Thursday, February 9, 2006

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Why Men Dislike Valentine's Day

Women have expectations which they don’t communicate, so men have little chance of winning this day.

I was emailed this:

You get with a 10 and your attraction will cause you a rampant level of lust and desire that just isn't reciprocated. That will just make you feel like s--t all the time. This is a Kind of the "only people I fall in love with don't love me back" syndrome, so common these days.

In ANY relationship a good method to avoid pain, mess, and eventual heartbreak is to ALWAYS look at how you are being treated and how the relationship makes you feel. NOT at what you feel for them.

To do this will gauge the base level of passion and attraction she has to you. At the FIRST discomfort or pain caused by the woman in your life, LEAVE once. Make her crawl back and apologize. Following this method will set boundaries that will last.

You leave and won’t take her calls, and she has to crawl back to you crying the first time she yells at you, holds out sex or hurts you in some way, and there probably won't be a second serving of that dish. It’s hard to do, but it’s important to your well-being.

Jaded? Flighty? No. I’d say smart, as it doesn't drag out something that's going to end anyway, leaving you hurt worse than if it had ended sooner. "It is far better to resist at the beginning than at the end" – somebody clever.

If a relationship goes bad, or hurts at all, and is dragging out as "friendship" or such, CUT IT CLEAN and you’ll get over it sooner. If you don't it may drag on for a long time, with you getting degraded and rejected. These kinds of relationships drain you in all other areas of life, try to avoid them at all costs, but if you find yourself in one, RUN! Instead “Work it out” with someone new, the next one, with a clean slate who hasn’t pushed so far into your boundaries yet.

“When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues” – Balzac.

Remember that quote when trying to get a woman to “fall back in love” with you and save yourself some problems.

Computers Can't Eavesdrop

Heather Mac Donald writes in the New York Post:

Anyone who feels violated by the possibility that his international phone calls or e-mails joined the flood of zeros and ones that feed the NSA's machines - only to be passed by, undeciphered - must believe that his individuality can spark interest even in silicon chips.

I hate it when the Justice Department chews out dear Heather. I'm gonna kick Alberto's ass.

"Shows how remote you are from Washington if you think dissent from Bush platitudes isn't scandalous," writes a libertarian friend in New York.

My friend Danny spent Monday night studying Torah with his chevruta (partner). He spent Tuesnday afternoon dreamily exchanging literary emails with Heather Mac Donald. In the evening, he'll see Cathy Seipp debate David Brock on media bias at USC. Then he'll sing karaoke at a dive bar. Life doesn't get any better than this.

Handsome Bob

I ran into the eternal graduate student at the Robertson newsstand. He was clutching a copy of the latest National Review. His need for it was so urgent, he was going to be late for his doctor's appointment.

Bob posts afterwards on MySpace:

It's not everyday I'm accosted from afar with the sallutation "JESUS H. CHRIST!!!" You blasphemer!

So you're going to write an essay on how you learned to stop worrying and love Brokeback Mt.? Funny, I spent Sunday afternoon watching the Superbowl with a very nice young married couple-- devout Roman Catholics they so happen to be. Both are (surprisingly) fairly well-established Hollywood actors. The husband (who didn't pay to see the Brokeback; he said he wouldn't dare to do otherwise), recounted the facts of one of the movie's scenes for me. It was so monumentally disgusting -- let alone contrary to natural law! -- that even I, quasi-atheist, was horrified. So, without even seeing it, I can say with prima facie certainty that the film is just another in the passel of rank, aestheticized propaganda pieces designed to make normative the gay lifestyle, which will (I've come to recognize as unquestionable) have the effect of creating ever more bisexuality, and which does constitute -- in fact -- a direct assault on the family. This then is part of the natural segue to tyranny (for reasons too grandiose to get into here). Of course since I "have issues" with the mainlining of homosexuality, that makes me a closet homosexual, according to certain amoral moralists, usually of the Left. But then this would make fuming Republican-haters repressed lovers of Republicans. Just replace words denoting the object of one's scorn and it should, hopefully, be apparent how fallacious such "reasoning" is. It's a specious use of "psychological projection."

Rub Aron Tendler

A former YULA (Yeshiva University of Los Angeles) high school student writes:

Mr. Ford, Your information is consistent with the information I received while attending YULA. I was a senior in High School when the information regarding his behavior towards underage female students first came to light. Two of my friends were affected by Aron's actions. Your depictions are perfect with respect to his behavior, his modus operandi, and the women who he molested. At the time, they were quasi-willing participants. I use the term "quasi-willing" because adolescence, hormones, desires, and rational decisions don't quite walk hand-in-hand. The women who he molested possessed attractiveness and were not mainstream. Often, they were experiencing trouble at home and struggling with organized religion. Often, these struggles led them to experiment with behavior that was considered rebellious in the eyes of the orthodox Jew. Thus, the stage was set: An attractive woman whose credibility is labeled 'suspect' based on her innate struggles between her desires to explore and discover things that are natural for adolescents to explore (marijuana, sexual activity, non-mainstream thought and actions) and the doctrine of Orthodox Judaism being spoon-fed to her daily. A young attractive teacher/rabbi/psychologist/youth leader(he held all of these positions) approaches them with compassion and answers based upon Religion, Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology. He gains their trust, manipulates and fosters their desires, and engages in a sexually taboo experience.

If caught, Aron would use the student's status of outcast against her. He would pit his reputation as rabbi against their reputation of outcast. In other words, the very reason they sought his counsel (their manifest troubles) were used to discredit the veracity of the experience. In other words, he's not dumb, he's just sick, and twisted.

I heard the stories as they happened. I heard the girls cry. I read the poems he wrote, laden with sexual undertones. Their experiences were forwarded to the administration at YULA. The girls were angry and felt exploited. The administration pressured them with the consequences of what would happen to them if they went public. They were told that they could lose their acceptance into college, and were reminded of the shame that this would bring to their families. In the face of public humiliation and for fear for their academic and professional futures being taken from them, the young women acquiesced, and withdrew their accusations. That was highly irresponsible of the administration. Their intimidation enabled his behavior. Aron was relegated to teach strictly at the boys’ school. Nothing meaningful was done. Aron was told he has to learn more Torah, and it would all magically go away. It wasn't long before other stories began to surface of Aron’s sexual advances and machinations. Lo and behold, Aron became the head of a congregation and, I am told, was particularly adept at assisting women in troubled marriages.

