Category Archives: Feminism

1000 Words: Sometimes…

…I just don’t know.

What I do know this moment is I screamed at the radio this AM. That’s something I haven’t done in years, at least since November 2016 when…, well, you know what happened in November 2016.

Today the news, about as disturbing but more immediately tragic for a group of parents, relatives, friends, neighbors and compassionate others, was all about a yet another loon with a high-powered firearm offing a half dozen innocents in a Nashville, Tennessee school. Three adults and three nine-year-old students caught lead because some personification of evil couldn’t think his way past whatever previous slights or insults have been dominating his warped brain for the last few years.

News coverage of such events has become boilerplate: the horror, the details, interviews with law enforcement officials, a statement from the president, “not much is known at this time about the shooter.” If, indeed, AI should become the new standard replacement for human reporters, mass shootings will be the repetitive story it will cover as well or better than its flesh and blood predecessors.

Anyway, the radio. The human anchor covering this latest carnage had to, had to, ask the human reporter on the scene the single most annoying question posed during the fallout from any kind of horrifying misfortune: “How,” she asked, “are the people of Nashville dealing with this tragedy?”

I snapped. It’s long been a bugaboo for me. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gritted my teeth when, listening to a report about, say, an apartment fire that claimed the lives of several children and the reporter asking the neighbors or even the parents, “How do you feel about all this?”

Is that taught in J-school? I’d been under the impression that “news” was something extraordinary, meaning had those neighbors or parents replied, “This block’ll be better off without those bratty little bastards,” that would be news. Getting the grieving to say they’re grieving, to admit their lives are shattered just now, that it’s doubtful they’ll ever get over the trauma, well, that’s given, for pity’s sake.

The reporter may as well have asked the person, “In which direction did the sun rise this morning?”

Here we are again. This is piling on. Not only do we have more guns than people in this benighted holy land, not only do far too many people believe guns are the answer to every problem imaginable, not only do we lap up two-fisted shooters on movie and TV screens, not only does one of our two major political parties pander to the Gun Fondlers of America all the while flipping the bird to the weakest, lamest, most unfortunate among our sisteren and brethren, and simultaneously shrieking to high heaven that the single most pressing issue facing our great nation today is a few men dressing as women but, dammit, here’s another woeful tale of children — nine-year-olds — being slaughtered in their classroom. It’s too much, I tell you.

The straw that broke my patience’s back was that radio reporter asking, “How are the people of Nashville dealing with this tragedy?”

I bellowed, “They’re sad, you fucking idiot!”

The cat jumped. The windows rattled. The Loved One called out, What’s going on?

Despite the fact my hands were sudsy and soaking wet from washing the morning dishes, I grabbed at the transistor radio (yes, I still have a transistor radio; two of them, in fact) and flipped it off as dramatically and emphatically as possible, considering the act only entailed my forefinger moving the on-off switch a few millimeters to the left. There!

Every once in a while, I take a deserved break from the news. My sanity depends on it. And thus begins my latest hiatus from rotten news, fucking idiot reporters, and any mention of the man who made headlines in 2016.

Okay, lemme redirect things around here. One of my passions, as all loyal Pencillistas know, is science. Now, I respect and revere scientists. That is, their work in their respective scientific sub-fields is worthy of esteem. I do not uniformly or universally respect scientists as human beings. In fact, far too many of them are or have been…, well, jerks.

The prime examples are James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins, who won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the helical nature of the DNA molecule, perhaps the basic building block of life as we know it. The three stood on their heads to deny their colleague, Rosalind Franklin, her fair share of the glory. Franklin was the one who actually eyeballed the structure of the molecule and described it to the other fellows. But, being men, they patted her on the head and ran off to grab all the plaudits.


The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) reports that fewer than 30 percent of the world’s scientists today are female. “Numerous studies have found that women in STEM fields publish less, are paid less foir their reserach and do not progress as far as men in their careers,” the UIS report states.

That all said, let’s celebrate the most recent female to win a Nobel Prize in one of the STEM fields. Last year, Carolyn Bertozzi of Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, shared the Nobel in Chemistry for her work in both “click” and bioorthogonal chemistry.


