Exploring the Depressing House of Michael Jackson’s Disgraced Dermatologist
Having visited a handful of them (and never, mind you, under positive circumstances), I can confidently state that the homes of Hollywood’s countless hangers-on are all the same. The following ratio, seemingly without exception, dictates the dispersion of their possessions: 60% sun-bleached photos of them with former celebrities, usually dating from the 1980s and 1990s; 10% formerly modern furniture, usually dating from the 1980s and 1990s; 10% formerly modern art, usually created by equally sycophantic succubi like Andy Warhol and David LaChapelle in the 1980s and 1990s; and 20% what can kindly be described as “complete and utter fucking garbage,” usually acquired in the late 1990s (what I like to call the “wild card.”)
The wares currently being peddled at the bankruptcy-forced estate sale of Dr. Arnold Klein, much-maligned former dermatologist to the stars, are no exception to this rule.
In happier times, Liz Taylor, Cher, Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga and, rather infamously, Michael Jackson were regulars at his Beverly Hills practice; a solid decade of lawsuits, criminal investigations, and embarrassing press appearances, however, have irreparably tarnished the legacy of the man once hailed as the “Father of Botox.” Miscellaneous effects from the estate of the good bad doctor, infamous enough to have his own “Saga” page on TMZ’s website, are shamelessly being hawked in his seized Hancock Park mansion through Saturday.
In order to enter the house, which is currently in shambles and in escrow (its listing describes it as a “rare yet tarnished treasure”), I had to sign a waiver. The company putting on the sale (probably rightfully) feared I’d fall into a gaping, construction-related hole and decide to get litigious. I understand their desire to cover their own asses; those unfortunate enough to still be affiliated with Klein already have enough problems.
Inside LA’s Least Sexy Sex Club
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.
A Storm Chaser’s View of Typhoon Haiyan
Most people weren’t considering a trip to the Philippines last week. The country was locked down as Super Typhoon Haiyan chewed up island communities throughout Pacific and roared towards Tacloban, where it would claim an estimated 2,500 lives. But for storm chasers, this devastation made the Philippines their number one destination.
The iCyclone team flew into Manila last Thursday. Jim Edds, the one-man action movie fromExtremeStorms.com, was already there. Although they weren’t working together, but the two parties represented the small, overwhelmingly male community of storm chasers who spend big bucks to huddle in hotel rooms during terrifying storms. They’re not usually meteorologists or journalists (though they do document their experiences), they’re just guys who do this for kicks. I can see the attraction to that lifestyle, but for the victims of these natural disasters who would really, really prefer not to be in the path of storms, storm chasers’ hobby likely comes off as extremely insensitive. So I called Josh Morgerman, the Los Angeles–based storm chaser of over 20 years who heads up iCyclone, and asked him if he feels like an insensitive jerk.
The iCyclone team. Josh is in the middle.
VICE: Are you an insensitive jerk?
Josh Morgerman: Well look, there are people who think what we do is insensitive, or that we’re putting ourselves needlessly in danger, but the way I look at it is that these things are going to happen anyway and they need to be documented. It’s important that there are people on the ground, shooting pictures, recording data, and telling that story. There were four of us chasing that storm and now we’ve all been bombarded with media requests because the world wants to know what happened. We also ended up helping lots of people in our hotel escape. People were trapped in their rooms by the storm surge and we broke them out of the windows. We always help where we can.
I Went to a Class to Learn How to Financially Dominate Men
Last week, I went to a financial domination class in Downtown Los Angeles, hoping to learn valuable lessons on how to empower myself. After years of getting screwed over by the Man, I was ready to screw the Man myself. The class was at a place called the Den of Inequity, which is a BDSM club that also puts together workshops.
Financial domination, for the uninitiated, is a fetish where people (usually submissive men) pay money to a dominant female without any hope of sexual intercourse. The sheer thrill of being taken advantage of is enough to turn on the submissive male.
Most of the Den of Inequity’s workshops are on things like “cock and ball torture” and “whipping.” But, as a poor person with an amateur interest in verbally abusing people, I figured I’d go learn about financial domination. I go on drunken rants where I insult men all the time. Why, just the other night I sent a drunk text to my ex saying that we’d probably still be together if his dick was as big as his ego. So if I can make a few dollars doing what I love, why not?
