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Howard Rosenberg Packs In Over-50 Crowd

Aging Los Angeles Times TV columnist Howard Rosenberg packed in the oldies at the University of Judaism Sunday afternoon for a predictable discussion about TV crime writing. The average age of the crowd appeared to be about 60. The panelists (Michael Chernuchin, executive producer of Law & Order, David Mills, creator of Kingpin, and Tony Shalhoub, producer of Monk) bashed President Bush and the war to free Iraq.

Cecile du Bois Update

Cecile du Bois writes on her blog: "Too bad, the only good teacher, a Modern Orthodox Kaballah specialist won't be there on Sundays anymore because of a fight he had with the principal who forgot to pay him several times. He spoke ferociously about certain touchy subjects and said the word "FOR SURE!" at least every other minute to get some odd point across. Since Orthodox tend to be more conservative politically than the Reforms (who are all liberal--the temple is Reform) I agree with his belting out condemnations of the terrorists and how screwed up life is. Since he, uh, had a shitty decade, he is constantly angry in some areas and will explode, to whipping his talit about. I told you about him earlier, in an entry in February if you want to check that one out. Every week with him was exciting. Though it was only an hour, and 95% of the class were rabid liberals, we all looked forward to the first class of the day--him. His first impression scared me. In seventh grade, he came to talk for an hour on how not to commit suicide. Of course, we all weren't all psychos, so plenty of us had some time to catch a wink of sleep. He condemned peer pressure and American culture on the death of his depressed friend, who apparently commited suicide. And what was worse, was when I accidentally thought he was going to officate my Bat Mitzvah, but Rebbe E did it instead. Rebbe E is absent now, because of his new kid, but he is a lot more gentle when it comes to special occasions, but his political ideas irk me in an annoying way, as I try to listen to him and honor him, as I wouldn't be a true Jewish Woman without his blessings. So, my favorite teacher at Sunday School went to Israel to get married, and won't return until next year, but on Wednesday nights, when I'll be as busy as a bee. One more year to go until I get confirmed, one more year."

From late February, Cecile writes: "Today at Sunday School, I listened to my rabbi, tall lanky Michel Salon who is a Modern Orthodox Rabbi and he talked about [University of Judaism rabbinics professor Aryeh] Cohen, who, according to him, is a "fat, ugly, overweight nutty right in your face Jew who thinks that Israel is illegal and a crime ridden state". We were all cracking up as we listened to Salon's gushing on how he despised this pompous rabbi at the University of Judaism while Salon paused in intervals and joked that he was going to [imitate the] rabbi, and actively danced around the classroom with his talit, miming [Aryeh] Cohen. It was such wacky moment to see a rabbi act like that, I wished I had my camera."

Luke says: So I've emailed Rabbi Aryeh Cohen at the University of Judaism to see if he has any comment about this description of him. Rabbi Cohen replies: "Apparently she thinks you are "surly, and as my mother would say, "wallowing in his depression"."

Why can't Liberals rejoice in Sadam's defeat?

Rob writes: I work with a couple of flaming Liberals who continue to bash a war that is over. They can take no joy in the demise of Sadam's brutal dictaorship or in the prospect of Democracy in the Middle-East. Instead they grumble, "Where are the weapons of mass destruction?", "It's blood for oil!" BTW two of them drive SUV's. Any of you encounter these types?

Khunrum writes: Yeah! Some of them are my friends. I don't think Dubya has anything to worry about. Did you see the Democratic debates? What a crew of losers. Al Sharpton ( with the Brylcream Do) makes one nostalgic for Jesse Jackson. Poor Kerry, the same week he goes in to have his prostate removed he finds out he is Jewish. How'd you like to go through a circumcision at his age? Is it too late for a Bar Mitzvah? Holy Joe Leiberman looks beat. He needs a face lift and a new rap. Who else? Who cares?...Four more years....Bomb Syria!

