Social Distortion


I was driving in the car last weekend, enjoying the warm weather, looking forward to a screening of Miles Ahead and listening to my local NPR station…all was good and then it all became bad.  NPR was doing a story on Julia Ioffe –you may not know the name but you more than likely know more than you may care to about her subject: Melania Trump.

Julia recently did a piece on Melania for GQ—and the trolls are coming out en masse attacking her. Apparently it is all because Melania had expressed her displeasure over the piece…and journalists—no new news here—her husband has been rather public about his hatred of journalists….but this was different. You see Julia is Jewish and her subject is married to what I like to refer to as the walking virus with shoes Donald Trump. After the piece was published and Melania had a comment, Julia suddenly became a target. Her phone has rung off the hook with threats, her twitter page has been a target of …you guessed it—anti Semitic rants, photo-shopped pictures, people claiming she should be made into a lampshade…… all because she published a fully researched article that was run by Melania Trump’s camp and a team of lawyers, etc and she wasn’t even sure what Melania was referring to.

As I listened to Julia tell the interviewer how her life has been threatened, I was disturbed…but then I became angry when she stated, “as a journalist it comes with the territory”. Does it? Well maybe if you’re dealing with a troglodyte like Trump but it shouldn’t.

No journalist should have to be the subject of attacks and feel unsafe and I wonder how we got to the place in this country where as journalists we accept attacks on us as just part of the job. No it’s a part of a society where social mores and appropriate behavior are unicorns and bullying and meanness are the norm.

It is still mind boggling to me and embarrassing as well that we actually have someone so reprehensible as Trump leading as the Republican front runner. Let me be clear, it doesn’t say anything about Trump, or even the Republican party but it does say something about our society. Trump is waving in the wind a banner of a society that has decided to accept the lowest common denominator, to hate others who are different, to judge people based on the color of their skin or their religion. But at the end of the day, if anything – Trump has done most of us a favor –he has pulled back the skin on the underbelly of the beast and shown us that hatred is still alive and well in America.

What is worse is that people like Julia have been conditioned to accept it. She is doing her job and she cannot do so without a backlash of hatred. What is even more sad and disconcerting is that the online attacks against Ioffe, though religiously charged, aren’t so different from those targeted at many other women.  Brianna Wu, a game developer, spoke out about gamergate and she then began receiving multiple, specific rape and death threats including her address, forcing Wu to flee her home. Alison Rapp, who worked in marketing at Nintendo, has also been the subject of relentless online harassment. No man or woman should be the target of threats and fear for their safety because they chose the career of journalism or expressed an opinion.

I have been rather fortunate—I’ve only had a couple of run ins but I won’t lie to you, I always wonder if it’s really worth it? I once wrote a blog about why I thought Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were a bad choice for the Vogue cover and the trolls came out and called me a racist. I wasn’t quite sure how my disdain over someone’s fashion choices equaled to me being racist but there it was staring me back in the face.

At a club I was once approached by a man who didn’t agree with my assessment of a Corrosion of Conformity show. Really? A music journalist’s opinion means that much to you that you’re going to corner them in a bar and force them to discuss their article?

I could write an entirely new blog on what I’ve received when I have commented on Trump. No big surprise there –a man who spews hate speech would more than likely have followers who do the same. But to have someone tell me I should die because I disagree with Trump’s views is unfathomable. Yes that happened.

And just this morning I received a comment on a fashion blogging site that I follow. I love seeing the red carpet looks and commenting on my thoughts of what looks good and doesn’t. But this morning my inbox had a notification from an internet troll who went so far as to create a fake disqus profile with my name as a rude phrase to attack me because I said Kendall and Kylie Jenner didn’t look bad in their Met dresses considering… I kind of stared at the comment for a minute and thought wow that much hatred and effort was summoned over a back handed compliment? I can only imagine if I had been actually critical.

I don’t make my living as a journalist—it’s something I do as a freelancer, I do it because it’s something I love….most of the time.

For those who do it as a full time profession, there shouldn’t be fear for publishing an opinion. Feeling threatened and enduring racist hate speech shouldn’t be part of the territory. Ever.

