Department Of Questions That Have No Logical Answers 
The realm in question:
Sci-fi and set-in-the-future movies and television shows.
The question for the realm:
Why are the (almost always male) directors’ and/or producers’ of such shows seemingly obsessed with bizarre/fantastical/just-plain-silly female hairstyles?
Do these men imagine that, in the future and/or “out in space,” the laws of gravity will not apply to hair proceeding from the scalps of both humanoid and alien women?
Just moiself asking. Because, you know – science.
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Department Of Surprise Of The Week
(As In, Are You Kidding – Not. At. All.)
AKA Jane Roe. Put that documentary on your streaming list. Highly recommended.
A bombshell documentary airing…on FX adds a final shocking twist to Norma McCorvey’s ideologically eventful life. In AKA Jane Roe, McCorvey offers what she calls a “deathbed confession”: Actually, she was basically pro-choice all along and only became a pro-life activist for the money. “It was a mutual thing,” she tells director Nick Sweeney. “I took their money, and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say.” Sweeney displays tax documents revealing that McCorvey received at least $450,000 from pro-life groups over the course of her years as an activist, often classified as “benevolent gifts.”
Apparently, there are some people who are shocked and/or disappointed to learn that Norma Jean McCarvey, aka “Jane Roe” in the 1973 Roe V. Wade SCOTUS decision, admitted she was paid for her notorious “flip-flop” – from pro-choice to anti-abortion – by the anti-abortion side.
In the final scene of “AKA Jane Roe,” a near-death McCorvey is asked if she felt she was a “trophy” to the pro-life movement, and she says, “Of course. I was the Big Fish. I took their money and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say … I’m a good actress. Of course, I’m not acting now.”
(rogerebert.com review of AKA Jane Roe)
Such tactics are no surprise to many of us who have worked in women’s reproductive health care. The anti-abortionists  use the ends-justifies-the-means excuses for their deception, propaganda, and outright pants-on-fire lies.
Moiself has more stories than I care to recall, from both my days at Planned Parenthood and a private OB-GYN practice, having to do with women’s encounters with anti-choice exploiters activists. One of the ickiest stories I will detail in next week’s post.
One of my “favorite” such stories came from a PP I worked at, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, in the Bay Area. I was in the clinic’s lab, about to start the centrifuge, when I saw my co-worker, MT, exit the exam room across from the lab. MT, known and admired by her coworkers for her serenity and equanimity, face-palmed her forehead as she scurried toward me, holding a pipette of her patient’s blood. As she added her sample to the centrifuge, I asked her whence the WTF?!?! expression on her face. She replied that her patient had come to PP after first going to one of those shit-faced, lying to women “Pregnancy Counseling Centers” which, its receptionist assured her when she telephoned for info, was a legitimate medical clinic. While the patient was waiting for her pregnancy test to be run, the center’s “counselor” told her that having an abortion would give her cancer (of her “womb”), which could then infect her husband’s reproductive tract.
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Department Of Why We’re On The Subject Of Lying To Women…And Men….
Division Of Taking A Break From Dissing My Religious Roots
And Going After Other Peoples’
Sub-Department Of More Fun With Movies
This next movie I recommend is not a documentary, ala AKA Jane Roe, but is an equally fascinating, disturbing, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful account of real-life events. It is based on Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. Feldman’s memoir recounts growing up within, becoming estranged to, and finally escaping from her rigid Satmar Hasidic community in the Willamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
So. My thoughts after watching Netflix’s four-part series, Unorthodox:
I wonder how many of the residents of New York City’s most populous borough go about their daily business without giving a thought to the fact that, in their northwest corner, there is an entire community of people ruled by…mmm, how do I put this…mind-numbing, misogynistic mythological minutia.
I’ve heard of/read about the voluminous rules & regs of Hasidic life, but to be presented with the daily realities of the Satmar Hasids…yikes with a capital IKES. The sect’s many extremist emphases include an ultra-orthodox, anti-Zionist theology (they’re not fond of other [read: non-Hasidic] Jews, and particularly loathe the secular ones), and rejection of modernity. As for the latter, they are able to interpret some amusing exceptions for themselves (surprise!). For example, Satmar Hasids may have a cellphone, but not a ‘smart” phone – or any device with internet access (which would allow you to ask questions of/read opinions and facts presented by authorities other than your rabbi).
Satmar Hasids’ lives are a continual numerical equation of sorts, a computing and tracking of what must be done and when and how often – as well as, the biggest list of all, the thou-shall nots – all carried out within the confines of a close-knit (read: gossip-ridden and judgmental) community isolated from non-Jews, estranged from other (non-Hasidic) Jews, and centered around the dicta of a grand rabbi leader. 
All of the minutia of rules rules rules – and did I mention, rules?  The most time-consuming, and physically and intellectually and sexually onerous and stifling “guidelines” and restrictions are (surprise, again!) applied to women.
“Blessed are you, HaShem, King of the Universe,
for not having made me a gentile;”
“Blessed are you, HaShem, King of the Universe,
for not having made me a slave.”
“Blessed are you, HaShem, King of the Universe,
for not having made me a woman.”
(2,000 year old prayer, from the Talmud, which Orthodox Jewish men are still supposed to recite every morning)
Hasids’ lives are directed by the triviality of detail, the constant accounting of everything – how many days for this, steps for that, when to touch or say or eat this and not that, what to cover and uncover – lives prescribed and restricted by the rules that (they are taught) are from their god and are monitored by their god (and the other community members. You are always being watched). Yet, somehow, there’s a subset of rules as to how you can circumvent the other rules  – which, remember, are from The King Of The Universe…who apparently isn’t paying enough attention to notice when his minions are doing an end run around his holy rules.
Adherents and supporters of such religious communities argue that those rules and rituals give meaning to life. Moiself, along with those who have escaped from such constrictive communities, call claptrap and bullshit take strong issue with that claim.
When I’ve read and watched the stories of people who’ve fled such communities, it’s obvious to moiself that the fulfillment of the religious rules – and the task of merely trying to keep track of all of them – takes up the majority of one’s time. This crucial phenomenon serves to keep the community running…even if it’s only on its own cultural hamster wheel. As a member of the community you aren’t really doing anything other than upholding the community. You are not doing, learning, or producing anything new/original. You’re not even thinking original thoughts, but merely “studying” those of your community’s founder, who presents himself as your god’s interpreter. And with all this you shall pass the time because…what else is there for you to do, that you are allowed to do?
And, oh, the pervasive and primitive misogyny at the root of the Hasid – of any religion’s – social regulations! The fear and mis-characterization of, and obsession with, female sexuality is ever present, despite the claims that the religion’s rules uphold the “beauty and sanctity of the marital relationship” (the ultimate purpose of which is to produce more human specimens for their god’s ant farm). Denying and obscuring and shaming, either directly or obliquely, is applied to the physical aspects of being human, the very aspects which supposedly stem from their creator-god. What a world of spiritual and cognitive dissonance – to honestly think about it would drive an introspective person mad. But, once again: ritual and rules to the rescue!
The detailed pro-and pre-scribing of peoples’ behavior – even their thoughts – is a highly effective form of crowd control. The decrees and rituals to be learned and applied – the continuous “studying“ of them guarantees there will be no true contemplation going on…because you’re just too damn busy trying to remember it all (“Hmm; was that mitzvot 513 or 613?”). A day is only so long; keeping your sect’s versions of physical, mental and spiritual “kosher” keeps you from having the time for the kind of thoughtful analysis of these superstitious burdens codes which would allow you to see through and escape from them.
Now then. To those of us who are giving ourselves the proverbial pat on the back re our relatively progressive take on things: I can’t help but wonder how many “moderate” believers (of any religion) who’ll watch Unorthodox – or perhaps another depiction of an extremist/Fundy sect of their own faith – will cluck their tongues at the primeval actions and philosophies of the Fundies, and not realize their own proximity to such retrograde superstitions.
If you are religious, those are your roots. You only are a few notches up the scale of modernity, if you try to apply Iron Age spirituality in the 21st century. You may reject or laugh at the claims of, say, your Fundy Christian cousins, but do you still, literally or figuratively, embrace the tenets of Christianity? Do you, either with fellow worshipers in a god-box (temple, church) or alone in the privacy of your home, telepathically beseech and/or grovel to a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father and who can make you live forever if you symbolically cannibalize him (“take communion”) and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical but forbidden tree?
Yep. You’re not like those silly Fundies at all.
* * *
Department Of I Know The Year Isn’t Even Half Over Yet…
…but moiself has a nomination for the Mascot For The Year 2020.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, we are in the Year of the Rat – although in my estimation, we have been ever since #45 took office.
Ahem. Ladies and Gentleman, for your consideration, I propose that 2020 may be declared The Year Of The Murder Hornet.
Yes, you heard me right: THE MURDER HORNET. A name like that begs for all caps, n’est ce pas?
THE MURDER HORNET.
I am compelled to keep typing it. I so wish I was making this up – and so will you, if you read about this insect. The name alone – do you even want to Google it?
* * *
Department of The Corona Virus Playlist
The 500 Greatest Songs Off All Time Edition
As with previous CVPs, moiself has listed some of these song titles which are IMHO, applicable to our social-isolating, transmission–paranoid, COVID-19 times, and which, in small groupings, imply a related story. This time there’s no clue save for the song titles as to who the recording artists are (but few clues needed, given the RS list’s bold title).
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
What’s Going On
A Change Is Gonna Come
Blowin’ in the Wind
People Get Ready
A Day in the Life
I Walk the Line
Let’s Stay Together
Let It Be
The Times They Are a-Changin’
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Walk On By
You Really Got Me
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Every Breath You Take
* * *
Pun For The Day
How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
* * *
Department of Epicurean Excursion Evolution 
And here’s what I made for ours, one day this week – never mind. EEE on hiatus this week. So, get your own damn dinner ideas.
* * *
May you never see a MURDER HORNET, even from a safe distance;
May you reject all belief systems which require you to wear silly hats;
May the month of June bring us closer to a cure from
COVID-19 (and MURDER HORNETS);
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Including why they often appear in moiself’s brain, seemingly apropos of nothing.
 They’re definitely not “pro-life” – (unless the life in question is fetal) as their other political views and polities indicate.
 In the Satmar community’s case, a Hungarian rabbi who migrated to the US with a group of followers after WWII.
 They are way too many to list; and many revolve around the paramount importance of maintaining what they define as physical modesty: bodies must be covered fully; all clothing is formal (or what as a child my family would have called “dress-up” clothes). Women’s skirts must hang a certain distance below the knees, shirt sleeves must extend past the elbows, bodices must cover the collarbone. Satmar Hassids take the modesty rules to the extreme re women’s hair: when a girl marries she must shave her head, then wear a wig when she is in public (if she has no hair then she cannot possibly tempt a man with her hair, because he can’t possibly or even accidentally see her hair when she has no hair. A totally logical thing for an almighty deity to be concerned with.
* Young people are kept ignorant about their bodies; masturbation (and any sexual contact or knowledge) outside of marriage is forbidden; thus, marriages (arranged when the participants are between the ages of 17-19) are often consummated with the Hasidic bride essentially being raped by her husband.
* Women are considered ritually “unclean” for a period of 12 days each month (during and after menstruation). Husbands must not have physical contact with their wives until after she has had a Mikveh (ritual cleansing bath). There are scads of rules for pregnancy, including that a pregnant woman must not gaze at “non-kosher animals and other impure things.” A woman is ritually unclean for 7 days after birthing a boy and 14 days after having a girl.
* Husbands are “unclean” – but for only one day – after ejaculating, and take a mikvah to restore ritual purity.
-You must pray three times a day, and make sure that on the Sabbath (Shabbos) each prayer session is longer than usual, and also study certain religious texts at certain times of the day for certain lengths of time (the primary role of Hasid women is wife and mother; because of this, women are excused from some commandments that require them to study/pray at certain times of day.)
* Work” is prohibited on the Sabbath. What is defined as work includes writing (or erasing!), tearing of paper, driving, shopping, using any electric device, cooking, laundry, cleaning, carrying any object outside of the home, handling money…. There is a maximum number of steps you may take on the Sabbath (again, as interpreted per your rabbi, and there are ways to define what is your home/community that can skirt this requirement).
 Hasidic Jews will ask or even hire a non-Jew, aka a “Shabbas goy,” to perform basic tasks – e.g. turning on a light or an air conditioner – which the Hasids are forbidden to do on the Sabbath. Yet, even then, the Hasids can’t be honest, to themselves or the goys, about how they are skirting this holy commandment of no work on the Sabbath. When enlisting assistance they’ll try to avoid asking directly (“Would you please turn on the light for me?”); rather, they’ll drop hints and hope the goy will get it and help them (example: “It’s so hot in this room…if only the fan was turned on….”).
 Which was curated nine years ago, so yeah, an update may be needed.