Dealing With The News Media
It's rare that a day goes by without an email or call from a journalist. Here are a few observations:
* Most of them are lazy and want to take the safe easy way out that has already been hollowed out by their peers. They don't want to risk originality.
* Almost every story about me contains significant mistakes.
* Radio stations are exceedingly sloppy in their approach. It's not uncommon for the call to come in two hours late.
I find Top 40 rocker stations annoying. The hosts are generally loud and crude and don't seem to listen in a deep way. It's rare to get ten seconds to answer a question without getting interrupted.
* TV is a whole other story. It is definitely the most superficial medium. Print can be the most in depth. Radio ranges in between. When I do an interview with a print reporter, it is simple. The reporter calls. We talk. End of story.
Radio is more complicated. It's scheduled in advance and usually adjusted around ads. And most of the time the host likes to dominate and doesn't listen well.
TV is a whole production. Two, three, four people come to my hovel. Usually a producer, a cameraman, an assistant and the reporter. Setting up takes 45 minutes or more as does breakdown. Which means that half the time that I must set aside to do the interview is not even taken up by the interview. Just a bunch of people muddying up my apartment.
Finally they set up and the reporter takes a chair next to me. And in our exchange that follows, we must all be careful of camera angles and what our frame is. We have to check and recheck the audio levels. In other words, most attention goes to things extraneous to what I have to say.
Then you finally do the interview and you often find that the team already knows what angle they want to take on the story. They don't seek to learn anything from you. They have their own agenda and they're just going to cut and splice what they want from you, irrespective of what you want to get across. It's frustrating to put aside three hours of your day to do an interview and find yourself continually interrupted by the reporter whenever you spend more than 15 seconds answering a question.
Luke's New Year's Resolution - Manliness
I resolve to be more manly in my writings for the coming year. Too much womanly stuff has been creeping in. More politics, more religion, more popular culture, less talk about Luke's feelings.
Luke Ford to the RescueI've tried not to talk about my personal life on this blog. It just never seemed particularly relevant or interesting to me. Yesterday that all changed.
You may recall that I've been having serious marital problems. A couple of months ago, after I became a blogger (an infrequent blogger to be sure, but a blogger nonetheless), my wife of 35 years started to become even angrier than usual with me, claiming that I was spending too much time on my computer and too little time taking care of her "needs." I made the mistake of trying to explain to her that my inattention was in no way a sign that I no longer loved her (which, of course, I didn't but that's beside the point), rather, I argued, it's perfectly normal for a married man to develop other interests, such as blogging, over time. "No man," I said, "can have sex with the same woman for more than seven years and still enjoy the experience." I then pointed to empirical research that reveals after just 18 months the chemicals in a man's brain, which are released during sex making the event pleasurable for him, are already diminishing. After seven years with the same woman they're nonexistent. I concluded by saying that she should consider herself lucky for having a husband that was willing to have sex with her 21 times a week for 34 years. "I probably belong in the Guinness world book of records," I quipped. My wife wasn't amused. Her understanding of the scientific method is rather limited. Basically, the woman is an idiot. Not only is she stupid she is also prone to fits of violence. She started to hit me. I tried to fight back but I'm only 6-2 and 185lbs and she is 7-6 and 585lbs. I didn't have a chance. She literally kicked me right out of our home. Then she slammed the door and said "Don't come back this time, you self-centered smartass!" I knew it was really over. No more crawling back to her on my knees begging for forgiveness.
And there I was on the street with just the clothes on my back and 25 cents in my pocket. What on earth was I going to do? I was battered, bruised, and homeless. I started to cry. At first I thought, I would take my quarter to the supermarket and steal a shopping cart. This would be my new home. But then it occurred to me. My moral leader would know what to do. I used my limited funds to telephone Mr Ford. Fortunately he was home.
I explained my terrible predicament to him. He was so moved he started to cry. Tears of pain and anguish streamed down his chubby cheeks, he claimed. Actually he didn't use the word "chubby" -- I added that myself for descriptive purposes. Mr Ford then asked "Why don't you come live with me in my home, until you get back on your feet?"
I was shocked. "That's so very, very kind of you," I said. "But I couldn't impose on you," I explained. "It may take many months or even years for me to put my life back together again."
"No problem, dude" Mr Ford said. "My hovel is your hovel for as long as it takes. You are my number one fan, after all."
What a guy!
What a moral leader!
I quickly walked over to Mr Ford's hovel (it's not far from my old Beverly Hills mansion) fearing that he may soon come to his senses and change his mind. Terrified of rejection, my hand quivered as I rang the door bell. But Mr Ford rushed to greet me, wrapping his chubby arms around me. I returned his affection by patting him on the head (and then I quickly ran to wash the horrible gooey Brylcreem off my hands). As I dried, I thanked him over and over again for his unbelievable generosity.
Mr Ford explained his principled opposition to welfare. "We Jews must take care of our own kind and not rely on the government," he lectured in that annoying Mr-Know-It-All style of his.
"Absolutely," I said. "Charity begins at home. To hell with the goyim, eh?" Then we shared a laugh. Now was not the time, I realized, to tell Mr Ford that I'm a lapsed Episcopalian -- actually more atheist than anything. Heck, I don't know the first thing about Judaism. Oh well, Mr Ford will learn soon enough that I'm a pathological liar.
At 5:08:34 pm Mr Ford showed me around his home. At 5:08:35 pm we had already decided on where we were going for dinner. At the restaurant, I suggested to Mr Ford that perhaps I could return just a fraction of his kindness by helping him with his blog. "We could team blog," I said excitedly. At first Mr Ford was none too keen on this idea. He said that I was too infrequent a blogger for his liking. I said that I would work much harder in the future. He then said that my writing was too logical for his taste. "I'm an emotional guy and that shows up in my blog," he explained. "My writing is totally devoid of intellectual content and my readers like it that way. Really, its all about me and my visceral take on the world."
I countered by saying working together we could be like Lennon and McCarthy. I would be Lennon (the brooding, serious one) and he could be McCarthy (the cute, simpleminded one). "That's the nicest thing anyone has said to me since my make-believe girlfriend, Sarah Weinman, called me "repulsive" a couple of weeks ago," Mr Ford said happily.
But then Mr Ford's mood changed suddenly. "What if a 'Yoko Ono' comes between us? Just think, 40 years from now we could be split into two camps, fighting with each other over who blogged this or who blogged that entry, Luke Ford or Luke Ford's Number One Fan? This may seem a silly concern now, but that's probably what Lennon and McCarthy thought in 1963," Mr Ford observed perceptively.
"No problem, dude" I said. (I'm even starting to talk like him.) "What I'll do is put those LF.net blog entries that are mine on LFFB. This will be a sign to our readers today, and more importantly, to our respective camps and followers in 2043, that I was not responsible for any of the entries found solely on LF.net." "Cool!" Mr Ford said.
