Search Box

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Men's "Health"

A swimming website this morning featured part of a new workout video by Ryan Lochte. You had to go to Lochte's website to see the full video, and I saw there that he had been picked as number one by Men's Health magazine among the "best summer bodies" of 2012. Curious as to which other athletes made the list, I scrolled through the rankings.

I was dismayed to find that of the 25 men listed, 20 were actors, and one was a singer. Michel Phelps, at #20, Dwyane Wade, at #17, and Blake Griffin, at #13, all ranked behind such luminaries as Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame, at #12, and Orlando Bloom, at #9.

The rankings, of course, make perfect sense. Gee, I'd much rather be built like this guy (Orlando Bloom, #9):

Than like this guy (Dwyane Wade, #17):

(Oops, got my wish: I actually am built pretty much like Orlando.)

The other striking thing about the list was the number of actors who've obviously gone on steroids. (I counted a minimum of eight.) You simply don't get a convex trapezius (the muscles which go from the neck to the top of the shoulder) like Daniel Craig (#15) has from mere exercise:

Here's Chris Hemsworth (#10), who sports a similarly convex trapezius:

(Hemsworth bears a striking resemblance to Brad Pitt after Pitt juiced up for Troy.)

In each of the blurbs describing how these actors achieved their miraculous transformation was a link to the Men's Health article describing their fitness routine. (The price you have to pay to make this list is evidently to have given Men's Health access for an article describing your workouts.)

What these articles don't list is the most crucial ingredient to many of these stars' transformations: a daily injection of clenbuterol, or Winstrol, or some other anabolic agent.

The innocent among us might think that we could follow their workout routines and perhaps attain bodies like theirs without the extra help. But that would be wishful thinking.

It's hard to believe that the editors at Men's Health aren't in on this joke, and thus intentionally perpetrating a fraud on an unsuspecting public.

It wouldn't be as bad if the publication were called Men's Fitness, or Men's Muscles, or Men's Pinups. But health has to be about the last thing on your agenda if you're taking steroids.

Well, gotta sell those magazines.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Men in Black III is inventive, funny, and even sentimental (which is new for the franchise). It hangs together well, and is both overtly and slyly funny. It's well acted, and comes at you from all sorts of angles.

It's not nearly as much fun to write -- or read -- a positive movie review as a negative one, so I won't go on at length.

It is, however, fun to see a good movie, so catch this one.

It'll be the most fun hour and forty-six minutes of your day.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Isn't she beautiful?

And the girl at the top (or bottom) is almost as pretty, in a similar sort of way.

Actually, by normal girl standards, Bullock is nice-looking. But how she ever became a leading lady is a mystery. She looks more like the type who ought to be cast as the best friend of the romantic lead, you know, the ballsy one who's always making wisecracks.

Every now and then I'll see actors or actresses who seem to get roles for which their looks don't really qualify them, and I always find myself wondering. Did they have connections? Is this nepotism at work? Do they have a certain ethnic look which the producers wanted to promote? Is this the end result of the casting couch? Are they so likable that directors just want to give them work? Is this a case of the heroine in a chick flick being purposely cast so that she won't be threatening to the average female movie-goer?

Or am I just not seeing something which everyone else sees?

I have no idea what the story is with Bullock.

She was actually great in Crash, where she played the bitchy wife of the ambitious politician. And she was excellent in The Blind Side, where she played a stern, no-nonsense matriarch.

But she does seem miscast in roles where you're supposed to think, I want that.

Nice guys, average guys, and sociopaths XVI

Situation: A group of sixteen-year-olds are hanging out on a Saturday evening at the house of a boy whose parents are out for the evening. They are unsure what should they do for fun.

Nice guy: Suggests checkers, Parcheesi, or chess.

Average guy: Suggests sneaking some liquor from the parents' liquor cabinet and a game of beer pong.

Sociopath: Suggests taking the parents' other car for a joyride, even though none of the boys have their licenses. When the host refuses, the sociopath calls him a wimp. Later sneaks upstairs and steals some cash from the parents' bedroom.

