28 January 2010

44 Rude Names for Hummers

. . . collected from friends, enemies, and various sources.

According to Keith Bradsher, author of
High and Mighty: SUVs: The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way, one in every six new vehicles sold in the US in 2002 was a Sport Utility Vehicle.

Of course there are rude names for all sorts of cars, but the Humvee, being the biggest, ugliest, most gas-guzzling SUV on the road, is of necessity singled out for special attention. (Please contact me if I have left any really funny, really rude names off this list, thanks!)

The Droll Names

1. bummer
2. dummer
3. S-U-K
4. F-U-Vehicle

The Abomination

5. two-space hog
6. three-ton brick
7. pavement-hogging beast
8. big mofo
9. monstrosity
10. land yacht
11. heavyweight
12. gargantuan
13. behemoth
14. rolling horror
15. biggest choad on the road

The Assault Vehicle

16. urban tank
17. plastic tank
18. death machine

The Ego Machine

19. dick mobile
20. small-penis mobile
21. white trash rig

The Piece of Sh*t

22. sh*tbox
23. slab of sh*t
24. five-ton rolling brick of sh*t
25. giant steaming pile of sh*t
26. turdmobile

The Polluter

27. smog machine
28. planet killer
29. earth f*cker
30. earthraper
31. planet raper
32. pollute-o-car
33. chariot of greed
34. crime against nature
35. ultimate gas guzzler
36. gas-guzzling carbon-emitting oil-dragging monstrosity

The Uglymobile

37. ugly brick
38. ugly rubbish skip
49. ugly truck
40. gaudy heap of crap
41. unsightly hunk of sh*t
42. overrated Tonka toy
43. chrome-fanged monster
44. parody of a car


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25 January 2010

92 Feminine and Masculine Word Pairs

. . . I have collected hundreds of these word pairs but only 92 are listed below.

The separation and exclusion of women by men has led to the creation of countless words which are defined (by men) as the feminine version of some masculine job. Thus was born this list.

Without writing a full-on essay about the truly pointless and offensive phenomenon of sexism and all its social implications, I'll just say that, while I do not accept the notion that either sex should be treated as inferior to the other, I am fascinated by some of the very ridiculous gender-specific words that have been invented to perpetuate this notion. Of particular interest are the examples in which the feminine form carries a negative or lower-class connotation as compared to the masculine form (for example: governess / governor) and the examples in which a word has been given an unnecessary suffix or has been twisted into a nearly unpronounceable shape in order to change its gender (for example: chauffeurette / chauffeur).

For this list, I have listed the feminine version of each word first, followed by its masculine equivalent, separated by a slash. If there are multiple forms of one gender, they are listed together, separated by a comma. If there is a commonly accepted gender-inclusive or gender-neutral term, it is listed last, after a triple slash. Comments and definitions follow (in parentheses). Terms that are slang or recently coined are marked with an asterisk (*).

Feminine term / Masculine term /// neutral or inclusive term

1. abbess / abba, abbas, abbot

2. accoucheuse / accocheur /// midwife

3. alumna / alumnus /// alum

4. amicular* / avuncular

5. ancestress / ancestor

6. anglerette / angler /// fisher

7. authoress / author /// author

8. aviatrix, aviatress / aviator

9. bachelorette / bachelor /// single

10. beach bunny / beach bum

11. best woman / best man (see also bridesmaid, bride's attendant)

12. birth / beget

13. bitchma* / dogma

14. bitchmatic* / dogmatic

15. bride / bridegroom, groom

16. bridesmaid, maid of honor, matron of honor / best man, groomsman (see also best woman, bride's attendant)

17. bride's attendant / groom's attendant

18. cateress / caterer

19. centaurette / centaur /// rider (see also equestrienne)

20. chauffeurette, chauffeuse / chauffeur

21. coed / student /// student

22. coiffeuse / coiffeur

23. comedienne / comedian

24. courtesan / courtier

25. creatrix / creator

26. cujette* / cujine* (US slang, from Italian: homegirl / homeboy)

27. czaritsa, czarina / czar

28. danseuse / danseur

29. divorcée / divorcé

30. doctoress / doctor /// doctor

31. doyenne / doyen

32. dudette* / dude

33. dweebette* / dweeb

34. editrix / editor

35. eldress / elder

36. electress / elector

37. emerita / emeritus

38. equestrienne, equestriette / equestrian /// rider (see also centaurette)

