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HENRY ROLLINS EXISTED, BUT NOW HE DOES NOT. I NO LONGER TAKE HIM SERIOUSLY.

In Articles, Rants, Uncategorized on August 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Brandon Toh, a guy who existed. A lot.

Brandon Toh, a guy who existed. A lot.

I’m pretty sure Henry Rollins just said the stupidest, grossest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say about suicide—and I know a lot of assholes, so that’s really saying something.

“When someone commits this act, he or she is out of my analog world. I know they existed, yet they have nullified their existence because they willfully removed themselves from life. They were real but now they are not…I no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it’s impossible to feel bad for them.” -Henry Rollins for LA Weekly (I’m not linking to this article, because it sucks. I’m sure you can find it if you want to with “the Google.”)

This guy? Not so much.

This guy? Not so much.

Rollins posted these and other idiotic statements about suicide last week in an “edgy” article for LA Weekly called “Fuck Suicide,” condemning Robin Williams and anyone else who has ever taken their own life. Henry Rollins is a lucky guy. He’ll never understand suicide. I sure wish I didn’t. I don’t have that luxury—and I’m not alone.

My friend Brandon killed himself two years ago. He wasn’t my best friend. He was just a really fucking cool, kind, generous, compassionate, funny, intelligent guy that I was lucky to know. He was someone I worked with about 15 or 20 times in the six years that I worked at the suicide prevention hotline—yes, THAT suicide prevention hotline—the one that everyone and his brother posted on Facebook after Robin Williams killed himself. Working at that hotline was the most profound experience of my life, in large part because I got to work with people like Brandon. He was a lovely person.

Brandon helped more people than I or he or his family will ever know. I watched him do it. I heard him do it. I talked to many callers who told me that they meant no offense to me, but that they’d really prefer to talk to Brandon instead because he was the only person who had ever made them feel safe and understood. We worked the overnight shifts together. You get to know someone in a special kind of way when you’re sitting up at 3:30am waiting for the next crisis call to roll in.

He was a musician—a really good one—like, a WAY better one than Henry Rollins. And he was a good cook. I remember the skewers and potstickers he cooked up for everyone at our annual picnic one year. And he was SO funny. I remember one night he told me about how his high school band wrote and recorded a thrash metal song called “Donna Martin Graduates” about the epic civil disobedience episode of the original “Beverly Hills, 90210.” I laughed so hard when I heard it, I cried. He was such a joyful, laugh-inducing person.

Brandon was very talented (unlike Henry Rollins), but more than anything else he was compassionate and kind (also unlike Henry Rollins.) He did more for the world in his 38 years on Earth than Henry Rollins’ terrible music and pretentious douchebag poetry ever did. I’d bet my life on it.

I heard Brandon pour out empathy to the loneliest, most desperate people in the world. It welled out of him like a fountain of goodness. It’s a special gift to be able to do that.

I watched him speak with eloquence, grace, courage and kindness as he trained other counselors who hoped to give relief to other suicidal callers in crisis. I never heard him judge anyone. I never heard him make anyone feel like shit about themselves. And, again, unlike Henry Rollins, I never heard him try to speak with authority on things that he knew absolutely nothing about. I always liked him. Everyone did. How could you not like Brandon? He was goodness personified.

Brandon valiantly fought a battle against bipolar disorder for about 20 years before he hung himself. When he was educating others about suicide, he would sometimes hold up a massive Ziploc bag of pill bottles, explaining, bluntly and bravely: “These are my meds.” He fought hard. And, obviously, he suffered much harder.

Rollins ended his clickbait diatribe by saying that people like Robin Williams and Brandon and everyone else who has ever considered suicide have just “gotta hang in there”—for the sake of people who died too young, before they wanted to. I challenge Henry Rollins to live the rest of his life, not for himself, but for random people he’s never met and knows nothing about and that have nothing to do with him. I’m guessing he couldn’t do it—nor should he want to. It was a stupid statement. No one can live their lives for someone they’ve never met and have no connection to. It was a sickeningly ignorant thing for him to say.

Henry Rollins is such a lucky guy. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get it SO MUCH that he can actually feel contempt for people who suffered horribly, and died alone. I never heard Brandon shit on anyone whose life he didn’t understand. He didn’t do that, because unlike Henry Rollins, he wasn’t a self-absorbed douchebag who lived just to hear himself talk.

Brandon was a real person. He existed. And I will always take him seriously.

Eat a dick Henry Rollins.

Donate to the Suicide Prevention Center Hotline in honor of Brandon Toh here: http://events.didihirsch.org/site/PageServer

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Gallipoli: The Final Wave and how it shaped my comic point of view

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm

gallipoli end shot
When I was 7, I watched the final scene of Gallipoli with my Dad. So, that’s troublesome.

In case you’re blissfully unfamiliar with the 1981 Peter Weir war epic, let me sum it up as best I can: a super dreamy 25-year-old pre-anti-Semitic Mel Gibson and another hot dude are world class sprinters whose Olympic track careers get jacked by World War I in 1915. They work as runners carrying messages back and forth from the front line to the generals in the rear. In the final scene, Mel Gibson runs towards the trenches to let the soldiers know that the general has called off the fight–but he doesn’t run fucking fast enough and….

