October 19, 2017

I believe that it's wrong to give this story air, but you might want to talk about it.

So I will give you the video:

If you were relying on the "hipster racism" fad 10 years ago...

... prepare to get raked over the coals of social media now.

"Actor David Cross’ excuse for ‘racist’ joke to Asian American actress raises eyebrows" (Twitchy):
“Arrested Development” actor-comedian David Cross recently found himself in hot ham water after Asian American actress Charlyne Yi shared an uncomfortable memory with her Twitter followers:
Charlyne Yi ✔ @charlyne_yi
I think about the first time I met David Cross ten years ago & he made fun of my pants (that were tattered because I was poor). Dumbfounded I stared at him speechless and he said to me "what's a matter? You don't speak English?? Ching-chong-ching-chong".
She must hate him to dredge that up out of context now. You can read the tweets that followed and Cross's effort to explain. It happened in Shreveport, and I must have been referencing Shreveport by doing a Southern redneck racist character, not my actual self.

I did enjoy the "hot ham water" link.

And if you've forgotten about "hipster racism," here's the Wikipedia article on the subject:
Hipster racism, is engaging in behaviors traditionally regarded as racist and defending them as being performed ironically or satirically.... Van Kerckhove used the term hipster racism in an article, "The 10 biggest race and pop culture trends of 2006" [PDF]...
See? 2006. Cross was on trend when he performed what I believed was hipster racism 10 years ago. Is David Cross a hipster? I actually googled that. I found a 2015 interview in which he deplored hipsters:
There’s this smug elitism to it; this cultural elitism. The whole thing is, You’re perpetuating this. This thing you report to hate and you think is such a bad example of our culture, that exists because people like you talk about it with detached irony, yet you’re still supporting its very existence.

At the True Love Café...

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... talk about whatever you like.

(And show some love for this blog by shopping through The Althouse Amazon Portal.)

John McWhorter goes on an epic tirade against Ta-Nehisi Coates (and the white people who make a show of embracing him).

This is really something:

Disallowing the disappointable flâneuse to augurate.

The OED homepage has a list of "recently published" words. Right now it's:
augurate, v.
disallowing, n.
disappointable, adj.
flâneuse, n.
Try to use them all in one sentence.

"Augurate" is familiar as 80% of the word "inaugurate," but it's more easily understood by seeing the word "augur," which means to predict the future using signs and omens. I don't see why you'd ever need "augurate" when you have "augur," but it's in some old books, so you might need to look it up. But I wonder how "inaugurate" got started. The etymology does go back to using "omens from the flight of birds, to consecrate or install after taking such omens or auguries."

"Disallowing" is one of those words that, if you use it, some pendants will inform you, is not a word. But the OED found lots of old examples, e.g., "A petition..against the disallowing of the drawbacks on calicoes and foreign linens, was offered to be presented to the house" (1764).

"Disappointable" needs no explanation. Example: "Idealists..are very disappointable people—disappointed in themselves for failing their own high expectations and in others" (Colorado Springs Gazette, 1985).

"Flâneuse" is easy if you know "flâneur" and understand French endings. A "flâneuse" is "A woman who saunters around observing life and society; a leisurely woman about town." There's an example from 1879, but I like that the OED has a quote from just last July (in the Sunday Telegraph): "Elkin has written a delightfully meandering study of Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys and other female flâneuses who dared to stroll." The italics seem to indicate that the Telegraph believed it was using a French word. But the OED is proclaiming it an English word.

Now, I want to get out and saunter around, observing life and society in Madison, Wisconsin, but I invite you to use the 4 newly official English words in one sentence.

IN THE COMMENTS: tcrosse asked:
So has "fuckable" yet been admitted to the Language of Shakespeare?
As a matter of fact, it has:

"The fly agaric is the quintessential mushroom of fairy tales."

"Its big, bright fruiting bodies scatter in great numbers across mossy forests of North America and Europe. They emerge from the soil first like white eggs, abandoned by some mysterious creature of the woods. They can grow up to a foot tall, as warts appear on the cap. The mushroom often blushes red in the process. Finally, they crack open and flatten into a polka-dot disc that would make a gnome’s perfect dinner plate...."

