The Church of American Ashes

We’re at the point where the American dystopia is so real and so raw that it’s as if this country’s core uglinesss is erupting inside my guts–which of course it is, me being the literal Crapicorn that I am.

Really, it is living inside all of us.

White supremacy is and always has been terrorism. Not recognizing this means you have blinded yourself because it suits you. Because you think your part is greater than the whole. And because—g-d help us—it is the American way. Continue Reading →

Lemon Cadillacs and ‘L.A. Confidential’

Los Angeles is having quite a moment. Even people with zero interest in the film business are flocking there in droves, and it’s safe to say that the city’s lifestyle – all surfboards, smoothies, tacos, and Instagram irony – is setting the whole country’s tone.

Also back in fashion: sunshine noir, which drags such dark matter as drifters, grifters, and serial killers into the light, usually as filtered by Southern California. Think P.T. Anderson’s “Inherent Vice,” the hit Amazon series “Bosch,” and, of course, the media’s rediscovered obsession with O.J. Simpson. It was only a few years after the former football star’s 1995 trial that writer/director Curtis Hanson adapted James Ellroy’s ultimate sunshine noir novel, L.A. Confidential, arguably the best sunshine noir of its decade. The 1950s-set thriller offered a much-needed historical perspective on the intersection of the LAPD, fame, and race, and was so smartly rendered that it launched the career of Russell Crowe, resuscitated that of Kim Basinger, and put SoCal vintage at the epicenter of fashion – paving the way for non-Tinseltown L.A. to occupy today’s zeitgeist. Continue Reading →

You Write It for the Child

I did Ruby Intuition sessions all weekend, wrote essays Monday and Tuesday, and wrote and delivered a film lecture for the delightful Huntington cinema club out on Long Island last night. Today is my Saturday morning, and I woke feeling a little decadence was in order. So I put on platforms and a skinny black sheath, arranged my newly blue-blond hair in a big upsweep, and ducked downstairs to the cafe next door—-only to repair back to bed with a silver tray bearing an Americano, freshly peeled figs, and a prosciutto-arugula sandwich. Here I will read and read and read, stopping only to doze or admire a certain permakitten or watch the doves outside my window. I will read until I feel like writing again. This is the midlife, midsummer glamour I promised myself as an unhappy child, and I never forget to be grateful. Gratitude is the ultimate glamour, don’t you know.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy