This might be a Jerk-Off Scandal! Ostensibly an Intrigue Scandal! Allegedly a Bare Chest Scandal! At the very worst a Picture of a Hard Penis on a Cell Phone Scandal!
Monday update: President Obama describes the Weiner sex scandal as a ‘distraction’. Frankly, I am more distracted by the dodgy shenanigans of the laconic Supreme Court JudgeClarence Thomas. The lies, ethical violations and conflicts of interest that, ironically, Weiner was hoping to expose.
Weiner, unlike Thomas, is no crook.
Nancy Pelosi is demanding Weiner’s resignation when others in Congress have done far worse with real people rather than fantasy folk on the internet.
Internet addiction in all its very many forms is a world-wide epidemic, it affects millions upon millions of men.
Ordinary men, who at this very moment, are ensconced in private places away from their friends and family compulsively exploring the darker side of the internet: in ‘the zone’ as we say in Sex Addicts Anonymous.
There may be minor consequences for those who get caught…unless, of course, their internet use is deemed illegal or so sustained that they have scabs on their penises or they get violent if taken away from the intensity of the screen. Most relevantly…if their careers are compromised…jeapodised…lost.
Men take risks that seem entirely manageable until they bust their nut…then they can slink away from their screen to clean themselves up and rejoin humanity. Real people versus the fantasy that takes them away from the stresses of an ordinary world.
A toxic, ritualized compulsion driving the hapless clicker further from wife and children to unimagined places that only the internet can reveal.
Let us not forget Voltaire’s observation that ‘Illusion is the first of all pleasures’.
I have a huge amount of compassion for Weiner. He has been caught sending lewd pictures of himself to strangers. His ‘perversion’ is undoubtedly a product of the modern age. An age where I too, posting this very blog, live in a world of imaginary readers, little consequence and sexual hopelessness.
Sometime in the near future a contrite Weiner will stand before the press like Tiger Woods before him and admit his powerlessness. He will, unwittingly, confess for us all. For the shared sins of viral infidelity, cheating on his wife with the faceless, nameless internet that seems so benign just before ejaculation.
CNN wasn’t much fun this evening. I just wasn’t into it. I was on for the entire programme. I prefer to spar a little and no amount of coffee was going to lift me out of my sowhatness.
What the hell am I doing here having opinions about Tiger Woods?
Therapy this morning. Huge English Breakfast. Chatted with my Mother. Lunch with a friend.
I forgot to mention that yesterday on the way back from letting in the new and adorable renters I chatted with Nicola H all the way from the PCH to Robertson. We hadn’t spoken for years. Lost each other. She lives in France. Dione’s daughter. Trying to have a baby.
She found me via reading my blog. It was a perfect example of just how this blog works for me rather than against me. Occasionally full disclosure has its benefits.
Back to the renters..the ones that left Sunday morning at 10 had broken every single rule but I handed back their deposit. I could have so easily kept it. Smoking, under age, party..etc. I just smiled as they tried concealing their tracks. Nothing broken, no stains. Used their own sheets.
The new renters were charming. A middle-aged man and his wife and small dog. Very sweet. They leave on Thursday. I am going to fill the truck with stuff and take it over there.
Facebook etiquette. Jake’s great hobby (other hobby given his obsession with online hook ups) is Facebook where he regularly trawls through the lives of others, mocking his old school friends and their marriages and babies.
As if to prove my famewhore monika I now discover that pearshaped Jake made the right move by Facebook defriending people he met through me yet, I notice, not everyone..he kept hold of friends of mine on Facebook who he considered useful..including my talented chanteuse friend who, upon meeting him, wondered why I had chosen such a ‘dull man’ to make my lover. Mind you, it was one of those scintillating evenings when he just could not get off his iPod or texting on his phone.
I realize now that when he is so intensely involved with his phone/iPod/laptop he is busy with other fuckbuddies.
