Thursday, February 28, 2008

4-comment on sexism & racism....from a woman

As far as I am concerned, I don't fit into any of your categories!
The only reason I would vote for any candidate is because of their qualifications!

Hillary's record is not good, she will keep us in the war and she will allow more and more illegal's into this country. She has voted with the Republicans and against the wishes of the public. I would not vote for her just because she is a woman, nor would I vote against her for this reason! Do you remember when Bill left the White House and they took gifts that were given to the President, they even took a microwave. I wonder if their bathrooms have hotel towels too?

Obama has not enough experience and has never written any bills of meaning while in office. He would also allow illegal's. I would not vote for him just because he is black or vote against him because he is black! As a matter of fact, when I first heard about him I though he would be a good candidate.

McCain is a disaster! He has a terrible temper, is biased, will keep our troops in Iraq forever. I would not vote for him just because he is white or vote against him for that reason.

I thought that Pelosi would be good for this country when she became Speaker of the House and was I ever wrong! So, I don't like her actions - not because she is white, or because she is a woman but because she is also going against the good of this country!

You are assuming that older men don't like Hillary because she is a woman. Maybe they don't like her for the same reason I do?
Maybe people don't like Obama - not because he is black but because he lacks experience?

This year will be like all the other elections - We will have to chose the one candidate we hope will do the least damage to our country!
Maybe I shouldn't even worry about this country because I believe that soon enough our dear politicians will go ahead with the plan to unite us with Canada and Mexico and we won't even be American anymore but part of a federation. Whatever is best for big business!

3-comment on sexism & racism...from a woman

hear, hear the country is more sexist than racist and
i think obama has a better chance against McCain which is why
I'll cast my vote for him, though
I'd happily live w/either [Hillary or Obama]

2--comment on sexism & racism....from a woman

"Maybe it's because she doesn't "play" the female role--timid, uncertain, passive, naive."

1. I'm not timid, uncertain, passive, or naive, and I pass as a female just fine.

2. You figure if Hillary were playing this role, or even faking it a bit, older white men would decide she'd make a great President?? A single welled-up tear sent this particular demographic into paroxysms of horror about a President who cries when she ought to be negotiating.

My own opinion is that Hillary would be doing a lot better right now if she were competing with someone like Edwards.

To put this typologically, Hillary plays from Extraverted Thinking. She defines a goal, figures out the steps she needs to get there, then assembles the elements that make the steps possible. Some people admire a mind that works like that; some people think it's old-school and lacking in creativity; some neandertals won't tolerate it in a female. But the real problem is that it doesn't make for a collective emotional response.

Obama, by contrast, plays from Introverted Feeling -- as many artists and preachers do. He sees through assumed social boundaries on the basis of felt human values. When a person does this well enough, he sometimes inspires new cultural forms, and people get excited and invested. Elvis Presley, for example, saw right through the boundaries that were assumed to exist between black and white music. He absorbed what he absorbed only on the basis of whether it was any good, and he changed an entire industry.

To put this another way: Obama is looking through the political boundaries that Hillary takes for granted, so he seems fresh and full of new ideas, whereas she just seems knowledgeable about how things already are.

I'm not saying that Obama actually has anything substantive to offer. I'm just talking about the reaction he's getting; it seems to me that Hillary's difficulties have more to do with the contrast between the two than they do with Hillary herself.

Maureen Dowd probably put it best, when she said that Hillary has had the abject misfortune of running in the large, looming shadow of one Secretariat, only to find another galloping past her as she's plodding her way to the finish line. She has so much to offer, but she doesn't have the kind of charisma that moves people and turns them into a force of nature.

Lest you think I'm not agreeing with you, I DO think sexism complicates this scenario; I just don't think this is her primary problem (pun purely unintended).

Entirely my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.

(1) sexism & racism comment... from a man

"Still, I think he has a good chance against McCain..."

"a good chance?"
how sad that he -
with war and economy in shambles -
now only stands a good chance
rather than a certain avalanche and burial of the War Hero or any other Grand Old Warmonger?!
(and that the best potential President and Commander-in-Chief is getting her pantsuits beat off of her by the Great Black&White Hope,
while we live in shades of gray and dismay,
& Congress conducts another pissing contest over dragging troops and progress in Baghdad?!) . . .

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

News York Times & Nathanael West

From a biographical sketch of Nathanael West:

West died young in an automobile accident in 1940. He was with the lady he had married just a few months earlier, Eileen McKenney, protagonist of her sister's play My Sister Eileen . Reporting his death, the New York Times misspelt his name, misnamed his novels, and showed more interest in his wife, while the whole report appeared on the amusements page.

