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Topics - Mr Benn

1
Main / More pederasty amongst women
Feb 02, 2006, 01:07 PM
New Woman magazine has run a survey to create a list of the world's 100 sexiest men.

http://tinyurl.com/8to73

Yawn. More typical women's magazine crap. But whats kind of weird about it is that there are two 16 year old BOYS on this list of the world's sexiest MEN: Richard Fleeshman and Daniel Radcliffe.

Many Women are always saying that its men who go for younger, teenagers, but I recon women do it a lot too.
2
If a 30 year old man had done this then he would be called a sick paedophile. When a woman does it it is called a fantasy affair.

From: http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/National/2005/09/20/1226802-sun.html

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- A 30-year-old woman admitted in court yesterday that she had a lengthy sexual relationship with an eight-year-old neighbour whom police say she considered a fantasy boyfriend.

Tammy Imre pleaded guilty to a charge of risk of injury to a minor and faces six years in jail. Imre was arrested last November after the boy's mother found a letter Imre allegedly wrote to him. Police said Imre told the boy she doesn't "want anyone but you. Now tomorrow it's supposed to rain, you can come over we can (you know what). Love ya! I want you!" Police said the boy, the playmate of Imre's seven-year-old daughter, initially denied doing anything with Imre because he feared getting into trouble. Imre told police she considered the relationship "like a fantasy and she was the girlfriend and he was the boyfriend."
3
Main / The truth about women
Sep 20, 2005, 04:31 AM
Found this on the sosuave forum:

by Unknown
A straight-talking post that was controversially posted across half of usenet in 2003.


I wasn't a sexist before I understood women. There was a time when I was blissfully ignorant. I grew up watching Disney cartoons, I believed in romance and "true love conquers all" etc. I wanted to find a woman who could be my equal, my partner. I believed in finding that one true love and being committed to each other forever. You know, like in the marriage vows, "for better or for worse, through sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer" etc. And I believed that women basically wanted the same thing. Now I understand that this was only possible when society was structured to enforce it. Now that women are "liberated" (and thus at the mercy of their own emotions and baser instincts) this is mostly no longer possible in today's society. Victorian society, or many Arab societies, are examples of how society used to be structured to keep women as faithful as possible.

I'd like to point out that I am not a misogynist...I love women. But I AM a sexist, in the sense that I believe women are vastly different than men and, according to the standards that men hold for other men, women are inferior as well.

I must be a bitter loser, right? In fact, I enjoy more success with women than most of the men in this city. I have slept with over 200 women in my life. I am sleeping with 5 different women right now. They are all normal, healthy, well-adjusted, good-looking (8+ on the looks scale) professional women. (At least as normal and healthy and well-adjusted as women can be - most women have issues.) But that's not all. I can go out any night of the week and pick up a woman. I can pick her up in front of all her friends (with 80% efficiency for each approach.) Women will slip me their phone number when their boyfriend is in the bathroom. I can talk to women on the street or in the grocery store and within 30 minutes, I can usually have sex with them right there in my car or get them back to my place. If I have to settle for a phone number, and I meet her on another day, assuming she doesn't flake, I WILL **** her that next day.

Let me point out right now that my Modus Operandi doesn't change in the slightest if she single or if she has a boyfriend or husband. I just do my normal routine and I **** her. Sometimes she brings up the boyfriend so she won't feel guilty when I **** her because now it's "my fault." Sometimes she hides it from me until after I've ****ed her, then she admits it. I can't tell you how many times I've been laying next to some chick, all sweaty cause I just finished busting a nut all over her face or in her mouth or on her back, and suddenly her phone rings and she's on the phone with her man, giving him some bull**** story. This is with NO GUILT WHATSOEVER!!! The sweetest most innocent girls you ever laid eyes on, will cheat at the drop of a HAT. The one thing that most men value most - loyalty - is just not there with women. Women don't think in terms of honor, women don't say "word is bond;" women are basically emotionally driven. If they feel it, they do it, period. Then they rationalize it to themselves later. Nothing is more meaningful, or compelling, to a woman than (1) the way she feels and (2) learning more about her own inner self and having emotional realizations. That's why women love astrology, chick flicks, soap operas, stupid Cosmo quizes that supposedly reveal info about yourself, etc.

I must be really good looking, right? NOPE. My looks are marginal; I'm maybe a 7. I don't work out (though I'm not fat or anything.) In fact I didn't have any success with women until I was in my early 20's. That's when I decided to go out a lot and start trying to get laid... I was willing to face rejection a thousand times a night, and do it over and over, trying everything, until I got it right. I had to completely set my ego aside. I didn't get laid at all for the first few months. Then every now and then. Then pretty often. Then downright consistently! I'm in my early 30's now and I am basically a sexual god. I wouldn't have even believed this were possible when I was in high school. The ONLY factor that determined whether a woman would cheat was my own skill level. When my skills were poor, women **** all over me. (Everyone knows how women think they have license to be rude *****es in social situations... in fact I understand and appreciate that behavior now.) But once my skills got good, I could **** just about anyone's wife or girlfriend. And many times I didn't know they had a man until after I ****ed them.

Look, I'm not saying that men are perfect, or whatever. Far from it. I'm just saying, I've spent a lot of my time studying women and interacting with them, and I know how they are. In fact, sometimes I hate knowing it. Sometimes I wish I had taken the blue pill, and never went down the rabbit hole, because now there's really no going back. I didn't want to believe these things... but how could I ever get married now? How could I ever be the chump who pays for everything and blissfully goes through life not worrying about his woman because he trusts her? Look, would you leave your dog alone with a steak? You can't hate the dog for doing what's in its nature. You can't trust a dog, BUT you can trust a dog to BE a dog. Some men are disloyal... but I could *never* trust a woman to be loyal. Some men are bad presidents...but I could *never* vote for a woman to be president. I can rarely expect a woman to regard her own promises as more important and compelling to her than the emotions she feels in the moment. She will rationalize it to herself later.

