“Where do MediaJor’s go when the media proves whores are the new standard?” or #rant

“Where do MediaJor’s go when the media proves whores are the new standard?” or #rant

I just read the following sentence off a CBS press release regarding the upcoming season premiere of “2 Broke Girls.” It stated:

“Television star, entrepreneur, fashion designer, producer and author Kim Kardashian West…”

And I was instantly angry. Angry that this woman continues to represent the American Dream at its most vulgar. I came of age in a Jackie Collins’ written standard of ostenatious, excess and vanity that seems quaint by comparison. Who knew we should value the power of a sex tape? Or worse, having a enabling media structure that allows for this phenomenon to be validated over and over again?

But you know, I can rant and rave for only so long. What did Kim K. do to me? Not a damn thing. And my rage isn’t so much against her. It’s about hating what I’m doing to myself at this very moment.

I never wanted to keep up with the Kardashians, but I did want to keep up with the rest of my media brethren to be “someone” or to be “noticed.” I have the urge to create, but it comes in strange spurts. It is not consistent. Rather, it is on par with binge eating. I go days without a thought or impulse, then something triggers me and I’m reaching for my Mac. It is reckless, unfocused and not doing me any favors.

In the weeks since coming home from Salamanca, all I’ve done is indulge my own weak self in my worst behaviors. Overeating? Check. Overspending? Check. Sleeping too much? Check. Not exercising? Check.

Depressed? Check.

I will whine that I miss who I was in Spain. I will moan that life was better in Spain. I am maudlin and full of self-pity and self-reproach, but I don’t feel magnificent at all. I feel like I am obfuscating the clarity of the summer. Despite the promise of a new job and brighter future ahead, all I feel inside is…nothing.

Somehow this has to end. Somehow the narrative has to be refocused with optimism and not buried within layers of cynicism and anger. A summer in Spain wasn’t the answer or solution, and maybe I hoped it would be. Going back is not an option at the moment. No, Spain was a window that opened to a new vision of good within. And I slammed it shut like a spoiled child because I didn’t like the view when I got home.

What’s the good of change when all you do is revert to the previous draft of your life? All I know, I won’t sell myself to make a point.

To be continued…

#reboot #forwardmotion #stayhere 

Tuesday, August 26, posted from Wayne Avenue Manor.

Why we should never put down our “ice buckets” or “Sharing is Caring”

Certainly the media peak of the #IceBucketChallenge videos for http://www.alsa.org has been achieved by the great and classy Patrick Stewart. The iconic actor said it all without saying a word in his trending video, offering his own financial contribution to this worthy cause.

His simple act defines what the power of celebrity can do — but it also made me think about what this power means to the rest of us.

Earlier today, I met the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge set by my close friend, the great John Moroney. His partner Daniel Pilcher and I took to the beaches of Santa Monica to prove what friends can do to be part of a worthy cause. Given that California is enduring the worst water crisis in its golden history, we opted to preserve this precious resource and head straight into the chiily waters of the Pacific Ocean. Metaphoric and conscientious acts of community support go long way, no? But as we walked around the Santa Monica beach area, I began to think. I really do hope folks never put away their “ice buckets.” A lot of people need help, from ALS to Alzheimer’s to AIDS to Cancer and beyond.

It is great to see celebrities use thier public face for good. But they shouldn’t be the only reason why any of us raise a call to arms. If you feel the need to be part of a movement, don’t let this one moment in time serve your conscience. Sharing truly is caring.

Going to http://www.alsa.org is a great start. Now, get informed about this and other causes. Continue this spirit of community, please. That’s the bigger gift and reward.


#icebucketchallenge #strikeoutALS

(Video shot by D. Pilcher at Santa Monica Beach.)


This is NOT an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Video — #shakeitoff


I had this all worked out to be a complete video message, but too many takes spoiled the soup. (TelePrompTer anyone?) So here’s what I wanted to say before throwing in the towel and getting to the good part:

Hi there, it’s the MediaJor. And no, this not another ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Video. However, I do want to commend those who have contributed to this very worthy cause. It’s been inspiring to witness, so much so, it inspired me to create a challenge of my own.

And here’s why:

For too long now, we have had to witness our own worst behaviors in the media, not just abroad, but here at home, too. I think it is time we take a step back from the negative and focus on something positive.

