Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Mac Wellman wants to slap the audience in the face

Almost five years ago I noted that Mac Wellman likes to talk about how much most American theater sucks, but he refrained from naming names - although the interviewer of this American Theatre piece claims otherwise, but this is the first time I have ever seen it:

(Wellman) ...I never wanted to write the American kind of “play.” Some of my plays are disguised—they have five legs instead of four legs. Some of them have tusks. 
(Interviewer) Oh, I know your plays are multi-limbed! 
Careful! 
When you say you’re not interested in writing the American play—what does that mean to you? 
Ooh, I wouldn’t want to list all the plays that I hate! I mean, I’m not a big fan of Arthur Miller or even Eugene O’Neill, though I think he knew a lot about theatre. O’Neill is a great person but you put him next to Strindberg and he disappears. I don’t particularly care for Tennessee Williams. I think, really, American playwriting began to get interesting in the ’60s with Shepard and Fornes. Before that, it’s screenplays that are great. 
I actually think the great period of playwriting is now. The problem is there just aren’t enough theatres willing to do plays. As well you know. 
Aye. 
In New York everything has to make money and be corporate. So it’s hard. But it continually evolves, so I don’t know where it will be in 10 years. 
Looking back at your texts and essays, you never seemed afraid to name names, as in your disinterest in Edward Albee, O’Neill. 
I mean, I like Albee. He likes to think he’s like Beckett, but he’s not like Beckett at all. You can’t imitate Beckett but you can imitate Albee and a million people have, and they aren’t as smart or interesting as he is—it’s hard. I mean, that’s why I always try to get my students to read foreign plays. This country is very cut off, I think.

So O'Neill sucks compared to Strindberg, and Wellman doesn't like Tennessee Williams, Albee or American theater in general, only European theater. And really Wellman should be working in Europe, only in places with healthy government-based theater support could the plays of Wellman find much of an audience. 

And the reason that audiences don't enjoy the work of Wellman is because he does not actually write plays that deal in human emotions. Or, as the interview continues...

You often encouraged us to let the play reveal itself, or let the structure reveal itself. Will you talk a little bit about that in comparison to the idea of conflict and resolution? 
In American theatre, structure is just a set of clichés. Plays are not about plots. They are about moments. And moments are about epiphanies when something happens that wakes you up. But mainstream plays are about reaffirming what the audience thinks it already knows. And I think that’s a waste of time. Why do that? Why not give them a slap in the face? Actually the most interesting playwrights I know are practicing a slap-in-the-face kind of theatre, whether they know it or not. I used to have students write a play with no structure.

Ooh how transgressively naughty Mac Wellman! Yes, fantasize  about assaulting the audience - that's what they deserve for failing to prefer your plays over Williams' or O'Neill's.

More and more Mac Wellman sounds like the Darren Nichols character from Slings and Arrows.

Wellman doesn't like "cliches" and "plots" because he doesn't see the point of a coherent structure that invokes the human sympathetic response. Human emotions aren't progressive - humans respond in the same way to various stimuli as they always have since before the theater of ancient Greece. How frustrating that must be for an ubermensch like Mac Wellman.

Clearly Mac Wellman should have had a career in technology or something else that doesn't involve humans and their boring feelings. No wonder why he's so annoyed with plays.

But he is adored in American theater anyway, because many theater writers (critics, interviewers for American Theatre, etc.) are postmodernist pseudo-intellectuals who also feel contempt for theater audiences and have a constant yearning for plays that "break the boundaries" as I documented five years ago here - and as this recent piece about Wellman demonstrates:
One of the many wonderful things about Mac Wellman’s work is that there are no boundaries to where he takes us. Sure, we can be on earth sometimes, but he’d rather not stay anywhere too recognizable for very long, and he would much prefer to be in space or on a different planet (often one of his own creation). Who can blame him? Earth is pretty awful. You know what/who else is awful? Hitler.

But every now and then there will be a critic who isn't as reverential as the rest and refuses to be baffled by Wellman's bullshit, as with these two critics writing about Wellman's THE OFFENDING GESTURE:
David Barbour in  Light and Sound America: 
Yet these elements somehow fail to add up to a satisfying evening. Wellman's dog's-eye view of the semiotics of power seems awfully thin on ideas; it dawdles, it meanders, it pauses for passages of vocalizing, and scenes seem to repeat endlessly. Even the ravishing musical scenes (composed by Alaina Ferris and beautifully sung by the Mooncats) come to seem like so many interruptions. A last-minute reference to the Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq comes out of nowhere in a strange attempt at capping off the show. It is merely mystifying; the circumstances of Hitler's brief and unconsummated flirtation with that country (which was encouraged by anti-British Iraqis) was nothing like the long-running calamity of Bush's Middle East misadventure. If this is the punch line to the joke, it's little better than Noble Wolf's snapper about Goering.
Christopher Kompanek in the Village Voice:

A third pooch, a bulldog named Wuffles who belongs to Winston Churchill, remains offstage (and is solely an invention of the playwright). He's used as a way to introduce Churchill's creation of Iraq (combining the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds — or, in doggyspeak, "Sunfish, Shits, and Turds"). This sort of wordplay appears frequently and amounts more to a source of annoyance than humor. Likewise, Layla Khoshnoudi plays Hitler (named Noble Wolf, the English translation of Adolf) with a farcical abandon, but the material is too opaque for any real levity to land...
...Wellman writes with a unique blend of poetry, puns, and non sequiturs that confound more than they illuminate and never fail to feel written. "I do the gesture as it gives me a please, a pleasure in the right front foot department," is one of Jackie's most straightforward lines, and it could easily have been lopped in half. While the title gesture is repeated throughout and mentioned ad nauseam, the actual offense is that it never rises to more than a background din. The final moments attempt to spell out a theme that should have been gradually building throughout, and only in the last line does Wellman finally pose a question worth asking.

Wellman and other postmodernists have their own cliches - the obsessive need to play with form and word salad at the expense of content. And  reflexive macho bad-boy posturing: "assaulting the audience" which sounds like something straight out of the mid-20th century avant-garde.

But you'll never get them to believe they are rehashing the same old shit -  they will go to their graves believing they are the last word in exciting new rebels and angry young men.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

NORMA JEANE & Andy Warhol

I had to change the performance dates of my NORMA JEANE show to the end of February so my web site for the show is completely out of date - but now that I know who my actors and stage manager are I can get in there and start redesigning - plus I am not that crazy about the first design now anyway and want to re-work it.

