September 12, 2013

Why did the lesbian Democrat lose so badly in NYC?

The Establishment candidate in the NYC Democratic primary was City Council speaker Christine Quinn, an Irish lesbian. But she only got 15.5% of the vote.
In Quinn’s Loss, Questions About Role of Gender and Sexuality 
By JODI KANTOR and KATE TAYLOR 
In July, two dozen accomplished women — bankers, law firm partners and technology executives — sat Christine C. Quinn down in a conference room in the Met Life building for some honest talk about her quest to become New York’s first female mayor.
The participants, including Mary Ann Tighe, the real estate executive, and Diana L. Taylor, girlfriend of the current mayor, warned Ms. Quinn that a woman seeking power always faced perils and that the very qualities that had brought her this far — drive, ambition, toughness — could make her unlikable to many.
 ... Afterward, a few of the women privately concluded that Ms. Quinn just did not get it. She needs a voice coach, one said, and a less na├»ve attitude about the magnitude of the gender challenge she faced.

Sir Laurence Olivier arranged voice lessons for Margaret Thatcher in the 1970s. She learned to sound less shrill and more calmly authoritative.

That reminds me that in the first half or so of the 20th Century, it was common for ambitious people in various walks of life to take enunciation lessons from actors or other experts. But that mostly seems to have gone underground after the anti-formality revolution of the 1960s. For example, I did a lot of speech and debate in high school, but don't remember much emphasis on improving the sound of our voices. Diction coaching had typically been used by social climbers to lose lower class accents (e.g., My Fair Lady), so it was falling out of fashion with the 1960s increased emphasis on authenticity and anti-snobism.

Still, I suspect many successful people today have paid for training of their speaking voices, even if it doesn't get talked about as much as it used to. After all, sounding like a distinguished individual is not a bad step toward getting yourself treated like a distinguished individual.

Getting totally off topic here ... What predicts success in speech training? I suspect singing ability, for one thing. The natural timbre of my voice is okay-sounding, but I have no sense of rhythm (I dread being exposed during audience-clap-alongs). And the notion of staying on key while singing remains a wholly abstract concept despite my wife patiently explaining it to me whenever I ask her again (because I've forgotten that I didn't get it the last time she explained it). Also, I'm poor at doing impressions and accents: the summit of my competence is Pepe Le Pew. I can't even say "Put another shrimp on the Bar-B" with a recognizable Australian accent. Hence, it's not surprising my speaking abilities are undistinguished and I prefer to communicate via keyboard, where I can edit before sending.
... Exit polls showed no gender gap in the results and indicated that Ms. Quinn lost for a number of reasons — her close association with the plutocratic incumbent mayor, her rivals’ ability to outmaneuver her on the issue of stop-and-frisk policing, and her inability to be a change candidate in an election in which voters sought new direction. 
Still, her supporters wonder: Why has New York, home of tough, talented women like Eleanor Roosevelt and Anna Wintour, proven resistant to female candidates? And was it simply too much to expect the electorate to embrace a candidate who would be not just New York’s first female mayor, but its first openly gay one, too?

New York is becoming what Paris was a century ago, and what Los Angeles was, to a lesser extent, a half century ago: the dream destination of heterosexual women.

I've never lived in New York, but I visited Manhattan often from, say, 1979-1986. You'd see a few models and other ultra-beautiful women, but for average level of female attractiveness way back then, Manhattan lagged the west side of Los Angeles. (Milan might have been ahead of even L.A. Paris, however, was disappointing.)

My impression from a couple of short visits in this decade, however, is that New York has now pulled well ahead of L.A. in feminine beauty. Lower Manhattan in the evening now looks like one giant set for a romantic comedy movie.

Why? Well, the decline in street crime certainly helps. Yet, the endless Wall Street boom that began in 1982 is likely the single biggest factor in attracting attractive women to Manhattan, and now Brooklyn. According to Charles Murray's Coming Apart, in 1960 Beverly Hills was, by far, the highest average income community of some size in the U.S. But by 2000, the Upper East Side in NYC had pulled well ahead of Beverly Hills in income.

Wall Street is one of the most sexist industries in America, so women with options in life are of course fleeing all those ex-lacrosse player bond salesmen for places where women are respected for their strength, like Northhampton, MA. Oh, wait, that's not actually happening ...