We get a lot of mixed messages these days. While some people out there have no regard for life, the rest of us spend way too much time telling other people what we think of them and in not so nice terms.

We know haters are going to hate. And thanks to Taylor Swift’s new track, “Shake It Off,” I think we should follow suit and, well, just shake all this hate off already.

So, here’s a new challenge for all of you to contemplate. Tell the world what you want to shake off. The idea being, if we can feel better about ourselves, maybe we can feel better about each other and maybe all the bad can turn into something good.

As for what I will shake off? How about:

I’m too old to be relevant.

That I’m too fat.

Too bald.

Too ordinary.

Too Gay.

Too Mexican.

Too American.

Too poor.

Too independent.

Too bold.

Too scared.

Too anything that isn’t part of the mainstream or trending at this very moment.

Here comes the challenge part. Just show yourself shaking it off to Taylor’s tune. Trust me. You will FEEL a whole lot better.  I mean, check out MY shake!

Now it’s your turn. Do it! And show the world why you’re shaking for good! Post on YouTube and the other social networking sites using #shakeitoff

Just dance…and thank you Taylor Swift for giving us a new reason to move!

#shakeitoff #stayhere #lifeisart #lifelesson #taylorswift #1989

Wednesday, August 20. Posted from Wayne Avenue Manor.

Ice Ice Bucket Challenge, baby.

Ice Ice Bucket Challenge, baby.

Hmm. Maybe every cause, every other disease, every injustice, every moment of civil disobedience, every maligned group, every compromised amendment, every cut school budget, every bullied kid, every soon to be extinct animal, every consequence of global warming, every damn woe that contributes to our failing society should include an Ice Bucket Challenge. Then maybe we’d all finally give a shit about the world we live in.

Tuesday, August 19. Posted from Wayne Avenue Manor


#shakeitoff…or “How to Embrace Life Like a White Girl!” (Taylor Swift Edition)

I now love Taylor Swift more than ever. Why? Because she’s delivered a jam to make us all feel, well, Happy.

I’m sure some of you are asking, “What would a 47-year old gay Latino male have in common with a 20-something country music chick with pop music leanings?”

Easy. La Swift is the boldest artist in music today.

Granted, the “gay” part of the earlier statement is the most obvious giveaway. And yes, those who know me well know that I score my own, living fashion montages when I go out for the evening with any variety of pop gems from Madonna to Ariana Grande. (God, this blog really is too gay to function).You know the drill. It’s the same if you were holding a hairbrush as a mic and sang to an audience of one in your mirror. Except now you fire up the iPod, start pulling together the wardrobe choices, try them on, look in the mirror, stop for a dance break, lather, repeat, rinse, finish.  Don’t lie. You know you’re doing the same thing.

Well, here comes Tay-Tay’s new track, “Shake It Off.” An infectious hook, the “I could give a shit about what you think about me, Haters” lyrics, the sassy video that apes a myriad of pop culture iconography, the “Center Stage”/”Black Swan” of it all.  I mean, who the the hell is the REAL Taylor Swift? Will she please stand up? But, that’s the rub.  She is standing, towering actually, over this generation of pop divas cluttering the airwaves.

Granted, the Max Martin-produced track does sound like something Ariana Grande (or facsimile thereof) would drop. But, you only have to listen to what Swift is saying in the lyrics to know that’s she’s completely in charge of her own artistic evolution. 

The Internet is aflame over the significance of Swift’s completed transition from country to full throttle, radio friendly pop. That’s not what intrigued me. What hooked me was the utter joy displayed in her strong vocals and in the awkward cool of her performance in the accompanying video. This is a young woman who is happy in her beautifully styled skin. She will gladly tell those critics where to go because she is going to “shake off” their negativity and embrace the positives on who she is on her terms.

Granted, we all can’t be multi-zillionaires with a team of artisans paid to make us look good. But, I was taken by the sights and sounds of what’s underneath, a positive message of empowering yourself to rise above the fray and shake it off. Groundbreaking? Hardly. As much as I’ve enjoyed singing about “problems,” “anacondas” and “all that bass,” it is nice to actually “feel” something for the ear candy I’ve been consuming. (Speaking of Meghan Trainor’s one-hit wonder, that video’s “dance like no one’s watching” cutaways seem like country fair sweet tea amped up with Ritalin by comparison to “everybody should just dance their own way” honesty that Swift and company deliver in her video.)

