Monday, May 28, 2018

Death, Interrupted

Ugh, having a hard time finding an actor for my upcoming reading. I'm doing a collection of my shorter pieces plus a reworked version of my Marilyn Monroe play (NORMA JEANE AT THE PAYNE WHITNEY PSYCHIATRIC CLINIC) and one of the short pieces is a one-act about Spalding Gray called DEATH, INTERRUPTED. The title is a play on Gray's last, unfinished monologue Life Interrupted.

Bill Hader does a great Spalding Gray impression. I don't think I'm going to manage to get Bill Hader to do my reading though.

Friday, May 25, 2018

ANGELS IN AMERICA - hidden meanings in the Ramble

This is the Bethesda Fountain that is featured so prominently at the end of "Angels in America." The last scene in the play is set in front of this statue and one of the main characters has a monologue about the trees across the Lake.

What is not explicitly stated, but I'm sure Tony Kushner was very well aware of it when he wrote the monologue, is that the trees across the Lake are in The Ramble, a section of the park that was notorious for being a place where gay men went to have sex, as this article in the July 24, 1978 edition of New York Magazine explains:
Just south of the famous tupelo is an intimate, secluded maze defined by other unusual trees—the ginkgo, the ailanthus, the rare cork—grown tall now with age, their intermingled branches shielding those who wander there from the view of even the highest buildings along Central Park West. Around these sheltering trees, around the asphalt walkways that wind through the Ramble, are man-tall thickets of bushes. And leading into those verdurous tangles are man-made trails—cleared not by the Parks Department but by the feet of decades of men, seeking to meet other men in a gay cloister away from the city's disdainful eyes. There have always been parts of our city that have served as gay cruising areas: Washington Square Park in the 1940s, Third Avenue near the Queensboro Bridge in the 1950s, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at 89th Street and Riverside Drive in the sixties, piers at the end of Christopher Street in Greenwich Village in the seventies. But Central Park West, and particularly the Ramble, has retained its popularity for 50 years.
I was in the Ramble in the early evening recently, but not for the gay sex. More about that soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Gavin McInnes and his obsession with ovaries

Gavin McInnes, alt-right leader who was, last year, a co-contributor to Rebel Media along with alt-right Claire Lehmann, has a wife, and a mother, and they are both over 40. And yet Gavin McInnes is a hateful misogynist who despises women over 40.

This isn't just about feminism. Of course McInnes, like Claire Lehmann, does hate feminism and feminists. But you don't have to be a feminist for Gavin McInnes (or for that matter, Claire Lehmann) to despise you as a lower order of humanity, you only have to be a woman.

As when McInnes said this in 2013:
In an eight-minute discussion about the meaning of masculinity, McInnes (whose other credits include founding the website and burping out a memoir called How to Piss in Public) echoed the entirely unfounded and unoriginal view that feminism had made women "deeply unhappy" because it went against nature's order. 
When pressed by co-panelists to back up his spurious claims, he responded by citing studies that had originated solely from his gut and declared that women over 40 are " sad".
And the irony of all of this, of course, with feminism, is that we've convinced you that this horrible situation where we use you and then wait til' your ovaries dry up and then toss you in the trash and go for a younger model? We've convinced you that that's empowering. And all of these writers, like Amanda Marcotte and all of these, Nellie Bowles, and the woman [Taylor Lorenz] who exposed Pamela Geller's kids, all these spinsters, they think they're living this too cool, empowered Watergate-journalist life. But you're not. You're just a colostomy bag for various strangers' semen. 
McInnes is obsessed with ovaries, especially dry ovaries, and mentions them often to express his contempt for women's bodies. Although McInnes seems to hate male bodies almost as much, comparing semen to shit.

But he's most obsessed with ovaries.

And of course this infamous tweet - with my response.

He's been that way since at least 2005. Here he is in Vice.

So in fact, judging from some of these statements, he doesn't think women are worthless, with dried up old ovaries at 40 - he thinks women are dried up at 35.

Why would any woman, even his mother, have anything to do with this toxic hate-filled monster?

