“Dolphin Lover” to premiere at Slamdance

December 9th, 2014

Dolphin Lover temp poster

Well it looks like Kareem Tabsch and Joey Daoud have almost finished Dolphin Lover, their documentary about my love affair with Dolly the dolphin in the early 1970’s. The short film, which Kareem assures me will be less than 15 minutes in length, will premiere at the Slamdance Film festival in 2015.  Slamdance is considered the “alternative to the alternative,” that being of course Sundance, which was started by Robert Redford as an alternative to Cannes.  It is held in Utah, and I wonder what the audience is like… but I digress.

Aside from the fact that I look terribly nerdy in the poster (I’m 21 in the picture), I’m eagerly awaiting the film because I have no fucking idea what, exactly, Kareem has done with the almost four hours of footage they filmed in our interview back in September.  I do know that their video will contain some archival footage I shot of Floridaland, the amusement park where our tryst took place, and from Huck Finn’s Adventure, a promotional film for the park that was shot back in the 1960’s.  Given what the pair did with Cherry Pop, a film about a very fancy cat, I would assume, however, that it will be witty, wry, funny and touching.

Will it help dolphins?  I wish I knew.  If it makes people more aware of their vulnerability, their sapience and their plight in our current situation, then it will.  Please let it be so.

Kareem, who runs a couple of art house theaters in Miami, says he will bring the completed video over here for me to see when it’s ready.  It seems like a long haul for such a short film, but he says he wants to see my reaction to it the first time I see it.  I wish my old truck “Bumpy” could be relied upon to make it to Miami, but it needs too much work to be considered for such a drive.

Meanwhile, I am working on Christmas presents for my family.  Wet Goddess is still selling well, but sales of Orgone Box remain very slow, and my efforts to get it acknowledged by “paranormal” radio shows and podcasts haven’t amounted to a hill of beans.  I am at a loss as to what to do.  Suggestions, anyone?

The 58%ers

November 13th, 2014


So the other day my friend Dave and I were bemoaning the loss on Amendment 2 in the mid-term elections. Amendment 2, you may remember, was for medical marijuana. Like all amendments to the Florida constitution, it required 60% to pass; unfortunately, it received only 58%, due in large part to an expensive scare campaign mounted by well-heeled out-of-state interests.

Still, 58 percent of the vote is a damn sight more than either governors candidate received! Rick Scott got re-elected with only 48 percent of the vote.

So we came up with this shirt. If you want one, they’re only $23.95 including shipping. Write me at eyesopenmedia@comcast.net

Out of print, again

November 3rd, 2014

Wet Goddess is out of print again because I am out of money. Trying to get the printer to advance me 50 copies for pre-Chrimstmas sales, meanwhile, when I do this, prices on used copies go through the roof. Here’s an example from when I took a one-week sales hiatus in September to visit my family:

Don’t fall for this, WG is only out of print temporarily and will be available again soon… hopefully in time for Christmas.

UPDATE: The printer came through for me, so look forward to availability again soon.


October 21st, 2014

Well, “Orgone Box” seems to have landed with a resounding thud. On Sept. 17 I sent out press releases to about 25 “paranormal” themed radio shows and podcasts, and so far not one – NOT ONE – has seen fit to respond.
Very disappointing.
The good news is, I don’t feel like murdering anyone to protest the dolphin drive hunts in Taiji. So the new meds must be working. I consider this a triumph of pharmaceutical science, but it doesn’t mean I’m not depressed, sad and angry.
The bad news is, according to reformed dolphin hunter Izumi Ishii, it looks like his town of Futo is about to follow suit.
I really need to get a notice about “Orgone Box” up on my website. But since I so seldom update the web site, I mostly forget how to do it between updates. I’m not sure I remember at all right now. And the web site looks so pathetic, if I had some money I’d hire someone to re-do it and update it.
I just do the best I can, folks, and it ain’t easy.

“Orgone Box” review

October 12th, 2014

The 50s and 60s – how far away they seem now! Another time, another world… Growing Up in the Orgone Box is an electrifying trip back to post World War II in the United States of America.

It was the beginning of space exploration: first satellites in orbit, first insects in space, first mammals, first apes, first humans… then, at the end of the 60s, humans on the Moon! Astronomy was the most exciting subject. Kids wanted to be astronauts. Space travel dominated cartoons, movies and TV series.

Down to Earth, war brides and veterans of war were trying to fit into this new world. Teenagers screamed and fainted at Elvis and the Beatles. Children still suffered from poliomyelitis.

