“Good Girls Revolt,” a New TV Series Portrays the Lawsuit Brought by Eleanor Holmes Norton

This clip below from the Stephen Colbert Show made me feel really good and I hope it does the same for you. He is bringing a little advertisement to a new TV show, “Good Girls Revolt,” which tells the story of a civil rights suit brought by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton against Newsweek for equal employment opportunities for women.

It is rare to hear the term, “civil rights,” applied to women. I’m glad someone remembers that we are included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A lot of people seem to forget this. Maybe this new TV series will remind us all.

Here’s the clip:

Here’s a bit about the show, its cast, and a few reviews from viewers of the pilot, from IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4687892/

This is actually an Amazon Series: http://www.thefutoncritic.com/showatch/good-girls-revolt/

The trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R0DqIcUntc

Watch Episode 1, free right now from Amazon.com: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=where%20to%20watch%20good%20girls%20revolt

Gene Wilder Dead – Again!: Why You Should Never Believe the Media

This post doesn’t directly pertain to anything to do with feminism and it has almost nothing to do with witchcraft, although, a lot of people think that the fact that Gene Wilder is being reported dead – again! – has something to do with quantum physics. The practice of witchcraft and quantum physics do have a strong relationship, but that’s not what’s going on here.

So, I just had another conversation in which someone tells me that someone has died who has already been dead for a while. This time I was talking to my mom, who knows I was always a fan of Gene Wilder. She told me that he just died at age 83. I said, “No, that can’t be! He’s been dead for years.”

Some people are calling this the Mandela Effect. This is supposedly a psychiatric disorder in which a person strongly remembers something happening that didn’t happen. This is absurd and really smells like a cover story to me. If this is a psychiatric disorder, then a whole lot of people are suffering from it right now, in unison, because a large number of people – like me – remember that Gene Wilder has been dead for a long time.

If you are a fan of a particular actor or actress, you tend to notice when something happens – like they die tragically of cancer! So, I remember the reports of his death well. I always liked his hapless, nice guy caught in an incriminating-looking situation themed movies. One of my favorites was “See No Evil, Hear No Evil.” I, also, loved “Haunted Honeymoon” and “Silver Streak.”

Gene’s record for dying is about every 8 years. I remember him being dead in 1999 and the special last movie production he ever made – a made-for-TV movie, called” Mystery in a Small Town” – was played in his honor. I watched it first run on television. It was pretty good.

Apparently, he was reported dead, again, in 2008.

Furthermore, there seem to be some discrepancies about his age at the time of his alleged death(s) because their are irregularities in the reports on his date of birth. Officially, it’s supposed to have been June 11, 1933:

What I think is happening is this: When a celebrity dies, his handlers, his accountants, and whoever else has a piece of him, rakes in a ton of dough. Celebrities are often worth more to the people around them dead than alive. So, they put it out in the media that he has died. They wait a few years, believing that the public is too stupid to remember anything, then they do it, again.

There’s a whole long list of these people, most are celebrities and my own short list of them includes Jack Palance, who I distinctly remember being reported dead in the newspapers, including The Enquirer, back in the late 1980s. (There’s a particular set of circumstances surrounding why I remember this so well, but I won’t go into it because it’s a long story.)  Palance reportedly died, again, in 2006. Here are a couple more who I distinctly remember being reported dead in the media, who are not celebrities: Bin Laden and Fidel Castro.

Bin Laden was supposedly killed twice before he was killed again by the fictional Seal Team 6 – I say “fictional” because that has to be the case, since it was well publicized that Bin Laden was already dead. Back in 2001, after the second World Trade Center bombing (yes, there were two, the WTC was, also, attacked back in 1993), it was reported that he was hobbling around in a cave somewhere in the Middle East attached to a kidney dialysis machine. While he may have had a kidney condition, I don’t believe for a second he was living in a cave. I do believe he probably died of kidney failure, if that part of the story was true, since most people on dialysis don’t live more than about 5 years.

Here’s Madeleine Albright talking about Bin Laden being dead on C-Span in 2007:

 

 

In one interview or another at C-Span, Albright said he was dead in 2003. But, he was reported dead back in 2001, as you can see from the following video:

 

Similarly, Fidel Castro was reported dead in 2011. I was surprised to learn recently that Obaama supposedly visited him in Cuba.

Here’s one more, which is very strange. Ted Gunderson, a former FBI agent who was billed as a superhero chasing after Satanist and alleged pedophile, Lt. Col. Michael Aquino (founder of the Temple of Set, high-ranking Col. and close friend of the Reagan family) was reported dead on July 31, 2011. A few months later, it was reported that Aquino was dead. Aquino seemed to have disappeared, no longer actively involved with the Temple of Set. Since he’s a character whose work, as such, I’ve followed for a long time, I was well-aware of the reports of his death. I dared to repeat it once in a comment section and was challenged to “prove it!” It freaked me out, frankly. I withdrew any further commentary. I still believed that he was dead for a long time because he seemed to disappear completely. Then, he re-emerged, looking like his old Satanic self, although slightly more bloated, in a bunch of recent interviews on Youtube. Apparently, he is still alive.

There are reasons why all of these people would want to appear dead or why someone else would want them to appear so. Aquino, for instance, has a lot of enemies and not for no reason.

There is no feminist purpose to this post, except to point out that you should take anything you see reported in the media with a grain of salt. They lie a lot and they have motivations to lie. There is one more thing – almost every one of them I can think of, whether celebrity or politician, who has been twice or thrice reported dead is male. Upon checking other people’s lists of dead and resurrected individuals, I see that not all, but most – strangely – are male. I have no idea the significance of that. I just noticed it.

 

Men Inciting Violence Against Women: “The Burning Times” are Never Far Behind Us

In the pagan community, there is a popular slogan: “Never, again, the Burning Times.” This is, of course, a reference to the times when men incited violence against women and sometimes males (usually the husband or children of the victims). Most people believe this is behind us.

In the U.S. most people believe the witch persecutions ended with the Salem Witchcraft trials of the 17th century. That’s not true, by any means. They continued and, in fact, still continue on this continent today. North of the Rio Grande, you can lose your job or your business and have your house or place of business vandalized, south of the Rio Grande victims are still occasionally murdered for suspicions of practicing witchcraft. Long after the Salem incident, there were persecutions and rumors whispered against women, especially, in the Ozarks and Appalachia. Marie LaVeau was persecuted by law enforcement in the 19th century in New Orleans. We had the Jesuits in old French Territory building bon fires and burning Indians not that long ago in what is now the State of Iowa and there was the Inquisition in the southwest in what was once Spanish Territory. There are many stories of the torture of women (and sometimes men) at the hands of men – entirely men – that are known by only a few researchers and some that have never been told because they hid their evil deeds from the light.

I ran across a discussion by a bunch of white supremacists, surrounding the white male’s history of violent control over white women in Sweden and elsewhere and how they plan to maintain it. It contains the kind of talk about white women that most people think died with the Malleus Maleficarum and the Spanish Inquisition. But, here it is, alive and well: http://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showthread.php/44017-The-growing-trend-of-feminism-within-the-White-Nationalist-movement Whenever I read this kind of thing from men, I am more and more convinced that male fetuses should be destroyed in the womb, that human maleness should be seen for the birth defect that it is. I see no other way to stop this horrific violence and male subjugation by these walking abortions of humanity. What they do to us daily and what they incite  other men to to do us is not without planning, structure, and pre-meditation. These things – these so-called “men” – are undeserving of life. They are using us as vehicles to this plane and we have the power to stop them, if we only had the understanding and the will.

HillaryWThe past few days, I’ve been looking at the violence incited by Gordon Ramsay and his show’s producers against Amy Bouzaglo, which resulted in witch accusations and characterizations (many memes) of her as a witch. According to the radio interviews, she, her husband, and their pets (three beautiful cats) were all threatened with being killed. Amy was subjected to the usual threats of sexual violence we are all familiar with from men online. The obvious irony is that the men threatening to murder her and her family continued to call her “crazy” and “demonic.”

Similarly, men make characterizations of political figures like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi as practitioners of the Dark Arts, in league with the devil. (The only devil is in these men!) Donald Trump (who looks like depictions of Old Scratch, especially when he’s eating “taco bowls” and “KFC“) has even told his half-cocked, poorly educated (he loves the poorly educated), fanatical followers – some of whom really believe he is the Christian savior in the flesh – that “Hillary is the Devil.

A couple of days ago, Trump was accused of inciting violence against Hillary Clinton: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/10/us/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton.html I don’t know if what he said about “2nd Amendment people” doing something about something they don’t like was really incitement to violence against her or not. This is because nobody knows what the term, “2nd Amendment people,” means. The 2nd Amendment is a fundamental part of the  law of the land, therefore, it should be supported by all Americans. Trump says a lot of things that seem to be just rambling, often repetitive nonsense. People can pull out if it whatever they like, however, he does have a history of inciting members of his audience to violence during his speeches and talking about how good it feels to physically injure people.

