November 1st, 2010 | Uncategorized

Photo on 2010-11-01 at 13.17 #4

Vote today for Nancy Goldstein in the WaPo’s America’s Next Great Pundit contest! UPDATE! Voting extended till noon on Tuesday 11/2.

And vote tomorrow, for god’s sake, to stave off the Teahadis. If you live in Vermont, while you’re casting your ballot for Shumlin, also vote for Philip Baruth for state senate. We badly need more novelists in government. And look. He made very clever use today of the annoying post-it type ads that always obscure the headlines on our local newspaper–you can peel it off and wear it like a campaign button.

Oh! Also, check out the latest issue of the online feminist journal TRIVIA, whose theme is “Are Lesbians Going Extinct?” It includes coverage of the recent Lesbian Lives in the 1970s conference that was held at CLAGS.

71 Responses to “Vote!”

  1. QTP says:

    Thanks for that nice mention of Philip. He’ll be a great senator. And then he’ll write a novel about it.

  2. Dr. Empirical says:

    My congresswoman is facing a barrage of attack ads citing her radical liberal agenda. My kind of lady!

  3. Ellen Orleans says:

    Crossing my fingers for a good outcome to the elections — for governors, senators, congressional reps, and, of course, pundits.

    Meanwhile, I created a short video and posted it on YouTube. It’s about yearning, contentment, and ludicrous situations. I think it passes the Bechdel movie test…


  4. Antoinette says:

    Of course I vote. I come from a long line of liberals — My grandpa on my mom’s side was an early labor organizer who got the tar whomped out of him regularly for it, and my dad was a staunch WWII veteran who taught me very early that I had to use my own head (and heart) while voting. Both would rise up outta their graves and haunt me if I didn’t. But I’m beginning to lose faith in the process.

  5. HAAA! ellen, that is freakin’ hilarious! how’d you do it?

  6. Ian says:

    Ellen! That’s brilliant! I can so identify with the wistful thinking and I love the sceptical friend in glasses. I’ve seen a couple of these things posted on Facebook.

    Just thought I’d write to say good luck for the elections and that, despite the noise, the Teahadis don’t make massive gains. I’ve watched some of the videos and read some of the news reports and my mind still boggles at the type of opposition you have to fight against. Seriously.

    Still, you could always reinstate the Confederacy. That would help!

  7. j.b.t. says:

    I’m beginning to think reinstating the confederacy isn’t such a bad idea. Just as long as we can annex New Orleans. Really – give the fundies their own country to mess up and leave us alone with our civil rights for all and social services.

  8. Ellen Orleans says:

    Alison and all… The movie making web page is

    You can choose from a limited cast of characters and settings for free. For $5, your choices open up. For instance, I had to pay for the privilege of having two women talk to each other instead of a man and a women. The sauna setting was free.

    They give you a range of robotic voices, but many of them are pretty incoherent.

    It’s quick to make a basic movie, but, wow, I really got lost in the details of camera angles, expressions, and gestures. Up to 2 a.m. fiddling with it and then hours more the next day.

    Part of this is because the web page software is so slow to reformat itself.

    As a writer, I loved the idea of simply writing dialog, even though you can’t control the way the animated characters say it.

    “Amen, Sister!”

  9. Dr. Empirical says:

    My 25 seconds of blatant showing off does not pass the Bechdel test, but I’m rather proud of it anyway:

    Ellen, I’ll have to wait until I get home to watch your epic.

  10. monz says:

    @ Dr. Empirical # 9…that was just so super cool. Congratulations, you certainly deserve to wear the S-Man teeshirt.

    @ Ellen Orleans # 3…what an awesome job with making that video. As someone who’s just taken a big step getting out of a comfort zone, I loved the delivery of a honest and serious message with so much tongue-in-cheek humor. Way to go.

  11. Calico says:

    I sent my absentee ballots to Burlington (VT) City Hall a couple of weeks ago.
    Waiting with baited breath to see what the results are…

  12. Ellen O says:

    Dr E — is that you on the trapeze? As one who is not thrilled about heights, I am doubly-impressed.

