Two Saints, Godard, Work and a New Haircut

Tuesday, October 15th, 2002 | Art, Family, Film, Gay, Performance, Work

Überbearpornstar Jack Radcliffe gave me a big sweaty hug at the Castro Street Street fair on Sunday last. The crowd parted and the sun revealed his dazzling smile and outstretched arms. He’ll always be a Bellini saint to me. I spent the following Thursday evening with a less-hairy and more-than-likely less-hung saint, Messaien’s Saint Francois d’Assise at the SF Opera, which aside from being melodically challenging and brilliantly staged, Neue Sachlichkeit meets the Franciscans, and five hours long, introduced me to the ondes martenot, an electronic instrument dating from 1928 similar to the theremin, but with fixed notes and a keyboard, which Stravinsky described as “the musical equivalent of a colonoscopy.” I’m not sure that I would agree with Stravinsky, unless he thought colonoscopies were stimulating fabulous experiences. Seeing the opera in San Francisco is so much more comfortable than what I imagine the experience to be like in other big cities. First of all, you could wear a t-shirt, or khakis after Labor Day, or a pink tuxedo and nobody notices, not even the society people, who all wore black, as they don’t deviate from what’s expected of them seasonally, and would anything they say about me get back to me anyway? Their little world is very closed and their behavior very apelike–all posturing and preening and feral. I was very hot, as in sweating like a pig, in my Dolce & Gabbana chartreuse velvet suit. (80% off at Wilkes Bashford.) I am definitely dressing like the little dude in line at the bar downstairs next time and going for the t-shirt and gap khakis look. I’m sure that all of us non-society people who saw him thought the same thing–forget this velvet designer crap, I’m wearing my underwear next time! The opera was pretty stunning, with a rotating stage consisting mainly of an S-shaped ramp with a detachable snow-covering which hovered a few feet over it in the winter scene. On either side of the stage was a 3-level open tower, out of the second floor of one a blue angel with one wing appeared cantilevered over the stage below.

Last night I saw Godard’s new film, In Praise of Love, which I can’t honestly say I liked or not. I and the audience (all 5 of us) slept through half of it. I think I’d like to see it again, for what I did see seemed intriguing–a film about a director making a film about the four stages of love, and the obstacles that frustrate creativity. The first half was black and white, and looked exactly like a new wave film from the early 60’s, but not self-consciously. The second half was filmed in digital video, but that’s where I got lost in slumberland, so not much else to say about it. There did seem to be no joy, and a lot of anti-American sentiment which, while a necessary plot device, left me feeling slightly battered.

His Contempt is still one of my favorite films.

Today at work I set up an e-mail account for my boss’ friend, who is traveling to Bali next week for a month. She runs a travel service offering scuba tours of Indonesia. She’s currently her only client. She and the boss have property in Panama and are planning on building a house together. Their joint ventures remind me of Bob’s parents’ 2 big investments; Israeli oil and California City. After his parents’ Israeli oil stock became worthless, it was discovered that their property in California City couldn’t be developed because of the desert tortoise.

Yesterday I got my hair cut by the same barber who sexually harassed me a few haircuts ago. (Little Dave calls him “Big Red.”) He’s purchased the shop down the street from me and is going to make it into the haircutting equivalent of the Starbucks on 18th Street. A bear barbershop. His demeanor was disappointingly subdued, but he did shave my neck with a straight razor. Hot!

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