In response to Trump’s most recent idiotic communication from the podium, Katy Tur, revealed something that happened to her several months ago: http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a21997/donald-trump-katy-tur/ According to the article at the previous link, Tur was doing her job (she’s a reporter for a major, mainstream news outlet on television), when Trump pointed a finger at her and incited a mob to violence against her. She had to be escorted out by the Secret Service agents, who were actually assigned to protect Trump – not her.

This incident is similar to the one in which Heidi Cruz (wife of Trump’s Republican competitor, Ted Cruz) had to be escorted out of a Republican National Convention event because she was being threatened with violence when her husband (not her, but her husband!) refused to endorse Donald Trump as Republican nominee: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/heidi-cruz-escorted-rnc-arena-safety-40757031

According to this Marie Claire article about the event involving Kay Tur, “The wave of insults, harassment, and threats, via various social-media feeds, hasn’t stopped since. Many of the attacks are unprintable.” Here’s an example of one of the nicer ones: “MAYBE A FEW JOURNALISTS DO NEED TO BE WHACKED,” tweeted someone with the handle GuyScott33, two weeks after Trump lashed out. “MAYBE THEN THEYD STOP BEI[N]G BIASED HACKS. KILL EM ALL STARTING W/ KATY TUR.”

What Trump did to Tur is, also, a little reminiscent of the time in Canada that a male “comedian”, tried to incite the gang-rape of a woman who expressed her displeasure at a rape “joke” (which she paid money to be treated to, no doubt). He declared to the audience,“Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” The targeted woman was forced to flee the crowd, while the man continued to “joke” about the men in the audience gang-raping her.

Inciting violence is supposed to be a crime, at least, in the U.S. We have very strong speech protections under our 1st Amendment, but it doesn’t cover inciting a crowd of men to commit violence against women, especially when it is very direct. Most of the time, however, the incitement is indirect. This is the day-to-day Hell of many women who try to earn a living anywhere or who try to exist somewhere, whether online or offline.

To understand why they do it, look, again, at the White Supremacists’ discussion on feminism linked to above. Without the subjugation of women – in the case of white males, they must continue to exist by targeting white women, especially blonde-haired, blue-eyed women (we are the biggest targets of their programs to turn us into both livestock and pornography) – in order to ensure their own existence and their own supremacy. Violence against us and the unceasing threats of it are they only way they can maintain their dominance.

If you are a chef of marginal talents who got where you are by virtue of a good ol’ boy’s club (the restaurant business is another industry where women suffer because of men’s hate against us), you attack your betters. Women are, overall, much better cooks and chefs, despite the fact that they are under-represented among award winners. It is my opinion that Ramsay attacked Amy Bouzaglo so hard because she is a much better chef than he is. I’ve compared his cookbooks to hers and his are full of narcissism, measurement errors (according to other reviewers at Amazon), are not very well done and, in my opinion, they present a lot of bland dishes in common, ordinary ways devoid of creativity or any real humanity or compassion for the reader, who is not a chef. He’s a guy who gets by on his reputation and is surrounded by a team of men who protect him and another massive online following of male minions who act like his attack dogs on command. That’s the only way men can beat women at anything – they have to use violence, threats of violence, and they use the power they have, whether from a podium (like Trump, who has a ready-made international fanship of MRAs and white supremacists) or from behind a microphone on a stage (like the Canadian rape-lover) or by the power of his platform on an international T.V. show, over which he and his producers and editors have total control, and by which he has acquired lots of male fans who hate women, too.

Men attack women, they use violence against us, and form lynch mobs to come after us because, alone, they are inferior to us and weak by comparison to us. The only way they can win is by this means. If a man were not inferior to a woman, he wouldn’t have to have an entire mob supporting him to attack her in an equal match.

If you can buy for a minute that there is a genuine competition between the Republican nominee (Trump) and the Democratic nominee (Clinton) –  which is not easy for me because not only are these two parties two sides of the same coin, both are enemies to women, Republicans seeing us as livestock and Democrats seeing us as natural-born whores to be prostituted and pornified – then, the characterizations of Hillary Clinton by Trump and his minions are very disturbing. Furthermore, Trump and his followers have whipped up a frenzy of misogyny, which is absolutely palpable, to any woman who has seen even a few hours of television coverage of the elections. Men are increasingly more open and violent in expressing their hatred of us. It is affecting men we know, in some cases. In my case, I saw how all the Trump coverage on television affected my own father the last time I visited my parents (I made a blogpost about it) and how he reverted back to some of his sexualized attacks (I’m a slut; I’m a whore; I want men’s dicks in me, I am Satan, etc. – actually, I am Satan. I own that, but the rest of it is lies.) that went back to my childhood, when he was under the influence of the Mormon cult. The woman-hating hangs thick around men now – more than ever.

Nor is it confined to men on the right, which we saw from the Bernie Bros and their slogans against Hillary Clinton, which were blatant in their Medieval imagery. You’d think men – and Christians, in particular – would have some shame about the evil deeds of their past, but no. They’re proud of it. They want to do it to us, again. Why else would they have the slogan: “Burn the Witch!” (They made a play on Bernie’s name – “Bern.”) The effect on actual witches and women of the use of this slogan is discussed at this article: http://wildhunt.org/2016/03/bern-the-witch-slogan-angers-voters.html  Even if you were a Communist, how could you vote for a man whose supporters talk about burning women as witches? Clearly they do not have our best interests in mind.

To those of us who who actually are witches, who live completely underground, under the radar, often in disguise, and in fear of discovery in our physical communities, this is a very serious matter. It’s something we fear and for good reasons. I’ve been denied a lease in the past. I’ve been denied services. I’ve been screamed at and witnessed Christians having psychotic meltdowns in front of me (similar to the Wiccan Wife Swap reality show episode – that’s happened to me twice. It’s scary!), pointing at me while going on about the devil and Satan. I know people in my physical community who have had their house vandalized. I know women who fear losing their careers in nursing and teaching. I know one woman who had to remove her articles on Wicca from the web after she was threatened with the loss of her job. There are other things, as well. So, this is a real and present thing to all of us and it’s very frightening to watch it gathering steam the way it has been, especially since the beginning of the present presidential election campaign.

It’s scary to see the online mobs who often don’t stay online. It’s scary to see them going after people who are not politicians and celebrities. It’s especially disturbing to see men like Trump going after female reporters this way. It’s unsettling to see male politicians going after their female opponents, calling them witches and devils, and inciting their minions to violence against them.

If you take away the computers, the cameras, the satellites, the radio signals and all the other technology, this is beginning to look more and more like 1692!

A few years ago, I thought the pagans who were worried about the return of the “burning times” were paranoid. I don’t think so, anymore.

Baking with Amy, Part II: Review of Amy Bouzaglo’s Cookbook, “Baking with Amy: Baking Up Some Magic”

I recently purchased a digital (.epub) version of the cookbook, “Baking with Amy: Baking Up Some Magic” by Amy Bouzaglo, published in April, 2015. This reader-friendly book is written by the chef of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, of “Kitchen Nightmares” fame and is sure to be of interest to culinarians and aspirants of all levels of expertise.

A Beautiful Book

unnamed_grandeThis is a beautiful book, well-laid out, and very pleasing to the eye. It is precise and well-written. It is not a typical celebrity chef cookbook or, for that matter, a typical cookbook, at all. The author is a chef first and an only accidental celebrity after the fact. It contains recipes for desserts I love, but have not yet tried making, as well as a few that I already make. This book provides clever additions, special ingredients, and describes expert techniques for making some of my favorite dessert dishes in a better way. It, also, provides unique recipes and flavor combinations for dessert dishes I’ve never seen before.

While I have only purchased the digital version of this book, I would really love to have a hard copy for my personal library because this such a beautiful book it has a collectible appeal for those of us who collect cookbooks. I have a collection, many of which are vintage first editions and I choose them as much for their unique recipes as the beauty of their illustrations.

Remarkably Well-organized

Apart from its beauty, the most immediately outstanding feature of this cookbook, which sets it apart from any others I’ve seen, is its remarkable organization. A certain notorious chef commented that he didn’t see how a single person (or one with very little assistance) in a relatively small kitchen could produce so many different types of food from scratch. When you see how well organized this book is, you will see how it is possible. With the information in this book a person can produce a great variety of desserts from a relatively few basic recipes.

The organization of the book is the primary basis of its creativity. The author shows you how to do big things by doing smaller things first. There is a great deal of emphasis on doing things in a prescribed way, then using the base recipes you’ve mastered to let your own creativity flourish. She provides you with 20 basic recipes, then shows you many ways to put them together to produce a wide variety of desserts, which if combined with your own taste and creativity could be the source of an infinite number of delicious desserts and flavor combinations.

