Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Fox and the White House

Everybody's talking like the President is attacking Fox News, when all the White House spokeslady said was that until Fox starts acting like grownup news professionals the Pres is not going to treat them like it just because they own a lot of stations. My nine-year-old nephew is a pro at computer race car driving, but I ain't giving him the keys to the Caddy.

The other networks, they're not really worried about Fox . What the White House said was the plain truth. And that's the problem right there: it was the truth. From the White House no less. What's gonna happen in American politics if your elected officials start telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Reporters won't have anything to do but report. Where's the ratings in that?

To me, honesty is a great moral issue that has guided my life. I don't think you should have to pretend somebody else is what they're not unless you're getting a diamond bracelet or a new car out of it. If there's no incentive, or you do it out of fear, it's creepy. Oh, you're so smart to a boss who's a stupid jerk just so's you won't get fired. Yuck. Oh, you're so considerate to a co-worker who spreads lies about people she don't like. Icky yuck. I don't want my President doing that. I don't mind him flattering a little to get Russia to sell Iran non-bomb nuclear stuff so the ayatollahs got no excuse to keep enriching uranium. Keeping nuclear bombs out of Iran is worth a little ick in the truth department.

But the idea that everybody deserves to be treated like a real newscaster just cuz they say so is how Bush ended up with a male prostitute being a key member of the previous White House Press Corps. Gannon had no press credentials. How do you think he got in? The other news networks are more up in arms about the statements about Fox than they were about a prostitute newsman. Is it because they're too much the same thing?

Monday, October 19, 2009


Listening to complaints about your Air America Radio and your MSNBC, it sounds like people think it's just embarrassing for cultured, open-minded people to be so ... so direct. Nobody's making nice and your middle-class types want nice, you know, in that middle-of-the road nice way. The fundamentalist right wing, they love their loud talk radio and tv because that means they only hear their songs of right and wrong, and being right is the whole point. It's even safe for them to talk about Jesus while they attack the nicey-nice liberals because everybody knows that nobody is really that nice unless they are Mother Teresa and then they'd be in Calcutta and staying out of the Republicans' way in the first place.

So now you got liberal talk radio that's talking smack about them lyin' cheatin' low-down varmints in Congress and they are putting those loud liberals on the tv and even the President pointing out how some new reporting is not respectable so don't expect the Pres to lie down with the dogs, and what can the poor Republicans do? If liberals stop being namby-pamby, it could change the face of America's politics. It changed the face of America's President.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


How can it still be news that men are simple? This is why we love them. If I want complex, I go visit my mother.

Studies every day come up that shows men's chromosomal lacks when compared to the female. (here and here ). It's fine that science is proving our superiority, but it's always bad taste to be both better than someone else and to brag about it. Hopefully, though, your average male, will not notice. Only your handful of very verbal males who chose the hotbed of language will notice, though they will be the ones who write about it. The rest, like Lawrence Summers has pointed out, are so crowding the maths and sciences with their linear simplicity and lack of nuance that there is little room for women who have a talent for numbers. Pity Larry for describing it as women's lack. It's like saying a humans are not as good as dogs at seeing things in black and white. Your dog doesn't have the brain for understanding fuschia, much less creating an academic discipline in design that would include it. So they do their lovely line drawings and even sumi-e paintings. And women, who get tired of suggesting that maybe a little green would be make the grass nicer and getting that blank or dismissive look, find a field where the palette is richer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Blanche is my dog. She's a puppy and wants all the big grown-up boy dogs to like her. So she goes and wags her tail and licks them and they growl and tell her in so many doggie ways that she's a pest and to get lost. The guy dogs are busy knocking each other around to see who is the top dog, getting ready for the day when a female in season blows by. Now, this is not likely to happen at an LA dog park, where most of the dogs are fixed and the seasons never change. But dogs are the quintessence of faithfulness, and their faith is no more swayed by science than any other true believer's. If you hump it, you will come.

Blanche, in a natural dog universe, would find herself one day the center of that universe, her season having arrived. Suddenly the big boy dogs would be lining up for her attention. And such is Mother Nature's sense of humor, that Blanche would now view her suitors as pests, at least for a while. She would snap and reject them until she was good and ready, and only then go for a dog of her preference, established pecking order notwithstanding. She wouldn't need to earn her status as the Most Important Dog in the Park. Nature would give it to her free, twice a year. Status comes as a part of her sex.

Now, what made us humans not be animals any more is that us females stopped going into heat so we no longer had a biological need to say yes to the males, so if they wanted to get laid they had to actually please us. Give us presents. Build us houses. And pretty soon you got the Taj Mahal and Faberge Eggs. What is civilization but a large plan to decide who gets access to the most beautiful women?

But some women only get the first part where Blanche is now, the puppy stage, where the boys interested in establishing rank are not interested in her, because no matter what she does, she can not confer rank. Some women get all hurt and confused by this, wanting to compete for rank with the men instead of remembering she is the point of rank and to rise above it. And to remind men of why they strive.