Coincidentally the folks at Artsy.net have asked that I include a link to the Andy Warhol section of their site, which I don't mind doing because I'm a fan of Warhol and also because Warhol's art includes images of Marilyn Monroe. So I asked them if I could post this image along with the link to their site and they granted permission.

The actual link/image is on the right-hand banner of this blog.

And in honor of Andy Warhol, here is a song that Lou Reed wrote for him.







Monday, December 05, 2016

Make Love Not Porn - your business model doesn't work



Dammit, Cindy Gallop's heart is in the right place and her desire to change the views of society toward women her age (and I'm only a little younger than her) is admirable.

I just wished her "Make Love Not Porn" concept worked as a business. The fact that she is now attempting to crowd-fund it shows it is not working as an actual business, and it is now more of a conceptual art project. The crowd-funding page doesn't present anything new so presumably she just wants to keep on doing the same thing - presenting videos of people who are not professional porn actors having sex ("making love") alone or with others.

It cannot work as a business because the videos on offer on her MLNP site - well first off, they aren't immediately available as all other porn on the Internet is. For instance, I could enter "romantic couple making love" or "amateur porn" into any search engine and get a whole bunch of links to videos that I can watch immediately.

Gallop's site requires you to join (free but still a hassle) just to see some previews, and then you have to pay to watch an entire video. Why would you do that when you could see similar content immediately and for free? Except that the free online videos you can access randomly usually feature much better looking people - especially the men.

I'm not saying there are no people in the world who prefer watching unattractive people over attractive people having sex. But I am saying there are not enough of them to make money on  it.

And after a review of the MLNP site today, I see it still has the same old problem that I talked about over a year ago in response to a comment made by, I think, Cindy Gallop herself, on this blog:
The problem, dear Cindy, is the collision between your business model and the Patriarchy. The people who volunteer to make these videos live in a world where women spend hours every day on hair, makeup and cute outfits, plus yoga and/or the gym, while most straight men think they can just shower and shave (or more likely these days, not even shave) and then throw on some baggy t-shirt and jeans they found on the floor, along with ugly sneakers. And if they have a beer belly, well so what? They dress for comfort, not to look good for other people. 
So the people making your videos look exactly like you would expect - the women look good while the men are, at best, blah. That's male privilege and you aren't going to escape it with your average jane and joe volunteers. You are going to get a reflection of the same exact values that drive commercial porn in the first place - it's all about the male gaze. Only in a culture that goes against that tradition, where men are meant to be looked at too, will you have truly attractive men - as in the gay porn world.

You can get an idea of the male gaze problem I'm talking about on the Makelovenotporn Youtube channel.  (None of these videos on Youtube feature any sex, they just show you the people who have the sex in the videos behind the Make Love Not Porn paywall.)

The first video is a perfect example of what I mean about men not making an effort to look good. It shows a heterosexual couple and the woman has obviously had her hair, makeup and nails done recently, and the man looks like he just rolled out of bed and his hair is a big graying mess.

This video has a pretty attractive man except that he is wearing that horrible style too many men have adopted lately, the high-top fade combined with the big gross beard. It's like men are trying to look as ugly as possible these days with this style. The best part of typing "romantic couple making love" into a search engine and seeing the random pornos that pop up is that none of the men in those videos have beards, or high-top fades

And the prospect of having sex with someone wearing a cheesy mustache like the one on this man is much worse to me than sex while suffering from a cold sore.

Like most women, I could go out and have sex with unattractive men any time I want, so why would I watch a video featuring unattractive men having sex? I'm only interested in seeing beautiful men having sex. But if Gallop's crowd-funded version of Make Love Not Porn is going to focus on beautiful men, this is not mentioned anywhere on the ifundwomen page she has set up. And I doubt they would consider it even as a special category within the MLNP universe since Gallop apparently doesn't see aesthetics as a serious consideration. 

In case you're wondering what I would watch, Cindy Gallop - maybe if you make your $500K goal you'll consider spending some of it on "making love" videos for people like me: get a male porn actor who looks like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and create a series of videos that show the life of a smoking hot Canadian Prime Minister and all the sex he has with the focus on his face and body during the sex. But make the PM single, it would ruin it for me if the character was cheating on a wife. He could have a hot but secret affair with the sister of his leading political rival, for example. Or maybe an off-again, on-again relationship with a Toronto reporter. Or a forbidden attraction for a hot but married leader of an Indigenous Peoples organization. Or ALL THREE. Stuff like that. But it would take much more time and effort than just asking random unattractive people to upload videos onto your site. But as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

OMG SOMBODY CLONE THIS MAN.


Sunday, December 04, 2016

My other French teacher Justin Trudeau

I believe Trudeau is cursing in French Canadian here.
Yes I enjoy looking at him, of course but another good thing about watching videos of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is that he often speaks in French and sometimes he'll say a phrase in French and then repeat it in English, or vice-versa which is very handy.

I really love Justin Trudeau and it isn't just for his manly hotness combined with his proud feminism - although what the hell is not to like there???

No it's also because he is always trying to do the right thing. He's super-conscious and for the most part carries it off with a fair amount of grace and not too much self-consciousness. And he almost doesn't have to -  he's pretty much Canadian royalty, as the son of former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau. The fact that he tries so hard to do the right thing makes him so admirable.

Another nice thing is that he's only been PM for a year, and so there are lots of videos from earlier in his political career and even before he went into politics, when he has a Justin from the Hood vibe. Also his hair tended to be longer in the old days and mon dieu, je l'adore!

And in this video I found, shot 10 years ago, see screen cap above - bonus! - he appears to be uttering a French Canadian curse. One of the hysterical things about Quebecois French is that they have an entire system of curse words that are based not on your standard shit-fuck-bitch trilogy beloved of most languages, but instead on ecclesiastic paraphernalia! Hence the "box of baptisms" above. I should mention that I couldn't understand him saying that in French, I only caught it because I had the English captions going - and luckily I had already read about the unique approach to swearing of the French Canadians previously and didn't just assume the caption translator was wonky. I mean WTF is a box of baptisms?