Her Nobel mini-bio reads:

Chemists strive to build increasingly complicated molecules. For a long time, this has been very time consuming and expensive. Click chemistry means that molecular building blocks snap together quickly and efficiently. Around 2000, Carolyn Bertozzi started utilising click chemistry in living organisms. She developed bioorthogonal reactions which take place inside living organisms without disrupting the normal chemistry of the cell. These reactions are now used to explore cells, track biological processes, and improve the targeting of cancer pharmaceuticals.

Let’s celebrate even more the currently anonymous grade school girls who might learn about Bertozzi and hope to become scientists one day.

North Carolina fifth-grader Aubrey Slaughter wins her school’s science fair for her “Movement & Power: Homopolar Motor” Display.

Hot Air

Endless (Season Of) Love

Are you sick of Xmas yet? I am.

And guess what: it’s a full three weeks away. Yeesh.

Anyway, I’m reading The Eve of Destruction, a history of the year 1965 written by former Indiana University professor James T. Patterson. It’s a recount of the year historians now generally believe to be the watershed moment when this holy land began transforming itself from a somewhat benign, caring, liberal society to an aggressive, acquisitive, soulless one.

One line in the book’s intro caught my eye:

… President Lyndon B. Johnson turned on the lights of the National Christmas Tree on the evening of December 18, 1964….

Did you catch that? December 18th. A mere week before Christmas. If one is to assume the official starting date of the Christmas season is when the huge tree in front of the White House is turned on, then that season lasted a sane-sounding seven days 50 years ago.

LBJ 1964

LBJ Celebrates Christmas With Kids In 1964

Now, Christmas starts well before Thanksgiving, wrapped up with the late fall feast in something now referred to as The Holidays. And it ain’t the lighting of the National Christmas Tree that is our ritual cue to start shopping and baking. We used to wish for a White Christmas. Now we wrestle for an overnight place in line on Black Friday more than a month before the day itself.

So yeah, I’m sick of Xmas already.

This year’s National Tree Lighting ceremony? Tomorrow night.

Interstate Art

Carisa Whittall used to run the Jerseyana Gallery in Nashville and was a proud sponsor of community radio WFHB. Business was lousy in our next-door burgh, though, so Carisa moved lock, stock, and barrel to New Jersey where she now lives.


Whittall (L) At The May Re-Opening Of Jerseyana Gallery

Her operation still is called Jerseyana Gallery and, with her biz partner, she peddles  art, including local works, online. How about if we let her tell her own story:

Initially, I focused on showing Indiana artists, contemporary or non-traditional Nashville artists in an art salon environment who didn’t have space in local galleries. We sold art, and the furnishings, decor and books. But we didn’t sell much. Nashville is a tough market now unless you’re selling beer, food or inexpensive souvenirs — then it’s a great market!

We sell directly to designers, and stagers in the interior design/home remodeling business in the New Jersey and New York City area. We’ve opened our virtual store and our ebay store to sell directly to collectors and people who love beautiful, quality art, antiques and artisan goods.

We still source in Indiana — my business partner lives in Bloomington. We go back to B-town to visit family, and it’s a good excuse to get out to Brown County couple times a year too!

Internet sales are going well and we are looking forward to exhibiting art in a couple of locations in New Jersey and, hopefully, New York City in the new year.

Patricia Rhoden is our featured artist. Designers love her work and I am looking forward to a great show for her in Millburn, New Jersey.

I continue to sell a lot of Indiana artists — listed, up and coming and flat-out dead. My favorite is Joni T. Johnson. I just love her work. She is underrated and undervalued but people are buying it here; they were not in Nashville.

Too bad, huh? In any case, cop some of her goods online, just to show her we Hoosiers can appreciate a spot or two of art now and again.

Another Hero

I’ve long been a fan of a brilliant, strong, tough, determined, athletic young woman named Émilie du Châtelet. She’s been dead for 265 years now but were she alive today, she’d still be the role model girls and young women around the world would look up to. Compared to her Oprah’s a slacker, Sheryl Sandberg‘s unambitious, and Hillary Clinton’s just a backroom pol.

du Chatelet

A Real Woman

Born Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, she was one of the greatest figures of the Age of Enlightenment. A mathematician, physicist, translator, champion fencer, dancer, and harpsichordist, she was fluent in French, Latin, Greek, Italian, and German and was the first woman to have a scientific paper published by the French Académie Des Sciences.

