Slouching towards Hollywood Babylon
Hollywood, Interrupted: First Book Interview For Mark Ebner, Andrew Breitbart
Here's a great new book: Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against CelebrityFrom Publishers Weekly: Not since Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons have two journalists (Breitbart feeds stories to Internet scandalmonger Matt Drudge and Ebner wrote for Spy) gathered more mean-spirited gossip about celebrities they condemn as sick and depraved. This diatribe is so unrelentingly negative that it loses all power to persuade. Breitbart and Ebner cover a variety of subjects they stand against, among them celebrities voicing their political views, a woman's right to choose, single motherhood and celebrities adopting children. In a chapter devoted to anonymous nannies discussing disrespectful kids of anonymous movie stars, the authors suggest mandatory Norplant and vasectomies for Hollywood parents. Hugh Hefner can't win for being wild or conservative; the authors blast the "fossilized relic embalmed in nostalgia and Viagra" for watching a bestiality video 30 years ago, and then condemn him for his intolerance of illegal drugs. Peculiarly, the authors adore gay porn director Paul Barresi, who paid off the "she-males of the night" that Eddie Murphy frequented so they'd change their stories. But when Murphy's lawyers didn't compensate Barresi, he turned all his records over to the authors. Barresi went on to warn Michael Jackson that his latest videographer was also a gay porn director. But when Jackson wouldn't pay for the information, Barresi leaked the story to the tabloids. Instead of calling Barresi a blackmailer, the authors announce that "he has a code of ethics emphasizing loyalty and respect." Most of the gossip isn't new (e.g., Greg Allman was an uninterested father; Whitney Houston, Nick Nolte and Robert Downey Jr. have had drug problems), and without any illuminating backstories, this is a sour and joyless read. From the Inside Flap
“Fearless. Vicious. Hilarious. Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner prove conclusively that radical family values + infinite financial resources + cultural idol worship = moral chaos.
Celebrity is the modern American version of aristocracy. Hollywood, Interrupted shows that our celebrities are every bit as mad, corrupt, and unaccountable as their Medieval European counterparts (albeit with better teeth). And like the old aristocracy, they really are one big, incestuous family.
What you don’t understand—what you could not possibly understand—is that not only are these people nuts: They’re nuts who all know each other. Hollywood is the most dysfunctional family in the history of the world and Hollywood, Interrupted reads like a transcript of their therapy session. It’s cheeky, sophisticated, and authoritative.”
—Jonathan Last, Weekly Standard
“Hollywood hypocrites are going to simmer with fury at the painful barbs, backed up by plenty of facts, that these two sleuthing authors toss at some of the i ndustry’s most beloved stars and wags. If you love Larry King and Oprah, you’d better get ready to defend their honor, because this book deftly melts the shine off their armor.”
“‘The rich are not like you and me,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald said. Hollywood, Interrupted demonstrates that the rich and famous are not like anybody—at least anybody you’d want to be, or even shake hands with. In the deliriously scandalous tradition of Hollywood Babylon, Breitbart and Ebner’s juicy dispatch from the spiritual capital of the Porn Belt reveals Tinseltown to be a glorified cathouse populated by collagened sociopaths. These also happen to be the people who drive American popular culture. Be afraid, be very afraid.”
“In Hollywood, Interrupted Breitbart and Ebner dig deeply into the very heart of our greatest export—pop culture—as produced by Hollywood, the movie industry and the people who affect and infect America. You cannot take a more fascinating or terrifying trip. There are tales of the fabulously famous here you would never know if not for their work. Hollywood, Interrupted is a book you have to put down frequently in order to catch your breath. Absolutely riveting.”
“This book blew me away. It’s more than I wanted to know, but I couldn’t stop reading it.”
“Reading Hollywood, Interrupted is like sitting on a stakeout and having a telescopic view into the darkest reaches of the corruption and perversity of today’s celebrity culture.
