My theory is that there are sick people on social media who enjoy seeing their tweets retweeted and shared on Facebook so they prey on the emotions of Americans who WILL share the image.
If you see these images, kindly remind the people that they are sharing information that is incorrect. I emailed one woman who had thousands of shares on Facebook hoping she’ll take down the image. Please join me in gently correcting friends and acquaintances that repost and reshare inaccurate information. This situation is tragic and confusing as it is without adding disinformation and urban legends into the mix. Above all else, Pray for Boston.
This story of Ashley Judd in South Africa was archived by the kind folks at Free Republic , but the formatting made it a bit of an eyestrain. In light of today’s volley from American Crossroads (see above) I figured now is as good a time as any to repost this classic tale of courage as recounted by Joshua Trevino.
Whom the Gods Would Destroy….
They first make jaw-droppingly attractive and immensely famous. Exhibit A: Ashley Judd, world-renowned actress, would-be leftist political agitator, and self-regarded humanitarian. I see in the latest issue of Glamour — because someone showed me — that Ms Judd has had some troubles. Deeply personal troubles. Inner, psychological troubles, including “[c]odependence in my relationships; depression; blaming, raging, numbing, denying and minimizing my feelings.” These things are, curiously, “addictions.”
As I read the Glamour piece, familiar things came back to me: Her need to mention her “perfection.” Her relaying of third-party affirmations of her attractiveness and personal integrity. Her desire to make others’ suffering about her. Her sly digs at her sister. And of course, her need to tell us all about it.
You see, dear reader, Ms Judd and I have spent some time together. Do read on.
To set the scene, I should note that in early 2005, my then-employer was a major donor to YouthAIDS, an “awareness” organization that does some AIDS-prevention work abroad, but mostly appears to function as a sort of clearinghouse for the easing of the celebrity conscience. (For a sterling example of that, see its latest campaign.) One of its periodic publicity tactics is the sending of its celebrities on junkets to the wretched corners of the Earth: that’s how Ashley Judd came to do a three-nation tour of Africa in the winter of that year. YouthAIDS invited the president of my employer, who didn’t want to go (Africa-phobia being a common affliction of the less-traveled businessman). He passed it down to his subordinate, who passed it on to hers, who passed it on to me. For my part, several days in South Africa with a movie star sounded like a swell deal. And so I found myself on a very odd trip with a very odd person. Given that Ashley’s ambitions of turning her online trip journal into a book have come to naught — in part, no doubt, because the YouthAIDS staffers kept having to scrub it of bizarre details like rhapsodies on the tactile joys of cheetah testicles — history must know the truth of that voyage. Or at least, my version of it.
And what, you ask, was travel with Ashley Judd like? For starters, there were the little things:
She obsessively wiped down her little VAIO laptop with alcohol wipes. To sterilize it. As she did after. every. use. (In her Glamour confessional, she did mention this as a “control” compulsion.) She was badly constipated, perhaps because she chowed down on Powerbars with alacrity. And she talked about it a lot.
She was prone to making pronouncements about her spirituality. After an interviewer asked her about it, she replied: “Church and religion are SO important to me. The God thing, the Jesus thing, the Buddha thing, so important to me.”
And then there were the bigger things.
My first meeting with her was in the South African Airways lounge in Cape Town. She showed us this photo of her rallying the Cats fans at a Kentucky basketball game. She said, “Have you SEEN this photo? I LOVE this photo. We weren’t doing so well, and so I came out at halftime — even though I was on crutches! — and rallied the crowd. And they SAY….” — dramatic pause — “….that that made the difference in bringing us victory.”
Dumbly eager to ingratiate, and having swiftly realized that bringing up Ensign Lefler was a bad move, I responded: “One of my friends sent me that photo, telling me what a big UK fan you are.”
Her eyes narrowed, and she assumed a look of boredom and disgust: “Mmm-hmmm.” She turned away.
Days later, sitting across from Ashley at a pleasant little patio-restaurant on the sunny veld, I tried again: “My wife wants me to tell you that she just saw De-Lovely, and she really liked your work in it.”
“Well, yeah,” replied Ashley, as if I’d just announced a blue sky, “It’s a good movie.”
