The Shubert. The Apollo. Carnegie Hall.
So the “Snapple Theater Center” doesn’t provoke the same reverent awe as do the names of those famous New York City landmarks, but hey, a gig’s a gig, right?
Maybe Christina Crawford inherited more of her adoptive mother’s trooper spirit than she’d care to admit.
It’s so easy to imagine Joan Crawford growling, “Snapple, crapple! The show must go on!”
And so it does: the longrunning “Mommie Dearest” franchise, one angry daughter’s single claim to fame — first a blockbuster 1977 memoir, then a cult movie — is back in a rather downmarket iteration: A Conversation with Christina Crawford: Live and Onstage in Surviving Mommie Dearest.
Or rather, was. The show’s very brief run at the Snapple overlapped Mother’s Day.
After more than 30 years of telling all, what possible secrets could Christina Crawford have left to reveal about her infamous mom?
Well, now she’s claiming (sort of) that Joan Crawford murdered her husband Alfred Steele, the Pepsi CEO whose position the widow snatched for herself after his death.
Here’s Faye Dunaway reenacting the power grab in the aforementioned cult flick, Mommie Dearest (1981):
Last Friday, an Afghan journalist named Mustafa Kazemi posted on Facebook a harrowing story about an eight-year-old girl in the Khashrood district of Nimruz province in Afghanistan, who was sold off into marriage to a mullah in his late 50s, and who bled to death on their wedding night.
It was one of many such tragedies in a land that little notes nor long remembers such deaths. An eight-year-old girl sold into marriage and dead after a brutal sexual assault that her body could not withstand is no more noteworthy than a pack animal that collapses under a too-heavy weight. It’s time and money wasted, that’s all. Forget about it. Get another one.
Indeed, the day after Kazemi posted his account, pro-Sharia lawmakers in Afghanistan blocked a proposed Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women, which would have set criminal penalties for child marriage. Pro-Sharia legislator Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada denounced the law as un-Islamic, explaining: “Whatever is against Islamic law, we don’t even need to speak about it.”
That means that more girls like the eight-year-old in the Khashrood district will continue to suffer. For few things are more abundantly attested in Islamic law than the permissibility of child marriage. Islamic tradition records that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage:
“The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88).
Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene:
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari 5.58.234).
Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.
When news of a horrific crime like the Cleveland kidnappings and subsequent escape and rescue breaks, what follows is a media circus and 24-hour news cycle. It’s not unusual to hear reporters, in their quest to fill space and time, making vapid comments and asking extraordinarily dumb questions. We can always count on Piers “That’s Appalling” Morgan to add to the collective tomfoolery. On Friday night he asked a “man on the street” in Cleveland (in his most earnest, probing voice), “Is there a sense of collective guilt?”
Morgan was referring to all the people who certainly overlooked clues that something was terribly wrong at the house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland. How could a man keep three young women imprisoned in his home for ten years without anyone noticing? Shouldn’t the neighbors have known that something ghastly was going on there and then done something about it? Shouldn’t service workers like meter readers and mail carriers have noticed signs that this wasn’t a normal home with one resident? And perhaps most disturbing, shouldn’t police have investigated alleged calls by neighbors who reported odd things they saw at the residence?
Somebody should have done something, right?
The three women held in the Cleveland house of horrors were treated to the repulsive annual ritual of being served cake on their “abduction days.”
Wednesday brought more horrible revelations about what the captives endured for the past decade, even as they were happily reuniting with family members and friends.
The women watched heartbreaking TV coverage of vigils that were held on their behalf, CNN reported.
Ariel Castro allegedly made this Cleveland house a hellish hostage dungeon.
And their alleged twisted kidnapper, Ariel Castro, marked the anniversaries of their abductions by serving dinner and a cake, the cousin of one victim told The New York Times.
“He would celebrate their abduction day as their new birthday,” the relative told the newspaper.
Overhead aerials of Amanda Berry (in yellow) and her 6-year-old daughter (being carried at the back door of house) arriving Wednesday at their house in Cleveland.
Then there was the police report Wednesday that Amanda Berry, the courageous former prisoner who led the breakout from what had been their prison, had been forced to give birth to her baby girl in an inflatable kiddie pool.
But in a telephone chat with her grandmother Wednesday, the young mom sounded upbeat and even proud of her 6-year-old Jocelyn — who is believed to have been fathered by her captor, Ariel Castro.
“Yeah, she’s my daughter,” said Berry, 27. “Born on Christmas.”
Temple prostitution — the kidnapping of young girls and their sexual enslavement — persists into the modern world. An excerpt of an article from World Outreach Ministries on the fight in India:
Sleeping with the Goddess
BY SHELLY NGO WITH SANJAY SOJWAL
Each year in India, thousands of girls are dedicated to a temple goddess in a ceremony that begins a lifetime of prostitution.
