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Saturday, November 26, 2005

KRAZY GAY LOVE FROM JAPAN!!!!



I am fighting off a cold so I decided to stay in last night and just chill out with a DVD or two. Imagine my surprise when I plugged in this sick and twisted comedy from Japan. How to explain it? Think BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE on acid and gone all gay. That is the nearest I can come to explaining this bizzare film.


The above is the translated title, however I thought it was called MIDNIGHT PILGRIMS. The story is fairly simple: Two gay lovers, Yaji and Kita, who dress and appear to be living in an era long gone are having issues in their relationship.



Yaji has never formaly ended marriage to his wife and Kita is addicted to the Big H. So, the two decide to solve all of their problems by hitting the road on Yaji's awesome motorcycle to get to Mt. Fiji so that Kita can kick his heroine habit --- and, maybe get his track marks to heal.



As they leave we are treated to lots of slapstick humor ala The 3 Stooges gone queer. One memorable moment features Yaji pulling on Kita's penis ---- out to about 6 feet as Kita screems in agony before Yaji puts the tip in his mouth and says he's sorry -- then, like a spring-loaded rubberband penis would, it snaps back at poor Kita. (sorry, I am not posting a picture of that scene!) And there is much comical tripping about as Yaji tries to prevent Kita from getting to his "works" --- ???? We have a very gentle love scene and the boys are off --- BUT not before treating us to a big musical number in which they essentially sing about being in love and being gay.


...this was a big musical number with at least 100 extras dancing about while the boys hold hands, and sing. I just enjoyed the subititles for the song which basically read as "Yay! We're gay! Gay! No women for me! We are gay! Gay!" ...and all of the local villigagers just dance about ala GREASE doing funny claps and syncronized jumps.

From this point the film gets fairly unusual. To leave their village they must lose the motorcycle, go on foot (we are treated to an seemingly endless joke of Kita trying to teach Yaji to skip as they hold hands) --- but to really get on their journey they must make a tyrant laugh or they will not be permitted to continue their trek to Fiji so that Kita can get off the smack. Their attempts at stand up comedy fail to get a response until Kita starts with convulsions from the heroine withdrawl. This garnishes a great many laughs and the boys are permitted to move on.

The journey continues and a number of odd characters pop up including popular Japanese comedian, Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, which is the form our souls take when we die. So we are "treated" to hundreds of Yoshiyoshi Arakawa's running about doing all matter of slapstick with only small towels covering the naughty bits. Oh, yeah. Maybe you're wondering why the matter of how our souls look after we die even comes up in a gay musical comedy about fighting drug addiction. ....Well, at the end of an odd musical moment during which Kita is tripping out on "magic mushrooms" he sort of hacks Yaji to death with a sword --- and then impales him. This is a very violent scene and come out from nowhere.

The rest of the film involves Yiji trying to cross the river Styxx with a scary dominatrix woman, making peace with his wife who we discover killed herself in a fight with Yaji just after he told her he was leaving her for a boy and poor Kita is stuck in some existensial limbo bar drinking some form of dope which allows him to see an imaginary form of Yaji. It is during all of this that we somehow come to find that all souls take the form of the pudgy comedian. In the end, Yaji must trick a giant version of the comedian to stop crying (because the River Styxx flows from his tears) --- Yaji manages to do this, but then must pass under the bare bottom of the giant comedian --- in the end it is a fart that blows over Japan which brings Yaji and Kita back together. No more a herioine junkie they celebrate with a big musical finale and decide to eat more of the magic mushrooms!



....this is not a low budget movie. The production values are quite high with loads of extras and lots of interesting CGI imagery. It is also the most f***'d up and weird ass movie I think I've ever seen. I loved it. This is the first film from director, Kudo Kankuro, and from what I can gather was one of the bigger hit films of 2005 in Japan. I've a feeling that the subtitles are all bad as they didn't always make much sense, but I don't think that matters much. It is a trippy road trip movie gone crazy.

See it at your own risk. However, if you enjoy sitting infront of a TV with your jaw stuck in the open position as you try to understand the madness unfolding infront of you -- and wondering if someone slipped something in your drink, then this just could be the Krazy Gay Luv movie for you!

