EDITORIALS

Photoshoot With The Incomparable Steve Gindler & Steven Otte

I recently took part in a photo shoot orchestrated by Steve Gindler, an incredible up-and-coming artist in NYC, and his fellow conservative photographer Steven Otte. Below are some of the pictures we got that day:

#DaddyWillSaveUs: A primer on pro-Trump punk conservatism

Two months ago my boss emailed, “let’s have a 15 minute convo in the taint.” “The taint” is what employees call the corridor of small meeting rooms on the 10th floor.  I obliged and skipped up with my laptop. I was working on a brand strategy presentation for a major client; I assumed he was calling me up to applaud my efforts, as a few other supervisors had.

A woman I had never met is sitting with him. I shake her hand, complement her floral chiffon dress (gimme a break, I’m gay), and sit down. My boss looks up at me precariously.  “Lucian, you need to sever ties with the company.” Disoriented, I say, “But last week you said you were expanding my role here.  I’ve been working for months on this presentation and I finally get to give it on Mond—”, “Your work has been great — we just think that you’d be happier pursuing your other interests.”

The woman aside him passes a blue folder. It includes an NDA and severance agreement. “I know how hard this must be for you. I teach a yoga class twice a week. Yoga is a great stress reliever, feel free to stop by whenever.”

Within that solemn 15 minutes, I was fired in the taint, offered free yoga, and effectively a pariah in New York advertising. I decided to take my former boss’s advice and pursue my “other interests.”

Those other interests — photography, gayness, and Donald Trump — culminated in my Twinks4Trump photo series dedicated to Daddy, the preeminent gay icon.

A venue was set and a who’s-who of deplorables was assembled to contribute. But two days before the show premiered, our original venue, Pierogi’s “The Boiler,” caved to a relentless campaign of pressure and complaints from New York artists and hipsters and reneged on the lease we signed.

I looked one of these artists up. He glues subway maps to particle board, then sells the pieces to yuppie dads who just moved to Williamsburg, who hang it in their living rooms and smugly inform guests of their support for the New York art scene.

 He makes a lot of money doing this. Who’s to complain though? That’s capitalism. The real complaint is that the art world, and much of the gay world in general, has become so homogenized, so complacent in its banal, self-loving consensus, that it will silence any dissenting voice.

On Saturday, October 8th, we gathered together in a Chelsea gallery, the only gallery that would have us, to throw the first conservative art show.

But it was more than just an art show. Among the artists were people who have been blacklisted from their respective industries, people who have been banned from speaking on college campuses, people who had their companies taken away from them, people who would never be allowed to exhibit at a typical gallery, not because of proficiency or skill, but because of their conservative values. We had all been charged and found guilty of thought crimes.

Milo Yiannopoulos bathed in pig’s blood in a performance piece commemorating U.S. citizens murdered by illegals.

Gavin McInnes displayed a triptych of photographs parodying SJW hashtags.

Martin Shkreli displayed a single pill with a price tag of $20,000 poking fun at his notoriety.

James O’Keefe displayed his “Emotional First Aid Kit” in case anyone felt triggered at our event.

Marcus Epstein displayed a series of paintings featuring George Washington donning MAGA hats.

Millie Efraim created an experimental video featuring footage of Ivanka Trump at a runway show.

Jonathan Proby displayed paintings that deconstructed progressive narratives.

And, my #Twinks4Trump series was blown up to larger-than-life-sized prints, featuring naked models adorning versions of Trump’s signature hat.

Milo Yiannopoulos and Lucian Wintrich

 

Creative culture is supposed to be subversive, it’s supposed to be about fighting against ‘the man’ and his narrative. Not so much these days. Protesters have gone from chanting “End the war! Give us more freedom! Stop segregating us! Give us more liberty!” to chanting “You know best! Help segregate us! Take away our guns! Take away our liberties!”

We are living in an age where if you say, “I love Western culture!” people shout back “What culture? We stole it!”

If you say, “I am not ashamed of who I am!” people say, “You’re a cis-white man and you’re proud of that?! While trans-women of color are disenfranchised?! Disgusting!”

If you say, “I love America” people say “America is disgusting — remember slavery?!”

We counter anti-Americanism with nationalism, we counter their identity politics with individuality. But this breed of progressive keeps reaching out, offering to “educate” us. To that we respond: “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.”

An ever-expanding government hiding behind identity politics is a powerful deception, and we’re fighting back — hard. That was a major point of our art show, to speak out with a unified voice, “We don’t care about PC standards, we don’t care about identity politics, we care about AMERICA!”

We’re prepared to get fired, be social outcasts, de-platformed, discredited, and occasionally physically attacked (someone bit me a few weeks ago); but, as Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”. That is why we applaud Trump, that is why #DaddyWillSaveUs.