Of course, at the moment I'm just trying to settle into my new digs. We still haven't even decided on which side of the bed I'll be sleeping on. I tend to sleep on my left side, so I think it would be best if I take the right side of the bed. This way if I'm dreaming of my make-believe girlfriend in the middle of the night and something accidentally pops up, I will be pointing away from Mr Ford. But Mr Ford says that he always sleeps on the right side of the bed facing to his left. "This could be a problem," I said. Mr Ford said "Good point, we will have to work something out."
Then, for some curious reason, we started talking about manly stuff. We discussed football, politics, girlfriends (only make-believe girlfriends because neither one of us actually has a real one at this point in time), the Torah, Air Supply, ABBA, Peter Allen, our mutual love of sewing, having D & Ms with our male friends, you know regular guy stuff. I think one reason we are getting on so well together is because we are both absolutely secure in our masculinity.
Although we're still working out various logistical problems of living together, we're already making good progress on our new team blogging regiment. We're going to be so very productive. In fact, Mr Ford has already taught me how to copy (ctrl+c) and paste (ctrl+v) from other sites on the Internet so we can quickly and easily build-up content on our site. Admittedly, this did confuse me at first.
"Isn't this stealing Mr Ford?" I asked.
"Huh?" he said.
"Stealing. Thievery. You know taking something that doesn't belong to you. That's wrong is it not Mr Ford?"
"Jeepers, I've been doing it for years. It's what got me here today, son," he said.
"But you live in a hovel, Mr Ford," I said. "Not only that. You're now sharing your hovel with me. I hardly think we can call that success, can we now Mr Ford?"
At this point Mr Ford said he needed some quiet time by himself. He retired to his -- I mean "our" -- bed for 15 minutes. I think I heard him weep quietly for a moment or two, but I'm not sure.
I only managed to get him up by saying that I would henceforth never accuse him of stealing ever again. After all, if there is someone who needs help on being a productive blogger then that someone would be me. Blogging is going to be so much easier for me now that I know Mr Ford's trick. No more brainstorming sessions trying to come up with new ideas. Now I will just surf around the Internet going ctrl+c and ctrl+v, just like Mr Ford does. What could be easier?
Check back tomorrow to see how we, Luke Ford and Luke Ford's Number One Fan, are getting along together in our fabulous team blogging (and living) adventure.
Heather MacDonald writes: "Is the Bam earthquake going to cause any tremor of doubt among the faithful, like the Lisbon quake of 1755? Or, looking just at Muslims, maybe we can hope for some rationalist thought in opposition to the Mullahs. Or perhaps we've seen such natural and man-made devastation since the 18th C. that all the skeptics have been shaken out, and the die-hard believers have just learned to accept that Providence appears to be very easily distracted.
"Why you gotta love the New York Times: For instance, Felicia Lee's weary reference to the "still-prevalent heterosexual ideal" in today's review of Queer Street."
Luke says: "But that is an exact description. We still do have a heterosexual ideal. What's your objection?"
Heather answers: "I have no objection, it's that she clearly does, and implies that there is a possibility greater than zero that the status quo is really up for grabs."
Luke says: "You've given me a good line to use on my next date -- we have a moral duty to uphold society's heterosexual ideal."
Heather replies: "I thought from your blog that you were suffering some pangs of conscience from certain carnal upholdings, but maybe you mean now to platonically uphold the hetersexual ideal."
Three incidents epitomize my childhood. Once, when I was three, my family stayed at a cabin on Lake Macquarie. Upset at being left behind when my sister set off in a canoe, I toddled out to the pier and threw stones at her. She yelled at me to stop. I laughed. Nothing made me happier than throwing things at people. It forced them to pay attention to him. If I can just throw this one rock a little farther, I can hit her. And wouldn’t that be wonderful. I love to hurt people so they feel as miserable as I do.
I ran a few steps to the edge of the pier, launched the rock, and fell into the water, sinking to the bottom. Ellen paddled frantically to the pier and dove into the water to rescue me.
A year later, after my mom died, dad remarried, and we all moved to Manchester, England, I found some juicy clods of manure. I picked them up and launched them at other kids. I laughed as I threw, feeling good as I watched the messy brown clods explode on their targets. My joy is short-lived. The other kids pick up their own chunks of manure and throw them back at me. Pelted with dung, I explode in anger. Redoubling my aerial assaults, I scream through my tears, “I hate you, I hate you.” Dr. Ford recognizes the angry sounds. He runs over and pulls me away. My bad character worries him.
Fast forward four years, and the worries aren’t diminishing. My new mom Gill finds burn holes in the plastic table cloth. Against the strictest orders, I've been playing again with matches. I get a stern lecture and a spanking. I promise to never do it again. Good thing my parents don’t know about the times I set fires in the bush outside the home. Neighbors saw the flames and put them out before there was much damage. When I confess my crime to my best friend Wayne, he becomes furious. He says if I ever do it again, he’ll tell on me. Unnerved by his reaction, I agree to never do it again.
She: Understanding Feminine Psychology By Robert A. Johnson
The Meeting With The Goddess
Mythologist Joseph Campbell: "Woman...represents the totality of what can be known. The hero is the one who comes to know. As he progresses in the slow initiation which is life, the form of the goddess undergoes for him a series of transfigurations: She can never be greater than himself, though she can always promise more than he is yet capable of understanding."
This is how I see woman. Campbell should know. He had a beautiful wife and a beautiful 50-year marriage to Jean Erdman, the dancer.
There's No Bigger Persian Lover Than Me
I think my credentials are well established in this arena.
So now I'm reading about the 25,000 dead in Iran and I can't summon up much grief. Why? Because Iran is one of the world's most evil countries. It's the biggest sponsor of terrorism. It sends terrorists into Iraq to kill Americans. It's building a nuclear weapon to wipe out the Jewish state. It held about 80 Americans hostage for over a year in 1979-80.
I cheered when Iranians and Iraqis murdered each other in the 1980s because they were both evil countries. They (evil people) should all die.
Frankly, I'd be thrilled if the earth opened up and swallowed the entire country of Iran and every single terrorism supporter.
The Torah believes in corporate punishment. You are responsible for the evil your society does. If you don't want to be punished with your country, you must fight the evil or leave.
I also can't summon up great grief over the world's worst murder rates in South Africa. Of course that was going to happen after you scrapped apartheid. Now I have many South African friends who moved to Los Angeles. Some of them actively opposed apartheid. And now they have the home country they deserve, like the Vietnamese immigrants I know who supported the Communist North rise to power.
One South African friend voted for Cruz Bustamente for CA governor. Great, we could become a part of Mexico with that type of voting (meaning corrupt banana republic exporting drugs).
Cecile writes: "As many of our Iranian neighbors live in the Westside, we shouldn't be saying that the whole Republic of Iran should be swallowed up. This means you, Luke. Just because you're some conflicted Air Supply listener--start looking at yourself. Treat yourself nicely, and quit yammering that Iran--a world away from your hovel doesn't get to exist. Look at your "sleeping space"--does that deserve to exist? And replace it with a bed."
Chippy writes: "There is about a 40% chance - at least - that Israel will go the way of S Africa and Rhodesia. And the same sorts of people who buried those countries will bury Israel, too. Human termites. These are the people who favor unfettered immigration into the west from the dusky lands to the south and east. Then, when their home collapses all around them, they move on.