Writes Joanna Klein in the NYT.

The photos of the mushrooms are very cool, but this is what caught my eye:
They are called the fly agaric because in some places, people lace milk with bits of it to lure and kill flies. The insects become inebriated, crash into walls and die, according to the blog of Tom Volk, a mycologist at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.
Click on that word "blog" to see some eye-searing retro website design (from 1999) that might cause you to become inebriated and crash into walls. You will not die, but you will be sucked into a past that is a place you will find hard to believe ever existed.

Klein tells us that the chemicals in the mushroom, ibotenic acid and muscimol, can cause "dry mouth and rapid heartbeat to euphoria, hallucinations, feeling closer to God and fear."

I had all those effects just looking at the mycologist's website.

ADDED: I remember where I've seen those mushrooms. On this nutty book from that caused a freakout in 1970:


"[John Marco] Allegro argues, through etymology, that the roots of Christianity, and many other religions, lay in fertility cults, and that cult practices, such as ingesting visionary plants to perceive the mind of God, persisted into the early Christian era, and to some unspecified extent into the 13th century with reoccurrences in the 18th century and mid-20th century, as he interprets the fresco of the Plaincourault Chapel to be an accurate depiction of the ritual ingestion of Amanita muscaria [fly agaric] as the Eucharist. Allegro argued that Jesus never existed as a historical figure and was a mythological creation of early Christians under the influence of psychoactive mushroom extracts such as psilocybin."

Here's that Fresco:

"Perhaps the longer a violation persists, the greater the affront to those offended."

Wrote 4th Circuit Judge Stephanie D. Thacker, responding to dissenting Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, who said that the fact that the 40-foot cross had gone unchallenged for 90 years is a reason to let it stay where it is, on a highway median in Prince George’s County.

WaPo reports.
The initial challenge in Maryland was brought by the American Humanist Association, a Washington-based group that represents atheists and others. The group did not dispute the monument is a memorial, but said in court that a giant cross on government property sends a message of exclusion in violation of the First Amendment....

At oral argument last December, Thacker and Wynn suggested the legal issues could be resolved outside of court by moving the site of the cross — or by cutting off the arms of the cross to form an obelisk.
What message is sent by the government's cutting off the "arms" of a cross?! Talk about a cure worse than the disease. Were these judges joking?

I'm linking to the Washington Post because that's where I first saw the story, but I was confused by its statement that the cross "has marked a major intersection in Prince George’s County for 90 years" and "had been public property for 50 years without a constitutional challenge." Here's the actual judicial opinion, with the statement "the Cross has stood unchallenged for 90 years."

If the Post is leaving such glaring mistakes, what does that suggest about about the things that are hard to notice and check? The linked article has been up since 2:57 PM yesterday. Does nobody over there at least try to clean up embarrassing shoddiness?

Also, now that I'm reading the opinion, I see that the idea of cutting off the "arms" of the cross seems to have come not from the judges but the appellants. Footnote 7:
Appellants later clarified their desired injunctive relief as removal or demolition of the Cross, or removal of the arms from the Cross “to form a non-religious slab or obelisk.” [Joint Appendix] 131.
This question of giving special respect to old monuments goes back to something Justice Breyer wrote in one of the 10 Commandments cases in 2005. Breyer's vote was the deciding vote, and as I explained back in 2011, when issue of the day was "Big Mountain Jesus":
Justice Breyer quoted the 1963 school prayer opinion written by Justice Goldberg: "[U]ntutored devotion to the concept of neutrality can lead to invocation or approval of results which partake not simply of that noninterference and noninvolvement with the religious which the Constitution commands, but of a brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular and a passive, or even active, hostility to the religious."

