Master Nate Part III: The Sting

Master Nate sat, his slouched dark form against the orange plastic, in the front pew of Pinkberry and pretended to read. 20140516_171616He would look up and smile, as if suddenly noticing a girl from school, when he had been tracking her every move, and get her into conversation, hoping she would sit. That was his schtick.

Lauren was a Junior with medium length auburn hair, long lashes and a high forehead. She flushed when we told her our plan. “How bad will it be for him?”

“He’ll be fired, maybe jail.”

“I’m in.”

She sat down with him and asked if he wanted to come to a party. He said he couldn’t until she said it was just her. He walked at her side, just behind, letting his hand bump into hers. We went ahead and waited on the balcony of Kristie’s parent’s place. 20140516_164805He came into the apartment like a burglar, looking for cameras, and moved cautiously into the living room, ready to flee. He stood at the window, looking out past the cedar hedge and our heads in behind.

“You want some tequila?” She said it too quickly and offered the bottle like it was a bomb, and it looked like he would go, until she sat on the edge of the couch and stretched out her legs.

“I’m more of a tea drinker.”

She smiled. “Oh, I like tea.”

“That’s my girl.” He stepped toward her and leaned on the back of the couch.

“You don’t drink at all?”

“Just my tea.’ He reached out like he was waving away a spiderweb and then had his hand on her hair.

She looked up, waiting, and he suddenly plunged, grabbing her chin with his other hand, bending her face up into his. He kissed her terribly, like he was eating at the trough.pig-at-trough-for-coasterWe recorded everything.

“Master Nate.” My voice sounded like it was coming out the back of my head.

He looked up, frozen like a cardboard cut-out, his eyes wide, his arms dangling in disrepair. “What’s that?”

Kristie had already dialed, walking straight past him and stood in front of the door. “I’d like to report a rape.”

“What?” Master Nate’s face collapsed, the weight of it pushing out his pink-grey lower lip. “Rape? No.”

She glared back at him, the judgement already in. “Yes, he’s right here.”

Overlooked New York Part III: Banksy Gone

Banksy’s famed New York residency last October drew all sorts of hype, all of which I bought into…and yesterday, visited three of the sites to see what was left behind.

23rd Street, between Lexington & Third Avenues, Murray Hill:

October 2013

October 2013

May 2014

May 2014


Staples Street at Jay Street, Tribeca:

October 2014

October 2014

May 2014

May 2014


24th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues, Chelsea: 

October 2013

October 2013

May 2014

May 2014

Not too much going on now.

Amadeus to Jimi: Top Five Wish List Concerts

I can think of a few greats I wish I had seen live on the concert stage.

5. The Clash – fresh off recording the album of all albums, London Calling.bob-gruen-clash-boston4. Louis Armstrong – the voice and trumpet with Ellington or Fitzgerald…anybody at all!copenhagen1933_540x2603. Amadeus Mozart – conducting The Marriage of Figaro on the Vienna stage. tumblr_mm3ulpVJ0Z1qfj8xgo1_r1_12802. John Coltrane – the grand master saxophonist at The Village Vanguard.John Coltrane playing during a jazz concert, c. 1960s.1. Jimi Hendrix – the voodoo child from his marvelous distant land…live at Monterey.MontereyPop1967_28

Bad News Bruin of Hockey

I’m sick of the bad behavior in hockey these days, especially from Boston Bruiin Milan Lucic. imagesNot only did he threaten Canadiens players in the handshake after the game last night – apparently he’s going “to fucking get them next year” – but far worse, he deliberately tried to injure Danny Dekeyser in the previous series by stabbing his stick into his groin. Lucic-DeKeyser-crotch-shot-jpgAs amusing as some might find all of this – to say nothing of water bottles being sprayed to insult and mock – it is terrible for the game of hockey.

Lundqvist sprays Crosby

Lundqvist mocks Crosby

Indeed this garbage is reminiscent of the dark days of the 1970s, the Philadelphia Flyers – the self-proclaimed bullies of the league – and Bobby Clarke, infamous for breaking Russian Valery Kharlamov’s ankle in the 1972 Summit Series. 1348214211_5None of this is a matter of “boys being boys” – as some are chuckling – but rather is a terrible embarrassment for the sport and must be eradicated. It’s not a difficult task. Suspensions of 5-10 games would work for the first infraction,  20-40 games for the second incident and a lifetime ban for the third. cropped_lucicThere are other leagues in the world, and perhaps Lucic would be a better fit somewhere else.

The Bad Side of Sagittarius

Horoscopes are stupid. Honestly, how could it possibly matter which day you were born? All of these planets that are supposed to be in and out of line are millions of miles away. They cannot have any affect on who were are as individuals.bad sagitariusDamn right, I’m Sagittarius. I say it how it is. You’re born, and it’s all suffering and death after that.

Although, to be completely honest, I’m not a full-blooded Sagittarian. I was born on the cusp with Capricorn.


Which this is a good thing for me. After allI, as mean as I am, I am always right.
20140426_124036Maybe there’s something to these horoscopes after all.

The Dark Knight of the Hunter

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and The Night of the Hunter (1955), films produced over 50 years apart, are similar in that they are tedious with predicable plot devices, populated with dull characters and saddled with stilted dialogue; in short, they are bereft of any effective story structure.dark-knight-rises-wall-streetThese films should instead be celebrated for the artistry of the cinematographers.

Stanley Cortez’s work on The Night of the Hunter, clearly inspired by the German Expressionists of the 1920s, is haunting in the framing and lighting. night-of-the-hunter-1Time and again, whether the underwater shot of a drowned woman still at the wheel of her car or the preacher looming over a bed, Cortez constructs shots that unsettle, reminding the viewer of the uneven landscape in our own heads. 039-the-night-of-the-hunter-theredlistWally Pfister’s cinematography for The Dark Knight Rises, although burdened with obsessive special effects, also resonates with this dark subterranean subconscious. darkknight460Inspired by a Wagnerian grandiosoty and the final macabre days of the French Revolution, Pfister does not allow the Batman, hence all of us, to escape this morass of humanity. dark-knight-prisonMore a collection of brooding images, these films are better in pieces, isolated fragments, allowing us the freedom to drift through our thoughts.968full-the-night-of-the-hunter-screenshot.jpg

Aeschylus & Robert Kennedy

I stumbled onto the work of Aeschylus through Robert Kennedy’s most famous speech delivered in Indianapolis on his 1968 election tour. RFK_speech_on_MLKIt is a remarkable speech not only for its profoundly personal nature, but also in that it helped turn an angry crowd away from violence only moments after they had learned of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. imagesKennedy’s words are also remarkable in that he painstakingly cites Aeschylus as a guide to understanding:

My favorite poet is Aeschylus. And he once wrote. Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. aeschylusWhile rioting broke out in many other cities across the country that night, Indianapolis remained calm, in part due to words of wisdom written some 2500 years before.