Luke Fulfills A Dream
I fulfilled a dream Sunday night at the University of Judaism. I met Jewish Journal singles columnist Teresa Strasser (of TeresaStrasser.com). She's even hotter looking in person than she is in pictures.
I walked into the UJ at 4:30PM and the first person I spoke to was Tamara Strasser, Teresa's mom and a frequent object of discussion in Teresa's columns. Tamara introduced me to her husband Ron, a black non-Jewish jazz musician, who loves being in Teresa's columns.
Teresa gave a 35-minute witty presentation, wearing a white shirt and blue jeans and a bra. Normally Teresa, a B-cup, refuses to wear a bra.
About 300 people turned for Teresa and they gave her several ovations. They laughed frequently at her jokes.
After her performance, I introduced myself. And she gave me a hug! Heart be still.
Several people from the Jewish Journal were there including Naomi Levi, the Conservative rabbi-wife of editor Rob Eshman, managing editor Amy Klein, freelance writer and Aussie Jew Gaby Wenig, a cute slender brunette who also appears frequently in David Suissa's Olam magazine, and associate editor Adam Wills.
"I think she makes up a lot of her columns," a skeptical friend told me afterwards.
My broken heart...
Chaim Amalek writes: IF she is married to a shkutz, you have a moral obligation under torah to end her treif concubinage and make a proper jewish wife of her. Similarly, if you want to get a crack at Emmanuel Richard, you must first convert her - but not her husband - to your adopted faith.
This entire world of "jewish singles" is pathetic beyong words, the mark of at least a doomed portion of the jewish tribe, poisoned by greed and feminism. Muslims do not have singles angst; they just have babies.
Luke says: Oh well, with all my male internet buddies to talk to, why do I even need a woman?
I meet sexy singles columnist, Ilona Fass, who writes for JCupid.com. Here's an excerpt from a recent column:
I'm so attracted to him that it is impossible to keep my hands off him for one minute- when we are together. Sex is better than good, it's great. Am I deluding myself into thinking that we will have a wonderful future, because the bed is so cozy? Does the warmth of his skin cloud my thinking? Is the fact that we are emotionally and intellectually compatible enough?
My parents don't like him…, he lives two and a half hours away,… he's a musician, i.e. not stable (financially or schedule-wise), and he's not Jewish. All signs point to the answer: Break up! But my dilemma is this: I can't bear to do it.
Reporting On Israel
In his book from Beirut to Jerusalem, liberal New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote about how journalists in Beirut in the 1980s were intimidated by the Palestinians. I wonder how many journalists today in Israel and the territories of Judea and Samaria are intimidated by Palestinian thugs?
I also wonder how many foreign journalists are sleeping with Palestinians. A source who worked in Israel says that many foreign journalists are sleeping with Palestinians and other Arabs. Remember how ABC anchor Peter Jennings had that famous affair with Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashwari.
Fred writes: Peter Jennings had an affair with Hanan Ashwari? Yech! If I were a reporter, I would not go that far to get a story. That's almost as horrible as having an affair with Yasir Arafat.
Beth Fox writes: Have you ever scratched your head and wondered whatever happened to "This Week"? Although it was once (when hosted by David Brinkley) a balanced show, "This Week With Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts" is now probably the most anti-Israel of the Sunday morning programs. Maybe you've cringed as Sam, Cokie, and, especially, George Stephanopoulos go "three on one" against George Will. Maybe you've wondered why Arab spokesmen get more time, and are treated with more deference.
Worst of the lot is Stephanopoulos, particularly in his "objective" "reporting" from the region. Well, maybe it's because his sister is a Russian (formerly Greek) Orthodox nun in Jerusalem who spews the wildest "Palestinian" propaganda -- alleging, among other things, that Israeli soldiers defecated on the floors of a medical clinic. Needless to say, she has not personally witnessed what she reports.
GOP Eyes Jewish Vote
From today's Washington Post:
Republican Party strategists are hoping to capitalize on President Bush's strong pro-Israel policies to crack the Democratic loyalties of Jewish voters and donors who have provided vital support to the Democratic Party for decades.
Bush, who received only 19 percent of the Jewish vote in 2000, has impressed many influential Jewish groups and individuals with his handling of the war on terrorism and his stands on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Some of them say they are strongly considering shifting their support to the GOP, a move that could boost Republican success in the fall congressional elections, Bush's 2004 reelection campaign and beyond.
Democratic fundraisers estimate that at least half of the money donated by individuals -- but excluding labor unions and political action committees -- to the national committees comes from Jewish donors.
According to research by University of Akron political scientist John Green and several colleagues, "Jews accounted for 21 percent of donors to the Democratic presidential primaries in 2000," or at least $13 million out of $62 million raised by Gore and former senator Bill Bradley (N.J.). By contrast, they said, "Jews made up 2.5 percent of all GOP presidential primary donors and contributed $3.75 million out of $150 millions raised." Their surveys found similar patterns at the congressional level.
The Tom Clancy Book That Will Never Make It Into A Movie
Rudy writes on the newsgroup rec.arts.movies-current: "Rainbow Six" is the one because of its eco-terrorist plot. It is unthinkable in Hollywood to show enviromentalists as bad guys no matter how extreme they are. Of course they can always change the book's bad guys into some neo-nazies.
Producer John W. Hyde
John W. Hyde may run a big entertainment company, Film Roman, but he still wears blue jeans and cowboy boots into the office.
We sat on his office couch April 11, 2002.