Want more? Sure:

  • She researched the science of fire and proposed the existence of infrared radiation
  • She wrote one of the first basic, accessible physics, general science, and philosophy books
  • Through experiments and developing mathematical formulas, she helped develop the idea of kinetic energy
  • She publicly argued with philosopher John Locke in favor of the principle of universal truths as opposed to the Lockian subjective perceptions
  • She created what can be described as the first financial derivative, purchasing the future earnings of independent tax collectors
  • She argued vociferously for women’s education, especially calling for access to France’s colleges
  • She was a biblical scholar and she wrote on happiness, free will, optics, and rational linguistics
  • The crowning achievement of her life was her translation of Isaac Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica into French

Nearly two centuries after she’d developed the classical mechanics formula, E ∝ mv2, indicating the proportionality between energy, mass, and velocity, Albert Einstein acknowledged her finding as a basis for his iconic E = mc2, the foundation of his special theory of relativity.

Three plays and one opera have been written about her life.

And just to show she wasn’t all work and no play, Émilie was  a well-known gambler and card-player.

She lived with and collaborated with Voltaire for much of her adult life.

She was, in short, one of the first feminists. With the likes of Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, why is feminism such a dirty word?.

Hot Air

Pocket Feminism

Do the dearth of pockets in women’s pants and the traditional expectation that a woman should carry a purse serve to keep our sisteren under the thumb of the patriarchy?

That’s what writer Becky Havens says on Feminspire. Funny thing is she admits she’s being somewhat, well, funny about the whole deal. But in her humor there’s truth.

Men’s pants often do come with more pockets than than an explorer in the Brazilian rain forest would need. Me? My pockets are always stuffed. I carry a handkerchief, a wallet for my dough, credit cards and IDs, another wallet for business cards, my Prius smart key, some guitar picks, a flash drive, a worry stone, a pocket knife, a telephone, a small notebook, and a pen and a pencil (mechanical, of course). I cannot leave the house without all these things in their proper pockets, but now we’re getting into one of my neuroses and that’s a topic for another post.

Anyway, I feel free when I carry all these things. And I don’t have to worry that some street hoodlum will try to snatch a bag carrying all them right off my shoulder. I am self-sufficient when my pockets are properly filled. The cool thing is, all this is on me every moment I’m out of the house. Note that: On me.

Pocket Knife

I’m Naked Without This On Me

Those tools and accoutrements are part of me. Conceivably, I’ll be dependent on no one, no matter what emergency might arise, up to and including the need for a life-saving strum of some guitar.

Now, a woman can be equally self-sufficient if she loads up her purse with such implements. Yet few women I know carry a pocket knife. Why? My guess is equipping one’s self in this manner would make the carrying woman more free.

I’m not joking. Women’s paraphernalia includes compacts, lipsticks, mascara — in other words beauty stuff. If a man (at least this man) faces a dire need of some sort, he might need a screwdriver, a knife blade, or some prying tool, all of which and more come neatly folded in my pocket knife. So a woman’s dire needs are cosmetic and a man’s urgencies demand problem-solving equipment. At least according to our sex-typed expectations.

A woman, though, will be dependent on heroes and saviors should she find a screw lodged in her car tire or needs to tie something down with twine. Even if she is foresighted enough to carry a Swiss Army knife, it’ll be in her purse not in her pockets. Not on her. Not part of her.

That’s because she’s not expected to be a problem-solver. That’s what men are for. A woman’s choices of trousers and drawers are limited to reflect that. Pockets? Whaddya need pockets for, lady?


Nothing On Them

Again, no joke. Discuss.

[h/t to Jerry Boyle for the link.]

Us vs. Them

Let’s take a look at the evolution of the philosophical divide between Democrats and Republicans that has stalled Congress the last few years.

The Pew Research Center people have produced a series of charts showing how each party, at one time, had a more diverse membership in terms of liberal and conservative thought. As some 40 years years slipped by, the conservatives became exclusively Republican and the liberals solely Democrat.

Pew Research

Natural Selection? (Click Image For A Closer Look)

Notice how the Left/Right spectrum ends have separated? These days, we see that as evidence of the polarization in American thought.