He is the first candidate to brush aside the regressive ideologies that have permeated far too deep into American culture. This is what real punk culture is about — challenging oppressive norms, disregarding them in favor of personal liberty and self-expression.  This is modern conservatism.

Punk culture today doesn’t dress itself in a ripped up pair jeans and a leather jacket; instead, it unapologetically throws on a navy suit with an American flag lapel pin.

Article written for The Hill on October 17th, 2016

Dear Multilennials: It’s Not Us, It’s You

Dear Multilennials,

We have taken note of your expressed frustration from our last letter which you can see below, and will oblige your request to speak to a supervisor. Lucky for you, I was recently promoted to supervisor and will still be handling our correspondence.

 

 

I know you’ll argue that ‘trigger warnings’ are just disclaimers to help the ever-rising cases of PTSD faced by students. It’s not. Once you start putting ‘trigger warnings’ on things, you have to keep adding them, actually keep adding them until they include things like the fear of small holes. If the patriarchy were really trying to hold you kids down, we’d be going along with your book banning, trigger warnings, safe spaces, and everything else that comes with the territory.

In education, it is to be expected that you will occasionally be confronted with things that make you uncomfortable. Back when I was a contested student at Bard College, my Halfrican-American boyfriend was visiting me the night I had to screen ‘Birth of a Nation’ for class, which actually is a racist movie. One of the worst moments in the film is when a character remarks, “it’s the mulattos that are especially dangerous, because they possess the cunning of a white with the animalism of a black.” When my boyfriend heard that line, he was not triggered or traumatized – he giggled and rolled his eyes before we exchanged Clintons under our jackets. Later he said, “I don’t think I’d like your major”; he majored in fashion marketing and was happy as a clam. That’s how it should always go.

In high school and college, I was assigned books about the Holocaust, cross-continental slavery, rape, genocide, and pretty much anything else one could consider ‘traumatizing’. That’s the point of education. Imagine if a student stood up in geometry class, started crying because his father was killed by an isosceles icicle, and we subsequently had to ban the study of shapes?

Not allowing yourself to be open to other ideas is admitting that you are incapable of meeting the requirements of your degree and you should be removed from that department, not attempt to change the department to suit your manufactured sensitivities. Your professors even think you’re idiots when you do this. If you’re not willing to learn, then you have no business taking classes with people who do.

 

Thank you,
Lucian Wintrich

Gay Minority Oppressor
Head of Patriarchy Communications

Article written for Republican Girl Probs on April 11th, 2016

Dear Multicultural Multigender Millennials Part 1

Dear Multicultural Multigender Millennials,

We noticed that you’ve been writing us more and more frequently. Sorry it took so long to get back to you, we’ve just been very busy.

To save time with all the new labels and identifiers that have emerged for you guys, and because it seems like these days you like identifying as multiple things, I hope you don’t mind if I condense Multicultural Multigender Millennial to Multilennials for future correspondence.

Discussing some of your grievances with the rest of the patriarchy, we have concluded that there is indeed a problem.

Since every cis white male has the exact same experiences and mindset, and because white gays are no longer considered a minority, I can now speak for all of us here in the patriarchy. Your concerns are important to us, and we hope to address all of the points that you have brought up. We are proud to announce that we cis-white males have been rated as one of the top 10 customer service oriented groups in America. To adequately address all this topics, we will have to break them up into responding letters, each dealing with a separate topic of concern.

Over the coming weeks, we will address all of your concerns as they emerge so that we can hopefully avoid silly situations like assault over dreadlocks, Communications professors who are against communication, shrieking at people who believe in free expression, crying over Donald Trump’s name being written on pavement in chalk, etc.

We at the patriarchy again apologize for the delay in addressing these matters and continue to rely on your valued feedback as a customer. Thanks again for taking the time to express your concerns. We’ll be sure to share your comments with the other the members of the patriarchy as they provide valuable input for the future. We will reach out to you in the coming weeks to begin resolving your individual concerns and cultural topics.

Unfortunately, we have run out of time for this letter and need to get back to running everything.

Thank you,

Lucian B. Wintrich

Gay Minority Oppressor

VP of Patriarchy Communications

P.S.Dear Straight People, on an entirely different note, I’m sorry that my faggot colleague wrote this to you. He did not check in with me or our board of directors before publication. He has no reason to tell you that you’re not allowed to call me and whomever I’m sleeping with at the moment ‘cute’. We’re fine with it.