All this under the menace of a nuclear war: naval blockades in the Caribbean, Russia missiles in Cuba, USA missiles in Turkey… At school, kids routinely ducked and covered, preparing for nuclear attacks. Grown-ups spent their weekends building fallout shelters and cramming them with canned food.

Growing Up in the Orgone Box drives us back into this distant world like magic – well, the word “magic” might not be quite suitable, cause this childhood memoir is all about fighting superstition.

After WWII, beliefs in fairies, goblins, deities and potions had become old fashioned, but were quickly replaced by pseudo-scientific jargon, tales of paranormal activity and alternative medicine.

Charlatans seemed to dominate american life. Swindlers took advantage of gullible people with total impunity, pestering them with hoaxes and bogus treatments for diseases, real or imaginary. Adults seemed powerless to defend their children against the most preposterous quacks — and even consented to horrific abuses and genital mutilations based on superstitions.

An eerie touch, amidst all the obscurantism portrayed in the book, is given by photos of typical cheerful american families, in sunny houses and gardens (at least as portrayed in Hollywood movies; I personally have no idea of what a typical american family or house is like).

Reading Growing Up in the Orgone Box feels like being inside the brain of a boy building his own enlightenment. A fascination with nature and with scientific instruments to observe, explore and record everything: microscopes, telescopes, cameras… Doubts, hypotheses, experiments; more doubts, more hypotheses, more experiments. A battle of reasoning against scams and superstitions. Bit by bit, knowledge conquering fear.

This childhood memoir is nothing short of miraculous. In the non-superstitious meaning of the word: “full of wonders”.
Dr. Lucy V.

Press release: “Orgone Box”

September 19th, 2014



For immediate release Oct. 17, 2014


“Wet Goddess” author pens memoir of childhood sex abuse

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Malcolm J. Brenner, author of the controversial 2010 interspecies romance novel “Wet Goddess: Recollections Of A Dolphin Lover,” has published a second book, “Growing Up In The Orgone Box: Secrets Of A Reichian Childhood.”

The memoir of Brenner’s youth in a pseudo-scientific cult rips the veneer of respectability and self-righteousness off the bizarre sexual theories of notorious 1950’s psychotherapist Wilhelm Reich and questions his judgment of character.

“Reich wanted to create a sexual Nirvana for everyone, including children of all ages,” Brenner said, “but when he founded his Orgonomic Infant Research Center, he ended up putting a fox in charge of the henhouse.”

The “fox” Brenner is referring to is the late Dr. Albert Duvall, a student of Reich’s who administered painful, punishing and sometimes sexually invasive “orgone therapy” to the children sent to him for treatment of various psychological disorders.

Reich boastfully called them his “Children of the Future.” He hoped to create a world free of neurosis brought on by sexual repression, while unbeknownst to him, one of his closest associates was routinely abusing children mentally, physically and sexually – and getting paid by their parents to do it!

Now, decades later, the former pediatric patients who survived abuse at Duvall’s hands are finding each other through the Internet and sharing their horror stories. “My book is written for all the children who endured these tortures,” Brenner said. “A common thread is that we complained repeatedly to our parents about what was going on in Duvall’s locked, soundproof office, and none of them listened to us or seemed to care. Since most of our parents were also in therapy with Duvall, he may have exerted a Svengali-like posthypnotic control over their misguided decisions to keep us in therapy with him.”

Duvall practiced in New Jersey in the 1950’s, but suddenly moved to Los Angeles shortly after Reich died in a federal penitentiary in 1957. Reich had been serving a short sentence for shipping his “orgone energy accumulator” boxes across state lines without FDA approval. Before he died, the agency also ordered six tons of Reich’s publications, writings, notes and orgone boxes burned in a New York incinerator.

In Los Angeles, Duvall became an “orgonomist to the stars,” treating Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Judy Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft and blogger Roger Wilcox.

“The orgone accumulator is nothing more than a large, weak, electrical capacitor,” Brenner explained. “The only mysterious thing about it is Reich’s claims that sitting in this empty, sheet-metal-lined box could do everything from revive a flagging libido to treat cancer.”

The memoir covers the period of time from Brenner’s first concrete memories, around age five, through his parents’ breakup and divorce to his leaving home to attend college at 18. In between, he experiences terrifying fears, social stigmatization, PTSD and bizarre sexual urges. The foreword was written by the author’s brother Hugh R. Brenner, himself a practicing orgonomist.

“You could say this is a psycho-sexual history of my family and how Reich and his bogus ‘orgone therapy’ failed us,” Brenner concluded. “I want the truth to be finally known.”

