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Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly. ---- Harry Lime

Dirty Rice, Puns, and Clients

The shrimp tacos turned out very well indeed. I also did a rather good dirty rice and red beans dish. I’m eating birthday cake for breakfast and thinking, Wow, this is sweet – which is just weird: Generally, nothing’s too sweet for me.

Ed made a number of really first-rate puns although the only two I can remember now are “shellfish” for “selfish” and how McDonald’s is the place to go on Yom Kippur because it’s “fast food.”

Netflix releases the third season of Black Mirror today, so I know how I’m gonna spend the next 24 hours.

I have a chance to make a sum of money that in my mouse universe is substantial. It involves working with a client whom I do not like and with whom I’ve had issues before. I have no idea why he keeps wanting to work with me since he consistently denigrates my work while we’re working together.

I could say, No.

But I’ll probably say, Yes.

Because, you know. Money.

The Final Debate Plus the Blithewood Ghost

So many questions before the final debate!

How badly will he behave? Will she collapse midway with a massive coughing attack and have to be intubated? Is the audience seeded with girls who hated Hillary in the 3rd grade and teased her about her glasses? Will that throw her? And what does Obama's half-brother have to do with any of this? Will he testify that Obama was born in a grass hut in Kenya and that Trump speaks the true? Why no Kim or Kanye?

Anyhoo, Trump went a whole 75 minutes without seeming like a totally crazy psychopath – a major accomplishment for him and also a boon to this member of the audience since I finally got to hear him recite his appalling policy initiatives without letting my distaste for Hillary Clinton get in the way.

Carry that anencephalic fetus to full term, beayatch! And no more Planned Parenthood for cheap birth control either! The wages of sin are the wages of sin! Or maybe we’ll depend on the Second Amendment for post-term abortion! Yuck, yuck, yuck.

You’re the puppet!

No, you’re the puppet!

And Putin is not my bestest friend!


About a third of the way through the evening, HRC started cracking Celebrity Apprentice jokes, and these were not only funny, they showed a great sense of comic timing, which warmed me to her considerably, I must say. The first Celebrity Apprentice quip may have been scripted, but I doubt the subsequent ones were.

Chris Wallace was a really good moderator. So interesting that Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly, both from Fox News, have been the gold standard of journalism this year.

Wallace raised some tough issues including the “pay to play” issue – this, by the way, is one of the two things I hold against HRC: (A) I think she enabled her rapist husband for decades and (B) She sells influence.

HRC did a graceful pivot on pay-to-play. If Trump had a single brain in that smashed-in looking cranium of his, he could have pursued that one to his advantage, but no-o-o- -- he was too busy trying to get his lips to look like an anus. Or maybe he was zonked out on antihistamines – I only heard him sniff once.

Anyway, in 20 days, this will all be over.

I hope.



Not a whole heck of a lot.

Pat is still off with the Adorable Grandchild so L and I are doing a birthday dinner for Ed tonight. I will be making shrimp tacos, which are relatively cheap, incredibly easy to prepare, and yet still, somehow, impressive. I suppose because they taste good!

I’ve fallen in love with the Blithewood ghost and am trying to figure out how I can work it into the still unnamed Alice and Nell story.

When Blithewood was built, its rich owner commissioned four statues to be built. The statues were representation of his four lovely daughters. Alas! One of the daughters got into mischief in New York City, and either jumped out or was pushed from a hotel window. Her statue disappeared, too. But on moonless nights at the Blithewood estate, the fourth statue returns.

The Alice and Nell story, though, is very specifically about Nell’s haunting by the ghost of her father, Elliott Roosevelt.

So, I have to shut my mind to the Blithewood ghost. Or maybe write another story when this one is through.
unnamed Ines, one of my ESL students, passed her citizenship test, so I brought a tiny cake to class, and we had zee leeetle celebration.

I have no formal training as a teacher, and it surprised the hell out of me to discover I actually have an aptitude for teaching. I would have thought my impatience with idiots in my ha-ha-ha real life would have carried into the classroom.