Warning, graphic content kind of:

It’s hilarious, right? Well, not really. Honestly, I was super crushed when I saw it. After the other handsome blonde runner dude gets shot running across the battlefield, the credits rolled, and I said to my Dad: “But,…why? Mel Gibson was coming to say it was OK and they didn’t have to fight!”

And my Dad said: “He didn’t get there in time.”

I was really upset. It wasn’t fair at all. Mel Gibson was REALLY running for it. Later in the evening, I braided my Barbie’s hair and lamented the cruelty of the world.

“That’s the way things work out sometimes,” a 7-year-old me said, shaking my head and making a note of it in my Ramona Quimby Personalized Diary.

I guess my point is that I learned early on that life is absurd. Or, maybe my point is that painful experiences help you shit out funny things to say. Or maybe I’m just desperately hoping there’s one other person out there besides me that thinks it’s funny to think of a 7-year-old toe-head blonde in a froggy turtleneck watching the end of “Gallipoli” with her Dad?

Survey Names Los Angeles As Most Sex-centric City in U.S.

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 9:32 am
Venice Beach

Venice Beach isn't closed. Everyone is just at home banging.

It may be time to officially change L.A.’s nickname from City of Angels to City of Strumpets.The newly released results of a survey from Match.com’s sister site Chemistry.com reveal that eight of the 10 most sex-loving cities in the country are in California — and seven of those are local to Los Angeles.

I suspect that when they picked “Eureka!” (I have found it!) for the California state motto, they may have been talking about the G-spot.

Read the rest on LA Weekly After Dark

Holy shit. I’m a sex writer.

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

‘Tis a glorious day in the world of Liz Brown.

I had my first piece published on LA Weekly’s ‘After Dark’ Sex Blog today, and now even IIII know I’m a real-live professional writer.  For a sex blog.

Please God, don’t let me ever be THIS annoying:

If you know me personally, you have some idea how hilarious it is that I’m now passing myself off as a sexpert. The wildest sexual thing I’ve ever done is watch ‘Requiem for a Dream’.  If you don’t know me personally, feel free to envision me as a Goddess of Sexual Knowledge. Either way, you’d better read my shit. There WILL be a quiz.

Check out my first LA Weekly After Dark piece here:

5 Sexy Condom Tips for More ‘Pro-Phylactic’ Safe Sex

The Best Places for Homeless Sex in Los Angeles – Silver Lake edition

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Everywhere I go, the homeless are making love.

Sometimes I wonder if their sex lives are better than mine. While I don’t envy their constant day-to-day struggle for survival on the mean streets of L.A., I definitely resent their ability to eschew taboos about sex in public.

One thing that I’ve learned by observing and working with L.A.’s homeless population is that being without shelter doesn’t have to curb your sex life. I’ve observed more homeless sex acts than any former middle class white girl should. It got me thinking: where are the best places for homeless sex in Los Angeles?

L.A. is a big place with neighborhoods as diverse as the dildo selection at Hustler Hollywood. I decided to start by exploring the love dens of the shelterless in my own neighborhood: Silver Lake, aka Hipster Central.

5 BEST PLACES FOR HOMELESS SEX IN SILVER LAKE

1.   
PARKING LOT ACROSS THE STREET FROM CAFE TROPICAL 

This location is a proven hotspot. I’ve personally observed three separate sex acts in this parking lot myself. There’s a mattress next to the dumpster right behind Sun Lake Drugs that serves as a popular sleeping station/fuckpad. You may get interrupted by some of the hipsters coming out of the AA meeting at Café Tropical, but they’re totally cool and non-judgmental. Also, there are a variety of pillows and blankets available. It’s not romantic, but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone.


2.   
SILVER LAKE DOG PARK AFTER DARK 

By day, the park is a popular humping ground for Silver Lake’s hippest hipster doggies. By night, it’s an untapped wonderland of coital pleasures. The park “closes” at 10PM –just in time to take advantage of the low lights and do some star gazing with a receptive lover. The only drawback: doggie poop “land mines” that could harsh on the afterglow when you’re on your way out.

3. UNDER THE BRIDGE

The bridge from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Under the Bridge” (where Anthony Kiedis used to shoot up heroin) isn’t just for bleak but lyrically inspiring drug binges anymore. Now it’s the Bunny Ranch of the homeless Silver Lake community. If you park your car under there (cause you’re late for a gig at Silverlake Lounge), be prepared to hear some coital music emanating from the mattresses nearby. There’s nothing sexier than fucking like a rock star at a spot where rock was born—except fucking somewhere that totally doesn’t smell like pee at all.

4. MUSIC BOX STEPS

When Laurel and Hardy’s historical landmark isn’t occupied with high school students smoking a bowl, it’s an optimal location for those willing to do a stand-and-bang. Plus, sometimes the high school students will share their bowl.