39. executrix / executor

40. farmerette / farmer /// farmer

41. femcee* / emcee

42. feminization / guy-ization*

43. fiancée / fiancé

44. gal, doll, guyette* / guy

45. geekess* / geek

46. giantess / giant

47. governess / governor

48. grumpette* / grump

49. guardess / guard

50. gynocentric* / androcentric*

51. heroine, shero*, hera* / hero /// protagonist

52. herstory* / history

53. homegirl, homette* / homeboy, homey

54. housewife / househusband*

55. inheritrix, inheritress / inheritor

56. institutrix / institutor

57. Latina / Latino

58. lumberjill / lumberjack

59. maestra / maestro

60. maid, maidservant / servant, manservant

61. majorette / major

62. manageress / manager

63. matrimony / patrimony

64. matron, patroness / patron

65. mayoress / mayor /// mayor

66. mediatrix, mediatress / mediator

67. misandrist / misogynist

68. mistress / master

69. murderess / murderer

70. Negress / Negro

71. neif / serf

72. ogress / ogre

73. procuress / procurer

74. paintress / painter /// painter

75. prima ballerina / premier danseur

76. prioress / prior

77. protectress, protectrice / protector

78. protégée / protégé

79. seamstress / seamster, tailor

80. servitress / servitor

81. scripteuse / scriptwriter

82. shrewdom / dronedom* (coined by author Mary Daly)

83. starlet / star /// star

84. stewardess / steward /// flight attendant

85. temptress / temptor

86. treasuress / treasurer

87. tsaritsa, tsarina / tsar

88. usherette / usher

89. waitress / waiter /// waitperson, waitron, server

90. wifey, hussy / hubby

91. wimpette* / wimp

92. yankette / yankee /// yank


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21 January 2010

28 Nicknames for Detroit Neighborhoods

. . . I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and we suburban kids didn't seem to actually go into Detroit all that much, so I never learned these names or places. Now I do business in Detroit and go to church in Detroit and I hear these names in conversation quite a lot.

People were sometimes aghast when I told them that I didn't know what part of Detroit they were talking about when they said things like "Boston-Edison" or "Rosedale Park." So, of course, I started a list. I learned that there are in fact over 50 nicknames for various Detroit neighborhoods. I have listed just the ones I hear the most, or find the most interesting, along with their main intersections or border streets.

1. Art Center -- Woodward and Warren; includes Detroit Institute of Arts, Library, several large museums

2. Bagley -- bounded by West Outer Drive to the north, Livernois to the east, 6 Mile Road to the south, and Wyoming to the west

3. Black Bottom (destroyed 1960s) -- bounded by Gratiot Avenue, Brush Street, Vernor Highway, and the Grand Trunk railroad

4. Boston-Edison -- four streets: Boston, Chicago, Longfellow, and Edison; stretching from Woodward Avenue on the east to Linwood on the west; ritzy homes built 1905-1925, no two alike

5. Brick Town -- Larned and Brush, between Greektown and the Renaissance Center

6. Brightmoor -- from Puritan and Schoolcraft Roads between Telegraph and Evergreen

7. Brush Park -- 24-block area bounded by Mack on the north, Woodward on the west, Beaubien on the east, and the Fisher Freeway on the south.

8. Cass Corridor -- along Cass Avenue from I-75 (south end) to Wayne State University (north end) between Woodward and 3rd Street

9. Chaldean Town -- runs along 7 Mile Road from Woodward Avenue east to John R.

10. Chinatown -- Peterboro and 2nd Street

11. Corktown -- Michigan Avenue and 6th Street

12. Cultural Center -- Warren and Woodward

13. Eastern Market -- Gratiot and Russell

14. Foxtown -- about one mile north of the Renaissance Center, with Grand Circus Park located at its hub, and encompassing the Kales Building, Comerica Park, and Ford Field

15. Greektown -- Monroe and Saint Antoine

16. Indian Village -- bounded on the north and south by Mack and East Jefferson, respectively, along the streets of Burns, Iroquois, and Seminole

17. Medical Center -- Mack and Woodward

18. Mexicantown -- Porter and Bagley, one block north of the Ambassador Bridge

19. Midtown -- new name applied by city, to improve its image, to a large section encompassing Brush Park, Cass Corridor, Medical Center, Art Center; it is bounded by the Ford, Chrysler, Fisher, and Lodge Freeways

20. New Center -- West Grand Boulevard and 2nd Street

21. North End -- bounded by Woodward to the west, the city of Highland Park to the north, the Chrysler Freeway to the east, and East Grand Boulevard to the south

22. Old Redford -- stretches from Five Points east to Greenfield Road and from 8 Mile Road to Schoolcraft; annexed by Detroit in 1926; center is Grand River and Lahser

23. Palmer Woods -- bounded by 7 Mile Road, 8 Mile Road, Woodward, and the Sherwood Forest neighborhood

24. Poletown (destroyed 1981) -- bordered on Hamtramck

25. Renaissance Center -- tallest building in Detroit, headquarters of General Motors, although this fact is not on GM's website or in their marketing

26. Rivertown -- East Jefferson and Rivard

27. Rosedale Park -- 5 Mile Road and Southfield in northwest Detroit

28. Warrendale -- bounded by Joy Road to the north, Ford Road to the south, Greenfield to the east and the River Rouge to the west.