I don’t follow any of the ESL manuals.

Instead, I teach what I think is important, which happens to be – drum roll – grammar! This week we did gerunds and infinitives; next week we’ll do transitive and intransitive verbs. Intransitive verbs are a gateway drug to prepositions!

I can’t seem to find any explanation for why sometimes a sentence calls for an infinitive, and sometimes it calls for a gerund.

For instance:

I like playing basketball is the same as I like to play basketball.

But you can’t say: I feel like to play basketball.



RTT turns 22 today!

We are in the middle of a heat wave. Temps went up to 85 degrees yesterday. That’s just wrong.

I watched the last season of The Tudors, which I’d somehow missed when the show first aired.

I’m something of a Henry VIII completist, having read practically every extant Phillipa Gregory/Allison Weir/etcetera potboiler and a fair amount of dry historical pillage as well on the subject.

The Tudors is very bad on historical accuracy. And Jonathan Rhys Meyers absolutely refused to wear a fat suit. Thus, viewers are treated to the sight of an obviously young, obviously slender Henry VII waddling around through the final decade of the monarch’s life. Meyers is a much better actor than he’s generally given credit for being, though, so in a bizarre sort of way, this actually works – as though one was watching some odd, idealized representation of himself introjected into Henry’s own memories.

The minor characters were interesting casting choices. I liked Henry Howard, in particular:

Contented with thine own estate
Ne wish for death, ne fear his might

Fun factoid: Henry Howard invented the English sonnet.

In 1546, he was convicted on a trumped (there’s that word!) up charge of treason, and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. The Elizabethans were certainly imaginative when it came to torture and execution. Henry VII later commuted the sentence to beheading, which was considered a great act of mercy at the time.

Why People Vote for Trump

I was out driving around this morning while the local NPR station, WAMC, was doing its fund drive.

WAMC is run by a guy named Alan Chartok. Smart guy, gotta say. Before Chartok took it over in 1980, the station was mostly devoted to classical music. Classical music is cheap programming. Chartok took a page from right-wing talk radio and started doing a lot of interview-format and local news programming, which is probably more expensive – marginally – but which plays better in drive time. WAMC grew and grew and grew, and today it has 22 transmitters and is heard in seven states.

NPR’s official policy is unbiased reportage, but WAMC lists decidedly toward the left. In fact, if there was another NPR station in the area, I’d listen to that one instead. I like unbiased reportage. I prefer to make up my own mind, thank you very much.

Chartok is kind of a meglomaniac. WAMC is his fiefdom. I swear he thinks he’s fuckin’ Gandalf. Or maybe Glenn Beck in a blue hat. This is the most important time we have ever lived through, folks. And we cannot do it alone. We. Cannot. Do. It. Alone. We have someone here running for the highest office in the land who thinks the media is biased. Biased! Why, I read “The New York Times,” sometimes three times a night, and every time, there’s a new story –

And I’m trying to figure out what the hell Chartok’s talking about.

Is he honestly trying to tell me that corporate media in this country is unbiased? Is he trying to tell me that WAMC is unbiased?

Because that is patently untrue.

Furthermore, it has never been true from the days of the first penny broadsides. It was called yellow journalism in the times of William Randolph Hearst; you could call it blue journalism today, I suppose: Big media really, really wants to stop you from voting for Donald Trump.


I’m not voting for Donald Trump.

I dislike that candidate intensely.

Still, I gotta say, Trump is getting a hatchet job from the purportedly unbiased media.

I listened to those outtakes from the Howard Stern show in which, we’re being told, Trump showed his true pussy-grabbing colors years and years ago. Hello! Howard Stern is a comedian. His show is humor. Trump was playing along with Stern’s jokes because that’s what you do when you’re pretending to be a comedian’s sidekick.

I know I promised to stop writing about the election.