John: "I grew up in the small town of Bloomfield, outside Detroit, Michigan. It was a Leave it to Beaver childhood. I have an younger brother in Idaho and a younger sister in Santa Barbara. My father Neil was an executive at General Motors. I spent five years in high school because I got into so much trouble. This was a time, the late 1950s, when parents told you one thing but did another.. I longed for a forum to express myself. This led me to New York.
"I studied Economics at NYU, graduating in 1963. I did graduate work in International Economics at the University of Lydon, near Amsterdam. The European Union had just formed. This was before Britain was a member. The Europeans said by the year 2000, there would be a common currency. I laughed at the time. Now we're there.
"In late 1963, I moved to Los Angeles and worked for ABC on a program of on-air promotional trailers. I've never gone back to Michigan more than a couple of times. after I settled in California.
"I was immediately attracted to the casualness of the entertainment business. It was a sharp contrast to the formality I knew as a kid. I grew up in Bloomfield where it was suit and tie for everyone every day. And you couldn't wear Levis to high school.
"I was raised an Episcopalian but I dropped out in my teens. It was High Episcopalian, just one degree off Anglican. Lots of pomp and circumstance. I discovered girls and other things on Sundays were much more fun than going to church.
"When there was an opening at Universal Studios, I got a call and started in the mailroom with Mike Medavoy and John Badham. Mike's on the board of this company [Film Roman]. We've worked on several projects together.
"Ned Tanen took me out of the mailroom. He assigned me to this local television show, The Lloyd Thaxton Show, an afternoon rockn'roll show, which MCA syndicated to 127 markets around the country. So at the tender young age of 25, making so little money I couldn't even qualify for credit cards, I'm suddenly flying around the country first class, with cars picking me up at the door, doing promotional tours with Lloyd Thaxton.
"Ned convinced Lew Wasserman that the record labels MCA had weren't hip. So Mr. Wasserman gave us the approval to start a new music company - Uni Records. We signed Elton John, Neil Diamond... We shot the first two music videos in 1967, about a month before the Beatles did Strawberry Fields. Marcia Strossman (Flower Children) and Neil Diamond (Brooklyn Roads). Instead of sending the artists on tour, we could send these videos to all the local dance shows around the country. In those days, almost every city had a local rockn'roll dance show on the air."
Luke: "Did you have much contact with Lew Wasserman?"
John: "This was when MCA had just taken over Universal. Lew Wasserman was aware of everyone who worked for him. You'd acknowledge him and he'd know you.
"Ned Tanen was one of my mentors. When I arrived at Universal, he was without portfolio. He got to be involved in any business he wanted to. He did the young filmmakers program. He started the record label. He oversaw some parts of television syndication. And one of Ned's close associates was Jerry Perenchio, the entrepreneur behind Univision, Lowes theaters, Embassy Films. With Ned I got to network with a whole group of older, successful people.
"I left Universal in 1969 to work as an assistant to [Martin Ransohoff] the CEO of a company called Filmways, which was probably the hottest small production company in the world at that time. They had such TV shows as The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, The Adams Family, as well as feature films Cincinnati Kid, Catch 22, and The Americanization of Emily. Marty just called here today to have lunch. I worked with Marty for five years and then we both left the company. Three years later, we got back together working on the film The Wanderers.
"Aspen Productions was funding Wanderers. Aspen was owned by brewer Arthur Guinness and Sons. Marty and the Guinness executives were having huge problems. I was brought in to mediate. Marty made four films for Guinness. I worked closely with Marty and I oversaw all the production for Aspen. We made eleven films. Guinness didn't understand how they could put up $4 million in funding for Aspen and get $80 million worth of production. We had leveraged the Guinness name at banks and with investors to produce 11 films. Guinness had a huge falling out with the executives running Guinness.
"At the same time, we had taken some of Arthur Guinness's assets and started a company called Producers Sales Organization (PSO) with Mark Damon. When Guinness went through management changes, and people asked, 'Why are we in the film business?' And no one had a good answer. Peter Guinness finally called me up. 'John, come to London. We want out of this relationship.'
"Mark Damon and I bought back PSO and Aspen from Guinness. We produced [features] Short Circuit, Das Boot , 9 1/2 Weeks, Flight of the Navigator, Neverending Story...
"Das Boot had gone through several incarnations. At first it was supposed to be a tax shelter picture that starred Robert Redford and Paul Newman. That fell apart. To get it done, we shot it as a five-hour miniseries. Director Wolfgang Petersen brilliantly wove together the two-and-a-half hour script so we could cut it both as a five-hour miniseries and as a two-and-a-half hour film.
"We created the funding that was necessary to finish producing Das boot by licensing it throughout the world. We finally brought the film to the United States. It was John Veitch at Columbia who said they are about to start a small division specializing in pickup films and films from overseas. And they wanted Das Boot to be the first to go out under our new label, Triumph Films. We made the deal and a month later, Frank Price came to Columbia, and supported the project. The rest is history with 6 Academy Award nominations.
"We then did Neverending Story . It was also shot in Bavaria and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. For two years, I flew back and forth to Munich one out of every three weeks. I clocked enough air miles to get two first-class tickets to Rio De Janeiro for a ten day New Years vacation.