Aron does not deserve to be called a Rabbi; He is a sick predator, preying on the trust and insecurities of women. The basis for these acts are of little significance. If he was molested as a child, then let him seek therapy through conventional channels, as opposed to infecting innocent and trusting people with his illness. I am told that the Orthodox community has been made aware of his actions on many occasions, and has failed to act upon it. It is comforting that Dr. Powell, the one non-orthodox Jew in the administration at YULA at the time, has the decency to leave and distance himself from the cess-pool of orthodox politics which included the pacifying of a molester.

Aron is resigning, but not until the High Holidays. I am certain that this is a tactical maneuver to buy him more time to save his job. He should leave immediately. He should be banned from the rabbanut. He should write personal letters of apology to each of the families he has harmed. He should do Kapparah in the form of true atonement to the women whose faith he has shaken and whose psychology he has permanently damaged. And, he should issue a public statement of Kapparah to the community. Aron is resigning, and expects a pat on the back for "stepping down." Aron seems to have a lot of options for someone who sexually preys on the fragility of his students and congregants. Having been placed on “Notice” of Aron’s behavior, the congregation allowed him to stay on for an additional eight months. Let’s see, 30 incidents in about 18 years. That averages out to one every 7.2 months. That congregation’s Board better pray REALLY hard that his lawless intimate familiarities don’t follow the law of averages, or they may find themselves becoming intimately more familiar with a law suit. I guess after all this time the sage approach remains ignoring reality and just learning torah. Worked for Aron, didn’t it?

If G-d’s sense of justice is as poetic as Aron, Aron will be faced with the same credibility problems that his victims faced years ago, as he seeks to utilize his charlatan services elsewhere. He has caused more people than he knows to turn away from Judaism. Aron is a blight on the spirituality of Judaism, whose actions were never dealt with properly. Though quite charming and, to be sure, quite a glib speaker, it is difficult to imagine how the rabbinic community has done nothing to inhibit his actions, aside of course from having him learn more Torah. Though hardly a scholar, it would seem to me that he still seems to be having trouble with commandments 6-10.

The Orthodox entities that were aware of his actions and did nothing to correct it should be ashamed of themselves. Standing idly by while knowing that a diseased person is in the position of power to carry out his manipulations and crimes against innocent minors and women, is itself criminal. Perhaps one day they will value Jewish wives and daughters as much as they value whatever it is Aron represents.

I don't care who his grandfather was. My ancestry goes back to a different Aron--the high Priest. Please inform me if this entitles me to carry out unconscionable acts against my fellow human beings. They must have skipped that chapter in school. "Thou CAN commit adultery and molestation if thy ancestry is impressive."

Please help me understand why the Orthodox Jewish community has continued to pay this molester 100s of thousands of dollars a year to spread his sickness? As Churches and Priests are charged and paying dearly for their horrific molestations and acquiescence, I wonder if this is what my rabbis had in mind when preaching Or L'Goyim---be a light onto the nations. You need not be an Orthodox Jew to recognize the illegal and depraved behavior of Aron. But, apparently you need to be an Orthodox Jew to condone it. Aron Tendler and his supporters make me proud to not consider myself an Orthodox Jew. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Unlike Aron, I am ashamed I haven't done more earlier.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Brokeback Mountain

My next essay.

Amalek Counsels: 'When God Closes One Door, He Opens A Shiksa's Legs'

Chaim writes me:

You have given up on the Jewesses. You gave up on them long ago. Contrast this lass with some of the Jewesses who answered your craigslist ad. ... is God's gift to you for all that you have suffered at the hands of the rabbinate, just as control over ABC/NBC/CBS etc. was the Almighty's way of compensating the Jews for the losses during WW II.

God gave you...to help save her from the familial... into which she was birthed. Her own mother dunked her into the bowels of...within days of her birth. She was reared to debase women. You were meant to save her, to reform her. And it will begin by harnesting her powerful maternal drives, which you must seize for this and other good and holy purposes.

A Bad Interview

A would-be author emailed me a couple of weeks ago wanting to interview me about my childhood. She seemed nice but not particularly skilled. I made a half-hearted reply saying that if I had time down the road, I'd do it.

She was persistent. We finally met at Starbucks Monday morning. She was nice. She was courteous. She was a bad interviewer.

I've been interviewed hundreds of times. Many interviewers make similar mistakes. Here are some of the mistakes that occurred today:

* Trying too hard. Once someone sense the effort you are making to be trustworthy, professional, interested or whatever quality you strive for, it's jarring. You should never explicitly state that you are trustworthy, telling the truth, etc. You should simply embody the trait.

* An interview is not a conversation. Most interviewees, about 98% of them, are not going to have much interest in the interviewer or in what other interview subjects had. As I listened to her stories about her life and her other subjects, I felt bored, restless, and resentful. I slumped and stared around the coffee house and wondered how quickly I could get away.

* General questions are not as effective as specific ones. She asked me for stories from my childhood. That's like asking a comedian to be funny. It doesn't work.

* Don't give your interviewee (unless they ask) a list of your questions or topics you want covered (unless it is a television interview for a particular topic). It robs the event of spontaneity. When someone gives a good interview, they do it out of some primordial urges. A good interviewer has to tap into those strong emotions that drive a person to speak passionately.

As I answered the rote questions, I slumped in my seat, stared into space and listlessly recited material I've already posted on my website. You should read an interviewee's relevant work and then ask interesting and specific questions rather than have him repeat himself.

* The most important thing in conducting an interview is to establish rapport with your subject. The next most important thing is not to get in the way. Don't talk about yourself or anything but the person at hand unless the interviewee asks you specific questions that convey true interest.

* The shorter the question, the better.

* "How did that make you feel?" questions are great. Men in particularly rarely feel like they can unload how things made them feel.

* Having therapy should improve one's interviewing skills.

* Read Janet Malcom's book The Journalist and the Murderer.

* Be charming without trying. Give genuine compliments. "Few people are immune to the implied flattery of rapt attention."