Let me know what you want me to blog about next

Help a starving bookdealer


19 January 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Hi all, haven't been able to blog much lately because I keep buying more books. Books have to be catalogued, and then people tend to buy them, then orders have to be filled and books have to be wrapped up and shipped. It's a never ending grind.

Oh, of course, sometimes I read one of the books before I sell it. Yesterday I read Anti-Slavery, by Dwight Lowell Dumond. Well, okay, I didn't read the entire book, but I read large chunks of it while I catalogued it. Very in-depth history, just the way I like it.

Before that I read Great Sayings by Great Lawyers, by G. J. Clark. The author was obviously a lawyer first and a historian second, but still, he compiled quite a lively book. This one was published in 1922 and is full of little-known facts and nuggets.

Today I made a nice purchase of about 30 more books. I have to get them catalogued as soon as possible so I'm signing off for now.

Book Doctor Gwen

One of the friendly dealers at TomFolio.com


13 January 2010

Eye Halve a Spell Chequer

. . . Collected some years ago as a specimen of "email lore." As one who supports English spelling reform, and believes that rigid adherence to the notion of "correct" spelling is somewhat silly at times, I do acknowledge the difficulties that can accompany one who ignores intelligent spelling conventions.

Eye halve a spell chequer

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it’s weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

-- Sauce unknown


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09 January 2010

4 More Reasons Why ATT Sucks

. . . More on how AT&T slammed my DSL and made my email cease to function.

My DSL (high-speed internet connection) was slammed by AT&T (taken over without my permission) on or about November 23, 2009. The minute it was slammed I had no internet connection. Two days later ATT's robot said my "new service" was "up" and it wasn't. That day I spent two hours on the phone with ATT pinheads getting my connection back up, but my email still did not work.

(See my post on November 28, 2009 for more on this 2-hour phone call.)

Well, time passed, the holidays came and went, and I tackled the problem again on January 7, 2010.

This time I was on the phone with them for over four hours (well, in a chat room for half an hour, then on the phone for three and a half hours).

And guess what? It still does not work. Not only that, but the workaround that the Level 3 tech set up for me does not work, either.

Date: January 7, 2010

Start Time: 6:54 pm

I went to the online tech support chatroom that was emailed to me by AT&T to talk to an AT&T tech person to try to solve my email problem again.

Talked to Ryan. I said: "Hello, Ryan. I am a DSL customer and I was told I would be able to use the email address I have had for seven years, but can't get it to send."

He said, "Ms. Foss, I am sorry you are experiencing this issue and will be happy to assist you. Do not worry, I will provide you all the information. Do you have AT&T provided e-mail address?"

I said, "yes, I do, and I have already tried to set it up, but missing something in the settings."

He said, "Ms. Foss, what is your e-mail address?" I gave him the ATT email address I had just set up, that I never had any intention of using, which I shall refer to as "P~".

He said, "I will provide you all the information" and asked me for the answer to my security questions. I answered.

He sent me to a website and told me to log in. I said, "Okay, but it wants my yahoo ID. Am I giving it my yahoo name or my ATT name?"

He said, "No, please use your AT&T provided e-mail address." I did so.

"Are you able to login there?" Yes.

"Now try to send a test e-mail to your own e-mail address and let me know the result."

I said, "okay, where is the email feature on this page?"

He said "click on the mail tab."

I said, "sorry, i don't see a mail tab. which corner is it in?"

He said, "What options do you see there?" I listed a bunch of them.

He told me to sign out, then sent me to a new website

I asked, "Do i log in as P~ again?" Yes.

I got an "Invalid password" message.

He said, "Please use P~ there and password of this account."

This time I got "Invalid email" message. Tried again and it worked, must have typed it wrong.

He said, "check your email folders."

I said, "it says i have no emails in my inbox" and added: "well this is a new email address i have not ever used. it was kind of forced upon me. what i want to use is the email i have had for the past 7 years, which is gwenfoss@netrek.net. currently it will receive but can't send. this need to be configured to send."

He said, what email client am I using? (Boy, if I were a computer newbie that would be too much freakin' jargon.)

I said Eudora. (Part of me knew that at this point I knew he would say that he can't help me with Eudora).

He said, "I need to inform you that we do not have any tools to configure your e-mail client in Eudora, However I will provide you all the settings to configure the e-mail account."

He then said, "You need to use the SMTP server of AT&T and POP server of your "gwenfoss@netrek.net""

I said, "not good enough. i was promised that my old email would still work after you took over my DSL account. I did not sign up for ATT. this has to be fixed."

He came back with, "Please note down the SMTP server address: smtp.att.yahoo.com"

I said, "yes, that is the setting i have."

He said, "And for further information we have a dedicated department for this Support+. Please call us at: 877-831-2880. They will provide you all the information and help you out."

I said, "no, i was already on the phone for 2 hours with them." (After this conversation I realized this is the heavenly "fee-based" Level 3 support that I had not yet tried.)

He said, "I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. I am sorry, we do not have any tools to provide you all the information on this. Please contact them, they will help you out."

I said, "okay, i guess i'll try them again. Expletive deleted. bye for now."

Talked to this guy over half an hour. No effin' help.


ATT's customer service survey popped up on my screen, which I filled out. It was only two questions and a comment. I gave both questions a NO, then put in comments: "Ongoing problem. Changing settings in email software so it can send and receive. I did not sign up for DSL from ATT. You took over my DSL without my consent. Now email will receive but not send."

I tried to type more into the comments field but it would only erase my text after that, so I assume the box had a character limit in force.

7:35 pm

I called the tech support number that Ryan had given me, 877-831-2880, got the same stinking a phone maze, and it said, for DSL support, hang up and dial 1-800-288-2020, but I just ignored that and pressed 1 for "advanced technical support." Got put on hold.

7:45 pm

I heard sound of a phone ringing and got a live human after about 10 rings. I could not understand her name, India accent. I gave her my name, phone, zip code, and so forth, and we discussed the problem, and she said it would be a $99 fee. (I'll admit, I was expecting $30 or $40, not $100!) but get this: she promised their techs could fix it. She actually used the word "promise."

I argued about the fee and lost. She took my cc info. Back on hold.

7:53 pm

She said we had to wait for a ticket number. While waiting for a ticket number, she read me the list of rules that she said she was required to read to me. I did not jot them all down, but these two stood out:

1) I am liable for any lost data, etc, if I proceed to this service.

2) Even if they can't fix it they will still bill me $99 for this service.

(First she promised they could fix it, then said it would be $99, then said if they can't fix it, it's still $99?? If this is not illegal it should be.)

Well, this is when I hit the roof and started yelling. Problem ongoing for weeks, I did not sign up for this, I was promised my email would work, ATT slammed my DSL, been on the phone already for hours trying to get it fixed, and so on. I also said that I know it's not her fault, she's not a supervisor, and so on. She said she is required to say all the rules. I pointed out again that she just promised me they could fix it, then said, maybe we can't, but it's $99 either way (!).

Well, since I can't fix this mess myself, I said let's go ahead, and she gave me a ticket number and said to give that to the technician when they come on the line. She added that if I need to call her back, the number is 888-930-3330. She then said, please stay on the line and put me on hold.

7:58 pm

On hold. Wow, but they have some really crappy primitive on-hold music!

8:42 pm

After being on hold for 44 minutes (!) I finally got to the $99-tech, whom I shall call A~. She asked for my ticket number, asked me the problem, and by now I had it down to three words: "Eudora won't send."

Tech A~ had me launch Internet Explorer, go to a specific website, put in a code number, and download a utility called "Premium Support" that allowed her to see my desktop on her desktop and take control of my mouse, etc.

I watched as she looked at Eudora, tried to send email, no go, looked at the browser, checked some settings under Windows Device Manager and Intel Network Connector, which were all normal, I assume, since she changed nothing.

8:48 pm

Tech A~ again looked at Eudora, spent a few minutes looking at all the settings, said she was not familiar with Eudora but would try to figure the problem out, put me on hold, said she was going to find a tech who understands Eudora, came back and said she thinks it's a port problem, and I watched as she checked the port settings in Eudora, making all the changes I had already tried, then trying new settings.

9:02 pm

Tech still "looking around" my computer, made changes to the SSL settings (Secure Socket Layer, a security wall), still no go, changed it back, still no go. She then said she has just learned that a lot of other people have had the same problem.


A~ said another customer who also uses Eudora tried all sorts of instructions but never found a solution, said Eudora "does not like" the SSL that ATT uses. She continued to try possible solutions, kept trying to send an email with Eudora but just got error messages. She then said she was going to write down and investigate the error message more closely. She checked the SSL Certificate Information Manager, clicked on a certificate, tried several times to solve the problem that the certificate was not being authenticated, and so on.

9:16 pm

Tech A~ imported a certificate, tried many other settings, tried changes to certificates and SSL and a slew of other settings. Still no go.

9:23 pm

More attempts to fix, then she tried logging in to yahoo mail using my Netrek name and password, no go, she changed the port settings again, no go.

9:32 pm

Tech A~ started explaining to me why the incoming mail still worked but the outgoing mail did not work, but stopped herself in the middle as if she had a new idea, and made more changes to the settings. Next she theorized that the problem was with the web-based part (Yahoo), in that she did not know how to "connect" Yahoo to 2020comm (my old internet service provider) or Netrek (my old email domain name). I said I also have an ATT email handle and why don't we try that. She entered that into the Eudora settings, and also the password for that, then put me back on hold.

9:40 pm

I saw my mouse moving around by itself again, and watched as she checked all the settings, tried to send an email, no go, she pinged the ATT server, looks like that worked, continued to try different settings.

