• blog,  Pop Culture

    Shut Down Thinking!

    There are more and more stories online now about mobs in artistic communities attempting to shutdown wrongthink.  As you may remember, I experienced this in 2013 when I was writing dirty stories, scratch that, passionate stories that involved monogamous, heterosexual couples. Walter Kirn captured my experience in his Harpers article last year Illiberal Values.  Holiday works in accounting, not a colorful field, which is why she originally assumed her pen name. Soon she had another reason: politics. Though Holiday considered herself a liberal (“I was on the ‘coexist’ team”) and held impassioned environmental views that she’d promoted on an earlier blog (“I crusaded against plastic bags and all things plastic…

  • blog,  Pop Culture

    Talking Schitt About Small Towns – Schitts Creek

    Yesterday I caught the tail end of a show on NPR about Schitt Creek, a show on Amazon about a couple who lose everything and have to move to a town they bought as a joke called Schitt Creek to rebuild their lives. That gives you an idea of how much their lives have changed if they are moving to a town they bought on a whim, as a gag, to rebuild.  It’s a riches to rags story. I haven’t seen the show although it sounds good and I want to watch it, but listening to the conversation about it on NPR made me really think about some assumptions in…

  • blog,  Pop Culture

    Meeting Walter Kirn

    The first time I met Walter Kirn was in the late 90s. When I met him again last year, I didn't expect that it would result in an adventure with Harper's Magazine!

  • Attraction,  Medium,  Mindset,  Pop Culture

    The Power of Erotic Imagination and the Conditioning Effects of Porn

    Many articles will debate the moral issues related to porn. Morality is personal and I don’t want to impose my morality on you any more than I want you to impose yours on me. This article is about how porn interferes with your personal power, infringes on your self-mastery and ultimately has the power to derail your life by conditioning you to want something you don’t really want and dulling your desires through easy satisfaction.  Self-Mastery is True Power “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” Lau Tzu We know that these things are important and that achieving them is…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  Pop Culture

    Democrat to Deplorable by Jack Murphy (Book Review)

    Jack Murphy’s book Democrat to Deplorable: Why Nine Million Obama Voters Ditched the Democrats and Embraced Donald Trump has done what media pundits, pollsters, psychologists, political experts and fortune tellers failed to do over the past 18 months—it has put into words a coherent, persuasive and compelling explanation of what so many voters saw in Trump, and not just any Trump voter, but the 9 million voters who crossed party lines, leaving their Democrat label behind even when that meant being labeled “Deplorable.” Using his own personal experience, extensive interviews and a detailed survey, Murphy shows how broken campaign promises, backfiring policy decisions, a complex global economy and a changing culture created…

  • blog,  Medium,  Mindset,  Pop Culture

    Why Kanye West and John Legend’s Friendship is the Best Thing in the World Right Now

    Last week Kanye West blew up Twitter with a series of tweets on creativity, individuality, openness, community and free thought. He’s been silent on Twitter for years but with over 30 million followers, a tweetstorm gets noticed.                 There was nothing controversial about his tweets. In fact, we were all loving them — and Kanye! — and seeing ourselves in his tweets about creativity, individuality, optimism and love. Until we weren’t. Right when Kanye had everyone’s full attention, and our guard was down he dropped a tweet bomb. West Tweeted about Candace Owens, a right-leaning, Trump supporting firebrand personality who is critical of…

  • blog,  Medium,  Pop Culture

    Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life Lecture

    Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has rocketed to fame from being a relatively unknown college professor to online sensation to enemy of the left and then leader of the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web” in the span of a single year. Haters have called Peterson a “dangerous rightwing professor,” “custodian of the patriarchy,” and a “pseudo-intellectual” but all attempts to dismiss and discredit him have only helped to promote him. Why? Anyone who digs deeper than the snarky opinion pieces that attack his audience more than his ideas often find his actual work to be anywhere from innocuous to inspiring, but certainly far…

  • blog,  Medium,  Pop Culture

    Molly Ringwald Revists The Breakfast Club and Totally Forgets What It Was Like To Be A Teen In the Eighties (or Ever)

    Last week, The New Yorker published a personal essay by Molly Ringwald reflecting on the movies of John Hughes through the lens of the current #MeToo movement. #MeToo is a national trend of women and some men who are speaking up about sexual harassment that they have suffered or endured from powerful men who have either had power over their career or just power over their current situation. Unable to speak up at the time of the event, their voices have built upon the momentum of others and there is a tidal wave of stories that are both confession and accusation. John Hughes is famous for directing several films in…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  Pop Culture

    Social Justice Warrior Handbook by Lisa De Pasquale (Book Review)

    In July, I wrote about how we need to support more artists who lean to the right politically. Culture may be downstream from politics as Andrew Breitbart stated, but politics is also greatly influenced by culture.  The intimate relationship between liberal Hollywood and liberal DC politics has been clear for decades. Using artists as media and cultural influencers has been very successful for recent big-name politicians. Efforts to shake up the establishment politicians with the election of Donald Trump need to be supported and reinforced by new and vibrant creative voices. Additionally, in order to shed the outdated and inaccurate image of conservatives as stodgy curmudgeons, we need to let…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  Feminism,  Pop Culture

    Book Review: Three Reasons You Need to Listen to the Audible Version of Free Women, Free Men by Camille Paglia

      I’ve been a fan of Camille Paglia since the summer of 1997 when I sat in the un-air conditioned spare bedroom of my grandmother’s house reading Sexual Personae and wondering at her bold, smart and vibrant tone. The ideas she wrote about were new to me and while I enjoyed the book in my early twenties I can’t say Paglia’s subject matter resonated with me or that I fully understood her concepts until the last few years. I am also a fan of listening to books primarily due to being in a constant time crunch. I can listen in the car or while cleaning, or even through earphones while…