Nothing quite seemed to work, and things only went downhill. One morning, just after 10am, I found myself in the lobby of our hotel in Johannesburg, waiting with the YouthAIDS personnel for a very late Ashley. I called up an acquaintance in town with whom I was planning to have dinner later, and in the course of the conversation, she expressed immense excitement at the nearness of Ashley Judd, whom she apparently admired. As she gushed about her admiration, lo, Ashley appeared, walking a bit aimlessly through the lobby, holding a steaming teapot in one hand and a handbag in the other. I should preface the following by relating that when at the RNC in 2004, Mo Rocca was actually generous enough to take my cellphone and chat with my wife for a minute (thus earning me some points on the home front). I figured I might do the same for this die-hard African Ashley Judd fan. Cell phone in hand, I walked up to Ashley, who wore a confused look as I approached. She pulled her handbag and teapot close to her, and I noted that the latter had a large WOMEN FOR KERRY-EDWARDS sticker on it.
“Ashley, I don’t mean to impose, but would you mind saying hello to one of your South African fans?”
She narrowed her eyes at me and snapped, “Yes, I would mind. You need to give me some time to get the cobwebs out!” I apologized and backed away. My acquaintance did not speak with her adored celebrity, but she did get to overhear someone she knew annoy her. I ended the conversation and followed the YouthAIDS entourage out to the waiting vehicles. Ashley staggered forward, gripping her pot of tea and taking it into the car with her. One of the YouthAIDS staffers asked, “Do you want a cup for that tea?” She mumbled, “I have one somewhere.” But where? In that newly-rented Land Rover? She slouched into the back seat and disappeared.
When we arrived at the clinic we were visiting, a couple of the YouthAIDS people came up to me: “What on earth did you do to Ashley this morning?” I explained, and they told me that she was feeling terrible. Make that TERRIBLE, in all caps. The poor woman had her massage at 7pm the previous night, and went to bed shortly thereafter. If this seems absurdly early, know that Ms Judd required a whopping fourteen hours of downtime — most of which was sleep — per day. But “traffic noise” woke her up at 6am (which struck me as unlikely — she was on the tenth floor of a well-appointed luxury hotel in placid, leafy Rosebank). With the appointed fourteen hours thus interrupted, she slept again till about 9:45am — which meant that when I ambushed her with the cell phone, she had just awoken. To top it all off, she was now convinced that she had caught some manner of cold or flu from one of the YouthAIDS staff members.
I need to add that this afflicted YouthAIDS staff member was a total trouper. She worked hard all day, despite her constant sneezing, sniffling, and coughing: three things Ashley Judd had not done once since awakening and seizing her teapot. The staff member? Sent home. Ashley Judd? She demanded the summoning of a Chinese healer-acupuncturist so she might be cured immediately.
Now, let me remind the reader that we were in bloody Africa. There are many lovely things about Africa, and especially about South Africa. Still, continent-wide, the standard for a good day there is pretty set:
Do I own nothing?
Is my flesh rotting?
Do I have to sleep near or on feces?
If you can answer no to all three questions, you have had a good day in Africa! The YouthAIDS staff scattered to the four winds, seeking a Chinese healer-acupuncturist for Ashley. Mercifully, the hotel staff knew of one. They’d dealt with American celebrities before.
Meanwhile, we went to clinics. We went to an orphanage. We went to Soweto. And we saw horrible things. Dire things. Things like a kid so poor he glided past us on a single rollerblade. Yeah — one on one foot. That impressed me. And every place we went, Ashley Judd swooped down like a good Southern matron and hugged the small children. She cried with destitute mothers. She stroked the heads of poor black people. The photographers from Glamour and Conde Nast loved it. And then, she’s back in the car, and Ashley is tired, and Ashley is sick, and Ashley needs acupuncture. I asked the YouthAIDS senior person whether maybe Ashley was a bit spoiled, and she told me the story of how Ashley refused to do their first promotional tour to Cambodia unless she was allowed to fly British Airways first class all the way. “That’s quite an expense for us as a humanitarian organization….but we ended up having to do it.”
A profound love for humanity, but no time for humans: the very picture of the narcissist celebrity leftist.
Fast-forward a few days. The road to the De Beers mines in Cullinan is a long one, and so there was plenty of time for Ashley Judd, teapot in hand and this time with a cup, to hold forth on the critical issues of the day to the captive audience in her Land Rover. I sat behind her and listened to her monologues on her constipation, her preferences in clothing, and her water temperature preferences:
“You have to drink warm water — body temperature is best — because otherwise the cold makes your gut clench up and the body has to expend energy warming it. That’s why I never use ice.”
