Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Milk" Video Art 1976

For a limited time you can watch "Milk" on Tom Sherman's Vimeo page.

Video Still "Milk" 1976 10.15 b/w

Here's the link. Check it out: Milk

Diane Spodarek: "I first made video art in the MFA program at at Eastern Michigan University from 1973-1975. Using a Sony PortaPak I made black and white videos using myself in autobiographical 'stories.' After graduation and the birth of my daughter, Dana, I continued to work independently making solo video art works that became part of the early video art of the 70's.

One of the best is "Milk" (1976, 10 min, b/w) Description: While expressing my own breast milk into a glass I reflected on society’s attitudes toward breast-feeding in public and my husband’s reaction to the milk in his coffee. This tape was censored from many exhibitions at the time following public reaction - in particular death threats from patrons at The Detroit Institute of Arts exhibition "New Video and Performance Art in Detroit" in 1978."

Digital copy made from 1/2" VHS dub, March 13, 2015; digitized by Tom Sherman.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Update Hearing 3-11 for Prezidor Probini on the tragedy of killing Guler Ugur 12-31

Today was a hearing for Preizdor Probini for which the DA's office had informed anyone who inquired that nothing would happen, that there would be no plea deal, that it was not necessary for anyone to attend because it was a simple postponement for an actual court date.

But something did happen. The fact that "friends of Guler Ugur" attended resulted in an article in the new york press.

This proves that if you stand up for those you love, if you let the courts know that someone's life matters, like Guler's did to so many people, something happens. In this case, more press. Why is this man's attorney saying that it is a simple interpretation of the law, the fact that he was entering an intersection on a green light and that IF he had stopped he would not have been charged with a crime. Why is anyone treating this as an accident? It is not an accident.

When Probini killed Guler he: 1. was driving with a "suspended license" 2. was illegally passing on the right; 3. was speeding (proved by the fact that when he hit Guler she flew 80 feet); and 4. was driving his mother's car (what is her liability?)
and what about these facts:
  • Probini had two previous felonies prending: He punched his girlfriend in the stomach when she was pregnant and choked her until she could not breath
  • He had a previous felony charge of armed robbery (this makes two previous felonies that involved him threatening others' lives.)
This was no accident. It was a preventable tragedy.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Guler Ugur update info

Correction (?)

I have been sent an email from someone who attended a meeting in the DA's office about the charges against Prezidor Probini who killed Guler Ugur. Apparently, Probini turned himself in earlier than the press reported including "The New York Times." There is also speculation about a previous felony charge of "armed robbery."

In my earlier post I did not publish the link to the court documents that I read that stated Probini had two previous felonies pending against him including "armed robbery." This is unfortunate because now these sites no longer carry "free" content.  I will continue to check. The March 11th hearing will determine what charges will be made against Probini based on "evidence." There is no mistake that Probini killed Guler Ugur. His whereabouts before and after constitute evidence.

I am not a believer in "internet" info. How often do we hear people say "I read it on the internet," but don't know and/or cannot site the source. One third of all internet content is inaccurate, (James Fallows, international writer for The Atlantic, did the research). Most of my blog is simple writings about personal experience. When I write about "other" information that I find interesting or hurtful to people or the environment, I like to share it and usually provide a link. The story about the death of my friend however, makes me realize that even court documents that are previously published as "public info" can disappear.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

February 2015 - Birthday - Drinking - Florida - Guler

 I missed the opportunity to post during the month of February (due to a very long flu illness) and now it is March 1st. February, my daughter's birthday month (as well as my own). We always celebrate with a birthday dinner. This year, we went to the restaurant on the corner of Washington and Bethune, only a half block from our front door. Above affordability, it is a once a year treat.  And it was the first time I have had a drink (red wine) with my daughter because I quit drinking 18 years ago. Now, after realizing getting drunk is just as over-rated as sobriety, I enjoy drinking again. Friends ask: "What is it like to drink after 18 years?" Simply, it's okay. Obsessing about not drinking was actually more harmful - for me - than now that I'm drinking occasionally. (But I did write a good show: "The Drunk Monologues.")
Here's one of Guler's favorite photos she took from my show at the NY Fringe performance:

Photo by Guler Ugur from "The Drunk Monologues" (As a pigeon from "The Ugly White Building" monolouge.)