I wanted to see if he had anything hateful to say about Brigitte Macron, the wife of the president of France, who is almost 25 years older than her husband and who recently turned 65. To my surprise he isn't on record attacking her, or Macron - at least not for having a wife over 35. He naturally preferred far-right Marine LePen in the 2017 French presidential election, and that led to his immortal Twitter self-own:

Nine out of 10 times, contacting an estranged ex-partner is an action better left unexecuted. That ratio bumps up to 10 out of 10 times when the content of that email, text, or Twitter direct message includes the phrase, “What the hell have you idiots done?” 
A bad idea, absolutely. But it sure as hell makes for great Twitter entertainment.
Following the French landslide election of independent centrist Emmanuel Macron over right-wing populist Marine Le Pen for president, Gavin McInnes, Vice co-founder and far-right personality of the Gavin McInnes Show on Compound Media, slung that very message to his Parisian ex in an attempt to air his grievances for the loss of the far-right.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Twitter is administered by insane people or algorithms

I was arguing on Twitter with fans of Gavin McInnes, the hateful racist & misogynist who says things like this about women:

Twitter is absolutely fine with vicious hate speech like this. 

So one of McInnes' fans said something dumb, so I responded by saying "derp." And that's when Twitter sprang into action. They demanded I delete my tweet and then they would let me have access to my Twitter account hours later.

Who are the insane people - or algorithms - running Twitter?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Never noticed this before...

It should be noted - Helter Skelter was released in 1968 - Whole Lotta Love in 1969.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Reasons I'm so glad the royal wedding is over

Justin Trudeau makes any wedding more interesting.
  1. It's a wedding. I barely find a wedding interesting if it's the wedding of someone I know.
  2. I don't know anything about the couple except the groom is a son of Princess Di. I think the bride was famous before hooking up with the groom but I'm not sure.
  3. The groom isn't hot. Most men look good in formal wear but there's only so much a fancy costume can do. I would watch the wedding of Justin Trudeau though.
  4. It a royal wedding. There shouldn't be any royals in the 21st century. Royalty doesn't do anything except leech off the populace. And the ceremonial leeching is dialed up to eleven with a royal wedding.
  5. It's a British royal wedding. As I recall, British royalty were the bad guys in the Revolutionary War. Why are Americans celebrating anything related to British royalty? I mean, I am an admitted Anglophile, but not because of hereditary monarchy. 
  6. I can't believe how many people, British and non-British, care about the royal wedding. It really gets on my nerves.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hard to believe Jonathan Kay used to be a real journalist

Trudeau did nothing of the kind. If Kay was an actual journalist he would have bothered to make an effort to find out what Trudeau said.

Here is my premier ministre d'amour in all his glory.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The elms of Central Park

The Central Park Mall with elm trees
I've lived a block away from Central Park for two years now and I had no idea there was a "Chess and Checkers House" near the Zoo and the Dairy (they have no milk at the Dairy) some of the favorite sights in the Park. You hang out in the Chess and Checkers House and play those games with the sets provided. Not that I'm a huge fan of either game but it's nice to know.

Of course now I am required to know it since I signed up to be a volunteer. It takes hours of classes, tours etc. to become a Central Park volunteer if you want to do something beyond clean-up work. They take their Central Park volunteers seriously. So I took one of the Central Park tours today ("Iconic Views of Central Park") and learned some fun facts.

I've learned lots of interesting new facts about the Park since beginning the volunteer training. The most interesting so far is that the Mall, the straight shot in the south of the Park that leads to the Bethesda Fountain, is one of the largest stand of elm trees in North America, thanks to Dutch elm disease. According to the Wiki:
The disease was first reported in the United States in 1928, with the beetles believed to have arrived in a shipment of logs from The Netherlands destined for use as veneer in the Ohio furniture industry. Quarantine and sanitation procedures held most cases within 150 miles of metropolitan New York City until 1941 when war demands began to curtail them.[29] The disease spread from New England westward and southward, almost completely destroying the famous elms in the "Elm City" of New Haven, Connecticut, reaching the Detroit area in 1950,[30] the Chicago area by 1960, and Minneapolis by 1970. Of the estimated 77 million elms in North America in 1930, over 75% had been lost by 1989.[31]
The most interesting aspect of the Central Park elms is that not only does the Park try to plant the most resistant strains of elm, but also the Park constantly monitors the trees for signs of disease, and immediately treats them if the disease appears.

