Your Moral Leader Undresses The Gay Agenda Of GQ
I've come under considerable pressure in my personal life to stop talking and writing about homosexual issues. My learned objective essays and speeches have caused scurrilous gossip in some quarters to the effect that I am a fag.
Mr XXX asked me today: "Why do you keep joking about it?" I answered: "Who knows what tickles a funny bone? Probably because it was the greatest epithet one could throw at a person when I was growing up, it was the butt of many jokes, and now it is supposed to be ok...and we're surrounded in Hollywood by a pro-gay agenda that sometimes nauseates me."
JoeClark@JoeClark.org writes to Media News:
Which caused me to think about John Brodie's article on Steven Seagal and Anthony Pellicano in the latest issue of GQ and wonder if the Mafia here is the Gay Mafia?
Will writes: Finally!!!! Someone figured out that GQ was GAY!!!! I know it seems ridiculous to be surprised, but I got a copy of GQ as part of a gift in the 1980s and I gave it to my friend who was a screaming queen. I couldn't relate to the magazine at all (men concerned with their appearance????) and the screamer loved it! Not that it matters, I guess, but I feel vindicated. I am not going to shave today.
TinyLittlePenis.com - Another Consequence Of The Decline Of Organized Religion Among The Jews
"The idea that not being an orthodox Jew leads to swinging, homosexuality, pederasty and rap music is obviously absurd. I have no interest in any of the above." (David Poland)
While reading Emmanuelle.net today, I clinked on the link "Rabbit Blog" and to my horror found myself on the domain www.tinylittlepenis.com.
Swallowing hard, I scanned the writings of Heather Havrilesky (who, to the best of my knowledge, is not a Torah-observant Orthodox Jew, in fact she isn't even Jewish but I will blame the secular Jews anyway for the name of her website) because I was eager to get the thoughts of this accomplished writer on our panel last Saturday night. To my chagrin, I found references to drug use that I believe were intended humorously.
Heather writes: "Let me just say one last thing while I still have the bong - er, microphone."
I've heard tawdry gossip, attributed to Heather's boyfriend Barry, that Heather's oral abilities extend way beyond making beautiful soundbites on prestigious panels, but being a believer in Biblical prophecy and ethics and family purity, I will not explicate on this score.
The Burden Of Moral Leadership
Many people envy my status as a moral leader, the go-to guy for moral questions, a hero to 13-year old girls, the decider of Jewish Law in Los Angeles, the confidant of Orthodox rabbis, the inspiration for Jewish children, the scourge of Hollywood, the bane of pornographers...
Moral leadership, however, is not all bubblegum and kisses on the beach at sunset. It is a lonely and expensive road I must walk. For instance, keeping up the domain registration for YourMoralleader.com, Moralleader.com and sending the traffic here to Lukeford.net, the home of moral leadership on the web, costs me upwards of $100 a year.
Then you get the constant harping criticism from secular Jews who feel you are trying to put yourself above them, when all you really want to do is draw them close to Torah.
Just yesterday, David Poland and I made our daily round of Fairfax High School where I like to whisper to the nubile babes, "Hi, my name is Luke Ford Dot Net. I'm your Moral Leader. Jump in my van and we'll go for a ride and talk about the great issues facing young people today."
David "Hot Button" Poland writes: Not for publication - The hypocrisy of today's rambling about orthodoxy is kind of grotesque.
Pal, you are berating people for doing things you do, regardless of your religious affiliations. Which of the following HAVEN'T you done this week? "Pornography . They pursue the lusts of their eyes. They engage in premarital sex. They fornicate. They screw around. They look at dirty pictures on the internet."
I don't know if you have oral sex, but I hope you do and I hope you are good at it. I don't know if you masturbate, but if you don't, no wonder you need pharmaceuticals.
The idea that not being an orthodox Jew leads to swinging, homosexuality, pederasty and rap music is obviously absurd. I have no interest in any of the above.
I haven't said anything about your "homosexual agenda" slander, because I felt it was so absurd that it read more silly than serious, but it is rather bizarre as well. My entire homosexual agenda is the same as my black agenda, my hispanic agenda, my muslin agenda and my jewish agenda... we are all human beings in the eyes of God and should be so in the eyes of one another.
The orthodox rules about sex are not about morality, but about propagating the species and growing to numbers like sand on a beach. Within marriage, the rules are pretty much, have kids and focus on god's work, not the distraction of lust. Also, do not hurt others for your own indulgence.
We can live with these ideas without living with the structure. The fact that you have come to believe you cannot is unfortunate (and surely untrue), but don't tell me that I have to pray the way you do in order to be a moral man. Judge my actions, not my status. Because then you are opening the doors to everyone else who wants to hate you for being Jewish, blacks for skin tone, chinese for their characteristics and so on. And so shall the world self-destruct.
I do not consider myself to be above. My judge is in the mirror each morning. My judgment of myself is based on my beliefs, including religious, and my relations with other humans. Did I do good things today? Did I hurt anyone? Did I grow? Was I awake and part of my community?
I understand the idea of a God who is like a parent, smacking our hands when we play with ourselves in public as young children. But I am a man. God is part of my life. But I serve his cause by serving, with true thought and effort, the ideals and not the machinery of man, which organized religion inevitably is.
The Price For Secular Jewish Hubris
Wherein our author stands up against the great tide of atheistic humanism as embodied by Mickey Kaus and Eugene Volokh, my social and professional superiors, but on my tawdry little website, I take potshots at them because I can. It's fun.
I had lunch today with David Poland, not a Torah Jew. He says I am the only person who keeps pointing out that he is not a Torah Jew and I think he finds it annoying, which only increases the fun for me.
Also, and I don't know if this is related to his aggressive secular humanism and promotion of the homosexual agenda, but David is not shy about sending food back if it is not exactly what he ordered.
Chaim writes: "Luke, for your comment that jews whine, I hope someone sues you."
Now, I was raised a WASP. As Protestants, we know that Jesus suffered, therefore we too must suffer. And if you get served bad food in a restaurant, you accept it without complaining.
But not Jews. I can usually tell the Jews in a restaurant because they complaint the most.
And today was the second time I've had lunch with David when he has sent food back because it was not to his liking.
David replies: "I did not return food because it was not to my liking. I returned it because it was not what I ordered. If non-jews eat whatever they are served, regardless of what they ordered, I should start a restaurant that keeps jews out and serves hamburger when they order steak, StarKist when they order swordfish and sh-- when they order Shinola.
"P.S. Anything repeated ad nauseum gets irritating. If you want to irritate me, treat me like your orthodox friends treat you."
That David refuses to capitalize "Jew" shows he's a what? Ashamed of his heritage?
David replies: "I don't cap any ethnic groups... spellcheck likes some and not others, so to preserve equality, I cap none.
"I'm not sure I really believe that you've added Lithium to your diet.... seem the same to me..."
Cathy Seipp writes me: "I laughed at the image of D Poland sending food back... Debbie and I NEVER send food back, so don't worry..."
Luke replies in the wider margin because he has so much to say, and this is his website and he can: I think it is arrogant for people to believe they can just make up their own moral code and that they do not have to pledge allegiance to something that has proved its staying power, ala Judaism or Christianity. Orthodox Jews, for instance, are morally responsible to an all powerful God, an almost all-seeing community, a 3000-year old code of law. Secular people can do their own thing so long as they are not arrested by the police for breaking a law, or their secular peers do not shun them for some such sin like racism or homophobia.
But me. When I do something wrong, I'm thrown out of my synagogue and most of my friends shun me.
To whom is Mickey Kaus accountable? To his own conscience. The individual conscience is often a weak thing.
Of course secular people can be morally beautiful and religious people can be evil, but overall, religious people are accountable to a God, a community and a lengthy tradition that has proved itself over millenia. Secularists are free spirits who engage in things like pornography and homosexuality, pederasty and rap music. They pursue the lusts of their eyes. They engage in premarital sex. They fornicate. They screw around. They swing. They have oral sex. They look at dirty pictures on the internet. They masturbate. God, they disgust me.