As this article from the Washington Post in 2006 says:
"Oh, tabernacle!" The man swore in French as a car splashed through a puddle, sending water onto his pants. He could never be quoted in the papers here (Montreal). It is too profane. 
So are other angry oaths that sound innocuous in English: chalice, host, baptism. In French-speaking Quebec, swearing sounds like an inventory being taken at a church.
English-speaking Canadians use profanities that would be well understood in the United States, many of them scatological or sexual terms. But the Quebecois prefer to turn to religion when they are mad. They adopt commonplace Catholic terms -- and often creative permutations of them -- for swearing.
 
In doing so, their oaths speak volumes about the history of this French province. 
"When you get mad, you look for words that attack what represses you," said Louise Lamarre, a Montreal cinematographer who must tread lightly around the language, depending on whether her films are in French or English. "In America, you are so Puritan that the swearing is mostly about sex. Here, since we were repressed so long by the church, people use religious terms." 
And the words that are shocking in English -- including the slang for intercourse -- are so mild in Quebecois French they appear routinely in the media. But not church terms.
"You swear about things that are taboo," said André Lapierre, a professor of linguistics at the University of Ottawa. In the United States, "it is not appropriate to talk about sex or scatological subjects, so that is what you use in your curse words. The f-word is a perfect example.
 
"In Canadian French, you have none of the sexual aspects. So what do you replace it with? You replace it with religion. If you are going to use a taboo word, it would be anything related to the cult, to Christ, the Communion wafer, Jesus Christ, vestments, and elements of the altar like tabernacle. There's quite a few of them."

Saturday, December 03, 2016

How much does the alt-right love Steven Pinker?

As I noted yesterday, Steven Pinker is a friendly colleague of alt-right favorite Razib Khan and uses the work of alt-right leader Steve Sailer in his own work. But what of the rest of the alt-right - those who are so extreme that Pinker won't even re-tweet or link their work?

They love him so much, and refer to his work all the time in order to bolster their own white nationalism.

Let us look inside the basket of white nationalist deplorables, shall we? Breitbart is ground zero of the alt-right, and their guide to the alt-right is useful.

STORMFRONT

The gang at Stormfront likes to reference Steven Pinker as "LionAxe" does here:
If you want a milder, more easy-to-show to an anti-racist youth from a popular mainstream authority on human nature, one that not even the garden variety lefties will dismiss as "racist" (don't we all hate it when they do that and shut down), you should show them this excerpt from Steven Pinker's (professor in cognitive and evolutionary psychology, and a canadian jew) book 'The Blank Slate: Modern Denial of Human Nature':
Quote:
Nowadays it is popular to say that races do not exist but are purely social constructions. Though that is certainly true of bureaucratic pigeonholes such as "colored," "Hispanic," "Asian/Pacific Islander," and the one-drop rule for being "black," it is an overstatement when it comes to human differences in general. The biological anthropologist Vincent Sarich points out that a race is just a very large and partly inbred family. Some racial distinctions thus may have a degree of biological reality, even though they are not exact boundaries between fixed categories. Humans, having recently evolved from a single founder population, are all related, but Europeans, having mostly bred with other Europeans for millennia, are on average more closely related to other Europeans than they are to Africans or Asians, and vice versa. Because oceans, deserts, and mountain ranges have prevented people from choosing mates at random in the past, the large inbred families we call races are still discernible, each with a somewhat different distribution of gene frequencies.

Identified as a "gay masculinist" by Breitbart's guide to the alt-right, Jack Donavan has this to say about Pinker 

During the open bar, a reporter from the online women’s magazine Salon asked to speak with me. She asked me whether or not I thought more women should be involved with “the movement.” Since you never know how they are going to use your words, I figured I’d jot down my recollection of what I said to her, for the record.
I said I thought it was perfectly natural for men to be at the forefront of a political movement, and mentioned that Steven Pinker’s book The Blank Slate had referenced a list of human universals. Basically, the anthropological data from all known human societies shows that men are universally the primary political movers.


TAKI'S MAGAZINE

Used to be edited by the infamous Richard Spencer of Nazis for Trump fame. Most of the glowing praise for Pinker is from alt-right poster boy Steve Sailer, but Gavin McInnes is also feeling the love for Pinker. McInnes wrote for VDARE too and is considered affectionately a "political punk" by Bretibart. But although he is certainly racist, McInnes' true beat is misogyny and there is much for misogynists to love about Steven Pinker - McInnes gives him a shout-out along with many other famous alt-righters

Deep down, liberals know they are full of shit. They believe pretending to believe all this crap is a means to an end and we’ll all be better off when they run our lives. They’ll lament it on their deathbeds but there won’t be anyone there because they never had kids. History will forget these fools and I don’t give a shit about them. I’m inspired by the people who plow through this garbage and call a spade a spade no matter what the consequences. I’m talking about brave souls such as Ezra Levant, Anthony Cumia, Ann Coulter, Greg Gutfeld, Kathy Shaidle, Bill Whittle, Jared Taylor, Dana Loesch, A.J. Delgado, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Charles C. Johnson, Mary Katharine Ham, James O’Keefe, John Bolton, Sean Hannity, Phelim McAleer, K.T. McFarland, Mark Steyn, Steve Sailer, Jon Derbyshire, Steven Pinker, Thomas Sowell, Charles Murray, Peter Brimelow, Jonah Goldberg, John Stossel, Doug Stanhope, Jim Goad, Naomi Schaefer Riley, Katie Pavlich, Charles Krauthammer, Kevin D. Williamson, and Garfunkel and Oates. These people don’t lie to win an argument. They speak uncomfortable truths because that’s the right thing to do. They’re the ones who will be remembered because, as Horace Greeley put it, “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings.

Yep, there is much love between Steven Pinker and the alt-right and for good reason - they agree on the essential, inferior natures of non-whites and women.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Steven Pinker's ongoing bromance with the alt-right




I have long wondered why there is no mainstream media interest in the connection between Steven Pinker, a well-known writer of books about science, history, etc for a general audience and Razib Khan, identified by no less than Breitbart as an intellectual of the alt-right movement.

Khan denied a connection to the alt-right, but the White Nationalists know a good source for biology-based justifications for white supremacy when they read it.

Khan's long been a big fan of the term "human biodiversity" which is the term racists use to signal the intellectual inferiority of those people who are directly descended from Africans compared to those descended from Africans who migrated to Europe and/or Asia and/or the Americas. "Human biodiversity" has a nice science-y sounding ring to it.

