The Islamic Sexual Position
Faisal writes on Islamonline.com: Canada is in the verge of legalizing gay's and lesbian's marriages, majority of the Muslims are confused as how to explain this to their kids when they will start to ask questions about it. They already showed them getting married and kissing in front of the camera on television.
Dr. A. Majid Katme, Spokesman of the Islamic Medical Association in Britain, replies:
Unfortunately, homosexuality is spreading like fire and is very strong in every Western country. Homosexual organisations are very strong in the United Nations conferences , in all media TV and radio, in the army, and now in Britain in the police, among doctor and priests. This is a very serious problem. We are shocked to discover some Mulims organization campaigning for homosexuality, one of them is called al-Fatiha. Unfortunately, our young Muslim children are bombarded and brainwashed daily to accept homosexuality as halal (allowed) and normal. Also, the same reason which makes one homosexual is affecting some of our Muslims because they are just Muslims by name and they are not well-educated in Islam and they are not practicing it. Three weeks ago I was in Malaysia, attending the second International Conference for Muslim Leaders on HIV & AIDs disease. I was shocked, along with many Muslims there, to see that many Muslims NGO (non-governmental organisations) are infiltrated by homosexual and lesbian "Muslims". The conference was moving to approve and legalize homosexuality. We walked out of the conference, we made protest and press conference especially when one "Muslim" speaker started to undermine and attack some hadiths and verses related to women, sex, etc.
Homosexuality is prohibited in all religions. It is the main cause for HIV and AIDs, especially in the beginning. The punishment in Islam for homosexuality is severe, sometimes it is capital punishment. Some people might have homosexual orientations or design but they are not practicing. This is a minor crime, but they do need psycho-sexual counseling, and if they are Muslims they need Islamic counseling. In Britain you are allowed to have sex in private, women together and men together, as long as you are over the age of 18.
I am personally very concerned about this issue, because we are not talking about it at least among our own Muslim community and we are not trying to prevent the pathology or the causes which make someone homosexual. There is another sexual crisis in Arab and Muslim world, the adult men having sex with small children. This issue is very delicate now and we need to address it in a plan of action to 1)protect our own Muslim community; 2)to work with all these organization in the west against homosexuality. The fact is, as my English friend told me, "you Muslims have got the strongest and clearest prohibition of homosexuality, and if you Muslims speak up here in Britain, many of us will be behind you." I say this because the church and Christianity is dying and confusing in the West. What more you want to see than the gay and lesbian Christian association among the priests in the Church.
Rudolf Abel writes: Concerning that article from Islamonline, just what does the author mean by pointing to all the sex muslim men are having with kids? I had no idea of this. Is it true? Are these halal-eating Saracens disproportionately a bunch of violent, violative pedophiles? Are their victims little girls or little boys? If the latter, not only are they child molesters, they are homosexual child molesters at that. Luke, please use your considerable skills at investigative journalism to ferret out the truth.
By the way, the author is dead on the money about the power of Muslims to battle the rise in tolerance for homosexuality. If there is one thing that the sissy liberal fears more than offending the homosexual, it is the bloody might of militant Islam. Once Islam finds its voice, things are going to get very dicey for all of our gay friends. Perhaps here is where Torah Jews and Muslims can find common ground. Perhaps God made the homosexual to serve as a bridge between these two great monotheistic faiths.
Concerning affirmative action, I have one question for the Freds of the world. Yes or no - are black people as smart as Jews? Are they as smart as Asians? Are they as smart as Caucasians? My experience in recent years of talking this over with white and asian people is that almost none of them thinks that they are (especially true of asians). But everyone claims to believe otherwise in public. And that includes those who believe themselves to be "chosen" by God for some special purpose. Luke, what do YOU believe?
New York is Hollywood for Little Jewish Men with Big Money
Khunrum writes: Gentlemen... During my weekend in Manhattan I was reminded how expensive an evening on the town can be. Single sports like our friend Chaim can be forgiven for staying at home and guarding their bill folds. One needs to refinance the digs for an evening of entertainment I'd say. I attended a Tony Scott/Buddy DiFranco Concert (30 bucks a tic and a two drink minimum) I had a Grey Goose Martinis (dry) at the hotel, 12 bucks a pop and a $2 tip That put me into my musical zone. Then a B&B Brandy neat and a Crown Royal neat (water on the side) Total at the club $65 (with tip)....and that was just for me. No food. Can you imagine what drinks~dinner~music~drinks will cost you in The Apple on a date? And I don't believe any dating prospects are going to be overwhelmed by the new five buck a plate Shrimp Chow Mein joint I discovered in Chinatown. They'll probably want to dine at Versace's or some such establishment...And they won't want to ride the subway will they?. I didn't see any dating couples on the subway as I tore around town on my $7 "all day fun pass"...It's gonna have to be car or taxi eh! what?...Taxis are rather $$$ as we know. I am glad I am not a single guy in the Apple. I think you're going to have to spend lot's of baht to even have a whiff of a chance. Oh! There were lot's and lot's of looking women but they didn't seem overly friendly...but I could be wrong on that one...
Luke says: In 1994, this Jewish chick with money from her parents flew me to NY for three weeks to stay with her on the Upper West Side. She gave me spending money. Took me to the theater. Lent me $300 for a consultation with an acting manager, then got mad when she found out I was placing singles ads and collecting phone numbers from girls I met. My Australian psychiatrist of 2000 says I'm capable of exploiting others.
Chaim Amalek writes: Back in the day, when I would occasionally go out on a "date", an evening would run, typically, about $250, if you were trying to impress a girl. (Higher, if you were taking her to a popular Broadway show. Tickets for these go for about $100 each.) Among the unfortunate side effects of the cost of living here is that it tends to focus a girl's interests on how much wealth a man commands. That's why this place is paradise for the short ugly nasty jewish multi-millionaires who have built their nests here. They can get themselves the sort of tall, young, blonde, shiksa goddesses who'd spit in their faces under any racially healthy system of national socialism, and whom the rest of us can only catch fleeting glimpses of as they enter their limos. Such women have no time for the proletariat of which Chaim Amalek is a card-carrying member.
Of course, there still are plenty of 40-something women about, never-married spinsters who have long since lost their heads as they travel about Manhattan manlessly, frizzy gray hair bouncing about in a chaos that betokens the quality of their thoughts. But who wants them? Not I.
PS to Rum: Concerning the "friendliness of the women" -the most friendly are shiksas who have just moved to New York - the outer borroughs, not Manhattan - and have not yet had a chance to assimilate the dominant Jewish culture. Least friendly are the indigenous Jewesses of the Upper West Side, in whose secular hearts the sense of entitlement burns strongest. Hispanic women can be friendly, but then again, they are Hispanic women, who are quite often violently insane. The Chinawomen are inscrutible, although I suspect that they are Jewesses in training. A quarter of New York is black, but as a born jew, of course I have no interactions with them, except when I encounter one begging for some money. (I KNOW this sounds very mean-spirited, but all true Upper West Siders know this to be a fact. Socially speaking, this is just about the most Negro-free place on earth, a little Rhodesia without all the shvartzes.) I assume that there are Muslim women here too (given the huge south asian population), but like baby pigeons, they are invisible to the rest of us.
PPS Affirmative action is the WASP's way of turning the negro against the jew. This point bears repeating.
PPPS Any errors in spelling or punctuation here are reflective of the unwillingness of Mr. Ford to do even minimal checking of same.
PPPPS There is a reason for all these post scripts. I am trying to make a coded point that few of you in the broader reading public will get.
PPPPPS It occurs to me that I could construct a Pascal's triangle out of post scripts. Which of you want's to see me do so, and for what fee?
Are Blacks Inferior?
Buff writes: In its most important statements on affirmative action in a quarter-century, the Supreme Court narrowly upheld the admissions policy of the University of Michigan law school today, finding that minority applicants may be given an edge.
The question that no one will ask is, "Are blacks inferior?"
Why do they need extra help? We talk about things like "Equal Protection" and yet we give them preferential treatment, just like we would give children or the handicapped.
Now, if blacks really are inferior, it's our moral obligation to give them preferential treatment. But if they're not, then it's immoral to give them preferential treatment. So which is it?
Personally, I don't think blacks are inferior.
Matt26Z writes: There's one area of this issue nobody is thinking about. What happens to black people who get in on special treatment who normally would not have qualified? Will they do just as well as those who did qualify without the help, or will they get C's and D's their entire college career?
Colleges like to keep their overall student body GPA as high as possible, or it makes the college look bad. If giving bonus points to those who normally wouldn't be there ends in a high number of these students doing below average, then it won't last.
By giving blacks bonus points, they are basically saying blacks in high school don't have the ability to study, do their homework, do well on tests, attend every class, be on time, get a high GPA, etc... THIS is how you get into college, and nobody has ever kept black students from doing this stuff.
