Harvey Weinstein, and sneak-peek vagina dresses

The despicable Harvey is just an extreme example of the lecherous showbiz producer who has been in existence since Hollywood began. Read your Raymond Chandler.

Anybody who has ever had contact with Showbusiness can immediately identify how sleazy it is.

My aunt was a senior receptionist at a 5-star hotel in the UK that had many Showbusiness personalities as guests – and the staff hated having them. Almost without exception they were drunken and foul-mouthed – abused the staff, and lived like pigs. They trashed their rooms with wild after-hours boozy parties that frequently involved under age girls, and boys.

But for all those sleazy sexual predators there is also an endless supply of slutty prey in Showbusiness. Nubile young women, and young men, who are willing to do anything for their fifteen minutes of fame – and even more of fortune. And you don’t have to be in the business to see that.

Look at any first night or awards ceremony on TV, and see the grizzled old-toads, filthy rich and powerful men, with girls young enough to be their daughters, or granddaughters, on their arms. And then the wannabe starlets yet to hook a sugar daddy, strutting the red carpet with plunging necklines, or transparent dresses worn without underwear – or the latest red-carpet fashion for sneak-peek vagina dresses slit to the hip bone. It’s a meat market.

Almost as nauseous as Harvey and the like, are the crocodile tears of the Sisterhood. Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour, like that of Jimmie Saville, Rolf Harris, Bill Cosby Et Al, were “open-secrets” well known in the industry, and condoned because of their success – and the desire to be part of that success. To portray themselves as victims of brutal alpha males is hypocritical. The industry is full of narcissists and exhibitionists who can see no fault in themselves – always ready to blame their failings on others.

Hanoi Jane Fonda, who betrayed American POWs to the Vietcong, also procured young women for threesomes with herself and Roger Vadim. And Dame Helen Mirren, for whom I have great respect, complains that producers wanted to see her body. Why not? In her very first movie role she did three full frontal topless scenes, almost unheard of in UK films at that time. Why did she think that they would fly a first time film actress, straight out of drama school, first class to Hawaii – and accommodate her in a 5-star hotel? She and/or her agent, must have read the script.

Yes, some of Harvey’s harassments were genuine victims: production assistants, interns and gophers overawed by his wealth and dominant personality. But a large number were willing “victims”. And now Pandora’s box has been opened, every aspiring Hollywood starlet will claim to have been harassed by Harvey. It will be an essential part of their CV.

Many of the expatriates who feature in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, washed up in the Arabian/Persian Gulf because of the perfidy of women. Typically they were veterans of politicians’ wars like the BURAIMI Oasis, the DHOFAR Campaign and the Vietnam War, whose wives or girlfriends cheated on them, seduced by cheap promises and false glamour.

THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, deals with the effect that fabulous oil wealth brought to the region after the quadrupling of crude oil prices in 1972 as seen through the eyes of those expatriates. You can preview my book on Amazon’s Kindle Websites at:

www.amazon.com www.amazon.co.uk

and read the comprehensive 5 Star reviews it has received, and download it if you have a Kindle.

If you prefer a real book in your hands, you can preview my book, and order the paperback from my UK publisher:

www.feedaread.com

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Is Fiction stranger then Fact

 It was an Australian journalist who said, “Journalists write fiction, and pretend it’s fact – and novelists write fact, and pretend it’s fiction.” And there is truth in this.

Certainly my book of short stories, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, is based on fictionalised facts. I call it journalistic because every story springs from an event I witnessed myself during my 40 years living and working in the Arabian/Persian Gulf – or was reported to me by a reliable source.

I have just written my first Australian story, THE SENSE OF LOSS, which is a complete fiction, and yet in many ways is as factual and even more authentic than the stories in THE GULF. I say this because the end result was not the story I set out to write. My fictional protagonist, an elderly Australian widow from rural Australia – a person I have never met in a place I have never been – took over, and behaved as an elderly strong-willed Australian widow from rural Australia would behave.

Graham Greene will be spinning in his grave. He believed that fictional characters are merely constructs designed to carry the authors ideas. I have never found that to be true. Once I create a good strong character they behave as that character would behave. They cannot be directed and told what to do. I believe, mad though I may be,that Margaret McLaughlin, the character in my story, behaved exactly as Margaret McLaughlin would behave.

