Friday, August 28, 2009

What Does Woman Want?

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New World Notes News
Volume 2, Number 35 -- September 1, 2009

This week in New World Notes, radio program #79, September 1 & 3:

Some more color in her life?

What Does
Woman Want?

from the blog, Traumdeutung*, by (apparently) Amy H. Konig:

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What I would like to know is: what do people mean when they ask, What does Hillary want? . . . Obviously, they want her to go away, and they want her to name her price. Whether you agree or disagree with this sentiment, though, it is clear that there are a vast number of ways to express it that do not involve quoting one of the most famous misogynist phrases in history.

Late in life, Sigmund Freud reportedly uttered the question “What does woman want?” (“Was will das Weib?”) to Marie Bonaparte. This phrase, which does not appear in the Standard Edition, has nevertheless become one of the founder of modern psychology's most famous quotations. When Freud asked this question, he meant to convey that the question itself is unanswerable: that women are simply one of the great unsolved mysteries (and problems) in life.

Along with his characterization of the female psyche as a “dark continent,” and his description of female desire as “veiled in obscurity,” this quotation is regularly invoked as evidence of Freud’s misogyny. It is perhaps one the most contentious phrases in all of psychoanalysis, and it has had a profound effect on Freud’s legacy. (Emphasis added.)

To marry a nice Jewish doctor?

On New World Notes I have courageously risen to defend people nearly universally regarded as scum. I have said that Iran PM Mosadeq may not have been the Communist slavemaster the Shah and the U.S. and Iranian media (with a little help from the CIA) painted him to be 1953.

I have said that Lynndie England and Charles Grainer indeed may have done nothing to restore the honor of the Hillbilly community . . . but should not have been jailed for single-handedly introducing sexually perverted torture to Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, the CIA's "black sites" in Eastern Europe, and the Maryland State Training School for Boys.

Viagra for Her? The title of the photo is "Female Viagra."
I say it's Pepto-Bismol, and I say the hell with it.

And I say yet again--I believe for the fourth time, in print--that in the waning years of the (William) Clinton administration, the only public figure to display any class was the unjustly maligned intern, Monica Lewinski. And let her who has never granted a favor to a man who proved undeserving of her kindness cast the first stone.

Yes, Underdogs 'R' Us here at New World Notes.

A boyfriend who's not afraid to take charge?

Yet even I hesitate to defend a scoundrel, fool, and blackguard as notorious as Sigmund Freud. The man who invented--and ruthlessly enforced--patriarchal oppression of women, female genital mutilation, menstrual cramps, pain in childbirth, hysteria, cellulite, and the fin-de-siecle bourgeois Weltanschauung of Mitteleuropa.

Yes, that last crime is so great that it takes at least three languages (counting the "of") even to name it!

Thus, with trepidation do I question whether speaking "Was will das Weib?" indicates misogyny or rather . . . deep wisdom.

"Zipless f*cks," anyone?

With trepidation do I ask whether discourse that Amy Konig alleges to be "one of the most famous misogynist phrases in history" . . . in fact be "misogynist" or instead a stunning personal and philosophical epiphany--the moment a man, celebrated for his insight into the psyche, has a revelation akin to Saul's on the road to Tarsus and at last is struck by the profundity of Socrates' wisest statement (IMHO), "All I know is that I know nothing."

That the Times do a better job of news reporting? Here, in 2009,
they discover & report the female orgasm--36 years after
Bodies, Ourselves discovered it first. What next--"Ho Chi Minh
seen as likely winner of Viet Nam national election in '54"?

I assume that the blur by the model's mouth is her soul escaping
her body--only temporarily, one hopes. Yep: the literal meaning
"ecstasy"! Bad Taste is Timeless. Note to Photo Editor: I don't
claim to understand
Woman any better than Freud did; however,
to me, that cover photo does not capture "Desire." Two seconds
ealier, you woulda nailed it. Next time, pick a photographer with
quicker reflexes. On the difference between "desire" and "glorious,
wide-screen, Technicolor orgasm," please see
Fear of Flying.

"When Freud asked this question [viz., What does Woman want?], he meant to convey that the question itself is unanswerable: that women are simply one of the great unsolved mysteries (and problems) in life. . . ."