The "white" town where I live in has about a 2% dropout rate at the high school. The "black" town right next to us has a 25% dropout rate at their high school. THAT says something.
Black man bigdog writes: sat scores weight a lot on weather you get accpeted by a college or not.Many black parents do not have the money to send their kids off to all of the fancy prep courses out there.Also many black kids do not have economic means to go to private schools,where good grades are just bought .
maybe not every private school but from my experience a lot of them give you grades.At one time my parents were going to send me to private school, and they basically were going to give me a passing grade no matter what i did
But black people dont get the same high paying jobs sometimes just becasue of plan racism. If you are not black you have not experienced it
Fred writes: Interesting item on NPR. Apparently, when the Bakke decision came out a back in the 70s, Justice Powell and Marshall had a chat about how long affirmative action would be needed. Powell thought perhaps 25 years. Marshall thought perhaps a century. Powell was taken aback.
Apparently, Justice O'Conner thought affirmative action would be necessary another 25 years. She's nuts. What in the hell does she think will change in the next 25 years? The causes of the massive black underclass will not change in 25 years. Merely letting a few thousand blacks into a few colleges/grad schools won't change anything, because that is not the root of the problem.
One can debate ad infinitum the cause of the black underclass, bad test scores, etc., but one thing is certain. It is totally unrelated to letting people into law school.
Chaim Amalek writes Luke: I had a good chuckle over your description of gender roles in Judaism. Of course Judaism is lots more like Islam in the manner in which it treats women (e.g., divorce) than it is like it's more progressive younger sibling, Christianity. In no church in which I have ever prayed are women treated the way the orthodox jews you loiter around treat women.
Concerning affirmative action, this can only result in fewer jews in the professions. And THAT's why the WASP establishment supports it.
Former Buzz Magazine publisher Allan Mayer nails it on LA Observed: "Given the mangled syntax and unadulterated witlessness of the judges’ comments, can one really be expected to take this competition seriously?"
From the award to LA Times columnist Steve Lopez, the LAPC judges write: "The Valley's seamy side column drips with double entendre, for instance, but it works to effect by presenting the moral and practical dilemmas the porn industry presents."
Kevin Roderick of LA Observed is surprised Sonia Lozario didn't win for her LA Times series "Enrique's Journey." He writes: "Lopez beat out his LAT colleague Sonia Nazario, who won the Pulitzer for crissake."
Joe Guzzardi of VDare.com writes: "If your idea of “touching” is the story of an uneducated alien with a history of drug abuse illegally entering the U.S. to find his uneducated mother, who has also illegally entered the U.S., then the Los Angeles Times is the newspaper to read."
In another column, Guzzardi writes: "In a six-“chapter” story - offered to readers in both English and Spanish - reporter Sonia Nazario told the tale of a 16 year-old Honduran boy, Enrique, and his trek to the U.S. in search of his mother, Lourdes. She had left Enrique over a decade earlier when she set off for a “better life” as an illegal alien in the U.S. The special skills Lourdes brought to the U.S.: experienced street vendor of gum and cigarettes. Eleven years later, her son is fully qualified as a dropout and drug-abuser."
Hack London writes on LA Observed: "Laura Diaz won an award. Why? For being pretty and Latino? The only reasons that woman could possibly retain a job in the "news" business."
NS writes: If ethnicity gets you a job as a journalist (can there be any doubt about this?) why shouldn't it get you a prize?
Women Reciting Kaddish, Going Up To The Torah - Soon We'll Give Them The Vote
I've heard of intermarried couples but I don't think I ever met any until this weekend, when I met whole bunches of them over dinner. It was a shock to my Orthodox constitution. In traditional Jewish life, intermarriage (between a Jew and a Gentile) is unheard of.
Then another shocking thing happened Sabbath morning. At the Orthodox shul I walked to, there was a B'not Mitzvah (Bat Mitzvah for twin girls). And the women held their own service down stairs, read from the Torah, and had Aliyot (were called to the Torah). This is the first time women have been given aliyot in an Orthodox synagogue on the West Coast of the United States.
I'm not sure how I feel about that. It seems to be encroaching on the sacred space that God and the Jewish tradition reserved for men.
Men were allowed at this women's service, but only in their own section in the capacity of observers, not participants. They were not allowed to pray.
I did not participate or observe this service. I'm too traditional. But at my service, the rabbi gave a long impassioned speech, almost in tears, about a woman's right to recite Kaddish (prayer for mourners), which traditionally was only recited by men. He wants to start a 9:30PM minyan where women can do this.
YULA (Yeshiva University Los Angeles, which hosts a daily 10PM Maariv minyan) does not allow women to recite Kaddish. It is the bastion of yeshiva Orthodoxy in Pico-Robertson. It is the place where the most learned sages of community teach. The more learned people are in Torah, the fewer religious rights they give women (such as public Torah readings, women's prayer groups, women serving as rabbinic interns let alone as rabbis, still unknown in Orthodoxy).
I have yeshiva friends who walk out whenever a female addresses the entire congregation because they think it is lewd.
Modern Orthodox synagogues allow women to addres the congregation and to recite Kaddish on their side of the mehitza (partition).
The good thing about all this is that it gave me excellent material to bait my female Jewish friends with all weekend - is it really necessary for Jewish women to read the Torah and pray when there are always dishes to be cleaned and diapers to be changed?
My popularity with the fairer sex is skyrocketing.
And The Spirit Of Douglas Rushkoff Hovered Over The University Of Judaism (UJ) Sunday Night
And it was only appropriate as the UJ was founded by notorious atheist Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, founder of the Reconstructionist movement. (I guess that more than 10% of Reform and Conservative rabbis in the USA are atheists.)
I began my spiritual preparation for the first of Craig Taubman's three-part concert series Mulholland Nights Sunday afternoon with wholesome physical exercise, fresh air, and a long cold shower.
I talk on the phone with a non-Jewish friend who inquires about my plans for the evening. I say I'm going to a Jewish concert. She asks who's playing. I say "Lisa Loeb," having never heard of her. My knowledge and appreciation of music basically ends with the 19th Century.
My friend knows all about Lisa Loeb, inspiring me to surf to www.lisaloeb.com.
Cleansed of impure thoughts after my exercise and shower, I drive to UJ, arriving at 5:20PM. With 40-minutes to prepare for the big event, I reach for the heavens by reading Elmore Leonard's novel Get Shorty.
At 6PM, I join the crowd, chatting only with men to sustain my lofty spiritual heights. I'm physically exhausted, can barely move.
I talk to one woman - a non-Jewish music student at UJ - and eat cheese and crackers and drink a Diet Pepsi.
I tell Jess, a woman I know from a class I took on Judaism and creativity this Spring, that God, in His infinite wisdom, doesn't want her to worry about praying and reciting Kaddish as long as there's cooking and cleaning to be done.
"I'm not talking to you," she says and walks off. She refuses to have anything to do with me for the rest of the night.
I didn't get to inform her of the moral imperative to have my Jewish children to avoid giving posthumous victories to Hitler. There are many fertile Jewish women around me who are committing grave sins by not reproducing. When I bring this up to them, they do not take the reproof well. People are so touchy.
I spot a tall attractive Jewish woman who gave me her phone number a year ago and I never called her because she lives in the Valley. Am I bigot?
The crowd moves to the auditorium. I sit with two guys.
There are three acts tonight. The first is Billy Jonas, who's a hillbilly Jew (garnering this good review in the Fayetville Morning News: '...touches even the most hardened of hearts'). Jonas shows a ton of energy, good humor, and engaging manner. I adore him.
Billy says he grew up with Judaism, left it, and now struggles to reconcile it with his own spiritual bent. He sings this long song about how God is everywhere - in your pantyhose, in the Muslim faith, with the Christians and the Hindus and in nature. This is a decidedly unJewish message as the Jewish tradition has been all about separating God from humans and nature.
When Jonas performed this song at Friday Night Live a year ago, Rabbi David Wolpe noted that the management did not endorse Billy's theology.
I run to the bathroom and run into a friend who's in deep emotional pain. He's seen his ex-girlfriend sitting with a guy he introduced her to.
Luke: "Who broke up with who?"
Friend: "I broke up with her. I was f---ing around too much."
He's doubled up in pain.
I coax him out of the bathroom and back to the auditorium.
Friend moans: "I can't go in. I can't go in."
I get ready to open the door.
Friend: "Ok, I will shut my eyes and walk right on past.
"I'm shutting my eyes now. Let's go. Now I'm going to close my eyes and walk on by."
I guess he still has feelings for her.
