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I Want to Beat the Crap Out of Luke Ford Club

Big Lee writes in regarding the latest news from the “I Want to Beat the Crap Out of Luke Ford Club.”

Lee writes: “I was thinkin if I was Ford, I'd be a little concerned about the whooze whoo he's been fuckin with and pissing off lately. This sissy looking f--k is getting in over his head and way outside his league. I figured along time ago, his game is to antagonize others and stir people up. He's sure as hell done that, but for what benefit, I don't understand. I don't like the f--ker and the way he writes is pathetic. --Big Lee”

JimmyD sez: Big Lee, lemme tell ya—Lukey’s been in over his head since Day One. But for some reason, his head remains attached to the rest of his body. I once wrote, “…the only reason Luke Ford’s body hasn’t been found floating in the L.A. river is because there’s no water in the L.A. river.” You’re right in that Luke delights in pissing people off in this business. You’re also right that he’s a sissy-looking fu--k. But apparently he prays enough to keep himself safe.

On the same subject, Mark wrote in with: “You were way too soft on Ford. The guy's a blight, and when the next Meese Commission rolls around -- and I can feel it coming -- I expect he'll be #1 in the witness box. THAT, you can quote me on. –Kernes”

JimmyD sez: Okay Mark, I’ve quoted you on this. And I must admit I agree that if another Meese-style Commission rolls around--and it certainly may--Luke will make a fine witness for the Feds. But I also have to say that I think more than a few supposedly hardened, tough-guy pornographers will roll on other pornographers faster than you can say “cheese.”

Entertainment Weekly Follows In Tiffany Stone's Footsteps

Meet the folk singer Britney and Colin Farrell love -- Alexi Murdoch is building major buzz while giving big labels the cold shoulder by Catherine Wise for EW.com:

Four years ago, singer-songwriter Alexi Murdoch spotted k.d. lang in the frozen-foods section of his local supermarket. Seizing the moment, Murdoch -- whose haunting lyrics and minimalist folk melodies are reminiscent of Nick Drake's -- handed the Grammy winner a cassette of his work. Two days later, lang called asking for more. But Murdoch chose not to follow through. ''At that time, I wasn't ready,'' he says. ''I dropped it.'' Not an ideal promotional strategy, but the Scotland native (he moved to L.A. in '98) has found success in spite of himself. Last August, Nic Harcourt, a DJ at L.A. public-radio station KCRW, played Murdoch's demo (he requested it after seeing Murdoch perform) on the air, and listeners were so enthusiastic, the ballad ''Orange Sky'' earned a place on the daily playlist. ''When you get a series of phone calls on a song,'' says Harcourt, ''you're onto something.''

But even though Murdoch is on the verge of breaking out, he remains unsigned and has yet to release a CD other than his self-produced EP, ''Four Songs'' (available at aleximurdoch.com). The troubadour has received some high-profile offers but is wary of so-called expert feedback.

Walls Closing In On Dave Robb?

Cathy Seipp writes: "Defending corrupt journalists"....so THAT's what I'm famous for. Huh. Peter Bart, you owe me a Coke!

But geez, it sounds like the walls of Dave Robb's efficiency apartment are really beginning to close in on him.

Dave Robb Says Cathy Seipp Is A Bad Journalist, Bad Mom

Dave Robb writes:

Cathy Seipp is not only one of the worst journalists in Hollywood, but apparently one of the worst mothers, as well.

I am not surprised that she would come to the defense of Luke Ford, whom she described in a column earlier this week as being "Christlike." But I am truly amazed that she would allow Mr. Ford, a cyber-stalking pornographer, to use her 14-year-old daughter to spread false and malicious lies about me in print. This is a mix of bad journalism and bad motherhood that I would not have thought possible.

A word of caution to Ms. Seipp. Do not leave your daughter alone in the same room with Mr. Ford. He is a dangerously confused man. His own father has branded him "mentally unstable." His stepmother has called him "devil possessed." And his sister said: "He seems to lack a degree of insight and balance in his life…His involvement in pornography is heartbreaking to us."

When I wrote earlier this week that Mr. Ford was a pornographer, he responded by email (but did not post on his website): "I'm curious why you called me a pornographer? If it is lukeford.com, I sold that almost two years ago and have had nothing to do with it since. Writing about pornographers doesn't make me a pornographer any more than you writing about mobsters makes you a mobster. Or am I missing something?"

Yes, Mr. Ford, you are missing something. And as usual, it's the truth. And in this case, it's the truth about yourself.

In my response to Mr. Ford, I noted that in 1999 he was quoted in Rolling Stone saying: "I actually directed people to commit explicit acts of sexual intercourse. And what's worse, I had (an actress) blowing me while I was delivering the introduction to the pornographic tape I made."

In his email response (which he again did not post on his website), he wrote: "Well, that's fair enough - and long ago. Yes, I did that once, in Jan. 1996, and never since."

Salon.com, which Ms. Seipp often writes for, once described Ford this way: "Ford's methods are slash and burn, often mean-spirited and journalistically dubious."

Ms. Seipp is famous for defending corrupt journalists. Of Peter Bart, the homophobic, racist and truly evil editor of Daily Variety, she once wrote: "I kind of like a man who's always right, even when he's wrong."

(This is the same Peter Bart who in 1991 boasted in Gentlemen's Quarterly that he shot a gun at black people while covering the Watts Riots for the New York Times in the 1960s.)

But until now, Ms. Seipp has never stooped so low as to allow her 14-year-old daughter to carry water for her corrupt colleagues.

And if Ms. Seipp really thinks that Mr. Ford is "Christlike," as she wrote earlier this week, then perhaps the County's child protective services should look into whether or not she is putting her child's safety in danger by exposing her to Mr. Ford's villainy. Dave Robb

Cecile du Bois responds on her blog: "Well Mr Robb, if you think that Mr. Ford has cruel intentions and that I am a pawn by my mother, you are wrong--in my opinion that is. Of course there is not "one truth" or "universal truth", but I think that you are just fuming in your own indignity. No offense, that is. And if you think that I am unoriginal or my mother is a horrid journalist, I think you should actually read writers like Tracy Wilkinson, Maureen Dowd, and some other ungodly writers like bias writers before indicating my mother is bad journalist. I read her articles, and I admit there are occasionally mistakes that could be edited, but compared to most journalists, my mother is near the sky. Go read My Dad's Blog. He is mad at me now as he reads this, you two have something to share about. And go read National Review . It clears your head. And go take a walk, and actually read something. Go take out Anita Busch out for lunch and fume out about the vicious deadly blogging mother and daughter couple...when I graduate--we'll be rivals!"

Dave Deutsch writes: "Christlike? A Jew who switches religions midlife, whose father thinks him "mentally unstable" for doing so, has a soft spot for sex-workers, is cast out by the Jewish authorities of his time, and will do anything to avoid a fight? Good Gravy, Luke Ford may actually be that ideal of all male porn stars, The Second Coming!"

Thesp writes Luke: "I am not Beth Laski although I've heard both Anita and David speak well of her. I think that you're perspective is skewed for whatever reason and I don't quite understand why. Anita and David are both very good at what they do because they have ethics. They are both loyal people. Dave and Anita have that in common as well as being menches. the thing that makes you look nuts is that you don't seem to acknowledge that viewpoint which is the prevailing viewpoint among every one i know in my industry. i don't know about journalism and i know few writers and thats because most entertainment writers are only looking for an in to the industry. both bush and robb were in positions to take advantage of their positions and neither ever did and many of us admire that about both of them.

