pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


Leave a comment

So very, very twisted

twistyEntertainment and the media circus which brings it to town, is nothing to clown around with – and I mean that literally! Growing up in the one-horse driven, antenna TV town of Black and Whiteville, I remember sitting thisclosetothescreen, when Bozo the clown made a full facial close-up (later it would be Mick Jagger, but trust me, that was a completely different story). Now past my fiftieth year, I still can see that head shot vividly.  However, anything else, such as what I was eating, wearing or bodily functions I lost because of it, are thankfully forgotten. In one single, albeit innocent moment I was left scared to death of clowns.

Coulrophobia, the fear of such garishly painted people, with red bulbous noses and big black shoes, is not just my own personal packet of fear. Bumper stickers, cartoons, music groups, you name IT, all prove these white-faced individuals rein not just supreme, but King, over normal fears such as spiders, snakes or the dark. All in all, the clown often represents a very twisted and sinister side of laughter, one which I personally feared would be waiting for me when I’d least expect it, like sagging breasts or crow’s feet…yes, eventually I knew IT would catch up to me!

That was until American Horror Story, and the increasingly twisted inhumanity of America as a whole.

As a writer and someone lost to the Noir and intrigue of mystery, I’ve never enjoyed blood and gore genres of entertainment. Nightmare on streets or under beds, slashing and squirting for the sake of great FX just never made it to my dance card. That being said, when American Horror Story took us to the Freak Show this past season, I had to give pause. Thinking of Tod Browning’s vision, and his pennywise arcades and barkers, both stark in black and white, I bought a ticket, and found the splatter was far less than anticipated, but the matter was so much more.cdn.indiewire.com

Just like the classic Browning film, I found myself attached to characters, more than the limbs they should have been born with. I identified, loved and cared about the struggles they faced, and sadly understood how hearts turned cold, after years of abuse and humiliation. The simple message screaming out, as always was…we are all the same, regardless of the Halloween costume we were born into. Then we met Twisty.

Promotions for this horribly disfigured and homicidal clown made the show a must see for most, just as any vintage sideshow would have hoped, and had me prepared for therapy. That being said, the first episodes did offer brutal murders, happening for no reason, other than Twisty the Clown just wanted to kill…and so he did, as bloody as possible. There was just one small problem for the storyline…the sorrow shown behind the eyes of the clown. No Billboard top fifty with a bullet could have offered lyrics any more poignant…there was damage, and the clown didn’t cause it himself.

For me, that was when entertainment and empathy went for popcorn and changed seats. I knew the look. In the 70’s, growing up as a flat-chested, string bean daughter of a cop, I was rejected by all the cliques. I wasn’t cool enough for the Rah-Rah table; the nerd table let me visit but never accepted me, since there was a distant promise of beauty of my horizon, despite thick glasses and acne. The jock and sport tables also laughed regularly at my expense, whether it was in my polyester issued gym suit, my inability to climb a rope or just the fact I carried a Campus Queen metal lunchbox, complete with thermos. Yes, I had membership…somewhat hunched over…but in good standing, at more than a few freak shows in life.

When you are a card carrying member of the outcast society, you see life differently and hope all the while to make a difference, prove them wrong, and never do to others, the injustice, hurt and pain done to you. That time however, was of course before you could humiliate the face, without being face to face, by holding a cell phone or trolling the Internet, in a nasty world of cameras and intrusion. Suddenly, anyone with a few brain cells has the ability to be a troll under the bridge of compassion.

I am horrified that there is no saturation point,  like those found in a scary film, when someone covers their eyes and screams to stop IT, because of the damage and pain inflicted upon hurting youth and adults, that often take their own lives, due to revenge porn, gender hate, dating site lies and stalking, cyber bullying, Facebook bullies, or twitter rants. Instead of anything being stopped, society just watches day after day, while never ending parades of stupid, featuring fake and beautiful people, marshal in another generation of sheep, those who will never understand there is nothing grand at having an empty soul.

