Ryan Murphy (and “Pose”) Redux

  There was an incredible story in “The New Yorker” about Ryan Murphy. I’m super stoked about his upcoming show on FX, “Pose.” When I behold his work, whether it was the compassionate view of a person with a personality disorder in “American Crime Story: Versace” or Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark in “‘The People vs O.J. Simpson,” and for me it began with the show “Nip Tuck” about two plastic surgeons in love with the same woman…I can rest easy when I think of Ryan. I can put down the cudgel, the heavy gavel I hold.

 

Ahh. I’ll relax and let Mr. Murphy speak for the marginalized. He is soooo good at that. And his workforce is 50-50 diverse….and also…it didn’t come easy for him. In his early career, not everyone ‘got’ him. Some people made fun of him. He’s even produced pilots that didn’t get picked up by that network, for someone like him, that’s like someone rejecting YOU.

In other entertainment news, Julia Roberts elder brother, Eric, I learned has been in 700 movies. He does a ton of Russian movies. Also Lifetime movies. and “Queen Sugar” is back on OWN. Oprah and Ava again!

Jogging my memory re “Prozac Poopout” and other antidepressants I’ve tried

So, I’m writing this book “Heroine Chick: How I went from Sick and Side Affected to Becoming my own Personal Paramedic.” It’s about the Twin Freaks in my life, “Prozac Poopout” (antidepressant fatigue with several of them, not just Prozac) and Tardive Dyskinesia. During the three years when TD was uncontrolled, untreated, time, I had a couple more of these “Prozac Poopouts,” a term unkind to Eli Lilly’s product, who just happened to be the first SSRI on the scene, therefore, the first to “Poop Out.” I’ve had all sorts of antidepressant therapy over the last 30 years of bipolar, but recently, I got ahold of some old pharmacy receipts. My trip down RX memory lane reminded me of something I don’t remember: At one point, I’d been on Cymbalta. I don’t remember that!!!! I only filled the prescription 2x so it must not have worked for me. Also, I tried a Tricyclic, another type of antidepressant I’d forgotten that I’d tried. Only filled that script once, so it must not have worked well either.

The Silver Lining of it all:

For all my problems  with antidepressants only lasting for a fixed periods of time, I am grateful for some of the newer mood boosters. When one stops working, we switch to another, and some of the latest innovations dig me out in four days or less, not four to eight weeks. One time I was depressed for an entire year straight. Anyone relate to that?

Where Weinstein Went

When movie stars and other luminaries collapse under the weight of their collective compulsions and hubris, they usually head for Tucson, Arizona’s “Canyon Ranch,” which sounds more like spa than rehab. But there’s this part of Arizona an hour away from Phoenix called Wickenbug. It’s like Minnesota…it’s rehab central. This one company has about five of them, including a rehab program for codependency!  I know this because I went to one of their facilities for eating disorders, a place called “Rosewood Ranch.” But this is not about me. It’s about Harvey. He went to a sex addiction place called “Gentle Path” that’s got  such a tight, punitive 12-step curriculum, it’s gained the name “Brutal Path.” Apparently, one of the daily groups is about how certain behaviors injured others. Ouch! Anyway, Harvey bailed or got kicked out and he’s now in the symbolic location of self re-invention, Scottsdale, which is outside, but part and parcel of Phoenix, Arizona.

I loved Phoenix. I lived there from 1991-1999 and worked at their first FM alternative station, “The Edge,” and later, with Jonathan L at “The Q.” We played stuff nobody else would touch, like Diamanda Galas, James Murdoch’s label’s Plastiq and all sorts of punk and indie rock. We were so free back then. If there’s anywhere Harvey can self resurrect, it’s Scottsdale, although I read that he’s not been treated too kindly of late by his new neighbors, who regard him with expressions of scorn. I wonder if this is true. #metoo

 

Loudass Punk Rock at 8am

   

The Sex Pistols

I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I found myself as a disc jockey at radio stations that played this defiant, D.I.Y. kind of music. I ‘fell’ into this career because I sold advertising at a small radio station (a great place to get a start) and they thought I had a good voice. Talk about going in through the ‘back door.’  Like writing, this is a field full of rejection and plenty of hungry kids willing to do the same job for free. My boss got hundreds of tapes and resumees a week from wannabees. So I established myself as a music critic and learned the computer programming to be a music director. I figured I’d ‘age out’ later. I ended up aged out at 40 and on a blacklist.

