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New Play About Crown Heights Blames Jews for Deadly Riots
By ZACKARY SHOLEM BERGER
A play blaming Jews for the Crown Heights riots of 1991 has opened at a new theater on West 42nd Street that was built in part with a tax-exempt, multimillion-dollar city bond.
The play, called "Crown Heights," portrays the murder of chasidic scholar Yankel Rosenbaum as a tragic accident in a fight in which Jews threw the first punch. It is a production of the All Stars Project, Inc., one of a cluster of organizations connected to Lenora Fulani, a fringe political activist who has been accused of antisemitism, and to the self-described "social therapist" and alleged cult leader Fred Newman, her longtime political ally. Fulani, 53, is a co-founder of the All Stars Project. Newman, 68, is a co-author of the play and the artistic director of the Project's Castillo Theater.
The play begins with a video of interviews about the riots, mostly of Fulani and her associates, including her chauffeur and members of the All Stars Project staff. The clip presents Fulani herself as an arbitrator, calming blacks ready to take "defensive" measures against what she calls "chasidim throwing rocks and bottles."
Study: Most Self-Abuse Goes Unreported
BOULDER—According to a study released Tuesday by the University of Colorado sociology department, approximately 95 percent of self-abuse cases in the U.S. go unreported.
"As shocking as it may seem, unreported incidents of self-abuse number in the billions," said Dr. Henry Cracklin, director of the study. "This isn't just the plight of teenage boys and truck drivers. Self-abuse affects both genders and all ages. Nevertheless, a great majority of victims suffer the abuse in silence."
The study's results, obtained through five years of surveys and interviews, indicate that millions of Americans have publicly acknowledged involvement in a self-abusive relationship. Yet the study finds that unreported abuse victims comprise an alarming 87 percent of the female population and 99.6 percent of males.
"In many cases, the self-abuse occurs repeatedly over the course of a lifetime, with the victims believing themselves powerless to break the cycle of shame, embarrassment, and self-loving," Cracklin said. "The sad reality is that, if you know a man or woman between the ages of 12 and 80, you know a self-abuse victim."
When A Man Makes Demands On A Woman
J.M Coetzee writes:
Once upon a time, but our times, not olden times, there is a man, and he travels to a strange city for a job interview. From his hotel room, feeling restless, feeling in the mood for adventure, feeling who knows what, he telephones for a call girl. A girl arrives and spends time with him. He is free with her as he is not free with his wife; he makes certain demands on her.
The interview next day goes well. He is offered the job and accepts and in due course, in the story, moves to this city. Among the people in his new office, working as a secretary or a clerk or a telephonist, he recognizes the same girl, the call girl, and she recognizes him.
I love this premise. It reminds me of the movie Analyze This, where the mafia boss tells the shrink the reason he does not seek oral gratification from his wife: "That's the mouth that kisses my kids."
The story also reminds me of the work of Dr. Robert Stoller, the late UCLA psychiatrist who argued that sexual excitement demands the desire to objectify, degrade and sin.
Through Dr. Stoller's writings, I've come to understand the erotic devils that drive me. As a child, I experienced frustration at the hands of those I turned to for love and protection. As I aged, I constructed erotic scripts to convert my earlier painful experiences into fantasized triumphs.
I objectify women less these days. I think this is a big reason why marital sex is so dull. The two partners can no longer objectify each other. They are too real to each other.
I've rarely, if ever, found physical intimacy to end a friendship. Usually it enhances it, even after the sex stops.
I've never "made demands on a woman," and then met her afterwards and been embarrassed. There's no act that I desire that would reduce a woman in my eyes if she performed it.
There's not much sexual shame left in our age, which makes it harder to get excited.
Do you really believe marital sex is "so" dull? I can imagine that over time, both partners might have to work at it to keep it exciting. But it's hard for me to imagine it being that dull. In fact, the idea of making love to someone _without_ objectifying them sounds tantalizingly exotic at this point in life.
When two people marry, they become one flesh. I imagine marital sex as union with a person who is simultaneously a unique human being and a fulfillment of something that's missing from myself.
Judaism Is A Hardball Religion
I discussed LA Times correspondent Tracy Wilkinson with two Orthodox rabbis on Shabbos. They told me there's nothing wrong with praying for the death of those who consistently demean the Jewish state. I have not read enough of her work to say she does this but from what I've read, she does seem bizarrely anti-Israel.
Judaism is a hardball religion. There's nothing wrong with praying for the death of our enemies. In the book of Genesis, God destroys the whole world because it is doing evil. Later in the Torah, God commands the Israelites to commit genocide against the native inhabitants of Canaan because they are so evil. That's my scripture and that's my religion and that's how I view the world. Enemies of the Jews should die. I wish evil people to die.
My friend Yechiel Hoffman writes:
The oscar nominations are in and there are some pleasant surprises, some bewilderments and some serious guffaws.
-Acting: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Alec Baldwin, Charlize Theron, Dianne Keaton, Holly Hunter, Ken Watanabe, Renee Zellweger, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law all got the acting nods they were expecting.
- Directors: Peter Jackson, Clint Eastwood, Peter Weir and Sofia Copolla all got their expected nominations.
-Seabiscuit and Master and Commander were duly honored for best picture
-Lost in Translation got 4 noms, including 3 for Sofia Copolla (first American woman to ever get a directing nod) and for Bill Murray, but none for Scarlett
-City of God got nominated for Best Director, Screenplay, editing and cinematography (as one of my top three film of the year, this put a huge smile on my face :)
-Keisha Castle Hughes got a Best Actress for Whale Rider, making her one of the youngest ever to get a Lead actress nom
-Dirty Pretty Things got a screenplay nod.
-Johnny Depp got his first acting nomination.
-Dijmon Honsou and Samantha Morton got nominated for In America, which also got a best screenplay nod for the father and daughter team.
-Cold Mountain, although earning 7 noms, including nods for Jude Law and Renee, got none for Picture, director or actress.
-Samantha Morton, Marcia Gay Harden, Naomi Watts and Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog, first Iranian actress) got acting noms
-American Splendor got no acting nods, only a screenplay
-Lord of the Rings got no acting nods, and got 11 noms total, most ever for a film without an acting nod
-Sting, Annie Lennox, Elvis Costello got a song noms, but none for Eddie Veddar or Elton John, but then Michael McKeon got nominated for a song from Mighty Wind.
-Lord of the Rings did not get a cinematography nomination
-No directing nom for Gary Ross (but it went to City of God's director, so I'm happy)
-No Scarlett Johanson
-No Evan Rachel Wood
-NOTHING for Love Actually
-NOTHING for Big Fish, not Albert Finney, not makeup, not art direction, not special effects, not screenplay, NOTHING
I am sure there are other disappointments that I can't think of offhand, but overall there were more pleasant surprises than disappointments, so I am actually interested in watching this year. There were no blatant missteps, just too many good films.
Tommy Franks - Stand Up Comic
The man who directed the war to free Iraq cracked up a crowd of about 6000 Jews (85% Democratic by their claps). Tommy Franks unleashed joke after joke.
When asked his reaction to General Wesley Clark running for president, he said, "What a great country we live in."
The introductory speeches were two and not unbearable. University of Judaism speaker series organizer Gady Levy was funny and chair Dina Schecter was professional. The lighting was not flattering and her face on the big screen looked like it was covered with skin cancers.
Franks said he was a political independent and he voiced no partisan remarks. He urged people to get their information not only from the news media (which he criticized as inaccurate), but from people they knew who'd served in Iraq.
He gave his speech without notes, walking back and forth on the platform. He's the type of leader I'd jump over the trenches for.
He said that America's greatest strength was its diversity and gave many illustrations about the wonders of America's ethnic diversity.
At the desert reception afterwards for young professionals, I plunged into the sticky gooey sweets. They covered my face and hands as I tried to suavely check out the chicks. I'm not sure which appetite of mine is more enormous or gross.
If I had to choose between three custardy yummy deserts and talking to a hot young chick, which would I choose? I'd probably try to combine both and turn it into a sticky mess. In fact, what I'd really like to do is strictly prohibited by the Torah.
As I was walking in with two women from my improv class, one was talking about taking her first trip to Israel.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I interrupted. "Now where are our seats?"
Sometimes I can be a complete ass.
Two women I sent emails to about the John Stossel party Wednesday night started talking to each other and to me about whether they needed to RSVP. I had explicitly spelled out in my emails to them that they must RSVP for themselves. You can't do too much for women or they don't respect you.
Kevin Roderick writes on LAObserved.com:
The L.A. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is having an event on Wednesday with five local PIO's -- and it's not cheap. $22 for members ($25 non-members) for French wine and a menu of "baked brie, assorted cheeses, vegetables and meats" at the venerable Taix on Sunset in Echo Park.
The guests are David Campbell of the Coroner's office, District Attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons, Lt. Art Miller of LAPD media relations, Superior Court PIO Allan Parachini and Los Angeles City Fire PIO Capt. Bill Wick. Gibbons and Parachini were longtime reporters before going the public information officer route.