9:46 pm

As I watched her move my mouse around I asked about the old router / new router, and she said the router is not the issue; the problem she's currently trying to solve is getting the SSL settings in Eudora to update or recognize or something like that. Eudora doesn't seem to have standard SSL but something called TSL, perhaps it's an old version of SSL that is too old to function, or something like that.

9:52 pm

I watched as tech A~ followed links from Eudora to OpenSSL online, I assume in an attempt to find upgrade info or a fix, no go, she then said that I have a 10 year old version of Eudora and she could set up Outlook for me. (Oh, yes, I knew she was going to tell me to use Outlook!!) I explained that I have used Outlook in the past and really hated it, it was very hard to use, but told her to go ahead and set it up for me, let's see if it works.

9:58 pm

I watched as she set up my ATT email with my "real name" and it worked fine, then she set up the Netrek email to see if it would work, put in my old ISP server name, no go, I looked through my old notes from when I set up Eudora, found a different email server, she put that in and by golly it worked! She then set up Outlook to handle my ATT email and my Netrek email and put them all into the same inbox, or at least that's what I expected would happen.

10:16 pm

I told tech A~ that I had been promised a solution, not only prior to today, but earlier today, by ATT personnel, and that after I was told of the $99 fee, I was then told, by the same ATT person, that even if they can't fix it, it's still $99. A~ said she would be happy to transfer me to sales so I could let them know that their own personnel are making impossible promises because Eudora is simply incompatible with ATT email, and they can't support Eudora or fix the problem, the problem (apparently) lies with the SSL in Eudora.

10:36 pm

Tech A~ said, "Sorry it took so long, nothing else I can do for you." I thanked her for trying her best. She transferred me to sales. I went on hold at 10:37 pm.

10:44 pm

I got to a live human (India accent) who asked for my ticket number, which I gave, he said he was a sales rep for "Connect-Tech," then I explained the problem, in that ATT continued to promise me they would fix my email and they simply are unable to, and that they should not be making this promise, especially to Eudora users.

He said he can't give me a refund of my $99 but he would ask the supervisor for permission to give me a refund. I also asked what to do with the duplicate modem, he said he can't help me with that, put me on hold, 10:51 pm.

10:53 pm

When he came back to the phone I told him that, legally speaking, if a company is liable, the fact that they say they're not liable doesn't make them not liable, they're still liable. He said the best he can do is give me full credit for the $99 fee, then charge me a $29 fee instead, thus giving me a $70 reduction on the fee, which he termed a "partial refund." That still stinks, but I agreed to take the partial refund.

He then gave me a transaction number (order reference number) for the current charge, and also gave me the transaction number (order reference number) for the original $99 charge.

10:59 pm

Call ended. Counting from my first contact today with ATT via the chat line, that makes four hours and five minutes total time spent on this today.


Date: January 8, 2010

The next morning, after the day I spent four hours on the phone with ATT, during which they supposedly set up Outlook for me, guess what? Outlook is not sending or receiving my Netrek mail.



Date: January 9, 2010

A moment of silence for my dead email, thank you.

It is no wonder that consumers like myself who are treated like dirt by these giant, faceless, multi-national, evil corporations (with the exception of Tech A~ who was super) are taking their business elsewhere.


Please help a starving bookdealer.

Sincerely yours,
Gwen Foss


05 January 2010

17 Symbols in The Wizard of Oz

. . . Historian Richard Jensen assigns the following symbols to the objects, characters and themes in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written in 1901 by L. Frank Baum, and filmed in Technicolor by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1939. I'm not sure I agree with all of these correlations but they certainly make for good conversation fodder.

1. Main theme: Populism = The "wizards" of Washington DC are a bunch of charlatans running a scam on the little people of America; ordinary people can take care of themselves if they realize their full potential, work together, and do not put themselves into the thrall of self-professed experts wielding the powers of government

2. the bleakness of Kansas = Economic depression caused by the gold standard (see below for more on the silver and gold standards)

3. Dorothy = Everywoman

4. the cyclone = Silverite victory at the polls

5. Oz = Silverites, who supported a standard in which 16 oz = 16 ounces of silver = one ounce of gold

6. Wicked Witch of the East = Eastern bankers

7. Munchkins = Ordinary people in bondage to East Witch

8. Good Witch of the North = Northern electorate

9. Yellow Brick Road = Gold ingots = The gold standard—the notion that only gold, not silver, should be used to back up our paper money—supported by William McKinley.

10. Silver Slippers = The silver standard, the only thing one may travel the road with. The silver standard—the notion that the federal government should back its paper money with silver as well as gold—was supported by William Jennings Bryan. (For the 1939 movie, these magical slippers were changed from silver to red because, in Technicolor, red simply looks spectacular.)