Situation: A guy goes on a date which goes badly; he doesn't even get a goodnight kiss. What does he tell his buddies?

Nice guy: "She sure didn't seem to like me very much."

Average guy: "She was sort of a bitch."

Sociopath: "I kept getting these weird lesbo vibes from her, so I finally asked her about it, and she said yeah, that I was the first guy she'd wanted to sleep with in over five years. I swear, I ought get a job as a lesbian converter. I ain't seeing her again, though, her pussy really stunk."

Situation: A guy is looking at a lion at the zoo.

Nice guy: Marvels at the beauty and majesty of the creature; feels sad thinking about how it has to spend its life cooped up in that small enclosure.

Average guy: Marvels at its power, and thinks how scary it would be to run into one of them in the wild. Also thinks how cool it would be to have one for a pet.

Sociopath: Looks around to make sure no one is looking, then throws a small stone at it. When the lion doesn't respond, throws a larger stone at it. This one hits it on the head, and the lion gets up, charges the iron bars, and roars. The sociopath is delighted when he sees the other zoo-goers recoil in fear.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Zuckerberg committed

As everyone knows, Facebook went public on Friday, making its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, 28, an extremely wealthy man. At Friday's closing price of $38.23, Zuckerberg is now worth $19.1 billion.

Yesterday Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan.

Today, Zuckerberg's parents had him committed to a mental institution.

His father, Ed, a dentist in Dobbs Ferry, NY, said, "It was a difficult decision, and it pained us to make it. But we really had no choice. We were faced with incontrovertible evidence that Mark is certifiable. Seriously, what kind of 28-year-old billionaire in his right mind would just go and get married? I mean, I could understand if he didn't want to hang around strip clubs and stuff, the girls you meet there are all pretty trashy. But to get married? To have nineteen freaking billion dollars and then just decide, I'm only going to be with one woman for the rest of my life? It's insane! I mean, he's a rock star now for Crissakes -- there are tons of beautiful nice girls out there who'd just love to bang him! This is a goddamn tragedy!"

Zuckerberg's mother, Karen, a psychiatrist, added, "Speaking as a professional, this is what is usually termed a psychotic episode. Believe me, I've met plenty of schizophrenics in my practice. I've had patients who thought they were Jesus Christ, and Napoleon, you know, the usual stuff. But this....this is by far the craziest thing I've ever heard of. To have that much money and then.....I mean, we always knew Mark was a little strange, his elementary school teachers used to hint to us that he had Aspergers. None of them quite came right out and said it, but it was obvious what their message was, and, well, speaking as a psychiatrist, I'm not disagreeing with that diagnosis. But there are plenty of people with Aspergers who are perfectly functional. I mean, look at Mark, he did get into Harvard. But now....after all the success he's just throw it all away like's heartbreaking. We're just hoping he gets better soon, that's all I can say."

As of now Zuckerberg is reportedly at an undisclosed private mental health care facility, being treated full time by a team of psychiatric professionals.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Benjamin Netanyahu

The third post I wrote on this blog, back in October '08, was about male hormones and political affiliation.

The gist of it was that more masculine guys tend to stick up more for their own ethnic group.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, has been in the news a fair amount recently regarding his country's stance towards Iran's possible development of nuclear weapons, and it occurred to me that he is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Netanyahu has always been an Israeli hawk and Zionist (both his father and grandfather were Zionist activists).

Wikipedia had this to say about his early career:

Netanyahu joined the Israel defense Forces during the 1967 Six-Day War, and became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit. He took part in many missions, including Operation Gift and Operation Isotope, during which he was shot in the shoulder. He fought on the front lines in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory. He achieved the rank of captain before being discharged. 

Netanyahu, who has been married three times, obviously does not lack for male hormones. And he is a perfect example of testosterone determining political outlook. 

I hate the way our foreign policy is so strongly influenced by Israeli interests. But I recognize that Netanyahu is simply expressing a certain biological imperative. 