You'd wish the two main journalist groups in town could avoid scheduling events at the same time. That night, the Press Club is having its book party for ABC's John Stossel.
Old Duffer writes: Is the SPJ kidding? Charging members $22 to sit around and listen to a bunch of PIOs is a complete racket. Furthermore, if "professional journalists" need help contacting five of the most accessible PIOs in Los Angeles, perhaps it's time to think about a new career.
Joseph writes: What's the valet get at Citrine? It's $1.25 at Taix. And trust me--Bernard will be pouring good wine copiously at Taix for free, as he always does at such events, while you are paying trop cher cash bar prices for your sadassed dollops of gin at chi-chi-Citrine.
Shame on you, Kevin, for editorializing here, calling the SPJ's event not cheap. No one except the most miserable excuse for a toper could possibly get out of Citrine for less than fifty American.
Luke posts: I assure you us Jews will be getting out of Citrine for considerably less, Joseph. You drunken goyim. I'm willing to walk a mile to park for free. In fact, I did just that tonight. I parked on Ventura Blvd and walked to Universal City.
Lt. Holland and the WGA
Marla Singer writes: Charles Holland to Johnny Friendly in "On the Waterfront." The beauty of that film is that everybody knows that Friendly will not survive because he lacks all moral authority after Terry Malloy has stood up to him. Charles should step down. Look at this link to see what the military really feels about him.
J.F. Lawton writes Tyler Durden Inc:
Look, we didn't decide to make Charles President. The Guild's constitution did. Vicki resigned. We had no president. The Vice President became president. The end. Charles didn't ask to be president, we didn't nominate him to be president, he just became president because that's the rules that are written down. And we spent 15 hours or so trying to sort them out.
This theory that since Vicki wasn't a member and wasn't a legitimate candidate, and therefore Eric ran unopposed, is interesting, but doesn't hold water. I don't read our constitution that way and I can't think of any organization that would handle a situation in that way. People who lose elections, even flawed elections, don't get to win by default. When Nixon resigned, McGovern didn't get to take over. If Bush admitted he rigged Florida and resigned, we'd be stuck with Cheney. That's just the way it works, unfortunately. (I wish McGovern had taken over.)
And from a political standpoint, I don't see how our Guild is going to rally around someone who lost a tainted election because, as Eric states with brutal honesty, he was picked as someone who couldn't win. Now that would kind of be poetic justice, but I don't see how that will inspire the member's confidence.
Moreover, I know Eric himself realizes this. He has told me time and time again, and told others just last week, that he doesn't want to be president. He also told me, prior to the Soldier of Fortune bullshit, that he was fine with Charles being president. Now, it's okay if he's changed his mind, but this is what I told Charles and the Board.
Should we have a new election? Yes! When? Soon! During negotiations? Probably not. But this is something we've been trying to discuss with Eric and Ron but the Charles stuff is getting in the way. And even more important then when we have a new election is how that election is run. The first step is to come up with fair rules for electing our officers. That will do more for the Guild in the long run than anything else. And again, this fake scandal dug up on Charles is just delaying any real reform.
Eric should run in the next election. I hope he wins. I'll support him. I'd love to see a whole slate of radical members running for the Board. But they have to be elected by whatever rules we have. Let's work on reforming the rules.
Meanwhile, the Board has no power to install Eric as president. And I worry that what Eric and Ron accomplished by exposing the faults in the last election is being undermined by a debate on two decade old football scholarships. At some point members are just going to throw their hands up and say, "We don't care anymore." I think they're almost there.
We did violate the rules of fight club. You did.
And stop calling me Jonathan or my wife will kick your ass. J. F. Lawton
Actually, I do know a little bit about journalism. My father was newspaper reporter for many years. And I think I know enough to guess how responsible reporters working for serious publications will react to the substance of your e-mails regarding Guild affairs.
More importantly, you violated the first rule of Fight Club. Which is: Don't talk about Fight Club.
That could be forgiven, but you also violated the second rule of Fight Club. Which is: Don't talk about Fight Club.
But let's focus on the real issue, you clearly violated the third and most important rule of Fight Club. Which is: Don't talk about Fight Club.
Tyler Durden Inc responds:
Your point about your wife is great, and you should be commended for keeping a sense of humor about something during sticky times. And anyone who goes off and makes good indie flicks with Bill Maher should also be commended.
Let's ask a hypothetical question, and if anyone wants to respond, it would be most appreciated. what if Eric Hughes had beaten the incumbent, Vicky Riskin by one vote? After the election, it was discovered that Eric was not eligible to be on the ballot. Eric was then forced to resign as president. Do you think the Board would have voted to not have another election, and just put Charles in as president, and told Vicky, "too bad"?
P.S. the point of Tyler Durden Inc is not to help Eric and Ron. We believe in their cause, but we make no claims that Eric would be a better president than Vicky or Charles. However, we believe that the guild leadership has suffered from not being more forthcoming with the fact that Eric came in second to a disqualified candidate. It was a SERIOUS mistake to put out a press release stating that Charles would be president until the next officer election in 2005. A lot of problems would have avoided if the press release would have stated that Charles was president only until the 2003 presidential election was RESOLVED.
FYI: not everyone at Tyler Durden Inc believe that John McLean is a bad executive director. There is a sharp difference of opinion on this. Some believe that he is a brilliant negotiator and it is not his job to manage the staff. Some believe that he should not be blamed for all the communication problems at the guild. but the fact is this: the hq is so damn quiet because something is amiss. But some in Tyler Durden Inc believe that it is the job of the exec director at the WGA West to be a more public presence, and as long as he is perceived to be a backroom manipulator and not a leader, he's not doing his job, and his feet will be held to the fire. Is John being judged unfairly on the latter matter compared to Brian Walton? Maybe.
The whole point of Tyler Durden is that Tyler Durden never existed. But the people around his mythology do, and, like those in Chuck's book and the film, believe in the principles that a small cell of committed activists can make a difference. This cell of Tyler Durden will disband, sooner or later. Our power is not in numbers, but in the idea we represent. You can't have an above ground Tyler Durden Inc. Be that as it may, we did violate the rules of fight club. Maybe the next Tyler Durden Inc cell will do things differently when it comes to issues with the largest writers group in the world. Time will tell.
"Final thoughts" from: Tyler Durden Inc. to:
J.F. Lawton and the Writers Guild Board of Directors
Once again, J.F. Lawton has walked the walk. We at Tyler Durden Inc. salute him for taking the time to answer our questions, complaints, etc. Though we may disagree with some of his statements, we give him a warrior's respect for laying it on the line.
This is the last anonymous communique from Tyler Durden Inc. We've done all we could in light of tonight's Board meeting. After today, we will leave our rebel hideout. Our forces will either have to go public with the Dept. of Labor, join the fight with Eric or Ron, or retreat, regroup, and come back from a different direction on another day.
Lets go over J.F.'s (we must respect his request for his nome de guerre being his nome de plume) replies to our last set of questions.
1. On the hypothetical question of what if Eric had beaten Victoria by one vote, we must take J.F.'s response at face value.
2. Both Tyler Durden Inc and J.F. are in agreement that Lt. Holland is the temporary president of the WGA West until the election debacle is resolved. But what about this comment from J.F.? "When Nixon resigned, McGovern didn't get to take over. If Bush admitted he rigged Florida and resigned, we'd be stuck with Cheney. That's just the way it works, unfortunately. " J.F., Nixon resigned in August 1974, almost two years after the 1972 elections. He didn't resign over an election dispute. If Bush admitted he (allegedly) rigged the 2000 Florida vote count while the election was being disputed, Al Gore would be president.
Ron Parker filed his complaint with the Dept of Labor almost immediately after the Sept. 19 election in which Victoria was elected. The Sept. 19 election is still in dispute. Somebody at the Guild was responsible for putting out disinformation that Lt. Holland was going to be president (remember his "that is that"?) until Sept. 2005. Do you think Lt. Holland's statement was lost on federal investigators who would love to get a notch on their belts via a high profile investigation?
3. You bring up a very valid point. If Eric Hughes doesn't want to be president of the WGA, he shouldn't be president. Period. Eric has communicated to our splinter group through back channels that he has reconsidered the statement he gave to you previously. Bottom line: the board and Eric need to be on the same page before tonight's Board meeting.
4. The "Soldier of Fortune" bullshit getting in the way of resolving the election dispute J.F., according to the board, there was no election dispute after 1/6. Lt. Holland was president until the 9/05 offficer elections. Eric Hughes and Ron Parker were just a pain in the butt that wouldn't go away.
Here are two facts: the WGA West is run like the Kremlin. Information and disinformation is brilliantly controlled. If the L.A. Times hadn't communicated information to WGA disenfranchised members on 1/5, Victoria would have never had to resign on 1/6.