You Need Help

Gil writes Luke: "You definitely need your head shrunk. You are angry and given to outrageous uses of information that people give to you to hurt others. You all but got run out of the LA shul when they found about your "other lives." You just haven't been able to pull the red cord and find help. Do you have any friends? Is there anyone who cares about you? I think you have a secret wish to be murdered by someone you write about. Go get some help and get a life. What you are doing is not worth the price to yourself - you make money for others and then leave yourself to nothing."

Is This The Room For An Argument?

I went to a non-Orthodox Bible study this weekend.

In an Orthodox study, it is for men only, and they usually wear black suits and white shirts. They're disciplined and learned. The rabbi has almost total power. He may or may not take questions. If he does take questions, they are usually posed respectfully and the class roots for the rabbi, because he embodies the tradition.

In a non-Orthodox study, most of the people know almost nothing about Judaism and feel free to pop off at any time with their views and feelings. They tend to dress sloppily. Frequently the get togethers lead to immorality afterwards.

I signed up to take some classes because I want to avoid finishing two books I'm supposed to be working on.

In class, one man said, "Judaism is all about risk and taking chances." I thought, huh? Where does that come from? That's not an Orthodox view. When you have hundreds of specific responsibilities, including thrice daily prayer, preferably with your community, there is no time for risk taking. To my understanding, there are no Hebrew words for "excitement" or "adventure" meaning that such terms do not have any inherent meaning.

I got heated and the teacher, correctly stopped me. He said something that shook me up, because I immediately recognized it as true: "You want to fight with someone, but I don't think that person is in this room."

Get Your Refreshments At The 'Nigger Brown' Stand

A small town in rural Australia is at the center of unaccustomed international attention, because of a nickname given to a community figure and sporting hero [E.S. Nigger Brown] who died 30 years ago.

Dave Deutsch writes: Your people are so wise, we have so much to learn from you.

Why The Term 'Schvartze' Is Racist

Dave Deutsch writes: Linguistically, the schvartzer question is an interesting one (I should have warned you; I completed the coursework and most of the exams for a PhD in Jewish Studies and American History--prepare to be bored). On the most basic level, of course, it simply means "black," and became the American Yiddish term for blacks (and, quite frankly, sounds a lot better to American ears than the more proper "Neger"--indeed, Yiddish use of "black" predates the Black power movement by several decades). The problem, of course, is that in dealing with race in America, nothing stays basic.

It began taking on a negative connotation a long, long time ago, stemming in large part from the nature of the relationship between Jews and blacks. In American Jewish idiom for much of the earlier part of the 20th century, "the schvartzer" meant "the cleaning lady," and while I see nothing shameful in being a cleaning lady, there was a certain dismissiveness to it, which was a reflection of the general attitude towards blacks. Ask yourself a question--do you ever hear it used in a complimentary way? Do you ever hear Jews talk about how wonderful Operation Solomon was "when Israel brought the schvartzes to the Promised Land?" No, when referring to Ethiopian Jews, or blacks to be admired, one rarely hears it. It is generally used in a dismissive way. "These schvartzes on the train were so loud."

Having grown up around Orthodox Jews, I can say with a clear conscience that I've almost always heard the word used in a negative or dismissive way. The one exception that I'll grant is to people who actually grew up in a Yiddish speaking environment, for whom the word really does maintain its original connotation, because it was simply the word they learned. However, when I hear somebody using the word who doesn’t speak Yiddish, its definitely a red flag.

We can compare schvartze in American Yiddish to the "zhid" in Polish and Russian. The word simply means "Jew," just like "schvartze" means black. But while in Polish, it's simply the proper word, and has no negative connotation (at least no more than the average Pole will impute to it), in Russian, the proper word is "Evrei," and "zhid" has the connotation of "kike." Sort of like the way "Yid" sounds different coming out of a Jew's mouth as opposed to a goy's mouth. Or to make it understandable to you Talmudic types, whatever the pshat of schvartze may be, the deeper meaning is a negative one.