HLN again tonight. 4pm my time. Fantasia follow-up and more sex tape discussion, this time about Heidi and Spencer Pratt and my FAVE topic..Tiger Woods. I love going into CNN with my button down and coat to trash talk celebrity. It’s so much fun.
Let me know if you watch it.
Everyday I see who and why people are visiting this blog. Not individually of course but how many people and what they typed into the search engine to get to my blog. Every day people look for Kristian Digby, hundreds of people. It’s lovely that people come to this blog to find the facts about his funeral and where he is buried etc. I feel as if, in some small way, I am being of service.
Which brings me to my next topic. Being of service. One of my commentators very rightly pointed out that I have been less than kind recently on these pages. Very unforgiving. This was an accurate criticism and one that I am going to take care of addressing.
Of course I have forgiven Irene and Jake. Irene because she is so like me and Jake because, poor little lamb, he didn’t have a clue what he was getting involved with. Mostly I have forgiven myself. I loathe being angry Duncan.
I am having a great time NOT having to worry about Jake. He’s going to be just fine. He’ll meet a lovely man (one day) and settle down and do whatever he has to do to make life exciting. He’s good-looking, intelligent, funny..a perfect combination. The other gays seem to get where he is coming from so he’ll get on with his gay life with aplomb.
So, I am sorry for being a knob about you JB but you kinda deserved it.
I have a great deal to be happy about. I forget regularly this very important fact. I don’t have to think about all the shitty times I can remember the good times. The sweet times. What I learned.
Relationships are very confusing. It’s best that I don’t have them or think about them. I lose my balance when I am in a relationship. As for sex? Well, this weekend I am invited to a ‘sex party’ in Long Beach…hahhahaha..yeah right…that sounds like HELL. I would rather have Saudi’s gauge out my eyes.
Spent a lovely evening with a bunch of gay men last night. I have always wanted a group of gay men around me who I like and trust and am inspired by. Last night I kinda found that rather than hanker after a bunch of cool gay friends..I already had them. After dinner we watched The Graduate and then a two-hour long Q&A with Dustin Hoffman. It really was a magical evening.
Read in the Observer yesterday that the Editor of Attitude magazine, a British gay glossy, had written a lively piece about gay men’s mental health and how toxic shame can destroy our lives.
He quoted Alan Downs The Velvet Rage which any self-respecting gay has read a million times since it was published 5 years ago. The editor was concerned that his readers would consider it controversial. It’s about bloody time that we looked at how shame has shaped our lives.
“Yes, we have more sexual partners in a lifetime than other groups of people,” Downs writes. “At the same time, we also have among the highest rates of depression and suicide, not to mention sexually transmitted diseases. As a group, we tend to be more emotionally expressive than other men, yet our relationships are far shorter on average than those of straight men.
“We have more expendable income, more expensive houses, more fashionable cars, clothes, furniture than just about any other cultural group. But are we truly happier?”
Exactly, why bother taking ourselves seriously when there’s stuff to buy?
The reason why so few editors of Gay magazines write about gay mental health is that they are all BONKERS and terrible drinkers and drug takers. A sober gay man is still an anomaly.
Cancer update: Toby Mott just suggested that I ebay my balls.
Whitstable, that’s where we grew up. The High Street, a shingle beach, abandoned oyster beds, abandoned boat yards.
I knew I wanted to make something. I never knew quite what. Writing, knitting, print-making, drawing, theatre, acting, fashion. Good… but never good enough. Wanting to be included but unwilling to participate. Confident to be part of what was going on but seldom sure. Always there, never present.
Had I been allowed, as planned, to go to St Martin’s College of Art to study fashion I would have become a fashion designer. I still have note books crammed with crude fashion drawings and swatches of hideous fabric made when I was 8 years old. Each ‘season’ I would design a new collection and between ‘collections’ I would write and illustrate articles about the history of fashion.