The truth, though, is that we’ve been polarized all along. Yet somehow things got done. Before the great party shake-out of the 1970s, the Democratic party was peopled by a significant number of segregationists and anti-federal gov’t types from the South. And the Republicans actually had a progressive wing, including big name senators Charles Percy, Nelson Rockefeller, and (believe it or not) George Romney (Mitt’s daddy-o).

It seems logical that these philosophical kin should gather in one or the other appropriate party. Yet, back in those confusing days of the 1960s, say, the Left had to listen to the Right — and vice-versa — because they were all compelled to work together within each party. For instance, Dem congressional leadership had to twist arms and make deals with the Southern segregationists in order to get Civil Rights legislation passed.

Now, there’s zero reason for opposing sides to work together.



The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Friday


“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” — Rebecca West



So, the Republicans now have their pound of flesh.

Feeling all sissified by the results of the November election, the political decision makers within the Party of God racked their brains for a few days and then hit upon a forward course.

Does it include becoming more inclusive toward black and brown people, women, gays, the poor, and those whose IQs are north of 30?

2012 Republican National Convention


Well, no. At least not yet.

How about a concerted effort to purge the party’s ranks of antediluvian racists — both crypto- and overt? Or accepting the fact that geologists, zoologists, biologists, and other learned souls just might know a little bit more about the nature of our physical world than do bizarrely-coiffed backwoods Bible-thumpers?


Our friends the Republicans have decided their best first step forward was to stand firm against that greatest threat to our nation’s very existence: the putative nomination of Susan Rice to the post of Secretary of State.


Susan Rice

And whaddya know? They scored big time!

Rice, the current Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the United Nations, has informed her boss that she’s withdrawing her name from consideration to replace the outgoing S of S (and 45th President of the United States-in-waiting), Hillary Clinton.

Rice’s boss, the anti-Christ Barack Obama, was in for a bruising mud wrestling match had he tabbed Rice to don Clinton’s sash. And when all is said and done, even if Rice’s nomination were indeed approved by the Democratic-majority Senate, she’d have been viewed around the world as a weak PR agent for this holy land simply because so many fought against her.

Woo-hoo, we showed him, the Republicans are now telling themselves.

And guess what — the likely rebound nominee is said to be John Kerry.

Imagine that! The Republicans have indicated they’d be four-square in favor of approving Kerry. You remember him, don’t you? The traitor who protested against the war in Vietnam, only after he’d committed fraud to gain a pile heroism medals while there? The Republicans saved us from him in 2004.


Dangerous Johns: Kerry & Lennon

Now they love him. And why not? He’s a white male.


The republic has survived yet another threat to its very existence. We’ve awakened four mornings in a row and discovered that the Earth remains in its orbit even after actress Anne Hathaway’s cooter was viewed by all concerned Monday night.

The temporarily-gaunt star of Les Miserables wore a gown made of coffin lining as well as some S&M accoutrements, all of which pass for haute couture, to the premiere of her big new blockbuster in New York.

She arrived at the red carpet in a positively presidential-looking SUV limousine. Her bodyguard leaped out and helped her exit the vehicle. She swung her legs out in an oh-so-ladylike fashion. Sadly (or not, depending on your level of sexual and emotional maturity) her knees separated and, thanks to a strategic split in her gown, her external reproductive organs were exposed and, within a nanosecond, were illuminated by a camera flash.

Hathaway 20121210

Naturally, the image of her fancy bit immediately flashed around the planet.

Just as naturally, Anne Hathaway is aghast even as tens of millions of adolescent boys are furiously masturbating to the point of pain.

“It was devastating,” she told Vanity Fair’s Ingrid Sischy.

Fair enough.

Hathaway — whom, by the way, I intend to marry should The Loved One ever come to her senses and throw me overboard — went a step further on NBC’s Today Show: “… I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants….”

Fair enough again. I guess.

Only we’re not talking about powerless young girls being bought and sold in the Middle East (see chart). Nor are we talking about someone pointing a camera through a hotel room peephole so he can peddle nude pix of an unsuspecting sports reporter.

From the Woman Stats Project

Yes, it’s a crying shame that pix of Hathaway’s Little Secret should turn out to be such a valuable commodity but isn’t she being a tad disingenuous here?

I mean, I love the woman. She’s well on her way to becoming the Meryl Streep of the 2030s. She’s generally considered dignified.

