In operation for the past eight months, members-only Los Angeles club Sanctum likes to declaire itself “LA’s #1 erotic experience.” The proprietors of the club created what is ostensibly a moveable feast of fucking for rich men and women who want to explore group sex, fetishes, and garden-variety voyeurism ala Eyes Wide Shut. They offer “invitation-only private parties at various clandestine venues in Los Angeles,” and charge a $2,500 membership fee to visit their LA events.
Male attendees must wear a tuxedo and women, “lingerie or tasteful evening wear,” plus masks all around. The club’s website mysteriously adds, “We are fully out in the open, certainly—but we still harbor secrets.” These claims of sophistication and intrigue seemed incongruous with the reality of what sounded like a pretty standard orgy, so I decided to check out Sanctum to see if it lived up to their hyperbole.
According to its strict set of rules, Sanctum requires aspiring members to submit their photos via email before they are approved to join or attend. “Beautiful single ladies can enter the club on our guest list” (after submitting full-length photos). Even the most privileged men don’t get that luxury.
The Bill and Ted Show at Universal Studios Is Super Homophobic (and Also Racist and Terrible)
Each year, Universal Studios Hollywood has a big Halloween event called Halloween Horror Nights. Part of this is a play called Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.
The play is about Bill and Ted going on some kind of pantomime-y Halloween adventure. Along the way, lots of jokes are made about things that have happened in pop culture over the preceding year.
I use the term “jokes” loosely here. As they are, generally, terrible, and follow the same formula: Pop cultural reference + pop cultural reference + a reference to sex = LOL!
For instance, there’s a scene where a Sharknado appears and Kim Jong Un comes on to the stage to explain that the Sharknado came into existence as a result of Kristen Stewart sucking his dick too hard. After he said this, the audience laughed. Unless I’m missing something, this is meant to be funny because:
1) It references Kristen Stewart 2) It references Kim Jong Un 3) It references sex 4) It references Sharknado
It’s safe to say that F. Scott Fitzgerald had a poor relationship with Hollywood. He had three periods of steady work with the studios: in 1927, at the height of his fame; in 1931, when he was in need of money for treatment for Zelda; and in 1937, when he was on contract with MGM making a paltry $1,000 a week. All of these Hollywood sojourns ended in frustration for both Fitzgerald and the studios.
Fitzgerald spent the last year and a half of his life in Los Angeles. At that point, his only steady income was from the piecemeal sale of the Pat Hobby Stories to Esquire. The Pat Hobby Stories are the collected tales of a desperate hack scriptwriter who shuffles around the studios of Hollywood scrambling for work to pay for his drinking. Fitzgerald died at the age of 44 from a series of heart attacks before he could effectively organize the stories into a single work for Scribner. It wasn’t until 20 years after his death that the Pat Hobby Storieswere collected into a single volume,
The Pat Hobby Stories are Fitzgerald’s final testament on Hollywood. In a twisted way, they are also his last nightmarish take on his own place as a great writer brought down by circumstance. Bruce L. Chipman pointed out in his book on Hollywood novels called Into America’s Dream-Dump that the Pat Hobby character is probably “the frightening image of what Fitzgerald saw himself becoming.” Like Fitzgerald at the end of his life, Pat is dependent on intermittent Hollywood jobs to make ends meet. But although Fitzgerald had suffered from debt and demoralization, he was nowhere near the depraved and irredeemable state that Pat Hobby has succumbed to. So Pat Hobby is not an autobiographical figure as much as an ironic clown that allowed Fitzgerald to write about his plight as a writer who was writing to live, rather than as a author who was living to write. The distinction between the two is made clear to an east coast novelist by Pat Hobby in the story “Mightier than the Sword.”
I stood outside the Asylum Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard at 11:59 PM on a Saturday, leering with an exhaustion that trickled through like molasses. I turned to my date, wincing through my exhaustion, “I really hope this Pokémon musical sucks balls.”