Friday, November 25, 2005

A RANDOM JOURNAL ENTRY FROM 11/26/91



I've kept journals since the day after high school graduation. This means 20 years worth of journals. 20 years of my life. I have them all and I go back to them from time to time just to see what was going on for me on certain dates/times in my life and how I was feeling/expressing myself. Sometimes it can be painful to read. Other times it can be funny and even affirming on how far I've grown as a person. For some reason, I was curisous to see if I had an entry on this date back several years. I did. The following was written by me on November 26th 1991... I think the picture is from about that same time. As is often the case I don't really remember what I am writing about.



"Ah, what a day. I attended a new age workshop with ______ which was focused on finding your inner voice. I found it, but I didn't really care for what it had to say. As I fell deeper into mediation I continued to ask for strenght in my journey for inner peace and love. As I started to feel this sensation of floating and my lungs filled with the burning incense I sort of received an image of a computer screen which had a message across the screen in red letters spelling out "Help" ...I pulled myself out of the trance (or whatever it is you want to call it) I felt really uneasy, spaced and sad. Sort of like that feeling I used to experience as I was coming down from dusted pot when I was a kid. The hippie lady who was leading us came over to me and asked if I was OK and I told her that I was afraid to relax. Afraid to let go. I told her that I was afraid that if I did I might fall into a space that would either be like oblivion or insanity.

The group just sort of ended the session and all attention was suddenly focused on me, but I guess the several hours of "work" we had been doing made me feel comfortable to continue the conversation with the lady in front of the others. I told her that I just wanted to be happy. That while I would like very much to find love, I can't seem to fathom finding that and settling for sex with just one person for the rest of my life. I continued on telling her that I knew I was too slutty, but that ____ feels this is the only way we can connect as gay men and liberate the world. I felt like crying.

But, then the hippie lady leaned forward touching her forehead to mine and said, "Matty, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"
Then she got up and asked everyone to go back into our relazed and meditative states. I have no idea what she meant by that. Not sure I even want to know. One thing is for sure ---- I will not be going back to that place again. And I told _____ that he can go without me next time.

You know, I think the world might be a better place if someone just told Enya and Enigma to stop it."

....well, there you have it me at 25 exactly 14 years ago. The guy who's name I've replaced with blanks is no longer with us. I miss him. This was back in the day when someone who had AIDS could be fine one day and then be walking death within a week. This is what happened to ______. He used to tell me that if he were not sick he would show me complete and full love, but I do remember thinking that I was unsure of what he meant by that. I do not remember the workshop that I wrote about, but I will never forget him. ...Putting on a brave face all the time and searching for answers in New Age concepts because that was really all he had to grab on to for hope.

Wow --- didn't mean for this to be so heavy. Was really just a little experiement to see where my head was at on this date at some point in the past. Well, that is where it was.

I do think my observation regarding Enya and Enigma might still hold water. ...so to speak.

MY THANKSGIVING POST


Retro dinner with great food --- and where they filmed AMERICAN GRAFFITI, I think)

I had received 3 very generous invitations to join others for Thanksgiving dinner, but I decided to spend the day with a friend. We had a great time --- had dinner at Mel's. Hendra had their turkey platter and I had the chili burger. And, we saw the film version of RENT -- which was much better than I expected. And, who knew that my new hero, Sarah Silverman, would be in it!?!? If you see it, watch for the big network executive! That's our girl! Sarah "JESUS IS MAGIC" Silverman!

It was fun and I continue to have fun hanging out with Hendra. There is so much to be thankful for in what has most def. been a year of total transition for me. ...and for Hendra as well. It was a nice day! Hope everyone was able to enjoy the day!

Karyn -- I know you and your family were not able to do so, but I hope the rest of the weekend improves for you!

Of course the real concern of the day is that Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are getting a divorce. Who would have ever dreamed that would happen?!?!?! Heavy on my heart. Next they will be telling us that Demi and Ashton are calling it a day. Nah, that would never happen!

Well, a haircut is the order of the day! Not sure what the evening might hold!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

ODD NEW BARBRA PRODUCT...

For Babs fans like me, the arrival of the Streisand TV Specials to DVD is most exciting!