I don't mean to pick on the Times. Its editorials are the last bastion of good sense in the USA.

Sexism and Racism

This country is less racist than sexist, says a female friend of mine. (Actually, she's an email friend.)

A Hillary supporter (like me), she is unhappy that Obama is pulling ahead.

Is this country sexist? Certainly older white men are. I keep getting disgusting messages from these Hillary-haters. Did they hate Madeline Albright like this? Margaret Thatcher? Christie Whitman? What is it about Hillary that threatens so many older white men?

Maybe it's because she doesn't "play" the female role--timid, uncertain, passive, naive.

As for Obama, as everyone knows, he is not your stereotypical black man. He doesn't remind anyone of OJ Simpson. Or Amos or Andy. Heck, he went to Columbia College! (my alma mater) What did a Democrat (Biden?) say of him? He's "clean"?

Colin Powell, another non-stereotypical black (whom I still admire, despite his contribution to the war), had a good chance of becoming President, too.

Of course, lower-class whites may wind up voting against Obama. Still, I think he has a good chance against McCain. A young anti-war candidate against an old warmonger.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

On Vacation

A week of movies...

Best was Persepholis... an animated autobiography-very well done--memorable drawings, memorable stories

Starting out in the evening: Langella's performance fine, but the plot was vague and shallow--

The Band's Visit: slight but pleasant

In Bruges (or, as someone noted, In Fooken Bruges): Riveting, and occasionally very funny, but the ending was too pat--

Juno: See previous post. :

JUNO: Bad Movie

JUNO was clever and well acted but...

our arrogant, un-shut-up-able heroine never regrets getting knocked up at age 16--

and no one ever tells her what a dumb thing she did-

in fact, when she announces to her parents that she's pregnant, she says that she's suffering a lot of pain--meaning: that's my punishment--

but everything apparently turns out to be hunky-dory--

she and her nerdy boyfriend swear their love for each other--

a loving woman adopts the baby (although her own husband is leaving her)

her father is tolerant throughout--

in addition, an abortion clinic is portrayed contemptuously--as are condoms--

MESSAGE: Becoming pregnant at age 16, and unmarried, is just swell--

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Letter to Bank of America

Case Number 29JAN2008-264853
Item Amount: $500.00

Feb. 17, 2008

Warren Boroson addrress

Sharlene Fahr
Bank of America
Item Amount: $500.00

Dear Sharlene Fahr:

My lawyer has advised me to ask Bank of America to compensate me for the $500
I lost because of Bank of America’s failure to stop my $500 check, along with the $30
I paid to have the check stopped.

In addition, in response to my complaint, the N.J. Division of Banking recommended
that “as an initial step, you should try to address this matter in writing with the entity
involved and allow a reasonable period of time for a response.”


phone numbers


1--I canceled within one hour. I phoned Trevor Gutman and left a message that I was stopping the check & didn't want to pay him that much without seeing what kind of work he did. I believe there is a Federal law giving a consumer a right of recission within 72 hours. My wife went to the Bank of America within the hour and put a stop on the check--which didn't work.

2--I felt under pressure to pay Gutman. He had demanded $1,000--for work that might cost a few hundred (some painting, replacing part of a window frame).

3. This was a ploy. He had demanded a huge advance--$1,000--and a natural response is to make a counter-offer.

4. A reputable contractor once told me, Pay them slow.

5. The NEW handyman I hired (a) asked for only $20 an hour, not $30, as Gutman did, and (b) said he wanted to be paid in advance only for his materials.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Tehran Children,-children-or-corpses%3F

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Warning for Older People

I would like to issue a warning to other older people with regard to hiring a handyman—or anyone.
I recently found a business card with the name Trevor Gutman on it. I phoned him and asked him to come over.
He looked over the repairs I had in mind, and demanded $1,000. In advance. Feeling intimidated, I gave him a check for $500. As soon as he left, I put a stop on the check. This was Saturday, Jan. 26. And I phoned Gutman to tell him that I had stopped the check.
But the stop didn’t work. He cashed the check the following Monday. Despite my telling him that I regretted giving him a check and that I had put a stop on the check.
My suggestion to other older people: Never pay anyone in advance.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I feel sick

Trevor Gutman successfully cashed my check! For $500!

After I had put a stop on it via Bank of America!

The stop was made on Jan. 26. A Saturday.

He cashed it on Jan. 28, a Monday.

