by Hariette Surovell available at Amazon.com (click
on the title for reviews and ordering info):
Handwriting Analysis for Love, Sex And Compatibility
I ratted out those P.C. Fascists at "Salon" I was initially
nervous about biting the hand that didn't feed me, until I received
over 80 e-mails from other writers, and even editors, who had had
similar unprecedentedly unprofessional experiences with the Premiere
Exploiters of the Internet.
has become such an embarrassment that I have deleted the two articles
I published on their site from my resume. Yet, still, people consider
this insufferably badly-written (with a
few exceptions, like my
articles) and completely unedited webzine to be "The New Yorker
of the Internet". Why? Let's examine one of their favorite
obsessions. First, they published a cover story claiming that "mainstream
acceptance" of actress Jennifer Lopez's abundant buttocks is a "victory
for multi-culturalism". Since when is the fact that men develop
fetishes over female body parts newsworthy? But "The New Yorker
of the Internet" didn't stop there, and followed up by printing
a black woman, Erin Aubry's, response: a prolonged meditation on
her own ass, about which she says she has "alternately embraced
and lamented and written about extensively as a metaphor for tortuously
unrealized black assimilation in America". Really? Physically embraced?
Like, she fondles her own ass-cheeks all day long? In public, or
does she work at home? Wow, a real-live exhibitionist!!! Well, thanks
so much for sharing, Erin! We're not fascinated! Can anyone spell
N-A-R-C-I-S-S-I-S-T? By the way, you can easily access this article
the way I did, by just entering the words "black butts" under the
Search section in "Salon". Yes, that's Search in "Salon", not "Hustler
On-Line". Since a magazine called "Big Butt" already exists, I often
muse that they should re-title "Salon": "Big Butt II, Without Photos."
while back, Dorothy Allison, author of "Bastard Out of Carolina",
which is an excellent book and was an even better Showtime movie
special, wrote an essay entitled, "All Books are Lesbian Books".
Yes, Dorothy, and all people are Lesbians, even men, and the earth
is flat, except that we don't really live on the earth, but in the
land of Oz, somewhere in the sky, which is ruled by a Wizard (shhh...it's
a secret.) Notable "Lesbian" books would, of course be, "Pride and
Prejudice", because if you read carefully between the lines, the
five sisters didn't really want to marry all the men they fell in
love with, but each other, and "Gone With the Wind", where Scarlett
O'Hara was just pretending to be in love with Rhett Butler, but
her heart really belonged to her devoted Black slave/handmaiden.
sickest thing about "Salon" is the reverence afforded to award-winning
writer Anne Lamott, who previously wrote numerous "Mothers Who Think"
columns (shouldn't mothers who don't think leave their children
in foster care?) How this writer ever won any awards is a mystery
to me, because each one of her articles follows the same rigid,
contrived formula: Lamott misbehaves, becomes enraged over something
petty, and then has some sort of phony religious epiphany...which
never really seems to stick with her, because in each consecutive
confession, she's become even more disturbed. Isn't there a publication
like "Mental Health Weekly" she could vent in? From reading her
oeuvre, it is painfully obvious that Anne Lamott is mentally ill
and is using the Internet as a giant cry for help ("Please, would
someone tell me it's okay just to go into therapy and take Prozac
already?") since none of her idiot friends seem to have enough sense
to steer her to a shrink. She is so angry that she scares me. Her
anger encompasses everything except for the repulsive sketch that
was drawn of her and which is posted alongside many of her pieces.
Ferret-faced with stringy hair...I saw a photo of Lamott in "Mirabella"--
and while the artist's likeness may have been accurate, couldn't
s/he have improvised just a bit? Or maybe Lamott did get mad, and
that's why her name appears on "Salon's" ever-lengthening list of
are some excerpts from "Salon's" Anne Lamott archives:
"Momcat" she informs us that she grew up in a dysfunctional alcoholic
Atheist family, and that her childhood best friend's mother Lee
was a Christian Scientist who prayed for her constantly. Lamott
has only contempt for her own parents, who were, as I see it, justifiably
upset that Lee never got her children medical attention when they
to "Cracks", where Anne has become a cokehead alcoholic who spends
her days having an extra-marital affair and watching t.v. in "X-rated
motels: tasteful erotic romps...like 'The Bitch of the Gestapo'".
