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Saturday, September 29, 2012

What does Putin really think of Obama?

If I, sitting alone in my house, have figured out that Barack Obama is gay, then you can certainly bet that Vladimir Putin, the current President of Russia, is well aware of that fact.

Putin is a man who obviously worships at the altar of machismo. And while some of his own "adventures" turned out to consist of various staged poses, it's hard to escape the impression that he is at heart a tough, no-nonsense kind of guy.

It is also true that gay liberation has not made the same progress in Russia that it has here in this country. My guess is that Vladimir Putin - and most of his colleagues in the Kremlin -- are themselves quite old school when it comes to such matters.

I would love to have been privy to Putin's reaction when he was first informed that Barack Obama was gay. I can't help but suspect that his initial disbelief was soon replaced by mirth and a sort of primitive joy. There was undoubtedly a lot of delighted chortling. A lot.


Putin, a former KGB operative, may have initially considered the possibility of blackmail, but then dismissed it as impractical, and also because the alternative -- the election of a Republican President -- would simply mean an opponent more willing to stand up to Russia.

I would also guess that Putin probably enjoyed passing this information along to various uninformed colleagues, and that this tidbit was uniformly greeted with initial incredulity, then great whoops of laughter and contemptuous snorting.


Perhaps one of his generals suggested, "We will screw him over -- and he will like it because he is a [Russian pejorative for homosexual]." This would undoubtedly have been greeted by hearty guffaws all round.

Putin might have replied, "There is no need. He is already unilaterally disarming, like a woman taking her clothes off without even being asked." This comment, too, would probably have elicited much merriment.

After Dmitri Medvedev's famous hot mike conversation with Obama in which Obama informed him that he would have "more flexibility after the election," some wag at the Kremlin may have joked, "Don't worry, we're going to put you in positions even you have never dreamt of before."

Putin must just love the image of the United States as a country led by a President who prefers to have sex with other men.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Someone's head is gonna roll

Just saw the most amazing thing, a TruTV article, linked to by the liberal HuffPost, titled, "10 Dumbest Athlete Quotes of All Time":

http://www.trutv.com/dumb_as_a_blog/gallery/10-dumbest-athlete-quotes-of-all-time.html

They were all fairly funny, in a Yogi Berra-ish sort of way, but what was amazing about the article was that 7 of the 10 athletes quoted were black. That's the kind of skewed sampling that most media try desperately to avoid. Especially when the word "dumbest" is used.

Someone is in big, big trouble.

President Turtle

An online comment from one Ariel St. Germaine, in response to an article in today's Wall Street Journal:

"Obama is a turtle on a fence post. You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb fool put him up there."

I had a feeling this was a line I'd heard before, so looked it up on Wikipedia. Sure enough, it's been used many times before by and about politicians. The original joke, provenance unknown, goes like this:

An old rancher is talking about politics with a young man from the city. He compares a politician to a "post turtle". The young man doesn't understand and asks him what a post turtle is.

The old man says, "When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself. He doesn't belong there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down."


I guess Democrats must have been as tickled to hear this expression applied to Bush as I was to hear it about Obama.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

President "Eye Candy"



As has been amply documented, President Obama passed on meetings with other world leaders at the recent UN summit so that he could appear on The View, where he said, "I've been told I'm just eye candy."

The mainstream media, of course, let that pass without comment.

But can you imagine the outcry had Mitt Romney said that? It would have been labeled as another "gaffe," and the poison pouring forth from the media would have been nonstop:

"The man's vanity knowns no bounds."

"As if we needed any more proof that Romney is a complete lightweight!"

"Whoever told him that is, in the parlance of psychologists, an 'enabler'."

"Romney really needs to stick to his Teleprompter. Every time he goes off script, disaster strikes."

"Does this man have a death wish? Does he actually want to be President?"

"Libya has just murdered four Americans, Egypt is protesting, Achmadinejad almost has the bomb, our economy is imploding, unemployment is stubbornly high, America is divided, and Mitt Romney has his  eye fixed firmly on the mirror."

"The final nail in his coffin. His political epitaph will read: 'Here lies Mitt Romney, eye candy'."

But, unfortunately, Romney wasn't the one who talked about his looks. Obama was. So we get dead silence instead.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The real Ginger

Was just watching the great Scorsese movie Casino on AMC when a note appeared at the bottom of the screen that Ginger, the character played by Sharon Stone, was based on Geri McGee, the Vegas topless dancer and part-time prostitute who married Frank Rosenthal (whom the DeNiro character was based on). Curious to see what she looked like, I Google-Imaged her:


Wow. Every bit as good-looking as Stone. Maybe better.

