Episode 131: "The Poetry of Her Tchotchkes"

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  1. 132 Michael Urie, Jonathan Tolins: “The Poetry of Her Tchotchkes September 6, 2013

Hello. Hi. Hello everybody. It’s Julie Klausner back for another episode of HHWYW.

Happy Jewish New Year to those who celebrate and especially to those who do not. I came back from my family’s place and boy is everything tired. For those of you who don’t know Rosh Hashanah is a big deal. These are the high holidays and this is when we are, “Don’t even talk to me until after the holidays, Jews are referring to this or Passover, or they’re just trying to blow you off. I will say that I had the distinct pleasure when I was in Seattle last weekend with Ted, Ted teddy Leo, music man. I got to hang out with Danielle Henderson who is the best, one of How Was Your Week’s Guest Hall of Fame, in fact I’ll put her in there as the only resident of that fake thing that I just made up. I had the pleasure of explaining the holiday of Sukkot to Danielle Henderson. I said to her there’s a lulav and an etrog. She looked at me like I was speaking gibberish because technically I was.

A lulav is a bunch of leaves from a palm and an etrog is a nubby lemon looking thing. You shake them to the left and you shake them to the right and that’s how you celebrate the harvest. To her credit she said, ok. Then I googled a piece of clip art and I showed it to her. She was convinced that I wasn’t out of my mind.

Do you know who is out of his mind? Charles Manson. That went down as the best transition in human history. I started and finished a Charles Manson biography that our friend Jake Fogelnest would not stop talking about to the point where it became infectious, it was like Lyme disease. By the way there’s something I learned today about the Jewish holiday. I don’t remember who but somebody said that, “I heard that Lyme disease can now be spread through mosquitoes.” Terrific. Happy Holidays, ho, ho, ho.

Charles Manson is the subject of this book that I could not put down. I read it in three sittings. It was really satisfying because it kept people on the subway, if not afraid of me I guess they just were (noises—Meh! Eeek, Oooh) about me, probably in my mind. I don’t know. But also I hadn’t really read a book this summer. It’s embarrassing. As I tweeted, and I will quote my own tweets because I have every right to, “Reading is fundamental but is it fun?” Hi, I’m Dean Koontz and I’d like to talk to you about refrigerator ham. The kind of ham you can slice and keep in your deli drawer, Dean Koontz for sliced sandwich ham. The Manson book was so good and I was so into it that in the evening instead of watching television or going out with loved ones, having normal fun, I sat on my couch and read a book about a murder-air. There’s a lot, and hopefully I’ll have a special episode to offer you guys in the future, ideally with Jake talking about How Was Your Manson, maybe. Well, definitely. That’s what I will promise you. Among the many things I learned in the Manson biography were that there was a Black Panther named Lotsa Poppa which is jive for Lots of Poppa. That was interesting. I also learned a lot about the 60s. I learned a lot about things I had heard of and were in the background of my understanding of exactly why the 60s were so great to people that talk about them in this way that makes it sound like it was a really great time. But those are invariably white men who were just getting pussy. They were enjoying drugs.

If you were black, or god forbid, a black women, or a women, the 60s were garbage. Oh my god. Can you imagine? There was no way to get out of Watts on public transportation. That was done intentionally. If you were in Beverly Hills and you saw a black person you could call the cops and they would come by and ask what you were doing there. I feel foolish for being aghast. This is very white’splaining, the unrest of 1968 was clearly defined. The de-evolution of Haight Ashbury, the Be-In that the media covered so every runaway and degenerate decided get on a bus and hang out on the streets of San Francisco which closed its parks at night because the mayor was a fascist. Meanwhile there was no pot for a while so everyone was on speed or acid or both. Biker speed-there were a lot of bikers in the Charles Manson orbit too.