"i gave you the benefit of the doubt. i don't even have time for this but I reread both of their profiles out of my friendship with them both. there are no "abundant" quotes from journalists. you make fun of anyone who defends them. so you didn't tell me the truth and that again is very disappointing. maybe you think the only way you can gain "power" and attention is through spewing out negative and untrue things about people so they react. i must go. i cant spend any more time on this but in closing let me tell you that i think your profiles on david and anita are purposefully skewed and you should seriously think about why you do that. and especially to good people."

Luke replies: "You write that Dave Robb is a mench... This is a guy who sent me emails that he was going to beat me up so bad I would have to be hospitalized? And as for Anita, she screamed at someone I interviewed that she'd get him fired from every job in town because he gave a negative quote about her to me? Anita routintely threatens other journalists with lawsuits, including Rick Barrs before he published anything about her, just sent her questions. Those are menchlike behaviors? I've never made a death threat in my life nor threatened anyone with a lawsuit."

Thesp writes: "and dave apologized if i read correctly for something he himself called childish and unprofessional and anita "screaming at someone" you interviewed that "she'd get him fired from every job in town because he gave a negative quote about her" is something that I just don't believe. in fact it is that kind of behavior that she fights against in others. i would have to hear it for myself from that person's lips before i would ever believe it. it's not possible that anita did that. i'm sorry but i don't believe it.

"it takes a man with character to apologize to someone. and dave did that. yet you put up things that aren't true and never apologize to these people. you also only put up portions of emails from me so you can control things and skew things. so there is no winning or reasoning with you. and that is the sorry state of affairs in that head of yours."

Culture Wars - Radical Jews As Polluters

I just received the May 2003 issue of Culture Wars, a right-wing Catholic magazine edited by prolific author Dr. E. Michael Jones.

All the articles in this issue blame the Jews for various problems.

You can subscribe by emailing Jones@culturewars.com or writing to: Culture Wars, P.O. Box 1401, South Bend, IN 46624.

Dr. Henry Makow writes in the magazine: "Growing up I felt I had to "succeed" to be loved. Is this why so many Jews are over achievers? Is it built into the culture? Instead of a God of Love, who loves unconditionally, the Jewish God demands worldly achievement?"

Angua writes: ""Dr" Henry Makow, for one, is a loon of a pretty high order. He is another one of conspiracy-mongering Jew-haters (hello, Michael Rivero!) whose first wife was Jewish. Must have made fun of his tiny little willie or something. His second wife is some [young thing] he picked up in the Philipines."

The next article in the magazine describes how Israel forced the US to invade Iraq.

Next, W. Patrick Cunningham writes that "the Catholic Church is, in effect, the last remaining guardian of Torah in the 21st century.

"One continues to wonder whether U.S. foreign policy is made not in Washington but in a suburb of Tel Aviv."

The main article is titled: "Rabbi Dresner's Dilemma: Torah vs Ethnos." It quotes me extensively.

I write the author: "Dear Dr Jones, I found your article interesting and disturbing. The other articles in the magazine were far more disturbing, justifying Henry Ford's hatred of Jews, blaming Jews as a group for the actions of a few... Well, it leaves with mixed feelings. I support a culture war against the polluters, many of whom are secular Jews. Orthodox Jews won't countenance this type of filth and the magazine doesn't make that distinction plain. We Jews introduced God, morality, and the nuclear family to the world, and among religious Jews, we have very stable families."

Dr. Jones replies: "My article makes the distinction between Rabbi Dresner and what he stands for and Woody Allen and what he stands for as clear as I know how to make it. The two people are representative of the two groups competing for the distinction of who gets to determine who is a Jew and according to which criteria are pictured as clear alternatives on the cover. I don't know how to make the distinctions any clearer. Rabbi Dresner stands for the Torah; Woody Allen stands for sexual revolution. Dresner then goes on to indicate pretty clearly that most American Jews are followers of Woody Allen. That means that most American Jews repudiate Torah norms of sexuality. Add to that the Reichian commitment to sexual revolution that Richard Pacheco mentioned and you have some explanation of why many Jews, as you noted, are involved in pornography. What distinction did I fail to make?"

Dr. E. Michael Jones writes the cover story in the May issue of Culture Wars:

The Jews had prospered in America, but they paid a price for their prosperity. “The chosen people seemed to flatten into normality,” according to [Conservative Rabbi] Dresner’s pessimistic view, “becoming what the prophets had warned against: ‘like the nations.’” They had succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in assimilating and achieving success. They even succeeded in remaking American culture in the course of the 20th century in their image, but in doing that they also discovered that they were in some very real sense of the word, a sense which Dresner explored in detail, no longer Jews. “Jews,” according to Dresner, “have tried all things.” In the process they have “exhausted modernity” and discovered to their chagrin “the puzzling truth” that

No license has replaced the Law; no symphony, the Psalms, no chandelier, the Sabbath candles; no opera, Yom Kippur; not country club , the synagogue; no mansion, the home; no Jaguar, a child; no mistress, a wife; no banquet, the Passover seder; not towering metropolis, Jerusalem; no impulse, the joy of doing a mitzvah; no man, God. (p. 329 of Can Families Survive in Pagan America?).

Jews in Hollywood,” according to one commentator [Luke Ford] “like most Jews in the media, academia and pornography, tend to be radical and alienated Jews, rooted neither in Judaism nor in the majority Christian culture. They tend to be rootless and politically left of center, seeking to create a rootless cosmopolitan society to reflect their own non-Judaic traditionless values.”

Luke Ford was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist in Australia. He came to Los Angeles to study and after coming down with chronic fatigue syndrome, spent his time in convalescence listening to Dennis Prager’s radio program. As a result of listening to Prager, he converted to orthodox Judaism. Since Los Angeles is the center of the pornography industry and since Ford was also interested in pornography, he noticed that Jews dominate the porn industry in Hollywood and decided to discuss the issue on his website, lukeford.com (Since this discussion—and perhaps because of it—lukeford.com has been taken over by the porn industry. Luke Ford’s lucubrations on things Jewish, things pornographic, and things in general are now available only at lukeford.net.) Luke Ford noticed that “secular Jews play a disproportionate role throughout the sex industry.”

If, as Ford notes, “the Torah [Pentateuch] commands Jews ‘to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,’ and Judaism strongly opposes porn, why do Jews dominate porn?” Is the ethnic connection purely fortuitous?

Rabbi Dresner writes:

The religion of impulse likewise found significant Jewish involvement. An unusually high percentage of the material on sexual liberation was written by Jews, as well as among its advocates. On a more commercial level, for example, Jews have been strongly represented in the Playboy enterprises. B’nai Brith’s Anti-Defamation League had no problem, for example, when some years back they presented their American Freedom Award at a fashionable black-tie dinner-dance to Hugh Hefner. . . . About the honoree, the ADL says, with an apparent straight face, that the empire he founded has had a far-reaching impact, not only on the publishing industry, but on the mores of American society as well.

According to Luke Ford’s discussion, the animus of the Jewish Cultural Revolutionary is historical and ethnic. Pornography is just one weapon in a panoply of cultural warfare which gets waged half in self-defense, half in residual animus against traditional majority Christian cultures...

