Spite Your Face.

CN: misogyny, violence, rape. Have a care before continuing.

Rachel Maclean:

13 May – 26 November 2017
Chiesa di Santa Caterina, Fondamenta Santa Caterina, 30121, Cannaregio
Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm, free entry (also open Monday 15 May)

Rachel Maclean is representing Scotland at the 57th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale, with major new film commission Spite Your Face – a modern-day, dark Venetian fairytale presented as a large-scale portrait projection at the altar of a deconsecrated church.

Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, 2017, digital video (still). Courtesy the artist. Commissioned by Alchemy Film & Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh on behalf of Scotland + Venice.

In Venice’s Chiesa di Santa Caterina, I am sitting in a pew, looking up to where the altar would normally be, watching the distinct yet unfamiliar movements of a gigantic nose being masturbated. A blue, gloved hand runs up and down its glittering gold length, and its owner, a cartoonish young perfume-purveying influencer named Pic, groans with pleasure. “I intended it to be shocking,” says Scottish artist Rachel Maclean, of her contribution to Scotland’s presence in Venice during the Biennale, a 35-minute, looping film with no beginning or end, that follows Pic on a morality tale that pits his conscience against his greed.

[…]

It would be hard not to see the political significance of the piece, in a world where outright lies appear to be de rigeur for anyone in the public eye. “I was disturbed by the ways in which lies had been used in the Trump campaign and the Brexit campaign, in a lazy sense, to substantiate a political narrative or an idea,” Maclean says. “I started writing the script in December last year and it was a scary time…” One narrative that stands out from the film is the idea of a transformation of fortune, a rags-to-riches redemption (or riches-to-rags, depending on which order you watch the film in), that sees a destitute young boy wind up as shill for a perfume brand called “Untruth.” This creates a fake corporate illusion, in comparison to the magic “Truth” one given to him by his fairy godmother.

“I’ve always been interested in perfume because it seems absurd,” says Maclean. “Really, it’s just a bottle of smelly liquid but it’s packaged in this way that not only makes the object into something more valuable, but it also suggests that you spraying it onto yourself transforms you into something more powerful and alluring.” This idea of a transformative solution to society’s problems critiques these myths that we are told about social mobility: lean in, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, it’s the American Dream. “I was interested in the compassionless aspect of it. The narrative suggests, if you work hard enough and if you dream it, you can do it. It’s a convenient way to gloss over the lack of social mobility in our society,” adds Maclean.

Another uncomfortable moment comes right after the unforgettable nose-onanism, where Pic’s guardian angel joins him in the sexual act. Pic becomes enraged at a perceived insult and ends up brutally raping this maternal figure. It’s uncomfortable, in fact, almost unbearable to watch, even though it’s still, absurdly, carried out by the character’s nose, lengthened from all those lies. “I’ve been disturbed by the rise in visible misogyny,” Maclean says, when asked about this scene. “There’s a level of immunity to it—where we’re just not affected by it. I wanted the rape scene to feel palpably violent and difficult to watch, so that it’s able to break through the surface of that a little bit.”

Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, 2017, digital video (still). Courtesy the artist. Commissioned by Alchemy Film & Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh on behalf of Scotland + Venice.

The Creators Project has the full story, and more photos. There’s also more at Scotland and Venice.  I have no doubt this is both and impressive and disturbing work; not one I would find easy to sit through, but I would like to see it all the same.

Oooh, Cry Some More, Boys.

Greg Rucka said Wonder Woman’s queer identity was important to the narrative. Photograph: Frank Cho/DC Comics.

Greg Rucka said Wonder Woman’s queer identity was important to the narrative. Photograph: Frank Cho/DC Comics.

Time to get drunk on tears once again. Some screenings of Wonder Woman have had a Women Only night, and all the dudes are upset.

“Wonder Woman” may be a feminist icon, but some male moviegoers aren’t happy about some scheduled women-only screenings of the film.
The controversy began when the famous Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin, Texas, announced it would be hosting a screening of the new movie, which stars Gal Gadot as the superhero.