* Your questions should flow out of what the person has just said. This makes them feel that you are listening and are interested. If you can't ask such a question, then have good fall-back questions at hand.

* When interviewing someone, you should jot down inconspicuously your impressions of your subject. What is his body language? What is his tone? What does your intuition tell you about what he is saying? What are your next questions? (It's usually a bad idea to interrupt.)

Where in the world Is Patrick McDermott?

Tabloid Baby writes:

Either Olivia Newton-John didn’t know he was missing—or she helped him abscond to a place like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Because Patrick McDermott was a beard. An employee. A big, strong, handsome man whose job it was to be at her side at premieres, in articles, and Hollywood myth, for a number of reasons that go beyond what she does in her private life. Patrick McDermott played his part, and then drove home to Van Nuys.

You Know You're Gay When...

I have a mate of mine from childhood who's a professor in Australia, Roger (a happily married man of 40). Over the past 12 years, he's visited me in LA five times. Whenever we communicate, either in person or via email, we rubbish each other.

As we walk along the bluff overlooking the Santa Monica Bay Sunday afternoon (it's the first time in 14 years I don't watch the Super Bowl), Roger keeps stopping to take a new photo. "It's hard to walk ten yards without seeing an even better shot," he moans.

We walked along the Santa Monica beach on his last visit to LA (September 2005).

"That's the problem with sheilas," I say. "Every ten yards (particularly in West LA), there's a better one."

"Sheila" is old Australian slang (an endearing term like shiksa) for a fair dinkum woman.

"You know you're gay when you can't walk ten yards without moaning about how beautiful the landscape is and how you must take a photo," I say.

"You know you're gay when you see Brokeback Mountain and you like it," I say. Roger loved the movie. He accuses me of being homophobic for refusing to see it.

I suggest that this area would be a great place for a same-sex commitment ceremony for a friend of his.

"You know you're gay when you refuse to see a great movie simply because the lead characters are gay," Roger says.

The sun sets as Roger and I walk along.

"Don't walk so close to me," I say.

Roger gets a stranger to take a picture of us. The man hesitates. Roger suspects that he halted because he thinks we're gay.

I don't smile for pictures (unless it is genuine). That's gay.

"There's nothing gay about appreciating nature," says Roger. "Shove it up your ass.

"You're the one whose emotional inner life has been crippled because you deny the truth about your nature. You have to keep pumping away at women to deny your inner truth.

"Jewish people don't know where your torment began. But I know. I know the deep layers of repression you developed in Seventh-Day Adventist school."

"No matter how cold it gets tonight, I'm not sharing my sleeping bag with you," I say.

I ask Roger if he likes Sex in the City.

"Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't do it for me," he says.

"I'm trying to have an intellectual conversation with you and you must reduce everything to wank fodder," I protest.

"Now you're being the true wanker," he says.

Roger waxes lyrical about relaxing effects of landscape photography.

"I find nothing relaxes me more than a good wank," I contend.

Roger says he gives a lot of credit for his marriage to his wife.

"So would I," I say (without ever meeting her).

"In all my life, I've never slept with a woman without talking to her for at least an hour first."

"You're a traditionalist," says Roger. "You're old-school."

After four hours of walking, talking, eating and drinking, we're buggered.

Here's a straight guy's guide to watching Brokeback Mountain:

Step 4: Follow the tent rule. "Brokeback Mountain" is top-quality filmmaking, and you should enjoy it in its entirety. But if you start to feel panicky -- as if you might hop to another theater and watch "Glory Road" -- simply follow the Heath Ledger Tent Rule. Every time Ledger's character, Ennis, crawls into a tent, take a trip to the restroom or refreshment stand, and make sure you're gone for at least three minutes. If you do that, then "Brokeback Mountain" is pretty much like watching an episode of "Will & Grace."

Has my buddy Rob who sent me the above link gotten over the Brokeback hump? "No. I'm no homophobe it just looks like a renter for me. I prefer car crashes and explosions in my films. Maybe Vin Diesel should do a gay action flick? Cross over to a new audience."

Muslim Cartoon Furor

Fred writes:

Query: As Arabs immigrate to Europe, will the blessings of European liberty be bestowed upon the Arabs, or will the blessings of Arab notions of press freedom be bestowed upon the Europeans? Is this the canary in the coal mine?

I am someone ambivalent about the cartoons. Just because one has the right to do something does not make that something a good idea. On the other hand, I note the irony about a cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban and the Arabs responding by shouting "Death to the Danes, French, Norwegians, etc." Seems to me that the cartoons were right on point.

David and Lisa, Luke and Cathy

Like the mentally ill boy David in the 1962 film David and Lisa, there's normally nothing more hideous to me than the touch of a woman.

But swept away by the beauty of Dr. Victor Davis Hanson's rhetoric (and the delicious Four Seasons dessert), I took Cathy in my arms Wednesday afternoon and ravished her.

Afterwards, she could barely walk to her car.

Judge Lisa Hart Cole Recuses Herself From My Jeff Wald Trial

My new judge is James A. Bascue in Department West N, located at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401.

At least I've never written about this guy.

David writes me: "From the time the case is reassigned your lawyer has 10 days to file an affidavit pursuant to CCP 170.6 to remove the judge (assuming no challenge has previously been filed.) If this 10 day period has not yet run, I would suggest that you monitor Judge Bascue’s courtroom to see if you think he would be a good judge for your case. Judge Bascue was a career prosecutor, and at one time headed the State Bar Court, so the bulk of his experience before becoming a judge involved criminal work or disciplining miscreant lawyers. He was also the Presiding Judge of the L.A. Superior Courts before he took the Santa Monica assignment."

A Dog Masturbating On Your Leg

"Sure it's honest, but who needs it?" (Anatole France)

"After you write Revolutionary Road you can screw anybody," Yates remarked with equal parts arrogance and boyish awe, as he'd just managed to bed a gorgeous Ivy Leaguer and was surprised that such "nice girls" could be so easily seduced. (Pg 248)

...Yates was a touchingly conventional lover: After a certain amount of old-fashioned foreplay, he'd take a sheepish stab at missionary intercourse, fail, and finally roll over and say, 'Don't go away' until he fell asleep. The plea was so nakedly insistent that it became embarrassing, and one night [Natalie] Bowen said, gently enough, 'Dick that's unmanly." Yates was mortified. (Pg. 250)

Once Again, Cathy Seipp Defends My Manhood

I don't like it when media columns contain inaccurate reporting about media, so a couple of things irritated me in R. J. Smith's Pajamas Media piece in the February Los Angeles magazine.