Instructive, Encouraging, and Creatively Inspiring

The author is generous in her encouragement to individuality and creativity. This book, also,  inspires the reader to generate ideas for improving his or her own existing recipes. Whenever a tip or technique is provided, the author explains why it is a good thing to do. I already have ideas from this book of how I’m  going to change some of my current baking practices to make some of my own favorite recipes even better. The book is very creatively inspiring this way.

For instance, I just made a half-batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, which I’ve been making for years, using some tips and ideas I got from this book. I used super fine sugar (which I made into super fine by using a food processor) and Kosher salt; normally, I use granulated Morena sugar (using Morena sugar is one of my own personal baking touches) and sea salt. I, also, sifted the flour, which I don’t normally do, and the recipe turned out better than ever! This is a tiny example of the tips offered to beginners and intermediates, however, I can already see that the information in this cookbook is going to make  my current baking practices so much more professional.

Recommended for Beginners, Intermediates, and Experts Alike

This cookbook is good for dessert-makers of all different levels of expertise. There are lots of beginner tips for making desserts that are regarded as tricky or difficult to make. It is, also, unique enough for more accomplished bakers. I am somewhere between a beginner and an intermediate. There are certain things I feel I’m accomplished at making, yet I feel I could improve on, and there a number of dishes I would like to try. This is a very good book for someone at my level of expertise.

My selections from this book, which I plan to make first: The Chocolate Mousse; the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake; and then the cherry pie. I have never made a mousse or a cheesecake before. These are two of the base recipes in the cookbook. Once mastered, you can make other fancy dessert combinations with them. My favorite dessert in the whole world is cherry pie and I think I make a good one, but I see room for improvements as I read this book. I want to try the cherry pie recipe in this book exactly as it is written. I am very excited to try these recipes and I will post an article about my experiences with, at least, one of them in an upcoming article. I think I might start with the Chocolate Mousse!

Where to Buy “Baking with Amy”

Buy the book from Amy’s website: http://amys-baking-company.myshopify.com/collections/all

This is the author’s homepage: http://amys-baking-company.myshopify.com/

You can, also, buy the ebook directly from Lulu for only $3.00: http://www.lulu.com/shop/amy-bouzaglo/baking-with-amy/ebook/product-22130871.html

If you’d like to purchase the digital epub version, but don’t have a reading device, you can read it on your computer by downloading a free epub reader. My two favorites are Calibre (which I prefer for my Windows 7 PC) and Ice cream (which I prefer for Windows 8).

Scroll down under “Additional Material” below to see videos showing some examples of Amy’s baking style.

bw-cats-15

Meow! Translation: The End!

F.T.C. Disclosure Statement: This is an unsolicited, unpaid review by an unbiased purchaser of this book, who has no connection to its author.

Copyright Statement: Copyright © 2016 by Radical Witch. All rights reserved.

Permissions Statement: I, hereby, grant permission to Amy Bouzaglo to use the contents of this review, whether in part or in whole, in any way she sees fit, including for any commercial purposes, freely and without attribution.

Additional material:

The video below is an example of Amy’s baking and instructing style. This is a video with a recipe and tips for making Gingerbread men. This video is excellent, but her book is even better!

The following video demonstrates one of the Base Recipes, Creme Brulee, directly from “Baking with Amy”:

Other reviews:

 http://www.chicagonow.com/intellectual-chicago-suburbs/2016/06/stevens-book-reviews-baking-with-amy-a-cookbook-by-amy-bouzaglo-of-amys-baking-company-fame/

http://www.eater.com/2015/7/31/9060935/best-lines-kitchen-nightmares-amy-bouzaglos-cookbook

This one contains one of her recipes: http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/restaurants/amy-bouzaglo-of-amys-baking-co-has-a-cookbook-recipe-7102164

 

Baking with Amy, Part I: About the Cyberbullying and Deception Surrounding a Woman’s Bakery and Bistro Made Famous on the T.V. Show, “Kitchen Nightmares”

This is the first of what is to be a three-part series of posts on Amy Bouzaglo and her new cookbook, “Baking with Amy.” This first post is a discussion of how she and her bakery, which was located in Scottsdale, Arizona, came to be internationally known. The next two posts will be as follows:

Baking with Amy, Part II: Review of Amy Bouzaglo’s Cookbook, “Baking with Amy.”

Baking with Amy, Part III: My Results with a Favorite Dessert from Amy Bouzaglo’s Cookbook.

I will insert the links for the newest articles once I’ve posted them.

Amy's_Baking_Company_front_door

The front door of Amy’s Baking Company showing the restaurant’s logo Date 16 May 2013, 19:03:33 Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/planetwrite/8745834055/in/set-72157633499219381/ Author John Aho

Ordinarily, when I want to review a book, I simply write a review. But, I’ve now read several other people’s reviews of Amy’s cookbook (all positive) and every one of them is met in the comment section with criticism for not addressing the television show, “Kitchen Nightmares.” I really wanted to address that, anyway, because it pertains to some problems that women – especially beautiful, talented women – face at the hands of cyberbullies (most, but not all of whom, are males) and real-life harassers. Amy’s story, also, touches on the abuses of male chefs, which are commonly reported by women chefs. You would think for all the times that men keep telling us to get back in the kitchen, they’d be happy whenever we are there  – but, no! I, also, wanted to keep the review of the cookbook separate from this whole discussion. My review is very positive. I love the book and I’m going to tell you, in the next post, why I think it’s so good. But, what I have to say here is not so pleasant because it revolves around subjects like bullying and the deceptive fraud that is reality television.

In some of the earliest posts at this blog, I’ve discussed the hoaxes that get passed off as news. I’m sure some people find it hard to believe or just don’t want to believe it. It’s scary to think that almost everything you see on television and a lot of the trends that occur online are based on pre-planned fraud perpetrated by people who are generally trusted television personalities. (This is the nature of PsyOps as written about by the the modern father of propaganda, Lt. Col. Michael Aquino.) Anytime you see something on television or online that is being turned into a major event, you should put on your critical thinking cap.

Once you learn what to look for, it’s easy to spot fraud.

For instance, I’ve discussed previously the Roanke, Virginia shooting hoax involving a reporter and cameraman supposedly being shot on air. But, if you slow down the two videos provided, which were supposed to have been filmed at the same exact time (one by the cameraman, which supposedly was live on air and the other by the alleged shooter), you see that (1) they don’t match up and (2) no cartridges and no wad are ejected by the fake, stage prop Glock. The “news” is fake, at least, a lot of it is and the rest appears to be greatly manipulated as can be shown through endless examples that go back, at least, as far as the late 1960s, in my own investigations. They’ve been faking the news for, at least, that long in order to manipulate public opinion and to get and keep viewership.

Viewers (and now internet and social media denizens in conjunction with mainstream television viewers) are usually manipulated for, at least, one of two reasons: To sway public opinion about a matter and to make money (often by means of ratings).

Not everyone is ready to accept the truth about the news being manufactured. But, everybody knows that Reality T.V. is fake, right?!

Well, wrong – apparently. Nonetheless, it is as scripted and planned out as any fictional television programming. The people making the programs, also, use some dirty tricks to illicit the reactions they want to get from the people in the programs. They spend days filming with multiple cameras from different angles, then edit it all down into one approximately 25 minute (for a half-hour show ) or 45 minute (for an hour-long show) series of clips.

In this article from Independent.co.uk, people discuss how fake and staged so-called reality television shows are: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/reality-tv-contestants-reveal-how-real-the-shows-actually-were-a6834246.html  The article is based on this discussion from Reddit by people who have been on various reality shows: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/420tzp/serious_people_who_have_been_guests_on_reality/

This article, “I Work As a Writer For Reality Shows — Here’s the Deal
And believe me, they’re not glamorous. They’re also not ‘real.’” from XOJane, discusses the truth about the actors, writers, and tactics involved in the production of these programs. Would you be surprised to learn that the “hillbillies” of Duck Dynasty are actually, clean-cut, golf-playing yuppies in absurd costumes? They are caricatures of people who don’t really exist – all made to order for gullible television viewers.

missde

The first time you see this picture, you will see one image, but if you look again, you will see another. Once you see it, you can’t stop seeing it. It’s the same with fake television programming – once you see the fraud, you can’t stop seeing it.

Once you see how fake, how edited shows, such as the two episodes of “Kitchen Nightmares,” that featured Amy’s Baking Company are, you will never be able to stop seeing it. It’s like looking at one of those Magic Eye pictures or those pictorial illusions (see image to the right).

In two radio interviews, which are linked below in the Timeline of Events, you can hear Amy Bouzaglo discussing how Gordon Ramsay got the kind of reactions he wanted for his show out of her and her husband during the filming. She talks about how they planted actors and some members of the local community who had taken a disliking to them in the restaurant in order to create drama for their one-hour (45 minutes) program, which they filmed over the course of a week. (8/11 Correction to the previous statement: They were supposed to film for a week. The contract was cancelled after three days of filming. After he created chaos and psychologically tortured Amy for the camera – which was then heavily edited so you never hear Amy when she talks about the things he did (they cut her off and impose his voice over hers in the final edits) – Ramsay left on the second day he was there. On the show, Ramsay says he chose to walk out. In the radio interviews, Amy says they wanted to end the contract and asked him to leave.) Once you hear her talking about how it was done, those two episodes of “Kitchen Nightmares” and any other episodes of that show will never look the same to you, again.