I had first heard of The Pokemusical by way of Groupon, which has undergone something of a transformation—it used to be for consumers looking for a good deal, but now it seems to mainy be a way for ailing businesses and about-to-fail shows to wave flags that say, “We surrender! Please please please give us almost any amount of money for our goods and services!” It’s still a decent way to get discounts, but it’s an even better way to discover bizarre projects that never should have existed in the first place.
So naturally I figured I’d be experiencing off-key voices, patchy dialogue, and terrible dance moves. I was prepared for a room of sweaty nerds resting solely on their references. I was prepared for an audience of their friends clapping despite their hackneyed performances. I was prepared to run home and trash the evening, gleefully telling everyone I knew how awful it was. What happened on Saturday night ruined these preparations.
A couple of weeks ago, we ran a piece by Jonathan Daniel Brown about the time he interned for Pauly Shore. As you would expect, the article was about how Pauly is a douche and interning for him was miserable.
A couple of days after the post was published, a video called “More Disgruntled Pauly Shore Interns” was uploaded to YouTube.
The video was uploaded with this description: “Thank God finally someone let the cat out of the bag. Pauly Shore is the worst boss and I truly think he’s crazy. I am currently one of Pauly’s interns. After I post this hidden camera video of Pauly (being who he truly is) that another intern and I did I’m sure we will both be let go, which will be a relief. We are sick of his abuse! Thank you so much Jonathan for letting everybody know: Pauly Shore truly is an asshole.”
DISCLAIMER: I was only allowed to attend Corey’s birthday party under the condition that he have final edit of whatever I write. Below is the text approved by Corey Feldman:
You probably know Corey Feldman from classic movies like Lost Boys 1, 2 & 3, Stand By Me, andthe Goonies. But for the last year or so, he’s been working on a new project, a “360 degree interactive experience” called Corey’s Angels.
Corey’s Angels are, essentially, Corey’s version of the Playboy Playmates: a gang of handpicked babes who constantly surround him. Only instead of chilling at the Playboy Mansion, they gather with Corey in his house (which he’s dubbed “The Feldmansion.”)
Here’s how his website describes the venture:
"Corey for the first time in his adult life is currently single. Corey also being an actor musician has the good fortune of traveling all over the world where he has the opportunity to meet gorgeous and beautiful women of all races and types of ethnicity. Now for the first time he is merging all of those worlds together by creating Corey’s Angels."
Luckily for you, Corey is going to be throwing several parties a year that plebs like you and I will be able to attend for just $250.
Ron Jeremy, Tom Green, Woody Harrelson, and Chris Kirkpatrick have all previously been spotted at Corey’s parties. When I found out that the hottest names in Hollywood were going to be living it up in a mansion with some of the hottest bitches on the planet I knew I had to see that shit with my own two eyes.
I feel I should mention the parties are only $250 to attend if you’re a guy. Chicks get to go for free, as long as they are pre-approved by Corey, and are willing to wear lingerie for the duration. Which may sound unfair if you’re a dude, but can you fault a brother for doing everything possible to stop his shindig from boiling over into a full-blown sausage party? Don’t act like you wouldn’t do the same thing if you had the option.
Also, he’s Corey Fucking Feldman. He can do whatever he wants, man.
If you’re feeling like a super-VIP experience, there are extras you can splash out for, too. For instance, $500 will get you an hour in Corey’s private hot tub with security and bottle sevice. $2,500 will get you a private poolside cabana with “private angel service” like the one pictured above.
Here at VICE, it’s not uncommon for us to write disparagingly about the city of Los Angeles. We actually do it pretty often. Probably because most of us are sitting in the rarefied air that is the borough of Brooklyn. Not I, sir. No, I live smack in the middle of the City of Angels. I consider myself grateful for the spectacular weather, plethora of career opportunities, and crippling body image issues this town has given me. Yes, I actually like it here. Some people happen not to see things my way though.