11. Scarecrow = Farmers, who think they have no brains, supporters of William Jennings Bryan

12. Tin Woodsman = Industrial laborers, who think they have no compassion, supporters of William Jennings Bryan

13. Cowardly Lion = William Jennings Bryan himself, who ran for president as a Silverite in 1896 (and also ran in 1900 and 1908)

14. Dorothy and her three friends = the electoral coalition

15. Emerald City = the national capital

16. greenish hue of the city, which is an optical illusion = Greenback dollars, which are illusory money

17. the Wizard's farewell address in the movie = an imitation of Franklin Roosevelt


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02 January 2010

17 Examples of Erasing Universalist History, Ignoring Universalist History, or Burying it under the Label of Unitarian History

. . . A collection of examples of Universalism or Universalist history being left out of the picture, destroyed, ignored, misrepresented, treated with substantially less space than Unitarian history, called Unitarian history, or buried under Unitarian history.

I have seen so many examples of this casual disregard for Universalist history that I just had to start collecting them. Please note: These are not all the examples I have ever found, just examples from people who should know better.

How would it be if, every time someone mentions Channing, Emerson and Parker and implies that they are the whole foundation of UU history, someone snuck in and added Murray, Winchester, Balfour and Ballou? Hmmmm. (Listed in chronological order, more or less.)


Exhibit #1


The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, Volume 5
by Clarence Monroe Burton

Page 188, in the biography of Rollin Howard Stevens, states:

"Dr. Stevens served on the board of trustees of the Church of Our Father and has long been identified with the Unitarian faith."

Comment: Church of Our Father was a Universalist church. After this book was published, their name changed (1934) to First Unitarian-Universalist Church when Detroit's Unitarian congregation consolidated with the Universalists. It is incorrect to refer to members of this Universalist church as Unitarians, particularly prior to the 1934 event in which the Unitarians "moved in" with the Universalists.


Exhibit #2


Of the 34 people who signed Humanist Manifesto I, it is often stated that "about half (15) were Unitarians."

Comment: This fact is mentioned in the Preface of the Manifesto. In fact, the signers included only 12 Unitarians, 1 Universalist, and 2 individuals who were dually fellowshipped.

The sole Universalist is called a Unitarian and the two in dual fellowship are stripped of their Universalism and called solely Unitarian.

(Email me if you would like a list of the Universalists and Unitarians who signed the Manifesto.)


Exhibit #3


The famous group of murals, 24 Saints of Liberalism, painted at 3rd Unitarian Chicago 1956–69 by church member Andrene Kauffman, includes 9 Unitarians, 15 non-U/Us, and no Universalists.

The Unitarian subjects are: Susan B. Anthony, Edwin T. Buehrer, William Ellery Channing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Jefferson, James Martineau, Thomas Paine, Theodore Parker, Joseph Priestley.

The Non-U/U subjects are: Jane Addams, John Peter Altgeld (progressive governor of IL), Albert Camus, Confucius, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Suddhartha Gautama, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Jesus of Nazareth, Socrates, Harriet Tubman, Walt Whitman, Woodrow Wilson, Roger Williams.

Info from UU World, Summer 2009, pages 36-39


Exhibit #4


Book title: Thomas Starr King: Eminent Californian, Civil War Statesman, Unitarian Minister, by Robert A. Monzingo. NY: Boxwood Press, 1991

Comment: Thomas Starr King was ordained both Universalist and Unitarian but here he is described only as a Unitarian.


Exhibit #5


The UU Alphabet

Song lyric by yours truly, listing one famous U/U for each letter of the alphabet.

The song lists 14 Unitarians (61%), 3 Universalists (13%), 2 UUs (9%), 3 borderline or wrong names (13%), and three letters (U, X, Z) that I had to fudge entirely, not included in percentages.

In my own defense, I wrote the lyric before I knew much Universalist history. I collected the names from list of "famous UUs" that I got from various sources. Since most lists of "famous UUs" at the time were — and still are — approximtely 80% Unitarian, 10% Universalist and 10% wrong, my song lyric ended up being about the same.

(Email me if you would like to see the song.)


Exhibit #6


"[The Rev. James] Stoll was a minister of the Unitarian Universalist Association--known as the Unitarians--and his act [coming out] was the first of many that came to mark the Unitarians as the country's most accepting, welcoming denomination for homosexuals."

-- Mark Oppenheimer, History Department, Yale University

This is the third sentence in his article, "The Inherent Worth and Dignity": Gay Unitarians and the Birth of Sexual Tolerance in Liberal Religion, published in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 7, 1996

Article excerpt found online at Questia at

http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=L1rMSv1h95SD1n1t0HKQJZp0wqkLYw1TYQ2k7WV0npv33fjFDP1C!-997264469!1888687908?docId=96428120 (viewed online Jan 2, 2010)

Should I be shocked that a professor of history at Yale doesn't know or doesn't care about the difference between a Unitarian and a Unitarian Universalist?