After I had visited my local BoM in Hackensack and been told that the check had NOT been cashed.

This is the "handyman" who demanded payment in advance for work at my Woodstock NY home.

I feel sick.

I've already complained to the Woodstock police.
I'll complain to the County prosecutor.
I'll speak to my lawyer.
I'll see about small-claims court.
I'll write a letter to the Woodstock newspaper.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Irrational Thought

I started to read Elmer Rice's autobiography, Minority Report--because I'm going to be giving a talk on one of his plays, Counsellor at Law, which was made into a movie--which I will be showing at a meeting of a men's club devoted to movies--good writer--his lines have a nice rhythm, which you would expect from a playwright (he wrote Street Scene and the Adding Machine)--

I read that he wrote a play with Dorothy Parker--

I've always had a crush on Dorothy Parker--(never met her, of course)

And I felt a pang of jealousy--did Rice and DP have a romance?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


So, last night I voted.

I once registered as a Republican. To vote for a Republican named Anderson.

I thought that I had changed my registration.

I'm in the voting booth. I keep pressing the button for Clinton. Nothing happens.

I exit--the machine isn't working, I say.

You have to vote Republican, I'm told.

I voted for McCain.


But better than Huckabee or Romney.

I'd better stop making fun of those Floridians and their chads.


BankofAmerica has sent me a new credit card.
I wonder: Does this new card give me any rewards? Any cash back?
I can't figure it out from the literature accompanying the new card.

But...the old card had "Financial Rewards" printed at the top.
This one doesn't.

In short, BankofAmerica is substituting a new card for the card that gave me some benefits. A money-saving move from BankofAmerica!

BankofAmerica has no shame. Never has.

I'll continue using the old card until it doesn't work. Actually, I'll continue using American Express--and use the BankofAmerica card only when places won't accept AmericanExpress.


What's happened to the news? Now you get teasers. On AOL, the headlines are like: Find out what celebrity was caught shoplifting. Or: Guess which stock rose 25% yesterday.

They do it on the TV news, too. A fire in Brooklyn had an unusual cause. Tune in at 11.

This is news?


Remember the handyman who tricked me into giving him a $500 check in advance? I had phoned him and left a message that I stopped the check. A week has gone by; he hasn't cashed it. The bank's literature told me that even with a stop on a check, someone can cash it--if he deposits it in an ATM the same day as the stop order. (And other circumstances, too.)

The stop order lasts six months. Then I guess I have to renew it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Further Thoughts

What shocked me about this episode was..I had thought xxx and I were on the same side.
That's why I innocently sent him the laconic message

I'm thinking

of giving up on the library.

I didn't realize that he WASN'T on my side. He was working for himself and, indirectly, for the library--to ingratiate himself with the library.

He was "furious"--a word he used--because I blew up his plans.

That's a weakness of manipulative people. They tend to underestimate other people.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


I'm going to present in detail a report of a recent strange and disturbing episode....

At my social club I started a movie club, and was looking for a place to show the movies--where we would choose the movies and introduce them--where there was a big TV. I had asked other members if they wanted to be on the movie committee, and among those who said yes was xxx. I didn't know him at all, but had heard that he could get angry--he had engaged in verbal fisticuffs with someone at our book club, I've been told.

He phones me and says he is arranging to have the local library show our films. Cost: only $110 a session. Only $4 or so a member. No way, I said. We don't want to pay anything. OK, maybe $2.

He calls back. The library MIGHT let us have it for free! He's 90% certain. Great! I tell him.

He calls back--yes, we can have it for free! But the library wants to call it Classic Films. Ok, we'll call it Movie Lovers--no big deal. Oh, and the general public must be invited,too. Well, OK, I say. I hope our social club approves.

xxx keeps telling me what a great negotiator he is.

We'll meet with library officials. (I had never met xx before,by the way.) I'm a little late, and xxx is very angry with me. But I apologize.

Library people tell me that owing to a parking problem, they'll have to check when there's a time slot to show our films. xxx says fourth Tuesday. I'm surprised--I had asked for first Tuesday--and repeat my request. The time they give me isn't great. Conflicts with other meetings.

A librarian says we should check the town's movie program-maybe we could arrange a deal. She hands the name of the contact across the table--and xxx takes it and puts it in his pocket. I'm annoyed. (I thought, mistakenly, that there was an organization called Towne.)

Librarian tells me only I can give talks--no one else, no one without credentials. Do I have credentials? I email them my credentials. (Not much, to be sure.) They are pleased and complimentary.