And Breyer concluded that taking down the old stone monument in Texas would "exhibit a hostility toward religion that has no place in our Establishment Clause traditions" and "encourage disputes concerning the removal of longstanding depictions of the Ten Commandments from public buildings across the Nation," which would "create the very kind of religiously based divisiveness that the Establishment Clause seeks to avoid."
That's the prevailing Supreme Court precedent to which we can compare the new 4th Circuit case. Think about that quote in the post title: "Perhaps the longer a violation persists, the greater the affront to those offended." But the longer the monument persists, the more taking it down feels like a message of hostility to religion.

Or do you think the people watching the arms cut off a cross would see the symbolic meaning as the enforcement of Establishment Clause values?

By the way, the obelisk originally "symbolized the sun god Ra, and during the brief religious reformation of Akhenaten was said to be a petrified ray of the Aten, the sundisk."


"Joseph Sells Grain" by Bartholomeus Breenbergh (1655).

The struggle to purge religion from public view will go on forever, because there is just too much religion embedded everywhere. To try to remove one thing is to create something else:

"Virginia Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ralph Northam omitted any mention of Justin Fairfax, the party’s African American candidate for lieutenant governor..."

"... from about a thousand pieces of campaign literature, a move Fairfax called a 'mistake' and that has stoked tensions within the Democratic ticket and threatens to alienate African American voters three weeks before Election Day. The palm cards with photos of Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) were produced for canvassers with the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which asked that Fairfax be excluded because it did not endorse him. Fairfax has spoken critically of two proposed natural gas pipelines that the union supports."

WaPo reports.

It's a "mistake" only in the sense that what they did completely intentionally has received attention and made them look bad. And do you even believe the explanation for why they did it? These were palm cards with photos. I would guess that the party is afraid that black people who see a photo of a black face will decide that's the one to vote for.

ADDED: I'm misreading this, so my guess there is wrong. Northam is the only Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. So the Democrats can't be accused of trying to redirect black voters to a white candidate. They may be trying to hide the black candidate from voters who don't like or are skeptical of black candidates, but I'm willing to believe the union's argument: they don't like his position on pipelines and didn't mind risking alienating black people (until it got too much attention).

IN THE COMMENTS: cubanbob said:
So the Democrats are hiding the candidate the union rank and file would be against since he is against their interests. That's the problem for the Democrats; too many interest groups to placate and many of them at cross purposes.

The Cake Artists brief says our right to freedom of expression is a strong as the right of artists who work in media other than cake.

I'm noticing the BRIEF FOR CAKE ARTISTS AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF NEITHER PARTY (PDF) in the pending Supreme Court case — Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Phillips — about whether there's a religious freedom exemption to the requirement not to discriminate against gay people.

I love this brief. It says what I believe I've been saying in numerous posts. It's not a question of whether people with a religious objection to same-sex marriage can refuse to sell all manner of goods and services to gay customers. Nor is about about whether the cakeshop is forced to "bake a cake" for the wedding. It's about whether it must decorate the cake — apply icing and other materials to the surface of the cake to shape images and write words that say something substantive about the wedding. 

From the brief:
Amici take no position as to which party should prevail in this specific case. Their interest lies in making a single point—that their work, like that of petitioner Jack Phillips, requires artistic exertion within an expressive endeavor to generate works of art. Many of the amici listed below would gladly have prepared the cake that respondents requested—but they would have done so by accepting a commission to create a work of edible art. Amici wish to illustrate—literally, through the images of their own work in this brief—that cake design and preparation is an art....

Cakes for every conceivable occasion, ranging from the grandeur of weddings to abject apologies, can convey articulable messages. Sometimes words are used to assist in conveying those messages. But the art of custom cake design and creation is not so limited. Other times, the art behind a cake is simply sheer beauty or the technical mastery that it required. Cake artists must be adept at a multitude of artistic endeavors beyond simply “baking.” They must have visual-arts skills to design a cake that is pleasing to the eye—painting, drawing, and sculpting. They need the skills of an interior de- signer to create a unified whole from a series of individually artistic elements. They require the grace and technical powers of an architect, so that the final product moves from the theoretical to the real....