Think of the whites you know. Don't the most masculine tend to be the most conservative? Now think of the blacks you know. Don't the most masculine tend to be the most militant?

It's not a perfect correlation, but it's a strong one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

George Lucas, developer

When I first saw Star Wars in 1977, I thought it was pretty cool. At the time, its computer graphics were revolutionary, and the creativity of the film was undeniable. But I've never seen a sequel I've liked, and while channel surfing, if I stumble across one of the movies, I can never stay with it for more than thirty seconds or so. (And I can watch professional wrestling for as long as five minutes.)

So, despite all his financial success, I don't really see Lucas as a genius.

But then this article came out yesterday. Lucas has evidently spent 25 years planning and lobbying to build a state of the art film studio on his Marin County ranch. But his neighbors in Marin, a bastion of wealthy liberalism, have objected. They say that noise from the construction would be disruptive, their view would be hindered, and the studio might alter the course of a creek which flows through his property.

So after years of bitter acrimony, Lucas has finally said he will take his plans for a studio elsewhere and will now build low income housing on his property instead. (Marin County has been under pressure recently for its lack of such.)

While it's not politically incorrect for his neighbors to complain about possible harm to their environment, it will of course be much harder for them to be equally vociferous about not wanting minorities as neighbors.

Lucas may or may not be a genius, but he's definitely sly.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chris Matthews

Just had the exquisite pleasure of watching MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews on Jeopardy. I missed the first half of the show, but was struck by two of his answers on the second half.

One of the questions, in the category "Law and Order," was, "A U.S.D.C. is one of these, charged with the jurisdiction of a specific region." The correct answer: United States District Court. Matthews' answer: "What is a US District Attorney."

To the best of my knowledge, District Attorneys are known as DA's, not DC's.

The other question, in the category "Six Letter World Capitals," was, "St. Basil's Cathedral is located there." The correct answer: Moscow. Matthews' answer: "Istanbul." Yes, I-S-T-A-N-B-U-L.

Matthews' counting and spelling ability certainly go a long way towards explaining his political thinking.

They certainly sent a chill up my leg.

Addendum, next day: It gets even better. This article points out that Matthews once said about Sarah Palin,“They find these empty vessels who know nothing about the world! Nothing about foreign policy! Who immediately begin to spout the neo-con line. I read her book — it’s full of that crap….It’s unbelievable how little this woman knows!…Don’t put her on Jeopardy!”

Confessions of a beta male XVII: Proving oneself

Just feeling the need to prove oneself is a sign of beta male-dom. An alpha just figures he is whatever he is, and that's good enough.

When I see an online IQ test, I have an irrepressible urge to take it, to prove myself. If an alpha runs across such a test, he feels no such need; he'd rather spend time on his favorite porn site.

I'll push myself to the point of exhaustion in order to prove that I can do as many pull ups as I could five years ago. An alpha would regard that -- rightfully -- as silly.

If an alpha gets into a heated argument, it's because he's angry. When I do so, it's because I don't want to appear the guy who backs down.

For an alpha, a party is a place to have fun. For me, it's just one more place I have to put forth the effort to be witty, to make sure I'm friendly to everybody, to be on my best behavior and not offend anyone, and to pretend that I'm having a good time. (Why go?)

For an alpha, a meal is something to look forward to, something which tastes good. If one course tastes better than the others, he'll have more of that. For me, a meal is just one more test I must pass: I must make sure I balance my protein intake with the right amount of complex carbohydrates and sufficient fruits and/or vegetables. Eternal vigilance is the price of health.

An alpha will down an entire box of cookies with the only thought entering his head the one about how good they taste. I'd as soon eat a box of rat poison.

An alpha going to bed with a girl for the first time thinks: I can't wait to see that sweet little pussy. I'm filled with a vague dread, the fear that I might not perform.

An alpha gets his heart rate up before a swimming meet by doing laps in the warm up pool. Mine goes up just from thinking about my race.

