Author Archives: Steven Mirkin

About Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS. He currently edits Obitmagazine.com.

Mental Cruelty!?!

I’ve not been ’round these parts lately—been working at Obitmagazine.com—come by and check us out, would you?—but reading a the President’s  response to the Sutherland Springs tragedy and need to comment.
Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.34.54 AM

So Il Douché—who, of course, doesn’t want to politicize the issue—thinks the issue in Sutherland Springs was one of mental health? Given that his mental health is not exactly top-notch, not sure he should be making those judgements, but even if he’s right, that’s not the problem. The question is: should someone whose mental health was so suspect (I’d say crushing your infant son’s skull should raise warning flags), should he have been legally allowed to own guns? The NRA doesn’t seem to have a problem with it….does he?

Advertisements

On Sutherland Springs Texas

I wrote an editorial on the most recent mass shooting—this time in Sutherland Springs Texas, with more than 20 dead, including infants—for Obitmagazine.com.

https://obitmagazine.com/sutherland-springs-texas-tragedy/


Think You’re Having A Bad Day? It’s Still Better Than Todd Rundgren’s

Not only was the singer/songwriter/producer busted coming at the Canadian border, bringing marijuana into Jeff Sessions’ America (a land where Reefer Madness is considered a documentary) he was Farrah Fawcett-ed by Melissa Etheridge, who happened to be caught holding on the same day, and took the mellowest. most chill mugshot in the history of celebrity mugshots. Which meant he was greeted with this headline from TMZ:

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 2.44.41 PM

Nothing against Melissa Etheridge, but I’d take Something/Anything over any of her records…

 

 


Someone Else’s Nostalgia—X: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles

I was slow to appreciate the music coming out of LA in the late 70s/early 80s. There was too much good stuff in New York, or a cheap Laker Air ticket away in London. If London met the end of the postwar boom with a political howl and New York with a cynic’s shrug, early singles by Germs and others sounded, to my ears, like a nihilist tantrum. It made it easy to write them off, joking “our junkies are better than your junkies.”

I’ve since changed my mind. Los Angeles is now my home, and the city’s history is a fascinating subject.  Dropping by the preview of “X: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles,” opening today and up until February 25th at the Grammy Museum in Downtown LA, at times felt like being a guest in someone else’s nostalgia. I didn’t have the direct connection others felt (and it was interesting to read the opening of Chris Morris’ 1980 Rolling Stone story on the scene…which is, sadly, not available online), but I came away feeling the excitement and creativity of the era. (X also plays a part in my personal history of Los Angeles, as they were the first band I ever saw in LA, at the Roxy in November 1982.)

fullsizeoutput_5b1

I love this photo. It looks like a still from a French New Wave movie. Photo credit: Anna Summa

Located on the museum’s second floor, there are hand bills and posters along one wall—a riot of clip art, press-on type, and rough-hewn design—and photos along the other; in the center, each band member has their own tall vitrine filled with mementos, a short bio on printed on the side. The polka-dot dress that was almost Exene’s trademark hangs in her display, alongside collages she made for her lyrics. DJ Bonebrake was a collector of t-shirts, and Billy Zoom has one of his guitars and two receipts from for rehearsal space rental, signed by Masque founder Brendan Mullen. 

For John Doe, the band’s bassist and co-writer, the exhibit was nothing short of “surreal.” It’s “very strange” to be confronted with the remnants of the band’s past, he said, especially seeing how X is still a working, gigging band, playing over 100 dates a year. But he laughed at the sight of a black mesh shirt, looking almost brand new next to a ragged denim jacket. “This proves the superiority of nylon,” he joked, adding that while he doubt he’d ever wear it again, he did save it. But his two favorite items are the notebook where he first wrote the lyrics for “Los Angeles,” and the first bass he ever owned. “You can see where I spilled beer or something on it, where the ink ran through,” he pointed out, and noted the sweat stains on his bass. “That’s life.”

Scott Goldman, the Museum’s Executive Director, took pride in the exhibit, pointing out his favorite item, an Olympia manual typewriter that John and Exene used to type out their lyrics. What made it so interesting, he said, was they couldn’t agree who it belonged to. When asked about it, Doe took the diplomatic way out: “we got it from a thrift shop on Santa Monica by Fairfax.”

