Tag Archives: Dick Cavett

Using Dick Cavett’s Brainwaves as Modern Mental Floss

I’m  a nostalgic; I love to watch old TV shows, old commercials, old movies, old Communist scare public service announcements, etc.  one show I enjoy is Dick Cavett’s old interview show. The guests would be there would be there for at least half hour, possibly to plug a project but mostly just engaging in good thick conversation with Mr. Cavett who had a way, in my view, of making people feel grounded, engaged and free to be themselves.  Compared to today when stars are rolled out for five minute interviews, show clips of whatever they’re doing and then shushed off for the next guest, it’s shag orange carpet magic for me.  Everyone’s grounded.  Mature, adult, developed.   Now we’re a little ADD and caffeinated in twenty directions.   Football was even calmer in the 70’s.   I don’t believe in going back to the way things were but there are times when I feel like we’ve lost a bit of something graceful and can bring that back with all of the extra-higher order DNA activating juicy fruit in the air now.  Sometimes it feels technology is outpacing us by a few lengths.

For me, I’m not a Facebook fab. I update my status about once every two months and have an account to stay in touch with friends who use it. I just have trouble with sharing certain parts of my day to day with people who may or may not be my friends. What also happens is that when i’m in one of my several hundred moods, I notice how happy everyone is.  It’s a marvel and when I feel lower than a blues scale I see someone posting ‘on the moon right now auditioning for MacBeth with aliens and winning the Oscar while giving birth to my beautiful twins’ I get more upset at my own life.  It’s been my experience that life is pretty inconsistent and challenging. Path to greatness is littered with invisible jagged boulders ready to tumble;if you catch one, you can turn into something beautiful. It’s hard.  But in a certain mood Facebook makes me feel like shit because it seems that everyone is happy all the time except me. It’s wild.   Then I begin to think that I must be responsible for all major global conflicts and school shootings and I need to apologize to all the heads of state who are probably checking out Michelle Obama’s Twitter account and don’t time for me.

But then I think if they had Facebook for dogs, who are the happiest creatures on Earth, their status updates would read “Happy poop.” “Food eat love belly rub!” “Make  sleep poop ball!!!!! (Smiley face)”.  But even on Facebook for dogs there would be the occasional “My owner poops and I don’t” general upsettedness.  When I read Facebook happy statuses, I get the sense the human species is a happier one than dogs and yet when I look at world conditions, Plus, I know one or two people via friends who I know are miserable people and when I look at their Facebook accounts,  it seems like Buddha’s calling them for advice on joy jumping.  So I’ve come to a conclusion that most people are full of shit.   It’s not a bad thing.   It’s liberating.  I’d say a good 80% of what I see is bullshit. It’s fantastic.  What’s Real anyway is usually invisible and something you scrape your ass or head on for a few moments the way the world’s constructed at the moment.   I have a rule. When I feel tender in the heart region, a little down, or violently artistically pre-explosive, I don’t view social media.  Too full of French Fry expressives and I feel like I’m another species; I thought I was human, as I feel rage,love, hate, despair, envy, a touch of paradise, ecstatic joy, the need to hold a baby, thoughts of killing myself and then flying to Russia afterwards, performing Hamlet, sitting quietly listening to extinct birds, fighting to stay awake, keep the dreams of a 1977 Pontiac Bonneville hubcap alive. I know I’m a little more extremist than most but you know, not really.

I’ve said this before but I prefer Myspace where I could invent mood words (I feel Floisty, that’s my favorite) and invent personae from moment to moment.   I’m going to invent a new social platform called rantwave.com or something;  be yourself and no baby pictures allowed or quotes by Gandhi.  Rant, squeeze, express.

When you reach the end of your wits, the wits will try anything to save themselves.



I wrote a rugged draft in a more rugged state eleven years ago called Whorapy, set in a fictionalized speakeasy/brothel in 1920’s San Francisco; I call it a full contact sensual event; tonight I worked with a couple actors on parts of the script as another attempted thaw is in place; when I look back at the relationship I’ve had with the script, I realize it is that, a relationship that at times was forgotten, at others almost produced and once even suggested to me to throw in the East River and let it go by a well intentioned therapist who thought it was to intimately tied to my past in California;  I’ve had quiet meditations over the years on whether this piece truly is meant to be manifest by my name or should be destroyed only to realize how ridiculous it seems that every time I process out a real tectonic plate shifter I have to throw it in the trash;  it’s also been suggested more than once over the years that I not direct my own work as it is undesirable to do so for the sake of theatrical piety or some other unspoken rule asking to be broken;  I want to direct and I only want to direct what I write so that’s a real Chinese finger puzzle;  sometimes I know I can be stubborn to defend my children  or release them to the world; when I have tried to do so, like I did once with a reading of this piece, it was so demoralizing I almost thought about throwing it out as the reading was sped through and the writer was not allowed to make any comments while other actors were allowed to criticize it no matter how inane the comments;  this year, at least, I would love to cast it with those meant to wreak loving havoc with this little poetic monsterpiece; it’s not the greatest thing I’ll ever write but it is the most me-est thing I’ve written so far; it’s great when you can combine your experience, imagination and the human nature swirling about you now and in history to create something unique.  Between the notes lies the music.

RIP to Ben Gazarra who died Friday;  I am watching Dick Cavett’s interview with he, John Cassavetes and Peter Falk from 1970; what impresses me is Dick Cavett and how fluid he is as the three of them engross him in an entertaining macho swirl;  he  stays so steady and honors the energy of his guests with a sensitivity and intelligence that I admire;  I think the three of them may have been a wee bit drunk and Mr. Cavett kept his humor without demeaning them.  What else struck me were the commercials breaks the video kept and one of the was for Anicin, the aspirins that came in metal tins like Altoids and how she was battling a headache while vacuuming then popped a couple white nuggets and then in the next shot was swirling in her husband’s arms’ what struck me, and this is also from watching the show, was the timelessness of human behavior and how some things never change or I never want them to change like two adults having a post Anicin swirl after a long day or a talk show based on four adults interacting on a natural grass fed level;  for some reason these little timeless seeds seem a little faded these days; I still think this is the best time to be living in human history; I don’t believe in the good old days where no one knew what Resveratol or Ipods were but I liken our development as s species to editing a script; as a writer after a draft you edit and then sometimes the second draft is improved but you find you threw some parts out that need to be reinserted for a stronger third draft. That’s how I feel about our species; we maybe need a little human dirt back under the nails or more honest on-air tussling and at a walk in the woods pace; when I was looking at DP reels yesterday it amazed me how all of them had shots lasting no longer than a few seconds; for me it’s hard to gage whether a DP can snag the subtleties of human interaction when they’re on screen for two to three seconds; there’s nothing wrong in leaving a camera on for twenty seconds and letting the camera work with the actor; I was developing cleft eye after a while;  the pendulum has to swing on back at some point to scoop up another pound of glorious human dirt of gold-essence.

And congrats to the NY GIants; this is the second Super Bowl for Big Blue since I’ve lived here; it’s like New Year’s Eve here when they win and reminds me how much in awe I forgot to be that I live here.