Thursday, November 13, 2003


Sean Murphy of Murph, known for connecting the fun to the fun people, invited to me serve as a Guest Bartender at the infamous "Mc Faddens Saloon".

Initially, I had some difficulty persuading some of my female friends to join me. Too many of my female “friends” spend every Thursday Night in Manhattan in pursuit of that illusive perfect scene jumping from one exclusive lounge spot to another, where they usually run into every other chic dressed in black, spend $12-14 on Cosmo's and kvetch and complain that there are no decent men around, but rather just a couple of metrosexuals who are better groomed and perhaps even prettier.

This is my advice......Give up the "Sex and The City" Fantasy for one night. First of all you are not Sarah Jessica Parker and second of all even if you are......Real Men are NOT looking for her. Leave the Manolo's at home girlfriend. The reality is that their search for the bigger better deal and MEN is sort of similar to the endless struggle and mind numbing stupidity of the guys doing the same thing in the movie Swingers.

Think instead, Midtown, reasonable drink prices, heavily poured, models.......hmm, I think that you just may find them at McFaddens from suits to Firefighters And that is why maybe you should pass on the W, The Monkey Bar, Mercer Kitchen etc and the like. Hey when you actually meet a guy…maybe you can go back to that cool lounge on a date. But then again perhaps even then you may think otherwise because your date will likely be exposed to a thousand other well dressed women who are mistakenly there in a vein effort to find a guy like the one you are on a date with.

As some of you know, I recently, guest bartended at Marcel's Fall Cocktail Party where the crowd and servings were upscale but the price of entry for an open bar with select delicacies was reasonable. Is this something new? NO! It seems rather that the upscale nightlifers are doing something which originated with "The Pub." generous servings, comfort and relaxation at value oriented prices which do not break the bank. These are things which are not often found at Manhattan Lounges these days which is perhaps why Marcel has had a successful run of private parties the last year or two. He is smartly and simply offering something which you cannot often find at upscale Manhattan Lounge.

Bar Talk (question open for discussion at the bar):

Anyway, on another issue why does it seem to me that gay men are dressing more masculine these days than straight men? And Straight men are too often attired as Ricky Martin clones. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just a question. See Post Straight: How Gay Men are remodeling regular guys (written before Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) Maybe I should write a piece called "Straight Pretty vs. Gay Masculinity?" It's no wonder that straight women are hanging with gay men. Have straight men turned into the real queens? Something for women to ponder next time you find yourself waiting for your man to finish drying & mousing his hair or getting waxed. In my estimation, Queer Eye is merely an infomercial for a clothes horse and otherwise completely missed the point, as it seems there are far more metrosexuals who discovered how to dress and style themselves like gay men long before the origination of this show. So despite these wonderfully flamboyant characters, the new straight guys usually already consult there other metrosexual friends. Only gay men have moved on and now look like Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie Poster boys while many straight guys on the urban professional scene are caught in a time warp living and looking like la vida loca.

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2003, 6 pm-9 pm, Murph Guide Guest Bartending Night with Anheuser Busch Select Models at McFaddens on 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue: Rather than going to some obscure and exclusive lounge on Thursday Night, ditch the black dress and the manolo's and instead, join me and some friends at a NYC landmark, "Mc Faddens Saloon" and just kick back and enjoy a few cocktails amongst friends at reasonable prices served by me, "Master of the Heavy Pour." Let it be known that the Consigliere will never serve watered down drinks. I will serve for a couple hours and then hang out with my friends afterwards. Is this the new pub chic? Perhaps a trend is forming.

-Models from Aneheuser Busch
-T Shirt give aways
-Drink Specials including $3 Pints of Guinness, Bass, Bud & Bud Light Bottles
-2 for 1 appetizers

Not Included
-Special Appearances by Straight Guy with the Queer Drink
-Men who drink Cosmo's and the women who love them (not really but I hear it happens)
-Apple Martini's: Is it really a man's drink?
-Girls who do shots and guys who love them
-Guys who can perform longer at the bar than the bedroom
-Celebrity Wrestling Match: Wall Street Trader vs. a Firefighter (watch these two chics go at it)

Friday, October 31, 2003


Someone asked me what it is I do the other day. Are you a Promoter? An Event Planner? A Fundraiser? A Producer? A web designer? Party Host? What the heck is it that you do? I found that to be quite an interesting question actually. At the time it, however, it came across as an indictment from someone who leveled a personal critque at me inferring that I collaborate (not her word) with too many different types of people living various different lifestyles in events of various genres, none of which are my own, that made me truly less of an event planner. Ok and your point is? I reallyhave no interest or desire to throw an event per week in order to fill some event quota for a social or dating business. Secondly, would that title of "event planner" if conferred bestow an illusive degree of honor in my life that was somehow illuding me?

Anyway, I got to thinking. Do we care about labels or how we are defined by those around us. Perhaps I do, admittedly maybe more than I care to admit. After a first draft of this piece which came across as more of a rant, I received a complimentary email in return from Lifestyle Guru Beth Schoenfeldt of Flo Inc., informing me that my undefined essence was really what she instructs to her core clientele as a part of a methodology to reach new heights in life, we must not live in carefully prescribed boxes and defined parameters. Not her exact words and perhaps there is a degree of embellishment here, but when you get a compliment from a intellectual female goddess who is a rising female self improvement motivational star, you listen and take note, unless of course she also leveled a critique . ;-)

The fact is that there are many promoters, event planners, producers, nightlife experts extraordinnaire of various stripes and persuasion. I have no desire to duplicate anyone's effort. If it is a crime to collaborate, instruct, empower, enlighten and involve oneself in and with people and who's art form you love, then I am guilty as all hell. If it is my desire to steer clear of hustlers and shameless self promoters that is consumer perogative.

Anyway, I diverge but it seems to me the one place where one who cannot necessarily paint, draw or write but who has some sense of style, a flair for interior design combined with the the gift of gab can with a moderate amount of time and effort throw an event. Although admittedly these days the flat economy has created a city full of event organizers, promoters, networking gurus, charity fundraisers and spinmeisters bombarding and saturating the social market with events of questionable quality chasing a social clientele who has grown numb from the down economy and endless promotions, comps, discounts, drink specials etc. The reality is that there are not enough people, dollars and creative events for everyone who endeavors to do so to profit from doing so. It is no surprise then that many of the self annointed event guru's who find themselves hosting events by necessity or passion do not seem to be having much fun at all, which is understandable given the pressure that exists to deliver as promised to sponsors and venue owners. In my humble opinion far two few planners are setting expectations at realistic and appropriate level given the current climate. Hype aside, it may be more productive to shoot for the stars but be a tad more candid about best and worst case scenarios as well as consider adding the Art of Networking and collaboration to insure the success of their efforts. Not that any creator/producer or designer is comfortable alleviating some of their craft to others but ironically those with the most intuitive skill whom I have encountered are the most willing to engage in a healthy degree of collaboration, while still others are caught up in their self promotion which only hampers their efforts. Prima Donna's need not apply, but likewise I caution rip off artists who merely seek to mimic or duplicate the art of others without paying a royalty or collaboration fee. That is genuninely not my cup of tea.

Needless to say I have been exposed who have more than a passing fancy and skill in the event organization sphere in Manhattan. There are some true artists who host events which are socially and culturally significant from the sensual realm to the charitable realm, including but not limited to Palagia of Onelegupnyc, FlirtNYC, Tatiana & 4PM Events, Mistress Evita, SF Management, Happy, Rick Weissman's Fun with Wine, Gabrielle B. & The Women's Entrepreneurial Network, some of whom I have had the opportunity to collaborate with and others who's art I have appreciated from mere attendance at their uniquely themed and style events. In the cases of the folks mentioned above, their is a degree of meticulous care, planning and execution.