"I was married in the 1960s to a dancer in West Side Story, actress Rita D'Amico. And I have one son from that marriage who lives in Sydney, Australia. I've lived with my present wife [Kate Morris] since the late '70s. We got married in year 2000. People were always asking us, 'When are you going to get married?' And most of the people who asked us that, we saw marry, divorce, marry, divorce. And we laughed and said we'd get married sometime when it was really special. Then we found out that the year 2000 was a special leap year that only happens once every 400 years. So we thought that makes it a perfect day. The last time there was a February 29th on an double zero even century was 1600. It won't come again until 2400. That's a great day, so we got married.
"My wife ran a number of companies that I oversaw or reorganized over the years. She also did all the subtitles and all the dubbing of Das Boot. We brought the original actors to London and she spent three or four months working with them getting the English-language version used for television, cable and video. She now runs our 1500-acre ranch, Fairlea Ranch, (bought in 1984) we have three hours north of here. The Ranch has 200-head of cattle, 110 horses, six Buffalo, five dogs and one pig. I spend every weekend there. Kate lives there full time."
Luke: "The 1970s were a great time for the movie industry."
John: "It was a time that was meant to come. Television had taken over motion pictures audience attention. The 1948 consent decree when the Justice Department required the studios to sell their ownership in theaters, burdening the motion picture studios. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, all the studios were having problems. Television production hadn't quite been accepted by the studios. In the 1970s television was part of every studio so studios could afford taking risks on films. And there was a whole generation that just moved in together.
"When I worked at ABC in 1963, I met a guy who was working at a similar project. He was working at ABC until he could get in the William Morris mailroom. His name was David Geffen. And Barry Diller was working with Leonard Goldberg then [at ABC] and they were doing the first of the [made-for-TV] movies. Television was just catching on to rockn'roll. People were realizing that music was as integral part of entertainment as were film and television. The generation of people who came out of the 1960s looked at music, TV, film as being part of a whole. We didn't separate them out. It was the beginning of the flexibility that allowed you to move between creative disciplines. That never happened before. If you were a television actor, you were only a television actor.
"Our view of television was so different from [traditional] motion picture people. The older studio executives looked at television as a threat. We looked at television as something that was part of our culture. This brought about an ability to work in all three disciplines and merge them together for the first time. Today when you see Ally McBeal, with music as an integral part of the program, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which opened the season with an incredible musical. This is the end product of what started in the late '60s."
Luke: "I remember your movie Clan of the Cave Bear ."
John: "It was originally going to be an NBC miniseries. And Peter Guber and Jon Peters said we should make this film using independent financing. Our partner at the time was Sydney Kimmel. He is probably the most successful clothing manufacturer in New York. He is the controlling shareholder and the founder of Jones of New York. He funded Clan of the Cave Bear and 9 1/2 Weeks.
"Clan of the Cave Bear used a compromise form of signing and no real language. We used subtitling. It may have been a little too advanced. That was still the era when studios said you shouldn't use subtitles. Today people are used to seeing the bad guy being some other nationality and speak a foreign language and have subtitles underneath it.
"Peter Guber and Jon Peters had a vision for the picture and we convinced Warner Brothers to go with that vision. It was a noble experiment."
Luke: "And 9 1/2 Weeks?"
John: "I have always been a major fan of 9 1/2 Weeks and it took a long time to get it to the screen. We tested it about 35 times before audiences. MGM had originally gone with our vision. There was a short period of time when MGM was purchased by an Australian. And his first pronouncement was, 'I'm only going to do G and PG rated films.' And he brought in new management. So, all of a sudden, the people who had bought 9 ½ Weeks and our vision of it, were gone. There was new management who said we should test it in front of an audience. We tested it in front of an audience. Women got up and walked out at a certain scene so we literally tested every single scene in the movie so that when we put it together, we had sequences that worked.
"[Director] Adrian Lyne did a brilliant job. It's a testament to Adrian. He directed a film that is about testing the limits. It was simple. It was two people and a test of their limits. One had no limits and the other had limits. And the film was about that clash. "It was so controversial that while we were still shooting the film, people who had never even read the script were talking about how terrible it was.
"The ultimate proof is that 9 ½ Weeks worked is the millions of videotapes and DVDs it sold. It was too bad that so many low cost sequels were done. "When I look at it now, it is milder than most MTV videos. But at the time, it was groundshaking.
"After that, I was asked to come in to a company that was in financial trouble and straighten it out. That led to a period where I still did some producing, such as [CBS TV show] Mighty Mouse, the New Adventures with animator Ralph Bakshi and [feature] UHF  with Weird Al Yankovic... However a great deal of my time was spent consulting for companies that were in financial trouble. I'd clean them up, I'd get their pictures put into distribution.
"In 1990, I was asked to step in MCEG Sterling to reorganize it. The company produced the motion picture Look Who's Talking, and clean up that company. I merged it with Orion and a couple of other companies. And that's when I said, I'm done doing this. I want to go back to companies that are more creatively bent as opposed to refurbishing broken companies and selling them. I wanted to go back to work where I got a psychic payback, rather than: 'Great, you've sold the library. You've merged the company.' That led me to coming here [Film Roman] in December of 1999."
Luke: "What are your strengths?"
John: "I am able to get along with a diverse group of people. I'm good at pulling people and ideas together and moving them through the first few stages of a project or problem. Those stages are usually the toughest. Getting it from an idea to a story to the reality of production and then bringing together the elements needed. I've always been able to bridge the gap between creative talent and business talent. I understand both sides.
"During the 1970s, I had an optical special effects and commercial laboratory that I bought from Filmways with the help of the Small Business Administration. I shot the openings to a lot of television shows and earned my card as a cinematographer [belongs to the cameraman's guild]. I edited most of the stuff we did. I understand all the steps of making a film on a practical basis because I've done it. It's the same with the record business due to my days with Ned Tanen and MCA. This wide background of experience is why I can understand and work with both creative talent and business executives.