There is actually an interesting reversal of this in American Yiddish. What's the word for a non-Jewish woman? You're probably thinking "shiksa." The truth is that the basic word is "goyte." (feminine version of goy). Shiksa is actually the feminine for sheygetz, which derives from a Hebrew word for vermin, and was originally used for really bad goyim. While sheygetz retains the negative connotation, Shiksa, despite its original meaning, has become simply the word for non-Jewish woman, and most people who use it have absolutely no idea what its original meaning is.

At any rate, I hope I provided some light on this, and, if you question my answer, I ask you to simply keep an open ear, and listen to how schvartze is used. Again, I want to stress that people don't necessarily use it intending to be racist--one of the ways its used is a matter of symbolic ethnicity--the sort of Yiddish that one throws in to show that you're a member of the tribe. But intentions notwithstanding, it’s a word with a lot of baggage (and as far as intentions go, when I was in the army, I knew a guy--who, I'll concede, was one of the dumbest people I've ever met--who used the term "nigger rig" in front of a black sergeant, and I don't think he had any thought that it was offensive)

Luke says: You can never call me a racist because I marched with MLK in Selma, Alabama in 1964 so negroes could have the right to vote...

Dave replies: That's nothing; I marched with Martin Luther in Wittenburg in 1519 so Lutherans could have the right to eat meat during Lent.

Luke writes: Why are you so sensitive to schvartzes while you mock the sufferings of your own people?

Dave Deutsch replies: The answers to the question are so numerous and so obvious that I can only assume that you find me utterly captivating and get giddy whenever I write you. I know this seems unlikely to you, but it gibes nicely with how I imagine the world to actually work, so I’ll proceed according.

Let me apologize in advance if I get preachy or tiresome, but, in my defense, you asked me. You probably operate under the assumption that my world view is standard issue PC secular leftie, etc. As I see it, though, I’m the one who’s really being true to the Torah, and if the Devil can quote scripture, I feel that with my 8th grade Day School education, I should be able to do so as well. A word like “schvartzer” offends me both as a Jew and a comedian.

First of all, I don’t think my response to “schvartzes” is sensitivity. I would say that it is menschlichkeit (unfortunately, too many people’s knowledge of Yiddish stops at “schvartze;” they’d do well to brush up on “menschlichkeit” as well). One of my criteria for being a mensch in my speech is that I don’t use a word to refer to a group of people, unless I would use that word to their faces. In the Talmud, the question arises as to which is worse, a gazlan (robber), or a goniff (thief). The answer is that the goniff is worse. Why? Because the gazlan robs openly, fearing neither man nor God, while the goniff, robbing secretly, fears man more than God. I don’t want to be like the goniff, calling people an ungodly name when they aren’t around to hear it, fearing them more than God.

Now, you may bridle at my use of the term “ungodly” to refer to harmless racist epithets. But, the way I recall it, we are all created b’tselem elokim (in God’s image—I don’t know how fluent you are with this stuff, but I also don’t want to patronize). Somewhere in the Talmud it says that when you shed human blood, it is as if you are attacking the image of God Himself, because we are all created in that image. So when a term suggests that somebody is of a lesser form of humanity, what else is that other than an attack on God? If blacks are created in God’s image, but all they are to you is “schvartzes,” then aren’t you also saying that God’s image is a despicable thing, too? While I accept a certain degree of Jewish particularism, there is an important principle in the Talmud that all humans are “bnei Adam”—the children of Adam, so that nobody can say to another “My father is greater than yours.” We may ultimately come from a more illustrious branch, be we all have the same roots. It is only in our actions that we differentiate ourselves. Thus, calling somebody a schvartzer or spic, or chink is different from calling him a “bastard” or “asshole” or “simpering troglodyte.” Those names just reduce him as an individual, based on his own behavior (and surely you recognize this principle, else why claim that you have more in common with conservative Christians than secular Jews?); a term like schvartzer, however, reduces him as a representative of the Divine, and this, as a frum yid, I cannot tolerate. I’ll leave the last word, however, to Rav Aharon Soloveitchik, who was more of an authority on the matter than anybody involved in this dialogue: “If an Orthodox Jew is a racist, it’s not because of what he learned in the Torah, but because of the Torah he didn’t learn.”