SO why is it becoming more and more common? I have often said Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have given people a screen to hide behind while they lob over insults and hatred. I’m fine with people not agreeing with me…that’s a natural part of open dialogue –what I can’t stand nor do I think anyone should, is attacks and threats.

Bottom line?

It would appear that our continued foray into social media has made us, well…..antisocial.

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Neal Gabler: How the Media Enabled Donald Trump

Brilliant blog.

Vox Populi

“I’ve never seen anything like this, and this is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.” — Les Moonves, CBS

It is more than a little ironic that the Republican Establishment and the mainstream media are both now in full panic mode over the possibility of Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination. You would think that the Republican Party, which has been, let’s face it, hate-spewing, poor-bashing, government-stopping and corporation-loving for decades, ought to be the leading culprit for having paved the way for Trump’s success. As for the media, Marco Rubio, who claims to be exactly where he wants to be after losing 14 primaries and caucuses and winning only one, holds them responsible, which, from a candidate who has demonstrated little support outside the media, is a bit disingenuous. Still, even Rubio is…

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Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Paul Varjak: Sure.*


Of course I think today the American Psychology Association would probably call it anxiety but potato- po-tah-to ….still it seems like the world is awash in a mean red paint splatter. This time it’s not Kim Kardashian’s latest foray into my FB feed, or the fact that the Travel Channel built an entire show around Rev. Run taking vacations….it’s that everywhere I look it feels like we’re all in “Mean Girls”. On Wednesdays we wear pink and we shun others.

I am literally exhausted by all of the crazy, hatred and stupid we face on a daily basis. I am also afraid, but unlike Holly I can identify the reason for my fear.

We have become a virus with shoes, patient zero is Donald Trump and the CDC apparently doesn’t have a vaccine.

Allow me to explain why Trump is my personal nightmare and should be our nation’s as well.

All of a sudden instead of just being that self important, let’s market my name on EVERY building I come in contact with buffoon– he is now perfectly epitomizing so many things that are wrong with our society today. When did we become a nation of mean people, who are ok to be offensive, show poor manners and highlight our ignorance? Have we always been this way and has my waning youth just hidden it with idealism? Is it something new?

Everywhere I turn I am faced with the reality that we aren’t in Kansas anymore—instead, it’s a 24 hr Wal Mart off a busy highway with 12 liter sodas for sale and everyone is thirsty.
And it’s mediocrity, meanness and mayhem that are quenching their thirst– poured down their throats by Trump.

We have a man running for president and doing well in the polls who is a known misogynist, intolerant racist with a few decades practice on that front ( lest we forget, in 1973, the Justice Department filed suit against the Trump Management Corporation for alleged racial discrimination ) and he is not only obnoxious he is unapologetically obnoxious on purpose to a fault.

He’s filed bankruptcy four times and has married two women who were not born in the US however he is against immigrants and plans to turn America around financially? Isn’t anyone seeing him as a whopping bucket of crazy that makes no sense?


Allow me to point out what really bothers me about Trump. It’s not that he lacks any redeeming qualities. It’s not that he is obnoxious, rude, prejudiced and cruel. It’s not that he’s a bully. He’s all of those things but it is the fact that the American public seems to be perfectly fine with what comes out of his mouth and is blind to his quite implicit danger that has me worried.

I’ve been a cultural commentator for years and this troglodyte is hands-down the most bellicose buffoon I have ever encountered but if he was just spewing his rhetoric at one of his gold plated mirrors in his mansion, I might be less concerned. The fact that he is still in the running as a Republican candidate for presidency is mind boggling to me. Granted, imho, the rest of the candidates aren’t exactly the cream of the crop but when does enough become enough? I don’t know which is worse –Trump spewing he vitriol hate speech OR the fact THAT NO ONE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Instead, we’re putting him on SNL and clapping when he makes fun of reporters who have a physical handicap! Seriously, what are we afraid of? Is it that the other candidates are just as incompetent so Trump with all of his money and I won’t apologize to women, minorities, and reporters somehow appears as the savior of the great American dream?

How can someone who is not great himself make America great again? Isn’t it time that this charade be shut down?