Next up is Gabriel Mann, a modern rock band. Gabriel is the son of an Orthodox cantor in San Antonio and the most Jewishly knowledgeable of all tonight's performers. Because of that, he theorizes the least about Judaism. He knows what a difficult and demanding religion it is, how it is not easily compatible with popular music and loose Los Angeles showbiz morals.
Then Lisa Loeb comes on. She gets the loudest applause. She's the biggest name performer of the night. She says she read in a magazine (probably the Jewish Journal) that this is to be a concert about Judaism. She makes some deprecating remarks about the neuroticism and complexity of her lyrics and suggests that's Jewish.
The performers who've probably never seriously studied Jewish text (Jonas and Loeb, who went to Jewish Sunday school in Dallas) talk the most about Jewish text (as is usual in the Western World where those Jews who know the least about Judaism speak the most about it to the public), and the one who knows Jewish text, doesn't speak about it.
When she says her boyfriend is not Jewish, there's loud applause. It must be an overwhelmingly secular crowd. I bet about 20% of them are not Jewish.
If Lisa said her shaygetz (non-Jewish man) was black, the crowd would probably rise to their feet and applaud.
Loeb says her non-Jewish boyfriend is unsuspectingly doing something Jewish now. He's in a recording studio with Gene Simmons of Kiss (notoriously wicked rock group of the '70s and early '80s) and they're sharing a moment.
Jonas and Loeb theorize briefly about being Jewish and Jewish text and the conversation that goes on in the Jewish tradition. Author Douglas Rushkoff would be proud.
Lisa Loeb could not sing to an Orthodox crowd because Jewish Law prohibits men from listening to the singing of a woman - it arouses lust. Due to my hearty physical exercise Sunday afternoon, I was cleansed of lust, and thus justified in my own eyes (but not in Jewish Law's) in staying in my seat.
Why isn't Sam Glaser on the agenda for Mulholland Nights? Because he's too Jewish and the series is aimed at reaching a secular Jewish crowd. This gifted Orthodox singer just returned from a triumphant ten-day tour of Jewish Australia. He's going to release three new CDs in the fall. For the past five years, he's thrown himself into his Jewish mission of touching souls with authentic (i.e. Orthodox) Judaism, and put secular commercial recordings and clients on the back burner.
Poor Amy Klein - the managing editor of the world's most boring newspaper, the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. It must seem to her that almost everywhere she goes socially, she runs into me, and for some strange reason, I feel compelled to note her presence in my column. She hates this. She asks me not to do this. I keep doing it. Why?
If I'm going to run into her so often, think about her so much, and write about her so frequently, I should marry her. Problem. In America and in the Jewish tradition, marriage requires two willing partners.
So I'll take a lesson from my Australian and Aboriginee roots. On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Press Club holds another party at drinking establishment. Amy will probably be there. I will bring along my 20-pound Cultures of the Jews book and when she's not looking, I will bang her over the head with the book, grab her by her black hair, and drag her back to my hovel, thus making her my wife. Shhhh. Don't tell her.
Klein should be busy with the snorefest AJPA (American Jewish Press Association) this week in Los Angeles. If you ever wonder why Jewish newspapers are so dull, look at the agenda for this stupid association. It's enough to make you want to convert. I bet Catholic papers by contrast are scintillating. Well, maybe not. Most journalism rots the mind.
Author Douglas Rushkoff writes: "The first major review of my book in a Jewish publication, the Bronfman Philanthropy-funded Jerusalem Report, called me a "yoga-practicing atheist Jew from New York’s East Village," right in the lead paragraph! I’m an atheist because, like most thinking adults, I don’t believe in an all-powerful creature with the white beard who rejoices in animal sacrifice."
Luke says: I don't know one theist who believes that God is "an all-powerful creature with the white beard." What a moronic statement. The more I read Rushkoff's self-pitying bleats, the more I hate him (even though he's probably a nice and decent person with many interesting things to say and we'd enjoy dinner and drinks together).
Rushkoff, who hates being labeled an atheist, is an atheist because he is without theistic belief. That doesn't make him a bad person, it simply disqualifies him from prescribing for Judaism.
Healer From Jerusalem
At my Friday night dinner, I met an elderly bearded gentleman, Jacob Mizrachi (323-478-4500), who helped out with the hand washing. He is 7th generation Jerusalem resident, and he has recently returned to the U.S. By profession he is a gifted healer (particularly with pain) with many testimonials. At the moment Jacob is a bit down on his luck, and needs help from the Jewish community. He needs a place to stay until we can help him get his career back on track, so he can afford rent etc. If you know of any resources or short terming housing within your community (or any people I could speak to ) it would truly be a great Mitzvah.
Next Time Plead Ignorance, Toby
Colbycosh.com writes: I don't imagine anyone exactly likes being hit with questions about their views on race by Luke Ford, the muckraking porn journalist turned conflicted Orthodox Jewish convert. But most of them probably handle it less catastrophically than the ordinarily quite clever British gadfly/author Toby Young:
I'm sure I have readers who are almost as ignorant of genetics as I am, yet recognize--having been through, say, the tenth grade--how absurd it is to imagine that a trait appearing only in males must be passed on only through males. Not only that, but he imagines "genetic determinism" to mean that one is always and in every respect exactly like one's parent--and, moreover, hasn't heard that male pattern baldness is known, with a fantastically high degree of confidence, to be, er, genetically determined. (OMIM has a brief history of the relevant research.) Of all the potential reasons to "not be a big believer" in genetic determinism, Toby picked one of the very lousiest.
France Has Never Been A Friend To US
Time to restore the beautiful friendship with France? Not at all.
John Miller writes: But the great, great friendship is really a myth... What happened at Yorktown was the result of cold-blooded diplomacy. "It was a power struggle of the Old World [against the British], not a concern with America, that brought about the French intervention," wrote the historian Barbara Tuchman.
For three centuries, French actions toward America haven't been marked by too much warmth or kindness. Before the Revolution, American colonists spent years fighting the French and Indian Wars--so named because the French and Indians were their enemies, capable of exactly the kind of brutality depicted by James Fenimore Cooper in "The Last of the Mohicans."
After Yorktown, the French began double-dealing as soon as they thought they would benefit from it. At the Treaty of Paris negotiations, the French crown secretly and successfully urged Britain to deny the colonists' claims west of the Alleghenies. Relations were no better during the early days of the American republic.
What's Christmas Without Yasser Arafat?
Cathy Seipp got ripped for her column on freelance writers on laobserved.com: "Wait a sec: Seipp actually got someone to buy this? Life as a freelancer must not be that bad...As for the fellow who didn't know Sandra Tsing Loh, the Erma Bombeck of the San Fernando Valley, I envy him. I wish I could forget she exists. Funniest part about this column? The category tab at the top which says "News.""
Where Crime Comes From
Dave Deutsch writes: Just read a comment you made disparaging the notion that crime stems from poverty, and citing orthodox Jews as an example. Before I begin another one of my self-righteous lectures, how familiar are you with the fascinating history of Jewish criminality both here and abroad? (Incidentally, I would say that while anybody who blames crime solely on poverty is wrong, they are no more wrong than someone who denies it plays a significant role).
Luke says: Pretty familiar, and few of them were Orthodox...
Dave replies: So naïve, so very, very naïve. I don't have a whole lot of time now, since I have to finish grading my papers and Sunday I have to go Milwaukee for a week to help my parents move, but when I get back, you're in for an earful (eyeful? awful?) on Jewish criminality and American social history. Or you could just cut your wrists now.
Just one thing to tantalize you: in Rotwelsch, which is sort of a German thieves cant, the word for "prostitute" is "mezuza." (you know, because they stand in the door. That usage goes back at least to the 17th century or so, and there are actually many, many words in the jargon from Hebrew. How many Reform temples do you think were in Germany at the time?
Similarly, in Polish, many words associated with crime (like the words for "prison," "prostitute," and "police interrogation.") come from Hebrew. And in Russian thieves cant, there are also Hebrew loan words (the only one that comes to mind is "kesiva," for "document.") These were all Jews from the most traditional backgrounds.
To make an argument that Orthodox Jews are not prone to crime is meaningless--you can say the same about pretty much any normative religion. Replace "Orthodox" with "Devout," and I think it fair to say that "Devout Black Baptists" are not likely to mug you. "Devout Mexican Catholics" are not likely to break into your home. Obviously, because the fact that they are devout means that they believe its wrong, and applies just as well to any of the major religions.
But you can't mix an argument that one group (blacks) is racially predisposed to crime, while comparing them with another group (orthodox Jews) that's culturally predisposed away from crime.
To compare Orthodox Jewish criminal behavior with blacks, you would have to compare it with equally religious blacks, and I don't know that they would necessarily come out favorably, at least not from what I see in the New York area.