"This is a great book to read and a dangerous book to write. Breitbart and Ebner can hide in my basement when the Powers that Be in Hollywood put out a contract on them." —Jonah Goldberg, National Review
"Half Hollywood Babylon III, half Book of Virtues Breitbart and Ebner's juicy polemic does for Hollywood celebrities what Liar's Poker did for Wall Street Investment bankers. This basic critique rings true to me , and I live here (well, nearby, anyway). Their book will . . . rip the lid off the decadent culture of the showbiz rich. . . but who would have suspected that Barbara Streisand was actually a good mother?" —Mickey Kaus, Slate magazine columnist
"Hollywood is worse than you ever imagined, and Hollywood, Interrupted pulls no punches. It would be depressing, if it weren't so hilarious." —Prof. Glenn Reynolds, InstaPundit.com, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tennessee
"Hollywood, Interrupted is a raucous, though often sobering, reflection on today's celebrity industry, which can often seduce and repulse in equal measure. Breitbart and Ebner's book is a comprehensive, funny, and sharp examination of the people and institutions angling to shape the country's politics, culture, and morality. And few of these tinseltown pillars are spared the searing scrutiny, from Kabbalah devotees to the 'heterosexual Tom Cruise." The book reverberates with salesmen of every stripe: hustlers peddling sex, drugs, information, ideology, dreams, hokum, and even nonstick frying pans. And since Hollywood is controlled by some very warped and unprincipled souls, the buyer ought to beware." —William Bastone, Editor and co-founder, TheSmokingGun.com
Mark Ebner is an award-winning investigative journalist who has covered all aspects of celebrity culture for Spy, Rolling Stone, Details, Los Angeles magazine, Premiere, Salon, Spin, and New Times among others. He has repeatedly positioned himself in h way, conducting over 50 in-depth investigations into such subjects as Scientology, pit bull fighting in South Central Los Angeles, the Ku Klux Klan in Texas, celebrity stalkers, sports groupies, college suicides, and Hepatitus C in Hollywood. Ebner has produced for and/or appeared as a journalist-commentator on NBC, MSNBC, A&E, FX, E!, Entertainment television. He hosted the nationally syndicated radio program, Drastic Radio in 2000 and is Editor at Large for LA Innuendo magazine. Ebner lives in Venice, California, with his two dogs, Roxie and Poorboy.
In this entertainment industry exposé, Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner pull back the curtain to reveal the twisted culture of Hollywood and the preposterous penchants of today's high-profile celebrities. From John T, Tom Cruise, and Ann Heche to Eddie Murphy, Oliver Stone, and Courtney Love, Hollywood, Interrupted presents the mind-altered behavior of the most reality-challenged celebrities from all walks of life and every genre.
Hollywood, Interrupted explores how the pathological behavior of celebrities has destroyed comedy, snuffed relationships, and demeaned family values. Each chapter delivers a meticulously researched, interview-infused, attitude-heavy dispatch—which analyzes and deconstructs the myths created by celebrities and their way-too-protective handlers.
You'll enter a world where:
Frequently hysterical and occasionally frightening, Hollywood, Interrupted digs deep to uncover how in Hollywood cults rule, Dr. Feelgood stands ready to fill your prescription, celebrity kids shoot speedballs, and your neighbor runs a brothel.
Both entertaining and engaging, Hollywood, Interrupted reveals the real Hollywood and mocks the movie mavens, sitcom screwballs, and musical misfits who view being on medication, under house arrest, in rehab, or on deathwatch as just part of the job.
Friday afternoon, February 20, 2004, I speak by phone with Mark Ebner (an acquaintance for about five years) and Andrew Breitbart (who I met 2/19/04). It's their first interview for the book.
Luke: "I had a great time at the party last night."
Mark: "Everybody did. The best thing that could've happened was the valet parking snafu. You know all those looky-loos who'd run in and steal your books and run out? They didn't bother to stop. Only those people we wanted there only made the effort to get in."
Luke: "Anything catch your attention at the party?"
Andrew: "No napkins."
Mark: "We had catering difficulties."
Andrew: "Somebody observed that the waiting staff was on Ecstasy. By the end of the evening, they were serving rave-like green beverages."
Luke: "Did that disturb you?"
Andrew: "What disturbed me beyond that was that they were coming up to me with this gleeful look in their eye asking me to sign their book. It was so profoundly unprofessional, I was so galled that it was hysterically funny. It transcended bad form."
Mark: "Given that our book is such a labor of contempt, I was moved that the party turned into such a lovefest."
Andrew: "My big fear was that the majority of the people in the LA press are so left of center, there would be some hostility to me remarks. I didn't feel that. I think everybody got the humor of it without it having to become a big political thing."