The entire Park depends on constant maintenance, but the elms require even more maintenance than the rest of the Park. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mes deux bon profs de français

Logo of the official
French presidential web site
J'ai deux bon profs de français dans ma vie a ce moment: le Premier Ministre du Canada (le premier ministre d'amour) lequel j'ai deja mentionne souvent, et aussi le President de la France. 

Les deux m'aider apprendre la belle langue a cause du manier qu'ils parlent: lentement, clairement et tellment longtemps.

Si je socialize exclusivement avec les politiciens eloquent, quand je vais au Montreal ou Paris, tout ira bien.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Angels in America baby

I see part II tonight. I'm not sure how I feel about this production, the HBO version is so strong in my mind and I can't help comparing. I'm not wild about the multiple revolving tables on stage and the guy playing Prior Walter sounds like Crispin Glover.

From the last row. I expect to see actual angels at this altitude

Wednesday, May 09, 2018


Taking a break for a minute from the alt-right dark web... I don't think I've ever seen this video before. The best part is at the end when Lennon lip-synchs to the backwards lyrics.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Is alt-right Claire Lehmann ghostwriting for Bari Weiss?

Sam Harris: "look at what a bad-ass I am!"
I was blissfully ignorant of the existence of Bari Weiss until a few months ago. Now she's shilling for alt-right Quillette in the NYTimes:
“I’ve had to update Quillette’s servers three times now because it’s caved under the weight of the traffic,” Ms. Lehmann said about the publication most associated with this movement.
So basically the "renegade" "Dark Web" is attempting to repackage alt-right beliefs as "centrist" - just like alt-right Quillette.

And Weiss lies, in the "Renegade" tradition about the Southern Poverty Law Center:
What’s more, this frog-kissing plays perfectly into the hands of those who want to discredit the individuals in this network. In recent days, for example, Mr. Harris has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a bridge to the alt-right: “Under the guise of scientific objectivity, Harris has presented deeply flawed data to perpetuate fear of Muslims and to argue that black people are genetically inferior to whites.”
The SPLC didn't simply "label" Harris as a bridge - they demonstrated the empirical reality of that fact. Did Weiss even read the article?

Of course Steven Pinker approves.

I did enjoy many of the responses to Weiss:

Jamelle Bouie


Pseudonymous Twitterer - this might be the best.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

The Koch brothers own the American Right

The Koch brothers have devoted themselves to making the United States a tax-free haven for the wealthy and a pit of despair for the non-wealthy. And they are not afraid to use stealth to get their way.

The group, Transparent GMU, had sued the university and its fund-raising foundation last year after it was denied requests for documents that it suspected showed how deep-pocket donors were given undue influence over academic affairs. After a recent court hearing in the case, the university released those documents, some of which appeared to affirm the group’s suspicions.
So it turns out that what the Kochs and other right-wing zanies were doing was this:
As early as 1990, entities controlled by the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch were given a seat on a committee to pick candidates for a professorship that they funded, the records show. Similar arrangements that continued through 2009 gave donors decision-making roles in selecting candidates for key economics appointments at the Mercatus Center, a Koch-funded think tank on campus that studies markets and regulation. The appointments, which also created faculty lines at George Mason, were steered to professors who, like the Kochs, embraced unconstrained free markets.
It is stealth moves like this that makes me suspect media outlets like Quillette get money from the Koch brothers too. Quillette already has a mutual-admiration society with one of the Koch's biggest hacks, Christina Hoff Sommers. And then there is Quillette's far-right leaning content. Here's someone named Nicholas Phillips attacking Krugman. He also defended Kevin "let's make abortion a hanging offense" Williamson.

So who is Nicholas Phillips? According to his Quillette bio:
Nicholas Phillips is a research associate at Heterodox Academy and president of the NYU School of Law Federalist Society.
Yep. It seems that all right-wing and libertarian public intellectuals in the US are connected, one way or another, to the Koch brothers. Phillips is the president of the NYU School of Law Federalist Society and on its web site is a link to The Federalist Society as one of its "partners." The Federalist Society, according to its Wiki is supported by:
Donors to the Federalist Society include Google, Chevron, Charles G. and David H. Koch; the family foundation of Richard Mellon Scaife; and the Mercer family.[12]
Wow, the three top right-wing politicos - the Kochs, the Mercers and Richard Mellon Scaife. 