However, that doesn't mean one doesn't have to marvel at the oddness that is her 1973 TV special.


(odd and creepy cover of an Oscar & Hammerstein song...)

I can remember watching it on the big color TV in my Grandmother's living room. I guess I was about 6 years old. I remember being confused by it --- but mezmorized.

...I had a similar reaction tonight. ...32 years later.


(sing along with Schubert)


(Ray & Babs 'do' a Melanie song, then followed by a cover of a country song...)


(Barbra and Ray's girls gettttttt downnnnn...)


(Barbra funks it up --- and does some rather odd dance moves...)


(Touching on the experimental --- Barbra does a Rick Wakeman kind of thing!)


(...dealing with the destined Wakeman/electronic/moog issues of the day)


(Long before Bjork, Barbra was performing a concerto for voice ...and household applicances. Here she performs with mixers)


(musical electric toothbrushes...)


(sing with a washing machine...)


(...and the lovely sound of early 70's hair dryers)


(...doing a Middle Eastern belly dance thing)


(doing a Spain kind of thing. ...I think she may have borrowed Sonny Bono for this number, but he isn't credited)


(going Japanese on our ass)


(...and, off to India we go!)


(half-breed? one fifth, maybe?)


(trainspotting with Babs)

...but, I think my personal favorite is her "trip" to Africa. Yes, kids -- Barbra is really a woman of color.


(???????????????)


(Is she really doing that? ...yes, I think she is)


(what make this all the more odd is that she is doing an African-influenced cover of an old Ethyl Merman song)

Really strange, funny and uncomfortable. There is one really great moment in this oddity --- a performance of the Truman Capote/Harold Arlen song, "Never Has Seen Snow" --- great song and a great delivery.

The first two specials from the 60's are true classics, tho. And, there is something somehow really "creative" about building a TV musical variety hour special around Barbra Streisand and Jason Robards in some Vaudville act. There is actually a 10 minute performance of Shakespeare --- straight up. And, Jason Robards was kind of hot back in the late 60's. Who knew?!?!?


(Babs 1973 --- having not yet linked up to the mainstream)

Monday, November 21, 2005

OH, THE GAUL!!!



So --- I know that, despite my desire to believe that we humans care about each other and the world, very often when it comes down to the wire --- humanity tends to make the wrong choice. Not always, but sometimes it does seem that, more often than naught, we humans are a conflicted bunch who thrive off of power and the insatiable need to be the more important --- or, the more desirable than the bloke sitting with us. And, there has always been a lot of anger welling up inside us humans -- it would seem.

But, still, I have to hope. I have to believe --- that the human heart is not a dark thing. Sure, some have those horrific "dark hearts" -- but I still need to believe that those darkest of hearts can be saved because they could not have always been so dark and mean. I want to believe this.

And, yet, as I look at all that is happening on our planet, I see that this might be overly optimistic on my part. I mean, let's face it --- no matter how you want to argue it. A government gets the leadership it either deserves or wants. That doesn't mean we all agree. It just means that not enough of us care "enough" to effect real global change regarding what is happening. ...Fall of the Roman Empire, anyone? The "right to life" or the "pro-life" folks seem to support this war --- this blood for oil. And, the "pro-choice" folks, like myself, seem not to support or agree with it --- and I guess I should speak for myself here -- aside from a few petitions and my vote -- I have not done all that much to change the tide of things. I criticize and am angry -- but where and how do I funnel that? No where productive from what I can see. And I apologize for such a sweeping generalization. I know that the above does not hold true for eveyone. But, I think you will understand what I am trying to write.

Anyway...

All these questions were going thru my mind as I walked out of a screening of Craig Lucas' film, THE DYING GAUL. I will not provide any "spoilers" in the event someone reading this plans on seeing it. I really wanted to like this film. I've always loved Lucas' work. And, the three leading actors are brilliant performers. The script is tight, without holes and most definitely stirs a reaction. I don't think there was a soul in that cinema who didn't feel something. But, I know that there was not a soul in that cinema who left that room feeling enlightened or happy.