But she has a knockout body and she knows it. And she trades on it. Google images of her and you’ll see tons of her flesh. Nothing tasteless, mind you. But anyone who cares to can examine her breasts and other parts of her anatomy.

Again, she’s no Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan but, still, she understands what exposed female flesh means in Hollywood. It’s like a being a lawyer and having been a member of the right fraternity in college.

Anyway, it was Hathaway herself who went commando. Which is usually harmless, except when you’re wearing a gown that’s slit some eight and a half yards from talus to ilium.

Hindsight is 20/20 but from this outpost, her best bet would have been to ignore the breathless and puerile questioning of the likes of Matt Lauer and let the incident pass without comment. She should have let the whole issue die a deserved death.

From "The Today Show"

Matt Lauer Grosses Out The Universe While Interviewing Hathaway

And maybe — just maybe — we’ll all grow up and stop tee-hee-ing when somebody’s business gets exposed.


The fun gals at have provided us with an invaluable guide to the euphemisms for the human vagina.

That’s the technical term for it, of course. Vagina comes directly to us from the Latin, meaning a sheath for a soldier’s sword, which our old pals the Romans called a ferrum — literally, iron — but commonly used the word to refer to the penis.

Cicero and Co. had a way with words, no?

Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Sheathe Your Swords, Men Of Rome.”

So do we. Our words reveal our fears and distastes. Apparently, the vagina is scary and distasteful to far too many sword-bearers around this funny globe. Dig how many terms confer frightening, weird, and/or disgusting connotations on that place we’ve all passed through.

Study this. There’ll be a pop quiz later this semester.

From Feministing


By Carl Carlton, this song rocketed up the Billboard soul chart in 1981.

She’s poetry in motion/

A beautiful sight to see.

I get so excited/

Viewin’ her anatomy.

At least he wasn’t being a sneak about it.

The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Thursday


“Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.” — Pat Robertson



I figure my first brush with sophistication came on a summer night in, oh, 1966, when I was ten.

The windows would be open throughout my family’s Natchez Avenue bungalow. If the wind were blowing just right, I’d be able to hear the clatter of a distant el train on the Lake Street line.

My father would be comatose in his recliner, his toes covered by his half rolled-off socks, an occasional snort emanating from his open mouth. Ma was already in bed. It’d be about 12:45am or so, and I’d be laying on the living room floor on my belly, craning my neck to see the TV screen, free as a bird.

In those summer vacation days, no matter how late I’d get to bed, I’d be sure to be able to wake up the next morning before the sun even climbed over the trees on Nagle Avenue, a block to the east. But I still had more TV watching to do. “Night Beat,” the WGN-TV late news show sandwiched between the 10:30 movie and the Late Show would be on.

Nightbeat, WGN-TV

The old anchor, Carl Greyson, would sign off and then the strains of the most adult music I ever was happy to hear would come on, the intro to that late, late movie. See, WGN would run a fairly recent movie at 10:30, something not too moth-eaten, like “Marty.” Then, after Night Beat’s house fires, shootings, and obligatory clips of Mayor Daley (the first) butchering the English language, there’d be a really old movie, often a hard-boiled detective feature from the ’40s.

For some odd reason, “The Dark Corner” sticks in my mind. Made in 1946, it starred Lucille Ball as a private eye’s hot tomato secretary who insists on helping her boss with his cases because, natch, she’s in love with him. It opens with shots of the big city, probably New York, but at that age I didn’t know the difference between The Loop and Broadway; so I dreamed of growing up and having my own office in some downtown Wabash Avenue building, where I could smoke, banter with pretty dames, and occasionally pull out my shoulder-holstered pistol just to see if it was still loaded.

Scene from "The Dark Corner"

Lucille Ball’s Got It For The Boss In “The Dark Corner”

That image gets mixed up with the intro strains of the Late Show, a jazzy thing, very subtle and smooth. A sax and a piano, mainly. In my dream it’d be playing repeatedly throughout my day in that office after I’d grown up.

It was Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.”

That was sophistication. That’s what I had to look forward to as I reached manhood.