While he was taking it all in, he brushed off the suggestion that something like the late 70s could happen again. “That’s the beauty of the a scene: it’s there for a moment and gone forever.” But X, even after 40 years and becoming literal museum pieces, plays on.

 

 

 


Sean Hannity: Presidential Proctologist! Ignoring the hand that groped you edition

Sean Hannity: Presidential Proctologist is livid—livid, I tells ya—that liberals are letting Harvey Weinstein off the hook. According to Sean, losing his job, his wife, and his standing in polite society is proof that the Left not only doesn’t care but endorses sexual predation.

On the other hand, Donald Trump bragging (to Billy Bush, of all people) about how, because of his stardom, he can get away with grabbing ladies by their lady parts, and the dozen women who claimed “The Apprentice” host engaged in unwanted sexual behavior…not a problem.

And after pointing an accusatory finger at every Democrat who ever stood on a stage with Weinstein, (or applauded when Roman Polanski won his Oscar)—but didn’t Sean have multiple sexual abuser Bill O’Reilly on his show, what…two weeks ago? And how long did Sean keep quiet while Roger Ailes attempted to grope every blonde on Fox News?

The hypocrisy is breathtaking …


The Only Thing That Can Stop A Bad Guy On Two Feet…

OK, Dana Loesch and the NRA. I’m quite willing to accept your (moronic) contention that feet are as must a threat as guns.

In return, I ask that we limit the number of guns each Second Amendment-loving American can own to exactly equal to the number of feet they possess. By agreeing to this (modest) proposal, I think all Americans will feel safer, knowing they are protected from stampedes. Especially of the gunman-related variety.


Donald Trump, Empath of Genius

“Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here and what is your death count? Sixteen people, versus in the thousands…You can be very proud. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people.”—Donald Trump, comforting the people of Puerto Rico, October 3, 2017

“I will tell you that, in my conversations with the President and in my experience with the president — that his passion and his love for the American people and concern about their welfare is unending. And what he has seen in this is what all of us have seen when you watch the television and you see the situation — the tragic situation that many individuals are in. And his heart goes out to them, as does everybody’s heart.”—Then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, quoted in the Washington Post, August 30, 2017

“(F)or the next four years at least, we have a president who is anything but empathetic. We call this a bad thing and even hold protests to claim Trump’s lack of empathy is terrible for the nation. But is it?—Suzanne Venker, Washington Examiner, January 27, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 2.02.28 PM

The past few weeks have certainly put Ms. Venker’s question to the test. The President has thanked battered Texans for their turnout when he visited the state after Hurricane Harvey, tweeted that ungrateful Puerto Ricans wanted everything done for them, and today, both congratulated/dissed the U.S. Territory for not dying in the numbers racked up by Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Which makes you wonder, what kind of speeches can we expect if we do if, for at least the next four years, have a president who is lacking in empathy….

You never want to hear that someone died from any disease, but you didn’t have anywhere near as may deaths as a real health crisis like the Smallpox Epidemic of 1918 Hundreds of thousands of people—worldwide! hundreds of thousands—were killed. That was some bad hombre of a virus! But you should be proud, very proud, that, in 1976, only 34 people died of Legionnaire’s Disease. That’s 34, against thousands.—speaking at a Philadelphia American Legion Convention

 Nine lives….nine. Like a cat. And every one a tragedy. But you should be proud that your casualties were less than a real mass killer like Charles Whitman in Austin.—At a rally in Charleston, South Carolina

Yes, your beautiful city lost many man thousands of people when Harry Truman—who was, and not many people know this, he was a Democrat—dropped the second A-Bomb here. And you should be proud. But you didn’t have as much destruction like that real atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima—speaking at a memorial service in Nagasaki, Japan

The plane crash that took Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper (the biggest! Thank you…Thank you) and that young Mexican singer was a tragedy, but not like that real plane crash that nearly ended the career of Lynyrd Skynyrd.—dedicating the Buddy Holly Memorial.

 

 


%d bloggers like this: