from the world's big
The Funny, Feminist Side of Norman Mailer
Mailer was a founding member of Back House Productions, a theater production company in New York. His play "Crazy Eyes" had its World Premiere in Athens, Greece, in March 2005. From 2003 to 2004 he served as the Executive Editor of High Times magazine. He has lectured at the University of Notre Dame, Wesleyan, and the University of Athens.
Question: Your father was\r\noften accused of having no sense of humor. Was this true?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n Oh, my God. I mean, if anything his \r\nproblem was that he didn’t realize\r\nthat humor will not translate in sound bites and quotes and so \r\noftentimes he\r\nwould say something, you know, just off the cuff that was silly and funny \r\nand\r\nridiculous and everyone there would laugh like you wouldn’t believe and \r\nthen it\r\nwould end up in print the next day and, you know, something crazy like, \r\n“Norman\r\nMailer said women should be kept in cages.” You \r\nknow, things like that. It was just, he loved \r\nwomen so much. I mean probably more than anything\r\n in\r\nthe world he loved women. He got\r\nput into a position where he was kind of seen as the anti-feminist, \r\nalthough he\r\nwas for the feminist movement. He\r\njust didn’t want people to get consumed with the idea that this was \r\ngoing to\r\nbe much better. He said, “Look, women\r\nshould be treated equally and fairly.” \r\nThere is no question about it, but there was a certain kind of\r\ntotalitarian element I think when the movement was starting off. There were so many different factions\r\nand that’s I think what he was taking issue with was the idea of, look, \r\nyou can’t\r\ngo from male dominance to female dominance and expect anything to be\r\nbetter. We’re all shits, ultimately,\r\nand we’ve got to do the best we can together.\r\n\r\n
So you know those who were lucky enough to know my \r\ndad know\r\nthat he was one of the funniest guys who ever lived. I\r\n mean he had this great… Or I thought it was \r\ngreat. I shouldn’t preface it by saying it was \r\ngreat, but he had\r\nthis joke he used to tell whenever he would start a lecture. He would flip the jokes around. He\r\n had one he would do for a year or\r\nso, but basically he said that it was about karma and reincarnation and \r\nhe\r\nsaid, “You know, so I die\r\nand I go up to the gates and I see Gabriel.” And \r\nhe says, “Oh, Mr. Mailer, we’re so happy to see you.\r\nWe’ve been expecting you for a while and we ask this of all of our new\r\nrecipients. What would you like to be reincarnated as? It’s a question \r\nwe ask\r\neverybody because we see that you’re on the list for reincarnation.” And he says, “Well, you know, I’d like\r\nto be a black athlete, honestly. That’s, you know, put me…Start me in a \r\nghetto.\r\nDo whatever. I’ll work my way up, but I would really, you know, I’ve \r\nbeen kind\r\nof this little Jewish guy all my life and I’ve, you know, done what I’ve\r\n done,\r\nbut that’s what I really want to be.” \r\nAnd Gabriel says, “Well I hate to tell you this Mr. Mailer, but \r\nblack\r\nathletes are the most oversubscribed-to reincarnation requests we have. \r\nIt’s a\r\nlist that goes miles long. I can’t tell you the chances are good, but \r\nlet me\r\nsee what we have you down for and then we can work from there.” And he looks and he goes, “Well we have\r\nyou down for cockroach, but you’re going to be the fastest cockroach on \r\nthe\r\nblock.” And that was my dad’s\r\nsense of, you know, laughing at himself, laughing at existence, the \r\nuniverse,\r\nall of it and not being too serious about what we do with because at the\r\n end of\r\nthe day if you’re here it’s a blessing. \r\nIt’s you know life is hard. \r\nLife is hard for everybody at some point, but it’s those who are \r\nable to\r\nlaugh at it and laugh with it and roll with it that ultimately I think \r\nlive the\r\nfulfilling lives that we’re all trying to do. You\r\n know, and big step there is to not take yourself too\r\nseriously from the start.
Recorded March 30, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
The novelist was often portrayed in the media as a humorless misogynist. His son knew a different side of the man.
Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!
Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".