  13. Ian says:

    Wow! Dr. E! You really do fly through the air with the greatest of ease! Can you jump tall buildings with just a single bound as well?

    Very impressive. Not an easy thing to do at all to leap from having your hips on the trapeze to being caught by your partner I should imagine.

  14. judybusy says:

    Nicely done, Ellen and Dr. E.! Great segue to the trapeze—I think I recall that this is fairly new for you. A creative way to (literally) stretch yourself, which Ellen’s movie is about as well. Like Ellen, I am not good with heights, so I admire you. (A couple of years ago, I climbed the top of a Mayan pryamid, just telling myself I’d get myself down. Somehow. Putting that first foot over the edge took several tries. The entire tour group watched me climb down, backwards on the steps, slowly, painfully. I was actually quite proud I didn’t require helo assistance!)

    A FB friend posted a little movie about the teahadi (thanks, Ian!) using the same program.

  15. Ian says:

    Don’t thank me for Teahadi, judybusy. The first time I saw it was AB using it in her post!

  16. mr grump says:

    if i may…
    we’re very unreconstructed *

  17. mr grump says:

    er * its not clear but these people are rallying in support of the black panthers *

  18. Dr. Empirical says:

    Ellen, that was wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Judy, For a lot of people, that first jump off the trapeze platform takes several tries. Knowing your limits, and going just a bit beyond them, is admirable no matter where those limits might be.

  19. LondonBoy says:

    OMG, Dr Empirical is a man! (Or possibly a particularly hirsute woman, I suppose.) Who knew? I’d always assumed Dr E. was female.
    Ellen, nice video too – made me smile.

    Anyway, I just wanted to wish everyone luck for the election results. How different from just two years ago! I’m too depressed by the expected outcome to stay up and watch here, but I hope they aren’t as bad as expected.

    Shall we do the traditional joke?…
    “What are the two scariest words in the English language?”
    “President Palin.”
    Oh, how I hope these elections don’t give her the opening she’s looking for.

  20. Dr. Empirical says:

    I think I’ll take that as a compliment, Londonboy.

    (Yes, Ellen O, that’s me, if that hasn’t become clear by now.)

    About two years ago, it began to dawn on me that I was extremely ill. I landed in the hospital two months later, and have since been slowly climbing my way back to health. Studying trapeze beats the Hell out of going to the gym.

  21. Acilius says:

    I hope we don’t get President Palin, but I don’t think she’s particularly likely to come into being anytime soon. Not only would she be a longshot for the Republican nomination in 2012, but a president’s reelection chances don’t necessarily suffer when his party gets hammered at midterm. Look at Clinton or Reagan.

    Whatever you do, don’t look at newly reelected US Senator David Vitter, champion of the religious right and regular client of sex workers.

  22. Dr. Empirical says:

    While I have no respect at all for Palin’s intelligence, education or basic moral character, I think she’s smart enough to realize that being a media figurehead with no responsibilities pays a lot better than being President. That’s really what she’s all about.

  23. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Speaking of voting, it’s a sad night for Iowa… it looks all 3 of the Iowa Supreme Court judges who were up for vote are going to lose their jobs. All because of their unanimous decision in support of same sex marriage! I am so depressed right now.

  24. Dr. Empirical says:

    Now that most of the results are in, I think I can honestly say that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected. Of the outright bugfuck-crazy candidates, Michelle Bachman was re-elected, and Rand Paul is in, but Sharon Angle, Carl Paladino and Christine O’Donnell are all out, and it’s not looking good for Joe Miller.

    Sadly, the vapid corporate shills did pretty well. Former hedge fund manager Pat Toomey is now my junior senator, and billionaire Medicare huckster Rick Scott is now governor of Florida, probably counting both my parents as vassals.

    But my “radical liberal” congresswoman is back!

  25. Mentor says:

    [Mary Elizabeth @24:
    As a bit of good news (and a reminder) for Iowa, AB will be speaking at UofI this Friday, 5Nov. (For more details see the
    Events link above.) –Mentor]

  26. Kate L says:

    A conservative Republican sweep out here on the High Plains Sam Brownback is our new governor. Personally, I’ll count myself lucky not to be burned as a witch during the next four years. Oh, sure, it’s ok for one of us to recant and run for the senate from Delaware, but to teach here in Smallville? That’s very different!