"The NY Times had an interesting article today on the hell that Rhodesia has become since the White Man lost his will to rule that land."
A Letter To My Grandchild
I don't have any children, let alone grandchildren, but I wrote this as an exercise requested in the book Your Life As Story:
My Own Fairy Tale
I wrote this as an exercise requested in the book Your Life As Story:
I'm A Lonely Jew
(Compliments of Southpark)
Its hard to be a Jew on Christmas
I'm a Jew.
Hanuka is nice, but why is it,
And what is up with lighting all these candles
I'm a Jew, a lonely Jew
There's a great quote in today's NY Post from some Jew who says, "It wouldn't be Christmas without my attending midnight mass."
How Many Movies Before You May Grope A Girl?
At what number of movies together are you allowed to slide your arm around your date's shoulder? Now, some girls are easy. You can start holding hands on the first date. Other girls are more formidable. I'd hate to put my arm around a girl and have her shrug it off. On the other hand, if she's going out with me, she probably wants me to grope her. What's a Jew to do? Especially if you are shomer negiya (don't touch opposite sex aside from wife and family).
Does it matter if you've bought her dinner first? Does it depend on the movie? How about Lord of the Rings: Return of the King? I want to see a heterosexual movie. Is this a groping movie? I don't think so. I fear it is emasculating. Closeted homosexuality flows through the film unlike the wholesome Master and Commander where manly men struggle alone at sea without women. Frodo is a caricature of a gay Jew. Then there's that Homo Baggins character.
Cracker writes: "The rest of the fellowship didn't even need Frodo. They could have just pushed the ring in a wheelbarrow and then not have to worry about it."
Submission writes: "Is it really surprising that the movie has "gay" undertones when you consider that JRR Tolkien was bisexual?"
Cracker writes: "It just bugs me. Like if Frodo would just come out and say "Yes, I'm gay," I'd be like I KNEW IT. I KNEW IT, FRODO. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Because then I could sleep at night but now he will haunt my dreams forever because he may just be as effeminate as the rest of the hobbits or they could all be gay. I will never know. DAMN IT TOLKIEN WHY? I'm now starring in my own sitcom, "Queer as Shirefolk.""
Sarah writes: "I've said it before and I will say it again - being straight is way too much hard work."
V-Rocks writes: "The entire theater was yelling, DO IT! DO IT! JUST KISS ALREADY!"
EGawd writes: "Maybe he is a metrosexual hobbit who is in touch with the softer side of being a man."
Skippy McButter, Luke's house metrosexual, says: "That's why the Brits lost their empire - all the manly men died between 1914 and 1918, leaving behind a bunch of fags."
My favorite thinker on this topic is the late UCLA psychiatrist Dr. Robert Stoller. Here are some excerpts from his book Observing The Erotic Imagination:
Merry Christmas, Mr Ford
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.Unfortunately I have not been able to write much lately. My wife and I are struggling with problems of infidelity in our marriage -- emotional in my case, physical (on numerous occasions) in hers. This has, amongst other things, affected my ability to blog Mr Ford's queer (I mean that in the traditional sense) life.
In a last ditch attempt to save my marriage, I have decided to take my wife (sans "our" 13 kids, none of which are actually mine) on a second honeymoon to Branson, Missouri for ten days. If all goes well I should be blogging again in the new year; that is, if Maryjoellen-Bob permits me to do so.
I would like to wish Mr Ford a very merry Christmas. He is an inspiration, of sorts, to me. It's the nightmare of his sad, pathetic, miserable, and loveless existence that has motivated me to try, one last time, to save my failing marriage. I desperately don't want to end up in a hovel all by myself just like him. It's this tragic possibility that keeps me holding on to what little I have left. In my darkest moments, my dreams shattered, I keep thinking to myself "things could be worse" (cf. Luke Ford in his hovel, alone, watching stupid Dallas Cowboys football, reading the Torah [rather than the NT] at half-time, rejecting Our Lord Jesus Christ, and thus going to Hell).
Merry Christmas, Mr Ford -- my moral leader (in ways you probably didn't imagine).
Miss Luke Ford, How Grand You Can Be
Paul Barresi, unlicensed private investigator, writes:
Luke says: Isn't Mark Ebner, the author of Hollywood Interrupted, the same guy who wrote the Bagman article?
Paul Barresi responds:
Luke says: I didn't write those attacks on you that appeared on my site. I published the work of others.
Barresi critic, Happy St. Nick, writes back:
True Confession - White vs Black
Tristine Rainer writes in her book Your Life As Story:
Any culture that holds that having kids out of wedlock is a "passage to self-worth and maturity" is bad news to itself and to the wider culture. No wonder that illegitimacy rates in the black community approach 80%. No wonder that many non-blacks view blacks as animals. If you're going to reproduce like that, the wider culture has reason to view you as an animal because you clearly have no sense of self-discipline, family and morals.
Who pays for this "passage to self-worth and maturity"? The taxpayers who fund welfare in addition to the unfortunate children brought into the world without a family.
I think it is disgusting for the black community to blame its problems on white racism. The KKK does not force blacks to breed like this.
What do we call white people who breed like this? White trash.
I think it is disgusting that people -- white, black, or yellow -- have kids out of wedlock. It is disgusting for the illegitimate kids in particular to have to grow up without a stable family unit.
My Seventh Day Adventist Home Did Not Celebrate Christmas
Santa Monica. Sunset. Overlooking the beach.
"I read your blog and I went, 'Poor baby.' Did you celebrate holidays growing up?"
"No, my home did not even celebrate Christmas."
"I could tell by your blog. I wanted you to have a sense of the holiday season. Look at those lights. Aren't they spectacular?"
"Yes. Are we there yet?"
"Just another block. Did you ever get new pillows?"
"Yes. I'm miffed. I bought new pillows for $5 each and the stupid light blue pillowcases were $20 each. And you haven't even seen them.
"It reminds me of this girl who asked that I get an HIV test. I did. It cost $80. And she wouldn't go out with anymore. She wanted more romance from me than I could give. What a waste of $80."
"I think you might have more success with girls if you didn't put your pillows two feet away from the toilet."
"At least you don't have to walk too far when you get up in the night."
Lord of the Rings - Bad For The Jews
Skippy McButter writes:
1. It is an example of the sort of movies the goyim are capable of making. Not the sort of thing we want them thinking about, is it?
2. Gollum is obviously patterned after the Jew
3. The movie speaks of the "men of the west", but where does that leave the semite?
4. There are no nice people of color in this movie, always bad for the Jews.
This movie is just too damned aryan for my tastes.
A Satisfactory Ending
Luke says: "Jackie, you are awfully preoccupied with material things. My life is about things of the spirit, hence I don't need to have a material change to achieve a satisfactory climax."
A New Year's resolution for a better marriage
The closest I got to marriage was living with a woman in Orlando in 1993. She was visual and needed to see concrete demonstrations of my affection such as gifts. I'm word-oriented and I needed to hear things and read things to know that she cared. So I gave her what I wanted and she gave me what she wanted....and it was horrible. There's always hope for a relationship as long as the sex is good, but when that goes, and you keep misfiring with your tokens of affection, it's bad.
