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Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and With a Paintbrush Sticking Out of His Ass

So yesterday The Unknown Playwright visited Manhattan to bid adieu to his old pal Stu Goodman. Stu produced the GM Mark of Excellence production of my play "Avenue Z Afternoon" back in the '90s. He's done lots more, of course, including exec producing the A&E series "Manhunters." Stu and his wife Shelley are moving to South Florida.

Stu and I figured it out yesterday over lunch that we have been friends for almost 30 of the 40 years he lived in the Upper West Side apartment he's now giving up. The end of an era,. He'll be back, for sure and often. He's producing an Off Broadway children's musical.

After lunch The Unknown Playwright jumped on the 2 train and went down to Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park and sat in on a Think Tank meeting about the goals / demands of the OWS movement. I put forth the idea that the 1% basically lives off the debt of the 99% and that eliminating / forgiving all debt everywhere, and declaring a hiatus / moratorium on all lending and borrowing for one year would completely change the social dynamic. The stranglehold of the 1 % would be broken.

My remarks included the idea that, while the greed meisters of Wall St will tell you that America has been nothing but a business / corporate proposition since the Hudson Bay company, the fact is that America started in Philadelphia -- a city founded the the principles of tolerance and  brotherly love.

After that I headed to the East Village, where cartographer and frequent photographic contributor Mike Anton opened his home to me to put up my feet for awhile. Then the lovely Giselle, Anton, and The Unknown Playwright all headed to the Gershwin Hotel at 7 East 27th St and Fifth Ave (right next door to the Museum of Sex)..

Suzanne Tremblay, owner of the Gershwin Hotel, has become the de facto den mother for what's left of the avant-garde in NYC. Yesterday evening the soiree was a celebration of the artist and Factory veteran Neke Carson, who runs the Tuesday evening cabaret series at the Gershwin, and his 2 brothers -- screenwriter Kit Carson  (Paris, Texas) and shaman, song writer, 1992 Presidential candidate on the platform "We want our money back" and now novelist (Shallow Graves) Reverend Goat Carson (you'd think that since he ran for President and got 100,000 votes, Wikipedia would have a page on the guy). The three Carson brothers came to New York from Texas in the early 1970s.

In the performance art lounge of the Gershwin lobby, where Uke Jackson and the Ginseng Roots Band  held their first public concert almost a year ago, there was a movie showing of Andy Warhol watching Neke painting over a pencil drawing of Andy. It was remarkable in that Neke was painting with a paintbrush that was sticking out of his.ass. This led the playwright Bob Heide to quip to me "After that, the avant-garde became the rear guard."

(On a side note, Michael Karp, the ONLY paying customer from that first appearance of The Unknown Playwright with the Ginseng Roots Band last year, was also at last night's soiree.)

There was also a short video documentary in which the three guests of honor were interviewed. Suzanne Tremblay produced it and it was very well done and shined a light on what the evening was all about -- that paintbrush (just kidding!)

I bought a copy of Shallow Graves from the Rev and am already half way through it. Sometime this weekend I will post my comments.

Bob Heide introduced me to his good friend the Countess Olivera and she was charming, and she promised to read my books (which adds all sorts of charm to anyone who tells me that; though the Countess certainly has charms in her own right.

And, since a contributing photographer was there, here are the snaps. (Thanks again, Mike Anton!):

 Rev. Goat Carson signs  The Unknown Playwright's copy of 
Shallow Graves 
The Countess Olivera is seated in the background.

Playwright Robert Heide and Uke Jackson
with the Countess Olivera in the bg. 

 Goat and the Uke, with Goat's novel
Shallow Graves

Countess Olivera and Bob Heide

(l. to r) Goat Carson, The Unknown Playwright, Robert Heide,
and Neke Carson (without the paintbrush but ever brilliant)

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