The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

More on Prince...

He showed up at the party at about one o'clock...I think. Mitchell Kaplan, T's former English/Writing instructor who now runs the Miami Book Fair, was at the party, and he glimpsed Prince standing behind a pillar at a guest house over to the side. Was he waiting for a sign from the band setting up onstage? It was very strange...just a small, familiar silhouette. I didn't see him make his way to the stage--I was trying to get a Diet Coke for T. Then suddenly the stage exploded with music, and he was playing "Come Together" by the Beatles, I believe. Most of the songs he played were by other artists, but toward the end, he hauled out some of his familiar pieces. I was standing about fifteen feet away from his microphone, but because of the crowd I had to lean sideways a bit to see him.

This is where you have permission to call me crazy. I've told you guys that I've done a bit of aura reading. Laughter permitted. Even I don't know quite what to make of the phenomenon. Please feel free to consider me deluded. But don't call me a liar--that would be inaccurate. I see something around living things--more around animals than plants, more around plants than, say, chairs. Often it isn't much more than heat-shimmer, like the air above boiling water. Sometimes its kind of like organelles in an amoeba. And other times there are spikes of sharp light. Once, it was a shift in the visual field until I saw something like one of the big heads on Easter Island. Sometimes it's more kinesthetic, or even auditory--hard to explain, but there seems to be a correlation between the visual/kinesthetic/auditory and actual impressions of character and energy. I had no idea what I'd pick up (or hallucinate that I picked up) for Prince. I have extreme respect for him, and consider him to be one of the great artists and entertainers in human history. And what did I see in his aura..?

Nothing. I mean, nothing. He was lively, his guitar playing was superb, vocals dead on, apparently completely committed to the music (he encouraged us to stop looking at just dance and enjoy ourselves). But there was no one home.

You know, in a way it reminds me a bit of the first aura I ever saw, Sri Chinmoy's. Before I ever glimpsed it, I watched him get off his plane at LAX, and was wierded out: he walked as if he was a marionette. As if he didn't live in his body. Later study suggests that the outer edge of human awakening (the step prior to Enlightenment) involves similar perspective, the viewing of the body as a temporary sheathe, allowing ease of movement into a state some call "out-of-body".

Look--I glimpse the edge of this stuff, but don't claim to understand it. But this man can pay a million dollars a month for his West Coast digs. He has written literally thousands of songs, over a hundred of which are damned near standards. He moves perfectly (watched him dance? Listened to Charlie Murphy talking about his basketball skills?) and despite an extremely childlike demeanor, has mastered the physical game enough to turn himself into one of the richest men in the world on the basis of his creativity, and ability to tell major record companies to go fuck themselves. Remember when he turned himself into a symbol? A brilliant revolt against people who thought they could control his name and image.

The first time I thought there was something different about Prince was when I listened to his song "I would Die 4 U" and realized it was a gospel song. My reaction was: "What the #$@@??" Here's this profane, hypersexual artist, who apparently had an exremely deep Christian belief system. As you know, I believe Christianity to have a deep anti-sexual vein running through it, triggering massive guilt in many people about their basic drives. I'd noted the same thing in a certain extraordinarily talented and prolific horror writer: sexuality and faith pulling in slightly different directions. Or powerfully different directions. Ripping a hole in the very fabric of consciousness. And what lies below is a seething ocean of creative magma.

Harlan Ellison has a bit of this quality. In fact, most creative people do, to one level or another. But what I had a chance to see, or sense, here, is something phenomenal. It is what Micheal Jackson would have been had he had a chance to develop more naturally. That is a wrenching sadness.

What is the phenomenon I see? I don't quite have a name for it. Call him a "Mundane Bodhisattva" if you will. My mind is a little blown right now...

And again, I am perfectly aware of how nutzo this sounds. I'm just reporting my experience. Whether or not it gels with your reality is up to you.


Hillary is conceding tonight. I consider her an old-fashioned politician, and the fiercest fighter I've ever seen. But she was going toe-to-toe, while Obama was bobbing and weaving. I don't like politics precisely BECAUSE it induces people to do some of the things I saw in this race. I never took it personally--not the assassination talk, the comparisons to Jesse Jackson and other subtle and not-so-subtle attempts to racialize him, the insistence that the media and DNC were sexist (even if women) or that Obama had run some kind of hyper-bigoted campaign.