We have learned in this era of living and dying on the Internet that a fishbowl existence on any level is not healthy. People are going to have a comment about you no matter what you do. So, fuck ’em. They may be living vicariously through you. They will troll you. They will love you. They will ignore you. They will either “Like,” “Share” or “Unfollow” you. But, we can’t live to destroy or bully each other, just as much as we should not live for being validated by the other side of the spectrum.  (I write this after posting a particularly unflattering Ok! Magazine cover pic featuring Kim Kardashian. I know, I know. Glass houses.)

Swift is very much aware of the world thinks of her. She knows that as many as those fans/critics who put their names on their comments, many more will praise/attack anonymously. Thus said, the bold manner in which she takes creative risks is exciting to behold. In fact, this new look and sound is positively inspiring. Here’s an example where experience does wonders for art. It shapes narratives and perspectives, turning them into living and breathing organisms that should surprise you and everyone around you.

True, Swift chose to live her life in a public manner. She understands the importance of “giving people what they want” from a commercial sense. But I get the sense she wouldn’t keep doing this if she couldn’t give herself the artistic playing room to do what SHE wants as a musician. Which says something in this age of manufactured celebrities that allow only auto tune and stylists to speak for them. Swift puts her shit out there for everyone to see and feel, because chances are it’s our truth, too. 

No matter what happens next, or what is said next, know that she’s going to shake it off and focus on what is important: To keep giving folks something to sing along with at any age without restraint for a long time. 

And, if you have anything to say about this — or anything else I may post on this blog in the future, I, too, will shake it off.

Now, go be happy while I go and try on some clothes for tonight…

#behappy #shakeitoff #stayhere

Monday, August 18 from Wayne Avenue Manor. 

SHAKE IT OFF by Taylor Swift

I stay up too late, got nothing in my brain
That’s what people say, that’s what people say
I go on too many dates, but I can’t make them stay
At least that’s what people say, that’s what people say

But I keep cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music in my body and it’s gonna be alright

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, Ishake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

[Verse 2]
I’ll never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet
And that’s what they don’t see, that’s what they don’t see
I’m dancing on my own, I’ll make the moves up as I go
And that’s what they don’t know, that’s what they don’t know

[Pre-Chorus] + [Chorus]

[Refrain] (x4)
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off

Hey, hey, hey, just think while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and dirty, dirty cheats in the world you could have been getting down to this beat

My ex-man bought his new girlfriend
She’s like “oh my God,” but I’m just gonna shake it
And to the fella over there with the hella good hair
Won’t you come on over, baby, we can shake, shake, shake


[Refrain] (x4)

Today, as every day, I’m going to throw “Caution to the Wind”

I wear my heart on my sleeve
And I find it hard to leave and let go
I don’t know when to bite my tongue
The world just kind of floats
And I supposed I’m only young
I’ve got room to grow
I’ll cut to the chase
I’m finding my feet
In this rad race I’m just trying to suceed

I’m gonna throw caution to the wind
I’m gonna send love
I can’t handle my heart, or water
I want to stay afloat
I wanna go the extra mile this time
I’m gonna throw caution to the wind
I’m gonna send love
I’m gonna send love

Getting to know the ropes
Then I’ll hold the job
And even when these high hopes
It’s hard not to stop
And if you go let up here I swear
You won’t have to knock on door or despair
I’ll cut to the chase
I’m finding my feet
In this rad race I’m just trying to suceed

I’m gonna throw caution to the wind
I’m gonna send love
I can’t handle my heart, or water
I want to stay afloat
I wanna go the extra mile this time
I’m gonna throw caution to the wind
I’m gonna send love
I’m gonna send love

Source: Becky Hill, “Caution to the Wind”

#stayhere or “Respecting Robin Williams” (August 12, 2014)

#stayhere  or “Respecting Robin Williams” (August 12, 2014)

“That we live in a world that has become so negligent of human values that our brightest lights are extinguishing themselves? That we must be more vigilant, more aware, more grateful, more mindful? That we can’t tarnish this tiny slice of awareness that we share on this sphere amidst the infinite blackness with conflict and hate?