This is why women have a duty to civilization to say no to men more often than they say yes. Make him have to work harder to get that yes. When he complains that taxes are killing him and regulations have stripped his profits and couldn't you just love him for himself, just knit your brow and explain you have a headache. Soon, like 3M did after the Clean Air act was passed, he'll find a way to turn a profit from those regulations, and be showing up at your door with a pearl and ruby brooch to swoon over. He just needed a little incentive, and that's you saying no. Don't do it for your own selfish needs. Do it for civilization.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My dad used to say "everything is interconnected." It's a fun way of going about your day, trying to figure out, say, how the dog playing with the squeaky toy is related to something that's no fun at all like, oh, health care legislation that everybody is screaming about.

The Dog and the Squeaky Toy: Blanche, my dog, pounces ferociously on a stuffed ball with a squeaker inside, then chomps it repeatedly while shaking her head furiously. After a minute or two of shaking and squeaking, she tosses it aside and pounces again. For all that it's cute (or annoying if you are sensitive to noise), the squeak represents what would be in the wild some bunny or mouse she was killing. Ah! the joys of being a predator, even if it's pretend.

Now some prey is helpless, like a mouse. And some, like your wildebeast in Africa, is not helpless so long as it is in a herd. If your lion attacked the whole herd, the alpha male members along with a mother or two protecting her child will kill the lion.

Okay. Now, say the predator is Management and the herd is The Workers and if they can keep things in ecological balance, both of sides thrive. But a little drought or economic downturn, and the imbalance might not stop until there's mass starvation on one side or the other - worldwide depression or massive walkouts and strikes.

So when you got Wall Street and bailouts and bankruptcies everywhere, even I can see it means something is out of whack in the ecological balance of management and worker. The employers are all saying they can't afford the rising cost of health insurance which they, not the workers negotiate, and that workers will have to shoulder a bigger share of the financial burden. But I say look at the balance sheets.

The wealthy in America are getting richer every day, even with all the financial fiascos of the last few years. The wealth of the wealthy is rising and the herd of workers is getting irked that the lions want to come right in the middle and devour the heart of the herd instead of culling the weak. This is not going down so good with the workers, and hence strikes all over the place. All the talk about rising health costs is a blind for the real battle of predator and prey.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Women keep trying to do a man's job, but they just aren't as good at things like making movies as the boys are. Sometimes, sure, a woman achieves something great by accident, or because her father or husband is Somebody and helps her, or she's beautiful, or preferably all three. But mostly, women can't cut it. Just look at he Oscars. At the end of the show, when they brought all the winners on stage, there was this sea of tuxedos and a puddle of gowns. You can't accuse liberal lefty Hollywood of sexism. No. They would surely embrace with open arms any woman who was as good as a man. The cold truth is women are not men. A man can tell a story or run a set with cojones, but a woman has only her uterus. Acting ballsy is just that - an act. At any moment she could go vaginal, or God forbid, fallopian and the whole project could come crashing down. Millions of dollars are at stake and women are not equipped to guarantee the ejaculatory "Eureka" by themselves. They need support. I myself couldn't write this column without a whole army of men doing all the actual work, you know, taking me out to dinner, buying me jewelry, paying for the apartment, creating civilization. As long as they pay all the bills, why shouldn't they take all the credit? Fair is fair.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


People keep complaining about reality television being a blot on the airwaves like the airwaves was invented for prime time instead of the other way around.

Now I enjoy my fiction as much as the next girl, and so try to catch the news as often as possible. Used to be news was reality, but not any more. Now the entire half-hour or hour is scripted like a sit-com, with just the details changing from episode to episode, but the content is decided by market research. Need a shooting here. A danger to consumers there. Canned. Soporific.

Enter reality programs, which can surprise you when you least expect it. Even on Survivor and American Idol, the final outcome is unknown. We humans is endlessly curious about other humans, what they will do, and how they will react. Reality TV gives us a window on a world of folk beyond our small circle of family, friends, and co-workers.

Plus, a lot of these shows is truly improving to your average human's life. Take Clean Sweep on the Home Channel. I have more than one friend who has started carting off carloads to the thrift store after watching a few episodes. And the Queer Eye show's intstructions to hopeless males gives a backdrop for some girls to point out a few fine points about behavior to the guy sitting on the couch next to her eating sunflower seeds and spitting the shells on the floor.

Actually, these two shows have provided a kind of couple's therapy for one duo I know. This week's hapless swain is so much worse than her guy, my friend can point and they can both laugh. But inside he's learning. And then the sweep people bring their broom to a closet worse than hers and he can pat her hand and promise her they will be happier in the end. And they are.

