Friday, November 25, 2005



I just got back from my morning walk-- so invigorating! I lived so many years not really understanding that there was so much more to life than... than... than... Hey, did you ever listen to "Krafty" on THE SIREN'S CALL by New Order? (Morel's Pink Noise Vocal Mix is one of my favorite pieces of music of the last year-- fantasy solution of all the world's woes.) Anyway, it starts out like this:

Some people get up at the break of day
Gotta go to work before it gets too late
Sitting in a car and driving down the road
It ain't the way it has to be

But that's what you do to earn your daily wage
That's the kind of world that we're living in today
Isn't where you wanna be
And isn't what you wanna do

But don't worry, this isn't gonna be a story about New Order (or even about Elton John). I learned something today, as Kyle or Stan might say (always say): If you're driving cross country in an RV you can park at WalMart for free and hook up to all the stuff RVs hook up to. I didn't learn if you have a time limit or if WalMart allows you to stay weeks or months or years. But I've never been to a WalMart. I mean now no one wants to go near a WalMart -- at least no one I know-- but I remember when WalMarts started and the whole idea just repulsed me from the start. I never went to one. And there were no MacDonald's when I was a kid and I've never been to one of them either (nor a Wendy's or a Burger King or any of those other fast food places, except once Sandy Pearlman schlepped me to a White Castle with The Dictators). And I never tasted a beer or smoked a cigarette or liked the kind of music "everyone" else liked. And, as you may know, I only watch SOUTH PARK on the tv.

I remember some neighbors when I was in elementary school who were kind of shunned by everyone else. I don't remember exactly why but in retrospect I think they were some kind of suburban freethinkers. Their daughter was kind of a beatnik, which is why I was at their home, and they weren't all anal about "cleanliness" and I remember seeing ants in their house. Later I used to take a subway from Brooklyn into The Village to see if I could hear Bob Dylan and not long after I hitchhiked to California and stowed away on a ship to go to Tonga (never got to Tonga) but I did find some beatniks who took me in and let e smoke pot with them for a week. Anyway, anyway, anyway... conformism is something that never seemed like something to aspire to.

I even thought that being gay was the ultimate foray into bandit territory-- an unforgivable nonconformism so grave that you never had to worry about falling prey to any kind of Stepfordism. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I moved back to America and washed up in San Francisco and discovered The Castro and the whole concept of gay clones. My world was shattered. No one wanted to be a bandit? I brought DEVO to-- or told them about; can't remember-- Mr. B's Ballroom.

they know the limits 'cause they cross them every night
the dull sensations as it turns real hot
why, the guys in the back with their heads on the floor
surrounded by their buddies they're all hollerin' for more
whoa whoa whoa
it's mr. b's ballroom

At least there was that kind of banditry. Not exactly theoretical enough for my tastes after a short time-- but still, better than clones... I mean hundreds, thousands of gay guys from all over the country living in their own ghetto, dressing alike, talking alike, liking all the same (dreadful) music, dancing alike, thinking alike. I fought it. I was one of the first, if not the first rock guys to review music in gay publications and the editors were so uninterested that they let me say whatever I wanted so there was never anything about Barbra Streisand or Donna Summer or Gloria Gaynor... just stuff about Patti Smith, The Clash, the Sex Pistols, Metallica... Willie Nelson... anything that would give young gay people a chance to know that just because you were attracted to someone of your own gender it didn't mean you were doomed to a life of listening to the Village People.

So today I woke up and found out that Elton John is getting married to filmmaker David Furnish on December 21, the day the U.K. Civil Partnership Act takes effect. I think 1973 (GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD) was the last time I ever voluntarily listened to an Elton John album (although I have to admit that since then I have ripped a couple of old songs-- "Daniel," Your Song" and "Rocket Man"-- onto my iTunes).

I have noticed that even as he seemed to be turning more and more into a freakish clown, pasteurized and homogenized for the new family-friendly Las Vegas, there was always a (sometimes subtle) subversiveness, even banditry to ole Elton. I could never not like him and admire him for it. Just when you thought he has turned into Liberace, there he was, gay as wrapping paper, telling ROLLING STONE he was "bisexual." When no one did. He also seemed to be one of the most genuinely generous of all the successful show biz people I'd ever met. I'm sure you know about the Elton John AIDS Foundation and that all (like 100%) of the royalties from his single sales go to AIDS research, but Elton gives to every charity I ever heard of.

And today, November 25, 2005, I admire him too. I mean I think gays are insane and idiotic to be lusting for more freaking conformity all the time. First they want to be in the military (and here I was, always thinking that not having to go to the army was a way God told you it was good to be gay) and now this whole marriage crap. (I am positive both of these things were thrust on the gay community by gender-confused femmes who picked it up from the lesbians but now the cat's out of the bag and you gotta support them... as annoying as the whole thing is.) I mean I hate that it plays right into the hands of Karl Rove and the Amen Choir and the whole bigoted religionist Right-- and even makes progressives lose elections-- and I hate that it threatens the most wonderful of institutions: bachelorhood. But... but... but... if they want it, who are they hurting? Spare me having to go through all the arguments about equality under the law and so on-- I agree with every single one of them wholeheartedly. So someone has to fight for this (current) most despised of initiatives. It's today's race-mixing. Or, if you wanna go back even further, it's what Jesus Christ was talking about with all the stuff about lepers and prostitutes. And of course that's always been the whole point for the anti-Christs who run satanic "churches" in Jesus' name (the Dobsons, Phelpses, Robertsons, Falwells, et al), who seek only to spread hatred and bigotry and destroy Jesus' message-- and use Jesus as cover for it. Oh, those right-wingers are so cagey! (Or people are so dumb.)

So anyway, Elton John's a hero of the revolution and we all owe him a moment of respect and I'm listening to my meager stash of Elton John mp3's as I write these last few words. I even realized how Elton is just like Frederick in BEFORE THE FALL, though not as hunky... a freethinker like my old neighbors (and maybe with ants).


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