Author Archive: Paul Epps

What Did You Think “Woke” Meant?

14 Dec 2017 /


Year in Search 2017

14 Dec 2017 /

The annual Google search trends are available for 2017.

A couple of surprises to me:

  1. The third most searched for person in the world (behind Matt Lauer and Meghan Markle) was Nadia Toffa, whom I’ve never heard of.
  2. The most searched for “How To” item was “How to make slime.”

Every Male Journalist Will Be Famous for 15 Minutes

12 Dec 2017 /

Either for a sex-related termination or for botching another “bombshell” Trump story . . .


He Was in No Other Place

10 Dec 2017 /

Cross and Christians, end to end, I examined. He was not on the Cross. I went to the Hindu temple, to the ancient pagoda. In none of them was there any sign. To the uplands of Herat I went, and to Kandahar. I looked. He was not on the heights or in the lowlands. Resolutely, I went to the summit of the fabulous mountain of Kaf. There only was the dwelling of the legendary Anqa bird. I went to the Kaaba of Mecca. He was not there. I asked about him from Avicenna the philosopher. He was beyond the range of Avicenna . . . I looked into my own heart. In that, his place, I saw him, He was in no other place.

The Way of the Sufi

The Country is Turning Into One Big Junior Prom

9 Dec 2017 /

That’s interesting. Have any other men tried to kiss her? Or is that the whole list? Why does anyone need to know about this?

I’ve tried to kiss women. I hope Al Franken is saving a place for us in the unemployment line.

There seem to be an awful lot of apparently adult women who should not be allowed to leave home without a chaperone . . .


Liberalism and the Wrath of the Privileged Whites

9 Dec 2017 /
Hillary Clinton

The largely white and affluent solid liberals are notionally egalitarian and opposed to white privilege, but they include many of the most privileged whites in America. . . .

Millions of working-class whites felt that Obama was talking about them, too, when he said, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

And many of those same Americans knew that Hillary Clinton was talking about them when she ranted about the “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it” deplorables.


All the Elements For Your Happiness Are Already Here

8 Dec 2017 /

Be yourself.
Life is precious as it is.
All the elements for your happiness are already here.
There is no need to run, strive, search or struggle.
Just Be.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Alien-Earthling Relationships

7 Dec 2017 /

Mr. Boffo


Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. — Picasso


Al Franken and Ted Kennedy

6 Dec 2017 /
President Barack Obama and Senator Ted Kennedy

I’m old enough to remember when a U.S. senator could actually kill a woman and not only NOT resign but be considered a legislative luminary, the lion of the Democratic party.

(If you’re not old enough to remember that, google “Ted Kennedy.”)

I’m hearing that Sen. Al Franken will be resigning his seat within the next day.

The last straw was an allegation from a woman who said that Franken, before he was a senator, appeared to be about to kiss her and she moved away:

He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer.’

Her brain “had to work really hard.”

Franken categorically denies the allegation but that hasn’t stopped an avalanche of senators from calling for his resignation, none of whom apparently have ever in their life tried to kiss someone who wasn’t interested.

Satan and Ted Kennedy must be having a good laugh together. Those were the good old days, Ted. Pass the Jameson . . .


A Visit to Stahl House

3 Dec 2017 /

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Presumption of Guilt

1 Dec 2017 /

But some female lawmakers, like New York’s Kathleen Rice, have begun to ask why elected officials aren’t being drummed out like their private sector counterparts.

“You see the actions that CBS, NBC take when there are allegations against very well-known men in positions of power, and we don’t do the same,” Rice said. “I think it’s a disgrace.”

Kathleen Rice

Kathleen Rice

“Allegations.”

She’s talking about Al Franken and John Conyers. The Franken case has photographic evidence, so the allegations against him are provably true.

But Conyers vehemently denies the allegations made against him. Why should he be “drummed out”? Why is there a presumption of guilt?

Anyone who’s ever been alone with another person can be the subject of allegations. Why is there a presumption in favor of the accuser?

A case study on false allegations, which you probably remember if you’re old enough, is the McMartin preschool trial:

Members of the McMartin family, who operated a preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, were charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. Accusations were made in 1983. Arrests and the pretrial investigation ran from 1984 to 1987, and the trial ran from 1987 to 1990. After six years of criminal trials, no convictions were obtained, and all charges were dropped in 1990. When the trial ended in 1990, it had been the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history — Wikipedia

When charges were finally dismissed against one of the defendants, teacher Ray Buckey, he had been jailed for five years.


Matt Lauer’s Secret Sex Lair!

30 Nov 2017 /

Lauer’s private office at storied 30 Rockefeller Plaza contained a secret button that could essentially turn that office into a secret sex lair. — Fox News

The “secret button” closed the office door and locked it, if the doorknob was in the locked position.

If closing the door and locking it turns an office into a “secret sex lair,” isn’t everyone’s office a secret sex lair?

I read elsewhere that Lauer’s behavior included “luring” female employees to his office. How is “luring” different from inviting? Did he drag around a nice pair of shoes on a fishhook?

One more: according to Variety, “despite being married, Lauer was fixated on women, especially their bodies and looks.”

Ask not for whom the bell tolls . . .