Now, art shouldn't have to make you feel good. Art is meant to cause a reaction. And, on that level, THE DYING GAUL works and delivers. I always figure you know you're dealing with something of value or interest when opinions are polarized. Critics and people seem to either hate this movie or think it brilliant.

But I feel as if I just spent close to 2 hours watching a film filled with so much anger and hate -- and none of it clearly focused.

Is Lucas' anger at disease, sex, women, men, gays, straights, bisexuals, the film industry, relationships -- or humanity?!?!? All of the above?!?!? Just anger and hate for close to 2 hours -- and 3 of the most horrible characters I've seen put to screen in quite a while.

I don't know. If I am watching satire, horror or just very dark comedy --- I don't have to "like" a character. But, when it comes to drama -- or "real life" films --- I need to be able to at least empathize with the characters. If I dislike all of them and don't care about them -- then I really find it hard to care about the movie. THE DYING GAUL didn't matter to me in the end. I was glad it was over and I felt like all of three of the characters deserved what they got. ...and, I found it hard to see them as real people. They were too flat. Maybe that is a poor way of phrasing it, but it didn't work for me and I couldn't invest in it.

Also, as I was riding home tonight my iPod shuffle brought me to a Ben Folds song that I really like. A song that I actually only know about because I heard Bette Midler cover it (stop making fun of me) ...her version sucks, his rules. But, "Boxing" is a great song about someone trying to evaluate his life -- and it has a lovely melody. Anyway, I am sitting there listening to it and suddenly the meaning -- or mode of meaning hit me. I am so dumbe sometimes. I value lyrics a great deal, but I don't always think it thru --- I do believe that song is supposed to be one side of a conversation between M. Ali and Howard Cossell. ...I think.

Gee, but -- that's kind of mean! So, Ben Folds uses Mr. Ali to represent life's disappointment. Sucks to be M. Ali --- ...and, Howard Cossell. I guess we knew it sucked to be Howard. Anyone of us over 34 can't ever forget that powder blue suit and bad wig. And, of course, the other has a serious disease and suffers from years of abuse to his body taken in the ring. But, man, the song is pretty harsh!

So, I turned off the shuffle and played that new song by Madonna. I really like that song and I love the sampling from ABBA. However, I still contend that this song sounds more like something Kylie would normally do. And, then I listend to Barbra and Barry sing "Above the Law" -- love that song. Makes me wanna dance, if I could actually dance. Anyway, both songs put a spring back in my step! ...which was needed after watching 3 people put eachother and everyone around them thru Hell for 1 hour and 45 minutes and coming to the realization that Ben Folds used a living person (who has always seemed so decent to me) to illustrate a rather sad point.

Bleh. ...the very gaul.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A REALLY NICE WEEKEND


bubble heart in Union Square...

I had a really nice weekend. Saw some great movies (JESUS IS MAGIC --- see it at all costs! & GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK --- really quite good!) and one really bad movie (ELIIE something or other staring Naomi Watts --- waste of her talent and my time)

I also had an exceptional couple of dates, some lovely walks about San Francisco and perfect weather all weekend!

I had three invitations for Thanksgiving, but found another soul who has no family to spend it with so we are going to spend it together -- probably go to a nice hotel for dinner. Sure hope he remembers to make our reservation!

Oh, and Milford is home from his adventures in New Zeland!!! Yay! Will be seeing him Tuesday night to find out all about his trip!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

BUT DOES THIS MEAN I'M DIDI CONN?!?!!?


(you may WANT to forget it, but you won't be able to)

As I was riding home tonight I decided that I had been listening to far too much Kate Bush and Madonna. Now, I know you're probably saying to yourselves,

But, Matt, is it even possible to hear too much Kate Bush or Madonna?!?!

Well, kids, the answer to that question would be "yes"

So, I decided to shift back to my ever fave iPod song shuffle mode to see what the musical gods sent my way. And, the very first song that came on was Debby Boone singing "You Light Up My Life"

...and, it hit me. Does this song sum up all of my desires and dreams? Is this the boat I wish to row? ...yet, not all alone adrift on the water? Yes, please, find me a man to say --- "Hey, I love you" ...because, then, never again am I to be all alone.

Sure! I want someone to light up my life! You know, to give me hope to carry on. ...Dammit.