But I swear! If I read one more opinion piece in The New York Times or the fucking Huffington Post about how Trump’s contempt for women extends to his own daughter whom he called a piece of ass, I may fuckin’ vote for Donald Trump as a way of saying Fuck YOU

Well, no. I won’t.

But I expect at this point that this is at least part of the logic that’s informing that 40% of the electorate that will be voting for this candidate.

They’re sick of being manipulated by people who “know” what’s best for them.


One might reasonably ask the question, Why, then, are they allowing themselves to be manipulated by Donald Trump?

Who clearly is lying to them, too.

And I don’t know the answer to that question.

Except maybe it’s a form of sabotage. They want to see the entire system explode.

I’m not entirely unsympathetic to that line of reasoning on an emotional level, I gotta say. Although intellectually, I know that it’s just wrong, wrong, wrong.


Why I Love the Hudson Valley


Pat is off visiting the adorable grandchild in Utah, so I managed to enlist Ed to come with me on an adventure.

“Ground rules,” I said, climbing into his car. “No election talk. And in exchange, I won’t criticize your driving.”

Turns out he knew exactly where Oak Terrace is – that’s it above. Looks rather less forbidding than I was expecting it to look. Quite cozy, in fact. It was recently sold, so possibly the new owners expended some bank to spruce it up. And on a gorgeous autumn day, even the surrounding woods looked warm, alive, welcoming. A deer ran out so close to me I could have reached out and touched it as I was sneaking up the driveway. I snuck because I wasn’t sure how the house’s present owners might take to strangers stalking ghosts on their property, though I imagine given the house’s pedigree, they get quite a few.

As a long-time resident of the Hudson Valley, Ed knows all the short cuts. We cruised around Tivoli, which on this charming fall day was just bustling with folks.

This is the way to Bard,” he said, and cut down a street that I hadn’t even known was there.

The street ran right by the access to the amazing Tivoli Bays marshlands, so we got out and hiked for a bit.


Oh migawd: So lovely! The autumn grasses so burnished and golden; the autumn trees so orange and scarlet. They made my heart soar –

“That’s S-O-A-R,” I specified to Ed. “Not S-O-R-E.”

He laughed and said, “No election talk!”

At the bottom of the hill was a kayak launch, so we watched a bunch of kids playing with their boats. I think there must be a rule at Bard that no one gets accepted who’s not incredibly beautiful. Also it occurs to me that Bard must be the prototype for Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, described in the Lev Grossman novel The Magicians as a secret upstate New York College.

We hiked back up a different trail, passing a bunch of old barns and foundations that had gotten the full art student treatment. And then we drove to Bard proper, which I had never seen by daylight.

Gotta tell you: Bard is the most gorgeous campus I have ever seen.

Who cares that it’s absolutely incapable of preparing you for any practical occupation?

To spend four years in a place like this…


This is the old Blithewood Estate, which is now the Someone-or-Other Institute of Economics. Blithewood’s owners were not Livingstons, so I daresay they were snubbed by the other Big House owners in the district. I forget what architect designed the mansion, but the gardens were a collaboration between Calvin Vaux and Andrew Jackson Davis:


tivoli bays2

Doesn’t heaven look like this?

Ed also made an exceedingly funny joke about “reincarnations” (as in flowers) when I went off on one of my cosmological rants – what can I say? The surroundings compelled it! But as I can no longer remember the exact dialogue context, the joke is probably not particularly funny here.

We drove the River Road back to Hyde Park past Rokeby and its feral Astors, and Wilderstein where FDR broke Daisy Suckley’s heart, and the ruins of Wyncliffe.

And to cap it all off, I saw this guy:


Must remember to work this into the Alice and Nell ghost story somehow: There are three statues in the gardens of the Blythewood estate. The original owner commissioned four; they were depictions of his four daughters. But one of the statues has disappeared, and – coincidence? – it’s the statue of the daughter who either leaped or was pushed out of the window of a Manhattan hotel room. On moonless nights, it’s said, there are still four statues, and one of them moves…

Never Enuff Wacky Roosevelts!