Steven Pinker and other proponents of evolutionary psychology have pioneered the standard racist/evolutionary psychologist response to critics of biological essentialism. First, claim the critic is anti-science. If the critic is a scientist, claim they can't be trusted because they have liberal political beliefs. The alt-right knows a good political tactic when they see it.

Here is Pinker in 2006 showing Razib Khan how it's done on Khan's old, highly racist blog GXPN - only available through the Wayback Machine:
It's hard to say. Thanks to tenure, the people who can't tolerate biological insight into human affairs are still around in the universities. On the other hand there was a lot of support for Summers, which may not have come out a decade ago, not least among Harvard undergraduates (one of them gave me a black-on-red t-shirt with a faux-Che portrait of Larry emblazoned with "Viva El Presidente Summers.") I've found that by and large today's generation of students--black and white, women and men--are far less phobic of biology, and are baffled that anyone could find empirical hypotheses to be too dangerous to study.
Here is Jerry Coyne, a self-confessed fanboy of Pinker as quoted by PZ Myers on his Pharyngula blog, continuing the tradition in 2013:
And then we get the ideology-bashing again.
(Coyne quote) Second, it’s pretty clear that the opposition to evolutionary psychology from these quarters is ideologically rather than scientifically motivated. One gets the feeling that research on gender differences shouldn’t be done at all because it’s either designed to repress women, motivated by the desire to do that, or has the likely outcome of promoting discrimination. Well, sexist scientists may try to do that, but I haven’t seen much of that since the Seventies. And gender differences are fascinating. There’s a reason, for instance, why human males are larger and hairier than females, and have more testosterone. Are we supposed to say “You can’t work on that—could have bad repercussions!” Sure, scientific results can always be misused, but I don’t see that as a reason to put up roadblocks against scientific research. After all, what field is more misused and misquoted than evolutionary biology? I am a frequent recipient of emails from Jews trying to convince me to reject evolution because Darwin ultimately caused the Holocaust.
Please. Have I ever said that we shouldn’t study gender or racial differences? No. We know there are going to be differences. The catch is that they have to be studied very, very well, with rigor and careful analysis, because they are socially loaded and because science has a deeply deplorable history of using poor methods to reach bad conclusions that are used as ideological props for the status quo. I’m not putting up roadblocks against scientific research; I would like to put up roadblocks to sloppy, lazy ideological nonsense touted as scientific research. I should think every scientist would want that.
< end Pharyngula quote>

Pinker is of course a gigantic hypocrite since while he claims scientist critics of EP are motivated by politics he himself is in a bromance with Razib Khan who is paid to be a political operative.

More love from Pinker to Khan on Twitter.






Khan returns the favor.



But Pinker doesn't only love Razib Khan. He even uses the work of Steve Sailer, who is quite proud of his racism - Sailer is such a racist that notoriously too-racist-for-Twitter alt-right leader Milo Yiannopoulos thought he coined the term "human biodiversity."

As noted by Malcolm Gladwell:
I wondered about the basis of Pinker’s conclusion, so I e-mailed him, asking if he could tell me where to find the scientific data that would set me straight. He very graciously wrote me back. He had three sources, he said. The first was Steve Sailer. Sailer, for the uninitiated, is a California blogger with a marketing background who is best known for his belief that black people are intellectually inferior to white people. Sailer’s “proof” of the connection between draft position and performance is, I’m sure Pinker would agree, crude: his key variable is how many times a player has been named to the Pro Bowl.
Steve Sailer is another "intellectual" of the alt-right according to Breitbart:
Alongside other nodes like Steve Sailer’s blog, VDARE and American Renaissance, AlternativeRight.com became a gathering point for an eclectic mix of renegades who objected to the established political consensus in some form or another. All of these websites have been accused of racism.

UPDATE - apparently Razib Khan is leaving Unz. He wrote yesterday:
Until further notice this is my last post as a blogger at Unz Review. Just as when I left Discover, this shouldn’t impact regular readers very much in terms of substance and content.
But he doesn't explain why he's leaving. He did tweet:


This is probably the same journalist who spoke to me today. More on that later.



Thursday, December 01, 2016

Monsieur Guignol est un mal douchebag a tout le monde

Monsieur Guignol, le détestable petit marionnette homme
en Action
At the end of every episode of French in Action is a brief scene from a puppet show - a puppet show grand Guignol - and the French apparently think Grand Guignol is OK for children.

There's a nasty little man-puppet in almost every scene and he is usually accompanied by his baton - a stick he uses to beat everybody with, including the two puppets portraying the stars of the French in Action romantic comedy, Mireille and Robert. In this screen cap he's beating a third puppet. Damn he's a creep.

According to Wiki:
Guignol is the main character in a French puppet show which has come to bear his name. It represents the workers in the silk industry of France, Europe.
Although often thought of as children's entertainment, Guignol's sharp wit and linguistic verve have always been appreciated by adults as well, as shown by the motto of a prominent Lyon troupe: "Guignol amuses children… and witty adults".

I translated the title of this blog post for you: "Mr. Guignol is a bad showerbag to everyone." The word "douchebag" loses something in the translation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sacrebleu, je parle français, mais pas très bien

Cet article du New York Times m'encourage à apprendre le français. Il ya une histoire intitulée  The Benefits of Bilingualism ici.

C'est une chance pour moi d'avoir toutes ces ressources pour aider mon éducation. Qu'est-ce que tu sais? Vous me demandez.

J'ai mentionné que Youtube a beaucoup de francophones à regarder. Et bien sûr "French in Action." Et n'oubliez pas Google Translate. C'est absolument le meilleur.

Pour l'example:

'''

Voulez-vous voir la traduction de cette page? Allez ici, s'il vous plaît.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Yah THINK NYTimes?

We will soon have a lawless madman in the White House, and a Congress controlled by Republican collaborators. We need to strategize now what to do WHEN - not IF - Trump and his alt-right goon squads go full-fascist.

NYTimes: Pessimistic, Very Pessimistic: Readers’ Moods Darken After Election




Here is one of Trump's own - the aggrieved, irrational, entitled, racist people we will have to fight, for the future of this country.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Why are people so dumb and/or lazy?