  27. Andrew B says:

    There has been some talk recently about what the DTWOF characters would be up to now. I wonder what Samia would think of the word “teahadi”. She’s not a practicing Muslim and no doubt she has no use for the Tea Party, but she still might object to it. Jihad is an important concept within Islam, open to a wide range of interpretations, and its appropriation by violent radicals is at best a distortion. Non-Muslims ought not to accept that distortion.

    Americans can find plenty of examples of intolerant, potentially violent extremism at home. They are much more relevant to understanding the Tea Party than Islam.

    Why not just call the Tea Party by their initials? And when they get used by the likes of the Koches, well, then they are used TP.

  28. Acilius says:

    @Dr E #23: I’m with you- I think Palin’s top concern is her income. I’d be surprised if she ran for president while she’s still getting big-money offers to trade on her celebrity. Once her star fades and she needs to remind people who she was, that’s when she’ll run.

    @Andrew B #28: Good point about Islam. The TP crowd at first accepted the label “teabagger”; I say we keep calling them that. Or, we could just call them “Republicans.” They don’t seem to be anything other than cheerleaders for the right-wing of that party. It’s depressing, really; even the Pat Buchanan campaign had a grassroots element that didn’t altogether fit into the usual right-wing mold. This crowd, though, it mystifies me what they think they are adding to the conversation.

  29. Ginjoint says:

    I am beyond depressed right now.

  30. Ginjoint says:

    However, awesome video, Ellen! Not only well-written, but well-directed too. BTW, does that software allow for naked people?

    Dr. E, those were some pretty slick moves there.

    I’m off to look at the best signs from Stewart & Colbert’s recent “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear,” to try and cheer myself up by seeing smart people.

  31. Alex K says:

    @Ginjoint: Whaddaya mean, beyond depressed? Americans TOOK BACK AMERICA ! ! ! Socialism rejected, traditional values upheld ! ! ! Hold your head high, woman — YOU’RE NUMBER ONE ! ! !

    Here in London, now, I woke up to just another day of slash-and-burn cuts in support to the poor, the disabled, the single-parenting, the dispossessed. All that, without even the excuse of a proper military force to spend it on: Can you imagine that we won’t be buying aircraft for one of our two aircraft carriers — whilst the USA boasts, what is it, ELEVEN, ten Nimitz- and one Enterprise-class? **SALUTES ! ! !** And all with AEROPLANES ! ! !

    Time to get out there, USA, and SHOW AMERICAN PRIDE by KICKIN’ SOME FOREIGNER ASS ! ! ! Time for another tidy little war, sez I. My pick for target is… VENEZUELA ! ! ! Hugo Chavez — doncha just hateim? Socialists with oil — gotta love it, gotta steal it ! ! !

    And yes, God help us all, we in the UK will support you in the UN as you Monroe-doctrine maraud your way back toward self-esteem.

    With a shout-out to all my DTWOF mama-grizzlies — U S A ! ! ! U S A ! ! ! U S A ! ! !

  32. Dr. Empirical says:

    But Alex, what did you think of Ellen’s film?

  33. Alex K says:

    @33: My pastor said I shouldn’t watch it. I take things like that to her first.

  34. Alex K says:

    Oh, wotthehell wotthehell. There’s a dance in the old dame yet. I’ll volunteer for more Bible study and make it up to the pastor somehow that I went behind her back for Ellen Orleans.

    The film — well, Doc, my life is shards and regrets just now. Yep. Bad choices, misplaced trust, nothing to do but shoulder the new load (when there is less, why should it weigh so much more?) and move along. In the immortal words of Sharron Engle: (Wo)MAN UP.

    Brava / bravo to you, Doc, for your own salto vitale.

  35. Ian says:

    I’ve missed you, Alex K!