I have been sad about Guler's death. I was in Florida when I heard about the man who killed her in his mother's car, while he was on bail for two previous felonies. This is the part I can't get over. It was no accident. Everyone calls it an accident. No, it wasn't. An accident - by definition - has unknown causes. If a two-time felon drives without a license in a borrowed car, (and illegally passes on the right and is speeding), all the causes of the unfortunate event are known and preventable. I flew back to NYC from Florida  for the memorial but got the flu and was in bed for days and unable to go out for weeks.

 I was helping my parents out in Florida, a place that is very alien to me after being in New York. There, people throw out racist and anti-Obama comments as often as they talk about the weather.  In this mix my parents - who voted for Obama - said they keep their political beliefs to themselves because the vitriol from the senior set is extreme.  My mother, who has dementia, however, says everyone she knows in Florida are Republicans because they want to pretend they are rich despite their working class backgrounds. My parents, 92 and 87 are living together in different ways.  My father plays tennis every other day and my mother struggles to put words together to communicate what she thinks and feels.

There is a hearing for Prezidor Probini on March 11th. There and then perhaps some justice will begin for Guler Ugur.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Guler Ugur extraordinary Photographer killed by Prezidor Porbeni

Guler Ugur in red at Harriman State Park, 2014

Guler Ugur was my friend, one of the most extraordinary women I knew. Full of spirit and talent, she always brought me flowers when we met. The last was a single large yellow sunflower. Her memorial will be at the Tribeca Synogogue for the Arts February 8th.

Guler Ugur was killed by Prezidor Porbeni, who fled the scene after hitting her in his mother’s SUV on December 31, 2014 at 6 pm. Guler was crossing 113th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on her way to St. John Divine for the annual New Year’s eve concert. He was driving with a suspended license, illegally passing on the right and speeding. When he hit Guler she was thrown 80 feet and declared  dead at St. Luke’s on the same block.

Porbeni turned himself in (ten days later with his lawyer), only after the SUV he was driving was posted on the Internet for five days. Porbeni is 28-years-old and has a criminal history including two pending felony cases: an armed robbery and a separate crime of beating and punching his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach and choking her until she couldn’t breath. (Source from police reports filed on court website.) When he turned himself in, he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident in a fatality and driving with a suspended license. (As of this date there is no further information on his case.)

In a police report I read that Porbeni said he left the scene because he was scared. This is pathetic. Before he killed Guler he was free to live his life despite two pending felony cases.  Should his mother be charged as well? Is it a crime to give your car to someone with a suspended license?

Guler was a beautiful woman. Her personal life is as extraordinary as her professional life.  Born in Turkey to Muslim parents, she was the oldest of eight. Her family moved to Germany where, (she told me), after years of sexually abusing her, her father sold her into marriage when she was 12 or 13. She ran away and was placed in foster care, where her foster parents kept her home from school and used her as a domestic slave.  Running away again, she was able to eventually grow up away from adults who were supposed to protect her. She came to New York as a very young photographer and I met her in my job as an immigration paralegal and was able to help her obtain a working visa as an extraordinary photographer.  She supported herself (and others) with her successful career and converted to Judaism. She was more than a friend, she also photographed my gigs and head shots for many years.

More recently, before it got too cold I went hiking with Guler twice. Days before she was killed, we spoke on the phone. She was happy. We made plans to spend some time in Florida. Her death was so sudden. It is impossible to understand the senselessness of it. I often think of the absurdity of the press calling her death an accident. In this case, there is no accident, but there is the law of cause and effect. 