As for others including the angry putz who leveled this critique at me, lets just say that there is a psychotic element in the Manhattan Nightlife scene. That is vaque enough. For some of you that will mean the same person and for others it will mean someone else. That is all I will say. A handful of event planners, producers and promoters who have an amazing sense of style taste as well as an intuitive feel for what will get people to come to an event or bring business to a venue or help bring revenue to a well needed charitable cause. For me that is critical because the sense of urgency I felt with regards to community building and enlightenment Post 9/11 in NYC was as great as an adoloscents lust for the obvious the first time he was exposed to visual art of the opposite sex...or the same sex, not that there is anything wrong with that.

I got to thinking of the scene in the movie Nightshift with Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton. You know the one....two guys working the morque who start an escort service because Michael Keaton fancys himself as a "love broker" rather than a pimp.

Since so many people have asked me what I am here is my answer. I am a Social Artiste'. Maybe some of you think of me as pimp. Well in fact to some of you, I guess I have effectively been a pimp although I would prefer to think of myself as hook up broker or matchmaker, although obviously not in the vein of one for hire as I have not charged anyone for regular or intermittent sex......yet!. On the other hand in the economy that may not be a bad thing.

I love people, I love culture, I love charity and bringing those forces together, especially those far more talented than I am in so many ways. Do I want to duplicate or mimic them. Perhaps sometimes. But envy is not a productive emotion besides which it precludes you from enjoying and loving beautiful things in life. Thus, I would rather and prefer to find synergies between members of the ever expanding London Network, business, romantic, financial, cultural. At the end of the day, the London Network is about community building and not always taking the credit. I will be the guy at your party, event or gathering trying to blend in so that I can better enjoy what it is that you designed or contributed to making. If I am hosting an event, it will still be essentially YOUR event. My world is not about me and perhaps even better you will not always know or feel my presence unless you feel love in the air, then that is where I want to be.

My contribution? to make sure the world and those that I know and interact with appreciate the full value of what they are being exposed to and the precious time that we have on this Planet Earth and the most amazing city in the world...and you know I am not referring to Miami, Dubuque or LA. That is the essence of my life and The London Network. If I love what you do and are about...I want others to also. I have linked some of my favorite folks in Manhattan Social Directory by placing their logo on my site and recommend you visit and patronize them if you have not already.

Salud! and L'chaim of course.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


“I wanna know what your thinking…there are some things you can’t hide. I wanna know what you’re feeling. Tell me what’s on your mind. Here I am in silence….looking round without a clue. I can see behind your eyes. The things that I don't know
If you hide away from me How can our love grow?—
Information Society, "Pure Energy" Circa 1980 something.

Mr. Bush...Mr. Bloomberg....Ms. Rodham-Clinton, I wanna know what you're thinking. Please for once, tell me what's on your mind.

Who is
the Grinch that stole the economy? 9/11 terrorists? Enron executives? Corrupt Wall Street executives? Incompetent politicos and a government bureaucracy gone wild? I write this even as some are beginning to write about the present bull market. Terry Keenan recently provided her Top 10 Reasons to be bullish again highlighting most significantly that "corporate insiders are selling like crazy" and that "after three years it just feels good to be bullish again." Did it ever occur to Terry that perhaps corporate insiders are selling because they figure this might be as good as it gets for a while thus making it a prime time to liquidate some of their insider stock into cold hard currency?

I wonder how we have gone from
Silicon Alley Nights to Networking for our Survival. Does it seem to you like everyone is seeking their 15 minutes of fame in the spotlight of “Reality” TV, while still others have turned to even more questionable pursuits, including entrepreneurial predatory schemes? If you ask me…it is a mad, mad world. Recently in fact, the Consigliere was lured to a casting call where he was “cast…..aside” in favor of some truly beautiful actors, actresses and models. I am not complaining. In fact, if I were the director, I would probably cast them rather than me as well. The fact remains that reality TV is not reality when reality TV casting calls are filled with a multitude of actors, models and performers with “previous experience” on “reality TV.” This is nothing more than creative and cost effective programming by The Entertainment Industry which has finally figured out a way to bypass the SAG Actors and union wages to exploit the plethora of free talent that will work merely for the exposure. Why import oil by the barrel from overseas or cross country when you can turn on the tap anywhere at any time. In fact, one observation is clear, there are not nearly as many “reality TV” programs as the talent search would seem to suggest. It’s turned some casting businesses into stockpiling data and a talent pool for future reference. One of my actor friends pointed out how mind boggling it was to her who she saw on a recent casting call, lawyers, bankers, business owners, etc, many of whom were unemployed or "in transition."

I do not even want to get into my experience networking with a
Sociopath for several months who’s weapon of mass destruction or “WMD” was something right out of a Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho novel. I emerged unscathed but psychologically battered nonetheless. Just more evidence of a world gone mad.

All I know is that there remains a huge pit and wide open air space where a chunk of New York's economy, both real and symbolic, once stood. Our psyche as a people remains in flux at best and perhaps turned the entrepreneurial class in to scavengers feeding off the bones of a dead carcass, remnants of the
New Economy. All while a handful of elities dine at the 21 Club and travel the world on book deals arranged to promote their hypocritical and self absorbed lives...(Case in point: Hillary Clinton). The fact that anyone listened to the "Living History" slop and P.R. that she offered on Barbara Walters and will even read her book amazes me. Lest anyone have any doubt, before you shower the Clintons with any more sympathy etc, this is nothing more than the second phases of a business/political partnership between two obviously over ambitious individuals. And if they truly do love each other, the drama of their type of love/political arrangement whether Anthony & Cleopatra or Juan Peron and Evita should be the subject of an Oprah episode and not hog the news headlines.

Hillary, please stop selling the American public fictional accounts and dramatic stories of your profound romantic love for each other and the challenges to your marriage, lest this be labeled a left wing bullshit conspiracy. I did fundraising on your husbands campaign in Boston and even I am tired of seeing and reading your crap. The bullshit flows equally from the left as it does from the right I am afraid. Fortunately some are “Unmasking Hillary.” Sharon Lerner recently pointed out
Why She Enrages Feminists and Joy Press calls Hillary’s self absorbed promotional book nothing more than a 500 page resume in “Living History: A Lifeless Letdown” . Establishment shall have no fear over Ms. Clinton. Relax, while Hillary settles comfortably into the power structure in American Government, she is no where near the revolutionary or the threat that some consider her. The evidence is in. In the opinions of her most ardent supporters, she is basically a White Collar Tranny, an old boys club male who just figured out how to play the game in a dress. She was after all a Goldwater Girl in her youth. While people’s politics do change, the evidence suggests that much like her husband and perhaps even to a greater degree, she is the consummate political pragmatist, consumed with one end and one end only power and higher office. Before all of my female friends again clamor for me to support the idea of a woman for President, show me what the distinction is in this case, other than that she has a Vagina and Bill has a penis. As for who wears the pants, is it really all that relevant now anyway?

Where is the morality, shame, indignation or focus on real priorities which affect how people live, breathe and survive in our society. God bless
Michael Bloomberg but even as a non-smoker who has a disdain for the activity doesn't it strike you as bit odd, misguided and somewhat self righteous that the mans first few symbolic acts upon getting into office in one of the most fragile periods of this city's history were to enforce a smoking ban on an otherwise stagnant nightlife industry, which was already crippled, embrace the cities most blatant race baiter and self promoter in Al Sharpton and to separate himself from the legacy of Guiliani by his statement that he wanted to be a kindler and gentler Giuliani. I mean really what the fuck does that mean anyway?