For a while there, nobody screamed hard-boiled Chicago like David Mamet. The author of many plays including “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” “American Buffalo,” “The Water Engine,” “Speed-the-Plow,” and “Oleanna,” he copped a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1984 for “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

Mamet’s dialogue was the thing. Loud, profane, often (too often, some have groused) obscene, it was the dialogue of men without the company of women, men who say the word fuck again and again simply because it sounds as good as it feels to blurt out. His characters are known to converse (or, more accurately, orate past each other) in something that has come to be known as “Mamet-speak.”

The only consideration of morality in Mamet’s plays is his obvious assurance that no one is moral, merely exigent. The whole gang of office brutes in Glengarry is as likable as a pack of stray dogs.


The Original Broadway Cast

In recent years, Mamet’s stage output has fallen off and he’s turned his attention to TV commercials and cop shows. He also has decided that this holy land needs straightening out because it’s become immoral — remember, he would know immorality or the lack of it. He released a book in 2011 entitled “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture.”

The book documents the handbasket-to-hell America has become, mainly because liberal Hollywood stars are actually press agents for some nefarious cabal, or something.

I tried to read “The Secret Knowledge” but I couldn’t get past the first three pages. It’s as hysterical as a Glenn Beck book without any of the charm. When your prose is less seductive than that of a borderline lunatic, your worldview is grim indeed. This comes as no surprise from a man for whom the effort of smiling appears agonizing.



Mamet this year got back on Broadway with a new play called “The Anarchist.” He lined up Patti Lupone and Debra Winger to play a radical leftist convict and a nebulous corrections department nabob, respectively. The two parry for a little more than an hour over right and wrong and those who managed to stay awake through the closing curtain reported it to be less than riveting. One reviewer called it “a short, brittle, stripped-down debate-club exercise on a stopwatch.”

And that was among the less crushing pans of the production. Accordingly, “The Anarchist” is closing after a little more than a month of performances, including 17 previews.

"The Anarchist" Marquee

And how soon will Mamet begin blaming the critics for the show’s demise (which would be like blaming a restaurant patron for suffering food poisoning)?

But isn’t that the way with the Right? Radicalized Republicans, Me Party-ists, Libertarians, and other such creatures crow about self-reliance and responsibility every chance they get but the moment they screw up they point fingers in 360º sweeps.

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Mamet asks for a federal bailout now.


Mamet, like so many in the Nouveau Droit is made itchy by feminists. For instance, he battered Gloria Steinem for applying feminist criticisms to the idolatry of Marilyn Monroe. Steinem wrote that Monroe was essentially forced to play the infant and Mamet responded that Marilyn was the second coming of Madame Curie.

Mary Elizabeth Williams writes in Salon that female celebs from Katy Perry and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy to Marissa Meyer and Melissa Leo are climbing all over each other trying to proclaim to the world that they’re not feminists.

I suppose it makes sense that Perry, for one, a woman who relies upon the size of her breasts for much of her fortune, would be less than Susan B.-ish about things. But why are so many other accomplished women willing to eschew the tag, feminist?


A Different Kind of “Firework”

Is it merely ego? As in, I did it all on my own and I never needed Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem to fight any battles for me. It reminds me of the righteous indignation of newly-muscled baseball players after they’re accused of using performance-enhancing drugs; hey, I’m good — I don’t need no stinkin’ drugs.

Yes, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were good. That didn’t mean they didn’t think they needed a pick-me-up now and again. Same with the female CEO of Yahoo!. Marissa Meyer is talented, sure, but she is standing on the shoulders of giants.


And wouldn’t it be the coup de grace for Ashley Judd to oust jowly, humorless, and philosophically flatulent Mitch McConnell from Washington?


Out With The Old, In With The New?

Not only would the Republicans have to rethink their stance toward Latinos, but toward women as well.

According to a number of sources, the former actress is doing her due diligence in preparing for a possible US Senate run from Kentucky.

Fingers crossed.

The Pencil Today:


“You worry too much.” — Big Mike


I won’t be doing my usual thing here for the next four days or so. I’m gearing up for the long-awaited, many-times delayed marriage of this communications colossus with Bloomington’s venerable print and cultural institution, The Ryder magazine and film series.

That’s due to happen Wednesday, November 21st, when the Ryder’s new issue hits the streets. The Ryder’s redesigned website will debut that day as well. All I wanna say is, you’ll love it.

