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My First Booze Cruise

Still in the dark about my adoption, I remained somewhat lost at sea during this time of my life. But as out of place as I was on that boat, and as perilous as the circumstances may have been, I felt safe amongst the members of that tribe. Many of them have now departed on a different celestial voyage.

Carolyn Jones of The Addams Family-2

Lost Secrets of The Addams Family

Die-hard fans of The Addams Family probably know that Vic Mizzy composed the show’s catchy theme song and directed the actors in its opening credits. And you may be familiar with the musician’s first wife, Mary Small, a celebrated radio singer known as “The Little Girl with the Big Voice.” But what you might not know is that Vic Mizzy had a secret grandson whose daughter gave him up for adoption with the aid of an infamous attorney.

Michael Landon Secret Best Friends

Michael Landon’s Secret Best Friends

Actor Michael Landon, best known for his portrayal of Charles Ingalls on television’s Little House on the Prairie was my parent’s closest friend and confidant for nearly three decades. Their friendship was full of highs and lows, marked by a great tragedy, and it’s a fabled story that has never been told. I’ve tried my darndest to bring their incredible relationship back to life in the pages of a colorful new memoir, The Bastard of Beverly Hills, available May 23rd from JIA Publishing. It’s a raw and unapologetic, coming-of-age book that intimately explores a range of sensitive topics from adoption to addiction, faith and cancel culture, and one that I hope readers will be able to both relate to and learn from.

Bildungsroman Titles

The Bildungsroman and the Transformation of a Literary Genre

Explorations of emotional development, self-formation, and coming-of-age themes are universal and timeless when it comes to literature. They’re central themes in many outstanding works and can be traced from before the Greeks into the modern-day. However, examining personal growth and life experiences within a new canvas and genre, the Bildungsroman provided post-colonial writers with an entirely new palate from which to draw insight and a unique opportunity to portray widely different protagonists responding to modern challenges. Perhaps the most recognized features of the form, dealing with education, rebellion, and reconciliation, are exemplified in Oscar Wilde’s aesthetic gothic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, where the author so extraordinarily deconstructed the bildungsroman, that his masterpiece fundamentally transformed the genre.   

The Man Who Would Be King: Rudyard Kipling, Freemasonry and the Perils of New Historicism

Rudyard Kipling was revered as a literary giant in his lifetime. His talents were even compared to those of Shakespeare by renowned philosophers such as William James. But for a few decades now, the author’s Marxist critics, especially those loyal to the poetics of new historicism, have treated the writer and his exotic stories with utter contempt and disdain. Their observations and commentary are predictably focused on the role and influence of colonialism and imperialism present in his narratives, highlighting those factors as not just an essential context for understanding the breadth of his plotlines, their characters, and intent in creating them but as the only lens through which one can reasonably interpret them. This absolutism does a disservice not only to the writer but to future generations of readers fully capable of enjoying Kipling without an Orwellian literati looking over their shoulder, reminding them of his thought crimes.

Bob Dylan and The Art of His Evolving Canvas

Bob Dylan: From Spiritual Chameleon to Accidental Capitalist

Over sixty years have passed since a young Robert Zimmerman began making his mark on history, poetics, and culture. Still, much of the inspiration behind his poignant contributions remains mysterious, partly due to the artist’s secretive nature. His eclectic collection of records, books, and films makes him a platypus amongst aesthetic polymaths, eclipsing accomplished peers who’ve mastered multiple domains. But

Margaret Cavendish

Immaterial Lens: Leviathan Through the Eyes of Lady Margaret Cavendish

Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish’s futuristic novel, The Description of A New World Called The Blazing World, from 1666, has received renewed interest in recent years as feminist academics and other woke literary praetorians obsessed with their crusade of presentism, struggle to revise every page of the western canon. Their intent is not wholly without merit as the ambitious work by Cavendish had gone overlooked for centuries and delights this modern reader with illuminating descriptions of bizarre new worlds that predate some of today’s best science fiction. Many of her insights, although often coated with a generous layer of snark, remain fresh even four hundred years later.

Eleanor Moscatel at home in Beverly Hills

Beverly Thrills: 12 Famous Faces Past & Present

Several celebrity stories didn’t make it into The Bastard of Beverly Hills. Too many to count! But since they didn’t propel the narrative, they were left on the cutting room floor. However, here are a few anecdotes from some of those stories for fans of the book, or just the curious, starting with one about “Uncle Milty” Milton Berle.