The “Ultimate Women’s Expo” Taught Me While Men Still Ruled the World
A woman is a blank canvas; emphasis on blank. Her face, in its natural and undisturbed state, is a tragic waste of Sephoric potential. Her body, with its propensity to store what medical professionals refer to as “belly fat,” is rubelike in its inelegance. The love she feels for chocolate is rivaled only by the love she feels for her children (or, if she’s unfortunate enough to possess a cursed, non-functional uterus, the dog she purchased from a breeder on Craigslist). Her mind is a cloud of confusion; she knows not what she does, nor who she is. She has a job, but she wants a career. Ah, but what career does she want? She cannot say. She is a walking existential crisis, adrift on a sea of meaninglessness in which she will eventually drown. She is a cipher, placed on this Earth by her male Creator solely to purchase products and services. And what better place for her to do just that than…THE ULTIMATE WOMEN’S EXPO?!?
I am, in the interest of full disclosure, a woman. (If this shocking revelation offends you, feel free to stop reading this and cleanse your palate with a Hemingway short story or eight; I’ll understand.) But I am no ordinary woman. I am a woman who was, mere days ago, #blessed enough to attend the Ultimate Women’s Expo. This is my story. (NOTE: Story edited by a man.)
The Ultimate Women’s Expo literally puts women in boxes.
I arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center at the unethically early hour of 10 AM on a Saturday, ready for my agency to be stripped away and replaced with heavily discounted leggings and reminders of my overwhelming unattractiveness.
Jackass Presents: A Slutever Bad Grandpa Special
In this special episode of Slutever, VICE’s sexpert Karley Sciortino moves to Los Angeles with hopes of becoming famous, just like her idol, Anna Nicole Smith. Things take a random turn when she meets Irving Zisman at a tantric-sex cult meeting. Is love blind? Will Irving be the one to help her find fame once and for all?!
Made possible by jackass Productions and Bad Grandpa, in theaters tomorrow.
Watch the episode
I Thought a Birthday Party in a Sex Shop Would Be More Fun
Last week I was asked to cover Glory Hole 2013, the 42nd birthday party for Hollywood’s famous sex shop, The Pleasure Chest.
Like most people, I like sex and I like parties. This sounded great.
My photographer Nate and I were greeted with this sign, letting us know that “Sex Is Back”! I’m not sure where it went, certainly not my apartment, but it’s back.
We walked to the bar for a drink as I listened to guests make boring small talk that sounded like the pedestrian dialogue in Grand Theft Auto 5.
There was very little talk about sex or the store or anything related to the event or any substance at all. Instead people talked about what people in Los Angeles usually talk about: Themselves. Their careers. Their agents. Their significant others. The weather. It felt pretty much like any shallow Hollywood tradeshow/party, complete with gourmet food trucks and twinkle lights but with the added element of a sex store.
I Went to a Pokémon Musical
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.
I’m Being Cyberbullied by Corey Feldman
As some of you may have seen, I recently wrote an article about attending Corey Feldman’s birthday party. Corey told me that I was only allowed to write about the party if he had final approval on my article. I was slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to go and just make fun of the thing, but agreed anyway because I felt that, no matter how I presented it, a post about Corey Feldman charging people $250 to attend a birthday party at his house could be nothing but hilarious.
The day after the party, I sent Corey the article (including the photos) and he said it was a “great article!” but he wasn’t too happy with the pictures. In an email, he told me, “there’s a bunch w the only old woman I allowed into the party.”
However, after seeing a wider selection of images, Corey said, “Obviously it’s your mag and U can do as U wish.” So I ran it.
Unsurprisingly, once it was posted people made fun of him and the party. There is no possible spin you can put on a $250 per-head birthday party thrown by a former child star in an unfurnished, beige McMansion in the suburbs, surrounded by women in their underwear and “happy 22nd birthday” signage, to make it seem anything other than utterly bleak and miserable.
When he realized people were making fun of him, Corey had a full-blown Twitter meltdown. He either tweeted or retweeted about me and the party roughly 500 times.
Despite many of the tweets containing untrue statements about me (and one with my personal phone number), I felt it was best to ignore them, because, honestly, I feel sort of bad for the guy. It must be hard to be in a place where your life is so grim that an honest representation of it can go viral because of its patheticness.
But then on Monday he sent out a press release accusing me of “bullying” him. The press release read, in part:
Last month, he released his new single Ascension Millennium on YouTube, which has received mixed reviews and controversy from the public and media. A personal birthday party he also hosted was met with strong criticism online; criticism Feldman strongly feels is cyber bullying.
“Unfortunately, we have grown into a society whose belief system holds to bring down rather than to build up. Bullying is present in schools, homes, professional environments and online (cyber bullying), and here is a case no different from just that. I can take criticism, but what people are saying online as of late is far beyond that,” said Feldman. It takes a lot of balls to put yourself out there in the hot seat, so I encourage everyone to not be afraid of what others will say or think. Move forward and ignore the haters,” he added.
Unsurprisingly, antibullying experts weren’t too psyched about Corey using a serious issue to promote his new book/movie/album/party.