It's almost as if Henry Kissinger was on to something when he said there will never be a final victor in the Battle of the Sexes because there's too much fraternizing with the enemy.
In perhaps the most painful twist for the candidate, Democratic women rejected her, voting for Bill deBlasio instead, by more than two to one, according to exit poll results from Edison Research.
“There is a perception that women will support women, and that’s just not necessarily true,” said Wendy Gruel, who lost a brutal race for the Democratic mayoral nomination in Los Angeles earlier this year, and is friendly with Mr. de Blasio from their days in the Clinton administration. “You cannot run a race where you expect people to do that.” 
Of the 10 largest cities in the United States, only one has a female mayor — Annise D. Parker in Houston.

Who is a lesbian. We were at Rice U. at the same time, but I don't recall her.
And as the City Council speaker, Ms. Quinn is already an outlier; the state and city are considered tough terrain for female candidates. 

In general, New York is one of the big leagues of male v. male competition (look at the current mayor, who is also a self-made eleven-figure billionaire in the top ten of the Forbes 400). All else being equal, the farther out to the right various bell curves extend, the more male-dominated they will be.
Some of New York’s highest-profile elected women have been exceptions: Hillary Rodham Clinton, who catapulted into the state from her perch as first lady, and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, who was first appointed to a vacant Senate seat. 
“Democratic party politics, dominated by men, have been less hospitable for women in New York,” Ester Fuchs, a professor of political science at Columbia, said. Women are “getting into the primaries but they’re not winning,” she added. 
Part of the problem, she said, is that contrary to the hopes of Ms. Quinn and her campaign aides, women almost never vote as a bloc in city races, in which issues like abortion figure very little. 

It's almost as if all the talk about the Gender Gap over the last 33 years was kind of missing the point.
Without a women’s vote, a gay vote — which never really materialized 

See "Why Lesbians Aren't Gay." Is there a gay male plus lesbian bloc in NYC? Does anybody know? Or is its existence once of those things that everybody just assumes because that's the name of the category, the way that the Republican brain trust knows that Mexican-Americans will vote like crazy for Cuban Marco Rubio for President because the name of the Census category is "Hispanic?"

New York City's economy seems like it would attract more gay men than lesbians. Gay men often make a living selling beautiful things to rich men's wives. And NYC has lots of rich men.
— or a powerful ethnic affiliation, like with Jews or Hispanics, she said, Ms. Quinn was left without a base. 
“She’s Irish,” Ms. Fuchs pointed out, noting that many Irish voters have left the city. “That was a bigger problem for her than anything.” ...
Ms. Steinem, who endorsed Ms. Quinn, said that the city’s very might makes it more difficult for women to break through. “Wherever there is more power, there is more opposition,” she said, adding, “If you’re tough enough to run New York City, you’re too tough to be considered acceptably feminine.”

Update: Here's a funny analysis of Quinn's shortcomings from CityCouncilWatch.

64 comments:

Jane Byrne said...

What, I don't merit even a sarcastic passing mention? Cory Booker totally copied that symbolic-move-to-the-projects gimmick from me

Anonymous said...

The Anybody But Quinn campaign was somewhat unprecedented. She pissed off the animal people, an army of determined women and gay men opposed to carriage horses and pet shops. She won the primary in her district last time by a few points last time out, and her opponents had all won city wides.

She has all of Bloomberg's enemies and none of his money.

C. Fucius said...

Wow, an endorsement by Steinem... That and $2.50 will get you a ticket to the Chambers St metro stop

Anonymous said...

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=9430835&postID=2129838957740779141

Quinn's problem wasn't her genitalia or her preference in genitalia, it was that she had zero appeal to anyone who doesn't live in a building with a doorman.

At 3% or less of the general population, there just aren't enough gays (or gaysandlesbians) to swing a citywide election. They form a formidable bloc of donors, however.

--Discordiax

Anonymous said...

Weiner should be the mayor of NYC, he is the perfect represantative of that city.

Anonymous said...

New Yorker here. Quinn lost for 2 main reasons:

1) Closeness to Bloomberg. She was instrumental in twisting the law to allow him to run and win his illegal third term. Many people never forgave her for this betrayal.

2) She is notoriously corrupt. This is related to reason 1). It's been understood pretty much forever that Quinn will always sell out to the highest bidder. She is an extremely corrupt tool of Wall Street and powerful developers. She seemed to think she could get away with this because she is a lesbian, over-playing the lesbian card 24/7.