One of the main reasons you’ll swoon is that I’ll be Peter LoPilato’s online editor. I’ll be posting the Ryder’s stories, reviews, previews, and everything else that you normally get in the hard copy. I’ll also be shifting my GO! Events Listings to the Ryder site, only it’ll be called Event Horizon.

That’s Peter’s name for it and I’m cool with it. It inadvertently references an astrophysics phenomenon that science ultra-geeks might refer to as the Schwarzschild radius in some cases or as the Kerr or Kerr-Newman event horizon in others.

Basically, it’s a boundary around a stable black hole beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape. Again, don’t worry — you’ll never be near one so you won’t have to check your life insurance policy to see if you’re covered.

Anyway, my plan is to dash off my Daily Hot Airs in quick order for the next several days so I can work on the new site, all the while planning for a mass invasion of Glabs into Bloomington for the holiday. So if my posts seem a tad terse, you’ll know why.

In fact, I may even miss a day if my work backs up too much.

Don’t worry; you’ll live.


Here, I’m gonna let another guy do my work for me today.

Roger Ebert points out the sad demise of one of those great weekly alternative papers that many big and medium-sized cities have, the Niagara Falls Reporter in Buffalo, New York. Some new guy bought the paper from its founder and seems to have turned it into a weird right-wing vanity rag. The Reporter’s movie reviewer found himself being censored by the new publisher and asked why. After some digging and a lengthy trans-Atlantic phone call, the publisher sent the reviewer a Dear John email.

It is the template for the belief system of every man who was mortified by the reelection of Barack Obama. See, it wasn’t just racists, oligarchs, and plutocrats who wet their pants merely thinking about another four years of Obama. The president represents an entire sea-change in this holy land. The browns, the blacks, the Latinos, the homosexuals, and, perhaps most terrifying of all, the women are coming. The new demographics have delineated a terrifying event horizon and many men find themselves being sucked into the black hole of our future.

Don’t you just love how I tie things together?

So, just read the publisher’s email to his suddenly-former film reviewer, whose name is Michael Calleri. The email is reproduced exactly as written:

Michael; I know you are committed to writing your reviews, and put a lot of effort into them. it is important for you to have the right publisher. i may not be it. i have a deep moral objection to publishing reviews of films that offend me. snow white and the huntsman is such a film. when my boys were young i would never have allowed them to go to such a film for i believe it would injure their developing manhood. if i would not let my own sons see it, why would i want to publish anything about it?
snow white and the huntsman is trash. moral garbage. a lot of fuzzy feminist thinking and pandering to creepy hollywood mores produced by metrosexual imbeciles.

I don’t want to publish reviews of films where women are alpha and men are beta.
where women are heroes and villains and men are just lesser versions or shadows of females.

i believe in manliness.

not even on the web would i want to attach my name to snow white and the huntsman except to deconstruct its moral rot and its appeal to unmanly perfidious creeps.

i’m not sure what headhunter has to offer either but of what I read about it it sounds kind of creepy and morally repugnant.

with all the publications in the world who glorify what i find offensive, it should not be hard for you to publish your reviews with any number of these.

they seem to like critiques from an artistic standpoint without a word about the moral turpitude seeping into the consciousness of young people who go to watch such things as snow white and get indoctrinated to the hollywood agenda of glorifying degenerate power women and promoting as natural the weakling, hyena -like men, cum eunuchs.

the male as lesser in courage strength and power than the female.

it may be ok for some but it is not my kind of manliness.

If you care to write reviews where men act like good strong men and have a heroic inspiring influence on young people to build up their character (if there are such movies being made) i will be glad to publish these.

i am not interested in supporting the reversing of traditional gender roles.

i don’t want to associate the Niagara Falls Reporter with the trash of Hollywood and their ilk.

it is my opinion that hollywood has robbed america of its manliness and made us a nation of eunuchs who lacking all manliness welcome in the coming police state.

now i realize that you have a relationship with the studios etc. and i would have been glad to have discussed this in person with you to help you segue into another relationship with a publication but inasmuch as we spent 50 minutes on the phone from paris i did not want to take up more of your time.

In short i don’t care to publish reviews of films that offend me.

if you care to condemn the filmmakers as the pandering weasels that they are…. true hyenas.
i would be interested in that….

You think Frank’s the only guy in this nation who thinks this way? Think again.

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