nothing in here is true

  1. Friday, July 10, 2020

    im waiting, i dont like to wait. especially for what im waiting on. 

    was it easier when i was young and dumb?

    i feel like it’s harder when youre older because you have expectations based on miracles or

    the Best case scenarios

    i wanna go to the beach after im done waiting but amber doesnt.

    what if i went alone?

    i haven’t done anything truly alone like that in years.

    id rather go with her. she loves malibu.

    in her dream world she’d open a coffee shop there and employ young people on the spectrum.

    in my dream world id open up a pizza joint there.

    when i was a kid we had a pizza joint in our neighborhood called

    The Pizza Joint.

    they made round pizzas and cut the slices in squares.

    pizza these days only gives me a stomach ache because i was so spoiled by those pizzas in my youth.

    ok done, the toast popped up.

  2. Wednesday, July 8, 2020

    in the days of chimpanzees 

    it’s taking me forever to write things during this pandemic.
    can i blame it?

    am i getting old? have i lost it? is this it?

    beck turned 50 yesterday.

    this blue eyed child who when he was introduced via my SPIN magazine subscription he looked like a schoolboy.

    how is he 50?

    how does anything survive and not just bob in the water but


    i dont wanna just sit there and let the waves rock me around

    a victim of the tides and the winds

    i wanna be part of the current.

    i wanna say we’re going this way.

    i wanna say we’re not going that way.

    beck didnt wanna whiteboy rap anymore so he didnt have to.

    i have so much control over what i write and still

    today every sentence was a struggle.


    and i know what it was, i was trying to make it

    you cant try and it wont make it.

    its gonna be it no matter how much you futz with it.

    i think it was shakespeare who said writing is like taking a dump, you can’t force it, you can’t will it

    you just have to eat right, act right and marvel when it arrives fully formed and solid.

    tennyson mighta said that, actually.

    amber and i had our sixth anniversary from the first time we kissed today.

    time flies when yr staring at the sun.

  3. Tuesday, July 7, 2020

    this column is probably why im not a columnist 

    There’s this thing going on today in LA Twitter asking people where are the most cursed places in LA.

    Fuck that shit.

    People are saying this intersection or that one. This Target Husk or that spot where Biggie got shot.

    Fuck it all.

    LA, like anything interesting and valuable, is complicated, deep, and at times just as beautiful as it is fugly.

    The intersection that you don’t like because it doesn’t have a roundabout on it or a stop light or a street light, I fucking love for the exact same reasons.

    I live in walking distance of Target Husk and for going on five years I have seen that half built structure tease me, the innocent child stuck in a custody case. Is it too big? Is the Home Depot of the same size next to it?

    Q. Do we need 100 Targets?

    And now that it finally has been okayed to finish being built, I’m missing its unkempt, crappy plastic flapping in the wind. Soon it will just be another Target. Fuck that.

    So many people move to LA and first thing they wanna do is bitch. OMG it’s so expensive. OMG people are so phony. OMG the traffic. OMG the parking. OMG OMG OMG.

    You know what wasn’t expensive or phony or trafficky with plenty of parking? The fucking village you fled from the second you could.

    LA is the beautiful model actress hooker waitress you continually whine about being high maintenance even though you broke up with your perfectly reasonable “love” when you climbed into your UHaul.

    Yes there are fucked up intersections. Avoid them. Yes there are bad drivers. They’re called New Yorkers! And yes shit cost money here but look around, there’s more opportunity to make those ends here in LA than where you graduated high school, so suck it up or move back home like all the other quitters.

    If LA was easy everyone would live here.

    It’s only cursed on Twitter.

  4. Sunday, July 5, 2020

    10 things i wrote in June for Los Angeleno 

    it’s funny. i dont think i write much. i dont think i write as well as i used to. i dont think theres any magic in my makeup. when i look in the mirror i dont see the man i thought i would be.

    then something happens. then something gets popular. and i think i still got it.

    which is ridiculous because who cares if the public responds? who cares if the right people at the right time click the retweet button? did that make what i wrote any better? shouldnt i just judge myself with my heart?

    shouldnt i just say, i wouldnta published it if i didnt think it was good?

    i have never cared about people’s approval. why start now? because im not 21 any more? because im not getting 100s of comments on shit anymore? trust me, in 2020 if youre getting 100s of comments on something it’s probably bad news.

    last month i was in DEEP on the Rona beat. then i had to also do the BLM beat. it was a lot. it kept me from features and Q&As which is why this month i’ve been asked to lay off the roundups and focus more on original things.

    this week imma write about baseball and swimming pools. but best laid plans… who knows i might meet the coolest Somebody and talk to them for an hour and write it all up and dole it all out. thats why i love Los Angeleno.