If you want to compare blacks to Jews as a racial group, or African-Americans to Jews as an ethnic group, you can do that, but then you have to throw in the issues of poverty, acculturation, and the general transformation of American society since the turn of the century.
Anyway, I've got to run, but unless you throw yourself down and begin major chest beating (in a yom kippur way, not a gorilla way) you're in for it when I get back. Gut Shabbos.
I just remembered this, and couldn't resist sending it to you. In case you're not familiar, the Berditchever was one of the disciples of the Maggid of Mezeritch, and was famous for always finding the best in Jews (hint, hint).
REB LEVI YITZHOK STORY
One Eruv Pesach Reb Levi Yizhak of Berditchev told the Hasidim to go fetch him some German merchandise. Now At the time it was illegal to own German merchandise as some Russians had a monopoly on the market; and G-d forbid, you get caught, you would go to Siberia for it. The Hasidim were amazed at their Rebbe's request, but the Rebbe's command is the Rebbe's command, so off they went. They came back with much German merchandise because they had found it everywhere.
Then Reb Levi Yitzhok told them to go out and bring back some bread. The Hasidim were shocked, eruv Pesach bread? But he said, "Don't ask me questions, I need it very badly." So they went, and nowhere in Berdichev, and in those days the people were all Yidden, was any bread to be found. So they came back to Reb Levi Yitzhok empty handed.
So Reb Levi Yitzhak turned to the G-d and said, "Ribbono Shel Olam! See how much we love You. Our Tsar has police on every corner and he can't even stop the people from getting German merchandise. On the other hand, You, Master of the World have no police, and yet no Jew will ever disobey You."
A few points: Berditchev was on the border with the Austrian Empire, and was a major smuggling center. Who do you think they engaged in the smuggling? This story is such a great timepiece (I just cut and pasted this version, I would have written it differently, but I'm in a rush), because it's expected that Jews were smugglers, and nobody telling this would have thought that's odd. But just replace "tobacco" or "british wool" or "german goods" with "pot" or "opium."
This is what I really love; somebody figured out how bad this looks, and the way the story is usually told today, Levi Yitzchok either asks a goy to get him the smuggled goods (which makes no sense, because it was the Jews who were involved in trade in Berditchev, and consequently, smuggling), or just asks a random, religiously unspecified person on the street. But in this truer version, there's no doubt--he asks his chasidim, because he knows they're involved in smuggling.
My views on the sorry state of African-American (I don't use that term to be PC--I use it because it refers to a specific ethnic group, as opposed to an abstract racial group) culture. Most racially minded types make the mistake of presuming that the negative traits evidenced by African-Americans are because they are overly "African."
I would say just the opposite is true: African-Americans are actually the uber-Americans. Unlike most immigrants, who have retained something of their original culture, with traditional support structures, communalism, opposition to capitalism, etc, African-Americans had their cultures about as stripped away as they could, making them the perfect template for Americanization. Think about the negative traits--violence, materialism, anti-intellectualism--these are classically American, not classically African. Similarly, the positive stereotypes--linguistic and musical originality, a "happy-go-lucky" attitude, these, too, are classically American. These aren't "racial" traits, they are cultural ones, and the products of history, not biology.
Now, consider immigrants--be honest, if you were to see a couple of black teens on a dark street, wouldn't you feel better if you heard them speaking Patois, or French, or Portuguese? I know I would; I would immediately categorize them as "immigrants," I.e., people who came to work, have a certain initiative, drive, etc. The problem isn't immigrants, it's their American kids, who act like other American kids.
I don't have statistics, but I would be surprised to find that immigrants had as high a crime rate as similarly located (geographically and financially) native-born Americans.
Some years back, Pat Buchanan made a statement to the effect that if you took a group of northern Europeans and a group of Zulus, the former would fit in better in America. He's right, of course, but not for the reasons he believed. It's not that they would instantly have a better appreciation of American jurisprudence, its that they would already be familiar with all the vices that we know and love. Indeed, it's always been a bizarre blind spot of so-called cultural conservatives, like yourself.
Who do you think shares a closer outlook on society to you, the average American (who is, of course, reasonably secular and modern), or the average Mexican immigrant from a small village, who is probably pretty religious and conservative?
I'll leave you with one last Deutsch thought, that relates to race and crime. Whites inclined to connect the two only look at "small crimes--" robberies, rapes, muggings, etc, and offer that as proof that blacks are inclined to such behavior. But why not expand this to "great crimes?" Why isn't the Holocaust, or the Gulag system, or chattel slavery, evidence of an inherent barbarism locked deep within the genetic structure of every white man? Why is it "biological" when a large part of a nation engages in personal brutality, but "cultural" or even "political" when a large part of a nation engages in civic brutality?
Shyness is also a product of culture. U.S. research suggests shyness is most prevalent among Asian cultures and least among Jews. In one study, using a test called the Stanford Shyness Inventory, researchers tested 18- to 21-year-olds in eight countries in college or work settings. The results ranged from a low of 31% in Israel to a peak of 57% in Japan and 55% in Taiwan. The researchers suspect a key difference lies in the way these cultures lay blame and credit success. In Japan, success is credited to parents and ancestors, but failure is blamed on the individual. In Israel, they argue, the situation is reversed.
Booted From The Roxy Sidewalk
So I was hanging out on the public sidewalk outside the Roxy at 9009 Sunset Blvd Thursday night, 10:35PM, taking photos of mini-celebs coming to the club (hear the band The Eels).
This young man, about 30 years of age, buzz cut, bleached hair, earrings, wearing a Roxy jacket, comes down and confronts me. "What are you doing?"
Luke, taken aback: "I'm sorry."
Luke: "I'm taking pictures and talking to people."
Thug: "Well, can you not do it on our property? Can you just keep moving?"
Luke: "This isn't your property. It's a public sidewalk."
Thug: "You have to keep moving. You have to keep moving."
Luke: "It's a public sidewalk."
Thug: "You have to keep moving."
Luke: "It's a public sidewalk. You don't own this."
Thug walks off: "Just keep him for me."
Thug comes back to me: "You're bothering my guests. I've already had three people complain about you."
Luke: "How about I give you a few feet?"
Thug: "I would ask you to keep moving all night long. But you can do whatever you want."
I stand my ground for ten minutes. The thug gathers four of his tough guys. They hold a conference. He whips out a camera and snaps a few pictures of me. I get tired and I decide to go home.
I Need To Market Lukeford.net
Chaim Amalek writes: You really need to do some serious marketing of lf.net, generate some buzz around it. 1000 readers per day on the internet is damn small. Why, I imagine that either of the two battling Moxies beats that in a typical morning. So here is my initial idea. Start writing to all the Hollywood types you know, and to every publicist whose email you can get your hands on (check out the Hollywood Creative Directory for this) and TELL THEM that they have been GIVEN a FREE subscription to lukeford.net, source of underground news concerning Hollywood and politics. Make sure you tell them that they don't have to do anything more than go to lf.net, that all the registration has already been taken care of, and that they will then be able to read what their competitors are already reading.
And don't do something stupid like post this message. Pretend you got a jewish brain in that goyishe head of yours.
From WSJ.com: In "Mexifornia" (Encounter Books, 150 pages, $21.95), [Victor Davis Hansen] argues that immigration in California is different in degree from what was typical in America's past and its problems are now different in kind. The number of immigrants is high and steady, and assimilation is proving to be difficult. The reasons for this difficulty include, obviously, the home country's proximity.
Many self-styled champions of Latinos would have us believe that assimilation is mere cultural colonialism, often in trivial form: hamburgers for everyone, and maybe Pat Boone too. But this is nonsense. There is no reason that an ethnic heritage cannot be expressed in, say, music, literature and cuisine. But it should not flourish, Mr. Hanson argues, at the expense of the core values that define citizenship in America.
And what are those values? They can be defined best in concrete terms, in habits to be inculcated and imperatives to be honored. Among the ones that Mr. Hanson regards as especially important: speak English; don't disparage the race or ethnicity of others but don't demand anything because of your race or ethnicity either; don't break the law; don't view working hard and studying hard as "acting white"; and be proud of being an American. Such imperatives spell doom, of course, for policies like affirmative action and bilingual education, and properly so.
So what course will America take? He imagines several possibilities, including a continuation of the status quo, with virtually open borders, "multiculturalism in our schools, and a general breakdown in the old assimilationist model." To him, this is a nightmare possibility. He would prefer to see immigration reduced while we insist on "rapid cultural immersion, an absolute and immediate end to all ethnic chauvinism, bilingualism and separatism." Otherwise, he fears, we will end up with Mexifornia -- a "hybrid civilization" where Spanish enjoys an equal status with English and Americanization hardly stands a chance.