Article written for Republican Girl Probs on March 31st

Cultural Appropriation: It Ain’t No Fun If the Homies Can’t Have None

America, a country founded on the freedom of religion, expression, and individuality, is being threatened by a new breed of savage. After having systematically eradicated the majority of anything that could be perceived as racist, sexist, or homophobic, from popular culture, these savages have taken it upon themselves to find a new cause and invented a new term to go along with it: “Cultural Appropriation”. A slew of woebegone and hapless students and ‘writers,’ obsessed with Russian philosophers, typing from an Egyptian-grown alphabet, in a West Germanic language, on computers designed in America and manufactured in China, wearing Italian-inspired clothing, sip their French white wine, in a country based on the notion of Greek democracy, while they chastise other Westerners for everything from belly dancing to dreadlocks to wearing headdresses to a Shakespearian play set in medieval Japan.

The majority of Western thought and logic allow for cultures to exchange ideas, fashions, expressions, and technology. Cultural Appropriation is where comedians have gotten some of their best material, how fashion developed some of its more cutting edge ideas, and how humans have culturally and intellectually evolved as a whole.

1. Cultural Appropriation is A Delusion

Culture is fluid, you can’t steal it; it is formed through the exchange of ideas and information. In a globalized culture, everything is ‘appropriated’ just look at the Crucifix and how it has transitioned from a religious symbol to a fashion accessory. Christians weren’t up in arms over that transition, if anything they may have enjoyed seeing it displayed more readily as it has personal significance to them. The only culture that, perhaps, cannot be accused of ‘appropriation’ are the Sentinelese Islanders who have remained isolated for centuries. Japan’s primary crop, rice, was ‘appropriated’ from China and its religion was ‘appropriated’ from India. What is interesting to note is that the major gripe is coming from ‘cultures’ that are historically undeveloped but, thanks to Westernization, are liberal-arts educated and able to voice their asinine complaints on their ‘privilege granted first world computers’ (voicing their complaints via smoke signal would not have been as effective).

2. Cultural Appropriation Implies You’re Their Spokesperson

Alright, so it could be argued that the majority of examples I have mentioned are not “cultural appropriation” but “cultural diffusion;” supposedly, a separate term based on “how the originating culture feels about it.” This alone is problematic, as I am fairly certain that an entire “culture” was not polled concerning their emotions on everything being propertied as ‘cultural appropriation’ these days. People grumbling about “white people who act black,” or embrace modern black culture, never seem to comment on “black people acting white”; the reason for this is because the entire notion of “acting” a certain way is to dismiss individuality and personality. In the same way that you cannot poll an entire “culture” for their thoughts on what they consider to be “appropriation”, you cannot stereotype a culture as having universal opinions and sentiments.

3. Cultural Appropriation is Anti-Aesthetics

When you actually think about it, feather headdress, themselves, are purely aesthetic. They have absolutely no true practicality. They were designed for ‘fashion’ and fashion in and of itself is a status symbol. Did European royalty start writing irate articles when Burger King began giving out cardboard crowns? No. But when Harry Styles is caught wearing an Indian headdress… sorry I mean Native American… err I mean Indigenous people… a slew of articles were written proclaiming how inappropriate it is; it was quite obvious that he did not don the headdress specifically to offend people, but nonetheless people felt the need to take offense. An odd ‘publication’ by the name of Autostraddle published a piece titled “Top 10 Instances of Open and Unapologetic Celebrity Cultural Appropriation in 2013!” They apparently find the issue to be so exciting that it deserves an exclamation mark! All the examples given as their top ten were aesthetic. Therein lies the problem, fashion for years has borrowed from cultures; it is how fashion has developed. Another aesthetic currently proclaimed to be cultural appropriation and racism are dreadlocks; this specific author showcases his ignorance with the claim that “Dreadlocks originated first with Jamaican Rastafarians and then in Indian Sages and Yogis.” Dreadlocks were worn by Spartans in Greece, Sadhus of India, Sufis in Pakistan, and Jewish cultures that have been around for thousands of years in comparison to the Rastafarian movement that started in the 1930s.

4. Cultural Appropriation is Ruining the Liberal Arts

I once believed that Cultural Appropriation claims were going to eventually be seen as a “trend offense” and die out at the liberal arts schools that provide the breeding ground for this cranial disease. Unfortunately, colleges from Dartmouth to Williams keep jumping on the “cultural appropriation” bandwagon with each new class of freshmen who take on the term as quickly as people use to take on idiosyncratic lingo like “same”, as a statement, and “cray cray”, as an exclamation that I still barely understand. I think at this point, they’d be better off bringing “cray cray” back and dropping the equally racist and combative term “cultural appropriation.” Aside from the inherent racism found in those proclaiming “cultural appropriation” there is the much larger issue of cyber bullying, chastising, and rationalized slander that many students at liberal arts institutions fall victim to. One of the latest, and I believe prime examples, of the warped logic that some of these people take can be found in a recent Williams College article titled, White Fragility Is Not My Problem, which would more appropriately be titled It’s OK That I’m Racist, I’m Not White. In it, student  trumpets her deeply bigoted outlook and her “right” to persecute anyone who she interprets as a vile Cultural Appropriator, with a pitch-fork-yielding cry to rally  proclaims: “To those among you who cry ‘cyberbullying’: it seems like you are just trying to steer attitudes towards empathy and understanding in hopes that you won’t be treated as harshly on the day that you slip up on the act and let your true self out. To those among you who cry ‘public shaming,’ it’s pronounced “accountability.” I wish that this sort of thinking was simply an isolated insolent, but the victimization, unapologetic ‘public shaming’, and ‘cyberbullying’ are continuously rationalized under this same premise, across multiple college campuses. It is truly “cray cray.”