Luke: "How are you guys perceived and received by your peers in journalism?"
Mark: "I get the quiet pats on the back for doing the heavy investigative stuff over the years, however, those same people change the venue and put me in a situation at a dinner party or any circle where Hollywood wheels are in motion, and these people don't want to know me. On the one hand, it's, 'Oh Mark, tell me everything about Scientology. You're my hero. That story you did. You're the greatest.' It was ten years ago. But try to bring it up face to face with John Travolta and you've got a publicist shutting you down. You can't ask those questions. It's a double standard.
"I've copped a few awards. I'm happy with my body of investigative work. Leading up to this book, I'm just happy I found Andrew on the wires of the Internet. We're sticking to that story. We met on the Internet."
Andrew: "I didn't even know I had peers. I work from home. I'm sort of Drudge's drudge. I read AP copy and AP wire all day. I read about 50 newspapers a day. Every now and again, I will write a piece for the Wall Street Journal and the National Review. Something will start bubbling up inside of me and I will have to get it out. I don't feel like I am part of any crowd. I don't even see Matt but every three years. He's the closest thing I have to a peer."
Luke: "You don't mix with other Los Angeles journalists?"
Andrew: "No. I just showed up because I had to be there. I just don't feel comfortable in that crowd."
Luke: "You both seemed pretty comfortable last night."
Andrew: "Both of us were drawn to each other because we think of ourselves as outsiders. We have similar personality traits. We don't suffer fools gladly. We just wanted to get the truth out. Somebody should've written this book a long time ago. We kept waiting for somebody to blow the lid on the joke that is Hollywood. We thought somebody would write it while we were writing it because it was such an obvious story that is being covered so incredibly superficially. We thought we'd delve deeper and use his investigative skills."
Mark: "How does a journalist going on two decades wind up reduced to writing for Hustler? You run out of outlets willing to publish the truth. Why did we do a book? It's the logical progression. I'm not crying poverty. I needed an outlet to get these stories told. Where else can you tell the truth on celebrities and have license to mock them? That would be the Internet, talk radio."
Andrew: "We're picking up on something that has been out there for a long time -- a percolating contempt for the Hollywood class for their misbehavior and the way they misrepresent America abroad. I think people are disappointed with the product that is out there. Because the entertainment press is so glowing, except the adversarial National Enquirer, which goes after their private lives, there isn't any adversarial media pointing out these obvious trends.
"If you turn on talk radio, it is overflowing with these topics, be it the Super Bowl breast exposure thing. That was the perfect media storm that had been brewing. It wasn't just about one simple naked breast. This pressure of Hollywood constantly pushing the envelope for what reason? Janet Jackson was not trying to make some statement about American puritanism. This was a choreographed date rape. The entire Super Bowl [halftime] show was symbolic of how removed Hollywood is from what people are really thinking."
Mark: "This was an attempt at branding, but how are you going to brand something [Janet Jackson] that is not going to sell.
"We're talking in this book about serious stuff. We're talking about insanity. We were ready to call in the experts on this but instead we let the people tell their stories -- such as the nannies. We crossed a lot of lines that we don't find crossed in Hollywood journalism. 'Don't go after their kids.' Hell, yes. We're finding the nannies. Then we're going to chart them through high school. These are the seeds of the people who wind up making decisions in Hollywood. If it is any shock about how this product is so bad, consider how these people are bred. It's incestuous. They're born into this. They go to this [Crossroads] school with these new-agey date rape scenarios with their teachers. Then it infiltrates into the mailrooms and the agencies and right up the ladder. I want to know how many of these people have actually read a book. I hope they read this one."
Luke: "How did you guys divvy up the work of this book?"
Andrew: "He does the investigative stuff and I do the grand philosophical stuff."
Mark: "I frame a story. We did this on the wires [IM conversations]. I'd go interview the nannies and give him the raw material. We'd then go back and forth, making points on each other's work."
Andrew: "I don't think it would be possible to recreate how we did it. It was just a very organic experience."
Mark: "It was a lot of copying and pasting."
Andrew: "Mark and I come from such different points of view. I'm much more conservative. I have a family. I don't go out much. Mark is out there on the town. He knows a lot of people. I don't. We disagree on a lot of things but what is in the book is what both of us fundamentally agree upon."