Here's an interesting fact. Did you know that the median 22 year old woman has TWICE as much sex as the median 22 year old man? You might ask, how is that possible? If a woman's having sex, doesn't that mean a man is having sex at the same time? And thus, shouldn't men be having just as much sex as women? NO...because most men hardly get laid, or if they do, it's because they "got lucky." But a small group of men get laid ALL THE TIME, and **** LOTS AND LOTS of women! It's evolution at work. Women follow their emotions, and that leads them to sleep with men like me (who know how to control female emotions.) Women want the top man...so the top man ****s lots of women. That's right - the sexual revolution, feminism, etc has resulted in a return to harems. Women, at the mercy of their own emotions, are volunteering for the modern-day equivalent of harems. Lucky for me!! Heh.

You might say, "But...but...I'm so nice! I'm a nice guy!" Guess what? That's like a fat chick saying, "But I'm so smart!" As if those things have anything in the world to do with sexual attraction!

I'm going to give some tips here for the poor sucker guys who are posting online trying to get laid and who are spending hundreds / thousands of dollars on all those *****s out there without getting any play. (You *****es know exactly what you're doing, and I'm on to your game!)

* Don't be sexually judgemental in any way. A woman's worst fear is to be perceived as a slut. She will suck your toes and take it in the ass if she thinks you don't view her poorly for it (and she knows her friends won't find out.)
4
Main / Feminist Party Wants To End Marriage
Sep 19, 2005, 09:37 AM
Swedish Feminist Party Wants To End Marriage
By: Matt Rosenberg Section: Culture


http://www.redstate.org/story/2005/9/16/153355/278

In a social welfare state such as Sweden, the continual urge to tinker becomes irresisitible. Although this might qualify as a bit more than tinkering. The Copenhagen Post highlights a report that a new political party, The Swedish Feminist Initiative (Swedish, "Feministiskt initiativ") has announced as an aim the legislative abolition of marriage.

This party is successfully making its way onto the national stage in Sweden to advance its theory that women are systemically subjugated. The recently-formed group intends to run candidates in the 2006 elections. Along with an increasing profile in the European media, I see guest lecturer positions for party members at The New College in San Francisco.

Now, more.
   
   Sep 16th, 2005: 15:33:55    

The Post:

   The Swedish Feminist Initiative has called for the abolition of traditional marriage, as we know it. Instead, the party wants to implement a modern idea of cohabitation, where neither gender, sexual orientation, nor the number of members are defined.

   ...the feminist organisation had met over the weekend for its annual general meeting, and come up with some radical solutions to what it sees as many fundamental problems in modern society.

   "We want a new legislation for two or more people, who live together, and have joint finances and belongings," said Tiina Rosenberg, one of the women spearheading the group. "The history of marriage is not about love and living together, it's about ownership," Rosenberg said, pointing out that regulations covering inheritance rights and ownership only applied to married couples or registered homosexual partners.

   "More than two should be able to live together. One example would be a divorced couple, who have new partners and where everybody wants to take financial responsibility for the children, who could all live together," Rosenberg said.

   But Rosenberg, a professor in gender studies at Stockholm University, also said it was nobody's business whether two, three, or more, had a sexual relationship. "In a free country the law shouldn't decide how people's sexual relationships are. No law can affect feelings," she said.

Is it now anybody's business (besides that of those involved) when a married person cheats on their spouse in Sweden? I don't exactly think there are monogamy police patrolling the streets in Stockholm. Is Rosenberg (no relation AT ALL, BTW) saying the institution of marriage is inhibiting sexual expression in Sweden? People have a choice, as anywhere else: get married and be faithful, get married and cheat (and live with the consequences), stay single, or get divorced.

But because some radical Swedish feminists cannot commit to the societally optimal alternative of monogamous marriage, and because they condescendingly presume to speak for all Swedish women by claiming marriage is inherently about "ownership," ergo marriage in Sweden should be abolished?

Phew! The liberal policy impulse slithers back to its punitive, narcissistic roots yet again.

Yet abolishing marriage is not all The Swedish Feminist Initiative wants.

   Amongst other proposals put forward by the group were a six-hour workday and completely individualised parental benefits to force men to take off as much time as women to care for their children. The all-female board also says it wants to introduce gender quotas on company boards.

The Feminist Initiative political party in Sweden formed only this past April, from the ashes of a similarly named pressure group, and intends to run candidates in the 2006 election. Lately, though, there's been a bit of discord. More here:

   On 13 September 2005 another of the 15 founding members of the Executive Committe, Susanne Linde, resigned from the party. Linde was the only member of the founding group who had previously been active in a right-of-centre political party, the Liberal People's Party. She gave as her principal reason the treatment she had received from another committee member Tiina Rosenberg, who, among other claims, had criticised her for being a heterosexual and for being a "middle class old woman". Linde was unhappy with Rosenberg's "reverse homophobia".

A founder was current Member of Parliament Gudryn Schyman, a fomer Marxist-Leninist who served as leader of the Swedish Left Party from 1993 to 2003, but had to leave that post after tax fraud charges. Last year she proposed a "man tax" in Sweden to to cover the costs of domestic violence, saying, "we have to have a discussion so that men understand that they have a collective financial responsibility." However, she has left the Feminist Initiative because it became too radical for her.
5
Main / Women suffer from 'gender pay gap'
Aug 30, 2005, 08:27 AM
Tuesday August 30, 02:25 PM (www.yahoo.co.uk)

Women suffer from 'gender pay gap'

Women earn an average of 27% less than their male colleagues, according to new research.

Men receive average annual salaries of 30,948, while women lag behind, earning just 23,977 on average each year, according to salary comparison website PayFinder.com.

There is also evidence that the gender pay divide is getting worse, as the gap between men's and women's pay has increased by 3% during the past year.

The difference between men's and women's salaries is biggest in London, where men get paid an average of 35% more than women at 39,022 compared with women's 28,833.

Men get paid an average of 32% more than women in the East Midlands and the South East, while they earn around 30% more in the North West and South West and 29% more in Scotland and the East of England.

The gender pay divide is smallest in Northern Ireland, where at 25,998 men earn only 15% more than women, who can expect 22,581 a year, while they get paid 19% more in the North East, and 21% more in Wales, according to the details of more than 160,000 people who have registered with PayFinder.