In the law of cause and effect, Guler would be alive today if it wasn’t for Probini's previous criminal activity and his actions moments before he killed Guler. Shouldn’t he be charged with manslaughter? He didn’t have a license, he passed on the right, and he had to be speeding for her to be thrown 80 feet. He shouldn’t have been driving period. And why was he even free with two pending felonies? Who paid for his bail? If you drive with a suspended license and you kill someone, - and flee the scene - (can't help but wonder what or who was in his car when it happened) isn't the appropriate charge manslaughter? In his two priors, he threatened the lives of others. Killing Guler is no accident. One felony. Two felonies. Now Three. This is an accident? This is a man with a history. Unless a judge can get him off the street, sadly his next crime is predictable and it will not be an accident either.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

You can stop terrorism

Want to do something about terrorism? You can! Look at this film by Kathryn Bigelow, it’s only 3 minutes:

The ivory trade is funding terrorists groups. New York is second to China in $$$ for ivory. Elephants will be extinct in only ten years. Please do not buy ivory and do not buy anything that is fake ivory because it’s not. The fact that merchants will identify that carved elephant (like all over Chinatown) as fake obviously means that NOT buying ivory will make a difference. DON’T BUY IVORY. Pass it on. Please. Humans are not the only species suffering at the hands of brutal men -- but only mankind can stop it.

An elephant disappears every 15 minutes.
also on youtube

African Elephants (free domain)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reasons to not eat turkey Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving is a good day to give thanks by respecting life.

Beautiful turkey, Ontario, Canada
ph cr: diane spodarek

Reasons to pass on turkey this year: 

300 million turkeys are killed in the US for Thanksgiving & Christmas

Baby turkeys start their lives in huge incubators

They will never see their mothers

After a few weeks they are crammed with thousands of others in massive windowless sheds

Turkeys are fed, drugged and genetically manipulated to grow as large and as quickly as possible, some so large their legs break beneath them

In 1970 the average turkey weighed 17 pounds. Today turkeys average 28 pounds.

At 5 months they are sent to the slaughterhouse

What happens at a modern slaughterhouse is so vile and disgusting I cannot write it here.

For more info:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Leslie Feinberg - My Interview with Leslie from 1996

Leslie Feinberg died November 15, 2014. Author of “Stone Butch Blues” & "Transgender Warriors," she was a gender outlaw and political activist.  I interviewed Leslie for "Downtown Magazine" in 1996 (it ceased publication in 1997) in a cafĂ© in the West Village. At the end of the interview, Minnie Bruce Pratt came into the restaurant and Leslie stood up from her chair and walked towards her as if there was nothing more important in the world than that moment. When I heard of Leslie’s death today, that 18-year old image of the two of them greeting each other in the cafe returned.

Re-reading the interview after 18 years, so much has changed -- and yet so much has remained the same. I remember Leslie fondly.
photo credit: Leslie Feinberg self-portrait in setting sun
from her website:

The interview is over 6,000 words. Here are two excerpts: 

The opening:

DS:  When I read Transgender Warriors (“Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Denis Rodman,” 1996) I could see a lot of similarities in the stories in that book and those told in the first person narrative in your novel, Stone Butch Blues.

LS:  I would say that there is nothing in Stone Butch Blues that is autobiographical but then, of course, I wrote from what I knew in terms of class relations -- what jobs realistically would be open in what period of time to someone, when those jobs would close -- things like that. But, it is completely a novel and a work of fiction and that was important to me for two reasons.  One, I made a choice to write fiction because I actually felt I would write more truth or go more to the heart of emotional truth in fiction; plus, I wanted to create a vehicle for gender theory that was accessible.  And you can’t always use your own life to do that.  You can’t draw on enough experiences, but through fiction it’s wonderfully flexible for that purpose.  Also, I found that to be true to fiction and to be fair to your characters and to your reader, you’re really going to have to allow characters to develop on their own paths, their own relationships, etc. It may sound metaphysical to someone who doesn’t create fiction, but if you’re going to create characters, you’re going to have to close your eyes and picture them and listen to them speaking instead of trying to put your own experiences into their mouths.

