The Casting Couch Test and the History of Rape

Rape, its practice and consent, impregnates the history of Humanity.

Rape as a war method.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, for example, Judges 21:10-24 NLT,  states that “This is what you are to do,” says this verse, “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.”  Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan

Genghis Khan,  the great Mongolian Emperor, when asked what made him happy is known to have said “to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.”  An international group of geneticists studying Y-chromosome data have found that nearly 8 percent of the men living in the region of the former Mongol empire carry y-chromosomes that are nearly identical. That translates to 0.5 percent of the male population in the world, or roughly 16 million descendants living today.


To the Shiite and the Jihad warriors of Muhammad, Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess,” and, Qur’an 70:22-30,  states that “those who hold to the truth of the Day Of Judgement; and those who fear the displeasure of their Lord—for their Lord’s displeasure is the opposite of Peace and Tranquility—and those who guard their chastity, except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess—for (then) they are not to be blamed.

We may think we’re eons away from this type of behavior as a society and that wee are civilized people here in America, much evolved from the barbarian practice of rape.   But according to RAINN:

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.

In recent history, several sexual offenses cases against rich and famous, entertainment moguls, potentates, acclaimed icons of pop culture have made headlines, but no one is really surprised by the allegations, only shocked that the world has responded in support of women and that many other women have come out in support of the whistle blowers.  That’s an upgrade in human consciousness.  When writing Isabel, a script,  who would have thought any actress or actor would ever come forth against one of the untouchables.  Hurrah!

The Casting Couch refers to the trading of sexual favors by an aspirant or subordinate in return for career advancement within an organization.  In the 1930s, the despicable nazi Joseph Goebbels was said to run a casting couch operation.  There have been several cases in recent modern history in which rape on the casting couch has been a perpetuated practice by people of power for decades before being exposed.  And Harvey Weinstein is not the only case.

An article in the New York Time says that “Mr. O’Reilly, host of the highest rated TV show in history, and his employers, Fox News,  came under intense pressure when after April 1 this year, 2017, it was revealed that Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, had “repeatedly stood by him” and that the company had reached settlements with five women who had made complaints of sexual harassment by him.  Said agreements may have totaled about $13 million.”

There are many women and men in the world who must face the casting couch test, not only behind Hollywood doors but in many other ‘casting’ places pressured by potentates with the power to make their careers successful.  In such cases, casting can be interpreted as hired, selected to do business with, promoted, or any other circumstance in which another person has the power to make somebody’s dream come true and/or see their hard work finally pay off.

Many victims don’t have the valor or integrity to stop seductive advances and are easy prey.  This may cause emotional disturbances in many victims who have ‘failed’ the test and may result in mental illness such as PTSD and Depression. Whether the victims have succumbed to sexual advances or bribery of another sort, the alternative to facing off harassment is financial loss and career black-balling in those who ‘didn’t passed’ the test.

Isabel, the protagonist of this screenplay, a vivacious go getter, knew the stakes were high when she set her life compass on Iconic Actress.  Putting everything behind her and looking forward to making her dream come true, the sensual and dynamic Isabel settled in L.A. with enough financial standing to jump-start her membership in the high-profile, celebrity games played by industry moguls and their sidekicks.

First, she signed on with a reputable Hollywood agent.  Rob always looked like he had just stepped out of a Guess commercial.  Together, they devised a plan to make Isabel  stand out, and she auditioned for many mainstream roles turning down those that stereotyped her.  Being a karate black belt meant a lot of stunt roles. Her agility was remarkable and her histrionic skills weren’t bad.  She had flair and passion.  The next part of the plan for Isabel was to mingle and network, but it was agreed that she wouldn’t take on any lovers.  Rob would frequently accompany his new ‘possession’  to the many red carpet events and industry cocktails, and her circle of insider friends expanded in no time at all.

While vying for the protagonist role of a mega blockbuster that would brand her as one of Hollywood’s favorites, and encouraged by Rob to consent to the casting couch requirement,  Isabel met Leroy, her lover from another life, and this inciting incident would cause her to experience flashbacks, lucid dreams, and delusional states of mind in which she was another Isabel living in the 1820s.  Her new-found lover, Leroy, was Seminole Black Indian who took her captive.

Flown in last-minute as the festival’s tycoon guest, Dan Goldberg was seated next to his victim and would ask her if she cared for a night-cap.  Rob, a Hollywood insider, as her agent,  knew exactly how things were done in town and had pulled all the strings beforehand.

Destiny had other plans.  Leroy was there on the stage singing to her heart and for one night she gave in and forgot about ‘the plan.’ The country singer at the Grand Ole Opryland had been the festival’s closing act.   After retrieving her Award, the rendezvous lovers escaped to the dance floor and from there to Leroy’s room, leaving poor old Dan out in the cold. That was the beginning of the casting couch saga.