And I listen to the wounded women, many of whom I have a terrible sense are unhappy in their personal lives, and looked at Hillary's struggles with Bill as representing their own marriages (I've heard the "well, a lot of women have relationships like that..." comment so many times it breaks my heart.) And I've watched, as they become more frantic, how their comments begin to slide into the "a white man doesn't stand a chance"-land of tunnel-perspective.

And the most sobering thing is my very certain knowledge that if Hillary had been able to pull off some back-room magic and convince the Superdelegates to back her, black people all over the country would have been saying THE EXACT SAME THING. The DNC threw them under the bus. The Clintons ran the most racist campaign in history. Nothing has changed for black people. And threatening to vote for John McCain. Desperation, anger...FEAR. Fear of nothingness. Fear that all the effort, all the hopes and dreams have been for nothing.

And I would have been talking to my friends and family, and to strangers, trying to get them to understand, to keep hope, to take pride in how far Barack came. Someone had to lose. My personal belief is that he was a hell of a lot smarter than his adversaries realized, for reasons that can be debated. But they are similar to the reasons I think he's going to slaughter McCain: from my perspective, McCain CANNOT see who Obama is. Can't. Too much of Conservative thought is based on the idea that the "playing field" is far more level than I believe it to me. Anyone who thinks race was an advantage for him is suffering the same blinders (from my perspective). Obama has been playing with a massive handicap, and if McCain saw what I see on that level, he'd probably be a Liberal. And he ain't. So chances are very very good that he will make the same mistake Democrats made with George Bush--underestimating his intelligence.

We'll see. But so far? Wow. Boy's got skills.


Daniel Keys Moran said...

"But don't call me a liar"

I used to get that aura effect when my eye started going. Then I got even more blind and it stopped again. :-)

Mike R said...

> I think he's going to slaughter McCain<

Personally I think it's going to be a close race right up to election day but that McCain will probably win the electoral vote. If it was anyone but McCain I think it could be a slaughter, but electorally McCain will insure that it's close and he even may win. But a slaughter for Obama? I just can't see that.

> from my perspective, McCain CANNOT see who Obama is. Can't.<

From my perspective your personal issues will make you have trouble seeing who Obama is: Just another politician.

> if McCain saw what I see on that level, he'd probably be a Liberal.<

For one thing I utterly reject the notion that "If only conservatives really knew what blacks faced, they'd be liberal."

Look, Obama is a great speaker, smart man, empathic as hell, probably a someone who you meet and think "what a nice guy" (politicians usually are), but he's not a savior or anything, just a politician who will have to make (and has made) all the usual compromises and deals that will tarnish him. A few months after his great speech on race that was supposed to be another Gettysburg Address he's pretty much disowned both his preacher and his old church. My take? He joined that specific church for political reasons (Obama presenting himself as a trans-racial Hawaiian of multiple-faiths could not rise very well in Chicago politics compared to Obama presenting himself as a black Christian) and he quit for political reasons. Neither more, not less. He's a politician. They make political decisions for political reasons. That's how they get elected.

And as I see Obama as just another politician, I don't see him being popular enough across a wide enough range of Americans to slaughter McCain. His issues and beliefs and stated policies are just not popular with enough people to do that. The blue states will remain blue, the red states will remain red, and it will all come down to a few swing states.

Care for a bet? If Obama gets less than 322 electoral votes (that's 60%, Clinton got 379 in '96 and Bush Sr got 426 in '88, those were slaughters) then I'll give $100 to the charity of your choice (including the "Obama in 2012 campaign fund" if you wish). If he gets less than 60% of the electoral votes you critique two short stories of mine for the Lifewriting program I signed up for, instead of the one that was originally part of the deal.


Unknown said...

He didn't disown the church. He said that he was leaving it with sadness because he didn't want to answer for everything that was said in the pulpit there, and he didn't want the church undergoing the constant cameras and scrutiny that come with a presidential campaign. Yes, it's a political decision, but it's a political decision with no pretense, not a denouncement. He says he still appreciates the work of the church, and he never claimed, in that speech on race of his or at any other time, to agree with everything that was said in that pulpit.

My take is that there's both politics and sincere faith involved in his association with that church (and he's been open and frank about the political part, both in what drew him there and why he's letting his membership go). If it had been pure politics, then he'd have quietly eased his way out and into some safer church in DC (with no need to give any reason other than being in DC so much) before he started his presidential campaign.

Anonymous said...

