Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Money, power, and silence

Anyone who works in media in any capacity keeps secrets.

Most of them are harmless: the vegetarian who eats bacon, the studio exec with an 8th grade education, the erudite gangster rapper.

But some people do very, very bad things and get away with it. For years.

Because they’re powerful. Because they’re rich. Because if you dare challenge them they’ll litigate you into a special kind of hell from which you will never re-emerge.

Even if you do win, you’ll be demonized by the unwashed internet masses because how dare you speak ill of Mr (or Ms.) Perfect? They make great media!

Since he’s Canadian, you’ve probably never heard of him, but Jian Ghomeshi is rich, powerful, beloved, and an alleged serial date-beater.

The accusations span a decade, and the women in his media circles have been warning each other to stay away for about that length of time.

But no one went to the police, because apparently the police in Canada aren’t any better at dealing with this sort of thing than the police here in Los Angeles, where they warehoused rape kits for years.

And that’s women who were assaulted by the hoi palloi, not the rich and powerful.

Here in our little Southern California media community, there is at least one serial rapist – not a sad sack who confuses BDSM and battery, an actual rapist – who has been at it for at least 8 years. Maybe longer.

No one that I know of has gone to the police because this person is very, very powerful and, well, that’s why. Even those who are raped by poor people face victim blaming, accusations of being liars and whores who secretly wanted it, etc..

Imagine how that gets magnified when one’s claim involves part of the city’s economic elite, or very, very famous.

Is it any wonder that we just quietly warn each other to stay away from Mr. (or Ms.) Nightmare?

Glances get exchanged, texts get sent, private messages fly around – stay away.

But it’s not a perfect system. Some don’t get the warning. And they have to suffer through the cycle of shame, anger, grief, guilt.

And said abuser walks free.

Because the abuser is above the law. And will likely never face the consequences.

And one could lose faith in the human race, except that Jian Ghomeshi is, finally,  facing some (admittedly mild so far) consequences.

It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing, right?

 

P.S. For fuck’s sake – no comment guesses at any names, even if you know who it is. I can’t afford that kind of lawyer.

 

 

Filed under: dating, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, Off-Topic, rants, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

The most painful time of year

Once again, it’s the tail end of the ‘dry season’, and my savings haven’t quite managed to stretch (mostly due to some car issues), so I turned to the Motion Picture and Television Fund for an emergency grant so I can pay my rent and, you know,  maintain a place to live.

The times I’ve had to use this option in the past, the Fund have been wonderful and compassionate, but this time I guess they’re dealing with more folks in trouble, because there’s very little compassion (or basic politeness) to be found.

The intake person cheerfully suggested I contact homeless shelters in case I got turned down for a grant (after asking if I had ‘any friends who would give me money’),  and the social worker, in the initial phone call, sternly reminded me of all that I’ve ‘taken from’ the fund in the past and that he’d have to ‘carefully consider’ if the fund wanted to give me any more help.

Great job guys. Way to make me feel like less of a piece of crap. Appreciate it.

I’m fairly certain they’re going to turn me down this time – just a hunch, mind you.

With work not due to start up for a couple of more weeks (my work texts have yielded nothing but other people looking for work, too), I’m starting to go into panic mode.

Unemployment have been waiting as long as possible to pay out claims (although a friend who was having trouble with them last year says they’re being great this year – guess I’m just in the group they’re picking on this time), I may have to pay my landlord in two (or three) installments.

I hate doing this. I hate even having to think about doing this.

The last thing I want is for the guy who owns the building to start thinking I’m not good for the rent. That can’t go anywhere good.

Hopefully work will surprise me and pick up early.  Work needs to pick up early.

Just not to end on such a maudlin tone, I have good news and an informal poll:

 

First, the good news – I may be just about destitute but at least I’ve got a date. Another broke deadbeat whom I met at one of LA’s  numerous free movie screenings. Hooray me!

Also, I’ve been invited to a friend’s birthday party, then informed that I’ll be expected to pay about $70 ‘to help defray costs’. Times are tough all over, but my initial inclination is to be offended about this.

What do you think?

Filed under: dating, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, overspending

Who, me?

LAist, in a clearly misguided attempt to maintain some stylistic consistency, a modicum of professionalism, and minimize lawsuits, tend to edit the holy hell out of everything I write for them. Therefore, a much shorter (and less offensive) version of this is on their site, but here, for you, is the full piece:

Enjoy!

Friday night, as the cool kids gathered at the sold out Pixies show in Hollywood, I set out for Beverly Hills on a solitary mission – to attend, survive and report back from the Los Angeles Cougar Convention, held at the badly ageing Crowne Plaza Hotel.

I suppose it made perfect sense to send me wandering into the maelstrom – I am, after all, a ‘woman of a certain age’ with a crazed look in my eye, a credit card with enough space to run up a bar tab and a hotel room (if necessary), and, most importantly, no Pixies tickets.

With a purse full of roofies and cheap gin (mother always said to be prepared), I arrived at the event, checked in as press and was introduced to the event’s organizer, a genial fellow who informed me that the organization behind the event is actually a non-profit educational group (no, really) dedicated to enabling women who enjoy dating guys younger than their own children and the men who love them. I then strolled into the ballroom and was charged by the attending press who smelled a victim, until I informed them that I was also press. They then lost interest in me and clustered around the vendor who was demonstrating personal massagers on her friend.