    15 Epic Moments From LAPD’s Police Commission Zoom Meeting


    Skip the Lines and Get Tested for COVID-19 at Home


  5. Wednesday, July 1, 2020

    discovered something weird 

    walked around hollywood today. my favorite town. freaky. dirty. dangerous.


    at the target in weho right before closing time

    there was a parade of color and skin and wtf.

    right now you gotta wear a mask if you go outside.

    but this one guy had on the most intricate thing. two different chambers for filtered air.

    and a face shield.

    but one of his feet was broken? so that foot didnt have either a shoe

    or a sock on it.

    i was looking for sleeves for a three ring binder for

    baseball cards.

    so whos the actual freak?

  6. Monday, June 29, 2020

    i cant concentrate 

    the world is so crazy right now.

    hello people in the future. this is tony in the past. hi.

    today this guy resigned as editor of Vogue.com, not Vogue, the magazine, but Vogue the website.

    one person i know who knows him liked him and i respect her but lemme tell you a little something

    for maybe 25 years ive been putting things on the web. at the beginning we had to do it with HTML

    but as things progressed they made little software programs to help make it easier to get what you wanted on the internet.

    they call the software CMS (content management software). every company uses a different CMS for a variety of reasons: cost, control, or because they’re convinced that every other CMS sucks.

    i look at CMSs the way I look at local bars: they’re all about the same and some have tiny charms but if you’re super into booze or super into people you’re gonna like any local bar.

    in this example, if you’re super into getting cool shit up on the web, you’re gonna figure out whatever CMS is placed in front of you.

    this fucker never learned any CMS and when you’re at a certain level you really dont have to.

    you can have people print things out, you can take your red marker to it, and they’ll go fix it.

    then you have a long lunch at a swanky restaurant and talk about things that have nothing to do with putting things onto the internet.

    when you do end up having to talk about your web site you say a bunch of crap in a language that’s either loved or loathed and you float on like modest mouse.

    i am never happy when someone loses their job because like most normal people i have experienced losing a job and it can be earth shattering. you cant relax because now youve gotta find a new job as fast as you can

    but unfortunately life is all about trying to compete with people

    or worse, working for people,

    who do not know anything about CMSes.

    theres many things i want to be,

    but theres also things i DO NOT WANT TO END UP BEING.

    i cant concentrate because the world is imploding

    and as a midwestern boy i know that the most perfect place to be during a tornado

    is in the center

  7. Sunday, June 28, 2020

    zulieka has a child who scribbled on his wall 

    today we didnt leave the house.

    i wanted to go but amber didnt.

    we went to the park on saturday with her work friends and it was sweet.

    really good people work over there.

    it was a park in beverly hills that had tennis courts and a softball field, basketball courts, and lots of grass.

    everyone was socially distancing, which was good.

    two cops patrolled the people and for some reason were messing with the senior citizens.

    kids were everywhere, happy to be out of the house. tons of dogs yapping. even saw three black women — one who arrived in a wheelchair.

    in the back there is a playground that had some mushy material under it. spongey. magical. you stepped on it and it gave a little, which was freaky at first, but squishy. you could see a kid take a spill off the swings and be perfectly fine.

    beverly hills.

    today we watched church then the news. then coming to america.

    i shoulda worked but it’s ten minutes to midnight and technically if i work in 10 minutes itll be monday

    and i wont be breaking a commandment.

    but still i feel like if its dark, it’s still today.

    jurys still out i guess.

    i heart you.

  8. Saturday, June 27, 2020

    the never ending struggle between creativity and financial success 

    pure creativity takes many forms. not all of those are things prospective employers — or even current ones feel comfortable with.

    we live in a time where everything is being analyzed and over analyzed to root out the racial insensitive garbage that should have been gone a long time ago.

    but it’s also scooping out a lot of harmless humor that was never intended to be hurtful and now over time, under today’s context, it’s embarrassing.

    for example comedians who sported blackface as satire are being criticized while actual racist political policies are somehow shielded. jimmy kimmel is getting heat for a comedy bit where he is pretending to be karl malone, but in kentucky last week they made 600k black people vote in One location (instead of hundreds) and everything is nbd.

    sorry but voter suppression is a bd. a vbd.

    jimble kimble in blackface *today* is cringeworthy, but as logic will tell us: consider the source.

    which brings us to Eric Andre. who is hilarious. because he is outrageous. and his new special is fantastic but i think about his future. if he ever wanted to get a “real job” one day, and the HR manager saw this netflix show, it’d be over for him. he talks about smoking weed with his mom, how LSD is his favorite drug, and about the time he ate 4x as much molly as he should have.

    it’s funny and regardless if it is true or not, it makes people laugh: which is the point of comedy.