[C]ustom wedding cakes—even of the traditional variety—typically involve subtle elements that reflect the personality of the new couple (and perhaps the artist).... Cakes can still be instantly identifiable as part of the wedding genre yet involve stunning and unique elements that appear only as part of a special design.

The argument continues in this vein, with many more photographs of cakes, so please go to the link and see.

At one point, the argument turns to "America’s multi-cultural traditions" and shows an example of a very distinctive cake celebrating a wedding and the couple's Indian cultural heritage:
Even as a wedding cake carries a message about the wedding, the photograph of the cake conveys a legal argument: Art can come in cake form and the expression contained in cake can be complex and even — bonk you over the head, liberal Justices — multi-cultural.

This has me thinking that gayness is also a culture within "America’s multi-cultural traditions." A cake for a same-sex wedding might be a generic cake, but the Cake Artists wouldn't give this couple just another cake. They'd get specific. Yes, I'm seeing the brief goes in this direction at page 16. Some of the Cake Artists on the brief make cakes for same-sex weddings, and they make them a specific expression of gay pride. I'd been thinking of the expression in terms of the icing and other stuff on the outside of the cake, but the brief describes a cake with coloring in the batter, so that the cake-cutting at the reception would be a performance: revealing a rainbow.

That idea of performance is used, later in the brief, to counter the argument that cakes are transitory food:
But the fact that any given cake is a vanishing work does not distinguish it from artistic performances on the stage (or, indeed, protests on the street). Nature’s beauty is no less revealed through the flower that blooms for a single day than through the tree that lives for a thousand years; likewise, an ice sculpture is not inherently less artistic than one carved from stone....
That's getting poetic. Are legal briefs art?

The conclusion is not about who ought to win the case, but only "that cake artists are indeed practitioners of an expressive art and that they are entitled to the same respect under the First Amendment as artists using any other medium."

October 18, 2017

"People have to be careful because at some point I fight back. I'm being very nice. I'm being very, very nice."

"But at some point I fight back, and it won't be pretty," said Donald Trump on a radio show when he was asked about John McCain's speech complaining about "half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems."

McCain's line sounds nasty as he delivered it (which you can see at the link), but really isn't that bad if you examine it word for word. He's not denouncing "nationalism," just nationalism that's not good enough. And he's saying he prefers to solve problems. That is, he's not that interested in ideas, and yet maybe he would be interested in an idea — including nationalism — if the people using it would develop it in a careful and serious way.

I'm also interested in the mixed metaphor because of the effort to keep it unmixed by pairing "half-baked" with "cooked" and then wrecking it with "scapegoats." Though goats can be cooked, a scapegoat is not cooked, but sent out into the wilderness.


"The Scapegoat" by William Holman Hunt, 1854.

Looking at that picture, I wondered if the "scape" in "scapegoat" was like the "scape" in "landscape," but the OED tells me it's like the "scape" in "escape.” "Landscape" comes from the Dutch "landschap," with the "schap" part being like the "-ship" ending in words like "friendship" and "scholarship." The word "landscape" began in painting, and I did like that painting of the scapegoat in the landscape. I'd like to title it "Goatscape."

"Obama picks genius hip-hop portraitist Kehinde Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait."

"Known for lush, larger-than-life portraits that overlay black street culture with European classical motifs, Wiley is an exciting choice for the presidential portrait. Imaginably, the New York-based artist will have a novel spin on the traditionally formal composition. Wiley has painted rapper LL Cool J in the style of John Singer Sargent, Ice T as Emperor Napoleon by David and young African American men in stained glass tableaus, like saints in a cathedral."

Quartz reports (showing examples of Wiley's work to give you an idea of what the Obama portrait might looks like).

More images at Metro — "Obama’s chosen the coolest artist for his official presidential portrait."

"IT HELPS WHEN YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO WIN: Investor’s Business Daily: Trump Defeats ISIS In Months — After Years Of Excuses From Obama."

I'm reading that at Instapundit, but instead of clicking through to Investor's Business Daily, I follow my well-worn path to The New York Times, where I still believe I'm going to get the official news, the real news, the professional news.