"When you're cleaning up a film company, it is different from a shoe store where you sell off the stock. In a film company, you have films halfway through editing, this one has no effects, this one has no music, and this one is still shooting. You have to wind it down over time. The films have to be finished so the value can be realized from them."
Jean-Marie Le Pen Gets Tough On Crime
From today's Wall Street Journal: The message that catches the ear here is the one that Mr. Le Pen, 73, a gruff ex-paratrooper, has been broadcasting for years: It's time to get tough on crime. His was until recently a lonely voice as both President Chirac and the failed Socialist candidate, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, had shied away from the issue for fear of offending France's millions of Arab voters. When Messrs. Chirac and Jospin finally woke up to the crime problem, euphemistically called "l'insecurité," it was seen by many voters as too little too late.
The local delinquents are predominantly North African Muslim youths, police say. In the shadow of Le Canet's housing developments, young men idle by on a weekday afternoon, ducking for cover when a rare police car appears. Some of them have grown long beards and wear the white robes favored by Islamic fundamentalists.
In French public discourse, Mr. Le Pen remains a pariah: Many French TV personalities refuse to interview the far-right leader, and Mr. Chirac said he won't demean himself by debating Mr. Le Pen.
Colleges Recruit Jews
From today's Wall Street Journal:
Some Jews welcome the efforts by Vanderbilt and others as a refreshing change from the days when Jewish enrollment was capped by quotas at many of the best U.S. colleges. But it leaves others unsettled. They say it perpetuates an unfounded perception -- of Jews as an intellectual elite -- that demeans other groups in comparison and has been used over the years to stir anti-Semitic resentments. Because Jews tend to perform well on college-entrance tests, administrators "may expect that Jews will bring a certain wit and cleverness and discernment," says Jacob Neusner, a professor at Bard College and noted Judaic Studies scholar.
Scott Allen, Vanderbilt's Baptist chaplain, says the strategy of recruiting Jews to improve academic stature denigrates the Southern white Christians who dominate the school's student body.
At Ivy League schools, about 23% of students are Jewish, even though Jews comprise just 2% of the U.S. population, according to Hillel.
According to the nonprofit College Board, which administers the SAT college-entrance exam -- a major component of most college rankings and admissions decisions -- last year's college-bound Jewish seniors averaged 1161 out of a possible 1600. That was second only to Unitarians (who averaged 1209) among 35 religions. The national average was 1020.
Spokesman Barry Edelson says Roslyn High students are taught that "a positive stereotype is just as pernicious as a negative one," through role-playing games in which a black or Hispanic student asks a Jewish classmate for homework help based on a stereotype of Jewish intelligence.
Fred writes: I'm very surprised by my reaction to this. In particular, I'm shocked that:
My last girlfriend was Presbyterian. I was tempted to send this article to her, but I decided not to.
Chaim Amalek writes: I knew you would see this. The trouble with this sort of inquiry is that to say someone is smarter is to say somebody else is dumber. PS Re the somewhat higher scores for "Unitarian Whatevers", I note that many of these folks seem to be of Jewish descent.
Khunrum writes: Was it not conservative Pat Buchanan who wrote that the goys are being under represented at Harvard? I believe he broke it down thusly....A certain percentage automatically saved for minorities...A major share going to brainy Asians and Jews...........Honky's last.
Chaim writes: CORRECT! About a third of the undergraduate body at Harvard is Jewish, about another third is Asian. About 8% is Black or Hispanic, which means that gentile whites can make up no more than about 25% of the student body, even though at least 80% of the applicant pool is white and gentile.
Fred writes: A number of years ago, there was a book out called "The Bell Curve" which aroused considerable controversy for espousing theories regaring the IQ.
One of the more interesting facts alleged in this book is that over the last century, IQ has become more and more important.
Merely by way of example, the authors point out that in the early 20th century, the average IQ at Harvard was probably not much different from the IQ at a major state university like University of Indiana or University of Illinois (I forget which example they cited). The reason was simple. Admissions at Harvard were not based on IQ or a proxy for IQ. Instead, they were based on things like (for want of a better term) position within the Northeastern aristocracy and wealth.
Starting in the early 1950's, Harvard started basing more and more of its admissions on merit (or, as the Bell Curve authors saw it, things related to IQ). The result: the character of Harvard changed drastically. In particular, it turned into something along the lines of Buchanan's characterization.
We could, of course, go back to a wealth and aristocracy related admissions standard for Harvard. The problem is, of course, nobody would treat the Harvard diploma with any respect. Ah, the trials and tribulations of meritocracy (or at least meritocracy when one gets rid of the "certain percentage automatically saved for minorities").
BTW, the Bell Curve is probably one of the two most interesting books I've read in the last 10 years. I strongly recommend it.
If one could resurrect John Harvard and his Puritan peers (the founders of Harvard) from the grave and have them look around I think they'd be a tad bit surprised.
Chaim writes: So you see if the goyim were more racially conscious, they would join with the Negro and insist on affirmative action for all rather than join jews in fighting it in places like Harvard. It is interesting to note that Jewish organizations are most energetic in fighting racially sensitive "remedies" like affirmative action in places of interest to the Jews, but seem to go along with it just fine where Jews tend to have little interest (e.g., promotions at police/fire departments, or the entire question of forced busing to achieve "integration.")