Some mornings I wake up, and my body feels like some kind of remote-controlled robot device. I cannot think. I move by algorithm.

It’s one of those mornings when I expect everyone I care about to text or call throughout the day. You know, I’ve been thinking, they’ll say. And I have finally realized: You’re a horrible human being. I don’t want to have anything to do with you. Ever again.

I’m thinking of holing up in my hideaway and rewatching all 38 episodes of The Tudors. Nothing like 450-year old political controversies to perk up that lagging sense of inner security and proportion, right?

But first


In 1867, on a cold day in December, a boy left his brownstone mansion on Broadway and 13th Street to go out for a walk.

He returned home a few hours later. Minus an overcoat.

“What happened?” his father demanded.

“I saw a little street urchin,” said the boy. “He looked so cold that I gave him my coat.”

“You’re a kind-hearted lad!” laughed his father. “Like Little Nell in the Dickens novel.”

And the next day, he bought his son a new overcoat.

This story is likely to be apocryphal.

For one thing, it’s highly unlikely that a seven-year old boy would be allowed to go traipsing about New York City’s streets on his own. In the 1860s or in any other decade.

Nonetheless, this was Eleanor Roosevelt’s favorite anecdote about the father she adored. One imagines that it served the same purpose as the baptism by proxy practiced by members of the Latter Day Saints. She was also nicknamed “Nell” as a child.

Like his brother Theodore, Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt by all reports had an intensely magnetic personality. But where TR’s magnetism expressed itself as a kind of irresistible force applied to immoveable objects, Elliott’s was a type of charm.

That’s him on the right and TR on the left in the picture above. They look alike, yes? But Elliott is slightly handsomer.

TR, the eldest by two years, was a sickly kid when he was growing up. He was small for his age, subject to acute asthma, attacks and suffered from nervous diarrhea.

Elliott was also sick but not in a way that attracted as much notice from his family. In 1874, at the age of 14, he began to suffer from severe headaches and blackouts during which he babbled incoherently. He had no memory of anything he said during these episodes, and became so afraid of them that he developed a fear of the dark and an inability to concentrate on anything. His family responded by withdrawing him from prep school and sending him away to Texas. Turned out this was a smart move: All he needed to recover was 1,800 miles of distance from them.

Unfortunately, that distance proved impossible to maintain though he made efforts throughout his brief life to do so. At 20, he traveled alone to India.

After two years, though, he had to return home.

These days, it’s thought that Elliott suffered from a type of epilepsy.

At the time, though, medical science had no explanation for his attacks, and it’s likely that Elliott himself thought they were symptomatic of some deep lack of manliness. He’d begun drinking heavily because alcohol seemed to depress the frequency of the attacks. Self-medicating as we enlightened modernists would say.

8d4f38fc4fdadebf83c80a006e100a41At the age of 22, Elliott Roosevelt met Anna Livingston Hall. He married her a year later. The year was 1883.

Anna was so beautiful that some famous painter – I forget whom – begged for the privilege of painting her. He was denied.

Anna had had a rather Gothic upbringing in a hideous old house called Oak Terrace in the strange little town of Tivoli-on-Hudson (which these days is a kind of a suburb of Bard College.)

Her father, Valentine Gill Hall, was an Old School Protestant religious zealot; his wife and four daughters were never allowed opinions or a voice in any decision. Indeed, they were not even allowed to go out shopping: Merchants were required to bring merchandise to Oak Terrace.

Her brothers, Valentine and Edward Hall grew up to become tennis champions and raging alcoholics.

When the senior Valentine died abruptly, it fell to Anna to take over the management of the Oak Terrace estate.

Fascinating literary footnote: Anna’s sister Edith is thought to be the prototype for Lily Bart in The House of Mirth. (Edith Wharton, you will recall, summered at Wyncliffe, a mere 10 miles away from Oak Terrace.)