“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz,” the announcement read. “And when we say ‘People Who Identify As Women Only,’ we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.”

That didn’t go over well with some men, judging by the comments on the theater’s Facebook page.
“Apparently ‘equality’ is only selective nowadays,” one person wrote. “How about a ‘men’s only’ showing of a movie or is that not how equality works?”

Why no, that is not how equality works, you crybaby of a cupcake.

The Alamo responded to many of the negative comments, pointing out that they have hosted screenings for select groups before, including veterans for military films, and that it’s about a celebration of the Wonder Woman character.

Hmmm, I’ll just bet there wasn’t any leaking of man tears over a veteran’s screening. So, cry some more, dudes, cry enough for us all to get drunk!

Full story at CNN, beware autoplay. Hat Tip to Saad.

White Genocide In Space!

Oh, the moans! The whines! The cries of the incredibly privileged white dudes! Will no one think of the bros? I can answer that one: No. You’re free to fuck off and not watch the new Trek, which, horror of horrors, is not stuffed to the starship ceiling with white men.

The new series Star Trek Discovery stars Asian actress Michelle Yeoh as the ship’s captain and black actress Sonequa Martin-Green as her first officer — and this has caused some Trekkies to fret about the lack of white men in charge.

While the overall reaction to the new Star Trek trailer has been positive — although there are the usual complaints from Star Trek fans about continuity errors — one group of fans is particularly upset about the show’s diverse cast of characters.

As both Heat Street and Daily Kos point out, the series’ YouTube page has been bombarded by comments labeling the show a “SJW” plot aimed at shoving “political correctness,” “forced diversity,” and even “cultural Marxism” down viewers’ throats.

Additionally, some angry Twitter users have even proclaimed that the show’s diverse cast is evidence of a “white genocide” conspiracy aimed at eliminating the white race from the face of the Earth.

Trailer from here.

Hee. Oh my, it’s a day to get drunk on tears. Via Raw Story.

Facebook’s Internal Rulebook.

Facebook’s policy on threats of violence. A tick means something can stay on the site; a cross means it should be deleted. Photograph: Guardian.

The Guardian has an in-depth look at the ongoing problems of Facebook.  If you’re on FB, you’re no doubt already familiar with all these problems and inconsistencies, but you might want to still take the time to do the reading, it’s very interesting, to say the least. As I remarked on this post, the big problem with FB is that they are well aware of the fact that no matter how much people get upset, they won’t kill their account and walk.

As for the above graphic, one of many, “To snap a bitch’s neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of the throat.” is allowed because it’s not considered to be a credible threat, too generic. Given the sheer amount of women murdered every single. damn. day., I have a whole lot of problems with that, to say the least. Someone, somewhere, will appreciate that information, and put it to use. All I have here is WTF FB?

I had been considering going back to FB, for an Affinity feed, but have been very hesitant to do so. This made up my mind. No. My personal principles won’t stand for it.

*Ob. Disclaimer: Yes, I know most of the effing world is on FB, and that’s fine. I’m making a judgment call for myself, no one else.

Full story at The Guardian.

Sunday Facepalm: “You Deserve To Suffer!”

Jesse Lee Peterson, screen capture.

Just in time for a holiday celebrating mothers, Jesse Lee Peterson has something to say about all those evil parents who, *gasp*, remarry after being divorced. Turns out that’s just a big ol’ no no, and if you do that, you are not only seriously fucking up your sproggen, you deserve to suffer, too.

“The parents who are doing that are selfish parents,” Peterson said. “You’re selfish and you’re destroying the souls of your children … These people who are blending their families like that do not love their children.”

Peterson insisted that anyone who has a child out of wedlock or gets divorced must remain single and must not “get involved with anyone else” until their children are grown and have moved out of the house.