(Please note that I am referring here to ADL Jews, Hollywood Jews, LIBERAL Jews, whom I regard as hypocrites on this issue. Many other jews opposed these measures all along, but they are not the ones who got to run the big important communal organizations or the great news organizations.)
The Luke Ford of the Harvard Business Review
Though the personal details in this story definitely violate Jewish Laws against gossip, it is the most delicious article I've read in months.
Here are some highlights from New York magazine:
Wetlaufer, a vivacious 42-year-old Harvard M.B.A., Baker scholar, novelist, mother of four, and Sunday-school teacher -- with a penchant for Prada and Chanel and fabulous shoes -- had brought more than a little snap, crackle, and pop to the offices of the stuffy HBR. During her year-and-a-half tenure at the top of the masthead, the magazine -- already prestigious and hugely profitable to Harvard -- got better and buzzier.
But inside HBR, the best copy was Suzy. And it wasn't just that wild romance she had with a 22-year-old editorial assistant. From her open corner office, with a photo of Bono thumbtacked to the wall, she held forth like a modern-day Scheherazade, say former and current staff members. She was so well known for regaling the troops with tales of her (let's face it, much more interesting) life that Collingwood came up with a name for it: "Backstage at the Suzy Show." Says another editor, "She always saw herself as being in a dramatic production of her own creation. It was fun, at least at first. You know, most of us here are fairly drab, boring editors. Our private lives aren't that exciting. So it was kinda thrilling to vicariously experience the world through Suzy."
To her friends, Suzy Wetlaufer is a dynamo who juggles a high-powered career, is raising four "incredibly well-adjusted kids," never misses a school play or sporting event with her children (who range in age from 7 to 12), works out five times a week, and still has time to teach Sunday school at the Hancock United Church of Christ, a liberal Protestant congregation. "She takes her Christian values very seriously," says her minister, Dan Smith. "Her knowledge of the Bible is really pretty deep." As for her affair with a married man, "I think that's an issue that Suzy is working on," Smith says.
Is Luke Anti-Semitic?
Khunrum writes: Have you been wearing your National Alliance tee shirt underneath your black mortician jacket again?
Fred writes: Luke, you've posted some really flakey stuff on lukeford.com that would lead an ordinary person to conclude that you have some flakey opinions about Jews and pornography, Jews and drugs, and Jews and all sorts of woes. Some of the stuff you posted is pretty spooky. To a normal observer, it looks pretty odd. Of course, once one gets to know you, it looks pretty, oh well--let's not go there.
Putative Marc writes: AMALEK: what i meant to say was LF is being accused of being an anti-semite because he insisted i not tell lara the lady lawyer that you and he aren't the same person ... while this kind of situation is obviously resolved with everyone having a good laugh at the end of sitcoms, do you really think she has nothing better to do than to not take LF's word for this? so, he's basically inferred to her--through you--that he's got negative sentiments toward the jews, and then wonders what he's being accused of? good luck getting out of your respective situations in life ...
Chaim Amalek writes: Now looky here, Marc, you think too much. Luke, just meet here and laught the whole thing off as an example of the sort of porn you occasionally look at. If that does not work, tell her it is important for jews who otherwise do not get to see that stuff see what is being said about them behind their backs. I can email her and explain it all in simple terms that even a lawyer can understand. Finally, Luke and I live wonderful lives. It is YOU, young Marc, who needs to get crackin'. you cannot live out your life through web surfing/blogging forever.
Marc writes: just sticking up for lara here, who i had a nice hour-long conversation with for her article. you can't expect her to wade through thousands of pages of luke's site to confirm that he's not an anti-semite. i kind of object to LF crying wolf and then eliciting responses along the lines of "what is she? nuts?" no, she's just being rational. i don't take this too personally. AMALEK, the "luke and i live wonderful lives" assertion is truly classic.
Chaim Amalek writes: 1. Luke likes Jewish ritual for the order it imposes on chaotic lives.
Luke replies: I do not regard Orthodox Judaism as a sham. I just think much of it is non-rational, which is not a criticism. Almost everybody needs to believe in things that are not rational. For instance, I believe that one day I will be married with kids and leading a rich and fulfilling life.
Amalek replies: OK, how about "rather than being true, it (the "oral" law) is a self-serving lie told by the rabbenim, an apostacy against the truth in which the irrational musings and rants of long dead and ignorant rabbis are to be accorded the weight of God's word.
Amalek believes that either there is a God or there is not. If not, then of course it is all a lie. If there is a God, then he must be very, very angry that his name is taken in vain in support of ignorance.
TRUST IN AMALEK He may not always be right, but at least he does not claim that his words and notions were orally transmitted to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
Blaming It All On The Kittens
Amalek18: Why have you failed to post the warnings regarding Kittens?
Dr. Piercing Will writes: Hello! Last week we ended our discussion of the rising tide of anti-Kitten feeling around the world with the optimistic thought that this may be the beginning of the end for the tribe that has caused so much misery and destruction for others. Some listeners have told me that I was being far too optimistic. They reminded me that the Kittens don't really have to worry about the fact that many Europeans hate them. Every litter box in France could be burned to the ground, and it wouldn't do much to shake Kitten power, which lies in the Kittens' control of the U.S. government, which in turn depends on the Kittens' control of the mass media of news and entertainment in America.
