How I Learned The Facts of Life: Living With The News
Not those facts of life. You know, the other ones. The facts, as opposed to the fakes.
Shortly before the 2016 election, I became aware of the turmoil over fake news versus facts.
Was I impossibly naive to grasp this controversy so late? Nope. I didn’t notice it
because I was not a victim of it, thanks to a brilliant high school teacher who provided me
with the most significant lesson I ever got out of formal schooling: how to read newspapers.
In How I Learned the Facts of Life, I pass on what Larry Fink taught me.
In one short chapter. It’s that easy. Once you learn how, you’ll never be able
to read the news again without applying the technique.
In subsequent chapters, I detail further lessons from my life, experiences that confirm
and expand upon what I learned in high school.
How I Learned the Facts of Life is short, but long enough to deal with
the bombardment of information to which we are all subjected. Trolls, kompromat, lies, bots.
Deliberate fake-news "entrepreneurs." Print, polls, TV and internet ads.
How I Learned The Facts of Life gives you all the tips you will need to distinguish
fact from opinion, the credible from the false.
I once got into a bout of verbal fisticuffs on Twitter with some people who
were angry that I supported the facts in an article from The New York Times.
"The Times??"someone responded to me. "The same Times that..."
and cited correctly how the Times had over-emphasized the facts in a particular story.
Several people tweeted they no longer trusted or read the Times. Or any newspaper.
I asked, "So where do you get your facts?" "From experts," he said.
Yeah, well. That is a person who desperately needs How I Learned the Facts of Life.
Written by, you know, an expert. I.e., me.
If Nobody's There I'll Speak to Anybody
Essays on my life working for men while looking for a better Dad. Some chapters:
Living on GVST [Greenwich Village Subjective Time]. In which I hung out
with friends,some of whom became famous; sang backup on one hit song for a songwriter who
much much later went to prison for sexual assault; and sang backup on one not-hit song
(but with Ellie Greenwich).
Peering Over the Edge. My several lovely and occasionally hilarious years
working on the soap opera,"The Edge of Night." Only in retrospect, while
I was writing the chapter, did I grasp the significance of soap operas for women --
and it's not selling them soap.
Cinema and Life Verities. Three months -- so crammed with stuff and adventures
they felt more like years -- working for photographer Bert Stern as he filmed three
TV documentaries about the young British model, Twiggy. Warren Beatty made a disembodied
pass at me on the phone, Nora Ephron almost got me fired...and those were only minor incidents.
Dirty Movies. Writing, co-producing, being prop girl, ass't editor, orgasm sound effects
partner and costumer of two remarkably unerotic skin flics,"Candy, Baby," and
"Fly Now, Pay Later." Things happened.
A Little Argument About a Typewriter. One winter Monday I went to work for Peter Stark,
son of Ray, a powerful film producer who made a creepy pass at me on the telephone.
(What’s with these womanizers and their telephones?) After a brief incident
reflected in the chapter title, I arrived at my job on Thursday and learned that,
earlier that morning, Peter had jumped off the roof.
Finally, five wondrous years at Paramount Pictures, with my own #MeToo incidents.
"Love Story,""two Godfathers," "Adalen ’31" and
"The Great Gatsby" were released -- along with me, when Barry Diller
personally fired me. I took it well. I went home and began to write.
chapter about the filming of "The Great Gatsby"
I'm Always Here to Take Your Calls
The sequel to If Nobody's There I'll Speak to Anybody.
Eight years working for a very very rich man -- Malcolm Forbes -- followed by
the best job I ever had: thirteen years with a couple of ex-Legal Aid lawyers.
The O.J. Simpson trial, the beginning and expansion of the Innocence Project and
a number of wrenching civil rights cases which changed legal landscapes and lives,