Money well spent

A friend just sent the following picture, of a 450 foot long life size replica of Noah's Ark built by two billionaire Chinese brothers:


The ark, designed by a team of architects, sits by the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong and features life size fiberglass replicas of pairs of various animals.

I had three reactions to this story:

First, it's sort of funny that they're building a "replica" of something that never existed in the first place. 

Second, the Chinese (and Japanese) are awfully good at putting a monumental effort into building huge, intricately designed, utterly useless monuments like the Great Wall, or this "ark." (This blog is probably an example of that on a smaller scale.) 

And third, it must be nice to be a billionaire and just do whatever the heck you please. 

Gay guys married to women

The natural assumption about any married guy is that he got married for the usual set of reasons, so as I was with President Obama, I'm always a little surprised to find out that some married guy is gay. 

There are women who enter into a marriage of mutual convenience, knowing that that's what they're getting into, and understanding that their role is to maintain the appearance of a normal marriage. What such a woman gets in return is usually a certain amount of financial security. And given that a woman willing to enter into such a marriage may well be gay herself, she may also benefit from the false front.

But there are probably a lot of marriages where a woman is fooled into marrying a gay guy without being aware of his proclivities. I think this was much more common in the past, back when homosexuality actually was the love that didn't dare speak its name, and there was more pressure on  men to get married and produce a family. It was probably also more common because of the pressure for a woman to "save herself" for marriage.

I've known of a few marriages like this, and they always struck me as tremendously unfair to the woman -- especially back when divorce was regarded as a larger stigma. A gay guy, by essentially tricking a woman into marriage without letting on that he is gay, is effectively consigning her to a marriage without sex.

It's not that regular sex lasts for that many years anyway; people do tire of each other, and after ten years most marriages are nothing more than an accumulation of petty resentments. But this kind of dishonesty still seems tremendously selfish.

I don't think the Obama marriage was like this; my guess is that Michelle knew perfectly well what she was getting into, and there was no subterfuge on Barack's part.

On the other hand, it was dishonest for him to pretend to be a moderate when he was in fact a radical.

Michelle may be satisfied with her arrangement, but the country itself is currently in a very bad marriage.

(Time for a divorce.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Judge for yourself

The media has chortled endlessly over Mitt Romney's 47% "gaffe."

The NY Post ran the text of that speech today. Judge for yourself whether this was the kind of speech which would only play well in private with a select group of donors, as most of the media have suggested, or whether his speech was for the most part carefully worded and the kind he would deliver to a larger audience.

Had Clint been a Democrat

Clint Eastwood's performance at the Republican National Convention was endlessly belittled and parodied by the mainstream press. It seemed obvious what he was doing: ad-libbing a dialogue with Barack Obama, as represented by that empty chair. Eastwood had a glint in his eye the entire time and knew exactly what he was doing.

The problem was, Eastwood evidently hadn't brought any notes or thought that much about what he was going to say beforehand. And while that may show admirable courage and confidence, it's not good planning, and doesn't make for a smooth delivery. It would have been far better had he, like our President, relied on a Teleprompter.

When he first got to the stage, he was met with a huge ovation. After saying "Thank you" about five or six time, he suggested "Save a little [applause] for Mitt." Then he said, "I know what you're all thinking: what's a movie tradesman doing out here -- you know, they're all left wingers out there -- left of Lenin. At least that's what people think, but that's not really the case...."

After this he rambled a bit. His grammar wasn't always perfect, as is almost always the case when people speak off the cuff, but his meaning was always clear. (I admit, not even all the Republicans got him.) Eastwood made a few jokes at the Democrats' expense. But because he was speaking extemporaneously, and because his voice is that of an 82 year old, the liberal media jumped at the chance to accuse him of senility. (Age discrimination anyone?)

If you read the text of his speech, you'll see that it actually wasn't that bad. I can't help but wonder what the media's spin would have been had Clint been speaking at the Democratic National Convention, with the empty chair representing Mitt Romney. I suspect the accolades would have been downright fulsome:

"Clint showed masterful stage presence and demonstrated why he is an American icon. Give the man another Oscar."

"Dirty Harry gave 'em hell."

"Chicago's great improvisational troupe, Second City, could learn a thing or two from this wily old coot."

"What better way to show what an empty suit Mitt Romney is than to portray him as an empty chair? A stroke of genius."