The other underground groups that cooperated with Squeaky, let’s face it she and Dennis Wilson, this book may as well be about Squeaky Fromme and Dennis Wilson. The other fringe groups that they associated with were not people to be proud… it’s almost like an issue of Factsheet Five. Yeah I like music. Yeah I like feminism. What are these Nazis doing here? Aryan Nation at one point was in cahoots with the Mansons. Then Bikers like gangs of the late 60s early 70s which frankly, come on. Can you imagine trying to reason with a late 60s biker about anything at all? Not even the women weren’t mentioned. I am intrigued by biker babes but their ‘old men’ I suppose were the one who would be the characters in this book. There was a Danny Decarlo, not the Archie Comics artist. Bobby Beausoleil…

Here’s a fun game which Manson family member is your cat? My cat would be Ruthanne because he’s very beautiful and young. I could be wrong; maybe he’d be Dianne Lake. I don’t know. Who is your cat? Write me and tell me which one of the Manson. They can be supplementary. You can say Bobby Beausoleil even though he wasn’t in the family. Do you know what it is also? I think I said this on last week’s podcast but I don’t remember. Before they even started killing innocent people (no one is innocent man) Shut the fuck up Charles Manson, I hated Charles Manson because, I hate to blow you mind, but he was a sociopath who was so shitty to women and hated black people. He fed into the inherent sexism and racism of his time.

Were the 60s his time? Well, I don’t know. It’s a very 60s book. I feel like I know more about the 60s than I ever have before, which fills me full of hatred towards the 60s. Yes there was some good music. But when we get down to brass tacks, where does that expression come from? Does it come from when I used to put thumbtacks on the bottoms of my High-tops and tippy tap dance all the way down the hallway of Solomon Schechter hoping that one day I’d have a boyfriend. The 60s were really good for white dudes in my opinion. Eventually blacks, minorities, women we all did what we could. Viet Nam is silly. That’s my take. Syria, that’s a thing. Boy.

There was an article posted “10 Things you would be embarrassed to ask about Syria.” Click, I said to myself I should be embarrassed. I supposed I am. I’m not embarrassed as much as I am aware that I shouldn’t admit that I don’t know things. I just don’t. I need to be more comfortable with that I have decided right now. Do you know this movie? Sure I know this movie. Have you seen it? No, I haven’t seen it. You haven’t seen it! I need to be ok with that. I need to be less embarrassed about things I haven’t seen or don’t know. My Jewish New Year’s resolutions abound.

What was I talking about? Charles Manson being a sociopath. I don’t want to talk about the 60s anymore. I do want to talk about sociopathy and pyschopathy as it relates to guilt and shame because I have been experiencing a lot of guilt and shame over random things that aren’t that bad. I talked last week about how my heart is broken. It is still very much is. I was seeing somebody for a few months and he ended it. I feel like every square inch of parts, skin, insides, everything is bruised and it’s not even close to turning green-yellow. It’s gnarly. I feel like garbage. I bring this up because I felt a lot of guilt and shame for all of the…I told you this last week. I sent a bunch of crazy emails and texts. I was angry and I had to get stuff off my chest. I feel bad about it but there’s nothing I can do. I already feel bad and I don’t want to feel bad on top of that for things that have already happened. Do you know why I think Breaking Bad is so popular besides the fact it’s a great show. There’s suspense. The acting is great. I think it is a great way for people who feel disproportionate amounts of shame and guilt in regards to what they have done in their lives to look at the faces of characters that should feel that kind of guilt and shame and, it seems like, there should be a relief to it. In other words what Walt and Jessie have done, and Skyler to some degree, accounts for the consternation in their faces. They are flooded with the look, “Oh shit!” I can just speak for myself; I feel that what about ten to twelve times a day. I haven’t killed anybody and I’m not Charles Manson. I’m not a bad person even. Although sometimes I need to remind myself of that or have someone remind me of that and then force myself to believe them.

I think that is a big part of that show’s appeal, watching people that have a right to feel that kind of guilt, regret and shame trapped in their lives and in a perfect world being able to step back and say, “They feel that way because they killed people. I haven’t killed people.” And then you go oh (sigh) let’s go to bed. Wait, not until we watch Talking Bad. Who’s on this week? Oh is it Kelly Osbourne and Sister Soljah? You bet it is. What is Chris Hardwick asking them about? How they liked the last episode and whether or not they thought it was cool. Well they do. Oh good. I am in a place, I am going to speak quite frankly and honestly as is my wont and my need in regards to what I mentioned briefly about the heartbreak I experienced. I have been apart from Jack who was my partner for four and a half years as of February. I have gone out with a couple of people. This last thing ending really feels like I’m not only back to where I was when Jack and I first split but I am 19, and then I’m 16. I’m Benjamin Buttoning in a way that is completely disturbing emotionally where I am flailing against the reality of what in theory could have been progress but in my emotional life just feels like I’M A BABY AND I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A BABY. I am having a hard time accepting…We’ll talk about acceptance in a second. Get your popcorn! Hey Klausner’s going to rap about acceptance! WHAT? Pulls the car over, shuts everything down except for the stereo.