Twisty the Clown may have been created as a demonic force of violence, only to draw in a televised audience share at the Nielsen house, but in truth, he was a beacon of honest reveal for those same viewers if they really watched. His facial appearance and unyielding rage were the result of a botched suicide attempt, one made in the darkest moment of his life, after humiliation as blood sport by those thinking they were better than he was. Yes, I know there is no real Twisty, but that character was real, just like those who face bullies and depression, feeling they will never measure up. The same souls that are the confetti of society, left after the show is over and everyone has walked on them, not noticing or caring, self-absorbed and off to another victim.

The true clowns in our world don’t hide behind greasepaint or colorful ruffles, but instead, are sitting at computer screens, carrying platinum cards, looking for agents, or gathered in groups secure behind job titles, caring only about themselves. They take no responsibility for their actions, oblivious to who they hurt, and because society has evolved into what it is, their show and scary laughter will go on!

As a child a real clown scared me, and as a teen nameless faces hurt me. However, now as an adult I see even more twisted and invisible faces, not from inside a television, as much as from a computer screen, doing more harm than imagined. It is then that I find myself again thinking back to Mr. Jagger, and wonder if there will ever be a time when people stop jumping out at each other in faux entertainment, almost untouchable and stop looking for their pound of Satisfaction.


Leave a comment

Can you see me?

see meCloset doors open and close, mirrors reflect black or white, and all the time the question is the same…or is it? In the past few days and weeks, we have seen a world class athlete expose his intimate secrets and gender identity, as well as a black leader in our sea of society, exposed as Caucasian. Excuse me as I sit down and shake my head for a moment, while brushing off all the twitter and headline backwash that came with the headlines.

In my home and in my heart, I find such personal announcements to be quite sad. After all, they have exactly the same soul as the person who woke up last month, last year or even last week, all that changed, was a little decorative window dressing, and for that alone the world fell off its nut, and they felt a need to explain.

Respecting anything or anyone has long since expired in our culture, and with that has followed compassion and trust. Why is it so damn important in our lives, who is married to who, who wears a bra or a jock strap, buzz cut, Afro or pin curls? The core value of life isn’t connected to some sparkle, shine, shade or flavor on the outside. Just ask yourself, when was the last time you bought something and kept the box, throwing the contents in the trash? Ever craved just a candy bar wrapper? How about settling for a picture of a house instead of some cozy 2 bedroom with a kitchen? When your beloved pet ages do you kick them to the curb? How about a special dinner date with empty plates? The part that makes a difference is the core component…the soul, the meal, the heart, the security and nothing else!

We label and judge everything, forgetting to care or help, and it doesn’t take more than a two minute check on social media or the world as a whole, to see that sad fact. People are showered with celebrity, for no reason other than they have opportunity, money or are attractive, pushing the world further into ignorant pits of self-loathing. How hard is it to understand we are all in life together for a reason, and that together we have the ability to make incredible things happen! Caring for one another should be as easy as breathing, but instead, we work at having selfish and cruel intentions, which never better anyone or anything.

Just like a chain or the DNA we all carry, each link is vital for survival and strength, and I like to think that is also why our hands can hold, and our hearts can open, making them ready to attach others in life. If a person or child is secure and happy, we have no right to judge the social structure where or how they live, and it should never be up for a vote by a government, or be a form of media news. If someone is doing the job they can, or living an honest life, all that should be up to us, is to maybe see if we can offer something to better the process, thus forging another link in humanity.

There has never been a moving van behind a funeral procession. Material things, along with opinions and judgments stay behind after we die. What does remain, however, is who we were, who loved us and the difference we made or tried to make. So the next time you are at the store, reach over and buy a candy bar…but save just the wrapper. Think about what you wasted in time, money and content after you threw the chocolate away, and how stupid it was…then, apply that same principle to your life.

The next time you decide to judge someone for their appearance, social standing or values, especially when they have no impact on you personally, remember two things. One, an empty wrapper and second, the simple fact that when you ask someone where they are…they usually say Here, something as basic as life itself.  Maybe then you will understand all any of us ever have is a simple, but sometimes earthly decorated soul, which lives in the only here and the only now, just wanting acceptance.

