Summer Greeting 2008 - Monsoon Madness

George Carlin, an intellectual hero, is dead; for several days the monsoons have been howling. It was George up there laughing and shooting down sparkling electrical Carlin bolts to see if we’d jump! 

Roy Rogers Oldenkamp: visit his website @











Here’s one of the writing projects with which I have occupied myself during the monsoon season. The MANYHANDBAND CD will be available by the time I get this greeting posted, 3 months late and a paragraph short!

Chris Robison & the Manyhandband's CD from the early 1970s is musical history of alternative sexualities.  In New York, at that time, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, Jayne County and The Electric Chairs, The Ramones and other alternatively oriented artists marked the territory where music impacted social customs.  Robison wrote and performed with outstanding musicians and took the fight to the audience--his bisexual stance and pretty pout invigorated live performance in the Rock n' Roll landscape.

Chris's album revisits the awakening of fun, of what it meant to be young and ready to change the world, to wrest the reins of conservatism from the old guard and fill the world with song and dance, music and poetry.  Goodbye to tired old wars and working people having to be soldiers instead of enjoying the vibrant creativity of peace!  Goodbye to military conscription, hello to dancing and hanging out, watching the dawn after a night of music and parties--these songs are the soundtrack of that time.  The music celebrates the willingness we had to view the world a different way where all were welcome and all equal.

I attended two or three of Chris' shows while in New York promoting David Bowie - we danced and sang and loved the synthesis of words and percussion that drove the show all night.  The ManyHandBand CD completes the history of popular music at that time--and does so with great joy and FUN!  Chris--you are well-loved and may your tunes be played in every city and every town!  Love you baby!

Chatted with Marc Spitz who is busy on another book. I have enjoyed his various titles including a tome on Iggy Pop.  Spitz is the co-author (with Brendan Mullen) of the 2001 LA punk oral history We Got The Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk. He has authored two novels, How Soon is Never (2003) and Too Much, Too Late (2006), as well as Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day.  Several of his plays, including Retail Sluts (1998), The Rise And Fall of the Farewell Drugs (1998), ...Worry, Baby (1999), I Wanna Be Adored (1999), Shyness is Nice (2001), Gravity Always Wins (2003), and The Name of This Play is Talking Heads (2005) have been produced in New York City. Shyness is Nice was revived by the Alliance Repertory Theatre company in Los Angeles in 2003, and The Name of this Play is TalkingHeads was produced in the summer of 2006 on Nantucket.

Very exciting month, I finally received the Bossa n’ Ramones CD from Marcelo Momtolivo and his friends in South America. I love the album!

Heard from Sirius Trixon and I am so glad that he is feeling better after a heart attack earlier this year. Rock on baby!

Here’s The eclipse in Siberia!

"Xaviera Hollander, the Happy Hooker, portrait of a sexual revolutionary" won THE PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDANT FILM FESTIVAL on June 29, 2008. or

Bego & I had a blast at the Los Angeles Book Expo; we did a whirlwind tour of the convention in Los Angeles at the end of May, and June 1st.  Funnily enough, Los Angeles where pedestrian traffic was so frowned upon in the 1970s---when the LAPD tried to arrest me at the front of the Beverley Wilshire Hotel looking for my car, if you were walking you were trolling for trade was their reasoning at that time! Anyway Los Angeles in the moment of “Green-thinking” is becoming quite wonderful for walking.

My dear friend Benny Carruthers walked everywhere and was the first actor/writer who made me aware back in the 1970s that dependence on cars in Los Angeles was an orchestrated plan to increase the revenue of car manufacturers and oil refineries, Beverley-Hillbillies thinking affecting city council decisions once the oil was discovered right underneath the city of Los Angeles. Los Angeles discontinued the street car routes and cut back on the bus services except where it was convenient for the rich people. We can’t inconvenience rich people when it comes to their domestic labor; so their maids and gardeners have transportation.  It‘s hard to understand that spoiler mentality when during the 1950s and 1960s in Europe public transportation seemed to get better and better and cleaner.  Even now electric trams ferry everyone around in Europe. Because my parents loved Cyprus and Europe and the United States, we often discussed and bemoaned the direction of America in the 1970s:

“Nixon was the used car salesman you couldn’t trust and his deal with China was playing directly into the consumption mentality of out-sourcing. "

Bego and I enjoyed a couple of long walks, nay hikes along Melrose down past all the wonderful furniture and design stores. West Hollywood is looking crisp and used--like a plant where the leaves are thin and parched. I guess that’s what happens when there is a strike in the entertainment business, it filters down through everyone and every business especially in Los Angeles. In the paper today here in Tucson the Actors’ Equity are getting all puffed up with the local Tucson Camber Music group for some slight that has thrown them into a tizz woz!

