Tom Avitabile’s Gluck Radio Interview

Episode 3: What does a modern day Renaissance man think about? Meet Tom Avitabile.


He’s as close to Da Vinci as we’re going to get. He lent his mind to Congress, he directed Hollywood stars, he wrote a crime trilogy, he has white-collar success… oh, and he plays in a band. Welcome to this man’s mind.


Argo, the True COVER Story…


I am constantly amazed at how people connect things. In this case, my fans and specifically the realization for many of them of the resonance between Argo, the movie and The Hammer of God, my novel.  In response to the many e-mails and comments linking the two, I decided to see Argo. (I had already read my book)

Good movie, solidly crafted, good story, well told. Affleck did a great job, which he now knows having won a Golden Globe, but I am sure he appreciates my opinion anyway.  So, yeah… I guess there is some relationship but it’s as thin as Lindsey Lohan’s future prospects as a Nuclear Scientist at Brookhaven Laboratory. (Radio-isotropic co-generation of mononuclidic elements? WHAT-Ever!)

The commonality lies in that both stories highlight the universal power of movies. In fact, here’s an early set of cover designs for Hammer (by Lorenzo Concepcion), which were being considered right up to publication. The log line on this set of covers is a quote from one of the characters in the book,

“Movies… They’ll be the death of western culture!”

Two books

As you can see the movie industry played big in the cover sell. That’s because unlike Argo, where the U.S. used a fictitious movie production as a cover story to free Iranian hostages, in Hammer an Iranian movie company is using the power of Filmmaking permits and the general awe most municipalities treat movie companies with, to actually execute a devastating attack on New York.

Despite the few similarities, the stories are divergently different. However, I certainly wouldn’t mind if Ben Affleck were so moved to make a film of The Hammer of God

What did Kim Kardashian do right?

A few weeks back there was a tragic local story here in New York about a Staten Island teenager who threw herself in front of a subway train.  It was her way of escaping the cauldron of hate, derision and character assassination that ensued after this young girl made a bad decision.  She participated in a sex tape.   Hold it, wait, actually given today’s relative morality and the age of sexting, hooking up and other sleazy “social activities” that are now common place in our elementary, junior and high schools and communities, how could she have known it was bad.

Kim Kardashian made a sex tape and it was a brilliant career move.  She is universally loved by all the “cool” kids.  Why couldn’t this Staten Island teen find even a tenth of that adulation?

In my book, The Hammer of God, a young girl, damaged by our culture’s confusing signals of morality and acceptability, attempts suicide the same way, but in her case, someone instinctively reacted and saved her from the on rushing train.  But it’s only temporary, as her self-image is solely dependant on the acceptance of males. This eventually leads to her demise after having been used by many different kind of men, from her professors, to fellow students, to even a terrorist. Each man, asserting his societal given right, and rationalization to her, which somehow always inexplicably ended in her giving them sex.

Neat huh? I mean how our society has made youth and beauty the standard by which young women judge themselves,  mostly and harshly, by other young women.  You see how genius it is that somehow men-kind has convinced them (and their mothers) that  attracting a man sexually can help you define your esteem.

Okay, but lets get back to the body parts and blood splattered tracks in Staten Island.  Her friends turned on her, her school ridiculed her, the video was passed around the homerooms for the momentary visceral thrill.  All at the expense of this young girl’s esteem.  A crushing peer pressure which had she lived long enough, some  “sensitive” male would have convinced her could be eased by sexual attention to that very male!

And yet, she did nothing different than Kim!  However, there is a double standard, it resided in her.  I guess Kim could laugh off the names and ridicule that came her way from some quarters by focusing on the cool accolades coming from the Hollywood-schooled throngs who know Rodeo Drive but couldn’t identify Tottenville on a large map with big type.  But our desperate little girl wasn’t a skinny blonde, wasn’t rich, didn’t have a sliding moral scale of “pop” culture and a heritage of “what – evvv-er.” So something inside, some self-conscious, ate away at her and darkened every option until all that was left was self destruction.

She’s dead. God rest her soul and comfort her family, who must be going through unimaginable pain and anguish.  But Hollywood, the media and fashion industry roll happily along, perpetuating the greatest scam MAN has ever perpetrated on WOMAN.  The objectifying of females and diminishing standards of morality (read: our society saying to little girls, Shhhh, That’s okay, shhhh see it’s art, it’s beauty, it’s fashion, it’s what’s expected, Shhhh, it’s just sex, it’s cool, it’s how you become popular, you want to be popular don’t you?)

Just ask Kim Kardashian.