Through the whitewashed arches of the Uligamma temple, Durgamma proudly marches toward the banks of India’s Thungabadra river. Today is the girl’s wedding day. The eyes of her relatives, friends, and neighbors are fixed on the 12 year-old bride.
Close to an overhead bridge spanning the Thungabadra, a priest accepts the goat brought by Durgamma’s family. With a quick stroke of a blade, he sacrifices the animal to the temple goddess Uligamma. The goat’s blood drips into the river where hundreds of worshippers are bathing.
Durgamma patiently submits. to her women relatives who apply a sandalwood paste to her body and bathe her in the river. After they dress her in a white sari and blouse, she listens to the high caste priest chant and pray in Sanskrit, the ancient language of Hindu scriptures, which none in the crowd understands. As his prayers conclude, the priest sprinkles a yellowish mixture of turmeric paste and water over her head and she feels the refreshingly cool liquid trickle clown her head and back.
Durgamma walks up to the temple where a priest puts a glittering string of red and white beads strung on saffron colored thread around her neck. No groom, however, comes to meet this bride. Instead Durgamma is wed to the temple goddess, and her life will be spent as a devadasi, a temple prostitute. Today, Uligamma’s spirit, the priests teach, has entered Durgamma’s body; for the rest of her life, when priests and other men sleep with her, it is not Durgamma, but the goddess they are sleeping with. It is the goddess’s desires the men must appease.
“This simple word, ‘devadasi’ says Dr. I.S. Gilada, one of India’s most prominent AIDS activists and an honorary secretary of the Indian Health Organization, “is a label which condemns 5,000 to 10,000 girls every year into a life of sexual servitude (concubinage) and subsequently into prostitution.
Despite India’s government law forbidding the practice of temple prostitution, the centuries old religious tradition continues. To understand the mentality that permits this sexual exploitation, one has only to think of those in Western societies who are enthralled with the idea of sleeping with models, sport heroes or other celebrities. Young devadasís are regarded by some as deities, and then discarded when they grow old.
As an early teen in the early ’80s, it was just about impossible not to like Michael Jackson’s music. It was certainly impossible to avoid it. With Thriller, Jackson and producer Quincy Jones set out to make the ultimate crossover album — one that would gain black and white audiences in equal measure. And equal airplay, too, back when radio stations were even more racially targeted than they are today.
And boy, did they succeed.
But Michael Jackson the person? It was pretty obvious even then that he was one strange dude. What happened though is what happens to too many child performers: The weirdness went up and up, while the quality of the performances went down and down. By the time Dangerous came out in 1991, the magic was pretty much gone. It sold in the millions, yet nobody was buying it. And by that I mean, nobody was buying Jackson’s pseudo tough/tender/ladies man act anymore. The weird was just too weird.
Then came the obligatory-yet-somehow-disappointing greatest hits collection, the horrifying-yet-believable stories about his sleepover parties with kids…
I shudder even to think about it. His last studio album, ironically named Invincible, came out after years of delays and way over budget — and to a tepid response.
It was around this time he was dangling babies off balconies and looking like a bad drag queen version of Elizabeth Taylor. Oh, and he’d somehow managed to go broke buying giraffes and rollercoasters and stuff. The music had hit bottom and the weird was at the top of the charts.
The amazingly talented and abused little boy who never had a childhood, never really had an adulthood, either. There’s so much blame to go around, you barely know where to start.
Vice President Joe Biden drew parallels with the movie Deliverance while addressing a benefit dinner for a volunteer legal group that helps domestic violence survivors.
Biden’s daughter-in-law, Kathleen Biden, is a co-chair of the group. Calling him “Pop,” she introduced the veep to the crowd packed with even more Bidens.
According to the White House pool report, he peppered his speech with family stories and told the audience that his granddaughter implores him to stop referring to them as his daughters in public because “people will think something’s wrong.”
“All you women out there: Daughters are wonderful. Granddaughters are better,” Biden said. ”When they’re 12 to 14, a dad puts his beautiful little daughter to bed. And then the next morning, there’s a snake in the bed.”
Biden talked about his work in Congress on the Violence Against Women Act when he brought up the Deliverance reference.
“After those guys tied that one guy to the tree and raped him, man-raped him in the film, why didn’t the guy go the sheriff?” Biden asked. “They don’t want to get raped again by the system.”
Poor Seth MacFarlane. The guy sings one song about boobs and suddenly he’s #1 on the Hates Women List with a Steinem next to his name. (That means if they capture him, she gets to rag on him incessantly. Who wouldn’t want a bullet after that?)