I doubt that this was the movie's actual title, but who says an
on-line magazine needs editors? Or could this be accurate, and Lamott
is confessing that she's a closet Nazi? During a sober moment, having
run out of money for blow, Lamott heads over to St. Stephen's Church
in Tiburon, CA, (oh, poor Anne, she's living in one of the most
exquisitely-beautiful and expensive locales in America) and becomes
"born again" after a man tells her that re-discovering Jesus is
like "discovering you're on the shelf of a pawnshop, dusty and forgotten
and maybe not worth very much. But Jesus comes in and tells the
pawnbroker, 'I'll take her place on the shelf. Let her go outside
attempts at conversion are successful, despite the utter banality
of the words of this mysterious spiritual helper. Lamott thrives
on similar trite slogans like, "Jesus is Coming: Look Busy!" as
if she were a gullible eighth-grader.
we get "Spiritual Chemo-therapy", in which the instantly ultra-religious
Lamott says, "I got sober, I got pregnant, don't ask me how that
works..." Um, Anne, I think the way it works is that you fuck without
using birth control, and then you get knocked-up. Her young son,
Sam, the only kid in his peer group who is forced to go to church,
resents doing so deeply. But she forces him to go weekly, because,
"I make him because I can. I outweigh him by nearly 100 lbs." In
another words, she's a bully. "My relatives all live in the Bay
Area," writes Lamott in this odd opus..."but they are all as mentally
ill and as skittishly self-obsessed as I am." Finally, finally,
she has admitted the truth: she's totally fruit-loops!
Heart's Breath" is about her 45th birthday in Hawaii. She begins
by informing the readers that the weeks before her birthday happen
to be her "most bereft and neurotic". In the past, Little Ms. Vindictive
had a birthday reminder on her answering machine for weeks, "and
then, on the day after, changed it to include an alphabetized and
frequently updated list of family and friends who had neglected
to send anything. There were fewer people every day"...and finally,
only one despicable person is listed: Evan Connell. I am SO disappointed
that the classy author of "Mr. Bridge" and "Mrs. Bridge" takes Lamott
seriously enough to be included in her social circle. Or maybe he
doesn't, which is why he didn't send a gift, and she's just name-dropping.
partying away in a free hotel room "with tropical beauty filling
the windows", (oh, poor Anne, she got an all expenses-paid trip
to one of the most exquisitely-beautiful and expensive locales in
America) her son Sam goes swimming, gets sand in his eye and cries,
as all children do when they are injured. All the Empress of Spiritual
Saintliness, Lamott, can think is, 'Oh, for God's sake! This is
not Kosovo! And you're ruining my birthday!'
any child psychologist would maintain that a child's mind would
wander along the lines of, 'I have an eye infection, and it hurts,
but I shouldn't complain, I should instead hope that the NATO missiles
hit their correct targets in the Kosovar villages tonight.'
Lamott really expect her readers to react with, How dare your son
spoil your birthday when you're only a little baby yourself, just
45 years old? Can anyone spell P-A-T-H-O-L-O-G-I-C-A-L NARCISSIST?
How about borderline personality disorder with sociopathic tendencies?
Yet the idea of seeing a therapist, even going to a Children of
Alcoholic's Self-Help Group never occurs to her, even though faith
doesn't keep her burgeoning, disproportionate anger and immaturity
to "Mother Rage", in which Lamott candidly "shares" details about
her screaming fits which are "so charged and toxic" that they actually
shock her...when they're over and the damage has been done. Son
Sam (who will doubtless one day read his mother's oeuvre in which
she vividly details everything she loathes and detests about him,
and compares him to "a rat"), is her perpetual pathetic victim.