Those who have theorized that the decay of civilization as we know it has begun in earnest point to those pursuing open or alternate lifestyle arrangements. Though misguided, it is perhaps an excellent way to take focus away from some of our corporate and political leaders who are completely devoid of a leadership vision beyond their self interest. Despite all of their flag waving they otherwise continue to fuck us. Yes, I said fuck. Moralists are often quick to demonize
“sensualists” who are free and open with their sexuality rather than focus in earnest on the true corruption and immorality which lay at the center of our bloated government bureaucracy and those in corporate America who engage in ponzie schemes to defraud the taxpayer. That type if immorality is of greater concern and consequence to me than whether some executive wants to have his ass spanked by a dominatrix or a swinging couple that shares their bed with additional partners.

The real fraud and decay in our civilizations morality lay at the heart of the seat of power in this country and some of the board rooms of the
Fortune 500 and not in the bedrooms of those who lead an open lifestyle. In fact, one can argue that our government is actually doing a better job of fucking us. I only wish that they had asked whether we like anal sex before they bent us over and took us for a ride. This is the largest full time gang bang in history, one government schtupping nearly 300 million Americans daily. If the modern era in America feels somewhat like Caligula's reign at the dawn of the fall of the Roman Empire it may be more a result on the lack of principled moral leadership and less so on the sexual indiscretions of the proletariat.

Consider the issue of “social security.” As recently brought to my attention by my friend
Palagia of Onelegupnyc who forwarded a poignant dissertation from Debsfunpages :

“Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congress men & women do not pay into
Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

You see,
Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan.

In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

For all practical purposes their plan works like this: When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments. For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives. This is calculated on an average life span for each. Their cost for this excellent plan is $00.00. Nada. Zilch. This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds-our tax dollars at work!

From our own
Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid)into every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer) we can expect to get an average $1,000 per month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ...then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.

Shamanta in in Exposing Corruption in the Global Monetary System, suggests that we have been Unless There Is A Global Movement For Gold And Silver



So, while we fight about the cigarette ban, the Hillary chronicles, strive for our 15 minutes of fame on reality TV and assorted other distractions, there remains a huge hole in the ground, unemployment and underemployment of mythic proportions and a degree of insecurity and malaise in the population not seen since the Carter Administration. Before, we have any wag the dog distractions to the real issues at hand in our lives……listen up baby, it is the economy stupid and my simple request that our government stop raping us as a people with ponzie schemes that will ultimately bankrupt our society, all while asking that we continue to make greater sacrifices. My answer will simply be shut the fuck up when you tell me about belt tightening when some Washington insider is walking away with millions in misappropriated retirement funds, while at the rate we are going the average yuppie will be living in a cardboard box without any retirement safety net.

Every 4 years we listen to the party out of power tell us how the party in power is the party responsible for the current bust or downturn, only this time it is worse and the pain is more pervasive. The boom bust economic cycles occur because if the system in place and not because of one party or the other. Clinton came into office in the early 1990's vowing to stamp out the pervasive greed of the Reagan years that crippled Bush's economy. The only problem with that inference is that the 1980's were an appetizer compared to the feast of capitalistic explosion that occured in the 1990's, the longest growth spurt in he nation's history was prolonged by the Fed. 9/11 and the cycle of boom and bust precipiated the malaise that we suffer from today. If coincidentally a Democratic administration should wrestle power from the Republicans, are we going to once again give credit for the resulting boom to the Democrats? It is this circle jerk political process that prevents us from seeing the truth about what is happening in our country and the Global Economic Disorder. Who is to know how to
Manage Global Economic Disorder.

If you think I am out of order, then in the words of
Al Pacino in And Justice For All ……this is whole fucking world is out of order! And if you are too blind to see it or to passive to change it as a people then we as American deserve the shaft that is being placed up our tukhis on a regular basis, whether it be a Republican or Democratic Administration. The American public is seemingly bi political…we enjoy being fucked equally by Donkeys and Elephants. If nothing else is clear, Shamanta may actually be quite right that the lack of sound moral economic fundamentals reduces the probability that we will have a future which will provide Justice for All. Perhaps we can find solace in our societal bankruptcy and our fifteen minutes of fame on a realty TV show.

Well as I expect, when you take on the left, right and everything in between in one column, you are not likely to be left with many friends. After this I may need a course from
Dale Carnegie on how to make friends and influence people.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Am I in Love with a Blogster?

Book of the month: Mama Gena's Owners & Operators Guide To Men
I was engaged in my usual Sunday morning procrastination routine. Drinking my coffee, logged on to my Blog and stumbled upon the Blog written by A Girl Named Alex. I started reading and became enamored with her story and the the style of her prose...and then I actually checked out her pics and saw that was adorable, sexy and creative as well. What's a guy to do? So many women in NYC...and so little time....but now a Seattle based Danish Girl at Play has struck my fancy and she is very well taken, much as one would suspect. But if you want to check out a cool site from a spiritually entrepreneurial creative writer, go to Alex the girl's web site. Her site creates and interesting portrayal and roadmap how one woman left the corporate world in her search to find passion in her livelihood. She has some insightful andecdotes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The Modern Era "Depression" & The Rise of "Scamtrepreneurs"

Over cocktails recently with my friend from New York Planet at the 7th Anniversary Party for Bar 13, (which by the way has some very hot and friendly bartenders and is owned by the Philanthropic & Patriotic Founder of New York Strikes Back) we discussed the rise of the "Social Entrepreneurs", many of whom in the Post 9/11 NYC and the economic downturn now make their primary living off of social events. Evidently when times are good people drink...and when times are bad, people drink even more. Why not capitalize? People still need to let off some steam, have some drinks and network. Ironically, I even have friends who got rid of their health club membership but now spend the same amount or more on a weekly basis at local watering holes. Go figure

NYC is mired in the midst of a deep recession, bordering on a depression of mythical proportions which some forecast will only get worse before it gets better. See "New York & Wall Street: Binging & Starving Together." There is Trouble in Bush's America where some people are being driven to destitution. Nevertheless, the most under reported aspect in the media is the severity of the downturn and the victims it has and continues to take with it. This downturn has impacted those who were often sheltered in the past. The effects are beginning to Sink In Among New Yorkers. Even College Graduates lower their sights in a stagnant Job Market.

It is understandably hard to notice the real effect in the city that never sleeps. But if you scratch the surface, you can't help but see that there is a pervasive undercurrent of dispair and anxiety. Evidence of the malaise comes forth whether speaking to your friends and work colleaques or noticing that people are somehow disconnecting and holed out in their bunkers, perhaps waiting for the worst to pass. In fact, even those with a Golden Rolodex may find that is of nominal value if those in it are among the most severely impacted from the Post 90's Tech Boom & Bust.

You can discount much of the unemployment data regularly proffered. This calculation is based upon a faulty equation which is not at all an accurate reflection of the pain and suffering that many are undergoing these days. While the National unemployment rates are approximately 6%, they are actually closer to 10% in NYC under the calculus being used.

BUT, factor in the "underemployed", those who no longer qualify for unemployment compensation and entrepreneurs who are struggling but who do not figure into the "unemployment data" and things are truly far worse. An even greater reason why the method to calculate is not accurate is that "entrepreneurs" are not factored in. The greatest job growth over the course of the last decade has been the small business owner(s), most of whom do not qualify for unemployment compensation. Factor in the "Unemployed" with the "Underemployed" and the "people who do not count" anymore in the Unemployment equation and by my estimates, 1 (one) in 5(five) or 6(people) are in a vulnerable state in NYC.