 

mzlks.net

 


Leave a comment

Hey neighbor, can I borrow a cup of sequins?

hey neighborThe average straight person looks forward to Halloween, a time when they dance and prance, crawl or howl, all effectively disguised from the person they know waits in the mirror. There are usually celebrations, a lack of inhibition and a general feeling of good will, since all of the fears and emotions normally keeping us at bay, are finally set ashore, allowing a true acceptance of who we are. It’s a drag it can’t last for more than a day.

Drag on the other hand, is a time honored, and yes, respected, form of exactly the same thing for the gay community. For years, it was the only window allowing a peek into a culture and world most of us would never know, but were curious about. However, Drag is so much more than just a few feathers and a blast of lip syncing music, honoring the true birth of karaoke. Drag in itself, is the heart of self-expression, living under judgment and political frustration.

Putting gas into the tank of the Texaco Star Theater, Uncle Miltie once amused America from inside a small black and white screen, camping up his masculine appearance with frills, lipstick and over-the-top gestures of faux femininity, proving some did like it hot. It was applauded as comedy and we laughed, and for some there was also a hidden hope to someday slip into a dress, draw on lips and express who they were as well. Entertainment and reality had yet to become the one man show they are now, so Drag continued to be fake flamboyant, and over the top, with a large demographic looking down in laughter.

As years and minds attempted to stretch forward, so did the confidence and stability of Drag, and its performing platform became more than glittered shoes. Although not accepted as it should have been, the acknowledgement of being gay was nevertheless, getting a nod in the mainstream, apart from the stage of ridicule. We aren’t there yet, but we have come a long way baby, and the smokin’ hot talent and beauty emerging from the garden has opened many a closed mind.

Television also changed, offering Drag performers at their best, competing, lip syncing and reading the world whenever we desire a refreshing look at reality. No longer hidden behind darkened club curtains, the positive and reaffirming presence found in this self-acceptance has spread across more than a screen in colorful pride, giving each of us something to strive for ourselves. Social media also developed, offering instant clips and quotes, all zipping by on the fly, letting us feel part of the family as they say.

However, as with anything in life, the direction or evolution of Drag also changed, no longer just a bevy of sequins, wigs and tucks, we now see costumed creations of science fiction fear, and Gothic shades in black, that would please any Lily Mister, happily living on Mocking Gay Lane. This darker side of Drag, and the shade it brings, accent not hopes and dreams, but instead, expose the pain where many performers have lived, and now confident, they dismiss  shadows once threatening to consume them, and stereotypes they refuse to fit into.

Likewise, taking a further detour from the Lady Bunny trail we’ve grown to accept and love, intense implications of S&M and lashes far from the eye, are also replacing the over sized bosom and padding, which was once a comfortable norm for those in the audience. I would be remiss; if I didn’t say I find it sad seeing skinny Queens with model perfect make-up, and expensive couture walking the thin line, from in your face to in your heart. I love the Drag Queens that represented the alter egos of uppity old ladies in church, the grandma I wanted, the neighbor I hoped would move in and the sharp tongue saying things I couldn’t, through heavy eye shadow, crystals, glitter and more tulle than heaven could order. However, like the world we live in, it was inevitable darkness would creep into these colors as well.

Lucky for us, there will always be a few Rit dyed in the velvet Queens, still seeing their art as more than self-expression,  using slick satin and intense sparkle to lower walls of resistance, impact political points and prove that dress up is more than a holiday statement or something we relegate to an event. In the end, they will also be the ones who continue to keep club and closet doors open, like rainbows across once stormy skies, confirming there is a place for such beauty and uniqueness, against the harsh landscape of ordinary life.

For them I am eternally grateful, and will continue to bask in their overheated, fast Double entendre, below the belt commentaries and punched out satirical statements, always followed by shady diatribes aimed at our dysfunctional human condition. Anyone can play king, wear leather and take control, but only a select few can be a real queen, knowing that a punch from a softly padded underbelly into society will forever say more than anyone can imagine.