At the NYT, the headline is: "With Loss of Its Caliphate, ISIS May Return to Guerrilla Roots." So, we have a great victory — don't we? — but we can't take a moment to feel good about it. Immediately, we plunge into doubt. Maybe we're even worse off if these people don't have their territory. That's the vibe at the NYT article. Here's how it begins:
Its de facto capital is falling. Its territory has shriveled from the size of Portugal to a handful of outposts. Its surviving leaders are on the run.

But rather than declare the Islamic State and its virulent ideology conquered, many Western and Arab counterterrorism officials are bracing for a new, lethal incarnation of the jihadi group.

The organization has a proven track record as an insurgency able to withstand major military onslaughts, while still recruiting adherents around the world ready to kill in its name.

Islamic State leaders signaled more than a year ago that they had drawn up contingency plans to revert to their roots as a guerrilla force after the loss of their territory in Iraq and Syria. Nor does the group need to govern cities to inspire so-called lone wolf terrorist attacks abroad, a strategy it has already adopted to devastating effect in Manchester, England, and Orlando, Fla....
Read the whole thing. It continues in that vein. It ends by saying that al Qaeda might win back the young hotheads who'd been attracted to ISIS and frightens/titillates us with the idea of a newer, younger bin Laden:
The older group has been urging followers to pivot from the Islamic State’s focus on the battlefields of the Middle East and instead put an emphasis on attacks in the United States and other foreign lands. It has also been promoting a younger, charismatic new leader: Hamza bin Laden, 27, the son of Osama.
I went looking for a picture of this charmer. Here:

At the Accomplished Writer Café...

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... accomplish whatever writings you want.

And if you have any shopping to accomplish, please accomplish it through The Althouse Amazon Portal.

I accomplished that photograph in 2010. The future that cookie predicted is now.

"And, during this time, a female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me."

"And we all stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.... I asked to speak to a producer about the unrealistic diet regime and he responded by telling me he didn't know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was perfectly 'fuckable.'"

Said Jennifer Lawrence, at Elle's Women in Hollywood, giving us a glimpse of the kind of female producers you get in Hollywood.

Listen up, columnists who proffer the solution of putting some more women in positions of executive power.* Women do hurt other women, and they can do it in a system in which the men are out to sexually exploit women. For one thing, some women are into sexually dominating/humiliating other women. For another, if the men are structuring the workplace around their own sexual interests, the women who rise within the power structure may be the ones who play along, facilitate, and demonstrate what tough gals they are. And then there's just good old fashioned woman-on-woman cruelty — all that envy and the burning desire to be The Woman.

_________________________

* For example, NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg, who reacted to the Harvey Weinstein story with "Put Women in Charge" (though, to her credit, she said, "Obviously, female bosses can be abusive and can create cultures where abusive behavior toward underlings is tolerated"):
Feminism’s energy has shifted left, toward women who want to dismantle the ruling class, not diversify it. When “broader female access to executive perches in Wall Street and Silicon Valley gets treated as some sort of movement-wide victory, then something clearly has gone wrong in our understanding of what feminism is and can do,” Jessa Crispin wrote in The New Republic. ...

Nevertheless, as long as we have a hierarchal society, the gender of those at the top matters....

"Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!"

Wow. I thought — even knowing Trump's penchant for defending himself — that he'd have kept silent on this one.

A woman's husband had died, Trump made a 5-minute telephone call, and Rep. Frederica Wilson, claiming to have been sitting with the widow and listening to the conversation on the speakerphone, went public with a snippet of quote from the conversation — the man "knew what he signed up for... but when it happens it hurts anyway" — and to assert that the widow remarked that Trump didn't remember the dead man's name.

The man's name was La David Johnson, and I'm thinking that if Trump resisted saying the name, perhaps he worried that he didn't have the right name: Could it really be La David? Is that a man's name?