No one, including those who understood that this was utter nonsense, contradicted her. After all, she also believes in qi energy and the manipulation thereof by healer-acupuncturists. And that’s not all she believes in:
“We got this little wood ring….what was the tree called? Anyway, you burn it because, according to African folklore, it wards off evil spirits. Sort of like Native Americans and sage — which I carry lots of and burn all the time.”
And then there was her little amulet around her neck:
“That? That’s Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of Montana.”
No further explanation was offered. The amulet, by the bye, rested underneath another, cross-shaped one. [Ed. note: as I look up Lakshmi, I see that she is sometimes perceived as the Hindu goddess of money, so in fairness, perhaps I mis-heard that one.]
And then there was her participation in the great moral struggles of the modern era:
“I was so thrilled to meet Bishop Tutu. He has been such a hero to me. I used to listen to records of his speeches smuggled out in the 1980s. He so inspired me, with his fight against these forces that totally perverted and distorted what spirituality and religion are supposed to mean. I really think that his fight then echoes my fight today in my own country. I’ve gone and spoken with so many of these Evangelicals and these conservative churches, trying to open their eyes to what faith is supposed to be about.” Sigh. “It’s so much like Bishop Tutu’s struggle.”
Historical NB: in the 1980s, Bishop Desmond Tutu was internationally known and his speeches were widely available. Furthermore, no one smuggled anything out on records. I’m just saying. On the positive side of things, Judd is one of the few Americans I’ve spoken with to appear to grasp that apartheid was at bottom a theological problem: although comparing the Afrikaner perversion of Dutch Calvinism with Christian conservatism in the United States is damned foolish.
In time, Ashley fell silent and began to brood. The other women in the car started complaining about how the Bush Administration makes NGOs receiving aid sign a pledge that they don’t support prostitution. YouthAIDS founder Kate Roberts fumed, “That’s fucking ridiculous!”
“Why,” I asked, “do you think it’s ridiculous?”
“Because it just stigmatizes and denies aid to a whole class of people, and it’s an absurd precondition.”
“You don’t have to eschew prostitutes,” I said, “just prostitution. It’s not like you support that, right?”
“Of course we don’t support prostitution, Josh.”
“Does it deny aid to anyone or restrict your work?”
“Then why not sign it if it’s just pro forma?” (Ed. note: because they are pathologically unable to accept anything at all from the Bush Administration — even aid grants.)
Like a descending Fury, Ashley Judd whipped about to face me. She barked, “Why don’t they ask them to sign pledges that they support gender equality? Equal pay for women? Education for women and little girls? Huh?”
A deathly silence descended. Did I want to get into a shouting match with the avatar of Desmond Tutu-in-America? No. Ashley rolled her eyes, let out an exasperated sigh, and faced forward.
We reached the mines and went into a local clinic. There, I sat across from Ashley Judd at a long table as we listened to a briefing on the facility. It was sweltering hot, and she shortly gripped her empty glass and looked around, mouthing the word “water.” I swiftly seized the nearby pitcher and poured Ashley Judd a cool, tall, refreshing glass of ice water. She looked shocked, and then glared at me. She released her glass, turned around, and pulled a bottle of (hopefully warm) water out of one of the YouthAIDS staffer’s hands. She guzzled it all.
For lunch, we went to a delightful open-air restaurant run by an elderly Boer couple. We drank rooibos tea and scarfed down biltong in the heat of a veld afternoon, and all was lovely. Ashley Judd regaled us with tales of profound human suffering:
“I will never fly Virgin again. Last time, Dario and I were in the first-class section, and they seated us where we could hear EVERYTHING going on in the galley. Clink, clink, clink, the whole time. I asked them to stop, and the little motherfuckers gave me such attitude. It was horrible — my husband saw what was coming, and he reached out to hold my hand, and I bawled all the way from Los Angeles to London.”
Later, emerging from a Catholic-run mental-retardation care facility with some particularly horrific cases of human misery, she leaned over to confide, “My sister could never handle this. Not like I can.”
Ah, Wynonna. Fragile, glasslike Wynonna. Not durable and hardy like your sis.
(Update : 10/31/2012 Thanks all new readers who have come to the site. I don’t want to mislead anyone and have received word from more than one person that the structure is in fact not the church, but rather a residence. I have called the parish (busy signal) and the diocese (left a message) so am praying that I am wrong. In either case, if anyone from Breezy Point has a contact info for donations, please let me know and I will be happy to help in whatever way I can. – Jose)
Hurricane Sandy destroyed not only with wind and water but fire. Last night a blaze leveled upwards of (updated)80-100 structures in the NY neighborhood of Breezy Point. Flooding hampered relief efforts and as a consequence buildings were left to burn. This image posted by Buzzfeed Andrew nearly brought me to tears.