To be succinct, I don't trust people who are not in an organized religion unless I know them well.
Linda replies: "I still don't know what price you mean, though."
YourMoralLeader.com replies: "Ahh... Secularists often say, after I say my piece, 'Well, I guess I will just have to live and learn and pay the price for my own mistakes.' But when people act unethically, it is those around them that end up paying the price. When people get doped up and drugged up and have kids outside of wedlock (virtually unheard of in the Orthodox Jewish and Christian communities), it is the community in general that must pay the price for these errant individuals lack of a moral discipline."
Lunch With RiShawn Biddle
From RiShawnBiddle.com: The Johnny Appleseed of Reporting"--Atlanta Business Chronicle columnist Dick Williams When RiShawn Biddle got into journalism in 1997--on the advice of one of his English professors--he knocked on the door of every publication in Atlanta. No one took him seriously: One editor sarcastically told him to take Journalism 101 before coming back to him for any work. Biddle got over that hump--and got a gig with that very editor too--thanks to talent, perseverance and great mentors. He also delivered the goods: Freelancing for Atlanta's alternative and community weeklies, he nailed down stories on such subjects as the protest group Refuse & Resist, the rise of private school choice and apartment safety in the suburbs. As a staff writer for the Dunwoody Crier from 1998 to 1999, he dug up stories on the secession efforts of one community while covering political intrigue in two of Georgia's largest counties. As an intern for ABC News correspondent John Stossel and his top-notch staff, he uncovered a custody fight between the adopted parents of adopted child Karen A. and the mother who abandoned her. The story became a segment in Stossel's special Why Children Don't Have a Voice. And as Reason Magazine's Burton Gray Memorial Intern, he pulled together lively features on the cultural impact of the Sony Walkman as well as on the battle over college student activity fees.
Currently a Los Angeles-based reporter for Forbes Magazine, Biddle covers real estate, hospitality and legal affairs. But he specializes in digging up feuds and shenanigans. Among his scoops: The sparring match between Barry Sternlicht's Starwood Hotels and its franchisees, the feud between Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea and the printing giant's new shareholder, and legal fracas involving Dennis Levine crony-turned-Santa Barbara breast implant firm president Ilan Reich and an investor group including Welcome Back, Kotter star Gabe Kaplan and producer Jon Peters.
He was recently named a finalist in the 2001 Southern California Journalism Awards for uncovering a ritzy golf course venture between insurance giant Nationwide Mutual and a convicted felon who victimized hall-of-fame slugger Harmon Killebrew as well as helped bring down two S&L's during the Eighties.Biddle's pieces have also appeared in Icon Thoughtstyle magazine, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Record (Hackensack, N.J.) and Bridge News Service. He was also one of seven winners and runner-ups in the Institute for Humane Studies' Felix Morley Journalism Competition in 1998. Among his appearances: An investigative journalism panel for the High School Journalism Day seminar at USC's Annenberg School of Communications, as well as on the radio show Marketplace and on the Business Talk Radio network.
My friend Tiffany Stone and I visited the Los Angeles bureau of Forbes magazine Tuesday where we met RiShawn Biddle (born 4/12/74) and bureau chief Seth Lubove. Then we went to lunch at an Italian place in Santa Monica with Rishawn.
I ordered a vegetarian pizza with fresh tomatoes, Tiffany had a salad and RiShawn ordered chicken.
Luke: "How did you become a journalist?"
RiShawn: "Back in 1995, I had transferred to Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, Georgia. I was in an English class. The teacher looked at my writing and told me that I could write for a living. My thought at that time was to be a lawyer but I hate big thick books. I was working at a I worked at a Honeybaked Ham store, putting myself through school. Just one of the peons prepping and adding glaze to hams.
"I wasn't thinking about what I was going to do with the rest of my life so I didn't do anything for two years."
Luke: "Was this a predominantly black college?"
RiShawn: "No, it was a predominantly white college and predominantly southern."
Luke: "Did you play sports?"
RiShawn: "None in college. In high school, we played jailhouse basketball, where you just chop people..."
Luke: "When did you graduate college?"
RiShawn laughs: "That's a long, long story. We won't get into that."
Luke: "I dropped out of UCLA."
RiShawn: "We'll leave it that I went to college."
Luke: "When did you start work as a journalist?"
RiShawn: "In 1997, I got tired of working at an Arbys, Honeybaked Hams... I worked as a temp secretary. And going to school. I figured I might as well take my professor's advice. I ended up taking a creative writing course with her."
Luke: "That's good for journalism."
RiShawn: "It taught me nothing about writing."
Tiffany: "Most undergraduate writing courses aren't that good or serious."
RiShawn: "Wait a minute, you are supposed to be asking the questions."
Tiffany: "Ok, I'll be quiet. I'm sorry."
A woman's place at this table is to be seen and not heard.
Luke: "Where did you grow up?"
RiShawn: "South Ozone Park, New York."
Biddle transferred to Georgia soon after his mother moved there upon RiShawn's high school graduation.
RiShawn: "Ozone Park is a Jamaican area."
Luke: "Are you Jamaican?"
RiShawn: "No, I'm an American black man."
Tiffany explains me: "He doesn't know New York."
Luke: "You didn't play cricket or anything?"
RiShawn: "No, I didn't play cricket."
Luke: "How did you get into journalism?"
RiShawn: "The first piece I got published was a letter to the editor of the USA Today criticizing a Marvin Olasky op-ed piece. I didn't think of that as writing. It was shooting my mouth off.
"Then, a few months later, I wrote a piece for a publication called Topside Load about addictions.I began talking to editors at small community weeklies around the Atlanta suburbs. I never wrote for a high school or college newspaper. Nobody looked at me and said, 'Gee whiz, RiShawn, we like you. You can freelance for us.' It was more, 'We don't need you.'
"I got positive feedback from Dick Williams, the editor of The Dunwoody Crier. It took me two months to act upon that.
"Stop pointing to your pizza."
Luke: "I'm offering her another piece."
RiShawn: "He wants to fatten you up. He wants to make you plump so he can have you around the house and just clean... So no one else can hit on you?"
RiShawn: "Back to me, I guess."
RiShawn: "I composed a story about a left-wing group called 'Refuse and Resist' to Topside Load's sister publication, Creative Load. This guy Fred Robinson was interested and he gave me my first gig in writing. I tried to write a balanced and fair piece. Refuse and Resist are best known for supporting Mumia Abe Jamal, this Philadelphia cop murderer. I tried to be fair to these guys even though they had these pimply-faced girls at their meetings who wore ty-die shirts with weed symbols on them and had guys who played hacky sack."
Luke, mystified: "What's hacky sack?"
RiShawn: "You haven't heard of hacky sack? We won't explain it to you, then. These guys were whack jobs but I tried to be fair and balanced. That was my first mistake. I turned in a fair and balanced piece. Fred Robinson looked at it. He's a black guy and I didn't realize at the time that he was fairly conservative. He looked and said, 'Come on. We can't take these guys seriously.'
"He got some filler info and started adding stuff in. That was the first piece that I got screamed at by a lot of people. The guys from Refuse and Resist called my house and harassed my mother [in Atlanta]."
RiShawn has a younger brother and sister. "I'm the one with the big pants in the family."
Luke: "How did you get the job at Forbes?"
RiShawn: "I was an intern at Reason magazine in 1999. Virginia Postrel, who was the editor-in-chief, suggested that there was an opening at Forbes for a position. I thought it was part-time. I went over to the Forbes offices then on Third Street and Wilshire on the [Third Street] Promenade [in Santa Monica]. I met with the bureau chief of the time Tim Ferguson. He said, 'Are you here for the reporter job?' I guess this is a fulltime gig? 'Yeah,' he said. I said I was here for the reporter position.