Luke says: Spanish already enjoys equal status with English many places I go and it infuriates me. Bank of America, when you phoned to check your account balance, said, "If you want English, press one. If you want Spanish, press two." In the post office the other day, there was this huge poster and most of the writing on it was in Spanish. You go to Boyle Heighs and almost everything is in Spanish.
I think there are too many illegal immigrants in America and none should be given citizenship unless they can speak English. I would favor only allowing immigrants in with either high bank accounts or high IQs or specialized skills - that does not mean leaf blowing.
Lonewacko writes LA Observed: Perhaps they should look a little closer at [Los Angeles hispanic politician [Antonio] Villaraigosa. Here's his answer (http://www.mayorno.com/VillarMot010601.html) to a reporter's question about his past membership in Mecha (no less than the president of the UCLA chapter.) You'll notice that instead of saying something like "That was then, this is now. I no longer support irredentism or separatism," he plays the victim card and accuses mayorno.com of intolerance. Which is more intolerant, Mecha or a site pointing out V.'s past membership therein? Check out the other articles at mayorno.com and decide for yourself.
Getting even worse than Mecha, the kind folks over at aztlan.net will probably just love this story, seeing as they've complained about many Latina politicians being married to "judios." Here's a discussion about that group from the ADL: http://www.adl.org/learn/aztlan/default.asp And, here's an article about the general Aztlan issue from Hispanic Vista magazine: http://www.hispanicvista.com/html/020211osio2.htm
BTW, the "A" in Mecha stands for "Aztlan."
Where Was The Times?
The New York Post reports: "LONGPLAYING romance between political operative Ed Rollins and fashion/flower expert Carolyne Roehm has come to an end. Carolyne has a young new boyfriend and Ed has been out in the Hamptons looking over the singles scene."
Gene Ross writes: A couple of years ago, the day after Thanksgiving, I was on an Amtrak going to Santa Barbara which collided with a tractor in Ventura- the driver killed attempting to beat the train across an intersection. Everyone was hustled off board whereupon I see the same TV-distinguished Ed Rollins off in the bushes kissing and making out like a teenager in heat with whom I would have to presume was Roehm. The accident got top billing in the L.A. Times, but the reporter on the scene failed to report the presence of a distinguished celebrity.
The Cultural Divide
David Brudnoy writes on Bostonphoexnix.com: The homosexual matter is a clear indicator of the culture divide. The movies and TV present no important gay villains; they are at best the delightful Jack and Will in Will and Grace or the wink-wink gay-seeming though unknowing Frasier and Niles in Frasier or, at worst, just there, wallpaper. The successful, likable film My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) is archetypal, with the real star played by Rupert Everett as Julia Roberts’s best bud: gay, suave, adoringly loyal, sophisticated. American movies and TV love gays. Conservatives generally do not. But, save for right-wing talk radio and small papers in the Bible Belt, the media are gung-ho for gays.
Liberalism’s central cultural obsession, of course, is race, and in Hollywood this results in the bizarre portrayal of a world in which a preposterously large number of judges, FBI directors, chiefs of police, CIA chiefs, college presidents, and such are black. God is black in Bruce Almighty, part of the phenomenon critics refer to as the "Magic Negro" syndrome. We’ve got the all-knowing magical caddie played by Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance, the magically gifted black giant in The Green Mile, the always-sane blind guy in Becker, and on and on: blacks are portrayed as wiser than others, as paradigms of goodness and wisdom. Blacks watch somewhat more television than whites, and certainly "diversity" in the media is occasioned by economic reality as well as by ideology (money talks to liberals and conservatives alike). But the way blacks are portrayed transcends economic common sense and realistic inclusion. On Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm’s best friend, in a school otherwise seemingly devoid of color, is black; the future Superman (Smallville) goes to another almost all-white school, and his best pal, the only non-parent who knows his secret, is black; even Dawson’s Creek tried to entwine in its overwhelmingly white school a black principal. Examples are legion. Media liberals want Americans to think that blacks are far more in charge than they are in reality, and in constructing their delightfully fallacious utopia, they hope to convince people that this is the way things are in the real world. Liberal fixation on race wildly distorts reality throughout the cinema and TV. Predictably, most new shows on TV or new movies aimed at mass audiences will place a black character in a dominant position, even if the star is white. Fox’s new Keen Eddie, for instance, transports a bumbling, white New York detective to London, where his boss at Scotland Yard is — black. It never ends. An illusory, rosy-tinged world of racial harmony, with blacks triumphant, is Hollywood’s Holy Grail, as any TV or movie fan cannot fail to see.
The most recent and blatant example of movieland’s insistence that blacks be everywhere and always awesomely significant is The Matrix Reloaded. The John the Baptist figure, Morpheus, is black; the Oracle is a light-skinned black woman; the noble fighters who rally to Morpheus’s side are black; the rave scene is overwhelmingly populated by black and other non-white characters. This is in Zion (whose denizens should be called Zionists but, sadly, aren’t). Granted, Neo, the One, is white, as are all the Agent Smiths. All the villains are white and most of the heroes are black in this all-sizzle, no-steak snore-fest that is the film sensation of 2003.
THE WEST WING’S White House is a synecdoche for the entertainment media’s sense of themselves and of what America ought to be. Imagine, if you can stretch your imagination that far, a prime-time network program (The Right Wing?) written brilliantly and performed by top-shelf actors (A-list counterparts to Hollywood lefties extraordinaire such as Martin Sheen and Susan Sarandon, if someone could unearth performers who would dare to avow conservative views on culture and politics) in which the epitome of virtue is a handsome, kindly, devout, fundamentalist, morally unimpeachable Christian president who believes in creationism, refuses to let his daughter share a bedroom with her visiting boyfriend, prefers that gays return to the closet, has a wife who stays home and raises the children, attends church every week, prays nightly and tithes, works for massive tax cuts and deregulation of whatever his adorably lovable, true-believing conservative staffers can get their mitts on, self-assuredly derides Democratic liberals, will not watch Leno or Letterman or Kimmel or Conan or any late-night show because they demean his values, will not permit his 13-year-old son to buy rap albums or tack up Eminem posters on his wall, and ... one needn’t go on. Possibly such a show would be a hit, given that a huge cohort of Americans regards such a paradigm of conservative behavior and attitudes as admirable. But the makers of our TV shows and movies abhor these views and will not create such characters. The last charming, attractive, conservative lead character who comes to mind is Alex Keaton (Michael J. Fox), of Family Ties, in the long-ago ’80s. Most often, the non-liberal lead character is Archie Bunker or someone of that stripe.
The Doom Of Our World
Julius Rosenberg writes: You need to comment on the riots in Benton Harbor, Michigan. For the first day or two, most media outlets (CNN in particular) refused to acknowledge that the rioters were black. Seems like old times.
BJS writes: "They are rioting over a guy that had a suspended license, was running from the police, had drugs on him and I think had prior drug convictions. Shows a lack of brain power and class in that neighborhood.
"The idiot was running from the police and hit a building. They should be showing their children what growing up to be a loser leads to but instead they go out to trash and burn their own community."
One writes: "When the policeman says stop you stop. If you choose not to, you might die."
Rooster writes: "This is what happens when a certain political group keeps a certain ethnicity as a pawn. When you drill into someones head over and over again that their life is s--- because of whitey, all it takes is a match to light the fuse."
Kevin writes: "At least they burn their own s--- up. Never seen any other group of people dumb enough to do that. And over a dope dealer at that."
Julius Rosenberg writes: This multicultural fetish will be the doom of our world. And we are not permitted to talk about it in polite company. You can freely state that men should be able to marry men, or that a rat is a dog is a boy, but heaven forbid that you defend the idea of a dominant culture built around a dominant ethnic group.
It seems only Israel dares assert such a policy for itself. Of course, the liberals are taking notice of this, and are destined to turn against the very idea of a jewish state in the world - as well they should, if they are to be honest about things. Zionism and contemporary cultural liberalism are mortal foes.
Every time I see a genetically sound white woman, I just want to pump her full of sperm and shout "It was for the good of our race!" I'll bet your readers are the same way.
Toby Young - Good For The Jews?
I meet Toby Young (his website) at the Chateau Marmont at 8221 Sunset Blvd (where John Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982) at 1PM, Monday, June 16. Then we walk a block to Wolfgang Pucks on the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights.
I order a Margarita pizza while Toby gets ice tea and a Cobb salad. Afterwards, I have Key Lime pie and Toby gets a cappuccino.
Luke: "So what are you doing in LA?"
Toby: "I'm here to promote the paperback of my book, How to Lose Friends and Alienate Paeople, and to find an actor to play me in a one-man show I've put together based on the book. I hope to take it to New York next year."
Luke: "I didn't realize you were so entrepreneurial?"