Leave a comment

Makes Some Tracks!

may29

Namaste…and applaud and scream! Last night Denver’s Drag Nation was well protected, not just with local talent, but with three superstars that shot forth from the galaxy of entertainment. All I can say is we all slept better…exhausted or exhilarated you can decide.

The first tall drink of water that got the ball rolling and quenched our thirst for talent, was a Miss with more than a future of Fame, bouncing her attributes and voice like a rubber ball across the stage. What a bombshell to have sandwiched between our own stars, in final shades of peaches and cream sparkle. Indeed, she gave us a harvest of both stage presence and beauty.

However, before a breath could be caught, a powder puff of sparkle and talent exploded in comedic laughter! Ginger Minj may not be a spice herself, but her performance gave the night the flavor it deserved and she served it up! If this compact dynamo of emotion and delight isn’t the next drag superstar I will be shocked! She has the right stuff, and next time her baby got back…well, it better be on our Denver stage!

Bringing all the gals together was our own Nina Flowers, a bloom luckily planted in Colorado, with her roots proud and firm under the rainbow of the LGBT community. Who needs a super hero when we have a shining star like her to bring traveling ladies into the light!

What a night and what an event – Thank you Tracks, thank you to some incredibly beautiful and loving performers ( and hot bartenders)…but most of all, thank you for a city where we can do it all again….same bat place…same bat channel!

 

http://www.mzlks.net My newest on the shelf at Amazon


Leave a comment

8 Track Tapes with Gomer Pyle

8tracks

I am always intrigued at what people turn to for that special, soul food comfort of the heart. There are always photographs and scents, meals and places, but for me, music will always top the chart. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s there was always a radio or record player to bring the air alive, and in our car, Dad often sang songs of his youth, starting around 1915. A particular favorite was I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover, and to this day I smile and sing along whenever I hear it…words or not.

As I aged technology progressed, and our white station wagon and later blue Sport Fury became the proud owners of tape players. Looking back at those quick clips of music with the loud Ca Chunk when they switched channels, I remember the price we paid for portable music, but nevertheless, still treasure my 8 track memories. The playlist of my life continues to evolve, and currently as MP3 files they reside on my phone, in a folder appropriately called The 8 Track Tapes. It is there where Tom Jones, Andy Williams, Engelbert Humperdinck, George Jones and many others still live, along with Jim Nabors. It is in many ways a therapist I turn to in the darkest night, finding a lost security like no other.

Jim Nabors, for many of us, was also U.S.M.C. Private First Class Gomer Pyle, and the day he showed he could sing shocked the world. The prat-falling, comedic genius inside a handsome young man, had also successfully hidden the voice of an angel, and his later albums of gospel music validated his talent. However, as life moved on, so did Jim Nabors, with all his talent and charm…which brings me to the point of my nostalgic babble.

We all come into this life outwardly the same, and in my era with about the same expectations for survival and security. There are always some who appear chosen, rising to stardom in their selected fields, and even though we all came from similar seeds, they bloom brighter and more memorable for the seasons they exist, and we applaud accordingly. However, one day they just aren’t there anymore, gone from the current harvest where others have taken their place, and along with that, their accolades. It appears when we notice this crop rotation, it is because we too have aged, no longer among the blooms of our generation, and facing mortality.

I have read that Mr. Nabors is alive and well living in Hawaii, and I am sure, doing what makes him happy. That being said, in the current eyes of the public he exists no more, only through old tapes and albums, television reruns or an occasional Youtube video. His time and fame were served, and he stepped away for those yet to follow, and none of us really noticed until he was gone. It could be viewed as having class, not holding on beyond the expiration point with plastic surgery, body doubles or embarrassing moments; however, I see it as evolution of the life we are all meant to live. You see, he had his fame, shared his talent and wisely knew when he was done.

Obviously, most of us never have a media infused stage to showcase who we are, but in some way there is a platform where we offer the gifts we brought into life, and the reason why we are here in the first place. When we have finished, there are others are waiting as well, and we move on, not changing who we are, just who appreciates us. Yes, we’d all love fame and fortune, living forever in technology after we leave, but the trade off is that some of the most profound memories we leave will be with those we love, and they are our difference.