"After we talked, he led me into an empty office..."
Luke: "And he helped you off with your clothes?"
RiShawn: "No. He sat me in front of a computer and he gave me a financial statement for a company called North Face. I never really read financial statements. I looked through it and I found that the company looked like they were in trouble and I wrote that.
"A couple of weeks later, Seth called me in for another interview."
Luke: "Did Seth lead you into an empty room too?"
RiShawn: "No, Seth actually led me into a conference room."
Luke: "Did anything happen?"
RiShawn: "He told me that this was a tough job and this is what I am going to do... He laid it out for me. I should've paid more attention."
Tiffany: "You were real young, right?"
RiShawn: "I was 25."
Luke: "Had you yet known a woman?"
RiShawn: "I've known plenty of women. And that is a subject we're totally not going to talk about."
Luke: "Does it help when you go into bars to meet women to say that you work for Forbes?"
RiShawn: "It doesn't mean anything to them."
Luke: "Funny that. When Tiffany found out, she got tremors up and down her spine."
RiShawn: "We know that Tiffany gets tremors all over the place. At least, that's what I've heard.
"I guess the name, theoretically, can open a lot of doors, but I've never used it as an opening line."
Luke: "Does it open a lot of legs?"
RiShawn: "No, that requires charm. Luke, that requires charm."
Tiffany: "RiShawn, you're charming."
Luke: "He knows he's charming."
Tiffany: "A good sense of humor. Yeah, he does. I like the eyebrows curling upwards..."
Luke interrupts: "That's enough Tiffany."
RiShawn: "I don't use the Forbes name as a pickup line. If they ask me what I do for a living, I say that's what I do. My job is my job."
Luke: "Have you ever gone to interview someone and they've tried to seduce you?"
RiShawn: "Ok now, what the heck are you talking about here?"
RiShawn turns off my taperecorder. A few minutes later, I turn it back on.
Luke: "What is your dream?"
RiShawn: "I don't want to be the editor of a magazine or any sub-editor. I've seen what those guys have to go through and it blows. If you're running the show, you're under constant stress over circulation and everything else. At some point, I'd like to write a book and do syndicated columns. I've been approached a couple of times."
Luke: "Do you like [black talkshow host and libertarian] Larry Elder?"
RiShawn: "He seems like a nice guy. I've never met him. I got a book signed by him. I don't spend my time chasing celebrities."
Luke: "Throwing your panties on stage?"
RiShawn: "No, that's Tiffany's job."
Tiffany: "I've never done that."
RiShawn: "Who do you idolize?"
Tiffany thinks. I clear my throat noisily.
Tiffany: "Luke, I think there are plenty of women who read your site who idolize you. Naive young girls."
Luke: "But they're all under 15."
RiShawn: "Do you want to be a radio talkshow host one day?"
Luke: "Yeah. Would you like to be president of the United States one day?"
RiShawn: "My grandmother wanted me to be president when I was a little kid. But I figured that with all my umm..."
Tiffany: "Sex, drugs and rockn'roll?"
RiShawn: "Just the sex. I don't do drugs."
Luke: "How much sex have you had?"
RiShawn ponders: "Hmmm...."
Tiffany: "RiShawn's a player. I can tell. I knew when I met you RiShawn."
RiShawn: "I'm not a player. I'm a nice guy. Women get this mistake about me that I am a guy who goes around..."
Luke: "And pumps women."
RiShawn: "I'm just a very nice guy who works a job, comes home, pulls out my black book."
Tiffany: "Guys who are 28 are a certain way."
Luke: "Which of the women at the event Saturday night would you like to know better, hang out with?"
RiShawn turns off my tape recorder.
Luke: "Have you read more books or been with more women in the past year?"
RiShawn: "More women. I read six books [in the past year]."
I write Los Angeles bureau chief of Forbes, Seth Lubove: "Why do you two guys like cracking heads so much in your reporting? Why has RiShawn lasted at Forbes so long when most people flee within a year? Do you/Forbes mind him having a weblog?"
Tiffany writes: [David] Poland is horrified that I was hushed and let Rishawn intimidate me. FICTION!!!! You are making me look bad. However, you were only trying to be clever, so I don't mind. FYI: I do send back food if it is gross. If you went to eat at places other than Soup Plantation you might too. I changed my mind. Both of your religions are guilt ridden. You would sit and suffer.
The Media and the Middle East
Cathy Seipp writes: Luke, I thought you might be interested in this remarkably agenda-driven L.A. Press Club event. My question: Why is the University of Judaism co-operating with KPFK, which was overtaken by the anti-Semitic "Free Mumia" crowd last year?
As an added bonus, I see that Amy Wilentz, known for her Useful Idiot op-ed commentary, will be speaking too. As Groucho Marx said when people complained about his pen-pal friendship with the notoriously anti-Semitic T.S. Eliot, "there's a lot of Jews I don't like either." But still, this is just ridiculous. And $15? Like people should really pay to hear this crap? Crazy!
Sunday, March 9 2:00 p.m. at University of Judaism, Gindi Auditorium 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air $15.00
THE MEDIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST a panel discussion moderated by Howard Rosenberg, Los Angeles Times television critic
Panelists: Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times reporter Amy Wilentz, author, "Martyrs' Crossing" Don Bustany, KPFK radio host of "Middle East in Focus" Murray Fromson, former CBS foreign correspondent
Tricia Roth's final statement on KFPK Feminist Magazine: Before we close tonight I need to do something out of the ordinary. Tonight is my last show with KPFK and I'd like to let you know why, after 9 years, I'm leaving. It's not a very popular stance, but it's one I feel VERY strongly about and that is Pacifica's coverage of the middle east conflict and their handling of complaints about that coverage.
It IS disingenuous to tell one side's transgressions while specifically excluding the others. Yet, the reporting I hear on Pacifica does exactly that. The justification I've heard is that Pacifica has an obligation to tell what the mainstream media will not. But I find Pacifica's reporting one-sided to the point of actually distorting the facts.
Every time Israel so much as burps, Pacifica covers it extensively. Yet, when information exists that may give context to Israel's actions, or could reflect negatively on the Palestinians, it's normally absent from Pacifica's airwaves. I've heard it expressed, even from some Jews, that as long as programmers use the words "Israel" or "Zionist" instead of the word "Jew", they're not being anti-Semitic. But, Pacifica insists on ignoring the fact that they are talking about a Jewish state. THEY then discount listeners who complain, as merely crying "anti-Semite" at the drop of a hat, or as unsophisticates who can't differentiate between criticism of Israel and criticism of Jews or else they're discounted as part of a Zionist or Israeli-backed conspiracy to stop Pacifica from it's noble Mission. And there have been complaints, lots of them. But, Pacifica continues to act as if it can dictate to Jews what is anti-Semitic and what is not.
When I first became conflicted about Pacifica programming, I started talking to people about it. And for a long time I argued Pacifica's actions were merely done out of ignorance and insensitivity to Jewish concerns. But as I've communication with more people, and seen outright instances of anti-Semitism go unchallenged, I now see it quite differently.
And I've educated myself on the history of not only Israel, but to the history of anti-Semitism, the forms it takes and the rhetoric used to promote it. What I find is a very clear connection between anti-Semitic tactics of the past and the views Pacifica now broadcasts.
Recently, at our sister station in New York, one of the programmers participated in Jew-bashing on the air. It was just plain old, in-your-face discrimination. Yet, Pacifica has refused to take any action. Their tolerance for such programming is despicable in itself, but I view it merely an extension of the underlying beliefs that guide Pacifica in its attack against Israel.
Pacifica cannot divorce itself from the fact that when it demonizes Israel, it demonizes a Jewish state. And it can't divorce itself from its part in contributing to growing worldwide anti-Semitism. Yet, it continues to ignore these facts, as if ignoring an elephant in the middle of a room.
So it's mainly for these issues that I no longer feel comfortable being associated with Pacifica. And I can't condone what it's doing by being a participant in it.