Luke: "Did you guys have to fight..."
Luke: "...the desire to be loved?"
Andrew: "No. There is a part of me that is petrified of being hated. This book is my literary coming out. I wanted to tell the truth about how I feel about my hometown Los Angeles. I'm 35 years old and I've lived here all of my life except for four years in college. I know a lot of people will have a hard time swallowing this because this is a go-along-to-get-along town."
Mark: "I live for being hated. I live for late night phonecalls from Heidi Fleiss, screaming at me that she's contacting her lawyers and I can't use those transcripts. There's an obscure chapter in there called 'Hollywood Pan Men' about B actors who sells pans. I live for getting calls from the company saying, 'This is a $10 million company. What are you trying to do, you cunt! You asshole, you're trying to bring down our company. We're going to sue you.' Dude, a call from Scientology in the morning is my morning coffee.
"As much as I know people in Hollywood, I can count my true friends on two hands. And eight of those ten people were at that party last night. They're not going to hate me [over this book]. I'm sure you feel the same way."
Luke: "Yes. You're talking to someone who knows what you are saying."
Mark: "We keep our friends close and we laugh at our enemies."
Andrew: "The news media likes to put certain people through an investigative scope. They'll use a hidden-camera into the meatpacking industry or the sanitation at a market or over-pricing. We've become accustomed to that in the news media and in films such as Erin Brokovich and The Insider. These movies are praised and win awards and the Hollywood crowd gives standing ovations to these people because they are considered consumer advocates. These people are the biggest hypocrites. They live in a shell. They are protected not only by their PR flacks, by an industry where the companies own each other and protect each other, by magazine beholden to the stars, to this dirty industry of people trying to protect the stars from themselves."
Mark: "I'm a veteran of Sundance. Can you imagine being with all the Hollywood folk who've traipsed out in their designer winterwear every year to give Michael Moore a standing ovation for his piece of s--- that was Bowling for Columbine where his bravest move was to shanghai an aging, presumably Alzheimers-ridden alterkaker like Charleton Heston. It was such a weak cheap shot. Oliver Stone, the next year, comes out with that awful movie [about Cuba] with his arm around Fidel Castro, a murderous dictator."
Luke: "Do we really need this book when we have such a hard-hitting hometown newspaper like The Los Angeles Times on this beat?"
Andrew: "Mark's evil, can you quote me on that?"
Mark: "The LA Times chooses to print only part of the story. They had the Heidi Fleiss story (Shawn Huber and ... who broke the scandal). They refused to follow up on who was really playing with Heidi. Oh really? Billy Idol and Charlie Sheen were engaging with prostitutes? Big shocker. That's not the point.
"I wrote for New Times Los Angeles for their whole duration (1995-2001). That was my answer to the LA Times. Where else could you find a local paper that would allow you to write and report 10,000 word think pieces."
Andrew: "I think we expose him in the Heidi Fleiss transcripts that the scandal was not just another case of the oldest profession intersecting with Hollywood. That's not culturally significant. Had that transcript come out and played up front and center, where the implication is that they were ordering up under-aged girls. You have an exploitation racket of the people who come up here for fame and fortune and Heidi was bringing them in... What are they talking about when they order over a 17 year old girl to a movie producer who is in his sixties? What does it say about this industry that so many people were on that black book. I doubt that Robert Evans was the only one taking advantage of that scenario.
"If there were any kind of decent news media in this town, it would've exposed the dark side that is so often covered up."
Mark: "The LA Times refuses to break these myths to show the dirty side. People always say to me, 'Ebner, what are you doing with [gay porn director] Paul Barresi? What are you doing with those backstreet detective clowns?' Those are the guys that work the streets. Those are the guys that come up with the documents. Those are the guys who end up being my most solid sources. If you want to find out where the dirty DNA of celebrities is spilled, it's in the gutter. But who's working the gutter?