The Roosevelts disliked Anna. I can’t find the actual letter to Auntie Bye in which TR dismisses her as frivolous, vain, and superficial. It would have been written after Elliott’s marriage, though. Of course, the two Roosevelt brothers were immensely competitive with one another: If Theodore married a famous beauty, then Elliott must marry an even more famous one.

One can’t help feeling a little bit sorry for Anna Hall Roosevelt even if she was incredibly mean to her oldest child, Eleanor. Denied the opportunity for an education, forced to assume responsibility for an addled mother and a coven of petulant siblings at the age of 17, forced to cover up the family darkness when she made her debut into society a year later, of course all she could dream about was having a good time.

One imagines she married Elliott because (A) a woman must marry or be relegated to a kind of Austen-esque spinsterhood, and his prospects seemed like the best of the bunch. But (B) because Elliott seemed to be capable of showing her a good time.

In that latter assumption, she was entirely mistaken.


Everybody Loves a Trainwreck

Really odd dream in which B had six sons under 15 in addition to Max and RTT.

I made some pseudo-parenting recommendation, and he told me cordially but coldly that these were not my children and that he would be entertaining no advice from me about their upbringing.


The Former Democratic Candidate and I did the movie date thing – The Girl on the Train I liked it and was surprised to find out when I was combing the Internets later that it had gotten shitty reviews. I thought it was like a combination of Bergman and Hitchcock; the opening shots in particular, giant close-ups of women’s faces, reminded me a lot of Persona. Maybe the movie would have gotten better reviews if it had been dubbed in Swedish with English subtitles?

Also, of course, Rachel does what I do when I’m taking that very same train ride into Manhattan: stare rudely at my fellow passengers and impose subtexts on to the scenes I glimpse as the train is rushing by. One picky editorial note: The MetroNorth does not run closely enough to Ardsley to see any of the individual houses. No McMansion real estate developer in his or her right mind would build houses that close to the tracks.

The Former Democratic Candidate is not doing so well: She has a particularly unpleasant biopsy scheduled for week after next.

“And what are you expecting?” I asked. You know me. Tact is not a strong point.

“Well,” she said smiling, “I expect it to be bad news. My markers are up. A month after the chemo, my markets were 2.3. The healthy level is 1.5 to 2.5. But now they’re 8.4.”

I thought for a moment. “Well, you known, what those tests measure is an enzyme that’s associated with the cancer cells. If the cancer cells are still dying, lysing because of the chemo and radiation, that might be why the markers are higher.”

Of course, I have no idea if this is actually true. But it sounds good, right?

At the best of times, the Former Democratic Candidate is inclined to be solipsistic. Last night, she was monomaniacal. I know her complete social schedule for the next 10 days! But I heard her out, nodding and smiling encouragingly at the appropriate points. I’m fond of the Former Democratic Candidate with all her flaws.

“You know, when I was teaching in Poughkeepsie, I never got invited to any of the other teachers’ social stuff. Not once! And I taught for 22 years,” the FDC told me.

I’ll bet, I thought. The FDC does not suffer fools gladly. And when you're doing something she considers fucked up, she does not spare her tongue. How could you possibly do XYZ? she'll say. You're wrong.

I wouldn’t dream of telling her, for example, that I have no intention of voting for Hillary Clinton.

“But when I found out I had cancer, I can’t tell you the number of people who reached out to me –," she continued.

Ah, yes. Well. Everybody loves a train wreck, I thought.

But what I said was, “You’re loved, D! I mean, even me. I’ve known you for less than a year, but I have the highest regard for your strength, for your humor, for your indomitable spirit –“

Well. That much was true, at least.

Still. I remembered what B told me once. When he was very, very sick. When he thought he was going to die. When I thought he was going to die.

“At the beginning,” B said, “everybody wants to do something for you. But you don’t really need them to do anything for you. Because at that point, you’re still capable of doing for yourself.