An avid fashion commentator who had unwelcome, prepubescent opinions about everything. My damning critique of Princess Anne’s ‘boring’ ivory duchess satin wedding dress in 1973 irritated my short-tempered, royalist Grandmother. “Look at those ghastly sleeves…”
I was an industrious child. At boarding school I excelled.
When I wasn’t busily designing imaginary runway collections I worked hard remaking my life, a life I could control. A life reimagined included: a 30 page illustrated story about a happy family of mice. A precocious teenager at boarding school I spent months writing and rewriting rambling plays about unrequited love with other boys.
Theatre! I must make theatre. The lights, the tension, the smell of the theatre. The warmth and silence of the audience, laughter erupting around me, muffled crying from the red velvet stalls.
Oddly, I had absolutely no great passion for film or television. Of course, I had seen many films but it wasn’t a world that piqued my interest. I had a fondness for black and white Hollywood films from the 1940’s (particularly musicals) that I would either watch on the television on my own or walk up Whitstable High Street to the cavernous Oxford Cinema.
I was inspired. Stealing an idea for my ‘new collection’, a sleeve or muff. I watched the credits roll: costume designer Edith Head… Funny Face. Adrian, who designed the costumes for The Wizard of Oz.
I’m 12 years old. I discover Marilyn Monroe without ever knowing she is already an established gay icon. The following year I insist that my parents buy me Norman Mailer’s illustrated biography for Christmas.
Theatre and fashion people referenced film but nobody I knew would ever have thought about making one.
The years after I left Shotton Hall School in 1976, before I went to prison in 1983 were culturally the richest of my life. I scraped into Medway College of Art and Design with one ‘O’ level. I befriended punk rocker Billy Childish. I learned how to etch and screen print and draw. Punk was determining music fashion and graphics but scarcely impacted the institutionalized, established, sewn up world of British contemporary art. Britain would have to wait until 1989 until Michael Clark, Tilda Swinton and Leigh Bowery performed in the Anthony d’Offay Gallery.
Whilst at Medway, I saw a very ordinary man wearing a badly cut suit his tie askew commuting from London to Thanet holding a copy of The Sex Pistol‘s single God Save The Queen and nearly fainted in fear. I was wearing a pair of my mother’s bottle green woolen tights. I wonder what he must have thought about me? He alighted at Rainham.
Unable to study fashion at St Martin’s College as my garrulous stepfather refused to let me. I had to get a job. The job I was offered, selling clothes at Yves Saint Laurent on Bond Street, London became the beginning of what would turn out to be a great, although misguided, adventure. An adventure that would shape the rest of my life.
I met Lady Clare Rendlesham and within a few months I was in Paris pretending to be her son.
Along with changing my identity, in Paris I threw myself head long into the very accommodating worlds of fashion, performance art and theatre.
The land of sublime artifice.
During the pret-a-porter I would run with my friends through the streets of Paris from show to show. Although my time in Paris seems less, in retrospect, about theatre and more about fashion and art, I was introduced to Robert Wilson and members of his company, traveled to Holland to see Lucinda Childs in Dance with music by Phillip Glass and travelled more to see beautiful work by Pina Bausch.
Pina Bausch died this year.
I was one of the first people in Paris to wear a Walkman. I think I may still own that original item. Some rich friend of a rich friend left it at my place. He had bought it from Tokyo where he’d been modeling and never asked for it back. Suddenly I had my very own soundtrack. My life scored by Super Tramp. The optimistic opening bars of Take The Long Way Home soaring over the controversial rebuilding of Les Halles that seems only recently to have settled into its surroundings. Music altered my perception of where I was and how I experienced it. Paris was never so beautiful.
It was during this time in 1978, as a willowy teenager, I chanced upon Fred Hughes at John Jermyn’s Rue de Bellechasse home. That beautifully, wonderfully decorated house… rococo monkeys fucking on the drawing-room walls painted by Harry Gromelion and acres of Fortuny silk.
Fred had been, the year I met him, diagnosed with MS and had become nihilistic and surly.