Trump voters are by definition dumbasses. A perfect example in today's NYTimes:

Dalia Carmeli, who drives a trolley in downtown Miami, voted for Donald J. Trump on Election Day. A week later, she stopped in to see the enrollment counselor who will help her sign up for another year of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“I hope it still stays the same,” said Ms. Carmeli, 64, who has Crohn’s disease and relies on her insurance to cover frequent doctor’s appointments and an array of medications."
However, you would have thought that those who value literary arts would be less dumb and/or lazy than a Trump voter. A representative of a theater group that issues calls for scripts once asked me for my advice: "what can we do to ensure that only scripts that meet the submission guidelines are submitted?" she asked.

Hell if I know lady. 

All calls for submissions apparently suffer from the same problem. I've already blogged about it, but once again, I find it's the same old story. The most recent NYCPlaywrights call for submissions says
President-elect Donald Trump has said a number of controversial things, including that he can grab women "by the pussy" because "when you're a star they let you do it, you can do anything." This is considered a description of sexual assault by some, but locker room talk by others.
More on what Donald Trump has said about women.

NYCPlaywrights is looking for scripts about women in a time when the leader of the United States is Donald Trump.
So what has been submitted so far? Well 11 have been submitted so far within the first 24 hours and all but 4 had to be rejected. A few for completely ignoring the standard play script requirements and one for ignoring the request that the submission be sent as a PDF. In addition to that the subject matter of the rejects include:
  • A riff on CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF focusing on Brick's homosexuality
  • An interview by a woman of a character based on Donald Trump which discusses a wide variety of Trump-related issues, not just women.
  • A monologue from a dead (female) cat.
So to make it crystal clear I added this to the call for submissions:

  • Please note: simply having a female character in the script does not, by itself, meet the theme of "women in the age of Trump" - the script must focus on one or more women and their experiences in a world which reflects the values of a country that would make Donald Trump its president. See More on what Donald Trump has said about women for ideas. If the script does not focus on one or more women it does not meet the theme of this call for submissions. If you have already submitted a script that does not meet this criterion, you can resubmit a new script that does, as a replacement. If you don't have a 10-minute play or monologue that meets that requirement, you might consider writing one, the deadline is December 24, 2016. 


Hopefully it will keep the useless script submissions down a little.

In the meanwhile, enjoy this cartoon about reality in the age of Trump from the New Yorker.




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I hung out with Slater's mom

It's a long story. But anyway it's a good excuse to post this. Slater is the one with the theory of the cash crop for the Southern states.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Justin Trudeau explains quantum computing

He's so adorable - he's a little full of himself, old Justin Trudeau, but it would be hard not to be if you were him, and he is really so cute. And he's a self-declared feminist and that counts for A LOT when our own president-elect is evil.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Obama compared to Trump: Hyperion to a satyr

The New Yorker has an important article about Obama, and I think this paragraph has captured perfectly Obama's essence.
In the Oval Office, the President was quick to comfort the young members of his staff, but he was, an aide told me, even more concerned about the wounding effect the election would have on the categories of Americans who had been routinely insulted and humiliated by the President-elect. At a social occasion earlier this year, someone asked Michelle Obama how it was possible for her husband to maintain his equipoise amid so much hatred. “You have no idea how bad it is,” she said. His practiced calm is beyond reckoning.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bitter Gertrude on the election

Bitter Gertrude makes a very interesting connection between academic analyses of the women in Shakespeare plays and the treatment of Hillary Clinton:

When discussing the character Desdemona, a character whose complete faithfulness to her husband is the primary narrative linchpin of the play, Kott says, “Desdemona is faithful, but must have something of a slut in her.” He says that she must be a slut “in potentia” if not “in actua” because so many men desire her– because she inspired erotic imaginings in the men around her. SO SHE IS THE SLUT. 
And while this kind of “my white male imagination tells me so” Shakespeare “analysis” we’re used to getting from the likes of mid-century scholars like Kott (and Harold Bloom, and so many others whose “analysis” of Shakespeare’s female characters is 100% flights of fancy) it stood out to me, even as a teenager when I first encountered this nonsensical “analysis.” It stood out to me that THIS IS AN ADMIRED BOOK OF SHAKESPEARE CRITICISM. This was the first moment I realized that the world of academia was going to be an uphill battle for me as a woman. 
This moment– seeing a respected book of lit crit describe male desire for a woman who never sought nor wished for that desire as HER OWN FAULT for somehow being a “slut” “in potentia”– has come to mind again and again this election cycle.
Millions of our tax dollars have been poured out in a desperate attempt to pin something, ANYTHING, on Hillary Clinton. Nothing illegal has ever been found. Every investigation has exonerated her, and the Clinton Foundation is one of the highest-rated on every nonpartisan site that monitors charities. Obviously false scandals have been created by alt-right (and regular right) propagandists, and they’re shared around the internet as if they make sense. Scandal after scandal have been manufactured and debunked. Hillary haters are the hydra of American politics– chop off one false scandal and two grow back. There’s a never-ending supply of false scandals, and the factual evidence debunking them is dismissed as “irrelevant” or “bought and paid for.” As if the Clintons have an unlimited supply of money– oh, wait, according to the Hillary haters, THEY DO, thanks to Jewish bankers and the Evil Jewish Scrotillionaire Necromancer Lich Demon George Soros.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Solange talking at you



Now that I'm serious about learning French I'm reviewing the public television series French in Action. You don't even have to scrounge around on Youtube for episodes anymore, it's available for free via the Annenberg Learner web site (their CPB project was the original producer of the TV show version of FIA.)

I find I am understanding it much better this time around, possibly because it's now available as online videos instead of broadcast TV - if you miss something you can easily go back. And of course you can watch it whenever it's convenient, not when it is scheduled. I first saw this show when I was living in Pennsauken NJ and working at a print shop - I would come home for lunch and watch this show while eating. I had just enough time. Now of course I can watch it while I'm at work.

I also find that it's helping to increase my comprehension by continuing to watch Youtube stars of the francophone world. I've already mentioned PL Cloutier and his best friend Theo Gordy - and by the way PL is definitely gay, here he is with his boyfriend Thierry Doucet.

I also discovered Solange Te Parle (Solange talks to you) recently. She has recorded what seems like an infinite number of Youtube videos of her sort of rambling on about one thing or another.
She's unknown in the Anglophone worlds but she's pretty much a celebrity in the Francophone one. Here she is on TV. She has a Wikipedia entry - but only in the French Wikipedia and under her real name Ina Mihalache.