Excerpt from the end:

DS:  The history about transgender people, except for Joan of Arc, was new to me and the law about the three pieces of clothing, wow, I could be arrested right now!
LF:  Even if the laws are different in different places; it doesn’t have to be a three piece law on clothing for some cop to pull you over or a store detective to pick you up.
DS:  But it was a law.
LF:  There have been specific laws around the country.  They’re a masquerade.  All the pictures even from the late 60’s of drag queens and transgender people being rounded up and put in police vans, they all had some laws, masquerading, cross dressing, not wearing three pieces of women’s clothing, wearing fly-front pants, they were all gender laws.  They were all saying okay I’ve got a reason to drag you in, you don’t have the right label on your clothing.  It’s absurd but the harassment is real.
DS:  I’ve recently come across the fact that it was not only the drag queens but also the drag kings that were responsible for Stonewall.
LF:  On the front lines, yeah.  And that was true of all the years before fighting.  If you could pass in society as not being gay then you didn’t need to be all together, but if you were hunted and hounded wherever you went, you looked to find a community of people like you.  And you had no place to go except to stand and fight and so a lot heroic individual battles were fought.
DS:  And some of the women were not even in drag, they were just in what they considered comfortable.
LF:  I don’t know about a lot of other cities but in the blue collar bars women did cross dress.  I mean they wore suits and ties...
DS:  And passed.
LF:  Yes.  Whether they did or not depended on their degree of masculinity, their body type.
DS:  Sometimes not necessarily passing but preferring to wear the masculine garb.
LF:  I would say most people cross-dressed especially if it was a Friday or Saturday night.  It’s like all day long you wear crummy clothes at the factory and then you want to dress up and look nice, well what do you like to get dressed up in.
DS:  Yeah, I was cross-dressed in ‘82 in a bar on Avenue A where I had a few drinks with a male friend.  After a few beers, without thinking, I went into the women’s bathroom and three guys pounded on the door yelling, “come out you faggot.” I was scared.
LF:  Right.
(end of interview)

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Facebook's Misogyny

FB loves its misogyny. It only brings it more publicity. No shame. Do you see any nudity?

With all the scum in the world that truly hurts women, do we really need to support a corporationman who continues to sell your personal information for profit? FB creates nothing but $ for itself by your participation. Why is FB popular?  Because of its -----------misogyny? facial recognition policy? spying? marketing? selling your personal information?  

heres the BBC link on the photo/story: 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Sober Monologues or Sobriety is Over Rated

"The Sober Monologues".
Live Performance: "The Drunk Monologues" ph: Guler Ugur 

A new project - sobriety is over rated. 

After 18 years sober, it is time to test the waters. 

There are many, including those in AA who believe you cannot go back. Why not? There is the claim that if you are sober for any length of time and pick up a drink, you will be back when you hit your bottom; in other words you could never drink socially ever again - you will simply be the pathetic person you were when you quit drinking.

I have never believed that I had to give my will over to a higher power to stay sober. But I have never wanted to test it before. Here's the thing: isn't it more useful to understand the desire before the drink? Otherwise, without knowing the cause of why one chooses to get drunk, it remains unresolved.

I'm also interested in others who may have done so successfully - or not.

Comments will go through the admin (me) because without it, I get annoying spam comments about viagra and jewelry.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Finally leaving Florida and getting closer to drinking again

I'm happy to soon return to New York where the visual landscape is more than whiney people who came here from someplace else.  I have not seen a black person in 6 weeks. I am surrounded by climate change deniers and Obama haters including my parents' neighbor who thinks it's okay to tell me a joke about a paraplegic who rings a woman's doorbell with his penis.

My father is 91 and mom is 86. Every time Dad pours a glass of red wine he says "doctors orders" because his doctor told him he is in such good health that he should just keep doing what he has been doing. Someday I will join him. I miss red wine with intense longing and when I do have a glass - after 19 years of sobriety - it will not be walmart red wine. (Sorry dad, cheaper is not better.) My father also  plays tennis about four times a week.

Mom, who used to do "sit and be fit" every day, slowly lost her memory from dementia. Although now dependent on others, here she is playing jazz on the piano last week.