“Six weeks down the line, they’re forgotten all about you. Nobody really cares. You’re all alone. It’s better just to tunnel down.”

I really care! I wanted to tell B then. Maybe I even did say it. A bad memory like mine can be highly selective.

And the transition from spouse to family member can be a thorny one.

What is B exactly to me these days? My best friend? My brother?

I don’t know. But I would be devastated if he were no longer around.

Fortunately, he’s entirely cured now and should be around for a long time.

It Won't Be Here

Maybe they’ll get me and maybe they won’t
But not tonight and it won’t be here…

Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I desperately want to make a pilgrimage to that house in West Saugerties where most of the songs on Music From Big Pink were written.

Just about everything else in the public arena is filling me with profound nausea.

I do not want to hear one more thing ever about Donald Trump! As usual, Michelle Obama gave a stunningly good speech denouncing him, but truth be told, I don’t want to hear Michelle Obama ever again either! I want government to go back to being some ectoplasmic infrastructure that takes place 1,200 feet or so feet above my head and wafts down upon me, sometimes as ash, sometimes as rain, sometimes as frozen bits of dead meteors.

I am just really fucking sick of it.


I did phonebank for Terry Gipson yesterday. Gipson’s a good guy; I talked to him for half an hour or so at one of Seraphina’s Breaking Barriers expos. He’s trying to retake the 41st Assembly District. In 2012, he became the first Democrat since FDR to take that district; he lost in 2014 to the creepy and malevolent Sue Serrino.

I have no idea what political operative first thought it would be a good idea to call people up and interrupt their dinner with sprightly conversation about a political candidate they may never have heard of.

Personally, I never answer the phone unless I recognize the number of the person who’s calling.

I am not sure I managed to enlist a single voter for The Cause. And I am very good at making sprightly conversation.

But, you know. I was flying the flag.

Before I did my bit for the Greater Good, I'd decided I would try to go running at Locust Grove, the old Samuel F.B. Morse estate.

It was gorgeous, and there was a trail going down to the river. But I couldn’t figure out how to get to the trail.

It strikes me that that could be a metaphor for my life. RIP Patrizia: It Won't Be Here.

This, by the way, is not the trail:


A Boomer Looks at Rape


So I’m thinking, Yeah, it really is a generational thing. You’re just old...

Here is Chrissie Hynde, a heroine of mine: Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing, and I take full responsibility. You can’t paint yourself into a corner and then say, ‘Whose brush is this?’ You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive.

She was describing the time she was raped. In 1972.

In 2015, she was roundly vilified for her opinions. Bashed by feminists and politically correct thinkers everywhere.

More recently, Hynde was asked whether she regretted making those remarks given their negative reception. I don't give a fuck, she said. First I didn't know, because I don't read my press, but when I kept being questioned about it I said, 'If you're going to walk around in your underwear, drunk, you're asking for it.'

As far as I’m concerned, that’s just common sense.


In 1972, I was also raped. My California headquarters at the time were on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland in an apartment over a storefront. Sometimes the commercial establishment below me was the Independent Driving School; sometimes it was an adult bookstore. It seemed to change with the weather or the mood of whomever was renting the space.

This was at the tail end of my modeling career. I was still textbook gorgeous, but I’d already taken that long, hard look in the mirror and realized, Honey, you ain’t gonna be this ornamental forever, so you better find yourself a trade.

I’d been to a concert in Berkeley, and I’d decided to hitchhike home. I was all dolled up. It was around 10 o’clock at night.

In 1972, hitchhiking was a perfectly legitimate means of transportation.

Anyway, at a certain point, the guy who picked me up, pulled over to the side of the road and announced that he was going to rape me. I wish I could remember the exact dialogue! He had a knife.

Fine, asshole, I thought. Get it over with.

That I do remember. I also remember that I wasn’t particularly scared – which does sort of raise the question at this late date, So why didn’t you try to escape? Because the car doors were locked? I really don’t know.