And what was the whole context of the conversation? The chain of words "knew what he signed up for" could appear in a good-enough message of condolence. I've heard this idea expressed many times. It's one way that we praise those in the all-volunteer military. They are courageous and generous to put their lives on the line for us.

But I chose not to say anything like that yesterday, because I believed in the etiquette of giving priority to the widow's grief. The power of Congresswoman Wilson's speech was, I would have thought, that you can't respond to it. Common sense says: You'll only make it worse. You'll be taking the bait, giving the story another day of life and creating new evidence that will be used against you.

But Trump — the man is not normal — did not take the common-sense approach and keep silent. He's a man who fights back. His response is pretty good and in classic Trump style: "Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!"

He goes after the Congresswoman (and doesn't mention the widow, whose exposure was all the Congresswoman's doing).

He tells us the Congresswoman is a Democrat. We might stop there and say: This is politics. A Trump-hater, probably, taking the awful step of appropriating the widow's grief for political purposes.

Or we might read more about her. In the article I linked to (in The Daily Mail), I see that she — like the widow and the dead soldier — is African-American. She's also rich, 74 years old, misses a lot of votes in Congress, and avoided the Trump inauguration. Now, I'm thinking way too much about Wilson, but the question is: Did she lie? Who knows? I assume she at least presented what she knew in a manner that would hurt Trump. This becomes another Democratic Party in Trumpland story.

The claim that he has "proof" and the closing shot "Sad!" are classic Trump. Whether he has good enough character can't matter when he doesn't have enough characters (in the Twitter sense). Can it?

Of course it can, especially to people who already hate him. But they can't hate him anymore than they already do. Those who love Trump, I suspect, will accept "(and I have proof). Sad!" It's brusque — so is "he knew what he signed up for." But that's Trump, the man they love.

As for the people who neither love nor hate Trump, the lovers and haters might think such people do not exist. He's the ultimate love-him-or-hate-him guy. But I'm here to tell you there are such people. It's weird. But we exist.

Reese Witherspoon, why have you protected this man for a quarter century and why do you still protect him?

The 41-year-old movie star said this at ELLE's Women in Hollywood event:
I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly, and I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate. A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action. True disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment.
And I wish I could tell you that that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly, it wasn’t. I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault, and I don’t speak about them very often, but after hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight, the things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I felt less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career.
The answer to the question in my post title seems to be: I wanted the job. It sounds as though she was made to understand the conditions of employment, when she could have gone to the police, and that she decided to join a conspiracy of silence.

She was only 16 years old, which makes the crime worse and her failure to report it more forgivable, but if she was 16, she was surely represented, and there was someone there on her side, someone with much more experience and understanding of how the business works. Yes, I see the word "agents" in that first paragraph. Did the girl's own agent participate in grooming her into the Hollywood life?

You haven't been a girl for a long time, Ms. Witherspoon. I appreciate your confession to "guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action," but you are saying this after reaping rewards for 25 years, while other girls entered the system and faced a man you could have exposed in 1991. You say you feel "less alone" now, but had the power all this time to help other women feel "less alone." What held you back? Somebody else had to go first? Some reporter (like, today, Ronan Farrow) needed to build a substantial structure around you and others to make it safe?

Why was there no Ronan Farrow in 1991?

1991 was the year that the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded that America understand sexual harrassment, as it grilled Clarence Thomas on charges of sexual harassment. There, the allegations were not about any physical assault, but pressure to go on dates and some remarks about pornography and pubic hair, and the person on the receiving end was no teenager but a Yale-Law-School-trained adult. Once those allegations were taken seriously as sexual harassment, why were there no journalists looking to break stories?

Why wouldn't someone have talked to the Women of Hollywood?

I hear my readers yelling at the computer screen: Because of politics. Sexual harassment was only taken seriously in 1991 as a means to an end, to defeat the conservative Supreme Court nominee. And the Men of Hollywood were liberals and donors to liberal causes and therefore the journalists had no motivation to go looking. Looking the other way was the means to what was the same political end. That's the obvious hypothesis. (It could also be that the knowing, sophisticated journalists understood the desire for sex and didn't want to blow up the whole game. Perhaps they themselves or their loved ones would be vulnerable if rampant exposure got going.)