I spent three-and-a-half hours with a documentary film crew Sunday morning at my hovel. I can't tell you the details but they left some stuff behind. So the director, about 50 years old, returns Monday afternoon.
"That's my wife," he says, pointing to his car. It's a gorgeous 20-year old woman. He met her in Cuba. They've been together three years, married one. She doesn't ask him for anything. He's Jewish. She's Christian. She takes good care of him. She doesn't drink or smoke. She won't wear her bikini on the beach because she believes that only her husband should see her body. What a great deal.
I've known many guys who've spent time in Cuba in the past few years and met the most beautiful and feminine women who like to care for a man and don't cost too much.
Khunrum writes: One hates to be cynical but keep an eye on this story. Check in again in about a year. It's hard to keep 'em thinking like they are back on the farm after they've experienced LA. I'm willing to bet his loving wife will be driving his new car in her new bikini shortly and he'll be driving a "rent a wreck" with a broken heart.
Concluding My Memoir
I've been writing a memoir about my years 1995-2001 in Los Angeles.
I've made a new friend via the Net. I got him to read my memoir. I've been worried that my ending is bleak. I got that feedback from several people.
My new friend writes:
It's All About Me
I listened to the second hour of Dennis Prager's show. He discussed the death of Green Bay Packer quarterback Brett Favre's dad and whether Brett should play tonight in the big game. But the first couple of segments of the hour weren't about Favre at all -- they were about Dennis.
Does Dennis get right into the topic? No, first he had to take a dozen calls from around the country from people guessing which way DP would come down on the issue. Why? That was boring, self-aggrandizing and added nothing to the show. Yet DP does this all the time, just to revel in how unpredictable he is. I remember Prager doing it over a golfer who might leave a golf tournament to attend the birth of his baby.
I predicted DP's opinion then like now -- that the athlete has responsibilities to others in the sporting contest and should meet those responsibilities before his personal life.
I don't know any other talkshow host who so often takes calls guessing which way the host will come down on a particular topic.
Spoiling Heather MacDonald
Cathy Seipp Lands In London
LF.net London spy writes: "NO they're not here yet. Cathy's going to call me as soon as she can, after they get in. They should have landed at 8.15 but they have to get through passport control, etc. I won't see them till tomorrow. I'm fretting about what to wear, etc. Cathy is a harsh judge and I'm afraid of falling short of the glory of Seipp.
"I asked Cecile if she had something to read in order to help her wind down from the trip, and she replied that she brought a big Pushkin book with her. What a great kid.
"Cathy forgot to bring her London guide book with her. See what happens when you're not around to make sure everything goes according to plan? I sure hope she doesn't lose Cecile in London."
No Holiday Cards, Gifts From Luke
Unless I'm intimate with you, don't expect holiday cards or gifts. I've sent zero this year and it is going to stay that way until my personal status changes. Better to give than to receive sounds Christian.
Hot Chix Not Dying To Do Orthodox Judaism, Even With A Stud Like Me
Contrary to rumor, my exhaustive search of the Los Angeles singles scene has uncovered that hot vibrant chicks wearing hot tight pants over highly dubious morals are not dying to date guy who davens every day at an Orthodox shul, even if he has scandalous past.
Jackie writes: "Then they're not the women for you. You don't need to appeal to all women -- just the one who's right for you.
"Would you really want to be with a woman who thought God shouldn't be such a big priority? Maybe they say "too religious" because it's an easy out. I think, if anything, you're not religious enough. I think you have the potential to be truly pure, but worldly matters still cloud your view of the light at the end of the tunnel and -- as you say -- if you lived as you believe you should live, you'd have to turn your world upside down. The battle for your soul is still raging."
Why Can't I Stop At One?
I can be leading a perfectly sane day that began with a cold shower, a brisk walk to shul, heartfelt prayer and examination of my soul, study of this week's Torah portion, giving of charity, and then returning home to manfully put my shoulder to the plough, and as the hours go by, do work that is both helpful to humanity and conducive to my spiritual growth, and then all of a sudden...a woman calls, and I get swept away in a torrent of feeling...and then after 15 minutes, I realize I'm talking to a different woman than the one I pictured in my mind and I've been calling her the name of another woman and she hasn't noticed.
But here's my real problem - email. I find it impossible to restrain myself. If I get one single solitary lonely email from an attractive woman, I can't stop myself from replying four, six, ten times within ten minutes, pouring my pentup feelings and needs and concerns into her email box.
I'm intense. I'm nothing if not intense.
If I could just act less interested, I know I could be more successful with women. Now, where's that lithium bottle? I find there's nothing that calms me down more than a few grams of lith.
Fred writes: "Bob, you must make a deep impression on people."
Cindi writes: "So if i keep sending you e-mails, will you keep answering me? Like your funny story about obcessing about your female friends on line? I wish you would find the perfect girl.... But man, she would really be a one in a million shot. An innocent, yet intelligent Hasidic practicing kosher, yet liberal, and tortured soul, who believes that you are the divine guide to heaven, and can overlook your background. LOL Then of course she has to be really pretty, and rich. Wow! Needle in a haystack time."
Advice To A Young Man
Luke says: "Try to establish maximum rapport and getting them talking....turn it into a conversation, though one where they do 90% of the talking...and ask your questions based on things they've said, to show you're listening... and have written questions only as backups."
Dan replies: "Did you have use a release they had to sign before the interview? Did they require you to sign some sort of release?"
Luke says: "None of them asked me to sign a release... I asked them to sign one saying that I had the right to use their interview in my book on Hollywood and in articles and that they would not be paid for this. Keep it short, to a sentence, so they don't get nervous or confused. You really don't need one."
Here is what I had producers sign: "I give Luke Ford permission to quote from my interview with him in his forthcoming book on Hollywood and articles on the entertainment industry. I understand that I will not be compensated for this."
Cry Beloved Country
I had a nice cup of tea today with a Jewish white missy from South Africa. It was my first social outing since Saturday night.
Luke: "You must cry for your beloved country."
Missy: "In the 1980s at college, I took part in riots against apartheid (political system in South Africa until 1991 whereby the white minority controlled the dark majority). We taunted the police terribly.
"Nelson Mandela is a such a great man. It's a shame that he wasn't younger when he took power because the guy in charge now is an idiot."
Luke: "If only... If only Nelson had been younger. If only the present leader from ANC wasn't an idiot. A little less corruption here and there, and the whole country would be flourishing like the rest of the continent."
South Africa used to be a prosperous law-abiding country with excellent education and health care for all. Now the place has the worst criminal violence rates (including rape) in the world, and horrific rates of HIV transmission. The civil service and political system is corrupt, education and health care have fallen apart (except for the rich) and the place is falling apart.
Luke: "You remind me of those South Vietnamese I know who helped the communists come to power and then had to flee on the ocean on matchbox boats."
All I Want For Chanukkah
All I want for Chanukkah is peace in the Middle East and a --. What I got was the complete works of Socrates in the original Greek from Cathy Seipp. I'm truly the happiest Jew in LA.