“You deserve to suffer,” he said. “It’s not your kid’s fault that you are out of control and decided that you were going to have sex … with the wrong person and make a baby. They don’t deserve to suffer that because you were crazy.”

Uh huh. It’s interesting how “shit happens” means you must take punishment, not matter what. Context? Doesn’t matter. Circumstances? Doesn’t matter. Why you evil creature, you had sex, you must pay! Forever! I had been unaware that having sex and a resultant child made a person crazy. That would make most everyone on the planet crazy.

Peterson says that parents who find themselves single or divorced must admit to themselves that they are solely to blame for their situation and “then God will give you love” and they’ll have no need for a partner.

Oh, I’m pretty sure that most cases of divorce are not cases of sole blame or responsibility. It’s not a frivolous matter, dissolving a legal partnership. If a person is being beaten, they are not to blame for a divorce. Takes a lot of courage to get out of such a marriage. If a person is dealing with someone who can’t keep their pants up, I don’t think you get to blame them for walking, but that’s just me. I think kids who end up in the middle of those “we must keep up appearances and stay married for the kids” relationships hate them. Kids aren’t stupid, and this sort of thinking presumes kids are idiots who wouldn’t know their parent or parents were unhappy. Discontent and unhappiness spread, quickly. If a blended family provides support and happiness, that’s a good thing, unless, of course, you’re dealing with Jehovah, who frowns on that whole happiness business.

“It doesn’t matter how nice the person is that you get involved with, the kids are not going to accept it,” Peterson warned. “In their souls, they are not going to accept it and you do a disservice to your children when you do that.”

Ah right, so even if the kids do accept the change, and like the change, and are thriving, you’re still killing them, yes you are! Souls don’t exist. No one has one, and no one is going to endanger their child’s soul by building a stable, happy family.

Via RWW.

“Every Democrat in America must be demon-possessed,”

Astaroth, prince of Hell, from J.A.S. Collin de Plancy, Dictionnaire Infernal. Original illustration by Louis Breton, engraved by M. Jarrault.

Oh, Gordon Klingenschmitt is on a tear again, and it’s the same old shit, but now, all democrats must be demon accessible, that’s just how it is, you betcha. If you’ve already had an internal whisper, bet this is about abortion, declare bingo.

Religious Right activist and former Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt said on a recent episode of his “Pray In Jesus Name” program that Democratic leaders are declaring that “if you don’t serve the devil, you can’t be a good Democrat.”

Klingenschmitt was reacting to recent comments from Sen. Dick Durbin and DNC chairman Tom Perez asserting that Democrats should support Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health choices, which he interpreted as meaning that people must agree to be ruled by demons in order to be Democrats.

Hmmm. Two men, who have managed to figure out that yes, women are actual human beings with a right to bodily autonomy, just like that which men enjoy. Definitely has to be demons, couldn’t possibly be mildly enlightened thinking, no.

“If the Bible says that something is sin,” Klingenschmitt said, “and it’s a sin to commit acts of murder against innocent children, then you can tell who the demonic spirits … are influencing when you see people like Tom Perez and Dick Durbin saying, ‘Not only shall we kill innocent children as a matter of policy, citing Roe v. Wade, not only shall we use American taxpayer dollars to pay for the shedding of innocent blood but, if you’re not demonic like we are, you can’t be a Democrat like we are.’”

Let’s break this down a bit. “If the bible says that something is a sin”, what does that matter to me? I’m not christian, and I could not possibly care less what that mess of a pastiche says about anything. Last time I looked, uStates is still not a theocracy, even as it slides down the drain. Well, not officially, anyway, so I’m not obligated to obey inquisitorial law, let alone pay attention to it.

As has come up before, many times, the bible is not the book you want people looking into to if you’re going to discuss acts of murder against innocent children. The bible is replete with the blood of innocent children, the slaughter generally accounted with a dark and triumphant glee, as if dashing the heads of infants against rocks was a grand and cheery thing to do to get your day started. Of course, when you’re talking about terminating an unwanted pregnancy, you are not talking about murdering a child. Not that christians like that distinction being made, but that is reality, and it would be nice if christians could face it just once.