New Yorkers increasingly saw through this pathetic ploy. It didn't help that she is a very abrasive person, especially when confronted by the more liberal members of the city council or press for being an extremely corrupt, phony liberal. She is beloved by Wall Street, and the NY Daily News, which is owned by a billionaire who is a friend of Bloomberg. The Daily News' endorsement of her was the ultimate confirmation of how corrupt she was, if there were any doubters.

elvisd said...

I guess the butterbeans will now double down on carving out a niche in academia.

slumber_j said...

I agree with "New Yorker here" Anon. I would add as number 3 what he or she adds as an aside: "she is a very abrasive person."

It's not particularly because she's a woman, although that does make it worse. But her playing-up of the bluff Outer-Borough regular-guy business is seriously annoying, and it would be almost as annoying in a man. It feels fake.

Anonymous said...

is that New York has now pulled well ahead of L.A. in feminine beauty.
Don't forget the impact of film
i have lived in NYC most of my life. (a little younger than you steve). It's never been better.
NYU used to be a kind of a dumpy woman/granola school- then came Felicity

then of course there was that female narcissism series 'Sex and and the City.

But if they don't get married by say 32 chances are they end up home, watching lifetime with their cats like women everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 2) She is notoriously corrupt,
yes i know a couple of lesbians ( i don't know many) but they weren't keen on her.

@wiener anon Weiner should be the mayor of NYC, he is the perfect representative of that city.
and he committed the most representational act of the age::

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/nyregion/civic-virtue-much-maligned-statue-may-be-moving-to-brooklyn-graveyard.html?_r=0

Little-Loved Statue May Be Exiled to a Brooklyn Cemetery

How symbolic of our times! and no one caught the symbolism... they were too busy with their isms and ideology...

Anonymous said...

Louis Auchincloss has pointed out that being NYC mayor has been a career ender for the last 100 years...
Lindsay, Koch, Gilliuoni, Dinkins.. where did they go afterwards?

Florida resident said...

I listened to Mr. Sailer's voice during recent Webinar organized by VDARE, and I liked it. May be I was blinded (better to say deafened) by the intellectual depth of his speech, but I liked his voice.
Devoted reader of Mr. Sailer's work,
Florida resident.

Sword said...

About the voice thing: I once head a top-level opera singer speak about his life. He had a wonderful baritone singing voice, but when he spoke he stammered. Quite surprising.

Anonymous said...

"The" Jane Byrne? Cabrini Green?

Mr. Anon said...

Arrogant hypocrite billionaires, philandering transvestite prosecutors, abrasive corrupt lesbians, goofy dips**t wiener-waggers. These are the people whom New Yorkers consider as Mayor material. New York is a foreign country - forgive me for not giving a damn about it.

Shouting Thomas said...

If people are going to claim the political victimization perk of claiming to be gay, shouldn't they have to prove it?

They could be lying, right?

So, I'm not voting for lezzies unless they do some girl on girl porn, or stop by my house for a white boy sandwich.

Anonymous said...

Eleanor Roosevelt and Anna Wintour? Is that the best the NY Times can do when it's looking for "tough, talented women"? A woman who married an important man and has been dead for more than 50 years, and the editor of a fashion magazine? Plus Hillary Clinton and Kirsten Gillibrand, another president's wife and a woman who was appointed to office by a man. And, for that matter, Christine Quinn herself, whose prominence arises primarily from her relationship with another man, Bloomberg. Sounds like the problem that tough, talented women who can make it on their own in a world of men are a lot more rare than the Times thinks.

chucho said...

I may have a low tolerance for this sort of thing, but Hillary Clinton's voice (especially when speaking to crowds) sounds very shrill to me. It also has a scolding undertone, which I would think many married men would recognize. I've often thought her voice alone would hurt her in a presidential election.

There's a pretty big lesbian subculture in NY, especially in Brooklyn. They don't get as much attention as their male counterparts though.

diana said...

Native NYer here.

I paid as little attention to the primary as I could, so here are my gut feelings.

Personalities matter. I was aghast when Quinn announced her candidacy. The mayor is omnipresent. He's not like the President; a disembodied presence who floats above the fray - he is everywhere, in your face.

Having her as mayor would be like having Rosie O'Donnell as mayor.

No one wants that, except crazy relic feminists like Gloria Steinem.