Thanks to Google, I’m fairly sure that it is/was the location of St Genevieve’s Church at 6 Beach 178th Street, Breezy Point, NY. Note the state of Our Lady in the front of the building.
My heart goes out to the people who worshiped here and were part of this community. Some more images of this church are below, if you are from this parish, know that you are in my prayers and I grieve alongside you for the loss of your church, but celebrate the triumph of the survivors and first responders who helped save lives last night.
Click the above image to order a blanket, note how the church is a part of the community here.
Click this image to read more about the history of St St. Genevieve’s and the Blessed Trinity Parish.
She rolls her eyes and lights another.
“One day I’ll quit these things they’re killing me”
She blows her brains right out her fucking mouth
“I just don’t know how you do it”
Well, there is nothing in me
that you don’t have deep within your fucking self.
Yes, the body is weak but the mind is strong
and it controls the body,
you are not a slave, and I am not a superhero.
The difference between hard
and impossible well it’s a thousand miles wide,
but that’s not what you want to hear.
So live a lifetime of regret
instead of moments of uncomfort
never knowing how great it feels to be free.
Can you tell me what you mean by “Catholic radicals” ? Any sources, links, etc would be appreciated. – Jose
Jose, I’m referring to the 1920 Wall Street bombing — – which was the largest act of domestic terrorism until Oklahoma City – - and to the 1919 bombing campaign, in which at least 42 targets were bombed. And I could add the assassination of president William McKinley. These acts were all committed by immigrants from Roman Catholic countries. (emphasis mine – Jose) Of course, their radicalism had nothing to do with the everyday beliefs of Catholic immigrants…. but that’s exactly the point, then as now.
Douglas, Thanks for the response! In your piece you refer to them as “Catholic radicals”, are you redefining Catholic to mean “from a Catholic country” ? Respectfully, that’s a bit of a stretch considering there are Coptic Christians living in Muslim nations. Are we to refer to them as Muslims too?
“their radicalism had nothing to do with the everyday beliefs of Catholic immigrants”
Their radicalism had nothing to do with Catholicism, period! A tenuous connection to national origin does not equal theological terror on par with current events in Libya and Egypt. Thanking you in advance for removing the line of “Catholic radicals” from your piece.
He still hasn’t written me back, and I harbor no illusions of him editing his piece at the behest of one man writing him, but more Catholics and intellectually honest people of all faiths need to stop smears and lies when the opportunity arises.
I checked in with my friends on FB familiar with anarchist history and the modern anarchist movement . Yes you read that correctly, I really do champion diversity!
Two people responded, both agreed that anarchism at the time was atheistic and secular, both agreed that Catholicism didn’t appear until far later in United States history with the introduction of Ammon Hennacy and Dorothy Day. A quick google search for “anarchism and atheism” also yields evidence supporting their claims.
Bottom line, his piece should read “In the years after World War I, immigrant radicals carried out a deadly wave of terrorist attacks in the United States.” because the common thread wasn’t their Catholic faith, but rather their immigrant status nor was their faith their motivation! There are more inaccuracies in the piece but this one was just the most glaring. I couldn’t sit idly by and not do a thing, I sat idly by and typed up a blog post! So dear readers, please join me in asking Mr. Saunders and the NYT to edit his piece. It’s the intellectually honest thing to do.
Update: 9/19/2012 My friend @SooperMexican points out “even immigrant is not accurate – the dude who killed McKinley was a native born American!”
I’ve edited my blog entry to reflect this.
Thanks to SNR’s top 25 veg dishes article, we took a chance on a new Mexican restaurant and came back superfans. El PapaGayo (pronounced El Pawpaw GUY-oh for you Beavises out there) has delicious authentic Mexican food, and awesome full on vegan options with dishes that include beans, rice, Daiya vegan cheese and Soyrizo! PapaGayos isn’t located in hipster infested midtown, it’s in an uncool part of Carmichael near Fair Oaks Blvd and a stone’s throw away from the El Dorado Saloon (RIP). Don’t let the location deter you from checking it out though the food is awesome, the prices reasonable and the staff friendly and accommodating. I spoke with the matriarch, a nice lady who is from my dad’s town of Guadalajara (Mexicans love to ask each other where parents are from). She not only knew what vegan meant, but had vegans and vegetarians in her family! She also mentioned that the previous Wednesday, she had about 100 vegans show up for the all you can eat vegan special. Unreal that it took me so long to find out about this place! Side note for you people that enjoy eating the flesh of beasts: they are first and foremost a Mexican food place that happens to have vegan options. This isn’t some weird culty hippie joint, you omnivores will dine just as well as we plant eaters will! (Just will ingest that much more cholesterol!)