"First, Unforgiven. Then Million Dollar Baby. Flags of our Fathers. Letters from Iwo Jima. And now, Mr. Eastwood Takes Charlotte. Clint Eastwood is simply an American treasure."

(Are you sick yet?)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Lovin' Spoonful

Had to drive into New York City two days ago, so listened to a Lovin' Spoonful CD. Their resident genius was songwriter John Sebastian. He came up with some great tunes, music that could evoke both exuberance and a yearning sentimentality. Here's an example of the latter, Darling Be Home Soon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXjzOpz4Cyw&feature=relmfu

Or You Didn't Have to Be So Nice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iyBhPzuZZc

Or my favorite, Six O'Clock:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd5DWpfnLFM

It's actually a little disconcerting to listen to the lyrics of some of his songs in the light of more modern sensibilities. For instance, Younger Girl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b53EbA1NBRk

Listen to those lyrics:

"She's one of those girls who seems to come in the spring
One look in her eyes and you forget everything
You had ready to say
And I saw her today yeah...

A younger girl keeps a-rollin' across my mind
No matter how much I try, I can't seem to leave her memory behind
I remember her eyes, soft dark and brown
Said she'd never been in trouble, or even in town
A younger girl keeps a-rollin' across my mind

And should I hang around, acting like her brother
In a few more years they'd call us right for each other
And why
If I wait I'll just die, yeah..."

Sounds like an anthem to child molesting.

Or She's Still a Mystery:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqpbMPlEMb4

Those lyrics likewise wouldn't pass muster today:

"Remember hallways, you're waiting always
To see behind the door
You never seen her, you're gonna meet her
The first time so unsure
She smiles your way through a window
You smile right back, she runs away
You wish little girls would sit still
just a little bit longer, longer."

All this doesn't make me like the music any less. And who knows, maybe Sebastian was singing about eighteen year olds, not fifteen year olds. But it's hard to listen to those lyrics and not wonder.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Is Obama gay?

When I first heard a few days ago that Obama might be gay, my initial reaction was, that's ridiculous. He's married, has two kids, and he's never set off my gaydar. I had read a couple years ago about Larry Sinclair's claims of having given Obama oral sex in the back of a limousine when Obama was a state senator. But at the time I just figured that any famous person is bound to attract a few loonies who will say anything to get publicity.

But after I read the article linked two posts ago (and directly below), I started reading more about the rumors of Obama's gay life, and after a while, it just made too much sense not to be true.

In his article in WND.com, Jerome Corsi, a Harvard Ph.D. in political science, said that Obama (along with Rahm Emanuel) was a lifetime member of Man's Country, a gay bathhouse in Chicago. Obama was evidently well known there and many of the older clientele remembered him:

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, who worked with the National Security Agency from 1984 to 1988 as a Navy intelligence analyst, confirmed DuJan’s claims.

“It is common knowledge in the Chicago gay community that Obama actively visited the gay bars and bathhouses in Chicago while he was an Illinois state senator,” Madsen told WND.


Obama's reputation in gay circles, by the way, was that he liked to receive oral sex but not to give it, which squares with what Larry Sinclair had said about him. (It's his "signature." And receiving blow jobs but not giving them would be consistent with Obama's narcissistic personality.)

As a member of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama was known to have a "close friendship" with Donald Young, the openly gay choir director of the church. Young was murdered execution-style on December 23, 2007, just as Obama began his climb toward the Presidency. Another gay member of the church, Larry Bland, had also been killed execution-style a month earlier. Neither man was robbed, and both cases remain unsolved. Donald Young's mother believes to this day that her son was killed in order to silence him before he spoke out about Obama.

Jerome Corsi is dismissed by the Left as a "Tea Party activist and conspiracy theorist." But even if you regard Corsi and Madsen and Dujan with suspicion, what they say fits the larger picture of Obama's life far better than any heterosexual narrative would. The circumstantial evidence -- away from his public image as a family man -- fits the homosexual narrative perfectly.

There is virtually no record of Obama having had any girlfriends before he married Michelle at age 31. He referred to two in his autobiography, but these were later revealed to be "composites." Are we to believe that a healthy, young, sports-oriented black man had no history of having chased after girls? You'd think that after he'd first been elected as President, back when he was seen in such a messianic light, all sorts of women would have come forward claiming that they had had flings with Obama, or at least been propositioned by him. But none did.

In his autobiography, Obama stated that during his years at Columbia he spent all his time in the library and "lived like a monk." But if he spent all of his time in the library, shouldn't he have gotten excellent grades, especially given how smart he is supposed to be? Then why spend a million dollars hiring 11 lawyers to make sure his academic records were permanently sealed? It's also hard to believe that a young man who by his own admission freely imbibed drugs was otherwise inclined to live "like a monk."