This Hilary is going to concede tonight rumor really bugs me. In this case it probably doesn't really matter, but the newscasters broadcasting this on the day of two primaries is irresponsible. They stopped broadcasting exit poll results before the polls closed because they found it affected the results.Does anyone think broadcasting such a rumor won't affect today's primary. By the way the Clinton campaign has officially denied the rumor at this time.

Marty S

Mike R said...

> But there was no one home.

Have you ever heard Kevin Smith's story about his working with Prince? It's on his talk-DVD "An Evening With Kevin Smith" and if you google Kevin Smith Prince you might be able to find it online. his take on Prince was that there was no one home too, but he meant that differently than you. ;)

> So chances are very very good that he will make the same mistake Democrats made with George Bush--underestimating his intelligence.<

Also, I've yet to hear anything that suggests McCain does not consider this to be a hard race or that he is underestimating Obama's intelligence; if nothing else, dethroning the Clintons has shown everyone in the GOP that the boy has skills and should be taken very seriously.

Anonymous said...

while I understand Steve's use of "the Boy"
I don't really care for either Steve or mike's
referring to Obama as a "boy"

I believe adults should be referred to
as adults
not boys and girls

call me PC if you want
but having been called a "girl"
when I am clearly a woman
pisses the fuck outta me

Anonymous said...

Charlie Murphy was one of the first people I've heard discuss auras in a mainstream context. He did so on Chappelle's Show, when describing his experiences with Rick James.

Steve Perry said...

Seeing auras is a skill, and "seeing" is maybe not the precise term. I think it is mental/spiritual as much as visual, and it is most subtle and sometimes fleeting. There ... blink ... gone ...

Once upon a time, back in my serious sitting meditation days I worked on being able to do this, and could -- some of the time. I haven't kept up the practice, but now and again, I catch a hint of something around some folks.

Did I see them? Or imagine them? Dunno. Easier to make a case for the latter, of course.

Eventually, science may catch up with this one, but designing the experiment to prove it is apt to be tricky. What does one use as a control? Who can properly define a subjective impression and say if it happened or not ... ?

Mike R said...

For me, the killer point is that if seeing auras actually gave you information that you did not already have, it would be so incredibly useful that those who had it would be super-powered compared to those who don't.

"Prince Stab-Me-in-the-Back's aura has gone to 'betray' - time to call the executioner but let Prince Trustworthy-and-Loyal-to-Me live since his aura is so good."

Hell, I'd say more than half of leadership is judging people. If auras were real, I would expect almost all the Kings and rulers of history to be able to read auras, or they would have been usurped by those who could. It would be too much of an evolutionary or mimetic advantage to not pass on and/or develop.

If it's nothing more than a delusion or the conscious mind interpreting unconscious data, then those who see auras would only have as good a guess on the inner heart of people as those who don't and hence they would not have any advantages in getting and retaining power and resources.

Mike R said...

The (possible) life-extending properties of caloric restriction or intermittent fasting have been mentioned before here, so I thought I'd post this;


June 02, 2008
Calorie Restriction mimicking Longevity drug could be available in 5 years

Sirtris' resveratrol formulation is now in Phase II clinical trials for diabetes. When it hits the market in four or five hears, David Sinclair [co-founder of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, discovered the molecule resveratrol. Sirtis Pharmaceuticals was bought by GlaxoSmithKline for $720 million] said, "It'll be on the market as a diabetes drug. It'll have to sell for $3 or $4 a pill, in order to stay competitive." The company is also working with other molecules -- potential drugs -- that are unrelated to resveratrol but also stimulate the SIRT1 gene. Some of the molecules could be up to 1,000 times more potent than resveratrol, he added.

He continued, "And once it goes off-patent [about 17 years from the time the patent is in force], companies will be able to make it for pennies. It'll be like aspirin."

Estimates of life extension from calorie restriction are 3 to 13 years.

Okinawans, the longest lived people on earth, consume 40% fewer calories than the Americans and live 4 years longer. Women in United States consume 25% fewer calories than men and live 5 years longer. From the survival studies of overweight and obese people it is estimated that long-term CR to prevent excessive weight gain could add only 3 to 13 years to life expectancy. Thus the effects of CR on human life extension are probably much smaller than those achieved by medical and public health interventions, which have extended life by about 30 years in developed countries in the 20th century, by greatly reducing deaths from infections, accidents and cardiovascular disease.

SRT501 given twice daily to Type 2 Diabetic patients, found that the patient group receiving 2.5 grams twice a day had significantly lower blood glucose levels as determined through an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at the test's two-hour time point, as compared with the placebo group.