The White Man's Oprah

Pinchus Xavier Yudelstein writes Cathy: "One of these days some smarter-than-average media type at a radio or television station or network is going to give Luke a crack at his own hourly program and make some serious coin with him. Just picture "The Luke Ford Diversity Hour," with sidekick Cathy Seipp and various guests from the Luke Ford demimonde, in which Luke addresses everything from religion to pop culture to politics. If such a show were offered, wouldn't each of you watch it? Wouldn't you tell your friends to watch it? Of course you would."

David Ehrenstein writes: "The Luke Ford Show is a fascinating idea. He definitely has a TV personality, but it's one from the 50's and early 60's when Jack Paar would feature the dry wit of Alexander King, Oscar Levant and Jack Douglas. So much better television than Oprah's egregious blubberfests."


Let's talk about you. So how's your day coming along?

Since I awoke shortly after 6am and did not go to shul to pray (I could not pray last night either), I've had this haunting feeling of emptiness all day (it just hits me at times when I have nothing scheduled and just face the computer screen and my books I must write to prove that I am worthy of a hot wife and accomplished friends). Luckily I've been able to fill my emptiness with blogging and Carpenters' songs.

A new friend writes: "Yeah, I could tell you are still consumed by your ex when we met for dinner. Your body language screams out: 'I miss my girlfriend... meeting new people and starting all over again really sucks!'"

A Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

My friend calls Thursday. He's thrilled I got to hear Victor Davis Hanson. "He's the only farmer who knows the difference between King Donius and Xerxes and the only one who knows where Ithaca was.

"Are you going to write a column about it and connect it to porn? He's getting up there."

Luke: "He's in his 50s. It's his 16th book."

Friend: "He's been around forever."

Luke: "He's in good shape. He's got the body of a 45-year old man.

"How are you?"

Friend: "I've been sick for a month. I've had two colds in a row. I know where it is coming from, walking into libraries and using computers."

Luke: "It's coming across the internet?"

Friend: "No. Heaps of kids run around and cough and sneeze on everything. There are lots of homeless people walking in and using the computers with me and sneezing and coughing. I'm lucky I didn't get TB yet."

Luke: "You're not having sex with these people?"

Friend: "No. What does that have to do with colds?"

Luke: "Exchange bodily fluids, exchange diseases."

Friend: "That's not how you spread a cold."

Luke: "I'm sure it doesn't help."

Friend: "If you're banging someone?"

Luke: "Yeah."

Friend: "If you bang someone and don't shake their hand, you probably have a less chance of getting a cold than I do using a computer at a library. And if it is a hooker and you don't kiss 'em or shake their hand, the risk goes down even more.

"It's better to look good then feel good."

Luke: "How do you look?"

Friend: "Terrible. I haven't been sleeping because I can't breathe. I probably look older than Victor Davis Hanson.

"Do you have any interest in that part of the world or it's just the relation to the world today that fascinates you?"

Luke: "I wouldn't say my interest is keen. I'd rather get laid."

Friend: "That's always been the overriding concern. That's why you worked in porn."

Luke: "If you gave me a choice between a date (that I didn't have to pay for) with a beautiful woman and dinner with Dr. Hanson, hmm."

Friend: "That's a rough one."

Luke: "If she was beautiful and I knew I was going to get laid, I'd have to choose that."

Friend: "Depends on how hot she is. All I want is to hear him speak one time."

Luke: "You don't even care about sharing... fluids.

"I had this fantasy I was talking to him in classical Greek."

Friend: "Then you found out it was a dead language.

"My mom hasn't had DSL in four months. I tried to help her with her computer. They've tripled her bill. I spent hours with SBC trying to get them to help out. The guy I finally talked to last night was Charles Daniels. He was the blocking back for Archie Griffin [who won the Heisman Trophy in 1974 and 1975 at Ohio State].

"I said wow. I saw the Rosebowl against 'SC you were in.

"He did three years in 'Nam. He has eight kids. He got married the first time at 16. He's been married to this lady since he was 19, for 36 years."

Luke: "I've got to go and save humanity from secular humanism."

Friend: "Oh, you've got to go write about...."

Luke: "Yeah."

A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War By Victor Davis Hanson

I arrive at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills at 11:45am and stand behind Professor Hanson (before he addresses David Horowitz's Wednesday Morning Club).

"You're our speaker!" I say. "And you have to wait in line too."

That creates a stir and suddenly everyone wants to talk to him.

Dr. Hanson says this is his 16th book. His first was one was published when he was 28.

I imagine Vic and I switching effortlessly between Greek, Latin and Hebrew as we discuss the lunch menu ("Vine-ripened tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella with micro greens, sweet basil and balsamic syrup [followed by] chicken picatta with capellini pasta, sauteed mushrooms and currant tomatoes, lemon beurre blanc with capers [followed by] milk chocolate timbale with gianduja sauze and almond nougat [and] fresh raspberries") and the great issues of life.

After getting my name tag, I find Cathy Seipp talking to two men about her highschool English teacher.

"Was he the one who touched you inappropriately?" I ask as a means of introduction.

"NO!" says Cathy.

Cathy and I wear matching all-black slimming outfits. We belong in a Debbie Gibson video for "Lost in Your Eyes."

I don't mind
Not knowing what I'm headed for
You can take me to the skies
It's like being lost in heaven
When (and) I'm lost in your eyes

The conversation switches to Cathy's highschool history teacher.

"He was so young," says Cathy. "He must be still alive."

"He died six months ago," says the man.

At the end of the conversation, the men say Cathy "looks so well."

"That's what everyone says," Cathy reflects. "I'm not sure if I believe them."

I see a friend and introduce him to Cathy. He's volunteering for the city of LA to visit the survivors of people who die suddenly (in a shooting, suicide, etc). She suggests I do an article on him. She wants me to clean up my life.

"Everything good in my life today is because of Cathy," I say.

"That's true," she says. Cathy rarely minds taking credit.