He is swaggering through the election process and people are claiming they like that he tells it like it is. Does he? Or does he incite violence, stupidity and the dumbing down of America? He’s not telling it like it is…he’s telling what he thinks will get the most publicity and votes.

Case in point:

On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Trump sparred with NBC’s Chuck Todd, who pressed the GOP candidate on his controversial claim about thousands of people cheering when the towers fell during 9/11.

“This didn’t happen in New Jersey,” Todd said.
“Chuck, it did happen in New Jersey,” Trump replied. “I have hundreds of people that agree with me.”
The real estate mogul again offered a 2001 Washington Post article that reported the FBI was looking into reports of people celebrating as proof of his claim. (Officials could not find evidence such celebrations ever occurred.)
“We’re looking for other articles,” Trump said. “And we’re looking for other clips. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we found them, Chuck. But for some reason, they’re not that easy to come by. I saw it. So many people saw it, Chuck. And so, why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back.”
“You’re running for president of the United States,” Todd argued. “Your words matter. Truthfulness matters.”
“Take it easy, Chuck. Just play cool,” Trump responded. “Many, many people have seen it. I have a very good memory, I’ll tell you. I saw it somewhere on television many years ago. And I never forgot it.”


“Just play cool?” He’s beginning to sound like the bad boy in John Hughes movies. In fact, maybe that’s it. He must be a big fan of James Spader….

Let’s face it he IS that bad boy… Trump as Steff or Rip.. a rich arrogant playboy.

Does anyone really think a rich arrogant playboy (RAP)wants to make America great again? Really?

Or is it perhaps just one more real estate deal that he can trump stamp with his name?

I am voting on the latter.
To read a much more profound dissertation on Trumpism please click HERE 

*Breakfast at Tiffany’s, George Axelrod, screenplay

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Fools Rush In

Fools Rush In

I hate being wrong….especially when it comes to music. I don’t consider myself an expert per se, but having been around the music industry since I was 18 and writing professionally for the past decade, I like to think of myself as being fairly on point.

I have been extraordinarily lucky too…I’ve interviewed several of my idols—everyone from Zakk Wylde to Steve Vai..and I’ve been stage front covering bands from MUSE to Motorhead. Hell I even have proof that I have sat on Lemmy’s lap but nothing prepared me for what I had managed to avoid for 20 years.

You got first RUSH concert.

I couldn’t have dreaded anything more.

I didn’t contact management for backstage passes. I didn’t take my camera. Hell, I didn’t even pull out my leather pants. ..and I didn’t contact any of my editors to see if they wanted to run my review as a cover feature. I was a reluctant passenger on a fly by night snowy owl on a headlong flight into mystery.

I arrived, made my way to my VIP seats…ok..I at least didn’t pay for the tickets…I mean that just would be wrong…and I sat down wondering how long I’d have to wait before the shrieking would begin. I had been told that the band was always punctual but seriously who actually starts on time?

I glanced at my watch and on the stroke of 8 the lights suddenly went down and the screens behind the stage begin to show video. There were cartoons, illustrations, interviews, voice overs….and this wasn’t some 8th grade science presentation –my eyes were trying to keep up with what felt like a Spielberg movie when all of a sudden the opening notes of “The Anarchist” began. The crowd went wild and I went silent.

So this is RUSH. Three guys , four decades and 20,000 or so of my closest friends.


This was sounding good. Really good.

As the band moved from tracks picked from the majority of their catalog including “Clockwork Angel”, “Snakes and Arrows”, “Vapor Trails”, “Counterparts” and “Grace Under Pressure”…I realized that all of the snide jokes and requests to never hear “Tom Sawyer” again, were falling by the wayside as I recognized I knew more lyrics than I had ever admitted to and this 3 piece was tight but not taught.

I didn’t hear any missteps , no one missed their cue….it was a well-oiled machine, power driving through one song after another until 22 or so songs later I was trying to figure out what album hadn’t been represented. I left while they were playing “Anthem”…and made my way out to the corridor of the coliseum. I could hear the rest of the encore as I made my way to one of the merch stands. Yeah. I’m that chick. The Rush Girls Rock with the tee shirt.

I felt it was the least I could do.