Since "and problems" is in parentheses, I assume that Konig is reluctant to publicly attribute the notion to Freud. Strip away her parenthetical addition, and does anyone have any problems with the words that remain? Is it "misogynist" to have some sense of the universe's impenetrable (you should pardon the adjective) mysteries?

A little something from Tiffany's?**

"Along with [Freud's] characterization of the female psyche as a 'dark continent,' and his description of female desire as 'veiled in obscurity,' this quotation is regularly invoked as evidence of Freud’s misogyny."

Fantasizing about George Clooney and/or the young Sean Connery while making love to me, I can understand. But Jeremy Wallace?? If that fantasy isn't "veiled in obscurity," then will some kind person please explain the obvious to me?

An electric Dobro . . . and a man who really knows how
to use it?? (
Chacun a son gout--pardon my French!)

Okay, I'll knock it off. I named the installment "What Does Woman Want?" just to be cheeky. I don't know the answer. I don't know if the question even makes sense. I don't know if such a thing as "Woman" even exists. And I've been married to one woman or another--actually, only a couple of them--for 33 years. I don't even know what Man wants. Well, apart from that.

For this installment, I had planned to broadcast audio of two different groups of young American women: (1) women of color engaged with issues of reproductive health care and (2) Moslems engaged with issues of social and personal freedom. My ambitions were larger than my timeslot, so we must postpone hearing from the latter group.

We shall hear (if God permits) former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders--no longer young but still feisty, funny, and intelligent--addressing the women's healthcare-advocacy group SisterSong in Atlanta.

Top: Dr. Jocelyn Elders

Music of the week

You'd never forgive me if I didn't follow (my condensed version of) Elders' talk with The Foremen's song, "Firing the Surgeon General." And postponing the Moslem segment freed up a few additional minutes, into which I transplanted*** one of the better male imaginings of a woman's inner life since Hemingway wrote "Hills Like White Elephants" and Joyce created Molly Bloom.

Incidentally, it's worth giving $3 to the @#^%&{!s that own Blockbuster in order to rent Back To School, in order again to see and hear Sally Kellerman, looking ravishing in red, breathlessly read the end of Molly's soliloquy in Ulysses to her Freshman English class. How anybody could pick Jeremy Wallace over Professor Kellerman is beyond me! Even Dangerfield is on my side on this issue. Pretty funny when he emerges from his classroom daydream shouting, "Yes! . . . Yes! . . . Yes!"

OK, now that I've finished showing off my degrees in English, let me say that the song in which a man does a half-decent job of imagining a woman's inner life is James McMurtry's "Fireline Road"--not "Firing the Surgeon General"--and we play this (the former) too. James, of course, is the son of talented novelist Larry McMurtry, whose best-known novels depict in gritty realism the . . . oh, never mind!

Coming soon (dates of WWUH Tuesday broadcast shown):

  • September 8--Labor Day Musical Special -- featuring songs by Anne Feeney, The Foremen, Mad Agnes, John McCutcheon, Utah Phillips, and David Rovics
  • September 15--Can We Save the Environment?

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

Men who listen? Top billing?


* I assume Traumdeutung means "interpretation of dreams." For a lady who doesn't much care for that Dead White Male-chauvinist-Schwein from Vienna, Konig seems to be quite the Freudienne.

** One is reminded of the beauty and insight of those elegiac verses in Second Corinthians:

  • Men grow cold as girls grow old,
    And we all lose our charms in the end;
    But square-cut or pear-shape,
    These rocks won't lose their shape:
    Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend!

*** Qui transtulit sustinet (Connecticut state motto).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Public Education: Failure or All-Too-Successful?

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This week in New World Notes, radio program #78, August 25:

Schoolchildren salute the flag: early 20th century. Be afraid.

One of my favorite mental images comes from Eric Klinenberg's talk on Media Oligopoly, from the 9th installment of New World Notes (April 2008). Klinenberg told how a Christian anti-smut organization and Move On (I think it was) and the National Rifle Association and Code Pink for Peace all joined together to fight some horrific rule-change or other that the Bush-era Federal Communications Commission was proposing.

