• This Podcast Will Change Your Life is the Patricia Ann McNair and This Book Will Change Your Life is And These Are The Good Times by, yes, the Patricia Ann McNair.

    I am happy to let you know that there is new episode of This Podcast Will Change Your Life and it stars the Patricia Ann McNair. I am also happy to let you know that This Book Will Change Your Life is And These Are The Good Times. So, please do get happy yourself, and check it all it.

  • Elizabeth Crane is "Howard the Filmmaker." Also, fuck you James Toback.

    Elizabeth Crane has been talking to the public and the NYC DA Sex Crimes Unit about her experineces with James Toback and his predatory behavior, but long before this she fictionalized her story in "Howard the Filmmaker" at Nerve. You can read that piece here. There is also some excerpt below. 

    "So I went home and the script was seriously about this good-looking young filmmaker, it was actually called Henry The Filmmaker, just in case old Howard hadn’t said that word enough times, who’s kind of hypersexed but of course really wants true love, and he goes around trying to seduce all these women he sees on the street, while at the same time also pursuing the elusive one he really cares about, who of course does have sex with him but that detached kind of sex where she’s not emotionally involved with him at all which in my opinion was the real fantasy of Howard the filmmaker. And of course there’s the obligatory cameo in which old Howard, something of a mentor to his younger alter ego, has sex with a young novice in a church basement while Henry looks on taking notes or jerking off or something. What that has to do with filmmaking I’m not sure. The only thing that’s even a little bit believable about this movie is that the young filmmaker is considerably more handsome than Howard the old fat bald filmmaker and therefore you could see where maybe one or two random women might ever want to have sex with him who only just met him on the street. Otherwise it veers off into some weird netherworld where the woman has this compulsive gambling problem even though by day she’s a prim schoolteacher and she gets deeper and deeper into the debt of the gambling problem until eventually the young filmmaker is the only person who can possibly help her or relate to her because he obviously has this compulsion of his own, but then it’s still kind of a thing where in the end even though she’s shed a very dramatic tear out of her left eye she’s still kind of detached which allows Henry the filmmaker to be left kind of perpetually pursuing her which again is a very nice fantasy coming from a sex addict. He kind of gets to have it both ways. "

  • 21 Years.

    And for those of you who were there, you will be happy to know that it was sunny today.

    Which was nice.

    (And which I write, while briefly, and consciously, albeit guiltily, ignoring the state of the world, and focusing solely on Debbie and I, marriage, our beautiful children, and all of the wonderful things we've been lucky enough to do during this time, and God-willing, still plan to.)

  • When seemingly everyone I know, love, and admire is sharing their stories and their "Me too" message, I want to share "What To Read When Everyone Is Talking About Rape" from The Rumpus and commit to becoming an ally in whatever ways change the culture.

    From The Rumpus:

    "Unsurprisingly, actresses in Hollywood have long known that Harvey Weinstein is a sexual predator, and have suffered for it. This is not an issue specific to Hollywood, but rather one that pervades every industry, including our own. In publishing, just as in the movie business, there are men we warn women not to work with, not to be alone with, not to send work to. The burden has always been placed on women to keep each other and ourselves safe—men don’t take accountability for their actions, and why should they? After all, they aren’t held accountable for those same actions (but sometimes their victims are). This is called rape culture, and here at The Rumpus we’ve been writing about that culture for years.

    "There are reasons to be hopeful that the next generation will be more aware, less inclined to overlook the bad behavior of their peers, and more vocal in addressing sexual violence and harassment when confronted with it. But rape culture is pervasive, and it will take time and activism—and the dismantling of a patriarchy that is roaringly loud and proud at this moment in America’s history—to eradicate it. A good start is learning about sexual violence.

    "To that end, and in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’ve put together a list of memoirs, fiction, poetry collections, and nonfiction that deal with rape culture, violence against women, and the many ways that rape culture and violence against women have shaped our society and the women and men who live within it."

  • "Beautifully rendered, urgent, honest, and tender. And humorous too." A quite unexpected, and cool, Be Cool review from a writer that I think is quite cool.

    Though please note, that it is not just a terrific or unexpected Be Cool review, but a much appreciated Be Cool review as well. Excerpt? Word.

    "BE COOL is an unflinching collection of essays/memoir that exam relationships, masculinity, and how to live despite everything attempting to hold us back."

  • "Where there is anti-Semitism, you can be sure that there is going to be racism, and homophobia, and all the rest." David Masciotra talks Charlottesville, the alt-right, and contemporary anti-semitism with the ADL's Lonnie Nasatir.

    You can most definitely find said talk here, but you can also read an excerpt below, which when you think about it, kind of feels like a win-win all-around.

    You mentioned the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. It seems that Americans are becoming increasingly conspiracy-minded in their political opinions. Does the possibility of Americans taking an extra step, given that the Jewish cabal is the most stupid and insidious conspiracy theory, concern you?

    Yes, it is very disconcerting to us. The conspiracy about the media, the conspiracy about government, the conspiracy about finance — it is, as you say, not a far step for many people to then start talking about Jewish control, which is an age-old canard. It is not so unpredictable, unfortunately, that many people, if they believe everything is a conspiracy, will soon start talking about the Jewish conspiracy.