Another question: how many successful black men marry women far darker than themselves? If successful black men do marry black, it's often a woman so light-skinned you have to look twice to ascertain her blackness. This tends to be true of successful blacks in business, in entertainment, and in sports. Obama wasn't rich when he married Michelle, but he was a Harvard Law School graduate and did give the impression of an ambitious young man on his way up. And young gay men with political ambitions are more concerned about simply having a beard than her desirability. (Ironically, it was said during the '08 election that black women voters had a particular fondness for Obama because he had married a "real" black woman, unlike so many other successful black men.)

Michelle, in turn, also married Barack out of ambition. She reportedly had divorce papers drawn up after he lost an election to Bobby Rush for a House seat in 2000.

When Barack was first elected President, Michelle wanted to stay in Chicago and raise their two girls there. She was quickly informed that this would not look good, so she moved to the White House.

Has a President's "body man" ever been given such prominence? Part of Reggie Love's job as Obama's personal valet was to "wake the President up in the morning." (How could he do this without waking Michelle up at the same time?) Love reportedly worked up to 18 hours a day, "often sleeping on the burgundy couch."

The "body man" before Love was Nick Colvin, who left the White House after rumors surfaced that he had had sexual relations with Obama while Obama was a state senator. (Obama hasn't had just one Clyde Tolson, he's had two.)

And why all the snickering when Kal Penn ("Kumar" of Harold and Kumar fame, widely known to be gay in Hollywood) was working in the White House as the President's Associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement? Google "Kal Penn Obama affair" and you'll get 165,000 results.

The ways in which Obama tries to compensate seem telling too. His jaunty stride up to the podium is meant to project masculine virility; and his vocal delivery, with that faux vaguely-black accent, is meant to show manliness as well. I've seen other gay guys who try too hard to appear manly, with overly emphatic movements, and it usually leaves the opposite impression.

You never, ever hear any whispers about Obama and women. Sure, there are stories about power struggles between Michelle and other women, like Oprah Winfrey and Desiree Rogers; but no stories about Barack straying with women. I had always just assumed that this was because he was a squeaky clean family man who was perhaps a little scared of Michelle. But for a healthy man who ascended to the Presidency at age 48, who had star power and unlimited access to women, to never, ever indulge? That would be practically unheard of. But no, there will be no Monicas for Barack. 

Obama has essentially been hiding his sexuality in plain sight all this time. In retrospect, I'm astonished at my own blindness. (There has evidently been chatter about his sexuality on the internet for years.) But he just never set off my gaydar. And he is, after all, President of the United States, a position we associate with homosexuality about as much as, say, Brigadier General.

In a way, it's almost racist not to see Obama's gayness. Sometimes it's hard to see past the blackness: we are conditioned to assume all black males are high testosterone potential rapists.

Obama has none of the sheepishness, or sense of furtiveness, that we sometimes associate with gays. But maybe he doesn't give off that vibe because his narcissism overrides any possible sense of embarrassment.

Obviously, none of the "evidence" I've presented is hard; it's merely circumstantial. The only people with firsthand evidence are those who've had sex with Obama. But the entire picture of Obama's life makes much more sense when you see it through the prism related by Corsi and Madsen and Dujan.

There's nothing intrinsically immoral about being gay; it's something homosexuals generally have no choice about. But with Obama, his duplicity about his sexuality is reflective of his duplicity about virtually everything else. He has employed Alinsky-ite methods to hide his gayness the same way he has employed them to hide his far left political leanings. (Alinsky: cut your hair, wear a suit and tie, appear moderate, hide your radicalism, and if anybody disagrees with your political views, attack him on personal grounds.) 

At this point, three and a half years into Obama's Presidency, his sexuality has to be open secret in Washington. The White House press reportedly knew about JFK's escapades with women at the time, but kept them quiet. They are undoubtedly performing a similar function with Obama.

(By the way, if you don't believe that Obama is gay, go ahead and laugh at me. But the truth should become much more widely known after Obama has left the Presidency, when the press no longer has a reason to protect him.)

You have to wonder whose idea of a joke it was when Newsweek put out that famous cover of him with the rainbow halo over his head and titled it, "The first gay President." (In fact, Obama is probably the second; James Buchanan was most likely gay as well.)