Recommended reading these days for most includes The Layoff Survival Guide. Some of my friends have recently discussed how to "hook up on a budget." Dinner dates at The Palm followed by cocktails at Suede do not really seem to be in the cards for many. In fact, female friends have complained about the lack of courtship and the fact that some men no longer want to wine and dine but instead meet for drinks, coffee or hook up following a Party 4 Charity, an event thrown by David Shapiro and Alisha or a Cassworld Plus Happy Hour, or a LocknKey Encounter hosted by Michelle. But nevertheless many are finding out that money "Can't Buy Me Love."

As a Career Advisor to some of the best and brightest on the NYC Professional Scene, I have heard some frightening stories: the paralegal with a 4 year college degree and several years of experience working on Wall Street who was denied a job at Starbucks; the Investment Banker turned party promoter; PR Wiz turned Yoga instructor, the Venture Capitalist Bartender who struggles for gigs; the IT empresario turned struggling artist. Times are tough indeed. In fact, I even crossed paths with a Performing Artist known as Shije who wanted to hook up or get hooked up but confided in me her requirement to avoid getting romantically involved with any man working from home because she thought that home based entrepreneurs were basically "unemployed", even though she herself in fact works from home. While it seemed logical it also seemed to rule out a significant number of my most entrepreneurial friends in Manhattan who's businesses are akin to the garages in Silicon Valley where some fairly substantial businesses were launched. Not that any of my friends are Bill Gates. But by Shije's standards, had she met Bill Gates back then would she consider him a lame college dropout working out of a garage? Perhaps like some college grads she may want to lower her sights as well.

The need for socialization is, however,even greater now than it is in good times. Sure, one must focus on a life plan, client and business development, but those situations won't present themselves sitting in your apartment waiting for them to pop out of the Television set. In many respects getting out meeting people is not only good for networking, expanding your social circles, even meeting a mate but it is also a necessity to maintain your sanity in Post 9/11 New York City.

Jungle Jane at Swap Jungle among others like the Networking Girl have routinely over extolled the virtues of "Structured Networking Groups." My reticence to readily endorse or embrace any particular one is that to a large degree I have found that they are great entrepreneurial vehicles for the Founders but not always for those who join. They can certainly be effective for romance and dating but I have always wondered what the draw was to fill up the room with many people looking for the same thing...a job and charging them. Often the decision makers and those you most need to network with do not need to network with you via such a medium and frankly they are simply not there. I will,however, acknowledge that some structured networking groups have a place in your social hierarchy. Also in fairness, Swap Jungle has at least created a concept of value and a site worth checking out.

If anything is clear these days, however, is that there is significant competition from nearly every quarter for your "social dollars." A singles social event organizer recently was complaining about the difficulty in filling events with eligible singles. I explained that at the end of the day, isn't almost anything social, cultural or charitable essentially vehicle for dating or networking? In fact, one astute health club owner recently advised me that competition for his establishment was not so much other gyms but the ready accessibility of bicycle paths, running grounds and alternate fitness methods.

The social minded consumer is faced with so many options that they often do not know where to turn or perhaps who to trust. I often find myself advising people which social avenues to pursue and build their own network of friends and relations, hopefully built on more than present need. But the best advice is to network with people and in avenues that you are comfortable and represent similar values as your own. In that regard you may want to make the Manhattan Social Directory your first stop.

While there are some fabulous people who offer consumers value in the social/professional networking and dating arena, be forewarned that the down economy has also spurned a level of entrepreneurial creativity that is largely predicated on separating your wallet from your money. It has turned some of the best and brightest into social pariahs. If you are not aware already of the "Scamtrepreneur",you should be. This is the person who's business is dependent upon preying upon your need to network to meet people for business or social networking/climbing. Sometimes they are on the front lines but many times they are behind the scenes. In some cases their business model does not give the consumer the benefit of the bargain. In other cases, even worse, they copycat someone elses business, trampling over their copyright, trademark and license offering a lower quality product which seems to be precisely the same as the originator, undermining the concept of the initial creater but also often only further confusing the consumer. I am not a Socialist but rather very much a Capitalist. Nevertheless there are rules of engagement and theft of creative license is not something that I endorse, nor using your station and skill set to exploit those less fortunate. Even one who is quite savvy can be fooled initially by many of these scam artists.

The foregoing should not be taken to imply that all on the Social & Professional Networking Scene are pariahs, in fact some are doing all they can to foster a greater sense of community, connectivity and getting us back in the FLO such as my friends at New York Planet, Cassworld, Jesters Guild, Flo. Some enlightened goddesses, including Palagia from Onelegupnyc and Regena Thomasauer, a.k.a.Mamagena are also doing their best to keep us from losing our sensual perspective in otherwise challenging times. Included in the foregoing is also the big tent politics of inclusion being espoused by leaders of the NYYRC, sponsors of the Urban Republican Platform and The TR-Group.

In times like these all we can do is forge on and try to bond together.

Cheers, Chris London

Friday, March 21, 2003

The Real “Fear of War”—America Prevails, Proving the Wisdom of The Bush Adminstration.

The Bush Doctrine

Why would our government, our leaders and in particular our President choose to go to war with Iraq despite a tremendous degree of criticism and resistance from so many quarters; the United Nations, European leaders and Anti-Americanists? Is our leadership so misguided and rogue to take chances despite tremendous worldwide opposition? Is President Bush and our National Defense team really that stupid or naïve to enter into a war which offers so much downside from a global public relations perspective, if they are wrong?

Quite to the contrary; despite significant opposition America shall once again proved to be on the right side of history. But if history is any lesson our efforts will be discounted and forgotten by those who want to see an end to American idealism. Mark my words. In the coming weeks and months ahead the world will witness how the United States “War” effort shall remove Saddam Hussein’s regime while leaving much of Iraq’s infrastructure in tact. The “War” will become a humanitarian effort to liberate the people of Iraq from the “Butcher of Baghdad.” Much to the chagrin of critics of the administration, in place of the current Iraq regime another democracy will rise in the Middle East; not an Islamic state. This will truly shift the balance of power in the Arab world. Then the Bush administration will effectuate a peaceful creation of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel, however misguided I may believe that may be. But then Arabs, Muslims, Socialists, Communists and their sympathizers will have to find some other means to discredit President Bush for being the “dumb” President so completely lacking in intellect and judgment. Will he get the credit that he deserves for what shall prove to be a successful war on terror and a total dismantling of the global terrorist network and the nations who support them? In all likelihood he will not be credited if this country does not recover from the recession that we are mired in, he will be attacked again from the left, and another opportunistic democrat will criticize his administration for ignoring the economy while focusing on a nonexistent threat. Mind you, it is a lot easier categorize or label a threat non-existent once it is eliminated through vigilant pursuit of American idealism.

What do American critics fear most from this war? Political opponents within the United States and Anti-Americanists fear that perhaps the President and the administration will prove to have taken a wise course, doing the right thing by replacing the existing regime in Iraq while keeping most of Iraq intact. The true danger of this war from the perspective of critics is that President Bush is right, successful and that his actions will have had the effect of removing a very real threat to the American way of life. It is perhaps unrealistic to expect instead that he will get the credit for the wisdom his administration exercised with the world they inherited, a world in the midst of a global recession and a pervasive threat of terrorism and rogue nations threatening the world with their weapons of mass destruction.