Regarding the "gay vote," right now there is none, but never say never. And there certainly isn't a "gay and lesbian vote." That's a joke, an artifact of the NY Times editorial board.

Slightly related, here is an article in the Times about the hidden "gay and lesbian" history of fashion:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/fashion/in-search-of-a-gay-aesthetic.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Only in the NY Times could fashion be seen as a place where closeted lesbians worked along with their gay brothers in comradely equality.

Anonymous said...

British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband is sorely in need of eleocution lessons, if not speech therapy sessions.

Anonymous said...

Why did the lesbian Democrat lose so badly in NYC?


She wasn't enough of a left-wing kook for this city of left-wing kooks.

Anonymous said...

Do lesbians exist? When there is a shortage of acceptable males women get stuck living together in a sexless relationship. Today Lesbian is an acceptable excuse, in the past it was a nunnery, or polygamy. Perhaps Lesbians did not vote for Quinn because they don't want to be reminded of their situation, and they view lesbian as an inferior life choice, why vote for someone who can't get her own life in order.

What happened to secular Jews? This might be signalling a big change in New York Politics similar to when secular jews starting with Abe Beam and ending perhaps with Michael Bloomberg more or less dominated previously Irish and Catholic New York politics. These days jewish New York is increasingly orthodox jewish New York. This may have ramifications across the US as secular German/Ashkenazi Jews become less powerful. Orthodox jews are more interested in local issues than grand foreign policy big ideas, and don't get much political patronage from government jobs. They might not even want government patronage jobs as it divides their community into haves and have nots.

Also floating around all this is a looming financial crisis as the pension deals Bloomberg made to get labor peace have to be paid. NY of the 70s was in part a result of having to pay back the loans of the 30s to 50s. Obama's inability to get the Syria war might be a sign that the NYC-DC axis is losing favor.

Anonymous said...

the NY Daily News, which is owned by a billionaire who is a friend of Bloomberg

Mort Zuckerman totals single mom’s car
freerepublic.com

Billionaire New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman left the scene of a Hamptons accident after plowing his fancy Lexus into a parked Ford – and now his insurance company is sticking the stunned owner of the totaled car with the $4,000 tab.

Single mom Charlene Peele has been told by the media and real estate mogul’s insurer that she’ll get just $13,000 for her wrecked 2009 Fusion, even though she still owes $17,000 on what is now a heap of scrap metal.

“It’s outrageous,” Peele told The Post of her ongoing five-week fight with the media mogul’s insurance company. “It’s the principal of the thing. He hit me, but I’m the one running around like a crazy person, trying to sort out a mess I wasn’t even involved in. It’s the principal of the thing, and I’m the one left without a car.”

Peele, a veteran Starbucks manager, was at work when Zuckerman, 76, came tooling down Main Street in East Hampton Village on August 11 – a clear, sunny day – when he “looked away from the roadway,” veered right and slammed into Peele’s car, according to a police report...

Anonymous said...

Beverly Hills is more extreme in income there is a border area of Beverly Hills that is not that wealthy in fact Beverly Hills is behind Malibu and Newport Coast in Income. In Beverly Hills you have a lot of wealthy foreigners mainly Persians.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping Joe Lhota has a chance, but I fear that too many working class white voters have left to city to make the election of a real Republican mayor possible.

David said...

When it comes to their most serious business and core interests, rich men who are largely gay and/or Jewish are not likely to see any woman as competent. She can be a secretary or an ornament or even a comptroller of a minor division, or a dean of something like a Women's Studies department. But mayor? Koch's job? Rudy's, Bloomberg's? Fugeddaboutit. She would have equal luck in Saudi Arabia.

Matthew said...

“Democratic party politics, dominated by men, have been less hospitable for women in New York,” Ester Fuchs, a professor of political science at Columbia, said.

It's almost like Dems are admitting that all that talk by about caring for women is all just a bunch of bullshit. Democratic politicians are all about giving jobs to women - giving your jobs to women, not their own.

Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in 2008 in a party where women are a hefty majority of voters. Sex is important in the minds of many women, but it's still secondary to race and a lot of other factors.

And gays and lesbians? Not the same thing, by a long shot. They seldom socialize together. The gay men I've known love to mock lesbians. Gay men love women (platonically, of course), and tend to be fine socializing pretty well with straight people, male or female. Lesbians, however, seem to have little use for men, except as sperm donors, or when demanding child support checks from their exes, whom they used as sperm donors/sugar daddy before going full-scale carpet-muncher.

countenance said...