“Growing Up In The Orgone Box: Secrets Of A Reichian Childhood,” 341 pages, $18.95 + $5 S/H. Published by Eyes Open Media, 5895 Swaying Palm Drive, Punta Gorda, FL 33982 eyesopenmedia@comcast.net   http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Orgone-Box-Childhood/dp/0615902677/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410896559&sr=1-2


September 7th, 2014

Understand, I used to make my living as a professional interviewer, first as a car salesman and later as a reporter.  So I know a thing or two about how to conduct an interview, and what constitutes a good interview as opposed to a bad one.  I spent about four hours being interviewed by Miami filmmaker Kareem Tabsch yesterday, and let me tell you, the guy is very, very good.  He made what might otherwise have been a grueling experience about as pleasant as it could be.

I really don’t like to talk about my experiences with the dolphin.  Believe it or not, I don’t.  That’s why I wrote Wet Goddess, so I wouldn’t have to keep telling the story over and over, because I do feel compelled to tell it, obviously.  So talking about it is stressful, and in some cases brings up the sadness associated with losing her.

Having interviewed  me off-camera before, Kareem had already established a baseline of trust.  I think he’s going to be respectful of my experience, but not accept it glibly either.  I felt nervous going into the interview, in part because Kareem had rented a studio in Clearwater to film in.  (Why Clearwater?  Well, Kareem had to come over to the west coast to access materials from the Sarasota Historical Society about Floridaland, the park where Dolly the dolphin worked and lived, and he happened to get a good deal on the studio rental through a mutual friend of the owner.)  But he asked some rather general questions about my education and background first, then gently moved into questions of a more personal nature.  Smoothly done, Kareem.

Of course, I’m always more comfortable on the receiving end of the camera, or the microphone.  Fortunately, Kareem knew what he wanted, which made the interview go smoothly.  If I didn’t give it to him, he wasn’t afraid to ask me to rephrase my statement more succinctly.   He didn’t let me ramble too much, and when we took our first break, after about an hour, he was lavish with his praise, which never hurts.

Interesting note on technique, rather than sitting beside the camera, Kareem used a teleprompter to beam his image in front of me, thus I could be looking directly at him and addressing the camera at the same time.  The lighting was two banks of cool fluorescents, one located below, one above, my eye level, right beside the camera, with a hot light on the background behind me.  At one point about 3/4 of the way through the interview, the halogen bulb exploded with a noise like a hand grenade, and I nearly fell off the high, narrow chair Kareem had me sitting on.  It wasn’t comfortable, but it kept me alert.  He and his cameraman used two small, mirrorless digital still cameras made by Panasonic to film the interview, recording the sound with not one but two external microphones, one a shotgun mic, the other a wireless lavalier.   The cameraman said he just likes the redundancy.

At the end of a long afternoon Kareem seemed happy with what he’d gotten, and I wasn’t grinding my teeth, or feeling disappointed.  So the initial signs are good.  Of course, a lot can happen when one is boiling a four-hour interview down to less than 15 minutes, which Kareem says is the maximum running time for a short film.  They also scanned a bunch of my negatives from Floridaland and other samples of my photography to use.  I think there are a couple of other interviews they plan to film, one with a psychologist about zoophilia and one with some animal rights advocate, but I don’t know as plans are still fluid at this point.  It will be interesting to see what Kareem comes up with.


Confessions of a hoarder

August 11th, 2014


I have a confession to make, and this has nothing to do with sex or sexuality.  It has to do with another obsession, one that started in my childhood.  You might not know it to look at me, but I seem to be a hoarder of a sort.  I first began to realize this when I was preparing and cleaning up the trailer for a visit from my daughter a couple of months ago.  If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know I used to write for Harbor Style magazine, a local “slick” (so called because they are printed on coated paper for the best image reproduction).  Like any good writer, proud of his or her work, I kept copies of my articles both to show off my abilities as a writer and for future reference.   The articles were clipped from the magazine and filed by general subject.  At some point, I got behind on keeping up with this (procrastination), and the magazines began to accumulate in cardboard boxes, three or four scattered around the trailer.

I kept telling myself to sit down in front of the TV, turn on something mildly interesting and clip the rest of the goddamn articles, but it never got done.  Then, three years ago, the magazine dropped me due to advertisers’ protests, because I did an interview on “Bubba the Love Sponge” that was apparently heard by millions, if not zillions of people.  After that, I not only lost an income stream (one I could desperately use right now), but also any incentive to keep filing the articles that had accumulated.  They just sat in their cardboard boxes, cluttering up my trailer a little.

