Saturday, October 5, 2013


Em, aware of silly things she does automatically, asks John Cullum if he's ever a "dumb bunny."

John mentions medical ads that get him checking himself, worrying ridiculously about symptoms.

Because Emily is writing a post about "Dumb Bunnies," she gets John to sing the song that rings in her mind -- "Don't be the Bunny."

Thursday, October 3, 2013



Where and how did you get your sex education?

Did you hear about or read the "Kinsey Report?" In the forties and fifties it was considered quite a revelation. Maybe you browsed Masters and Johnson's "Human Sexual Response?" It was hot stuff in the sixties and seventies.

Or did you, or any of your friends, peruse the "Joys of Sex?" (Best seller in the early 80's and 2008, when it was revised). If you browsed the "Kama Sutra," did you find it fascinating or sort of shocking?  Did you read anything by Simone de Beauvoir -- wonder about her open marriage with Sartre? (Open marriages were "big" for quite awhile).

What about the lib guys -- Betty Freidan, Gloria Steinem, and hey -- Jill Johnston -- her 1970 manifesto put lesbian women at the forefront of the movement -- did any of this liberation stuff affect you and your friends?

The pretty-faced Virginia Johnson, who left the world this past  July, was one of the pioneers in the ever expanding field of what we're learning about sex. Though not a scientific type, Virginia she became William Master's assistant, researcher, right-hand, and finally became his wife. Together they studied sexual response with 694 male and female volunteers, wiring them up with every kind of medical sensor available and putting them through their sexual paces while the lab machinery measured and clicked.

Did their findings affect me? Well, reading excerpts and reviews about the book, gave me terms and ideas of what was more or less "normal."

When I was writing my novel,  "Somebody, Woman of the Century," I explored how my heroine, Cordelia, born in 1900, learned about sex. Since she was still a virgin, though married and the mother of twins, it was a challenge to plot, and then dramatize how Cordelia felt, years later, with a second husband, when she felt a first "tingle" and gradually learned what an orgasm was.

Hey, nowadays, how does one learn? How do we get a sense of the realities of sexuality? There are plenty of books, romances and sexually arousing fiction, non fiction, plays, great films, and B movies, prorno, TV shows, ads -- ads galore -- created by younger generation artists (newbie ad agency employees and their bosses.)

Older, wiser, famous creative artists sit side-by-side with the newbies, these days. Whoever they are, whatever age or cultural background -- they're keeping up with all the latest events in the news that have to do with famous people and their sex lives.

Yep, lovers, marriages, breakups, divorces, abuses, perversions, romantic madness, one night stands -- philosophical as well as rash remarks -- I suspect, more than ever, celebrities shape what we what we find titillating, sexy, sinful, inspiring.

I wonder how this will affect our children, the ones who'll be teaching us soon, with their pop songs, books, movies, ads they create -- stuff that will educate and inspire their offspring long after we're gone.

Gosh,. I don't think I could handle much more than what we're getting right now. I must say, I'm sort of glad I won't be around.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


If Huma Weiner, wife of Anthony Weiner, were my friend, what would I say to her?

She is a new mother, educated, 37 -- born in Kalamazoo, Michigan; grew up in Saudi  Arabia; at age 18 left to attend George Washington University in DC; while attaining her BA degree, she became a White House intern, and helped Hillary Clinton. Since  1996, Huma has worked for Hillary -- assisted Hillary throughout her 2008 presidential campaign as well as during her years as Secretary of State.

Hillary, attending Huma's wedding  in 2010, said, "I only have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would be Huma."

As a wife and mother, Huma has continued to work for the State Department as a part time research assistant for various departments. That her religion is Islam, that she speaks Arabic as well as English fluently, has enabled her to provide information that helps  our government make decisions.

Has her Islamic, Arabian background been questioned?  Oh yes, as her support of her husband is being questioned.

How she tolerated but adjusted to what Anthony Weiner did -- the sex conversations he had with women he didn't know, his sending naked photos of himself -- has made headlines.  That Huma supported him, was at his side, as he began his campaign to be the Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York City, impressed me. But the additional revelations that came out when Weiner was in the middle of his campaign -- that he was still having online relationships, still conversing online with women about sex ... whew!

Addiction? Mental illness? Whatever word you attach to this behavior, to me it seems suicidal. Weiner is apparently compelled to do something that can destroy him, his career, his marriage, and family.

How has Huma managed to handle this? Her face tells the story. (She's not a pretty woman though with her hair loose, and her occasional smile, one sees that she can be very attractive, charming, seductive.) One sees a clear-eyed, fearless, vulnerable woman seeking the truth. 

Why did Weiner play sex games online? Was it for arousal, pleasure in danger? Is there a sex problem in his love life with Huma?

It's not the Bill Clinton story of other women

I don't know how Hillary acted, reacted, handled, didn't handle what Bill is, and Bill's need for other women, but her behavior has made her what I think she is -- a strong, tender,  realistic, practical, tough-minded survivor and supporter of her  husband. And Bill Clinton continues to be, what I think he is -- a brilliant, wise, leader whose ideas have helped millions of people throughout the world.

Is Huma is imitating Hillary?  I don't think Huma is an imitator, or a follower. More likely, she is reacting to what she senses and feels about her husband's ideas as a leader who can help people.

I think she loves and believes in what Anthony Weiner stands for.

Okay, I don't understand what's wrong with him or what has created the self-destructive element that I sense in him, and I don't know how Huma, the woman, his lover and mate contributes to this. Based on my personal experiences, I am convinced that our cultural convictions about infidelity -- about what's right or wrong sexually, what's acceptable, unacceptable -- tend to warp us, not just confuse us, but put ideas in our heads based on fiction, on movies, on the doings of our movie star heroes and heroines.

The Weiners' campaign is over. He lost.

So, my friend Huma -- I know you will hear, see, read, and be told that you love a guy who can't change, he's warped. You'll be told that his sickness will ruin your life, and even hurt your son. Even so, hold on to what you are feeling.  While your are holding onto what you feel, all the negative things will take root and maybe grow -- or -- maybe they will wither.

I think you should focus on what's next; what he does, says, and tries to do in his career, and what you want to do with your life --career and personal things/. Take hold of what you tell yourself to do.

Focus on that

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Was Alan Jay Lerner a personal friend? Em wants to know.

John Cullum raves about Lerner's creativity -- Alan's energy, perseverance, and amazing, un-ceasing work he did on re-writes.

Though they were not "buddies," Alan's focus on him, and what Alan demanded from him as a actor,. changed the direction of John's career, and affects him even now.