Once the majority of American Jews defined themselves as sexually deviant, pornography, along with homosexual rights, feminism, and New Age goddess worship, would become a natural expression of their worldview, and since they controlled Hollywood, they were in the position to make their worldview normative for the culture at large. The traditional animus against majority culture combined with a decline in moral scruple would naturally lead “the advocates of Woody Allen” to become involved in pornography as a form of cultural warfare.

The most significant thinker in this regard is Wilhelm Reich, a Jew from Galicia who was a student of both Sigmund Freud (quite literally) and Karl Marx and a man who tried to create an intellectual marriage between their two quintessentially revolutionary ideologies. Reich wrote the book on sexual revolution and many Jewish porn stars have read it. Richard Pacheco is one.

“Five years before I got my first part in an adult film,” Pacheco explained, “I went down to an audition for an X-rated film with my hair down to my ass, a copy of Wilhelm Reich’s Sexual Revolution under my arm and yelling about work, love and sex, which were Reich’s three principles. These things have got to be in balance or your life is going to fucked.” Pacheco didn’t get the job, but he didn’t stop auditioning either. Nor did he stop using his Jewishness as the rationalization for his participation in pornography. “Five years later,” Pacheco continued, “I auditioned for another X-rated film. That very day, I also interviewed at Hebrew Union Seminary to do rabbinical study. I made the choice that the kind of rabbi I would be, if I became one, was one that could have been performing in sex films as part of his experience.”

Like Sam Dresner, Luke Ford feels that:

Virtually all movements to change the world come from the Jews—Christianity, secular humanism, Marxism, Socialism and Communism, feminism, and the labor movement. That’s part of the reason that Jews are hated. The world doesn’t want to be changed.

Rooted in nothing, radical Jews frequently seek to make others equally rootless by tearing down their religious, national, communal and traditional allegiances. Such Jews carry on the traditional Jewish hatred of false gods but without offering anything to replace the scorned allegiances. . . . Rather, the most important result of the domination of non-Jewish Jews in these fields is their war on traditional values. Porn is just one expression of this rebellion against standards, against the disciplined life of obedience to Torah that marks a Jew living Judaism.

When Luke Ford asked Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw, why so many Jews were involved in pornography, Goldstein, unlike Abe Foxman, did not say the connection was fortuitous. He instead got to what one might call the theological heart of the matter. “The only reason that Jews are in pornography,” Goldstein responded, “is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don’t believe in authoritarianism.”

Luke Ford interviewed Goldstein during the University of California Northridge’s first annual pornography conference. The conversation began with Bruce David of Larry Flynt Publications urging Ford to explain his theory on why so many Jews are involved in pornography, which prompted Goldstein to opine that Jews were in pornography because “Christ sucks.” After that opening gambit, the conversation got progressively more theological, at least in the Goldstein mode. In response to Ford’s question, “Do you believe in God?” Goldstein answered, “I believe in me. I’m God. Fuck God. God is your need to believe in some super being. I am the super being. I am your God, admit it. We’re random. We’re the flea on the ass of the dog.”

The interview continued in that vein:

Luke: “What does being Jewish mean to you?”

Al: “It doesn’t mean shit. It means that I’m called a kike. Rose is more of a Jew than I am. She speaks Hebrew. “

Goldstein here is referring to his companion, who, unlike Goldstein was raised a religious Jew.

At this point, Ford turns to Rose and asks her the same question he just asked Goldstein: “What does being Jewish mean to you?”

Rose: “I feel like I am part of a worldwide spiritual community.”

Al: “Jews and blacks are together. Us kikes and coons… Like a chocolate mouse [sic].”

Luke: “What attracts you to Al?”

Rose hesitates, giving Goldstein his opening.

Al: “It’s my big Jewish dick. My circumcision.”

Rose ended the conversation by changing the subject. “Who do you write for?” she asked Ford.

It’s a long stretch to get from the Torah to pornography, and the only way to understand how some people can see some compatibility between being Jewish and a porn star is to understand the historical genesis of their group, which is to say, the historical genesis of the secular, revolutionary Jew. Ever since the Enlightenment, but certainly since Marx, a certain group of Jews have defined being Jewish as being revolutionary.

Since the fall of communism, pornography, by way of the theories of sexual revolution articulated by Wilhelm Reich, is the remaining form of revolutionary hope for the latter group of Jews. When Luke Ford received a letter from a German Turkish girl who wanted to come to Hollywood to become a porn star, he shared it with his website readers, one of whom advised him “not to put her in gangbang scenes as soon as she steps off the plane at LAX.” This does not mean that he advises her to stay home and not become involved in pornography, only that Ford should introduce her to the porn scene gradually. He feels this way for basically religious reasons because he sees putting her in porn films as an example of “tikkun olam” (healing the world).

If television is “the Jewish industry par excellence,” are the Jews who control television responsible for its content and the effect of that content on the moral and social order?

Richard Gere And Man's Search For Meaning

On his nationally syndicated radio show 6/5, Dennis Prager wonders about this photo of Richard Gere hugging Yasir Arafat's spokeswoman Hannah Ashrawi (former lover of ABC anchor Peter Jennings). Why would Gere do that? Prager speculates that many if not most actors believe their work is meaningless, as most movies today are vapid.

The human being needs meaning even more than he needs sex. You can lead a full and rich life without sex. But you can't lead a rich life without meaning.

So actors seek out political activism as a way to give meaning. Artists have traditionally been on the left.

Most people get meaning from their work and their family and their religion. Most Hollywood actors don't get much meaning from any of those categories.

Second hour: Author Jon Katz spent a year with 12 dog-human relations, including the Dog-Divorce club, where women get a dog after a divorce, to write his new book, The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family.

Katz worries about people anthropomorphizing animals. Animals are no longer "adopted", they are "rescued."

Katz says it is not good for pets to be viewed and treated as human. It's not good for people to do this and it is not good for their pets.

People are struggling to connect with others. Dogs are a blank canvas they can paint their emotions on to.

If people are lonely and disconnected, they need to get help, not transfer their issues on to their dogs. We are asking to do too much. We're breeding generations of neurotic dogs. They're not trained properly (only 3% in America). Training a dog means teaching it to exist around people. They don't get enough exercise.

Four hundred thousand kids are bitten a year by dogs. A trained dog won't bite. It'd be better to have training laws than leash laws.

Because of this aggressive, neurotic behavior, towns across the country are passing tough leash law. Dogs are being asked to lead lives that are not natural to them. Because we are not treating dogs like dogs, we are not allowing them to live like dogs.

Katz says women are more likely to anthropomorphize animals. All eight women Katz followed (not all unhappily married) said they felt they got more emotional support from their dogs than from their men.

It's not good for people to believe dogs are doing things for them that dogs can't do. Dogs can't give love.

Vet calls: It's damaging because such people don't develop human relationships to provide that love. It's disturbing to see people developing these spirituality theories about animals. Animals do not have souls.

Katz: The smartest dog is not as smart as a three-year old.

Beware of the hidden Jews...

Small Penis, Big IQ

Dave Deutsch writes: "This small penis, big IQ thing intrigues the hell out of me. For the first time, the bris makes sense--it's God's way of boosting Jewish intelligence. That also explains why African-American IQs have gone up in recent decades--they've also become circumcised. On the other hand, bodybuilders' penises shrink from steroid use, and they don't seem smart. It's too much for somebody with a penis as large as my own to fathom. Do you have any insights?"