Why such a conspiracy? Simply put, the United States is the lone remaining economic and military superpower. The United States finds itself in a world with some “strange bedfellows” aligned against the further spread of American influence or “Americanism.” After the fall of the Soviet super power, Europeans, Socialists, Communists and Anti-Americanists realize an opportunity to bring upon the decline of the remaining superpower and otherwise deter American influence. Europeans especially see the potential fall of the American superpower as providing a backdrop for the reemergence of pre WW I and WW II Europe. This is our reward for defending and rebuilding Europe after the Third Reich? Europe was wrong before and it is wrong again.

Islamofascists empowered by the growth of their worldwide crusade and the success of 9/11 have pragmatically formed an alliance with those other forces which it shares no common interests or values other than its hatred and distaste for America and things American. The goal is simply…anarchy. France, Germany, Russia, Socialists, Communists, Islamofascists and others united against the spread of American influence have found leftist sympathizers among the well healed guilt ridden hypocritical Hollywood Fashionista set, who forever seek a return to “Woodstock.” Even worse the Democratic party has placed the political interests of their party ahead of that of the nation to opposed the President. Do I hate them or other Anti-war Americans? No, they are just understandably misguided. Peace is an honorable value. Many who love peace and enjoy the simple fruits of freedom may find it difficult to embrace war or the threat thereof as a means for preserving the greater peace and our way of life when diplomacy does not achieve the desired end. But they must be enlightened to comprehend the movement and the folks with whom they have aligned themselves. Everyone wants “Peace”…but on what terms? Terrorism and rogue regimes will not be deterred in the absence of a valid threat. The premise that we should not consider force but rather continue to use “circle jerk” diplomacy because force increases the risk of terror is so ever misguided in its cause and effect rationalization for passivity. It is akin or analogous to the assertion that we should not put pressure on a serial killer because he may get angry and kill more people.

These strange bedfellows share but one thing in common and that is their distaste for America or in the case of elite leftists in hollywood, guilt for the American way and the riches they enjoy. So much like the “Pickup Artist” who tells the buxom blonde in a bar that she is very special to him, then “hooks up” and has his way with her but never calls again, it will be interesting to see what shall happen when Islam if successful turns on those with which it is currently and pragmatically aligned but for which it shares no commonality of values other than its hatred of America. I advise those who sleep with the enemy to be careful. Their is always the risk of infection with a sexually transmitted disease. The lingering effect of getting into bed with Islamofascists and leftists is that you may never shake or find the proper treatment to get rid of what they shall inflict on the world. Assist the unrighteous self righteous and you unwittingly are contributing to the growth of the movement united against western principals.

ISLAM is the fastest growing movement worldwide. Islam and Muslims are not content to be a religion and culture of people in peaceful coexistence with Jews, Christians and other “non-believers.” Secular governments and society are also opponents of Islam. It would be foolish to discount the threat of Islam. The goal of Islamofascists is to apply pressure from within and outside the country through pragmatic alliances with the oppositon to bring about the end of the American Empire. Should the U.S. fall, Israel become over run, ISLAM sees Europe as its next target. While this may seem too surreal, contemplate the following: a plan to hit the center of capitalism with symbolic terrorist acts, bring on worldwide recession and economic despair, conveniently align yourselves with other socialist, communist and political and competitive enemies of Americanism to play upon the fears of the unemployed and downtrodden in Western nations, in particular students who have way too much time on their hands....all mind you at very expensive Western universities, to bring upon a new Islamic order. In fact, it is clear that perhaps conflicting sociopolitical interests with the United States, French and German leaders are politically incapable of supporting the war because France and Germany each have substantial Muslim populations which necessitate even now their capitulation to the Islamic world. While some may have distaste for the current Established Order, consider the “Order” that ISLAMOFASCISTS seek to establish in its place. Are you willing to part with western values, diversity and the religious and sexual freedoms you currently enjoy? Which nation has historically proven to be the best protector of those freedoms; a dysfunctional Europe that capitulated to the Nazis? As much as they were hesitant to address the threat of Nazism, once again Europe and Russia have also seemed to have misperceived and miscalculated the threat of Islam.

My prediction is optimistic, however. I expect that our current administration will succeed in the war on terror as well as in the liberation of the people of Iraq and the transition of Iraq to democratic rule. After America and Britain have done the heavy lifting when the success of America in this war becomes readily apparent, you will find our current opponents in Europe and Russia rush to interject themselves into the equation, most likely as we enter Baghdad, so that they can simultaneously oppose the war but claim ownership of the solution. Again they will have done little but claim a lot. Make no mistake, our goal in the war on terror and the war in Iraq must be total success, achievement of American objectives and clear defeat to these movements as a disincentive to their subsequent rise. Then the United States of America must engage in a public relations campaign to change hearts and minds worldwide. Perhaps it will be enough for the world to witness America at its best but I doubt it.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

The Fashionably.....Misguided Anti-War Movement
Islam+ Socialists + Well meaning Liberals & Social Elites+ European Union vs. spread of U.S. Power & Influence =Threat to American Life, Freedom, Liberty, Security & Prosperity

As quoted on
The Powerline

I woke up today to my newspaper, coffee, morning news shows. It appeared to be like just another Saturday for me except that the drums of war were building in the face of increasing opposition. A group who call themselves
A.N.S.W.E.R was leading an anti-war march and demonstration on Washington. The country they spoke of sounded like like hell, a truly awful godforsaken place........until I realized that they were speaking about my country blaming it for all of the worlds ills. Speaker after speaker got up on the podium and expressed utter contempt, disdain and intolerance for everything American including our President, a war time President who shortly after coming to office was forced to deal with the singular greatest terrorist assault on our soil. How prophetic was the commentator who noted after 9/11 some Repugnant commentaries place blame on America and predicted that "soon enough it will be a chorus, and it will say This is All America's Fault."

This movement has united from within and outside this country socialists, muslims, arabs, islamofascists, palestinians, other tired old leftists who can trace their routes to old line communism and mid-east terrorism as well as the fashionable set from hollywood to the limousine liberal crowd. They preach such deep rooted contempt for America, our form of democracy and a capitalist system which they depict as some tool of imperialist aggression. Ironically enough however, they still choose to live in the United States and partake of all of the liberties, freedoms and fruits it offers including the right to openly exercise their freedom of speech without persecution. The question I must ask is if America is so awful for these people why don't they go live in a socialist or communist country..or better still in that "free and open society" that they know as Iraq or perhaps Iran? As for hollywood, my question is, who do you think would be watching your movies and listening to your music in an Islamofascist society? Better yet, who was the last socialist that gave you a job? The only one I can think of is our bloated government bureauacracy. Usually however, it is some entreprenuer, Fortune 1000 or other imperialist pig who is most involved in job creation. Maybe we can all watch REDS and recreate Lenins Utopia.

The beauty of our country is that the exercise of freedom of speech allows you to see, hear and appreciate the vapid, emotionally compelling but nevertheless intellectually inaccurate propaganda being espoused by the opposition. One the surface the organizers have put together quite a compelling emotional appeal to play upon the legitimate fears of war of the unenlightend. The movement however is self righteous, naive and belligerent in its indignation and hatred for things American. Those who naively join this movement and directly or indirectly become part of the equation are as vacuous and misguided as any short term fashion trend.
It is clear that
A.N.S.W.E.R is certainly NOT "the Answer." It is a front for the Communist Workers World Party and has relationships with IFCO, and the National Coalition For Political Freedom among others. While all members of the movement are not active members of those organizations, the question they should ask themselves is whether they want to be part of an equation that has as its singular united aim the destruction of a capitalist democracy, America and Americanism.