An alpha gets together with a group of macho guys and is filled with exultation at their combined machismo. It's all he can do to keep from chanting, "We're number one! We're number one!" Whenever I'm with such a group, I worry they might think I'm a homo.

An alpha will die at age 63 of a heart attack, never having worried about getting one. I'll live till I'm 95, fretting about my health every step of the way.

For an alpha, life is a party. For this particular beta, it is a trial.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The years go by

I turned 58 last week. It's high time I faced up to the brutal truth: in another ten years or so, I'm going to be middle-aged.

What's even worse is that in another two years I'll be entering the second half of my life. Now that's really depressing.

"Do you know what your problem is?"

An article in the NY Post this morning detailed how the Obama campaign tried to silence the Reverend Jeremiah Wright during his 2008 campaign. According to Wright, he was indirectly offered $150,000 by a close friend of Obama's to stop giving speeches until after the election.

Wright turned that offer down, and then Obama himself arranged a secret meeting where he asked Wright to stop giving speeches. According to Wright, Obama said to him, "Do you know what your problem is? You have to tell the truth."

If Wright's account is true -- and my guess is that it is -- it's a revealing quote on two levels. The first is that Obama sees all of Wright's anti-American, anti-white pronouncements as the truth. The second is that Obama views honesty as a "problem."

It's certainly a problem that Obama himself does not suffer from.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Brian Wilson

To me, Brian Wilson, along with Richard Rodgers, is one of the two greatest composers of the twentieth century.

Among his many great songs were California Girls, God Only Knows, Don't Worry Baby, Fun Fun Fun, Wouldn't It Be Nice, All Summer Long, Do It Again, Caroline No, When I Grow Up (To Be a Man), Girl Don't Tell Me, Heroes and Villains, I Can Hear Music, Surf's Up, The Warmth of the Sun, and I Get Around.

To this day, Wilson's music moves me. It even makes me nostalgic for those wonderful teenage years -- the ones I never had.

In the late 60's, it wasn't considered cool to like the Beach Boys. They seemed to be about surfing, and cars, and being true to your school, and other things that didn't seem so hip at the time. It was considered more sophisticated to like those ersatz rebels, the Rolling Stones, or the seemingly more enlightened Beatles, or any number of other groups who seemed more in tune with the times.

But there was never anyone who was more in tune with the tunes than Wilson.

When I heard in 1996 that the Beatles and Rolling Stones themselves had actually been in awe of Brian Wilson, I felt extremely gratified.

The Wikipedia entry on Wilson has an entire section devoted to praise for Wilson, particularly in regard to his album Pet Sounds, from other musicians, most giants in their own right.

A few quotes:

Paul McCartney: Pet Sounds blew me away. It’s still one of my favorite albums. When I first heard it, I thought, wow, this is the greatest record of all time! Brian took the bass into very unusual places.... I love the orchestra, the arrangements … it may be going overboard to say it’s the classic of the century...I’ve often played Pet Sounds and cried...I played it to John so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence …God Only Knows is a big favorite of mine … very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. On You Still Believe In Me, I love that melody – that kills me … that’s my favorite, I think … it’s so beautiful right at the end … comes surging back in these multi-colored harmonies … sends shivers up my spine.

Bob Dylan: Jesus, that ear. [Wilson] should donate it to The Smithsonian. The records I used to listen to and still love, you can’t make a record that sounds that way.

Art Garfunkel: When I heard Good Vibrations for the first time on the radio I called Paul [Simon] immediately and I said: "I think I just heard THE greatest, MOST creative record of them all."

Eric Clapton: All of us, Ginger (Baker), Jack (Bruce), and I consider Pet Sounds to be one of the greatest pop LPs to ever be released. It encompasses everything that’s ever knocked me out and rolled it all into one. Brian Wilson is, without a doubt, a pop genius.