Why didn't "women" turn out for Quinn? You answered it yourself: Black women turned out for De Blasio because they were impressed that he married a black woman.

pat said...

Olivier himself underwent speech training later in life. He added the role of Othello when he was about fifty. Olivier had an excellent voice for the theater - focused and resonant. But he was a natural tenor. He thought Othello should be at least a baritone. So he studied and lowered his speaking range.

This is interesting for many reasons. Not the least being that Verdi cast Othello as a tenor as had Rossini. This may have been an accident of history. Verdi was of course influenced by Rossini's earlier work and Rossini wrote his Otello for Naples where he had five major tenors. His operas for Rome and further north had mostly baritones and basses but Naples had a surfeit of tenors.

Secondly Shahespeare's Othello was a moor not a Sub-Saharan African. He might have been, had he been a real person, only as dark as Anwar Sadat. Or he might have looked like someone as light as Omar Sharif. In seventeenth century England 'black' wasn't quite the same as it is today.

Moors don't particularly have deep voices but Africans do. The average speech pitch of European white males is 54Hz. Black males speak around 50Hz. That's why Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones get so much voice-over work.

The British are maybe more sensitive to voice pitch than we are. The BBC wouldn't have women on the air for years because they felt that the higher pitch of female voices were less authoritative. When they did allow women in the broadcasts booth they put on women who sounded like Julie London.

Even today on Fox News the best of their stable of gorgeous blonds - Megyn Kelly - has the lowest (most authoritative?) voice.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

... — or a powerful ethnic affiliation, like with Jews or Hispanics, she said, Ms. Quinn was left without a base.

“She’s Irish,” Ms. Fuchs pointed out, noting that many Irish voters have left the city. “That was a bigger problem for her than anything.” ...


So the NYT thinks it a commonplace that a politician would need and seek solidarity from a tribal bloc of co-ethnics, because hey, that's just how it is in New York City.

But woe to any conservative whose tea-party base is too monochromatic for the NYT! What are they, some kind of racists?

Who-whom.

Anonymous said...



I wish we could vote for policies instead of people.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

"My impression from a couple of short visits in this decade, however, is that New York has now pulled well ahead of L.A. in feminine beauty."

Couldn't have anything to do with who lives in L.A. now as opposed to 30 years ago, now could it?

Beckland said...

"What predicts success in speech training? I suspect singing ability, for one thing."

I agree. Are there any famous actors who can't sing (or dance)? It's hard to imagine any.

Whitehall said...

You can tell the power of a social movement or trendy enthusiasm by the quality of the women attracted to it.

I saw this clearly as the cute hippie chicks of 1969 became the crack whores of the Haight-Ashbury by 1977.

San Francisco later became the single woman's dream city during the 1980s but the city's evolution into the "City of Proud Pathologies" caused the general quality of resident women to fall substantially. Pretty women now aspire to Blackhawk in the Livermore Valley or Palo Alto in Silicon Valley.

Bill said...

Henry Kissinger was on to something when he said there will never be a final victor in the Battle of the Sexes because there's too much fraternizing with the enemy.

Did Henry Kissinger say this, or was it Gerald Ford, delivering a line written by Bob Orben?

in the first half or so of the 20th Century, it was common for ambitious people in various walks of life to take enunciation lessons from actors or other experts. But that mostly seems to have gone underground

There are courses to convert your Southern accent to a Midwestern one. Judging by the way even native born Southrons now talk, I'd say quite a few people have taken them. Or Southrons are spectacularly good mimics.

It's depressing, really.

dearieme said...

Why is it that the women (interviewers, anchors, ...) I see on US TV broadcast clips on the web overwhelmingly have ugly, honking, squawking voices? Their male equivalents usually have perfectly pleasant voices (albeit their manner can be a bit oily). It is not merely a matter of pitch; there are other qualities in play. But, above all, why? Surely those loathsome voices should have barred those women from such jobs?

Anonymous said...

There are many, many attractive women here. Counterintuitively, it seems to make them colder and bitchier than anywhere else.

Deblasio's ad featuring his son was one of the best political ads ive ever seen, because of the surprise factor. That ad stole the mayor's race. And people then saw debates where hes a foot taller than everyone else. Game over.

Anonymous said...