The choice is ours,
The Future is Muslim, European or American. Make no mistake, we are living amidst an Islamic or Muslim Crusade that has strategically united itself with socialists, communists, leftists, terrorists, anti-semites on a global basis......not just aimed at Jews, but Americans, Capitalism and Freedom. There is far more at stake than it may seem to the unsophisticated or casual observer. Unfortunately, as my friend Evan at Brain-Terminal ilustrated so poignantly in his infamous video interviewing anti-war demonstrators in NYC is that many of them are truly clueless on fundamental facts, issues and history. For many it is simply cool and fashionable to be in favor of "Peace." I am all for peace, but on what terms. Not on terms that call for the destruction of a free society and in its place offer a Socialist or Islamic one. My friends, this is not the 1960's and this is not woodstock.

I do not know about you but I favor American. Call me crazy but I choose to NEVER Forget my fellow New Yorkers & Americans who died for simply going to work on 9/11 and for living and working in a free and open, capitalist, democracy. The vision of my fellow citizens (mothers, fathers, brothers, friends.....Americans) burning, leaping to their death from windows a hundred stories above ground shall never be forgotten. I also choose to never forget the Holocaust and the slaughtering of Jews despite the fact that many European anti-semites and european secularists choose to forget.
Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism is certainly alive and well. They instead prefer that you forget 9/11 or accept that America deserved this. They prefer that you forget atrocities committed against Jews and Americans worldwide but rather instead have you focus on a critique of everything American.

Why are the critics so quick to point out the failings of our imperfect democracy which nevertheless provides more freedom and democracy around the world than any other country, system or form of government? At least here you are free to express your opinions, however unenlightened and unsophisticated they may be. If you do not find me persuasive, read
Brain Terminal, Town Hall, Powerline, Daniel Pipes, The Drudge Report, and Debbie Schlussel and Ann Coulter and Dennis Prager. Get the truth from some capable journalists. Watch FOX News & MSNBC as much or more than you watch CNN. Join Urban-Republicans who embrace the core conservative and libertarian values with creative and entrepreneurial approaches to governing and reviving the economy as opposed to the failed dogmatism of the DNC. The case has been made that there exists a very real threat and connection between the war on terrorism and the terror threat facing US interests from Iraq. Why shall we wait first until our enemies destroy us? Have we a Death Wish? Must the United States learn the same lesson that Europe learned in WW II? Does the the western world have to risk being toppled in the same way that Europe got raped and plundered by Hitler? There is even a plausible argument that the Clinton Administration ignored the smoldering threat

Ask yourself, where were are all these protestors on 9/11? Many of them were providing cover, justification and intellectual rationalizations for those who committed atrocities on our soil. Where was their rage and indignation then? Where are all these protestors when the US defends and liberates the victims of oppression worldwide? Where are they to commend the United States for our efforts in rebuilding Europe, Afghanistan, Japan? Where are the protestors condemning the oppression of women and other innocent people worldwide and the US defense and liberation of the the victims of oppression? America is always the target despite our deeds and being at the forefront of liberating the oppressed. Perhaps they love America like they claim that they do but much like a disturbed/obsessive/psychotic boyfriend or girlfriend there are some types of love which are irrational and detrimental towards achieving the aims so intended or even your very survival. Pounding the drum for peace and emasculating our government into impotence will only empower and embolden the global crusade of those united against Americanism. The protestors were so ignorantly rabid in their condemnation of America and our intolerance of diversity, religious and sexual freedom but ironically enough the very movement that they are supporting would undermine the very freedoms women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and religious minorities enjoy on U.S. soil. Their lifestyles and liberties are considered an abomination and would certainly not be tolerated in an Islamic Society. I say with great confidence that those within the Anti-War movement who profess to speak for all members of minority groups are clearly mistaken in their naive assumption that they speak for everyone as they claim to.

I love America and I love this country. So before anyone reads this and prepares to discount it as another piece of writing by another "Evil white man" within the "Right Wing Conspiracy" who is himself intolerant of diversity or another "Zionist" etc, you should know that I am born and raised in New York City to American and Naturalized parents. Thus, like many I am as American as apple pie, chicken cacciatore, brisket & kasha, colombian coffee, rice and beans, milwaukee beer and california wine. Furthermore, I have spent a greater part of my voting life as a registered Democrat who has often crossed the aisle to vote for a Republican or Independent. As Ronald Reagan said the party left me, I did not leave the party. Hell, I even did fundraising for Bill Clinton's campaign in Boston in 1992.

My I only fear is that in a down economy where many are increasingly becoming disenfranchised and otherwise hurting economically the call for "community" encased in socialistic aims, tolerance for the misguided principles of Islam etc may not fall on deaf ears. The more enlightened must take it upon themselves to learn and spread the truth. Our Democratic Republic is at stake. It may be more fashionable and cool to associate yourself with the current emotionally charged movement for Peace. But to those of you who do, do so with the knowledge that you are doing so on terms which if successful would bring about a decline of our society from the preeminent position that it holds in the world today. Frankly, I am not interested in seeing the United States turn into France, a second rate country which today serves as nothing more than an aphrodisiac for necrophiliacs. No thank you, I am just not interested seeing any more of my friends and fellow Americans get blown up in office buildings or on airliners. To the peaceniks: Peace on your terms means the end of life as we know it on this planet. No thank you, I do not want to be part of your "Equation!"

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Cocktails & Dreams
I agreed to guest bartend this week on Thursday night at Bliss Bar & Lounge for friends from Party 4 Charity hosting a benefit for MVDC Program, Youth at Risk. As Doug Coughlin stated in Cocktail, “the Bartender is the aristocrat of the working class.” Being that I am a working class yuppie and that this is likely as close as I shall get to being an “Aristocrat”, I would like to help them out while also having the pleasure of serving up libations to their friends and mine. Besides since I am no P Diddy this is certainly cheaper than buying all of your friends drinks. But please do not ask me if you can have fries with that or to super size your order!!

It is hard not to see that the Times They Are A Changing. Like Jack Kerouac maybe I should go On the Road or otherwise find The Road Less Traveled. Who was it that said the more things change the more they stay the same? Have you ever been creatively inspired and then discounted the thought, only years or months later to wake up in front of your TV in front of an infomercial of some billionaire doing precisely what you passed on? Has it ever occurred to you that most of life’s answers can be found in The Godfather, The Matrix, Cocktail, (and yes sometimes even in a “cocktail”) Rocky, or even About Last Night? Yeah, the times, they are a changing.

Anyway, an interesting thing happened on my way to living my life this past month and otherwise contemplating the Survival of the Fittest concept despite not feeling so fit my self of late. Feeling rather exhausted from world events, a sluggish economy and the plight of friends going through some challenging times, it occurred to me that perhaps our “rat race” has become a little more like survival of the least exhausted. There is no doubt that the Stresses of a Violent World lead to heightened stress and anxiety levels and actually impact on your performance in every aspect of your life from athletic to intellectual endeavors. Nevertheless, I found sometime to contemplate the meaning of life or at least the meaning of what was in my cocktail glass while cavorting with the likes of the Jesters Guild, Cass World, The Networking Girl, some Urban-Republicans at Lawyer/Activist Mark Smith's fete at The Crane Club as well as a Cosmo Party. Although, it seems like all I have to spare these days is about three minutes, I certainly have not been in any HURRY to get a date but that too will pass.