And lastly, I just want to make clear that my views are not reflective of the Women's Coalition who produce Feminist Magazine. These are my views alone. Tricia Roth, host Feminist Magazine, KPFK 90.7 Wed. January 22, 2002
When Cathy Met Jerry
Debbie, who introduced Cathy Seipp to her now ex-husband Jerry, writes: Hi Luke! It was lovely meeting you the other night. Great job summarizing the whole evening! And wasn't Cathy a superb moderator? I count myself lucky to have her for a friend. In fact, all other friends pale beside her.
When I met Jerry on a press trip (junket) to Finland, he was handsome, energetic, virile and smart. I told Cathy I thought she might like him, but warned her that he was sort of fat. She went to meet him expecting him to be a blimp, so seeing a handsome, husky guy was a big relief. (Good advice: when you set people up on a blind date, understate their qualities!)
[Jerry responds: "WHAT?!?!?! How dare she call me energetic! The nerve!..."]
Cathy's mom once told her that since I'd fixed her up with her first husband and it hadn't worked out, I owed it to her to fix her up with another one. I only tried it once, with a TV writer/actor/comedian my husband worked with. He was offbeat, talented and Jewish. So we set up this whole brunch, and the guy shows up with a starlet on his arm. He was a total jerk -- too cool for the room. But get this -- instead of being pissed off, Cathy observed that the starlet was really smart and funny. She really does not possess a conventional brain.
In answer to your question about my writing: About 7 years ago (at the time of my middle daughter's bat mitzvah) I gave up writing and editing at the L.A. Times to be a more hands-on mom and ended up being consumed by raising three daughters and doing community volunteer work.
As an exercise to help me return to writing, I recently co-wrote with Morgan a script for the animated version of "Spider-Man" for MTV. It was unbelievably hard.
Now I must call the West L.A. police department to find out about an armed robbery that occurred around the corner for the neighborhood newsletter. See, I haven't really left journalism. I just practice it on a micro level!
The Blogosphere Bites Back At Ken Layne, Rishaw Biddle
In his link to me, Forbis writes: "Luke Ford, Enemy of Porn (and therefore my enemy)"
RiShawn Biddle writes: "So this Fordis guy seems to have a problem with my speech patterns. I guess he thinks he could do a better job. That's why he was on the panel. Oops. He wasn't? Apparently not good enough. And you can print that."
XXX writes: "Not telling you what to do, but...I think Wil Forbis is being petty and mean and I'm not sure what the point of posting his thoughts are... is he adding to the conversation?"
Is Forbis adding to the conversation? Am I adding to the conversation? Am I going in for the personal attack when more weighty issues are not being addressed? Is this good journalism? Is it funny?
Yes, it is funny. It stays.
Will Forbis writes: "Luke, I was certainly flattered to see my comments splattered all over your web page. Glad it passed the "Funny test." It's a good thing I didn't publically air my fantasies about Heather and Emmanuelle. Then I'd REALLY be in trouble."
Luke says: Heather and Emmanuelle are totally hot.
John Brodie Shows Kim Masters How It's Done
I snored my way through Kim Masters clip job on Anthony Pellicano in the March issue of Esquire but found myself intrigued by John Brodie's piece on the same topic in the March issue of GQ. Both articles seem to have borrowed heavily from Lukeford.net without giving credit. Most everything they report, I reported months ago.
This Steven Seagal - Anthony Pellicano - Alexander Proctor - Anita Busch drama reminds me of William Knoestedler's book of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia, where he traced how the Reagen Justice Department backed down from investigating MCA's ties to the Mob.
I get the sense the feds are going easy on Seagal because he's friends with the FBI's head man on the West Coast and other government agents and they need him to testify in this Gambino family stranglehood on the Brooklyn waterfront case. Going after Seagal could reveal rampant illegality and corruption at Warner Brothers, where Seagal had a deal for a decade. I doubt the feds want to go that high.
John Brodie writes in the 3/03 GQ:
Steven Seagal's longtime lawyer Martin Singer says Seagal has nothing to do with Pellicano...
Anthony says he hates Seagal. "First of all, Steven Seagal is an enemy of mine and has been for seven years. I can't stand the piece of shit. He's a rat cocksucker. Nobody's going to believe that I did this for Seagal," Pellicano said, his voice bubbling to a crescendo at the perceived injustice of it all. "Number one, I didn't do it for Seagal. Number two, if I was going to intimidate somebody, I'm not gonna put a fish on their car. I'm going to be in their face like I've been all my life."
Other L.A. private investigators are troubled by Pellicano's version of events, noting that the work for Gorry Meyer & Rudd would have put him back into Seagal's orbit. In the past, Pellicano has been accused of playing one side of a case against the other. Nils Grevillius, a former Pinkerton agent and a rival investigator, interviewed the parking valets at Pellicano's office building last fall. As Grevillius states, 'I asked them, 'Say, didn't I see that actor Steven Seagal over here the other day?' And they said, 'Oh yeah, he comes here all the time.' Now, I was standing right next to Pellicano's Mercedes convertible, which has a special spot next to the valet-parking area, and they nodded to Pellicano's car when I looked at it. The night before Thanksgiving, I was talking to the security guard in the lobby, and I affected the mien of a rube and said, 'Gee, didn't I see Steven Seagal in here the other day?' And the security guard said, 'Oh yeah, yeah, he's here all the time. In fact, his private detective is upstairs. and he's the one who got in trouble.'"
But the government does not seem in any hurry to move past Pellicano and up the evidentiary chain - at least until Seagal has finished singing in the Gambino trial. According to Seagal's attorney, neither the FBI nor the LAPD has questioned his client in connection with the attacks on the journalists, nor has the FBI requested Seagal's bank or phone records. As of press time, no one has been arrested in connection with the attack on Zeman. The FBI scheduled, then postponed, a lineup.
XXX says to Luke: "Prosecutors of Alexander Proctor are going nuts over the John Brodie piece. It will make it much harder for them to get a conviction. If they had checked out Lukeford.net, they wouldn't have been blindsided. Aside from you, nobody has published much until GQ about the informant who buddied up to Proctor and helped nail Pellicano.
"Everybody on the Seagal story is checking out lukeford.net. The story will heat up.
"The Seagal, Proctor, Pellicano, drug smuggling, fake Chatsworth private security agency, and the precious metal scam, story all revolves around this informant, called CW in the GQ story. I think this informant is going to get whacked. He's too important to too many people.
"If I were the informant, I'd leave the country. Because the Russian Mob is after, the feds hate him because he ruined their case by going to defense attorney Barry Levin. The informant burned the wrong people and now because of you first, and now the John Brodie story, he's lost all his power.
"The Proctor prosecutors feel like fools reading about their informant in GQ and your site.
"Expect the informant to show up dead if he hangs around much longer. He's been identified as a snitch (of Proctor, Pellicano and the Russian mob), and he's snitched on people (the feds) he snitched to.
"What you have over all the other blog sites is that you break news. They post links and comment. You move stories forward. You are interested in investigative journalism. The other guys on the panel are columnists.
"Advertisers hated New Times Los Angeles because the demographic they went for was people pissed off without money. It sounds like Riordan and company want to imitate the New York Observer, which pays people 22c a word and loses about $5 million a year.
"Haim Saban was approached by Riordan to fund this new paper and Saban wanted nothing to do with it."
David Carr reports: "Ending the magazine industry's persistent parlor game over his future, Art Cooper, editor in chief of GQ since 1983, yesterday morning walked into the office of S. I. Newhouse Jr., chairman of Condé Nast, and told him he would be retiring in June."
Blogger Women are Hotter than Raelian Women and I Should Know
Chaim Amalek writes: Outside of the bloggers themselves, nobody cares about bloggers. They seem nice and all, white, and the women are UNUSUALLY HOT for computer chicks, but there really is no buzz on the anglo-saxon/mestitzo/negro "street" here in America for blogging or for bloggers.