Cathy Seipp Disects That Kindly Old Gent Dave Robb

Cathy Seipp writes on her blog:

I see that former Hollywood Reporter and Variety staffer Dave Robb has thought better of his threats to beat up Luke Ford and retracted them, probably because someone pointed out that, what with all the people who want to beat up Luke, it's probably not the smartest idea to put such a notion in writing.

Why was Robb so upset? (Other than the fact that he's a big baby who's always either recovering from a tantrum or working himself up into the next one, that is.) Apparently because, among other things, he thinks Luke "lied about" his friend and former boss Anita Busch. Anita, the former editor of the H'wd Reporter, is not, for example, someone who screams and swears in the office.

Right. Well, maybe in bizarro world that's true -- a magical place where the strongest language Anita ever uses is "Golly gee hecky darn," George Christy is so priggishly ethical he won't even let a source buy him a cup of coffee, and Peter Bart is an Episcopalian.

I take the conventional wisdom that Robb and Busch are good reporters with several grains of salt, by the way. Because part of being a good reporter is having good judgment, and these two very often don't.

Dave Robb took umbrage at a Buzz story I wrote about the Hollywood Reporter when he was working there, apparently because he thought it was disrespectful of the Reporter. "I'm going to call your boss!" I remember him yelling -- i.e.: I'm telling! Personally, I think it's rather undignified for journalists to use that creaky old flack's threat to other journalists.

Read On

Cathy's 14 year-old daughter "Cecile du Bois" writes on her blog:

Luke Ford, an eccentric media junkie who will post 85% of all the emails he gets, is an interesting fellow to meet. He is a good friend of my mother's and is one of the Alphabloggers listen on the right. He got in a fight with Dave Robb by criticizing him and Anita Busch who seems "more than a friend" with Dave Robb, as he was looking to clobber Luke Ford over what he wrote about her. From what I read of my mother's [blog] Busch sounds scary to meet...no offense if Anita is reading this...

But as you can see--they moved on. Luke Ford's site is really quite interesting. He has interviewed gangsters, druggies, bad writers, fussy directors, and mostly nice interesting sane people.

The Worst Newspaper in the History of the Planet

From the Jewish Journal forum:

Chocolateblunder writes: i fully agree with luke. the writer of the rabbi story must have been saving up for years with some of the long sentences and passive voice and just turgid style. also, it amazes me how four (!!) rabbis within a square block could be profiled about changing judaism - very few of these rabbis have the sort of political influence that other rabbis have, mainly less insular conservative and reform rabbis - and also, how about some geography here - i mean there are rabbis on the west side who are prominent up at stephen s wise, in the valley at VBS and at maarav, even i think some orthodox synagogues exist outside of pico. anyhow, that article really had me wondering if there is editing going on - and luke ford at least made it clear that there is not.

DaveK writes: This is not a newspaper, and contrary to their front page it does not serve the Jewish Community of Los Angeles. It's a glad handing, back slapping society page serving the needs of a few wealthy Jews in Beverly Hills. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that columns such as the Jewish singles column that are published in this "newspaper" would appear to be written by one of the shallow, angst ridden, self-loathing and apparently well connected children of one of their readership.

Luke replies: Theresa Strasser comes from a poor family with no connections to Beverly Hills. She's earned her JJ gig. Jewish Journal writers are often interesting as people. They are frequently thoughtful. But it rarely comes across in the paper. Why? There must be some dynamic to Jewish journalism that militates against good journalism. I examine the question here.

I think much of the problem is that Jews complain so much. Jewish journalists tone down their stuff by reflex to avoid complaints and aggravation. Also, Jewish religious laws against lashon hara (gossip) makes good journalism difficult.

Who's Amy Alkon's Black Man?

Khunrum writes: "Let's try and guess the famous Black Man Amy dated. I say it was Clarence Thomas. Second choice, Baby Doc Duvaliar."

Amy Alkon Interview Part Two

I meet advice columnist Amy Alkon for lunch on May 28, my 37th birthday, in Venice.

I've been waiting for a couple of minutes to dive into my potato-leek soup with radish.

Luke: "Is it ok if I dive into this?"

Amy: "Sure."

I take a spoonful. It's good. I then take some of the radish part and it's yucky. I finish 80% of the bowl. I usually clean my plate unless the food is gross. For a fleeting second, I thought of doing a David Poland and sending it back but my Protestant upbringing prevents me (Jesus suffered so we must too).

Amy: "I did date someone who was well known and will remain nameless... There were a series of people who dumped me in quick succession. Many were writers. I feel like I have a lot in common with writers. Someone who doesn't just take the world as it is but analyzes it and wonders how it could be different."

Amy has never communicated with an alien and she does not believe Elvis is still alive. She's agnostic about God. "I believe I don't know and I think it is really arrogant of people to say that they do know. It's stupid and arrogant of people who think that God is Charleton Heston sitting up in a winged chair holding the Ten Commandments."

I find that phrase infuriating because of never met anyone who thinks of God like that, or who thinks of God as an old man in the sky. This is one of those cheap shots nonbelievers use to dismiss those who do believe without wrestling with the powerful, and I think overwhelming, arguments for God's existence.

Luke: "Have you met anyone who believes that?"

Amy: "I write for papers across the country and yeah, I talk to people everywhere... Yeah, people believe..."

Luke, infuriated and bearing down: "You've met someone who believes that God is Charleton Heston sitting on a chair in the sky?"

Amy: "I didn't actually interrogate them to that degree but I think that all the pictures in the Sistine Chapel of a white bearded guy... They think somebody up there is...maybe not the Charleton Heston image out of my head, but they believe..."

Luke: "He's an old man in the sky."

Amy: "Yeah, an old man in the sky. Exactly. Like he actually cares about your life."

Yeah, it is so much more rational to believe in either a Creator who makes a world and then doesn't care about it, or that this universe came about by fluke.

Amy: "Luke Ford is crossing across the street. I'm going to trip him. I just find it ludicrous.

"I do believe, and I don't want to sound all Californian, an energy... You light a match and a fire starts."

Luke: "You believe in karma."

Amy: "Karma makes sense. I don't believe in the whoooh California type of karma."

Luke: "You believe in a more sophisticated New York-version of karma."

Amy: "I'm from the Midwest. I don't identify with being a member of anything."

Alkon grew up in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills.

Luke: "You're Jewish, right?"

Amy: "I was a small persecuted Jewish child."

Luke: "You lived in a goyisha neighborhood?"

Amy: "I don't like the term goy, which means 'stranger.'"

The denotative meaning of goy is nation and it has no negative connotations. As used in Jewish life, goy means 'the other,' the stranger, and frequently has negative connotations.

Amy: "I like to be global and look at people as people and not divide based on Jewish or not-Jewish.

"The foundation for my column is Albert Ellis and Jewish values. I can relate. I don't like the idea of goy and Jewish.

"My Dad [sells commercial industrial properties with his wife, Amy's mom] moved to [Farmington Hills] thinking we were just like everyone else. I was called "dirty Jew." I was the oldest child. I was the weird child in the family, which has something to do with men not feeling comfortable with me. In Seventh grade, these girls threw chairs at me and called me nasty names. I can't remember if it was "kike" or "dirty Jew." My Dad had to write a letter to the principal. One of the [persecuting] girls was half-Jewish. It was that self-loathing Jew thing."

Luke: "Prejudice?"

Amy: "Just amazing to me. It's just so weird."