Toby: "At one time, I started this magazine called The Modern Review in London. I started my first magazine at age 11. I'm not the kind of writer who sits in a garret and expects my work to be acclaimed. I've made a home movie of the stage play and I'm holding a screening of it tonight. The problem is, I shot it myself. Do you think people are going to freak out when they see how low the technical quality is?"
Luke: "I think you'll be ok because the people you'll be showing it to are Americans. American are usually polite."
Toby: "I like being a proactive journalist and doing the sort of story that involves putting yourself in absurd situations and waiting to see what happens.
"I'm a theater critic in London for this maverick right-wing weekly called The Spectator. It's maverick right. I'm also a restaurant critic for the Evening Standard Magazine. If I were single, it'd be fantastic. I could take women out to the theater and then to dinner and stick it all on expenses."
Luke: "Are you monogamous?"
Toby: "Yes. My wife's Jewish. A friend of mine married a Spanish woman. The day before his wedding, his mother-in-law sat his bride-to-be down and said, 'Your husband, if he is ever unfaithful to you, you must turn a blind eye. That's totally OK. That is what men are like. It is meaningless. But if you are ever unfaithful to him, I will kill you.' Of all the things my mother-in-law was likely to say to my bride-to-be before we got married, that's the least likely. I don't know many Jewish women who would [go for the Spanish mother's advice]."
Luke: "Have you ever considered converting to Judaism?"
Toby: "No. I'm too fond of my foreskin."
Luke: "Do you believe in God?"
Luke: "How many of your peers believe in the God of the Bible?"
Toby: "About five percent."
Luke: "Did you ever go to AA?"
Toby: "I did think about doing it in New York...
"My mother went to a strict Christian school in South Africa and that left with her a lifelong phobia of religion in all its forms. She passed that on to me. I find the religious part of AA difficult to deal with. It's always struck me as a kind of evangelical Christian movement in disguise and that gives me the heebie geebies."
Luke: "Do you find it interesting that there's been no secular equivalent of AA that works effectively?"
Toby: "I'm not sure that that's not propaganda. I remember someone emailing me a list of secular alternatives, some of which have proved just as effective. I couldn't rattle it off of the top of my head."
Luke: "It's interesting that neither of us can think of any names of these secular groups."
[I do recall the leader of one such group who killed somebody while driving drunk.]
Toby: "AA is effective at marketing itself as the only alternative to a life of alcoholic misery. Another component of AA ideology is that you have to stop cold. You can't drink in moderation. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. I don't think that's true.
"I stopped drinking for about 18-months. I drink moderately now."
Luke: "How has your life changed from being married?"
Toby: "I go out much less. I eat at home more. I feel much happier. One of the more trivial reasons to get married is that your life expectancy is likely to increase. That must have to do with the far lower levels of anxiety once you get married. I don't lie awake at night feeling guilty about s--- I've done the night before."
Luke: "Did you read the book Cad?"
Toby: "I just reviewed it for a British publication. The essence of my review was that it was a great read. My one reservation was that he wasn't much of a cad. He apparently slept with hundreds of women and it's not as if he looks like Brad Pitt. He must be a charming guy and that comes across in the book."
Luke: "How many women did you sleep with while you were in New York?"
Toby: "About five in five years."
Luke: "Did you read The Bell Curve?"
Toby: "No. I read a long essay about it in The New Republic, but I'm not a big believer in genetic determinism. Both my father and my maternal grandfather died with all their hair whereas I'm almost completely bald."
Toby talks about writing his play. "The difference between writing a 7000-word article and a 7000-word play is enormous even though the effort required is roughly the same. You write a 7000-word article, it gets published, and, at most, half a dozen people comment on it. And the next day it is completely forgotten. You write a 7000-word one-man show and 150 people a night sit there while your article is read out by an actor who brings it all to life. And your colleagues come in and review it. It's much more satisfying as a form of writing than just doing journalism."
Luke: "What are you working on right now?"
Toby: "I'm writing an Op/Ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, arguing that Eliot Spitzer, the New York Attorney General, should follow up his investigation into the securities industry with an investigation into the glossy magazine business. There are so many things in glossy magazines that are completely misleading. When they put a celebrity of the caliber of Tom Cruise on the cover, Tom Cruise has copy approval. Yet they never disclose that to their readers. The reader imagines he's reading an objective piece of reporting about a particular celebrity when in fact what they are reading is a glorified press release.
"Even worse is when editors publish fawning articles about fashion designers in the hope that they'll then advertise in the magazine. When Tina Brown was editing Vanity Fair, she put Calvin Klein on the cover. The firewall separating advertising from editorial is virtually nonexistent. The readers are reading pieces on Ron Perelman, Tommy Hilfigger, Giorgio Armani, and they don't know that the only reason they are reading these pieces is because the magazine editors hope these people will advertise in their magazines. You're not likely to read anything remotely unflattering about them.
"This seems analogous to what Spitzer was targeting in the investment banking industry where analysts recommended particular stocks without disclosing that the investment banks they worked for were in business with these companies. Just as stock analysts are now required to sign a certificate testifying that they have no ulterior motive in recommending a particular stock, so journalist should have to sign something saying they haven't been influenced by a publicist or an advertiser in reporting such and such a piece. Journalists who do make deals with publicists, give them copy approval, write about advertisers at the bidding of their editors, etc, shouldn't be called journalists."
Luke: "Do you think the average level of intelligence is the same between the races?"
Toby: "The Bell Curve made a big impression on you, huh? In New York, my experience was that the smartest and funniest people I met tended to be gay Jewish men. So whatever genetic advantages they enjoy, they're not about to pass them on."
Luke: "Do you think the average black person is as smart as the average white person?"
Toby: "Yes. I don't think there's any scientific basis for thinking there's any difference. You can't disregard social factors when it comes to a person's IQ. To say it's determined by race is simply untrue. I've got a low IQ, so naturally, I completely disregard it as a measure of intelligence. The few black people I met in New York tended to be very nice and sympathethic."
Luke: "How do you feel about the number of Jamaicans in Britain?"
Toby: "I like the fact that contemporary Britain is a very multicultural society. The area I live in in London, Shepherds Bush, is a real multicultural area, much more so than any area I lived in in New York. There's something nice about people from completely different worlds going about their business together. It gives the neighborhood a vibrant texture. There's something very unpleasant about more racially segregated neighborhoods. Why would anyone want to live in them?"
Luke: "Low crime rates?"
Toby: "The crime rate in Shepherds Bush is fairly high but not as high as less multicultural areas. People who commit street crimes will go to slightly wealthier areas to commit those crimes. I've never been mugged. My house has never been burgled. My house has never been broken into. They say a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. If I'm ever the victim of a street crime, maybe I will change my mind."
Luke: "How do you like LA?"
Toby: "I love it. I wanted to move here. My plan when my book came out was to move to LA, try to take Hollywood, and then, when I inevitably failed, write a sequel about screwing up on the West Coast. My wife and I started our honeymoon here. We went on this driving tour of the Pacific Southwest. I hoped she'd fall in love with the place but she didn't. Now that she's having a baby, I think she wants to stay in the UK. I'd like to move here but it'd be tougher to write a similar book about LA because there are so many [already].
"Being a journalist in this city is a miserable existence. They're regarded as a ramshackle, unreliable branch of the public relations inudstry, an absolute last resort."
Luke: "Tina Brown - good or bad for journalism?"
Toby: "Bad for journalism. She was a trendsetter when it came to cutting deals with publicists to get access to celebrities. She played Lenin to Pat Kingsley's Stalin."
Luke: "What do you think about outing people?"
Toby: "I think it depends on what their public stance is. I think there can be a public interest defense. If it is a politician supporting legislation that penalizes homosexuals, and purporting to be a good family man, and is secretly [homosexual] on the weekend, then he's fair game."
Luke: "What about movie stars who purport to be heterosexual?"
Toby thinks for 30 seconds and stumbles: "I don't know. My sense is that the number of gay movie stars is wildly exaggerated. The reason there isn't any compelling evidence that they are homosexual is not because they are incredibly successful at suppressing it, but because they are straight. I'm skeptical about the existence of a Gay Mafia in Hollywood. I think it was unwise of Mike Ovitz to use Vanity Fair as the forum to out the Gay Mafia. If the Gay Mafia does exist, Vanity Fair is unlikely to be the first magazine in America to expose it. It's like attacking the Communist Party in Pravda.
"Everyone in Hollywood is so motivated by profit that they are not going to allow anything to come between them and the bottom line, be it their sexual or religious orientation. It's such a competitive industry that allowing your decisions to be influenced by your sexual or religious affiliations would put you at a competitive disadvantage. Capitalism and mafias don't go together."
Luke: "Any of the reactions to your book surprise you? I was surprised by how much your book was pilloried."