My friend notices how I stand taller and look happier when the conversation focuses on me.

Cathy reprimands me for repeatedly referring to our speaker as "Dr. Hanson." She says "that's gross and declasse." Professor Hanson is much classier.

As I hand out my business card to my adoring fans, Cathy realizes something is missing from her life. I volunteer to make her business cards (one standard, one for her hush-hush dominatrix gig).

During the lengthy introductory speech about what a wonderful guide to Italy Dr. Hanson was for this Jewish family of five, I speculate that Vic was the true author of the chick-lit Under the Tuscan Sun.

"Your mind is going off in strange directions," worries Cathy.

The crowd numbers about 130 persons, mostly men (more attracted to topics such as war and ancient Sparta). A third of crowd stands and applauds when Rock Star Hanson approaches the microphone.

I speculate about the throwing of underwear.

"That comes afterwards," says Cathy.

Dr. Hanson: "Why do we want to study something that happened 2,500 years ago?"

Because human nature hasn't changed.

"You had this clear antithesis - one side was a democracy (Athenia) and one side was a military dictatorship. One side was a sea power (Athenia) and one side was a land power."

Thucydides, a philosopher, was embedded with the Athenian army. He wrote A History of the Peloponnesian War.

"Athenia was sophisticated, skeptical, powerful, wealthy, but it lost.

"You didn't go to Sparta to do anything. It was a loser place.

"In 1998, Bin Laden declared war against us because we supported the UN embargo against Iraq and because we had troops on holy soil. There's no longer a UN embargo and our troops are no longer in Saudi Arabia."

I see Rabbi David Wolpe and his wife.

"The Iranian president needs to know that there's a certain point at which, if the intelligence suggests [he's about to develop nuclear weapons, he knows he's going to get attacked].

"Wars start because of perceived grievances and [wars] break out because of a perceived lack of deterrence. If the reasons for a war are not removed...they restart.

"Previous Israel-Arab wars were not allowed to finish because of Russia's nuclear deterrence.

"We have about 18-months before they make the fatal decision to enrich uranium to such a degree [that the Iranians] can make six or seven twenty megaton bombs.

"Their president goes to a well and listens to voices. He also says that he spoke to the UN for 27-minutes and nobody blinked their eyes. He may want paradise.

"We're trying to get the [world] on board [against Iran].

"The worst choice is to allow him to go nuclear.

"I really get tired of people like Hillary Clinton saying 'No option off the table.' What does that mean? Does that mean you are going to support the United States Air Force going in for, not one strike, not two strikes, but for three weeks day-after-day pounding 200 sites of Iranian installations, and you see children on Tehran and Al Jazeera [tv] and correspondents broadcasting from hotels in Tehran and you have the Europeans privately delighted and publicly furious. You'll have Dan Rather as an anchor, back out of retirement. That's all going to happen.

"When that happens, John Kerry and Hillary will be the first ones to come forward to [criticize] this unnecessary [bombing] that derails the progressive European alliance."

Dr. Hanson says he used to lean towards supporting a draft, but now he doesn't. He notes studies that show there's no difference in civic involvement between those who've served and those who have not. The military prefers a volunteer army. Volunteers stay longer.

"When I talk to someone from Iran or Greece, I have a basic rule. If I sit down with a Greek, I give him five minutes and if he does not mention the 1967 coup [supported by the US, it led to seven years of military rule], I'll have dinner with him. If I sit down with an Iranian and he doesn't mention [CIA-deposed Iranian Premier Mohammad] Mossadeq in 1953 in eight minutes, I'll have dinner with him."

Dr. Hanson hopes that Hamas will try to invade Israel.

He says that over the past five years there's been an amazing change in Arab websites' views of the US. They used to condemn us for the CIA installing thugs. Now it is naive Americans pushing democracy.

Dr. Hanson supported Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

A reader emailed Cathy (who used to write for David Horowitz's FrontPageMag.com) yesterday: "Do you know much about the FrontPageMagazine guys (i.e. Jamie Glazov and Ben Johnson?)"

She answered: "I can't stand Tammy and the Doctor, as I call them. Because Ben always refers to Jamie G as "Dr Glazov," and Ph Ds who want to be addressed as Doctor have one strike against them in my book, unless they're German or from the South. Young Ben also tried to lecture me about word usage, and for that he is on my shit-list forever. I let them run reprints for $125 per piece...so it was ridiculous for them to ask me to rewrite anything, as if they were assigning editors, especially for that price."

Ratio Of Repelled To Intrigued Chicks

When women I am interested in Google me and read my work, they tend to become repelled (rather than intrigued) by a ratio of ten-to-one. A week ago, I estimated the ratio at four-to-one. Next week I will realize it is twenty-to-one.

Jack writes: "I read your book (xxx-communicated) and found it deeply disturbing. Not many things do that to me. You are willing to divulge such personal information when you are writing and I find it shocks me. It is almost like the writing is a form of therapy but it gets so intimate I start feeling like I should close the book because I am seeing things a person shouldn't see."

Hemingway and Happiness

A friend writes:

I never got to read and explain the passage from Hemingway that I wanted to so here goes.

"Writers should work alone. They should see each other only after their work is done, and not too often then. Otherwise they become like writers in New York. All angleworms in a bottle, trying to derive knowledge from their own contact and from the bottle. They do not want to be lonesome. They are afraid to be alone in their own beliefs and no woman would love any of them enough so that they could kill their lonesomeness in that woman, or pool it with hers, or make something with her that makes the rest unimportant."

You are the writer outside the bottle, don't you think?

I remember Cathy Seipp was miffed that the first time she invited me to her home (Sunday brunch), I turned her down so I could work on my memoir. Those were dark days -- spending eight hours on about eight sentences, then later realizing they were crap and erasing them. Far different from the instant rewards of blogging.

Hemingway shaped the English language more than any other writer of the 20th Century but he was a miserable human being who was cruel to his women and friends and strangers.

Yes his reputation wasn't the best, but I am sure this criticism came from someone who didn't know him. Hemingway hated his mother and always blamed her for his father's suicide.