Let’s talk about the food, first off Amy picked the potato and nopales (cactus) tacos. When I was a kid, potato tacos where what we ate when times were tough, here, they are a reason to celebrate. This picture doesn’t do them justice, you must eat them to appreciate their awesomeness!
Vegan Potato and Nopales Tacos
I was excited to try out the soyrizo tacos, my plate came with two tacos, beans, rice and Daiya sprinkled and melted on top.
Vegan Soyrizo "Street" Tacos
Just look at that plate! The refried beans were delicious, the rice was cooked just the way mom did mine (minus the manteca) and the tacos were so good I want to bite my monitor while typing up this entry. To summarize, great food, 100% vegan options, great prices (the taco plate shown above was $8.99 and was as big as it looks on monitor, way bigger than it looks on your smartphone) and friendly service. What else could these folks do to make me a fan? Let me tell you…
"Revolucion Rockera" aka "Rock Revolution" Hard Rock Night at El Papa Gayo - MY PEOPLE!
Yes, that dude is wearing an Amon Amarth shirt and these folks are having fun at what apparently is a regular occurrence at El Papa Gayo – Hard Rock/ Metal nights!
If you are on Facebook check out the Revolucion Rockera album or the Noche Rockera album to see how it’s done. Unbelievable! These are my people in every way possible.
So vegans, check out El Papa Gayo, thank them for offering vegan options, and if you are going to the next metal night let me know and count me in!
2013 update: Same story, different year.
“President Barack Obama on Wednesday called the mass killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1915 “one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century,” but again broke a 2008 campaign promise to label the tragedy a “genocide.”
In 1995 the band Integrity released the song “Armenian Persecution”. At that time two members of the band were of Armenian descent and released the song to bring attention to a horrors of the Ottoman Empire‘s genocide of Armenians. It’s fitting that angry music tells the tale of this horrific atrocity. For more information about this tragedy, please visit http://armenian-genocide.org.
PS If anyone can translate “Bab eed Janed cach-nem” I’d appreciate it!
I’ve been clueless and curious about this for years now!
PPS The first 2:12 of the song is an intro/guitar solo, vocals kick in around the 2:12.
All I can think about is revenge
The slaughter inside my head never ends
And to all who deny this sin
Bab eed Janed cach-nem
One million died
Cries went unheard in 1915
No one remembers, no one believes
Some turks deny, but they fucking lie
America knew, but as usual
They just stood by and listened to the cries
“Why interfere? There’s no money here.
Who are the Armenians… who fucking cares if they’re alive.
Who cares if they fucking survive.”
Forced in the desert and into sandy graves
Children were murdered while their mothers were raped
Babies were thrown in the air and impaled on swords
Nothing but death from the turkish hordes
Dispersal took place
Most met a cruel end
Now we are few but we’ll always be true
To the Armenians that we will defend
First they were bound, then split with an axe
They juggled their heads, and the turks laughed
Set on fire like a human torch
Many were nailed alive to the floor
The mighty Gorilla Biscuits say it better than I ever could:
Cats and Dogs
Man’s best friend is a beautiful and affectionate an ideal pet.
Cats are the same, we make up their names and our love for them is real.
Listen up, I gotta ask it, how can we be so cruel?
You say you care, that’s a lie.
My true compassion is for all living things
and not just the ones who are cute so I do what I can.
I wanna save lives and I’ve got a plan.
Under the table he’ll eat your dinner like the veggies we can’t stand.
What kind meal would he make? We don’t want to ask it.
Tradition is all that keeps him alive.
Listen up, I gotta ask it, how can we be so cruel?
You say you care, that’s a lie.
My true compassion is for all living things
and not just the ones who are cute so I do what I can.
I wanna save lives and I’ve got a plan.
Why am I so upset. Don’t even own a pet.
I am not trying to press my will.
I am not the first to say…THOU SHALT NOT KILL
Full is all we want to feel.
We eat to stay alive, but it’s their lives we steal.
I think we’d like to change, but most of us are stuck,
that’s why cats and dogs have ALL THE LUCK.