I know just how he feels.


A fine day out it was, when we decided on the spur of a chilly Sunday moment to visit the Detroit Zoo. We’d been meaning to go since the baby wolverines were wee, but with the hot summer, this, that and the other thing, we didn’t get there until today. The verdict: Down at the heels, but still salvageable. Kate was at her absolute mommy-pleasing best, which is to say, she said things like this, in the snake house:

“That gaboon viper is really well-camouflaged. And look — his head looks just like a leaf.”

It did. I was impressed.

And then we reached the lions, who looked like they were posing for a calendar — resting on their rock ledges in the sunshine, male on the higher one, female below, both looking off into the distance with that king-of-beasts attitude. Very impressive. But the highlight of the day was the “rescue story” on a sign outside the exhibit, on how one of the females got there:


What a magnificent, only-in-Detroit detail. You see now why “Animal Cops” does its best work here.

Doesn’t that bear’s expression say it all? Winter’s coming. Think I’ll take a little nap.

So, the bloggage:

The older I get, the less interested I am in celebrity gossip. This is a sign of maturity, I suppose, but also of exhaustion. I just don’t have time to develop an opinion on the quality of Jessica Simpson’s marriage, particularly since I would have problem identifying her in a police lineup with five other pretty blondes. A few weeks ago I was at a party where one of the guests was revealed to be a stringer for People magazine. The conversation instantly turned to Brad v. Jen.

“Are you on Team Anniston or Team Pitt?” someone asked. Thank God this is a decision I will not be making anytime soon.

But every so often some little worm of dirt works its way in, and so it is that I’ve started paying attention to the Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise offspring-in-utero. I guess anyone who’s ever given birth has an opinion on how it should or shouldn’t go, opinions we develop over nine months of reading and thinking about birth non-stop, followed by another six months of regret, recriminations and rewinding of the delivery-room tape (which, for most of us, exists entirely in our minds). That’s probably why I’m reading in astonishment about Scientology birth practices, and the central question:

Will Katie have a silent birth?

I guess it’s a Scientology thing: In his book Preventive Dianetics, Hubbard elaborates on the goal of this practice: Apparently pretending to all concerned that pushing a human being out your coochie is not only painless, but downright relaxing, will “save both the sanity of the mother and the child and safeguard the home to which they will go.” Furthermore, L. Ron goes on to admonish, “the maintaining of silence does not mean a volley of ‘sh’s,’ for those make stammerers.” After a delivery that’s “as calm and no-talk as possible,” the baby should “be wrapped somewhat tightly in a warm blanket, very soft, and then left alone for a day or so.”

Not even a year ago, this girl was a strict Catholic. I ask you.

Busy busy busy day tomorrow starts a busy busy busier week. Into the starting blocks!

Posted at 8:51 pm in Uncategorized |

11 responses to “I know just how he feels.”

  1. brian stouder said on October 16, 2005 at 9:44 pm

    “Will Katie have a silent birth?”

    Is the Pope a Methodist?

    I’d say if she makes it to the hospital in time to get her epidural (unlike the unfortunate Mrs Vinnie Barbarino!) then she might.

    Really, truly –

    if it is offensive for a man to have any political opinion on an intensely private women’s issue such as abortion –

    why in hell should the delusional horse shit concocted by a male pulp fiction author be viewed as anything other than the misogynistic malpractice that it so clearly is (assuming that anyone is stupid enough to actually try to follow it)?

    Or to cut to the chase – if Katie Holmes and her baby die in child birth, will the DA have the courage to charge everbody in sight with negligent homicide?

    Think what the authorities would (rightly) do to fervent trailer-park dwelling christian fundementalists who don’t believe in pain killers and modern medicine, when things go badly

    919 chars

  2. ashley said on October 16, 2005 at 11:24 pm

    Damn, Brian, we have a winner!

    What he said!

    I also hope the kid has the worst case of ADD this side of Crispin Glover, and doesn’t get ritalin. Har!