The entry says in part (thanks to Google Translate):
... Around the age of ten, she decides to lose her Quebecois accent to adopt the accent "to the French", it means the radio or on chains television French as TV5 . She explained that it was for her an "aesthetic choice", fueling a controversy in the province home
I think this means that she switched from her native French Canadian accent to a Frenchy-French accent to be better accepted by media in France. Google Translate isn't perfect.

But what is really great for me, pour apprendre le francaise, is that, not only do some of her videos directly address issues of language - the video in this post is the first of hers I've watched, in which she compares a French Canadian movie to a  France-French movie and counts and discusses the number of English words each uses - but even better, her videos have both English and French subtitles. I find it easier to understand spoken French when I can read along with the French subtitles, which I try to do, but it's great to be able to double-check that my comprehension was correct by re-watching in English.

It's a brand new world of language skill tools these days. What an improvement over my workweek lunchtime French in Action sessions.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Learning French with Theo and Pierre

I'm not definitely moving to Montreal, but it has crossed my mind. If it happens it won't be for at least a year while I learn French. I've been studying French off and on since high school but have decided to get serious about it.

One of the great things about this Internet age is access to so much free educational options, and language studies is definitely included. I've been looking around YouTube to learn French, both from official "learn to speak French" sites as well as more casual French lessons. One of my favorites in the casual category are videos by these two guys, Theo Gordy and Pierre-Luc Cloudier. Theo is from France and PL as he prefers to be called, is from Montreal.





They make videos separately and together. The ones I like best so far are the ones where they make each other guess the meaning of French and Quebecois slang expressions.

They both appear to be Youtube celebrities, as I discovered by going to PL's web site which lists a schedule of appearances. But what, I wondered, did PL do at these appearances? As far as I could tell he just liked to make Youtube videos with his bon ami Theo. Well turns out, thanks to Google Translate that the appearances are for a bunch of parties:
PL Cloutier does not like to grow old!
To make his birthday better this year, he goes on tour to celebrate with his subscribers ... Many times rather than one!
In each city, PL will host two different YouTubers to party, in a "basement party" atmosphere where the public will be involved!
With hat and trumpet, Happy Birthday to me is the first tour of shows of a YouTuber in Quebec. Find the child in you, and be a party!
So for 25 bucks you can join PL in a basement party. Tres moderne. Also I assume, pretty gay. I guessed that these guys were gay based on the first videos I watched, and then I saw PL's Twitter feed where he mentions he likes flamingos and Zac Efron.

You can tell Cloutier is the Canadian one (besides the fact that he is wearing the Québécois fleur de lis on his t-shirt) because he is much more likely to break into English than Theo - in minute 7:50 in the video above he exclaims: "awww back at you Theo."

The answers to the slang expressions are:

The Quebecois expression "Etre le boss des becosses" means "boss of the outhouses" which means a petty dictator. (Theo can't guess it.)

The French expression "avoir le cul borde de nouilles" means "to have your ass surrounded by noodles" which means to be lucky. (PL guesses it.)

The Quebecois expression "Grimper dan les rideaux " means "climbing the curtains" which is similar to "climbing the walls" in English except more positive, I think. (Theo guessed it.)

The French expression "Etre au taquet" means to "be at the cleat" or rather be at the ultimate limit. (PL can't guess.)

The Quebecois expression "Peter de la broue" means to fart beer, which means to brag. (Theo guessed it.)

The French expression "Avoir la dalle" means "to be hungry" (PL can't guess.)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Post-it Messages at Union Square

As Esquire notes:

An artist known as Levee started a wall of Post-Its in the underpass connecting the 1 train to the L at 14th Street and 6th Avenue, and it's truly amazing to behold. Levee has been encouraging those who are feeling hopeless after the election to share their feelings by writing them down on a sticky note and adding to the wall.

I took some pix.

















Saturday, November 12, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Colbert responds to the election

One of his best



I have to admit that Justin Trudeau keeps me thinking of Canada though.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

It's like 9-11 happened again

I hope Donald Trump has a massive heart attack and dies.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

TRUMP. MUST. BE. STOPPED.

From the NYTimes:

Aides to Mr. Trump have finally wrested away the Twitter account that he used to colorfully — and often counterproductively — savage his rivals. But offline, Mr. Trump still privately muses about all the ways he will punish his enemies after Election Day, including a threat to fund a “super PAC” with vengeance as its core mission.

Monday, November 07, 2016

My daughter ran the NYC Marathon!

Unfortunately my phone died just before she and her wife ran past me. Thanks to me video-recording so I could get a pic of Sean Astin, who was a couple of miles ahead of them (but only because he started an hour sooner - they outpaced him by a minute an a half per mile on average.)



So enjoy this image of Sean Astin running the NYC Marathon.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Evan Marc Katz's exciting new dating technique: mate poaching!

The other side of Katz's
mate-poaching technique


Evan Marc Katz the dating advice huckster keeps trying to pass himself off as an egalitarian, even a semi-feminist:
But I don’t write this blog (or offer advice) to look good. I write here as a reflection of reality. Yes, I believe I’m one of the good ones – and yes, even the good ones have been raised in a society that objectifies women – and have been known to make mistakes once in awhile.
This gives you an idea of how disheartening Katz's view of women's hopes and expectations is - even he, a "good one", persistently tells women to be passive in their relationships with men.

Katz also pushes the idea that men come in only two flavors: alpha (desirable) or beta (less desirable).

Here is Katz a month or so ago:
Beta/feminine men are often some of the best husbands out there, but they conduct themselves in a passive way, leaving women wondering how they feel. In short, these nice guys are so insecure about pursuing you and making a move that they often wait for YOU to express interest in them. “You can call me, you know,” might be their mantra. Which is fine. However, this puts you in your “masculine energy,” and forces you to be the one to reach out to him to gauge his interest and availability.
As a dating coach for women, I don’t like that model. Nor do most of my clients. They may be proactive superstars in real life, but they tend to prefer being courted by (alpha) men.

But then suddenly, unceremoniously he has abandoned that old dichotomy.