“When Fred got sick, he had to go to the American Hospital, and I decorated his room. I went to visit him, and brought pictures he liked, from his house and flowers…” Julian Schnabel
Fred, so reviled, cut a sad and lonely path through his own life ending up incapacitated and angry. At the end, surrounded in his Lexington Avenue home by the most beautiful things, nothing could placate him. His terrible Texan mother moved in to help, firing his loyal assistant. We never saw him again.
When I met Fred he had slicked back black hair and tailored suits, he lived in an apartment on the Rue du Cherche-Midi and was, to a provincial teenager, incredibly glamorous… a true dandy.
“It was I who found Fred Hughes his Paris apartment on the Rue du Cherche-Midi, where Warhol would stay.” Pierre Berger
He liked me because he thought I was a British aristocrat. He was a terrible snob. Later, when he knew the truth, he would laugh and mock the moment we met and feign outrage. He only ever called me Anthony.
Fred took me to New York, bought me Vetiver and appropriate underwear, gave me drugs at Studio 54, lent me shirts that belonged to Farouk, the last King of Egypt. He wrapped me up in linen sheets and laughed at my jokes. Fred introduced me to Yves St-Laurent and his muse LouLou de la Falaise, Baron Eric De Rothschild, flame haired owner of Egoiste magazine Nicole Wisniak. I sat entranced by these people. Wearing clothes Fred had bought for me, a brand new name. Sloughing off the past… a past for which I had no need.
Perhaps we understood each other because we had both abandoned our past for a far more thrilling present. After his death he was described as ‘a consummate liar, social climber, and a bespoke SOB who grew to total ghoulishness because of his connection to Andy Warhol.’
Isn’t everyone a social climber of some kind… and why the hell not? It’s galling to have Fred’s memory so maligned. From what I saw he managed or rather… baby sat Andy Warhol, pulling him out of relative poverty, protecting him from the unworthiest.
Was that a lie? I really don’t have a clue. As a teenager I thought he was just swell.
It is so sad to see him like this, stricken with MS:
This photograph is amusing. Tim Hunt, Princess Anne of Bavaria, Me and Alexis de Toqueville at Anne’s apartment in Paris. Like so many beautiful young men from that time, Alexis would die of AIDS. Hid family refused to acknowledge his life as a gay man and his death as a gay man.
Samia Saouma’s Gallery (another social hub as great galleries tend to be) I was introduced to the work of The Baron de Meyer, Man Ray and Joseph Kosuth. I followed the crowd and applauded the sparse and mannered work of Robert Wilson. We saw I Was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating and Death Destruction and Detroit.
In Paris I learned about artists and their power and prestige. Most of these men and women, invited to Europe during the late 70’s early 80’s, were American. Flooding the world with new ideas; polemical and challenging.
What happened to the arts? Even though British theatre seems to have maintained it’s edge, British art has become increasingly bland and decorative. Says nothing of the war or the bloody peace.
Paris was just how Paris is meant to be: an education for a young man.
Before we leave Paris there was one sublime moment. It was a moment. We all need them. Romantic. I had been invited to the house of some elderly Duke. On an orange velvet wall hung a huge sunset by Turner. Surrounded by furniture, a light supper served in front of it. This is how art should be enjoyed. Domestically.
Returning to England I was given the telephone number of Erica Bolton by The Princess Anne of Bavaria. I met Erica at The Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, West London, where she worked as a publicist. My great love affair with the theatre began in earnest.
Erica Bolton, in turn, introduced me to a community of successful writers and directors. Men and women who inspired me to make my own theatre, my own films, my own art.
I listened and learned.
Erica sneaks me into the theatre to see Kantor’s sold out show Wielopole, Wielopole. I sit in the Gods looking down at syphilitic soldiers marching, wax figures strapped to the living, a monochrome set with Kantor in the middle of it all tweaking his memories and watching sadly as the dead come back to life.