And here's dad doing his thing with my sister , playing doubles.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Confederate Flag Beer & Fishing at Hooters New Port Richey

My father said he wanted to go to the hoochie coochie place - the name he uses to describe Hooters - because he likes their hamburgers. We were seated at a picnic table near the river.  I took this picture while waiting over thirty minutes for our lunch.

The rest of the view included exposed butt cheeks and breasts in the all female waitstaff; mounds of fried food the same orange color as the waitstaff's panty hose; and mounds of fat bodies sitting at tables devouring the orange food. Off to the side was a play area for the children where they threw something at a target.

My parents are 92 and 86 and when my father asked me to drive him to the "hoochie coochie" place, I complied. But I was not happy. What could be more disagreeable on a beautiful sunday afternoon for this nature lover? Sitting in the shade looking at:  tits and ass, the confederate flag, fat bodies, and artery clogging food. What is in that oil that makes all the food the same color?

Minimum wage for waitstaff is $2.31, and has not changed since 1991. In addition to the low wage, these young women have to put up with objectification. Why is Hooters a family restaurant? I was embarrassed for the children and the young (male and female) adolescents who sat with their families waiting for the food with the obvious message that ass and boobs, fried food and confederate flags are normal.  The scene was ugly. And everyone around me looked hungry.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Dangerous Diane - The Rev Robert Jones - ML Liebler, Leonard  Johnson, Steve King


March 17, 2014 / 7-9:00pm
The Welcome Center
42 W. Warren Avenue at Woodward Avenue
Wayne State Campus
Detroit, MI 48202

Dangerous Diane with Band

WSU Writers: Vincent Perrone, Christine Bettis, Edward Carter, Katrina Soucy 

Also, Robert Jones and M.L. Liebler, Steve King and Leonard Johnson  
with The Detroit Legacy Session Players

PLUS  Cass Corridor Juggler-Juggler Joe

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dragnet Nation by Julia Angwin

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

by Julia Angwin

Julia Angwin did the research on our privacy and the good news is, you can wrap your phone in "tin foil" to stop tracking. The bad new is . . . it's all bad.

She is not anti technology. That is impossible, she said and she believes there is a benefit to living in a technological world. We can, however, do things so that we are less a target.

One suggestion:
Give up google and make the switch to DuckDuck.go. They do not track your searches and sell them to marketers. Something to think about.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

If it's February 16th it's my birthday Big Brother

My mother didn't remember my birthday.  Memory is no longer an option for her. We spent the day at Green Key Park in New Port Richey. She enjoyed looking at the people especially the ones with lots of tattoos, some in scooters and a drunk disabled man who overturned his scooter to the amusement of his drunk friends.  Half way into the mangrove walk we rested. My mother says few words now. She pointed to a man on a bench tucked away in the mangroves and said, “Is that a guitar?” A middle aged man was playing softly. He looked at us and nodded. I waved.

On this birthday the sunshine and anonymous guitar player was lovely and healing. I didn't mind that my mother did not know it was my birthday. What I did mind was the Google logo spelled out with birthday cakes and candles. Google knew it was my birthday? 

My google page today.
This is what we were all screaming about in our twenties, and thirties, and …. It's too late baby. Too late.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

I Was Hoping for a Woman

"I was hoping for a woman" now on SOUNDCLICK.

I wrote this song for Helen, my flatmate in Newtown, New Zealand.
She was hoping that a woman would move into the empty house next to hers. While she was away in Australia, a man moved in.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

War Memorial with Condom

Abingdon Square Park, Hudson Street, West Village. Abingdon Doughboy in honor of men who served in WWI by Sculptor Philip Martiny.

The condom hanging from the gun looks like an icicle, but its not ice.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013


A joyous and peaceful happy new year to everyone who has stumbled onto this blog.

In 2013 a grateful list:

I had work published in three anthology books.

Moved to a new apartment in Westbeth Artists' Housing - after being on the wait list for 15 years!

Visited my folks often in Florida and Canada. My parents at 91 and 86 have a good quality of life. My dad plays tennis most days and mom, even with alzheimers, enjoys nature and walking.

