Thursday, December 09, 2010

B word C word C word N word D word

Just because I am a lexophile does not mean that I love every word. There are a few words that I would love to see retired for their association with sexism and other forms of idiocy.

Ballsy - or any use of words that equate maleness with courage. And it's no accident that if you don't "have balls" then you are a "pussy." Complimenting a woman for "having balls" is exactly analogous to complimenting a Jew for having good Christian values. There is no other way to look at it other than as the pure triumph of misogyny, but I still get into arguments with people about this. Even with allegedly liberal people. To go along with the analogies of balls/pussy - courageous/cowardly is to either admit you are a flat-out sexist or to admit you're an idiot who can't be bothered to think before you speak.

Cocksman - John Lahr used the word in this very week's New Yorker in his rehabilitative hagiography on Elia Kazan:
A cocksman of note—Kazan introduced Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe, whom they shared for a while—he felt that his sexual adventures were what allowed him, onstage and in film, to redefine the landscape of twentieth-century desire.
No wonder Marilyn Monroe was depressed so much - having sex with her made you a cocksman of note.

If you don't get what is wrong with the word, try to imagine for a moment the female equivalent - pussyswoman? cuntswoman? Of course there is no equivalent because the term encapsulates the double-standard so perfectly. Women do not get points for having lots of sex, even if it's with movie stars - certainly not in Kazan's or Lahr's generation. But Lahr hasn't bothered to reconsider his ingrained attitudes about gender. I blogged about his admiration for manly-man plays ("The Last Manly Man Playwright") especially Adam Rapp's RED LIGHT WINTER. His effusiveness shades into hyperventilation when he describes the play in a review:
“You’re an idiot,” he tells her. “You think you know me . . . because I stuck my finger up your ass while I fucked you like the whore you are?” “We made love,” Christina says, insisting on his goodness. The ensuing violent, sexual scene—“ It might be the best and the worst thing they’ve ever felt,” the stage directions read — escalates into a powerful dance of death.

What he means by "dance of death" is - they have a quickie. Nobody dies from this dance of death. Unless by dance of death he means that the prostitute (who has a heart of gold in case you couldn't guess) jumps off the fire escape after the psychopath exits. Either way, it's a ridiculous turn of phrase.

But you can see how much Lahr got off on the whole ludicrous scenario.

The best Lahr prose in the review is saved for the very end, to send it off with a big flourish no doubt - it is gloriously, hysterically portentous:
”(Rapp) brings memorable news about the heart, telling us both how it fools itself and how it kills itself."

The heart kills itself. The powerful dance of death strikes again.

Did I mention how annoying I find John Lahr?

Unlike ballsy, cocksman is not in the dictionary, but you sure can't blame John Lahr for not doing his best to keep classic hard-core patriarchy concepts alive.

But the next word I hate is not only in the dictionary, it's still, incredibly, in common usage.

Coed - originally used to refer to women who were the first wave to integrate formerly male-only Ivy League schools. This happened so long ago that those co-eds are now all qualified for membership in AARP. But so many people still will NOT let it go - and they refer to ALL college women, even contemporary ones, even if they attend colleges that were never single-sex, as "coeds." And most people under 40 have no idea that they mean "female student" unless it's clear in the context.

Just call them "students." Otherwise come up with a special name for black high school students that reflects the fact that high schools were segregated by race fifty years ago. Just kidding - don't do that - just stop using the term "co-ed" to mean women college students. It's ridiculously archaic.

I bet John Lahr uses the term all the time. I can just hear him: "I heard Elia, the cocksman of note, had a powerful dance of death with three co-eds at once in the library stacks last night."

These words are sexist and archaic and just generally annoying.

And you know who would agree with me, if he hadn't been killed 30 years ago? John Lennon:

"Woman is the Nigger of the World" is not the most melodic song of the world, I have to admit but John and Yoko get a million points for sincerity and gutsiness (yes, there is an anatomically-based term that also means courage, but is not sexist) in putting this out in front of the world - it would still be controversial to say this now - just imagine what it was like in 1972. It must have driven the sexist asshole douchebags nuts.

Speaking of douchebags, the exploitation-film director has started up again sending me little nasty messages via search strings.

Here are the stats - he did the search string from Monroe Township this time. It's one of the several IP addresses that he uses.

Domain Name ? (Network)
IP Address ? (Comcast Cable)
ISP Comcast Cable
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : New Jersey
City : Monroe Township
Lat/Long : 40.3305, -74.4179 (Map)
Distance : 45 miles (local visitor)
Language English (U.S.)
Operating System Macintosh WinNT
Browser Safari 1.3
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/8.0.552.215 Safari/534.10
Javascript version 1.5
Resolution : 1366 x 768
Color Depth : 32 bits
Time of Visit Dec 8 2010 10:06:17 pm
Last Page View Dec 8 2010 10:06:17 pm
Visit Length 0 seconds
Page Views 1
Referring URL
Search Engine
Search Words nancy mcclernan heavens murgatroyd stalker
Visit Entry Page
Visit Exit Page

The best part is that he uses the word "stalker" when in fact he's harassing me - he knows I can read these messages and he's sent me dozens. And it's amazing that he hasn't learned to spell "Mergatroyd" correctly since he's typed it so very many times.

Now mind you - I have never had the distinct displeasure of meeting this person. This is all because he didn't like me making a negative comment about Manhattan Theatre Source back in February 2009, although the gigantic hypocrite has said the most incredibly, grant-threateningly nasty things about the people currently running the organization - on his blog - and he even named some of them by name - they must utterly despise him by now.

And then he didn't like the fact that I blogged about his casting call showing up in "Nudity Required, No Pay."

Although I think what really drove him around the bend was that I wrote a parody of his idiotic movie with the multi-tasking ladybot (I referenced it in a recent blog post.) I wonder if he harasses everybody who doesn't like his movies - that would keep him very busy indeed. Here's from the Shitty Sci-Fi Round-up post from
And our last stop on the “crap train” is 2008’s Alien Uprising, directed by Andrew Bellware (who previously gave us … aahhh who cares). This is a horrible, horrible movie. I should've turned this one off after the first 5mins but it was like watching a puppy swallowing lit firecrackers: I knew what the result was gonna be, but I needed to see it happen anyway. I figured in the worst case scenario this would be a "so bad its good" flick. Nope. Wrong. A scratchy soundtrack; ZERO production values; TERRIBLE acting; eye-rolling dialogue; and some of the worst f/x I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something). I’m guessing the “f/x” were done by two 10 year olds. For example; the ship’s AI is a black & white projection on a wall from a 16mm film projector. I’m not kidding people, it’s really that pathetic. And you know you’re dealing with no budget when the “alien” has taken human form. What a cheese ball way to avoid having to make a creature. I guess they ran through their f/x budget on buying that 16mm projector!! This is total garbage and I hated every second of it. Don’t waste your time on this. Definitely skip it.

This is so sad - the only thing his production company has going for it, as far as I can tell, is he knows some very good actors who will work for him for free. A free, valuable resource, and he lets it go to waste. Truly amazing.