If the L.A. Times hadn't looked into Lt. Holland's fake resume on 1/17, Tyler Durden Inc would have never been born on 1/15. (yes, we knew the Times story was coming before we wrote our first manifesto).
J.F., how many times do people have to tell Board members that the two things a man who wants to hold a trusted position doesn't do is fake atheletic accomplisments at the major college level and lie about his military record? When Lt. Holland was caught in the lies, he made up more lies on both counts. We are glad that this issue is being addressed now before negotiations start. What if the studios had leaked out this information about Lt. Holland's fake resume when we had hit a wall in negotiations? (believe us, the moment that Lt. Holland installed himself as maximum leader, the Soldier of Fortune story was sent everywhere by a Vietnam combat vet.)
According to today's L.A. Times, some Board members don't care if Lt. Holland tells lies about these things. Well, he could lie all he wanted as long as he doesn't call himself president. Mike Cimino always lied about being "attached to a Green Beret unit" when he was making "Deer Hunter." Turns out he was in a National Guard unit who had only seen real Green Berets during six weeks of basic training in Texas while in a chow line (see Steven Bach's "Final Cut"). And all the lies that Cimino told about his military experience and other b.s. came back to haunt him on "Heaven's Gate."
We at Tyler Durden Inc don't want to see Lt. Holland's lies come back to haunt the 7600 members of the WGA West. At the end of the day, somebody at the Guild made a huge mistake when they questioned the integrity of James Bates on the 1/17 story, because he and his cohort Mike Cieply really stuck it to us today.
At the bottom of their story about tonight's Board meeting, they write that SAG/AFTRA is now the de facto collective bargaining unit that sets pattern bargaining. Why? Because they are feared! According to the L.A. Times, the studio bosses fear SAG's ability to shut down the industry. After all these years of the WGA being the bad guys who fight for the best deal and set the patterns for bargaining for the rest of the town, the WGA is left on the sidelines waiting for the real negotiators at SAG to do the dirty work.
Today's L.A Times story says it all and it posits some sticky questions? Will the WGA membership ever be told how each INDIVIDUAL board member votes tonight on the demands of Eric and Ron? In the old days when we had an open union, each matter voted on by the board was broken down by how the board representives individually voted.
We demand a return to that accountability, starting tonight. Will Lt. Holland's verbatim explanation tonight for his bizarre statements be available to members? J.F., we need someone like the George Kennedy character in "Cool Hand Luke." In that movie, George pounds the shit out of the title character played by Paul Newman. But Cool Hand Luke wins a moral victory by refusing to give up in a lopsided fight. The George Kennedy character recognizes that Cool Hand Luke is a serious threat to the shotcaller's top position in the chain gang. So in the next scene, the George Kennedy character makes an alliance with the guy he just beat the shit out of. Why? Because the George Kennedy character recognizes that an alliance is necessary.
J.F., we at Tyler Durden Inc appoint you to be the Guild's George Kennedy. Help the Board make an alliance with Eric and Ron, instead of fighting them. Eric and Ron, through their ability to withstand the lopsided shitkickings this guild has given them for the last 10 months, are now the moral leaders of this guild. Don't make them martyrs. Make them confederates in changing this guild. And that is that. Respectfully, Tyler Durden Inc.
WGA Moves to Resolve Concerns
From LATimes.com 1/26/04:
Bedeviled by unexpected plot twists, the union representing Hollywood TV and film scribes is trying to write an ending to its leadership problems as studio contract talks near.
The board of the Writers Guild of America, West, is scheduled to meet today to discuss complaints that it mishandled the removal of Victoria Riskin as guild president this month. Riskin resigned after an independent hearing officer ruled that she hadn't done enough writing to be eligible to run for reelection in September.
The board also is expected to discuss with the new president, Charles Holland, a recent article in which The Times said it found public records that were at odds with his assertions that he served as an elite Green Beret military intelligence officer and attended college on a football scholarship.
"Whether he is telling the truth or not, my own feeling is I will respect what he has to say to us about it," board member Lisa Seidman said.
Seidman added that she isn't especially bothered by the discrepancies: "We're storytellers. It's what we do for a living."
A Sentimental Journey
I've been in the grip of a compulsion to reconnect with ex-girlfriends over the few days. None of them seem to bear me ill will. None of them are surprised I'm still living in my hovel. None of them are surprised I'm on several anti-depressants. They're curious if it affects my functioning. I wouldn't know.
None of them are surprised I'm not married with kids and all of them are surprised at my confidence that I will one day. None are surprised I still drive my crappy van and that I've yet to achieve professional success. None are surprised my hair looked greasy on 60 Minutes. None are surprised I was interviewed on the show.
One remembers me as "Sweet Luke."
None are surprised I'm struggling with the exact faults that doomed my first book. As Publishers Weekly put it in February 1999: “no coherence… no climax… disregard for narration… rambling defensive discussion… fails to shape it into a readable story…”
Continuity. Description. Narrative drive. Connection. One scene leading to another. Spine. These are the virtues my memoir and life lack.
I call a friend who's watching the Golden Globes. "You've reached a new low," I say. "They have no meaning."
Friend: "As opposed to which award ceremony you believe has meaning?"
Luke: "Good point."
I'd called him lost in downtown Los Angeles Sunday night, no place for a white man. I was looking for Union Station. I'd left my Thomas Guide at home.
I eventually pulled over at Office Depot and asked some Japanese tourists for directions, which they provided precisely.
Cathy Seipp writes: "Why were you going to Union Station? They do have a really good restaurant that I love. Cecile and I almost went there after the opera Sat aft but we went to Hop Li instead, and although we did get stuck in the Chinese New Yr traffic, it was fun seeing the dragon parade. By the way, we walk around downtown all the time and no one bothers us. Maybe only white men get scared downtown, not white women."
Random thought: Mickey Kaus and John Kerry -- separated at birth?
Cathy writes: You mean all this time you haven't been updating your blog from the loony bin?
Debbie thought you looked cute in the underwear picture.
Luke wonders: Maybe I should be a Calvin Klein model.
Moxie says: I promise not to say anything embarrassing Wednesday night at the John Stossel party.
That was YOU in the underwear picture? I thought it was some PhotoShop joke! You need to ditch the briefs and get on the boxer brief bandwagon of hotness. No one looks sexy in those monstrosities.
If you want to surprise all your ex-girlfriends, you should go to some improverished nation and buy yourself a fertile bride. I bet none of them will have guessed you'd go to such lengths. The question is, which nation? Avoid Eastern European girls (all the hot ones have boyfriends in the Russian mafia) and go for a REALLY poor place, because the girls who have the least are willing to do the most for next to nothing. I think I read in InStyle that Iraq is the hot new breeding ground for such women, though I suspect many of them are not Jewish or open to conversion.
Church was short and sweet. There were eight of us, we sat in a semi-circle and sang some songs, had a reading and said some prayers. Everyone grilled me on why I decided to come to their church in the first place.
"Visit www-dot-lukeford-dot-net," I said enigmatically, "and all will be revealed."
"That guy's a total freak," one of the deacons replied. "He's even pushing free balling on his site now."
"Yeah, www-dot-lukeford-dot-com is a lot better," his wife agreed.
Okay, only the first three sentences of this message are true. BUT: "free balling" is gross. Boxer briefs all the way, boxers in a pinch. Y-fronts and commando are equally creepy.
He Aims! He Shoots! Yes!!
Neil Strauss writes in the New York Times:
Researching a book proposed by an editor, I allowed myself to be taken under the wings of the greatest self-proclaimed pickup artists in the world and entered an underground subculture of men dedicated — sometimes to an unhealthy extreme — to figuring out the mystery of the opposite sex. For lack of a better term, they refer to themselves simply as "the community."
For most, entry into this cultlike cross between self-help group and locker room begins on the Internet. Type "seduction" or "how to meet women" into a search, and you will find hundreds of sites trying to part you from your money. But the lucky few, able to wade through enticements to "meet models now," may find one of the free Usenet groups, Internet mailing lists or message boards where hundreds of men labor day and night to turn the art of seduction into an exact science. From New York to London to Croatia — places my reporting took me — many of these men meet off line in groups known as lairs to discuss tactics and techniques before going out to bars and clubs to put their theories to practice.
It is a world with its own jargon (A.F.C., for example, denotes an Average Frustrated Chump, P.U.A. a Pickup Artist) and luminaries known by pseudonyms like Mystery, Juggler and Formhandle. Those who manage to earn the respect of their peers through online postings or real-world prowess can make money writing e-books or running workshops. This has given birth to a seduction industry marketed almost entirely through online newsgroups and mailing lists. Some have turned it into a full-time career with six-figure incomes, others into a lucrative sideline allowing them to collect a few thousand dollars here and there.
Herbal, Moderator, The Austin Society, writes on FastSeduction.com:
Mystery, Style, the photographer and I went out to the Standard a couple weeks ago for the NYT story. It was just another night, but it was misrepresented in the article so I thought I'd tell what really happened.