Hemingway is one of those writers that I often come across quotes like this that really amaze me. Listen to what her says about Edgar Allen Poe: "We have had, in America, skillful writers. Poe is a skillful writer. It is skillful, marvelously constructed, and it is dead." And he's right, but I never thought about it that way. What I love about Hemingway is his way of using dialogue to set a scene, as opposed to detailing the surroundings, the characters, as Poe does. You really feel like you are there in the middle of his conversations.

I'm glad you liked the quote but didn't you find it sad? That even a woman will never be able to erase the feeling of lonliness that a writer, a true writer feels? Why have so many great writers lived such miserable lives that sometimes end in suicide? (Hunter S. Thompson, Hemingway). Would you trade genius for happiness?

I too try to use dialogue more than description (because I suck at writing description). I have a better ear than I have eye. That's why I listen to books on tape and dress like a slob. When I was younger, my male friends made fun of me for the homely chicks I dated.

I don't think a true writer needs to be sad anymore than a true construction worker etc... I'm sure many great writers have led rich fulfilling lives. My screenwriter friend has only one good friend, his wife.

I don't think a woman can fill one's loneliness, but she's more likely to fill great chunks of it than any other option. It also helps to believe in God.

Artists, including writers, tend to be manic depressives. It's the flip side of genius. Substantive achievement in anything requires the utmost dedication, taking you away from others, which will make one sad. The more time you spend with people you like, the happier you are.

Choosing to be unhappy is a supremely selfish choice (as Dennis Prager argues) that exacts a huge toll on those around you. We each have a moral responsibility to be as happy as we can.

I don't think that because true writers/artists perceptions of life are so keen that they are doomed to unhappiness and loneliness. These same abilities can make for happiness.

I had a professor (Raymond Oliva) at Sierra Community College who taught me a lot of Hemingway. He was so tickled by a short story I gave him that he shared it with other profs. Ray told me I was going to be a writer one day, that I was the best student he'd had in 30 years of teaching. He gave me some prize. I didn't get along with most of my teachers because I was so argumentative, but some of them (English, journalism, poli sci) told me I was their best or most challenging student ever.

'But Not In A Gay Way'

I got this IM Wednesday from a stranger:

Jasonkbrooklyn: like poetry ?
Luzdedos1: yes
Luzdedos1: but not in a gay way
Jasonkbrooklyn: http://frederickpina.tripod.com
Jasonkbrooklyn: or google: frederick pina
Luzdedos1: k, who are you?
Jasonkbrooklyn: frederick pina
Jasonkbrooklyn: writer in new york city
Jasonkbrooklyn: did you like it ?
Luzdedos1: i have not had time to read it yet, just glanced

Whoring For Votes

As I surf around the Jewish blogosphere, I find an embarrassing number of blogs (including ones by friends) entreating their readers to vote for them to win some stupid contest for best blog. I have not entered a contest since my highschool journalism advisor pushed me to in my senior year (I got second place). I do not plan to enter another contest in my life. Even though I am a narcissist, I find such self-promotion distasteful. I've never approached a journalist to write about me (I once hired a publicist for two months in the summer of 1998, nothing resulted from it, and I hated the whole experience, and never did it again). Whenever I publish a book, the most common question I get is, "How will you market it?" I won't. I find that distasteful. I struggle to produce compelling work. If people want it, they can hunt it down.

Amalek writes:

Forget that. You need to write your true autobiography, the one that describes how you were kidnapped by Abos for a summer, after which your father rejected you. The one that describes your descent into porn as a plaything of rich women. Then, maybe, you can get on Oprah.

"She held me down and mounted me with her enormous meaty thighs pinning me helplessly in place. All I could do was hum some prayers and block it out."

Don't talk about Holly that way.

This is how we all know that you are not a biological Jew - you have no instinct or drive to make money.

You pattern your life after the Christian martyrs instead of the Jewish Gedolim.

Really, I see more of Jesus in you than I see Howard Stern.

New Technological Annoyance

I get automated phonecalls reading me text messages. Unless it is from a friend or a hot chick or someone who can put money in my pocket or advance my career, I'm not interested.

Using Feminine Wiles To Save Souls For God

I'm reading Rodney Stark's book on The Rise of Christianity and I'm struck by the encouraging strain in Christianity to exogamy and the conquering of the outside world (in sharp contrast to Judaism's inwardness, skeptical view of the gentile word and its strong opposition to exogamy):

Here we are in a city stinking of death. All around us, our family and friends are dropping...

If we are pagans, we probably already know that our priests profess ignorance.

But if we are Christian, our faith does claim to have answers.

"Another advantage Christians enjoyed over pagans was that the teaching of their faith made life meaningful even amid sudden and surprising death... [E]ven a shattered remnant of survivors who had somehow made it through war or pestilence or both could find warm, immediate and healing consolation in the vision of a heavenly existence for those missing relatives and friends...Christianity was, therefore, a system of thought and feeling thoroughly adapted to a time of troubles in which hardship, disease, and violent death commonly prevailed."

...[W]omen were more likely than men to become Christians.

Like pagans, early Christians prized female chastity, but unlike pagans they rejected the double standard that gave pagan men so much license. Christian men were urged to remain virgins until marriage and extra-marital sex was condemned as adultery.

Should they be widowed, Christian women also enjoyed very substantial advantages.

In the pagan world that surrounded the early Christians, an excess number of men caused wives to be in short supply. But within the Christian subculture it was husbands who were in short supply. Herein lay an excellent opportunity for gaining converts.

Both Peter and Paul sanctioned marriage between Christians and pagans.

Tertulian...wrote two angry treatises condemning Christian women's use of makeup, hair dye, fancy clothes and jewelry.

Peter and Paul hoped that Christians would bring their spouses into the church, but neither seemed to have the slightest worry that Christians would revert to, or convert to, paganism. The composure of the Christian martyrs amazed and unsettled many pagans.

A primary cause of low fertility in the Greco-Roman world was a male culture that held marriage in low esteem.

...[F]emale prostitutes abounded in Greco-Roman cities...also sustained substantial numbers of male prostitutes, as bisexuality and homosexuality were common.

In addition to infanticide, fertility was greatly reduced in the Greco-Roman world by the very frequent recourse to abortion. The literature details an amazingly large number of abortion techniques -- the more effective of which were exceedingly dangerous. Thus abortion not only prevented many births, it killed many women before they could make their contribution to fertility, and it resulted in a substantial incidence of infertility in women who survived abortions.