As you’ll see from the timeline, below, Ramsay quit his show a few months after they revisited Amy’s Baking Company in an episode using mostly clips from their first visit. The second airing was not authorized by Amy and Samy, according to the interviews they have given on Totally Driven Radio (see the Timeline of Events for links). His show was exposed for the fraud it is and you will see the fakery, the editing, the actors planted as “customers” making faces at plates of food and sending it back to the kitchen, flustering the cooks, in practically every episode of his now dead show.

I am basing the information in this article on solely on what I’ve found online from articles, the television episodes themselves, and from interviews with Amy and Samy, which you can find in the links provided in the Timeline of Events, below.

Timeline of Events:

  1. Amy’s Baking Company opened its doors in 2007.
  2. February 6, 2013 (this is the post date at YouTube), Check Please, AZ, PBS, reviews Amy’s Baking Company. You’ll see a stellar review of Amy’s Baking Company starting at about 10 minutes into the video, which is from a local television program in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  3. Amy’s Baking Company, “Kitchen Nightmares” aired May 10, 2013.
  4. Amy and her husband Samy Bouzaglo appeared on the Dr. Phil Show, which aired on April 9, 2014.
  5. Return to Amy’s, “Kitchen Nightmares” aired April 11, 2014.
  6. 1st Interview on Totally Driven Radio on October 31, 2013.
  7. 2nd Interview on Totally Driven Radio on June 5, 2014.
  8. Gordon Ramsay’s reality T.V. show, “Kitchen Nightmares” last aired on September 6, 2014. Amy mentions in the 2nd radio interview, linked above, that Ramsay announced online that he was done with the show in June 2014.
  9. Baking with Amy is published on April 15, 2015.
  10. Amy’s Baking Company is reported closed on December 29, 2015 by AZCentral. According to my calculations, the restaurant was in business for 9 years, which is a pretty good run.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate television and I don’t have it. I haven’t had it for years. Some people think that people like me who “brag” about not having television and say we hate it are being pretentious, but the fact is, I just can’t stand it. I know that, at least, 99% of what is broadcast is fake. Most of it is extremely misogynistic. Fewer and fewer women are watching television these days because it’s just not a pleasure for us to see women being raped and slaughtered for male entertainment purposes. I, also, find that it is difficult to talk to people who do watch a lot of television because even if they do believe on some conscious level that television is partly or all fiction, they still talk and act like they believe what they see and hear on it. It is impossible to reason with them, to present any facts, even those based on events I’ve personally experienced, when I have to compete with the lies propagated by television. It really has turned a lot of people’s brains to mush. It’s scary.

There is a huge, scary mob of people who are easily influenced by what they see on television. They are reminiscent of the peasants with pitchforks and torches from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. There are mobs of these people who are seem to be looking for someone to hate, someone to direct their hatred at, which is why they are sometimes simply called “haters.” Women online, in particular feminist writers, are well aware of such “haters,” most of whom are men and most of whom have a special kind of sexualized hatred they direct at women. Some of these are basement dwellers sponging off mom. Some are professional – dudebros like RooshV, who make a living teaching men how to hate and rape women or like Paul Elam, who collects donations and puts out bounties on the heads of women, making them fear for their lives, and there are men threatening to rape them, their daughters, even to harm their elderly parents (such as the threats reported recently by Jessica Valentia and the ongoing threats and organized professional man-hate against Anita Sarkeesian).

In a way, Gordon Ramsay is was one of these professional trolls. He had a production company that apparently cooperated with restaurant “reviewers” from the website, Yelp, to locate restaurants to feature on his show. Most of these restaurants were in trouble. He’d go in and try to capitalize on any existing drama, invent some of his own with the help of actors and by means of his own apparent knack for being an abusive bully and upsetting people. He’s notorious for his disgusting foul mouth, which apparently is all part of his charm to people in the British Isles. The British have been exporting some very unpleasant men to this country  in recent years (e.g. Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell) and this is a trend I’d like to see come to an end. We don’t need it. I understand it is being done because they work cheaply and, of course, they are cheap in other ways. Cheapness is, also, the reason why there is a proliferation of these horrible so-called reality shows. Compared to the kind of television programming that used to be done (remember the ABC Movie of the Week?) these show are very inexpensive to produce.

Amy and Samy were never paid for the two episodes. They didn’t get their permission to do the second episode, which included some clips of an interview by someone from “Kitchen Nightmares” named Garcia. Ramsay didn’t have the decency to even present himself for the “Return to Amy’s” episode. You will see and hear him narrating and you’ll see a lot of clips and phony interviews with people who know the Bouzaglos or who claimed to have a bad experience at the restaurant (like 2 people who were reporters, but never identified as such for the episode, who appear to have planted three fruitflies in a drink in order to make a news clip out of it for a local news show), but Ramsay was never actually there.

Furthermore, the “submission video” shown in Return to Amy’s was fictional. Amy says they did not submit a video. Rather, they were approached by a production company, Amy discusses this at about 8 minutes into the 2nd interview on Totally Driven Radio.

Amy and Samy had drawn the wrath of some of the locals in Scottsdale, according to Amy, because they were a very high-end, yet small operation, and sometimes they had to turn away patrons because they did not have the capacity and staff to serve them on some occasions. So, there got to be a kind of local lynch mob, which aired its malice on Yelp.

When they were contacted by “Kitchen Nightmares,” Amy was under the impression that they were going to get some national attention for their restaurant and Ramsay would help spread the world about the excellent food their restaurant offered. At that time, the restaurant was not troubled. The only problem they had was cyberbullies on Yelp and on their Facebook page.

Amy made one very bad mistake: She fed the trolls! 

Never feed the trolls. This is a rule those of us who live online all know. But, Amy spends most of her time in the kitchen. So, it’s possible she and Samy had no idea what the online world of trolls can become. They found out the hard way. It was Yelpers, quite possibly trolls, who suggested “Amy’s Baking Company” for an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares.” When the first show aired back in 2013, it became an internet sensation, the videos of the episode went viral. People like me who had never heard of  Gordon Ramsay or “Kitchen Nightmares” (which was in its 6th season by then) watched the episode – and re-watched it. (I adore Amy!) It’s safe to say that it’s the most watched episode of that perfectly awful reality show – ever. It may, also, have been Ramsay’s undoing in the end. The Bouzaglos were determined that if Ramsay was going to destroy them, they wouldn’t go down with out a fight and they wouldn’t go down alone.

When I titled this blogpost, I used the word, “deception,” to describe what happened to Amy and Samy Bouzaglo at the hands of Ramsay and his minions, paid and unpaid. But, I wanted to use the word, “fraud.” Fraud is a strong word and it has some legal connotations, so I chose the word “deception,” instead. But, I think it is not at all wrong to call what was done here “fraud.” Some victims of similar reality show shenanigans have sued. The most infamous example I can remember off the top of my head was that of the Jenny Jones Show (I’m dating myself and my television viewing, again, here!) back in 1997 when Jenny Jones invited a non-gay man onto the show to meet his crush, who turned out to be another man. The surprised guest was so humiliated that he ended up murdering the other man – a big lawsuit followed.

Here’s some more information about the fraudulent nature of talk-reality shows in an old video clip, involving that episode of the Jenny Jones Show. Here’s another documentary from HBO from 1997 on these old talk shows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJJVE2gqjOc . Here is a clip from Jenny Jones at trial. I, also, had colleagues who appeared on some of these talk shows in an effort to promote their careers (to get credits, which get you higher paid bookings with agencies and night clubs) who told me they were heavily edited and the show was made to look very different from what actually happened. For instance, Howard Stern edited his show, I was told privately by a former guest, so that the women who appear on it look as sleazy and cheap as possible. There’s no way to get the upper hand in any conversation with the host because they edit the show and make the guest appear however they want her to appear. Another woman I worked with did promotions for a major (MAJOR, but now defunct) night club in NYC back in the 1990s and the talk shows invented a non-existent pop-cultural phenomenon and tried to convince audiences it was a real thing in order to get ratings for themselves and the shows guests (including my colleague) were hired actors (complete with SAG membership cards), paid to promote the club, which is why they appeared on the show and told a pack of lies to an international audience.

Amy and Samy might have had grounds for a lawsuit. But, they said they are not litigious, although they believe (and so do I) they should have been compensated for their participation in the show, instead they wanted to expose Ramsay and “Kitchen Nightmares.” This, despite the fact that they may have been subjected to a “non-disclosure” clause of some type in their contract (reminiscent of the famously litigious Donald Trump and his silencing tactics).