The Kittens always have been hated, by every people among whom they have lived, and they haven't let that worry them much or cause them to change their behavior. In fact, there have been times when Kitten leaders welcomed the hatred directed against Kittens by Gentiles, because this hatred hindered assimilation and generated a stronger Kitten hatred of the Gentiles, along with a stronger Kitten feeling of solidarity.
So what is it about this new wave of anti-Kitten feeling that makes me think it really can lead to the end of Kitten domination of our society? First, I am not predicting anything specific. I just have a feeling, an intuition, based on several things that are happening now. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Kittens were really trashing American society, turning everything upside down and rearranging it to suit themselves, I was mostly an observer, first from the university campus, where I was teaching, and later from Washington, DC, where I finally began to write and to speak out. For the most part I just watched from the sidelines while the Kittens organized huge, pro-Black, so-called "civil rights" demonstrations and equally huge, pro-Viet Cong, so called "peace" demonstrations. I could see some very bad trends, some very dangerous and destructive trends being established, but of course neither I nor anyone else could be certain where these trends would take us. Most of my colleagues at the university believed that we were merely going through a temporary social disruption, and that things would settle down later. They weren't willing to do anything or to take a stand.
In fact, in my own case, it wasn't until 1975 that I began writing my first novel, The Turner Diaries, in which I extrapolated the trends that I had been observing for well over a decade and predicted that they would lead to a long-term degenerative change in American society, and that this degenerative change was a deliberate consequence, calculated by those promoting the trends. Now other thinking Americans cannot evade the same conclusion that I reached in the 1970s. They can see what the Kitten push for uncontrolled immigration from the Third World has done to America. They know who it was that pushed through the big change in our immigration laws back in 1965. They can see what the Kitten promotion of feminism has done to the White birthrate in America, and they can understand that together these two things -- non-White immigration and the lowered White birthrate -- will lead very soon to the extinction of our race and the end of the civilization that our ancestors spent thousands of years building for us.
They can experience every day the insanity of the multiculturalism endlessly promoted by the Kittens through every medium under their control, from Hollywood to Madison Avenue, and forcefully imposed on us by our government, and they can see what it is doing to our young people. They can see the growing confusion and alienation and demoralization. They can smell the stench of the non-stop Kitten propaganda of equality and democracy and non-resistance and racial death being spewed onto us by the Kitten media during every hour of every day. Now, all of these things I've just mentioned have been with us for a while. They've been pushed and promoted and built up during the past 40 years. And for most of that time they have not resulted in any great degree of resolve among thinking Americans to put up any resistance to what the Kittens are doing. In fact, for most of that time I kept hearing the same excuses for inaction: "you can't blame all of the Kittens for what a few Kittens are doing," or, "there are Gentiles every bit as bad as the Kittens, so don't try to blame it all on the Kittens."
Israel's Peculiar Position
Eric Hoffer was a American social philosopher. He was born in 1902 and died in 1983, after writing nine books and winning the Presidential Medal ofFreedom. His first book, The True Believer, published in 1951, is widely recognized as a classic. ISRAEL'S PECULIAR POSITION By Eric Hoffer (LA Times 5/26/68)
The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.
Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russian did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese - and no one says a word about refugees.
But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.
Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.
No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on. There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him. The Swedes, who are ready to break of diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, andserviced his troop trains to Norway.
The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us....
Producer Doug Mankoff
I spoke by phone to producer Doug Mankoff March 6, 2002.
Doug: "While I was at Duke majoring in History, I came out to Los Angeles one summer to work as a grip, electrician and runner for producer Michael Nesmith. He was one of the Monkees. He produced music videos, commercials and movies.
"Duke did not have a film program, but they had a film club, which I joined. I made a documentary about a calf roper on a rodeo scholarship to a college in Louisiana. I graduated from Duke in 1985. On the basis of my documentary, I got into the NYU Film School. After a year, I figured out that I didn't really want to be a director. I was more interested in the big picture. I dropped out of NYU.
"I worked as a PA for Nesmith on his film Squaredance. In late 1986, I became the first production person for a company called Year Look. They made video yearbooks for schools. Then I started my own company Camp TV making videos for summer camps. They were now making consumer videocameras of sufficient quality that it opened up possibilities.
"In my late 20s, I went to Harvard Business School because a friend told me that he heard that people that went there got jobs at studios. While at Harvard, I bought Year Look and put it together with Camp TV. And that helped pay my way through business school. That time I didn't drop out. My brother would've given me too much crap if I had.
"And then I came out here and again, I went to work for the only guy I knew - Michael Nesmith. The studio jobs that probably were available weren't the kind of jobs I was interested in. They were marketing or new business development or finance. I ran Michael Nesmith's company for one year and that didn't turn into much because he was in the middle of a lawsuit with PBS. He won the suit but we yielded no films from that year. But I liked what we were talking about - the idea of raising some money and investing it in a series of films.
"So I went back to Dallas, where I'm from, and raised some money from family and friends, and started Echo Lake Productions in 1997. The idea was to invest equity in films and ultimately put together a library. The problem was: (A) Everybody else had the same idea. (B) Credit was loose. It was easy to get a bank loan on your film. And you could get 100% of your budget financed through foreign pre-sales and a gap loan (a loan on unsold territories). And producers were able to get [their] fees out of that.
"My idea was that Echo Lake would be a financing company. We'd move into production through financing. Let me give you an example. We financed Allison Anders' film Things Behind the Sun ."
A young music journalist's dark memories are awakened when he goes to interview a female rock singer, and both are forced to confront troubling secrets from their pasts.