In his most recent blog post he writes:
Sounds a lot like the kind of experiences (and thinking) that we see so often in the questions and comments here. Women choose selfish alpha males who are inconsiderate of their needs, and insecure beta males who feel impotent and emasculated, and come to the conclusion that this is the way all relationships work. It’s not.
So now alpha and beta males are both bad choices that us stupid women make, and the alpha male has been swapped out for the married man. Katz cites the July 2016 Modern Love column by Karen Rinaldi:
From her own failed relationships (and her parents uninspiring 60-year-marriage) Rinaldi came to the obvious conclusion that the only answer was to be alone...
...Then she fell in love with a married man…who left his wife and married Rinaldi.
 
Says the author, 
“I don’t need him, but I want him in my life. He doesn’t protect me from others, only from my worst instincts. And as far as procreating, well, we did it the old-fashioned way and that will never get old.
He is comfortable in his masculinity and doesn’t need to remind me of who is boss, because in our relationship there isn’t one. Our lives are shared at every level and I realize now what a man is for.
He is a true partner. He is a lover and a friend. He is the father of my children and the only one in the world who cares about the minutiae of their lives like I do.”
And that, my friends, is why you keep dating. Even if you’ve made dozens of bad relationship choices in the past, you always have a new chance to rewrite your future.
Katz has not yet offered a Greek letter with which to label the poachable married man.

Katz's audience tends to be conservative - you'd have to be in order to accept Katz's constant promotion of traditional gender roles. So I was amazed he would deliberately alienate his audience by promoting an adulterous man as dating material.  I once posited that Katz promoted traditionalist men because they are more likely to be single than egalitarian men are, and thus increase the match-up success rate for his clients. Well apparently Katz has decided to expand the pool of men for his clients by suggesting they consider (not pursue, that would be unfeminine and active) egalitarian men who are not single.

One of Katz's commenters, "KK" responds to his blog post:
“Then she fell in love with a married man…who left his wife and married Rinaldi”.
Sorry, Evan, this isn’t a happy ending.
Not only not a happy ending but a ridiculous solution for a dating coach to suggest. A woman who doesn't mind dating a cheater will have plenty of men to choose from - she needs a dating coach about as much as a woman who prefers depersonalized sex with random strangers in a back alley needs one.

Well, I have said before that Katz is not very bright. 

Another one of the commenters offered information about the woman whose husband Rinaldi poached. Her name is Catherine Texier and she wrote an entire book about it eighteen years ago

One of the editorial summaries on Amazon:
Shortly after the author returned from a trip to France, the country of her birth, she discovered that her husband of 18 years and the father of their two daughters wanted to leave her. Texier, a novelist (Love Me Tender) who co-edited with her husband, Joel Rose, Between C and D, a lower Manhattan literary journal, publishes here the diary she kept in 1996, the final year of their marriage. Artfully written and candid in its anguish, her memoir describes the harrowing months when she tried to change Rose's mind by maintaining their sex life, cooking for him and restraining her rage at his betrayal. Although she discovered that he had been having a 15-month-long affair with the woman he wanted to leave her for, Texier continued to hope that the memories of the good years they had shared would be powerful enough to keep them together. It was only after Rose took his lover on a trip to Los Angeles that the author finally told him to leave their home. Men and women alike will respond to Texier's re-creation of her feelings of depression, anger, jealousy and erotic longing that accompanied the dissolution of her marriage.
Rinaldi is thirteen years younger than Texier. So this is the utterly banal scenario of a man dumping his wife for a younger model, a move that poster boy for alpha males, Donald Trump, has made twice.

As KK comments later on:
...the wife eventually kicked him out. He was perfectly happy with his cake- eating status quo. Therefore, Rinaldi ended up with him by default. He didn’t CHOOSE her. He didn’t confess his affair and run off with her. He got kicked out. And Rinaldi grabbed up her prize (sarcasm) after he got dumped.
So to recap.

The problem: women becoming discouraged over the failure to find a good man.

The Katz solution: get yourself a man, a damn fugly man, twelve years your senior, married with kids. A man who will two-time his wife for over a year, then once the adultery is in the open, continue to screw his a wife in addition to you for another year or so. You will finally have him all to yourself, three years after the beginning of the relationship, once the wife decides to cut him loose.

And here I thought that Evan Marc Katz's view of women's hopes and expectations was already at rock bottom.

I don't speak for all women of course, and I suppose it's possible that Katz may convince some women that a life with an old ugly unfaithful entitled man is the best possible one for them, but I for one would rather be celibate the rest of my life than end up with a creep like Joel Rose.

It's a complete mystery to me why people like KK continue to go to the poisoned well that is the advice of Evan Marc Katz.

The Republican Party has metastasized into pure evil and must be destroyed before it destroys our democracy

It's very unpleasant to admit, but the Republican party has become a cancer on the body politic and must be destroyed.

Per The New Republic:
It is thus tempting to imagine we’ve seen enough to know what divided government will look like in a Clinton administration. But that would be a mistake. The sheer alacrity with which Republicans have thrown political courtesies and democratic traditions overboard in the past months is a warning that as radicalized as they grew during the Obama presidency, they didn’t necessarily hit bottom. Things could get much worse, in ways that are staring us in the face. 
Republicans only flirted with nullification during the Obama presidency, but under a Clinton presidency we could conceivably face a full-blown crisis of one kind or another within weeks—regardless of which party controls the Senate. 
If Republicans retain the Senate, it’s likely that they will prevent Clinton from filling Supreme Court vacancies. Notably, almost nobody in the party is intervening to promise swift confirmation for qualified nominees, to counter those who are promising indiscriminate obstruction. This would amount to a legitimation crisis, unprecedented in our modern history, but astonishingly it wouldn’t constitute the most troubling possible outcome.
So with a Hillary Clinton presidency they are planning to hit her with both bullshit scandals like Benghazi AND dangerous obstructionism, starting with refusal to vote on any Supreme Court nominee.

Thanks to Scalia's death the Republican party has the opportunity to now hobble all three branches of the US government. Their aim is absolute power and they won't stop until they get it. And they are willing to destroy our democracy to do it.

The Republican party is a cancer on the body politic and must be removed as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Sunday Philosophy Club, revisited

I have recently been getting into philosophy in a fairly big way, thanks to attending meetings and reading the work of Massimo Pigliucci and the Stoics. So I decided to re-listen to the audiobook version of The Sunday Philosophy Club, the first installment in the series of that name. The idea of practical ethics that Pigliucci has talks about goes very will with the novels, as the protagonist Isabel Dalhousie is the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics. There's even a review of the Sunday Philosophy Club series in the magazine Philosophy Now, to which Pigliucci has contributed.