Not a good week for Bloomie; his successor failed to succeed, while the two Blooming idiots were removed from office by citizens of Colorado. Sometimes money can't buy happiness?

Forbes said...

Why Quinn lost? DeBlasio--Leftwing white married to black (and former lesbian) was the more exotic candidate...

As has been noted, she's a bit abrasive, not particularly likeable, and her politics seem to consist of "vote for me, I'm the lesbian." Not compelling.

Power Child said...

One place the anti-formality of the 1960s apparently didn't permeate, somewhat surprisingly, is alternative rock music--at least up through the 1990s (pretty much the only decade of rock I listen to).

Layne Staley and Chris Cornell both had vocal coaches. Staley, in fact, shared a vocal coach with Axl Rose. On Alice In Chains's first album you can hear that pretty clearly.

Anonymous said...

It shows how far the USA has degenerated, that someone as smart as Steve can write a thoughtful analysis on why an Irish Lesbian didn't become NYC Mayor - like expected.

Try imagining a freak that like getting more than 1% of the vote in 1940, 1960, or even 1980. Now its, hmm... why didn't she win?

Whiskey said...

DeBlasio's win means that most New Yorkers want an end to stoo and frisk. Quinn not being against it enough was a liability.

Looks like I was right. Stop and frisk is unsustainable politically and NYC is doomed to Detroit. But where will all that money go? Already the big money is not on Wall Street but CT hedge funds. Also NYC is a major theatre and tv production center.

Street crime of 1970s proportions or Worse, is not compatible with beautiful women pursuing rich men with power. So which city will it be? Geneva? Singapore? Hong Kong?

Noah172 said...

The exit poll for the election showed that homosexuals voted for De Blasio over Quinn, 47-34. Quinn was stronger with that group than any other demo, however, and they made up about a fifth of her total voters. Interestingly, De Blasio got the endorsement of the redhead lesbo from Sex and the City.

A map of the results by precinct shows that Quinn won most of Chelsea/the Village (where she lives, and a famous homosexual concentration): i.e., she got Manhattan homosexuals, the ones who knew her best and were most motivated by identity politics.

The map also shows that Quinn won the Upper East Side and Midtown -- i.e., people who read the NYT (endorsed her) and like Bloomberg. Otherwise, she was of course a dud.

ironrailsironweights said...

ThighGate might have hurt Quinn's appeal to more traditional voters. During a July heat wave, Quinn was at an outdoor appearance with another politician when a young female aide was overcome by the heat and fainted. The incident got a lot of media attention because it took over a half-hour for an ambulance* to get to the scene, even after Quinn called the city's EMS commissioner. In any event, one photo that made the rounds was Quinn kneeling next to the stricken girl, trying to comfort her, with her hand on the girl's thigh ... perhaps a little too high up on the thigh for comfort. It was surely an innocent gesture but looked a bit improper.

* = it wasn't even a city ambulance that finally came, but one of the Hasidim-run private ambulances that occasionally answer 911 calls.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Another New Yorker here:
It was the unbelievably weird neon-colored hair. An overweight lesbian with neon hair. That's just weird and unlikeable.

Now that I think about it, it was all about the hair. DeBlasio won entirely based on his son's afro. All the black people I know voted for him. And Thompson had no hair, a fitting symbol of his total blandness.

garyinfh said...

Another New Yorker here, but I didn't bother to vote in the GOP primary. For Lhota to have a chance against DeBlasio, he'll have to run against David Dinkins, whose disastrous mayoralty many current New Yorkers don't remember, since they (i) didn't live in the city then, or (ii) weren't born yet or weren't old enough to understand how bad it was. An enormous number of NYC residents have no recollection at all of the Crown Heights riots, much less incidents like the black boycotts of Korean grocers.

As for Quinn, her massive loss (endorsements from the Times, the Daily News and the Post got her 15.5% of the primary vote) proves that in the end, the public gets the final say. There’s only so much the Cathedral can shove down people’s throats before they collectively throw up.

Recall the old joke about the pet food company that introduces a fancy, expensive new dog food: it spares no expense on the finest PR firm, ad agency, celebrity spokesmen, deals with the biggest supermarket chains for shelf space, etc. It also uses only the best ingredients in the new product. After six months, sales are flat, even after a massive media saturation campaign. Price cuts don’t help, either. The company’s CEO calls in his brain trust, and asks, “We’ve spent all kinds of money to make this dog food a success. What’s wrong?” At first, all the experts are silent, but eventually, one of the product testers pipes up, “The dogs won’t eat it.”