As a comedian, or at any rate, a man who, according to Luke Ford, is “funny and intelligent,” schvartzer offends me, not because its offensive, but because that’s all that it is. It isn’t funny, it isn’t original, it isn’t clever, it doesn’t make us look at the world in a new way, or deflate sanctimonious pomposity. It’s just petty name calling, and I like to think I’m above that (now, sophisticated name calling is another matter.) Consider the word “homo.” Also, an offensive term. But you made reference to “homos holding hands in shul,” so that, while I may disapprove of the term, I can at least admire your mastery of alliteration (although it should be noted that the same admiration could arguably be due Heinrich Himmler, who ran the SchutzStaffeln, which operated the concentration camps, like Bergen-Belsen, from which we learn that alliteration doesn’t always make you a good or even particularly handsome person).

So why do I make light of my people’s suffering? Well, number one of course, they are my people, so, to borrow from Hillel, “If not me, who?” But more to the point, I make light of it, because my people are so serious about it (and I will note as a matter of disclosure that my father is a refugee, so both the Holocaust and the obsession with it is not entirely abstract for me). Quite frankly, I think the American Jewish obsession with the Holocaust is a disaster, on so many levels. I think, quite frankly, that we could take a page from Pat Moynihan, and discussion of the Holocaust could use a little benign neglect. On this, I give some points to the Orthodox—it happened, it was horrible, commemorate it on tisha b’av, and move on.

I’ll tell you something funny about my Holocaust Museum gig that Josh left out of the story. Just a few minutes before the Holocaust material, I told a joke about a Jew being killed in a pogrom by Cossacks—the crowd loved it. I’ve had the experience elsewhere as well. See, people aren’t objecting to the notion of Jews being killed; they are objecting to Jews being killed during the Holocaust. People can laugh about all kinds of other misery, but not the Holocaust? People who know nothing about Judaism or Jewish culture think that being utterly humorless about the Holocaust makes them a good Jew. This is a piety which I find both perverse, and worthy of skewering.

As for blacks, why make fun of them? The job of the jester is to criticize the king. What do they have? Do they have political power? Financial power? Cultural power (arguably, yes; but I would argue that whites adopting of black cultural poses doesn’t translate into any particular respect or power for blacks themselves). The only power they wield in America is fear, and, then, only on an individual basis. People might fear the possibility of the black mugger; they don’t have any fear of the collective power of black America, because that power is pretty much non-existent. Organizational Judaism, by contrast, is very powerful, and so if my comedy causes some dyspepsia in the halls of the ADL, more power to me.

Finally, you, and, unfortunately, you are not alone, are completely short-sighted in your desire to use words like “schvartzer.” See, I want to live in a world where I can make fun of anyone and anything. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, because the fact is that in the United States, there is a real history of systematic oppression of blacks, which carries over to this day both in the behaviors of many whites, and in the visceral response of many blacks. I recognize that being a white American, while I don’t have any guilt for what has happened, I do share in the responsibility for not perpetuating the sins of the fathers (and, I can say that, even if it wasn’t my biological fathers, because, being a democracy, we have a government that represents the people. The sins of the government are our sins as well). There are still plenty of raw nerve endings exposed; I see it as being a matter, as noted, of simple menschlichkeit, not to touch those exposed nerves. But aside from common decency, there is a self-serving motive as well. I recognize that until those wounds are healed, there will be some jokes that will be verboten. That may be fine for some, but not for me.

I have a dream, of the plantation owner’s great-great-great-grandson, telling a joke about the stupid, lazy, forty-dog drinking great-great-great-grandson of the slave, and both laughing uproariously. The problem is that all these pricks who think they’re being so revolutionary by making snide racist remarks are helping keep those wounds open, preventing my dream from becoming a reality. Won’t you join me, help stamp out serious racism, so that we can live in a utopia where comic racism may grow and flourish…Just do me a favor, and think about what you’re doing to my dream the next time you’re about to say “schvartzer.” I’d go on, but, quite frankly, even I’m starting to find me tiresome.