    156 chars

  3. mary said on October 17, 2005 at 1:45 pm

    I know lots of people think Tom Cruise is a good actor, and all that. I haven’t found him convincing in a role since Risky Business. I know being a celebrity doesn’t require being sane or sensible. The opposite, possibly might be true. Through this whole Katie/ritalin/postpartum episode, though, hasn’t old Tom seemed completely nuts? Like storing urine- in -mayonaisse -jars- wearing- a foil- hat nuts?

    409 chars

  4. Nance said on October 17, 2005 at 3:02 pm

    The conventional wisdom seems to be that he’s always been nuts, but lately has gotten it in his head to dismiss the layers of sane insulation that have protected him thus far.

    Although I must say, some of the anti-T.C. theories out there — serial no-sex marriage contracts, etc. — sound a little nuts, too. But someone I know at UM knew Katie Holmes, and used to rhapsodize about how utterly genuine and down-to-earth she was, how un-Hollywood she was in every important way, just a nice girl from Toledo, etc.

    He’s as mystified as the rest of the world is.

    566 chars

  5. joodyb said on October 17, 2005 at 4:51 pm

    What does that mean, “left alone for a day or so”?!!!

    L. Ron’s 3 main principles:

    �A philosophy can only be a route to knowledge. It cannot be crammed down one�s throat. If one has a route, he can then find what is true for him. And that is Scientology.

    �Know thyself . . . and the truth shall set you free.

    �Therefore, in Scientology, we are not concerned with individual actions and differences. We are only concerned with how to show man how he can set himself free.�

    I guess that is what Tom is doing when he tells people they should not use prescription drugs.

    592 chars

  6. brian stouder said on October 17, 2005 at 5:11 pm

    Hey – watch out, with all this talk. So-call ‘scientologosts’ are singularly UNamused, and may sue us all


    an excerpt –

    “Looks like the Church of Scientology is not amused by a Web site spoofing it and Tom Cruise.

    ScienTOMogy has received cease and desist letters from the church, threatening to sue the New Zealand-based Web site for copyright infringement, according to various sources.”

    437 chars

  7. ashley said on October 17, 2005 at 5:13 pm

    4th principle: suing anyone and everyone repeatedly into submission. (see: cult awareness network)

    99 chars

  8. alex said on October 17, 2005 at 6:55 pm

    Great Chicago Reader cover story a while back on a guy who died trying to free himself from the Scientologists. Apparently lawsuits are only just one weapon in their arsenal for handling wayward members and critical observers. Even Oprah must be intimidated as evidenced by how she fawns over Travolta while he talks up Scientology as if it were hatha yoga. Not sure how they got his nuts in a vise; you’d think in a free country you could walk away from any situation you don’t want to be a part of. The Reader story fairly explained how it works. Wish I could link to it.

    573 chars

  9. MaryC said on October 18, 2005 at 3:15 am

    I�m sorry, I can�t help laughing. I keep thinking of the demure little squeaks and mews uttered by Morticia Addams as she�s wheeled into the delivery room in the opening scene of one of the Addams Family movies. Is this what L. Ron had in mind?

    And this is for L. Ron as well as any other guy who thinks he can lecture women on the best way to give birth � Here, buddy. You try it.

    395 chars

  10. joodyb said on October 18, 2005 at 3:11 pm

    morticia! i forgot that one. thanking you, maryc. LOL for real.

    63 chars

  11. sal said on October 25, 2005 at 11:18 am

    ‘followers believe humans are a vessel for the souls of aliens’ (L Ron Hubbard)

    if you can take that belief seriously, then you can believe anything. that girl is going to suffer. you can tell that a man made that rule, it gives no thought to how the mother is feeling, like she is a robot. its not easy giving birth and that rule does not help. for people who study sceine, they are the ones alienating their children by this and not talking to their children when they are babies. its pathetic

    497 chars