Exhibit #7


"UUs seem to have two conflicting "myth of origin" stories that influence our sense of roots. One is that we began with Akhenaten, Moses and Jesus, and we're the REAL monotheists. (Though that theory is somewhat out of fashion with the change from "one God at most" to "one God more or less.") Then there's the "creation ex nihilo" out of the heads of Servetus and Channing -- this myth is operationally what many members in UU churches believe. It's interesting what you learn by listening at coffee hours and online UU chats, just to understand what the average congregational member really thinks is the history of our idea and association!"

-- Jone Johnson Lewis, on the UU Historical Society listserv

Comment: She says "UUs" have two origin myths but describes origin myths of Unitarians alone.


Exhibit #8

date unknown (circa 2000)

I once sat through an entire sermon in a UU church in which the speaker -- a guest and layman -- referred to Walt Whitman three or four times as "a gay Unitarian minister." I don't know who the speaker was thinking of but Walt Whitman was not a minister and was not a Unitarian (he was borderline Universalist at best).


Exhibit #9

16 Jun 2000

David M. Robinson, Distinguished Professor of American Literature, Department of English, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, posted the following to the UU Historical Society listserv:


Dear Fellow UU History Buffs,

I'll be giving a talk at GA on UU History in a session sponsored by the Fulfilling the Promise Task Force (session 446). The official title is "What Our History Might Teach Us," but it has evolved over the spring into a paper with the working title "The Five Phases of Unitarian Universalist History." I thought I would put my basic thesis out on this list in advance for possible reaction, and will perhaps be able to speak with some of you at GA. The "Five Phases" will probably not surprise you, but they gave me the best broad overview of the denomination's development that I could work out. What I was interested in developing was a broadly comprehensive, and thus necessarily very general, "big picture" encapsulation of our history. The five phases are:

(1) the Unitarian Controversy (Great Awakening to the 1830s)

(2) Transcendentalism (1830s to 1860s)

(3) Free Religion (1860s to 1890s)

(4) Humanism (1920s to 1940s)

(5) Social Justice Movements (1960s [or late 1950s?] to the present). . . .


Comment: This is not an outline of UU history, it is an outline of Unitarian history. It ignores Universalist history and has almost no direct relevance to Universalism. There's nothing wrong with that except that Professor Robinson refers to it as "UU History" and as a "broad overview of the denomination's development."

To Robinson's credit, when it was gently pointed out to him by several others on the list that his outline did not apply to Universalist history, he responded, saying:

"I also agree with you that it falsifies Universalist history to try to read it through categories derived from Unitarian history, such as Transcendentalism and Free Religion. This need to keep things separate historically of course presents some problems. In one sense, all UUs after the merger must own the histories of each denomination. And the history of the denomination after the merger is of course "Unitarian Universalist." But to own those histories does not mean to merge them or erase their uniqueness."


Exhibit #10

27 Dec 2003

"Still we, in our dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist biography and elsewhere state that Ralph Waldo Emerson, Clara Barton, Horace Mann, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and others, were 19th century Unitarians. How many Unitarians were there in the 19th century?" [emphasis added]

John Keohane, UUHS listserv

Comment: Clara Barton was a Universalist but here she is lumped in with Unitarians and called a Unitarian.


Exhibit #11


This Day in Unitarian Universalist History: A Treasury of Anniversaries and Milestones from 600 Years of Religious Tradition, by Frank Schulman, published by Skinner House Books, an imprint of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Comment: This is, overall, a well written book, with clear, concise entries. It is well laid out and easy to read. It lists, for each day of the calendar year, around two to four milestones in UU history.

The problem is that it is almost all Unitarian history and only a little bit Universalist history. And I hazard to say that the Universalist history seems to be based on Unitarian sources.

I made a count of how many entries are Unitarian, how many Universalist, and how many are Borderline (regarding someone who was a small-u unitarian, for example) or Both.

I was going to count the whole book but stopped after three months (January 1 to March 31) since the trend was obvious.

Out of a total of 293 entries for the first three months, I found:

85% (248) Unitarian entries

10% (28) Universalist entries

3% (9) Borderline

3% (8) Both (Unitarian Universalist combined) (total is 101% due to rounding)

I also checked the bibliography and found a preponderance of Unitarian sources. There were 26 Unitarian, 11 Universalist, and 5 UU history books listed, as well as one general biographical dictionary and one history of the Humanist Manifesto (see Exhibit #2).


Exhibit #12

2008 (approx)

On the poster entitled 100 Unitarians and Universalists there are 79 Unitarians, 9 Universalists, 5 UUs, 1 labeled "you" (with a little mirror instead of a portrait), and 6 who don't even belong on the poster.

The nine Univeralists are: Hosea Ballou, P.T. Barnum, Clara Barton, Olympia Brown, Augusta Jane Chapin, Mary Livermore, John Murray, Benjamin Rush, Clarence Skinner.

The five UUs are: Tim Berners-Lee, Laurel Salton Clark, Robert Fulghum, Thomas Starr King, Christopher Reeve.

The six who shouldn't be on the poster are: Isaac Asimov, Thomas Carlyle, Theodore Giesel, Thomas Huxley, Robert LaFollette, Daniel Webster.

