before i jet…

I’m trying to answer all of my email. This takes some time, and usually leaves me with things to post on the blog. So here are the latest letters that inform you of places to spend money or help a brother out.

From Jessica:

Sofia, my sister-in-law, has her web site that my brother has been designing finally up.

Now that Stee is into buying jewelry you should definitely check it out. hee.

Well, I’m a little late on this, but hopefully she was able to sweat it out until I answered her question:

I feel a little dumb asking this question, because at 32 you’d think I would have figured this out by now. I’ll be shopping for new antiperspirant this weekend, because I too am a sweaty girl. I remember your famous entry, but can’t remember any of the suggestions. And it seems to me you mentioned that entry recently (or I could be smoking crack.) I can’t seem to find it in the archives. Does it still exist?

Many many thanks.

Perspiring with anticipation,

-Heidi P.

Do you know how many e-mails I still get about people discussing their armpits with me?

A lot.

I changed the picture here on the homepage, but I stil don’t like it. I have to come up with something better, but I just don’t enjoy playing with Photoshop like I used to. I changed it because a few of you wrote to say that you were getting in trouble at work for looking at pretty ladies on your computer. I also changed it due to this letter:

Pam:

I just noticed something interesting. Or interesting to me, at least (considering both how little I have going on in life, generally speaking and easily amused I am).

You have a tendancy to mock one Renee Zellweger. Yet, the chick on the homepage for pamie.com bears more than a passing resemblence to her. Could, perhaps, you like Miss Z., deep down, more than you are willing to admit? Kinda like how stee enjoys Sandra Bullock films. Except he doesn’t bury the fact deep down inside, like he really, truly oughta. Seriously, have a talk with him, in any case.

Anyway, just offering food for thought.

A.K.

I’m reposting a letter and answer here because it addresses what we got so heated about last month on the comments threads.

Recently and without reason, sites that were previously blocked by “SonicWall” (the warning page that popped up was all black with important white writing that said that a log was being created of all the sites that I visited that were blocked by SonicWall and that they were probably going to call my mom because I’m, you know, naughty) were all of a sudden not blocked by SonicWall. So I’ve been able to read catch up on reading your site – something I haven’t been able to do for, what, three months or so?

Inexplicably, you love Howard Stern. That’s what has prompted me to write. I thought I was this paragon of First Amendment Free Speech Love, but, as with most things, I’m only a paragon of First Amendment Free Speech Love when it’s something, well, I love.

So, I’m not a paragon. I’m a faker.

I was actually relieved when Stern was taken off the air in several markets (it is markets, right? In radio speak?). I don’t find him interesting, funny, insightful, or worth any amount of oxygen. Rather than being alarmed that this now makes me my mom (I knew it was coming. I knew from the moment she and I shared a hairstyle while I was in high school that this was coming), I instead sighed contentedly and wished that more stations would come to their senses.

And then, I realized, I’d kind of lost mine.

Loving Free Speech is hard. Maybe even harder than backward skating. And I don’t want to be a faker any more. But I can’t love Howard Stern. Which brings me to this question:

Is taking Howard Stern off the air really a loss of free speech? Was his speech ever really free to begin with? And just because he’s not on the air doesn’t mean that he’s been silenced at all, does it? (And then I read this, from stee: “The FCC will soon be able to fine an artist, like Bono, let’s say, or Howard Stern, or Oprah, literally millions of dollars for anything they might have said, IN THE PAST!, and there is no trial. No nothing. Just a big fat fine levelled for saying “Sh!t” on the air a year ago or anything else the unelected FCC decides is vulgar, and BOOM! you’re off the air, just like that. You’re bankrupt.” Maybe I’m really wrong).

Howard Stern is an employee of the radio stations that rely on advertising dollars for longevity. If he’s “offensive” (which, I guess he may be; again, I just really want to point out that I dislike him because I find him aggressively unfunny), then folks make decisions with their dollars, and they don’t shop at stores or buy products that advertise during his program. This frightens the radio stations. They then take rash action, like removing Stern from the airwaves.