You can't really tell in the picture, but the girl is gorgeous... a 9+. Her friend was also a 9+, and Mystery couldn't decide which he wanted (I wasn't part of this sarge).
So he games them both, and at the end of the night the one in the picture gets swarmed by guys who are trying to give her their cards and when she refuses they say stuff like "It was my hair, wasn't it?!".
Mystery stands there and watches and she says something like "You've earned my number". He says "Who says I want it?". Eventually she gives it to him anyway.
That night he comes home and starts saying how he thinks he wants her friend more. Then he can't decide, but he's like "Well, it will be an experiment", and decides to try for the friend.
He calls her up, she's happy to hear from him, and they chat for 20 minutes. Then he drops the bomb and says "you know, I was really attracted to your friend. If it's ok with you I'd like to have her number and get to know her". Of course she got mad, wouldn't give it to him and then changed her story later for the quote.
I guess "Well, I really like him, he called me and said he liked my friend more" wasn't something she wanted in the NY Times.
The Magnificent Bastard from Magnificent Bastard Productions writes on alt.seduction.fast:
I know that a lot of you guys don't do well with the ladies. Some of you would even have trouble getting a desperate secretary in the bar at a loser hangout like TGI Friday's to talk to you.......and you *know* she's there looking to get some action.....yet she'd ignore you at all costs.
Why do you think that is?
Ok, first of all, appearance is *everything*. Don't listen to people who tell you that attitude is the most important thing you have going for you. That's wrong. Period.
If you roll up into a decent club (or even, God forbid, someplace like TGI Friday's) wearing wrinkled Dockers, a faded polo shirt and some scuffed brown shoes you bought at Payless, you will *not* be getting any play. The ladies will either ignore you or perhaps even openly mock and ridicule you.
Here are a few tips you should follow -
* Buy several nice shirts from someplace like seize sur vingt or Frank Rostrom Shirtmakers. Wear them with two buttons unbuttoned and *never* with an undershirt.
* Buy a few pairs of decent jeans, Diesel, Evisu, etc. spend at least $150 per pair.
* Get some nice pants, Jil Sander, DKNY for men, Armani, etc. Black, charcoal gray and navy are your best bets.
* Dope ass shades. Don't actually *wear* them in the club, push them on top of your head, 100% pure playa style.
* Get a nice money clip and make sure it is always full. You don't actually have to spend a lot of money to attract the hotties, but showing that you have the money gets them interested.
* Drop at least a G on a nice watch.
* Don't roll up smelling like cheap cologne - that move is for geeks.
* Lose the plaid boxers and the tighty whities - free ball only.
* Get some nice shoes and keep them shined. Allen Edmonds, Cable & Co., Cole Haan, etc.
* Get on the VIP list at some hot clubs.
If you follow the above advice and are not knee deep in hotties within 2 weeks, then something is catastrophically wrong.
Disclaimer - above advice may not compensate for ugly face, total lack of game, poor hygiene or morbid obesity.
Who's Your Moral Leader?
I spotted a Jewish woman being naughty today. So I threw her over my lap and spanked her bottom while yelling, "Who's your moral leader?" Soon after, the men in white came to take away. I'm updating my blog from the loony bin.
Communique #4 from Tyler Durden Inc. "A New Dawn"
The sound you hear, brothers and sisters of the Writers Guild of America, West, is the sound of mattresses being stacked. Deadbolts locked. Gasoline being poured into generators. On the roof of Guild Headquarters across from Farmers Market, snipers crouch in their nests.
At 4:30 pm on Monday, Jan. 26, Operation Last Stand at the Writers Guild commences. That's when the ruling junta of the WGA West board of directors and what remains of its loyalist staff will hunker down in the Guild boardroom for its monthly meeting.
Temporary president Lt. Charles Holland will be in full camo, promising airstrikes from his old war buddies at the Pentagon. Guild lawyers will be handing out revised constitutions that explain why everything that appears to be against the rules really isn't. Pictures of L.A. Times reporters Jim Bates and Micheal Cieply will be passed around to be urinated on.
Then the room will grow silent as the sergeant at arms opens an envelope containing demands. The ones from Guild presidential contender Eric Hughes and his campaign manager, Ron Hughes.
Snickers will fill the room as copies are distributed. Count on at least three board members ceremoniously ripping the demands in two. One board member will strike an aikido stance and cry, "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT FEDERAL LAWS!"
Calls for Lt. Holland not to resign will reverberate down Fairfax. Someone will holler, "We either hang together or hang separately!!!" Lt. Holland will stand at attention as he hums the national anthem, then command, "Find that stupid puff journalist who wrote that I was in Special Forces. What I meant was I was in special delivery!"
A Guild p.r. spokesperson will distribute the press release that will, once and for all, explain why Lt. Holland played football under another name at the University of Illinois, and how the student whose name was "borrowed" by Lt. Holland was approached by Lt. Holland in Lt. Holland's sophomore year and told, "I have been playing under your name for two years. I've hurt my shoulder and lost my scholarship. By order of the CIA, you are to appear tomorrow in the locker room and begin playing wide receiver. If anyone asks why you look nothing like me, just tell 'im it's classified."
"No problem," the p.r. release will detail Lt. Holland's charge as replying. "I've always dreamed of catching lots of passes and playing pro ball."
If it all sounds like a nightmare, it's a bummer dream brought on by the Guild itself, and this board knows it.
Last spring, somebody asked Eric Hughes to step into the election ring without telling him the fix was in. When he smelled a rat, others covered for his opponent. Then they marginalized him as a longhaired freak. Called him and his campaign manager Ron Parker crazy. Then the union bosses shut down the information flow that would shed light on the whole black op.
Parker and Hughes fought back after Hughes got rolled in the election. They won the battle, but lost the war when the guild board slammed in Lt. Holland as "president until the next officer election in 2005." The press release should have stated, "president until this whole election scam is sorted out and signed off on."
The board will have to deal with these facts on Jan. 26:
When SAG had an election this year that was well promoted, the union got a 47 per cent eligible-voter turnout.
Five years ago, the WGA West got a 36 per cent eligible voter-turnout in its bod elections.
On Sept. 19, 2003, the WGA West got an 18 per cent voter turnout. All three officer incumbents were re-elected. The eight open board slots were filled by four incumbents, three former members of the board, and one newcomer, Elias Davis, who joined the guild in 1964 (elias, you're in great shape, ol boy).
Eric Hughes and Ron Parker, the crazy men, said the Guild had disenfranchised 6000 members so that the 1500 members who didn't have anything else to do but follow a buried election would keep the same people in power.
Is Hughes crazy, as Lt. Holland called him on Sept. 3 at "Meet the Candidates" night?
Hughes is so crazy, he's got the one thing you don't want to go up against in a negotiation: leverage.
When the board shut out those 6000 members, most of them young, those members had no one to give information to but Hughes. And Hughes listened.
When board members inferred that writers from the L.A. Times were a bunch of biased hacks, writers at the best-known paper west of the Hudson River had no one to talk to but Hughes. And Hughes talked.
When guild bosses stepped on staff members in an effort to ensure silence before the investigations, the staffers had no one to go to except Hughes. And Hughes took notes. Meanwhile, board members wonder why Lt. Holland, who looked like John Rambo a week ago, is staggering around the Hoboken docks sounding like Johnny Friendly at the end of "On the Waterfront."
Be that as it may, Jan.26 is going to be Day One in the new history of the Writers Guild of America West; a new beginning in the 70 year history of this outfit. And it will commence when one board member stands up amid all the whining and blame-shifting and says, "We fucked up. Why don't we try to fix it?"
Brothers and sisters of the Writers Guild, maybe you want Lt. Charles Holland as your president. Fine. He's a talented writer and a smart, personable man who's worked had for the guild for years. Whether he's a secret soldier for the government, a student of magic realism, or he and another board member are suffering from folie a deux (that's where one person keeps telling the same delusion to another enough times that they both start to believe it), doesn't matter. If Lt. Holland is your man, tell the BOD.
Lt. Holland may have a reasonable explanation to the allegations he made in the now- infamous Sept. 2002 story in Written By entitled "soldier of fortune." (available now only at http://www.lukeford.net)
If there's a run-off election, he should have a chance to offer those explanations as a candidate.
But if there's no run-off election, then Eric Hughes should be voted in as president by the BOD on Jan. 26. But if you feel differently, brothers and sisters, tell the BOD. Some are saying that if Lt. Holland is not up to offering an explanation for what's gone on in the past week, then he should not be re-appointed vice-president to serve under Hughes. If you feel that way, tell the BOD.
Bottom line: Eric Hughes and Ron Parker have too much information about what's dirty at the WGAW to be messed with on Jan. 26. The board should find out what they want and try to make a deal as quickly as possible.
And if you too feel that way, brothers and sisters, tell the BOD.