When you were faced with the person you used to be or just earlier incarnations of yourself, must you scorn them? Must you look inside of a bus filled with 15 year-old you and 19 year-old you and whatever else you did that was embarrassing? When you spelled your name in a funny way, or you did a zine and wrote something mean about someone, god knows I feel enough guilt and shame with my book, although I also feel good about it in other ways. Must you battle those replicates? Must you battle those younger incarnations of yourself? I would just like to be able to get along with them especially at time like this when I am faced with them and I feel like I am 12, 14, 19. I would just like to say, “Hey.” Not to hug her and put a cold compress on her forehead and say you’re perfect or everything is going to be great just the way you are, but I’d like to just say, “Hey, what’s up?” I would really like that. Yet I fight a lot with myself. I don’t want to be her, I’m me now. That’s the way I used to be before I discovered whatever…before I lost weight…before I wrote this… before I made money doing that. I would really like to aim towards if not harmony at least some kind of begrudging acceptance that is not shame based of all of the people that have led up to the moment I am in. Even if that moment is shitty and is a garbage moment I would really like to just be cool with who I am, who I was and the woman I am going to be someday.

I am having a hard time moving past this particular disappointment because I want a boyfriend. I want a boyfriend. I said it. It feels so good to finally say it. Yeah, I had some grappling with the difference between rejection, abandonment, and disappointment. Which hurts the most? Abandonment is basically belated rejection. Abandonment could apply to all three. Abandonment, I associate that somebody got to know you and then said no. Rejection is sort of a catch-all. Disappointment hurts more intensely to me than I feel like it should. Because what you are doing is realizing that your expectations are not in line with what is actually happening. In a lot of cases you learn not to hope. You learn not to go into something because it might end badly. I have realized in the last couple of weeks a couple of things. One is that disappointment basically is rejection, reality rejecting your idea of what something should be which is a matter of your will and your ego and that kind of thing. That sucks. I also realize in many ways I would rather be happy than healthy. I know that there is a certain health that comes along; you know you can’t expect to be in a healthy relationship until you are happy alone. But I’m not happy alone. That’s not healthy. But I want a boyfriend. That’s fun.

That’s something else I now know. The last thing is I feel like I have accepted that I’m just not going to be happy right now. I’m not going to be with someone right now. That took a lot of flailing around. So people ask if there is any relief in having accepted that. Well, no. no. no. That’s not where Klausner’s qi is. Yes, I did refer to myself in the third person and I did use some sort of Asian word whose meaning alludes me/escapes me. I know what qi means.

No, I can’t be me if I am completely still and I’m not stimulating some sort of agency. I have to be working. I have to be doing. I can’t just be without hope, but with faith. As Faith Ford once said to Kelly Ripa, “There can be no faith without hope because then what are you doing? You’re reading a Manson book in your apartment because you are no fun to be around. I know there is more to people you love than fun but I don’t want to be poison. I love my friends. I don’t want to poison the well. I want to be with them when I appreciate them, when my eyes are open. Right now they are just squinting and it’s not cute. That’s where I am. I hope that is interesting at the very least and entertaining at the very most. What’s wrong with you?

I want to congratulate Alec Baldwin for having the latest Late Night Show given to a white male. It’s called Up Late. As I have been recording this monologue I am told that seven more white men have talk shows so congratulations to all of them. I beg you; can we not talk about the James Franco roast ever again? I didn’t watch it. I know people did.