Alkon went to a Reform temple every weekend and Jewish camp in New York every summer.

"I did a Bat Mitzvah years later. I did it myself. I did it at a conclave I went to in New York. I was a counselor for kids. I just went along for the weekend. I learned Hebrew. I wrote a story and I won a trip to Israel. I picked pears at Yad Mordechai kibbutz -- near Ashkelon, famous because a handful of people there held off the entire Egyptian army for five days. My Mom goes to a Torah class every weekend, which I like because it is not just ancient things. They relate it to now.

"I like Virginia Postrel's site [dynamist.com]. She used the word mitzvah to mean taboo. So I wrote to her that it is a "Do and Do Not" list. I took the trouble to copy out of the Encyclopedia Judaica what actual Jewish scholar's idea of mitzvot are. And she said, 'Oh no, I meant it in a secular way.'"

Virginia Postrel writes: "Several readers have objected to my use of the term mitzvot in the post below, so let me unpack my argument. It is true that mitzvah (the singular form) means "commandment," not "taboo." Jews colloquially use the term to mean "good deed," and a lot of people think that's the definition. But many mitzvot are negative commandments, not positive actions. ("Thou shalt not murder" is a mitzvah, and so is "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.") Most of those negative commandments are what we would call taboos if they were not in a Western context. Much of Jewish law--including such famous provisions as the observance of the Sabbath and the keeping of the dietary laws--is concerned with separation, the clean/unclean distinction, and holiness. Those laws function as taboos, not guides for spiritual practices or behavior toward other people. Hence my loose application of the term below."

Amy: "I was really surprised. If I'm wrong and somebody points it out to me, I will say, OK, thank you. [But Virginia rejected all correction.] I even told her, 'You can call my mother.' My mother has every Jewish book."

Luke: "Mitzvot has nothing to do with taboo. It means commandment."

Amy has two younger sisters (one in Chicago and one in San Francisco).

Alkon went to the University of Michigan for three years and then graduated with a degree in film in 1988 from NYU's "worthless undergraduate film school."

Amy wanted to go to graduate film school but her parents refused to fund her. So she took a job as a producer at the New York advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather.

"I had two friends at Ogilvy. One night we went to a diner We had a sad waiter. We asked him what his problem was. We talked to him and gave him advice. He said, 'You guys are great. You should do this for a career.'

"So, for a joke, we got chairs from the Salvation Army, and we made a sign that said, 'Free Advice From A Panel Of Experts.' We set up on the street in Soho on the corner of West Broadway and Broome. It was to be a visual joke. We just wanted to make people laugh. It was New York. It was free. People lined up around the block. About five years after we started, Eric Messenger wrote a story [in 1992] about us in The New York Times. All of a sudden, we were on Maury Povich and NPR. I got us a TV deal with DeNiro and a book deal. We got a column in the New York Daily News.

"Then a month before we were to go on a ten-city book tour [in 1996], and we had this money to do a TV pilot, one of my partners [Caroline] thought that would be the right time for her to quit. Then the other one [Marlowe] eventually quit [Amy still talks to her]. So I was writing the column alone for the New York Daily News. Then I started a second column while we were in the breakup process. I wanted to have my own thing. I syndicated it myself, which is hard, and got myself in 70-papers. Now I have my own syndicator (Creators).

"We made a deal just before Ann Landers died. I was coming back from an Evolution Society Conference. I go to one every year. Even though my column looks like humor, it's based in science. I'm a big fan of Albert Ellis and am influenced by his stuff. I was at Newark airport and I sign on to AOL and I see that Ann Landers died. I was going to France in a week. It was the worse time. I had people calling me every night. I was in Paris for a month. Every night at 8PM, I had to be home because it was nine hours difference from the West Coast. I had to be interviewed by somebody for a paper. 'Are you the next Ann Landers?' 'Are you the next Ann Landers?'

"When somebody tells me something is impossible, I don't accept that verdict."

Amy describes how she stalked her way into Ogilvy by hanging outside the building, waiting for somebody important to walk out so she could give him her resume.

Amy has been sick with bronchitis for two weeks but she still exudes energy.

I eat my seared tofu with rice, picking out the vegetables and mushrooms (50% of the plate) while Amy eats her tuna salad.

Amy: "I wanted to write about this in The Los Angeles Times. I was diagnosed with ADD. I don't accept it as a disorder. I just think differently than most people. From my study of evolutionary psychology, I think I have the perfect evolutionary brain. If I was some woman millions of years ago sitting in a forest, I could get the salad, point out the bison and keep the child from falling off the cliff. My brain is many places at once, which makes it hard to write. Getting that diagnosis helped me because I was able to recognize that I do that, and managed it better."

Luke: "Did you go on medication for that?"

Amy: "I take Ritalin. I call it my concentration vitamin. I pitched this to the LA Times. If you have diabetes, you are not embarrassed about it. You go to the doctor and you get some insulin. I sit at the computer to write and to have a brain that's bouncing all over the place like a Ping-Pong ball is not conducive to me performing my employment. Ritalin has few side effects. When I first started taking it, I felt so strongly about that, to anti-stigmatize that, that I told everyone that I took Ritalin. I went to a newspaper conference with my friend David Wallis (featurewell.com, known Amy for 17-years) and he said to me, 'Will you please not tell the editors that you have ADD?'"

Luke: "What things most frustrate you in your romantic relationships with men?"

Amy: "I'm not frustrated any more. I have a great boyfriend. What was most frustrating was to be too much. I talk really fast. I'm opinionated. There are things about me that aren't for everybody. It was hard for me to find someone who was comfortable with me and comfortable with themselves.

"My boyfriend is stable and able to deal well with a crisis. I'm more high-strung and less tolerant than he is. He's Elmore Leonard's researcher. He goes out with the police in Detroit and gets color for the books. He's methodical about his work. He will spend a long time making sure he gets things right."

"One of the residuals effects of his work is that sometimes he talks like a mobster. Once we were on the phone and he said, 'When Kennedy got whacked...' It's very entertaining to listen to him! "

I turn off the tape recorder and let Amy eat.

Amy: "I'm finished. I don't eat huge portions. I don't eat like an American."

Luke: "How do you feel about terms like shicksa?"

Amy: "I despise shicksa, goyim... Anything that divides people. It makes me bristle. The term gets a rise out of me."

Luke: "Is your boyfriend Jewish?"

Amy: "No. I don't have a religion. I am informed by my Jewish values but my way of operating in the world is to be kind, ethical, live in the real world, leave the campground better than you found it. You should live in the moment with an understanding of the past and an eye to the future."

Luke: "Have you ever dated a black man?"

Amy gets a guilty smile: "Yes. For about six months. He was one of the men who is not afraid of me."

Luke: "Is he famous?"

Amy gets a guilty look: "Yes. I'm not identifying him. That was really unattractive to me..."

Luke: "That he was black?"

Amy: "No. That he was famous. There's nothing worse than being with somebody who is recognized by everybody..."

Amy starts to launch into a story about her black man but stops herself. "No, I can't tell that story. I try not to reveal personal details if that would be a problem for them.

"He emotionally deep but he wasn't interested in the intellectual realm. He was more interested in the soul, without being really irritating.

"Being a white woman with a black man, I sometimes got a really nasty reaction from black women. 'You're stealing our man.'"

Luke: "During your career, did you meet any man who implied to you that you should sleep with him to get ahead?"

Amy giggles: "No. Not to get ahead. Just for fun."