All that changed with my daughter’s impending visit.  I wish I could say I sprang into action and got the trailer spick and span, but I don’t seem to work that way any more.  I got it a little cleaned-up, removed the worst of the mess, and took the junk boxes of old magazines and threw them in the recycling.  I think I’d already gotten most of the articles out of them anyway, although perhaps not the multiple copies I’d like to have.

That was when I noticed the photographs.

I’ve been trying to make a living off my photographs for decades.  For a long while I aspired to be a “stock photographer,” that is, a freelance photographer who makes his or her living shooting pictures for stock agencies.  A stock agency is a repository for high-quality photographs that can be used commercially or editorially.  These can be photos of anything, but usually the subject is people doing something – playing tennis, counting money, driving a car, etc.  Since I seem to have innate problems dealing with people, or them with me, I have a deficit of people photos, and the ones I do have are usually casual snapshots of my family and friends, un-model-released, which do not qualify qualitatively or legally as stock photos.  (If you want to see some of the photos I have managed to place with a stock agency, you can do so here.)  Trying, I should add, unsuccessfully.  A few of my photos have sold through stock agencies, but most of them have sold through personal connections.  Just like in any other business, it’s not what you know, it’s who.  Or, as they say, who knows you.

When I had cleared out the boxes of magazines, I noticed the piles of photos, negatives and old 8mm. videotapes cluttering the trailer.  Some of my photos, particularly the slides (color transparencies), which were intended for stock, are filed by subject in hanging files.  The negatives, however, are a mess, and many of the prints have never been put in albums.  I literally had piles of negatives in plastic pages that were several inches high.  I could have sold them by the pound, had I wanted to.

As a result, at 63, I have a gross mess on my hands, one I don’t want to pass on to my daughter when I die.  I am trying to pair up the photos with the appropriate “proof sheets” (a proof sheet, for the uninitiated or young, being the negatives printed directly in strips onto a sheet of photo paper, without enlargement) so I can catalogue them in 3-ring notebooks.  At one time, it seems, I had them in notebooks, but I don’t know what became of them.

The impetus for this is a filmmaker, Kareem Tabsch, who wants to make a documentary about my experience with Dolly the dolphin.  He wants to be able to use some of the photos I shot, and used in the book, as visuals in his film, so I decided I needed to get them together for him.  The files, needless to say, are a mess. At one point, all the photos I had scanned and used in the book were in a single, over-long envelope, to accommodate the 9″ strips of 35mm negatives, but a couple of months ago I scrapped my oldest filing system, because the glassine pages were falling apart, and replaced the files with modern, plastic pages.  At some point in that process, I believe I moved all the “Wet Goddess” negatives out of the long envelope and back into plastic pages.  But which pages?  I am trying to correlate the filed negative pages with the proof sheets so Tabsch’s editor can see what he’s got to work with.  I THINK I’ve got all the negatives together, but I’m not altogether sure.  If not, where are they hiding?  I am working my way through a pile of old negatives to see if I can find any that might have been misplaced.  Needless to say this sloppiness on my part troubles me, and I hope my efforts pay off.  I’ll be filing these old negatives in another three-ring binder… as soon as I can afford to buy one. That would be Wednesday, when my next SS check comes in, but it’s going to be stretched very thin by the necessity of publishing Orgone Box, which will take up about half my payment, if not a little more.  I am probably looking at another usurious loan from Check-&-Go to make it through the month, but without credit, what other options do I have?

BTW, is anybody reading this blog?  My e-mail showed recently that about 100 new people had signed up for it, but I have no idea who any of them are.  Do search engines just go out and sweep up people on the Internet at random, or did a couple of classes of English majors just sign up?  If so, I’m honored.  Please drop me a line or make a comment.  Right now, I have no idea if anybody is reading these words or not.


Happiness, elusive

August 10th, 2014


Whoever “they” are, they say the secret to happiness is to think happy thoughts.  Good luck, I’m having lots of trouble with that right now.

This is nothing new for me.  It appears to be a chronic condition, because I remember frequently feeling depressed as a child and teenager.  I took the picture, above, when I was about 15 in an effort to try to express my feelings.  I felt like I was trapped, imprisoned, separated from the world by a sheet of glass.  I could see the rest of the world and the people in it enjoying themselves, but I couldn’t get out and join them.  Now, in my later years, retired, living on Social Security, I often feel that way again.