One reason why women get paid less than men maybe that women tend to shy away from wage negotiations, with 66% of women claiming they are too scared to ask for more money, compared with just 24% of men.

CJ Brough, of PayFinder.com, said: "This year's PayFinder report highlights that sex discrimination is still rife in the workplace.

"Invariably discrepancies in salary are explained via a difference in ability, which in turn is based on skill set and experience. Aside from the legal ramifications, it's a nonsense that gender could be a factor in determining salary level.

"Why then do we see such a marked difference in male and female salaries? And before anyone cites female job choice as a possible cause, PayFinder also shows that regardless of industry and indeed role, men still earn more than women."
6
(Columbia) August 19, 2005 - A 24-year-old South Carolina State student was arrested Thursday and charged with unlawful conduct towards a child.
An arrest warrant states Miama Rebecca Kromah cut the scrotum of her three-year-old stepson with a sharp object.

Lt. Chris Cowan with the Richland County Sheriff's Department says it's one of the most horrific cases of child abuse investigators say they've seen in a while, "The child's scrotum had been cut open and the testicles had been pulled out."

Deputies say Kromah came to Palmetto Richland on Monday night with her three year old stepson who had a three inch laceration on his scrotum.

Kromah told the hospital the child was not in her care when he sustained the injuries. However, further investigation by the Richland County Deputies and a statement taken from the three-year-old victim identifies Kromah as the person who caused the injury.

Deputies say Kromah is a native of Liberia and here on a student visa. The three year old's father is also here from Liberia on a work student visa, he was not home at the time of the incident.

The boy was transported to Lexington Medical Center and then to Palmetto Richland Hospital for surgery. After receiving treatment for his injuries, the boy was taken into emergency protective custoday and turned over to DSS.

Deputies are now trying to figure out what could have led her to this violent act. (Darren comments: No doubt the feminists will soon come up with an excuse for this evil act. She'll probably get a whole Oprah show devoted to her, portraying her as the victim and the 3-year-old boy as a violent predator)
http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3742183&nav=0RaMdWXU
8
Hi - I wrote an email to this female journalist who had written a whole list of ways that men are worse than women, and one of the things she claimed was that men abuse children more than women do.

Anyway, she wrote back and she still claims that this is true.

I'm almost certain this is wrong, but I don't have the stats to proove it.


Can anyone help?
9
Female Emancipation Blamed for Axing of Male Strippers Act

By Alex Thompson, PA

A city lap-dancing boss said today he had been forced to stop male strippers performing at his club because of the abuse and intimidation they suffered at the hands of "rowdy" women guests.

Allan Sartori, owner of The Rocket Club in Broad Street, Birmingham, said he had to hire extra security staff for his Saturday night listing in which three or four men would dance for women on request.

Mr Sartori said he was axing the popular event because of the disruption caused by women guests and he blamed female emancipation for the unruly scenes.

He said: "I am amazed at the way these women behave. They are totally out of control. We get big groups of girls causing all sorts of trouble. I have had to bring in extra security and extra management.

"They are verbally abusive to the guys and to the staff and it's very disruptive.

"These young women do not know how to behave and they are very vocal. They are completely disrespectful. I think the guys are intimidated."

He continued: "Men who come into my club respect the women. They talk to them and have a few dances. It is very civilised.

"But then I get these screaming banshees who come here and upset the staff.

"I remember when girls were girls and lads were lads. It's been all down hill since women got the vote."

Mr Sartori made the decision to ditch the act, in which male dancers strip to their thongs for women on the stage and in booths, following discussions with staff.

He added: "We thought we would try to be an inclusive club. I have tried it and it doesn't work. The only way it would work would be to organise a dedicated night for hen dos and then you could put on a proper show."

From: http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4440219
10
Main / Needed: stats on the pay gap
May 07, 2005, 07:20 AM
You know all the stuff about "why men earn more" (The warren farrell book), showing that the reason men earn more is nothing to do with a glass ceiling? Well, I'm debating a chivilrous male about this on another forum and hes saying I just have opinions and no stats. Does anyone have the stats on this?
11
Interview with Thomas Ellis, author of 'The Rantings of a Single Male'

Over the years several men's movement 'classics' have been published. The first men's movement book I read was when I was about 16, in the early 1990s, it was called Iron John, and I remember finding it fascinating, and unlike anything I had come across before. Other men's movement books of note include 'The myth of male power' by Warren Farrell, 'Sex-Ploytation' by Matthew Fitzgerald, and 'Predatory female' by Shannon Lawrence.  These books - and other like them - are generally excellent, but they are (in comparison to the vast library of feminist texts) too few and far between.

Now comes another addition to the men's movement cannon, and boy is this one the most politically incorrect and hard-hitting yet.

'The Rantings of a Single Male' by Thomas Ellis is not for the faint-hearted, but then neither is life in the 21st Century.

The book is essentially a memoir of the author's encounters with women over the last several decades, interspersed with commentary on the excesses of feminism. Its subtitled: Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything'

The book is an excellent read, and every father should get their late teenaged sons to read it, to open their eyes to the oceans of female insanity that lie out there in the modern world, just waiting to drown them.

Here are some representative quotes from the book:

"If women like money being spent on them, they love money being wasted on them."

"In relationships as in sex, women always seem to be on the receiving end."

"As a general rule, women won't have sex until you've spent at least as much on them as you would on a whore."

"American women are against legalized prostitution because they know they wouldn't be able to sexually deprave men as effectively."

"Counseling is for women - prison is for men."

"The problem is, women don't love us, they love the relationship entity itself."

"Women treat animals like people, and men like beasts."

"Feminists are worried that sports give men a competitive advantage in life."

"It's getting to be that men need advanced degrees in abnormal psychology and gynecology just to have a girlfriend."

"Men don't fear commitment, men fear ambiguity."

I recently caught up with Thomas Ellis and talked to him about 'The Rantings of a Single Male'...

Darren: Hi Tom, thanks for the opportunity to interview you. I certainly found your book a most interesting and often humorous read.