Sirtris has also identified new chemical entities (NCEs) that are chemically distinct from resveratrol, and in in-vitro tests are up to 1,000 times more potent. In preclinical models of Type 2 Diabetes, Sirtris' NCEs have lowered glucose and improved sensitivity.


Question for the group though: If they had "fitness in a pill" that is, you take the pill and you have a low-body-fat and a in-shape body, would you still exercise regularly?

Spilling Ink said...

I totally believe you about experiencing people's auras. I have a couple of odd 'talents' of my own (I can smell the human immune system, for one). So, all pistons were firing, but no one was home? Something tells me there is a very big reason why I identify so much with Prince. Sounds like dissociation to me. The way he experiences both his sexuality and his faith is a recipe for that. I don't think very many people would really be able to fully inhabit their bodies if they held belief systems that condemned them. Anyway, just my two cents. BTW, I loved that photo in the last post.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

I'd still play basketball; I just wouldn't go to the gym any more. Basketball is an end in itself, gym a means to an end.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

Steve, is your ability to see auras always available? My initial guess about what you didn't see around Prince is that your ability was off-line.

I occasionally see auras, but quite usually feel them through my hands at fairly short distance. I've never experienced an aura-less human. I'm not going to absolutely deny the possibility, but it seems unlikely to me.

As for Obama, I'm very pleased that he's the candidate-- I prefer him greatly over Clinton, and I think he's got an excellent chance of winning, though I'm not going to predict by how much.

mjholt said...

Obama's speech was wonderful. I had read the text on HuffPost, and it ready so well written. When he gave the speech, it was flawless. I have the sense that he had it memorized. He is such an orator.

Prince, I have read, became a Jehovah's Witness. I read what passes as an interview where he was quoted as saying he has never be so much at peace.

I disagree the Christianity is anti-sex. It doesn't have to be because Christ was most certainly not anti-sex.

Hillary did not concede, and I am disappointed in her. Everyone should go to her website, by pass the money trolls and tell her to go back to the Senate. The VF article could not have come at a worse time, because Bill is going on a rampage about the article.

Steve Perry said...

"Question for the group though: If they had "fitness in a pill" that is, you take the pill and you have a low-body-fat and a in-shape body, would you still exercise regularly?"


Never happen in my lifetime. Might come up with pills that do this or that, but none of them will give you the the kinetic skills that exercise does.

The stew of hormones necessary to build muscle, and the overload principles aren't apt to be put into a pill without a quantum leap in biological science as we know it. No sweat, no get.

Steroids, for instance, don't give you big muscles, they only allow you to build 'em faster and work harder -- you still have to move the iron. Take a monster 'roid stack and lie on the couch, and all you get is zits, yellow eyes, and shrunken gonads, and urges to punch out your TV ...

Don't hold your breath waiting on this one.

Anonymous said...

More On Prince...

Hey Steve

Interesting stuff on Prince.

Just some quick observations on his musicianship...

He not only plays guitar - he plays something like 21 instruments. And he doesn't just play them - he plays them to an extraordinary level.

Back in the late 80s I read an interview with his then bass player - a guy called LEVI SEARCER I think - and he was asked how he came up with his lines for songs. Now bear in mind that Levi Searcer at the time was a GREAT bass player and he said something like: "Prince brings us demos of the songs and we all do our thing..." - what he then went on to say was: "I have to play something different from what Prince has played on the demo because what Prince plays is too difficult for me to play!"

Also (this was about the time of the Lovesexy Tour when Prince was playing more guitar) he said that if Prince decided to concentrate on just guitar then he'd be the man. Period.

And Prince is like this with drums, sax, clarinet, keybds, etc etc -


Dan Gambiera said...

A couple thoughts...

Of course there are gospel roots in Prince's songs. It's hard to be in popular music and jazz that long without at least experimenting with the form. And for a American Black musician with any trace of Christian background it's almost unavoidable. It doesn't mean he's got a strong Christian framework.

Auras? Dunno. I've never seen one. Mike makes a very good point. Do you get any information from them that you didn't have? Is it a separate phenomenon or just a way of organizing a whole bunch of different factors in a data-dense visualization?

Clinton didn't concede. She gave a speech that hit on all of her negative campaign tactics against Obama. She went on to say that her next move was up to her supporters. They will, of course want her to run. Rather than stepping out gracefully she's still trying to figure out how she can take the nomination. And if she can't she's set her followers up to vote for McCain or stay home. I fear that it's part of her plan to run against an aging and unpopular Republican incumbent in 2012. I can't think of anything else that would explain the ammunition handed to the GOP in her speeches and her hobnobbing with Scaife-Mellon, Limbaugh, Drudge and Fox News.

