I LOVED this #documentary that a couple of dear friends were involved in producing. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to participate in any of the wonderful Dr. Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin’s (RIP) study groups. When people realize the potential of these demonized chemical compounds or drugs, there will be no short order of or end to magnificence. We owe so much to rogue chemists and Scientist. I highly recommend that you watch this.
I will miss this wonderful and lovely man.
The ACA is not single payer but it’s better than anything Americans have had in U.S history that insures as many people are covered by health insurance as possible.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a dear friend of mine. I met him right when he was becoming very famous. This documentary is a wonderful look into an extraordinary and complex mind. I remember the night he died as if it was yesterday. I thought for years, like many, that he died far too soon. Today I believe that he did what he was here to do then split. He was lovely, seductive, beyond his years wise and generous to a fault. So many friend died around that time that people like myself became sort of numb to it. We didn’t have time to process the extreme loss. That happened much later in my case and it continues to happen still. It makes me sad that his work is still not accepted by some racist art historians, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City or the Whitney Museum where they belong. Perhaps at this point they don’t deserve them. Hope you enjoy this great documentary.
I’m going to write this quickly. Please excuse the grammar. I want to share how I found myself surprisingly transfixed by this project last night. I read about it in my friend Patrick’s Facebook feeds. He’s been living in Pittsburgh studying all things Warhol and writing a book about him for years. He got what must have been a dream job for him, sorting through and cataloging crates of nicknacks the Andy hoarded. A massive amount of matchbooks and stuff he bought cheap at antique shops and flea markets. I logged in at 12:05am and there were no people in the frame. It just looked like a black and white, rather choppy shadowy image of Andy’s grave. In that sparse light, Andy’s grave site looked shabby and unkempt. I imagined it looking almost trashed with trinkets (garbage) people left behind like they do on Jim Morrison’s grave in Pere Lachaise cemetary in Paris’ 11th Arrondissement, which was located 2 blocks from the apartment I shared with my friend Carlos in the mid 80’s. I love walking through cemeteries or as I prefer to think of them as beautiful “Parks.” I watched the livestream of Andy’s grave for about 10 minutes, feeling melancholy just staring at the bleak footage before a few festive people entered the frame and snapped me out of my nostalgic trance. It looked like they were excited having a little rushed birthday celebration dancing around Andy’s grave. They seemed a little anxious as if they weren’t really allowed to be there precociously posing for photographs next to Andy’s tombstone in the middle of the night. Then they were gone. The feed has sound but I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. They obviously knew people were watching the camera feed. I wish there was a way to tell how many people were logged in while I was or a way to chat with others and randomly find a long lost friend or like minded acquaintance online at the same time to share Andy stories with. I was in Africa on safari when I read in the newspaper about his sudden death. It was shocking. I wasn’t in the country during his memorial. It was like he famously said “He just went to the mall” for me. When he died people were dropping like flies in New York City from complications from HIV/AIDS and overdoes. People just disappeared without much notice or warning and you wouldn’t hear about what happened to them for a long time if ever. It was surreal and abstract for me. It was an emotional war zone. I became numb to my friends dying in their 20’s and early 30’s as if it was something normal. Upon reflection, it was a horrible and frightening time. Andy was a lot older than me but I don’t think anyone was prepared or could have imaging him dying when he did. He really shouldn’t have. Negligent nursing was the cause of his death I believe. You can Google that I want to post this in time for you to catch the feed that last until midnight tonight. When I logged in again this morning I was able to see how beautifully maintained Andy’s grave is. So many mixed emotions and buried memories washed over me as I caught myself watching wind rustling through the tall grass. I went straight into the same weird trance I had been in when I first watched the feed. I remembered having funny conversations with him with me doing most of the talking with Andy. He was very nonchalant when he used to hang out next to me at my first nightclub job in New York City. I was the mensroom attendant at AREA Nightclub whose duties were basically to keep the room clean and dry (people are real slobs while they are partying) and sell whatever I wanted, that I bought with my own money then charge what I liked for it, keeping in mind that I had competition in the ladies restroom which was naturally far more crowded and hectic. I sold cigarettes, gum, lighters, condoms whatever and people gave me tips for passing them paper towels which I had to keep near my station to keep them dry and off the floor. It was THE hottest, totally mixed nightclub in town and my post was THE best people watching spot in the whole place. The restrooms were coed and the one I was in was huge. I was a bit like a lounge with urinals and a couple of toilet stalls that were party size. I had the coolest job ever. AREA had a strict door policy making the entire club was one big “VIP Room.” It was one of the only clubs that didn’t have an actual VIP section. It was pretty packed every night and my work station was one of the only places where one could get away from all the people without missing anything at all. People came in and hung out there all night long. I had never experienced anything like that before or since and I worked in clubs for about 20 years. I rose through the ranks ending my club career as a Director of Promotions. I remembered saying “OHHH Andy, I love this song. Would you mind watching my stuff for a minute?” So I could grab a drink and a quick boogie. He’s say “Sure, go ahead.” He’d ask me what he was supposed to do if anyone asked to by cigarettes. Pretty funny. He acted as if he never sold anything for cash in his life before then. I would leave him some cash for change. It never occurred to me how people would react seeing Andy Warhol working as the Mensroom Attendant that they could approach to buy stuff and engage with him. He wouldn’t be alone for long. Someone he knew would join him people watching and