Meanwhile, Trump's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin A. Hassett is also attacking Krugman. So what was Hassett up to before he joined the Trump administration? He was working for the Kochs at the American Enterprise Institute

David H. Koch is on the American Enterprise Institute's National Council, whose members "serve as ambassadors for AEI, providing AEI with advice, insight, and guidance as [it] looks to reach out to new friends across the country."[17] Between 2002 and 2013, the American Enterprise Institute received a total of $867,289 in funding from the Charles G. Koch Foundation.[18]
No surprise, given that he's working for the Trump administration, that Hassett is an oafish asshole. Per Krugman:
I’m still thinking about Kevin Hassett’s appearance at the Tax Policy Center, where he repaid his hosts’ graciousness by gratuitously impugning their integrity. But insults aside, he offered a new analysis of corporate tax incidence – an approach that is novel, innovative, and completely boneheaded. Oh, and it just happens to say what his political masters want to hear.
But back to the Federalist Society - they're part of the George Mason corruption as mentioned in the NYTimes article:
More recently, in 2016, executives of the Federalist Society, a conservative national organization of lawyers, served as agents for a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor, and were given the right to terminate installments of the gift at their discretion. Emails disclosed by the university show that Federalist Society officials were also involved in hiring discussions and had suggested a student for admission. In turn, a professor at the law school wrote the society asking for help securing recommendations for prestigious federal judicial clerkships for students active in the society.
 If you're working for a right-leaning media outlet or a right-leaning university, chances are you're working for the Koch brothers.

Thursday, May 03, 2018


Here is MLK saying exactly what I said throughout my evo-psycho bros series. Of course he said it long before I did, but I hadn't heard of him saying these things. Not that my observations about the state of African Americans being the descendants of people who had nothing and were given nothing were especially hard to come by, anybody looking at the historical record could see what I saw. King adds the point that many white immigrants were given land out West, while the recent descendants of the enslaved were not.

When the evolutionary psychologists and human biodiversity proponents and socio-biologists and biosocial criminologists claim that black people are innately inferior they often use African Americans' crime rates to make their case. But the only way they can maintain their belief that the AA crime rate is a genetic inheritance is DELIBERATE IGNORANCE. 

And those are the people whom Steven Pinker has supported for well over ten years now.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Right-winger doesn't like what I have to say about Steven Pinker & friends

My blog post Steven Pinker's right-wing, alt-right and hereditarian connections seems to have really gotten right-winger Kaiter Enless's knickers in a twist: Heavens to Mergatroyd’s “Hereditarian” Chart of Doom.

Kaiser Enless,  "a graduate from the Art Insitute of Pittsburgh with an Associate degree in Graphic Design" is writing for a right-wing/libertarian blog called New Media Central which appears to get just as much Internet traffic as this, my personal blog.

There is some hard-core right wing-nuttery at New Media Central based on the About page:

  • Ian Erickson "...has contributed to The John Birch Society and various other websites. He had a book of poetry titled Broken published while majoring in Biblical Studies at Pillar College in NJ."
  • Jack Smith " a supporter of the UK Independence Party and campaigned for ‘Brexit’, his particular interests being British politics and political campaign analysis. A keen poet, Jack has performed frequently in his home town in-front of small audiences of left-wing creative writers, who he is disappointed not to have offended yet."
  • Orwell & Goode (a pun for “all well and good”) is a Youtuber, blogger, and an economics masters degree student. He personally identifies as a paleolibertarian, but extends his support to nationalist movements throughout the Western world.
  • R.C. Maxwell is the American Voice Political Action Committee’s National Coordinator. He is a Republican strategist known for using new media, online solutions, and grassroots organizing as tactics to turn districts red.
  • Isaiah Minter " an outspoken critic of Egalitarianism, Feminism, Liberalism, Progressivism, Black Lives Matter, and Democracy."
  • Christopher Logan is hard-hitting street reporter and the founder of Logan’s Warning. Also the president of North American Infidels – an anti-Islam political activism organization.
No surprise that Steven Pinker has fans among right-wing extremists. After all, Pinker cultivates right-wing extremists as allies, as my chart illustrates.