Tom: Glad you enjoyed it.

Darren: What made you write the book? How long did it take?

Tom: It all started 5 years ago while I was having a drink in a bar with my friend Mac. We would sit around exchanging stories about all the pathetic experiences we had with women that week. I'd often dredge up some of my more sensational examples to make him feel better. At some point he said, "dude, you ought to write that stuff down!" Within a month I had ten pages of random thoughts. From that point the book had a life of its own. After 2 years I had an outline 150 pages long. Then I happened to get laid off from my job as a software engineer, which gave me time to do more research and write the actual material. I thought since I had an entire outline, I would crank out the book in a few months, but the first completed draft took 2 years. I ended up throwing out all but a few sentences I wrote in the first 6 months. I was quite painful, but it had to be done. After the first draft was finished, it took another 6 months to finish the editing, rewrites and revisions. Then another 4 or 5 months to do the layout, get it printed, and up on Amazon.
Darren: The one idea from the book that stood out for me was your notion
that while men are goal-focused, women are more obstacle-focused. Can
you briefly explain for my readers what you mean by this?

Tom: I've noticed for a long time that women often pursue activities they have no real interest in, driven by an obsession to prove something. There's always some obstacle they want to confront, the actual goal being secondary. Sometimes the obstacle is fear, or sometimes it's a sense of inadequacy. In case you hadn't noticed, in the last 30 years, their favorite obstacle is now - us. They set us up as oppressors, then get angry and go out to do all that stuff we keep them from doing. Most women don't want to play golf - unless they're somehow spiting us oppressive men in the process.

Darren: I often think that women will act as bad as men let them get away
with. In other words: do you think feminism made women act this way,
or is it also the fault of men becoming too weak and tolerant?

Tom: Society has emphasized to women that they shouldn't put up with insults and derogatory statements of any kind. Men have received the opposite message - that denigration of our character and sexuality is great fun. Much of this comes from TV and movies. Men are so used to doing whatever will make women laugh that we've gone along with all this. I don't think the problem is that men are weak. Too tolerant - definitely. But generally, men have sunk into a coma of resignation. They're vaguely aware of all the bullshit in their lives, but assume nothing can be done about it.

Darren: How have people reacted to the book?


Tom: The response from men has been very enthusiastic. While I was still writing the material, I had several male friends poo-poo the whole idea of a man writing about feminism and relationships. But once they start reading they recognize lots of situations similar to events their own lives. They've become converts, and it's quite gratifying, especially since some of these guys haven't picked up a book in years. It makes me feel like I haven't been wasting my time. I have talked to men who are uncomfortable with what I have to say. They have no use for my blasphemies, and certainly no appreciation of satire. Especially men who have been trained to avoid anything that might upset their wives. To them, expressing their own opinions is just not worth all the maintenance.


Darren: And how about the female response?


Tom: I haven't gotten very much feedback from female readers, because they tend to read a page or two and then not speak to me for several months. But then, I don't really care what women think of it. That's part of the whole point - stop defining yourself in terms of what will gain you female approval.


Darren:  So, as far as you know, no women have actually read your book yet?


Tom:  Well, I know of one woman who has read the whole thing, but she's a men's rights activist I met at the Men's Rights Congress last year. I'd never met one before.


Darren:  I know what you mean, they are quite rare. What was her take on it?


Tom:  She thought it was too tame. She said, and I quote, "it's not nearly, you know, hard-hitting enough." I was quite taken aback.


Darren:  And she was serious?


Tom:  Totally serious. She thinks I'm letting feminists off too easy. And here I thought I was so unrestrained! It was a phenomenal experience to meet her.

Darren: Another subject that you cover is how modern society has become a
sort of 24/7 cheer-leader dance of celebrating and promoting women's
achievements, but it all seems a bit too desperate, a bit too fake, as
though women have a complex about the fact that they aren't as
competent in many fields as men are.  Will women ever come to terms with this?


Tom: Most women will always want more credit than men for doing less. They will always want lower standards and higher recognition. And they want everyone to pretend that none of this is true. There are very few women with the ovarian fortitude to confront this and reject the absurdity of different equalities. There are also plenty of men lacking the necessary fortitude to challenge women on this. Wouldn't want to hurt their feelings now, would we?


Darren:  What advice would you give to young men today?


Tom:  I've been asked for advice a lot since the book came out, and it seems really strange to me. It's like asking someone for advice on flying because they've crashed the most planes. So, I guess I can advise on what not to do. Don't focus so much on meeting a woman's needs that you neglect your own. Don't sacrifice your own viewpoints just because it makes her so happy when you concede to her. Don't tolerate psychotic behavior no matter how good she is in bed. If she even mentions feminism, women's studies or male oppression, run like hell. Don't believe her when she says she can't get pregnant - always use a condom. She can get out of it, you can't. Don't let a woman, her family, or society pressure you into marriage if that's not what you want. Also, don't get married unless you're willing to accept that you will have less sex, that you will be expected to apologize for everything no matter who is at fault, and that most likely, your wife will feel unfulfilled no matter what path she chooses. That said, give them a shot. Just understand the risks you are taking.

Darren: Realistically, do you think things are going to get any better/worse in the next 5 years?


Tom: I really don't know. Change happens slowly and most men are still very complacent about their own well-being. The good thing is, I've met lots of intelligent young women from the current generation, and they don't seem to have any interest in feminism. The bad thing is, they've picked up all the anti-male taunts and  from TV and movies, and it's part of their psyche. And it's getting more common for young women to experiment with lesbianism. I have a feeling that the current generation will be setting rules for their teenage daughters that sound something like, "Remember, be home by 11 o'clock, and no sex other than oral sex - and only with boys."


Darren: I'm sensing that you're not a big promoter of the lesbian lifestyle.


Tom: Well, I do consider lesbian encounters detrimental to men and women getting back together. Sure, I'm very libertarian and I believe people should be able to do what they want - but there's just something unsettling about girls having sex with each other. Unless, of course, they're both really cute and they let me watch.


Darren: Yeah, yeah, I guess I set that one up...