'Blowing off a woman (as she is opening up to you) to go pray to God'

Amalek writes: "COOL move. Really, never even heard of that."

Shiksas have a sixth sense about IMing you before prayers.

December's Book Royalties - $31:47

Title Royalty MTD Qty [for 12/05] YTD [Year to Date] Qty LTD [Lifetime sales] Qty

XXX-Communicated $ 10.09 3 17 93
The Producers $ 6.00 4 77 136
Yesterday's News Tomorrow $ 15.38 3 14 59

A Black Woman's Date With A Jew

She writes on Craigs List New York:

I am a pretty, self employed 6'22 black girl. He was 5'10 25 year old and a composer from Italy. He seemed a little off but I am an artist myself so I thought that he was just a little kooky like me. He wanted to take me out to dinner at one of NY's most wonderful restaurants (Nobu) and I was excited to meet him because he seemed really passionate about his music. So I put on my little black Michael Kors skirt and some heels and went to go meet him downtown at a Starbucks.

I walk in to the Starbucks and noone is making eye contact with me. I am honestly feeling like I got stood up! Then I notice one of the guys at the bar is scribbling sheet music. It was him. I approach him then he pushes a sketch book at me. "I did all this today," he announces.

"Ok," I say. "Look at it it," he tells me. Well, I don't know how to read sheet music so I look at it until he looks like he feels satisfied. This is probaby the point I should have run away but I guess I am a massochist. Then he tells me a story I think is BS about how his ATM card got stuck in the ATM and we have to wait an hour for a Western Union from Italy.

I look him up and down- decent shoes, but they are scuffed and beaten and a nice suit but it screams H&M. I don't know any man who can afford five star dinners and then wear an H&M suit. But I offer to buy him a drink around the corner. All he talks about is his accomplishments and how much he is like Mozart- but he is a perfect gentleman and very gracious. Overall he is very interesting company. Then he tells me that his days are numbered because of stomache cancer and how he needs to eat regularly to keep it in check. When I ask him about the Western Union he tells me that it may take days to come through!

My BS meter is now going crazy. But it is almost 11 now and I am starving. I offer to let him share in some cheap Indian food around the corner. I don't stress too much about money so this isn't a big deal to me. He is so ecstatic that he grabs my face and kisses me on the mouth. I am like, "Woah! I am not down with that!". His explanation is that in Italy it is an OK form of affection and salutation. I remind him that I don't live in Italy.

Over dinner I hear more about how he graduated from Juillard at 17 and his father doused him in boiling water as a boy. I am not attracted to him anymore but this is more entertaining than anything that I have at home. He tells me of the time he hung out with Chris Rock in 96 and his year in Argentina. I don't even know what to believe.

I am black but somehow he misconstrues one of my comments about how I ran into some skin-heads the weekend before as a sign that I am an anti-semetic who wants all Jews to die. Then he starts telling me how gorgeous I am and how I must accompany him at his Sunday performance at the Waldorph. He tries to kiss me again and when I stop him he starts getting angry. "I know you liked it!", he yells at me. How is this guy who doesn't even know me gonna tell me what I like??!!! After dinner he asks me for money so that he can buy groceries because he needs to eat because of his stomache cancer. I don't even have any cash on me so I flatly tell him no- even when he offers his computer for collateral. He freaks out and starts crying. "You don't even care about me!" "You want me to die because you hate Jews!" "You don't think I am sexy because I am not tall enough for you!" Every interjection of mine is met with ludicrous statements. He is literally crying and then he starts running away screaming about how he is going to throw himself in front of a subway and kill himself. He doesn't want to bear the pain of not eating and so he is going to end it now. I suggest that I can lend him my metro-card (I have a smart mouth). Afterwards I think I stood on that street corner for a full three minutes watching his figure run into the distance. I was in total disbelief. That was the worst date I ever had.

Burt Kearns: 'Dimond comes clean on Jacko past'

Perhaps sensing a James Frey-like scandal brewing, Diane Dimond, author of a recent book on Michael Jackson’s travails, is coming clean on the history of her involvement in the Jackson case.

Ostensibly, Diamond’s letter to the editor in the January 23rd issue of Broadcasting & Cable magazine is a complaint about an earlier B&C item that a) revealed that her book sold only 5,000 copies despite a massive advertising campaign; b) referred to her as “Jackson’s near stalker”; c) said her book’s title is “stomach-churning”; and d) spelled her name wrong.

But Dimond uses the letter to carefully document her involvement with the Jackson case. Because just as James Frey exaggerated and lied about his past, so has Diane Dimond used television and radio appearances over the past two and a half years to exaggerate the history of her crusade against Michael Jackson...

I Have A Serious Problem

I find it hard to say more than a few sentences to someone I desire without making a sexual innuendo. Monday night, a pornographer I once dated told me to cool it with the innuendos.

I have a serious problem. I've hit rock bottom. From now, I resolve to be as pure in speech as I am in behavior.

My most common nickname since grade six has been "pervert." That was the pet name one girlfriend gave me. When she got me on the phone (long before we ever met in person), she'd say, "Hello, pervert." Later in the conversation, she'd usually say, "Pervert! Cool it!"

I fear that I attach too much importance to sex (or at least clever wordplay about it). How can rutting compare to the contemplation of the eternal verities?

A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates by Blake Bailey

This tendency to become deeply attached to unlikely people would remain one of his most poignant and self-destructive qualities. (Pg 87)

"Dick had a terrible thing with loneliness," [his ex-wife Sheila Bryant] later observed. "If he formed an attachment, he'd be half-destroyed if it ended. Really I think that's what did him in. He could never bear the thought of losing close people." (Pg. 103)

"I didn't want to be married to anyone, ever, who said things like, 'Oh, you can take care of what?'" (Pg. 112)

Satanists Who Read

I was out and about doing interviews Monday. I spent an hour or two talking to someone I discovered on a couch reading a book by Anton LeVay.

I'd rather spend time talking to a Satanist who reads than a believer who does not read.

How about you? How do you feel about Satanists who seem like nice people? Especially if they're cute. If I dated her, would that be a good deed or a sin? She's Chinese, not Jewish.