"Luke, you and I know that the reporters at these trade papers and daily papers are not going to call in these stories. You have to go hang out in transvestite bars. You have to go hang out in transvestite bars. You have to look in the gutter. The people you find are working that same gutter. What they're doing, call it blackmail or working angles, they're surviving. Whether what they do is legal or not means nothing to me. We get to publish things that people say, 'Oh, that was ill gotten to begin with.' I don't ask those questions. Show me the goods. The law protects us. If we run something, whether it was gotten by illegal means such as illegal wiretappings, or somebody was using it as a way to get a lawyer or a tabloid to pay him, that's of no interest to me. It makes for a great character study. If you've got the goods, hand it over. My desk has been filled with that stuff over the years. It takes a book to lay that stuff out. I can't wait to start Hollywood, Interrupted II. The book writes itself. We couldn't keep up with it. At the end of the book, he's flashing me news reports. Courtney, Michael Jackson. Here we go again.
"Luke, can you imagine what the feds are listening to in those millions of pages of Pellicano documents now? You've got these lawyers Bert Fields and Marty Singer. Because they're buffered. Because they say they didn't know any wire tappings were going on. It was all done with a gesture, a wink and a nod, with people they employ to do the damage control. I've come up with signed checks from Marty Singer to Paul Barresi. You know he's looking at Paul Barresi and paying him and making that Fagin-like gesture, 'Go out and get the truth,' while he's rubbing his fingers together. You know what he's saying. In Hollywood, lawyers can operate on that fringe level above the law. Once those Pellicano files become public domain, they're going to bust out large."
Andrew: "It will be like Heidi Fleiss, ten years after the fact. Nobody's pouring over them. Nobody wants to know what is going on. Nobody wants to know how the sausage is made here. I almost wrote a piece predicting the Pellicano story will be underplayed. Sure, Linda Deutch at the AP will cover it. But they are not going to cover this on the front page of the LA Times above the fold with a blaring headline that it deserves. This guy was the investigator for the celebrity class in Hollywood. That's a massive story because this is a company town. This is going to expose the dark secrets of how this lovely philanthropic politically correct town really works. It's a dark town and the LA Times does not want the world to see that."
Luke: "What are your challenges in promoting this book? What is the media obstacle course you're going to have to run?"
Mark: "We're getting tremendous interest via talk radio. We're going to have to go to the Bernie Goldberg (Bias) route. We have a full tour. We're in New York all next week. Andrew's going to Baltimore. We're doing Fox and MSNBC. We've been invited to Toronto. The UK has put in inquiries about serializing the book. There's heat out there but it comes from places that need to sell this book like a virus.
"Last night, the one guy I wanted to corner was the guy Cathy showed up with -- the guy from the Omaha paper. Dude, I am so glad you are here. We wrote this book for your readership. Wiley [publisher] sent us 25 books. We've been giving them out to friends and loved ones. People like my sister who is a school teacher in middle America. They don't know this stuff. They only know what they see on entertainment television. They read the book. The call comes in. 'Ohmigod, I finished your book. I turned on E!. My whole perspective has changed. Yeech, what am I watching here?'"
Andrew: "After giving me a blurb, Glenn Reynolds said, 'I laughed throughout the book. The next day, I woke up and felt sick to my stomach.' Now, when people turn on the garbage entertainment they used to like, they will see it from a different perspective."
Mark: "So when these so-called opinion leaders are telling us who to vote for and who to pray to, maybe you'll think again before you take a cue from an idiot like the heterosexual Tom Cruise. He's mind-controlled by the cult. He has the gall to say that psychiatry is a junk science and should be outlawed? Andrew tries to shut me down when I get hyped on this. If a kid gets off his meds because Tom Cruise said psychiatry is wrong, and dies, I would love to see that family file a civil action against Cruise. I don't even know that Tom Cruise graduated from high school, let alone six years of medical school."
Andrew: "How can people who can not govern their own lives seek to tell us how we should be governed? I don't think your average leftist wants the help of these people. Hollywood holds middle America in contempt in the way they speak to them and in the type of material they feed them.
"Hollywood's made a couple of movies about what happened to Mathew Shepherd. It's obviously a horrible story about what happened to him [a homosexual who was beaten to death] but Hollywood immediately creates these after-school special type movies that send the message to middle America 'Don't string up gay boys. We're here to teach you out there not to be hostile to gay people.' Wyoming handled that properly. These guys are in jail and I think they are going to be put to death. Everybody in America thought that was a horrible crime yet Hollywood thinks that if they didn't teach us these PC moral tales, moral chaos would happen. That blacks and gays would be persecuted and we'd go back to 19th Century America.
