I love to write and I am thrilled to have been asked to contribute to many exciting sites on the internet.
My first blog was in 2006 for ABC. In one year I had over 2 million hits! It was very exciting. Since then I have written articles for HLNTV, Policymic, Ms Cheevious, and AND Magazine and have LIVE blogged the People’s Choice Awards and the Golden Globes.
I have also noticed there is a broad but meaningful theme that seems to arise every year in the Best Picture category. Sometimes it is redemption, other years, degradation. I believe this year it is conflict so great it must express itself in war. This is not to say all films that touch on issues pertaining to war will be nominated, but that the films most likely to be nominated are reflecting back to us our serious concern regarding why America is finding itself so often at war with the rest of the world, and what that means about our countries identity (and therefore our individual American identity) as a whole.
Note: this article was jointly authored with Matt Rozsa
Excerpt: While it is certainly true that the Catwoman character has endured for several generations, the manner in which she has manifested herself in our popular cultural consciousness has often varied dramatically. What have these different depictions revealed about ourselves? What do they tell us about the mythologies our society adopts as its own, in particular through the superhero genre? How are they able to integrate this iconic character into not only the narratives they wish to present to their audiences, but also the larger social and political messages they inject into those stories? Perhaps most importantly, what do they tell us about how we perceive women?
This contemporary artist has reached a broad international audience for both his criticism of the Chinese government and the creativity of his dissent in the face of repression, blurring the lines between art and politics. A “dissident for the global age” he allows us both an unedited look into the effects of a repressive culture and the opportunity to reflect on our own repression, wherever that may be. For Ai Weiwei, freedom is a duty.
Hurricane Isaac 2012 and Hurricane Katrina: 7 Years On, One NOLA Icon Faces a Different Kind of Storm
Note: this article was jointly authored with Matt Rozsa
Excerpt: As a result of what has been described as the “heroic circumstances” of its staff, the privately owned Times-Picayune wound up sharing a Pulitzer Prize with the Biloxi Sun-Herald in 2006 forPublic Service, as well as winning another for Breaking News. One would assume that the memories of such laudable actions would linger for years. Instead, the events of the past few months have caused the Times-Picayune to be on the receiving end of some shockingly bitter vitriol.
Here comes awards season. It seems you can barely turn around and fart without running into a red carpet event that celebrates the entertainment industry. Photos of celebrities in gowns stuff the gossip rags and the public seems to eat it up with a spoon.
“What did she wear? Who is he with?” Why should we care? Here are five reasons why the first award ceremony celebrating the entertainment business is worth looking up from your computer for.
Chuckle though you may, low-wage workers, including strippers, hospitality workers, and many of those in the food service industries are often marginalized and stigmatized. The very act of stripping for money is often mocked, considered an illegitimate way to make a living and an anathema to a cultured society. The very least a corporation can do is to take care of its own. So why did a major player in the strip club industry, an industry that is bringing in about $2 billion a year, try to maximize its profits at the expense of the very commodity it uses to draw in customers?
Respect, admiration, and envy were all in attendance at the DGA in Hollywood this morning during the screening of Skyfall, the newest film in the Bond franchise. These qualities were brought out of the audience after being sincerely blown away by what might be the best Bond film ever, and afterwards listening to the director, producers, and lead actor share their insights about working on the film. It seemed everyone wanted to know, “how did you make such an old dog of a film franchise so alive and relevant?”
The journey of an artist is always an interesting one to me; how a person is influenced, and by whom, and where that influence hits the artist – it all tells a curious outsider not only about the individual, but about the society in which they live. Nunez told me he is drawn to artists that focus on a personal, human reaction to the overwhelming media/political machine that our culture has become. He is interested in the moment he is experiencing right now: youth, in the midst of being hammered into shape by a culture. A culture that cares not for the person’s point of view, or their reaction to the dehumanizing effects of consumerism, or their need for meaning or spirituality or purpose, but rather a culture that exists to make a buck off their instincts.