"I have felt many times over the years that I was capable of hurting
him....I have spanked him a few times, yanked him and grabbed him
too hard." Lamott admits that she cannot tolerate children's "tiny
problem with self-absorption". Yes, Anne, children tend to be self-absorbed,
because THEY'RE CHILDREN. After she freaks out when a "playdate"
that had been set up for Sam is canceled, and the little guy gets
upset (he had probably been fantasizing all day about the chance
to get away from Monster Mommy) she thinks, 'What about all those
times this week when I DID arrange playdates? Do I get any FUCKING
credit for that?' No, you don't, Anne, did anyone tell you that
you should? Here's the deal: you are the parent and he is the child,
and arranging "playdates" is YOUR responsibility. Sam constantly
interferes with her desire to watch the evening news (apparently
the idea of taping the news on a VCR has never occurred to Mommie
Dearest), provoking her to threaten to allow his pets to starve
to death; even to have made "worse threats; thrown toys off the
deck into the street and slammed the door to his room so hard things
fell off his bookshelf. I have screamed at him with such rage for
ignoring me that you would have thought he'd tried to set my bed
on fire. And the list goes on." Lamott justifies "Mother Rage" by
speculating that we "blow up at our kids because all day we've been
nursing anger toward the boss or the boyfriend or mother," and "If
regular people saw your secret angry inside self, they'd draw back
when they saw you coming." What's the secret? The woman has been
spewing venom non-stop ever since "Salon" anointed her their poster
girl for political correctness. Is there ever one single moment
in Lamott's life when she's NOT furious?
and the Lemon", details Anne wanting to trade in her Jeep for another
vehicle, but when she determines that the salesman is patronizing
her, she feels "like Gandhi in diapers, on bad cocaine". Hello,
calling all editors to help explain what that image means. She then
pounds on the salesman's desk and, like "the towering Lion of Judah"
(isn't that a symbol for Rastafarianism?) yells at him, "Don't you
DARE patronize me." Later, she consults with her priest to see what
Jesus would have done in a similar circumstance (why, does she have
delusions that she IS Jesus Christ?) and is told, "Jesus would have
bought a bicycle." Actually, I don't think that bicycles were invented
back then or Jesus wouldn't have kept wandering the desert in those
tattered, raggedy sandals. Nor is this priest particularly helpful...does
he expect a mother with a small child living in California not to
possess a car?
in "My Advent Adventure" Lamott comes clean about how barely functional
she really is, as the sub-title for this piece is, "It's not that
I don't have a lot of faith that God will heal us. It's just that
I have a lot of mental problems. And I want to fix them now."
('a big time of year for my Jesusy people') is about the coming
of Emmanuel, which means 'Godwithus' ", Lamott writes. She says
she wants that belief, that patience, and yet..."I have instead
been feeling a little--what is the psychiatric term?--cuckoo." She
considers calling her pastor, but the woman has left town, which
is "intolerable" to the livid Lamott. "I have told her more than
once that we wouldn't have hired her if we'd known that she was
a minister with boundaries." I'll just bet she did! After all, Lamott's
the expert on "boundaries"...she doesn't have any!
she starts calling all the other religious people in her personal
circle. A Jewish friend's children were "'keening' in the background."
Lamott advises her friend to smack them. Her friend asks if she's
joking; she isn't.
calls another minister and says, "My mind is on the fritz." The
minister provides no counseling, nor do any other of the people
I, Hariette Surovell, would like to make a plea to the California
Department of Mental Health: Can someone create a file for Anne
Lamott? She has been using the Internet as a cry for help for years,
and I HAVE HEARD HER. Please, instruct a mental health professional
to make a home visit, to refer her to a therapist, perhaps to a
doctor familiar with the many new psychotropic medications before
she hurts her son, herself, or her elderly mother."
the last piece of hers that I could bring myself to read, describes
a visit to the aforementioned elderly mother. She had seen her a
few days before, and looked at her "through the moo-goo-gai-pan
eyes of love."
think a college freshman Creative Writing teacher would let a student
get away with writing such an incongruous image. Did this mean that
Lamott had bits of chicken, cashew, celery, mushroom and water chestnuts
stuck in her eyelids?
mother is in her mid-70's, and has "profound problems with memory."
"This is not a problem when I am spiritually fit". Lamott was apparently
extremely unfit on this particular day, whatever "spiritual fitness"
means. When Lamott offers to run into a Safeway Supermarket and
pick up a few items, Senior Citizen Mom says, "I do need toilet
paper and cat food" and expresses the desire to go into the store
herself, as she prefers certain brands (doesn't everybody?), so
Lamott allows Mom to accompany her. (This is probably the homebound
oldster's first contact with anyone other than her deranged daughter
in a week...) Then, she notices that her mother, whom she has for
some bizarre reason nicknamed "Coyote Trickster" has snuck into
the deli section! Not only is she speaking with the employees, but,
writes Lamott..."She had coupons hidden in her purse!!! In an instant,
I saw myself in the housewares department, picking up a hammer to
kill her with."
anyone besides yours truly paying attention?