And because it seems this needs to be said every five fucking seconds, federal monies do not fund terminations, full stop. The constant melodramatic hyperbole of idiotic christians is exhausting. I have no idea of where they get the energy. Demons, perhaps.

And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. — Leviticus 27:6

According to the bible, if an infant is under a month old, it doesn’t exist, basically. It has no value. Hard to see how a zygote would figure into all that. You can see more of what the bible has to say about abortion here. Then you have cheery stuff like this:

Hosea 9:14- Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

Hosea 9:16 – Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.

Hosea 13:16 -Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Lovely stuff, ennit? I have little use for the bible, to say the least. Now, one thing which is not mentioned in all this bloodlust towards women and children: demons. Don’t figure into it at all, no, it’s just good ol’ El Shaddai, also known as ‘god’. When your ‘god’ is such a nasty, psychopathic, genocidal maniac, I think I’d probably take my chances with the demons, who don’t seem to do much at all. Of course, none of these characters are real, so it doesn’t much matter. What does matter are fucking idiots like Gordon, who want to play real world pretend with this nonsense. If you want to sit in your own dwelling or in your place of worship, and fantasise and role play this dreck, fine, have at it. But that’s where you leave it. Anything beyond that is doing actual, real harm to living beings, and even going by your own fucked up beliefs, that’s supposed to be the bailiwick of that ‘god’ of yours, so you let it fight its own battles. I’ll wait.

“They’re claiming that every Democrat in America must be demon-possessed, as they are, in order to be faithful to the views of their party,” he said. “If you don’t serve the devil, you can’t be a good Democrat. I’m paraphrasing, but that is what they are saying, isn’t it?”

Sigh. Why no, that’s not what they are saying. They simply said that women are actual human beings. Nothing about demon possession, nothing about serving the devil, who gets one hell of a bad rap, I might add. I realize that ‘god’ of yours has to have a villain, or else the whole system collapses, but wow, did that story arc ever go wrong. ‘God’ is the bad guy, and the villain doesn’t do much at all, except be a handy scapegoat. As always, I highly recommend Steve Well’s Drunk With Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible. There’s a fucktonne of killing, and most all of it, with a minor exception (the bet over Job), it’s all on El Shaddai.

Also, whoever is handling the Social Justice Warrior LGBTIA Liberal Agenda handbook or whatever, keep up! I keep missing memos, and now I find out I’m obligated to consort with demons? I have a busy schedule, y’know, I can’t fit this stuff in on the spur of the moment.

The full mess is at RWW, complete with video if you’re the glutton for punishment type.

Cool Stuff Friday.

The Infinite Now from Armand Dijcks on Vimeo.

Over the past months I’ve been working with Australian photographer Ray Collins to bring his amazing oceanscapes to life in the form of cinemagraphs, a blend between photography and video. Each cinemagraph is created from one of Ray’s stills, and sets it in infinite motion, making a unique moment in time last forever.

These cinemagraphs inspired André Heuvelman from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra to get together with pianist Jeroen van Vliet to record a very moving custom soundtrack, which I combined with a selection of the cinemagraphs.

You can see the original cinemagraphs at armanddijcks.com/cinemagraphs-waves

Ray’s images can be found at raycollinsphoto.com

André Heuvelman’s music: andreheuvelman.com

Stunning and mesmerizing work by all!

The Canadian Museum of History has unveiled a unique new exhibit that brings the faces of a 4,000-year-old Indigenous family back to life.

The museum revealed the three-dimensional forensic reconstruction of a shíshálh family whose remains were found in an ancient burial site near what is now Sechelt, B.C. The digital images move and blink in the incredibly life-like display.

“To look back on some of our people that existed within our territory 4,000 years ago, and to be in close proximity of their images — it’s a humbling experience,” Chief Warren Paull of the shíshálh Nation told CBC News.