Lukeford.net London Bureau Chief Jackie writes her Moral Leader: "I'm excited and nervous about Cathy and Cecile coming tomorrow. Any tips for handling these two formidable females? I've written down the "You're right" one on the palm of my hand. I'll have to take care not to wash it off for the next few days."
Luke says: Trust me, Jackie, they're easy. You guys will have a ball.
Cathy writes on her blog: "Obviously, he's still delirious with joy that I already got him an actual Hannukah present even though he didn't get me one."
Whadya mean Cathy? My every blog entry is my gift to you.
Luke Ford - Worst Web Journalism Of 2003
Two words Luke's found most effective to enhance his life.
Cathy Seipp's two favorite words to hear.
"Thought" and "care." Two values Luke most needs to add to his life.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
I've been sick since Saturday night and working at about 75% of productivity. As I rarely leave the hovel, that means I'm doing as much work as normal. The rest of my time, I read, listen to books on tape and watch movies and stuff.
I just checked out the second season of Sex in the City from the library. It's about these exotic Venusians -- four women (only one I'd ----, Charlotte, because she converted to Judaism in the final season) who support each other. It's so weird. Whenever they hear that one of them is in trouble, the other three say, "Is there anything I can do?"
My male friends and I aren't like that. But these women are constantly looking out for each other, cooking for each other, exchanging helpful advice. It's so weird.
I want to make this pledge in public and in writing: The only people who will ever receive flowers from me are women that I ----.
I haven't asked anyone to visit me while I've been sick. It's been ten years since I've asked for help (except to read my writing).
When I needed surgery on my broken wrist in the May of 1998, I walked three bloody miles to the Century City hospital and took a taxi home the next day. And when I felt down and lonely afterward, I visited a psychic.
Cathy Seipp writes: "You must be sick. You've gone back to that weird habit of titling emails "Luke.""
Name That Hovel
Saddam's or Luke's? Helpful writes: "It appears that Saddam's hut is of a much higher quality of adobe and what's that? A bed instead of a sleeping bag! Saddam's digs win hands down."
Khunrum writes: "But I don't see any sound system. How was Saddam getting his Barry Manilow and Air Supply tunes? Perhaps that was why he gave up without a fight. Bush promised to supply him with bubblegum music."
Luke Is In LoveDesperate for a girlfriend to kiss with his thick lips, Luke Ford is aggressively courting Canadian forensic science grad student Sarah Weinman. Little does Luke know, Canadians, the classiest and most civilized members of the Commonwealth, look down upon Australian men as crude, backward, uncultured, sports-obsessed, hard-drinking, sexist pigs.
But don't expect this knowledge to deter the rapidly aging and increasingly hopeless Luke Ford from pursuing beleaguered Sarah with his full-on Aussie charm. Sarah really shouldn't feel too special though. Luke combs the Internet daily looking for any mention of his name. If he finds a female admirer, or someone he thinks is a female admirer, he will bombard that person with emails.
When I started this site Luke, thinking that I was a girl, emailed me constantly for days on end demanding to know everything about me, asking for pictures, etc., etc. It was just gross. I know what this poor girl is now going through and I pity her greatly.
As a sign of just how desperate Luke is consider that Sarah merely described him as: not that weird, fascinating, confusing, headache-inducing and repulsive. Even including the last two comments, these are still the nicest things that a woman has said to him in many months. Emboldened Luke is already rapping to Sarah on her blog. Consider these efforts:
"I fear that I am one of those men who loves too much."
And then 7 minutes later (apparently disappointed he hadn't yet received a response) he tried:
"Hey Sarah, where are the photos of you? Do you have an autobiography on here? Do you like Air Supply?"
Does he really think this is going to work? I feel embarrassed for him. Luke is just pathetic, not to mention creepy. I would never behave this way. I guess it comes down to something called self-respect.
PS: Please visit my Commie Girl Fan Blog and look at my picture collection. Isn't Rebecca Schoenkopf cute?
What's The Difference Between An Egomaniac And A Narcissist?
Cathy Seipp explains: "I would say the chief difference is that a narcissist thinks about other people's opinions maybe a bit too much, since he depends on them to see the reflection of himself. And an egomaniac thinks about their opinions maybe not enough, and can be like a bull in a china shop with their feelings."
It Sucks To Be Single When You're Sick
I have no woman to care for me but at least I have my Orthodox Jewish community.
Jack writes: "If a hot woman wanted to date you while you have the flu, would you (and maybe get some comfort out of it), or would you insist on being your best?"
Luke: Nope, no dates while I'm like this.
Luke Ford Apologizes For Inappropriate Comment
LOS ANGELES, CA (AP) -- Lukeford.net president Luke Ford apologized Monday for using a derogatory term for gays in a heated exchange with Chaim Amalek about Dallas Cowboy quarterback Quincy Carter.
Ford was talking during Sunday's Cowboy vs Redskin game. After Carter fumbled for the third time, Luke uttered a slur against homosexuals, "F-----."
"Chaim made an inappropriate remark, and I reacted inappropriately," Ford said. "I said something I shouldn't have, which was wrong, and I apologize for that. And I apologize to anybody that I offended with that remark."
"What he said is demeaning and bigoted," Amalek told The Los Angeles Times. "Jeremy Shockey got in trouble for saying it about a coach [Bill Parcells], and now we have a president of a team making statements like that. It's totally unacceptable. I have gay friends, and I don't even joke around with them like that."
Dance For Luke
Rivkah writes: I had the weirdest dream, that a friend and I went to your hovel (except it was a nice, if sparsely-furnished, apartment), and you were getting ready to go visit Chaim Amalek. You told us that he was really a homeless guy, and that you had to go take him some supplies. Something very good had just happened in your life -- I think you had met your wife-to-be -- and you were REALLY happy, all smiles.
And then, for some reason, you asked my friend and I if we'd dance for you. She and I left, stopping at Dairy Queen for milkshakes.
Memo to Luke Ford
Monday, December 15.
# of calories consumed: 1350 v. good
Resolution: To live up to Orthodox Judaism in thought and deed. To stop touching women. To stop dating shiksas.
To be own man. To stop adopting other literary personas such as Bridget Jones and Chaim Amalek. To stop writing my own fan blog. Find girlfriend.
Khunrum writes: "Do those saps really have 136 minutes or recorded music available or are you just playing the same tune over and over? I read that when pulled from the 8 foot hole in his hovel Saddam was "dazed and disoriented" Do you think he was listening to Air Supply's Greatest Hits down there? Here we have the (former) leader of a big country living in a space smaller than Luke's."
Sarah Weinman (Ottawa grad student in forensic science) writes Luke: "No, you're not that weird, but please, please, stop channelling Bridget Jones. It really does not become you. I must admit, visiting Luke's site always leaves me in a state of repulsion, fascination, and confusion all at the same time. He's certainly a unique individual and somehow, somewhere, there must be a bashert for the guy. Having said that, I'm a bit surprised that he hasn't tried his luck with the Upper West Side meat market."
Am I Weird?
Sunday, December 14.