But whether you're for Lt. Holland or against him, Eric Hughes or against him, of if you think there should be a different choice than those two, the question you have to ask yourselves is this: why is the Guild power structure so afraid of two screenwriters, Hughes and Parker, who do not a have a history of violence, union radicalism, or even body odor?
Is it because Hughes and Parker walked by a window shade, opened it, and let some light in the room? And suddenly all the dirt that had gathered in the Guild in the last five years was visible?
The Guild is dirty. It's going to come out. And anyone who thinks otherwise believes in the sort of doublespeak that sounds like this: "The president wasn't supposed to run in the election, but there was nothing wrong with the election. You don't have to have another presidential election or even put the only other eligible candidate in office. Put whomever in the job you want, and if, anyone asks anything about it, ignore them."
Right now, many members are understandably in a state of denial. Many writers are used to being told what to do, or being told to give away ownership to property that's rightfully theirs. They are isolated from the world outside of showbiz, and can't understand why hundreds of military veterans are calling the L.A. Times angry about what they read in the paper on Jan. 17. They don't know why a University of Illinois football player is wondering how the hell Lt. Holland says he got his identity, and why some of those passes he thought he caught were actually caught by Lt. Holland.
Some members just want to have a union that collects the P&H, runs a great legal services department, and chases folks late on residuals. Let somebody else do the dirty work of actually picking leaders that will oversee the machine.
If you do nothing from now until Monday at 4:30, you deserve whatever you get from the Writers Guild of America, West.
But if you're tired of what you've read about in the newspapers, you've got to ACT. If you believe in this message, pass it along to twenty of your Guild friends. Tell them to pass it along to twenty more of their friends. And you've got to keep pasting the email addresses of the board of directors in the "to" box. And you've got to tell them what YOU want.
If you don't like this message, send something else to the bod.
No one else can do it for you.
Attn: receipients: You may receive other communiqués from other Tyler Durdens. That's a good thing, because Tyler Durden, as we all know, never did exist. He is just an idea, a principle, a dream. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and history is written by the winners.
We at Tyler Durden Inc believe in the power of the writer. We salute all the members of the board and the officers who have worked so tirelessly on a volunteer basis. We salute the members of the staff who desperately want to be allowed a chance to contribute to writers' causes.
We believe that Victoria Riskin deserves formal recognition for all the work she did for the Guild. (If she qualifies, she should have yet another chance to run for president.)
We do not support the reported actions of Lt. Holland, but we support his efforts to clear his name, and offer our humble apologies if there is an explanation for his behavior. And we welcome the new dawn of Day One, January 26, 2004.
"There are two things to remember about revolution: We are going to get our asses kicked, and we are going to win." Fahizah
When ego-googling goes wrong
Cathy Seipp writes:
All writers google their own names, and it's amazing the weird little things you find when you're really in procrastination mode and are making your way through, say, the 24th page of results. And it served me write for wasting time, too, when the other day I came across some guy's blog -- he seems to be a college student in Chicago, and why he should follow the picayune insults and inside jokes Luke Ford and I regularly trade is beyond me -- but anyway, he thinks that "Luke Ford totally rocks!" and went on to say this:
My only suggestion to Luke is to stop busting his balls over Cathy Seipp, who really looks like a classic Jewish dyke of a certain age, and get in touch with little Jewish princess Moxie.
Isn't that outrageous? And ridiculous too, the way people assume Moxie's Jewish.
Ladies Never Move
From Paul Johnson's new book Art:
"Ladies," said Lord Curzon, instructing his new American wife in the ritual of English sexual congress, "never move."
Cathy Seipp writes:
Luke, how would I know? Obviously I'm no lady. Ask your new girlfriend Heather MacDonald.
Well let's just make sure that it's clear all insults from me are directed at you and not Heather, because of course YOU are the one that deserves them!
I've never had sex because my religion forbids it outside of marriage (though if I did, I'd like to have it with a certain senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and I don't mean Myron Magnet, even though he is rather attractive in that bear-and-cub way with those incredible sideburns). But I'm curious if my more experienced readers could tell me if Lord Curzon is as right about sex as he is about imperialism.
Amy Alkon writes: "Dear Luke, You never cease to amaze (or amuse). I think this is a phenomenon peculiar to the English and, I guess, the Australians. An old friend, Cristopher Jelly (English), sung the praises of "femmes semi-frigides," as he called them -- women half dead. The good thing is (I guess), as you age, and if you date aging women, you're more likely to find women to simply just lay there!"
Getting Together With Heather MacDonald
Skippy McButter, my Log Cabin Republican friend and man about town in Manhattan, writes:
I've become a huge fan of Heather M. You should get together with her. She is, in my humble opinion, the smartest human being ever to grace your site. Certainly the most articulate. Which is why I regard it as a crime against nature that she has no children of her own. You should knock her up.
But she's an atheist.
Shoot, law schools have become the crematoria of the genes of some of the best women. That's why I favor affirmative action programs to open up law schools to the duskier peoples of the world.
The best thing that could happen to the white race would be to exclude white women from law and business schools in favor of blacks and hispanics. This would force white women into a healthy state of dependence on white men, who in turn would have less competition in the world of business. This is what is known as "Thinking like a Jew."
Well, what I really want to see is that footage of Heather learning to waterski in the Idaho family movie from the 1960s.
Nasty. You risk alienating her. Very nasty.
She'll love it.
Why would any woman love that?
I want you to ask Heather to stop beating around the bush and address this question: Are black people as smart as white people?
Great. Charles Murray got kicked out of the Manhattan Institue for answering that question in THE BELL CURVE.
Isn't it a shame that someone as smart as her has no kids, when every time you turn on the news you can see some moron woman with four kids who is under 24?
A sane government would ban all white women from graduate education until they first had a few kids.
Why shouldn't the police arrest dangerous illegal aliens on sight?
Heather MacDonald writes in the LA Times Monday a condensed version of her earlier article for City Journal:
Some of the most dangerous thugs preying on immigrant communities in Los Angeles are in this country illegally. Yet the Los Angeles Police Department cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status.
95% of all outstanding warrants for homicide in Los Angeles (which total more than 1,200) are for illegal aliens, according to officers. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (which total 17,000) are for illegal aliens. The leadership of the Columbia Li'l Cycos gang, which has used murder and racketeering to control the drug market around MacArthur Park, was about 60% illegal aliens in 2002, says a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted them in 2002.
The Diversity Taboo
Heather MacDonald writes in the Weekly Standard:
The real missing data from the Justice diversity study are these: In 2002, only 29 black applicants were qualified without a racial boost for a top-ten law school (from which the elite branches of the Justice Department recruit), compared with 4,500 college seniors nationwide, as Jonathan Kay has reported in Commentary. The situation was identical a decade ago: Only 24 black applicants met the academic requirements for the top 10 percent of law schools in 1991, according to Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom. Naturally, those schools were not about to let the lack of preparedness among minority applicants stand in the way of demonstrating the schools' high-minded embrace of racial balance. They admitted 420 blacks to their first-year classes anyway, thus ensuring that nearly all would start out with a disadvantage compared with their white and Asian peers.
The results of such racial double standards are predictable: Over a fifth of affirmative-action law students from the 1991 cohort, for example, dropped out. With few exceptions, black students post grades near the bottom of their class. As a result, almost none qualify for law review. The bar exam failure rate for affirmative-action beneficiaries is far higher than for merit-based admits. Nearly a third of the 1991 quota admits failed after three attempts, a rate seven times that of whites, according to the Thernstroms.
The racial charade requires that law-school administrators express deep puzzlement about such facts, even though their own admissions policies produced the disparity.
The Struggle For Writers Guild West
Johnathan F. Lawton (Under Siege, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death) writes:
Tyler Durden Inc.,
As someone who supported Eric Hughes for President, and encouraged the Board to take Ron Parkers complaints about the election seriously, your recent e-mail is not helpful to their cause. I strongly believe in election reform, and I believe the Guild has other serious problems that Eric Hughes and Ron Parker have highlighted, but your tactics and tone only endanger any steps the Guild might make toward reform.
Contrary to your interpretation, it was clear to me that the Los Angeles Times tried to dig up dirt on Charles Holland and found none. Yes, his resume sounds too good to be true, and guess what? The Times found it was true. He did graduate from Harvard with a law degree, he was a VP of Business Affairs at Fox, he does have a very successful television writing/producing track record, and yes he was an officer in the United States Military with an unblemished public record of service to his country.
Having failed to find any real dirt on Charles Holland, the reporter did manage to create questions about his aborted football career and tried to use this to smear him. Let me be blunt: I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT WHETHER CHARLES HOLLAND PLAYED FOOTBALL. Unless he wants to be quarterback of our flag football team, and then I'll ask him about it. As far as the Special Forces thing, I likewise don't give a shit. His public military career, as detailed by the Times, seems more than respectable to me.
Yes, the Soldier of Fortune article was a silly puff piece. So why are you upset it was pulled from the website? Because now that Mr. Holland is president he doesn't want puff pieces about himself on the website? I say, Bravo.