I am English by birth, education, and upbringing, and assumed before coming to Australia, that Australians would be pretty much the same as myself. After all, almost all of the early settlers and the majority of the population is from the British Isles – and English is the official language (although you wouldn’t think so if you spend a lot of time in Sydney). But I have found that Australians are foreign to me.

Maybe because of their beginnings as a penal colony, and the large percentage of Irish Catholic convicts? Maybe because their hard-scrabble pioneering and suffering is such recent history? Maybe because they became (almost) universally affluent so fast that they are more American than British. There is (almost) no class structure and snobbery here (except in Melbourne)? But whatever, we are related – maybe like distant cousins – but they are certainly not British in their thoughts or actions. As my daughter so succinctly put it “They are lovely people, but rough around the edges”.

To be precious about it, those differences and rough edges have subconsciously permeated my artistic sensibility. So when I came to write my first Australian story, from my English perspective it just did not go the way I thought it should go.

“Good on ya – Margaret McLaughlin”,

because I have written a story that is “pure fiction” – and yet it is as authentic and factual as if pulled from tomorrow’s headlines.

The same cannot be said for the stories in THE GULF. Yes, they are authentic. But all of them are told from the perspective of archetypal British expatriates who washed up in the Arabian/Persian Gulf for whatever reason. People like me. Ordinary people who found trauma in their lives through no fault of their own, trying to cope and make a living in extraordinary circumstances. People I can easily relate to.

THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, deals with the effect that fabulous oil wealth brought to the region after the quadrupling of crude oil prices in 1972. You can preview my book on Amazon’s Kindle Websites at:

www.amazon.com www.amazon.co.uk

and read the comprehensive 5 Star reviews it has received, and download it if you have a Kindle.

If you prefer a real book in your hands, you can preview my book, and order the paperback from my UK publisher:

www.feedaread.com

Think small . . . think Medieval

In Australia the debate about so-called asylum seekers continues to polarize public opinion, with the young (and foolish) saying all should be welcome, causing a flood of immigrants ill-prepared for life in a sophisticated economy, and all the consequences of having a large minority of alienated people who feel discriminated and dispossessed.

And whenever the problem is pictorialized we see a good looking young couple with pretty children, ignoring the fact that 70% or more of the so-called asylum seekers are males between the ages of 18 and 40. Very few of them are eligible for legitimate refugee status which assures them entry to Australia.

What is even more relevant is that more than 90% of asylum seekers worldwide stay within their region living in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Wouldn’t we be better off spending our money helping them to build a better life, and returning the 90% of international asylum seekers flooding Europe (and Australia) who are not bona fide refugees to help them build that better life? How can that be achieved?

Read Rory Stewart’s book, OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS. He was an interim Govenor of a Province in Southern Iraq after the Second Gulf War. His book contains many insights into the situation on the ground outside of the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the delusional interim government hid away in their luxury villas with MacDonalds,and Pizza Hut and Dunkin Donuts, for comfort.

After some time living in a very dangerous and chaotic environment Rory managed to persuade the State Department Yahoos in the Green Zone to send a gunship to his main town. He declared a curfew, and the gunship, fully armed and equipped with night vision circled the town all night, shooting anybody who broke the curfew. Within 2 days “normal life” returned to the town. Street markets sprang up selling fruit and vegetables from the surrounding countryside – and shopkeepers lifted their shutters and began trading again.

In medieval times people lived inside the walls of fortified towns, and at dusk they withdreww from the fields, or from the sea if they lived on the coast, and stayed safe within the walls. Surely in these Hi-Tec times we could build a series of safe and secure walled towns in the refugees’ home regions, patrolled at night by armed drones controlled by computer from a command centre within the town?

It is those lacking in emotional intelligence who see the world as a Hollywood uniformity of young and beautiful people, living in the artificial environment of huge cities, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, locked into their mobile phones/tablets twittering away their days. Just as 90% of all refugees stay in their region, 90% of the human race wants to live a life that is grounded in their culture and history.

Western Governments understand the problems facing the Third World – they do not understand the people. Just as the Movers & Shakers in The Green Zone did not understand Iraq. Read Rory Stewart, and if you want some more insights into the Middle East then read my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”.

It is written from the perspective of Western expatriates who washed up there from the 1970s when the price of crude oil jumped from $5 to $25 per barrel and gave the Gulf Emirs wealth (almost) beyond the dreams of avarice, until the events 9/11, which were a direct consequence of that wealth,

You can preview THE GULF at:

www.amazon.com

or

www.amazon.co.uk

and download it if you have a Kindle.