“I see cousins. I see family.”

You can read more about this here. Amazing work.

SHE INSPIRES installation view.

Women’s history has long been marginalized in mainstream education, relegated to its own niche of study and overlooked in favor of male-dominated historical narratives. SHE INSPIRES, a group exhibition at The Untitled Space, highlights these lesser told histories through the work of over 60 contemporary artists. Each piece in the show is an homage to an important woman. Curator, Indira Cesarine, tells Creators, “SHE INSPIRES aims to honor and celebrate women who have impacted our culture and tell their stories which should be rightfully included not just as ‘women’s history,’ but everyone’s history.”

[…]

SHE INSPIRES is on display at The Untitled Space in Soho through May 20th. Click here for accompanying events and more information.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

The Slow Mo Guys take on mousetraps on a trampoline.

A New Vaginal Ring.

Medscape.

Researchers are working on a new vaginal ring, which combines contraception and dapivirine, an antiretroviral drug. The outlook is good, but at least here in uStates, the current political climate could not possibly be worse for a method of contraception which also shields from HIV transmission.

A new vaginal ring containing dapivirine, an antiretroviral drug, as well as a hormonal contraceptive, levonorgestrel, has started its first trial. If all goes according to plan, women will have a single product that shields them from both HIV transmission and unintended pregnancy.

The National Institutes of Health-Funded Microbicide Trials Network is overseeing the Phase I trial, after the multipurpose ring was proven safe in two larger trials called ASPIRE and The Ring Study, each of which tested the durability of monthly dapavirine rings.

However, the newest study, which will be conducted at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is testing to see if the ring will be able to provide a three-month supply.

The nonprofit International Partnership for Microbicides developed the original monthly rings. While the benefits of contraceptive rings have long been known, it wasn’t until women who participated in ASPIRE and The Ring Study expressed the need for a single product providing both a contraceptive and anti-HIV drugs that researchers began moving forward with the idea.

Plus has the full story.

Women Helping Women / SASS.

https://womenhelp.org/

While the fate of the Fuck You No Healthcare Plan is not certain yet, one thing is more than clear: whether or not the senate squashes this monstrosity, it will be women and other people who can get pregnant who will end up being hurt the most. In spite of the fact that abortion is legal in uStates, the reality is the opposite for a majority of women. For many women, being able to obtain a termination within draconian time limits has been made impossible, and there are many efforts to make sure that women cannot access early abortion pills, either. The FDA updated its protocol on mifepristone last year, increasing its eligibility of use from 49 days’ gestation to 70 days’, but my state, nDakota, along with Ohio and Texas, refuse to comply, adhering to the old protocol as a means to prevent women from using it. Many states have outlawed the use to telemedicine in regard to mifepristone, which is yet another nail on autonomy’s coffin when it comes to those of us who live rural. Tom Price, who doesn’t much believe in contraception anyway, and denies the fact that women need help to obtain it, so he refuses to cover it, is elated with the latest move, and that is very bad news indeed, for all women who use contraception.

When I was younger, I thought that the days of the Jane Collective were long past, that such networks would not ever be needed again. I certainly felt that way when I obtained an abortion in 1975. At that time, no one cared about my private medical decisions, or the private medical decisions of others. It took many years for the anti-choice brigade to whip up a proper frenzy, but they managed it, and here we are, back in an age of necessary collectives.

A Dutch Collective, Women Helping Women is active, providing help with Self-Managed Abortion; Safe and Supported (SASS). If you find yourself in trouble, please, please, do things safely. There are people who can help you, so take advantage of that, and remember you are not alone.

WHW has an emphasis on privacy, it’s clandestine, and you cannot be traced, which is necessary because women are being prosecuted for inducing abortions.

While the Trump administration didn’t invent anti-choice ideology or policies, it is unapologeticallylaying the groundwork for an unprecedented attack on reproductive rights and the women who seek abortion care. And although anti-choice legislators have historically focused on restricting surgical abortion, medical abortion is very much in their crosshairs, too.