If being made to look silly in a puff piece is a crime, you'd better launch a campaign to get me off the Board. I can think of several puff pieces about me that still make my teeth hurt. Frankly, there are far too many puff pieces in our Guild publications, many worse than the one about Mr. Holland, and I'll love to see them all removed from our websites. If you want to the Guild to raise the level of discussion in our publications, you have my whole hearted support.
And if you think Eric Hughes has a legitimate claim on the presidency, lets debate that. In accepting Mr. Holland as president after Vicki Riskin's resignation, the Board voted to follow the advice of Professor Gould (Mr. Holland was not allowed to vote). I welcome members questions about why we did this. (I personally asked Eric Hughes what he felt about the issue, and he told me he would support Professor Gould's recommendations. Now, Eric might have changed his mind, but I relayed his thoughts to the Board before they voted to accept Gould's opinion.) But any claim Eric Hughes might make on the presidency has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not every statement attributed to Charles Holland in an article printed two years ago can be proven to your satisfaction.
And if you're truly concerned about honesty and integrity, it is cowardly to hide behind the name of a film character and to claim masses of unnamed supporters.
Tyler Durden Inc replies:
From Tyler Durden Inc: Communique #3
Thank you for coming forward, Jonathan Lawton. The points you make are illuminating. And since the Writers Guild of America, WEST has shut down the major means of communication in the 21st century - an organization's web site (see "Soldier of Forturne" at www.wga.org, and if you can't find it there, try www.lukeford.net.) - your willingness to come forward via an email is quite helpful.
We will try to deal with your allegations in the order of importance.
1. Why are we anonymous at Tyler Durden Inc? Good question. Many of our members are TV writers. If you check in with the Dept. of Labor, you will see that one of the problems the guild is about to face are questions why so many employers (TV producers) run a guild that is supposed to represent employees. You created a show called "VIP." You are an employer. Expounding from your board seat doesn't cost you any money, and you get to hang with the studio bosses during negotiations.
Someone who challenges your authority per the Charles Holland debacle is just asking for economic ruin with show runners and the studio bosses, who would love to have Charles Holland "representing" the Guild during negotiations. The leaders of Tyler Durden Inc can't ask the rank and file in our group to give up money for a cause they might lose. They will not, however, give up their honor, thus we have joined together. And the leaders of Tyler Durden Inc will fight to protect the idenity of their members until the time the members wish to reveal it. If that makes us cowards, point taken. (In fact, please put this "coward" claim in the minutes of the next board meeting. By the way, where can members see the board meeting minutes?)
2. Why would James Bates "try to dig up dirt" on Charles Holland? Charles is not exactly a big target. Bates spends his time going after the big fish: Columbia Pictures on the "Heidi" debacle, Parretti on Credit Lyonais, Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna on the Carolco/Cinergi securities/Terminator scams. All Charles had to do was be honest with Bates, and the Charles Holland story would have been three graphs on page 8. It was Charles who turned the Bates story into a front page one.
And two more words for you, Mr. Lawton: Resume fraud. Outside of Hollywood, people care about that stuff.
Let's deal with Charles Holland's claim that he played football under an assumed name at the University of Illinois. What reporter wouldn't go after that claim with a hammer? Have you ever tried to play football at the Big Ten level, Jonathan? The problem with Charles' claim for anyone who's ever hung around the type of animal who goes through the hell of getting a scholarship at a Big Ten school is that, after awhile, they look pretty damn hard. Charles is not a Big Ten football player, and his response when cornered by Mr. Bates speaks volumes about Mr. Holland's character. If you put Charles Holland and Jeff Katzenberg in a room and close the door, our money is on Katzenberg to kick Holland's ass in a contract negotiation, and a fight to the death. And Katzenberg can do it with two pom poms in his hands.
Yes, Charles Holland was an officer in the National Guard. Good for him. But in the "Soldier of Fortune" story in the Guild's own magazine, paid for with member money, Charles makes claims that go far beyond the pale of what a National Guardsman did between the years of 1980 and 1983. Bates made every effort in his Times investigation to give Charles a chance to explain the claims he made in "Soldier of Fortune," and Charles is now hiding behind the skirts of the Guild's p.r. personnel. Jonathan, just like some real Hollywood tough guys got pissed off when your friend Steven Seagal talked all sorts of smack about his martial arts ability (did you ever see the photo of Steven pissing is his pants as a real martial artist squeezed his guts out?), sooner or later, Charles Holland is going to have a reckoning with someone who actually had to pay the dues necessary to fight with the7th Special Forces outfit. Bet on it. And while we're on this subject, if the members paid the costs of the puff piece on Charles that caused on all this ruckus, why were they not asked if they wanted the puff piece taken off the web site they pay for? You're a board member, Jonathan. Why don't you call the Guild web site and demand the "Soldier of Fortune story be posted again? Charles says the story is accurate, according to the Times. Do you know something Charles doesn't? (and for the record, your attack on the Guild's in-house publication is an insult to Richard Stayton, the editor who has been forced to "dumb down" the publication by his union bosses. My advice to you, Jonathan, is to apologize to Richard before you meet him in the dark of night. You wouldn't be the first member to underestimate the character of Richard.)
And one last note on the subject of journalism. Most fiction writers know jack shit about nonfiction writing, and vice versa. What you know about journalism, Jonathan, couldn't fit into one of Pamela Anderson's silicone sacs.
As far as the work of Tyler Durden Inc not helping the efforts of Eric Hughes, we don't work for Eric Hughes. If Eric drops dead tomorrow, our fight will go on with the type of union bosses who are now running the guild. Eric is a big boy, and we'll let him speak for himself when it comes to whom he wants to help him. But know this: if the union bosses can't make a fair deal with Eric on Jan. 27, (the day after the next board meeting) we are ready to go to the Dept. of Labor and demand an election within three weeks of today's date.
We want to have an open election if Eric and the board can't make a deal. Believe it or not, there are thousands of Guild members, both active and retired, who don't think Charles has the character to be our president. We have a candidate that we feel can beat Charles in a fair fight if Eric throws in the towel (and who could blame him?) A fight overseen by the Dept. of Labor. And bet on this: if Charles has to run in a fair fight, all these issues that the L.A. Times investigated are going to be on the agenda.
The report prepared for Gould speaks for itself. Gould was a paid contractor hired by the Guild. His conclusion was that Vicky Riskin wasn't supposed to be on the ballot. As reported by Dave McNary in Variety, the Riskin eligibility issue was an open wound for months. How she dealt with it has been well reported. Bottom line, she didn't want to do the work of a writer until Gould was looking into the whole matter. (I would love to have Vicky continue her work with the Guild. Despite her Imelda Marcos tendencies, she tried to do the right thing for writers and worked her ass off full-time)
Gould took the money and got out of town. Smart guy. The bottom line is that the Guild still has to prepare a written response to Ron Parker's Oct. 6 claim, which it hasn't as this is written. 30 days from the time the written response is submitted, the dept. of labor has to make a decision if it's going to investigate the Guild. Why don't you put that on the web site, Jonathan? And why isn't Ron Parker's original complaint available to members? It might put the Gould report in some sort of CONTEXT.
Let's make this real simple: let's have an open board of directors meeting on Jan. 26 in a public meeting place. Invite all the members to come. Make no matters "confidential." Give each member in the audience two minutes to speak. The L.A. City Council has been doing it for years without the instituion coming to a screeching halt.
And in the spirit of Tyler Durden, let's have a fight club that night BEFORE the bod meeting, if the bod meeting is open to the members in a public place. We will provide one member of Tyler Durden Inc to take on you, Jonathan (don't you claim to know martial arts?) and "ex-special forces" member Charles Holland. One rank and file member against two chest-beating tough union bosses (one who says he's a combat veteran). In fact, you can bring on every member of the bod who was responsible for rigging the last election that Vicky Riskin "won." (but, please, Jonathan, don't send out Irma Kalish to do the fighing for you.)
It's gonna be a tough fight, but it will be a fair and open one. Whaddya say, Jonathan? You know how to reach us.
The Erotic Horror Of Don Glut
According to the Imdb.com, Don Glut (pronounced GLOOT) was born in Pecos, Texas, February 19, 1944:
As a teenager in Chicago, [Don] Glut began making amateur horror and fantasy films. Although never commercially released, they became cult hits by word-of-mouth, and influential among future genre figures. Years later, filmmaker John Carpenter said, "For a long time, I wanted to be Don Glut."
Was a longtime comic book writer, doing stories for such characters as Vampirella, Captain America, and Kull.
Was in a mid-Sixties rock band called Penny Arcade, who had a record produced by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees.
I chat by phone 1/19/04 with the writer-director of such movies as Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood, The Mummy's Kiss, The Erotic Rites Of Countess Dracula, The Vampire Hunters Club and Dinosaur Valley Girls.