Doug: "And that was done the way I thought we'd do our original investments. We supplied the budget of the film, one million dollars. Now you give a certain amount of back end [a percentage of the profits] to Allison Anders, her producing partners, and some of the actors, and you own the rest of the film. When you sell the rights, you make the decisions. And if you have rights to a number of films, then you have a library that you can sell to someone and is worth something. That's equity investing. The other way producers finance their films is by getting a bank to loan them money.
"Gap financing is a type of loan where the bank will lend money to the producer and the collateral is territories that have not yet been sold. To give you an example, Echo Lake's first film was Detour [a 1998 film with a $2.5 million budget]. The producer went to a sales agent, Shoreline Entertainment, and asked them to help him finance the film. And they did so by making some pre-sales. And they sold rights to some foreign territories. Now those buyers don't give you that money. They say they're going to give you that money. The bank will lend against that commitment.
"That was the way all the bank loans were done on independent films until Mike Mendleson at Bank Peribah [French bank, now Mike is with Patriot Pictures] started doing gap loans. He thought, I'm no dummy. I've done a lot of bank loans. I know what these territories are worth if we have Morris Ruskin and Viky Pike selling, and we have these stars in the film... Why don't I make a loan against the unsold territories and that way the producer still has upside later. And if he sells that territory for more than I lent against it, he's happy and I'm happy. This put Mendleson at a great competitive advantage. If you're a producer, where are you going to go to borrow your money? You're going to go to the most aggressive entity.
"People got overaggressive. Imperial Bank, now part of CoAmerica, did a lot of these gap loans. Banks were doing gap loans that accounted for half the budget. The loans were expensive. But the banks were lending a lot of money compared the collateral they had, and some of the banks got burned.
"The first way we started spending our funds was doing loan investments rather than equity investments. We figured we'd take risks slightly greater than bank risks and we'd charge slightly more than banks charge."
Luke: "So how did that work out for you on Detour?"
Doug: "Fine. We didn't take any market risk. We made a type of loan that was paid back by the bank when the bank loan closed. Sometimes people need a pre-production loan. They're putting together all the elements and they want to close those deals. And someone steps in and makes a bridge loan. And that money is lent to the producer until the bank loan closes. And then the bank pays the bridge loan lender. It worked out great. We got paid back. We made our return on our investment.
"I wasn't concerned early on in our investing about the genre or the script. The driving force for the first four films (Detour, Flight of Fancy, Bruno, Dog of Flanders) was doing a deal that made sense. Then we got La Ciudad , a film that was looking for finishing funds. It's a beautiful film. That decision was all about picture quality. This was going to help us transition from financiers to producers. And it would help brand the company in terms of quality."
Luke: "What was the first film you were actively involved in the production?"
Doug: "Things Behind the Sun. None of the films I've produced are well known. When I talk to people back home in Dallas, they don't know about any of these films."
Luke: "The independent world is increasingly squeezed. How are you holding up?"
Doug: "As financiers, this is good news. The money we have to invest in films is worth more now. The bad news is that the market is tough. It's tough to sell films and make a profit. Our solution is to be selective."
Luke: "I'd think there'd be a conflict between quality projects and profitable projects?"
Doug: "There is. My investors are like theater investors. Sure, they'd like to make some money, but they want to be involved in things that are good for society. They want to support the arts."
Luke: "And there's no business where you get to see as many beautiful women."
Doug: "I get to see a beautiful woman every night. I've been married eight years and I have two girls. I don't go to a lot of parties. I'm home by 6:30 every night."
From Salon.com: Call it wedding porn. The popular subset of commercial fiction features romance novels about neutered, neurotic professional girls. Instead of ripped bodices and heaving breasts, wedding porn features broken engagements, squirrelly commitment-phobic men and superembarrassing quarrels in really nice restaurants. Following in the footsteps of "Bridget Jones's Diary" -- which transcended the mediocrity of the genre through originality of voice, over-the-top parody and a plot gently lifted from legendary wedding pornographer Jane Austen -- these books throw together a lovably neurotic but ultimately bland female lead, a straight-talkin' "you go girl!" female sidekick, a devilishly handsome, supersmooth "bad for me!" boy, and place them all in a seemingly endless procession of unfathomably zany situations, until our heroine finally finds that wonderful, pure-hearted, dull at first but ultimately supernice fella who we can immediately picture gracefully maneuvering a minivan through the parking lot of Bed, Bath & Beyond.
George Lucas Snaps At Fans
In the latest issue of TIME magazine, which devotes a lavish 12-page, cover-story spread to STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES, George Lucas has a few things to say about the heat he took from Internet savvy fans for the first film in the prequel trilogy, THE PHANTOM MENACE.
Specifically, he's defending Jar-Jar against, "37-year-old-guys who spend all their time on the Internet. But you have to remember when we did THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, some people hated C-3PO. When we did JEDI they just loathed the Ewoks. There was no Internet to jazz it up, but there were the same conversations. Fans are very opinionated, and that's good. But I can't make a movie for fans." Lucas also admitted to tracking some of the pre-MENACE buzz on the Net before that film hit screens. "When I was working on PHANTOM MENACE, I saw a lot of the Internet stuff," he said. "I lasted about six weeks."
Porky writes on rec.arts.movies.current-films: George Lucas is implying that he makes films for what, art's sake? Lucas is a fraud, the emperor with no clothes. STAR WARS was a terrible movie, go watch it and see! It didn't get critically panned across the board on its release because critics at the time couldn't see Lucas' special artistic vision, it got panned because it's drek! Why else would Lucas' handlers tell him to get someone else to direct the next two sequels?