In the beginning, they believed Ramsay and his producers when they said he was going to help them and the only problem their restaurant had, at that time, was an online troll one. Instead, he aggravated their online troll problem, which had previously only been local, and turned it into a nation-wide troll attack. Amy’s Baking Company became, as Amy described it in the second episode of Kitchen Nightmares, “Disneyland for the crazies.”

So much is disturbing about how Amy was treated by Gordon Ramsay that it’s hard to determine where to start in describing it. A lot of the false characterizations he made of her are based on both gendered and sexist stereotypes. He says she is “crazy.” He doesn’t use the exact word “shrew,” but he puts forth the idea that she is a tyrant who is feared by her husband. He badgers her. When she tries to talk to him, he lets her finish half of a sentence before he uses her words to interrupt her, speak over her, and continue to harangue her. She reveals in one of the radio interviews that Ramsay came into the kitchen where she was working with a female employee and sexually harassed Amy to the point of tears by harping on the size and condition of her husband’s balls while making the accusation that her husband feared her.

It’s reminiscent of how Stanley Kubrick nearly drove Shelley Duvall to a nervous breakdown in order to get the reaction he wanted from her on film for “The Shining!” There really ought to be a law against treating women worse than circus animals! But, we all know that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

It, also, reminds me of high school bullies, as exemplified by “Mean Girls,” which is the level at which Ramsay appears to operate. In the original 2013 episode, when Ramsay first comes into the restaurant he is very complimentary and friendly-seeming. Amy’s Baking Company wasn’t like most of the crummy joints featured on his television show. It was a million dollar-plus spread, with beautiful checkerboard tile floors, a gilded decor, an al fresco dining area, and shiny display cases full of Amy’s beautiful desserts and pastries. The kitchen was pristine. The food in the refrigerators was stored and dated in an example of perfect organization.

He tries one of the desserts. He likes it. He compliments the cleanliness and organization of the kitchen. Then, he talks to Amy and Samy, who are now very relaxed and comfortable with him. But, it’s all a Regina George-style set up. He gets them to talk about themselves. He asks them if they have children. (I find the child question appalling, by the way. Lots of people, especially women, have health problems, have hysterectomies due to some disorder or as the result of horrific rapes, have endometriosis, have miscarriages, have lost an unborn child to male violence – there is an endless number of scenarios. There are, also, many moral, ethical and highly personal reasons that women do not use their wombs to make children. It’s not a nice question and it’s a rudely presumptuous one.)  Amy jokes that they have three little boys, but they are trapped in cat bodies.

They obviously treat their cats like children and one of the clips they most like to use to show that Amy is a “crazy cat lady”is where she is talking about how she speaks to the cats and they talk and sing back. They took this lighthearted moment and turned it into something to demean her in a particularly misogynistic way. This characterization gave way to cartoons (memes) depicting her as a witch. Amy has been able to find some humor in this and on the surface, I see it, too. Nonetheless, there is something deeply hateful, Medievally hateful, in fact, about it. There is something terrifying on a primal level about being publicly called a witch – whether you really are one or not. (Amy is “God’s child,” according to one of her social media posts in response to being accused of being a witch. This means she is probably either Christian or Jewish and is not a conjurer or practitioner of the Dark Arts and, therefore, she is not a witch.) Historically, the “witch” label has been the pretext for unspeakable horrors committed by mobs, instigated and encouraged by those in positions of power – a lot like Ramsay and his legions of dudebros.

As he’s setting them up, he gets some other personal information about Samy, which seem to indicate that he once participated in some kind of alternative life-style. He has been called a “playboy,” which is a euphemism for all kinds of things and it is conveyed that he had, at least once, some criminal connections.

In fact, when the spaghetti hit the fan, one result was that people were digging into both of their pasts. Local news outlets and vloggers were milking their popularity for all it was worth. This resulted in some apparently false reports that Samy was in the country illegally (he is a naturalized American citizen, born in Morocco and a citizen of Israel, according to available information) and was on the verge of being deported. It was publicized that Amy was convicted and served time in prison for “banking fraud.” If you listen to the reports, they’d have you believe she was an embezzler. But, she was sentenced to 14-months for putting a social security number that wasn’t hers on an application for a $15,000 loan. I’m not saying that’s a right thing to do. It’s certainly not a smart thing to do. But, it’s not embezzling or theft and it does seem that the penalty was extremely heavy handed for a non-violent offence and her first and only offence, as far as I am aware. Consider that the Steubenville rapists only got one day in Juvie and the child rapist, Jeffrey Epstein, only served three months in a facility where he had the key to his own cell and was able to come and go freely. Something just seems wrong about this.

Any information that could be found about the two of them was being dug up and a lot of it stemmed from this friendly set up in the beginning in which Ramsay appeared trustworthy and conversational. This friendly conversational demeanor would not last, a pattern you will find in many other episodes of his show.

Most of the food that Amy prepares at the restaurant is made from scratch. Amy acknowledges that a few things are frozen, such as the ravioli. Ramsay fixates on this and runs it into the ground during the show. At no time in the show, does he really offer any constructive criticism. “It’s disgusting” and “it’s crap” seem to be the extent of it. I watched the first episode a few times trying to understand what was so bad about frozen raviolis. I still don’t know.

According to Amy in the radio interviews, Ramsay had them, for the purposes of the show, show a waitress. In fact, the restaurant doesn’t have waitresses. Instead, they have what they call “food runners” who are paid an hourly wage to simply pick up food from the kitchen and deliver it to the table. They don’t take orders or use the computer. This was changed for the show. Then, Ramsay made a big deal about how the waitresses (which the restaurant didn’t actually have) were not being tipped, claiming that the owner was stealing tips from the waitresses. This resulted in the restaurant being investigated by some government agency, but no wrong-doing was found. Nonetheless, this became more fodder for their enemies, a now huge body of nasty trolls, bullies and harassers who began threatening them and harassing them at their restaurant.

The night before Ramsay arrived, they filmed the restaurant, which according to Amy in her radio interviews and in the following article, they packed with actors and Yelpers, some of whom had physically threatened her and Samy online and who had been harassing them for about three years. There is sequence after sequence of people making faces and turning up their noses as they are served Amy’s food. This is something you will see in other episodes of “Kitchen Nightmares.” It’s obviously a set up for the show. These are actors and plants. More evidence for the fact that these were actors and paid instigators may be found at this article, in the Phoenix New Times, entitled “Screaming, Expletives, and, Eventually, Police: All in the First Night of Kitchen Nightmares Taping at Amy’s Baking Company,” in which there are descriptions and quotes from Amy (that she might have actually said and which indicate that she knew who some of the instigators were and that some were actors and she knew she was being “set up,” which is exactly what was happening) from that first night. You’ll see only clips of what happened in the show, all edited to make Amy and Samy look “crazy” and “paranoid.” (It’s not “paranoia” when you are really being set up!)  News articles like this one with quotes from the Kitchen Nightmares people allegedly saying “We’ve never seen anything like this,” pour gasoline on the flames and are an attempt to lend credibility to their fictional narrative.

Another “waitress” appearing in the show was fired by Amy for “simply asking a question.” But, if you watch the show carefully, you see the look on the girl’s face and according to Amy, she had been difficult all night (she says this in one of the radio interviews) and this was the last straw. There is a clip of Amy on the show saying, “Why are you acting like this?” After watching the show a few times, it looks like this girl was put up to her behavior for the purposes of the show. She gives a number of interviews in both the first and second episodes disparaging and ridiculing Amy.

There are, also, apparent patrons (which you will learn from the interviews from Amy were Yelpers, there to cause trouble) who caused difficulties over a pizza and were kicked out of the restaurant by Amy.

Upon re-watching, it is easy to see that the whole “show” is one big set up with a lot of editing to make Amy appear crazy and irrational as Ramsay and his plants try to drive her insane – literally. This is what we call “gaslighting.” The absurd number of alleged customers sending the food back, claiming it’s no good, for instance, is gaslighting. It’s often done by men to women to slowly drive us crazy. To make us doubt ourselves. To frustrate us. To cause us to defend ourselves against charges that we’re not crazy (not witches, not shrews), etc., which is just used as more fodder and more “proof” that it’s all true. To prove that Amy was “crazy” lots of online bullies created memes and videos showing still shots of Amy from the show with her eyes wide open. One idiot male vlogger made a video with a still of this claiming that it was proof that she was psychotic and demonically possessed. Near the end of the first episode, Amy calls him out on what he has done and Ramsay says to Amy, “Blaming everyone again” in the exact same tone of voice as Charles Boyer talking to Ingrid Bergman in the movie, Gaslight. He calls her “delusional.” When Amy says, “Can I show you reviews, hundreds of reviews, that we didn’t write that are from real customers?” He says, “Online bullies again,” as if he’s not aware of the problem – as if she is imagining it. The dialogue might have been taken straight from the script of that film because this is exactly how men who gaslight women behave – this is what they say and how they say it.