  36. Olivia says:

    I’m kind of sad about the entire election. I’m sad because I don’t understand why everyone can’t pull together for the good of mankind. I am not an Obama supporter for my own reasons but he did do me one favor in the past two years.
    I am a small business owner and I’ve been on a permanent payment plan with the IRS for years. If it weren’t for them, I might actually make a profit!!!!
    He kept them off of my back and now I’m thinking that maybe they will be knocking at my door anytime soon. I honestly don’t know which way to turn and I hate politics.
    I get so darn tired of hearing the bashing of Republicans from Democrats and the bashing of Democrats from Republicans…etc.
    In the end, does it really matter? We’ll all be gone somewhere??? I try my best to be a friend to everyone no matter who or what they stand for. It pains me to know the hatred in this world. I wouldn’t judge a soul because I am not perfect.

    On a lighter note, I thoroughly enjoyed the trapeze moment. Almost makes me want to try it.

    Ellen in Orleans…I loved your video!

  37. Acilius says:

    Thanks for the laugh, Alex K!

    I’m sick of the Republican and Democratic parties. The Whigs went out of business, why can’t they?

  38. bean says:

    #9 Dr. E: is that as much fun as it looks? and, is it a violation of blog peanut gallery etiquette to ask where you study/practice?

  39. ksbel6 says:

    The only 2 things important about this election in my opinion are that puppy mills will no longer be allowed in the state of Missouri and all 3 judges in Iowa lost their jobs. I’m so very happy for all the dogs of the world and so very sad for gay rights. Seriously, puppy mills are evil places. But seriously, how can the people of Iowa be so completely against something that has been happening without problems in their state for over a year now? It really does just hurt.

  40. LondonBoy says:

    @Kate L #27:
    I’m not sure whether this counts as good news or bad news for you, but almost certainly Brownback is just taking the role of Governor of Kansas for four years, so he can sit out the 2012 election. He’s really got his eye on the big prize: 2016. His strategy is clear: having built up a profile as a right-winger in the Senate, he’s now going to “prove” that he’s capable of acting as a chief executive too. Look for a number of high-profile “initiatives” on jobs, economic issues etc. over the next couple of years. As the economy improves overall, these “initiatives” will appear to work, giving him the image of a competent administrator. Meanwhile, he’ll engage in a little bipartisanship on trivial issues. Result: a viable presidential candidate in 2016. He’ll try to re-brand himself as no longer an extremist: don’t be fooled.

  41. Dr. Empirical says:

    Flying trapeze is even more fun than it looks. I went up to Flyschool Circus Arts in May, thinking I’d try it once. I’ve been back every weekend since, sometimes twice. I gave my best friend’s wife a lesson as her wedding present. She’s not an athlete by any means, but she had a great time!

    Flyschool has a split season, spring and fall. It has to close during the summer when the land is used for its intended purpose, as a summer camp. The rig comes down so the kids won’t climb on it at night. Halloween was the last day for flying until warm weather returns.

    I also study static trapeze (as opposed to flying trapeze) and tightwire at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.

  42. grumpy says:


    [Yes? –Mentor]

  43. Feminista says:

    Ellen: Good work,sister. Witty and ironic.

    Dr. E.: Looks like fun.

  44. Alex K says:

    And now, back to finger length (can’t remember if it was Mo or Sydney who had those hyperphalanges…) and the tidemarks left by antenatal hormone surges:

    Those Neanderthaler were shaggy in both senses of the word.

  45. Acilius says:

    @Alex K: “Scientists from Liverpool University have already claimed to have found a link between the relative lengths of the second and third digits on the hands of various primate species and their tendency to be promiscuous.”