It was triumphant, breathtaking theatre and in sharp contrast to the very British, academic work of Peter Gill (Cherry Orchard) who I met that year (1978) and his then assistant David Levaux the now hugely respected Broadway director.
There were so many exciting people to hang out with at The Riverside like the precocious Hanif Kureishi fresh from his triumphant stint at The Royal Court.
Pioneering David Gothard, the artistic director, the genius at the very heart of the Riverside Studios. Responsible for bringing Tadeusz Kantor, Miro, Shuji Tereyama and many others not only to Hammersmith but to the UK. Night after night we sat in the canteen drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. I loved every moment.
In 1979 I made my way to Paris to see Peter Brook’s Bouffes du Nord. To Paris by boat and train to see Brook’s Conference of the Birds. The raw brick walls and magnificent arches quite unlike any other performance space. I can’t remember where I stayed that night. I was in heaven. I remember the Persian rugs on the floor, the chirping of the cast as they imitated different birds..a chorus… the dawn chorus.
I wanted to make theatre so badly. When I finally got around to it I made just one good work The Host. The other works (as it turned out) a preamble for my later film making and really not that good.
In 1981 I moved into a small flat in Furlong Road, Islington. The home of director Michael Darlow. The flat came with a job: nanny to their wayward 13-year-old adopted son. Wandering the streets I discovered the derelict Almeida Theatre where I would end up having my 22nd Birthday thrown by designer Scott Crolla. Furniture Designer Tom Dixon was our doorman. William Burroughs came.
‘Come Dressed at Duncan Roy’ the invitation demanded.
Here are Kadir Guirey and Tom Dixon in their band Funkapolitan…
The Almeida Theatre, bought and renovated (Bouffe de Nord style) by Lebanese born Pierre Audi. I managed, by chance, to witness the birth of an institution. Even when derelict, Pierre used the space as a theatre. Amongst many, early notable Almeida productions I saw A Dybbuk For Two People with Bruce Myers and in 1982, at Saint James’s Church, Chillingworth Road at the Almeida International Festival of Contemporary Music, John Cage at 70. Stunning.
Early 1983 I was arrested and imprisoned for running up a huge bill on my credit card. I spent the next ten months starved of theatre and art but found another altogether unexpected beauty.
I was 23. Prison, as I have said before, was beautiful.
People like Erica bid their adieu and I would never really see them again.
1983, months after I left Wormwood Scrubbs Prison I answered an advertisement in Time Out Magazine. Neil Bartlett was looking for performers to open his show PORNOGRAPHY, a Spectacle at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. It was a gruelling process, one I found particularly hard to get to grips with. Acting, as you may know, requires the performer to be real and at this time in my life I really had no idea how to do that at all.
As with my appearance in the ‘A’ list thirty years later, people mocked my decision to be in a gay play about sex and sexuality. Life is for the experience… isn’t it? One grand adventure after another.
Pornography: A Spectacle. 1983/84 Actor
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 6 city UK tour, Poor Alex Theatre, Toronto, Canada
Devised with Ivan Cartwright, Neil Bartlett and Robin Whitmore
“Pornography is quite wonderful, outrageous, intentionally shocking — but with real human beings stepping through the sensationalism at regular intervals to speak between the screams of cliché in normal conversational tones about who they are and how they really feel. The recurrent theme is one of intense pornographic description, which the actors suddenly stop, pause, and say, “of course that was merely a quotation,” or “but it really wasn’t like that.” Sky Gilbert
The Critic by Sheridan: 1984 Actor – Mr. Puff
The Host: 1987 Writer/Director
Institute of Contemporary Art London and National Review of Live Art Glasgow with Georgia Byng and Tatiana Strauss
Bad Baby: 1989 Writer/Director
The Penny Theatre, Canterbury, Kent, Hen and Chickens Theatre, Islington North London
Using a cast of local Kent performers this play examined issues of child abuse using Beatrix Campbell’s Unofficial Secrets as the basis of the text.