Can’t you just picture the table? . . . with (the late) Charleton Heston, for the NRA, in leather boots, jeans, and cowboy-plaid shirt, sitting next to Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin, in a pink Tee and (just to unsettle her right-wing opponents) pearl necklace?

I can picture Medea and Charlton--between rounds of plotting tactics to stop the government from “privatizing” all the airwaves--chatting and discovering they’re both fans of, say, singer Iris Dement and the Green Bay Packers. And, more importantly, discovering that they share more political beliefs than they had imagined. And discovering that they and the organizations they represent can work together effectively on matters of common concern.

Medea Benjamin, being ejected from a joint session of Congress
after giving advice to Iraq PM Nouri al-Malaki, July 30, 2006.

Every bit as much as those we refer to as “right-wing crazies” do, we left-of-center types demonize those we see as our opponents and then turn them into cartoon stereotypes. Not even real demons but cartoon demons!

We disdain Limbaugh "dittoheads" who--cartoonishly--imagine Palestinians as only evil bomb-throwers, . . . who imagine homosexuals as warped pedophiles, . . . who imagine Obama and H. Clinton as “dangerous socialists.” (If only!)

Yet how about our own imaginations of people it’s PC for liberals to despise? What do we picture when we think of “hard-hat construction worker“? What do we picture when we think of “NRA member”?

So I like the image of Medea and Charlton getting to know and respect each other--and the grassroots organization that the other heads or headed. Some day I’m going to do a show on gun-control and the NRA that--in the unlikely event that all goes according to plan--will get listeners to question which side has the sane, sensible people and which has the wild-eyed crazies.

Jonathan Kozol in 2006

For now, though, let’s look at an even stranger set of bedfellows than Chuck and Medea. Teachers / scholars of education / educational theorists John Taylor Gatto and Jonathan Kozol are (apart from their life’s work!) two peas from very different pods.

Kozol is a child of privilege with a resume’ to prove it: prep school; Harvard BA summa cum laude (English major, let it be noted); Rhodes Scholarship to one of the most prestigious colleges at Oxford, Magdalen; quit to move to Paris and write a novel; numerous fellowships including two Guggenheims; and so on and so forth.

Gatto was brought up in a steel-and-mining town near Pittsburgh, educated (or “schooled,” as he would say) in small-town public schools in the region and one Catholic boarding school, served in the army, attended graduate schools, and eventually became a schoolteacher in New York City.

Class conflict, anyone?

Interboro High School Brain Trust, ca. 1968. Note handsome young
man in the polka-dot tie. "Scott's Hi-Q" was an interscholastic quiz-team
tournament similar to
GE College Bowl on national TV. ("Scott" was the
Scott Paper Company.) Standing: Bruce Shaw (team alternate), Kenneth
Mobley (faculty advisor). This photo surfaced just a few days ago on

That Gatto and Kozol disagree on several points is hardly surprising. More surprising is how much they agree on. Here’s a quick comparison-and-contrast:

Born in . . .
Gatto: 1935
Kozol: 1936

Grew up in . . .
Gatto: blue-collar small town near Pittsburgh (Monongahela, PA)
Kozol: "previleged" environment in affluent Boston suburb (Newton, MA)

Apparent political leanings:
Gatto: ("paleo-") conservative / Libertarian
Kozol: Left-Liberal

Most teaching experience:
Gatto: public secondary schools
Kozol: public elementary schools

Honors from educational Establishment?
Gatto: Yes
Kozol: Yes

Public persona (after Gatto):
Gatto: adult
Kozol: child-like (= praise, of a sort) but not child-ish

Purpose of standardized testing = ?
Gatto: to sort & destroy children
Kozol: to sort & destroy children

Overall nature of his critique (after Parenti):
Gatto: a "radical analysis"
Kozol: a "liberal complaint"

Summary judgment of public schooling:
Gatto: all-too-successful at doing the evil things it was designed to do
Kozol: a failure at educating children & empowering citizens

Proposed solution to the problems of public education =
Gatto: destroy the system
Kozol: radically reform the system

John Taylor Gatto (seated) in 2009

Fascinating stuff. This week we present Part 3 (the conclusion) of the long talk John Taylor Gatto gave in late 2003, and we present an introduction to Jonathan Kozol through excerpts from a talk that he gave in, I believe, 2006. I hope you’ll find the similarities between the two as interesting as I did.