I also can't help but wonder what effect would it have on the upcoming election if Obama's homosexuality became more widely known. And while I don't blame Obama for his sexuality, I do hold it against him that he's such a con man and narcissist. He's also obviously out of his depth as President, and his rigidly leftist mindset precludes any realistic ideas about how the economy works.

It's Obama's personality and politics, not his sexuality, which will determine my vote. But there are many who wouldn't vote for Obama simply because he is a homosexual. So I do hope this becomes more widely known in the next seven weeks. 

Update, April 26, 2017: A book generally sympathetic to Obama has come out in which the author, David Garrow, says that Obama "considered gayness" when he was young

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"The steady gaze of my own conscience"

In July of 2011, I said that if you ever hear someone refer to his own conscience, beware. For most of us, our conscience is such an integral part of us that we don't think of it as a separate, distinct entity. Our capacity to feel embarrassment, our inner brakes, are just there, taken for granted. It is only the sociopath who actually talks about his conscience.

(For the complete explanation, please refer to the post linked above.)

I have long thought Barack Obama to be a narcissistic personality, but have stopped short of calling him a sociopath. Then I ran across this quote from his second book, The Audacity of Hope:

"I find comfort in the fact that the longer I’m in politics the less nourishing popularity becomes, that a striving for power and rank and fame seems to betray a poverty of ambition, and that I am answerable mainly to the steady gaze of my own conscience."

Not only does Obama talk about his conscience, he attributes a steady gaze to it. Yikes.

(Note to Barack: wouldn't "steely" have been an even better word?) 

George Will himself recently said, "Obama's intellectual sociopathy -- his breezy and somewhat loutish indifference to truth -- should no longer startle."  

That, too, stops short of calling Obama an outright sociopath; but it certainly comes close.

I'm not sure what to think at this point.

Interesting article

I have no idea whether this story about Obama being gay is true.

I looked around WND, and while it has a definite -- conservative -- point of view, they seem to be honest.

If this story is not true, there should be a lawsuit. If it is, expect it to die a quiet death as it is ignored by the other media.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More Obama campaign slogans

Back in March, this blog suggested a few slogans for Obama's reelection campaign. Since then they decided on "Forward" (stealing the title of the publication Marx and Engels wrote for).

I was a little hurt that they didn't take any of my suggestions. But just in case they're willing to change their minds, I have a few more to offer:

Free money!

I'll have more flexibility after the election.

Who wants to be Triple-A anyway?

I only said no to the Osama killing three times!

Debt is not a four letter word.

Faster and Furiouser

It's about Bain, not the economy.

Turning the Supreme Court into The View!

Obama '12, Holder '16

Post-partisan AND post-racial!

Bringing fat cats like Corzine to justice!

Not voting for me is racist.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fashion Week IV -- The men

I'm just about through with this fashion kick. I realize that everybody already knows there is a huge disconnect between what one sees on a runway and what these fashion houses actually sell to the public. Still, it's fun to examine the mentality of the designers.

Here are a few styles from recent shows:

The late Alexander McQueen took a normal jacket and put piping on it, which makes it look vaguely like a bellhop uniform. Now there's no intrinsic reason that a suit with piping is any less visually appealing than a suit without. But why would anyone want to spend a lot of money just to look like a bellhop?

A lot of the McQueen outfits look vaguely like something that someone might have worn in another culture, in another era. Say, a Soviet satellite republic like Kazakhstan, circa 1962. But when you look closely, you see that every single element clashes with every other element: a gray jacket with gray plaid pants? Formal clothes with long johns showing? Sandals? A shirt buttoned all the way to the top with no necktie? Nah, not even Borat would be caught dead in that outfit.

This agnes b. (all small letters, like e.e. cummings) outfit is probably supposed to evoke a swaggering riverboat gambler. But I'm getting less of a "See you one and raise you two" vibe and more of a "See you in stall number two" vibe.

When Sean Connery made his first appearance as James Bond, he wore this tuxedo:

But what if he had worn this outfit by agnes b. instead?
Would the Bond movies have had a different tone? Would the ladies have found Bond as compelling? Would the bad guys have found him as formidable?

Do designers like Blaak Homme prefer it when we dye our hair to match their outfits?

Doesn't this Bottega Veneta outfit look like something one of the bad guys in a Batman comic book would wear? Like maybe The Joker? Or was this suit the designer's idea of a joke?

While I've always been partial to the suit jacket-and-short-pants-with-sandals look, I prefer to wear my tie outside my shirt.

Imagine yourself walking down the main street of your hometown in this outfit. Wouldn't you have to be a little bit more confident in your masculinity than you actually are in order to pull it off?

