(reposted from: http://filthybookreader.blogspot.com/)

I promised some notes from last night’s show of “Is This Normal?”… ITN for short?

We had Destin Gerek scheduled and he had to cancel… I’m hoping to still book him in 2011 because I’m excited about his work and how he helps others.  This made me chat with Emily about a lot of things I would have asked Destin anyway, such as how do you help people who are dealing with self-realization and re-making/ re-imaging yourself. As always, the conversation turns to age… gettin’ older, gettin’ some, not gettin’ any.

We spoke of body image and mentioned Christina Aguileria… we were referring to her video for the song “Beautiful” from 2002.

Emily and cameraman Shaft have created The Center for Positive Sexuality and have put in a lot of hard work.  I just show up for the fun and games at ITN.

I brought in my copy of “Just Kids” by Patti Smith which has blown me away because I just always wanted to KNOW. Wanted to KNOW about Mapplethorpe and if he had a hetereosexual relationship with the iconic Smith.  Here’s a review now that the paperback version is out and Patti Smith has won the National Book Review.  As someone who loves Patti Smith, this is a  memoir of the formative early ’70’s of rock n’ roll and what was happening around her and Mapplethorpe when they lived in The Chelsea Hotel. As someone who loves Robert Mapplethorpe, this book completes a fun triumvirate for me after years of Jack Fritscher’s “Robert met Patti at Pratt….” Um. No. I’m currently reading Patricia Morrisroe’s bio of Mapplethorpe, written before he died and I’m giggling: in the intro, Robert says Patti is off-limits. I’m only a quarter of the way in but cynical enough to wonder what a dying Mapplethorpe wanted this official bio to reveal.  It’s apparent that Robert had a persona to keep up in the ’80’s – the celebrity artist, NY bonvivant, making the mainstream blush with his naughty SM photos next to his luscious still lifes and “artistic nudes.” Fritscher makes a strong case for “the Mapplethorpe you may not know” from the gay leatherman’s world.  Patti Smith gives you another Mapplethorpe you may not know… before he even took up a camera and used it seriously.  I love her more. I love him more. I forgot how androdgynous they both were… you know, that word we used to use in the ’80’s.

Speaking of androgynous, Perry Farrell is on a reality show… the kind that sets up fights between people and fabricates bullshit scenarios. Nothing’s Shocking. 20 years ago he and a baby-faced Dave Navarro and the band Jane’s Addiction were waging a First Amendment war with Warner Brothers. Like it meant something. http://janesaddiction.org/discography/janes-addiction/albums/ritual-de-lo-habitual/

And John Lennon was killed. RIP John Lennon. October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980