My (Ivory) Soapbox

MOUNTING WASHINGTON

3 September, 2015

No, this isn’t a political rant, though there is certainly much I could be ranting about. This is about an adventure. A few weeks ago, I traveled to New Hampshire with two dear friends (where we managed to avoid the political circus) with one goal… to climb Mt. Washington, the highest peak east of the Rockies… to honor the memory of my partner, Richard. Continue Reading >>


JUNE 26, 2015

27 June, 2015

Last night I went down to the West Village. I had to. The Supreme Court ruling making Marriage Equality the law of the land filled me with so many overwhelming emotions. I was drawn to, called to, the West Village, to Stonewall… to be where it all began. To, as my friend Marcia Gillespie would say, “honor the ancestors.” Continue Reading >>


THE RAPTURE IS COMING! THE RAPTURE IS COMING!

22 April, 2015

So, I just read that Michele Bachmann believesThe Rapture is coming, perhaps imminently, and that it is President Obama’s fault. Well, of course everything is President Obama’s fault, but… Wait a minute. I’m not exactly a New Testament scholar, but I have read it more than once and done some studying, and as I understand it, The Rapture (at least as far as true believers are concerned) is kind-of, sort-of a really good thing… it’s the moment when all those believers, whether living or dead, will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord. So, assuming Ms. Bachmann, or as I’m guessing she probably prefers to be called, Mrs. Bachmann (none of those unholy feminist pronouns for her)… So, assuming Mrs. Bachmann considers herself to be a true believer (as she certainly professes to be ad nauseam), she shouldn’t be blaming President Obama for bringing on The Rapture… she should be thanking him. Shouldn’t she? I mean, he’s helping to get her to meet the Lord! Continue Reading >>


WOMEN TEACHING WOMEN

26 January, 2015

The other day I was a guest at a meeting of the Dayton Women’s Literary Club. A friend here who is a member had talked to me about the group over dinner and when I was clearly fascinated, asked if I might be interested in attending. She explained that the group, which has been meeting for 125 years was founded (in 1889) when there was little opportunity for women to seriously explore academic interests. Continue Reading >>


THE GANGS OF NEW YORK

9 December, 2014

They see themselves as a group apart from the rest of society and above the law; a group whose first allegiance is to each other. They are recruited and go through a, sometimes, rigorous and dangerous initiation during which they prove themselves worthy of being admitted to the gang. They wear a specific color as a uniform to identify themselves to each other and to the population at large. They quickly resort to violence when they feel that they as a group have, or one of their members has, been disrespected. They have a strict code of silence (you do not rat out a fellow gang member, no matter what he or she has done). And if it’s decided a member has violated that rule, he or she may be ostracized, shunned, stripped of their membership, threatened with bodily harm or even left undefended in a dangerous or life-threatening situation. Continue Reading >>


A THANKSGIVING LESSON

27 November, 2014

When I was a little boy, every Thanksgiving was spent at my Aunt Lee and Uncle Joe’s house. She was my father’s older sister and they were the only real aunt and uncle I knew. My father’s other older sister died long before I was born, when my father was still a teenager, and his older brother lived in California and only came east two or three times that I remember… and we never went west. My mother is an only child. So Aunt Lee and Uncle Joe were it. Continue Reading >>


WOUNDED WARRIORS

18 November, 2014

The other day as I did my cardio warm-up at the gym, watching the TV screen attached to the elliptical machine, I saw a commercial that I found incredibly disturbing. It was for an organization called Wounded Warriors; a group that helps returning soldiers and their families. There were heartbreaking and heartwarming testimonials extolling the good work of the organization. Person after person spoke of how they didn’t know how they and their family would be able to cope with their new situation if it weren’t for Wounded Warriors. The commercial made me furious. Continue Reading >>


MY BIG FAT GAY EBOLA PARANOIA

4 November, 2014

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, well maybe I am, but either way something is brewing internationally among the right-wing-"religious"-homophobic-hate-mongers. They're all sharing a talking point that links the words Ebola and gay. Continue Reading >>


MET HYPOCRISY

19 June, 2014

Yesterday, Peter Gelb, the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera announced that the Met would cancel its Live in HD transmission of John Adams's opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, scheduled for November 15, 2014, which tells the story of the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and the killing of one of its Jewish passengers, Leon Klinghoffer, by a group of Palestinian terrorists.  According to the Met's press release, the decision was made in response to "an outpouring of concern that [the transmission] might be used to fan global anti-Semitism." Continue Reading >>


GEORGIA ON MY MIND

19 May, 2014

I just read a terrific article in Variety by Brian Lowry in which he suggests that "with gun-control proponents floundering for a legislative remedy, perhaps relocating Georgia-based productions to a less-armed camp would at least send a message." What a wonderful idea!