That’s Christine Quinn’s problem in a nutshell.

Simon in _London_ said...

"New York is becoming what Paris was a century ago, and what Los Angeles was, to a lesser extent, a half century ago: the dream destination of heterosexual women..."

Hey! I have your dream destination of heterosexual women _right here!_ :D
Good thing too, they pay my wages...

Steve Sailer said...

" Did Henry Kissinger say this, or was it Gerald Ford, delivering a line written by Bob Orben?"

Or maybe Bob Orben, a top joke writer turned Ford's top speechwriter, wrote the line for Kissinger?

Or maybe Kissinger heard it, say, on the radio in 1937 and remembered it?

I don't know. I've tried to track down the original several times, but can't. Everybody says it's from Henry K (as I recall everybody said in the 1970s, too), but nobody says when he said it.

KFoy said...

Good orators do have a musical quality to them. Nursery rhymes have always come to my mind when I hear Obama speak. I reckon he's the Kurt Cobain of politics.

NY Observer said...

Does anybody remember Corey Johnson, the regular high-school football "star" that the NY Times drooled over some years back?

He's one of our new new city council members.

http://corey2013.com/bio/

He has really worked to the top of the greasy pole.

Truly a case of gay upward social mobility.

Wonder what his HIV status is. HIV is increasing.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth did they leave that tidbit out of the Iron Lady? From the movie you'd think it was just that guy that the IRA bombed who thought it be a good idea.

Matthew said...

"Not a good week for Bloomie; his successor failed to succeed, while the two Blooming idiots were removed from office by citizens of Colorado. Sometimes money can't buy happiness?"

Yeah, he was having a horrible week - until he picked up a copy of Forbes, realized he was still worth $80 gazillion, and that he's pretty much still the most influential man in the most powerful city on the planet. A horrible, terrible week for Bloomie.

I'll take that kind of bad week.

Dave Pinsen said...

Ross Douthat had a nice post about this today, tying together the NYC primary and the election results out of Colorado: Looking for the Anti-Bloomberg.

And New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson's two posts are worth reading, for the view of a Bloomberg Democrat (tl;dr version: he's known Quinn for 10 years but had no intension of voting for her in the general; also, thinks De Blasio would take NYC back to the bad old days).

peterike said...

Fake Variety Headline:

Quinn Votes Spike as Apple Dislikes Mike's Dyke

Anonymous said...

Secondly Shahespeare's Othello was a moor not a Sub-Saharan African. He might have been, had he been a real person, only as dark as Anwar Sadat. Or he might have looked like someone as light as Omar Sharif. In seventeenth century England 'black' wasn't quite the same as it is today.

Sigh. We've been through this before. Shakespeare meant what we'd call a black man today. Besides all the other textual evidence, the control of the experiment is the physical description of Shakespeare's other "moor" character--Aaron from Titus Andronicus. Sun-saharan Africans in Elizabethan/Jacobean London were rare but not unknown.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I was right. Stop and frisk is unsustainable politically and NYC is doomed to Detroit. But where will all that money go? Already the big money is not on Wall Street but CT hedge funds. Also NYC is a major theatre and tv production center.

Even back in the bad old days NYC wasn't close to 2013 Detroit. Today, NYC is, well, NYC. The notion that Stop and Frisk is solely responsible for holding things together is absurd.

I'm not saying that NYC could never be the Detroit of the future, but you're talking about a process that would require well over half a century of steady decline, unless de Blasio turns out to be the most incompetent leader in human history.

Difference Maker said...

There are many, many attractive women here. Counterintuitively, it seems to make them colder and bitchier than anywhere else.

They are there to find a great man, not to waste time, and on top of that are probably disillusioned

O for eternal glorious youth! To be ferocious, lusty and strong

Anonymous said...

Any Italian city would have beat L.A. for female beauty even at L.A.'s height, not just Milan. Most Spanish cities, also. Maybe Buenos Aires too?

Uncle Peregrine said...

OT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgR19WW3NOE

Sean said...

Why did the lesbian Democrat lose so badly? Same reason why Obama ran away with a nomination Hilary was supposed to have sown up.

BTW Thatcher became leader only because the main Tory right leadership candidates (du Cann and Joseph) didn't run.

Melanie said...