Toby: "That didn't surprise me. It got two fantastically negative reviews in The New York Times one right after the other. That wasn't a surprise. If an American journalist had got a job in London, worked as a journalist in London, got fired from several publications, and then went back to New York writing a book about how terrible the British media, it would be pilloried in the British press. What surprised me is that it occasionally got good reviews and sold well. I was worried that it would be seen as a snotty Brit looking down his nose at Americans. It was read more as an attack, not on America, but on a tiny coterie within the New York media. And any attack on the New York media is immensely popular over here.
"There have been some widely divergent responses to the portrait of Graydon Carter in the book. Some people think it's brown-nosingly flattering and I really pulled my punches in the hope of preserving some links with Vanity Fair."
Luke: "That's absurd."
Toby: "Then there are people who think that I completely assassinated his character and can't believe that I would do anything so reckless. I think on the whole it was a fair portrait. I certainly didn't write it with any hope of keeping the door open. I knew that if I wrote word one about working at Vanity Fair, the door would be slammed shut."
Luke: "What do you think of some of the books that have followed you in the genre of boss betrayal?"
Toby: "I haven't read The Devil Wears Prada. I don't think I've read any of them. I read some of the forerunners such as You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again. I preferred, You'll Never Make Love In This Town Again. I think to label the genre 'boss betrayal' is an unfortunate choice of words. I prefer 'whistleblower.'"
Luke: "But you used the label 'boss betrayal.' I never heard it before until you used it in that email you sent out last week promoting your screening. You wrote: 'My book was hailed by the New York Times as the forerunner of what has subsequently become a hot new publishing trend: boss betrayal.'"
Toby laughs. "I think writing a tell-all book about your ex-boss really doesn't constitute a betrayal. Invariably, the person who writes it has been fired. That's just as much a betrayal. It's not like your ex-boss has any debt of loyalty to you as an ex-employee. So I don't see why an ex-employee should feel any debt of loyalty to an ex-boss. Particularly if you are writing about editors of magazine. What we do for a living is journalism. It's ridiculous to insist that we all sign confidentiality agreements, like Tina Brown required when she started Talk."
I turn off the tape recorder and we kick back and enjoy our drinks. Toby worries that he's said something incendiary. He worries about whether he managed to side step all the landmines I placed in his path. I assure him he was disturbingly PC and carefully spoken. I thought he'd be a flame thrower.
We walk back to his hotel. I ask him about space aliens. He doesn't believe in them. He says Christopher Hitchens once tried to persuade him that the Roswell incident took place and made a good case, but Toby remains unconvinced. Toby doesn't believe in conspiracy theories.
I complain to Toby about how polite he's been. He says Christopher Hitchens is the same way in person, mild mannered, even apologetic. Toby says he's made so many enemies through his work, he doesn't want to increase them in interpersonal interactions.
I've heard from people who know Hitchens well that he glories in acting like a schmuck. And he's certainly no friend of the Jews.
I later emailed Toby: "Did you encounter people who resented you for writing a memoir, as in, what makes you think your life is so interesting it is worthy of a book?"
Toby replied: "Yes, definitely, particularly in America. An American agent once said to me after I'd told him what I planned to write: 'You're a nobody. Why would anyone want to read your autobiography?'"
Questions email to me to ask Toby Young:
1. Is Hollywood insufficiently Jewish, is Hollywood too Jewish, or is the amount of Jewish influence in Hollywood "Just right" - but before you answer, remember, influence is a zero sum game. Every influential person who is jewish is an influential person who is not Muslim or Christian.
2. Repeat, for journalism/media ownership
3. Repeat, for modern art.
4. Why is it that British journalists and other men of letters are so widely believed to have small penises?
Toby replies: "Wishful thinking."
All Left At USC Journalism Program
David Horowitz sat in for Dennis Prager today on his nationally syndicated radio show. David said he had lunch a few weeks ago with leftist Michael Parks, former editor of The Los Angeles Times and current dean of the USC journalism program. David asked if there were any conservatives among the journalism professors. Parks said not one. David asked if it wouldn't be a good idea to have at least one. Parks said it would be but it will never happen because the faculty hires its own professors and they will never hire someone on the right.
United States Postal Service Provokes Racism
I walk in to the Post Office as little as possible because the lines are long and the service incompetent. Most of the people working at the offices I've visited appear to be black, the beneficiaries of government affirmative action. Given the low regard most people have for the Post Office, given their horrendous experiences with it, it can only increase racial resentment to hire people based on color. Same goes for airport screeners, another incompetent bunch. It can't be good for black self-esteem to keep working in these hopeless agencies.
JMT writes: "The post office is an undeservedly maligned institution. I have had no "horrendous" experiences at all, and have generally been satisfied with the speed and reliability with which mail is delivered. The postal clerks I've dealt with have, on the whole, been courteous and professional. (As far as I am aware, they all go through the same civil service-type examinations to get the jobs; I don't think there is any "affirmative action" involved.) When there is a long line, it is typically the fault of patrons who are either pathetic (i.e., sad old people who are desperate for someone to talk to) or moronic ("I can't decide whether to get the kitty stamps or the puppy stamps . . . do you have any pony stamps?"), not the fault of the postal employees."
Luke says: It is not uncommon to find a line of more than 20 people, with just one or two postal clerks open for business, and the rest walking around. And yes, affirmative action plays a major role in hiring.
Toby Young's Party
I arrive at 6:55 PM, 6/16/03, at 150 South Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The screening room is next door to the William Morris Agency, where I was fired (from my position as a temporary assistant) in July of 1997 for giving my book to an agent's assistant who requested it. The guy responsible for firing me, Ben Silverman, went on to package such hit TV shows as Who Wants to be a Millionaire? He's now an independent producer.
In the lobby, I meet Richard Rushfield, an unassuming-looking writer from Vanity Fair (where he worked with Toby). We walk together to the screening room.
I see Cathy Seipp and her 14-year old daughter "Cecile." I relax. I know there's an adult around, a lifeguard on duty.
Toby holds court with several admiring young women.
Cathy re-introduces me to the luminous Jenny Isaacson and her husband Barry, an independent movie producer.
I regale them with tales of my lunch with Toby and how PC and carefully spoken he was. Toby pitches in with renditions of my particularly incendiary questions.
Cathy says I need to cut out my racial questions.
Cathy, Barry, Toby, and David Poland tell me that crime is not significantly about race and give me myriad examples.
Cathy says Chinatown has the least crime of any area in LA. I say it's because Chinatown is homogenous. Cathy says East LA is homogenous.
Others pile on that Santa Monica is homogenous yet has a high rate of crime.
David suggests crime has greatly to do with poverty. I say there are poor Orthodox Jews yet they don't commit violent crimes. David says that's because Orthodox Jews have evolved support systems. I reply - what does that say about Orthodox Jews? What does it say about groups that don't evolve such?
My heart is warmed that these good secular people have resisted the siren call of race. Good for them for clinging to the one true faith of many good-hearted American secularists - race does not matter. I congratulate their ability to have faith against all evidence, to believe because it is absurd. They make a Christian blush with their unswerving piety.
Everybody in this room of non-racists is white. Why not use a fine service like rentanegro.com to remedy such an evil?
Chaim Amalek writes: "I propose a new line of inquiry, and perhaps a new sort of business for Luke. Ask elite people (producers, bloggers, etc.) how many close friends they have. Then ask them to give the names of those of their close friends who also are black or Mexican. Contact them to confirm said friendship and ethnicity, then turn that into a book: "Some of My Best Friends . . . White Elites Who Befriend Negroes and Mexicans.""
David "Hot Button" Poland writes Luke: "Good for you for clinging to the one true faith of most American racists - race is the controlling factor. I congratulate your ability to have hate blindly against all evidence, to believe because it is absurd.
"Only someone who has never really suffered the sting of bias could wish such a simple-minded standard on others... or someone who is intentionally self-delusional. It gives false comfort to believe crime or greed or power can be understood by attaching the attributes to races, creeds or colors. But that is the most dangerous illusion of all. Which is not to say that there are not money-grubbing Jews, criminal Blacks, horny Hispanics, etc, etc, etc. But a Jew would tell you that the success of their culture is based on a prioritization of education, a strong community and the sense of being hated across the globe... and all the millions of variations within those ideas. Hatred begins with simplification."
Cathy Seipp says the only person who has ever intimidated her is Bill O'Reilly, who stands 6'4" and is full of self assurance, as you can see on his FOX NEWS TV show.
Feeling ornery, I try to provoke Barry into a nervous breakdown by telling people he's written a tell-all book about his years at Universal. Then I insult him by claiming he's started a blog. He's done neither of these things.
These days Barry concentrates on bathing his two children and diapering them. Meanwhile, Jenny has received a deserved promotion at the Starlight Foundation and she's now head of promotions and fundraising.