“While people in the U.S. have been self-inducing abortion with pills safely, effectively and privately, they do so under the looming threat of arrest and prosecution, or detention and deportation,” said Jill Adams, Chief Strategist at the Self-Induced Abortion (SIA) Legal Team at Berkeley Law. “Not because self-induced abortion is per se illegal, but because rogue prosecutors have been manipulating and misapplying laws in a modern day witch-hunt.”

According to the SIA Legal Team, there are 17 known arrests or convictions in connection with self-induced abortion. “This threat looms most heavily over communities of color, immigrants, and people living in poverty who already face some of the highest obstacles to reproductive healthcare access and over policing of their communities,” said Adams.

Think Progress has the full story.

Sigh. Speaking of:

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on Friday signed into law a 20-week abortion ban that faces a legal challenge in the Midwestern state’s supreme court.

The law, passed by Iowa’s Republican-controlled House and Senate last month, bans abortions once a pregnancy reaches 20 weeks and stipulates a three-day waiting period before women can undergo any abortion.

The law does not make exceptions for instances of rape or incest but does allow for abortions if the mother’s life or health is at risk.

Full story here.

Contraceptives? Oh, No, They Don’t Work.

In this March 21, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump, followed by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, leaves Capitol Hill Washington after rallying support for the Republican health care overhaul with GOP lawmakers. CREDIT: AP/J. Scott Applewhite.

Here’s one for the How Much Can We Fuck Women Up files. Teresa Manning has been tapped to be Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services. She’ll be responsible for administering federal Title X family planning funds. The problem? Not only is Ms. Manning rabidly anti-choice, she’s a contraception denier. She doesn’t think anyone needs contraception. I really didn’t think anything else today could make my bad mood worse, was I ever wrong.

Manning is currently listed as deputy assistant secretary for the office in the HHS staff directory.

Manning has worked for the National Right to Life Committee and Family Research Council. She has a long history of making inaccurate statements about contraception, like saying that it doesn’t work, and falsely claimed there was a link between breast cancer and abortion, according to Mic.

In 2001, when Manning worked for the Family Research Council, which has fiercely opposed LGBTQ rights, she said that it was “immoral” and “medically irresponsible” to ensure that women can buy emergency contraceptives over the counter.

Part of Manning’s role is to administer $286 million in federal Title X family planning funds, which benefit low-income populations. Title X is a competitive federal grant program that provides family planning and other health services to an estimated four million low-income uninsured and underinsured people each year. Providers have to demonstrate a capacity to meet needs in community before receiving funds.

Manning would have a role in setting national policy on issues of family planning and contraception and advises the secretary and assistant secretary for the department on a “wide range of reproductive health issues,” according to the HHS website.

[…]

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released a statement on the appointment.

“It is a cruel irony to appoint an opponent of birth control to oversee the nation’s only federal program dedicated to family planning,” Laguens stated. “We are at the lowest rate of unintended pregnancy in 30 years and a historic low for teen pregnancy because of access to birth control. Someone who promotes myths about birth control and reproductive care should not be in charge of the office that is responsible for family planning at HHS.”

Think Progress has the full bad news.

A Tangled Tale: The Red Pill.

The Daily Beast has uncovered the tangled origins of Reddit’s angry and toxic Red Pill forum. It turns out the creator of said forum is a once upon a time democrat turned republican, Rep. Robert Fisher. He’s quite the specimen, to say the very least. The article is in-depth and link heavy, so just a bit here.

Last November, voters in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region re-elected to the state House of Representatives a man who appears to be one of the secret architects of the Internet’s misogynistic “Manosphere.”

The homegrown son of a preacher, 31-year-old Robert Fisher is a Republican who represents New Hampshire’s Belknap County District 9. In addition to his legislative duties, Fisher owns a local computer repair franchise, and in his spare time, seems to have created the web’s most popular online destination for pickup artistry and Men’s Rights activists, The Red Pill, according an investigation by the Daily Beast.