Luke: "Because you give off the vibe of not being a victim."

Amy smiles: "Because I give off the vibe of not being a prude. People don't think that they have to offer me something to have me sleep with them. 'We can forget offering her anything. We'll just sleep with her.'

"Albert Ellis and I had a talk about open marriage. Nena O'Neill [Albert's wife] went back on the idea that people have sexually open marriages.

"Open marriage is not treating the other person as your possession. You don't have to be a unit. They can have the friends they want. You're not jealous if they go talk to a woman at a party. If a man wants to be with me, he will. And if they want to leave me, they will. There's nothing I can do to prevent them from leaving. I just wish they'd leave me as soon as they first feel like leaving. This idea that you would tie someone to you is ridiculous and insulting. You can survive alone.

"There's an obvious difference between a "sexually open marriage" and an "open marriage."

"A guy wrote me last week that he wanted a friends with benefits relationship (friendship plus sex). I got all this hate mail. 'You told him how to do this. This is really immoral.' No. I advised him how to do this ethically. It will probably prevent him from fooling some girl into being his girlfriend when he's just horny. I just advised a friend of mine in New York who'd just been in all these relationships with the wrong women, I told him to go to a hooker. It was the best thing for him. I consider that moral. Everyone knows what's on the table. This is why prostitution should be legal. Drugs should be legal."

Amy laughs. "I love your provocative questions."

Good thing. Most people would've punched me by now.

With these comments, that body, her adoration of hedonist Albert Ellis, I'd venture that Amy's had more than her share of lovers (all of whom are welcome to write in to let us know how satisfied they were).

I ask Amy how she's changed and she talks about developing more rational thinking.

Amy: "People don't expect to be called on their behavior. That's the thing I share with Cathy [Seipp]. I am very comfortable not letting people get away with stuff."

Luke: "What do you hate and what do you love about the LA Press Club?"

Amy: "I hate when they have events where they give away free drinks or something, and people who are 95 and never show up to any events, come just because they want free food.

"I met Matt [Welch] and Emmanuelle [Richard] at an LA Press Club event."

Luke: "How did you meet Cathy?"

Amy: "I wrote her a fan letter. I so appreciate good writing. She'd written this hilarious piece in New York Press about the fat principal with a lisp. We met for coffee. We started throwing these writer-girl breakfasts that we do about once a month. We sit and talk and gossip about editors... It's a monthly water-cooler. I met my boyfriend after one of our breakfasts.

"If I have an idea, Cathy will encourage me to write it for somebody.

"Cathy and I had the idea of getting our two groups of friends together and we had a book party for Ron Rosenbaum at my place.

"I miss my New York life. Being able to go to a bar and have an interesting conversation. The idea was to replicate that. That's why we throw these parties every month."

Amy believes she's been blacklisted from the Los Angeles Times. "They don't publish the best. They publish the people who are docile enough to work for them. That Sonio Nazario is up for Journalist of the Year for "Enrique's Journey" [six-part series about an illegal alien who makes his way from Central America to the US to join his family] when the guys who wrote that piece on the Harrier Aircraft... That [Harrier] piece made a difference. They saved lives. They testified before Congress. It wasn't just, 'We should feel sorry for people who have less than we have.'

"The Harrier piece wasn't written to jerk your little heartstrings... It just told a story and told it well.

"Sonia Nazario should be tied up in stocks for writing that way."

Luke: "Who in the LA media world would have the most piercing insights into you?"

Amy goes off track. After I repeat the question twice, she comes back around to answering it. "Sherry Stern, the LA Times editor who wrote me that memo that I had no need to ever write them. No need to send us anything ever again. Bob Sipchen at the LA Times was my editor for the [Pink] Rambler piece.

"I'm not afraid of my hate mail. It's fun. 'You dimwitted bitch. How could you print that in your column?' I save those letters in a big file in a dusty cabinet. I have a whole packet of hate mail. I wish I ran here so that when I go to my coffee shop, people would argue with me and say, 'That's stupid.'

"I would never call myself a feminist because it's like calling yourself a whiny victim. I'm a humanist. I'm not for equal treatment for everybody, I'm for fair treatment. Should I be a fireman? No. If I had to save you out of a burning building, we're both going to die. Women have less muscle mass than men. If you can pass a fireman's test as a woman, sure, be a fireman. No affirmative action. I don't want to be the person who got the surgeon who got a leg up in med school.

"I don't understand why The Los Angeles Times doesn't publish the greatest writers they possibly can. Why they publish all these people who have little to say to anybody of intelligence? Why don't they hire the best person for the job? As you said, it is getting better.

"If I read anything about an issue, say science, or relationships, I can see the shallowness. I know so many talented people in this town who are not allowed to write for the paper."

Luke: "What group did you hang out with in highschool?"

Amy: "My temple youth group. I was the social action vice-president and song leader. I'd sing loudly so nobody could hear how bad I was with the guitar. I did programs for the Falashas [Ethiopian Jews]...and to see that there was handicapped access to malls. We had class every week. We discussed Judaism as it relates to now. I went to temple throughout my school-age existence.

"I went to Kutz Camp in New York where we studied Jewish stuff and we also ran around and were wild and naked. 'How nice, she's going to religious camp.' My temple gave me a scholarship. Meanwhile, we were just awful. People were running around the bushes when they weren't studying lofty Jewish concepts. I learned Hebrew. That's how I was Bat Mitvahed that weekend. I just picked a portion and I read it.

"I've always been interested in reading Jewish stuff. I don't worship anywhere. I have my own religion. You could say that I'm post-Jewish, which probably horrifies you."


Amy: "I carefully picked out the way I behave."

Luke: "Smorgasbord."

Amy: "Exactly. I think it's helpful to understand why we are the way we are and to accept the realities of life. Men want beautiful women and women want men of status and power. I try to have opinions based on science and data. Kate Moss was not anorexic. She may have been as skinny as a number two pencil but she had a .69 waist-to-hip ratio, the hourglass figure. They did a study of waist-to-hip ratio in 37 countries, which means it is culturally invariant. People don't understand that our culture is based on our biology. Dr. Steven Pinker covers that well in his book, Blank Slate.

"People will say, 'Men only go for thin women because of our culture.' Our culture is based on our biology. Men want a women who conveys status upon them. In a culture where food is prevalent, a thin woman confers status. In a culture where food is scarce, a fat woman confers status. What stays constant is that men prefer women with that .69 waist-to-hip ratio. If you're a girl and you want a boyfriend, spray on some Revlon and put on a dress that makes it look like you have a waist."

Alkon has strong beliefs on diet. "I wrote on my blog about Gary Taubes, who is a friend of mine who wrote [in The New York Times Sunday Magazine that fat may not be so bad and carbohydrates may put on weight, similar to the Dr. Atkins diet, and Dr. Barry Sears' The Zone diet].

"Look at me. I don't diet. I eat like a French woman - really small portions of great food. People are healthier that way."

Luke: "Do your parents believe in God?"

Amy: "I don't know."

Luke: "How do you feel about lesbians?"

Amy: "I just like people who look attractive. If a woman has a mustache, I have a problem with that. Why don't her friends tell her to go get waxed? I don't think about gay or lesbian or straight, or black or Jewish. People are people."

I try to bait Amy into something bigoted but I fail miserably. It's just not in her bloodstream.

Amy and I love desert. I order chocolate cake and she orders green apple sorbet.