I don’t want to feel this way!  I try to tell myself to think about the good things I have right now, but the realities of my situation keep intruding.  I have a roof over my head, but it’s bug-eaten and parts of it leak.  I have a steady source of income, but it’s not much, and I am not going out and trying to supplement it by getting a “regular,” 9 to 5 job, because those have proven disastrous to me when I’m fired or forced to quit.  I do find the occasional odd job, and so far I’ve managed to make a little money and supplement my income somewhat with this self-employment.  The last one was drafting a letter for a woman trying to help her brother on Death Row in Missouri, believe it or not.  Going over the details of the case as they were provided to me, it was hard to see how the guy got convicted, but convict him the jury did.

At least I’m not in his place.  Something to be happy about, true?

I am only a few days away from the publication of my next book, Growing Up In The Orgone Box: Secrets Of A Reichian Childhood.  This should make me happy, but it doesn’t; having to shell out hundreds of dollars to publish my own work puts a severe strain on those Social Security checks, and the money from book sales comes back in a trickle.  Admittedly, it often shows up when most needed.  Money from sales of Wet Goddess has saved my ass several times now.

I’m hoping that publication of Orgone Box may relieve some of the psychological pressure on me.  I know publishing Wet Goddess did.  The need to tell that story was intense.  Has it made a difference?  Well, maybe to the 1,000 or so people who bought it, it did.  Friends of mine who bought the book and loaned it out never got their copies back. The book keeps getting borrowed by other, curious people and never makes it back to the original owner.  That’s what happened to my author’s proof copy.  I’ll never see it again.

My brother and sister will be celebrating their birthdays next month.  Both are changing decades, by brother turning 60 and my sister 70.  They invited me, and when I told them I couldn’t make it because I’m broke, they both chipped in the money for an airline ticket.  I’d love to go, and I’m going.  The down side for me is my old dog, Pixel, who turned 13 herself this month.  She’s a big dog, about 70 pounds, so that’s old for her.  You must understand, she’s a little more than a dog to me; for an all-too-brief time in 2003-2004, she was also my mate, and when she was in heat we had a lot of good sex.  I’m grateful to any female who will let me penetrate her.  Since I’m no longer friends with Cay, I face a challenge of how to care for Pixel when I’m gone for a week visiting my siblings.  A couple of my friends volunteered, but one of them pulled out (he’s a “cat person”) and I don’t trust the other one because he’s a chronic alcoholic, and I’ve already seen what they do when you put your trust in them.  It seems all too likely I would come back to find Pixel in bad shape, or even, at her age, dead.  So I’m going to have to put her in a kennel for a week, which is going to cost me $150 I don’t really have, especially only one month after publication, when I know I’ll be broke.

Is all this too much for you, dear reader?  I’m so sorry.  Go read somebody else’s blog, I’m sure you’ll find something happier there.  Maybe next time.

Summer whine

July 6th, 2014

I just try to do the right thing, but I feel like everything is slipping away from me.  Outside, the air is as thick as molasses, and hotter.  Inside, I sense impending doom.  Everything I love is being struck down by a great wave of ignorance and hatred washing over America.  The other day I went to get a haircut.  “All these kids from Central America, they just ought to stick ‘em on a plane and send them right back where they came from,” the barber said.  I wanted to throw up, and I practically walked out.  I’m sort of ashamed that I didn’t.  Send barefoot children back 1,000 miles to violence and starvation?   I wanted to say “What kind of selfish fuckwad are you?”  But I didn’t.  I just tried to make a joke out of it.  “Good thing the Indians didn’t feel that way, huh?” or something like that.  He didn’t find it funny.  Neither did I.

I feel like I’m in a fight every day, and I keep losing.  I am exhausted, compassion exhaustion.  There’s nothing left to work with any more.  Even words fail me.  Simple acts, like sorting an enormous pile of old negatives currently covering my kitchen counter, is an onerous chore, even though I have to do it.  Old pictures from happier times are spread all over the dining room table.  I have no albums in which to put them.  Time drizzles through my fingers like sand.  I’m not going to live forever.  I want to write, but this blog is the best I can do.  I feel desperate and trapped with no way out, and on top of it all I am profoundly lonely.  It seems like there’s no one out there to care for me or understand me.

I know things aren’t going to get any better just lying here on the couch, but sometimes that feels like all I can do.  I’m discouraged that I haven’t been able to publish Growing Up In The Orgone Box yet, after almost a year of delays.  I hope to have it out next month, but who knows what kind of unforeseen disasters await around the next corner?  There is no pillow, no extra work, nothing to fall back on, and my Social Security check is a slim lifeline indeed.

I keep on fighting nevertheless, but without any hope of success.  The gods know how I’ll feel when the dolphin killing starts again.  Don’t know if I can stand it.  Let me amend that: I know I can’t, but what can I do?

Madness. Madness.