Saving Madonna


Dear Madonna,

I have been a fan since the beginning of your career, since The Virgin Tour, but this is the first time I am writing to you. You haven’t needed my help until now. As a gay man in his mid-forties, there are only a couple things bigger in entertainment than the Madonna brand you have created—Barbra Streisand and the Broadway stage. This week you pooped on one of those things, and thankfully Babs was not your toilet, or I really would fear for you. The Streisand is very powerful.

This open letter was initially intended as a defense for you. I was at Coachella. I saw you kiss Drake, and saw the repercussions — the blatant ageism streaming out of the media. I didn’t like it one bit. Your act hasn’t changed, and you are still an amazing performer doing fantastic work. You are still a vibrant sexual being, and if the kids don’t like it, then F them. In fact, you have done just that to many young men, and I say keep up the good work. Older male stars have been paired up with young ingénues for years, and nobody seems to care, but there is a double standard for women. That is just not fair.

Then, this week you attended a performance of the musical Hamilton on Broadway and texted during the entire performance. Oh, hell no. Like I said, there are things bigger than you, and the Broadway stage is one of them. Regular people have to pay a lot of hard earned money to attend shows, and nobody gets the right to ruin their experiences. I would think a performer of your stature would respect any person on any stage, and I am very disappointed in you.

You call yourself an artist. An artist holds a mirror up for society to see their reflection and learn something or be moved. You are too busy looking in the black mirror at yourself. That is called an egomaniac. Please note that I’m taking the time to write, because I believe there is still hope for you. Kanye is not getting a letter.

First, you need to publicly apologize to Lin-Manuel Miranda, the cast and crew of Hamilton, and everyone in attendance. This will be difficult for you, because you think an apology shows weakness and have learned long ago to not apologize for your art. You never should apologize for your art, but you need to apologize for your bad behavior. You are not some Midwest tourist who never attends theater and doesn’t know better. You are an internationally traveled adult. Also, to be clear, do not post pictures of Margret Thatcher, give explanations and excuses, or deny that you did it. Social media is a two way street and we saw you. America loves a mea culpa, and Broadway deserves an apology.

Next, you need to put down the phone. You actually have people that can hold that for you, or, you know, get a purse. If you watch and listen to the people around you, you will be a better human, and thusly a better artist. I know you’ll do the right thing, so don’t disappoint me. We’re ready to forgive you and move on to dancing. Thank you for the music, and you’re welcome for the advice.



Let’s pick up where we left off with a couple of movie reviews. We went to the opening night of Skyfall and it was really, really fun. As far as the Daniel Craig trilogy of films, this one is better than the last, but not nearly as good as Casino Royale. I loved Javier Bardem as the villain, but the plot had a lot of big holes in it (with trains crashing through them), even for a James Bond movie.

This weekend Albert and I went to see Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley. It is directed by Joe Wright, who also did Atonement, which I loved, so I was curious about this. The movie is absolutely gorgeous and completely original. He sets most of the story inside a beautiful old theater and choreographs the entire film. It’s like a painting, a ballet and a play, all rolled into a film. I loved it, and predict it will be nominated for a whole bunch of golden statues. If you enjoy period piece dramas, and Anna Karenina herself is Drama with a capitol D, see this one on the big screen, because the costumes and sets are stunning.

Oh, what else is going on? Um, our new kitten broke itself. We’ve only had him a month and he’s already broken. Albert woke up on Friday morning and the cat wasn’t running around like a complete maniac, per usual. Then Albert woke me up in a complete panic, because he felt something protruding from Max’s chest, and the cat whined if he tried to pick him up. Albert suspected it was an alien. The cat was purring unless you picked him up, so we considered just not picking him up. Deciding that would make us unfit parents, I took him to the vet. They took x-rays and found that somehow the cat managed to dislocate his sternum. The bottom piece of it was bending out instead of in, because the kitten leaps around like a drunken gazelle and must have rammed itself into furniture or a wall.

We were supposed to spend the weekend in Palm Springs, instead of feeding Max droppers of pain medication, which the vet informed me has street value. My friends get drunk in the desert, my kitten gets high, and I get to watch a film from late 1800’s Russian literature. What’s happening? Damn cat.

I have one other thing to tell you about, and that would be one perfect night at the Hollywood Bowl. Ladies and gentlemen, Barbra Streisand. Last Sunday, Albert and I went to the final night of her tour, and it was completely awesome. She sounded great, looked like butta’, and actually seemed to be having a really good time. Obama had just won the election on Tuesday night, and hearing Barbra sing “Happy Days Are Here Again” was icing on the cake.

To watch a concert compilation video that Albert made, click the link below:

A Kitten!

I am typing this with a new bundle of love on my lap. Introducing our new kitten—Max Von Holstein. Albert and I went to a couple different shelters looking to adopt a new friend for The Rat. We were initially choosing by appearance, and I was looking for a tabby, which we haven’t had before. Well, when we met Max, who is a few months older than what we were looking for and NOT a tabby, he made it clear we were to take him home. He jumped into both of our arms and immediately started purring. When we left the room and watched through the glass, he was the only kitten loudly meowing at the door for us to come back and get him. We did.

Of course, two days later he has a kennel cold and we already had to bring him to the vet. He’s on antibiotics and is doing fine, sleeping on my lap. Max is adorable and The Rat is not happy that a new cat is in the house. We’re trying to slowly work them into being friends but the fatty Ratty is currently afraid of the seven pound, sneezing ball of fur.

Just when you didn’t think this blog entry could get any gayer than Albert and I adopting a kitten, let me share a story. I recently purchased an album on, not knowing that Albert had converted us to their cloud system. Because of this, I could not download the album that I had just purchased to our computer. Apparently only one of us can be considered the owner of the computer, which is bullshit.

I called Amazon and went off on the customer service lady. “What do you mean, we can’t share the same computer? We’re domestic partners!”

“Sir, there can only be one person allocated to a machine, not two.”

“So, if we were married we couldn’t share the same computer?” I inquired, assuming this was the case.

“No Sir, only one person per machine is the new policy.”

“Oh, can you refund my last album purchase then, if I can’t access it?”

“Yes, of course, what is the album?”

“Um, Barbra Streisand’s Release Me.”

“Yes, we will refund your money and remove Barbra Streisand from your cloud.” As she was responding, I was thinking that might win the award for the gayest conversation of her day.

Completely unrelated, thank you to Russ and Sven for throwing an excellent Octoberfest party on Saturday afternoon. We also went to a haunted mansion on Saturday night in West Adams, which was very fun. It was called Delusion: The Blood Rite, and Neil Patrick Harris was one of the producers. It was a theatrical show with creepy actors taking you on a dilapidated house tour with cinematic special effects.

Also completely unrelated, I worked out at Gold’s Gym yesterday next to Will Ferrell. He was sporting a mustache, so I have a feeling Anchorman Ron Burgundy is coming back to the screen sometime soon.