When the show aired, it got some press, as well, showing up in national news headlines. That’s when people on the internet (like me, who don’t see T.V. usually) got wind of it. Then, the nastiness multiplied exponentially. Samy and Amy got threats over the phone, they had prank callers (lots of loser men have posted videos of themselves harassing Samy and Amy, mostly on the telephone to disrupt their business and inflict psychological harm), people making fake reservations, and people coming from all over out of state to check out the restaurant. Some of those tourists generated by the show and its fallout did some awful things. But, a whole lot of other people actually tried Amy’s cooking and loved it. They couldn’t understand why they were portrayed as the worst restaurant in the country on the television show.

The bottom line is this: Television is fake. Pretty much everything you see on there including the news is fake. The people you see in reality shows and often on talk shows (although that format nearly died after the Jenny Jones Show debacle) are often actors, people who are not actors are manipulated and psychologically tortured in order to get a desired reaction, and the shows are as scripted as any other fictional programming.

Amy says in her radio interviews that she wants people to know that reality shows are fake and she doesn’t want anyone else to fall for this con artistry. They have done their best to expose Gordon Ramsay for what he is. “Kitchen Nightmares” is over.

Meanwhile, Amy has put out her first book, which I will review in the next post. She’s, also, got some very nice videos on fancy baking and pastry-making. She’s had some problems with trolls, though, apparently. I noticed that she’s had to create, at least, three different channels because YT keeps taking them down. There is a real dearth of women making videos and posting them at YT. They have a man problem over there and that is the bulk of Amy’s trolls, which you’ll find if you do a search on her name or restaurant at YT. A lot of what has happened to Amy is simply woman-hating. If she were a man, it probably wouldn’t have happened. What Ramsay and the trolls have done to her has really taken a toll on her health. None of this is surprising to radical feminists, of course, and it’s all happened despite the fact that she is married to a man.

Amy Bouzaglo really has a larger than life personality. I am really hoping to see more of her, but if she becomes a recluse (like me), I can certainly understand why.

Additional material:

In the Kitchen Nightmare show and in the radio interviews, Amy makes reference to problems with Yelp. Ramsay, whose production company appears to have been working with Yelpers, acts like this is a ridiculous idea. Although, there have been many suits and many more allegations against Yelp for extortionist practices. In the video below, restaurant owners discuss a three-part series of events that plays out like this: (1) A restaurant gets legitimate good (4 and 5 star) reviews; (2) The restaurant begins receiving calls from sales reps from Yelp asking them to pay for advertising; (3) if the restaurant doesn’t pay, the good reviews disappear and any bad reviews rise to the top of their site.

Here’s a business-owner talking about his experiences with Yelp:

Billion Dollar Bully – this is a trailer for a documentary about Yelp’s alleged bullying and extortion of business-owners:

Season 9, Episode 14 of South Park, “You’re Not Yelping,” humorously brings to light the nature of Yelp reviewers and their arrogance, bullying and extortion of restaurant owners:

http://southpark.cc.com/full-episodes/s19e04-youre-not-yelping

A video about Yelp and the lawsuits against them involving allegations of extortion and threats of physical harm if they did not pay. This and these other videos are relevant to the story of Amy’s Baking Company because they fully support her allegations:

Chef suicides and restaurant closings are elements in the wake of destruction that seems to have followed Gordon Ramsay and his reality television shows:

BBC News: ‘MasterChef’ runner-up Josh Marks commits suicide
Rachel Brown, contestant on “‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ found dead in Bedford
Most Restaurants on Kitchen Nightmares Are Now Closed
Joseph Cerniglia, ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Suicide — Second for Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Shows

 

The Power of Fiction to Rewrite the Patriarchal Narrative: Free College-level Writing Courses

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Woman Writing

In several of my recent posts, such as, “Radical Feminist Analysis of Dark Shadows, The Television Series (1966-1971),” and “Men’s Propaganda War on Women: Television Sitcoms Designed to Groom Women and Girls for Male Sexual Depravity,” I’ve discussed the use of fiction, mostly in the media of movies and television, to create narratives about society and the relationships of men and women that support the patriarchal establishment and which is highly detrimental to women and girls. I have discussed the almost complete control that men have over the movie industry and how they channel the energy of the most powerful women to the service of males in films, such as in my blogpost, “A Radical Feminist Perspective on Witchcraft Movies: Movie-makers Throw Witches and Women a Bone.” I’ve discussed the television series, “Roseanne,” and how this is regarded as a feminist television show, although, the feminism of the characters is very limited by their social class. I’ve talked about how little has really changed in the portrayal of women in television, of which the television show, “The King of Queens,” is a good example.

Television shows and movies all rely on scripts. Some are originally written as plays while others are adapted into scripts from other forms of fiction, usually novels, novellas, and short stories.

I find that the power of fiction to influence people is generally underestimated. In particular, I’ve noticed that a lot of feminists (including radical ones) are aware of the power of non-fiction. In fact, most are brilliant at writing it, at telling their own personal stories about matters that are difficult to talk about and would be impossible to talk about without the relative anonymity of the internet. But, many regard non-fiction as being more important and may be quick to dismiss fiction.

In fact, this post is inspired by  an online discussion with someone who is a very powerfully influential and courageous exited-woman (one who was trafficked as a child and survived!) and I found she was quick to dismiss fiction as the construction of some far off ideal or the creation of a feminist utopia that can never be. While there has been some fiction that imagines life without men, such as Herland, published in 1915 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, there are other ways to approach writing radical feminist literature.

The examples of such writing are very few because, as I’ve shown in previous posts, fictional narratives must serve men or else they will not see the light of day. Historically, women were forbidden to write and those who did were regarded as whores, which is why they were rarely published, had to publish under masculine-sounding names, and when they wrote, they served men in their writing, such as was the case with Jane Austen, who was praised to high heaven in her time by the likes of Sir Walter Scott and the Prince Regent of England.

Writing, publishing and now movie-making and television-script-writing, producing and directing are still areas that men try very hard to keep women out of. Certain genres of fiction, in particular, science fiction, are very difficult for women to break into or to be acknowledged for their achievements. Sci-fi is notoriously male dominated and women who have attended sci-fi conventions, regardless of their level of achievement, have been subject to all kinds of sexual denigration by the men.

There are numerous articles and discussions online devoted just to harassment of women writers by the men, including men writers, at sci-fi writers’ events. Here’s a sampling of what women writers are subjected to, so you can see what I mean:

On Sexual Harassment at Conventions

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Science_Fiction_Fandom

The above link makes reference to these particular events:

The Character of Sexual Harassment at Cons

You get the idea, of course, and if you’re still wondering just do an internet search on “Sexual Harassment at Sci Fi Conventions.” There’s a whole lot more.

Let me tell you the reason for this, if you don’t already know. This reason, also, spills over into the reason for the outrageous degree and number of incidents in which mobs of men attack women who create or critique games. The science fiction genre is very powerful. It is in some ways more powerful than any other genre of fiction because it is the one that can most be used to both illustrate the absurdities of society and to forge new directions – even to provide the foundation for new scientific discoveries and inventions.

The applied creative imagination is an aspect of witchcraft – truly. When we create fictional worlds and fictional characters we are at one with the creative forces of the universe.

Here are two examples of fictional novels, both written by men, as far as anyone knows, which illustrate the strangeness of our world, both of which were adapted into movies and one of them into a television series, as well:

The Man Who Fell to Earth, published in 1963, by Walter Tevis: This gives us a look at earth from the perspective of an alien from a distant planet. The alien is from a technologically advanced planet, which has run out of water. He has come to earth on a mission to save his dying planet, but is eventually caught, imprisoned, and treated about like you would expect men in white coats would treat any living creature they want to “study.” Their scientific study is an excuse for torture.

Logan’s Run, by William F. Nolan, published in 1967: This is one of my favorite science fiction stories of all time. It’s far better than Star Wars because it tells the truth about mind control in a way that could only be done in fiction. It illustrates how mind control, especially when the system has been in place for centuries, operates to imprison people in their own minds through belief – blind belief. In this story, there has been a nuclear event in the past and civilization only survived by living in the domed city. It looks like paradise, but it is a prison in which everyone must die at age 30, believing that they will be “renewed.” They believe that there is no outside and those who are not part of their organized civilization, which is actually a soft tyranny, are savages. Logan’s Run bears some similarities to Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World, but I actually think Logan’s Run is even better. Ideally, they should probably be read together because the relationship between the two works seems undeniable.

The men fight to keep this powerful genre out of the hands of women because it is through science fiction that their own evils can be most easily illuminated. The stories in which feminist author’s create utopias, in which men and their power over us is either eliminated or greatly diminished, would fall into this category of fiction.

But, there are other genres that could be just as powerful, if used in the service of women instead of males.

An example of this – and, as you know, there are very few in either books or film, especially since both have been entirely in the hands of men and very controlled by them until very, very recently – an example of how fiction is used in the service of women may be found in one of my favorite witchcraft movies, Season of the Witch, (aka. Hungry Wives or Jack’s Wife), which was made in about 1971, and supposedly the script was written by George A. Romero. Although, I have my doubts about how much he wrote of it, since it may well have been primarily the work of his wife at that time.