Or if you prefer a real book you can order the paperback edition with free delivery worldwide from:

www.thebookdepository.co.uk

Using the ISBN number is 978-1908147097

or direct from my publisher

www.feedaread.com

Who is The Little House of Horrors?

This week I saw an amazing live stage production of the cult classic rock & roll musical THE LITTLE HOUSE OF HORRORS. It is about a weird hybrid plant from China that almost dies until they find it flourishes on human blood. On this diet it grows into a huge monster of a plant that eats people live. Cuttings of the plant are sold around the world and the resulting monster plants end up consuming whole societies – and the world.

Years ago I saw Frank OZ’s movie version with my young daughter, and, with our advanced sense of the ridiculous, we loved it. But we loved it on a superficial level as a showbizzie rock musical, with great music, and a monster that really rocked – and some delicious horror trimmings. Now older, sadder and hopefully wiser – while my daughter and I still sat there with huge silly grins on our faces at the Doo Wop shrillness of the Harpies Chorus (The Supremes they are not), and rocked to the monster’s Rock & Roll – I realized that it is allegorical.

Just under the surface it is about how FAME (remember that musical and its tag “I’m gonna live forever”), and celebrity, sucks the blood out of people, consumes them, and destroys families and cultures. And going deeper again, it is an allegory for America, cynically using Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll to debauch youth worldwide in order to push their free-market laissez faire capitalism agenda under the false banners of freedom and democracy in order to rule the world.

And if you think that my paranoia is showing, then read EVERY MAN IN THIS VILLAGE IS A LIAR, by Megan Stack. She is a well-educated American journalist who at 23 was sent to cover the wars in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq, and she reached the conclusion that at best American Foreign Policy is delusional, and at worst it is a cynical ploy to try and dominate the world. And she believes that the War on Terror is fake, and has failed.

One chapter in her book has particular resonance. Superficially she enjoyed Israel; and modern, bright and safe Tel Aviv in particular. But she could not shake off the knowledge that all the youngsters prancing in the discos had had weapons training, had done compulsory military service – and she had seen them as teenage soldiers taunting and humiliating elderly Palestians at check points, refusing to give them priority for urgent medical treatment. And pregnant women frequently gave birth in taxis waiting in endless gridlocks to get to hospital, and not allowed on fast roads reserved for West Bank settlers. And she knew that sweating in the restaurant kitchens were illegal Eritrean refugees, and that most of the strikingly pretty single girls dancing in the discos were East European whores. Now matter how hard she tried she could not ignore the dark underbelly of Israel.

And nor could she ignore the fact that it was American taxpayers money that funded the mighty Israeli military machine that enables them to keep the Palestinians in subjugation. She makes the point “You can recover from what people do to you: you cannot recover from what you do to others.”

It resonates for me because she is like Mick, the protaganist in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. He too is a young journalist sent to the Middle East in the early 60s, and he is shocked by the Feudal barbarity of the region, and by the corruption and cynical exploitation of those feudal societies by slick Western governments desperate for cheap oil.

Just like Megan, Mick cannot pass through and enjoy the airconditioned and gleaming marble citidels of modern shopping malls and international airport terminals that oil wealth brought – with their shops full of the finest duty free luxury goods the world can offer, staffed by lovely young maidens with dazzling smiles – without noticing the tired old Amahs mopping the urinals, and the coolies sweating in 100 degree heat and 100 per cent humidity of the baggage halls.

And beyond that, modern cities that have the latest motorways and satellite communications, and no sewerage systems. And refugee camps where the sewers run open in the road and kids play there. Kids without hope, and without a future.

I am not, not ever have been a journalist, but I did keep journals throughout my 40 years in and out of The Arabain/Persian Gulf, and Mick is a construct, an alter ego designed to tell the stories of events that I witnessed, or were reported to me by reliable sources, expatriates like me, washed up there in the oil patch from 1960 to 2001.

Preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:

www.amazon.com

and download it if you have a Kindle.

Or if you prefer a real book you can order the paperback edition with free delivery worldwide from:

www.thebookdepository.co.uk

Using the ISBN number is 978-1908147097

or direct from my publisher

www.feedaread.com