I’d arrived before the official start time of the event in order to sit in on what was billed as the first-ever ‘cougar school’, which was really a short talk by Lucia (no last name), a local radio personality and author who apparently specializes in the older woman/ younger man dynamic (and is dating her personal trainer who happens to be 12 years her junior). Lucia (no last name) is a very attractive woman who refused to state her age and advised the other ladies not to do so, either, gave some generalized advice such as “let him pay so he can feel like a man” and “don’t get too friendly with his mother”.

Too bad there were far more press there than attendees, although I’m sure we all learned something. In case you were wondering, according to Lucia, the term ‘cougar’ was coined by a player on Vancouver’s hockey team, who started calling the older single women who came to the games cougars. The press present raised our eyebrows in disbelief at anyone in Canada setting any kind of trend, but I suppose it’s possible.

Also according to Lucia, to qualify as a cougar a woman must be at least 40 years old and exclusively date men at least 10 years younger than herself. The rest of you ladies are out of luck and just getting your freak on like everyone else.

The event started with a ‘speed-dating’ type mixer, followed by a keynote address by Lucia (no last name) who for some reason kept quoting Karl Marx, and the cougar-themed “comedy” stylings of Unique Monique, and then a dancing and drinking at the cash bar.

Note to event organizers: Wonder why your event keeps getting press hatchet jobs? It’s the cash bar. Never, ever make any media representative pay for drinks. Trust me on this one.

Although many of the guys there declared that they did indeed find older women attractive, many of them, when questioned, admitted that they were interested in meeting any lady, not just an older one, and had primarily shown up out of curiosity. Most of the ladies there would only admit to being curious about the event. One guy told me he was planning on organizing a competing event and was just there to scope it out.

The structured events were really enjoyable (despite photographers circling like vultures), but as soon as the party went into lights out and dance mode, things came to a grinding halt – groups of guys talking to one another and stealing furtive glances at the ladies, and the ladies sipping twee cocktails and giggling. And, of course, one couple who decided to waste no time and were making out in the corner. Just like high school, only many of us are middle-aged. And they keep asking me why I won’t go to any reunions.

Despite the event’s organizer telling me about the non-profit status and greater good mission, when I asked his wife (who was taking the money) if all the events were so loaded with men (about a 4:1 ratio, which made a good night for the ladies), she snapped at me to not ask her those questions as I might cost her ‘customers’.

Thusly chastised, I scurried back to the safety of the press crowd around the bar, where I was then cornered by a very, very tan man who wanted to tell me about the dating site he runs where I could meet a ‘nice fella’. I decided against explaining to him why this was a fundamentally bad idea and excused myself.

As the dance music upstairs grew increasingly lame (or so I’m told) and attendees ran out of cash, the party moved down to the hotel’s lobby bar where I was camped out in a futile attempt to log onto the wireless to post my story.

It’s amazing how quickly one forgets about the internet when one is drinking heavily surrounded by twentysomething guys who think older women are ‘super hot, dude’.

By the time I left, I’d collected a dozen phone numbers. Just for the sake of a story, mind you.

Filed under: dating, life in LA, Non-Work, Off-Topic

Best week ever! So far.

It’s fall in Los Angeles, which means that the weather is truly glorious right now – it’s warm but not hot, the sky is blue and filled with fluffy white clouds, the air is relatively clean and the few trees that do change colors are busily doing so.  It’s been so gorgeous outside that I haven’t even been freaking out about my inability to scare up any work for this week. I’ve just been riding my bike and enjoying the all too fleeting Southern California fall.

Also, on Saturday my noisy upstairs neighbors moved out. At 6 am.  When the other neighbor and I went upstairs to have a look to make sure our dreams were coming true and they were really gone, we discovered that they’d taken the bathroom sink with them. Pulled it right off the wall. Of all the things to take with you when you move – the sink? They’d have been better off to take the stove.  It’s an O’Keefe and Merritt from the 50’s and would buy one infinitely more crack (or whatever they’re buying) than a cheapo cabinet sink from a big-box hardware store.

I’m just very glad they’re gone. It’s so lovely to be able to sleep once again.

On both Monday and Tuesday the pool was empty while I was swimming (but filled up right as I got out),  and I had a date which went so well I ended up doing the walk of shame the next morning. Actually, it was more like the walk of the cat that just ate the canary and was desperately trying to find someone to high-five, but hey.

Today, I got the phone call from the doctor informing me that the biopsy turned up negative, which is a huge load off my mind.

It’s only Wednesday. Can this week possibly get any better?

Filed under: dating, Non-Work, Work

Attention single ladies of Los Angeles!

Want to nab yourself a man in that coveted 18 to thirtysomething demographic?

Well, hurry on down to the Arclight in Hollywood where you’ll find a whole bunch of fine upstanding young gentlemen taking photos with the Transformers cars.

Self-portrait with

You’d better move quickly, though, ladies. Soon, the cars will go away and the guys will go back home and fire up the Xbox – and then who knows when they’ll leave the house again?

More Transformers photo ops

Get one while you can!

Filed under: dating, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, Photos, , , , , , ,

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