In emails, I tell them I'd like to start with Passion of Joan of Arc. Librarians say: No silent film, we want a big turnout.
I say how about Counsellor at Law, with Barrymore. They suggest: Citizen Kane. And they give me websites with names of high-ranked movies! Apparently they want to decide which movies to show. I'm disgusted. Ciitizen Kane? Everyone's seen it.

I write back: How about we start with Counsellor, and if that doesn't go over big, we switch to Citizen? And I send over a list of libraries in Bergen County that have tapes of Citizen Kane: All or almost all of them! None has Counsellor.

Librarian writes back: She'll talk it over with head librarian.

And I decide: If they say no, I'm out. They want it all. This would then become the library's movie program--with me as host. Unpaid. My social club would be invited--and have no control at all.

To me my request is reasonable.

Next day, I go to work--I work Wednesdays, in a cubicle with no phone. And I write to xxx:

I am thinking... of giving up on the library.

And all hell breaks loose! ...


are you serious?

after the wonderful e-mail you received from yyyy..

telling you in LAUDITORY terms how much they'd bend over backwards to accomodate you!

please call me at 201-000-0000
i'll be in the rest of today

looking foward eagerly to talk to you

My response--


Have you called the Towne? To see if it can accommodate us?

We want

1. Members leading talks--not just me--
2. Members only (ideally)
3. A good time slot for members.
4. We decide which movies to show.


from xxx

what is going on???

who did you speak to ??

where did this list come from?

cannot negotiate unless i'm totally clued in!!!

please call

are you suddenly unwilling to speak to me??????


I reply:

I'm at work.

Next, he sends me this thunderbolt--in the header, THIS IS WHAT I AM GOING TO SEND TO THE LIBRARY

DEAR yyy AND zzz










I am shocked. I write: Do not send that letter.

I also wrote him: They have met me more than halfway? Are you nuts?

I think: All I've done is challenge the library to let me choose the first film. And xxx says I don't want to work with them? I'm not manly enough to tell them so? I've made impossible demands? They have met me more than half-way--when they want everything?

I once read that distorting reality is a reliable marker for insanity.

I finally get home, and there are wild and angry phone messages from xxx. "I'm furious!" he says.

I phone him. I lose my temper. He is no longer to deal with the library. He is no longer on the movie committee. YOU'RE FIRED! I shout. And hang up.

He sends me a final abusive email message. I don't respond.

But I email the library the next day--is the first movie going to Counsellor? The librarian is cool. They are going to choose all movies, but I can be a guest lecturer if I wish to be. Many thanks! I write back.

And I wound up making an arrangement with the "town" to show movies once a month. Club members can lecture. We can choose the movies.

At night trying to go to sleep....I ruminate about this crazy episode.... My conclusions to follow.


xxx was eager to take control of the club. He was eager to ingratiate himself with the library. He might have told the librarians (when I wasn't there): "I"ll get you whatever you want. I'm a great salesman."

He knows (he thinks) how to win people over: Put a spin on things. They are so laudatory! They have met you more than half way!

He knows how to get his way (he thinks). Call me or I'll never speak to you again! (He also threatens to take me off his mailing list--he sends out emails about politics--which I usually delete

But when I write: "I'm thinking...of giving up on the library" -- he's threatened. I'm not falling for this crap.
His hopes of getting an in with the library--of perhaps being HIRED--are flying out the window.

I was the mark--but I stopped behaving like a mark.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

About Falconetti

I took a course on film documentaries in the 1960s, and saw “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” a silent film directed by the noted Danish director, Carl Theodor Dreyer. I was bowled over. Shaken. The performance of the actress, identified in gthe credits as Maria Falconetti, was uncanny. I felt that I was watching Joan of Arc herself.
I asked the instructor, who was that actress? All we know, he told me, is that her name was Maria Falconetti; otherwise, she’s a mystery. No one knows anything about her or what happened to her.
I did a little research into movie history. Everyone agreed that her performance was sublime, but…there was no information about who she was or what happened to her.
I was working for Pageant magazine at the time (who remembers Pageant?), and the editor, Howard Cohn, agreed that I could write an article about this gifted, mysterious woman. If I could find out something about her and what became of her.

The NY Public Library had two folders on Falconetti. One was devoted to Maria—just ecstatic reviews of her performance as Joan. One was devoted to Renee, a good-looking young actress with the Comedie francaise, at the time the youngest actress ever accepted into that theater group. Lots of information about her, hardly anything about the great Maria Falconetti.