Luke, go with it if it provides you an opening into the world of big money media, but if it does not, do not forget them that brung you to the dance. Here are a few topics I'd like to see you investigate further instead of blogging:
1. women and cats. Why?
2. rabbenim and sins of the priestly sort.
3. Raelian women - are they as easy as they say?
4. LANDMARK FORUM - what is the deal with this? New technology for saving the masses from their own inertia, or demonic cult ala the Falon gong show?
5. Raw foodism, fruitarianism, and breatharianism. Which is the most ecologically sound?
6. Why so few jews in country music? And does this explain why there is no country music station in the New York Market?
7. There was a catagory on the Emmys or whatever that music awards show of last night was called - Grammy's? - for best native american album. Whoa Nelly! What's up with that?
8. Who is guarding the port facilities at Long Beach? [David Crawley replies: Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill have established an investigative committee to examine current working conditions, efficiency issues, and vulnerability conditions on the docks of both the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.]
9. The Black Hebrews/Black Israelites. We got 'em here in New York, but you don't seem to have any in LA. Why not? Are they afraid of the Mexicans? [LF: We have them here on the Venice Beach.]
10. What favors are you gonna do for me?
Play by Play of Blogging Panel
RiShawn Biddle: "I like to write about morally dubious people. I'm interested in the psychology of people who do things I can only dream of.
"I started a blog because I have a big mouth. I like to talk. You could put me in a sewing corner with a bunch of ladies and we'll talk all day."
Professor Eugene Volokh: "Blogging is an inexpensive activity except for time. There's a good blog, Appellate Blog at blogspot.com. It's all about appellate litigation. It's written by a guy whose time is money. It's amazing the number of hours he spends on this stuff. He has 8-10,000 unique visitors a day. For me, it's the most useful source for news about law.
"I've persuaded the taxpayers of California to subidize all of my writing. That's one of the great things about being a professor at UCLA Law School. I'm hired to write whatever I want to write. I can write articles on any subject I want to and call it scholarship. My dean at some point may say, 'How about a law review article here and there?'
"People like to talk. Professors by definition like to talk. There are ten of us on the Volokh Conspiracy and we have some thoughts and we think we might be able to persuade some people to agree with us.
"Many of us write op-eds but that's a fixed narrow medium. It's got to be 700 words. It's got to have a news hook. It's got to be something that appeals to a large group of people. But when there's something we want to say in the way it should be said [when it should be said, we blog].
"The desire to shout out what you think is the truth is a natural human reaction."
Ken Layne: "About a year ago, we were at Eugene's house and we were going to shoot some guns. He'd put on his law school web page his latest WSJ op-ed. I encouraged him to start a blog. He said, 'Oh no, I don't have time for that.' Now listen to him."
Matt Welch covered the Ralph Nader campaign and voted for him. "After September 11, it struck me that what was coming out of those people's mouths [the Left] was particularly vapid and infuriating. I spent a lot of time reacting against those people, which brought me a devoted following of knuckle-dragging right-wing lunatics.
"September 12th was a bad day for idealogues of any stripe. Anyone who had their set formula for how the world works wrote or said something enormously stupid. I've spent most of my adult career writing about the distorting effects of ideology."
Emmanuelle Richard: "I started my blog in the summer of 2000 after taking a long course in html at USC. I was one of the first French bloggers. The French call me the mother of the French bloggers.
"My blog is not intellectual or political. It's things that make me laugh on a daily basis.
"I want the French to feel that the internet belongs to them and they can express themselves. The French are shy."
Mickey Kaus: "I started blogging because I didn't have anything else to do. I worked for Slate. I was in the shower. Bill Clinton had just delivered a speech about affirmative action. It enraged me. I realized that there was no reason why I couldn't post something on the web immediately in time for the reporters covering the speech to read what I wrote and influence their coverage. This has never happened.
"I wrote something for Slate called Chatterbox, then I went to work for Newsweek. Then I left Newsweek and I didn't have anything to do. Then I started posting long static items, one or two a week, on my site [kausfiles.com]. Then I ran into Walter Olsen, the anti-lawyer lawyer. He said, 'Mickey, I really like your site. It never changes. Everybody else is whoring after hits by posting daily comments.' Then I started posting something everything day. I was immitating Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online.
"The good things about blogs were no editors and no deadlines. The bad things were no money and no readers. But if you could ever solve the second half of the equation, you would be in good shape.
"Even if I quit Slate, I will never give up blogging because it is now as natural an act as speaking."
Heather Havrilesky: "After I lost my job, my time became less and less valuable [and she started blogging and getting Pay Pal donations that raised her wage to 25c an hour]. My blog allows me to try out new kinds of writing."
Mickey gets the most traffic of anyone on the panel followed by Eugene.
We discuss how much time we spend on our blogs. An hour or two a day is the average, except for Mickey whose fulltime job is his blog.
Volokh: "How much time do you spend schmoozing with people? Blogging is just another way of communicating, with less personal feedback but a bigger audience."
7:50PM: The cell phone of Cathy Seipp's father goes off and he struggles for a minute to figure out how to turn it off.
Maynard in the audience, with long flowing white hair and a couple of books on his lap of graphic novels aka cartoons: "I'd like to ask this gentleman [indicating Luke]. You're the one person who approaches his work with a certain romantic mystery. Your psychology...why you constantly put yourself at risk, is very intriguing."
Luke: "A lot of people read my website because there's a certain inherent drama in reading the musings of a mentally ill man. My family has been concerned about me and they paid for me [in March 2000] to go home to Australia, where they all reside, so that I could get a thorough mental health evaluation from the professionals of their choice. I sat down with a psychiatrist for three hours. She concluded I had a Narcissistic Personality Disorder...and that I needed 10-15 years of insight-oriented psychotherapy. That I had no sense of self. That I am totally dependent for my sense of who I am on feedback.
"A blog is my lifeline. I get so needy if I don't get emails constantly. Emails for me are like an IV. I will pose for pictures holding my gun if nobody writes in."
Eugene: "Guns are a recurring theme."
Rishawn: "I grew up in a neighborhood with guns. I'm trying to get away from that."
Luke: "I talked to a psychologist friend who said that if I ever got healthy, I'd stop writing."
[JMT writes: This may be correct. John Cleese used to be arguably the funniest man in the world. Then he went through years of therapy, and moved to Santa Barbara, and now he's basically a bore with a bad toupee.]
Rishawn: "I spend 70% of my work time on the telephone. I get into work at 7AM and I start making calls. So while I'm calling all over the world, I check out [various internet sites]."
Ken: "In the past seven years, my first place to go when news breaks has changed. I no longer go to the New York Times, I go to Instapundit."
Matt Welch talks about getting his National Post column because an old friend Googled him.
Eugene: "Ultimately money is just a means by which you can feel that you are important."
Bloggers kvell that they are number one or close to it when you type their first name into Google.
Eugene: "Until the rise of the internet, your supply side of news was highly limited - a handful of national newspaper, the local papers, TV and radio. Now with the internet you can read any newspapers in the world and all these bloggers...opinion writers. They are all sources of information. How will this huge burst of commentary and sometimes reporting reach the audience? And the answer is through editors. Instapundit is an editor I find trustworthy.
"Usually the division is between linkers and thinkers. Those who primarily link and those who primarily opine. Instapundit is my news source. He's the way I found a lot of bloggers. I trust his news judgment. In the future, we won't think of bloggers and the media. They will all be sources of information."
Matt: "That is obvious to us and probably everyone in the room, but it is not obvious to the hiring staffs at the major newspapers, which do a dreadful job of recognizing talent."
Ken: "After 9/11, all the leftist news organizations Matt and I worked for fired us. Then the sneaky necon people were nice to us and they sucked us in."