Luke: "Who do you turn to for advice?"

Amy: "Myself. I have all these ideas about how it makes sense to solve problems and live. I try to look at my behavior. I look to friends more for help with business stuff. David Wallis is my diplomacy coach. I can control how I speak to people to affect change. It's just that sometimes I choose to be self-indulgent."

Luke: "How many people do you want to see dead?"

Amy: "Nobody."

Luke: "Not even the woman editor who told you not to pitch her any more?"

Amy: "I don't want her dead. I just want her to be somewhere else, editing a newsletter. She can tell people on the town, like the little old ladies with their quilting bees, that, 'There's no need for you to send us any news about your quilting bee ever again. We're not seeking any new writers.'

"The LA Times should run more abrasive stories. They shouldn't worry about readers calling up screaming. They should want that. They should brag, 'We got twelve angry phone calls in the past ten minutes.'"

Luke: "Which writers are you jealous of?"

Amy: "I'm not jealous of people. It's irrational. I admire people. Jealousy makes no sense to me and I'm rational. Everything I do is based on reason.

"I try not to get fired from papers but the quality of Miss Speak-Out... I got fired from the Eugene Register-Guard and they hired Caroline Hax (from Washington Post syndicate). My column tells truths people don't want to hear. I don't promote received values."

Luke: "What's the most unpopular thing you've ever written?"

Amy: "A guy didn't want a fat wife and I wrote a column about that. I got directed to the fatso.com website. I understand he doesn't want a fat wife. He married a woman who wasn't fat. She was asking all these questions - would you still love me if I were fat? Well, the answer is - I'd love you but I wouldn't want to have sex with you. I don't think it's productive to fantasize about the way people 'should' be -- I look at reality. I got a slew of hate mail that men should like fat women.

"Also, that he should tell her the truth. This mistaken idea that people should be honest about everything. That people should be honest about everything. People deserve private life in a relationship and thoughts they keep to themselves. Sometimes honesty is a weapon. People who have affairs and want to tell their partners. If you cheated, you lug the burden around.

"I don't believe in marriage. I believe people get married..."

Luke: "But you don't believe it is an ideal."

Amy: "No. If you are independent, with self-esteem and a life independent of the other person... Women who get tied into men's finances and need men for ulterior motives... They think they got a free ride. They have their own little hell to deal with. I think if someone wants to leave me, they should. I accept that things end. A great relationship is two people who have more fun together and make each other better than they are alone. Once you stop doing that... Once you stop growing together. Once you stop being interesting to each other... It doesn't mean that you wouldn't be there for the other person in hard times. But to be concerned about being in a relationship, not because you are a human void without somebody, but because you create something bigger if you are together. Those ideas challenge everything that everyone's been told. The safe idea that if you marry somebody, you are going to be together forever. The idea that it is forever, there is so much [evidence] to dispel that. Yet people cling to that idea and think, 'We will be together forever.'

"Love at first sight is ridiculous. You can't love someone unless you know them. Until you find out if the person has the same values, if you have enough in common to make a life together, rudimentary day-to-day stuff. For example, I will never live with anybody. It keeps your relationship alive, keeps it sexy. I always miss my boyfriend. I haven't seen him since Saturday. I'm always happy when he walks in the door. You kiss somebody differently if you miss them. If someone is just sitting on your couch all the time, you don't appreciate them. All people are annoying. If you were living with Gandhi, you'd be screaming at him to get his sandals out from under the coffee table.

"That's the stuff that people don't want to hear. That maybe it doesn't make sense to live together. Maybe it doesn't make sense to stay forever. Maybe you shouldn't just couple up at first sight because it seems exciting."

Luke: "Think of the disruption to children if parents did what you said."

Amy: "It's a huge mistake for people to have kids with the person they had great sex with. If I were going to have kids, there is a guy I know, a good friend of mine, that I couldn't be less attracted to -- not because he isn't handsome and attractive, but because he's blond and blonds aren't my thing. But if we had kids, it would all be about what's best for those kids, and not about - 'Did you have sex with her? Did you look at that girl?' What's important is that parents commit one-on-one to their kids and not necessarily that they give them this idea that they are a family unit. All these families break up. All these parents are divorced.

"The best raised kid I know - her parents (Terry Rossio and Jennifer Serrano) are together but they live separately. They don't want their kid to have Hollywood values. "Cecile du Bois" (child of divorced parents Cathy Seipp and Jerry) is the same way. I don't like most kids but I find her to be an intelligent human being."

Luke: "How long have your parents been married?"

Amy: "Over 40-years. They work together and everything. In the past, women didn't have financial independence. My mother could very well have been like me and had a life of the mind instead of having kids and been very happy. It was a different world."

Luke: "What do you think about abortion?"

Amy: "I find abortion troubling but if I were pregnant, I would have an abortion. I'm not going to have a child."

Luke: "Is there any act between consenting adults that appalls you?"

Amy: "No."

Luke: "What about incest between consenting adults?"

Amy: "No. I don't relate to things based on religious prohibitions. What are the repercussions. If they do not have a child from that union... I find that weird. I can not imagine it. Ick!"

Luke: "Are you for gay marriage?"

Amy: "Yeah! I know so many gay people who have been together and committed and had more fabulous loving relationships than all these heterosexuals who are getting divorced, and we deny them marriage. I don't think marriage makes sense. But if heterosexuals can do stuff that doesn't make sense, why can't gay people?"

Luke: "How's your sorbet?"

Amy: "It's great. Do you want some?"

Luke: "Ummm..."

Amy: "I'm not catchy."

Luke takes a big spoonful of Amy's sorbet.

Luke: "If you force me..."

Luke: "Would you have been willing to give Bill Clinton oral sex to thank him for keeping abortion legal?"

Amy horrified: "No. Bill Clinton is not my type."

Luke: "Would you like to have sex with Gray Davis?"

Amy horrified: "I'd sooner have sex with a homeless man on the corner."

Luke: "Men tend to exaggerate their number of lovers while women tend to underplay it. What do you think of that?"

Amy: "Men want women who do not seem promiscuous. Then there isn't a chance that they will go have some other man's child. Men want women who have had no lovers."

Luke: "Most of my male friends would prefer to marry a virgin."

Amy: "Women don't care so much if men have had a lot of partners. In fact, it may just mean he's high status because he can get women. Loser men can't."

After 2:30PM, I walk with Amy back to my van. I warn her she's going to be horrified. It gets about ten miles to the gallon and you can fit about 20 illegal aliens in the back.

Amy has long been on an anti-SUV campaign.

Now she's sweet and understands I don't have the bucks to buy a nice new car.

Amy: "I think you should rent your van out for movie shoots!"

The first thing I remember about Amy was her joking at an LA Press Club event about these new cards she'd made-up to put on the windows of SUVs. The cards read: "Road-Hogging, Gas-Guzzling, Air-Fouling Vulgarian! Clearly you have an extremely small penis, or you wouldn't drive such a monstrosity. For the adequately endowed, there are hybrids or electrics. 310-798-1817."

Amy found them hilarious and regaled a group of us with tales of consequences and messages she's received from her campaign. I was appalled. I was convinced Amy was a nut with an empty life who had seized upon a meaningless cause.

Now that I know Amy better, I know she is not a nut and she has a full life. But I am still appalled by this cause of hers. I think that dropping her obscene cards in the public square causes moral pollution (especially when these cards wind up in the hands of children, which they will inevitably). As a conservative and a religious Jew, I am far more concerned about moral pollution than air pollution (idea owed to Dennis Prager).