Don: "The Mummy's Kiss has played almost every week on Cinemax since the first of October and the end of the year. We've just finished Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood..."
Don: "I know. It's a subtle title. That will be followed by a sequel to The Mummy film -- The Mummy's Kiss: Second Dynasty. I'm just trying to raise money now."
Luke: "So you have a special deal with Cinemax?"
Don: "We have a company that represents us that sells movies to domestic television. They put it on pay-per-view first. When it's run its course, they put it on Cinemax or some other pay-per-view channel."
Luke: "What's Son of Tor and I Was A Teenage Vampire?"
Don: "I've been trying to get those off of Imdb.com for years and it's just impossible. Those are two of 41 amateur movies I made as a kid in my backyard and in the basement and other 'locations'."
Luke: "What did your parents do for a living?"
Don: "My father died when I was a baby in World War II. I never knew him. My mother had various jobs. Mostly she worked as a typist."
Luke: "What were you expected to be?"
Don: "The rest of my family, not my mother, expected me to be something respectable like doctor or priest. My mother never discouraged crazy whims. As a kid, I wanted to be all kinds of things - paleontologist, make-up artist, movie director, cartoonist, ventriloquist, magician. Anything that was not working a 9-5 job. I got proficient in a lot of those things. When we'd plan our vacations, I'd talk her into going to some place with dinosaur museums.
"The real celebrity in our family, who is also out here, is a limo driver. He's my cousin. The reason he's a celebrity is that he 'gets to drive the movie stars around.' That I can hire the movie stars has nothing to do with anything. Most of my family don't have a clue as to what I do. I once tried explaining to an uncle -- in fact, that limo driver's father -- about a book I'd written. My name was on the cover. And all he could figure out was that I was an apprentice printer and I printed the book.
"It's not just my family. Most of the people I know in Chicago don't seem to understand pursuing your dreams. Their attitude is that at age 18 you give that stuff up. You have a family and you settle down and get a real job. Anything that you may have had an interest in, be it acting or art or music or sports, are considered childish and you flush them down the toilet."
Luke: "Do you ever consider they may be right?"
Don: "If I ever took them seriously, I'd go crazy. These are dreams I've had since I was nine years old. I've followed my bliss (mythologist Joseph Campbell). If you don't, you're going to hate your job and look forward to when your job ends. I look forward to when my job begins. When it's over, then it's depressing."
Luke: "Have you considered that by pursuing your dreams this has cost you the ability to marry and have children?"
Don: "No. I was married. We didn't have children. I believe that everybody has a creative urge. Some people satisfy that urge through having children. Some people satisfy that urge through their work. They create things, like books, movies and music.
"When you lead a freelance life like I do, where your income is unpredictable, it's not fair to have children. You're obligated to support that child. You can't say, 'We have to eat less this week because daddy didn't make a sale. You can't have new clothes like the other kids because we're on hiatus.' It's difficult to have a regular family life and to be in this business. Just the hours alone. Sometimes you can work for 24 hours or you can be home for half a year or longer. That puts a big strain on any kind of relationship or family life."
Luke: "What about the constant exposure to beautiful women?"
Don: "That's another thing that can jeopardize a marriage. My wife would get jealous because when I dropped my script off at the animation studio, all the women working there were pretty. I was and still am constantly in contact with attractive women. That can put a lot of suspicion in the mind of your spouse whether you're cheating on her or not. And I wasn't.
"I've always had beautiful girlfriends since I was a teenager. I was in the rockn'roll business. I was in all these businesses where you would meet a lot of pretty women (except when I was entering my teen years). I've never had a problem meeting women. It's difficult for me to be focused on one person all the time. My eye is always wandering. It makes a monogamous, structured, traditional relationship hard for me. Sometimes I miss that I won't have heirs but if I were married again, with kids, there'd be problems. I eliminate those problems before they happen."
Luke: "What part of your job do you find most meaningful?"
Don: "That I can go into a project with a completely polished entity in my head. I can see it. I can hear it. I can smell it. Then going through that whole process of seeing it come together step by step. Six months afterwards, you pop that DVD in, and it comes out looking like what you had in mind from the beginning."
Luke: "For how long will you be able to find meaning in making erotic horror films?"
Don: "I don't consider them meaningful except that we do them better than anybody else. The competition is crap, made by cynical people who crank them out. We're doing quality. I'd rather make big budget mainstream movies. Everybody would. But I'm realistic. There's such a thing as ageism. When you reach a certain age, unless you are firmly entrenched in mainstream Hollywood, you are not going to get in. When I realized this, I then had to decide which route I was going to take. Did I want to make movies? Yes. Did I want to make movies that were going to be profitable? Yes. I look at this as a business. I know our movies are going to sell.
"We have a huge audience. To be honest, I don't know who they are. I don't know the demographics. I assume they're male. I know I can deliver to them a product they will buy. They're fun to make. I can shoot them in a short time. I wish I had the luxury of a week or two weeks. We usually shoot them in about five days. I like working under pressure. I even like it sometimes when I have to throw out five pages of script and improvise something on the spot because the sun is going down or a prop hasn't been made or an actor hasn't shown up.
"I'm not trying to make films that will win awards or save the world."
Luke: "How much do you consider yourself a part of Hollywood culture?"
Don: "I am part of the Hollywood subculture, the underground. There are two businesses in Hollywood - mainstream movies released by studios, TV shows. And then there are the independents. The independent world is a different world. We work by a different set of rules. The small amounts of money we work with. Resumes don't mean anything to me unless you are one of two main actors I need to sell my movie.
"One of the pleasures of being an independent is that I don't have to answer to some 25-year old guy in an office who's never heard of Humphrey Bogart. I'm limited only by our budgets. I write the scripts. I have almost total creative control. I have friends in high places in Hollywood, Academy Award-winning directors and producers who are dying for work. It's hard for them to work because they're perceived as too old. I don't have to worry about that. I am also the producer and I hire myself. I don't have to worry about someone foisting their girlfriend on me to be the leading lady.
"Aside from it being nearly impossible for me to get a job in mainstream Hollywood because of my age, I am in a position, because we're making nonunion films, to give a lot of actors work who would otherwise never work. Many of these actors are friends of mine. I feel good giving someone who doesn't have a screen credit in a starring or costarring role. You can't do that when you're in the mainstream. I can take an extra and give him lines and a screen credit."
Luke: "Has anyone bounced from appearing in one of your films to a much bigger film?"
Don: "Our movies are so low budget that almost everything is a bigger movie. Not that I can think of."
Luke: "When do you hit the age barrier in Hollywood?"
Don: "Around 35. That's for everybody - writers, actors. My neighbor for many years was Catherine Hicks (born 8/6/51) of the TV show 7th Heaven. She was in her thirties then. She came over once in tears. She said, 'I think my career is over.' What do you mean? 'For ingenue types, they want people in their twenties. For all the parts I'm the correct age to play, people like Meryl Streep are getting. I think my career is over.' Then she got 7th Heaven."
Luke: "What's the best movie you've made?"
Don: "The current one -- Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood. We did it cheaper, quicker and better. The reason it is better is that I had the most creative control on this one. On the others, one of my two business partners got a little too involved in the creative end, doing second unit direction, putting his input into the script. In almost every case, it was wrong. In this movie, more than any other we've done so far, accurately reflects the vision I had going in. In the other three films, there are things in there I don't like and were out of my hands. On this one, because we couldn't afford a second camera and a second unit, I got to direct everything."
Luke: "What do you hate about your work?"
Don: "One thing -- raising money. I'm not a businessman and I have no interest in business. I'm a creative person solely. It's difficult for me to raise money. I can't talk the language of business. My sources for money are limited. They're mostly blue collar workers from Chicago. Most of them don't understand movies and they don't get the big picture. They don't understand that if they make good money on one movie, they can also put their money into another movie. They don't understand trends."
Luke: "How do your family and friends in Chicago react to your movies?"
Don: "Most of my family really don't know what I do and haven't seen or even expressed an interest in seeing my work. They can't relate to it. They can't understand it. Or, they think it is a passing fad that might go away some day when I grow up. Most of my friends look at me as an oddball, a kook, a joke. 'Look at Don. He can't grow up.' I ignore that. I look ten or twenty years younger than any of them. They hate what they do and they're not passionate about their work. They look like old people and they talk like old people. They can't wait until they retire because they hate their work so much. I love what I do so much that I want to die working. I'm happiest when I'm working."
Luke: "How many siblings do you have?"
Don: "I was an only child, not a spoiled one -- at least, that's my perception. As I get older, I miss not having brothers and sisters. My mother just turned 86. When she dies, my immediate family is entirely gone. As you get older, you realize that the memories you used to be able to share with people, none of those people are around any more. Those memories are only your own."
Luke: "Are you working on a memoir?"