5. Cultural Appropriation is Self-Righteous Self-Deception

A personal story: During my Sophomore year at Bard College, I was ‘caught’ listening to music by the rapper Nas; I say ‘caught’ because a fellow student, a member of two wonderful campus organizations, the BSO (Black Student Organization) and the MDC (Multicultural Diversity Club), told me that the artist I was listening to was ‘not meant for me’. This spiraled into a forced meeting with the ‘Dean of Multicultural Affairs’ (yes, this is a real thing). She ‘explained’ to me that some people feel subjugated and oppressed, despite attending the same school as me, with the same course offerings, and the same terrible cafeteria food; these students feel the need to protect what they consider to be ‘their culture’. Would the artists and musicians, themselves, feel the same way? As Snoop Dog once said, “It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none.” The word multiculturalism itself sounds absolutely wonderful; it suggests a beautiful melting pot of various cultures, societies and world views holding hands, skipping into the sunset together, as one; unfortunately this is not what the word has come to mean. Today, ‘multiculturalism’ is used as a divisive word whose aim is to emphasize people’s differences. Rather than saying, “lets share culture and evolve together” it is saying “concentrate on historic hardships and keep propagating those beliefs so that they continue to stifle you”. If something is borrowed from another culture, then it is not out of disrespect, but it is out of a form of appreciation for something, be it music or fashion or what have you, that culture developed.

6. Cultural Appropriation is Anti-Intellectual

Wearing a headdress is not the same as making a concerted effort to oppress a culture, neither is belly dancing as either a form of exercise or aesthetic, nor are any of the other things making the current rounds of ‘cultural appropriation atrocities’. The whole notion is incredible anti-intellectualism disguised as an issue of cultural preservation. Not being allowed to wear a headdress at a music festival, or take a class on belly dancing does nothing but further segregate us. If there was such an overt and overwhelming sensitivity to what is now being purported as ‘cultural appropriation’, then comedians like George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Paul Reubins, Lenny Bruce, Dennis Miller, and Richard Pryor (to name just a few), would never have been able to come into existence. So, how about we give the whole ordeal a rest? The “this is ours and ours alone!” argument is nothing but parochialism concealed in various straw man arguments.

I will end with a quote from the Washington Post by Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA:

“Maybe—and I know this is a radical thought—artists, whether high or low, should be able to work in whatever artistic fields they want to work in. Maybe they should even be able to work in those fields regardless of their skin color or the place from which their ancestors came. Maybe telling people that they can’t work in some field because they have the wrong color or ancestry would be … rats, I don’t know what to call it. If only there were an adjective that could be used to mean “telling people that they mustn’t do something, because of their race or ethnic origin.”

Prologue

An example of how these ideas play out can be found here.

Fornicon: Wednesday to Wednesday

Wednesday:

Still image from Felini's Satyricon

Still image from Fellini’s Satyricon

11AM – Leave Pittsburgh for New York via Megabus.
12PM – Watch the Fellini movies I torrented a week ago:  CasanovaSatyricon.
7PM – Arrive in New York, enjoy my habitual “I’m in New York again” martini.
7:30PM – An ex living in Boston contacts me. Says he’s being abused by current boyfriend, kicked his boyfriend out of their apartment that night, tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists, and is calling from the hospital. I console him.

Toilet Paper Suicide

Toilet Paper Suicide

7:40PM – He emails me a picture of his wrist. It’s wrapped in toilet paper with an iPhone cable running over his hand. I call him and say that I wasn’t aware hospitals currently treat people with toilet paper and iPhone cables in lieu of bandages and an IV. He screams at me. His boyfriend mumbles in the background and then calls me a ‘nigger.’ I hang up. He calls back five times. I block him.
9PM – Dinner at an Irish Pub with the friend I’m staying with.
10PM – Return to the apt and watch 1/3 of the movie Brazil.

Thursday:
11AM – Wake up. Coffee. Wander around.