Khunrum writes: I wrote to David Poland and asked him why after shutting down Whitey from making those stereotypical Amos and Andy movies, Afros now make their own stereotypical Amos and Andy type movies..He had no answer.

David Poland says: I never received such a letter.

Chaim Amalek writes: I just can't hack my way through this. In three sentences, what does he say? (You know, most of the world REALLY doesn't want to hear what jewish lefties have to say about Black folk. We really don't.)

Khunrum writes: I haven't begun to read it and I'm pooped...

Luke's Friends Disagree With His Choice To See Another Jewish Woman Therapist

Chaim Amalek writes: You must be nuts to consider her. She begins her pitch with the words "as a psychotherapist and former attorney" - why would you even dream of placing your ego in her hands? Consider that:

1. She is jewish.
2. She was a lawyer.
3. She is not a real doctor.
4. She is a woman, and not attractive, either.

If you were mentally well, you would not even consider such a person.

This woman paid Google to list her first under "psychotherapy" and "Los angeles". That's how I'll bet he got her [nope, it was the Jewish Journal ad]. Oy vey. Luke, find yourself a good Christian man to help you out.

Khunrum writes: There is much wisdom in Amalek's words my dear Luke. You believe you are not well and put your trust in a failed attorney. You were supposed to find better mental health through the Torah. What happened?

Luke says: Better living through chemistry.

Sappy Chats About Pluralism

I went to a talk about pluralism in Jewish life Saturday night and everybody said it was a good thing. We should welcome freedom and choice. Judaism is all about choice.

The authentically Orthodox said they'd be deeply hurt if their kids left Orthodox Judaism. Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, no wonder most Orthodox rabbis do not consider him Orthodox, said he'd be happy to see his daughter become a Conservative rabbi. Rabbi Yitz said Jewish Law had many problems, particularly in its treatment of women. The orthodox Orthodox position is that Jewish Law is the moral arbiter, we don't determine the ethics of Jewish Law outside of Torah.

As women pour into the clergy, clergy start talking more about feelings rather than standards, which creeps me out. Even the men are getting infected as they have to deal with women clergy, and it's all becoming so touchy feely and lovey dovey, it's enough to turn one into a faegella, not that there's anything wrong with that.

My position on pluralism - it's natural for Christian and Jew to hate each other. That's the way God intended. It's natural for Orthodox and non-Orthodox to hate each other because they have almost nothing in common except they can unite in their hatred for terroristic Muslims and for foreigners pouring into the US who don't want to become American in their values.

The principle reason I left Conservative and Reform Judaism is that I felt uncomfortable with women taking over traditional male religious roles. And I felt disgusted by the legitimizing of homosexuality, particularly the dykes teaching Talmud, and the homos holding hands in shul. And the Conservative shul with a sodomite friendship society that gets official synagogue recognition and announcements in the bulletin.

Judaism Is All About Personal Choice

I was stuck listening to another clueless Conservative rabbi this weekend (and I wouldn't have endured it for a second if my table companions weren't so hot) talk about how Judaism was all about freedom of choice. So I asked him what would happen if he were caught eating a bacon cheeseburger publicly? He said very little would happen to him. Gotta love those strong standards of the Conservative movement. I wouldn't put up with it for a second if their women weren't so hot.

Shnory Shnitstein of the Shnitsetin Clinic in Westwood writes: See how you are becoming increasingly unwilling to consider the picked-over residue that is the 35+ woman, no matter how degreed she is? A sign of improving mental health.

Sad to say, if a woman is single at 35, forever should she/will she remain single, and for good reason. If a woman has any sort of game going on, she should be married by 30, with child by 31. Actually, 25/28, but I'll make an allowance for education.

Jewish women have been terribly mislead into thinking that they should emulate men by going after fancy college degrees. The result is that they are just too darn old to hook a guy. This disaster is a direct result of the jewish invention of feminism. A disaster for the jews.

Please post my guidance, with my name removed, as it tends to frighten jews and horses.