I had complained that Geddy Lee sounded like a squirrel on helium, their songs were always 2 minutes too long, Neil was just collecting drums, he wasn’t really playing all of them and Alex valiantly chugged along in the other’s shadows.

I realized I had been wrong, really wrong. Ok…I still say that Lee’s vocals are not for the faint of heart, his register takes some getting used to but the wall of sound produced around him isn’t smoke and mirrors, it’s the real deal. RUSH will never be that band you can dance to -they have been too busy experimenting with compositions, song structures and lyrical content. Sure it can be a bit verbose and pedantic and these are also the guys who thought kimonos were height of rock star fashion, but at the end of the day I realized they’ve been true to themselves, their music and their fans. Not many bands can stake that claim especially after 40 years.

So to the band of brothers from Toronto, the common sons– I humbly apologize. I was wrong to judge you on a few songs that made AOR radio many years ago. I may not own all of your albums and cds, but you can lay claim and ownership of my respect.

I listened to your music and heard what it can do.

-Kim Thore

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Sopranos, Symbolism and Sianara..

Ok, the Mafia hit Pompano Beach this week and I am SO grateful that in a couple fits of boredom I had watched “Growing up Gotti”. On Tuesday, I had Salvatore Melandrinooooo (again I may have that spelling wrong- [wink]) in my office and he had a dispute with his rental car company. The entire time Sal was in my office he kept an unlit cigarette in his mouth held by a filter….I swear to you he must be a stand in for Tony Soprano b/c he was Goom-ba all the way…he started telling the guy at Enterprise, “You got some kind of nerve, you better be glad I’m not there in person and suddenly visions of him pulling out a gun and shooting his cell phone flashed into my head. I had to close my door, but since my fish bowl office has no ceiling it really didn’t help much, I am sure everyone in the lobby was thinking he was about to do a contract hit on me. Finally, we figured out how to get Enterprise to make the corrections on his account and Sal and I discussed an easier way for him to manage his accts…for whatever reason he insists on having two checking accts, two cell phones, and two debit cards, but he keeps forgetting which debit card goes to which account. I suggested he come back the next day for me to help him straighten out his accounts, heck this is ONE guy I do not want to make angry…I’m thinking of producing a pasta dish when he arrives….at any rate, Sal apologized and said, “since I got shot I don’t think too good”. See I told you. Below is    Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, who I am sure is Sal’s 4th cousin twice removed…..

I also met a man and his wife this week and Julian is German and apparently tres rich-he owns a small resort in Costa Rica and for whatever reason he thinks I am very competent and always comes to me to open accounts, close accounts, advise him on what to do with the extra 93,000 cash he had in a savings account…I said give it to me..but he just laughed in that German bourgeois way they have….then yesterday he invited me to come to his resort in Costa Rica, and I am pretty sure he doesn’t mean at a discounted rate, I think he meant for free..anyway we looked it up on the web ( <>; )  and while it is rustic, I’m ½ thinking of going for it…or at least “inquiring about the rates” and see where it goes…check out the site-five years ago I would have never attempted this kind of rustic adventure- hell after driving down Powerline Road at midnight, I’m about willing to try anything.

Then on Wed, Broward County’s finest showed up in my center..yes four Sheriffs deputies wanted to meet with me and this can never be a good sign..turns out they wanted to find out if I had cameras on the side of my building facing A1A b/c there had been a VIOLENT CRIME COMMITTED OVER THE WEEKEND right beside the banking center…gotta hate when those words are uttered…the amusing part was that they were all completely nonchalant and making jokes…just when I’m thinking should I put yellow tape around the building one of the
deputy chicks said oh yeah can you check on my credit card for guys screwed up my payment…I kept trying to get more info about the violent crime and she kept saying yeah you took from the wrong acct, and paid too much, can you call me and let me know. They finally left and said btw, give us a call if you find anything out about the video..uh yeah sure..right after I buy a gun at the 7-11 down the street….