What's most amusing about Enless is that even though he claims I'm a paranoid crazy, he still thought it worthwhile to write about my chart.
In the television series, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the character Charlie discovers a disturbing conspiracy at his office revolving around a mysterious man named Pepe Silvia, the only problem is that there is no Pepe Silvia; the secondary problem is that there actually is a Pepe Silvia and Charlie had simply lost his mind. 
Roll the two aforementioned fictional scenarios (with something from "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button') together and you’d end up with something akin to the absurd and paranoia-riddled article by the self-avowed “anti-racist” blog, Heavens to Mergatroyd (henceforth HTM) entitled, Steven Pinker’s rightwing, alt-right and hereditarian connections.
It stands to reason that people who admire Steven Pinker aren't the brightest bunch and many of them seem to have reading comprehension problems. Enless writes:
 The basic premise is that Charles Murray is a bad person and that he has essentially transmitted his badness to Pinker via Sam Harris and somehow this leads people to… David Duke, or something. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense so let us read from the text.
Enless then argues with the text from the New Yorker review I quoted as if I wrote it. It seems as though he can't tell the difference between what I wrote and what I quoted - although it could be that he's such a bad writer he lacks the skill to convey what he really thinks. 

This made me laugh though:
The article then goes on to list and smear a whole number of disparate people including political comedian Gavin McInnes (best known for his stint on The Rebel), science writer Claire Lehmann (best known for Quillette), evolutionary biologist and writer, Richard Dawkins (who has praised Quillette), IQ researcher Richard Lynn (best known for his seminal work, IQ and the Wealth of Nations, written with Tatu Vanhannen), white-activist Richard Spencer (best known for coining the term alt-right), American Renaissance founder, statistician, writer and activist for ethnic determination, Jared Taylor, as well as that ever-present boogeyman of the Democratic party, Dr. David Duke.
If you actually read the article you will see that for all the people he claims I "smeared" I simply quoted from either their personal web sites or from legitimate sources which describe facts about them. Apparently to quote facts about them is to "smear" them.

You get a sense of where Enless's sympathies lie by his descriptions of Jared Taylor and David Duke.

He calls Duke "that ever-present boogeyman of the Democratic party, Dr. David Duke."

Duke's Wikipedia page:
an American white supremacist and white nationalist politician, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, convicted felon, and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Enless describes Jared Taylor as "a mild-manner statistician and dedicated proponent of freedom of association."

According to Taylor's wiki:
Samuel Jared Taylor (born September 15, 1951) is an American white supremacist.[2] He is the founder and editor of American Renaissance, a white supremacist online magazine. Taylor is also an author and the president of American Renaissance's parent organization, New Century Foundation, through which many of his books have been published. He is a former member of the advisory board of The Occidental Quarterly and a former director of the National Policy Institute, a Virginia-based white nationalist think tank.[3] He is also a board member and spokesperson of the Council of Conservative Citizens.[4][5]
Taylor, like many of the organizations he is associated with, is often described as promoting racist ideologies by, among others, civil rights groups, news media, and academics studying racism in the U.S.[6][7][8][9]

It's odd that Enless accuses me of smearing Pinker through guilt-by-association since Enless himself seems to believe that either people like Duke and Taylor aren't actual racists, in spite of all the evidence, or that it's perfectly fine that they are racists.

At least we agree on one thing: Steven Pinker is most likely lying about his opinion about The Bell Curve and black intelligence:
I would posit that the reason Steven Pinker has not explained why he disagrees with claims made concerning black intelligence being hereditary is that it is politically and socially disadvantageous to do so; he is both intelligent enough and well-read on the literature enough, to know that the claims made are not fanciful and are well backed by evidence. 
So based on Enless's own views I have not unfairly tainted Pinker through guilt-by-association: Enless thinks the racists in my chart are fine people and he believes Steven Pinker is a racist too, but just too chickenshit politically saavy to admit it.

This is a fan of Steven Pinker and even he thinks Pinker is a liar. And Enless isn't the only Pinker fan who thinks so.

If anybody is tainting Steven Pinker it's Kaiser Enless.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

I stepped up on the platform, the man gave me the news.

He said you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?

The title of this blog post and italic line above are from the title track of Steely Dan's "Pretzel Logic."

In honor of the fact that the cover of the album was taken across the park from me, as this page lovingly details. But I already suspected this was taken by Central Park.