It's very important to me to know what's in and what's out each year. Thank goodness I have Gaspard Yurkievich to guide me, otherwise I might commit the cardinal sin of actually wearing a shirt under my suit.

Doesn't this guy from DSquared2 Menswear look a little as if he couldn't decide which one of the Village People he wanted to be?

The suit by Michel Bastian isn't bad, although it's too small for the model. But why overwhelm it with those ridiculous gloves AND the boutonniere AND the sunglasses AND the silly cap?

Bernhard Willhelm personifies how important it seems to be for these designers to see themselves as "creative." But creativity without logic or purpose isn't really creativity. It's just a pile of excrement arranged a different way.

(Some might think the outfit above too easy a target. My opinion: only a very skilled satirist -- such as myself -- can actually succeed in making it look silly.)

Why do so many designers feel the necessity to make clothes, like this John Galliano Jesus-in-a-dress outfit, which scream, "I'm gay"?

Perhaps the deeper question is, what is the relationship between being homosexual and wanting to wear these kinds of clothes? Why, exactly, does wanting to suck on another man's penis have to go hand in hand with preferring mauve and puce and flashy designs?

Or, conversely, why don't guys who like breasts and vaginas want to dress more colorfully (other than on a golf course or in their old age)? After all, male birds sport bright plumage in order to attract females. Maybe it's time for male humans to do likewise.

If wearing outfits like the one above were how guys proved their masculinity, would we see more of them?

My guess is yes.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"The Grey," and wolves

Saw The Grey last night. It's about a group of roughnecks whose plane crashes somewhere in remote northern Alaska, who then have to defend themselves against a pack of wolves.

The movie was decent, though the wolves looked pretty fake. The little bit of computer animation that was used seemed to date from the pre-Jurassic Park era of filmmaking.

Liam Neeson was, as usual, excellent in a role that called for a no-nonsense tough guy, and the dialogue wasn't bad, though it did veer toward the pretentious (hence, The Grey, and not The Gray). The movie felt predictable until the end, which I'll admit surprised me.

What really struck me was how wolves were used as the villains. I'd always been under the vague impression that wolves shied away from humans, and that wolf attacks on humans were extremely rare.

So I looked it up on the internet and ran across this listing of attacks on Wikipedia. Turned out I was wrong: there have been many documented attacks on humans by wolves, especially in Europe and India.

Evidently Old World wolves are much less timid around humans than New World wolves are. There are conflicting theories about why, but the fact is, when colonists first arrived in America, they noted that while wolves were more numerous on this continent, they were also far less aggressive. (Which is not to say there haven't been killings in North America as well.)

Many wolf attacks have been by rabid animals; but there have been plenty of attacks by non-rabid wolves as well. (Rabid wolves generally just bite humans, whereas non-rabid wolves kill in order to eat.)

A few highlights:

From 1996-1997, 60 mostly prepubescent children were killed by wolves in Uttar Pradesh, India. (Wolves worldwide are more likely to see children as prey.)

From 1993 to 1995, 60 children were killed in Bihar State, India. (Wolf killings are often grouped like this because a solitary wolf or pack of wolves will start to see humans as a food source and then continue to kill them until they themselves are killed.)

From 1870 to 1887, 1445 people were killed by wolves in the European sector of Russia. In 1889, 203 people were killed there. (There is no listing for 1888, or from 1890 on.)

There were apparently a large number of wolf attacks, many fatal, on Soviet citizens on the Eastern Front during WWII. But the Soviet government squelched this information in order to minimize the apparent effects of their having disarmed the local populace. So this did not become widely known until after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Trapper Ben Cochrum was killed by wolves in 1922 in Manitoba. His remains were found among the corpses of 11 wolves, 7 of which had been shot and 4 of which had been clubbed to death. He evidently had kept fighting until the butt of his rifle was completely smashed. (Now that was a real man.)

In 1875, 721 people were killed in the Northwest Province and Bihar State in India.

In 1851, in Lorges Forest, France, a rabid wolf ran wild through nine villages, biting 40 people, 14 of whom subsequently died of rabies.

In 1833, 13 people were killed by a single rabid white wolf in western Wyoming.

From 1804 to 1853, non-rabid wolves killed 108 children, 2 men, and 1 woman in Estonia. (Given wolves' preference for smaller children, the European fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood makes more sense.)

From 1763 to 1767, "The Beast of Gevaudan" and its whelps killed 99 people in France.