More importantly, while seeming to deal with externals, my friends actually learn about how to be better to each other. He puts out more effort just to make her happy, and she lets go of baggage that she has been saving just in case. And life imitates television.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Your fashion is your life, your religion, your society. Life is just the acquisition of fashion, which proof is that we are born naked and go out decked in our best dress and favorite jewels not to mention a hefty supply of make-up. Right there at the very beginning, before they even feed a baby, they put clothes on her. By the end, clothes has become so important to who a person is that after the spirit departs, we sure don't send it back to nature au naturel.

All of life's deep issues can be understood more clearly if you first understand the resulting fashion crisis. Resolving the fashion crisis does not put money in the bank, or kick the cheating bastard out of the house. Think of a fashion fix as what I like to call a "deep issue massage." It helps you work through the kinks in your psyche so that you can move more freely into a new job or new relationship.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Looks is not everything. You may be shocked to hear a girl like I say such a thing, but facts is facts. Opposites attract, leastways when it comes to smell. Gals do not all think the same manly scent is attractive. It seems the smell of a man that will send them into a swoon is the smell of a man whose immune system is farthest from her own. A man whose immune system is close to hers smells, well, like her brother.

So what's a person to do to increase his or her chances. Nix on the cologne or perfume. If you want to arouse the opposite sex, you need to increase blood to the sexual organs, and to do this you need to forget your Versace and your Chanel. According to studies, men are turned on most by a combination of smelling lavender and pumpkin pie. Women get more quickly hot and bothered in the presence of the smell of Good and Plenty candy and cucumber.

So gals, forget about baking him gramma's secret recipe chocolate chip cookies. Serve up some pumpkin pie for dessert. And guys, at the next movie date, pass by the popcorn and buy some you-know-what instead. And let me know how it turns out.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


My friend Jenny is in college studying writing. Or not-writing. It's hard to tell with Post-Modernism. She tries to explain how first the Moderns said that God does not exist and so it was up to humans to make a better world and that someday, with the perfect education, the perfect government and the perfect merchandise, we humans will be, well, if not perfect, happy.

Now your Post-Moderns say that the Moderns got the God part right and the rest is hooey. Ideas like "perfection" require an objective judge. Objectivity crashed and burned when Heisenberg and the boys started fooling around with atoms and cats. Humanity racing to a brighter future is like a hamster with a vivid imagination on a wheel in a cage. And meaning is meaningless so don't delude yourself.

Having said that, PMs (not to be confused with PMS) go on to inform the rest of us what makes good art and politics as if they was objective authority, apply for tenure at universities and then hire like-minded colleagues so's to influence the future of thought for the better, and come up with a whole science of signs to show how to skillfully undermine meaning's meaningfulness.

It's no wonder my friend who went to school wanting to be a good writer is confused. The only way she can be a good writer is to first give up the idea of good writing, and then she can win awards writing carefully crafted but untimately meaningless stories.

It's depressing. This tells me how deep-down unhappy all these PMs are. They're foisting their depressed and meaninglessness vision of the world on others with the filter that has polarized theirs. Me, I'm a rose-colored glasses person. I'm looking in the mirror and meditating on perfection - seeing is believing after all - and understand how the PMs' vision of futility will be fulfilled. Soon, a school of thought will emerge, and it will replace the Post-Moderns as quick as you can say 8-track tapes.

I'd like to suggest one - Neo-Modernism. Neo-Modernism says the PMs got the Heisenberg part right in that you can't ever try to know something without influencing the result, but Neos applies it to God and meaninglessness and perfection - wherever it suits them. Maybe there's a God and maybe there isn't. I can't know that. Maybe life is meaningless and maybe it isn't. I can't know that.

Me, I will continue to experiment with my own life, trying to make happy 'meaning' out of either the random or the designed universe. I don't care which. I can't know that. But I can be happy, give comfort and joy to those I touch, and not sweat what don't work out.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Has anybody seen where all the good stories went? I go to the bookstore, I can't find any new ones in the Literature section. I'm reading a lot of prize-winning books, and I'm stopping fifteen, fifty, sometimes a hundred pages in. I don't care what happens to anybody, not that much of anything does happen in what passes for a story these days. I get up to fix a cup of coffee and suddenly I can't remember a thing I was reading. This is not early Alzheimer's. This is modern fiction.

Read the dust jacket of your latest literary wonder and it will practically sing how the author's prose is a)luminous b)incandescent c)sparkling d)all of the above. But I am not buying Christmas Tree lights. I want to sit down and find myself someplace else. And I got to prefer that someplace else to my own life, and my own life is pretty interesting.

Maybe that's it. Maybe your book critics don't like their life so much and so anything with pretty words, clever and obscure cross-references, and distracting odd events all strung together with what I call the New Sentimental Cynicism gives them the feeling that things ain't so bad when they look up and see their own reflection in the window by the chair. Boredom is relative.

But me, if you ain't gonna give me a great story with stuff that propels a character I love or love-to-hate through a world to some kind of resolution, I got better things to do. Things with a beginning, middle, and end, like a manicure. Or a walk with the dog. Or a trip to the laundromat. No time for this Fiction with a capital "F."