Luke: "Blogging is about the purest form of meritocracy. You only get hits if you earn them. Therefore, it is no surprise to me that it [the blogosphere] leans right. Surveys consistently show that people who get their news primarily from newspapers, vote to the right and people who get their news primarily from TV vote to the left. So the more well informed people are, and bloggers tend to be well informed, therefore it should be no surprise they come from the right."
[WRHarper enjoyed: "Luke Ford’s hilarious logic chain “proving” that most bloggers should be right wing. Distilled to something like - most bloggers are well informed, most well informed people lean toward the right, therefore most bloggers should be right wing. I can’t possibly do justice to his rapid fire delivery or air of confidence."]
Eugene: "How do we know bloggers come disproportionately from the right? I'm not sure how many religious and cultural conservatives are on the panel? I think zero."
Everybody points at me and my yarmulke.
Eugene: "Fair enough. You certainly belong to a conservative religious movement. I had not thought of you as politically conservative. Fine, that's one. We're a big tent.
"My colleague Mark Kleinman is a rabid Democrat. Joshua Marshall. Jim Romenesko who is liberal."
Cathy: "I don't think Romenesko leans one way..."
Luke: "Oh no, he's left. He consistently links to [Eric] Alterman but wouldn't do the same to [Jonah] Goldberg."
Eugene: "Nobody has done a census of bloggers' political leanings."
Rishawn: "The people who work for newspapers aren't iconoclasts. They're latte liberals who drive Volvos. The guys who dominate the thinktanks and opinion media are conservatives. Bloggers tend to be iconoclasts."
Heather: "If conservatives are reading the newspapers and most newspaper reporters are liberal, something is wrong here."
Mickey Kaus: "I disagree with Eugene. If somebody at an institute got a grant to look at the top 100 blogs, and classified them as left, right and center, it would be dominantly right wing. There is something about talk radio that attracts right-wingers. There's something about blogging that attracts right-wingers."
Susannah Breslin poses a question about censorship.
Luke: "I'm open to censorship. There has been no society that has allowed complete freedom of expression. That's a good argument that all forms of civilization need some censorship."
Matt: "What about on your site?"
Luke: "I think I'm the least censorious of the panelists here as far as what makes it to my website."
Cathy: "You've improved since you've known that my daughter is reading your website."
Luke: "Since I've known that your 13-year old daughter is reading the website, I've cleaned it up. I let anything go unless it is incredibly personally [pointlessly] vicious..."
Emmanuelle: "What about the lawsuits?"
Luke: "I've been sued three times. I settled one. One was thrown out of court. One the other side dropped. It's quite an experience. I've probably become more careful.
"Susannah's question about brings me to tears because I've lost so many friends because of simply choosing to write on certain topics. I lost about half of my good friends in Los Angeles when I chose to write on talkshow host Dennis Prager. Almost all of my friends in my particular synagogue shunned me [back in early 1998] and none of those relationships have recovered.
"It's so difficult to write about certain issues and keep your friends. That I would even write about pornographers aside from morally denouncing them caused me to be ejected from four of my favorite Orthodox synagogues in Los Angeles.
"Race is an issue that almost nobody in the blogosphere approaches honestly because the social repercussions are so enormous. Tom Wolfe in 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was killed, went around to different ethnic neighborhoods in New York City and found that each one blamed another ethnic group for the assassination. He wrote a story but his newspaper would not publish it because this sort of thing, particularly in America, [is not published]. If blogs honestly reflected the way people honestly feel about racial matters [would be socially shunned]. Virtually everyone I know, when they feel safe, have some dislike for some ethnic group.
"The Trent Lott example is perfect. As John Derbyshire put it [on National Review Online], there are tens of millions of white people in America who do not like to be around black people. And most of these people vote Republican. I'm a Republican. All the condemnation of Lott from the right was that he was for segregation. Well, that's the way most of us lead our lives. Almost all of us prefer to live among our own kind. But blogs don't reflect this because if you point this out, you are socially ostracized."
Ken: "Until Eugene throws a blog party, you have no idea what race anybody is. Glenn Reynolds could've been a 600-pound Samoan woman for all I knew."
Somebody calls Andrew Sullivan irresponsible.
Luke: "How so?"
Rishawn: "Certain activities..."
A person who would prefer not to be identified: "Andrew is energetic and smart. He will go after you with hammer and tongues and any weapon that is available to you. Sometimes the weapons are the opposite of the one he used last week. He wrote a column outing other gay people..."
Luke: "What's irresponsible about outing other gay people?"
XXX: "People's privacy is invaded..."
There's a question about using a website to continue on the theme of a book.
Luke: "My website lukeford.com [sold in August of 2001] was the thousands of pages of notes I developed while writing my [book] history of sex in film. My book linked to my website. I found I got a lot more respect once the book came out. The publishing of the book was such a horrific experience. My editor taking out things because they were gossipy or offensive. 'We're not going to put people's real names.' My good stuff was printed on the internet."
Rishawn: "When I was working in small newspapers in Atlanta, Georgia, not only did I write the stories, I had to carry the camera and take the photos too."
Eugene: "A picture is worth a thousand words but very few sets of a thousand words can effectively be captured in a picture. Text is a versatile medium. Any thought or concept can be captured in text. Text is much more efficient to read. I like to read transcripts of speeches rather than listen to speeches. On first principles, I'm skeptical of video blogging.
"The conventional wisdom is that video news is a much inferior version of the news [to print]."
Cathy Seipp confesses that she still connects to the internet via a 56K modem. Everyone else on the panel I believe uses DSL or cable modem.
Cathy: "Bloggers get out of the house more than LA Times writers."
Ken: "They like to drink more."
Eugene: "I never do personal conversations by email. We want to exchange content but we also want a particular form - face to face human contact. It's a rare person who'd be happy blogging and sending emails."
Luke: "Orthodox Judaism organizes my life. I'm required to spend one day a week (the Sabbath) away from technology. I'm religiously required to pray three times a day with my religious community. My religion divides life into two spheres - the sacred and the non-sacred. The sacred is the ultimate reality for me, and it is without technology."
Gregory S. Taylor writes: "I don't think that Professor Volokh, for whom I have considerable esteem, is properly referred to as "Dr. Eugene Volokh." As far as I know, he holds a B.S. and a J.D. (law degree) and no doctorate. While it's true that J.D. stands for Juris Doctor and some call it a doctorate, those that hold the degree are not customarily addressed as "Dr." in the United States. (Lawyers in other parts of the world, including Latin America, however, are called "doctor.")"
JMT writes: "It's the attorney's quandary. You spend three years in law school, study for the bar exam, and, if you're lucky enough to pass, you're given nothing more than a membership card (until a couple years ago, a paper membership card). No title. You're just "Mr. Whatever" or "Ms. Whatshername." Even a lowly chiropractor gets to call himself "Doctor." Unfortunatately, the idiotic practice of pasting "Esq." at the end of one's name, in a misguided grab at status and prestige, has become commonplace among lawyers."
Sara Rimensnyder writes: "I've somehow missed talking to Luke Ford at all the packed LA Press Club events, but now am completely intrigued following his performance on the LA blogger panel this Saturday (where I again managed not to talk to him)."
Highlights Of Cathy Seipp's Blogger Panel
Moderator Cathy Seipp kept the discussion moving along and including the audience, which numbered 66 persons when I counted towards the end.
JMT writes: "66 people? In all of southern California?! A convention in the Yukon Territory for coin collectors who only collect pennies would draw a bigger crowd than that. Isn't this a pretty good indication that virtually no one cares about or is influenced by blogs, other than the people who write them?"
Cathy seated us according to our political predilections: Heather Havrilesky on the left, followed by Mickey Kaus, Emmanuelle Richard, Matt Welch, Ken Layne, Dr. Eugene Volokh, RiShawn Biddle (the only black man in the room) and myself on the the far right.
Susannah Breslin, a 6'2" beautiful woman with a not-present-tonight boyfriend, paid me some sweet public compliments. Big of her considering I just published negative comments about her. Susannah said the uncensored nature of my site was a strong point.