These large numbers, of course, beg the question of how well documented many of the older wolf killings actually were. I've always thought that some reported disappearances of humans, especially those which occurred a long time ago, have been false attributed to animals. Serial killers have become recognized in the past sixty or so years, but they have always existed. It would make sense that a serial killer, hearing of a local man-eater, could add his own killings to the total, secure in the knowledge that the disappearance of a few more children would be explained away as the work of the wolf.

But there is also no question that wolves do present a danger to humans, especially if they sense vulnerability. One such attack occurred as recently as 2010, when 32-year-old Candice Berner went jogging near Chignik Lake, a village southwest of Anchorage. Her mutilated body was later found surrounded by wolf tracks in the surrounding snow.

So the wolf attacks in The Grey were actually not that farfetched.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Don't know much about history"

Hilarious -- and illuminating -- story about U.S. Representative Yvette Clark, Democrat from Brooklyn, in this morning's NY Post.

Addendum, next day: A friend just looked her up on Wiki and pointed out that Clark received a scholarship to Oberlin College in Ohio, and that she is the former chair of the United States Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science, and Technology. 

She is also a recipient of the "Prestigious APPAH/Sloan Fellowship in Public Policy and Policy Analysis."

Fashion Week III

Yet more examples of the all around usefulness of the creations from Paris this past spring:

Paco Rabanne has the perfect outfit for applying for a job as a Star Wars extra.

Tired of wearing those embarrassing hearing aids? Mr. Rabanne's sound dish will actually allow you to pick up conversations from across the room.

Paco again: Doorways may present a small problem, but if you stand next to your friends and twist back and forth quickly, you can fan them.

Paul & Joe have made dating far more efficient with this Hey-buddy-you're-halfway-to-third-base-already outfit.

Nothing says wash 'n wear and ease of care like a grass skirt! Pedro Lourenco has thoughtfully provided a headrest as well.

Thierry Mugler unveils the Oops-my-bathing-suit-ripped-so-I-had-to-wrap-this-towel-around-me look.

Want to show approval? Give this giant thumbs up by Thimister!

Valentin Yudashkin provides the absolute must-have for every wardrobe: a gown for your coronation.

Want to be left alone? Veronique Leroy has created the perfect I'm-sleepwalking-don't-disturb-me outfit.

In the mood to intimidate? This Disney-evil-queen costume by Viktor & Rolf will strike fear into anyone's heart!

Tired of being upstaged at the Kentucky Derby? This hat by Yohji Yamamoto will make the other ladies look like they're wearing beanies!

Stuck for something to wear to your next PTA meeting? This outfit by Alexander McQueen will go a long way toward explaining your child's lousy grades.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fashion Week II

Just got an email from a friend telling me, essentially, that criticizing Fashion Week was too easy.

He completely misinterpreted that post. I admire the designers for the eminent practicality of their creations.

Allow me to illustrate with a few more examples from the Paris spring show:

Tired of the herbivores nibbling at your "buds"? This Gareth Pugh deer fence is a perfectly sensible way to keep them out of your "garden."

What better way to celebrate feminism than ironically with this Fatima Lopes droopy drawers neo-harem girl outfit?

Why be like all the other mechanics? Wow 'em down at the auto body shop with this slinky little Haider Ackermann silk number!


Afghan ladies: tired of your dreary old burkha? Try this updated Haider Ackermann version -- it's Taliban-approved!

These fashions aren't just for the idle rich -- they're for businesswomen too! This Hussein Chalayan suit will look right at home in any boardroom!

Whether you're strutting the catwalk or strutting Eighth Avenue looking for customers, those fishnet stockings can get awfully clingy! Why not try a Hakaan fishnet dress instead?

Had Indira Gandhi only had the self-confidence to get a Princess Leia hairdo, stretch her earlobes, and sport a few tats, she could have looked as John Paul Gaulthier envisioned her. Ah.....what might have been!


Boyfriend cold-hearted? Win his sympathy by saying a bird just smashed into your head because it mistook your jacket for a scallop.

Child molesters your thing? Let Louis Vuitton show you how to attract them in this sparkly number!

Having a hard time holding people's attention? This I-forgot-to-put-my-shirt-on look by Nina Ricci should even hold the eye of the ADD crowd!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hit and Run

Just saw Hit and Run last night. It's a wonderful illustration of political correctness.

It's about a former getaway driver for a gang of bank robbers who leaves the Witness Protection program in order to escort his girlfriend to Los Angeles, where her dream job might be waiting. The problem is, by doing so, the driver exposes himself to payback by the gang members whom he testified against.

It's supposed to be a comedy. But it's hard to laugh while being lectured.