And then I thought of the movie from which the song came. Set in California --- a mousey a girl (Didi) struggles with the really important questions we all face in life?

"Do I want to spend the rest of my life with this man?"
"Do I want to spend the rest of my life with THAT man?"
"Will my best friend lose the perm, get a nose job and secure a spot on a TV show about 30-somethings?"
"Will I ever get the chance to sing my song AND find true love?"
"Are my clogs flattering or do you prefer my platform boots?"
"Should I continue to do a puppet show to keep my Dad happy?"

...and, perhaps the most pressing question that crosses MY mind at least once a day ---

"Will they know I'm lip syncing? That I'm faking it? That I'm a fraud? Will they know that my nasal voice is not really able to crank out that belt of a chorus or will they really believe that I am singing?!?!?" ...not to just dismiss the concern of clogs vs. platform boots, but somehow this other question just seems to carry a bit more import at the moment.

And, then I had to ask myself --- "Am I Didi Conn? Am I living the life set forth in a bad movie?"


...if I am, at least I know my head phones are of a smaller size!

I mean, you know. Why can't I be Debby Boone?



Sure, I might end up washed up, married to the less attractive Clooney offspring and singing my mother-in-laws songs at dinner theatres and county fairs --- but I would have had my moment in the sun!

Is it better to lip synch your way thru or be the one who provides the voice?

Oh, let's not get caught up in technicalities --- we all know that Debby's voice was not used in the movie. It was another actress who could sing, but not act as well as me, uh, er, I mean -- as well as Didi. But, we also all know that the film's director and Columbia Pictures decided to have Debby Boone record the song to promote the movie --- and who could forget that moment when she sang it at the Oscars with over a 1,000 deaf kids sigining the words along with HER voice?!?! Or was it 2,000 deaf kids? I don't know. It was a lot. But the point is --- I bet is was much more fun to be Debby!


Of course, pink wigs are kind of cool. There are, after all --- worse things a girl could do ---- or be. I guess.

Has anyone noticed I seem to be stuck in the 1977 - 1978 era as of late? What's up with that, anyway?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Gay Celebs in LITTLE BRITAIN or I Don't Have Much to Blog About Today...

I really like that show, LITTLE BRITAIN. Who doesn't? But, I was just watching the Comic Relief speacial which was just chock full of gay Brit celebs!

Robbie Williams made an uncomfortable appearance with the ladies in their new shoppee of lady things...


(I just think Robbie is sooooo cute!)

...but not as a lady called Roberta Williams.


computer says no...

However, one has to give Robbie credit for being a bit more daring than the others. But the guest spots of George Michael and Elton John were much better! Actually, Elton's spot with the only gay in the villiage was really very funny.


Elton getting asked if he enjoys Vegas and "filling Celine's slot"



Well, worth watching! I find it so interesting what makes it on British TV but gets cut out when they ship it over to BBC America. Blessings to region free DVD players!! I really enjoyed the segments that the BBC opted not to air -- particularly the Granny sex scenes. I couldn't decide what was funnier -- the actual site or the expression of the grandkids watching on in horror.

IT HAS ARRIVED...



Yes, kids, the new Madonna CD is upon us. I like it. OK, that is not true. I more than like it. You see, I think I've shared this with you before -- I don't want to like Madonna, but she simply forces me to love her! This is a great dance album. Borrowing heavily from the whole synth Georgio Moroder/Donna Summer sound, sampling from ABBA, mixing in that string-around-the wrist-mysticism she's grown so fond of and just out-and-out stealing from Kylie and the Breck Girl-look circa 1976 --- the whole CD just rules!



And barely a moment of rapping about expensive coffee or bitching about the woes of being rich and famous. ...tho, there is a hint of that. It is just a fun grouping of dance songs! Tho, I disagree with all that stuff that has been printed about Madonna "returning to her 80's roots" --- Sorry, but the normal weight Material Girl is gone. Once one creates a book of near-porn, crosses the big pond, starts hunting fox and sporting a faux British accent -- I don't think there is any turning back. Tho, I do like the "I Love New York" song --- tho, it is just marketing. Who cares? It works.

I wish I had something of real import to share tonight, but I don't. I'm too busy dancin'!