LA Weekly, home to some of the best back-page advertisements for medical marijuana I’ve ever seen, posted a venomous screed about the “12 Most Overrated Things in Los Angeles” written by an impetuous young lad by the name of Hillel Aron. One can forgive VICE its predilection for prodding LA since it’s really just some far-off Xanadu for the vast majority of our staff. Conversely, one would assume that a publication called “LA Weekly” would be more amenable to their ever-dwindling readership that makes a home in Los Angeles.
According to his website, Hillel is actually an LA native who attended USC film school and “successfully petitioned Encyclopedia Britannica to make their entry on Los Angeles less negative.” For the foreseeable future, he’ll now be known as “the guy Dave Schilling wrote the article about.”
Wait… I mean he’ll be known as “the guy who took a huge dump on LA and got his article to go viral.” Let’s assume Mr. Aron isn’t being cynical and trolling purely for attention. I mean, that’s crazy. No internet writer does that, ever, especially not for a miniscule list spread over three pages just for the sake of extra clicks. Instead, let us suppose that he is serious about all of this so that I might indulge in a rebuttal that will end up being twice as long as the article I am referencing.
Here are the 12 most overrated things in Los Angeles, according to LA Weekly, and my well-reasoned, passionate response to each one:
“Hey L.A., if you really care about cyclists, maybe pave the fucking roads once in a while?” So, does this mean you don’t want bike lanes? Are you saying they’re stupid or that you want them? I don’t follow this logic at all. Please help.
“Sorry, I’m only 19. I can’t buy alcohol,” I mumbled without looking up from the game of Tetris I was playing on my flip-phone. “Say it’s for Pauly. Tell the bartender you’re my intern.” And so, it was 8 PM on a Sunday night after the Comedy Store’s Potluck Open Mic night in mid 2009 that a gullible and obese 19-year-old aspiring comic finally achieved the American Dream: doing Pauly Shore’s bitch work for free.
It had been a year since I had dropped out of Pierce Community College to try my hand at standup comedy and things weren’t going particularly well. The biggest comedy clubs in LA like the Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory use what’s basically a half-lottery, half-friendship system for their open mics. I would very rarely get picked. Unlike smart comedians, who would grumble off and leave looking for another place to do a set when they were rejected, I would stick around and watch the show. Partially because I wanted to learn from the performers, but mainly because I had no friends. I was having a conversation with one of the few Potluck regulars who tolerated me when the Weasel himself anointed me as his indentured servant.
I showed up at the next morning for my first day of interning and stood around for 15 minutes, waiting for Pauly to arrive. Finally, a beat-up car pulled into the lot. Pauly stepped out wearing a worn-out T-Shirt with a drawing of his face on it and “PAULYWOOD” written underneath. “Hey duuuude!” he announced, pointing to a massive suitcase in the backseat of his car, “Carry this in for me, Intern.”
For a skateboarder growing up on the East Coast in the 80s and 90s, Huntington Beach seemed like ground zero. Christian Hosoi, the most stylish skater of all time lived there; Jason Lee, one of the biggest early innovators in street skating was there; even my favorite skater of all time, New Jersey’s Mike Vallely moved there and teamed up with fellow street legend Ed Templeton. And when the Flip team flew over from England with Geoff Rowley and Tom Penny, who would quickly take their places in the vanguard of new street rippers, I couldn’t help but believe that Huntington Beach was the greatest place on Earth.
Then I visited when I turned 18 and it was like Hitler won the war. Blonde and blue-eyed was the norm. Not one person of color to be seen anywhere. Nazi regalia was sold in Army/Navy stores alongside Dickies and bayonets. Then I started hearing stories of teenage skinheads lynching black people like it was Alabama in the 50s. One of skateboarding’s kindest, gentlest souls and my childhood idol, Ray Barbee, was chased by a rabid pack of skinheads and barely escaped with his life. Not trying to sound racist, but I hate white people. In the immortal words of Huntington Beach’s local pro skater Jason Dill, “I don’t want to be white as much as you don’t want to be white.” I vowed that day never to return to Huntington Beach.