5. PARKING LOT BEHIND EL POLLO LOCO ON SUNSET

Most of the time, the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on a major L.A. boulevard would be a straight up no-no for a public screw, but the El Pollo Loco at Sunset and Sanborn has a cozy and secluded back parking lot with multiple dumpsters for privacy. I’ve only observed one homeless sex act at this location, but the convenience of the affordable meal right next door after a quickie is undeniable. Plus? That chicken is CRAZY man!

Slow going: a rewriter’s lament

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I love having a big project to work on piece by piece, day by day–except when I hate it.

I started rewriting the first draft of my novel about a week ago. I”ve turned 35 single-spaced first draft pages into 25 double-spaced second draft pages, which means I threw out a whole lot of stuff in my first 35. I guess that was to be expected. The beginning of my first draft is sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. There are at least four alternate story lines going on, so I chucked the pages from the three I’m not using and a few more pages of mortifyingly cheesy dialogue between the main character and a character that totally doesn’t exist anymore.

The whole beginning of the book was feeling pretty sluggish to me. Besides this novel, the majority of my writing experience has come in the form of blog posts and sketch comedy–two places where you need to get your point across immediately or risk having your audience tune out. In the first draft of my novel, nothing happened for the first thirty pages. Now, in the second draft, I’m making the opening line of the whole book an explanation of the premise.

There are a lot of great classic novelists who took their sweet time getting to “the point” in their books, giving fifty pages of historical context and their characters’ personal genealogy before revealing a single piece of action to their readers.

I don’t think I want to do that. I think I want to try to suck people in right away. I guess that will make my piece more pop culture-y than classic novel-y, but I guess that’s okay. I just want it to be good and for people to like it.

DEADLINE FOR SECOND DRAFT: FEBRUARY 29, 2012
FIRST DRAFT (SINGLE-SPACED) PAGES REWRITTEN: 35/250
SECOND DRAFT (DOUBLE-SPACED) PAGES COMPLETE: 25
DAYS LEFT:  51
PAGES LEFT TO REWRITE: 215 (Ouch. It hurts to even write that.)

Am I the worst person alive? That’s not nice!

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I know what you’re thinking. I couldn’t possible be the worst person alive, but sometimes I just don’t know.

I snapped at my husband when my car wouldn’t start. I screamed at some of the homeless people hanging out in front of my house yesterday to “get fucking lost you fucking losers!” and called the police on them. Granted-they WERE screaming and on crack–but still–it’s not nice. I used to be a social worker. I could have handled that better. The other day, I didn’t completely and totally pick up all of my dog’s poop.

I’m selfish–self-focused, attention grubbing, narcissistic and jerkish. And petty. And wasteful. And disorganized and messy. And I have a headache.

I’ve never killed anybody–but I’ve definitely wished that people were dead. I really have. It’s not nice.  It makes me feel like I’m the worst person alive.

I used to be SO NICE back in college. Of course, that was back when I wished that I was dead myself because I surrounded myself with users and assholes. But–I was definitely NICER than I am now. “Nice” doesn’t really count for much in Hollywood, but it still has power for me.

I think my mom might actually be Jesus. She’s SOOOOO nice–lives very modestly, has dedicated her life to helping impoverished children, always sees the absolute best in people, eschews materialism.

She always told me: “The most important thing in life is to be a nice person. You could work at a gas station your whole life and I’d still be proud of you, as long as you’re a nice person.”

So,…that should give you some idea of the emotional handicap I’m working with.

The Sweater

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm

My friend Jenny got me this sweater. Not only is it soft and sexy, but it’s a Medium and it doesn’t look like a fucking crop top on me–a rarity for “long-torsoed” folk like myself. I’m wearing it every day of 2012. Have you ever seen a better sweater? Fuck off. No you haven’t,…

Image

Liz Brown does Playboy (sort of)

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

No, I haven’t had a sudden change of body dysmorphic heart. Not only am I not getting naked for Playboy, I don’t plan on being photographed in shorts for as long as I live.

BUT,…I will gladly bare my SOUL for Playboy’s humor, entertainment and lifestyle website The Smoking Jacket! I had my first piece published there this week. As a friend of mine so aptly described it, it’s a story of “drugs, a maxi pad and a whole lot of sweating”.

The Puffer: A Tale of Sneaking Weed Onto A Plane

I walked up to the airport security checkpoint feeling confident and secure—with a fat sack of weed in my underpants. I’d brought more pot than I needed on my trip back East to see my family and there was no way I was just throwing it out. I was bringing it back to L.A. with me.

Read the rest on The Smoking Jacket 

 

 

 

 

How I Became America’s Next Top Tiny Hat Model

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2011 at 11:11 am

     

HOW I BECAME AMERICA’S NEXT TOP TINY HAT MODEL

My crafty next door neighbor Lynda is a tiny hat maker.

I found out by accident when I knocked on her door last week to give her some misdelivered mail
and bait her into a discussion of Dancing with the Stars. 
When she invited me in, I found myself surrounded by tiny hats. I was horrified, assuming (as anyone would)
that she had mugged an entire band of oompah loompahs and mercilessly jacked their head gear.  
I was wrong. It turns out she has a tiny hat store on Etsy.
READ THE REST ON HELLOGIGGLES.COM
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