It’d be too easy to join the chorus singing, “MacFarlane hates women.” As a woman, I despise the cop-outs women often take, chiding every man as being both the desired master of her universe and the despised crafter of her fate. If we really believe in Girl Power, what’s our responsibility in all of this? Are we allowing the fate scripted by guys like MacFarlane to come true?
It took about 10 minutes to pull video for the following five most common stereotypes about women portrayed in Family Guy. The sad news is that it took about 15 to pull five examples of the same behavior from the most popular Girl Power reality television show out there: The Kardashians. Praised by some feminists as career women comfortable in their own skin, it has been observed that “50 years ago, the Kardashians could never live the way they do. It’s all thanks to the Feminist movement that they are who they are – and they embrace every benefit from it fully.”
So, culture judges that you are, tell me: Is the evidence compelling? Is MacFarlane a He-Man Woman Hater, or do the Kardashians prove that girls finally busted through the glass ceiling in the tree house and joined the club?
A fourth accuser has come forward with a lawsuit against Sesame Street’s former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash.
The unidentified man charges that when he was 16 or 17 in late 1995 or early 1996, he met Clash in Miami Beach. After subsequent phone calls, Clash “lured the boy to visit him in New York, with promises to pay for his plane ticket, be a ‘dad’ to him in New York and give him cash and a free place to stay,” according to an excerpt from the filing released by Miami-based attorney Jeff Herman. Herman also represents two of the three previous Clash accusers.
The offer appealed to the boy, “who was contemplating running away from home,” according to the suit, which was filed in Miami.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
If you ever wondered what lies at the bottom of the slippery slope, go to Germany. There, you will find Europe’s modern moral and cultural bankruptcy on open display. There, you can visit one of many “erotic zoos” and partake in sex with animals for a price.
In a German “erotic zoo,” customers pay to have sex with farm animals. A barnyard pimp collects money from the customers. These businesses are proliferating throughout Germany and Denmark, and are completely legal.
The Telegraph gives us some background to the law’s “enlightened” legalization of bestiality:
Bestiality was legalised in Germany in 1969, the same year that gay sex was also removed from the criminal code. After that, sex with animals was only punishable if the animal was severely injured.
The current proposal would outlaw animal prostitution by banning the pimps at the erotic zoo. That’s right, pimps. The gatekeepers, literally, would be criminalized. If you collect cash from freaks looking for a lamb, it would be a crime for the first time since 1969.
Has Europe really fallen so far so fast?
Apart from Muslim communities across most of western Europe, birthrates have crashed. Mohammed is the most popular boy’s name in England. European law is in full retreat. In the Netherlands, you can order a mobile euthanasia van to your house like we order a pizza. In England, the Royal College of Obstetricians support infant euthanasia, a.k.a., murder. The glorious cathedrals of the west are empty on Sundays, except in still-devoutly Catholic countries like Poland and Ireland.
Might the rise of secular, hip Europe have any relation to the rise of erotic zoos?
The spectacle of German heavy-petting zoos has some lessons for us here in the United States. PJ Media’s Zombie routinely covers the California version of the moral collapse found in the German sheep and bull bordellos. These beastly bordellos pose a vexing question for libertarians here.
Customers at the German erotic zoos consider this a simple lifestyle choice. Alas, the 1969 repeal of German laws got the government out of the bedroom, or, perhaps more appropriately, out of the barnyard. And under a libertarian model, cows and pigs are properly consider chattel, mere property like a chair or tractor. If one wants to do things to a chair or tractor they own, then they certainly aren’t hurting anyone else.
Another victim has come forward and accused the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo of engaging in pedophilia. Kevin Clash, the 28-year voice of Elmo, has resigned from the show after another alleged victim has come forward, this time in court. Cecil Singleton has sued Clash for engaging in sexual conduct with the boy when he was 15. Singleton is the second victim to come forward.
The reaction of the government-funded PBS’s Sesame Workshop? Condemnation? Disgust? Hardly.
“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”
(outrageous emphasis all mine.)
Let’s deconstruct the statement. First the praise: “Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years.” Really? What will PBS do when we learn that Clash’s access to children through Sesame Workshop may have resulted in abuse the same way Jerry Sandusky’s access to kids at Penn State did? Will PBS stand by Clash the same way the statement does?
Pedophiles notoriously enter professions that give them access to children. Like a fisherman with a lure, they rely on puppets, football tickets, candy, balloons, toys and worse to attract victims. Did Clash’s “achievement” of the PBS “mission for 28 years” have a darker side? It seems strange that his employers would tout his good work.
Next: “none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention.” So nice to see that Sesame Workshop is doing Clash’s bidding. If Kevin wouldn’t want it, neither would we.