“A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past,” said Fidel Castro, who died almost two weeks ago at age 90, much to the delight of street-partying Miami residents who celebrated the death as they would a birth, a wedding, or a purchase of the latest German luxury car because those crazy Germans, they really know how to leave the right kind of skid marks. “Why are we celebrating that someone died?” a younger Cuban person might ask his perennially righteous Mariel-era Grandmother. At this point in the paragraph I put myself in a hypothetical raft circa 1980 with my seven kids, six aunts, five uncles, four cousins, three dogs, and two guys with dead eyes and sweaty rifles whose names no one really knows, empathizing/sympathizing with the plight of the disenfranchised (poor people) who feel or are told they have no other choice but to put themselves and their families at risk by making a stand against a government which doesn’t respect them. Yes, I’m leering over history from the shade of my white guy bubble. No, Tony Montana wasn’t an actual political refugee, he was a composite, a less-faceted visceral cinematic representation of the so-called criminal element that left Mariel Harbor in search of economic freedom on the really, really corrupt streets of Miami where the government officials drove 24K Gold German luxury cars and no one asked any questions. But I suppose a dictatorship isn’t a real government, not in the way Americans are taught that Government is Daddy who will take care of us when the choppy waters of life start the raft a rockin’, so Miami versus Cuba was probably seen as the lesser of two evils back in the day. Still, Fidel had his supporters from the time he overthrew Batista in 1959 and through his ensuing totalitarian takeover of small Caribbean island where rich Americans used to wash their gambling cash. No, Fidel never sent me to prison or killed me or even called me a maricón. Yes, the glamorous lore of Havana and its rum-scented roulette tables still gives wood to #cabinporn aficionados; so to some, Fidel will live on in history as the paradigmatic alpha-daddy many of us hold in virtual esteem. Maybe Cuban pride isn’t much different than Irish pride. Stand or fall. What frosts my tips is the celebration of death by those who seem to white-knuckle the slings and arrows of life so intensely. You can’t, just for one day, put aside your selfish convictions and quietly bow your head without a comment? You can’t? Why not? Ask yourself that question.
Hey man it’s tough being a purist, seeing EVERYTHING through the eyes of a laconic genius whose only taste is for 100 proof authenticity. I went with only a small bit of enthusiasm to Lincoln Center to see the Tom Ford movie Nocturnal Animals the other night with a friend who had no idea what he was in for. Tom Ford the Gucci-esque designer reminds me of my first boyfriend for some reason; handsome and bitchy and ridiculously well-dressed and a complete slave to style at any cost. Amy Adams is gorgeous with a smoky eye and a Veronica Lake blowout that covers just enough of her left eye to make one wonder what reaction she’s going to elicit from whomever she’s in the scene with. Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be constantly asking for acceptance like his whole career is a Sally Field Oscar speech. The sets are very Tom Ford as is the mood of repressed self-indulgence. Other than Amy Adams’ smoky eye scene and the opening credit reel of obese nude women floating in their own embracement as performance art, the only other thing I really remembered about Nocturnal Animals is the facial expression acting of Andrea Riseborough in a Siouxsie Sioux wig and Missus Roper couch dress emanating pure delight at being married to a rich gay ascot played by Michael Sheen who I think is kind of sexy with his average-guy versatility and perfect hair. I only say this because every time I see Andrea Riseborough on film I have to wonder what she looks like without a bad wig on. Perhaps she wouldn’t make such scene-stealing impressions without her bad wigs. Oh, and Michael Shannon playing a creepy guy, yeah, go for it, I’m there. Won’t win any awards other than for smoky eyes. Art world people are fun to make fun of though, so serious, so unrealistic.
Not mentioned in this post: Donald Trump, Maria Schneider, butter, the gold moosehead atop my Christmas tree, gay conversion therapy, millennials, snowflakes, Che Guevara, Patsy Stone, #zerofucks, #outrage, and being a native New Yorker. What I want for Christmas? My own podcast, which seems to be the thing now, and I’m all about rollin’ with the trends. That’ll lead to a book deal, right?
In closing, contempt prior to and even long after investigation is a choice. Consider keeping your contempt to yourself for a while. Really, it would be in your best interest. You’ll thank me some day.