Season of the Witch, is of the horror genre, which is, also, a very illuminating one, as discussed a little bit in one of my recent posts on the television show, Dark Shadows. Horror probably does the most to tell the truth about the lives of women and about the nature of men. In Season of the Witch, we do not see a feminist utopia, but a terrible reality, which a woman (and her daughter, to a lesser extent) must somehow escape. She does this by renouncing patriarchal religion and patriarchal cultural norms (to the best of her ability) and embracing her true nature (symbolized by the Green Man chasing her through the house in dreams) as a witch. Eventually, she frees herself in a very real and unexpected way and we are left, as the audience, to decide whether it was witchcraft or not. (I think it was!)  This film is very valuable because its protagonist provides a role model to women. It is, also, a cautionary tale about marriage and the nature of men.

Romero, himself, has described it as a commentary on Women’s Liberation, but it is not something on a large scale, but rather something very personal in one woman’s life. It is one small victory for this woman, which if modeled would be a victory for all of womankind.

It, also, a story we can all relate to in some way, as feminists, because we have had to free ourselves one way or another from the mind control programming laid on us from the time we were infants, enforced by psychological and physical abuse. It takes courage to break free from that – and, unfortunately, it’s something most women never do.

The patriarchal programming of little girls and of adult women through fiction is so absolute. We are inculcated with their sick, twisted ideas about us and our nature to the point that we begin to believe it ourselves. There is so little for girls and women to grab onto as examples of how to plot a path to freedom – and this is where radical feminists writing fiction can make a difference.

I believe we can re-write the world, that we can – through the power of imagination – forge a way out of this dark prison and help lead other girls and women out by providing fictional models of women who have overcome male domination.

I’ve had my own ideas about this for a while, but I’ve never tried to actually write the story. Oh, I’ve put some things down on paper, but there is an art – a craft, a skill, and knowledge – that goes into writing fiction well. So, I have these ideas revolving in my mind. Every day I wake up with them and I feel like a caged animal, thinking, planning, every day how to break out and how to rescue my fellow prisoners. I think this is the answer. We are going to have to write our way free!

You can imagine an ideal world for women. That’s good. But, if that’s too unrealistic for your tastes, you can imagine a world in which one little thing has been made better for girls and women. You can take one little thing like that and run with it and see where it takes you. What if women had complete reproductive rights? What if women never needed to fear rape, again? What if women had as much economic power as men do?

You can take a situation, a single person, or a whole community of people, and use that as your creative experiment in freeing women in some way. What if there was a town – just one town – in which rape was taken seriously? What would happen to the women and the men in that town? What would little girls’ lives be like in such a town?

This one is for NoMorePaperTowels: What if the women in a community developed their own language that only they knew and understood?  How would that affect the people in the community, male and female? How would it change their lives? Would it alter the power dynamic?

Try to think about one tiny aspect of the patriarchy that could be chipped away at and make it happen in the life of a character or characters that you own.

I know activism is a big subject among feminists, especially the liberal feminists, but I ask you to to consider how much more change can be effected quietly, in the minds of people, moving them a little bit at a time, than by taking to the streets with megaphones and picket signs. What I am proposing is a very quiet, stealthy form of protest, in which we insist on our own creation and in which we take control of the fictional ideas that men have created to our detriment and have forced and enforced on us. This is where the real power is. This is why men get angry and attack women at sci-fi conferences, why the try to bar women from the writing and production of films and movies. But, they have had trouble controlling women writing books. They are having more trouble than ever now because the major publishing houses have lost control to digital and on-demand publishing.

Writing is an area in which women have always excelled. It’s an area in which radical feminists do phenomenal work although many of them have had limited educational opportunities, but this doesn’t stop them from being amazing, brilliant writers. I have never known a more talented group of people. I suggest that this is an opportunity, something that we should not leave on the table. We should seize it!

Free Fiction-writing Courses for You to Learn and Perfect Your Craft

Present and upcoming (soon) classes through Coursera on Creative Writing, which you can audit absolutely free!: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/creative-writing

The above courses, can be taken for credit toward a degree, but a fee applies. Of course, if you are working toward a degree at another university, you must check with them to make sure they will accept the credit or that it applies in a way that helps you accomplish the attainment of your particular degree.

But, you are free to audit the classes, which means you get to sit in on them, listen to the lectures and get the assignments, which you can complete on your own. The limitations are that you will not be able to participate in peer grading and will not be able to receive a grade.

I’m auditing a couple of these courses right now through Coursera from Wesleyan College (one of the few all-women liberal arts colleges still around) and they are excellent. I’ve previously taken similar courses from another all-women’s liberal arts college, but it has been years ago and it is wonderful to see how fresh the courses have been made. It is very enjoyable and I think it could really help anyone who is trying to write fiction.

Check Coursera often or sign up for email notifications from them (that’s what I’ve been doing for a long time!), so that you are the first to hear about exciting new classes you can audit. Some are taught by famous writers.

Men’s Propaganda War on Women: Television Sitcoms Designed to Groom Women and Girls for Male Sexual Depravity

Happy_Days_Cunningham_family1974As I mentioned in the previous post, much of what we believe about men is the result of male propaganda. Propaganda is a major aspect of any war. It is used to gain compliance from the enemy, to demoralize her and in the case of male propaganda against women and girls to groom her. This post has a lot to do with the power of fiction, which men understand very well – they live their lives in a fantasy world in which they are heroes and sages. Non-fiction is regarded as being more important by many people, but the fact is that fiction is by far more powerful than any non-fiction. I plan to discuss the power of fiction more in a future post. Propaganda through fiction is how men mold our image of them, of ourselves, and of the social order – it shapes what we see as being natural and inherent. But, it is only men’s fiction.

Men’s propaganda war against women and girls is a very broad topic because it is all around us. You’ll find it in literature, music, and art going back for century after century. You’ll see it in most of the supposed non-fiction on television and in film, such as news and documentaries (in which the propaganda war is sometimes far more apparent), as well as in all the fiction, such as movies and television series, whether they are dramas, comedies, reality television or virtually any other format. You’ll see it in the newspapers and now the online news – just take a look at an outlet like the U.K. Daily Mail any day of the week, especially look at the celebrity news and the Femail section – all you will see is anti-woman propaganda. You will see objectification of women and sometimes even little girls. You’ll see who looks good, in some man’s opinion, whether dressed or undressed, who had a “nipple slip,” who has a “baby bump,” and all kinds of reinforcement of the slave institutions of gender and marriage.

The propaganda war is perpetuated by individual men and sometimes women, too. They enforce gender restrictions on their own children and males enforce it on girls and women they don’t even know – all the time. If you go out in public, especially in a high-population concentration area, there will be a man who will remind you that you are nothing but a walking hole to him  in one way or another. He may do it in a “polite” way, even. But, the idea that there are certain roles for men and women is deeply ingrained and enforced, regularly and often, against women and girls.

In order to narrow the scope of this subject of the propaganda war on women, which is ubiquitous, I am going to limit my discussion to television. Since I don’t have television and have seen very little of it aside from clips and probably pirated posts of television shows on Youtube, I will describe the kind of programming I remember in television programs when I was growing up and the few that I have seen recently.

My favorite television series have mostly been sit-coms – in fact, I think comedies are the most insidious forms of propaganda against women and girls because they cause us and others to laugh at our oppression and abuse. I mention some examples of this in my review of the comedy series “The King of Queens.

Almost any comedy series you can think of is an offender: The Andy Griffith Show; I Love Lucy;  Leave It to Beaver; Bewitched; I Dream of Jeannie; All in the Family; Happy Days; Bosom Buddies; Three’s Company; The Roseanne Show; The George Lopez Show.

There are some older series I’ve seen only an episode or two of because they were so perverse and disturbing to me. Some of these are regarded as being very wholesome. For instance, there is an episode of Ozzie and Harriet, in which Ozzie, the ideal American father, is ogling a woman on the golf course.

There is an old television drama program called the Kraft Theater. I once watched an episode written by Rod Serling, featuring an appearance by Elizabeth Montgomery, from 1955, called “Patterns.” You can watch it at the link provided. This old program was very disturbing to me because I used to work in offices back in the 1980s and this is the same kind of mistreatment, dismissiveness, and sexism I frequently experienced. Serling often writes morality plays – many of his Twilight series episodes are modern morality plays, which deal with ethics and fair treatment, especially of oft maligned, oppressed individuals. This is the case unless, of course, the oft maligned, oppressed individuals are women – this is entirely ignored as if it does not exist and you will see that in this particular program. There is a question of a man’s business ethics in relation to other men – but, never in his treatment of women in the office, who are nothing but underpaid servants.

