“I have a theory. An executive producer with an all-male writing staff once inadvertently revealed his deep, dark fear. While discussing a full-time position for me, he mused out loud, ‘I wonder if having a woman in the room will change everything.’ Of course, what he really meant was: ‘I wonder if having a woman in the room will change me.’ Male writers don’t want to be judged in the room. They want to be able to scarf an entire bag of potato chips while cracking fart jokes and making lewd comments without fear of feminine disapproval. But we’re your co-workers, not your wives. Crack a decent fart joke and, as professionals, we will laugh. And while writers do need to feel comfortable in order to make comedy, denying an entire class of people certain opportunities in order to preserve a way of life seems a tad antebellum. Plus, it’s been my experience that a room with a fairer sampling of humanity will always produce funnier material.”—
I think I surprised some people by expressing even slight disapproval at David Letterman in the midst of his recent scandal. It had nothing to do with prudery or censure of consensual sex and everything to do with the way that behavior enforces a sexist culture.
Also, it’s fair to point out this problem, and suggested solution, applies to many another field (for example, oh, let’s say technology) where women face challenges succeeding in the face of its hostility.
“For most alternative rock fans, the R.E.M. song “The End of the World as We Know It” is Michael Stipe’s way of making sure that no one could ever remember all of his lyrics. But for alternative rock fans who lived in the Cleveland area between 1992 and 1999 this song could bring tears to your eyes. Those were the years that 107.9 The End rocked the airwaves of Cleveland. The End was not just a radio station; it was a movement. It gave a voice to thousands of teenagers and young adults who no longer had to wind their way around the radio dial through pop, oldies, and R&B. Its DJs surpassed the typical DJs of the time by bringing events to the people, creating a community of listeners brought together for what they believed was a common cause.”—The End of the World as We Knew It.
“It’s notable that the Welles in these productions is young still, plump maybe but not obese, a hero to his acolytes. The Welles of 1936-42 worked 20 hours a day, ate double meals to keep going, pursued pretty young women like a demon and lived as if he had no tomorrow. He worked, all at once, in radio, on the stage and in preparation for his great film. He was a looming figure in American life: an offence to Hollywood in the way he achieved a carte blanche contract, and a boy wonder of such arrogance that it was said of him, ‘There but for the grace of God, goes God.’”—An amazing article on Orson Welles from, of course, David Thompson.
“He saw that all the struggles of life were incessant, laborious, painful, that nothing was done quickly, without labor, that it had to undergo a thousand fondlings, revisings, moldings, addings, removings, graftings, tearings, correctings, smoothings, rebuildings, reconsiderings, nailings, tackings, chippings, hammerings, hoistings, connectings - all the poor fumbling uncertain incompletions of human endeavor. They went on forever and were forever incomplete, far from perfect, refined, or smooth, full of terrible memories of failure and fears of failure, yet, in the way of things, somehow noble, complete, and shining in the end. This he could sense even from the old house they lived in, with its solidly built walls and floors that held together like rock: some man, possibly an angry pessimistic man, had built the house long ago, but the house stood, and his anger and pessimism and irritable labourious sweats were forgotten; the house stood, and other men lived in it and were sheltered well in it.”—Jack Kerouac, The Town and the City (1950).
“As for the Road Runner’s trademark sound, ‘it came from a background artist named Paul Julian,’ says Chuck [Jones]. “One day he was coming down the hall carrying a lot of background paintings and couldn’t see where he was going, so he just went “Beep, Beep.” When I heard it, I realized that’s the sound the Road Runner should make.’”—Paul Julian is possibly immortalized less for his art and more for his beep.
“'I wouldn't want to pack the campus with women who don't really want to be here for the education,' Bush says. 'But if you also want a successful husband and a good guy, come here.'”—That’s why we don’t need more women pursuing STEM degrees - it’ll just mess everything up for the few women already there who need their pick of the guys! Even though the guys think it would be nice to have more women around, so they’ll feel compelled to shower more. Jesus Christ, people. No wonder this is still a problem, if this is what we think the debate should be about.
“I was in tears by the end of the evening, because, when Billie Burke finished the great scene where she’s mad at the whole world - upset because the food hasn’t been prepared right for the dinner that night, when she finishes her big tirade which ran two minutes in the middle of the film - this audience of teenagers - to a person - broke into applause for this tour-de-force. My hair stood up on the back of my head, and I thought ‘A thousand years from tonight, the work you people did and that she did and all the people in this industry do will be immortal.’ You are all immortal. You have beat death at the game because that scene is going to be repeated a thousand years from tonight and ten thousand years from tonight - and there’ll be other teenagers who don’t know any of you from Adam, but they’re going to break into applause because of something excellent you did once in your life, maybe - or twice, or three times when you had the breaks, and you had a good director, and you had the decent script, and you had these actors working for you and that magical thing happened.”—Ray Bradbury