So, I was watching an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter last night…(don’t judge)

and my equal fascination with his Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Look and his wife’s GINORMOUS boobs kept me glued to the tv set..I mean really how does she stand upright? But I give her points for her perm and long nails….oh and extra points for finding knit tops that fit….Back to the Dog’s look-personally I think Prada should get right on that, but at any this episode , one of the huntees was a stripper with a penchant for smoking pot in her car-she had been arrested three times, etc…well fast forward to when they catch her and her boyfriend shows up on the scene…they ask him where they were planning to go to and his answer: Florida.

You see folks right there on cable tv. I finally figured it out..Florida is a place where people go to escape, start over or try and find something they lost within themselves and perhaps in some cases forget what they lost….in my case I was in a job I hated – working for a boss I hated even more with serious fashion and jealousy issues and being miserable being away from Michael…so I bungee jumped into what I thought would be a better opportunity to start over, reassess and most importantly forego the long weeks in between trips to Fla or anticipating the planes flying in to Greensboro with my precious cargo (M) on them.

I have figured out that there is a reason for everything and there are also universe-provided signs to point you in the right direction. On Monday, I walked out to my car to find a duck (didn’t know we had any around the condo???) sitting in the middle of the parking lot. This duck had red hair on the top of his head..SYMBOLISM anyone?  I thought he would hiss or walk away as I got closer but he just sat there, a sitting duck with red hair apparently staging a sit-in protest. As I pulled my car around he STILL didn’t move…and all day I couldn’t stop thinking about that duck.he was out of place, looking unlike anything else here and just quietly making a statement. He was me, and I knew it.

And his message was quite informative….while I have gotten used to Florida and have found some enjoyable nuggets here, life has dictated that I have to leave for awhile. My father’s health continues to decline and he and my family need my assistance…I have been asked to return home and under the guise of a family medical leave of absence, I will be facing the biggest challenge of my life. So Thomas Wolfe, you can go home again, even for the most saddest of reasons.

But it would be remorse of me to send this last postcard without a few final observations about this land, this demi-eden, this place called Florida. Who would have thought an ankle sock shaped state would have proven to be such a big challenge. But with all of the freaks, geeks , sheiks and in some cases eeks, I have to say the last 21 weeks have been nothing short of enlightening. I had a thought last night, driving home that Florida works in theory but not in application…it makes sense to have a place with great weather most of the year that people can retire to and or enjoy for a few months at a time..but for the natives it all seems to be an algebra problem gone horribly wrong.

Florida is a place where 40 story condominiums are built on grains of sand within walking distance of the ocean, that will storm surge five months of the year threatening utter destruction..I guess that means that at least in the construction business there must be hope here.

It is a land where palm trees flourish and grass will not grow…water from the sky has to be supported daily by water from the ground…..

It is a terrain populated by people who are from a hundred different races and countries but who never embrace that which is different…the color of your skin must be brown and glistening, your boobs must be fake or at least appear to be and your hair must be either an unnatural color or length…if you’re over 65 you must behave 25-30 years younger than your age and complain about everything including the price of bread at Publix and the taxes of the condo you bought on the beach.

But it is also a place where you can see the most beautiful sunsets, golf in February and find out more about yourself then you ever thought you could. My relocation to Florida taught me I could be brave in life and love. I could find humor in a place so foreign to me that it sometimes felt like I should apply for a visa or passport. I could find me. The writer, the poet and the eternal optimist willing to operate as a bit of a correspondent and relay back to the universe what I have seen, heard and felt…and while it has been a plethora of imagery and a great deal of strange occurrences, I wouldn’t have traded this experience for anything in the world.

Like the butterflies in Butterfly World, I was in captivity for awhile in a place that I was not used to but my winged self is now on to face new adventures. The time I will spend caring for my Dad will also be a chance to re-evaluate where I am going career-wise…and spend some time inventorying the gifts I already have. One big one is the drummer, the artist, my most favorite Italian man….a man with the most beautiful soul. M. He has made all the strife worth every second. I also realized I had a gift for survival..I used to think life was constantly throwing me punches that I didn’t handle as well as I should and now I realize hell I’m pretty damn strong and I can do it all in Gucci 4 inch heels. (one must never forget fashion in life) If the last 21 weeks have taught me anything it is that life is full of choices and sometimes we make ones that enlighten us in two ways…they prove what we already know and tell us what we didn’t.