Minister of Arts and Culture's Card

Minister of Arts and Culture’s Card

7PM – Tomi Ungerer premiere. Meet Tomi and his daughter. The reason for this trip is to get him to sign a handful of prints from his Fornicon series that I acquired awhile back; his daughter and I had been emailing about it. She says he isn’t signing anything tonight. She says it was wonderful to meet and we exchange a European greeting. I was expecting a single cheek kiss, she goes in for a Western European double. My mouth is misaligned; I nibble her ear.
8PM – Tomi tells a joke, “When men have an orgasm it’s an outcome, when women have one its an income.” He introduces us to the 70 year old ‘Franco-German Minister of Art and Culture.’
11PM – My friend and I get drinks with the ‘Franco-German Minister of Art and Culture,’ I call up another friend to join.
11:30PM – Nobody wants to sit by the 70 year old ‘Franco-German Minister of Art and Culture’ due to unrelenting attempts to grab our thighs and/or penises.
12:30AM – Return to the apt and watch 1/3 of the film Max and Mary.

Friday:
12PM – Wake up. Coffee. Wander. I message a kid I’ve been talking to on Facebook, tell him I’m in New York, and we exchange numbers.

Club Monaco Corduroy Shirt (In Navy, Needs Pressed)

Club Monaco Corduroy Shirt In Navy (Needs Cleaned)

1PM – Go to Club Monaco to see if they have any more navy corduroy shirts as my current one is dirty. They don’t have any. They instead have an overly eager 50-year old staff member who keeps walking in while I’m changing. He brings me clothes that he “owns and loves!” I try them on out of politeness; this goes on for an hour. I suspect he just likes walking in on me in my boxers.
6PM – Get dinner with an old friend from college.
6:30PM – Get lectured for not wanting to get back together with an ex.
8PM – Get a group together: 2 exes, 2 college friends, 3 friends I made spontaneously a few years ago. We bar hop and I text another female friend of mine to invite her along. She’s at a birthday party. I text “Come on girl. Just tell em you’ll be with more fun people.” I call her a handful of times. I discover that I wasn’t texting/calling her, but instead the kid from Facebook. I attempt to explain the confusion; I come off as as weird and eager. He does’t respond.
1AM – Return to the apartment and watch 1/2 of the first episode of Death Comes to Town.

Saturday:
2PM – Wake up. Coffee. Wander.
4:30PM – Carry the portfolio to the Drawing Center for another Tomi event. A line forms for signatures as he walks out for a cigarette. I walk out for a cigarette too. I walk back in to stand in line; an employee tells me that the line is at capacity.
6PM – Call a female friend from the night before. Find out that one of my exes slept over. They hooked up. He is currently still in bed with her. At first annoyed, I realize that he gained some weight so I don’t really care.
7PM – The three of us get sushi.
10PM – We wonder around to a few clubs and bars.
12AM – We go back to the friend I’m staying with’s apartment and meet his new boyfriend.
3AM – My friend and his boyfriend make out aggressively on the couch. For the sake of inclusion, his boyfriend leans over and makes out with me for a moment. I reciprocate, I turn to my friend and make out with him for a moment as a lead-up to whatever might come next.
3:05AM – He throws his boyfriend off of his lap. He shouts that his boyfriend was waiting to kiss me all night. I offer to leave but he tells me to stay.

A Starbucks Napkin

Starbucks Napkin

3:30AM – They’re fighting. I have a cigarette outside with his roommate. We go back inside and they’re sleeping, or arguing quietly, or something, I can’t tell. I lay on the couch.
4AM – Bored, I open his roommate’s door. He’s jerking off and tells me to leave.
4:01AM – Inspired, I go back to the couch and jerk off into a Starbucks napkin I find in my pocket.

Sunday:
10:30AM – Wake up. I don’t have time to shower even though I reek of smoke.
11PM – Take a cab back to the Drawing Center to get Tomi to sign the prints.
12PM – Immediately I get in line towards the front. The curator says, “Tomi requested that today we let children skip the line.” Wait in line for forty-five minutes. The woman in front of me brought seven brand new copies of his books for him to sign.

To Michael

12:40PM – Finally at the front of the line. I explain I have been trying to get these prints signed for a year and would love if he would sign my nine favorite. Amazed that I managed to acquire a copy of the portfolio, he asks how much it cost me. I tell him. He shakes his head in disappointment. He asks where the title page is. I pull it from the bottom of the stack. He starts writing on it. Having neither asked him for an inscription nor reminded him of my name, I look down to realize that he has inscribed it to someone named “Michael.” His daughter corrects him, and he writes “oops – (excuze) Lucian.” I ask him about signing the nine actual prints again. Not sure he can hear me. I turn to his daughter. She says ‘not today, but I’ll hold on to them and get him to sign a few later on if you want to pick them up.’
5PM – Pack my stuff and migrate to a different apartment.
8PM – Get Indian takeout.
8:45PM – Eat Naan and Lamb Korma with my friend in her bed. Watch the film Isabelle.
3AM – Cuddle. Sleep.

