By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
So there I was at the Costa Mesa-based Black Flys Christmas party at the Mayan Theater in downtown LA with old-school pro skateboarder Dave Hackett, and I was prepared to hate everybody. "You're gonna hate everybody," my homegirl Arrissia had told me. "It's all about trashy women and hanging out with strippers and porn stars."
I've never hung out with porn stars, but I've always liked strippers. My problem isn't with girls who take off their clothes for money and wiggle their honeypots in your face; it's with the guys who want to hang out with them. Color me feminist, but if you only want to hang out with strippers and porn stars, I'm pretty sure you're just looking at women as expendable receptacles for your itty-bitty dick. It's all so very frat-boy.
But in fact, it wasn't hateful at all. Everyone was gorgeous, and I saw very little shameless leering: most people were too busy trying to find the slippery beat in the horrifically fast techno that nobody could dance to-oh, for some Prince! I spent most of the evening getting introduced to every old-school pro skateboarder in the Western hemisphere. We were making a final circuit through the packed, heavenly beautiful club when a crazy person accosted me.
"Thanks for letting me sleep in your closet," he said, his eyes focused intently on mine.
"I beg your pardon?" I asked, sure it was some kind of awful euphemism.
"In Thousand Oaks," he said, and I stared at him. Thousand Oaks is my hometown, and I'd moved away a few weeks after the Gulf Warended, when I turned 18.
It turned out this was Chris. He'd been a peacenik/student living in his car at the time. Every day after Thousand Oaks' dramatic Gulf War protests (we were all constantly getting beat up by the high school football team's counterprotesters), he would come to my house, where Commie Momand I would feed him. Apparently, I hid him in my closet once so he could get some sleep. Now he works for a Van Nuys porn company.
And so here we were, at a dressed-to-the-nines shindig at the Mayan, the day after the U.S. military began bombing Baghdad. There were fewer protests this time; only the ever-faithful Catholic Worker radicals were stirring it up. "Blood for Anthrax" is a lot more justifiable to the Left than "Blood for Oil."
In fact, for those of us not getting bombed back to the Stone Age, things proceeded as usual, and we were spending our First World evening attending yet another gala. Hell, the only change "Desert Fox" (and is it us or Saddam who's supposed to be Erwin Rommel in this equation?) made in my routine was that I switched my radio from FM 103.1 to the commie KPFK so I could bone up on the alleged collusion between the Clinton administration and UNSCOM's Richard Butler on his supposedly "independent" report-the one that triggered the "unfortunate civilian collateral casualties" for seemingly every Iraqi but Saddam. I always feel like a lunatic for hating Clinton because he's too conservative, but the other lunatics who listen and call in to KPFK feel the same way, so I was right at home, and gleefully so. Heck, we were all rooting for impeachment. Now will he resign?
And can I resign and move to Long Beach? Not that I don't love you all, but I've got serious LB envy this month. It's just so goddamn avant-garde! We began Saturday evening with the Safe House's version of the cult classic Harold & Maude-done Kabuki-style. (The Safe House-a hipster haven for a loose crew of artists and musicians-has, sadly, just closed.) With the actors slithering slowly through such scenes as "Harold Commits Hari Kari" and "Harold Attends a Funeral," a tight band played such songs as Alice Cooper's "I Love the Dead" and Pink Floyd's "Mother." We went expecting a laugh, but it was expertly staged and awesome. Michelle N. Ary, the actress who played Harold (the roles were cross-gendered, natch), was especially terrific, with a serpentine grace, a sneer to end all sneers and boyish hips that couldn't be beat in her olive vinyl pants. (I'm also having vinyl-pants envy.)
We sped from there to the DiPiazza Lava Lounge at Java Lanesfor Wink Musselman's Happy Birthday Jesus Christacular, where upright bassist Mario Barmosca bought us all dinner. (If you're dressed like a girl, he'll treat you like a girl, he says; otherwise, you're picking up your own damned check.) The food is spectacular at the incredibly retro lounge-we always say, "If you want good food, go to a bowling alley"-but go only if you're feeling leisurely. The house specials (garlic shrimp and chicken in sundried tomatoes, snowpeas and other herbed vegetables over spaghetti. And-damn!-it was good!) took 45 minutes to arrive.
The Christacular was badly received. People were appalled and left, although we thought it was charming when Wink exhorted the crowd to give Jesus a hand because "He's doing a great job, isn't he folks?" We also liked the Hannukah cakes. But the beautiful thing about a Wink show is that it's always badly received. People just don't understand the love.
I had to leave the Christacular early to head to Estudio Zumbido in Santa Ana's Santiago Street studios. I'd been prevailed upon to supermodel a Skeith DeWine creation-un sac de pommes de terre in natural fibers in shades of oatmeal and cinnamon-at Zumbido's annual Christmas party. Unfortunately, working conditions were sub-par, and the models were forced to strike, refusing to come out on the catwalk. We chanted, "Models of the world, unite!" and, "Scab!" at the unfortunate fellow who was about to break ranks.
With nothing to do but shoot heroin between our toes, talks resumed-although Zumbido break-dancing czar Seth Wilder wasn't helping matters with his baleful threats-and a boombox was found. With the models' demands therefore met, the show continued. The standout creation was worn by Chuck: a leather G-string/penis pouch, fur kneepads, and a mattress upon his back on which rode Leslie while Chuck pulled himself along on his hands. It was too fabulous, darlings.
But nothing is more fabulous than an empty club and a dance floor all to yourself-on a Friday, even!-while ultratalented Next Big Things like The Violet Burning and Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos play moody, Church-y, U2-y love poems. It was a travesty that the Foothill wasn't home to 1,000 screaming fans, but all the better for us. And for those of you who left after the very good Violet Burning: idiots! Johnny Jones' romantic noodlings were haunting and sexy as hell. (Jones also played the Preacher, replete with Gene Simmons-style makeup and flickering tongue, in Safe House's Harold & Maude. Do you understand now the kind of geniuses who call Long Beach home?)
Merry Christmas, my friends, and happy new year. Now go do something fun, for God's sake!