Tom:  But seriously, things will only get better if we make them better. And that means standing up for our rights and our dignity - both in relationships and society.


Darren: Well thanks very much Tom. I wish you the best of luck with your book, which I highly recommend to my readers.


'The rantings of a single male' is available via www.amazon.com
12
With all the baseless assertions we've heard recently from feminists, I thought it might be relevant to post this speech by Michael Crichton about the need for facts and rigorous thought before one makes assertions and predictions. In particular, notice what he says about Susan Faludi.

Feminism and other forms of postmodern thinking have eroded the public's trust in "factual" claims that come out of universities and think-tanks to such a degree that now many people beleive that all statistics and research results are totally subjective and the only thing that is real is how people feel.

This is a dangerous trend, and is undermining real advances in science and Human knowledge. IMO it is like a cancer that we must rid from our universities.


Why Speculate?
A talk
by Michael Crichton

International Leadership Forum
La Jolla
April 26, 2002

My topic for today is the prevalence of speculation in media. What does it mean? Why has it become so ubiquitous? Should we do something about it? If so, what? And why? Should we care at all? Isn't speculation valuable? Isn't it natural? And so on.

I will join this speculative trend and speculate about why there is so much speculation. In keeping with the trend, I will try express my views without any factual support, simply providing you with a series of bald assertions.

This is not my natural style, and it's going to be a challenge for me, but I will do my best. Some of you may see that I have written out my talk, which is already a contradiction of principle. To keep within the spirit of our time, it should really be off the top of my head.

Before we begin, I'd like to clarify a definition. By the media I mean movies television internet books newspapers and magazines. Again, in keeping with the general trend of speculation, let's not make too many fine distinctions.

First we might begin by asking, to what degree has the media turned to pure speculation? Someone could do a study of this and present facts, but nobody has. I certainly won't. There's no reason to bother. The requirement that you demonstrate a factual basis for your claim vanished long ago. It went out with the universal praise for Susan Faludi's book Backlash, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction in 1991, and which presented hundreds of pages of quasi-statistical assertions based on a premise that was never demonstrated and that was almost certainly false.

But that's old news. I merely refer to it now to set standards.

Today, of course everybody knows that "Hardball," "Rivera Live" and similar shows are nothing but a steady stream of guesses about the future. The Sunday morning talk shows are pure speculation. They have to be. Everybody knows there's no news on Sunday.

But television is entertainment. Let's look at the so-called serious media. For example, here is the New York Times for March 6, the day Dick Farson told me I was giving this talk. The column one story for that day concerns Bush's tariffs on imported steel. Now we read...

Mr. Bush's action "is likely to send the price of steel up sharply, perhaps as much as ten percent.." American consumers "will ultimately bear" higher prices. America's allies "would almost certainly challenge" the decision. Their legal case "could take years to litigate in Geneva, is likely to hinge" on thus and such.

Also note the vague and hidden speculation. The Allies' challenge would be "setting the stage for a major trade fight with many of the same countries Mr. Bush is trying to hold together in the fractious coalition against terrorism." In other words, the story speculates that tariffs may rebound against the fight against terrorism.

By now, under the Faludi Standard I have firmly established that media are hopelessly riddled with speculation, and we can go on to consider its ramifications.

You may read this tariff story and think, what's the big deal? The story's not bad. Isn't it reasonable to talk about effects of current events in this way? I answer, absolutely not. Such speculation is a complete waste of time. It's useless. It's bullshit on the front page of the Times.

The reason why it is useless, of course, is that nobody knows what the future holds.

Do we all agree that nobody knows what the future holds? Or do I have to prove it to you? I ask this because there are some well-studied media effects which suggest that simply appearing in media provides credibility. There was a well-known series of excellent studies by Stanford researchers that have shown, for example, that children take media literally. If you show them a bag of popcorn on a television set and ask them what will happen if you turn the TV upside down, the children say the popcorn will fall out of the bag. This result would be amusing if it were confined to children. But the studies show that no one is exempt. All human beings are subject to this media effect, including those of us who think we are self-aware and hip and knowledgeable.

Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I refer to it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward--reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I'd point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn't. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.

So one problem with speculation is that it piggybacks on the Gell-Mann effect of unwarranted credibility, making the speculation look more useful than it is.

Another issue concerns the sheer volume of speculation. Sheer volume comes to imply a value which is specious. I call this the There-Must-Be-A-Pony effect, from the old joke in which a kid comes down Christmas morning, finds the room filled with horseshit, and claps his hands with delight. His astonished parents ask: why are you so happy? He says, with this much horseshit, there must be a pony.

Because we are confronted by speculation at every turn, in print, on video, on the net, in conversation, we may eventually conclude that it must have value. But it doesn't. Because no matter how many people are speculating, no matter how familiar their faces, how good their makeup and how well they are lit, no matter how many weeks they appear before us in person or in columns, it remains true that none of them knows what the future holds.

Some people secretly believe that the future can be known. They imagine two groups of people that can know the future, and therefore should be listened to. The first is pundits. Since they expound on the future all the time, they must know what they are talking about. Do they? "Brill's Content" used to track the pundit's guesses, and while one or another had an occasional winning streak, over the long haul they did no better than chance. This is what you would expect. Because nobody knows the future.

I want to mention in passing that punditry has undergone a subtle change over the years. In the old days, commentators such as Eric Sevareid spent most of their time putting events in a context, giving a point of view about what had already happened. Telling what they thought was important or irrelevant in the events that had already taken place. This is of course a legitimate function of expertise in every area of human knowledge.

But over the years the punditic thrust has shifted away from discussing what has happened, to discussing what may happen. And here the pundits have no benefit of expertise at all. Worse, they may, like the Sunday politicians, attempt to advance one or another agenda by predicting its imminent arrival or demise. This is politicking, not predicting.

The second group that some people imagine may know the future are specialists of various kinds. They don't, either. As a limiting case, I remind you there is a new kind of specialist occupation--I refuse to call it a discipline, or a field of study--called futurism. The notion here is that there is a way to study trends and know what the future holds. That would indeed be valuable, if it were possible. But it isn't possible. Futurists don't know any more about the future than you or I. Read their magazines from a couple of years ago and you'll see an endless parade of error.