Steve Perry said...

Hard to say about auric body information. If you know somebody, have had a chance to talk to them, and have an idea of what they are like, then you could be projecting what you know into what you think you see.

Traditionally, auras are interpreted by their color. In Kundalini, they are supposed to go from red at the first to violet at the seventh chakra, rising from warm to cool. These are the "pure" ones. The mixed or "dirty" auras, indicate less purity, illness, muddled thoughts, etc.)

And since auras change with the thoughts and energy of the life-form sporting them, they only indicate where that entity is at the moment.

If, upon meeting somebody for the first time, you see an aura and then your interaction delivers a confirmation of what you saw -- they were showing purple, and turned to be some kind of holy man, then maybe you have something. If this proves out more often then not? Could be useful, whatever the cause.

Of course, there is body language, pheromones, and synesthesia to consider as other possibiliies. There are people who smell sound, hear colors, taste words ...

Steven Barnes said...

Sure, Mike, I take that bet. On a separate issue--I've seen a lot of black politicians. None of them have impressed me like this. It isn't about him being black (although that certainly puts a grin on my face). It is the type of person I see him as being. Now, I could be wrong about that, but his racial background didn't do it.

Steven Barnes said...

I don't think my aura reading ability was off-line: I saw stuff around some of the other people. I think that if Auras are created by the mind, then they are giving the conscious access to information ordinarily residing in the unconscious. No, the ability isn't present at all times--I have to kick it into gear, and while I lost the clarity I had when I first learned the techniques, it's still there somewhat. But honestly, I don't know what it is. I DO believe we are much more than just our physical bodies.

Steven Barnes said...

A pill that created "fitness" would, as Perry suggested, obviate the need for specific fitness exercise. You mean, I assume, that it provides cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, burst strength, sustained strength, muscular endurance, non-specific balance, GH release and so forth? Cool. Otherwise, I'm in the gym for that stuff. Now, if it does, then I can delete the specific exercise and concentrate on coordination and skill and specific attributes.
My guess is that I would never stop exercising anyway--I would need to see a generation of results, twenty to thirty years before I would stop a health benefit that has worked for a million years. But I would be happy for my children.

Lester Spence said...

a couple of points:

black people would definitely be saying the same things that (predominantly white, older) women are saying now if the roles were reversed. but it is very difficult for me to imagine how a black candidate behind in the delegate count (and theoretically ahead in the vote count) could have enough juice to turn superdelegates against the candidate perceived to be in the lead.

role reversal just doesn't work here. what clinton has been able to accomplish she has been able to accomplish because she is a supreme INSIDER. switch the roles and everything changes. how does obama become an insider in that instance? it obviously can't be through marriage....

sure obama can lose. it'd be sad because he's head and shoulders above mccain. and he's head and shoulders above kerry and gore. but while we can point to the stereotypical klansman and say that his vote was never up for grabs, we have no clue about the white working class democrat. they could decide to stay home en masse, vote for mccain en masse, support obama, or some combination.

Mike R said...

> On a separate issue--I've seen a lot of black politicians. None of them have impressed me like this. It isn't about him being black <

Notice how you jumped to that? I never said it was only about race (though that does play a role). I said "personal issues." Plural, not singular.

Look, from what I know about you, Obama fits you to a T. And because he fits you so well I think you overestimate how well he fits the American public, especially the swing states who are going to be the ones who decide the election, as they have for the last generation.

Steven Barnes said...

O.K., Mike--what of my "personal issues" were you referring to that don't have to do with race? I did indeed assume that that was where you were going. Kindly show me where I'm wrong about that.

Steven Barnes said...


The fact that different people attach completely different meanings to the same words and phrases has caused a lot of misery in the world. I try to remember that...

Mike R said...

>O.K., Mike--what of my "personal issues" were you referring to that don't have to do with race?<

To be blunt, I think you have some abandonment and daddy issues. I think some part of your mind sees Obama as the surrogate father, the big strong kind man who can make things better and right, and give you and your family the protection that you didn't get in your childhood. And its a natural to overestimate how powerful daddy actually is.

No offense meant by the above, it's just my interpretation of you and I could certainly be wrong. And even if I'm right, it doesn't mean you not a good person, everyone has issues. I've got plenty.

Steve Perry said...