Elton John: Pet Sounds is a landmark album. For me to say that I was enthralled would be an understatement. I had never heard such magical sounds, so amazingly recorded. It undoubtedly changed the way that I, and countless others, approached recording. It is a timeless and amazing recording of incredible genius and beauty. Brian Wilson has influenced me more than any other songwriter, whether it's English or American.

Linda Ronstadt: I don’t think there’s anyone his equal in popular music for this fifty years. They were really deep, profound emotions that came out of a lot of pain.

David Crosby: He was the most highly regarded pop musician in America, hands down. Everybody by that time had figured out who was writing and arranging it all. In My Room was the defining point for me. When I heard it, I thought “I give up – I can’t do that – I’ll never be able to do that." One of the hallmarks of Brian Wilson’s genius is to turn powerful emotions and terrible tragedy into life-affirming art that helps and heals. Music that in our darkest moments gives us hope and soothes our soul. I owe Brian. We all do. Everybody in American pop music owes him. He changed what was possible in pop music.

Dennis Wilson (Brian's brother and also a Beach Boy): Brian Wilson is the Beach Boys. He is the band. We’re his fucking messengers. He is all of it. Period. We’re nothing. He’s everything.

George Martin, the Beatles' arranger and producer: If there is one person that I have to select as a living genius of pop music, I would choose Brian Wilson....Without Pet Sounds, The Beatles’ next album, Sgt. Pepper, wouldn’t have happened. Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds. Hearing Pet Sounds gave me the kind of feeling that raises the hairs on the back of your neck. You say, ‘What is that? It’s fantastic!’ Brian's sounds take us into a new, beautiful countryside. No one made a bigger impact on The Beatles than Brian. His invention and creativity reached a level that I always found staggering. He gave The Beatles and myself quite a good deal to think about in trying to keep up with him. And like them, he pushed forward the frontiers of popular music. His art is that magical combination of really original compositions, a wonderful sense of instrumental colour and a profound understanding of record production. I guess you could say I'm a fan.

Don Was (who wrote for and produced the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Al Green, Joe Cocker, Willia Nelson, Elton John, Stevie Nicks, Carly Simon, Roy Orbison, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, and many others): I was amazed that one, single human could dream up this unprecedented and radically advanced approach to rock ‘n roll. My personal favorite is Caroline No, his paean to lost innocence. I hear the weary voice of a man who’s been hurled through the emotional wringer and yet, one can plainly discern the youthful sweetness, optimism and goodness that characterizes Brian’s soul. It’s that dichotomy that makes him one of the most enigmatic and endearing characters of these times. A lot of people just hear things like Fun Fun Fun and don’t get all this fuss about Brian Wilson the great genius. So much of it is subtle, and a large part of his genius is that it sounds simple. I was like that myself until I really started listening properly. I didn’t even understand all the fuss about Pet Sounds. But I think a lot of people who love The Beach Boys have had that experience when they first discover this music on a deeper level. Professionally, I found it crippling. Every time I sat down to write, I just thought, What’s the point? Brian Wilson did it so much better 25 years ago.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hot for teacher

The HuffPost just ran a series on schoolteachers who'd gotten in trouble for having sex with their students. I was struck by the fact that 21 out of 21 of the women depicted were white. Not a single Asian or Hispanic or black. This seems to be a strictly Caucasian phenomenon.

Of course, there's a big difference between a 35-year-old woman who has sex with a 13-year-old boy and a 28-year-old hottie bedding a relatively manly 17-year-old guy. While the former seems weirdly perverted, the latter seems, well, sorta normal. Which is why, in some states, the age of consent is actually 16.

Of course, having sex with a student of any age is against the law, so all these women have been prosecuted.

I was also struck by the way four of them were downright pretty. It reminds me of what one particularly obtuse guy I knew said when the Michael Jackson child-molesting scandal first broke: "No way he's having sex with little boys -- that guy could have any woman he wanted!"

These women were simply not interested in full grown men.

It makes sense that three of the four good-looking teachers (the fourth had relations with a high school boy of unspecified age) wanted extremely young boys. If they had been interested in full grown males, they wouldn't have had to turn to high school students, since they would have had any number of willing men who already had their diplomas.

