Archive | Age Matters

Breakfast’s on Me, Mr. Reiner

Not everyone realizes that our astrology remains active after our deaths—so much so that departed public figures often surge back into the limelight during important transits in their charts. I mention this because I woke Saturday morning flashing on the great director, writer, comedian, and activist Carl Reiner, who died last summer at age 98—only a day after after his last big-hearted, big-brained Tweet and only a few months before Biden beat Trump, whom he loathed as much as he loved Mel Brooks. Before beginning the day’s vernal equinox intuition readings, I turned on Reiner’s HBO documentary—the brilliantly titled If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast—and was immediately drawn into its overall message: “To stay alive, you must stay in love.” The whole film—really, his whole life—was about how finding and committing to passions was the way to survive and thrive. As I read for clients that day, I could sense Reiner’s delighted laugh and sharp gaze, and it added old-school razzmatazz to our sessions. Of course when I looked up his solar return, it was March 20—that very day. With that old soul and beginner’s mind, he was a true king of the Pisces-Aries cusp. Happy belated birthday, Mr. Reiner. We’re still learning from your love.

‘It’s a Sin’: AIDS as Generation Black Hole

I inhaled the HBO Max/Channel 4 AIDS dramatic mini-series It’s a Sin in one day and am still thinking about it.

As someone active in ACT UP in college, who moved to the West Village in the early 90s, AIDS is never off my radar. I’ll never forget my beautiful young friends who seemed like ghosts even before they died. I’ll never forget equating sex with death even before I lost my virginity.

The London-set series has charisma to spare–hip-strutting, head-strong boys; head-spinning montages; spot-on 80s and 90s set and costume design; catchphrases, for heaven’s sake! Far worse than the spare-no-cliche soundtrack, though, is how it perpetuate 90s-era toxicity: more nuance and internal workings for the white characters; the sole female protagonist has no sex life and exists solely to caretake the men.

But I resist the critique that It’s a Sin fast-forwards too quickly, especially over problems like workplace harassment. While I was still in my teens, the transition from carefree club life to hospitals, funerals, and activism took place in the blink of an eye. Gender/sexual harassment/trauma was so widespread it was background noise–something you white-knuckled through if you wanted an apartment, job, not to get beat to a pulp. Believe me. As someone who often called out aberrant behavior—who confronted the landlord who stuck his tongue down my throat, who refused to work for the newspaper editor asked if I had a boyfriend while licking his lips–my career and livelihood suffered mightily.

Gen X is too hard on Z/millennials but we resent the assumption of younger people that we were oblivious to trauma. My generation of queers just was swamped with too much macro-aggression–mass extinction and existential horror–to tackle micro. Oh how this show captures that giddy ghastly time.

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