I’ve been told that the novel 50 Shades of Grey investigates the issues of a desirable but complicated guy and the woman who is equally complicated and attracted to him. Fair enough, but I want to ask you to take a moment and imagine a sexy but complicated man, perhaps a God figure like Thor, someone who perhaps many heterosexual women might find hot. Can you imagine Thor wanting his girlfriend to put on a ball gag and crawl around while he fisted her as she wept? No? So why are fantasies being twisted to become romanticized in both our fiction and pornography?
I’ve now lived in New York for 25 years: half pre-9/11, half after. This year New York taught me another lesson, this one about the cycles of life. When you least expect it, when it seems that things have become so dark you can’t imagine wanting to live in this crazy world any more, there will be a sudden re-birth. New life brings us a perspective we would have never had unless we first had to suffer the loss. In that moment, our existence becomes more precious, much more tender than the life we had before.
These styles, as fun as they are, lend themselves mainly to the “flirty-under thirty-five” crowd. If you have a conservative bent or are just plain more mature, I think it might be best if you either did a shorter version of the Long-top short-crop ala George Clooney or just kept to your same old Marine cut. Women always love the suggestion that a man might have once worn a uniform. It screams macho. I HATE Bradley Coopers haircut, personally. Slicked back with little curls at the nape screams “grease ball who will take your money and break your heart.” But that’s just me.
Having grown up in show business myself, it’s not hard to imagine the attention she received for her talents could have started to wear. The “business of the business” has a way of commodifying an artistic person until you hardly recognize them anymore. When I watched Natalie walk around in a tutu and leather boots in a 2009 video for her chipper song “Wild About It,” I thought to myself, “This woman is way too cool for this. C’mon, people.” On her website there are outtakes that show her having a conversation with a beach ball and a sofa cushion. Really? She is sweet and good-natured throughout but it left me feeling as if I was watching a nice woman forced into a bad situation and making the best of it. While focusing on her looks is not a crime, it sure seems like her business partners aren’t listening enough to her music.
This is woman in summer: shopping for the perfect summer dress. There is no winter equivalent to the summer dress. No black cocktail number can stand and measure to the fresh appeal of it. Every woman knows she must buy at least one, for this summer cannot possibly look like last summer, am I right ladies? This summer must be even sweeter, have bigger or smaller bows, more folds or less, must fringe or lace or silken itself around the woman’s body in a new and different way. Its success is played out when a sudden breeze blows hard against her, revealing a slight surge in one devious nipple.
The Daytime Emmys are special to daytime actors because they recognize how amazing it is that moments of incredible depth and beauty can happen onscreen — and it’s onscreen where the magic really happens. Although soaps are a combined effort of cast, crew, production and writing, it all comes together in that moment after they call “Action” and before they call “Cut.” That’s what is great about being a soap opera actor — to be able to take all that combined effort and in a tense, focused moment, offer up something real and beautiful and truthful. That is not easy, and it sure as heck isn’t about lip gloss.
“Fuck it,” I said (as I have so often), and also shed my wears. Now – if you don’t know me, you need to know I am one part ‘uber conservative priss’ and one part ‘wild hippie child.’ I cannot control which one or when either one is going to come out – it just happens. Tonight it was the hippie. Let’s just say I was into some free hugs. Almost all the girls jumped in right after me, but Olga was not unleashing her largess. She preferred cocaine and cigarettes to naughty behavior, unless of course, she was fucking someone famous or infamous. This she enjoyed until she could get back to her cigarettes. I suspect they will turn out to be the love of her life.
“CONFESSIONS OF A MAD SOAP STAR” 1 year of blogs in 2006 for ABC.COM about working on ALL MY CHILDREN.
Tits, Teeth, and Tears
I was asked by a reporter for the Palm Beach Post what the theme of the Daytime Emmys was going to be.