This past weekend, nearly 20 years to the day, I found myself in Huntington for the US Open of Surf, which played host to the Van Doren Invitational Bowl contest, the preeminent skateboard bowl contest of our time. The neo-Nazi sentiment was still there, just a bit more subdued (I saw one yoked out, shirtless skinhead in the stands with a 10-inch snowflake on his chest, a poor attempt to cover up the Swazi over his heart). Of the daily 100,000 contest visitors I saw, all but two were blonde and blue-eyed, and neither of them were black. The only real noticeable change was that the scantily-clad girls I recall from two decades before hadn’t aged. In fact, they’d regressed to pre-pubescence and their bikinis had regressed with them. A man’s natural reaction is, “Hey! Wow! Tits! All right!” but once I realized very few kids were of age I began to get sick to my stomach.
I was working on a video project while in Huntington Beach, and when I began to search for boys and girls who were over the age of 18 I found it nearly impossible. Even the ones with very adult messages written on their bodies like “US Open your legs,” “free blow jobs,” “stick it here” (pointing to their ass), “rape me,” “free rim jobs,” etc., etc. told me they were only 15 or 16 (and I’m quite certain they were lying about their age). For the next four days I kept my head down and looked at the sand as if they were all Medusas. I’ve felt less creepy while on gang bang sets.
Naturally nine days of whipping children into a sexual frenzy could only end one way: a good old-fashion riot.
Luckily, I was long gone before the cops showed up. But Ed Templeton, skateboarding’s most prolific artist and Huntington Beach’s hometown hero/advocate was there capturing the entire week’s festivities. I rang him up to get his take on the HB scene.
VICE: What was Huntington Beach like when you were growing up? Ed: Downtown was surf shops, bars, and food. Quaint one- or two-story buildings. The locals ruled the place, and there were fights all the time. Skinheads hung out on one corner and said racist shit to everyone. Religious zealots would preach that we are all sinners. In many ways not much has changed.
How has it changed over the years? Now it’s Starbucks and Jamba Juice, microbreweries, and ice cream shops. There are still surf shops, but they are bigger and more corporate. The skeleton of the past is still there, but Main Street is bigger, louder, and more geared towards tourists. The skinheads have stopped hanging out on the corner—they are all grown up and breeding families. A few racist kids still hang out down there, but they’re more stealth about it. Fights happen at night now when the meatheads who all think they are MMA fighters get their liquid courage to the right level.
You mentioned that racist element—I remember Clyde Singleton getting chased by skinheads with bottles, and Ray Barbee being as well on a seperate occassion. More recently, I saw a lot of Swazi tattoos this weekend. Why has that sentiment been so big in HB? Orange County has the highest concentration of Nazi skinheads outside of Cologne, Germany. I’m not sure how old that fun fact is. But the gangs were here; there are remnants of it. Just today Deanna shot a photo of a guy with a white power tattoo on his chest walking shirtless down Main Street. It’s out there. The Ray Barbee story is the worst. I remember Jamie Hart and his friends beating up skinheads when I was younger. I see the Swazi tats, but those fucktards and their way of thinking is on the way out. Or so I like to think.
You and Deanna are both born and raised in Huntington, but I always felt you outgrew it. Why stay? Deanna was born here in HB; I was born in Garden Grove—still the OC. I started skating in HB, and that’s where my life began. At the moment when I would have normally said, “Lets get the fuck outta here!” I was doing Toy Machine, and it was before the internet got so fast. I still had to Fed-Ex zip drives down to the magazines with Toy ads, and drive down often to arrange graphic stuff. I felt tied to being at least within driving distance from where Toy Machine was being made, which is San Diego. So the company kept me from moving. Now with the speed of the interwebs I could live anywhere, but again, when you get older you gain more perspective. And after traveling the world, which I continue to do, I realize that everyone in the world would kill to live where I do. It’s paradise. Yeah there are douchbags, but there are douchebags everywhere. The weather is perfect, the beach is close, LA is a short drive away with all of its culture and art, but I’m not in the middle of that. I’m here in a quiet suburbia where I can drop out and get work done.