Drew Barrymore could use some voice lessons. Almost 40 yrs old, still talking like a Valley Girl.

To think that John Barrymore was her grandfather.

Lewis Stone, to my ears, had one of the most beautiful, pleasing voices of any screen actor I've ever heard. It was rather grand and old-fashioned, but I like it. He had a very formal, old-fashioned way of pronouncing some words also-these days I believe that some of his pronunciations would be considered incorrect, but they wouldn't have been in his heyday.

I love James Mason's voice. Not because it's so perfectly proper, but because of its timbre, just the pure sound of it.

As for women, there aren't many who I could listen to recite just for the pleasure of hearing their voices. Kim Novak-sometimes I love her voice, sometimes that low huskiness sounds too forced. I loved her voice in "Vertigo". It's my understanding that Hitchcock had her coached to get that sound.

There's always been something strange about Grace Kelly's voice to me. I'm not sure if I like it or not.

I've read many times that well-bred English women were renowned for their soft, musical voices. Books and articles of the day (19C particularly) making the ubiquitous comparisons between English women and American women gave English women the points for their voices (the well-bred ones, of course, not the Cockneys, etc). American women's voices were said to be too shrill and lacking in cadence and musicality.

pat said...

Beckland said "What predicts success in speech training? I suspect singing ability, for one thing."

I agree. Are there any famous actors who can't sing (or dance)? It's hard to imagine any.


I certainly don't understand this remark. Almost no film actors can sing and damn few can dance. The exceptions prove the rule.

Cagney of course could dance but not sing. But Bogart could do neither. There is a hilarious clip of Clark Gable singing and dancing. Otherwise in the classic thirties, forties and fifties Hollywood films the dramatic actors could not and did not sing on camera - unless of course they were dubbed.

Dubbed like Rossano Brazzi or Natalie Wood or Audrey Hepburn. There are a few interesting exceptions. Christopher Walken was a real dancer like Kelly or Astaire but he was even better as a psychopath. There have been many 'Singing Cowboys' but their are few opportunities on screen for a 'Dancing Psychopath'.

Fernando Llamas was a real singer. Maybe that's not surprising (he was the prototype for the Dos Equis 'Most Interesting Man in the World"') but George Sanders was also a fine singer and that IS surprising. Again his performing talent didn't fit well with his cinema stereotype as a world weary sophisticate. Martin Short had a good voice too, but people expected him to break into some comedy shtick not croon a tender ballad. Robert Davi - a superior screen villain - can do Sinatra but not a real comedian.

Some real singers like Hal Linden get success in straight non-musical roles and everyone then forgets that they were once a singer. I count him as a singer who branched out.

Hollywood producers seem to think that singing is subject to the same kind of 'movie magic' that allows them to disregard a person's height when they cast a movie like the 'Lord of the Rings'. It only works with dubbing. Try to endure the singing in "Paint Your Wagon". Or bear up under Richard Gere's awful singing in 'Chicago'.

Rex Harrison had a wonderful speaking voice but couldn't sing a lick. He overcame that handicap by inventing a kind of Broadway 'Sprechstimme'.

There are many actors famous for their speaking voices: Brian Blessed, Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, and Dennis Haysbert among others. As far as I know none of them can sing. Olivier did sing in a couple movies - he was dreadful.

No, actor's can almost always act but can seldom sing. Independent probabilities multiply.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Speaking of lesbians... thought that actor Michael Douglas having throat cancer acquired from performing oral sex upon women would gin up a new campaign modeled on the HIV one for gays. Nope. Disappeared in a coupla days from the MSM. Guess that after all the time & money propagating how cool it is to be a girl/girl lover, the Cathedral figured a 'safe sex' angle would be impossible. "Use a tongue condom" ? Better to just keep tongues from wagging about it...

Difference Maker said...

A lot of people comment on my voice, and I'm pretty musical. Probably something I should look into before I get old.

I've read many times that well-bred English women were renowned for their soft, musical voices. Books and articles of the day (19C particularly) making the ubiquitous comparisons between English women and American women gave English women the points for their voices (the well-bred ones, of course, not the Cockneys, etc). American women's voices were said to be too shrill and lacking in cadence and musicality.

There's a BBC program from the late 70s floating around on youtube about the evolution of the English language from Old English. One of the narrations in such a class was done in a remarkable and lovely voice.

There are some very Anglo women in the Northeast US who have that kind of voice.