And the one he had the least input on, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (there is good evidence that Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan were responsible for 100% of the dialogue in that script - see FILM JOURNAL vol. XVII issue 21 pg. 22-35) was the best one. Then after that was a merchandising disaster compared to the original, in came the fuzzy toy ads. And they worked like a fucking charm, too!
So Lucas, terrible director, fraud and charlatan that he is, is right to criticize "those people" for nitpicking PHANTOM MENACE, because it was carrying on in the tradition of RETURN OF THE JEDI, the most commercially profitable of the original three films. But it should be noted that "those people", the 37 year old internet people, the kind that turned the fetid, stinking Star Trek series into a billion-dollar industry, those people with a "fringe" sci-fi mentality who lack the actual brainpower to pursue real-world science careers, are the ones to thank for Star Wars' original success.
Since PHANTOM MENACE was panned in the mainstream media brutally, Lucas is either massaging his own terrible- director ego by giving the impression that only internet geeks disliked his last celluloid turd, or he's trying to PR brainwash everyone into going to see his latest steaming pile. If I were him I wouldn't ever criticize fat people, smelly people, SCA people, little kids, collectible card game players, role-players, goth people or computer nerds because honestly nobody else really thinks Star Wars is anything special no matter how much money is poured into a hype machine designed to get us to think otherwise.
Hollywood Takes Ax To Religion
Michael Medved writes in Sunday's USA Today:
"I watched how Billy, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck — all these guys — were suddenly lauded because they made films," [Bill] Paxton said in the Times interview. "Because I don't think you get respect as an actor in this town — unless you're Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks. But you get respect as a filmmaker."
You may get special respect, in fact, with movies that invoke religious themes or imagery to provide greater depth and resonance to stories about brutal killers. Those films — never based on any real-life cases; religious elements rarely turn up in serial murders — range from the Martin Scorsese remake of Cape Fear (with Robert De Niro as a bloodthirsty, backwoods Pentecostal with a cross tattooed on his back), to Seven, Copycat, Just Cause, Stigmata and now Frailty. Few of these films achieve conspicuous commercial success, but Hollywood keeps churning them out anyway because religious references lend an air of seriousness to even the most lurid, formulaic material.
Faith is one of the few subjects that seems significant to everyone, whether or not you're a believer, allowing an insecure first-time director to pose as a daring social critic, and a convoluted gothic thriller to pass itself off as "a cautionary tale about religious fanaticism."
As a matter of fact, the prevailing Hollywood bias against intense religiosity facilitates precisely the surprisingly positive reaction to a project of this sort that may strike Bill Paxton and his colleagues as an eagerly awaited answer to their prayers.
Linda Lovelace Dead
Frank writes: I have a theory about Linda Lovelace. It was that she was what might be called "manic-depressive" of "bi-polar" I recall reading a Playboy in Playboy with 50's pinup girl Betty Page. In the interview Page explained that she was diagnosed as bi-polar. Especially when she wasn't taking her meds she could have an explosive, sometimes violent temper. She had a bad habit of getting angry at people and grabbing a knife to stress her point. This got her arrested several times. Page was committed and released upon strict supervision to make sure she took her psychiatric meds. On the flip side, in the classic Betty Page pinups she has an almost hypnotic "glow" about her.
Another example is the 1995 movie "Mad Love" starring Drew Barrymore. I was described is like that "wild girl in school you know is going to be trouble." Synopsis is that she is a manic depressive, she runs off with a boy and her troubles soon start to manifest themselves.
It might have been the same with Linda Lovelace at least before she became famous and for a while afterwards. In all of her movies that I saw including Deep Throat, a couple of loops, a dog film and the "foot" film Lovelace had that consistent "gushing with enjoyment look. She wasn't that good of an actress. I've seem a lot of porn actresses try to duplicate that Linda Lovelace "orgasm" with few even coming close. It was consistent. The one I most remember was the finale of the "foot" movie with the fake "ejaculation" from the foot. It seemed extremely apparent that Lovelace got the joke and was really getting into playing along.
The flip side of bipolar and manic depressive can be a short, sometimes violent temper. Women with this type of temper tend to get into "contentious" relationships that can end up being "abusive", usually in the sense of gradually increasing arguments and fights (sort of like those apartment neighbors who are always fighting). Thus, it is quite possible be in a contentious abusive relationship and be drawn to something like the sex industry. I used to see if with strippers, many of whom aren't supporting anyone but are in contentious/abusive relationships.
Linda Lovelace in a sense won the "porn lottery" and like a lot of otherwise ordinary people who win the lottery they don't know how to deal with all the new complications. As a closing note, as far as I can tell Lovelace never claimed to be "brainwashed" ala Patty Hearst.
Luke, in studying the Symbionese Liberation Army my quip is that when I got Internet access I was motivated to find out what happened to Linda Lovelace (which originally lead me to lukeford.com) but not Patricia Hearst even though I had an indirect old SLA association. I passed Linda Lovelace in the halls of the Minneapolis Courthouse when she came to testify. For other weird stuff the SLA fugitive Kathleen Soliah who triggered the current SLA arrests lived for blocks from me. I'm retiring in three and a half years so I'll probably do an SLA book. I have one of the largest private collections of SLA related material around and regularly work with the mainstream media (you advice on interviews has come in very handy). it's mission accomplished in getting the media to recognize the true SLA. Life is different when people and the media are actually paying attention to what you say.