Monday:
12PM – Wake up.
4PM – Still lying in bed.
5PM – Take the subway to pick up the DSLR that I left at the last apartment.
6PM – Small talk.
7PM – Sit at a cafe. Read. Look out the window. A friend calls. He invites me to an event at a “private social club.” He says it’s a $400 a plate affair that the club is comping. It starts at 8PM.
8PM – I make my way to the subway.

The Elusive Tomi Ungerer

The Elusive Tomi Ungerer

8:30PM – Arrive. Have drinks and dinner with a mix of young professionals and weathered club personalities. The chicken is a little dry but the macaroons are fucking phenomenal. I eat a half dozen.
10PM – Overhear that one of my currently married exes isn’t as ‘into’ the marriage as he would let on. I’m delighted at the news, but then worried that my delight might make me a bad person. I resolve that it doesn’t because that particular ex was sort of a dick. I realize that I have too many exes.
12AM – Migrate to another apartment.

Tuesday:
6AM – The friend who I’m now staying with’s alarm goes off.
6:30AM – Alarm goes off again. This continues every half hour even though he doesn’t work until 10. I resolve not to try to go back to sleep so I play ‘Trivia Crack’ on my phone. I win one game and lose another.
9AM – I walk into the kitchen and get a glass of water. His roommate emerges from another room and glares at me. “Hi, I’m Lucian” I extend my hand. “Yea, OKAY! That’s fine, don’t worry about it!” he snaps. Reenter my friend’s bedroom. I discover that he and/or his guests aren’t allowed to use the kitchen for some peculiar reason. His roommate says he wants to evict him.

Iced Coffee, Yogurt, OJ, AIDS Pill

Iced Coffee, Yogurt, OJ, Truvada Pill

9:30AM – I walk him to work. We stop at a cafe. He gets yogurt, iced coffee, and an orange juice. I get a black coffee and a pastry. He sets three pills on his orange juice: two are vitamins and one is that AIDS preventative they just came out with. I remark that wearing a condom is still a more proactive measure than taking a horse pill.
9:40AM – I help him compose a text message to ask for his deposit back.
12PM – I tour, and interview, at an arts/advertising grad school in Brooklyn.
2PM – I pick up the collection of prints I dropped off for Tomi to sign. I set aside nine for him to sign, he signed four. I can’t help but wonder if this is a result of the ear nibble.
3PM – I schedule drinks at 6 and set up a Tinder date for 7:30PM.

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

6PM – Drinks with an acquaintance in the ad industry. We catch up. He tells me he is currently reading ‘The Goldfinch’ and that I remind him of the main character. I look up the book on my phone and find out that the main character is misanthropic youth addicted to prescription medication. Flattery?
6:30PM – One of his friends shows up, a pompous 29 year old that is dating a 55-year-old Middle Eastern man with a beard. He ruminates on how everyone should date older guys.
7:00PM – I leave, walk to a close by café for a latte and book a ticket home for later in the evening.
7:30PM – Tinder date is delayed; I discover it’s his first time on the subway and he got lost.
8PM – He is still having trouble getting to where I am. I walk to a café closer to the Broadway train stop. I tell him to enter the name of the shop into his phone to find it.
8:30PM – There are two cafes with the same name. He is at the other one. I give him a third location, an address in Chinatown.
9:30PM – We meet at my friend’s apartment in Chinatown. I’m amazed that he is willing to come to a sketchy back-alley address and follow a relative stranger up a flight of stairs in a slum building to help them pack.
10PM – We leave looking for a bar or café. Everything is closed. We keep walking.

OMG, those lips.

Damn, those lips.

10:20PM – We find a bar and sit down. Revealed that he’s 19, the bartender doesn’t serve us. We leave. Walk around for a bit. I realize that I need to get to the bus stop. I hail a cab. He offers to join. I notice that he has incredible lips. I contemplate kissing him. I decide against it. He seems too innocent to corrupt with a back-of-the-cab make-out session involving a relative stranger leaving for Pittsburgh.
10:40PM – We arrive at the bus stop, he inexplicably offers to pay for the cab. I turn down the offer, laugh, and apologize for the terrible date. He offers to wait in line with me. We talk.
11:20PM – The bus arrives and we part ways with a *single cheek kiss. I manage to fall asleep shortly after getting on the bus.

Wednesday:
12AM – I wake up. the bus driver is screaming something over the speaker system. I can’t make out much of it aside from his frequent use of ‘ladies and gentleman’.
12:30AM – I wake up to another ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcement.
1AM – I wake up to another ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcement.
1:30AM – I wake up to another ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcement.
2AM – We are at the 1/3 of the waypoint outside a Subway Sandwich/Shell station rest stop. Somehow, someone has stolen one of the ‘sandwich artist’s sandwich knives.’ Everyone on the bus is a suspect. Many ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcements follow: “ladies and gentleman, I’m sure it was an accident when you picked up the sandwich artist’s sandwich knife, but ladies and gentleman there is still time to return it;” “ladies and gentleman, keep in mind there are cameras in the Subway Sandwich shop, so ladies and gentleman it’s not too late to just return the sandwich artist’s sandwich knife that you accidentally took.” These continue for half an hour.