There is a definitely an underlying stress to life in NYC these days, whether it is from the threat of terrorism, impending war, evaporation of your 401(k), or the never ending job search for many. In fact, one extremely accurate observation that I can make is that there is an unbelievable level of professional and entreprenuerial “talent” on the sidelines. With so many Down Out On Wall Street or otherwise jobless & downtrodden this is more of a stealth depression than a recession. Unemployment figures clearly do not tell the story because they do not account for a vast cross section of the population that does not qualify for unemployment in the first place, those who lost their benefits and those who now find themselves "underemployed" know the Investment Banker who is now a party promoter, personal trainer or bartender. Maybe the next reality show will be called "Who wants to be Employed."
Paul Begala quoting the Clinton Campaign Slogan from The War Room, circa 1992 ”It's the economy stupid.” Others are less diplomatic and blame our politicians and the political system itself. Or as one of my spiritual and artistic friends has stated, “Doesn’t it seem like the world has essentially been cooking the books sort of like a giant Enron and the imbalances are creating some unpredictable times?” Maybe she is right. Sometimes you do not have to have a degree in Economics (like I do) or Econometric analysis to make some accurate observations. Maybe the New Economy Index can help us better understand whether this has more to do with America's Economic Transformation and why so many Americans, particularly those in IT or "Knowledge" jobs find themselves "downsized and outsourced" by American companies who have embraced globalization with cheap foreign labor.

My pet peeve of late, however, is the ever misguided Anti-War/Peace Movement. One commentator noting that after 9//11 some Repugnant commentaries blace blame on America, predicted that "soon enough it will be a chorus, and it will say This is All America's Fault."
Shame on American Hating Liberals. As Tony Parsons, a liberal, leftward leaning English writer stated in a column recently the current “Anti Americanism” is supported by self loathing Hollywood liberals as well as European intellectuals who resent the success, wealth and independence of the United States. They have ignorantly attached themselves to an uninformed peace movement that has nothing to do with finding a non-violent way to genuinely disarm Iraq. The peacenicks have found witting accomplices in the form of support of aligned Western European Nations (and their European Union) and socialists who’s greater interest is to weaken the United States and otherwise, contain and undermine American power and influence around the world. Ironically as one writer has poignantly stated, pushing "peace" pushes war instead. It has empowered Sadam and made war more likely. Sadams Supremacy in the PR Wars Proves the Power of Evil

When have millions of Europeans ever been wrong? Frequently! They clearly have no sense of history, otherwise how do you explain that Anti-Semitism is Still Alive Around the Globe. As stated by George Will: "anti-Semitism is not directed against the behavior of the Jews but against the existence of the Jews."

Consider the view point of Dennis Prager:"Because America's and Israel's haters are ethnic and religious haters on a magnitude not seen since the Nazis. They loathe everything Israel (and its American supporter) represents -- freedom, democracy, openness, individual autonomy, freedom of religion, pluralism, women's equality and sexual freedom. They want Israel dead. Gone. Exterminated. They say so publicly, and they say so in polls. Yet, the educated fools and the Israel and America-haters of the West ignore all this and blame Israel for trying to exist and America for enabling it to do so. If America abandoned Israel, our Arab and Muslim haters would rejoice, but they would surely not stop hating us." So Which will the world's future be: Muslim, European or American? "There are now three ideologies competing to shape the future of mankind. There is no other country that claims to be Judeo-Christian and no other that has such strong support for capitalism and small government (the opposite of socialism)." --Prager Make no mistake, it is "Americanism", the values, freedom and independence we relish which is under attack. Sadly, even worse our own Democratic City Council has sponsored a bill on the Iraqi crisis in direct opposition to President Bush and Congress. The City Council's War Vote is an Embarrasment to us all.
Have they forgotten 9/11 already? As Ed Koch so aptly stated, “The response in Washington to the passage of such a resolution is likely to be “there they go again." That will not be helpful to New York City's future.” You may want to e-mail Gifford Miller and let him know that he is off his rocker and that this is not exactly the time to turn into Jimmy Carter, who while he is a nice man and a humanitarian, was a terrible President and has interests which are not always in sync with our national agenda.

Clearly these are times that test our patience and challenge us to achieve Balance in life: mens sana in corpore sano. Introspection is fine. Looking inward for solutions can be productive but these are not times to seclude or isolate your self either. We could all benefit from cross pollination and should find a way to Mix & Match. If you want to be meet up with the bar man poet, join me tomorrow night at Bliss Bar & Lounge in the Upstairs Bar and I will be sure to share some of my unsolicited thoughts and perspective about the world at large, politics, romance, sex, my quest for the ultimate truth and perhaps even lend some career or networking advice.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Reality Culture, My Dinner With Amy Sohn & Spanky the Sociopath

The obsession of the media, television as well as print and radio, with the every day people of late seems a bit out of control. It seems like everyone and then some are getting their 15 minutes of fame, either through a "Reality TV" dating program or an expose on a dating service. Ironically enough, while initially it only seemed that Hollywood retreads would subject themselves to it, now all of a sudden after denying access every star now wants you to see their “real life.”? Why? Very simple, there is even a greater fascination with the lives of real people who are also clamoring for the spotlight, at a far lower cost. The fact is that many would rather watch Joe Millionaire, Evan Marriott who does not command a salary or wage in the realm of any real actor or personality than they would the “Bling Bling” of Sean P Diddy Combs. Production costs are low and profits are high. Plus the media have figured out that what people want most is to have their voyeuristic appetites fed. While it may be cool to watch your favorite movie stars, it’s far more juicy to see your next door neighbor, ex girlfriend or boyfriend on TV making a fool of themselves. Next up….it could be you.

The ultimate irony with “Reality TV" programming, however, is that more often than not it is simply NOT real; individuals are willing to act or play a part that they have essentially been cast for. After all it still must appeal to audiences and advertisers must see a point in buying air time. While reality culture is good economics for the entertainment industry and perhaps even entertaining, the lives of most people are not Jerry Springer shows and the attempt to turn them into such events defeats the whole purpose of “reality programming.” Who are we kidding?

This is just one mans observation who got behind the scenes and watched fictional scripted 8 Minute Dating Events, casting for reality TV shows, served as a reference and commentator in the New York Magazine Cover Story, "The Casual Sex Revolution", and was himself the subject of an article in New York Magazine entitled the “Pickup Artist” and labeled as somewhat of a “conundrum”--- "a pickup artist with the heart of a woman, a sensitive guy who can turn on a dime, an anti-materialist who woos by sending [gifts]. Beneath all his warmth, he seems to have a bitter core, as though his years of playerly ways have made him lose respect for any woman who would have him. It’s obvious he wants love, but I know from firsthand experience that it’s hard to find love when you’re busy hitting on everyone in the room."

I read her “Female Trouble” Column regularly in the 90’s many times over late night eats at The Viand Diner on 86th street or the Corner Bistro if I happened to be out downtown. Prior to becoming a noted novelist, author and weekly columnist for New York Magazine, Amy Sohn’s Female Trouble column first appeared in New York Press, the newer and edgier version of the weekly newspaper which had a fresher more unique voice than the Voice. Amy’s column served as a good compliment to the New York Post Sports section and Page 6 at 3 a.m. over Eggs and coffee.

Her Female Trouble column was essentially voyeurism into one woman’s journey, sexual and otherwise leading to female adulthood. Amy was honest, bluntly so and refreshingly glib. Her soul was out there for all to see. She spoke to us all like we were her special girl friend or confidant. On more than one occasion, I found myself wondering whether the vulnerable but seductive little tigress was hot looking and what it would be like to be her “Novel Lover”, or at least one of the guys that she encountered on her journey.