Angua writes: OK, so I fell in with some shagetz when I was twenty and only fell out a few months ago. I'll be 31 on my next birthday. Should I give up now or what? I would be very interested in your esteemed opinion, since the above makes sense to me instinctually. And I would postulate that the same is true for Jewish men pushing 40. I am only wondering if there is any room for exceptions.

Shnory Shnitstein replies: Girls are not being raised properly if they are willing to spend TEN YEARS on a man without the ring to show for it. SIX MONTHS MAX for any woman to figure out if she is headed to the alter, and ONE YEAR to hatch a specific plan to get there within an additional six months. MAX. Okay, there are exceptions (these being ONLY those women who in fact do get married), but TEN YEARS? I wonder what manner of feminist poison addled her mind?

The best thing this woman can do is educate her younger sisters as to the perils of waiting, especially if they happen to be less than knockouts. ("Go ugly early," if need be.)

Yes, this is true of men too, although a man can "buy" back many of those years by attaining substantial professional success wealth and power, which a woman cannot. (Consider that friend of Zion Bill Clinton had no shortage of 21 year old jewish women willing to have coitus with him.) As for her, she is obliged to try. Just don't be so damn picky. Accept the first half-way acceptable man who wants you, even though he may be short, fat, bald, Honduran, middle class, herpetic, or boring. Or would she rather die alone in an apartment somewhere, eaten by her cats?

PS Blogging is for losers. I don't know of even one successful adult who blogs.

Angua replies: Thank you. If you'll excuse me, I'll just go slit my wrists now.... Back. I forgot I hate blood. I refuse to believe anyone that vicious exists. You've made her up, right? Incidentally, I've always been willing to marry "short, fat, bald, Honduran, [or] middle class." It's only "herpetic, or boring" that I refuse to deal with. I really would rather die alone, eaten by my cats.

I don't have a bio because I blog anonymously for professional reasons. There are about two people who can connect me to "Angua" on the planet, and I've met both face-to-face. "Better living through chemistry"? Giggle. I would only see a Jewish woman ex-lawyer therapist if I had some unresolved masochist issues. And some of my best friends are Jewish woman therapists.

Shnory Shnitstein responds:

Now that you are back in the market for a man, you are going to have to do a few things that perhaps you had let slide over the years, and reconfigure your life in ways that you may find discomfiting.

For starters, I infer from some of the artwork on your web site that you own cats. You must get rid of them. Set them loose into the subways of your home town, give them away to older spinsters who are too old to have children, or take more active measures, however you are moved. But you MUST get rid of them, for cats are sponges of affection that would better be directed to the task of winning over a good man. (I suspect that the cat is, in its own way, as effective a tool of genocide against white women as graduate education is to the jews.)

Next, there is too much jew stuff on your blog. Either put up or shut up: move to Israel or fight the immigration of more muslims into Canada. Don't just whine about the consequences of the jewish agenda (open immigration), fight that agenda or leave Canada. Same for the rest of you Canadian jews. Consider marriage to a fine blogger type up in Canada who also is Jewish, if indeed, you are willing to settle for a jew. (Luke can make the introduction.)

Luke Is Senseless

Hyapatia Lee writes Luke 11/10/97: You make absolutely no sense. (Does that mean that you are senseless?) You keep confusing the distant past with the near past and present. Why do you insist on hating me so? I was warned not to talk to you, that you would only find lies or confusing statements, and yet I gave YOU the benifit of the doubt. I even paid for the long distance phone call.

If one follows your way of thinking, I would have to refuse to do business with you because you are Jewish!!!!! Why do you insist on bringing out the worst in people, and promoting things that have happened over 15 years ago as the current way the world is???????

Regardless of what kind of crap you read and believe. Please remember, I am not a SEX WORKER, PC or otherwise. I have never refered to myself as a 'leftist'. I do not promote sex, interracial or otherwise. I have left that business …. The shit you print about me only libels you, it does not hurt me as much as you wish it did because I am not XXXXX anymore! I do not enjoy or view sex films or read the trades and I do not have any associations in the sex industry anymore at all. Go fuck yourself, (I think that is the only person you will find who would be willing to) From now on, I will not honor any of your e-mails with a reply, You are pittifully narrow-minded and I wish you wouldn't blame it on your religion as I know many nice Jewish people (and many nice black people). You need a therapist, obviously you have much anger at women and those who work in the sex industry. I get the feeling that you are such an evil person, you would enjoy innocent children being hurt.