Last entry for 2013. I hope to post all past and present work in my own webpage: Still looking for the right host. Any recommendations?

My webpage in the literary section at Westbeth's Webpage:

Artists Page Westbeth Artists

Another reason to be a FB Virgin Or just repent

End of the Year Warning: Quit FB before it’s too late.

Do you need another reason to quit FB or are you just going to bitch about it? Because now FB is collecting what you don’t publish. If you type anything over five characters and stop to think that maybe you shouldn’t call your boss a hoe or say your ex has bad hygiene, FB has it! FB is now tracking and collecting everything you type but hesitate to publish within ten minutes. So even if you delete, FB owns you!

FB says they want to know why we self censor. They have hired a BF Skinner Frankenstein scientist to look at what everyone deletes.

I am a FB virgin. I have never had an account because FB has always lied about its selling and marketing and advertising of content and images (and IPO), which doesn’t seem to bother anyone except artists and radicals like myself who don’t want to be another pawn for corporate profit and gain.

So the next time you think you are working out your thoughts, moving around adjectives and nouns and verbs, remember, once you type it, you have ten minutes to delete it before MZ owns it.

one link: One link from Mailonline UK

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stars in the Fire Anthology

New Anthology Publication

Estrellas En El Fuego (Stars in The Fire): The Alternative New Year’s Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza 2014 Anthology, Rogue Scholars Press, NY, NY

Poem included: The Rose Bordello

Saturday, December 14, 2013

REVERIE Ultra SHort Memoirs

My monologue "Train Birth" will be published in the anthology REVERIE Ultra Short Memoirs by Telling Our Stories Press

It's a paperback & an ebook

Hooray for books! 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Snowden: pawn in right-wing conspiracy

There is a belief that Edward Snowden is part of a right wing conspiracy to take down President Obama. Something about the whole thing just doesn’t smell right, including Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer/journalist who broke the story who is now living in exile in Brazil. Are both of these Americans pawns in a bigger story? Did they sell their soul? Follow the money.
Cemetery, Key West

It was recently “leaked” that Snowden and Greenwald will received 250 million dollars from Pierre Omidyar to create an internet “general” news site.  Is Snowden a journalist? Pierre Omidyar, billionaire, was born in Paris of Iranian parents and moved to the US when he was a child. He is uneducated like Snowden and like Snowden is a whiz at computer programming. His billions come from profits from eBay, the company he founded. So, who backed him?

It was revealed in a recent NYTimes article that Omidyar intends to spend 8 billion to back general news sites with the intention of making the government more transparent and making the world a better place. I am not a journalist so I say bullshit! And Omidyar tried to keep this info SECRET?

Here’s the NYTimes article. Try not to laugh – or cry!

Short excerpt:

Pierre Omidyar: We want to do a better job bringing important investigative stories or deep human stories that tend to be overlooked to a broader audience and we can use technology to figure out how to do that. It isn’t as simple as just throwing something in their faces about an important issue. That’s just like a public service ad and will likely be ignored.
Technologists understand our users and break down how user engagement increases from somebody that maybe just tries your product once and then goes away, to a different kind of person that progressively gets more and more engaged and then becomes just totally locked into your product. That’s something people in Silicon Valley spend a ton of time analyzing, working on and thinking about.
So, it’s about consumerism. As always.

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Lucky Me" a short review of the latest mommie dearest book


“Lucky Me: My Life With - and  Without – My Mother Shirley MacLaine” by Sachi Parker.

A short review:

First, Shirley MacLaine says she's devastated about the lies in the book and doesn’t know why her daughter would say such things. Really? Did she really think there would be no payback for abandoning her daughter?

Second, the book is not well written but the content is fascinating. (Maybe she should have written it herself without help.) When questioned about the truth of her claims, Satchi said in an interview that everyone in Hollywood knew everything that is in the book.  If so, MacLaine should be in jail for child abuse and others who knew and didn’t report it, as well.