Closing out my day, listening to a personal bump or groan, changing tracks in preparation for another day, I know I have had more than a few profound moments, some published, some televised and others recorded. In my life I was referred to as that woman or mom, and I hope I did it wisely and made a difference for someone. It was a fun ride, and even though it was in a station wagon, not a limo or across the big screen, I know I accomplished why I came into this life, and think I did okay.

So the next time I open my playlist and decide to take a stroll down memory lane, I will more than likely select Wichita Lineman. There will be humor, knowing that Linemen have also gone the wayside, but I’ll find solace in knowing that like Jim, I was a good neighbor and member in life, and that alone means I left something behind in the field where I was planted, along with fireflies and the very green grass of home.


Leave a comment

So that is what will happen!

8ball

Around eleven yesterday, the cable and internet service in our neighborhood stopped, and as I learned by nightfall, so did reality and the series of routines everyone takes for granted.   There was no need to remember when…we were living it, in less than living color.

The past year or so, I have noticed, and commented with friends…yes…on the Internet, that life around me has deteriorated into almost a ghost town. The streets in my neighborhood with their nicely cared for homes are quiet for easily 20 hours a day, as if they are no more than a facade, covering holes in the ground where everyone disappears.

On any given day, I don’t need a watch to know it is 7:30 am, as cars and people head to the end of our street where the elementary school is located, and from there out of the subdivision. By 8:30 am, a mere hour later, there is a deafening silence that is not broken until somewhere in the area of 3:00 pm, when the mail truck drives along the sidewalk and children who are not in some sponsored child care return from school, disappearing into their homes.

The brief few hours from there until it becomes dark, might find a random car returning from work, a quick lawn mower now that summer is approaching, or a dog barking to be let in, however, that is the extent of life.  For the most part, this area of humanity truly resembles an oil painting. Truly frightening,  is that it seems to be the norm in the world, confirmed by those I mentioned it to, as the same where they lived as well.

The sound of life, albeit as simple as an unanswered telephone ringing, people talking, tools being used and dropped, or children on bicycles exploring new frontiers, just doesn’t happen like it once did or should. Today confirmed such a reality in many ways, because people were forced from their homes, having no Facebook, email, X-box or Netflix to program their daily schedule. There was finally activity around the street,  long since forgotten somewhere north of 1973! I heard conversations, playing, walking, barbeque grills were even used, along with the clatter of plates on tables, and dogs barking up a storm. It reminded me in many ways of a Twilight Zone episode, because even though we aren’t on Maple Street, an alien presence was nevertheless felt. The world had returned, all because what we depend upon as life had shut down.

Sobering.

As evening faded and the sky turned dark, I must admit that I found myself wondering what was going on outside of the window I call home. There was no news coverage reminding me of the violent and overly sexual nature we humans have grown accustom to hearing about, and likewise, I wasn’t able to click onto the blue and white page of society, where my friends and sadly my family live, which left me hoping they were okay, and of course disappointed I hadn’t followed their antics on a Thursday in May. Guess it is a good thing most season finales were last week, allowing the television its own moment or two of silence as well.

The true reality in it all for me however, was just the silence when the unexpected sound of life was forced out of those around me. It wasn’t what they said or did, but that they just were! Growing up we had a cheap and loud ticking clock in the kitchen, and I would sit in the living room listening as the second hand ticked away, sometimes shutting my eyes knowing it would soon be time to eat or time for bed, and then of course, time for another day. Later, after I moved out and would return to see my aging parents…and then just parent, the sound was even louder than I remembered, and I often wondered what they did when I wasn’t there, to keep busy or occupied. Those were also the days when I was rushing off to work, caring for children and myself, and often went to bed too tired to sleep…nothing like today.

Although many things have changed for me since I became aware of the world I live in, sometime around the late 1960’s, one thing hasn’t changed and it never will…that is the simple fact, we only have so much time in this life, and we need to utilize it whenever we can, because sooner or later the circuits will go down for good… that being said, I am also a realist seeing the rut we  all are stuck into.  So today when CNN returns with a blaring news break, along with at least one naked Kardashian, and killings that break my heart, I’ll look out the window again, wondering when the mail is coming, take the dog for a walk and of course, not pass another soul.   I will probably also browse life for a while, shopping, chatting or allowing myself to be entertained, all  from behind a computer screen, before going to bed in darkness, with a dark silence around my home to match.