# of calories consumed: 860 v. good
Resolution: To not sulk about having no girlfriend, but develop inner poise and authority and sense of self as man of substance, complete without girlfriend, as best way to obtain girlfriend. (Bridget Jones Diary)
Usually within a minute of meeting a single woman, I'm wondering if I could marry her. If yes, then I can memorize her name and her phone number. If I can't memorize this information, it means that I don't want to marry her.
It's not that I start thinking about marriage on the first date. I start thinking about marriage within a few seconds of spotting a hot chick.
I think I've met about 500 women in my adult life that I wanted to marry. I fear the awful truth is that not one of those 500 would have me. Bummer.
I'm a romantic. I tend to impute significance to a glance, an email, a conversation, a roll in the sack, that is not really there.
At age 37, I have less fear of asking a woman for her phone number than ever before. But it still frightens me. I've frequently met women I wanted to date but I was too shy to ask.
I now believe that any woman who talks to you openly about her life is willing to date you and I feel comfortable asking for her number. If she won't open up, then no dice.
I Treat Flu With Healthy Dose Of Barry Manilow
I got a flu shot Tuesday and I got the flu Saturday night. Sunday I treated it with Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits ("You're lucky you didn't die," writes Smile), some prefabricated soups and aspirin. The Dallas Cowboys 27-0 victory cheered me to no end. I'm listening to a book on tape - The Accident Tourist. I loved that movie. I also ripped into a friend for publicly humiliating me at temple Friday night over my past.
This man walked over to me and said, "You were on 60 Minutes." He didn't remember what I was talking about. He just stood there and listened to my conversation for half an hour. I'm glad hot chicks didn't come up and throw themselves at me or I might not have been able to maintain my notoriously high moral standards due to my weakened physical condition.
Each time I get sick from now on, which is often, I'm going to try different treatments. Next up - Immanuel Kant's Critique Of Pure Reason. From there I will move to the Talmudic tractate Bava Metzia. After that, I'll order a massage from a hot blonde. I will keep you posted as to how they work out. I should be able to deduct all these expenses from my taxes.
I have a great fear of appearing needy. So if I emailed a woman that "what would cheer me up more than a bowl of chicken soup would be to get an email from you," I should be safe from the appearance of vulnerability, right, so long as she knew I was vegetarian?
I agree with Charles Murray's book on libertarianism. When the goverment provides, people fail to form responsible relationships and communities.
I belong to an Orthodox shul. We take care of each other. If there was less government and less taxation, we would assume greater care for each other and our ties would be even closer. People would form relationships and make commitments based more on values rather than temporary pleasures because their very lives would be at stake with who they chose.
Now it seems that most secular people date for fun.
Razor publisher Richard Botto may have unwittingly stumbled upon a new technique for boosting newsstand sales: antagonizing Scientologists. (Gruner + Jahr, take note.) Botto suspects that Scientologists in California and Florida have been buying up the last issue because it featured an unflattering article about the religion. “Our sales were up 8 to 10 percent over our next-best-selling issue,” he says, “and our reps report seeing people buying ten to twelve at a time.” Linda Hyte, director of media relations for the Church of Scientology, begs to differ: “The Scientologists as far as I know are not buying it up, but I can’t answer for what individual Scientologists do.” Not even Tom Cruise?
Will I ever be the same after Elli Krazler's concert Saturday night? The man is pure holiness. He's the Jewish Don McLean (American Pie). He's slight, bald and shines with Godliness.
The crowd numbered about 300 largely Orthodox Jews. I knew about half of them. I ran into an old acquaintance from a former shul of mine. "I see you're still hanging around," he says. About 30 months ago, he remarked to me: "I'll give you one thing -- you've got courage."
The MC was Dr. Mark Goldenberg who gave Elli a trophy crafted as a hand. "We at the OU (Orthodox Union, which puts its insignia on kosher food and drink) wanted to give you a whole hand because we know that many places you go, you only get a finger or two."
I remember a few years ago, Mark the Dentist said about the opening of a new soul food restaurant on Pico Blvd, "I hope the owners don't know something we don't know or real estate prices are going to be dropping in Beverlywood."
During the concert, women danced with women and men with men. I went shoulder to shoulder with pillars of the community. I saw about 30 Orthodox rabbis rocking out with Elli and the band (featuring a female violinist and five fellas). It was interesting seeing rabbis I've only seen dress formally dress in jeans tonight.
Orthodox Judaism fills a deep hole inside of me, so painfully deep I don't like to outline it.
I brought along with me a difficult but important book -- Wrestling With An Angel: Power, Morality, And Jewish Identity by Ehud Luz.
No Orthodox shul in Los Angeles, to the best of my knowledge, offers a Hebrew school (six hours of after-school Judaica for kids who go to public schools). Almost all Orthodox shuls in major urban centers expect parents to send their kids to Orthodox day schools.
Rabbi Joel & Aviva Tessler operate Beth Shalom in Potomac, MD. It has the only Orthodox Hebrew school I'm aware of.
Your Moral Leader says it is a waste of time, even worse, counter-productive, to send your kids to after-school Hebrew school. Send 'em to a Jewish day school.
Desperate For Attention
Dave Deutsch writes: Good god, Luke, I thought I was pathetically desperate for attention. I take a month break from writing to you while my apartment is being renovated, and no sooner do I stop showering you with e-mails than this "Luke Ford Fan Site" coincidentally begins. What do you think the chances are that when I get back into the habit of writing you two or three times a week that this blog disappears as quickly (and, let's face it, inexplicably) as it came. And don't think I haven't noticed the way you continue to bait me with references to Air Supply. For what it's worth, I did know this really hot Israeli lesbian in college with an equally hot Jewish girlfriend, who claimed that Air Supply was her favorite music for sapphic lovemaking (my words, not hers).
Oldies Bum Out My Friday Night Live Trip
I like to go to Friday Night Live on the second Friday night of every month. It's a service for Jews 21-39. What's bumming me out is that it is getting taken over by oldies. One old guy I see once passed out in my former synagogue and we had to call an ambulance for him. I fear one of these oldies will collapse any time in the middle of the service and that will disrupt my praying.
I find it hard to pray around two types of people -- oldies and youngies. I find it easy to pray in one type of situation -- where my life is on the line.
Rabbi David Wolpe is sorely missed from FNL but one good thing is that his replacement, Sherre Hirsch, a new mother, is blooming.
I've made friends with three Orthodox rabbis and I like to hang with them on Shabbos and talk about Torah and life.
Today I let slip my deep love for Abba and Air Supply. Rabbi A, a great Talmud scholar and strictly observant, loves Abba and Air Supply. When he was in yeshiva in Israel, his roommate played Abba and Air Supply albums.
I about fall off my seat. He's the only person who's shared my love for Air Supply.
Rabbi A asks me for my favorite Abba song. I say, "The Winner Takes It All." He recited some of the lyrics. Then he segued to "I'm All Out Of Love" by Air Supply. He doubted the Air Supply group lived up to the seven laws of the sons of Noah which Judaism expects from all humanity.
I recite the lyrics to "Every Woman in the World." Rabbi A says I know Air Supply like he knows Talmud.