Other old drama series, in particular Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Perry Mason, and some other dramas include anti-woman propaganda. But, it is most insidious, and often more difficult to discern, in comedies that make us laugh – or, at least, make people who aren’t “humorless radical feminists” laugh!

Some of the nastiest comedies are those that are touted as “family” shows, in particular, The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, both of which featured a wise father imparting his “morals,” as such, to his sons. As I said two posts back, men are angry with women because what is moral to them is immoral to us – and vice versa. What is moral in a Christian-dominated, male-dominated culture is for men to have unfettered access to  and control over women’s bodies. Our resistance to this is immoral, according to them, because we are not obeying God’s command to submit to males. This makes the men angry; it makes them feel justified in raping, torturing, and killing us.

The Andy Griffith Show is extremely authoritarian. The sheriff is a gentle tyrant, who almost always knows better than everyone else. Usually, the only time he ever gets it wrong is when he over-disciplines his son, Opie. Then, he always makes good and apologizes to the boy. Girls and women are all secondary characters in this show. Aunt Bea takes the place of the boy’s mother and is the sheriff’s live-in cook and housekeeper. She’s a silly old woman, who makes bad pickles and falls for con men, which we see in several episodes.

Even though Andy is an ugly and undesirable old man, he uses his power and authority as sheriff to pick up on women, whether they are residents, have just moved to town, or are just passing through. His hilarious, bug-eyed sidekick. Barney, also, has a little gal of his own and many episodes are devoted to the sheriff and his deputies’ dating escapades.

I recall two particularly disturbing episodes of this show: “Andy and the Woman Speeder” and “The Manicurist.”

In “Andy and the Woman Speeder,” Barney and Andy pull over a woman who is speeding through town in a convertible. They take her to jail and the old trope of the attractive woman trying to use her feminine wiles to get out of a ticket unfolds. There are many sexually suggestive scenes, in particular, there is one in which the prisoner, a “stubborn female,” is shown undressing in silhouette while provocative striptease music plays in the background. The combination of patriarchal police authority and sexual situations involving male authority over an imprisoned woman make for a very perverse episode in the disguise of wholesome, all-American television viewing.

In “The Manicurist,” starring Barbara Eden, we see another testosterone-soaked morality play. The men in town all line up for manicures when a pretty, blonde, single woman, who is presumably hot for every old geezer in town, turns up in what she thinks looks like a nice, friendly town, in search of work. After all the women in town are inflamed by this woman’s existence (remember: men write these things, actresses just mouth the words they are given), due to the male’s undisguised, panting perversions, Andy advises her to go back to her possibly abusive boyfriend since that’s her rightful place – at the side of a man, not causing trouble and upsetting the system by daring to become an entrepreneur and trying to live as an independent person. She thanks Andy for his manly and fatherly wisdom.

The message is that men know best. Women have a certain limited place. Even the best, good, God-fearin’, folksy men cannot help their disgusting behavior toward women, which we see from long camera strokes up and down Barbara Eden’s legs in “The Manicurist.” It is man’s role to ogle women and it is women’s role to be ogled and to either ignore it (a big joke – and the message is that women are stupid and don’t see what men are doing to them) or to enjoy it (women are whores and love being treated as objects by males).

In Happy Days, we see a total reinforcement of “boys will be boys” type of behavior. There is the family patriarch, Mr. C, and his wife, Mrs. C, and both reinforce gender roles on their children and every one else’s. Mr. C  advises his son on how to deal with girls. The female characters including the wife and daughter are secondary to the male characters, as is common in almost every television show ever made. The Fonz is a pick-up-artist, who advises Richie and the other fellows on the show, including Potsie and Ralph Malph on how to pick up women, how to treat women, how to get what they want from these women. The Fonz is irresistible to women, as if he has some hypnotic powers – like Dracula. He snaps his fingers and women cling to him and they walk off together and it is often more than suggested that he is going off to fuck them. We never see this, but the suggestion and the assumption can be found in every show. But, the Fonz, far from being a villain, is the hero of the show who is pitied by the Cunnighams as a overgrown orphan.

One of the most disturbing episodes of this show I remember – and almost every episode is riddled with perverse filth in the name of family entertainment – is one called “Hard Cover,” in which Potsie and Ralph conduct a “panty raid,” at a local college dorm. Yes, felonious sex crimes are funny in TV Land. The two break into women’s bedrooms at night and terrorize them, chasing them around – women screaming in terror at strange men in their bedrooms at night, is humor – to men, anyway. This is a way of making sex crimes seem frivolous and funny. The victims are just humorless, falsely accusing bitches. The perpetrators are just boys having a little fun – boys being boys.

In every episode, we see the reinforcement of gender roles. We see that women long for relationships with men. They are unhappy when they are not in a relationship with a male. The goal of the young girls, all secondary characters, is to pair up with a man and the men – even those presented as the best, most wholesome examples of Americana – are sex predators, oglers, and PUAs.

There is an episode of Happy Days that I think of every time I’ve been harassed by a man in the produce section of a grocery store. In it, the Fonz teaches Richie how to pick up women at the grocery store by ramming his shopping cart into theirs and then starting up a conversation about melons and bananas. How much did this show influence males growing up in the 1970s? I would say quite a lot. I think it influenced girls, too – to look for a heroic male, however abusive, authoritarian, and perverse he is.

If you examine the television shows going back for several decades you will see a pattern of men and their sons as primary characters. The only exceptions are those relative few in which you see men fathering or foster-fathering daughters. Some of these examples are especially disturbing. For instance, if you haven’t taken a close look at some of those old shows that used to run on television featuring Shirley Temple, they are worth a second look to see the pedophilia programming. There is constant reassurance that old men can be trusted with little girls. Shirley sits on old men’s laps and tugs at their beards and the men are always gentle and kind. Statistically, we know that men who have access to little girls, especially those who are not their biological daughters, have a very high instance of rape and sexual assault of the girls. You would never guess it by watching these old programs, though.

Another one that always disturbed me – it’s not a sitcom, but a movie that always runs on television around Christmas time  – is the film, Miracle on 42nd Street, which involves a cute, little girl and a fat, old department store Santa Claus. Something is just not right about the old man in the little girl’s bedroom and his perverse interest in a fatherless little girl whose absentee mother almost makes her an orphan.

Most of the sitcoms I can recall feature men and boys, though. After all, girls aren’t good for much except sewing, cooking and being fucked by men. So we see in Lassie, My Three Sons, and the Courtship of Eddie’s Father. We, also, see that two men are very capable of raising a girl (and a boy) in A Family Affair, a 1970s sitcom. Would you trust Mr. French with your daughter? I wouldn’t. But, the message is that men are safe for girls and women to be around – and, not only safe, but this is a desirable situation. In fact, it is a dangerous situation, but this is something that no one discussed openly until, at least, the late 1970s or maybe the 1980s.

Often when I am watching a television series, I wonder about women characters who open their doors to whoever knocks. Is this something women really did back in the 1940s or ’50s? You’ll even see this in The King of Queens, in which Carrie will open her door – in Queens! in 2004! – to whoever happens to be knocking. She doesn’t even look out the peephole, but just throws the door wide open.

In both comedy and drama series, women who are concerned about men trying to kill them are portrayed as crazy – sometimes it’s even funny that women fear male predators. For instance, there is an episode of Maude, called “Maude’s Desperate Hours,” – a particularly funny one, in fact – in which Maude has hired a Greek painter, who made sexual advances at her, then threatened to kill her. The whole episode makes light and fun of her terror and that of her friend, Vivian, who quite perversely loves to hear tales of sexual abuse by men. This, too, is accompanied by a laugh track and appears in many episodes.

In this episode, Maude is shown being both sexually attracted to and terrified by the painter. The message is, again, that women secretly long to be abused and terrorized by men. Men threatening women is not a serious matter. Women who insist that it is serious, are hysterical, to be ridiculed, are over-reacting, are really wanting it, enjoy the drama, wanting the attention – all the things we hear from males whenever a woman is assaulted can probably be found somewhere in this episode. And, of course, it is all very funny – I can’t help laughing anytime I watch it, although I clearly see the programming and realize that it is at my own expense and at the expense of women and girls and it is all to the benefit of males who wish to harm us.

This the most insidious propaganda because we women buy into it, ourselves, all too often and laugh at it, despite ourselves.

The propaganda serves the purpose of numbing, desensitizing, and trivializing the abuse of women and girls, grooming us, making it easier for men to harm us, abuse us, kill us, and get away with it. It gains our compliance and the compliance of everyone around us.

This is the power of fiction. It is a demonstration of its power because all of this is simply a reflection of the male’s patriarchal system of abuse of females, which is, itself, predicated on a fictional story – a lie.

Men’s fictional propaganda goes back, at least, as far as their silly Garden of Eden story and everything we see on television and everywhere else in pop culture and all around us is a variation on this basic fictional story.

In my next post, I hope to discuss this a little further using a popular old, Gothic soap opera called “Dark Shadows,”as a further example of this propaganda and the power of fiction.