The other shoe…



[His Yale roommate] said that he never witnessed Kavanaugh engage in any sexual misconduct, but did recall him being “frequently, incoherently drunk.” He described [Deborah] Ramirez as a vulnerable outsider. “Is it believable that she was alone with a wolfy group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like Debbie? Yeah, definitely. Is it believable that Kavanaugh was one of them? Yes.”

This rings so true to ol’ UD — the terrible coincidence of sophisticated entitled men and a clueless female innocent. Whatever else the truth and falsity of the charges against Kavanaugh, this statement, which goes to the cruelty and danger of men in certain kinds of groups, rings true.

‘USC President Steps Down After Campus Gynecologist Scandal’

President leaves the stirrups.

Headline of the Day

Jameis Winston Says He Has “Grown And Learned” From The Experience Of Grabbing An Uber Driver’s Crotch

Headline of the Day


Justin Trudeau…

… up to his evil tricks again.

Celebrity Suicide Cluster …

… more of a possibility with the death of Anthony Bourdain in France.


Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.


A 2016 New Yorker article about the suicides of two high-profile French chefs.


Reading and thinking about Bourdain, I find myself recalling August Kleinzahler’s comment on his wild and brilliant brother, who killed himself at 27:

He wasn’t designed for the long haul. Not everyone is.


I am fucking furious with him.

This reaction, from one of Bourdain’s friends, rings very true to UD, since the same sort of anger was certainly her first reaction to her father’s suicide.


In line with my two recent posts on horror:

“Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human condition,” wrote Graham Greene in his second autobiography, Ways of Escape, a book which the chef, author and travel show host Anthony Bourdain, who died on June 8 at 61, kept on his nightstand.

Fashion Designer Kate Spade —

— so successfully fashionable that her name is on quite a number of UD‘s things, even though UD is unfashionable — has committed suicide at the age of 55.

Since Spade was a massive success – at least in public, worldly terms – and a very high-profile person, her apparently out of the blue death will generate much speculation.


Longtime readers know that this blog has, for a long time, had what to say about suicide. (Type suicide in my search engine to read my thoughts on the matter.) In the very early hours of this particular case, I’ll venture only the following: We are most likely going to discover that Spade had long suffered from severe depression.

Other possible reasons include a recent diagnosis of a bad disease, despair at a relapse into an addiction, or a sudden psychotic onset either in response to a family tragedy, or in response (most frighteningly) to absolutely nothing that anyone is able to discern.


She was found fully clothed, her 6ft 3in frame slumped on the floor, having hanged herself with a black silk scarf.

That was wealthy New York fashion designer L’Wren Scott, in 2014. Spade also hanged herself with a scarf.


The clear persistence of suicide throughout history suggests that it is a part of the human experience. Until we live in a radically different time and consciousness, one where people are never driven by internal or external demons to look for a way out of intractable suffering, we are not likely to be effective at eliminating suicide altogether. However, because the act so powerfully prompts those of us left behind to reflect on the sacredness of life and the role we individually and collectively play in easing the suffering that results in suicide, it leaves in its wake a deep inspiration to act; to care; to create webs of support that might catch those among us whose suffering becomes intolerable.



Kate Spade Suffered Years of Mental Illness,
Sister Says. Suicide ‘Not Unexpected’

“I think he has an emptiness inside of him … that I’ve never seen in an adult,” Comey told Remnick at one point. “It’s all, ‘What will fill this hole?’ ”

Sing it.

He was prez but the world was bare
He didn’t feel love anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care
He pushed a window open wide
He felt an emptiness inside
To which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate





UD has long wondered whether she’s got what it takes to write for the tabloids. She was reminded of this when she saw the quick cheap way some woman who works at a university in Fresno just got herself MUCHO publicity by calling Barbara Bush a racist.


Don DeLillo says

Everything we need that is not food or love is in the tabloid racks. The tales of the supernatural and the extra-terrestrial. The miracle vitamins, the cures for cancer, the remedies for obesity, the cults of the famous and the dead.

My Bush/Daniels shocker – whose fundamental idea derives from simply conjoining two big names in the news – goes in one of several directions.

1. Supernatural: Stormy Daniels is inhabited by the ghost of Barbara Bush; she now shamefully repudiates her adult industry past.

2. Religion: It can now be revealed that in her last days Barbara Bush reached out to Stormy Daniels and converted her to the true faith.

3. Illegitimate Child: Stormy Daniels is the wayward child Barbara and George Bush were never able to acknowledge: UNTIL NOW.

4. Lesbian Affair: George Bush the Elder privately resented the powerful and possibly consummated attraction between these two famous women.

5. Political Conspiracy: Barbara Bush was put to death by the same man who threatened Stormy Daniels because both represented forces threatening the political and financial empire of the Trump family.

“The headlines today in the New York Times…”

Mr UD muttered over this morning’s breakfast.

He began reading them to UD.




“Well, as to the second,” said UD, “Didn’t Mao say “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single drip?

Justice Stevens says Repeal …

… the Second Amendment.


The opinion piece itself.


This is a 97-year-old dude saying his final important stuff. Not “strategic,” everyone says. But they might be wrong. Roiling the waters is what this is called, and now that the rallies are over, we need to keep roiling them. This is today’s roil. Good.


“[A] significant chunk of the Democratic electorate would be willing to support a much more restrictive gun-policy agenda than the party currently supports. The coming of age of the so-called ‘mass shooting generation’ may increase that divide.”

Headlines that Make UD Laugh.

Syphilis-ridden 18th Century Mummy Dug Up in
Swiss Church is Relative of Boris Johnson

“Competing explanations of the origins of the drama cited stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves.”

If you can read this – real headline, Scenes from Postmodern America – without laughing, you have no soul.


Professor Paul takes mid-semester sick leave.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) will teach a course [titled “Dystopian Visions”] at the George Washington University during the fall 2017 semester, offering students a rare opportunity to engage with a sitting U.S. senator.


His scholarly credentials are impeccable!


By the beginning of the 1300s, wealthy people in Southampton, England, were playing lawn games on the manicured expanse of Old Bowling Green — which coincidentally is the name of the Kentucky town where Sen. Paul was beaten beside his lawn mower 700 years later.

Read the whole thing.

‘Oxford Professor Accused of Sexual Misconduct With Swiss Minors’

It’s not the sort of headline any university wants; but Oxford’s baffling refusal to do anything about — even, for a longish time, to say anything about — Professor Tariq Ramadan and his growing legal problems means that this theme, with variations, is playing in newspapers all over the world.

Director of the Middle East Centre Eugene Rogan repeatedly apologised to students for taking ten days to respond to the allegations [and only responding because of student inquiries and complaints], blaming the delay on the fact that the controversy was happening in another country with a different legal system.

Ah yes, another country. Another legal system. Wouldn’t want to weigh in on that. We’re here. They’re there.

Oxford has of course not suspended Ramadan while investigations proceed; that would mean talking about the situation. It’s just basically doing absolutely nothing.

If that seems odd to you, you can add your name to this petition.

“Texas Lawmaker Apologizes for Calling Black District Attorneys ‘F*cking N**gers’ out to get ‘Taco Eaters’”

Great headline.

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