An investigation into Fisher’s online aliases found a trail of posts linking the lawmaker to the username Pk_atheist, the creator of The Red Pill—an online Reddit community of nearly 200,000 subscribers which promotes itself as a “discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men.”

The Daily Beast has the full story.

A Profile in Avoidance.

The couple with Donald’s daughter Ivanka at the 2004 Met Gala.
By Evan Agostini/Getty Images.

Vanity Fair has an interesting profile of Melania Trump, who, it seems, simply wanted a life of quiet avoidance cushioned by a great deal of money. Interesting reading, but also truly sad, a look at brittle, splintery, unhappy lives.

As the gorgeous wife of a Manhattan billionaire, Melania has had every opportunity to become a fixture on the gala-going benefit circuit. But that would presume an interest in social status or a cause. As Bytner recalls, “She was passionate about . . . Well, I can’t think what she was passionate about.”

[…]

Trump decided not to run in 2012, saying he wasn’t ready to leave the private sector. Four years later, the time had come. Trump’s official story is that he consulted with his family about his decision to run, and they all agreed. A former campaign aide recalls a conversation in which Melania told this aide that she didn’t want Donald to run, because she was terrified he might win. According to another Trump insider, “She never wanted this, and never had any interest.” (Grisham maintains that “Mrs. Trump has always been supportive of all her husband’s endeavors.”) Tolerating his boorishness—that she could do. Repeating a couple of lame sound bites to Joy Behar—fine. But serious campaigning for one’s spouse required far more actual effort.

Melania seemed to do her best to ignore the new reality, on the grounds that she wanted to be home for Barron. Over the course of Trump’s 17-month campaign, she rarely joined her husband at rallies, and the speeches she gave could be counted on one hand. Compare that with Michelle Obama, who spoke all over the country on Barack’s behalf, though she too had young children. During the primaries, Donald made do by re-tweeting a picture of Melania next to an unflattering shot of Heidi Cruz, Ted’s wife, with the caption “The images are worth a thousand words.”

But then he clinched the nomination, and more Melania participation was required—which, alas, did not do her any favors. In February 2016, in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Melania expounded on illegal immigration, using her personal story as an example of model behavior. “I followed the law . . . . And you should do that. You should not just say, O.K., let me stay here. And whatever happens happens.”

The full article is here.

Oh, Evil Cleavage!

Michael Reagan has decided, in his defense of one Mr. O’Reilly, to focus on … cleavage! Surprised, right? C’mon, no one ever could have guessed that one, no, no. The sheer nerve of women, existing with those inconveniently placed bumps, let alone wearing something low cut. Oooh, the evil.

Conservative commentator Michael Reagan, the son of former president Ronald Reagan, defended Bill O’Reilly this morning over claims that the recently fired Fox News host sexually harassed women.

Reagan, a contributor to the conservative outlet Newsmax, shared posts on Facebook and Twitter insisting that if women wear “low cut dresses,” then men should consider suing “for sexual arousal”

There was a link to that tweet, I removed it as the tweet in question is now gone. It would seem Mr. Reagan got some feedback on that one which he didn’t like.

“If women are going to wear low cut dresses that show cleavage don’t be harassed when we men look. Or shld we sue for sexual arousal?”

Oh, so that’s how it works, women just have to decide we aren’t harassed. Ever. Then everything will be okely dokely!

Another deleted Tweet stated:

Hot Choclare used to be a compliment on your looks today it is called sexual harassment..@oreillyfactor

— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) April 21, 2017

It’s been replaced with this one:

If someone calls u brown sugar because u are in their eyes gorgeous and blk.2 them it’s a compliment 2 U it’s harrassment, then tell them.

Oh, the denseness of someone who absolutely refuses to get the point. What you think about anyone’s appearance, and how it affects your boner has no place at all in any relationship other than a mutually intimate one.

Via RWW.