The Baron in the Trees: 1990 Writer/Director
Adapted from the Italo Calvino novel of the same name for The Penny Theatre, Canterbury, Kent
Copper’s Bottom: 1991 Writer/Director
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, starring Aiden Shaw
Call me Susan: 1993 Co-writer
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh; Edinburgh Festival Fringe;
Call Me Susan explored issues surrounding prostitution across Europe. A dramatized discussion between two prostitutes interspersed with real-life recorded testimonies and pictures of prostitutes working in six European cities.
It was an early morning yesterday. I was up before the dawn. And I really have enjoyed my stay. But I must be moving on.
Sexual anorexia is a term used to describe a loss of “appetite” for romantic-sexual interaction but can be better defined as a fear of intimacy to the point that the person has severe anxiety surrounding sex with emotional content.
4am, Saturday morning. It is almost impossible to sleep. My lover is in town. My sleep schedule rearranged as I learn all over again to share my bed.
We have been in and out of bed all weekend and whilst it is reassuring to have this oversexed lil monkey crawling all over me I end up thinking far too much-both good and bad. The bad thoughts: wanting to escape, trying to remember old conquests, those perfect pornographic moments that always get me off. The good thoughts: fully engaging with newly learned sexual behaviors/insights. It is delightful to be mainly present during the sex. Now, when I say sex what are you thinking? The sex I have is, I am sure, nothing like most people.
When Bill Maher condemns sex addicts I doubt that he understands that most men who consider themselves sex addicts are not having the sort of sex that he is having. They are not meeting, fucking, cumming and leaving. Many men identify as sex addicts but the men I identify most with are actually porn addicts who seldom leave their apartments or Internet addicts on hook up sites with multiple on-line personalities. These men exist apart from the Tiger Woods variety of sex addicts: men who hook up with women or other men whilst wives and children sleep oblivious at home.
Bill Maher’s limited understanding of sex addiction and general scoffing negates those of us who work daily in order not to retraumatize ourselves. Bill Maher is certainly not recreating moments of childhood fear; he is not replicating perfect porno moments nor dealing with erectile dysfunction.
Tiger Woods may be a serial cheater but his story is the exception rather than the rule. Those of us who compulsively masturbate seldom get to meet anyone at all regardless of our engaging personalities. Addicted to the soothing effect of ejaculation, the calming thoughtless moments just after we shoot our dwindling load.
1983. I answered an ad in Time Out for gay performers who wanted to make a play with Neil Bartlett for the Institute of Contemporary Art about pornography. Drawing on historical texts, Diaries of a Marianne (attributed to Oscar Wilde) for instance, we all at once celebrated and condemned the production, consumption and effects of pornography. In one scene we compared the fantasy of pornography with the reality of our own sex lives.
After our 10 city tour in the UK and Canada I went home and never gave the polemic we were positing another thought, yet had I… my life would have turned out very differently.
How has gay pornography influenced my thinking, my relationships, my life?
Pornography has ruined my sexual expectations. Pornography: where men together do not tenderly hold each other, look into each other’s eyes, do not cry gently, do not laugh out loud, and do not ‘fail’ with half hard cocks. The perfect bodies, sexual performance and youth of most gay porn stars are impossible acts to follow.
Yet, the moment I get into bed with a man I try to emulate what I see in pornography. My stance is both dominant and aggressive, my voice lowers, I am uncharacteristically clumsy, and my kisses are full lipped. I have no idea what the end point of any sexual encounter is because I have so rarely ejaculated with another human being. I am rarely even in the same room because I am off in fantasy. I am rarely hard.
My lover is sexually submissive so what good am I to him if I am so full of fear that my cock does not get hard? That at the back of my mind I know my darling pornography waits to own me the moment he is gone? How many men cheat on their wives/boyfriends with pornography?