Sometimes you have to wrestle with the devil.

Luke's Legal Woes

From the Luke Ford Fan Blog (the author is not me and I have no control over what he writes) Jan 30, 2006:

If Luke Ford could go back in time and relive July 2, 2002, I'm sure he would choose to spend the day in bed (or, more accurately, on the floor [since he doesn't have a bed {'cuz he's one of those really cool ascetic religious-types (like Mahatma Gandhi [or that Buddha dude])}]) and listen to a book-on-tape about Judaism borrowed from the Beverly Hills Public Library, rather than keep his scheduled appointment with Hollywood manager/producer Jeff Wald. Mr Wald is, you see, "troubled"* (to say the least). Rather than seek psychological counselling for his (many) "issues,"* he insists on inflicting his (severe) "problems"* onto everyone he comes into contact with. And in the summer of 2002 that someone was the Great Luke Ford™.

In addition to being a moral leader, playboy, investigative reporter, science correspondent, and hovel-dwelling uber-blogger, Luke Ford is a really smarmy interviewer, which comes in handy around pseudo-celebrities. The key to great interviewing is to make the subject feel at ease, so he lets down his guard and allows his words to flow free. And Jeff Wald certainly did unburden his soul (assuming he has one) into Mr Ford's trusty microphone. "Ol' Pot Belly," as Mr Wald is affectionately called by his friends (assuming he has any) spoke openly of his long history of drug abuse; his extensive record of violent assaults; his nasty habit of making death threats to business associates, hotel union strikers, his ex-wife's boyfriend, celebrity journalists, etc., etc.

My favourite passage from Luke Ford's interview with Mr Wald, secular Jew, liberal Democrat, and rolly polly ball of hate, was this little gem:

I was friendly with producer Burt Sugarman, producer of the TV show The Midnight Special (1973) ... He'd just bought the company Chuck Barris Industries, which produced The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show, The Dating Game. I met with him and we formed a partnership company called Barris-Wald. That lasted four days. I said to him, "The company is a piece of shit." He said, "If you don't like it, change it. You're the president."

So I fired 127 people in one day out of 129 employees .... I went over to the shows and fired everyone on the shows -- all the producers, everybody. They'd been doing the show for 24 years.

Tikkun Olam, indeed! It's enough to make a righteous Gentile into a raging anti-Semite. (Thank G-d for Luke Ford -- a non-pushy Jew undermining negative stereotypes everywhere he goes!)

Mr Ford posted the interview on his blog. And the shit hit the fan. The piece of shit being Jeff "I Hate Looking At Myself In the Mirror" Wald:

I want my whole thing down .... Who the fuck do you think you are? I can make you not fucking breathe .... I'll stop you from breathing. Do you understand me? You can put that up there and quote it. I'm just telling you something right now. We will crush you with fucking lawyers. And that will just be the fun part. That will be the part of your day that you fucking enjoy when you run out of fucking money .... I'll put your name all over this fucking place. I'll send out emails to everyone in this fucking town and nobody will take your fucking calls when I'm finished. I'm just telling you something. You're fucking with the wrong guy here. You put up all the times I've been arrested. They were for assault pal.


I'll break you the fuck down like you've never seen in your fucking life. You want to see some shit? Let's see how much fucking money you have. You'll never have a fucking dime as long as you live. Because that's how long I'll fucking keep you in court. And I don't give a fuck if I lose. I'll just keep going after you in fucking court. Do you understand that? I'll make sure that every fucking penny you earn for the rest of your life will go in fucking lawyers. I can finance that with my residuals."


I will sue the shit out of you. I don't give a fuck if I lose. I'll just resue you. You can't afford the lawsuits. I'll fucking hire a lawyer fulltime right out of fucking law school whose job will be nothing but to file depositions and shit on you and make you defend yourself. I'll break you.

That lawyer is named George J. Paukert, and he really does seem to be just out of law school. Writing isn't one of Mr Paukert's strengths: he struggles with punctuation; uses improper words like "moreso"; misspells his own client's name as "Weld"; doesn't believe in proofreading; and basically makes himself, and his client, look foolish:

This material published in serial fashion, is libelous on its face and by virtue of innuendo. The publications [sic] of these statements clearly exposes WALD to hatred, contempt, ridicule, and obloquy because the innuendo causes readers to believe that WALD is deceptive, immoral, dishonest, and even a criminal ("criminally evil"). It falsely expresses tat [sic] WALD pays women to have sex with him and depicts WALD as a person whose professional business is dominated by WALD's personal dishonesty. Further, FORD, the publisher of the publication, premises his defamatory statements on a false and erroneous claim that he (FORD) is credible, knowledgeable and legitimate businessperson ha [sic] the entertainment industry.

Good grief.

If Jeff Wald was really concerned about his reputation he'd (a) hire a competent lawyer, and (b) refrain from making career-destroying statements, such as: "I am a fucking lunatic"; and "The drugs I used ate away my nasal and sinus tissues. There are just spaces where bone was"; and "I got into [a] huge fight with the president of NBC ... This time I threatened to kill him."

It's obvious that Jeff Wald, like all atheists (i.e., liberals), is a vile and despicable human being*. He desperately needs G-d in his life. Yet Mr Wald believes "[a]ll those religions are full of shit ... It's all about controlling people and sexual repression."

Guess what? A little repression is no bad thing. In fact, it's called being a decent, G-d fearing Republican. And moral people, in addition to wholeheartedly supporting George W. Bush, don't go around harassing hovel-dwelling celebrity journalists with frivolous lawsuits, let alone threatening to kill them. Tsk, tsk Mr Wald!

So, let's pray for Jeffrey. Please G-d help Mr Wald come to his senses and find You, dear G-d, so that next Yom Kippur, if not sooner, he (Ol' Pot Belly*) may humbly ask Luke Ford (and all the other people he [Ol' Pot Belly*] has lied to, cheated, violently assaulted, and threatened with murder) for forgiveness.

* This is a statement of opinion, and should not be considered (by fat, litigious cokeheads) as a factual assertion.

I believe that many of the seeming spelling mistakes in George Paukert's filing have more to do with the scanning software of my friend than any deficiencies on the part of Mr. Paukert, who at all times in this case has conducted himself as a lawyer and a gentleman.