Sexual Harassment: Another Question

Yesterday I learned some valuable lessons about sexual harassment. I posted a question about the wisdom of granting an actress a $9.5 million settlement in a case against some executives working on a TV series that runs on CBS. I suggested (unfortunately) that I likely would agree to be sexually harassed for that much money. I meant that to be a light touch. It was not. It was a punch in the face of women and I apologize for it.

The question correctly opened me for quite a bit of criticism, much of it from friends I respect. I was wrong in phrasing the question. I stand by asking the question (without the bad joke), however, because without questions, there are no answers and I learned a good bit about what harassment means to some people and just how prevalent it is. One woman talked about making sure her key was handy–as a weapon–every time she walks to her car, about living in a constant state of fear, day after day.

Others talked about not being able to do their jobs because of some idiot who didn’t know boundaries. Others talked of anxiety, of fear of losing their jobs if they resist, of feeling they have no choice.

I have been sexually harassed in the distant past by a superior at work and it was not comfortable. I found a way out. But it was never something I wanted or welcomed. It made me less effective at work and more prickly at home.

The one question I still have about the $9.5 million is not whether CBS can afford it, but about where that money comes from when it is paid to the actress. Will it come directly from the people responsible for the sexual harassment or will some some single mother in the makeup department, script girl, small-part actress, assistant to the assistant director or other person near the bottom be asked to give up her job or part of her salary in order to pay the settlement? If there is anything fair about that, I want to know what it is.

My point here–and part of my original point–is: who pays and if CBS pays, does it serve as a detriment to the individuals who are guilty of sexual harassment? Are the harassers like Trump’s minions acting out with the offer of a pardon for whatever they do? If not, what should be done to correct that situation?


Top (Maybe Bottom) 10 Quotes of 2018

Why is this man slapping his head?

Yale Law librarian Frank Shapiro annually points out the most interesting (sometimes dumbest) quotes of the previous year. Here’s his list for 2018.

1. “Truth isn’t truth.” — Rudy Giuliani.

2. “I liked beer. I still like beer.” — Brett Kavanaugh.

3. “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.” — Sanofi drug company.

4. “We gather to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those that live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.” — Meghan McCain.

5. “We’re children. You guys, like, are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together, come over your politics and get something done.” — David Hogg.

6. ”(I am) not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!” — President Donald Trump.

7. “You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone.” — Kanye West.

8. “Our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything.” — James Comey.

9. “I have just signed your death warrant.” — Judge Rosemarie Aquilina to Larry Nassar.

10. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd! And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” — Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

A Gentle Reminder for Christmas at MMT

We’re heading into the second weekend of Mill Mountain Theatre’s “The Christmas Cup” by Roanoke teacher Nancy Ruth Patterson and I wanted to put a bug in your ear about it. If you have children younger than teen age, I would heartily recommend the “Cup” for its gentle and beautiful message of the Christmas meaning, one even we non-Christians can appreciate.

This is the story of a little girl played by Mikayla Parker who learns the classic lesson: ’tis better to give than to receive. She learns it following the acquisition at an auction of a mangy cup that nobody else wants (even for a nickle). She pays the goodly sum of $5, which she earned, for the cup because she believes that is what it is worth and immediately she begins learning.

The lead character, Megan, is played as an adult by professional Christy Smith Treece, who serves as a narrator of the story, but the show is stolen by two youngsters–Sylvia MacNab and and Campbell Allen who play twins Brenda and Linda. They serve as a nasty-girls foil for the sweet Little M (Megan).

Professional Barbara Bradshaw lends considerable credibility to the cast, which is mostly local and consistently talented.

Mill Mountain’s annual gift to the children of the Roanoke Valley is a good Christmas show and this one certainly qualifies. The show, directed by Travis Kendrick (with a splendid set by Jimmy Ray Ward) runs through Dec. 23.  You can get tickets by calling 540.342.5740 or here.

The Snow That Was (and Lingers)

This leaf was hanging on to its color and what was left of its life.

This is how deep the snow was.

The first real winter storm of the winter 2018-19 is fading into history and for the first time in a couple of days, I was able to escape my castle and have a work meeting. I don’t usually like work meetings, but this one was a nice respite (and a nice assignment).

I look back on how pretty this snow was and how the only real negative for me was Roanoke City’s snow plows blocking my driveway twice after I had cleared it all the way to the middle of the street I live on. That really fries me and I simply wish the city would forget my street is in the city and leave me the hell alone.

You can see from the last couple of photos that I dug out well, but the city blocked me with some frozen boulders that I had to pick up and toss out of the way before I could even begin to shovel the blockage away. 

Anyhow, it was pretty and as my mama used to say, “First, look good.”

I did get to play some, making a messy snow angel.

You can always find color in the snow, sometimes in the form of stubborn flowers.

Light on the houses on my street is always pretty late afternoon in the snow.

This is my back yard.

Here’s where I dug out.

This blockage of my driveway is the city’s Christmas offering.

These big lumps were like stones, hard and heavy. I couldn’t shovel them; had to pick them up and toss them.

So, How Much Better Is $7 Pepper?

My $1 pepper (left) and the Co-Op’s $7 pepper in the bag. Same–exactly–amount.

The Roanoke Valley Co-Op in Grandin Village is a nice asset for the city, but as I’ve always said, it is far to expensive for me. I proved that again today.

I met a couple of people at the Co-Op for magazine story interview a little while ago and since I was in a grocery store anyway, I thought I’d save myself a stop at Kroger on the way home by buying some pepper. The young fellow pointing me to the two kinds of pepper first led me to a pre-packaged shelf where pepper was a little over $7 for a tiny jar.

I gasped and he said, “Well, we can get it in the bulk section; should save a little money.” Scooped up just exactly the right of pepper to fill my 2.5 ounce container at home (I’m pretty good at guessing how much of something I need) and went to checkout. It cost a little over $7. For pepper.

When I got home, I filled my empty 2.5 ounce pepper shaker (exactly fit) that cost $1 with the $7 pepper and sprinkled some on soup. It tasted just like the cheap stuff.

My point is made.

Great Moments in Food: Pork Roast, Just Done

There are few greater moments in the food world than those when the pork roast has cooked for a full 4.5 hours and is ready for tearing apart as it sits in the pan, deep in its juices–as we see in the photo above.

This baby is just out of MY oven, a whole Boston butt (Boston Butt Whole, as it were) rich, full-flavored, hot and ready to make my mouth water. The temptation is to eat the roast and nothing more, so much of it, in fact that I get sick. But I will exercise restraint. I promise.