The past few days of sexual activity have been perhaps the best of my life because I am at least in the same room as the man I have elected to sleep with. I am authentic, present, calm and honest. I tell him the truth. Perhaps too much talking but frankly I would rather talk than be absent. There has been a great deal of consolation since he arrived. There has been a remarkable kindness. I no longer objectify him nor resent him simply because he sees who and what I am.
With the truth comes vulnerability, certainly never evident in pornography unless it’s a ‘mans first time’ with another man. Then the gay for pay virgin simply looks confused or humbled by desire. I have wasted so many years to pornography, so many wasted opportunities, so much lost love.
Men have humiliated me. I have, in turn, humiliated men. I have defined myself by my inability rather than my gifts. I have invested in my defects rather than my talent.
I am trying to have a few wonderful moments before my lover leaves LA and God knows if I will ever see him again. Of this I am sure: we got to know each other before we lay together. This meant that I had no shame when he finally held me in his arms. That I felt comfortable enough to let him know what was going on with me when I could not perform as perhaps he wanted me to perform. That we continue to laugh and cry and feel comfortable doing so.
I only have until Friday and I am going to make the most of it-before he returns to his own war zone and I to mine.
Oh what a tangled web we weave. Loads on my mind today: Taxes, Tiger Woods, and Mr. Darling NYC.
The dogs are sitting on the bed looking expectantly but God only knows when we will walk again judging by the gloomy weather reports.
I seemed to have stirred up yet another hornets nest.
I want to make something clear to my hornets. Like many of you I pay thousands of dollars in tax: federal, state and local taxes. I pay sales tax, road tax and property tax. In fact of all the taxes I pay the one that galls me most is my property tax, which at $17,000 a year is unforgivably huge.
SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR.
An equivalent property tax in the UK for a similarly priced home would be $3,000 at most.
I pay all of my many and various taxes begrudgingly because if I don’t the state will take my home. Why begrudgingly you may ask? Well, a good proportion of my tax funds bogus wars I do not agree with and bank bailouts that counter my free market sympathies. Wars and bailouts that just make a few people very, very rich and kill many, many innocent people.
My tax dollars help kill thousands of innocent people.
As one reader points out, I can’t vote so I am not able to have a say in the way my taxes are spent. I am not allowed to get involved with politics here in the USA so I have no legitimate soapbox from which to stand and complain. I only have this blog.
Rather than cast me as unpatriotic, ungrateful or as an America basher why can’t you understand that I, as a taxpayer have every right not to agree with the status quo. The attitude some of my readers have that we have no option, that we are powerless in the face of government, that an opposing view is un-American, that the IRS has a right to rip us off so we may as well get used to it..is simply astounding.
My desire for all of us and our children is that we get what the rest of the developed world takes for granted: that for just about the same amount of tax we pay or less in the case of the British the PEOPLE get so much more. Let me tell you again: three free years of education, public transportation, well maintained highways, healthcare, public arts, BBC etc. etc.
It is sickening that the majority of our tax dollars are simply drained away from the public to fight expensive wars, imprison people in private prisons, subsidize the pharmaceutical industry..the list is endless! As a taxpayer I am outraged that so little of our hard earned cash works for the common good, for the investment in people so that we might halt this rapid decline and encourage invention, entrepreneurialism, and industry.
The price for a total lack of investment in the American people will be catastrophic.
Is it even logical to saddle the young with huge student loans and expensive health insurance whilst you fight costly wars or fund bank bailouts? Can’t you see that education and healthcare are basic human rights and serve any prosperous nation? An educated and healthy workforce will serve a country so much better than those who live in fear of economic insecurity or health related bankruptcy.
I maintain my assertion that yesterdays mad Joe into the IRS stunt was a metaphor and should be understood as such.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear to all of you. I believed in this country so much I moved all of my personal wealth from Britain only to see it vanish because of appalling fiscal mismanagement and endemic government mandated greed. Greed that has not only destroyed our shared dream, the American Dream that many of us still believe in but the dreams of the next generation.
Of course I don’t want to fly an airplane into an IRS building but can understand the murderous frustration of someone who does.