Rendering of a 'Winged Marsupial'

Rendering of a ‘Winged Marsupial’ (not real, still terrifying)

2:30AM – I put in headphones and listen to Bob Dylan’s Biograph. I fall asleep.
3:30AM – I have a nightmare: I live on a rooftop, my neighbor has a pet ‘marsupial,’ although this one has wings and can talk. It won’t stop talking. I ask if there is a way to get marsupials to shut the fuck up; it attacks me. With loud gnashing noises, it covers me in deep cuts and consumes my leg. I wake up. A blaring and obnoxious clicking is prevalent; it sounds like the bus is falling apart. I think for a moment we might be about to crash and that I might be about to die. I come to degree of ambivalence. I conclude now is as good a time as any; I realize I just need a cigarette. The clicking intensifies for a few minutes, then subsides.
6:30AM –  Another ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcement. Although we are still an hour from Pittsburgh, he decides we all need to wake up . I switch from annoyance to humor over the perpetual announcements, and decide to record this one on my phone. He switches the lights on and tells us not to take anybody else’s luggage, a message most likely intended for the Subway sandwich knife thief. The clicking starts again mid-way though.

7:30AM – My mother picks me up. She asks about the bus ride. I summarize it for her. She digs for more detail. She pulls out her iPhone, opens the Voice Memo application and presses record. She asks, “Tell me more about these marsupial dreams?” I raise my voice, “They weren’t ‘marsupial dreams,’ it was a marsupial nightmare!'” I apologize for getting upset, and explain how tired I am. I get home and promptly fall asleep.
2PM – I wake up, unpack, and respond to emails.

Missing Eyelashes

7PM – Begrudgingly agree to leave the house for a game of pool and a few drinks. A guy sits alone at the bar. We invite him to play pool with us. He says he just moved here from South Africa. I ask him why he has an American accent. He says “yea, it’s weird. Isn’t it?” I don’t believe him.
8PM – Take an Uber to a kid I’m seeing’s house.
9PM – I take photos of him with my DSLR (non-erotic).
10PM – We hook up.
11PM – I take photos of him with my DSLR (semi-erotic).
11:30PM – We walk to the corner store for condoms. They don’t have any. We get Cheese Puffs and Vanilla Coke instead. We head back.
12PM – We watch a few videos on our phones.
12:30AM – He lights up a cigarette. I tickle him. He flinches and burns me in the eye. A few of my eyelashes scorch. I have trouble opening my eye for an hour.
1:30AM – I put an ice cube on my eye and fall asleep.

Let’s Talk About Fat Privilege

Since the dawn of man, there has been a group of human beings that have emerged and impinged on the rights of others. In Ancient Egypt, they are seen chiseled into stone, the fat classes being waited on and fed by the thin people they had enslaved. This is not to suggest, however, that these people were ever admired for their fat, as even in ancient times it was regarded as unattractive and understood as a poor condition of health. Yet fat was still common among the upper classes and those who had access to excessive food; some of these fat people believe it was their “destiny” to be fat, citing family histories or the struggle of changing personal habits; others simply combat those who attempt to discuss the health and sociological benefits of working to decrease their weight claiming “big is beautiful”.

This past week, social media has been abuzz with articles about “fat acceptance” and the notion that being fat is a “civil rights movement.” A lot of it seemed to stem from a Thought Catalogue titled “Things I don’t Understand About The Fat Acceptance Movement“. It is shocking that people are claiming a “right” to be fat, and appalling that the notion is being purported as a civil rights issue. A half decade ago, there was a Showtime program titled “How to Look Good Naked,” which lined women with over-extending stomaches and stretch marks up and urged them to “embrace those jelly rolls!” Encouraging self-confidence is admirable; such being said, allowing the fat epidemic and their devious agenda to grow alongside its membership and tolerance does nothing but negatively impact the liberties of other human beings, culture, health, and taxpayer expenses.

1. Fat is not a civil right.

Civil rights are instilled to protect an individuals’ freedom, ensuring their political and social equality and their physical and mental integrity. Civil rights are granted to protect those of certain unearned advantages or disadvantagesclass, sexual orientation, religion, education, gender identity, age, and physical ability. The true irony of claiming that obesity is a civil right, or that being thin is a “privilege“, is the fact that those who are fat do not seem to realize that they are impinging on other peoples equalities on a regular basis. People who are well-excersized and healthy are penalized by the growing problem of obesity; on airplanes or crowded movie theaters, we lose our armrests, and at times 1/3 of our seats, sacrificing our own comfort for the privileged fat; clothing retailers are persecuted and sued when they choose not to waste two times the fabric and stitching to create ‘plus-sized’ outfits, which are then not purchased by the fat class, and end up being the only items left on sale for the fit to purchase; employers who hire the fat have to tolerate lower productivity; and, our personal healthcare plans and taxes skyrocket in price to keep up with the fat and their medical needs, which leads me to my next point.