I try to bust Cecile's chops by asking her in front of her Mom how she can link to pornography. Cathy becomes upset and tells Cecile she will lose her blogging privileges if she ever links to pornography again.
Cecile argues it wasn't pornography, it was just cartoons. Cathy and I are not swayed. I can spot the naughty stuff from a mile away.
Cecile is as strong-willed as her mother.
Cathy warns Cecile about writing that people smell. Cathy says she should wait until she is at least 40 years old before making such personal remarks in print. She should wait until at least 40 before writing a tell-all like Toby's.
I wonder if Cathy followed her own advice. She got personal in her Buzz columns when she was in her 30s.
Toby is a self-effacing gentle soul, a dramatic contrast to the drunk and coke-sniffing lout of his book. He's afraid of the picture quality of his 55-minute video presentation of a one-man play based on his book.
The picture quality turns out fine. Everybody stays and most of the audience of 50 enjoys the show.
It has lots of funny lines though they are telegraphed. There are no surprises, even if you haven't read the book. I think the show strains to make points, to give meaning to adolescent adventures among shallow vulgar people. What profundity do you expect from the Vanity Fair crowd?
As Toby says, Vanity Fair is an up-market tabloid. It's pornography for the wanna-be rich and elite.
In the play, the Toby character says he knew he'd lost faith in America when a female journalist told him at a party that she sympathized with him taking care of his 84-year old father (a highly respected Labor party intellectual). What a burden it must be.
In Toby's eyes, that showed the moral bankruptcy of America.
I think it shows the moral bankruptcy of the set Toby so badly wanted to hang out with. Toby's an atheist and most of his friends are atheists. So they pursue worldly values. It should be no surprise that people who do not practice a moral discipline should lack morals. If Toby wants to meet people who honor their parents, he should check out Orthodox Jews, who are probably the last group he and his secular Jewish wife Caroline will ever want to meet.
If you want morals, you've got to pay the price of practicing a moral discipline. There ain't no free morals. Not in New York. Not in London. Not in LA.
In the play, Toby's screenwriter friend, Alex de Silva, is banging a supermodel who tells him he's much better from behind than Robert DeNiro. I guess this is an allusion to Naomi Campbell? Toby won't confirm my guess. He's legally gagged on the matter.
I shudder that a 14-year old girl is watching this show, which is all about sex, strippers, and the f- word.
Cecile du Bois writes on her blog: "Mom and I carpooled with Jenny and Barry to go see the screening of Toby Young's play based on his book How to Lose friends and Alienate People . Jack Davenport , a British actor starred as Young in the production from London. The screening was quite short--about an hour long and the actor was surprisingly loud but hilarious with his raucious sharp wit. Of course, Young got the credit for the talent, but Davenport brought the play to life."
I chat with Mark Ebner. He's much calmer these days. He's finishing off a book called "Hollywood Interrupted," which he describes as his kiss-off to Hollywood. He promises that it will be controversial. He says it will be the book for his publisher to promote next year.
Mark says he's done with screenwriting. And he hasn't been publishing much since New Times Los Angeles shut down.
I talk to Rob Long for 15-minutes. I begin with the Writers Guild debate between Robert Scheer and David Horowitz. Long was invited to participate on the panel but he was out of the country. Long wondered why Scheer and Horowitz, professional debaters, were invited on the panel, when they weren't in the industry and the panel was supposedly about blacklisting and censorship in the industry.
Long says there was no point to the panel. There is no blacklisting and censorship in the industry. People don't lose their jobs for their political views.
I asked if there any working writers with whacky repellant extremist views. He said no because those type of people don't tend to be in touch with reality enough to do good work.
I wonder if Ed Asner has lost work because of his leftist views. Rob says no.
I tried to make the case that Hollywood was poisoning our country's morals. Rob doesn't think entertainment affects the morals of the greater society.
While I'm engaged in this weighty philosophical discussion, David Poland loudly comments from across the room that I have no bottom though he uses a more vulgar term.
Given Long's immersion in decadent Hollywood, I asked him if he's reproduced. He says no. He was close to marriage twice but never went through this path to adulthood. Maybe Hollywood does not lead to illegitimacy afterall.
I wonder why religion plays such a minor role in Hollywood entertainment. My producer friend says it is the Jews. Most of the Jews in Hollywood are secular and they fear a pogrom is on the way when people start taking religion seriously. When this producer walked into a meeting after Al Gore selected Orthodox Jew Joe Lieberman as his running mate, two secular Jews told that this would sink Gore's chances because so much of America hates Jews.
These secular Jews dominating Hollywood fear religion, fear stirring up religious sentiment, and fear that a religious revival will lead to a pogrom (lynching Jews).
Rob Long tries to think of people to play Toby. I suggest Toby should play Toby in the play. Toby says he tried but the play producer says he wasn't up to snuff.
Rob suggests Phillip Seymore Hoffman. I try to think of insulting ugly people (like the actor of the Elephant Man) to play Toby to see if it will annoy him. It doesn't.
Rob and Toby leave together.
David Poland and I have drinks at Coffee Bean afterwards. He asks if my new journalism friends like Cathy Seipp are going to inspire me to a more responsible journalist. My immediate instinct is to say no but I suppress voicing it.
At 10:30PM, we walk to our cars, passing two teenage girls sitting on the street against a shop door, doing their homework.
"Isn't that sad?" I say loudly so they can hear me. "In Beverly Hills, homeless teenager girls. Should we give money?"
The girls laugh.
Due to the high intellectual stimulation of my evening, I do not fall asleep until 4AM.
The Drooling Kid Next Door writes: Moxie Pop is the happening Moxie. The introspective pensiveness of Moxie.nu just does not age well: it smells of cat dander. Moxiepop - she's the new moxie.
Bizarre Hugh Hewitt Exchange
Hugh Hewitt published a book, writes for www.weeklystandard, and is a Christ shockjock on the radio, syndicated on largely, I think, Christian radio stations, including KRLA in Los Angeles where Dennis Prager syndicates from.
This afternoon I heard him talking with a 24-year old guy.
Hugh says pre-marital sex is immoral.
Hugh: Because my Scripture says so.
Caller: So it's relative then. Jews don't think pre-marital sex is unholy.
Hugh: Yes they do. Most Jews think pre-marital sex is unholy.
[Wrong. Only Orthodox Jews and a few Conservative ones believe that.]
Caller: Dennis Prager doesn't believe pre-marital sex is unholy.
Hugh: Yes he does.
Caller: You should read Prager's book, Think a Second Time.
Hugh: I never read any of Dennis's books.
Caller: Jews would say it's unholy.
Hugh: That's the same thing as immoral.
Caller: No it isn't. Eating at McDonalds for Jews is unholy but it is not immoral.
Hugh: Eating two fish sandwiches at McDonalds is immoral because it would deplete the ocean.
Lunch With Author Toby Young
At Wolfgang Pucks on Sunset Blvd and Crescent Heights. Poor Toby was shaking his head at the end of it, feeling like he'd walked through a mine field, and scared he'd said something incendiary.
I went to a rocking party for Toby 10/8/02. (Scroll down)
A couple of weeks ago, Toby sent me this email:
I'd like to invite you to a screening of a home movie I've made of the one-man show based on my book, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People.
The book, which charts my disastrous stint as a Vanity Fair editor in New York, was a national bestseller when it came out in hardback last year. The paperback is being published on June 15 by Da Capo Press.
I co-adapted it for the stage with a playwright called Tim Fountain and it's just come to the end of a sold out run in the West End. The London production starred Jack Davenport, a British actor shortly to be seen on American screens as Commodore Norrington in Pirates of the Caribbean.
According to the review in Variety: "Davenport looks good in a Paul Smith suit and catches exactly the bemusement--indignation disguised as quizzicality--that animates Young's book. And what's not to like about an Oxbridge graduate who likes nothing better than to punctuate all pretension, including his own?"
The reason for holding the screening is that I'm looking for an actor willing to play me in an off-Broadway production of the play. In spite of the play's success in London, this may not be all that easy. In addition to playing me, the actor has to play all the other characters I encountered in New York, including my former boss Graydon Carter.
Graydon was recently asked by Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post who he'd like to play him if a film is ever made of the book. "I don't know about me, but for Toby Young Verne Troyer," he said. (Verne Troyer plays Mini Me in the Austin Powers films.) What Graydon doesn't realise is that if Verne Troyer appears in the stage adaptation, he won't just be playing me. He'll also be playing Graydon. My book was hailed by the New York Times as the forerunner of what has subsequently become a hot new publishing trend: boss betrayal.
Who knows, if I can mount a successful off-Broadway production of the play, it may be followed by stage adaptations of The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada. I can easily imagine Nathan Lane in drag impersonating Anna Wintour!