"I juxtapose the type of movies they put out there to teach us life lessons with... It's 2004. Fifteen years after the fall of the Eastern Bloc. There hasn't been one movie made about the grandest story of that time."
Mark: "How dare you try to protect us from moral chaos when you are the source of it? I'd point you to a book written by 20-year old Marty Beckerman, Generation Slut. He self-published his first book at 16. He addresses sexuality in America and how kids his age respond to the media. He has a whole section called, 'Sexual Perversity in Los Angeles.' His book is coming out in days and I am so honored to be on the same slate as this kid. Generation Slut takes you on a frightening tour of how kids today base their sexual behavior on what comes out of Hollywood. It's killing them, right down to their souls. I'm not moralizing here, the statistics speak to it."
Andrew: "Yes, you are moralizing. That's a good thing."
Mark: "The statistics speak to it. Look at how many kids have tried anal sex before 14 years old. His book is beautiful because he takes his narrative and punches in all the statistics."
Andrew: "One of the great hypocrisies of Hollywood is the mantra, 'Thou shalt not judge.' They're saying that anyone who judges them is wrong. It's wrong to hold them responsible for the power they hold over our culture. With their art, that's all they do -- judge. That's the one power they hold above us -- the right to judge us. American Beauty was the height of a worthy artsy film that was so indicative of how Hollywood thinks of its audience. It looks at the middle class experience as a hollow shallow totally commercially based experience. They can't look in the mirror and realize they are the ones who are morally bankrupt."
Up In Smoke
8:40PM, Saturday, 2/21. I tear myself away from transcribing my interview with Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner, the authors of the great new book Hollywood Interrupted.
I drive 20 minutes through the rain to Noah Shachtman's party in Culver City. I'm the third person to arrive. I spend two hours in conversation with liberal-leaning journalist Nelson Handel. (His website) We were able to passionately disagree without being disagreeable.
Nelson strives to be emotionally real, involved, and vulnerable in his serious conversations, while I like to provoke and mock.
Others at the party included Breitbart, Phil Carter (Slate.com defense expert and law student at UCLA), Vanity Fair's Richard Rushfield.
I have little sense of smell. I smelled nothing all day. Nelson and his wife immediately picked up on the scent of marijuana smoke.
Noah and many of his friends are into poker. I was my high school's bookie. Ever since then, I've gone clean from gambling with money.
I fear it is a sign of latent homosexuality that I love the song, "It's raining men."
Random quotes from the party:
"Without the Internet, I'd be homeless." Been said about me many times.
"Mickey [Kaus] is smarter than the two of us combined."
Liberal Jew says: "The state of Latinos in the United States today can be compared to the state of Jews in late 19th Century Russia." Never mind that Jews fled Russia at that time in the millions while Latinos are illegally immigrating into the US by the millions.
"When Arianna Huffington was just a pundit, people said she could run for political office. That gave her extra cachet. Then she alienated her base by going from right of center to left of center. She ran for CA governor and got 1% of the vote. That humiliates her."
I'm asked about the nature of my feuds with Cathy Seipp. How real are they? I'd say about 50%. We don't invent things to feud about. They just evolve organically.
Cathy Seipp writes: "Went out for an early dinner in Chinatown Saturday night, came back, and even though it had only been dark for a couple of hours -- which means shabbat had only been over for a couple of hours -- saw that Luke had written about 3,000 words of tortured, more than usually insane, sort-of-lashing-out-but-also-rather-sheepish, and...Dare I say it? Did I detect it?...faintly apologetic posts. So maybe at some point I'll link to him again."
What's The Over/Under Until Cathy Seipp Proposes Marriage?
Taking gentlemen's bets now... Or is Cathy my fag hag (with politically correct apologies to fags and hags)?
Skippy writes Luke:
Your Honor, I Would Like To Present The Following Evidence
On January 21, 2004, Cathy Seipp wrote me: "Meanwhile you've been awfully quiet in the LA Observed comments section. I thought surely you'd come to my defense re our "liberal-bashing" press club parties. Or at least say something awful that I'd have to make excuses about you for. What gives? Aren't you feeling well?"
Your honor, Cathy drove me to making an awful comment on LAObserved Feb 19 and now she wants to disown me for doing the very thing she request. And she didn't even make excuses for me. Your honor, she's not living up to her side of our bargain -- I do awful things and she's supposed to excuse them.