Here are their pictures, along with captions (in Italics) from the Huffpost:

This April 26, 2006 booking mug shot shows Pamela Rogers Turner after her arrest. Turner, now 34, a former teacher who served time in jail for having sex with a 13-year-old boy, is currently serving a prison sentence for sending inappropriate photos and videos of herself to that same boy after she served out her original sentence.

A 13-year-old? And she kept sending photos after completing her first sentence? Turner is disturbed as well as perverted. My guess -- and it's only a guess -- is she was molested as a youngster herself.

Former middle school teacher Debra Lafave is shown in this file photo as she looks at a reporter after pleading guilty on Nov. 22, 2005 to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Lafave, now 31, whose sexual liaisons with a 14-year-old middle school student made tabloid headlines, avoided prison as part of a plea agreement.

Lafave, with her plucked eyebrows, false eyelashes, lipstick, and blank face, looks a little like a Playboy model. She must not be as dumb as she looks, though; she certainly chose the right lawyer.

Carrie McCandless listens during her sentencing hearing at Larimer County Justice Center for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student at Brighton Charter High School, where she was a teacher, Friday, June 8, 2007, in Fort Collins, Colorado. McCandless was taken to custody by a Larimer County sheriff's deputy after being sentenced to 45 days in jail, five years on probation and a four-year deferred sentence. In May of 2011, McCandless was sentenced to 60 days in jail for a parole violation after she tested positive for morphine.

I have to admit, if I saw McCandless walking down the street, I'd never guess that she was a sex offender and junkie. Call me biased.

Mary Kay Letourneau completed a 7 1/2-year term for child rape in connection with a relationship she had with her former sixth-grade pupil Vili Fualaau, with whom she had two children.

LeTourneau, of course, is the original granddaddy -- or rather, grandmommy -- of all hot-for-teacher-types. She not only went after a 13-year-old, she left her husband and four children for him. (Screw loose alert!) In fact, she is still with Fualaau now, proving that unlike Michael Jackson, she didn't lose interest just because her paramour got beyond puberty. I do blame her for going after the boy, but it's hard to blame the boy for succumbing.

Monday, May 7, 2012


News has just come out that the CIA evidently thwarted yet another plot, this time a more sophisticated underwear bomb invented by the good folks at al Qaeda.

These suicide bombers all seem to think they're going to a place where they're going to get 72 virgins. But if the bomb is located in their underwear, wouldn't that make it sorta hard to, uh, enjoy those virgins?

Just sayin'.

Plus, I realize that your death is pretty much instantaneous, but there is that small fraction of a second when you feel your genitals and bowels being ripped apart before your brain gets blown to bits too. Doesn't seem like the most pleasant way to go, that's all.

My Indian story

While we're on the subject of Elizabeth Warren, I had my own experience with Native Americans in the summer of 1974. I had quit my summer job washing dishes in Glacier National Park and was hitch-hiking from Montana to California. In retrospect it was an incredibly stupid and dangerous thing to do, but I was only 20, so had youth as an excuse. (I've done plenty of dumb things since without that excuse.)

A car with four Blackfoot Indians in it stopped for me in Libby, Montana. I was apprehensive, but didn't want to offend them by not getting in.

The first question they asked me was what tribe I was. (See picture under "About Me" at right.) It occurred to me to lie, but I realized that being caught in a lie would be worse than the truth, so I explained that I was half Anglo, half Japanese.

(I actually come from two high IQ races -- Scottish and Japanese -- it's just that I look like an Injun. That wasn't how I phrased it to them, however.)

The car was in bad shape; the front seat was propped up by a short log. The Indians themselves were in worse shape. They had obviously already been drinking, and just during the time I was in the car the driver alone swigged an entire bottle of gin (!) and three beers.