Expertise is no shield against failure to see ahead. That's why it was Thomas Watson, head of IBM, who predicted the world only needed 4 or 5 computers. That is about as wrong a prediction as it is possible to make, by a man who had every reason to be informed about what he was talking about. Not only did he fail to anticipate a trend, or a technology, he failed to understand the myriad uses to which a general purpose machine might be put. Similarly, Paul Erlich, a brilliant academic who has devoted his entire life to ecological issues, has been wrong in nearly all his major predictions. He was wrong about diminishing resources, he was wrong about the population explosion, and he was wrong that we would lose 50% of all species by the year 2000. He devoted his life to intensely felt issues, yet he has been spectacularly wrong.

All right, you may say, you'll accept that the future can't be known, in the way I am talking. But what about more immediate matters, such as the effects of pending legislation? Surely it is important to talk about what will happen if certain legislation passes. Well, no, it isn't. Nobody knows what is going to happen when the legislation passes. I give you two examples, one from the left and one from the right.

The first is the Clinton welfare reform, harshly criticized by his own left wing for caving in to the Republican agenda. The left's predictions were for vast human suffering, shivering cold, child abuse, terrible outcomes. What happened? None of these things. Child abuse declined. In fact, as government reforms go, its been a success; but Mother Jones still predicts dire effects just ahead.

This failure to predict the effects of a program was mirrored by the hysterical cries from the Republican right over raising the minimum wage. Chaos and dark days would surely follow as businesses closed their doors and the country was plunged into needless recession. But what was the actual effect? Basically, nothing. Who discusses it now? Nobody. What will happen if there is an attempt to raise the minimum wage again? The same dire predictions all over again. Have we learned anything? No.

But my point is, for pending legislation as with everything else, nobody knows the future.

The same thing is true concerning the effect of elections and appointments. What will be the effect of electing a certain president, or a supreme court justice? Nobody knows. Some of you are old enough to remember Art Buchwald's famous column from the days of the Johnson Administration. Buchwald wrote a "Thank God we don't have Barry Goldwater" essay, recalling how everyone feared Goldwater would get us into a major war. So we elected Johnson, who promptly committed 200,000 troops to Vietnam. That's what happens when you choose the dove-ish candidate. You get a war. Or, you elect the intellectually brilliant Jimmy Carter, and watch as he ends up personally deciding who gets to use the White House tennis courts. Or you elect Richard Nixon because he can pull the plug on Vietnam, and he continues to fight for years. And then opens China.

Similarly, the history of the Supreme Court appointments is a litany of error in predicting how justices will vote once on the court. They don't all surprise us, but a lot of them do.

So, in terms of imminent events, can we predict anything at all? No. You need only look at what was said days before the Berlin Wall came down, to see nobody can predict even a few hours ahead. People said all sorts of silly things about the Communist empire just hours before its collapse. I can't quote them, because that would mean I had looked them up and had facts at hand, and I have promised you not to do that. But take my word for it, you can find silly statements 24 hours in advance.

NOBODY KNOWS THE FUTURE.

Now, this is not new information. It was Mark Twain who said, 'I've seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it never came to pass."

And much of what politicians say is not so much a prediction as an attempt to make it come true. It's argument disguised as analysis. But it doesn't really persuade anybody. Because most people can see through it.

If speculation is worthless, why is there so much of it? Is it because people want it? I don't think so. I myself speculate that media has turned to speculation for media's own reasons. So now let's consider the advantages of speculation from a media standpoint.

1. It's incredibly cheap. Talk is cheap. And speculation shows are the cheapest thing you can put on television, They're almost as cheap as running a test pattern. Speculation requires no research, no big staff. Minimal set. Just get the talking host, book the talking guests--of which there is no shortage--and you're done! Instant show. No reporters in different cities around the world, no film crews on location. No deadlines, no footage to edit, no editors...nothing! Just talk. Cheap.

2. You can't lose. Even though the speculation is correct only by chance, which means you are wrong at least 50% of the time, nobody remembers and therefore nobody cares. You are never accountable. The audience does not remember yesterday, let alone last week, or last month. Media exists in the eternal now, this minute, this crisis, this talking head, this column, this speculation.

One of the clearest proofs of this is the Currents of Death controversy. It originated with the New Yorker, which has been a gushing fountainhead of erroneous scientific speculation for fifty years. But my point is this: many of the people who ten years ago were frantic to measure dangerous electromagnetic radiation in their houses now spend thousands of dollars buying magnets to attach to their wrists and ankles, because of the putative healthful effects of magnetic fields. These people don't remember these are the same magnetic fields they formerly wanted to avoid. And since they don't remember, as a speculator on media, you can't lose.

Let me expand on this idea that you can't lose. It's not confined to the media. Most areas of intellectual life have discovered the virtues of speculation, and have embraced them wildly. In academia, speculation is usually dignified as theory. It's fascinating that even though the intellectual stance of the pomo deconstructionist era is against theory, particularly overarching theory, in reality what every academic wants to express is theory.

This is in part aping science, but it's also an escape hatch. Your close textual reading of Jane Austen could well be found wrong, and could be shown to be wrong by a more knowledgeable antagonist. But your theory of radical feminization and authoritarian revolt in the work of Jane Austen is untouchable. Your view of the origins of the First World War could be debated by other authorities more meticulous than you. But your New Historicist essay, which might include your own fantasy about what it would be like if you were a soldier during the first war...well, that's just unarguable.

A wonderful area for speculative academic work is the unknowable. These days religious subjects are in disfavor, but there are still plenty of good topics. The nature of consciousness, the workings of the brain, the origin of aggression, the origin of language, the origin of life on earth, SETI and life on other worlds...this is all great stuff. Wonderful stuff. You can argue it interminably. But it can't be contradicted, because nobody knows the answer to any of these topics--and probably, nobody ever will.