At one point in the movie, after being asked by a big lunkish white guy about his car, the hero, played by Dax Shepard, who also wrote and directed this movie, uses the word "fags." At that point his girlfriend, played by Kristin Bell, Shepard's real life fiancee, lectures him:

"You just said 'fags'."

"But not in a homophobic way. I used it instead of 'lame'."

"It's used to marginalize gay people," Bell then explains.

Shepard replies that he wasn't using the word to describe a person, or a specific sexuality, but merely a concept.

Bell then launches into a tirade about how using "the n-word" to describe her purse wouldn't make that usage acceptable. The hero then concedes and says he will work on his vocabulary.

The entire time this exchange is taking place, you wonder if there is going to be some kind of clever payoff at the end, or if the film is somehow sending up political correctness. But no, the punchline never comes; our hero and heroine are actually proving their essential goodness with this exchange.

In a later scene, when the other gang members catch up to the hero, the chief bad guy says that one of the reasons he's mad at the hero is because he was anally raped in prison. The hero expresses his sympathy, then asks if his rapist was black. He is then lectured by the bad guy about how asking such a question is racist.

(Tough white guys who rob banks for a living generally do a lot of fretting about whether certain comments might be construed as racist.)

The hero then explains that it wouldn't have been so bad if it had been a black guy, since black guys are so much more masculine and white guys are like women compared to them. After he finds out that the rapist was a Filipino, he says that's not so bad either, since Asians are even more like women.

An important lesson here: it's not quite as disgusting to have homosexual relations with other races since it's less like homosexuality; but at the same time, one mustn't demean homosexuals. Also, it's okay to compare the masculinity of different races, but not to impugn the masculinity of homosexuals.

At one point the heroine asks the hero rather snarkily if he's noticed that his muscle car attracts the attention of the wrong kind of people, i.e., big white lunks. Another important lesson: it's okay to put down Southern white guys -- partly just because they're white -- but it's not okay to use the n-word.

At one point the hero and heroine accidentally break in on a group of naked older people in a motel room who have either just had or are about to have an orgy. We are supposed to laugh at them because they are naked and fat and old. See? That's okay too. We can't laugh at homosexuals, but it's okay to laugh at oldsters and fatties.

Gotta get your sensitivities correct.

Since laughing at peoples' appearance is okay, I guess it's okay for me to point out that Dax Shepard is downright ugly by movie star standards, a chinless wonder with a blob of a nose that points way off to one side:


And that Kristin Bell is the kind of girl who looks good from a distance, but when you get up close, is actually rather ordinary-looking:


(Imagine that face without the eye makeup, without the lipstick, with her natural eyebrows, and with her hair its natural color. Yikes!)

Ordinarily I'd feel a little insensitive criticizing Shepard's and Bell's looks so harshly. But they've taught me that it's okay to get cheap laughs on the basis of someone's appearance.

You know, as long as I don't point out that Dax looks sort of like a fag.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fashion Week

Fashion Week is coming to New York this next week!

Soon we'll get to see the new styles the world's greatest designers have determined will be "in" this coming year!

I'm so impatient I've decided to take a peek at some of the fashions from the Paris fashion show this past spring.

A few examples:

Neck rings used to do wonders for elongating the necks of the Padaung women of Burma; Jean-Charles de Castelbajac sees no reason they can't do the same for everyone else. That otherworldly take-me-to-your-leader hairstyle adds to the allure.

Some might feel that A. F. Vandevorst's Vegas showgirl headpiece clashes with the formal evening gown. But this outfit will allow you to at least partially blend in anywhere.

An exhibitionist biker chick get up: just be careful when you're riding on the back of your man's hog with the wind going at 60 mph!

This combination of a sari-like garment with the I've-just-had-a-lobotomy headpiece makes a bold statement about what achieving nirvana is really all about.

What Maid Marian might have worn had she gotten implants.

This Balenciaga amalgamation looks a little like the Tin Man from the waist down, and a jerkin worn by a medieval yeoman from the waist up. The overall effect is that of the jack in a deck of cards.

Balenciaga is given credit for this dress, but it looks more as if it was designed by a committee.

Got a taste for schoolgirl hookers?

An Alexander McQueen creation for when the Ice Capades decide to put on a production of Swan Lake.


Ann Demeulemeester has created a special outfit just for witches in mourning.

Comme des Garcons has come up the outfit that's perfect for any occasion: an Amish wedding dress with white go-go boots.

Chanel has created a special look for ladies who feel that hot pants are overly modest.