It wouldn’t hurt if you had heard the previous installments of Gatto’s speech (NWN #72 & 74). If you want to, and have an hour to spare, by all means help yourself! Just scroll down to the blog entries for July 10 (#72) and July 26 (#74). Each entry has a link or 2 to the sound files. But I think you can also begin with this week’s episode, which starts with a review of Gatto’s main ideas.

We’ll hear more from Kozol at a later date.

In solidarity,

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Thinking (Wo)Man's Guide to 9-11, Part 2

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This week in New World Notes, radio program #77, August 18:

Smoke (at top) and finely-pulverized concrete (center). Click to enlarge.

We conclude our two-part series, which is an introduction to the unanswered questions of the 9-11 attacks, designed for listeners who dislike "conspiracy theories" and "conspiracy buffs."

This week, we'll hear Paul Zarembka, a professor of business and economics and editor of a book by scholars on various aspects of the 9-11 attacks. Zarembka's own chapter of the book concerns the money-flow. On the show, though, he speaks compellingly of the government's surprisingly rapid and highly dubious identification of the 19 alleged hijackers.

Paul Zarembka

Why "dubious"? For one, after 9-11, ten of these people (not just people with the same name) presented themselves to news media offices or American embassies, asserting that they were neither scorched nor bruised, let alone dead. And there are many other problems with the identifications.

At last it can be told!

Then I present the results of an informal written survey I conducted a few months ago, a survey of attitudes towards the official government/media version of who/what/when/where/why/how. OK, not why: Nobody believes the Official (or at least W.'s) Version of that: Because "they hate our freedom."

Finely-pulverized concrete blanketed Manhattan. Caustic,
highly alkaline, highly toxic. On White House orders, the EPA lied,
falsely announcing that the air was safe to breathe. Many rescue
workers and others are now dead, dying, or seriously impaired
from lung disease. Some estimate that more will die from breathing
the poisoned air than died in the destruction of the Twin Towers.

The survey found some Believers and many Doubters. The Doubters confirmed Zarembka's remarks that people who reject the Official Version do so for different reasons. The survey was not multiple-choice: it asked respondents to reply in their own words. Sorting the results later, I found that six reasons for disbelief were cited more often than others. In no particular order, they are the

  • physics of the building collapses
  • lack of effective air defense
  • suspicious stock-option purchases that suggest prior knowledge
  • questionable identification of the hijackers
  • odd pattern of physical evidence at the Pentagon
  • principle of cui bono? (who benefits?)

I briefly discuss each of these six and read selected responses from the show's listeners.

Song played: David Rovics, Reichstag Fire

"Salomon Brothers building" is WTC7, where Salomon was a tenant. Both
BBC and CNN announced the collapse roughly an hour ahead of time. CNN's
anchor interrupted his phone interview with Israel PM Peres to announce
the collapse. In both live newscasts, through the window behind the News
personality, viewers could see WTC7 standing proudly. CNN's man
stumbled verbally when
he saw it too.

Coming soon (dates of WWUH Tuesday broadcast shown):

  • August 25--Public Education: Failure or All-Too-Successful? -- J.T. Gatto (Part 3) vs. Jonathan Kozol
  • September 1--What Does Woman Want?

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

WTC 7, across the street from the other buildings of the
World Trade Center complex. In this photo, the darker
side of WTC7 faces
away from the rest of the complex.

The blog's previous entry (scroll down) has some nice news footage of the collapse of Building 7, with voice-over commentary by Dan Rather.

Friday, August 14, 2009

More 9-11 Info.: A Short Bibliography

9-11 Info. -- Some recommended sources

All these are good, sound, sane, and cautious in their conclusions--hence all the more devastating to the Official Version of events.

9-11 Research
Comprehensive, concise, readable, and level-headed presentation of known facts pertaining to the 9-11 attacks. As they state, "9-11 Research stresses verifiable information and rational analysis."
Focuses on the little-known third WTC building suddenly to collapse, at near-freefall speed, onto its own footprint (in the late afternoon of September 11). This one wasn't even hit by an airplane. A BBC-TV reporter (live) and a CNN anchor (live) each announced the collapse of Building 7 many minutes before it occurred. In both cases the viewer can see the very building--standing tall and in no obvious distress--through the picture window in the background, Did I mention that The 9-11 Commission Report doesn't even mention Building 7?

