Narrative. #ROCkin that Spidey-Sense.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
(Taken from Google Images.)
Rochester is, in fact, a hot spot for film. (GeorgeEastman. Eastman Theatre. Rochester International Film Fest. High Falls FilmFest. The Little Theater. The Cinema Theatre. ImageOUT: The Rochester LGBT Film& Video Festival.) And now for Spider-Man film. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, to be spidey-cific. Filming for some of the hot chase scenes takes place today, and so Momsly & I used our Spidey Senses on Monday to scout the talent.

 
Ever Get Dressed Up & Walk Down Main Street, in Rochester, NY, During Rush-Hour??
 
Liberty Pole.
And daffodils.
It started with a strategic stroll down Main Street, from East Ave to South. Swarms of city slickers, workers, and students flood the brick-paved sidewalks. Flowing red swing jacket, wafting gray & charcoal cape-coat. Sunglasses. Momsly and I strolled. We looked for glamour &, absolutely, we looked the part. It is no wonder Moms & I were mistaken for tourists–i.e. who tried really hard–when we stalked our first downtown hotel.
Bear Hugs from Indiana. 
 
Babsy, she nudged. I turned toward the bar. I bet they’re with the film. Momsly spied a weary looking four-some of normal-looking people who sat inconspicuously near the Hyatt Regency bar.  No they’re not, mom.
Momsly heard that the actors (and by actors, I mean stunt-doubles) and film crew were bunking at the Hyatt on Main. We had no shame in seeking them out. As soon as we walked in, Moms directed us up the stairwell & toward the main bar. When I suddenly became incredibly self-conscious of our amateur paparazzi skills, I diverted all action toward the gift shop. And let me tell you, you don’t know Rochester, NY until you’ve been in the Rochester Hyatt Regency Hotel Niva Gift Shop.
Actually found in the Rochester, NY
Gift Shop at the Hyatt.
Upon check-out, Momsly & I received the thrill of our lives. As we were shoppers in a hotel gift shop, the cashier—appropriately—asked if we were from Rochester, NY. Amused, Momsly & I quickly claimed our Rochester residency. And then moved onto business. Sharply, Momsly invoked her spy-senses and probed into the whereabouts of our Spidey stars.
Has there been a lot of increased traffic? Well what about the out-of-towners? You know, {nudge nudge}  for the event. The event?! Why the film. Spider-man. Have you seen many actors for the film??! She finally exclaimed.
The cashier, a young and smiling woman, laughed. Promptly, she informed us how the stunt people & crew are booked at the Radisson, next door. Sullen-faced & disappointed, Momsly and I turned to leave. Obviously, to book-it directly to the Riverside Convention Center. And that’s when it happened. Our sweet 15 seconds.
Wait a second. The cashier looked directly our way. She scanned our swing jackets, and oogled the cardi-cape; analyzed the shit-eating grins slapped across our faces. You two are extras. You are in the movie! I knew it!! I knew you’re not from Rochester. The cashier’s mouth hung ajar.
Us? My mother’s hand moved demurely over her chest. Our eyeballs agape. Us?? Why, certainly we are not. {Pause.} In the film, that is. And coyly, as if nothing ever happened save for the giggles that erupted from our bowels, Momsly & I turned on our heels. Practically movie stars.
Emma & Me
and Revlon and CVS.
Radisson Riverside Convention Center & The Freak-Out.
 
Now our senses were honed. Pruned for spider-lebrity. We knew where to go, and we knew that we (maybe) belonged. Watch-out Emma Stone. After our first attempts to enter through the Radisson’s rotating front doors were thwarted–they’re locked, permanently–a lovely bell hop let us in.
Mom. We are stalking people. We don’t even have a room here. She and I aimlessly wound around the first floor only to find barricades at every door, which required room keys. I don’t want to go to the bar! They’ll know. They’ll know that we’re fakes. My voice dropped to a whisper, and then suddenly rose. What if the police find out?!
 
Hotels are public spaces, Momsly authoritatively declared. But I’m pretty sure they’re not. Homeless people can’t just loiter in the hallways of hotels. What’s the difference between the homeless & the strategically stalking? I’m not sure the difference is huge. And I made my concerns known.So, we used the ATM. It was a good cover.
This cameraman is clearly from …
YNN News Station.
And even though we never spied even one Spider-Man celeb, or crew member, or stunt person, we did see trucks. Rows and rows of NYS and NJ licensed plates trucks & SUVS, black and white, that lined the Radisson’s main atrium. Men with rough voices and glimmers of accents  who uttered terse instructions. These are film crews. We sensed it! And then, on the stroll back down Main, I saw him. Him. A photographer. A very official and professional looking photographer. Who Momsly claims snapped a pic of us as we slyly shuffled away after sniping one of him, first.
 