'I see that I'm Famous'
Synagogue is for me a sacred space devoid of worldly concerns. Daily, I pour out my heart to God through the same words used by my people for thousands of years. Thus it is always a shock to me when temporal matters intrude upon my other-worldly meditations.
A doctor walked up to me while I was spending 90-minutes outside with the gentile security guard. "You're all over the web," he said. "I was reading a blog. It linked to this blog of a 14-year old girl and there are pictures of you on there."
That 14-year old girl, Cecile du Bois , writes me Saturday night: "Hi Luke. Just noticed why Mom is not linking you--I don't read everybody's blog that often, so I'm a slowpoke a bit. But why would you do such a thing?"
Somebody had to speak the truth on this painful topic, Cecile. It was time for Your Moral Leader to raise himself from his stupor (induced by the secular news media) and thunder about what is right.
Walking to kiddish Saturday after three hours of prayers and Torah, I ran into my Thursday night date Cindy. "I see that I'm famous," she said. It turns out that she read my blog for the first time.
The guy sitting next to me all morning brought her. I was absorbed in my prayers and not talking to anyone but the Almighty (here are the other guys in my row, they also prayed with great devotion).
The cookies were great today.
A while ago, I decided to stop dating a woman. Then two days later, I ran into her at my home shul. Jewish life can be intense.
'I Know You're Pissed Off At Me'
Cathy Seipp writes:
How could I ever be angry at you when you are my very reason for being?
Cathy Seipp writes on her blog: "I was rude to Luke this week and now I can tell he's mad. But he deserved it. He took a really rotten turn on his blog, too rotten for me to mention or link to."
Man-Boy Ford is Wrong
Chaim writes: "Seipp is right and you are wrong. The occasion of a man's sudden death is not the day to take off after him. If you had a beef with him, why didn't you press it when he was alive and could respond, or at least why not wait for a decent interval after his death to review his life's work? No wonder you are at best tolerated by the people you envy."
Stomping The Dead
Read the rest of Rishawn's thoughtful essay here. He explained things much better than I did.
San Francisco Gay Marriage
Skippy McButter, Log Cabin Republican, writes: "One of the more eye-opening consequences of the rush to marriage among homosexuals in Jim Jones' old home town has been the publication of numerous photographs of lesbian couples (see Drudge). Invariably, one of the pair is a nasty, nasty looking woman who clearly could never get a man if she were heterosexual. Makes one wonder if perhaps this lifestyle is not forced on some women by some unhappy lottery."
Luke Turns His Lonely Eyes To Chaim Amalek
Why Are We Supposed To Only Speak Well Of The Dead?
I would never approach a mourner and speak ill of the person he was mourning, but I don't see why a writer should be morally obliged to only speak well of the dead. Sure, criticisms of the dead might hurt the feelings of some mourners, but so what? Since when does a writer have to hold back because it might hurt somebody's feelings? We don't hold this standard with regard to other public figures in other situations so why in death?
It bestows no benefit on the deceased to only praise him. This is a weird American custom to not speak ill of the dead.
Prior to Thursday's racially-obsessed tributes to LAT's editor Frank del Olmo, I had never heard of the man.
When I read his obituary on LAObserved.com, in the LA Times, and in the comments to LAObserved.com, I felt strange. I felt excluded because all the specific praise for the man was based on his activism for Latinos. If he worked for a primarily Latino news outlet, this would have caused no surprise in me. It was precisely because he worked for a mainstream journalistic outlet that it saddened me that such racial activism in a journalist was honored across the board, and nobody was speaking up that something was wrong.
I just thought it was very wrong to honor such race-based activism when we would never laud a caucasian advocate of the caucasian race. I thought it was strange that the only concrete accomplishment that del Olmo's "friends" could point to was his tireless dedication to Latino affairs. They make it seem that del Olmo was an ethnic advocate in disguise as a purported journalist and editor.
I know nothing about Frank del Olmo. I only know the racial obsession of his purported friends. And I don't think it is good for journalism and good for America. And I don't think that dedicating oneself to an ethnic group rather than a value system is good.
What's A Racialist?
Kevin from New York writes:
Luke says: I went to dictionary.com and found these definitions: