The stories we tell each other.

A woman I knew in the ’80s had a boss who chased her around the desk — yes, exactly like the cocktail-napkin / Playboy magazine cartoon — day after day. She told people about it. Nothing was done to him; he was too high on the totem pole.

A woman I know was taking a makeup test in a professor’s office when he stuck his hand down the front of her shirt. She screamed and ran out. I know she told someone, but I don’t recall him leaving the university. He had tenure, after all.

Another professor at the same university did the same thing to young men, grabbing and kissing and so forth. Nothing done.

You can read Laura Lippman’s story about being one of Bob Greene’s marks — she said no — way back in the day. He did suffer consequences, but it went on for years and years before someone finally called him on it. To be sure, these weren’t co-workers, so sexual-harassment laws wouldn’t apply. They were only young women. Very young women, although the stories about his downfall were careful to note that the young woman in question was “under 18, but over the age of consent.” Good to know!

A friend of mine worked for Esquire at the time, which ran Greene’s columns. He hit on her while he was on tour for “Good Morning Merry Sunshine,” his tender memoir of the first year of his daughter’s life. A friend of a friend pranked a college-student intern in his Tribune Tower office, sending her what he thought was an obviously fake letter on fake Bob Greene letterhead, offering to show her around the newsroom. She fell for it and went up to Greene’s office, waving the letter in his face and all how-dare-you. He swore he didn’t do it and convinced her he was telling the truth. She calmed down. Then he hit on her.

There are more stories, let me think a minute. Oh, OK, there’s this one: An influential man once spoke admiringly of a European TV journalist, a woman, who openly boasted of having gotten to her high station by fucking the right men, strategically. She wasn’t ashamed, she saw it as a use of her particular power, and she wished American women would stop whining about men pressuring them for sex and just get with the program. He related this story approvingly.

Comic relief: A co-worker was working late one night when a janitor, who usually drank on the job, grabbed her foot and started kissing it. She screamed, hit him on the head and reported him to the security guard. He said, “Don’t mind him, he’s just drunk.” The next day she told the editor. Both the security guard and the janitor were fired, so something was done! Yay! Do note, however, that night-shift security guards and janitors are about the two lowest rungs in any power structure.

Another editor I knew was gently pushed out of academia because, it was said, he creeped out the female students by paying them weird compliments. “You have beautiful teeth,” for instance. So yeah, something was done there. Progress.

A young reporter I worked with was very pretty. She often brown-bagged her lunch and ate at her desk. One day she brought a banana. A male reporter ran to another sleaze’s desk and said, “M—— is eating a banana!” They scurried to a vantage point and avidly watched her do so. (Kirk told me that one.)

And yet, when I look back on my career, I don’t think sexual harassment was all that bad, for me or the people around me. These incidents were just like static in the background, stuff that happened. We didn’t even have a phrase to describe it for a while, but like how we stopped looking away from black eyes and started saying “domestic violence” right out loud — another thing we used to see on cocktail napkins; “to the moon, Alice!” — we caught up.

But when the movie was made with the issue at its core, it starred Demi Moore. As the perp.

I post this to let you all know I for one am not ignoring the Harvey Weinstein story. In fact, it has sent me down Memory Lane. Carry on.

Posted at 10:50 am in Current events |
 

75 responses to “The stories we tell each other.”

  1. Dorothy said on October 13, 2017 at 11:27 am

    *SWOON* This was perfect, Nancy.

    I worked with a guy named Bart back in the mid-70’s who relentlessly commented on my shoe wear, my legs, my stockings. I was 19 when I met him. He never touched me but oh brother, his eyes…. slits and always downward. I just tried to avoid being near him. I like to think if he had tried anything I would have punched him right above his mustache, but who knows? One of my older sisters was molested by her guitar instructor. I don’t know much about it, just remember hushed voices discussing it in another room. I’m positive my parents didn’t ask for charges to be filed – she just stopped taking guitar lessons. I’m confident this kind of stuff is/was far more prevalent than we knew. It’s sad that it’s 2017 and we are still dealing with these issues like Harvey Weinstein and his ilk.

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  2. Heather said on October 13, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Thanks Nancy. A friend of mine worked at a major magazine in the early 90s. She found out the male staffers were passing around a “fuckability chart” that rated all the female staffers. No one got fired, needless to say. I remember my mother telling a story about when she started to date after divorcing my dad, she went out with a pastor who literally chased her around a bed.

    I think of a woman I saw interviewed at a Trump rally after the Billy Bush tape came out. She said, “That’s just how men talk, that’s how they are.” I’m sure in her experience it was, and it is how some men talk and are. But standards for acceptable behavior from men can change–otherwise we’d still have droit du seigneur and other disgusting practices. It doesn’t happen quickly, but it can happen. First step is bringing it out into the light.

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  3. adrianne said on October 13, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Thanks for recalling my incident with “Shoebie” in the Fort Wayne newsroom! It was more funny than frightening, but he was too drunk to be a real threat. However, you and I (and every working woman I know) have other tales that aren’t so funny. They’re creepy and frightening.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on October 13, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Adrianne is right that every woman has stories to tell, from wolf whistles all the way to the worst.

    But in one case I was immune.Years after college I learned that a prof who was also briefly my advisor had a long history of harassing students into sexual relationships. He never tried it on me, and in retrospect I think it’s because I’ve never looked like a delicate flower.

    I’m tall, have big bones with broad shoulders, and in its natural state my hair was almost black. In those days I wore a lot of eyeliner and four-inch platforms, which meant I was a foot or so taller than him. Maybe I was too physically imposing.

    Over at TLo they have the entire Emma Thompson interview, which is well worth the 11 minutes to watch. It is time for a conversation, and a lot of it needs to happen when boys are still young.

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  5. Deborah said on October 13, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Good post Nancy, so true that we didn’t have a name for it back in the day.

    Here’s something you can do Nancy, from the last post and thread, combine sketching and writing http://mymodernmet.com/art-journal-ideas/

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  6. ROGirl said on October 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Fwiw I hate it when random men call me babe or baby, and I really dislike being told I should smile. Harrassers, coworkers who have put their hands on my shoulder, or propositioned me, or leered at me. You don’t forget these things.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on October 13, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    This probably wouldn’t work for most people, but let me share this story from one of my dog friends, who is a union electrician who also happens to be a lesbian. She was waiting for her girlfriend at a bar on the Near North Side, when a fratboy type kept hitting on her. She kept fending him off before finally telling him she was gay. He said, “Even better. I’ve never fucked a lesbian.” She hit him so hard in the solar plexus he doubled over. The bouncer threw him out.

    BTW, Nancy, consider the building trades. Anna is making a huge hourly rate and the union is paying for her education as a master electrician, which will greatly enhance her earning power. A CBS News story recently said there is incredible demand for electricians, carpenters, masons, sheet metal workers, drywall hangers, etc. Good paying jobs are going unfilled.

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  8. Jenine said on October 13, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Adding my voice to Jeff Borden’s, I’m the spouse of an appliance repair technician. He went to trade school in 2010 after being a non-profit fundraiser for a decade. He enjoys his work and recommends the skilled trades to whoever will listen.

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  9. 4dbirds said on October 13, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I’m trying to figure out why it is Hillary’s fault that Harvey is a rapist.

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  10. Connie said on October 13, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    My township has a major project behind because the contractor can’t find enough carpenters.

    So the senior center is now located in the White Pine room at my library, until the end of the year.

    Fun thing to know: on week days Panera donates all its day old bread to a local senior center. Our day is Friday. Bout three quarters bagels, the rest assorted breads and buns. Plus scones, danish, and cinnamon rolls on plates scattered aroun the back.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on October 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Our Orlando construction project is six months behind schedule because it took so long to find contractors. Several said they were interested but never even gave us bids. We feel very fortunate to have finally found someone who is doing good work at a reasonable cost.

    Connie, I hope your meeting room has a toaster and microwave to warm up those pastries. Would it be too much to hope they also donate their yummy cream cheese?

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  12. Jolene said on October 13, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    More on the need for skilled workers.

    If you aren’t interested in becoming an electrician, perhaps you’d be interested in helping other people develop their skills—some kind of teaching or counseling.

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  13. Jolene said on October 13, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Deborah, you asked at the end of the last thread about whether Trump’s destabilizing attacks on the ACA would affect Medicare. As far as I can tell, the changes he’s asking for will only affect people who buy insurance in the individual market. He hasn’t, so far, done anything to roll back Medicaid. Also, it’s very hard for me to see how a person with Little Bird’s condition wouldn’t remain eligible under pretty much any regime, but, of course, strange things can happen.

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  14. Connie said on October 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    They do not include cream cheese, but if you know where to look there is a semi hidden container of whipped Philly in the lunchroom refrigerator. Feel free. Toaster, microwave, big coffee pot, and more. They are also receiving Meals on Wheels lunch, but due to us not having the appropriate commeial kitchen the lunches are sandwiches and salads, not hot.

    Curbed Detroit, october 5, ten best hiking parks in the metro area, includes Kensington MetroPark.

    Exit on the east side and turn left, which puts you on S Milford. Follow its various curves north through downtown Milford.

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  15. Heather said on October 13, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I think learning a trade is awesome, and don’t want to speak for Nancy, but for myself, doing more physical work doesn’t sound so appealing at 47. My back hurts enough already that even doing deep cleaning is problematic.

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  16. Jean S said on October 13, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I have my father’s broad shoulders and severe facial expression at rest (do you call it resting bitch face in men? Calling grammar hotline!), so that helped me a fair amount back in the day. Thanks, Dad!

    4dbirds, me too. The absurdity of it all.

    Nancy, awhile back, you mentioned perhaps becoming a personal trainer. More thoughts on that? An old friend of mine did exactly that when she was laid off from her high-profile HR job back in 2008 or so. She studied and became a certified trainer and opened her own studio north of Seattle. Not sure how many clients she has now (think she’s moving toward full retirement), but she did very well there for awhile.

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  17. LAMary said on October 13, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I had a professor in college who had been a very big deal in the Army in VietNam. He asked me to come to his office once and when the door closed his hand was down my dress and he was trying to get his tongue down my throat. I got out of there. Then there was the boss in NYC who did just about the same thing. I said now but he told everyone I didn’t. Of course corporate promoted me about the same time so assumption was I got the promotion because I let Mike do what he wanted to do.
    Those are just two stories.

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  18. Jolene said on October 13, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Am watching Trump speak to the Values Voter Summit. Honestly, the idea that this thrice-married, adulterous libertine is the hero of these sexual Puritans is both a joke and an outrage.

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  19. brian stouder said on October 13, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    My lovely wife has a very similar story (or three) from back-in-the-day.

    How terrible is this?

    You’re not a human being with feelings and intellect and aspirations; rather – you’re an object, like an inflatable sex-toy, period.

    I rember being a horned-up young fella – but treating a person that way was not a thing that ever sounded like it would be a good idea.

    ‘Course, I was never a boss, either, so there’s that!

    PS – Basset alert!! – this article threw me:

    http://wane.com/2017/10/13/new-law-leads-to-confusion-for-deer-hunters/

    People hunt deer with pistols? Who’d-a-thunk-it?

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  20. Jakash said on October 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Jolene @ 18,

    Indeed. But, hey, “The Trump years: Both a joke and an outrage” might be a good chapter title for a one-volume history of the U. S. Assuming that there will *be* such volumes after the missiles start flying.

    Really, though, I don’t know how (or why) you can put yourself through watching such a thing. Even at this late date, almost all of the video of him that I’ve seen has been in small snippets that show up on Twitter or on comedy shows that ridicule him. It’s plenty dispiriting enough for me just to read about the guy.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on October 13, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I’m headed off to Orlando and I got TSA Precheck again. I keep meaning to put in a formal application because it really is wonderful to not take my shoes off or pull out my liquids. And I just got to pet the airport comfort dog!

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  22. Sherri said on October 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    The Onion, of course.

    http://www.theonion.com/article/how-could-harvey-weinstein-get-away-asks-man-curre-57144

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  23. Deborah said on October 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Whatever happened to the 12 women who accused Trump of sexual impropriety? One of them was a writer for People magazine as I recall. And the woman that Trump was referring to in the access Holiwood tape that he came onto, seems like she would have a good story to tell. There was another woman who got paid off by the National Inquirer. I wonder if anyone is perusing any of those stories again, as the Weinstein story has unfolded.

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  24. David C. said on October 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    tRump told the hypocrite convention we’re saying Merry Christmas again. Not any more for me. It’s Happy Holidays all the way.

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  25. coozledad said on October 13, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    They can stone catch a Republican piece of shit with his dick up a child’s ass, and all our press can do is ask him what he thinks about the weather. And Hastert isn’t an aberration. In a party chiefly concerned with using power to funnel money to its Fascist backers, childfucking will pretty much be the norm.

    https://twitter.com/Atrios/status/918602508502781954

    Don’t hang out with these people. They’re fundamentally damaged.

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  26. Jakash said on October 13, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    David C.,

    Neil Steinberg tweeted: “By the time Donald Trump is done with ‘Merry Christmas,’ the phrase will carry an emotional impact somewhere between ‘sieg heil’ and ‘fuck you.’ Not everybody is Christian. Not everyone celebrates it.”

    https://twitter.com/NeilSteinberg/status/918909453663178752

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  27. beb said on October 13, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    rogirl@6: people often tell me to smile. I doubt that they trying to pick up a 6’2″ 300# man/ I’m just a naturally surly person.

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  28. basset said on October 13, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Brian@19, there are certainly pistols capable of quickly dispatching a deer, you just have to get really close. I’m not that good.
    And… speaking of deer… our local Gannett outlet ran a lifestyle story yesterday about Arby’s temporarily offering venison sandwiches and, in a few markets, elk meat. First line in the story marveled at how Arby’s was about to sell “…elk. Yes, deer.” The title and teases centered on the taste of the venison… as reviewed by the same paper a year ago.
    So I sent an email asking the writer if he knew that elk and deer aren’t the same animal… he thanked me and said the story had been corrected.
    So we have the Gannett trifecta here… factual error right up front, recycling of old material, and correction based on an email from some stranger who may or may not be right. And the tradition lives on…

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  29. Colleen said on October 13, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    I once had a coworker make a snide comment about my new position coming close on the heels of a trip my boss and I made to a conference.
    There was a prof at my college who was notorious for hitting on students. He didn’t face any consequences until about 25 years after I graduated. He hit on the wrong student, and the female college president was having none of it. As a former professor told me, “one day he was here, the next day he was gone” Think about that. At least 25 years of hitting on students with no consequences. We all knew about him. It was a running joke.

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  30. candlepick said on October 14, 2017 at 12:19 am

    I remember gagging so hard over “Good Morning, Merry Sunshine.” Pages and pages of rhapsodizing about the baby and his self-sacrificing wife–and he never lifted a finger to help.

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  31. Jolene said on October 14, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Folks, this video has been evoking smiles and tears wherever it’s popped up on the Internet in the past few days. Take a look. It will give you a boost to help you survive our Trumpian times. For extra fun, click on the link to the Facebook page of the teacher that appears in the video. Great to see her being celebrated. Teachers don’t get enough love.

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  32. coozledad said on October 14, 2017 at 8:57 am

    This is the face of that hillbilly elegy shit white folks like to pretend to cry about. Appalachian murder trash. Talk about a region that needs to be cordoned off from the civilized world:
    https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/917780516815990784

    One of these clowns is going to shoot up a protest, bomb a black church or spray some college with gunfire for white Jesus, and Trump’s police and press will look the other way.

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    • nancy said on October 14, 2017 at 9:48 am

      He had economic insecurity. Where was he radicalized? The Tarheel State, I presume.

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  33. coozledad said on October 14, 2017 at 10:23 am

    He shares the germplasm with the people Faulkner talked about. There’s been no material progress in their development as hominids since the early nineteenth century. Their etiolated bloodlines traveled westward on their cousins’ and daughters’ backs, and they formed the nucleus of the white scourge from Eastern Ohio to Oklahoma, and thence to California. Their cultural legacy is the goddamn Manson family.

    The government could put an end to this with a testicle buyout program. Two nuts for a quart of liquor.

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  34. alex said on October 14, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Honestly, the idea that this thrice-married, adulterous libertine is the hero of these sexual Puritans is both a joke and an outrage.

    These are folks who don’t buy anything if it doesn’t come from a certified charlatan, just like flies won’t lay maggots in anything that isn’t rotten. Though they say you can catch more flies with honey, don’t ever underestimate the allure of a big fat turd.

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  35. susan said on October 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

    and life accordion to Dumphth

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  36. Julie Robinson said on October 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Hooray for REI, who helped catch the white terrorist. He paid with cash but couldn’t resist getting REI points, so showed his membership card.

    I must be a curmudgeon but I couldn’t make it through the Rise Up video. I love their enthusiasm, and hope they learn more about achieving pitch. That’s the nicest thing I can say,and I know it sounds bitchy.

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  37. Jolene said on October 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I guess there’s an advantage to being tone deaf, Julie.

    Maybe you’ll enjoy Andra Day more.

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  38. Charlotte said on October 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Jia Tolentino nailed the effect guys like Bob Greene (I got an invite to come downtown too, luckily I was stuck at the U of I at the time and couldn’t go), and Harvey Weinstein have on young women: “When you are a young woman, and you believe in your own worth and personhood and agency, it can be hard, despite the clichés that govern this situation, to understand that an older man who takes an interest in you does not necessarily share these beliefs. And, of course, young women are not the only victims of such crimes. But this is a basic and familiar pattern: a powerful man sees you, a woman who is young and who thinks she might be talented, a person who conveniently exists in a female body, and he understands that he can tie your potential to your female body, and threaten the latter, and you will never be quite as sure of the former again.” (https://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/how-men-like-harvey-weinstein-implicate-their-victims-in-their-acts).

    We’re dealing with it here with my BFF’s kids — they’re extraordinarily beautiful girls, and talented and smart — and as they hit a certain height and age, men who’ve known them since they were babies start ogling them. To say nothing of a certain recently-departed Famous Author, the only man ever to have done to me what 45 brags about doing to other women.

    Between this Weinstein thing and my creepy father’s visit last week (he’s married 2 different women that he started dating when they were 19), let’s just say it’s been a bad trip down memory lane and a lot of hot showers.

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  39. Jolene said on October 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Excellent piece, Charlotte. The very first sentence captured the emotional consequences of my experiences with sexual harassment and assault, which occurred when I was very young—much younger than the young actresses we’ve been reading about.

    If you have ever experienced sexual assault or harassment, you know that one of the cruellest things about these acts is the way that they entangle, and attempt to contaminate, all of the best things about you.

    What happened to me, in the most unfortunate case, was that a substantially older man took advantage of my childish flirtatiousness—a normal adolescent wish to be seen as pretty and desirable—leading me to feel that I had evoked what happened to me when, in fact, I was so naive that I didn’t truly know what could happen to me or understand what did happen.

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  40. Brandon said on October 14, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    If you want to know how Puerto Rico is doing:

    http://status.pr/

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  41. Deborah said on October 14, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Wow, some of you here have had hideous experiences with creepy men. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on October 14, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Echoing that, Deborah, and feeling fortunate. I know secondhand how the devastation follows victims.

    Andra was much improved, thanks Jolene.

    I’ve just been to the storage unit with Jeri’s stuff and need to do some serious loin girding. Or maybe cry. Way more than I’d imagined.

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  43. Sherri said on October 14, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Interesting interview with Dave Neiwert, author of Alt-America:

    https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/seattle-authors-new-book-probes-the-radical-right/

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  44. Connie said on October 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I mixed up two messages, one was meant to refer to a oct 5 curbed detroit article about area trails including kensington metropark. The other about meals on wheels in my library, and cream cheese, which you may totally ignore.

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  45. Connie said on October 15, 2017 at 10:01 am

    In sexual harassment news: Amazon studios head on leave due to harassment of Philip K Dick’s exec producer daughter.

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  46. Connie said on October 15, 2017 at 10:03 am

    94 yr old Rose Marie also has sexual harassment stories.

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  47. Deborah said on October 15, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Great link Sherri, at #43. I want to read that book now.

    Speaking of books, I finished “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves”, liked it very much. I’m on to “My Absolute Darling” by Gabriel Tallent, after reading very flattering reviews. Tallent is the son of Elizabeth Tallent who wrote a collection of stories I often reread called “Time with Children”. She lived in New Mexico at the time and most of the stories are set there. I also got some freebies in the little wooden cabinet at the local park for people to deposit unwanted books, I got short stories by Willa Cather and “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard, so my list is full right now, although I’m always looking for recommendations.

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  48. Sherri said on October 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    This is an interesting article about the rise and fall of Sears and what lessons Amazon can learn from it. As long as Bezos is around, I don’t see Amazon falling into that trap, but he won’t be there forever. Right now, Amazon is one of the most customer-focused companies around, and they are constantly trying new things and throwing them away if they don’t work.

    I always find it fascinating to contrast Microsoft and Amazon, because Microsoft is so much a competitor-focused company.

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  49. Minnie said on October 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Julie Robinson #42. Is it possible to pay a couple of months rent on the storage unit and tackle this when you’ve had time to recoup?

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  50. Connie said on October 15, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    My family’s photographic history is in boxes of slides. My husband has been converting them to digital files. And everyone is smoking! Patio parties, Christmas dinners, smoking while swimming. I also saw the photo version of a clear childhood memory of my first ever trip to Glen Lake. Dune buggy, grandmother, headscarf. I can hear her worrying about her hair and headscarf. And the only known baby photos of my youngest brother. They have all been great fun to see.

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  51. alex said on October 15, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    My partner has been helping my dad convert old home movies to digital. My dad bought some expensive equipment for the task but he’s pissed off and thinks it’s a defective product because all of the movies are shaky. He hasn’t seen them in forty years and forgets that they always were shaky. But, yeah, everybody smoking. I’m surprised he doesn’t blame the equipment for that too.

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  52. beb said on October 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    The article about the downfall of Sears that Sherri linked to was interesting but glosses over the fact that all brick and mortar stores have suffered — Penny’s Montgomery Wards, Kmart, Hudsons/Marshalls/…who owns them now?. Even more modern stores, like Kohl’s doesn’t seem to be doing well. So the idea that Sears was severely wounded by not keeping up with inventory control is — not the only cause. Also not mentioned that Sears and Kmart were bought up by venture capitalists, a breed of creatures who suck the equity out of an enterprise and throws the husk away when there’s not left to steal. It’s hard to say how well Sears would be doing if it were managed by someone trying to preserve the brand not loot it. But, yeah, it’s a shame that old retail giant Sears are dying off.

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  53. A. Riley said on October 16, 2017 at 12:48 am

    So this weekend women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted are posting Me Too on their facebook pages, or tweeting #metoo. I believe every woman I know has chimed in.

    It’s so fcking depressing. I believe I’ve experienced or witnessed everything from benign white-knight sexism (which is still sexism) to street harassment to attempted rape, all while I was just going about my business.

    And it started so early. I was a little kid (maybe nine? ten?) with my little brother, both of us clutching our quarters, waiting in line for the city pool to open (it’s almost ten! Open up already!), and two boys in the line got into a squabble about something, who knows what. And the one said to the other, in a withering tone, dripping with the utmost contempt: You woman!

    I’ve never forgotten that. That same sort of thing — ascribing some feminine attribute to someone as a slur — still goes on, even in the sports chat that I hear (e.g., the Seahawks = the She-hawks), and I’m like the living avatar of “polite society” (a tame white upper-middle-class suburban matron of a certain age and apparent stuffiness). God only knows how ugly it gets elsewhere.

    What will it take to make that kind of thing unacceptable?

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  54. ROGirl said on October 16, 2017 at 5:48 am

    A.Riley — there is also the old standby, “It must be that time of month.”

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  55. Julie Robinson said on October 16, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Minnie, we could certainly afford to do it, but I don’t want it hanging over my head. 90% is quilt fabric, and my daughter has people lined up to take it. The issue is the smell and my perfectionism, which means I want to wash it all first. I’m working on letting that idea go, but it’s gonna feel bad.

    Also feeling bad; my body, which is reminding me I was years younger when I did this task before. Yesterday I crashed all afternoon.

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  56. Dorothy said on October 16, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Julie I think you know I”m a quilter – I can guarantee anyone who receives the fabric will be grateful, but will also likely wash it themselves. Try to let that detail go and maybe it’ll give you a small degree of comfort – one less thing to worry about.

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  57. Julie Robinson said on October 16, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Thank you, Dorothy, I appreciate hearing that. Several others have also told me to let it go. There is so much beautiful fabric she collected; it’s one of the saddest parts of her life that she wasn’t healthy enough for the last 10 years or so to spend time quilting. She wanted to do that when she retired and instead she had one major medical problem after the next. I’d like to think she could at least take pleasure going into her spare bedroom and looking at all the gorgeous textiles.

    And now I’m getting verklempt.

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  58. Bitter Scribe said on October 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

    IMO, just as bad if not worse than your boss hitting on you is when it’s done someone who is important to the company but not employed by it, like a major client. That makes it that much harder for the company to protect you even if it’s willing.

    As for Greene, I’ve never seen anyone so useless. I’d think he was useless even if he’d been a saint in his personal life, with his lazy reporting and constant appeals to cheap emotion.

    BTW, regarding the girl who (finally) brought him down: If she was “under 18, but over the age of consent,” in Illinois that would make her 17.

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  59. brian stouder said on October 16, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Well, today I learned the word ‘verklempt’ – which is altogether useful, as I experience it with some regularity anymore (as our young folks mature into altogether remarkable adults!)

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  60. Icarus said on October 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    and today I learned the word loanword: word adopted from a foreign language with little or no modification.

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  61. susan said on October 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    And today I learned the word jabroni. As in,
    Jabroni is useful when you want to indicate that someone is both deplorable and faintly absurd. For example, you could call Martin Shkreli – the convicted felon who ran the pharmaceutical company that jacked up prices on an antiparasitic drug by a factor of 56 – a douchebag or an asshole, and no one would argue. But to begin a story about him with “As much as this jabroni doesn’t deserve any more press…” seems more pleasingly precise.

    Also, too, jamoke, but I think I’ve seen that in some of Charlie Pierce’s writings.

    Useful words.

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  62. Jolene said on October 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    ICYMI: The WaPo take on Harvey Weinstein. Interesting in that it conveys the full range of his boorishness. Though it was beautiful young actresses—or women hoping to be actresses—who were the target of his inappropriate advances, he was crude and cruel to everyone. Good reporting accomplished in short order.

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  63. coozledad said on October 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    There’s a terrorist at the heart of every one of these fucked up pieces of Republican trash. That R anywhere near your name ought to automatically put you under surveillance.

    https://wonkette.com/624318/failed-indiana-gop-candidate-sends-his-holiday-pipe-bomb-early-this-year

    How much more of this shit will we tolerate until we make war on this scum?

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  64. susan said on October 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Well, OK, then, Weinstein Company Agrees to a Rescue Investment From Colony Capital.

    “The two sides will begin negotiations over selling some or all of the studio’s assets to Colony, which is led by Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a financier who is one of President Trump’s closest advisers.

    …Mr. Barrack is an old friend of President Trump. He was a fund-raiser for the presidential campaign, spoke at the Republican National Convention last year in support of his friend, and was chairman of Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee.”

    Betcha the new company won’t be funding Michael Moore movies, anymore.

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  65. Deborah said on October 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Susan, any movie of quality again either. There’s one thing you can count on from those Trump friends it’s mediocrity.

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  66. Jolene said on October 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    As you have probably heard, Barack Obama has made it his mission to help young people become leaders in their communities and beyond. This past weekend, his new foundation held the first workshop in Chicago, and he popped in to surprise the students. If you have time, watch how he quizzes the students. Obvious point: It is impossible to imagine our current president doing anything like this.

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  67. Deborah said on October 16, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    The book I’m reading that I mentioned before, “My Absolute Darling”, is riveting, I can hardly put it down, very dark, extremely well written and the kind of story you have to know what comes next. I highly recommend it.

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  68. Connie said on October 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Today I went to the metro Detroit book and author club and heard Claire Messud, “The Burning Girl,” Heather Ann Thompson “Blood on the Water: the Attica Revolt” Pulitzer Prize in History 2017, and Chris Bohjalion, author of numerous wonderful books including the “The Midwives”, promoting both his spring book “The Flight Attendant” and the pb of “The Sleepwalker.” All very interesting. A sort of subtheme of teenage girls ran through the remarks.
    I just hooked up with an online org called Edelweiss thst lets me preview catalogs and download digital ARCs on my office computer, not a place I want to sit and read fiction. I have to reconfigure Adobe Digital to download to all designated devices, my reading device is my ipad. Point being I have the digital ARC of Bohjalian’s upcoming book downloaded and read just enough to realize it is gruesome. I was surprised to see Adobe Digital, overdrive keeps that stuff hidden. Adobe Digital goes back to my first Kobo e-reader, purchased at Borders.

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  69. Julie Robinson said on October 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Ooh, I remember ARCs, what fun! I’m not reading anything right now; my brain is too full to absorb one more thing.

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  70. Deborah said on October 16, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Regarding the “Me too” posts on twitter and Facebook I’m reluctant to share because my examples are mild compared to others. Yes I was uncomfortable but it wasn’t debilitating. I had no idea it was to the extent that it was for others and I feel guilty because of that now.

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  71. Deborah said on October 16, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    And yes LB experienced some horrendous behavior but for some reason at the time it didn’t compute as the systematic problem that it was and for that I am profoundly sorry.

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  72. Rana said on October 16, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Deborah, I don’t know anyone who thinks there’s an “acceptable” level of harassment or assault you must have experienced before being “allowed” to post #metoo. My friends are all over the map, from people who are like you, to ones who have weathered some truly heinous things. But it’s all part of the same noxious soup. If you feel it would be helpful to join in (some of my friends are not participating, because it doesn’t work for them at this time, while remaining supportive of those who are, so no judgement if it feels like something not right for you) don’t let that keep you from doing so.

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  73. Colleen said on October 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    My experiences weren’t horrific, but they were inappropriate nonetheless. So I posted. I think the truth is, that unless a woman has been in a cave somewhere, she’s been the object of harassment of some sort. It’s really hard not to fall into the “all men are pigs” trap. Because a good number aren’t. But I think they may need to do some work with their brethren to impress upon them that behaving like a pig is Not Cool. Cuz gawd knows women saying it doesn’t get the message through.

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  74. alex said on October 16, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    All of this #metoo conjures up a memory of a restaurant job I had when I was young. The waitresses would complain to the owner when men would grope them and make inappropriate sex talk and the owner would tell them if they didn’t like it they could go find another job, that the customer is always right and they’d just better learn to put up with it because that’s life.

    However, when I was accosted by men, the owner became angry with me and accused me of “seducing” them and threatened to kick my ass, never mind that I didn’t welcome the attention either. My final undoing was the day a shit-faced drunken Catholic priest in his collar came on to me shamelessly in front of a crowd. That was too much for the owner and I was out. If I’d been female I’d have gotten his best “atta girl” I have no doubt.

    So I count that among one of several jobs I lost because I was gay.

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