Take-that Spider-Man film man. We found you. We are vicariously famous through you. Spide-cess!!
Reveling in the Spidey-Scent.
 
Rest of the night? Coffee at Spot on East & CVS shopping on Winton. Pretty glam. We had some good coupons and saved $6.50. Then I earned $5 in bonus cash. It was pretty much the most spidey-tacular night, ever. Love you Moms-spidey!
Barbara Threet make-up line.
Also at the Hyatt Regency.
And
Here’s to
xo.

Essay. Gay Rights = Human Rights.

Gay Rights = Human Rights.
An Argument.
Gay Rights are Human Rights. If you do not believe in Gay Rights, you do not believe in Human Rights. Gay Rights mean marriage rights.
For Human Rights, I do not believe there can be an opposite opinion. For Human Rights, I will look into your face and tell you that you are wrong. For Human Rights, there are no qualifiers. That’s some pretty radical statement, I know. I know that according to the rules of rhetoric, it is erroneous to say: there can be [no] opposite opinion. Human Rights are worth such extremism.

Debate.
I am, in fact, a moderate. In the political sense & the ideological. The former speaks for itself. The latter is to say that when someone disagrees with me on, say, a political issue and even one I feel strongly about (i.e. gun control), I partake in the agree to disagree approach. For me, this means that I do not to press or assert my own perspective because I feel compelled not to. (Which is an important distinction. It is not that I control my desire to partake in debate. It is that I am not compelled to partake.) While I believe in my own perspective, I see value in both.
On this issue, the issue of Human Rights, I am an extremist. On the issue of Human Rights–be it women’s rights such as those involved with rape, racial rights such as those involved with segregation, or religious rights such as those involved in The Holocaust–I stand firm. I stand 100%+. I make 0 exceptions for Human Rights. Allow me to defend the assertion.
Gay rights are Human Rights. If you do not believe in Gay Rights, you do not believe in Human Rights. Gay Rights mean marriage rights.
One might counter: This is a sweeping generalization. Of course I still believe in Human Rights even when I do not believe in gay marriage. I believe in the freedom of worship. That’s a Human Right. Therefore I believe in Human Rights.
 
Rebuttal: To believe genuinely in Human Rights (plural), one cannot pick and choose. One must believe in all underlying principles that construct Human Rights. According to the United for Human Rights website, the definition of the term as well as its component parts are as follows:
 
Human: noun
A member of the Homo sapiens species; a man, woman or child; a person.
Rights: noun
Things to which you are entitled or allowed; freedoms that are guaranteed.
Human Rights: noun
The rights you have simply because you are human.
It seems that 3 principles underly the term Human Rights. 1) Human Species. 2) Guaranteed Freedoms. 3) Rights Simply Because you are Human. Hence, if any part of these principles, such as human species, is exempt from your definition of Human Rights, than no, you do not believe in Human Rights. Using the above example, you believe in just religious freedoms.
Gay Rights. Let’s define this. If Gay Rights are Human Rights, then Gay Rights are the rights in the United States of America that extend to every other citizen in the United States of America. Gay Rights are the right to vote, the right to education, the right to EEOC, the right to worship. Gay Rights are the right to marry.
One might counter: Many things. That marriage is religious. That marriage is between one man and one woman. Those, I will not tackle. We have DOMA for that. (Although I will say that in my religion, you can get married. We are of the opinion that Christ is all encompassing. And, The Bible is not meant to be taken literally. If you believe The Bible is, and therefore cannot make allowances for homosexuality, then you also cannot make allowances for any of its preachings, such as its stance on evolution & the heliocentric theory.) I will hone in on the more moderate perspective: I believe gays should have the rights afforded marriage, but I do not believe it should be called “marriage.”
 
Rebuttal: To label rights differently is to categorize rights separately. Women, imagine if when the 19th Amendment passed and we earned the Right to Vote, it wasn’t called voting, but rather, opining. Words are powerful. Words are canon. Canon is voice, and voice is cannon. The implications are revolutionary. In the above, Suffrage would have taken on the tone, not of formally giving or choosing (voting), but instead, of offering (opining). An opinion. Which then takes on the tone of something weaker, insipid, and passive. The 2 words are separate. The 2 words are not equal. The 2 words characterize an act, differently. Likewise, so would a phrase such as civil union used instead of marriage with which to categorize the rights under the legal partnership of 2 couples who are the same-sex.
Does anyone see a theme developing here? The theme is this. Underlying Principles. While considering and debating Gay Rights, we must ask ourselves: What are my underlying principles? Do not merely examine the off-shoots. Examine the qualifiers as well. Understand what belies your beliefs and look for discrepancies. If you find a discrepancy, then your underlying principles are flawed.
Exercise.
Example. I support people who are gay. But I do not support gay marriage. I do believe in equality.
Underlying Principles. 1) Equality. 2) Supporting a group of people.
Off-Shoot. I support people who are gay.
Qualifier. I do not support gay marriage.
Discrepancy. If not blatantly apparent, identify discrepancies by comparing your off-shoots & your qualifiers to your underlying principles. Does the off-shoot, I support people who are gay align with the underlying principles, Equality and Supporting a group of people? Yes. Does the qualifier, I do not support gay marriage align with the underlying principles, Equality and Supporting a group of people? No. Unequivocally, no. The first indicator being the phrasing, “do not support.” This directly conflicts with the underlying principle #2. The second indicator bno to gay marriage. This directly conflicts the underlying principle #1. If 1 group of people are stopped from or do not have access to a right that everyone else does, then something is not equal. That is that. There are no qualifies. If this were a math equation, it would read:  .