I mentioned previously that the narrator of the audiobooks of the series had a voice that got on my nerves. Well I discovered that an abridged version of the series is available in the UK, narrated by Phyllis Logan - that's Downton Abbey's Mrs. Hughes. But you can't get that version in the US. *sigh*

One more thing about the series - I don't believe there is ever once a meeting of the Sunday Philosophy Club described in any of the ten novels.

Friday, November 04, 2016

How stupid is Robin DiAngelo? How sleazy is her "white fragility" marketing campaign?

On the one hand you could argue that DiAngelo is smart - she's made a career for herself that is lucrative and not very hard - she travels around the country explaining to identitarian organizations that all white people are equally racist and the only way they can have some of their racism alleviated is to pay DiAngelo to lecture about "white fragility."

On the other hand some of the things she says are amazingly stupid. Her most recent free advertisement from the Good Men Project includes this statement:
But what if someone does literally point their finger and boldly state, “You are racist!” (a deep fear of progressive whites)? A white person who claims to be antiracist and who positions themselves as above or beyond other whites is being a self-righteous jerk, but that is on them. What is on me is to identify my racist patterns and work to change them. If the point being made is insightful to that goal, then regardless ofhow carefully or indirectly it is being made, that is what I need to focus on. The method of delivery cannot be used to delegitimize what is being illuminated or the excuse for not doing my work.
First off, this demonstrates a basic tenet of DiAngelo, that all white people are equally racist:
"A white person who claims to be antiracist and who positions themselves as above or beyond other whites is being a self-righteous jerk, but that is on them."
Apparently someone "claiming" to be anti-racist, and therefore claiming to be better than white people who are racist - is deemed to be a self-righteous jerk.

But also, and most stupidly, is her incomprehension as to why people don't like to be called racist if they believe they are not racist. White progressives do not wish to be called racist because they feel racism is a sign of stupidity or evil or usually both. And so if you declare them a racist, you have said they are stupid and/or evil.

And Robin DiAngelo finds this some kind of moral indictment, to object to someone attacking you as stupid and/or evil on the basis of your ethnicity.

Listen to DiAngelo describe people taking offense at being judged unfairly. It's at minute 5:18. Her words are bad enough, but it's the tone, especially, dripping with utter contempt, that tells you how she feels about anybody who questions her pernicious message.

"Because we hear a moral slight. We sincerely believe it wouldn't be possible for us to be racist because we're good people... and so we get very upset and defensive and we cry and we get our feelings hurt and we suggest that you don't know us and that you're generalizing."
"I actually think progressive white folks like me are the hardest."




She clearly thinks that those claiming she is generalizing are idiots, but in fact that's exactly what she is doing. Generalizing.

Meanwhile she aids those who are actual racists by giving them a legitimate reason to claim that anti-white racism exists in the United States. Robin DiAngelo is not helping the issue of race in America. Robin DiAngelo is making it worse by being the anti Martin Luther King Jr. She is promoting the idea that people should be judged on the color of their skin and not, as King dreamed, the content of their character.

The thing about DiAngelo's career is that she answers to nobody.

She is hired to promote her specious arguments about race and she will never have to face any critics. So she can keep turning her critics into defenseless straw men she can easily defeat with her contempt and her overweening smug self-satisfaction.

DiAngelo has completely accepted the mind-set of racism: that all humans are easily grouped into one of a few distinct "races" and should be judged accordingly. And she is attempting to spread that dehumanized view of individual human beings.

She makes a good living preaching the gospel of "race" and revenge and she will keep doing it as long as someone will pay for it.


More about Robin DiAngelo.


My Anti-Racist Bona Fides

Because the reflex response of all Social Justice Warriors/Identitarians like Robin DiAngelo is to smear their critics as racist, here is my statement on racism:

Although I was smeared on Tumblr by infamous bully Mikki Kendall and identitarian extremist K. Tempest Bradford (and thanks to the cozy relationship between Tumblr and Google, the smears show up in Google search results on my name), in fact I have a long history of opposing racism, and the evidence for the past 10 years is on this blog. Unhinged extremists like Kendall and Bradford don't care to know anything about the strangers they randomly smear. That's why they and the people who promote them like Verso books are horrible and don't help solve the problem of racism in the United States.


Thursday, November 03, 2016

Bronte-mania - inspiration strikes

I wrote a ten-minute play about the Bronte sisters and how they first become published authors. Called BRONTES BEGIN it has yet to be produced, which annoyed me but now I'm glad because I was inspired by the Charlotte Bronte exhibit at the Morgan Library and now must update the play.

In my play I do have Charlotte allude to how much she disliked being a governess, but I saw this letter to Ellen Hussey in which Charlotte wrote:
I am miserable when I allow myself to dwell on the necessity of spending my life as a Governess. The chief requisite for that station seems to me to be the power of taking things easily as they come and of making oneself comfortable and at home wherever we may chance to be – qualities in which all our family are singularly deficient.
This must go into my play.


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

More Bronte art

There is lots of drawings by Charlotte Bronte featured in the Morgan Library exhibition, including a possible self-portrait sketch (in addition to the goofy cartoon she drew, which I mentioned yesterday) on the left here. There were many other drawings of people on display, including a portrait of Anne.

Charlotte was the closest thing the Bronte family had to an extrovert. All of them were apparently painfully shy and socially maladjusted, especially Emily who appears to never have made a single friend in her life, except for friends of Charlotte's.

Neither of Charlotte's sisters as far as I know, had any interest in drawing people. At least I haven't seen any examples. What Anne and especially Emily liked to draw were the family pets.

Here are two drawings of Anne's dog Flossy - the first by Anne, the second by Emily.









The picture is a portrait of Emily's beloved  Keeper. The notorious incident of Emily and Keeper was told in Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Bronte and recounted here.



Here are two more pets by Emily - a hawk named Nero and Grasper. As the signature attests, Grasper was drawn when Emily was sixteen.




Emily was so animal-focused that when she did draw a self-portrait, Keeper is much more prominent than she is. This picture is a sketch she included in one of her "diary papers."

She also reportedly told her pupils at the Law School that she preferred the school dog to any of them.