That's a fairly silly comment, MIke. Obama might come across as hopeful and a straight-shooter, but a father figure he ain't. Not strong physically, can't bowl for sour owl poot, and several years younger than Barnes -- it's really hard to see somebody you are more apt to view as a smart younger brother as your father, leastways it is where I come from.

Psychoanalzying somebody from blog postings is a fun way to pass the time, but not particularly accurate.

It's possible to want to see the country take a new -- and better -- direction than the Current Occupant of the White House has bumbled it along for eight years without it having anything to do with Freudian issues.

Or are you just saying that because the idea of a black man in a position of power is threatening to the White Man's Ego ... ?

Mike R said...

>Obama might come across as hopeful and a straight-shooter, but a father figure he ain't.<

Here we disagree. I actually see him as a rather good father figure. Mind you, a lot depends on what your conception of a father figure is of course.

>Psychoanalzying somebody from blog postings is a fun way to pass the time, but not particularly accurate.<


It's what I see. I think a fair amount of who a person is comes across the internet if they post enough. I base this on personal experience at getting to know half a dozen people in person whom I only communicated with for years on the internet before I met them.

And as I said, I could be wrong. _I_ see Obama as a father figure, so perhaps I projected than onto Steve. I don't think so, but I've been wrong before and will be wrong again.

> It's possible to want to see the country take a new -- and better -- direction than the Current Occupant of the White House has bumbled it along for eight years without it having anything to do with Freudian issues.<

Of course it is. It's also possible to project personal emotions into a political campaign that warp an objective view of the situation. People do that all the time. My issue was never that Steve wanted Obama to win, it's that I thought he was having unrealistically high expectations of how much he would win by and how sure that win would be.

> Or are you just saying that because the idea of a black man in a position of power is threatening to the White Man's Ego ... ?<

*rolls eyes*

Some percentage of the white American male population find the idea of a Black President threatening, sure, but F them, they aren't the dominant theme of any nebulous White Man's Ego. They tend to be loosers, by and large, from what I've seen.

On the personal level in my two real career level jobs my bosses, those people that are in a direct position of power over me five days a week and directly order me to do stuff day in and day out have never been white men (They've all been Asian men, for what its worth). No big deal about it as I've never had any problem with the color of the skin of who had positions of power over me, as long as they were a good boss that has been all that mattered - which makes me very progressive if I was born in the 19th century, but since I was born a good deal later it just means I'm not stupid. And I voted for Obama in my primary last month, for what it's worth.

Unknown said...

Not strong physically, can't bowl for sour owl poot,

Can play basketball well, has studied martial arts - from where I sit he looks to be in fine shape physically.

Of course, being female and weaker than pretty much all of you guys may be skewing my perception differently from yours.

On the other hand ...

and several years younger than Barnes

doesn't tend to bring "father figure" to my mind. To me, Obama seems like he could be a fine father figure - to someone younger than me.

Me, he reminds me not so much of my father as of guys I did political organizing with in college - except, of course, better at it than we were.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

> Or are you just saying that because the idea of a black man in a position of power is threatening to the White Man's Ego ... ?<

*rolls eyes*

I believe you have missed an opportunity to be amused, there ...

Steve Perry said...

Why, Dan -- are you saying I was engaged in a bit of leg-pulling? Given the impending basketball finals, I'm impressed that you noticed.

Go, Lakers.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

Here are a couple of theories which allow both Steve's an my experience with auras to be true. One is that what he perceives at a moderate distance and what I feel at a short distance are sufficiently different that they don't need to match up.

Another is that people without auras are rare, and I don't happen to have run into any of them.

In re Clinton: Two alternate theories of why she's run such an aggressive campaign. One is that she was always like that-- anyone know enough about her career to say? Another is that she's been on the receiving end of a long Republican attack on her and her husband's reputation-- I can see a person concluding that playing fair just isn't worth it.

Off-topic: Here's an article about African American transsexuals. It's informative about the different amounts of racism black men and women are subject to.

Steven Barnes said...


I definitely have some father issues. Abandonment? Maybe. Not sure, honestly. But Obama is younger than I am (as Steve said) and slighter. I tend to find father figures who are older and/or physically stronger. And MOST (but not all) of the time, I think of them as big brothers. No...I look at him more like a cousin or little brother, but one I am enormously proud of. But I see your point--I thought it might have been something like that.

Anonymous said...

still looking for father figues!

I'm so happy to be at an age
I do not seek father or mother figuers
actually that phase started when I was about 11