So I have to leave for awhile, but I’ll be ok…I have two families supporting me and that’s pretty damn lucky in this universe.
And I have reruns of SATC to get me thru anything…for those of you who watched every damn episode like me , you’ll remember this…from the last one…Carrie’s final “postcard”.
“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous”
And amongst the sequin sun visors, angry old men, crime and punishment…I found all of that and more.
Oh and by the way, the other night, Mike took me by a lake behind the condo…I had never noticed it before and one of the ducks had baby chicks…Mike had seen them on his bike ride and wanted me to see them too…they were all fuzzy and new and full of promise….ummm…and the duck with the red hair? He was there too…and I know you won’t believe me, but I’m pretty sure I saw him give me a wink.
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Butt Seriously?

“Our culture is shallow because we don’t respect the elderly,” said Maher. “We venerate the young and let them rule everything. We let them run everything. How else would you explain the cultural moment that is now being enjoyed by the human buttocks? It’s an ass. It’s been around for centuries. Half of our music and all of our dancing is just about worshiping, praising, staring at and waxing poetic about the human ass. Millennials should be called ‘Generation Ass.” B. Maher


I don’t always agree with Bill Maher but I have to say he is spot on about this phenom. As the latest pictures of a greased up, photo shopped Kim Kardashian hit my news feed Wednesday (Jean-Paul Goude known for photo shopped pics took her photos) I laid my head in my hands and thought really? Another hyper focused media frenzy over someone’s assets? Anaconda videos, twerking, belfies…singers and stars vying for attention by shoving their butts in our collective faces….I’m “exhassted”  by the constant imagery.

It’s no surprise I marvel  at our society’s fascination with Kim Kardashian, I have just never understood why someone as vacuous and wearisome as she, her sisters, her mother, etc continue to hold American’s gripped by the pop culture juggler. Now instead of seeing her shoved into some poorly fitted dress on the front row of a fashion show, my eyes are burning by her ass creating its own 4th dimension on a magazine cover and yet another hashtag #breaktheinternet..which quite frankly I wish her pics had accomplished because my head hurts. In the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter that KK has only one way to culturally define herself, and full frontal or not the point is that the constant obsession we now have with buttocks is saying something.

I get it that body parts are culturally targets of desire, adoration and speculation. We have coveted big breasts, tiny waists, small feet, big butts, small breasts, size 0’s, size “more to love”…and the list goes on but when did an entire generation decide that the ass should be honored and held up as something to covet, a sacred relic dipped in gold dust, vaseline and tanning spray? Perhaps we should blame Sir Mix A Lot..a catchy tune became an ear worm and more than two decades later a generation is putting new meaning into hump day.

Either way, it’s not like it was just invented, hell the bustle of the 1800s was not about pure fashion….so why all of the focus? Is it just titillation? Have we gotten to the point that face to face interaction is so boring that it makes more sense to just throw our ass up in the air, shake it, twirl it, spank it and glorify it?  It’s in music videos, instagrams, re-grams, twitter and whether you are a celebrity or not it seems that the measure of a woman’s sex appeal has now become unmistakably linked to the size of her ass and if you can balance a champagne glass on it it’s that just that  much more bootylicious.

Beyonce is telling us she’s going  to “sit this ass on you”, Miley is attacking groins across the nation, Shakira and Rihanna are doing butt challenges and through it all, the lesson is that ladies, you better get your squats going on because your sexual worth is about packing much back.. Maybe it’s all much ado about nothing and our civilization will survive this buttpoclypse however this onslaught is exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the female form is beautiful and I also think women have a right to celebrate whatever they feel is unique about them, men too…however when women are celebrating being known ONLY for their derrieres rather than their talent, their intelligence, or even their faces it worries me especially since icons are so on board with it. The result is a continuation of a misogynistic culture that I have fought against most of my adult life and the stars that are happily going down the yellow brick road paved with whoopie cakes are sending a strong message—get on board ladies..if you want to get noticed forget about changing the world, changing your mind or being sexy ..strap on a thong and twerk it.

It’s banal and it makes us all look like asses.


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