The guy had a really difficult time getting an erection. “Make me hard!” he said.

I snorted, rolled my eyes. “That’s your problem,” I said.

I did not make him hard.

He fumbled some more. He must have come because there was some distasteful wetness.

Then he was really apologetic. He wanted to drive me home! I think he had some delusion that this was the beginning of a relationship!

“I’ll walk,” I said, getting out of the car.

When I got back to the apartment and told my boyfriend Jean-Luc what had just happened, Jean-Luc burst into tears.

This surprised me. I myself did not feel like crying. I was filled with the most powerful contempt I could ever remember feeling in my life, but I wasn’t emotionally distraught in the slightest. The incident had been a drag. A very big drag. I watched Luke cry, and I thought, I’m really a hard person, aren’t I?

But, you know, in order to survive a childhood like mine, that life on the streets when I was a runaway; the fucking of men – both rich and powerful, and scroungy and hustling – that one had to do to even achieve the mid-rank success that I’d achieved as a model; you had to be hard. That’s how you survived. You built a tower inside your soul. When things got tough, you went into that tower, and you raised the drawbridge.

You also tried to learn from your experiences.

You analyzed them to figure out ways to avoid them in the future. The Sun Tzu approach to life.

Otherwise you jumped off a bridge. Or stuck a needle in your arm.


Cops were called. These were the days before Law and Order SUV had sensitized a vast television-viewing audience to these kinds of issues. The cops were not unsympathetic, but they pointed out that I would be putting myself through an unpleasant trip to a medical facility and an enormous amount of hassle if I decided to move ahead with filing an incident report. And after all that, they might not be able to catch the guy.

So I decided not to file the incident report.

Of course that guy was complete scum, but I have to take responsibility for the fact that an action of my own had put me in his power.

In popular parlance, this is Blaming the victim.

So be it.

That was the last time I ever hitchhiked.


Asked by a reporter whether women who dressed provocatively were “asking for it,” Hynde replied, I never said that. I think women who dress provocatively are asking for something. They’re asking for some sort of ‘Why do you dress provocatively?’


Rape culture, of course, is the politically correct trope du jour, but that trope coexists with this huge outpouring of Internet porn, the rise of Internet-mediated hookups devoid of emotional entanglements, and this fetishization of rape as a kind of innocent cosplay complete with safe words – which always reminds me of little kids playing with stuffed animals somehow.

My own theory, of course, is that this is Gaia’s subtle way of reducing the population. Pretty soon the entire United States will be like that 20% of the Japanese population that prefers to jack off in the privacy of their own little shinshitsus rather than to interact with other living humans.


I know what you’re thinking: Yes, yes, this is all very fine and dandy. But how does it relate to Donald Trump?

In some essential sense, the whole, much-vaunted Sexual Revolution of the 60s and the 70s was one long, covert sexual assault against women. Consent was not an issue. No meant, Aw come on, man! Why are you being so uptight? Are you frigid? Nobody wanted to be uptight, so that changed a lot of “no’s” to “yeses.” (In the Dark Ages, “man” was a kind of all-purpose, genderless interjection, boys and girls, kinda like “dude” is today!)

And that carried over. I mean, I spent a good chunk of the 90s defending Bill Clinton’s behaviors. Which is one of the reasons I dislike Hillary Clinton so heartily today: Of course, you knew. And with your ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ bullshit, you set me up to justify him!

This was the heyday of magazines like Playboy and Penthouse that allowed guys with boring jobs, engineers and lawyers, the same sexual perks as rock ‘n’ roll stars. This was the prevailing culture, at least in the circles I moved in. A few men escaped the cultural conditioning. Many didn’t.

The men at the top took it several steps further. Men like Bill Cosby, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump.

This is why Donald Trump’s pussy-grabbing fails to fill me with indignation. It fills me with contempt but not with indignation. Because what Trump actually said was, When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy.

And for me the operative word there isn't "grab", it's "let": They let you do it.