After a while the fellow sitting next to me in the back seat told me he was going to scalp me. He didn't entirely sound as if he meant it, and given his state of inebriation, didn't seem to represent that much of a threat. And at age twenty, I was far more confident about that sort of thing than I should have been. But the driver's drinking terrified me.

The strange thing was, his drinking actually didn't seem to have that much effect on his driving, as far as I could tell.

They finally let me off in Sandpoint, Idaho, about fifty miles up the road. I thanked them for the ride.

To this day I wonder what would have happened if I had told them I was part Sioux, or some other tribe. I'll never know, since I don't have Elizabeth Warren's brazen nerve.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What does this facial expression tell you?

While Google-imaging Elizabeth Warren, I was struck by how many of the photos seem to show her striking a pose. I can't reproduce them all here, but if you take a look you'll see what I mean.

The above photo is typical. She has that carefully cultivated look of compassionate concern that you sometimes see on liberals. But at the same time, she can't help but look awfully pleased with herself. She seems to be trying to broadcast the message, "I am a good person."

Warren perfectly sums up what much of modern day liberalism is about: vanity.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Interview with Elizabeth Warren

In the wake of the controversy over whether Elizabeth Warren, Democrat and US Senate candidate from Massachusetts, was justified in claiming minority status as a Harvard Law School professor due to her 1/32nd Cherokee heritage, Just Not Said has obtained an exclusive interview with the candidate.

Just Not Said: Ms. Warren, we appreciate your granting us this interview.

Warren: Oh, thank you, I'm happy to have this opportunity to clear the air.

Just Not Said: So tell us a little about yourself. What was it like growing up in Oklahoma?

Warren: It was extremely difficult. You have no idea of the sorts of prejudice I faced growing up there as a Native American.

Just Not Said: Give us some examples.

Warren: Well, being the only Cherokee at my high school there was just very tough. The other kids would always tease me, and call me "Geronimo" or "Sitting Bull." Whenever I would go to a party, there was always some wit who would say something like, "Don't let her drink, Indians always go crazy when they have firewater." Or if there was a drought, the others kids would ask me to do a rain dance. For some reason they always thought that was quite funny.

Just Not Said: That's terrible.

Warren: Oh that wasn't the worst. One time this really obnoxious boy who was in my tenth grade Civics class said, "Hey squaw, got any wampum?" I was so offended.

Just Not Said: Your childhood sounds very difficult. But things must have gotten a lot better for you once you got to Harvard Law School.

Warren: Oh believe me, even at Harvard Law School, there's still plenty of prejudice. It's more subtle, but it's still there. The other faculty members will be overly solicitous, or too friendly, and say stuff like, "Oh, I really like Indian culture." You know how Cambridge is. They're trying to be nice, but they always come across condescending, and just end up making me feel different. But the thing is, I'm not all that different. I mean, if you look at my features really closely, you can actually see that I have a little white blood too.

Just Not Said: Isn't Harvard Law School supposed to be a very liberal place?

Warren: Well, they like to think so. But you can just tell that all those nice white people would be more comfortable if I'd just stayed on the reservation. Let's face it, they're just afraid of me.

Just Not Said: Really?

Warren: Just the other day I was alone in a room with Professor Dershowitz, and I took a step towards him, and he just fell on the floor screaming, "Please don't scalp me! Please don't scalp me!" I assured him I had no such intention. When he got up he actually seemed pretty embarrassed, but for a moment there, you could really see the terror in his eyes.

Just Not Said: But you don't come across like a threatening sort.

Warren: Believe me, that doesn't stop those law school types from getting real jumpy around me. And now the Scott Brown campaign is making it sound as if I'm not even a genuine Indian. After all I've been through. It's very disheartening.

Just Not Said: We can see how it would be. Well, good luck with your campaign.

Warren: I tell you what, if I don't get elected, the people of this stupid state can take their lily white asses and stuff them.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bury her heart at Wounded Knee

You've probably heard by now about how Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat running for the US Senate, claimed to be Native American in order to reap minority status career benefits while a law professor at Harvard. When pressed as to her claim, Warren initially said that she couldn't remember ever saying she was an Indian -- even though she had listed herself as a minority from 1986 to 1995 on her official Harvard Law School bio.