eing

When any part of your underlying principle reaches a discrepancy, your underlying principles are flawed. You can tell yourself and you can tell others that you believe in support, or that you believe in equality. This is a lie. Just because you support one aspect of a group by holding tight to an off-shoot which is mere pretense, does not mean that you genuinely, truly support the group. You can tell yourself you do. You. Do. Not.
Reflection.
Should you disagree with Gay Rights & therefore gay marriage, I implore you to ask yourself a series of questions.
1. If I deny a human being all of the rights & dignities afforded marriage, am I adhering to the principles of Human Rights?
2. Do I have the right to deny a human being the rights & dignities afforded marriage, even if my religion says I do?
3. Why would I want to deny a human being the rights & dignities afforded marriage?
4. Would any force-of-pure-good-&-altruistic-love want me to deny any human being any right or any dignity, let alone those involved with marriage?
5. What am I so afraid of?
6. If I have gay friends or family, and I do not support gay marriage, which means all of the rights & dignities afforded marriage, do I truly & genuinely support these friends & family?
7. Do I see any parallels in my beliefs to past injustices upon which we now look as antiquated or ignorant? Think segregation. Think Suffrage. Think oppression of religion.
8. Why am I unable to empathize with these human beings? What does this say about me?
9. Am I being hypocritical? Am I okay with this? Can I admit it?
10. Can I live with my beliefs today?
I say this now, and I say it proud. Gay marriage will be ratified into the constitution of the United States of America. Be prepared to go down in history as having been an oppressor to social progress. As having tried to control someone else’s freedom. Be prepared to bear that.
=

Essay. Why I Write.

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One 
would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can 
neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that
makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable
unless one constantly struggles to efface one’s own personality. […] And looking back through
my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books
and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and
humbug generally.
                                                                           -George Orwell 1946, “Why I Write”


* * *
I haven’t posted because I’ve been working.


Making money: never. Words, yes. Plucking fibers from the air of a life that’s unraveled and weaving them into pages.

I’m still working, now. Tirelessly. Last night, while I looped in and around the rungs of sleep, I edited words which I’d read at least 800 times already: silent, aloud, fractured, full. Hyperbolic? I think not.

This week I hope to wrap-it. Not the writing. But the crafting. The carving of my piece on the months spent wandering inside of the globe of a city called New York. 2009, maybe ’10, the year we embarked. Hands dehydrated with clay yet awash with water just to skim a few layers here and add functionality there

I need begin researching. My favorite memoirs. Their publishers. Styles. Tone. Syntax. Semantics. Story. Ticks. Resurfacing.

I’m not sure that mine fits: fiction-like, literature, far beyond the scope of schoolyard scribbles. Every time I write, I feel the pen & ink, weighted in my hand. But when I look down and read, thick and sloppy chalk slaughters the sagging lines of my page. Like assaulting cardboard with a box-cutter to slice intricate snowflakes into lace.

Truly, you will never know. Not the writing. But what it was like. God could maybe tell you, but, all writers, all I’ve ever known, have only ever tried.

(Shawn Booth. Kamikaze Tattoo.)
 
* * *
George Orwell (Animal Farm, for one) famously penned the essay (1946) and the inspiration for this post. Here are my favorite excerpts. Worth reading because it’s not just about the write.

“[…] I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:

(i) Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen — in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.
(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.
(iii) Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
(iv) Political purpose. — Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.”
* * *
(i) I like to think a lot about what I will say & how funny I’ll sound when Ellen interviews me, SNL invites me as host, & Joel McHale begins to emulate me.
(ii) I read my words aloud. A lot. (Like right now.)
 
(iii) I want to fossilize the truth of what happened to me because its posterity could change meaning for possibly the world.
(iv) Health Insurance. Mental Health Care. Women’s Rights. Education. Free.
 
* * *
 
here’s to writing a book.
& then getting it
published.
(but mostly, 
to writing a book.)
& Orwell, too.