  • Control Your Own Narrative: Or The Ongoing Search for Story and Flow in Loop 202: Professional Development in the 21st Century, Part I.


    One thing I do is teach Loop 202: Professional Development in the 21st Century, which is part of the Lake Forest College In The Loop Program. The stated goals for this class focus on providing context in three professional development areas: 1) the trajectory of a student’s career and intellectual aspirations, 2) the development of effective professional communication, both oral and written and 3) the curating and management of a public facing profile as it applies to the work world.  

    Since I first began teaching the class in 2015, I have continually focused on honing the content and flow of the class, seeking to create a real time, organic vibe, with lots of energy and interaction.

    It all starts and ends though with the push to increase self-awareness; the need to be able tell one's story, and control one's narrative; and making the effort to build the tools necessary to engage prospective employers. Not to mention, how one engages in a process of applying one's story and tools in an professional environment, whether attending a networking event, an informational interview, or when presented with the opportunity, to be interviewed for the job one is interested in pursuing.

    Did I mention story?


    How about controlling one's narrative?

    Also good, because that's big, if you don't control it, someone else will be happy to do it for you, and that we just cannot allow.

    Ultimately, one needs to separate oneself from the pack and we do that with story, preparation, the proper tools, and when the moment comes, pulling all of that together with a cohesive, kick-ass narrative.

    What does all of that look like however? In the coming weeks I will unpack the syllabus for you, but for now, what follows are the key elements of the class.


    For one, students in the class work on response papers throughout the semester written in reaction to assigned texts, which are synched-up with the themes we are exploring and building-on throughout the semester. The model itself is articulated like this:

    "Response Papers of 1-2 pages, and a word count of approximately 500 words, on various course texts will be composed of (1) two questions you have about the readings and (2) your answers to those questions – unless there are specific questions assigned. The questions you may ask yourself, may be as straight forward as, “Why do I think Professor Tanzer even cares that I read this article?” Or, “Despite Professor’s Tanzer’s great interest in my reading this article, why should I care?” And, if you feel stuck and can’t think of any questions, 'Why do I think I’m stuck, and how might I become unstuck?'"

    And the goals are straight forward: one way to grow more self-aware is by asking one self the hard questions, putting what we think we know or are stuck on into words.


    I will share the assigned texts noted above in future posts, but one thing I want to note here, is that I strongly believe that being comfortable leading discussions, facilitating, and tackling ideas are integral to leadership, and again separating oneself from one's peers. I also want the students to be engaged at each step of the class in opportunities to speak in front of their classmates, and so where I once led the response paper discussions, I now have the students volunteer to do so, asking them to prepare in advance for class, and then seeking to create a safe space for them to do so.

    I also work with Lake Forest to hold two Mixers during the semester where the students interact with alumni, practicing how to network, and tell their story, all the while connecting with professionals even when they might not immediately seem helpful to their own job searches.

    In addition, and more than becoming comfortable speaking in front of a group, I feel the students must be comfortable presenting ideas, and we build towards a presentation early in the semester titled "What's My Story," where I ask the students to think about the pivotal points, people - family, teachers, coaches, mentors, opportunities - be they work or travel, decisions, cultural, and if applicable, political, influences, that have made them who they are and what they want to be. I also ask them to articulate where they think they could be going and how they think they might get there.

    I will also share the grading rubric and expectations for this presentation later, but what's important to me is that this exercise combines two elements that are key to class: crafting one's narrative and creating both self-awareness about what's important to them and the process for getting there.  


    The students also do presentations on the fields they picture entering, more on that later as well, but one key element to making this presentation a success, is prodding them to not only explore the kinds of fields they might work in, but what they want from a job to be happy and successful.

    I also want them to start thinking about what they don't want.

    The students must also enhance their LinkedIn pages and Resumes during the semester, and I bring in experts to assist with this, along with an expert who helps them think through creating a public profile. The semester ends with the students creating a public portfolio, that integrates all of the work that has preceded it.  


    I strongly believe in bringing in experts to talk the things they know best, so the students can learn from the best. I also believe this is important for not only maintaining the kind of energy that is required for both attending a three-hour class and staying engaged for an entire semester, but the job search itself, which requires an ongoing level of focus, connection, and positivity.

    Along with that however, is the need to be interacting with professionals, learning about they operate, their paths, successes and challenges, and what they expect when they meet professionals new to the job force.

    So we create these interactions in class itself, at the Mixers referenced above, by encouraging informational interviews and how to approach them, practicing interview skills, and by introducing Improv to the mix.

    I should state here that I have no Improv training myself, but in watching it and meeting performers, I have come to believe that the ability to think on one's feet, to react in a postitive manner to whatever is being thrown at you, and accepting the reality being created, the "Yes... And...," approach to situations, one is better prepared for whatever comes at them. 

    CONCLUSION (for now)

    Again, I am always tweaking the flow, and looking for more ideas, more energy, asking how a three-hour evening class should be run, when it's the right time for a field trip, and how many presentations can be held in a row in one class. All of this will be covered in more depth in the coming weeks. But for now, please let me know what you think, and please let me what questions you might have.