I’m listening to it, and The Pixies right now. Try doing that when you’re in a tentative mood state. I think it plays real well.

Right now I’m in author neurosis. Is my title too gross? Should I call the ‘such and such for dummies’ person? How humiliating!

Last night I perused the entire “Writer’s Market” for small, academic presses. Under the categories ‘Health and Medicine,’ nowhere did I see a real opening for “Tardive Dyskinesia.” But what if it becomes a ‘thang’ (our population rose by 600k in the last six months) and I didn’t bother to write my book? Bottom line? Do what you enjoy.

But what if you enjoy torturing yourself?

Words of the Weak

Heard in a critique of Hbo series “Vinyl”  “Pastiche” Art that imitates other art. It’s a criticism, saying something is a poor imitation, cheesy or unoriginal.

“Abstruse” Heard in context of presidential campaign means difficult to understand.

“Siphyphean” (heard in context of a critique of the new season of ‘Veep’)  This comes from a Greek story about someone who was sentenced to rolling a big heavy rock up a mountain only to watch it roll down again and again for eternity. In this context the character Julia Louis-Dreyfussj plays always wants power and the presidency, gets really close to it, but never actually has it in her grasp.

“Opprobrium” (heard in the context of an article about disgraced politician Sheldon Silver NY) that it is a harsh, clinging, criticism. They compared it to cat hair on a black coat that won’t come off.

How is this relevant? Studies show l

Vinyl…I knew the news was bad, but not that bad…Personnel changes included in the carnage

cannavale

Ok, this is NOT a picture of Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, in Vinyl, a show about a record company executive struggling to stay solvent ande relevant in a rapidly evolving punk rock scene in 1970’s NYC. \

(This photo is from Boardwalk Empire when he played “Gyp Rosetti,’ a violent Sicilian newcomer to the Atlantic City Bootlegging game run by Nucky Thompson…played by Steve Buscemi-I just like this  Bobby Cannavale photo better, plus I have a soft spot for gangsters).

Both shows had Terence Winter at the helm, who also was behind HBO’s breakthrough “The Sopranos.”  I knew from the silence there was a problem with ratings for their new show, “Vinyl.’ I just didn’t think it had come to personnel changes. But it has.

Veteran show runner Terence Winter has either been fired or stepped down on his own. Someone new has been hired. I don’t care who.

The show is great. It’s just not ‘formulaed up’ as per what makes a ratings winner. It’s not all tight and ‘pat,’ like “The Good Wife,” “Scandal” or “Madam Secretary.” And you probably can’t change that.   First of all,  Cannavale’s character is hard to root for as he more than sows the seeds of his own destruction (before you get into the collateral damage of his wife,  kids, co-workers he’s taking down with him and musicians on his roster.

And the deal with the cocaine and booze….watching him relapse…I relate and I remember. I  had a huge problem with cocaine and by the time I started ‘quitting’ and relapsing…a process that took ten years and involved many separate ‘years’ of clean time….it just wasn’t fun anymore. I was paranoid all the time and still couldn’t stop for good. Despite the legal problems, constant paranoia and eventual loss of a driver’s license. Time to leave LA.

Cannavale’s character in Vinyl, is still having a blast every time he has one.

We like him, but we don’t totally root for him. Cannavale is doing a great job, but when you’re aiming for gritty realism and a sense of verite, which I think the producers are/were, you can’t always make a show ratings happy.

 

So, it’s not good enough to have a realistic, credible, disturbing good time. You gotta put pressure on ’em to come up with a ratings winner too? This ruins everything. Apparently, at the network,  a good time is NOT being had by all, Mick Jagger and Martin Scorcese included.