The opening 15-minutes of our panel was boring when we all introduced ourselves and said why we started blogging. I was bored listening to myself and cut off after a minute. The other panelists were no more better. Then a freewheeling discussion began. When forced to think on our feet and respond to the audience and other panelists, my group responded smartly.
Professor Eugene Volokh's huge IQ overshone all others. He put together cogent arguments on the fly. He's one of those rare brilliant people who are courteous, considerate and not condescending.
Mickey Kaus said that if you totaled up the 100 bloggers by traffic, most of them (LF: Instapundit, Drudge, Lucianne Goldberg, Andrew Sullivan) would tilt right (LF adds: and be white males).
The person I most looked forward to meeting was Cecile du Bois, who was adorably precociously 13-years old, with short black hair, braces and a mini-skirt. She came with her Dad, Jerry, Cathy Seipp's ex-husband. It was my first time meeting him.
Jerry and Cecile sat with Cathy's father Harvey, who's written a book.
Harvey: "Cathy says I can't write worth a s---."
Cathy: "I didn't put it like that."
Harvey should publish his stuff on the internet.
It was a brainy audience, at least half of whom were writers.
Most of the panelists went back to Heather Havrilesky's (who was also on last Saturday night's panel) place afterwards for a party but I was worn out, felt my CFS kicking in around 11PM, and I headed home. I gave an old Jewish lady a ride home. She talked about fighting for Israel and making calls Sunday for "Super Sunday," the biggest fundraising day of the year for the Jewish Federation. She kept calling me "rabbi," and she handed out fliers about Israel and Daniel Pearl, the slain Jewish-American journalist at the Wall Street Journal.
Susannah and a spiky blonde woman (Xeni Jardin) who helped organize last Saturday night's panel invigorated our discussion this evening. I take it that our discussion was more about values and last week's was more about technology. Xeni and Susannah were amazingly nice to me considering I had published critical comments about their panel.
Susannah says Tony Pierce was the outstanding personality of last week's discussion.
I heard several comments that our panel tilted right but five members were liberals - Heather, Ken, Matt, Emmanuelle and Mickey.
The men on the panel pontificated much more than the women and talked longer. It was a breath of fresh air that Emmanuelle did not have much of an interest in politics and preferred to talk about quirky technology in her gorgeous French accent. Matt should get down on his hands and knees every night and thank the Lord she married him.
Every time I see Emmanuelle, she has a new hairstyle. Tonight it was longer than usual and streaked red.
I was overjoyed that my buddy David Poland came long, bringing his friends Ray Pride (a regular columnist on Movie City News) and TV producer Andrea.
"I love David," Tiffany Stone told me later. "I'm so glad he's your friend."
I was the only person in the room wearing a yarmulke.
The food served aftewards was Hungarian and filled with pork. I only drank water.
Everybody on the panel had a good sense of humor (a sure sign of inteligence).
I talked endlessly about myself and my need for attention. I gave examples of how I've disgraced the Jewish religion and been kicked out of shuls.
I gave the final words of the panel: "Orthodox Judaism organizes my life. I'm required to spend one day a week (the Sabbath) away from technology. I'm religiously required to pray three times a day with my religious community. My religion divides life into two spheres - the sacred and the non-sacred. The sacred is the ultimate reality for me, and it is without technology."
Joh3n writes: "Luke was an enigma to me. Interposed with his closing statement about the sacred and the non-sacred was his opening jabs at his own sanity. I guess I'll have to read more of his stuff."
The shadow of Glenn Reynolds aka Instapundit hung over all of us. We were only reverential about his work ethic and the wide swathe he's cut through the blogosphere.
I detected no "aura of rudeness" around Heather, who now has a place in my "Hot Chicks Who Blog" Hall of Fame along with Moxie, Susannah and Emmanuelle. Heather has a Jewish boyfriend, Barry Langer, who strenuously objected to me about XXX's description of his lovely. Heather however conceded she might project a tad bit of rudeness.
I keep meeting couples where the woman happily admits to flaws but her man vigorously rejects such possibilities. I think that's the way God made us. A real man wants to take care of his woman.
It's a disgusting rumor that Heather Havrilesky's domain name is a reference to Barry and his shortcomings.
I meet Martin, a good friend of Moxie's and a graduate of Yeshiva University.
Tiffany Stone tells Mickey Kaus how shocked she was when she discovered that I, a lover of good spelling, grammar and punctuation, loved inarticulate President Bush. She didn't think anyone smart could love the prez.
Mickey says he's best suited for Republican women. Liberals regard him as a betrayer while Republicans want to convert him.
I chat with a couple from Temple Sinai. The husband nailed me to the wall about my putative practice of Orthodox Judaism - one is either modern or an Orthodox Jew. You can't be both. Orthodox Judaism rejects substantial amounts of modernity, including the findings of Biblical scholarship and archeology. I'm either an authentic Ortho Jew and inauthentic modern, an authentic modern and an inauthentic Ortho Jew, or self deluded or heavily compartmentalized. This is why Orthodox intellectuals who participate in the public discourse tend to be cranks (how Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is widely regarded in Orthodox circles).
I met Debbie Gendel and her screenwriter husband Morgan. Debbie introduced Cathy to her now ex-husband Jerry.
Cathy Seipp repeats what she told me Thursday night - the picture on my site Friday morning of my sore tongue was a bad idea.
I arrived at 6:40PM to see Rishawn Biddle and Mickey Kaus chatting outside.
I went inside and heard several writers talk about Jim "Media News" Romenesko's sexual orientation. Desiring to be a good Orthodox Jew, I could not participate in such a tawdry conversation.
XXX writes: "Andrew Sullivan always makes reference to Romenesko being "pro-gay.""
"Check out this article in New York magazine and the number of gay inferences. "Significant other? None to speak of, at least lately."
A writer took Andrew Sullivan to task Saturday night for being irresponsible. "How so?" I challenged. The writer criticized Sullivan for outing people as homosexual and using every rhetorical weapon in his arsenal to win arguments, even if they are dishonest tools and wielded below the belt.
Jim Romenesko recently posted:
The Post's gossip columnists have apologized to Sandy Koufax and author Jane Leavy for running a Dec. 19 blind item saying the Hall of Fame pitcher "cooperated with a best-selling biography only because the author promised to keep secret that he is gay." The "Page Six" writers say in their third column item: "Koufax himself, an intensely private man, was deeply offended by our item. The author has denied making any deal with Koufax and called our item 'erroneous.'" On Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported Koufax has severed ties with the News Corp.-owned Los Angeles Dodgers because of the gossip bit.
AN EX-NEW YORK POST SPORTSWRITER SAYS: "As much as I enjoyed being a 'Post guy,' I loathed being linked with the gossip geeks who refuse to let the facts stand in the way of what they think is a good story. ...Maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if these snakes stayed out of the sports arena. But they keep slithering in, trying to find gay baseball players." (TCPalm.com)
"We outed Koufax as a heterosexual," says NYDN editor (NYT/reg. req.)
Newhan on Murdoch's firm: "It should be called Bad News Corp." (LAT)
Koufax author: I don't want to profit from this unseemly tale (TCP.com)
Gossip item controversy has enraged Dodgers officials, fans (NYDN)
Earlier: "Koufax gay? Nothing wrong with that -- but no way" (NYDN)
Luke says: The Post columnists should only apologize about Koufax if they are factually wrong. My stand on outing - ambivalent. I do think it is wrong to profile homosexual Hollywood players as having romantic relationships with women.
On the panel, Cathy Seipp said she always thought Romenesko was fair and balanced. But a bunch of us on the panel, and many of us in the audience, said he was a lefty, always linking to braindead Eric Alterman (rarely to more interesting stuff from Jonah Goldberg) and highlighting anything negative about homosexual neocon Andrew Sullivan, in particular Andrew's graphic sex-seeking personal ads of a couple of years ago (which Cathy would not allow to be discussed on the panel as there was a 13-year old child in the audience and it was in bad taste anyway to talk publicly about such things). Sullivan replies by pointing out Romenesko's biases towards the left.
