Musings and Mirth

About Me

I spend way too much thinking about me. This is the blank space where that paragraph should be.

Relativity

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Blindsided by the theory of relativity

The speed of my heart
relative to the observer
If only it could be the speed of light
the same, always.
I went down the well,
a cascading penny.
no sound came back in echo
30 seconds in your arms
lit a match
that became an inferno
It’s made relative
to you,
to me.
Our declarations fly past each other
at different speeds
to the observer
It is something.
It is nothing.
It is everything.

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North Hollywood, 2013

The God Gene and Richard Dawkins

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Super hottie Richard Dawkins has gotten himself in trouble again via some remarks he made about having been molested as a young boy and how it caused him no real harm. Now he’s being dragged about on the web as a molestation apologist. How silly is the internet. I suppose it’s human nature to get in stoning mode – not a lot has changed in our collective mob mentality when it comes to shunning a particular individual for something – but it seems an overreach to pounce on a certain remark made by a guy who says what he thinks regardless of whether it is sensitive or not. He was telling his story.

This morning I was having a chat about religion and church with one of my best friends, Michael, whom I’ve known for around 30 years. He’s gay and once belonged to a “pray the gay away” church which, of course, didn’t work because there isn’t a lot we can do about our sexuality. It is a bird continually trying to free itself from the cage. He was asking me about whether or not I believed in God. I have figured out by now that belief in God is a genetic thing. Richard Dawkins thought of it first with “The God Delusion” but in my family it’s really true. I take after my mother who is at heart an atheist. To believe she must force herself. Her thinking brain figures there’s no chance in hell we are ruled by a higher power. Both my sisters, on the other hand, took after our father who is more spiritually minded, more mystical and most likely believes in God. Even if you’re someone who came out of the 1960s in California and thus adhere to the “I believe in God but just not organized religion” that is still belief in a higher power.

My older brother probably questions belief and non-belief. But I suspect he would side more on the scientific side of things as I do and my mother does. Funny, that. I will always be amazed by how genes divide like that.

But back to Dawkins, it’s dangerous territory to get into that molestation subject. He was essentially saying that a grown man groped him when he was young and that it had no effect on him. This is the pedophile’s argument, of course, that they aren’t doing any real harm so why not? If you are scientifically minded you will eventually find your thoughts heading down treacherous waters such as these – for instance, you will notice that the Bonobos, a species of ape who more closely resemble we humans DNA-wise, do not discriminate age or sex – they express themselves through sexuality and it makes them one of the least violent in the animal kingdom. But. But. But.

It is my firm belief that humans — and chimps and gorillas — DO draw the line. I believe or would guess that pubic hair is a natural cue to that line. I would also argue that any adult with an attraction to children has grown up with a thwarted notion of sexuality. When you subvert human sexuality, especially male sexuality, it has to then spill out into all sorts of bizarre areas. You can keep trying, religious people. But the more you repress the worse it is going to get.

Dawkins wasn’t really thinking about the ongoing debate between pedophiles and those who fight them. But he’s put his foot in it all the same and this will trail him and his career probably forever. Had he known that he might not have said it. But, he is a man who thinks freely and thus, he tells a truth. And so it goes.

The Other Sasha Stones

When I do a google search for my name three Sasha Stones appear. I already encountered a young English girl named Sasha Stone on my facebook. We’re friends now. But the three who are most known on the internet are all interesting in their own ways. But they aren’t me. In case you ten readers who read this blog might be wondering.

1. Famous photographer in the 1930s who took beautiful nudes.

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I do occasionally photograph myself and other things I can’t be considered on the level of that other Sasha Stone, a man, btw.