But that's not the only strategy one can employ. Because the media-educated public ignores and forgets past claims, these days even authors who present hard data are undamaged when the data is proven wrong. One of the most consistently wrong thinkers of recent years, Carol Gilligan of Harvard, once MS Magazine's Scientist of the Year, has had to retract (or modify) much of what she has ever written. Yet her reputation as a profound thinker and important investigator continues undiminished. You don't have to be right, any more. Nobody remembers.

Then there is the speculative work of anthropologists like Helen Fisher, who claim to tell us about the origins of love or of infidelity or cooperation by reference to other societies, animal behavior, and the fossil record. How can she be wrong? It's untestable, unprovable, just so stories.

And lest anyone imagine things are different in the hard sciences, consider string theory, for nearly twenty years now the dominant physical theory. More than one generation of physicists has labored over string theory. But--if I understand it correctly, and I may not--string theory cannot be tested or proven or disproven. Although some physicists are distressed by the argument that an untestable theory is nevertheless scientific, who is going to object, really? Face it, an untestable theory is ideal! Your career is secure!

In short, the understanding that so long as you speculate, you can't lose is widespread. And it is perfect for the information age, which promises a cornucopia of knowledge, but delivers a cornucopia of snake oil.

Now, nowhere is it written that the media need be accurate, or useful. They haven't been for most or recorded history. So, now they're speculating....so what? What is wrong with it?

1. Tendency to excess. The fact that it's only talk makes drama and spectacle unlikely--unless the talk becomes heated and excessive. So it becomes excessive. Not every show features the Crossfire-style food fight, but it is a tendency on all shows.

2. "Crisisization" of everything possible. Most speculation is not compelling because most events are not compelling--Gosh, I wonder what will happen to the German mark? Are they going to get their labor problems under control? This promotes the well-known media need for a crisis. Crisis in the German mark! Uh-oh! Look out! Crises unite the country, draw viewers in large numbers, and give something to speculate about. Without a crisis, the talk soon degenerates into debate about whether the refs should have used instant replay on that last football game. So there is a tendency to hype urgency and importance and be-there-now when such reactions are really not appropriate. Witness the interminable scroll at the bottom of the screen about the Queen Mother's funeral. Whatever the Queen mother's story may be, it is not a crisis. I even watched a scroll of my own divorce roll by for a couple of days on CNN. It's sort of flattering, even though they got it wrong. But my divorce is surely not vital breaking news.

3. Superficiality as a norm. Gotta go fast. Hit the high points. Speculation adds to the superficiality. That's it, don't you think?

4. Endless presentation of uncertainty and conflict may interfere with resolution of issues. There is some evidence that the television food fights not only don't represent the views of most people--who are not so polarized--but they may tend to make resolution of actual disputes more difficult in the real world. At the very least, these food fights obscure the recognition that disputes are resolved every day. Compromise is much easier from relatively central positions than it is from extreme and hostile, conflicting positions: Greenpeace Spikers vs the Logging Industry.

5. The interminable chains of speculation paves the way to litigation about breast implants, hysteria over Y2K and global warming, articles in the New Yorker about currents of death, and a variety of other results that are not, by any thoughtful view, good things to happen. There comes to be a perception--convenient to the media--that nothing is, in the end, knowable for sure. When in fact, that's not true.

Let me point to a demonstrable bad effect of the assumption that nothing is really knowable. Whole word reading was introduced by the education schools of the country without, to my knowledge, any testing of the efficacy of the new method. It was simply put in place. Generations of teachers were indoctrinated in its methods. As a result, the US has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the industrialized world. The assumption that nothing can be known with certainty does have terrible consequences.

As GK Chesterton said (in a somewhat different context), "If you believe in nothing you'll believe in anything." That's what we see today. People believe in anything.

But just in terms of the general emotional tenor of life, I often think people are nervous, jittery in this media climate of what if, what if, maybe, perhaps, could be...when there is simply no reason to feel nervous. Like a bearded nut in robes on the sidewalk proclaiming the end of the world is near, the media is just doing what makes it feel good, not reporting hard facts. We need to start seeing the media as a bearded nut on the sidewalk, shouting out false fears. It's not sensible to listen to it.

We need to start remembering that everybody who said that Y2K wasn't a real problem was either shouted down, or kept off the air. The same thing is true now of issues like species extinction and global warming. You never hear anyone say it's not a crisis. I won't go into it, because it might lead to the use of facts, but I'll just mention two reports I speculate you haven't heard about. The first is the report in Science magazine January 18 2001 (Oops! a fact) that contrary to prior studies, the Antarctic ice pack is increasing, not decreasing, and that this increase means we are finally seeing an end to the shrinking of the pack that has been going on for thousands of years, ever since the Holocene era. I don't know which is more surprising, the statement that it's increasing, or the statement that its shrinkage has preceded global warming by thousands of years.

The second study is a National Academy of Sciences report on the economic effects to the US economy of the last El Nino warming event of 1997. That warming produced a net benefit of 15 billion dollars to the economy. That's taking into account 1.5 billion loss in California from rain, which was offset by decreased fuel bills for a milder winter, and a longer growing season. Net result 15 billion in increased productivity.

The other thing I will mention to you is that during the last 100 years, while the average temperature on the globe has increased just .3 C, the magnetic field of the earth declined by 10%. This is a much larger effect than global warming and potentially far more serious to life on this planet. Our magnetic field is what keeps the atmosphere in place. It is what deflects lethal radiation from space. A reduction of the earth's magnetic field by ten percent is extremely worrisome.

But who is worried? Nobody. Who is raising a call to action? Nobody. Why not? Because there is nothing to be done. How this may relate to global warming I leave for you to speculate on your own time.

Personally, I think we need to start turning away from media, and the data shows that we are, at least from television news. I find that whenever I lack exposure to media I am much happier, and my life feels fresher.