I am neither a lover or hater of Shirley MacLaine but I did read her autobiographical book “Out on a Limb” many years ago. I knew something was amiss (it’s dripping with narcissism) when there was more in the book about her Russell Terrier than her daughter. So now we know why. She never saw her. Sachi says she still loves her mother, (and that’s her right) but shouldn’t children be allowed to hate mothers who abuse or abandon their children for art?

According to Parker, MacLaine left her with her father who lived in Japan at the age of two (really!). She went on to make more money than anyone needs. Instead of using this money for her daughter (she gave her nothing, wouldn’t even pay for college) MacLaine sent $65,000 a month to the father, (who sexually abused Parker) for over twenty years. MacLaine believed that the man she left her daughter with was not the real father, (even worse) but rather was a clone of her husband who was on a secret government mission in space (which cost $65,000 a month.) When MacLaine found out – after 23 years apparently – with the evidence Parker showed her that the man was a con, MacLaine divorced him.

As they say in art and life: you can’t make this stuff up.
Bravo to Sachi Parker for having the courage to tell her story.

** photo credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Photo

No "free use" photos of Sachi Parker on the internet. However, she looks exactly like Shirley MacLaine before she got really big.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Don't Pimp Yourself

NYTimes Article by Tim Kreider today is an important reminder to writers and artists to not work for free. "Slaves of the Internet, Unite! in the Sunday Review section.

Kreider laments how often he gets ask to write, create, and perform for free. Common, but when he mentioned the Huffington Post, i was really pissed. This publication makes millions in profits, enough money to pay its writers but chooses not to, so I choose not to read the HP, especially when they can't even recognize their own hypocrisy when they chastise fast food corporations for not paying a living wage to their workers. HA HA HA HA HA.

I agree wholeheartedly with Tim albeit that I have submitted my work for publication for free: this year I am published in Grisly Shorts, and in the forthcoming "Ultra Short Memoir" and a 20 year anniversary issue of poets from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Since I was the first runner up (to winner Paul Beatty) in 1990 in the very first Grand Poetry Slam I was happy to be invited to be included in the publication. For that I will publish my poem/song "Lose the Day, The Rose Bordello Song". I wrote it when I was living in New Zealand after my partner told me that going to a prostitute in his country didn't count as a betrayal because it was legal there. He had a five year old son at the time and I asked him  how he would feel if he ended up in the brothel and  unbeknownst had sex with  his daughter.

But I digress, as words lead me away from the point, as they always do, I wrote a response to the NYT article, impulsively, unable to stop my disdain for corporate greed:

Great! But sorry you didn't mention how writers are now expected to pay submission fees to have their work considered by literary magazines. A quick look this morning shows fees at some literary publications at $22 per story, poem, etc., which also publish on the internet. Some use a submission app for which you have to pay to submit! Shame on the Huffington Post, the queen, that says let them eat cake. Will she also require a fee to submit? She's probably wondering how she can get in on that action. Artists need to keep their integrity. Don't work for free and don't pimp yourself in social media.

Well! this posting is all over the place. How many times can I say I hate FB? I guess there is no end. Especially since the radiator is cold for the seventh day in a row and I waited for the three maintenance guys to return to fix it. Instead they argued about the source of the problem. I'm still waiting.

Internet Dating: Blind Date at the Gallery

The reading at TheaterLab was a huge success. Produced by Vincent Marano, the six plays were read by professional actors who brought the plays to life. Reading part of the EstroGenius Annual Festival.

Link to my play

Link is page on home page. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Estrogenius Festival: Internet Dating: Blind Date in the Gallery

My play, "Internet Dating: Blind Date in the Gallery" will be presented tonight as part of the EstroGenius 2013 Xtended Reading Series. It's free. See synopsis below

Diane Spodarek’s play “Internet Dating: Blind Date in the Gallery,”
has been chosen to be presented at the EstroGenius 2013 Xtended
Reading Series, on Friday October 18, 2013 at 8 pm (with three other
short plays) at Theaterlab, 357 W. 36th St., 3rd Floor.