Rabbi A says there's great mussar (moral teaching) in the old song by Kansas -- "Dust in the Wind."
As we walk along, I notice Rabbi B's shoelaces are untied. I get down and tie them for him.
"You're not going to get into the world to come for that," he says.
A year ago, Rabbi C told me I'd get into the world to come (despite my "bleeping") by virtue of my friendship with him, a great Torah scholar. I do research for him on the Net.
It's a great virtue in Judaism to hang out with Torah scholars and drink from their teachings. I like hanging out with scholars. I grew up on Seventh Day Adventist college campuses.
Beccalou Hits the Jackpot!Luke Ford Fan Blog is pleased to announce the winner of our "Be Luke Ford's Personal Assistant For a Day" contest. First we want to thank the 3.2 million people who sent in entries. We were overwhelmed by your response. Luke was especially surprised exclaiming, "Neato! I had no idea that I was so popular."
With such a deluge of entries we knew that no matter how many extra staff we hired, the sheer volume of all the email would have simply overwhelmed us. So we decided to throw out all entries that originated from a prison or psychiatric hospital. This left us with 173. Remarkably all these came from just one individual: Rebecca Schoenkopf. You may remember this name. Rebecca is the woman Luke asked out on a date a couple of weeks ago only to be humiliated by a flat refusal combined with an outburst of derisive laughter.
Perplexed we telephoned Ms Schoenkopf and requested an explanation. Rebecca said that she was only playing hard to get, and in fact had been secretly in love with Luke (Mr Ford as she insisted on calling him) for years, ever since his LukeFord.com days. "I'm really into guys who are very knowledgable about p__n," she said. We asked if there was anything else about Luke that interested her. She said, "You mean besides his full lips? Well, he's a blogger for one and bloggers are sexy. Let's be honest, there are a lot of creepy, obsessive, and just plain nutty guys on the Internet. But bloggers aren't anything like that. They're so mature and sophisticated." We were unconvinced by this point. We said, "You have a weekly column in a real magazine, surely this is more impressive than a blog? Any clown can start a blog and just make stuff up." Rebecca replied, "Yeah, I have a lame column in an alternative weekly read by a few thousand people, but Mr Ford is on the Internet where there are hundreds of millions of readers." We tried to explain that just because there are hundreds of millions of people on the Internet this doesn't mean that they all read Luke's blog. This point seemed to completely dumbfound poor, little (4' 8") Beccalou, so we decided to change the subject.
"How," we asked, "will you reconcile your loopy left-wing politics with Luke's more mature conservatism?" Rebecca replied, "After reading Mr Ford's site, and listening to the Dennis Prager radio show, I have come to the conclusion that the whole commie thing was a big mistake. Maybe 100,000,000 dead and billions of lives ruined weren't such trivial matters after all. Besides CPUSA meetings are a bad place to pick up guys. The average CPUSA member is 113, five for six years too old for me. I really couldn't stand listening to those old geezers going on about the labor theory of value, the falling rate of profit, the growing immiseration of the proletariat, etc., etc., for another f#cking nanosecond. Now that I'm no longer a commie I can stop re-reading Marx's Grundrisse der Kritik der politischen Ökonomie for the 10,000th time and spend more time studying Mr Ford's blog and listening to the Dennis Prager and Rush Limbaugh radio shows." "So you're a Rush Limbaugh fan, too?" we asked. "F#ck yeah! Although I prefer listening to Dennis, I have far more sexual fantasies about Rush. I have quite a thing for older, chubby, balding men like Rush and, of course, Mr Ford."
"How are you going to prepare for next Tuesday?" we inquired. "Well I'm going to get my hair colored blonde again and have hair extensions put in. I know Mr Ford prefers blondes with long hair because they seem more feminine to him for some reason, probably because he isn't very secure in his masculinity -- although I expect to do something about that!" At this point Rebecca said that she was getting too hot and bothered to talk anymore and needed to take a cold shower or she would faint, what with all the sexual excitement and all.
So we decided to phone Luke to confirm that he will go ahead with the contest, as we did allow him the chance to back out at the last moment if he didn't feel comfortable spending the day at his hovel/office/bedroom with the winner. Fortunately we found Luke bursting with excitement. He couldn't speak for long because he had to drop off his special black suit at the dry cleaner and then stop by the store and buy a new super-sized tube of Brylcreem. But Luke did express relief that we weren't going to stick him with some dude just released that morning from prison. We pointed out that we would never do something like that to our Luke! (Actually we had planned to do precisely this before we found out that it would have been too time consuming to go through all the contest entries from prison inmates.)
When we got back to Rebecca she was already packing. "Packing?" we asked, "Why do you need to pack? You're not moving in with Luke." She said, "Hey, I could get lucky! Besides I plan to camp out near Luke's office just to make sure I don't get caught in traffic Tuesday morning and end up missing any of my precious time with the wonderful Mr Ford."
Fortunately, both Rebecca and Luke agreed to take extensive notes during their time together. We will be analyzing these notes next week. Of course, sometimes these things can go terribly wrong. We were especially insistent to tell Rebecca that her expectations were perhaps unrealistically high. Luke is just a man, after all. Sure he is the self-proclaimed "Deon Sanders of lovers." But he is still just a man nonetheless. At this point, Rebecca was already out the front door with her sleeping bag, Air Supply Greatest Hits CD, dog-eared copy of Luke's autobiography, and her Luke Ford picture collection that she had carefully gathered from around the Internet, printed out and placed lovingly into a photo album to drool over.
Luke Ford Fan Blog wish both of you a enjoyable six (or more!) hours together.
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LAT's Tim Rutten Too Good To Answer Email, Admit Bias
"Confession of this sort may be good for the soul, as in the confessional, or for the psyche, as on the therapist's couch. There is no evidence that it's good for journalism — other than the Fox News variety, which holds that it isn't the existence of bias itself that's objectionable, but the expression of bias other than one's own."
So I emailed Tim Dec 10: "Are you able to admit you are on the left? That the LA Times is liberal? That most reporters for the LA Times vote Democratic? That all journalism profs at USC are left of center and most journalism profs across the US are left of center?"
Rutten was too lofty to answer my email.
Rutten has no objection about lying in his column to further his leftist beliefs. He makes up statistics (claiming the listening audience for right-wing talkshow hosts is more than 75% male without any factual basis).
Tim Rutten's a coward. Tim Rutten's a liar. Tim Rutten's a loser. And those are his good points. He's a fat old bore, a pompous windbag. He the cliche that there's no fool like an old fool.
I hate to make personal remarks but Rutten writes like he looks -- a pompous old man with an enormous gut who can barely get out of his chair to explore the wider world.
Joseph "Joyrides" Mailander writes:
From Luke's Sept 10 archive:
Boring Old Tim Rutten So Wrong He's Interesting
Dennis Prager described today's LA Times Tim Rutten's article as "surpassingly ignorant, wrong about everything...moronic...dumb... The type of article I'd hand out to demonstrate the shallowness of liberal thought."