Oh, yes, I've become a Building 7 buff! Of all the property that got smashed that day, WTC7 offers--per square foot--more fun, more improbable official explanations, more lies, more Sergeant Schultz ("I see Not'ink!") imitations by the media--than any other site. It's more fun than a barrel of Thermite! is brought to you by the same people who do 9-11 Research. Don't miss the video clips!

Scholars for 911 Truth & Justice
Substantial articles by researchers in several academic fields--not only physics & engineering but also political science, philosophy, history, religion, & other Liberal Arts disciplines. If you think that "good academic writing" is not necessarily an oxymoron, you're likely to find much of interest here.

Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth
Firefighters for 9-11 Truth

What do these middle-class professionals and gritty "hard-hats" have in common? Among other things, the considered opinion that (1) plane crashes and/or office fires do not make steel-frame highrise buldings collapse looking just like well-managed controlled demolitions. And that (2) well-managed controlled demolitions make steel-frame highrise buldings collapse in exactly the way the 3 WTC buildings did--including the "squibbs," chains of preliminary explosions, debris sent flying laterally with great force, huge clouds of thousands of tons of finely pulverized concrete initially forming a cauliflower shape, molten iron (not steel) heating the basement for weeks afterwards, and near-freefall speed of collapse. Prior announcement of the collapse on BBC and CNN optional. . . There are many more items, but these should get us started.

Connecticut 9-11 Truth
In the early stages of construction, but shows promise. Currently has some good links to audio recordings & to other organizations.

Dan Rather describes the fall of WTC7.
Note how the penthouse collapses first. (If video
will not start, nudge the slider at the bottom--
next to the Play button--a little to the right.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Thinking (Wo)Man's Guide to 9-11, Part 1

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This week and next in New World Notes, programs #76 & 77, Aug. 11 & 18:

Executive Summary:

Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. An investigative conclusion uncogency power-argumention situation. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Going forward, Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Leadership not just for today but for Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Here's a shout out to Moscow, Idaho: Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Or is that Iowa? Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Teamwork! Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. When combined with motivation, nothing can Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Let's go!

Workforce Summary:

This week: A comic-satiric opening monologue on two hot-selling literary genres--Christian Porn and "Complete Idiots'" books "for Dummies"--somehow leads to a measured and reasoned introduction to the severe problems with the Official Story of 9-11. The title is, The Thinking (Wo)Man's Guide to 9-11.

In olden times, popular books introducing a subject were given that sort of title. The Thinking man's Guide to Communist Subversion--not Communist Subversion for Dummies!

This is a show for people--friends of yours?--who haven't looked into 9-11 issues much and who don't want to be seen as "conspiracy nuts." Speakers make a low-key, moderate, & persuasive case for having a new investigation into 9-11, to answer the many questions that remain unanswered. By design, the speakers don't make any claims that are especially hard to accept.

For example, no one asserts that Cheney and Netanyahu planned the whole thing, with assistance from Pakistan's SIS and the Pope of Rome, in order to usher in the New World Order, destroy democracy, and transform the Knesset into the governing body of the planet.

I'm not saying that this theory is wrong, understand. But the show is trying to persuade the uninvolved to look into the subject more than they have--not to scare them away.

This week features nice overviews by ex-MI5 agent David Shayler and by KD.

Top: David Shayler. Bottom: A real title this time.
The previous two were parodies. I think.

People knowledgeable about the events of 9-11-2001--and even those active in the "9-11 Truth" movement--might also enjoy this two-part series, as a handy overview and sorting of the differences between reality and the reality alleged by the 9-11 Commission Report.

Song played: John Lester, "Out of the Clear Blue Sky"

Coming soon (dates of WWUH Tuesday broadcast shown):

  • August 18--The Thinking (Wo)Man's Guide to 9-11, Part 2
  • August 25--Public Education: Failure or All-Too-Successful? -- J.T. Gatto (Part 3) vs. Jonathan Kozol

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

Soon to come: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Yawning.