Why do homosexuals (not that there's anything wrong with that, Tiffany) like Matt Drudge and Andrew Sullivan and company play such a disproportionate role on the blogosphere? Because they don't have wives and children to look after.
DSFT posts to LaExaminer.com: "Is Koufax a smoker of the pole and if so, he must have pitched and not caught."
Matt Welch, a friend to the homosexual agenda, replies: "DSFT -- Uh, if you're going to make 4th grade gay jokes, the least you can do is demonstrate your bravery by leaving a real name...."
Mattie writes: "gotta love scolding people on posts - dude, if you dont like it, remove it. I am interested in knowing if Koufax hid the meat and what kind of towel snapping went on in that locker room - i cant wait until this brings out some other shaft lovers out of the closet in current baseball, i just wonder which of em are brave enough to go the cocoa route with barry."
Kate Coe posts: "While I don't care very much about what Sandy does to whom, this deal does explain why the book is such a hagiography. The author made Sandy into such a saint, that I wondered if the man was human. Over-compensation on behalf of the writer?"
I chat with Eugene Volokh about movies. He and his wife are thinking of seeing Gangs of New York. He prefers action films and his wife prefers chick flicks. Dr. Volokh does not talk about his blog in his class, thus one of students told me the other day he doesn't know what a "blog" is.
Volokh and Kaus are completely secular Jews who give not a second thought to throwing overboard the millenia-old traditions of their people. They're confident that in their intellectual brain power, they can intuit right and wrong better than the four thousand years of Jewish tradition. Unfortunately, such people will not pay the full price for their hubris in this world. We will.
The panel began promptly at 7PM. Cathy introduced us by reading representative samples from our work. For me, she chose the emails I published from Danny Provenzano and JMT, who wrote: "You've been writing some good stuff lately. Has your team of physicians and therapists finally found the right combination of powerful psychotropic drugs?"
JMT replies: "It's always an honor to be mentioned in the same breath with a member of the Provenzano Family. The "I'm your Moral Leader. Get in the van" line might have been better, but she probably hasn't been reading you that long."
I'm going on a low dose of lithium starting this week to combat my predilection for manic intensity.
I asked Mickey Kaus why outing public figures who were homosexuals was wrong. He said it violated their privacy.
The panelists, and other bloggers, are loathe to criticize their peers, particularly the powerful ones like Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit. It's just not worth the hassle of having to deal with the hurt feelings, says one member of this powerful group. There's a tacit understanding between Mickey Kaus, Instapundit, Andrew Sullivan that they won't strongly criticize each other. So much for the wide-open blogosphere. As it gets more successful and mainstream, it loses its edge.
Instapundit says: "Hmm. Pretty tacit, as I didn't know about it."
Oliver Willis writes: "I'm aware that this is Ford's perspective, but if there's any truth to it - it's outright pathetic. People slammed me in the past when I pointed out the echo chamber of thought (especially with conservabloggers), but this is sad.
"I treat no blogger as a sacred cow, regardless if they're more popular than I am or if they're to the left or right of me. Perhaps I'm an old-schooler who thought we got into this thing to exercise opinions and not just pat each other on the back, or maybe I'm just an agitator."
Luke says: Willis (alexa.com ranking of 110,000) does not violate the tendency I mention above because he does not rank among the most influential or widely-read bloggers. It's like my making a generalization about NFL quarterbacks and a kid who throws the ball around to his friends in eighth grade says, "Hey, that doesn't apply to me."
Atrios writes Willis: "Kaus has also admitted he won't be mean to [Matt] Drudge, for similar reasons..."
Most gossip columnists have a similar understanding - that they won't publicly criticize or gossip about their peers. My imaginary friends (induced through powerful psychotropic medications) - Chaim Amalek, Putative Marc, Khunrum, Fred Nek and Helpful - have no such compunctions.
Helpful writes: Outing is wrong. A person's sexuality is a private thing. The only exception is when a person is an absolute hypocrite like the late Roy Cohn. McCarthy era homophobe by day. Self-loathing Nancy Boy by night.
Hoover is another example where outing would have been fine, but exposing innocuous individuals' sex lives to public scrutiny? Not right.
Speaking Truth to Impotence as only AMALEK Can
Chaim Amalek writes: The homosexual should be as free to go on an outing as anyone else.
Sandy Koufax was, I believe, a pitcher.
I am glad to hear that Jim Romenesko is happy.
Luke Ford has yet to figure out how he will ever leave his hovel.
As a service to the computer illiterate in need of guidance, I solicit the following information from the many computer savy folk who read this site. Which of the laptops which can be had new for less $1,500 (and that includes all the usual upgrades), has the best customer support, hardware quality etc? I hear nothing but evil lashon hora (talk) about most of the big brands. Does anyone have anything very positive to say about their machines?
Mandy writes: Loshon Hora aside, if you opt for a Dell, you should know that Dell's tech support essentially defines incompetence. As the (potential) owner of a $1500 or below laptop, you will only have access to their standard, 800-line support. It is unsophisticated, incomplete, and as a result, enormously destructive. Can't comment on the other companies, but as an owner of a Dell laptop, I suggest you carefully look elsewhere. The other manufacturer's may be just as bad, but they cannot possibly be worse.
Chaim replies: I've heard lots of corporate lashon hora about Dell. At first I thought it was motivated by antisemitism (Michael Dell is a prominent Texas Jew), but maybe not. Seriously, what I want to hear is this - WHAT'S GOOD? Which brand offers great customer support? Dell is priced okay, but I would go even more insane if I had to deal with spending hours on hold waiting to speak to people who do not know what they are doing.
So Luke, use your many contacts in the world of computer geekdom to come up with a concensus - who today offers solid hardware, good customer support in machines that cost less that $1500? (Note that the price point excludes IBM.)
Master Amalek IX Farrad Tells Luke What to Do
Why wouldn't you do it? How many hours a week would it take? For that kind of money, you ought to be willing to spread your yourself . . . thin.
Perhaps they would be willing to change the domain name to something more interesting, like "613reasonstobegoodtoday.com", but even if they do not, take it. But first see if you can't get a bump up to 100k, or at least get yourself medical/dental insurance, free high speed internet access, two new computers (so that you can give me one), and lots of suitable women (ditto).
Why don't you ask the guy who made the offer which notebook is worth getting these days in the sub-$1500 range. I hate paying people good money to ---- me, and that's what buying a laptop feels like.
PS It occurs to me that notwithstanding the prominence of jews in Hollywood, none of the studios have an on-site mikvah. Isn't it time you began to use your media power to lobby for this basic necessity?
Not So Crypto-Gentile Luke Gloats
Chaim Amalek writes: When are you going to drop the Jewish boy act? Does it help you get shiksas? (It never helped me back before I discovered Christ.)
PS Got more feedback on you from someone else. She had some interesting comments on you that generally track what others in your life have said. There is a consensus about you.
PPS These ads for that "David Gayle" flick look soooooooooooooo gay. All this "I am emotional here, and I want you to bow before my hysterics" that characterizes the contemporary liberal gay democrat.
Sophisticated Grammy Analysis Follows (you inspired me, Marc W)
Is Nora Jones black? She could pass for an octaroon. She is really cute.
That Canadian chick, Avril Levigne, is way too short. Makes me think everyone who they cast in her videos has got to be very short as well.
Cecile du Bois, Cathy Seipp's 13-year old daughter, posts on her online journal:
Luke says: So I've emailed Rabbi Aryeh Cohen at the University of Judaism to see if he has any comment about this description of him. Rabbi Cohen replies: "Apparently she thinks you are "surly, and as my mother would say, "wallowing in his depression"."