    I wonder why this sentence makes me suspect that those scientists are actually just setting us up for a joke that involves pulling their fingers…

  46. grumpy says:

    oh mentor *

    by leaving an email before i meant not to intrude upon the blog * feel free to delete this after reading *

    as per the most recent ostensible topic * ie 70s movements * the picture i linked was intended to show that in an era of much turbulence and when lesbianism was barely on most people*s horizons * many people were indeed capable of understanding a multi*issue perspective while preserving a very human warmth * because the women demonstrating in support of the black panthers have such nice smiles the photo remains one of my favorite from the time *

    i have less than zero tolerance for the *i just want to get married* crowd * i first became depressed when i realized in the early nineties that more and more at dykepoetryslams the feeling was *i don*t care about politics, i just want my bacon*

    people might consider that ab*s book is distributed in china * a country where there are PUBLIC executions * history CAN go backwards * comfort is the enemy *

    from very young i*ve striven not to be the average swm * i crumple very easily * fer instance when there was an extended discussion on j lennon i contributed one of my very few posts which was minor question * yet when someone with a slightly shrill note asked that the topic be dropped i didn*t even check in for almost a month * in this case i didn*t get to sleep until three *

    just wondering why the photo was deleted *

    take care all *

    [Howdy. I’m not aware of any photos being deliberately deleted. However, if someone attempts to insert a photo directly into a message, the web-stuff might clear it out. In any case, it appears that a link to a photo was included your message#17 above. –Mentor]

  47. Mixelle says:

    Just sent Post-Dykes to Watch Out For to Australia through The whole world loves Alison! 🙂

  48. Kate L says:

    My laryngitis has turned into bronchitis, and my doctor started me on cipro antibiotic as of this morning. Haven’t been following the news these past few days. I vaguely recall something on air about Keith Olbermann being suspended but I hope that was the fever talking.

    Kate L

  49. judybusy says:

    Get better, soon Kate! I highly recommend staying off the news for the duration. You need your strength!

  50. cd in Madison says:

    The Olbermann news is true. I’m bereft. What will I do with that hour before Rachel Maddow?

  51. NLC says:

    By the way, Amazon has just started listing The Complete Wendel, introduction by guess who.

  52. ksbel6 says:

    And when you click on her name, ALL of her books come up now…remember way back when it was nearly impossible to get one’s hands on DTWOF?

  53. Jain says:

    No time to watch utubes until the weekend: felicitations Ellen Orleans & Dr. Empirical!

  54. Pam I. says:

    Hijack – into what you may think is relevant territory – cartoons – the annual Observer short graphic story results are in today’s paper. Here’s the link , it clicks through to winners from 3 more years too. Enjoy.

  55. Kate L says:

    The cipro seems to be having an effect. I suspect that I’d have been in serious condition, now, if I hadn’t called in on Friday and finally got them to prescribe antibiotics. Something is going around, and it can be serious. My dog keeps looking at me with what may be compassion, although she may just be sizing me up if she ends up needing to eat me for sustenence. I’ve been careful to keep her food bowl and water bowl FULL.

    Friday night, I had a feverish dream in which Rachel Maddow came to my home to discuss the issues of the day. Then I realized that, ever since my home cable was repaired, I can actually get MSNBC at home. Turns out, I was just watching her show.

  56. khatgrrl says:

    Kate L. Too funny. Glad that you are on the mend. Hopefully the dog isn’t really sizing you up. Seems like something my cats would do. “Oh crap, we’ve been without food for an hour. Let’s eat her!”

    We had to put our ancient Golden down a few weeks ago and I am in desperate need of canine companionship. There is nothing like hugging a dog when you are feeling blue.

  57. Renee S. says:

    Hope you, Holly, and Dr. W are not glowing in the dark right now. Just read about the nuke shutdown in Vernon.

  58. judybusy says:

    khatgrrl, so sorry to hear about your dog. I have both dogs and cats–the dog is new. I already know losing her will be so hard, because they actually seem to care about you. With the cats, it’s just servitude. Pleasant, but servitude nonetheless….So, my condolences on your loss.

  59. grumpy says:

    mentor * it was probably all those four hour nights *

    (goes back to shy lurking)

  60. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Don’t abandon the trapeze thread just yet — my beloved Wally is a trapeze artist if you count flying with Alex Gold at Omega Institute as an artist. He looks just like you on the wires, Dr. E! COmplete with harness and catching and all that. He agrees that it’s a great way to get into shape, and he still works out in his trapeze duds.