Don: "No. I've done a lot of things in the last five years that have been semi-autobiographical. I wrote books such as Jurassic Classics and The Frankenstein Archive. In both of those books, there's a lot of background material on me growing up. Somebody just did a website for me completely devoted to all the amateur movies I made as a teenager. It's the most detailed and self-indulgent website you've ever seen. It spurred me to go through a lot of old memories. I've got a CD coming out of music recorded in the late sixties when I was in a band. I wrote a booklet for that, going back to my memories of my hippy days."
Luke: "Any reactions to your work that surprise you?"
Don: "Prominent directors like Randal Kaiser and John Landis say they can't believe I made my movies for so little money in such little time. When we were shooting the last one, a grip walked by the monitor, and said, 'This looks just like a Hammer film.' That was my intent. To make it look just like a Hammer film from the 1960s and 1970s."
The Trouble With Islam
Second hour. Dennis Prager's guest is Irshad Manji who's published a book, The Trouble With Islam. She claims to be an observant Muslim but is on thin ice with many of her coreligionists for many reasons. I do not believe she observes Islam's laws of modesty. She says she does not observe Islam's laws of ritualized prayer. She says she's an active lesbian.
I think it is incredibly arrogant for someone who cannot write or speak Arabic to write a book on the religion whose sacred texts are written in Arabic. I would never dream to write a book "The Trouble With Judaism" if I were not literate in its sacred texts written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Yet Irshad feels no compunction about pontificating on Islam based on English translations of the Koran.
I would not be pleased by an avowed lesbian who does not read Hebrew who pontificates on Judaism.
From Publishers Weekly: Islam is "on very thin ice" with one follower, Canadian broadcaster Manji. Her book will be an unsettling read for most of her fellow Muslims, although they may find themselves agreeing with many points. She describes how childhood days spent at her local mosque left her perplexed and irritated; she complains that the Middle East conflict has consumed Muslim minds. She highlights several grievances many Muslims probably share: what she casts as Saudi Arabia's disproportional and destructive influence on Islam, how the hijab, or veil, has become a litmus test for a Muslim woman's faithfulness, and the need to question the accuracy of hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad). The exclusion of women from Muslim leadership is criticized as well. However, Manji's arguments would be better taken-and easier to follow-if not accompanied by an unceasing list of Islam's misdeeds. Manji often chooses the most controversial Koranic passages (rarely providing current scholarship for a more accurate reading of key verses), and her treatment of Islamic history is selective. She mistakes the negative fan mail she receives from Muslims who have seen her on television for the views of all Muslims, and lambastes those who present a sympathetic view of Islam, including the late scholar Edward Said. The writing, though energetic, is unfocused, with personal stories that are sometimes confusing. Although the book raises important points, Manji's angry tone and disjointed writing may obscure some of the valid questions she asks of Islam and Muslims.
God Loves You
I call my Jewish friend.
Luke: "God loves you!"
Fred cracks up. "But you don't. That's the sad part."
Is Luke Ford Sexy?
I had lunch with Cathy Seipp today. She informed me that the Luke Ford Fan Blog was defunct. She knew that there would be no further updates.
I know Cathy is a great investigative reporter, so it was only with a sense of sadness that I surfed over to the defunct site and found it very much alive.
Here's the latest from the number one Luke Ford Fan Blog:
Reading Cathy Seipp's
published comments on Luke Ford
, one can't help but notice that almost without exception she remarks on his supposed good looks. For example, in an UPI column printed in the Washington Times, Ms Seipp observes
: "Luke always looks handsome and neatly dressed, often in a stylish black suit."
In private email correspondence with me, Ms Seipp has claimed that she finds Mr Ford "hot," "very attractive," "drop-dead gorgeous," and "irresistibly sexy" -- along with other favorable comments far too bawdy to reprint on a family website.
Please carefully study this picture
and make up your own minds.
Here is a list of opthamologists with offices in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles:
Loren Lee Denler, MD
Richard D Pesavento, MD
Julia W Valdez, MD
John Patrick Barter,
Thomas James Dickinson, MD
MD Cheung-Sing Wan, MD
The WGA Charles Holland Controversy
We at Tyler Durden Inc thank Luke Ford for his support in our fight to unseat a corrupt leadership at the WGA West. We hereby grant Mr. Ford the exclusive right to print our email address in the hopes that the power of the Internet will drive out those who wish to prey upon the life of a screenwriter, and, at the same time, pull together those who believe that all writers deserve above-board representation, including members of the Writers Guild of America, west. disclaimer: we at tylerdurdeninc have no quarrel with the leadership of the Writers Guild of America East in New York, a separate organization from the WGA West. email@example.com
Chaim Amalek writes:
I am the semiofficial biographer/interpreter of Luke Ford in all his forms, and have written a number of screenplays that history demands be purchased by Hollywood. To that end, I need an agent to help me hawk my work. Do you know of any in New York (I live on the Upper West Side) or California who are approachable?
Chaim Amalek (writing on behalf of himself as well as Cindy Plenum, Reverend Peter Luther Christian, The Tough Jewish Chick, Jechu Prospect, and others known to Mr. Ford)
Rabbi invents prayer for porn-surfing Jews
An Israeli rabbi has invented a prayer to help Jews overcome the guilt of visiting pornographic websites.
The benediction by Shlomo Eliahu says: "Please God, help me cleanse the computer of viruses and evil photographs which disturb and ruin my work..., so that I shall be able to cleanse myself (of sin)."
Mr Eliahu said he had seen a marked increase in the number of men who had come to him to confess their internet sins. The callers said they were worried that the time they were spending surfing for porn was ruining their family lives, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth reports.
The rabbi recommends that Jews recite the prayer when they log on, or even programme it to flash up on their computer screens so they are spiritually covered whether they enter a dodgy site intentionally or by mistake.
Let's Pray For WGA President Charles Holland
Emily from Fox writes:
Thank you Mr. Ford for posting the information about Charles Holland. I found the Los Angeles Times story on Charles fascinating, and I'm glad you published the incredibily insipid magazine story that got all this rolling.
Charles is a very nice guy, but he is also a troubled man. I know this from working with him years ago at Fox. He just can't seem to tell the truth when he gets in a pressure situation, and never has been able to. The idea that he played football at a major college under another player's name is just insane. Did he think the man from the L.A. Times was some amateur who was going to go with whatever explanation Charles came up with?
And as far as the bizarre explanation he gives for not coming clean on his military record, it's pretty obvious he's not playing with a full deck. I agree with the people at Tyler Durden Inc who think the WGA should pay for Charles' professional counseling. The WGA has put him in a situation where he is obviously crying out for help.
If I were to do a psychological profile of Charles, I would focus on his tendency to race from a very high, and unrealistic, opinion of himself, to the depths of self-loathing. In a crisis, he might hurt himself when he goes into the abyss.
From the reporting in the L.A. Times story, Charles fits the classic profile of a man headed for the abyss. I just hope the people at the Writers Guild help Charles through this crisis after he is forced to quit. (I'm assuming the Writers Guild has the decency to get him out of the job before he cause more damage to himself.)
I hope it is remembered that Charles is a man who means well, a caring man, a man who has demons like all of us. My prayers are with Charles.
Theological Confusion In A Moment Of Crisis
My friend Rob insists I get into a strange car so he can buy me lunch at the San Carlo Deli, an Italian hangout in the San Fernando Valley.
Rob takes off swerving all over the street at high speed. He's testing out the car. I want to jump out. We stop at a gas station. He puts in $2 worth of gas. I get out and start heading back to my car. Rob promises he will drive more sedately. I reluctantly get back in.
We go 65 miles an hour through a 25mph zone.
Luke: "I leave everything I have to my family."
Rob drives faster.
I scream while covering my eyes: "Shmai Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Echod."
Rob: "There he goes, cursing me again."
Tony: "Isn't that what a Jew says before he dies?"
Rob makes a sharp left in front of onrushing traffic.
Luke: "Jesus Christ."
Tony: "I thought you were supposed to be Jewish."
Luke: "I apologize for being theologically confused in a moment of crisis."
By the time we arrive at the deli, I'm too shaken up to eat much.
We sit with Joey and his brother Bruce Buttafucco. Joey got his divorce from Mary Jo a couple of weeks ago and is now engaged to be married.
A few weeks ago, when Joey and a few other operators of car repair shots were arrested and charged with skullduggery, Joey asked Rob and Ronnie the Boxer to accompany him to court. Rob says the California Attorney General asked that Joey's "thugs" (meaning Rob and Ronnie) be removed from the court room.
We eat lunch with Boogie, who looks like a Hells Angel but he says he is not one. Boogie killed a man in a bar fight in 1984 but was not charged with any crime. Boogie has never been convicted of any crime, he says. He's covered with tattoos, many of them obscene. He has twin daughters who also have tattoos. Boogie trains salesmen and normally wears a suit and tie covering his tattoos. We sit around and exchange ethnic jokes for half an hour. It makes me feel better after the trauma of my ride. Rob picks up the check. Because I ate what was put before me, a woman drives us up home. Thank God.