Dennis points out:
* How does Rutten substantiate his claim that fewer than 25% of listeners to conservative talkshow hosts are women? I believe Tim Rutten told a lie. [Marty Kaplan has no idea where Rutten comes up with this stuff.] Rutten just hates the right wing so much he lies.
* Folks like Rutten and the leftist media are angry that there's a segment of the media, talkradio, that they cannot control, and people who have educations at leftist journalism schools (virtually all journalism programs are leftist).
* More men read newspapers than women.
* I bet my audience is half men, half women. I base that on my callers, emailers, letter writers, and the audiences where I speak.
* As for this gender gap. The news media harped on Reagen about it, but women ended up voting for him. This gap divides among married women and single women. Married women, particularly married women with kids, vote Republican. Single women, particularly single women with kids, vote Democratic. Single women, who don't have a man to look after them, look to the government to look after them.
* I bet the proportion of women reading The Nation, America's premiere leftwing weekly, is smaller than that of women listening to radio talkshows.
Proud Muslim Stands Tall At LA Weekly Party
I arrive at 7:30PM to the LA Weekly 25th anniversary party and I'm stunned by the number of attractive young women. The food and drink are free. There's a room with rocking bands.
The first familiar face I usually see at these things is author Mickey Kaus. Tonight is no exception. He's dressed in a suit and tie for the first time I remember. I guess he didn't want to be under-dressed at an alternative newspaper party where everyone is likely to be in tuxedos. Not quite. Mickey's the best dressed man of the night.
He saw me on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. He's a great person to talk journalism with.
I always thought New York Times Hollywood correspondent Bernard Weinbraub did a terrific job until I read Mickey's critiques. After them, and David Poland's (I've read the complete archives of Hot Button), my opinion of Weinraub's work was diminished.
Mickey's been opening my eyes for the 20 years I've read him.
Last month, Weinraub was caught plagiarizing a paragraph of mine that I'd pinched and barely rewritten from Jeanette Walls. I told Mickey what I told Jack Shafer of Slate.com -- that I thought the plagiarism was funny. I certainly don't harbor a grudge like National Journal did to a journalist at The New Republic a few years ago. I told Mickey and Jack that my condemning what Bernie did to me would be like one prostitute calling another hooker "a slut."
I thank Mickey for the thousands of extra readers I've had of late thanks to his frequent mention of me in his prestigious Slate.com column. It's enabled me to date entirely better class of woman. Thanks Mickey!
I spot a tall Muslim man wearing his Islamic headgear in regal fashion. I spot no Jews wearing yarmulkes or their fringes out. Nancy Rommelman asks me about my fringes and I lie that I tucked them in. The awful truth is, I wanted to assimilate with the goyim tonight, and not only did I skip my head covering, I left my fringes at home. I must be a self-hating Jew.
I suspect many secular Jews attended the LA Weekly party. They drank free booze like the goyim, ate trafe, and went home committed numerous acts of fornication, some of which are forbidden in the Bible belt.
J.D. Considine writes: "Luke -- It's "trayf," not "trafe." You shouldn't need to have Catholics writing in to correct such things. Maybe less time with the Talmud, more with the dictionary?"
My first substantial conversation is with an elegantly dressed man standing on the sidelines - author DJ Waldie. DJ is an expert in solitude. He's lived alone for more than 20 years. I've lived alone for seven years but it is not good for me to go a day without a substantial face to face interaction with someone I like. That's a big reason I try to go to shul every day. Not so much to talk to God, but to talk to Yechiel.
DJ is graceful in word and deed, a marked contrast to the bumbling way I proceed through life. He introduces me to nature writer Jenny Price who did a highly regarded piece on the Los Angeles river for the LA Weekly. She's finishing up a new book. The three of us talk about solitude.
Jenny piques my interest when I learn she's affiliated with the women's studies department at UCLA. I launch into a vivid description of my qualifications for studying women. She lets me know I'm on shaky ground. I proceed to detail my particular interest in hot chicks in their 20s.
She wonders what's wrong with a hot 40-year old? I say there's absolutely nothing wrong with one, and then I beat a hasty retreat.
I run into an acquaintance with my ex-girlfriend on his arm. I'm shocked. It's the first time I've seen her in months. My face turns various shades of red while my mouth opens and closes without making an articulate sound. Just as I'm about to pummel him into the next world, I realize this is not the Torah's way, so we shake hands instead.
Now I truly need a stiff drink. I grab a hot cup of camomile tea, which I refill eight times over the next three hours (same tea bag). My next social stops are with freelancer Nancy Rommelman and author Steve Oney.
Then I wander into the room with the loud band. I have no interest in the band. I do have an interest in some of those interested in the band -- hot young smart brunettes. I chat up one with a degree in brains (cognitive science) from UCLA. She loves techno music. I tell her how much I'm into Air Supply and Barry Manilow.
After I pick her off the floor, I try to be more conservative in my approach and simply ask her about herself.
We go to the bar so she can have another vodka tonic. It might've been the affect of my fifth Camomile tea, but I launch into a graphic description of my drive to Portland, Oregon two years ago and how I went more than five days without showering before going on a date with a mother I met that morning at shul.
Shortly thereafter, techno girl says goodbye.
I walk Nancy a couple of blocks to her car. She starts to jaywalk. I jerk her back to the curb and hiss, "There are police right there." There's a squad car next to us. They smile.
These streets (Ramparts near Wilshire Blvd, South View and 6th St) are scary. No place for a white man. As I drove into this third-world ethnic enclave, I had a nightmare about being forced to live here. Nancy and I avoid the homeless sleeping in the streets and bums hanging out on the corner, waiting to score another fix.
I'm so freaked that I have Nancy drive me back to the hotel.
I talk to an English poetess who calls me an enfante terrible. She says us Australians don't know how to treat a lady. I tell her I'm the bete noire of women's studies departments.
OC Weekly journalist Rebecca Schoepenkopf says hi. We've never met in person.
"Luke Ford," she says. I stare. I don't recognize her. My only picture of her does not reveal her face.
The music is loud and when she says her name, I don't understand. I ask her to repeat herself. She screams in my ear, "F--- you. It's Rebecca Schoepenkopf."
Now I understand. Her friend, a tall attractive brunette, is a woman I accidentally kicked earlier in the evening. No hard feelings.
How come it seems that everybody knows the author of the Luke Ford Fan Blog but me? Becca and Jackieblogs.com do. I thought Jackie was the author but it is a guy. I thought Luke Fan Blog was too sensitive to be rendered by someone with a -----.
I renew acquaintances with deputy LA Weekly editor Sharon and former New Times culture correspondent Ilana.
Adam Parfey is dressed in a gallant fashion with the perfect accoutrement - a young beautiful blonde on his arm, Tony. They appear deeply in love, or as deeply in love as the publisher of Feral House can be. I made some frank remark about Adam and Tony said that was more information than she wanted to know.
I chat with Wild Don Lewis, who took the photos for the January 28, 1999 New Times Los Angeles cover story on me. He's now into the modern incarnation of EST -- the Landmark Forum.
I leave before 11PM. Most of the crowd (which I estimate at 700 at peak) left by 10PM.