I think there should be an extra dollar a gallon tax on gasoline. I think this would be a more effective means of reaching the goals Amy desires.

Amy writes: "I like that idea -- an asshole tax! If you're going to pollute, it should cost you. Likewise, I think people should be allowed to ride motorcycles without helmets, if they so choose, providing they take out a special policy that covers the cost of putting their head back together after an accident, if any."

Khunrum writes: "'Road-Hogging, Gas-Guzzling, Air-Fouling Vulgarian!' I wonder what she has to say to a guy who owns a Lincoln Town Car? Probably 'I'll be ready at 7:30.'"

Amy responds: "Lincoln Town Car-- eek! Tack-ola. While I love luxury, money isn't the most important thing to me in a guy. And, until recently, my boyfriend drove a very old Eagle, a small American sedan...maybe made by Chrysler? Not sure. Now he drives a Passat."

Fred Nek writes: I drive a Toyota Corolla. Does that mean I'm hung like John Holmes?

On May 30, I email Amy: "Working as an advice columnist, you really set yourself up to people abusing you for having the temerity to give advice."

Amy replies: "As I mentioned when we were at lunch, not getting wounded by it takes having a self that's not formed by others' opinions of me. Now, I prefer that people I respect not think I'm a blithering idiot -- but if people whose opinion I don't respect dislike me, I don't care. What matters to me is that I've been conscientious about digging up the truth -- what seems to me, upon investigation/contemplation, to be the truth, and/or the smart, healthy way to behave. And that I've put out good writing -- the best writing I can do."

Chaim writes: "Interesting - she seems to be saying that she will not send any of her genes to future generations. Women who think in racial terms (e.g., Satmar Chassidim, Palestinians, Mexicans) seem more comfortable with procreation than rootless, cosmopolitan jewesses."

LA Police Sergant Suspended For Tapping Confidential Police Database

From The Los Angeles Times: A Los Angeles police sergeant has been suspended for allegedly tapping into confidential police databases on behalf of Anthony Pellicano, a Hollywood private investigator who has worked for some of the biggest names in show business, law enforcement sources said.

FBI agents and Los Angeles Police Department investigators who served search warrants on Pellicano obtained records that led to Sgt. Mark Arneson, a 29-year veteran of the force.

The logs indicated that Arneson had accessed personal information about Anita Busch, a Los Angeles Times reporter who was investigating actor Steven Seagal and his ties to an alleged Mafia associate. The records Arneson had access to included Busch's driver's license, car registration and driving record, police sources said. Pellicano has been under investigation for alleged involvement in an effort to threaten Busch.

The World's Worst Jewish Comedian

Dave Deutsch writes: Glad to see that you resolved things peacefully [with Dave Robb]. But it's interesting that this guy was on this strange enraged jag for three days. If he'd actually assault you with two beers, this must have been the product of one beer. Now, I can accept that the guy can't hold his liquor, but my god, a three day drunk on one beer?

As for the IQ thing, do you actually know what IQ signifies? I don't. I don't know if you're familiar with the Flynn Effect, but I enclosed an article about it. Read it, and ask yourself if we are smarter, wiser, more decent, less prone to criminality, more industrious, etc., than our forebears sixty years ago, many of whom, apparently, would be considered borderline retarded by today's standards of IQ.

I never quite get why discussions of race in America must be "all or nothing." "Is America racist, or is it a land of opportunity?" As opposed to simply recognizing that while America offers numerous opportunities for its racial minorities, discrimination remains a significant problem (see attached article).

Moreover, white who argue that this is a land of opportunity (and that racism against minorities isn't a problem), don't seem to be so optimistic when it comes to affirmative action. Then America is a horribly racist country where the poor white man can't ahead.

White crybabies are actually a pet peeve of mine. When blacks complain about racism, you may disagree with their conclusions, but at least you have to concede that they are at least bringing up important matters--"I can't get a job," "I can't get an apartment, " "the police keep shooting me and 911 doesn't deliver in my neighborhood." What do whites complain about when the question of discrimination comes up?"

"Why can blacks call each other nigger, but we can't call them nigger? Why can black comedians make fun of whites, but we can't make fun of them?"

Of course, because those are real problems that affect the lives of large numbers of Americans. Personally, I'm dreading having "the talk" with my sons: "Son, I'm sorry, but it's time you learned the truth about life in America. Although you will face less discrimination in hiring, no discrimination in housing, have an easier time getting a loan or insurance, don't have to worry about police harassment or the odd accidental shooting, and will live longer and have fewer medical problems than blacks, you are going to have suffer under the yoke of not being able to call blacks "niggers." And if that's not bad enough, you can't put on a minstrel show, either. I know it's unfair; I know it's wrong. But that's life in racist America. I don't know, sometimes, I look at your face, and think "Those are lips which will never be able to openly call a black man "nigger," those are cheeks which will never know the feel of burnt cork, and I can't help but think to myself, "Is this what Martin Luther X gave his life for?"

Also up on my list of crybaby complaints is the "Why don't they learn English?" Yes, indeed, "whose country is this," when sub-minimum wage illegal aliens who work sixteen hours a day don't even speak English? Why, it's getting so you can't find a yard man, parking lot attendant, or sex slave who can carry on a decent conversation in English. I tell you, they are taking over.

On a lighter note, here's something to consider about IQ. The conventional wisdom is that one of the reasons why America has gone downhill is the granting of equal (or, if you prefer, greater) opportunity to lower IQ minorities. Except that, based on the Flynn Effect, the IQ's of blacks today are roughly what white IQs were back in the 50's, when things were still good. So what's changed? It's not that we've let in low-IQ blacks (since their IQs are only low in comparison to whites today, not to whites back in "the good old days"); rather the problem would seem to be high IQ whites. Note: I'm not saying that IQ has this sort of impact; But if one is inclined to make an argument based on IQ, this makes more sense than the conventional wisdom, since black IQs today would seem to be at the ideal level, given the hagiographic view the CW has of the 1950's.

Gnome Chomsky of Slummervile, Massachusetts, who is no racist, writes:

There was a time, I think, when white elites sincerely believed that if only you "leveled the playing field", economically speaking, that the outcomes among the races would be the same. One of the effects of the migration of vast numbers of wildy disparate peoples into this country over the last 30 years has been to provide numerous test subjects for the nature- vs- nurture debate, including people with virtually no material possessions and nothing more than their culture and their genes to their names. Some of these people (e.g., vietnamese boat people) have done spectacularly well for themselves without any affirmative action programs. And increasing numbers of books from respectable corners of society (e.g., "The Bell Curve") suggest that black people, even correcting for income, who have not been doing as well, may be deficient in ways beyond the social.

My sense is that the elites of old who may really have believed that we are all equal under the skin no longer believe that to the extent they used to, and old stereotypes have hardened. For example, I think people just take it for granted that black people are more "physical" (which can mean everything from "are more sexually potent" to "are more violent"), and that jewish people are more cerebral.

As for me, I'm still not certain. Culture plays a big, big role in how genes are expressed (although some might counter that genes play a big role in how culture is made and lived).

By the way, according to one anthropologist, the Canadian P. Rushton, there is indeed an inverse correlation between average penis size and intelligence, as per the so-called "r-k" hypothesis, which I am too lazy to repeat here.