Tragic.

 


Leave a comment

Face it Already!

face itWe all have a life to live…some of us however; express it more publicly than others, and if you read that sentence, and saw the blue and white logo for Facebook, which is somehow automatically programmed to click into your subconscious, then I am not surprised. In fact, most people under the age of 60 seem to have developed this lemming style of adaptation for communication. The more important question at hand or cursor, however, is do you imagine more than you adapt?

I remember hearing the phrase Throw it on a wall and if it sticks… as it pertained to facts in question. A simple tried and true visual of a brick wall, with something adhered or sliding down ever so embarrassingly to prove a point, meaning, if it was truthful and solid it would stick, and everything else…well, you get the idea. Facebook decided to challenge that adage, allowing us to Photoshop pictures; erroneously attribute quotes, facts and obituaries, while also recreating our identity, some using that of another. Yeah, in a nutshell, nothing sticks anymore…it just sucks.

Sitting behind computer screens people live vicariously through others and their own virtually wrong realities without pride or prejudice. Of course no one is supposed to get hurt in this ego driven depressive facade, even if it does spread only on pixilated walls.  However, just like real bricks, inevitably something will remain behind…true or not. There is another quote for this mis-communicated information, ironically one that gained notoriety on the same super information highway…it has to be true, I saw it on the Internet!

Life as we all once lived has changed, just as the stories we post and read, which of course, are always true. People that sit alone day after day, in silence and often in depression or worse, reflect their status through dancing cat videos or biblical quotes, hoping to stand out from the rest and be liked or shared. They also discuss great menus and recipes for the day, usually while looking at the real peanut butter and jelly awaiting them. Friends and relatives are lead to believe they enjoy happiness and excitement, leaving everyone numb, all tucked into the biggest pile of crap since the circus left town. When does it stop?

Catfishing has become not just a new form of dating alert, but a true explanation of society, which has nothing to do with water…except for staying afloat in a sea of misrepresented information and emotion, and who you can hook first. When did people stop being real? When did it become the norm to post pictures and comments, that couldn’t be further from the truth? That being said, Throwback Thursdays and Time Travel Tuesday, the latest plastered offerings on this great wall of Babel where people live and never talk, actually have managed to escape the sly rule of deception. I guess looking back at where you have been, a dream that did come true, or a time life was enjoyed still has merit, more than I can say about the reality people refuse to accept.

If you are into Snapchat or Instagram, Reedit or Tumblr, the practice is just the same, be photographed, have a video or type in a thought (composed or stolen)…look at me and who I am not, or even worse, see all the people who love me…when in reality they could care less, if not outright dislike you. Be warned though, if you are one of the honest type sitters out there who actually posts in real-time/real-life, you will eventually be ignored, or receive comments not what you had hoped to see. Trust me you will find no social in any of this media!

In time like many before you, disenchanted, you will find yourself less and less at the electronic wall and more against one, until you just walk away…because no one is interested in what they already have at home. Come on, what’s entertaining, sexy and envious about that? Party lines used to be the way we learned a little shady gossip or offered a peek into another life, and later we ended up at parties long after dark, enjoying far too many real peeks, but then the party moved into cyberspace, and now it doesn’t matter who knows the truth…just be seen and never heard.

Maybe it is simply old age, but I liked be seen and listened to, I liked having real friends and family that kept in touch, sent a letter, called on the phone or stopped by. I can remember bridge mix in a bowl and the Jewel Tea truck pulling up to the curb, and I miss all of it. I liked getting together at school or work over too many sweets, family dinners and holidays when someone was getting pissed off, quoted wrong and always laughing at nothing important. Seems to me we have progressed right into dark caves, not unlike ones our ancestors were suppose to have come out of…but then again, correct me if I’m wrong they were writing on a wall too…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,000 other followers