gossiping. I know he enjoyed it as long as I didn’t take too long to return, which I rarely did. It was around 1983. HIV/AIDS had already begun but many of us still hadn’t yet fully experienced the nightmare it was to become. People were still carrying on with reckless abandon. It was the time of the “American Psycho” type of “Yuppy” characters who were throwing around tons of cash like there was no tomorrow. They were young, rich and SEXY. People were hooking up in there. It had a sexy vibe and folks lingered, I don’t think Andy minded doing my job for a few minutes when I asked which was often. Cartons of smokes cost ten bucks and I sold them for $2.00 or $3.00 a pack and received lots of complaints for overcharging at that price. A pack cost 75 cents back then but not only was the nearest store many blocks away, They would have to get back into the club which was not guaranteed. They were lucky to be in there in the first place. That’s the way I saw it anyway. I once returned from a whiskey gulp and a quick booty shake and Andy handed me $200 which he told me received from selling a pack of cigarettes. He said “They must have been European or something and thought the 2 crisp one hundred dollar bills were singles. I felt guilty and sort of wanted to locate the customers that made such a huge mistake. $200 was a months rent for me in 1983. When I think back, he might have just been subtly charitable toward me. He would sit with me for hours almost every night. I have never been an easily “starstruck” kind of person, so I didn’t treat him differently than I did anyone else I came into contact with. I met him before I worked at AREA at Keith Haring’s apartment about a year earlier. People dressed differently and Andy had a couple of clones in the East Village. It was loud in Kieth Haring’s apartment when we were introduced by Benjamin Liu, his assistant who was in his brilliant drag character “Ming Vase.” I actually asked him to repeat his name because I could hear him over the loud Paradise Garage House music. His expression was hysterical. I knew who Andy Warhol was but I didn’t know if he was THE Andy Warhol. I hung out with Keith a lot, often with Andy and others going to exhibition and club openings and closings or dinners. In the mensroom Andy would say “Desmond, I hope you are writing all of this down.” I did. Happy birthday Andy. WE miss you. I am going to stare at his grave again for a bit and enjoy those happy memories.
George Zimmerman controlled and is entirely responsible for the scenario surrounding the homicide of Trayvon Martin from the moment he initially saw him walking back to where he was staying with his family. Having his hoodie up in the rain and #WalkingWhileBlack which sadly labeled him a suspicious “Asshole” to Zimmerman, who was allegedly out in his car grocery shopping. He wasn’t on Neighborhood Watch duty that night and they are ONLY supposed to be the eyes and ears for law enforcement, NEVER to engage with potentially suspicious people. Trayvon was in a happy mood speaking with his funny friend on his blue tooth wireless headset, trying to keep out of what was described as “torrential” rain at times, rushing to watch the All Star Basketball game he had been looking forward to. Zimmerman, an adult, wannabe movie styled cop with a 3000lb vehicle, fully loaded firearm which you can hear him cock as he identified his surname to the Non- Emergency operator while he chased down who he referred to as “the suspect” TM after being told that they didn’t need him to do so. He had the police in his ear on his phone, the knowledge that the police were en route to his location arriving eminently. His life was not in any danger whatsoever. He was completely safe and fully protected with every single possibility in his favor including possession of his concealed fire arm and training in the use of it, he was trained in and practiced Mixed Martial Arts 3X per week, 6 hours per week and worked out “Hard” according to his trainer. He was also educated in police procedure from college courses he took which included “self defense law” which was essentially a “How To” answer in police interrogations & communication. He allegedly aced and got graded an “A” on an assignment paper he wrote about “The Castle Doctrine” also known as the “Stand Your Ground” law which states that a person may justifiably use deadly force in self-defense when there is “reasonable belief” of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first (He later, against legal advice, he blatantly and bold faced lied about having any knowledge of the Stand Your Ground law during an interview that was FULL of inconsistencies and other lies despite being rehearsed and prepared by his B.F.F who is also a cop Mark Osterman on the biased and slanted toward Zimmerman’s defense “Hannity Show” Fox news.) Trayvon had just turned 17 years old a couple of weeks earlier had his phone, an iced tea and a bag of candy walking in the rain dodging in and out of shelter from the rain, unaware that he was unsafe and in danger in this gated community. He was not protected at all from this over-zealous, daily Adderall taking as well as other stimulants, which are not being entered into evidence which would answer to GZ which could speak to GZ’s being psychologically unstable, delusional, abusive. racist, rage monster whom had several reported aggressive run ins with other innocent, mostly African American people minding their own business. TM was taken completely by surprise by this worst case scenario he had unfortunately entered. He was in the dark in the rain with a profiling creepy sociopath creating a non existent criminal situation that would end his life, feet from where he was staying within minutes. GZ is responsible for every single event which occurred that night no ifs, ands or buts about it! He is GUILTY! Were it not for the actions of GZ, TM would have simply finished walking home to watch the All Star game. GZ first in his own mind then from his own lips then by his own actions created this situation entirely on his own. TM fought to save his own life if in fact he was fighting The evidence is unclear about that, from this creep with a gun who first followed him then chased him down confronted him and when he lost control of the situation he killed him with a clean shot straight through the heart…he knew all along the police where on route already and had no business confronting ANYBODY much less an innocent unarmed teen minding his own business what so ever! The defense attempting to enter a miniscule amount of THC which could have even been second hand as well as his “swaying” which is a typical form of walking if further evidence that the defense is grasping at straws to blame the victim for his unnecessary murder. Blood was drawn from TM and none from GZ, THE MURDERER. If either of them were “high,” it was Zimmerman. I hope the jury is wise enough to see through the defense’s weak case.