Manhattan Theatre Source presents (4 short plays)

EstroGenius 2013 Xtended (Reading Series)
at Theaterlab
357 W 36th St, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10018
Betw. 8th and 9th Aves
A/C/E, 1/2/3 to 34th St Penn Station or N/Q/R to 34th St/Herald Sq

Producer: Vincent Marano

Blind Date at the Gallery
A mother and son attend a gallery opening to meet their respective blind dates from an internet dating sight. Be careful of who you meet on the internet. Those sexy anonymous chats may just be with your mother.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Video Art

Videoart works in collaboration with Jay Yager are now archived at Links coming.

Still from "Dreaming New Zealand" by Diane Spodarek and Jay Yager. Shot at Belle River, Ontario, Canada.

This is the last video art work Jay and I collaborated with, one of many we shot at Belle River, a place I grew up from the age of three. Although the family moved to Detroit, we continued to spend three to four months in Canada. It is there, that memories have a base, a foundation in stability, something I do not experience in anything else.

The experience of archiving the analog video work to digital was wonderful, with people at the New Museum walking about, watching, some stopping to ask questions, like the artist visiting from China who commented that as a filmmaker, his resources were very limited. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Archive of my Videoart at the New Museum

In a few days I will be working with technicians at The New Museum to archive my early videoart work, created with Jay Yager.

When Jay and I first collaborated in video, we used a half inch portapac machine, reel to reel tape, and created. "No Pain No Gain." It was 1984 and we traveled to Canada and shot 12 vignettes that i wrote and performed in.
Description of that first tape with Jay:
Diane Spodarek returns to her childhood Summer home where, surrounded by family and friends, she talks about body building and life.  Through twelve intimate "journal entries" she reflects on discipline, confidence, loneliness, sex, art, competition, men, motherhood, marriage, health, rape, and fishing.

This black and white tape, (14. min. 05 sec) was edited and shot by Jay. It went on to win multiple awards and was the beginning of a wonderful collaboration. All together we made 15 videoart works from 1984 to 2006 that originated on various technologies from half inch reel to reel to digital. We hope to have many of them in The New Museum archive. I will post links here.

check out Jay Yager and his work at the spider shack:

Jay at the Belle River Marina, Ontario 2006

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Another Move - and TRAIN BIRTH

July was full with moving and shopping. I hate shopping probably more than the average person and put it off as long as I can.

 Moving is living in the past the present and future all at the same time. Regular work, meals and sleep interrupted. Dependence on others constant. But here I am. Back in New York City. This time in the West Village on the Hudson River with my daughter and a tuxedo cat who caught a mouse our first week and let him go.

From my apartment I can hear the highway  traffic but I also feel a cool breeze from the river at night. There is no view like my first apartment in Manhattan in '83, a sublet on the UES. Since leaving Detroit in '81, I have moved about a hundred times.

People write books about moving. I doubt if I would write a book about it. However, I do write shorter pieces about moving.

"Train Birth" is the opening monologue from my solo show, The Drunk Monologues.

This story/poem will be published this year in "Ultra Short Memoir" by Telling Our Stories Press in print.  It's weird to have to say "in print" but with so many websites on the internet, it's wonderful to be in a book. To become part of a tradition. To be in a library.

I was born in motion
the train rocking and surging
metal against metal
I popped out on a double seat
in a little town called Puce,
which is French for flea,
or so  they tell me
fifteen miles east of Windsor, Ontario
Water blood afterbirth
and my mother's tears
mixed with clapping and cheering
and a champagne toast.
some fell on me
and at birth
I was already moving
         and drinking

Friday, June 21, 2013

An Historical Detroit Moment 6-23-63

Dr. Martin Luther King gave his iconic “I have a dream speech” in Detroit at Cobo Hall (Cobo Arena) in front of 25,000 people who  marched down Woodward Avenue. Two months later he gave this speech at the Washington March in front of the Lincoln Memorial. But it was Detroit where he tried it out.

“I have a dream . . . that one day here in Detroit Negroes will be able to buy a house or rent a house anywhere their money will take them.

the detroit speech:

public domain 6/18/63 Washington DC