In your sick, twisted little mind, you probably justify babies being raped by what their parents have or have not done. I wish for you the death of your way of thinking. Death equals growth and rebirth in my culture. You should be in a roomful of mirrors, so that whatever energy you put out comes back to haunt you and no one else. Why don't you live your own life instead of picking on everyone elses? Is your life that terrible that you can't stand to look at it and prefer to delve into everyone elses? What a pitiful existence you must lead. Oh yes, remember, my lawyer is watching your page like a hawk.

Hyapatia Lee Fakes Her Own Death

12/31/98

George writes on RAME: I found this in alt.showbiz.gossip I just received the following note from the official fan club for the Native American adult film actress Hyapatia Lee:

"Hyapatia Lee has relapsed into a childhood disease (diabetes) and passed away. This news has upset many beloved fans and friends around the world. When Hyapatia learned of her inevitable demise she had a last request. In her personal words--'Please set up a fund raising sale in my behalf for my medical and burial expenses. I have no medical insurance and my family can't even afford the doctor bills not to mention the cost of a burial. I have a lot of fan club merchandise left that can be sold and I will give a list of personal one of a kind items that are sentimental to me. These items are truely [sic] part of me and my history of being a legend of erotica.

"I really appreciate all of the love and support from my friends and I'm sure the Great Spirit will reunite us all one day. I will autograph as many items as I can. Remember, if you buy ANY merchandise from the fan club, it is mine personally. You will not only help a friend in dire need, but also help my spirit to live on with you.

"Please help if you can." Hyapatia Lee 1961-1998."

According to the note, those who are already members of her fan club have the first opportunity to buy her remaining autographed photos, magazines, videotapes, etc., before they go up for sale over the Internet on February 1. The news of her passing has not yet been announced on her official website (www.hyapatialee.com). It truly is a shame. Despite her occupation, she always came across as an intelligent, spiritual, and charming young woman. She will be missed.

Luke Ford writes on RAME: Around May 1998, Hyapatia Lee said she'd relapsed into a serious childhood illness. Several internet reports this week say she's dead while others suspect Lee is just fine but poor and looking for ways to unload merchandise. Place Luke Ford among the skeptics.

I received this from a well-placed source: "Hyapatia and her husband are roughly 35 and 28, respectively, and although they're both in perfectly good health, they've managed to qualify for monthly disability and welfare checks from uncle sam. But this is nothing new for Hyapatia - she was collecting food stamps and pleading poverty for government handouts even while dancing on the road for $5-6000 a week. Hyapatia and her husband make a comfortable living off the federal dole, which includes $300 a month from the state for each kid as well - add in the ex's child support payments, and royalties from Hyapatia's fan club, website, and movie royalties, and they're making about $4,000 every month for doing absolutely nothing. They are extremely proud of themselves for having achieved this state of paid inertia, which is also fueled by Hyapatia's belief that "the world owes her a living."

"Several months ago, Hyapatia came up with another plan to make more 'money for nothing' - and it involved faking her own death. She engaged the help of a few people to start spreading the word that she was gravely ill, by telling them secretly that she was having problems with a stalker, and by faking her own death she would hopefully be able to live her life in safe anonymity. And so a 'goodbye' message to fans was put on her website, and all website sales were discontinued (at this time Hyapatia was also filing for personal bankruptcy, which coincidentally necessitated quickly covering any apparant sources of income & material assets, like fan club merchandise and inventory...)

"After a few months passed, Hyapatia decided it was time to roll over and play dead, and had someone begin spreading the word on the net that 'Hyapatia Lee has passed away'... And this is where the clincher of her plan comes in - attached to the sad obituary note is a brilliant sales pitch, pleading for fans to pity her poor family that has no money to pay her doctor bills or burial expenses, followed with a "special offering" of "exclusive fan club merchandise" from beyond the grave.... Wow - so she got to file for bankruptcy, while keeping all her inventory AND hiding it from Uncle Sam, AND she got to jack up the prices while boosting sales with a tearstained plea that no loyal fan could resist.