After some searching, Warren's campaign came up with a great-great-great grandmother who was Cherokee. Meaning that she is 1/32nd Indian.

So Warren is a Native American in the same sense in which Queen Elizabeth II (who can list Genghis Khan among her ancestors) is an Asian.

Some might say that this affair is the ultimate indictment of our racial spoils system, of Harvard, and of Elizabeth Warren.

I prefer to see this as an uplifting story: an innocent young Indian maiden who made her way among the white people and succeeded in their world, by adopting their ways. Except, of course, their forked tongue.

See, the real problem is that you hard-boiled cynics are unfamiliar with Native American culture. So, as a public service, this blog is providing a quick lesson in the ways of the Cherokee....

Young Cherokee maidens often like to dress in their native garb:

During a dry spell, Cherokee men may perform their traditional rain dance:

On matters of important business, the village elders may get together for a powwow:

A Cherokee chieftain is often judged by the magnificence of his tepee. Here is the great tribal leader Ludwig's wigwam:

Romney really ought to run as an African-American. After all, according to one theory, his ancestors left Africa a mere 50,000 years ago.


Did a double take this morning when I read in the sports section that a Scott Fujita was among the former New Orleans Saints who was being suspended for having taken part in their unofficial bounty program, under which players were rewarded for injuring opposing players.

I had never heard of a Japanese-American player in the NFL, so I Google-imaged him, and got this picture:

(Fujita is the one in the center of the picture.)

Try as I might, I could discern no Asian influence in his features. So, curious as to how he arrived by his last name, I looked him up on Wikipedia. Turns out he was adopted by one Rodney Fujita, a Japanese-American.

Here's what it says about Scott in the "Personal Life" section:

He is politically liberal, and has gone on record as a supporter of abortion rights and gay rights as well as an advocate for adoption, wetlands preservation, and other causes; he was named the Saints "Man of the Year" in 2009 for his charitable activities.

I was a little surprised to find that he was a liberal, because 6'5" 250 pound white guys with jaws like that rarely are. 

Then again, it's possible Wikipedia has it wrong. Taking advantage of the Saints' bounty system can hardly be described as "charitable."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Best party ever

Went to the masters nationals swimming championships in Greensboro, North Carolina this past weekend. It's basically the best party I ever go to.

It's not that I haven't been to other kinds of parties.

College mixers were just exercises in youthful lameness.

At suburban barbecues I usually feel like a visitor from another planet, trying hard (and unsuccessfully) to blend in with the locals.

Corporate "parties" are pretty much just an extension of the work day, which is about as appealing as it sounds. Plus pulling all those knives out of your back later on is always a bit discomfiting.

Nightclubs have their own ambiance: the lighting is low, the women wear slinky outfits, and the liquor flows freely. It can be entrancing, but all I can ever think about is how much money I'm spending.

All these parties last (thankfully) for only three or four hours. Then you wake up tired and hungover the next morning.

Masters nationals is different. The ostensible reason for the weekend is to race, and the competition is taken seriously. But essentially it's a large group of like-minded people getting together for three days to celebrate their good health and fitness.

Part of the reason that people come back to competitive swimming in adulthood is because it brings them back to their happy childhoods -- happy because their parents treated them well. Good parents generally result in good offspring, and that's why it's a pleasant crowd at the meet.

It's also a good-looking crowd, especially on an age-adjusted basis. And they're hanging out in their bathing suits. There were plenty of over-50 women that have to be described as very attractive. Not as in, My, she's well-preserved for her age, but as in, Wow, is she hot!

Of course, as far as the health goes, you never know. Yesterday Norwegian Alexander Dale Oen, 26, died of a heart attack after training at altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona. He won the 100 meter breaststroke at the world championships last summer, and had been favored to win this summer in London.

All the more reason to celebrate your health and fitness while you can, I guess.