    comedy should also make us think and andre points out that this country was founded by Puritans and we are still pretty much stuck in that mindset. we get super freaked out with nudity, “foul” language gets bleeped on cable tv and radio, and yesterday we celebrated the 5th anniversary of same sex marriage. How is it that this country is almost 250 years old and gays and lesbians haven’t been viewed as equals for 245 of them? because shit’s fucked up.

    and who better to shine the light on that disparity than the court jesters?

    and the writers. and the artists. and the modern day opinion columnists, and the tiktokers and the athletes and the every day moms and dads who didnt grow up in a bubble, many of whom were educated in good schools

    and know how to get on the mic and speak truth to power?

    but we stifle critical thought unless it’s done in such a narrow, culturally appropriate NPR way.

    which in of itself is fucked.

    people should be allowed to speak their mind in the way that is effective regardless of style.

    michaelangelo wanted to sculpt a giant nude teenage boy and back in the renaissance days italy was all, fuck yeah mike. then the pope was like, paint a shitload of naked bible people on the ceiling while youre at it.

    how is it that we have not progressed in the land of the free and home of the brave? why is it that we dumb our shit down to appease the least evolved, least secure, most cowardly and insincere?

    we know gay people getting married has zero to do with the sanctity of marriage. we know that diverse workplaces can do nothing but better our societies. we know that executive levels of one race and one sex is not just a bad look but less-than-ideal decisions will be made there.

    but we keep on keeping on.

    we punish the women who fight to be equal. we squelch creativity and humor and those who dare to push the envelope.

    and yet we allow one bad policy after another to continue to live another day.

    canada has it right about healthcare.

    japan has it right about policing.

    europe has it right about vacations for the workers.

    and as problematic as the framers were in so many regards, like owning human beings, they were right about so many things that we shouldn’t immediately toss out what good things they brought to the table because of their shortsidednesses if thats even a word.

    do i have the answer for everything? yes. jk. but together we do. if we really abide by the tenants of loving our neighbors and seeing the best in each other we can easily see what is good and bad and support the good. it’s not that hard.

    comedy is not pretty but it’s vital. nazis are not vital. racism is not vital. love and creativity is essential.

    and as we slouch forward to bethlehem, struggling to make cool shit despite the petty pace of the day to day, i invite each of you who reads this to ask
    do i judge someones art based on puritan ideals of long ago, of frightened people who made no cool art, or am i here to encourage the magic of innovation and the glory of being the reflection of God.
    warts and all.
  9. Friday, June 26, 2020

    today is my favorite teacher, robyn bell’s birthday 

    i have been blessed with many great teachers, but my favorite one was my last official one.

    a fan of bob dylan, lou reed, the clash, and less popular stars like emily dickinson and others, robyn had the unique ability to make you feel like you were actually teaching her something every now and then

    the college of creative studies was an oasis for many young people like me who struggled in traditional classrooms with bizarre structures and concepts like “grades”

    at UCSB’s secret college, creatives were encouraged to allow their minds to roam free and promised that they would not be punished if they colored outside the box.

    and yet, guidance was administered. in robyn’s case with the most gentle of nudges.

    one young man whose name escapes me was raised in the midwest, which despite its charms, was narrow-minded when it came to matters of “alternative” sexuality. and so in a poem or a story this lad had a character rip into a series of gay epithets,

    instead of saying “i get it that you’re 21 but do you not know the first thing about some of your heroes and the names they were called? why would you lower yourself to such base and predictable dialogue from the mouths of your characters? and, indeed, why must you insist on being a basic bitch?”

    robyn instead wrote in a little note next to the quotes, “you can do better tony”

    and that young man never wrote such things ever again.

    while many of my heroes are controversial and divisive and burned bridges here and there, somehow robyn was loved by every single person she came in contact with. which isn’t to say there was not conflict in her classroom. i remember more than one student who felt uncomfortable in a class of hers and acted out, causing quite the scene.

    and it was shocking watching her handle the students. her smile became stern. her voice lowered. and lasers shot out of her eyes, hypnotising the young demons right there in their chairs.

    i saw one youngster levitate and then fall when he raised his voice to the professor.

    he asked to be excused and scurried down the hall past the free pizza and disappear into the sky.

    but mostly i watched how in just a matter of weeks students who were incredibly distracted by all types of things at the beach side party school, read the books she assigned, hand in the papers, and grow as writers.

    the things i learned from her i use every day in almost everything i write. and when i teach i do my best to steal everything i can remember.

    today is her birthday and we are all so lucky to have received the blessing of her presence. the next statue they tear down they should replace with one for Robyn.

    as The New England Mystic once said,

    spark one up for the woman who gave your life zing. you owe her almost everything.


  10. Wednesday, June 24, 2020