That we must reach inward and outward to the light that is inside all of us? That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore? Do you have time to tune in to Fox News, to cement your angry views to calcify the certain misery?

I might be nice to people, mindful today how fragile we all are, how delicate we are, even when fizzing with divine madness that seems like it will never expire.”

Russell Brand on Robin Williams for The Guardian, 8.12.14

Since news first appeared on 8.11 that the great Robin Williams had taken his own life, a vast collective of shocked and grieved fans took to the social media sites and more to express their grief. Dignity seems to have escaped some. I can only single out the nefarious TMZ, posting its hateful brand of sensationalism without care to those Williams leaves behind. But I can only choose to champion those understanding the importance of respect at this time, which is why Russell Brand’s beautifully composed remembrance opens this new entry to the Confessions blog.

Despite the complexity wrought by the act of suicide, I find myself pondering the obvious question as to why Williams opted to silence himself. How deep was the well of despair that artists of his extraordinary creativity choose to inhabit? He is not alone in succumbing to demons so great they obliterate all common sense  — and the desire to live.

The concussion many of us felt since news broke of his death is proof that he possessed a life worth appreciating because he brought so much joy to so many. What could we have done to let him know we, a massive community of strangers, cared so much? What could we have said to let him know his place in this world was necessary because he made our own demons seem less monstrous? We will never know the answer as to why he chose this manner of exit. And, the endless feed of conjecture over the autopsy facts only creates an unsettling portrait on how our culture is feeding on our weaknesses and all-too-human fragility.

We spend so much time discussing how our modern culture is designed to destroy us these days. The fast pace. The endless networks designed to showcase our growing narcissism. The media’s role in creating false realities. The absurdity of caring how we are perceived by strangers. The overwhelming anxiety unleashed in a society facing too much choice. Yet, we still allow ourselves to lose a little bit of our humanity with every bilious show of contempt for decency, restraint, and compassion towards each other.

I find it all so ironic since I firmly believe we all carry various forms of addictions. From drug, alcohol, and food abuse to exhibiting unflagging levels of ambition to show ourselves off as the most beautiful, most successful or most powerful being on Earth.

But we aren’t.

We are small in the scope of the universe, beings merely paying rent on a planet struggling under the collective weight of careless egos.

I haven’t felt the need to write a word since coming home from Salamanca. It took a mere 10 minutes at JFK during my transfer home to feel that overwhelming feeling of anxiety again, which had been missing in me for weeks. Worse, it took only a week to feel that fucking sense of irrelevance and invisibility again. It is nearly 3 weeks since coming home, and I recognize the familiar signs of a tailspin again.

I don’t want to call it a “depression” in light of today’s post. I have no right to compare my own state to what Williams had endured. But that sense of futility is one I’ve courted one too many times, and it terrifies me. It lulls you into a sense of complacency so strong, it seems like the most potent narcotic. Its effects are swift and dangerously romantic. You feel light as a feather, on par with that moment you recognize you’ve fallen in love. But it is obviously the opposite of love; it is a courtship with despair that is accompanied by dire consequences.

Like many people, I will continue to process the ramifications of Williams’ death. I am not the only one who wants an answer, too. How can someone like him just give up on us all, give up on his family, give up on himself?

If we are being overwhelmed by this culture of excess choice, then we must promote options of Choosing Life. Earlier today, actor Craig Bierko commented that if people suffer from depression, they have every right to seek medical attention for a sickness, “not a character flaw.” He’s right. It isn’t “cowardice” or a “flaw” to feel hopeless. We have always faced challenging times as a species. But now, more than ever, we really need to learn how to listen to each other. We need to stop preying on and/or judging each other for sport or entertainment. We need to not be afraid to say “stay here” to those who want to leave for reasons we can’t fathom or understand. But before anyone else will believe it, we have to accept it ourselves. You have to think that your place in the world matters. You have to believe it is worth “staying here.”

I have to believe it, too.

“You are only given one little spark of madness. You musn’t lose it.”

— Robin Williams

#stayhere #lifeisart #robinwilliamsporvida

**Tuesday, August 12 @ Wayne Avenue Manor in South Pasadena, CA.