I guess what I find frightening in that equation is how we vote every day of our lives, and not consciously, but in how we spend. And how those “ballots” (i.e., dollars) speak even louder than actual, you know, ballots. (I’ve moved away from the question above, as you may or may not have noticed. I think I recognized that I was arguing a losing argument and starting to frighten myself). Rescuing Free Speech is going to be difficult in a capitalist society that flirts with democracy. And all of a sudden, I feel really pretentious and like I’m a communist. And maybe I am. Though I’d rather be a socialist. Socialized medicine is beautiful. Usually.

Maybe the way for us to rescue the First Amendment is to (a) Not let me be part of the process, because I’m incoherent and have a past history of intolerance (I sure did love that Dr. Laura was taken off the air due to economic pressures from Gay and Lesbian friendly advertisers); (b) Start swearing more, and rewarding folks who swear more. If it becomes financially lucrative for companies to use swear words and sex and nudity to sell things, then it’ll be tougher to ban and fine them; and (c) really, keep me out of the process. I’ve looked back over this catalog of inanity and the only reason I don’t scrap it all is that I’ve written so much, it seems a waste to discard all this typing.

So, to sum up: Hate Howard Stern. But I hate that I hate Howard Stern a little more, and want to do something about it. I think. Fu©k. I don’t know.

Mike

PS: You’ll notice that certain swear words in my email are spelled all funky. Our email system has Naughty Word Filters. This would never reach you without some stupid creativity.

Michael,

I can’t believe my site was blocked from you. That’s how I feel about Howard Stern and free speech. You have the right to decide if my site is appropriate for you to read, or if it will offend you. Since you are no longer a child, you don’t need a parent, and you don’t need someone telling you what’s good and not good, what’s decent and not. I should be allowed to write whatever I want and you can read whatever you choose. I don’t agree with everything on Howard Stern. I think he is often gross indeed. I’m not a fan of fart humor. But there are times when he is absolutely brilliant and he has a smart view of the world, I think. I feel safer knowing that people listen to what he says, because I think he’s operating without an agenda of hate or fear, and that’s a smart way to lead people.

You should start your campaign for free speech with whatever corporate idiot put those filters on your e-mail. Nobody should have to look like a Lil’ Abner when he swears.

Thanks, and keep fighting the good fight.

-pam

Hi Pamie,

I don’t know if you heard, but an elementary school library in Montreal, Quebec was firebombed recently (it was a Jewish school) and lost their entire library. They are seeking donations to help rebuild. Unfortunately, they are not supplying a list of the necessary books, but do have a webpage where you can get information about supporting the school.

I think it is so horrible that an elementary library would be targeted. The loss of the books is shameful. I know when I was in school, the library was my refuge, and I’m sure it was for you too.

Could you perhaps let your readers know about the school in Montreal and post the link to their webpage?

United Talmud Torahs – St. Laurent Campus

I have asked if they will be compiling an actual list of books required, but so far there is none.

Thanks!

Janice

hey pam – longtime reader, first-time e-mailer. a friend of mine pointed me toward this article, and i got so fired up that i’m doing the only useful thing i can think of right now: sending it to you.

excerpt:
Why single women? It turns out they make up the largest group of unregistered voters, representing 24 per cent of the population-a group four times larger than the now-famous NASCAR dads who enthralled
the nation all of two months ago. If single women voted at the same rate as married women in 2000, there would have been an extra 6 million voters to fight over-with or without butterfly ballots and
hanging chads.

thanks for reading this —
sarah

Hey, Austinites. Help Jackie out. You guys like making lists, right? Give her five things:

Hey!

I am giving myself a short vacation in the middle of May–Austin for four short days. I haven’t been in two years, and seriously haven’t spent TIME there since I was in high school.

Give me five things I MUST do while I’m there. Music? Theatre?Pampering? Museums?

That is, of course, assuming you have time to tell me what to do.

Thanks!
Jackie

Okay, there’s more but I have a plane to catch. This should keep you busy with the comments until I can post again.