Dan didn’t give up, though. The cold-shoulder reception only spiked his ego.  Many dining invitations and quality time spent with Dan practicing lines for the casting, later, Isabel was still in the game.  Isabel’s talent struck the casting execs favorably on audition day. But she didn’t get the part. What then?

After the lovers’ rendezvous, Isabel had been possessed by the visions and lucid dreams of her life among the Seminoles where she was taken captive from Fort Mose during the times of Florida’s US takeover in 1821.  Isabel had then been the wife of a lieutenant captain with the Spanish Armada, one of few Spanish women in the new world wanting expansion.  While lending a helping hand to several runaways arrived from the southern plantations in search of freedom, she was taken hostage by Leroy during his recruitment operation for the Seminole war.

After the sale of Florida to the US in 1819, everything would change at Fort Mose, where runaways became Spanish Armada soldiers in exchange for freedom.  However, the Armada would soon evacuate St. Augustine to a post in Columbia’s Cartagena de Indias.  The group of natives and runaways fighting in the western lands of the Florida peninsula knew about the sale of Florida and had been recruiting among the Fort Mose warriors convincing them that they would soon become enslaved again once they were not needed to protect the Fort.   Leroy and his men took the fort by surprise and set out but the Armada guards from St. Augustine arrived and escape was only possible taking a hostage, Isabel.

After nursing the injured and feeding the hungry African travelers, Isabel sat by the brook writing in her diary.  Everything happened so fast, the black Indian picked her up like a leaf and carried her inside the thicket where they disappeared from sight along with the seventeen men and 4 women who had joined the Seminole plight.  Years passed and Isabel became an integral part of the Seminole life next to Leroy with whom she had a child.

Between the world of conniving Hollywood and the Seminole’s saga,  Isabel fought for her sanity.  It didn’t help that she mixed her meds with alcohol, and she soon became manic depressed.   Finding vestiges of the diary she saw in her visions would prove reincarnation true and satisfy her obsession. So she reached out to the Seminoles in the Everglades where she met Dt. Otter, an archaeologist overseeing a dig.

Months later, when all seemed lost, they came to visit her at the rehab center in Santa Monica. The two Seminole women, one a child, the other her grandmother.  They brought an heirloom box containing the remnants of  diary.  Thanking them, Isabel sat under a tree and read the last entry in the diary made by her past life’s surviving son with Leroy, Jose Leonardo.  He had made it to Oklahoma with others and was a proud Seminole.

At that moment, a very old Isabel, who had taken refuge in convent life after being forced by her Spanish husband to return, dies smiling atop the turret of the old Cathedral of Cartagenas, knowing the fate of her long-lost son.




Belltown’s Pink Door

Strolling through Seattle’s epicurean Belltown neighborhood on a recent trip, I experienced  one of the most prodigal gastronomical ecstasies of my life, the Pink Door Restaurant. In the heart of Pike Place Market and nestled on the water side of Post Alley Promenade, you will, of course, be attracted by its pink door, and once you enter, a new dining paradise unfolds. I felt I had traveled to a lost land where restaurants and cabarets were indistinguishable. Its Italian American menu shows careful selection class=” size-full wp-image-183 alignleft” src=”” alt=”pink door lasagna” width=”275″ height=”183″ />of meats, fish, and seafood seasoned to perfection with fresh herbs whose delicate aroma will seduce any appetite. What is more, they have gluten-free pasta.

I tried the Lasagna Pink Door with a half carafe of their house wine to complement my late lunch. The spinach pasta had the right consistency, and most importantly, the Marinara sauce was ultra smooth and you could flavor the olive oil, fresh rosemary and thyme.  While I indulged in my grandmother’s lasagna, if I had had an Italian grandmother, several artists took turns auditioning for the night’s entertainment, provided at no extra cost to patrons while they feast. I was able to take pictures of the artists and myself, just like the owner did on her yearlong trip to Italy, a long time ago, before she opened this restaurant which is more than a quarter of a century old.  So I kind of felt like a far away cousin of La Patrona, the owner, Jaquelina Di Roberto. I wish I could have returned in the evening to watch the trapeze artist or for the burlesque show on Saturday night. Oh well, next time, for sure.

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BSM-Balding Sexy Men-Zinc Twice


patrick stewart



pit bull

SeanConneryJune08ne-yoWould you agree that balding men are sexy? Who are the most famous and sexy baldies of all times? What do Hulk Hogan, Bruce Willis, Michael Jordan, Birdman, Andre Agassi, LL Cool J, Garth Brooks, Ne-Yo, Patrick Stewart, Pit Bull, Vin Diesel, Sean Connery,and the list goes on and on, all have in common? You got it, they’re baldies. But are balding men really sexier? How do women feel about it? Does a bald head make a man look manlier, tidier, tougher, more mature, down to earth, more confident? How do men feel about their baldness? While answers may vary from one individual to another, men and women alike would agree that hair loss may be a sign of physical imbalances more than just heredity. Personally, I think a man’s actions are more important than his looks, and that a man’s looks depends on his lifestyle. But we’ll talk more about that subject later. Let’s just focus on baldness. Although a bald shiny head is symbolic of manliness, a lot of men, if not all, would rather have their hair back, as concluded by the Association of Bald men of America in a recent survey.