Recently over cocktails at the Tribeca Grand, I finally had that opportunity. Out of the blue I received an email and then a phone call from Amy Sohn which ultimately led to our agreement to meet. Amy had informed that she potentially wanted me to be the subject of a piece that she was writing about how some of the more “average” vs. Joe Millionaire men were faring in the dating scene in Manhattan these days and how some guys who seemingly did not “have it all” somehow managed to get more than their fair share of “play.” Was I walking into a trap?

She seemed perplexed and intrigued why a man like me apparently fared so well with the opposite sex. Why did I have so many female friends and lovers? What was my secret? After all, I was attractive, but certainly no movie star, and intelligent but certainly no Einstein nor a multimillionaire (sorry ladies, that’s the truth). I am surprised she did not ask for a measurement of my "Johnson" to give her further insight (no its not that big). In fact, in her piece entitled "The Pickup Artist", I was referred to physically as a slightly less attractive
Anthony LaPaglia. I did not know whether to be flattered or insulted by that characterization. But then I realized, Anthony La Paglia is a pretty damn good actor. He has a certain unforgetable intensity, passion and sensitivity, with a dark edge. He is typically not the main character or star attraction (but more like the Paisan Kevin Bacon) who's name usually escapes everyone but you remember having seen him. I can relate to that. Anyway, I was intrigued by Amy's style, intellect and manner of inquiry. Maybe I was empathetic to the angst she exhibited in her columns of her enthusiastic pursuit of love, life and experience but often only getting sex or less permanent liaisons. But like me..she still had fun and lived in the moment. Maybe I have had a certain degree of Male Trouble similar to her "Female Trouble." Maybe I identified with that aspect, a lot of play leading no where ultimately.

I genuinely just liked Amy. I wanted to assist in her quest to write an accurate and truthful piece about one mans experiences in NYC. After all I am a true Scorpio and somewhat of a frustrated creative type myself. Scorpios are known for being persistent, loyal, consumed with uncovering the truth and to a degree led by their libido or their “lower half.” Nevertheless, I consider myself highly evolved and possessing a strong will and constitution. My life’s passion is to connect and inspire others to achieve greatness in every aspect of their lives. At times, I will be the first to admit that I have a primal passion for life and that my sexuality is a deep, all-consuming and intense part of that.

The Pickup Artist was a more titillating and humorous account of my personal experience through the eyes of one writer. In fact, I enjoyed reading it and she was liberated to take artistic license by creating a fictional persona, identifying me as "Tad Brock." To me the name sounds very "Boogie Nights" or like a Gay Porn Star. Speaking for "Tad Brock", I can honestly say for the record that:

Whatever “success” that I have had has less to do with trying to hit on every woman in a room and more to do with the fact that I focus first and foremost in approaching people, engaging them in a dialogue and finding out what they are about rather than "working" them over in some insincere fashion. Its simply misguided to even infer that my style is similar to these clowns who wrote a book entitled “Make Every Women Want You” which outlined their "CCR” principles.

The only thing more lame and disingenuous than writing such a book is having the need to read such a book. In this arena, I do not need the unprincipled frat boy guidance of a couple of simpletons who created a thesis or book of rules on how to stealthly manipulate the opposite sex in order to get laid. Just one mans view but if you need Dr. Phil (or Oprah in Drag)
John Gray
or the lame dudes who wrote this book to help you relate to the opposite sex, just start over and crawl back into the hole from which you came. These clowns with their "CCR” mantra claim as if they have hit on some magical formula. Hey man, plain and simple, it’s called converse, connect, be real and stop viewing every woman as a piece of ass. Try talking to people rather than at them.

Because I genuinely like people, I actually seek to connect with them first on some meaningful ground. In fact, I have often taken my contacts and introduced them to other people for business, life, friendship and love; essentially as effective a matchmaker as any Yenta without the massive overhead which is why I make so many friends as well. It does not hur to be in my network. While I am not always truly altruistic, I simply love women. I have no double standards and in some respects that makes me a feminist. The only anger or resentment that I have towards women is not directed towards womankind (or truly independent women like Amy Sohn or Elizabeth Wurtzel) but rather the "Vapid Princess Social Set in Manhattan" that views men as an extension of their wallets or walking ATM machines.

On top of that what is notable about the column is that one of my ex girlfriends who was interviewed for the piece lampooned my generosity as self serving and annoying but necessary because I am so "desperate for love." Bitch, spare me. How convenient, the same ungreatful women who make such remarks gladly accepted all these forms of generosity, including one girl I shall label SPANKY THE ROLEX QUEEN, a petite brunette NYC Investment Banker resembling Betty Boop who essentially barters and negotiates her love, passion and commitment with her fetish for watches and fancy vacations, while offering little in return other than a firm round bottom which she likes to have spanked regularly (for being such a "naughty girl") and excellent oral skills. This girls is an Engima but basically a prostitute of a different stripe; completely submissive sexually and utterly manipulative socially. Escort Services are cheaper and there is more integrity associated with the transactions. After the end of an undefineable but nevertheless psychologically twisted involvement with "Spanky", a couple of years later we reacquainted as friends. I consoled her through her impending divorce and other life problems. After allowing her access in to my life a second time, I watched her use the same barter system with her estranged husband in an attempt to emasculate him while simultaneously pursuing opportunities to get spanked on as well as with several friends of mine that she dated or played with her. All the while she professed her secret devotion to me repeatedly informing me that she was so much more attractive, intelligent and succesful than my present girlfriend. While dating my friend and simulataneously working on a strategic reconciliation with her husband "just in case" the single thing did not work out with my friend or the people she was meeting online, Spanky offered me oral sex in her apartment as a "Christmas Gift." Her expressed interest in my friend was because a) unlike her husband he was NOT jewish (and she did not want to get involved with any more "Jews") and b) my friend was a "Power Broker" who could take care of her in the style that she had becomed accustomed to as an Investment Banker. She delayed the divorce proceedings with her husband because she knew he was due to inherit several million dollars and if she divorced him prematurely and nothing materialized with anyone else, she would be out a husband and some significant cash. I was also further subjected to a conspiracy between her and her female friend to undermine my relationship with my then current girlfriend/princess. I became so disgusted with her and remember asking her if she had a soul and whether her materialism out weighed her racism. When I was left with no choice but to tell my friend of her agenda, her response was incredulous disbelief and the assertion that she was never really interested in me to begin with because I was not enough of a "Power Broker" like he was. You think I would have learned my lesson? The irony is that this "Sociopath" goes to church on Sundays and considers herself a good catholic rather than just another simplistic hypocritical golddigger. Reality is sometimes stranger and more frightening than fiction. I wish I could say I made this up but it is just the truth.

So you tell me if after a couple of experiences like that there is anything wrong with the fact that I want to make sure to steer clear of those with a Princess entitlement complex. That does not make me anti-female nor does it make me bitter, or less generous it makes me a strategic pragmatist who has learned his lesson. I can understand that Amy’s motives were sound and she had no ill intent, so perhaps to her I was a “conundrum.” Maybe because Amy’s experiences with men have been less than ideal, she projected a degree of cynicism for men in general on me? Reality is but ones perspective of it. But the long and the short of it I cannot deny that her perspective is entirely inaccurate or without merit. Her portrayal much like an artists portrait may not look exactly like me but there is enough of a resemblance that you have to give some due to the artist for her portrayal. And yes Amy Sohn is hot in a artsy, intellectual, confidant way.