Who Will Be Left to Scold the Scolders?

29 Nov 2017 /

Some of the questions Matt Lauer asked Bill O’Reilly during their Today Show interview on Sept. 19:

[Your accusers] came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think of how intimidating that must have been, how nerve-racking that must have been! Doesn’t that tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated by you?

 

Over the last six months since your firing, have you done some soul searching? Have you done some self-reflection? And have you looked at the way you treated women that you think now or think about differently now than you did at the time?

 

You were probably the last guy in the world that they wanted to fire because you were the guy that the ratings and the revenues were built on, you carried that network on your shoulders for a lot of years. So doesn’t it seem safe to assume that the people at Fox News were given a piece of information or given some evidence that simply made it impossible for you to stay on at Fox News?


A Breakdown of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

24 Nov 2017 /

Another day, another batch of sexual misconduct allegations . . .

I would put these into two categories:

  1. Allegations that should be adjudicated in a court of law, like rape and anything involving a person below the age of consent.
  2. Everything else: unwanted sexual advances, lewd remarks, etc.

In some states, like Alabama, the age of consent is 16, so a sexual advance aimed at a 16-year-old in Alabama would be in Category 2. A sexual advance toward a 14-year-old would be in Category 1, even in Alabama.

Category 1

Regarding Category 1, I’m hearing things like “We went out for drinks, I invited him home and he raped me, and then on a later occasion, we went out for drinks again and I invited him home and he raped me again.” Or “I went home with him, he raped me, I spent the night, and we had consensual sex the next morning.”

If women are going on second dates with rapists and having consensual sex with rapists, I’m not sure I even know what rape is anymore. In any case, rape allegations should be addressed in a court of law. Due process, appropriate remedies, etc.

(As an aside, I hope it’s not out of line in a blame-the-victim way to say that if I had a daughter, I’d advise her not to go to someone’s home, apartment, hotel room, frat house bedroom — i.e., any place where there will be no independent witnesses — unless you’re confident that you can handle anything that might happen there. Actually, as I read that over, it seems like good advice for sons as well.)

Category 2

Is there any way to know ahead of time if a sexual advance is wanted or unwanted? Even with your wife or girlfriend, you don’t always know, right? You could ask — e.g., “Can I kiss you?” — but even that’s a sexual advance, isn’t it?

If having made an unwanted advance or lewd remark at any time within the last 40 years is a crime, we’ll all hang side by side. And not just the men. It’s gonna be a swingin’ party!

You might say that I don’t really understand the female point of view on this topic. But the targets are not all female . . .

When I heard a man report that Kevin Spacey “forcefully put his hand on my genitals,” I thought “So apply a forceful rejoinder to his genitals. That should clear the air.”

Al Franken grabbed my ass at the state fair 10 years ago.

I’m not a fan of Al Franken as a comedian or as a senator, but why are incidents like this worthy of national attention?

We’ve all had hands on our genitals, hands on other people’s genitals, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and gratification. We all have conflicts, impulses, disappointments . . . things happen that we don’t like.

We act on impulses sometimes in ways that are clumsy, crude, inelegant, insensitive . . .

Again, let’s adjudicate the Category 1 cases in the courthouse, but with no sexual advances, there’s no sex. An advance is made, accepted or declined. Let’s move on.


The Emperor’s New Clothes

15 Nov 2017 /

I see plenty of clothes that I like
But I won’t go anywhere nice for a while
All I want to do is just sit here
And write it all down and rest for a while

 


Our Most Valuable Asset

15 Nov 2017 /

The annual “People First” awards were given out at the office today. I don’t mean to be cynical but I was reminded of an old Dilbert comic . . .

Dilbert


Who Will Scold the Scolders?

11 Nov 2017 /

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/the-wrap/article/George-Takei-Accused-of-Sexual-Assault-of-Former-12349407.php

Oh my! Pants! Are around my ankles!

Of all the smug moralizers in the world, I can’t think of one offhand who can out-smug George Takei. He’s gay, you know, which gives him an elevated moral perch from which to sermonize and pontificate. You don’t like it? Are you a homophobe?

The recent surge in sexual harassment accusations among celebrities and media members, who are themselves usually the ones most likely to be dealing out the admonishments to our nation’s deplorables, is a schadenfreude booster, but it does raise the question of who will be left to scold the scolders?


Crossing the Border

11 Nov 2017 /

It takes so little, so infinitely little, for a person to cross the border beyond which everything loses meaning: love, conviction, faith, history. Human life — and herein lies its secret — takes place in the immediate proximity of that border, even in direct contact with it; it is not miles away, but a fraction of an inch.


Good Morning Midnight

9 Nov 2017 /

Emily Dickinson

Good Morning—Midnight—
I’m coming Home—
Day—got tired of Me—
How could I—of Him?

Sunshine was a sweet place—
I liked to stay—
But Morn—didn’t want me—now—
So—Goodnight—Day!

I can look—can’t I—
When the East is Red?
The Hills—have a way—then—
That puts the Heart—abroad—

You—are not so fair—Midnight—
I chose—Day—
But—please take a little Girl—
He turned away!

— Emily Dickinson

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