Tag: New York

Harvey Fierstein Interview – Village Voice

FP: After downtown celeb Harry Koutoukas’s apartment caught fire, in 1972, you authored In Search of the Cobra Jewels, a show about his attempt to help clean up the mess. You played Koutoukas. Your memoir recounts that Village Voice culture writer Arthur Bell “was arrested for holding another man’s hand as they crossed the street” from the theater. Progress has been made, but with record-breaking trans deaths and a Conservative backlash, are we moving backward on queer issues?

HF: I don’t believe it’s possible to move backward. We must allow each generation to find its way. What we see happening now with MAGA is the death throes of a generation that can’t stop progress. Conservatives want to move back to a time when they felt more comfortable. But that time is coming to an end.

FP: But there’s such a strident push to recreate the past.

HF: There’s a saying in the antique business—“You can’t go broke by selling people their childhood.” Hucksters are selling back to MAGA a picture of America that no longer exists. Think of it as the difference between weather and climate. The weather changes (MAGA arises) but not the overall (political) climate of ongoing, unstoppable change. That makes them all nervous.

FP: Hyperbole abounds while critical thinking skills evaporate.

HF: My “eBay theory” helps to explain. A postage stamp for sale is displayed in a 3-by-4-inch screen image. A Rolls Royce is presented in the same image size. Over time, Internet and social media technologies have us believing all things are equal.

FP: As in, my opinion is as legitimate as your evidence-proven fact?

HF: Yes. The idiot next door is a COVID expert because he says he is. If everything is equal, then what are critical thinking skills for? As the COVID pandemic progressed, we learned new ways to treat, what/what not to do regarding transmission. It’s a constantly moving target. What was true last month may not be true today, so we adjust our perceptions. We evaluate with critical thinking skills. Many have lost the ability to do that.

Harvey Fierstein Cleaned Off His Desk During COVID
The actor, playwright, and screenwriter talks about his memoir, sobriety, women in politics, and what’s next
by FRANK PIZZOLI

Walk on the Wild Side

“Walk on the Wild Side” is a song by Lou Reed from his second solo album, Transformer (1972). It was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson and released as a double A-side with “Perfect Day”. Known as a counterculture anthem, the song received wide radio coverage and became Reed’s biggest hit and signature song despite touching on taboo topics such as transgender people, drugs, male prostitution, and oral sex.

The song’s lyrics, describing a series of individuals and their journeys to New York City, refer to several of the regular “superstars” at Andy Warhol’s New York studio, the Factory; the song mentions Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, Joe Dallesandro, Jackie Curtis and Joe Campbell (referred to in the song by the nickname “Sugar Plum Fairy”).

In 2013, The New York Times described “Walk on the Wild Side” as a “ballad of misfits and oddballs” that “became an unlikely cultural anthem, a siren song luring generations of people…to a New York so long forgotten as to seem imaginary”. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked “Walk on the Wild Side” at number 223 in its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_on_the_Wild_Side_(Lou_Reed_song)

Shattered – The Rolling Stones, Schmatta

“Shattered” is a song by the English rock band the Rolling Stones from their 1978 album Some Girls. The song is a reflection of American lifestyles and life in 1970s-era New York City, but also influences from the English punk rock movement can be heard.

wikipedia

Uh huh shattered, uh huh shattered
Love and hope and sex and dreams
Are still surviving on the street
Look at me, I’m in tatters!
I’m a shattered
Shattered

Friends are so alarming
My lover’s never charming
Life’s just a cocktail party on the street
Big Apple
People dressed in plastic bags
Directing traffic
Some kind of fashion
Shattered

Laughter, joy, and loneliness and sex and sex and sex and sex
Look at me, I’m in tatters
I’m a shattered
Shattered

All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter ’bout
Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue
This town’s been wearing tatters (shattered, sha ooobie shattered)

Location, location, location. If there’s an element of luck to my story, it’s that the Stones—Mick, Keith, and Woody—lived in the same place as me. If Picasso had a “blue period” and Orson Welles a “film noir period,” then this was the Stones’ “New York period.” They wrote songs about the city—their new album gave a shout-out to 8th Street—and became part of its fabric. When Mick sang about walkin’ Central Park and about schmattas on Seventh Avenue, he was drawing from experience. I mean, how many non-New Yorkers even know what a schmatta is? (Yiddish for “rag.”)

Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It)
Bill German
(Great book, by the way. Highly recommended.)

The Capote Tapes – Trailer

Answered Prayers was meant to be Truman Capote’s greatest masterpiece, an epic portrait of NYC’s glittering jet-set society. Instead, it sparked his downfall. Through never before heard audio archive and interviews with Capote’s friends and enemies, this intimate documentary reveals the rise and fall of one America’s most iconic writers.

With unprecedented access to access to George Plimpton’s taped interviews for his biography, Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career. The documentary features interviews with Dick Cavett, André Leon Talley, Jay McInerney & Dotson Rader and introduces audiences to Kate Harrington, who the daughter of one of his lovers, John O’Shea, and in which Capote served in a surrogate father role. Previously never disclosing any details before, Kate opens up about living life with Truman Capote during this period, and shines a new light on his character through their close relationship.