In closing, I'd remind you that while there are some things we cannot know for sure, there are many things that can be resolved, and indeed are resolved. Not by speculation, however. By careful investigation, by rigorous statistical analysis. Since we're awash in this contemporary ocean of speculation, we forget that things can be known with certainty, and that we need not live in a fearful world of interminable unsupported opinion. But the gulf that separates hard fact from speculation is by now so unfamiliar that most people can't comprehend it. I can perhaps make it clear by this story:

On a plane to Europe, I am seated next to a guy who is very unhappy. Turns out he is a doctor who has been engaged in a two-year double blind study of drug efficacy for the FDA, and it may be tossed out the window. Now a double-blind study means there are four separate research teams, each having no contact with any other team--preferably, they're at different universities, in different parts of the country. The first team defines the study and makes up the medications, the real meds and the controls. The second team administers the medications to the patients. The third team comes in at the end and independently assesses the effect of the medications on each patient. The fourth team takes the data and does a statistical analysis. The cost of this kind of study, as you might imagine, is millions of dollars. And the teams must never meet.

My guy is unhappy because months after the study is over, he in the waiting room of Frankfurt airport and he strikes up a conversation with another man in the lounge, and they discover--to their horror--that they are both involved in the study. My guy was on the team that administered the meds. The other guy is on the team doing the statistics. There isn't any reason why one should influence the other at this late date, but nevertheless the protocol requires that team members never meet. So now my guy is waiting to hear if the FDA will throw out the entire study, because of this chance meeting in Frankfurt airport.

Those are the lengths you have to go to if you want to be certain that your information is correct. But when I tell people this story, they just stare at me incomprehendingly. The find it absurd. They don't think it's necessary to do all that. They think it's overkill. They live in the world of MSNBC and the New York Times. And they've forgotten what real, reliable information is, and the lengths you have to go to get it. It's so much harder than just speculating.

And on that point, I have to agree with them.

Thank you very much.
13
Main / MND back up
Dec 19, 2004, 04:32 AM
Hostway, MND's Dedicated Server Company, Still Clueless
MND Hacked By Brazilian Anti-War Group
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MURPHY'S LAW x10
On Friday morning, at the very moment that I was traveling with my family and out-of-touch with this website, a "pathetic group of kids from a third world nation" hacked the MensNewsDaily home page and replaced it with a single page announcement written in Portugese.
When I arrived at my destination late Friday night, I discovered much to my dismay that the high-speed Internet connection that I expected on arrival was not going to be available. It was not until midday Saturday that I was able to get a dial-up connection and replace MND's hijacked home page.

MND uses a dedicated server managed and hosted by Chicago's Hostway corporation. (Some MND readers may recall our earlier encounters with Hostway's services. So far we have stayed because the price has been right. No more.) Hostway's tech support remains characteristically surly, and they seem genuinely puzzled as to why I might hold them responsible for securing the dedicated server that they are paid to manage and host for MND. As they say, you get what you pay for.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had not planned on making this a public announcement, but since the cat has left the building, I will be on holiday with my family until New Years. I will endeavor to keep the site updated as much as possible during that time. Thank you to all who called and sent emails.

Thank you all and Merry Christmas!

Mike LaSalle
14
Main / Women laughing at prostate cancer
Nov 24, 2004, 08:59 AM
Even when they try to help, they have to degrade and laugh at men:

http://www.brprostate.org/

Includes a photo of a naked man covering himself up and the phrase:

What do we have to do to remind you to get a prostate screening? Try a ribon about it?

Photo of a man and a woman with the phrase:

How to make sure he gets a screening: no screening, no nookie.

A photo of a man only from the waist down, with the phrase:

This ad is intended to hit you below the belt.

A photo of a black man with the phrase:

Finally it pays to think with your dick

And, the award for the most tasteless concept? Two different photos of women with the phrases:

I suffer from prostate cancer.

Yep, we should have known, its the poor little women who are the ones who suffer, even when it comes to prostate cancer.


Please look at the site, and if you feel as disgusted as I do, contact them and let them know:

250 West 57th Street
Suite 716
New York, NY 10107

Phone: 866.489.0727 (toll-free)
Fax: 212.582.0173
Email: [email protected]



1616 Walnut Street
Suite 1520
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Phone: 215.732.2300
Fax: 215.732.7575
Email: [email protected]

(Thanks to Zenpriest for alerting us to this.)
15
Main / AIDS - an anti-male message?
Nov 23, 2004, 06:09 AM
I swear I've just heard on BBC radio that in sub-saharan affrica three quarters of those suffering with AIDS are females and then they emphasised that most of this is due to "Their partner's high risk behaviour that they themselves have no control over."

But,, surely this can't be correct? Because if the partners had AIDS then how come only a quarter of the AIDS sufferers are male?

I suspect the figures have been massaged somewhere to highlight females as victims.
16
Don't you? Don't you?
17
Main / Has feminism driven you mad?
Nov 21, 2004, 05:45 AM
Have you been driven mad by feminism?
18
Woman rapes 7 year old & forces him to have sex with his own sister
(sorry the full headline wouldnt fit in the subject line)

http://www.kcentv.com/news/c-article.php?cid=1&nid=5738
19
Main / Salma Hayek says men are weak
Nov 20, 2004, 01:03 AM
I only post this because, for me, it beautifully illustrates the contradictory desires of many women. She thinks men are too ball-less, yet they are not in touch enough with their feminine side.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showthread.php?t=326324

Salma Hayek says she's still single because she has yet to meet a man with more balls than her.

The 37-year-old star of Once Upon A Time in Mexico told Austrian magazine Woman she wants to settle down and start a family but has not yet found the right man.

She said: "My mum's always asking me: "When will you finally get married?" And I always say: "When I find a man who has more balls than me".

The actress, who says she has come close to marriage four times, added: "What worries me the most is that most men are so weak. Because of that they act like they don't care and like machos - because they are too fragile inside.

"They're scared of confrontation and afraid of so many things. And because of this they build up their life so they have to deal with their feelings as little as possible."

The star, who is currently dating Hulk actor Josh Lucas, said her ideal man would be in touch with his feminine side.

She said: "I find feminine men unbelievably sexy. But most men are completely incapable of getting in touch with their feminine side. They don't have the courage to confront this part of their soul."

And she added: "What am I supposed to talk about with a man who doesn't know what it's like to be a woman?"