This has been one hell of a conspiracy of silence. It's full of so many people — people we like, such Reese Witherspoon.

Behind the glossy, smiling faces of the Women of Hollywood, I see a crowd of women's faces. I sense the ghostly presence of all of the women who no to the conspiracy, who didn't want the job enough to go along with a system that victimized them and victimized and would continue to victimize other women.

There's a long way to go to extract yourself from the harm, Ms. Witherspoon. Feeling guilty for not speaking up earlier is a good start. Now, how about naming the man you just referred to? You were 16, and I can look at your IMDB page and see what directors you worked with in 1991. I should think you'd name the man if only to avoid casting suspicion on the 2 or 3 other names from that time.

And what about all the "multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault"?

It's not enough to stand up at the Women in Hollywood event and spout generalities and say you feel empowered. If the truth doesn't pour out now, the conspiracy of silence will have won.

October 17, 2017

At the Autumn Café...

Untitled

... you can talk all night.

And, please, if you've got some shopping to do, use The Althouse Amazon Portal.

50 years ago today: The musical "Hair" opens at the Public Theater in NYC.

The off-Broadway run began on October 17, 1967.
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a... product of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s... The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical", using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale.
Here's how the review looked in the NYT:
If good intentions were golden, 'Hair,' at Joseph Papp's new Florence Sutro Anspacher Theater, would be great. As it is it is merely pretty good; an honest attempt to jolt the American musical into the nine-sixties, and a musical that is trying to relate to something other than Sigmund Romberg.
Sigmund Romberg? The reference is lost on me. (Here.)
If it had a story — which to be honest it hasn't — that story would be about the young disenchanted, turned on by pot, switched off by the draft, living and loving, the new products of affluence, the dispossessed dropouts. That, if it had a story, would be what "Hair" is about.


Man, what an old fogey the NYT was! The reviewer was Clive Barnes.

I was 16 at the time, and I probably only heard about the show after it moved to Broadway. I scorned it, because it seemed that old people and commercial interests were trying to trade on the hippie movement, which seemed too pure and beautiful to have anything to do with Broadway. I didn't regard the music as rock music, so it was annoying to hear it called a "rock" musical. Like Clive Barnes, I resisted the show, but for what was — in "generation gap" terms — a completely different reason.

"Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium..."

"... the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews. Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show...."

The Hill reports.

"What Would Women Be Doing if We Weren’t Constantly Dealing With Male Abuse?"

"The torrent of #MeToo stories reveals just how much time we spend dealing with this shit," writes Joan Walsh in The Nation.

The last 2 paragraphs confused me:
Then I think about a couple of consensual experiences with men hugely my superiors. The come-ons took me by surprise, and flattered me, and seemed real. Like, of course I deserve this attention! I’m great! Or at least pretty great, right? In none of these instances was I chasing a job, or an affair either. I was flattered by the unexpected attention of a powerful man I respected. I knew I could learn from them; I enjoyed spending time with them. Also, by the way, they were married, so it was safe, right? I confidently spent time alone with them, believing they were interested in my mind and my work. Who wouldn’t be?

They weren’t. I would eventually learn that there was no actual relationship offer on the table, and no professional benefit either. And again I felt like: I am a fucking fool.
That sounds like she accepted a date and wanted a relationship (and even liked that the guy was an adulterer). Let's not mush everything together! This #MeToo stuff could get really stupid. At least she announces I am a fucking fool. I know, she means back then. But she's using the present tense.

IN THE COMMENTS: Freeman Hunt said:
Yeah, a married guy who chases after young women is safe--who thinks this way?
Absolutely no one. Joan Walsh, who is 59 years old, is still selling herself as a naive, innocent girl. She was going out with some other woman's husband, as far as I can tell. Look, we're in an important moment, when women can come together and support other women. Don't mess it up with bullshit like this.