    And as for the election results, I want to see what happens in 2012 when the Republicans fix the rich pepople’s economy and leave the poor people’s economy in ruins.

  61. PBS has been showing a series called Circus which follows the one-ring European=sytle Big Apple Circus out of New York, I think. Watching the arduous rehearsals and learning about the social organization/stratification of the community has been riveting — with “flyers” at the top of the echelon, deservedly so, in my opinion.

  62. Dr. Empirical says:

    They filmed an episode of “Circus” at the Philly School of Circus arts last week. I wasn’t there, bu many of my friends were. If I get notice of when it airs I’ll try to announce it here.

  63. Cathy says:

    Wow, Khatgirl, I just read your post minutes after consoling two guys who had to put down their dog. I saw one of them on the street with their sweet surviving dog as I was walking to work, and he chatted with me a few minutes before revealing they had just left the vet clinic across the street after losing their older canine. His partner arrived with drinks from the coffee shop, tears in his eyes, as I was saying I had learned yesterday that my big orange tabby may have pancreatic cancer (it would be inoperable, so no point in anesthetizing him for a biopsy). I so don’t want to be here now–I just want to spend the day cuddling my kitty. My heart goes out to you.

  64. khatgrrl says:

    Thanks Judybusy and Cathy. We really haven’t had time to grieve. Two days after putting her down, my mother-in law had a massive stroke. It has been a horrible few weeks. The poor wife just keeps saying, “I want to hug my dog.”

    Cathy, our dog was diagnosed with cancer 1 1/2 years ago. We chose not to try to treat it, it had already spread. We were told that she probably only had a few months left. We opted for good palliative care. She continued to love life right up until the end.

    We lost two cats last year to cancer also. (aging household of pets) I wish you the best of luck with your cat. Hopefully you have a vet as great as ours.

  65. Acilius says:

    You have my deepest sympathies, khatgrrl. The Believer and I are dog people through and through, in fact it was her assistance dog who introduced us. The Believer’s father just spent a month in intensive care as a result of a chronic digestive problem that left him close to death from malnutrition. He’s doing much better now, no imminent danger of death and even a realistic hope that he will someday live independently again. I can only hope your mother-in-law does as well as he has done.

  66. Cathy says:

    I appreciate the message, khatgrrl. We have an excellent vet, one of the best internal medicine docs in the country who also respects alternative care (she has an acupuncturist come to her practice and makes referrals to other specialists). She helped us tremendously with care and decision making when one of our cats had lung cancer, helping that cat to live many months longer than predicted with just palliative care. I’m glad your dog enjoyed her life with you–she was quite fortunate to have that.

    I hope your mother-in-law has good medical care and that you and your wife can get some relief from all the stress you’re facing.

  67. Kate L says:

    Well, after three days of hanging between life and death, I seem to have emerged as some sort of new… creature. I shun the light of day, and feel compelled to do the bidding of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Kate looks in vain for a link to Dr. Maddow’s Maddowblog posting of herself in Halloween vampire cosume.

  68. bean says:

    renee, vernon is located in the bottom of the state, about three hours south of AB. my sweetie, otoh, lived in vernon until last spring, but now lives about a half hour away.

    weird goings on at yankee: after about two decades of activism, a decision was finally reached to shut the thing down in 2012. the company that owns it, however, is currently trying to sell it, and get some kind of ten year extension or something. maybe other folks can speak more eloquently about the situation, as i’ve only been following it peripherally. many local residents don’t want it shut down, as it brings jobs, and lowers real estate taxes. and, as my gf keeps reminding me, vermont, with their darned socialist senator, has the highest tax burden in the nation. so, it’s weird to see all these pro-yankee signs posted in their yards, even though the thing is old and crumbling and leaking hazardous waste. anyway, they shut it down for a couple of days, but i think it’s back to business (and glowing in the dark) as usual now.

    lots of people seem to be ill this week, including myself and above-mentioned sweetie. here’s wishing lot’s of chicken soup to those of us who appreciate that sort of thing, and miso to those who do not. take care of yourselves!

  69. Marj says:

    Khatgrrl and Cathy, my heart goes out to you both.