I find Roast master to be a more controversial position than comptroller this year. Who’s running for Roast master is it Scott Stringer? I’m telling you this, I’m voting for DeBlasio. Two days ago I was going to vote for Christine Quinn. She can still stay in the Redhead Hall of Fame however I am voting for DeBlasio. Do you know why? Because in the middle of the night last night, I have been waking up at 5… It’s a lot of fun, I read a little bit of the Manson book, which I am now done with and I need a new book. If you have any recommendations, non-fiction 60s murder, both of those things are very interesting to me clearly. Send them along. I read a little bit of the Manson book and then go to lovemeow.com which is a website that has videos and photos of cats and stories about cats that are found in not great condition and end up being really happy and healthy. This is a good thing for me to do and I resent you calling me a stereotype, just because I am. I saw an ad before one of those cat videos for DeBlasio featuring New York celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, Cynthia Nixon-both members of the Redhead Hall of Fame. If Cynthia Nixon is not in the Redhead Hall of Fame, Cynthia Nixon is now in the Redhead Hall of Fame. I am moving her up. She should be in the Redhead Hall of Fame with her wife Christine Marinoni aka Rojo Caliente. They are voting for DeBlasio. Two celebrities Lady Bunny and Steve Buscemi were both in the ad. They reminded me that maybe DeBlasio wouldn’t be in favor of knocking down the hospital that treated all of the 9/11 first responder sin favor of a condo. Oh, that’s a good platform. So now I am voting for him. The end.

Remember when Jonathon Franzen went really big on birds? When that was his thing. His book Freedom had come out, which I remember liking, but that lead character was way more into birds than I found acceptable for anybody who would be quasi-likable. The Jonathon Franzen said, “That character is me I am big on birds.” He wrote op-eds. There’s a problem with birds in this country and the world because cats are eating them, so I am anti-cats and pro-birds. Ok. What a white ugh…why are white people you know?

I encourage you guys to go to Howwasyourwiki.com and update it. The contributions to I make me happier than most things should. I want to thank everybody that has been contributing to it. If you haven’t, please do. Go to Howwasyourwikie.com. You can add things. The origins of episode titles is getting much more fleshed out, but for example episode #114 Battling Bots-that could be fleshed out. Episode #115 Madam No, that’s the episode with David Sedaris, where did that title come from? That’s your guys job. You fill that out. You can add more features. What about, I don’t know, I can’t think right now but some other features that would be helpful to add come from your brain. This is you playground god damn it. Is there a message board on here? I don’t know there should be. You should meet each other, be comfortable with each other, love each other. Should there be sex? Yes, there should be sex. Keep that site wonderful.

The fruits of the Citibike photo shoot…the fruits of the labor? So many euphemisms. The photos of me on a Citibike are coming. I’m going to say they will be here by the end of the next week. I told you they’d be here by the end of the summer which unofficially it already was with Labor Day. I’ve seen the contact sheets. They are exceptional. We’ve narrowed it down to six poses. They are going to be in your eyes soon. What I would request that you do because people donated to the Citibike photo fund, they are going to see these photos because they contributed money to make it happen. We had an amount, they raised it. Therefore I came through with my promise to pose straddling a Citibike with one bra strap showing. I did that. You are going to see it whether or not you’ve ever contributed. Whether or not you’ve ever tipped Spoony you are going to see these photos. If you can sleep with yourself at night knowing that’s your business, but if you feel like before these photos hit your eyes you should tip Spoony, I feel like your instinct is correct. Please tip Spoony. Go to PayPal.com go to Klausnerama@gmail.com in the send money field and send us some money please. Thank You. Gary the Squirrel sent money in this week. Gary the Squirrel tipped Spoony and I’m told that Gary is going to tip Spoony again because he likes the idea of Spoony working for him. That’s very exciting.

I heard something cool about the new Season of Top Chef. They are going to be saying grace now. They will say grace before every meal and tasting. That’s cool. I like that Bravo is a little less godless this season. I like the idea of Padma saying to the camera at the beginning, plus before every time we eat we are going to say grace now and Gladware or whatever. .. One more thing about the Manson book, the more I read about the 1960s the more I thank that whatever you chose to represent god, that I was born when I was, to be a 90s bitch I mean…Dayenu, you know Dayenu.

Let’s start the show before I start talking about the Dancing Itos because I had a lot of feelings about them and those a couple of nights ago because they were a thing that existed. I guess a couple of months after the Dancing Itos were on Jay Leno, Hugh Grant came on Leno, and that was the end of there was No Business like Show Business, at the end of the Late Shift movie There’s No Business Like Show Business splays and we learn that Leno beat Letterman in the ratings ever since. It’s really the only movie that every mattered. Was it on the AFI? It should probably replace The Manchurian Candidate. Is Forrest Gump on one of those lists? Let’s get rid of that. Let’s get rid of Forrest Gump. Let’s photo shop Forrest Gump out of cinema history. We’ll just pretend it didn’t happen.

We have two guests on the show…