(not really, but my foot is tapping and my head is bouncing to the beat)

Monday, November 14, 2005

FOR GOD'S SAKE! WHEN WILL THIS RIGHT WING PARANOIA END!?!?



...I mean, I am sorry. But, when Paramount decidess to shelf all of the manufactured copies of the DVD release of the Berry Gordy/Diana Ross classic 1975, MAHOGANY, the day before it was to hit the stores -- wel, that is just plain wrong! Impeach! Impeach, I say! This has all gone too far!

I've been waiting for years to see Ms. Ross play that fashion model on the rise with both Billy Dee AND Anthony Perkins (reprising his PSYCHO role in the form of a coked-up fashion photographer) on her tail. Not to mention all of the clothes that Miss Ross actually designed for the film! In digitally restored glam widescreen treatment. I am so upset! And, no. I don't know where I'm going to! How can I when I live in a country where such a masterpiece is being withheld from popular consumption!?!?



On top of that I am 39 now. It isn't easy, but someone has to do it!

Friday, November 11, 2005

HELLO BIRTHDAY!


...a cool gift from my pal, Milford. It is very cute, very loud and very birght!



39 years old. So, where did the time go? Wasn't I just 28? LOL!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

VOTING IN SEAS AND SKIES OF HONEY OR ANDREW WK's NEW LOOK

Voting in San Francisco is odd. Or, so it seems odd to me. It is not unusual to cast your vote in someone's garage. That is often where the voting places are, actually. The little Mexican cantina a few blocks from the house is also a voting place. Cast your vote and pick up a taco. ...Or go up the street about 10 blocks and meet that odd neighbor who has rented out his garage for the day. Odd. I am feeling rather guilty. I did not vote today. I failed to get myself registered to vote in California and I still need to change my MA drivers license to a CA one. So, I hope that there were enough people in my city who were able to get to their neighbor's house or the bar to cast their vote and shoot Gov Arnold's lame/big business initiatives down. I won't let this happen again. No need to lecture me. I know I suck. Tracy Flick would be most annoyed.



But, let's ponder something of real importance: What is up with Andrew WK and his new look?


andrew wk goes-a-stylin'

Are we to expect those heavy metal tunes to now morph into Roxy Music-inspired ballads of love and lust? From the new look one might think so! This is certainly a far cry from the busted nose, oily metal hair look to which he previoulsy aspired.



I am sure there will be those who will say that he is a poser, but his work has always been on the side of lampoon anyway. Still, it is an odd transformation. Did he get new management?!??!

And, what of the new Kate Bush CD? Hmmmm...

I am still thinking it through and it will take a few more listens. However, I do know that I prefer disc 2. This is most definitely the more experimental of the two. The first disc opens strong with that first single (even if it is about Elvis) but then there is a track written for her child which seems cloying. And, the song which I guess is about her partner and his love of math is seeming somehow lame to me.

But, the oddest is the song called "Mrs. Bartolozzi" ...It is about doing the laundry, but has the sound of some important piano moment. ...but it is about laundry washing. A sort of ode to the washing machine. Actually, I've only listened to it once, but I think the chorus is "...washing machine, washing machine, washing machine" Is that cool or just bad? I can't decide. I want to like track 5, "How to be Invisible" but am having issues with getting up close and personal to it.

But, I've played disc 2 several times. I love the three tracks which are inspired by her child speaking about the sounds that the birds are making --- and then the odd vocals which seem to imitate those sounds as if part of the song is in a new language -- or a tounge of birds. Now, this is a great tribute to her child. Children can be so beautifully poetic --- and this section of the album captures that so well. This actually makes the purchase of the CD more than worth it!

I have to wonder why is the release called "Aerial" when the work is called "Sea of Honey/Sky of Honey" ---- I guess these are the names of the two divisions of the works as a whole. However, I like the sound of those two titles better than Aerial. But, "honey" is one of my favorite words. Like "water" "glass" "reflection" -- those words just sound nice when spoken aloud.


Ah, yes -- no need to worry about elections, war, riots in Paris or assisinations. Andrew WK's new look and new Kate Bush CD are where we really need to focus our collective attentions.