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I am also not an escort, sadly. I have a feeling that if I looked like this Sasha Stone the world would be my oyster. I would probably have a lot of confidence, especially where men are concerned. Part of the sex-positive empowerment movement is to stop slut-shaming other women, that includes escorts. It’s sort of a double-edged coin, though. On the one hand you want to be known for something other than your sexuality. On the other hand it’s like having a golden ticket – sex sells. It’s so easy to get people’s attention when you play the sex card. That means you have some power. On the other hand, it also means people won’t pay much attention to anything else. It’s complicated.

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All the way on the other side of the spectrum is the Sasha Stone yoga instructor. I have never actually met her though she occasionally teaches at the yoga studio where I practice. When I sign in I have to say “student Sasha.” It’s funny because back when I was a kid in Topanga in the early 70s, Sasha was always the name of someone’s dog. Now it’s just everywhere.

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All of these Sashas represent aspects of my personality to an astonishing degree. I got yoga (health), sexuality, creativity. Now all I need is the neurotic “I can’t take it anymore I have to put my head in the oven for the panic and fear that comes with mortality and men who never tell you what they’re thinking and a world of suffering and oh god, mysterious diseases and car crashes … and PLANE CRASHES and war and starvation and AIDS and global warming and aging and factory farming and cancer and guilt and obsessive behavior and heartbreak and pollution and PLANE CRASHES and money and poverty and futility and…and…” That poor Sasha Stone, whoever she is. God help her.

Before there was Blue is the Warmest Colour there was Betty Blue

Before there was Blue is the Warmest Colour there was Betty Blue

One of my earliest cinematic memories was Jean-Jaques Beineix’ Betty Blue starring the luminous volcano, Beatrice Dalle. Back in the 80s, believe it or not, cinema was still relatively open to sexuality depicted on screen in a healthy, explicit way. Something happened in the ensuing twenty years to change that. Perhaps PG-13 happened to that. The target demo and biggest money makers in Hollywood are PG-13 movies. Rated R movies aren’t that profitable. Better to keep them on TV.

But the French don’t think like that, as Blue is the Warmest Colour has come along in the long tradition of gorgeous naked sexy French movies featuring women the big screen will never forget. Certainly, Dalle is one of those. And she was the one for me in the 1080s. I wanted to BE her. I wanted to feel as she did with a man. I wanted to be crazy like that (didn’t have to try too hard). But not to the brink of my own demise. Betty Blue is a tragedy. But before it gets to tragedy it is all about wildness, love and beauty and yeah, sex.

The year was 1986. I’d graduated high school three years earlier. Only three years. That would make me around 21 years old. But at that age, I’d never seen anything like what they do in Betty Blue. I’d never seen a French girl with unshaved armpits, not to mention one who dressed like that, carried her body like that and seemed to have no shame in any of it.

The French are so free when it comes to the body, to natural impulses that strobe through our circulatory system. Where did America go so wrong? Why are we so strange in this culture? I know it isn’t only Americans exclusively. I know plenty of French men who are repressed and addicted to porn. But maybe it isn’t even about America vs. France. Maybe it’s just about American film versus French film.

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Betty Blue was, to me, a fantasy. As I look back on it now, I think it gets to real passion and love like few other films. It brings me back to it now that I’ve seen the equally erotic and passionate Blue is the Warmest Colour, which is about two girls, not a man and a woman. But, can we just say — leave it to the French to figure it out because we Americans are just not ready to go there in the light of day.

My ideal beauty — or who I wanted to be — was Beatrice Dalle. I still doubt whether I’ve ever seen a more sexy, beautiful woman on screen.  I’m not sure what I learned from all of this.  It would be years after my 21st year that I would ever make any kind of real progress in the sexuality department. Ironic, since at 21 I was likely in my prime. But the idea of Betty Blue, of that kind of beauty – those colors, that music…even the tragic dive it takes by the end is all of the stuff that life is made on. The sublime and the ridiculous. The desperate and the content. The vulgar and the graceful. It’s all there in this crazy little movie.

Cigarettes, mousse in the hair to keep it up like that, fishnets and black leather boots. Polka dots. Ah, the ’80s.

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