2. Fat is expensive.

Fat is not a luxury we should be supporting. A study published in the journal Heath Affairs found that obesity currently accounts for 9.1% of all medical spending – $147 billion in 2008 . In Japan, where a mere 3.5% of the population is fat, the government passed the “metabo law” in 2008; men must maintain a waistline at or below 33.5 inches and 35.4 inches for women. Those who fail to meet these criteria are required to attend concealing sessions and, should targets not be met, they are fined. The tobacco tax levied on smokers in in 2009 not only decreased the number of smokers in America by three million, but also boosted federal revenue by thirty billion. If people who use tobacco products are fined in an attempt to curb tobacco usage and the related health expenses, then shouldn’t the fat be taxed more ‘heavily’ than fit people to curb their unhealthy habits and subsequent health expenses?

3. Fat is contagious.

Out of the seven fattest countries in the world, six of those countries are English-speaking; more than 30% of the population of English-speaking countries medically qualifies as obese. It comes as little surprise that such a large population of fat people would be quick to defend their lifestyle choices. Being countries that speak the same language, it is easy for the fat agenda to spread from English-speaking continent to English-speaking continent. Much the same as when the Free Masons decreased in public influence and, subsequently, opened up their membership requirements, the fat class has opened up their roster through media programs, books, and lectures that proclaim obesity is attractive, normal, and understandable. Should steps not be taken, both socially and politically, to curb this growing population then our children will grow up thinking that there is nothing wrong with obesity. They will believe that “curvaceous” and other buzz words that represent excessive folds of skin can translate to sex appeal, which they do not.

4. Fat is abusive.

The rise in childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. With the fat classes indoctrinating their children into the devious movement, they are are poisoning future generations with unhealthy food, increased portion sizes, excessively sugary beverages, and a lack of exercise. Because of this, children are at a heightened risk of contracting disease and spreading it to those who attempt to remain healthy; this can be seen as not only abuse perpetuated against the children brainwashed into the movement but also the healthy children around them.

5. Fat is unhealthy.

The absurdity of people currently proclaiming that it is possible to be both fat and maintain good heath need to do more research. People who are fat have a much greater chance of developing diabetes, heart diseases, vascular diseases, hypertension, high glucose/cholesterol, various cancers, stroke, liver and Gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, gynecological issues, and mental health issues. With the plethora of studies that exist, it is shocking that fat acceptance movements are expanding at the rate that they are.

6. Fat does not need to unionize, it needs to exercise.

I say we end this absurd sensitivity that our country has developed around obesity and it’s proponents. Being fat is not a permanent handicap that has to be tip-toed around; if somebody is missing a leg then that is a permanent handicap, if somebody looks like ten normal-sized legs could fit into their two, that is neglect. If someone is fat, tell them. They are not ‘curvaceous,’ they are unhealthy. They will die sooner. Addressing the issue of obesity rather than prompting movements of “acceptance” will do society much better then being touchy about the issue.  This is an epidemic, an epidemic that is infringing on the rights of other citizens taxes, seating comfort, medical costs, and even negatively impacting our air quality with increased carbon emissions.

Eau Sauvage & Rene Gruau

I was around seventeen when I decided to give up using whatever cologne was re-gifted to me by some relative and venture to a shop to try a few and determine what I liked; apparently, what I liked turned out to be a light, relatively androgynous, cologne that’s been around since the mid 60s. It’s hard to actually put my finger on what I like about this stuff so much. I just find it really classic, and against the grain when it comes to the excess of colognes that overwhelm with pine, stale cigar smoke, drying leather boots, hickory smoked bacon, and whatever other scents the perfumer ascribe’s to a notion of ‘masculinity’.
I’ve liked this stuff so much that I have worn it almost exclusively since I discovered it at seventeen until a guest knocked it from a shelf leaving a 3/4th of a bottle permeating and overwhelming all my senses every time I walked into the bathroom. At that time I actually switched to Geo F. Trumper’s Eucris Eau de Toilette which I discovered by chance while I was reordering some of their rose aftershave. A year into wearing Eucris, I was poster shopping and came across a series of early 80s posters for Eau Sauvage designed by Rene Gruau, an incredible Italian-born illustrator and graphic artist. The 80s ad campaign seemed to win me back over, and while Geo F. Trumper’s Eucris remains to be my second favors scent, I promptly replaced my broken bottle of Eau Sauvage.

 

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