I wrote to Dreyer, and he sent me some stuff he had written about Maria Falconetti, praising her to the skies. But he didn’t know what happened to her. Or much about her. (I had dopily sent him some US stamps, for him to respond. He wrote back: What am I supposed to do with US stamps?)

I wrote to all the Falconettis in Paris. Are you related to Maria Falconetti, who starred in The Passion?

Weeks went by. I gave up on writing the article.
And then a letter arrived from Paris. From Helene Falconetti. She identified herself as Falconetti’s daughter. And asked:

Why do you call my mother Maria when her name was Renee?

Electrifying! There was no Maria Falconetti! Just Renee Jeanne Falconetti!

I now had my story. I even found Renee Falconetti’s long obituary in an Argentinean newspaper.

I informed the NY Public Library theatre division that it should combine its folders on Maria and Renee. The curator gave me a hard time. But then Carl Dreyer sent him a copy of my article—Dreyer had copied it and sent it out to a flock of people—and today, there’s just one folder. On Renee.
My article in Pageant appeared early in the 1960s. I have to go look for it.

The fact that there was no Maria explains why the NYTimes, in reviewing The Passion in 1928, wrote “Maria Falconetti Gives an Unsurpassed Performance as Joan of Arc,” and didn’t run an obituary when Renee Falconetti died in Argentina years later.

I just helped start a movie club here in North Jersey, for a group of older men, and the first movie we’ll show is The Passion of Joan of Arc. Starring Renee Jeanne Falconetti.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Memories of Eros

An academic has asked me about Eros and Fact magazines--I worked there for Ralph Ginzburg--

Third issue:

I found the quotes for the Marilyn M article--
(Ralph told me that JoeD at a restaurant went over to Edw Bennett Williams, the lawyer, with a copy of the magazine and wanted to sue!)
Aphrodisiacs--Jim Atwater wrote it altho my name is on it--I did the research--Atwater didn't want his name used--(Atwater, a Time writer, became the dean of a journalism school)
Sam Roth--is there a Sam Antrim? I thought Atwater wrote it--
Burns ?
How do porcupines ?
Brothel in art--written by a Life magazine photographer, a woman--Jane Howard was her name! I just remembered-- I edited her article--I complained about the internal rhyme in the first line, but she wouldn't take it out--
Poem--written by Shoshana Ginzburg?
Ralph hated the etching, and made the page as dark as possible--

Fourth issue:

Love in the Bible -- ?
Jewel Box review-- ?
Is there a John Erno Russell?
John Hejno is Jim Atwater
Shepherd Raymond is ME! I thought the lead would please Ralph--justifying its inclusion in the magazine--
Limericks-- Dan Greenburg?
Ivan Grazni is John Sack--Ralph liked wild names for pseudonyms--

Dan Greenburg wrote How to Be a Jewish Mother--he was brought in as editor--young and inexperienced--and nasty--(psychoanalysis seems to have straightened him out)--he married the writer Nora Ephron!
Anyway, DG insisted that if anyone made a change on a page, that person should put his or her initials next to the change--WB, RL--
Now, when there was a printer's error, which we didn't have to pay to change, Rosemary and I would insert PE--printer's error--used throughout publishing--

Greenberg walked around the office angrily one day, sputtering, Who the hell is PE?

Rosemary Latimore, who was simply wonderful, would mention that on occasion and quietly laugh and laugh--

I didn't remember that David Bar-Illan, the pianist, wrote articles for Eros--he became a higher-up in the Israeli government--
Bar-Illan rewrote the article I had written about Goldwater for Fact magazine, and I was so incensed, I quit--
He also wrote, for Fact, a Much-Needed Upbraiding of Long-Hair Music, about homosexuals in the music world--under a pseudonym--(my title)

earlier letter:

> Several Time magazine writers freelanced for us
> anonymously--John Sack would know--I wrote under
> other names, too--I'll check my own copies--a Time
> magazine writer wrote the Nan Britton article, which
> I researched--(and I got to speak with Nan
> Britton!)--he became dean of a journalism school out
> west--
> Ralph and I argued over what should go into the
> issues--I hated Sexercise, for example--
> And I wanted to run an unexpurgated translation of
> Lysistrata that I found at the NY Acad of Med
> library--never published!--but Ralph had John Sack
> do a new translation--which Dwight Macdonald praised
> when he testified in the Eros court case--
> Frank Brady, who is chair of the journalism dept at
> St Johns, was in the business department of Eros--

> by the way, I joined after the 2nd issue--having
> been working in the PR department of Western
> Electric--
> I'm not sure that we had any plans for a fifth
> issue--