Ingrid Betancourt is a remarkable woman yearning still to include her captors in the brave new Colombia that she envisions.
But isn’t this Ingrid Betancourt something? And the Colombians for doing this daring rescue. I am so excited and proud of these guys. So totally cool without a shot fired. What an example how to tip the balance but now they must reach out and grab those other 700 kidnapped folks--like they have a cottage industry going in kidnap victims, money in the bank. I suppose it’s better than funding your cause with drugs or weapons but human livestock that offends one’s morals also. To be detained for no reason other than your links cause you to be worth such and such an amount. What was that great 80s movie with Bette Midler where they kidnapped the lady and then her husband wouldn’t pay the ransom, he was glad someone had kidnapped her.?  Anyway this rescue in South America is wonderful. 
This will make several movies. South America and the Spanish colonial empire took up a third of the world. The Spanish language has such a rich, fat literature and a dynamic movie making scene - I hope to visit further into South America, I have only been to Mexico City and what a joy that was. Beautiful place, gorgeous architecture, what a culture.  South America explodes with beauty and joy and talent. When one rates cultures for their engagement with enjoying life the Spanish and Hispanic life-styles are energetic and enriched with travel and plenty of sea-side time. Those three activities win my vote for a civilized way of life and the emphasis on education, university, technical schools.


Anyway back to the BOOK EXPO----

“What We could Have Done with the Money“ - 50 Ways to spend the trillion dollars we’ve spent on Iraq by Rob Simpson and published by Hyperion Trade Paperback Original.
Simpson’s premise/chapter on solar power really fixed this book for me as an important opportunity to discuss the Book Expo and some of the subjects about which we all feel strongly. Here are a few examples of the results possible if a trillion dollars was channeled into something productive as opposed to bombs and killing organic beings.

The last time we went to the book Expo in LA, a photo was taken of me and when I looked at the photo there was a strange bulge in the cerise spandex dress I was wearing.
In that shot I could see what I had been feeling! I was rowing every morning for an hour I was losing weight but at a certain point I could not lose any more.
About a week after I returned from the BookExpo I fell over in pain and had to have surgery.

The photo was the key. The moral of this story….examine photos of yourself carefully and be ruthlessly honest. How is your physical condition? Do you look happy? Do you look stressed or downright miserable?  By asking these questions and absorbing the photographic evidence it is possible to see your spiritual and physical well-being.  Are you “making nice “ for the camera. Are you scowling at the horror of it all?

Some cultures forbid the taking of photos fearing a loss of their soul to the camera. That is not really the case; the fear of photos is the fear of revelation that an individual might feel were they to see an unfavorable view of their own life as seen through another’s eyes. More about shame and being ashamed than stealing the soul.

Photos are more realistic and less subjective than paintings so a reflection of a human in a photo provides one with specific data.  A photographic image carries compelling weight. A photographic image could change a person’s life, cause that person to improve their situation, leave or become aware of their desirability and their right to flex the muscles of their own destiny hitherto held hostage by the authority that did not want the photos taken!

The United States and England embraced the idea of the League of Nations after the carnage of WWI. In 1919, January 25 the Paris Peace Conference accepted the proposal to create the League of Nations to pursue peace and attempt to resist the possibility of a Second World War from ever occurring. The idea originated with British Foreign Secretary Edwin Gray and was enthusiastically supported by US president Woodrow Wilson.

Growing up in Cyprus, the United Nations was an important part of Cyprus being able to declare it’s independence from Britain. As the United States was bending over (as far as Turkey was concerned) so that NATO could have access for air strikes to the Middle East, the United States just sat back and let Turkey bomb us and then allowed the Turkish government to seize, invade and colonize the Northern part of Cyprus. The United Nations was not able to stop the Turkish action without some outspoken support from the big UN members.
That interest was not expressed by Russia or the United States because the US did not think it was important to reprimand their new-found allies in the Middle East, Turkey and fellow NATO members.  It seems that American government thought it was enough to host the UN in New York barely aware that they are centered in Geneva and Brussels as well.
Was the American Government’s idea that by having them in New York they would be our puppets?

With three distinct United Nations centers, the EEC became more powerful and increased its relevance, their programs have flourished for sixty years.  The United Nations organization has saved millions from famine and drought by their intervention. Their doctors inoculated and helped save generations of folks from disease; their soldiers and disaster-relief efforts brought relief to disaster-stricken areas of the planet. The United Nations makes this planet appear to be civilized despite the incursions on peace caused by myopic foreign policies against terrorism, the misguided tool of the disenfranchised.