On his show, Dr. Oz offered helpful information on the causes and prevention of androgenic alopecia which I’d like to pass along to those young men out there who wish to control their excessive loss of hair.

Although the most common cause of hair loss in men is attributed to a hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness, it is also linked to hormonal imbalances and changes as well as a deficiency in Vitamin D which we in sunny Florida have a surplus of.  In addition, Dr. Oz recommends egg yolks, fortified dairy or cereal, and salmon. Minoxidil drops applied to the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine and will only work if continuously used. Biotin is the next dietary supplement Dr. Oz suggests will work against baldness. Biotin is a B vitamin that helps process fats and sugars.  Natural sources of biotin can be found in vegetables such as Swiss chard and carrots, also in almonds, chicken eggs, goat and cow milk, berries, and halibut.  It is also known as vitamin H.

What kills the hair follicles is DHT, DEHYDROTESTOSTERONE, a derivative of TESTOSTERONE, and contrary to what most people may think, it is not synthesized due to having too much testosterone, as your levels may be normal but still cause the problem. Hormonal imbalances may be due to lower levels of other hormones, including female hormones present in men which are responsible for creating semen and sperm count. Fertility boosting foods include oysters, antioxidants found in food and vegetables. On the down side, too much alcohol, caffeine, and junk food will imbalance your hormones. Zinc is a common nutrients found in many of these foods. Not surprisingly, zinc levels are found to be low in men with enlarged prostates.

So, guys, get a tan, eat more salmon, two servings of nuts a day, and visit the nearest oyster bar.




Chris Evert Charity Pro-Celebrity Tennis at Delray Beach


IMG_5248IMG_5272IMG_5314After a hotcakes-and-eggs breakfast, we strolled under cloud cover along the outdoor cafe-lined Main Street to join Chrissy at the 20 court state-of-the-art facility, including pavilion and pro shop. The event had a Fair flavor complete with capuchin monkey tricks, pony rides, harlequins on stilts, a samba dancer table, and the fumes of shish kabob. On that hazy, November 22nd, Saturday morning, the uncooperative weather may have dispirited tennis, but we climbed to our box seats and remained faithful, nevertheless.

Shortly after, stratiform precipitation drove us under the pavilion where we enjoyed the circus-like ambient, watched the capuchin disappear dollar bills into his pockets, followed by a swift climb to the donor’s head, and took selfies with Hoda, as we commanded the sun, who slowly made its roundabout to face us. After all, it is South Florida, and no one there would go away disappointed in the yellow melon.

Finally, “tennis anyone” became the order of the day. Back in our South C box seats, the line-up of play for the first set was Jesse Levine, 27 year-old American-Canadian who ranked World #69 in 2012, & partner, Gavin Rossdale, lead singer in the post-grunge rock band Bush whose album Sixteen Stone was a great success in the US, vs. Vince Spadea, American ATP World #90 in 2006, and Timothy Olyphant, best known for his role of Sheriff Seth Bullock in the HBO western, three season, series “Deadwood.”

After figuring out who was who on the court, which demanded a $5 program and wifi connectivity, I sat back to enjoy the player’s personalities. Although they were all wired, not much other than grunts carried over. Timothy, by far the funnest player to watch and the one with the most net errors, was the one who interacted the most with the audience.

Next up were Levine & Vince Spadea again, vs. Rennae Stubbs & Sebastien Grosjean. Rennae is winner of several Grand Slam doubles and has represented Australia at four successive Summer Olympic Games. She was a pleasure to watch, no wonder, she’s won 60 major doubles matches from 1992 to 2010. She interacted the most with the audience and seemed to enjoy herself in a carefree way. Her partner, Sebastien Grosjean, also a retired French ATO, World #4 in 2004 never got in her way, as she dominated the match.

Our time there for the day ended, we never got to see the next two sets in the order of play, including Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova with Timothy Olyphant and Hoda Kotb, Egyptian-American, Today Show’s host, as their respective doubles partners. But we did witness the giving of a big check to a single teenage mom pursuing a college career, and the parading of shelter pets ready to go home with the right owner.

For 25 years the Charity has distributed over $21 million since its debut in 1989, benefiting Florida residents across the state. I am looking forward to next year’s event. Thank Chrissy, I’m dusting my racket. Tennis anyone?