I do not know who published this poster. There is a framed copy of it hanging in the First UU Church of Detroit, but no publication data visible.


Exhibit #13

7 Apr 2008

Clint Richmond, on the UU Historical Society listserv, said:


The historic First Church in Boston has invited me to speak as part of their adult RE Learning Community. The illustrated presentation is based on my guidebook 'Political Places of Boston' . . .

I will be surveying neighborhood landmarks/events and their UU connections (Boston Pride parade, Boston Common and Faneuil Hall) as well as UU sites (such as UUA headquarters, Beacon Press, Arlington Street Church, and Community Church).

UU people to be mentioned will include Emily Greene Balch, Elliot Richardson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Theodore Parker.

The UUA bookstore has kindly carried the book since it was released in 2004. Their copies also have a special insert that makes some of these same connections, which allow you to take a similar such "UU Freedom Trail" if you visit Boston.


Comment: He calls his book and his talk and his freedom trail all "UU" but with the exception of the UUA headquarters, everything mentioned is 100% Unitarian; there seems to be nothing Universalist included.


Exhibit #14

Apr 2009

Dictionary of UU Biography

Comment: I counted the Unitarians and the Universalists in the Dictionary of UU Biography because it seemed as if most of the entries were on Unitarians. I made the count in Apr 2009.

Of the 932 Individuals listed:

68% (633) are Unitarian

18% (172) are Universalist

3% (32) are Both

11% (98) are Unknown (to me at this time)

Comment: The editor in chief of this project specializes in Universalist history, so I am hopeful that as the project goes forward, the difference between the number of Unitarian and Universalist articles will be lessened.

(Email me if you would like to see a list the actual names and how I counted them.)


Exhibit #15

May 2009

This website gives a brief history of "UUism" based solely on Ralph Waldo Emerson who was a Unitarian minister for about 4 years (1829-1833) then withdrew from the denomination.


Exhibit #16

Jun 2009


Warren Allen Smith's website has a summary page listing the names of 325 notable Unitarians who are profiled on his site (there are a few doubles and other anomalies so the correct number is about 323), and another summary page listing all the Universalists, of which there are 45.

But wait, four of the individuals listed as Universalists were actually Unitarians, so the actual number of Universalists listed is only 41. (The four are Dan McKanan, Winifred Latimer Norman, Arpad Szabo; plus Hosea Ballou I is listed twice, the second time as Josea Ballou.)

I also checked the Unitarian list to see if any names belong on the Universalist list and found four (Johannes Auer, Adin Ballou, Angus MacLean, Clinton Lee Scott).

Comment: The site is about 85% Unitarian and 15% Universalist.


Exhibit #17

4 Nov 2009

UU historian John Keohane's proposed four-session "Course in Adult Religious Education on UU History," as posted on the UU Historical Society listserv.


1) Ballou and Channing Both were 19th century Protestant Christian ministers in Boston. Each read the Bible more seriously than their "orthodox" brethren. They were from different strata of society, and they didn't like each other. Hosea Ballou (1771-1852) was a Universalist. He found in the Bible evidence for Universal Salvation. William Ellery Channing (1780-1842) was a Unitarian. He found lack of Biblical evidence lacking for the Trinity. He thought the Bible must be read with the use of reason.

2) The Humanists of the mid-20th century Evidence that Unitarians had gone clearly beyond our Christian roots. We'll discuss the Humanist Manifesto (1933), and some of those who signed it, including ministers John Dietrich and Edwin H. Wilson. We'll then go to another Humanist, the distinguished scientist and physiologist Maurice Visscher, learning of some of the early medical missionary work of the Unitarian (now UU) Service Committee. We'll also learn of Visscher's social action, of the science, and his actions to end atmospheric nuclear tests.

3) Unitarians and Universalists for Civil Rights We'll discuss UU martyrs at Selma, James Reeb, a minister from Boston, and Viola Liuzzo, a housewife and mother from Michigan, whose Oldsmobile with the Michigan plates stood out in the red clay of Alabama. We'll then move our discussion to a giant of the United States Senate, the Quaker-Unitarian Paul H. Douglas, of Illinois, who led the way for civil rights in his 18 years in the US Senate (1949-67), and each year reported his net worth and income to the penny, while rejecting any gift over $5, and refusing his disability pension from the United States Marines.

4) Unitarians and Universalists in the last 50 years Pre-merger cooperation on Religious Education, a hymnal, etc. leading to merger in 1961, to become the Unitarian Universalist Association.


Comment: His course includes about 85% Unitarian and 15% Universalist material. The number of Universalist people mentioned here is exactly one: Hosea Ballou, although one could also count Viola Liuzzo who belonged to a joint Unitarian Universalist congregation.


Visit my online used bookstore and check out my little booklet, A Who's Who of UUs

Thanks and Happy New Year y'all.