“You know,” I replied, “hunky guys, beautiful girls, fun, glamour, innovative programming, celebrity, reality TV… tits, teeth, and tears.” I know. I’m bad. It’s really going to be a lot of fun. You shouldn’t miss it. Dancing With the Half Clad Soap Opera Stars, Oprah, Barbara, Ellen, Regis, Kelly, Martha, Brad Bell and Big Bird. If we were on the Titanic, no one would drown, because, including egos, there would be enough inflatable devices for everybody.
And Baby Makes Three
I must be honest with you, I do not like having children on the set. Especially babies. Let me preface this: I love children; I think they are magical innocent beings, but put them in front of lights and a camera and in a dramatic situation and you will either create a monster with a cable show or a child who will later be claiming his therapy and plastic surgery as a deductible.
Yabba Dabba Ding Dong
Another door has “Sexual harassment will not be reported. However, it will be graded.”
I agree. Here’s my grading system!
“A” for an absolutely-lovely-you-have-lifted-my-self-esteem-for-the-day-but-no-thank-you…
“B” for an OH-I-thought-you-were-kidding-you-really-had-me-going-there-no-you-weren’t-oh-I’m-sorry—um-NO…
“C” for a cute-but-I-quit-cigars…
“D” for how-desperate-do you-think-I-am-don’t answer-that-please-stop-touching-me…
“F” for I-am-completely-freaked-out-and-now-must-bathe.
Naked Boys Romping in Astroturf
I was sitting in the make-up chair, generally minding my own business, but specifically gossiping madly with Robin about how the show was doing and the new girls and how Britney is the new Elvis sitting on the toilet eating fried chicken and WHO GIVES A RAT’S ASS, when I looked up at the TV and HOLY MOTHER! There was a serious cutie pie numero uno half-clad in his jim jams diggin’ and sweatin’ like PROMETHEUS off the ROCK and into LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE!
Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Don’t
I’ll tell you one thing, there are a lot of filthy rich, funny looking men out there who have figured out this MYTH and said to hell with it. Deep down they know that it is POWER that gets them all the sex and esteem they desire.
So why do WOMEN spend SO MUCH TIME thinking about how WE LOOK?
It seems to me that despite years of education, information, and successful careers, we still objectify ourselves as images that are reflected in a man’s eyes- A POWERFUL man, a FATHER figure in a way, for whose attention we are all competing.
This is not loving, ladies, and certainly not empowering.
You May Say I’m a Dreamer
I dream of a day when no woman is afraid to speak her mind.
I dream of a day when a woman stops taking responsibility for her man’s mistakes.
I dream of a day when women aren’t called ‘bitches’ because they are strong and smart.
I dream of a day when no means no, and we respect a woman for saying it.
I dream of a day when women are so confident they make no excuses for being single.
I dream of a day when it is outrageous to everyone that the government is involved in a woman’s right to choose.
I dream of a day when we can have a woman as president and no one cares about her weight or her sex life.
I dream of a day when not one woman envies another woman who is far too thin for her own health.
Something to Think About
Judge Fields describes in her article some of the myths held to be true about women in situations of domestic violence. I am listing them because I think they are particularly powerful in our culture at the moment, although it seems hard to believe we could really be so limited in our thinking. Here they are:
“Women provoke domestic violence by nagging (‘pushing buttons’).
Women provoke rape by wearing provocative clothing and going to risky places (bars; men’s apartments).
Women make false accusations of rape to avoid responsibility for their sexual behavior, and for revenge.
Women and girls imagine they have been raped and make accusations based on fantasies.”
Judge Fields goes on to quote several articles where these beliefs are held to be ‘common sense’. She then notes that in these cases what is considered, ‘common sense’ is social notions masking what is actually bias.
I find these notions outrageous. How is it possible that as a society we can continue to hold onto these beliefs, I simply cannot comprehend. Any opportunity that we have as women to change and challenge these notions is an opportunity that simply cannot be passed up. I read on to find some insights that I found equally powerful and frankly, shocking.