Continue Reading >>


STERLING SILVER

2 May, 2014

I've followed the disgusting story of Donald Sterling's racist comments.  And I applaud the decision by NBA Commissioner Alan Silver to both ban Sterling from the NBA for life and fine him $2.5 million...  the maximum fine he had the ability to impose. But one thing in all this leaves me feeling of two minds. Continue Reading >>


KOCH-ED UP NYC

25 March, 2014

Tonight I am going to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company. A friend who goes to most of their programs each season couldn't use her ticket and offered it to me. I'm looking forward to it on many levels... I love dance, they're an amazing company, and it's an exciting program. But there's one reason I am not looking forward to going. I detest that to see the Paul Taylor Comany I have to do so in a Lincoln Center venue now named the David H. Koch Theatre. Continue Reading >>


WOODY AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

7 February, 2014

I read Dylan Farrow’s harrowing open letter on the NY Times’ Op Ed page about how Woody Allen sexually abused and assaulted her as a child. Continue Reading >>


COMMON GROUND?

22 December, 2013

I saw The Dallas Buyers Club last night. What an extraordinary, compelling, thought-provoking piece of movie-making!

Continue Reading >>


ASEA IN SNAKE OIL

25 November, 2013

My father-in-law died a few weeks ago. Well, he wasn't technically my father-in-law. Richard, my partner (who died of cancer eleven months prior), and I weren't officially married. Though before he died, he did say to me, "You're my husband. That's what you are." So... Continue Reading >>


(NOT) GETTING THE SPIRIT

9 August, 2013

I traveled to Chicago last week.  In advance of my trip, I went to the Orbitz site to find the best airfare, which hands-down was Spirit Airlines. Continue Reading >>


RITUAL BLOW JOBS

11 April, 2013

Last month The Human Race Theatre in Dayton, Ohio produced a two-week developmental workshop of my new play, Gingerbread Children. It was an extraordinary experience. The play deals with our society’s complicit role in child molestation through an elderly woman’s search for grace. I have written a lot about various children’s issues, but this is a subject that is particularly important to me, and extremely close to my heart. Continue Reading >>


MY GRANDFATHER’S LAST BUILDING

12 December, 2012

My father’s father was a builder. Max Slade journeyed from Russia to America at the turn of the century – a teenager eager to start a new life for himself. Actually, there was a more pressing reason for him to leave home. His parents owned an inn that officers in the Czar’s army frequented. Often, while the soldiers were inside drinking, young Max would untie their horses and chase them away. Whether this was an act of Bolshevik rebellion or a teenage prank, I don’t know. But at some point it was suggested to my great-grandparents that it would be best if their eldest son left the country… as soon as possible. Continue Reading >>


BULLYING: IT TAKES A VILLAGE

15 October, 2012

Bullying doesn’t just happen.  It’s learned behavior. And though politicians, parents, educators and pundits fall over themselves to decry bullying, it seems to be one more example of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Continue Reading >>


MY CHRISTMAS CACTUS

17 July, 2012

I don't have many plants in my apartment. Actually, at the moment I have two. One is a jade plant that began as three tiny clippings from a huge jade that belonged to my dear friend Beverley. She died, too young, a year ago March, and I nurture my jade plant as an attempt to keep a bit of her alive in my home. But that's a story for another day. Continue Reading >>


NYC RAT TALES

5 July, 2012

I promise, my blog is not going to only be stories about rats (though it could be interesting).  But I had to write this one.

The other night, in the midst of our incredible NYC heat-wave, I was meeting my friend Judy for a drink. Continue Reading >>


A TALE OF TWO WILLARDS

20 June, 2012

Back in 1971, before Willard “Mitt” Romney was in the spotlight, another Willard had captured the attention of America… Willard Stiles, the central character in the movie, Willard (not to be confused with the 2003 remake); the movie whose sequel gave us the Michael Jackson hit, Ben… a love song to a rat. Continue Reading >>