"Well, now she can pat herself on the back until her arm falls off, reminding herself how clever she is for beating the system again and again, and for pulling off her coup de' tat, a swan song that swept those scummy porno fans along for one last glorious ride. She planned this out deliberately as her last dealing with adult industry, before closing the door on that unhappy part of her past, and moving in a new direction. I wonder if she's in newsgroups right now, reading through the sad obituary postings by her loyal and trusting fans... and calculating how much money each one is gonna send her..."

Lunch With Cathy Seipp, Emmanuelle Richard, Matt Welch

We met at 12:30 Friday at Cat and Fiddle (6530 W Sunset Bl).

I order a hot chocolate. Cathy orders half a pint of Bass Ale. Matt Welch orders a pint of Sierra Nevada [ale]. Emmanuelle gets the unsweetened ice tea.

Matt: "We put up an American flag on top of a French flag on the side of our house, next to some wooden lattice work. Our house is a 100-years old, made out of wood. Within hours, some kids tried to torch it. It was in the morning. A couple of hours after we put up the flags, I saw some kids in the corner of the driveway and soon after that, I heard someone yell 'Fuck France.' It burned a small hole."

Luke: "Did you file it as a hate crime?"

Matt: "No."

Luke: "Call the Anti-Defamation League."

Cathy: "I don't believe in hate crimes but arson is serious."

Luke: "F--- the French automatically made it a hate crime."

Cathy hands out photos of her trip to Washington D.C. with her 14-year old daughter "Cecile Du Bois."

Matt orders a New York steak sandwich. Emmanuelle and I order the vegetarian shepherd's pie and Cathy orders the regular shepherd's pie.

Cathy took her daughter to the UPI headquarters in Washington to meet editor John O'Sullivan, formerly of the National Review. Cecile told John to look up her blog, which he did on the spot.

Cathy also visited her editors at Readers Digest, Washingtonian and elsewhere.

I should tell David Poland to apply for the job of editor at Movieline Magazine.

I go to the bathroom with Cathy Seipp.

Emmanuelle and Matt sing into my tape recorder while I'm gone:

Emmanuelle: "Luke Ford is nice."
Matt: "He's kinda strange. That's why we like him."
Emmanuelle: "I discovered Luke Ford [in ojr.org]. I made him."
Matt: "You're taking a lot of credit for someone who discovered himself."

I walk out of the bathroom after doing my manly thing standing up and run into Cathy, who's wearing a big long skirt. I don't understand how she was so quick. She was racing to get back to the table to put stuff on my tape recorder without me being around.

For desert, I had chocolate mousse, Cathy had sherry trifle and Matt and Emmanuelle between them couldn't finish the apple crisp with custard.

Cathy Seipp writes on her blog: "...[W]asn't Luke surprised to see how quickly I came out of the bathroom after he'd "done his manly thing" there. Of course, he left out the part where he vomited in horror at this discovery, a la "The Crying Game," right there on Sunset Blvd. Actually, the dull truth is I'm just a very quick "ladies" room visitor, a technique I perfected in college when I didn't want to bother with the long lines at the Hollywood Bowl and went in the bushes instead. No muss, no fuss. Well? Wouldn't you?

"Poor Cecile had her journal taken down temporarily by her dad (but now it's back up), who was angry that she'd posted an email he'd sent her threatening to give her birthday presents to charity...apparently because she was less than appropriately grateful at the prospect of seeing her dad and little half-brother in the middle of the week, and I was unenthusiastic about yet another year of my ex-husband inviting himself over to my house with his giant supermarket cake and pile of paper plates. I ask you, what is so terrible about a slice of cake and a candle at a restaurant? Shouldn't divorced dads ask before they plan parties at their ex-wives' homes? And how do people take down other people's blogs anyway?"