Stories by kate clinton

By Kate Clinton on April 19, 2014

For more than thirty years I have been a comedy practitioner, and for more than forty years I have been a student of late night comedy.

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By Kate Clinton on November 01, 2013

Unlike Sovietologists, I do not claim a deep knowledge of Russian history. But I took no pleasure watching vaunted Sovietologists like Condoleezza Rice being blindsided by the implosion of communist Russia. (OK, a tiny bit.)

Nor did I revel in watching as American anti-communists tried to cover their gaffe by recreating a secretly governed, heavily surveilled, undemocratic America.

Nor was I thrilled to watch Russian former communists impose an oligarchic capitalism that threw average Russian people deeper into grinding poverty.

By Kate Clinton on November 01, 2013

Sometimes I look at all the Apple products in our house -- iPads, iPods, minis, iBooks, laptops, desktops, tangled balls of cords -- and I have iGuilt. How many Chinese youth have I plunged into despair just so I could play Words with Friends? All the crapple is an eyesore.

Despite my Apple-shame, I have a passion for my late-in-life hobby: developing apps. Since high-tech is not really my specialty, I mostly daydream with my head in the cloud.

But I have managed to develop a few. My first app was called "Really?" and it tells you where you were last night.

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By Kate Clinton on November 01, 2013

Oh, don't mind me. I've just been a little cranky, a tad blue. I think it started in the madness of March, with the tenth anniversary of the war in Iraq. It is not just the costs in blood and treasure of the off-the-books war. It is that George W. Bush is not in jail. He might not be able to visit Europe, but he's still not in Gitmo, which remains open, by the way. On the day of the splashy opening ceremonies for the Bush Liebrary, I hid the sharp kitchen knives.

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By Kate Clinton on November 01, 2013

A book editor once challenged me to write a memoir. My first reaction was, "Ugh." Also my second. I thought I had used my inside voice.

She ignored my response and suggested I could narrow the project down by writing about five events I had participated in during my thirty-plus years in the LGBT movement. A March on Washington? The ride I hitched with the San Francisco Dykes on Bikes? The campaign against the Briggs Initiative? Protests against the Mormon Church after Prop 8?

I agreed to think about it. If torment is thought, I thought about it.

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By Kate Clinton on November 01, 2013

My dear partner and I recently sat before a large flat-panel screen flashing different retirement scenarios while our third team of financial advisers plugged hypotheticals into the planning instrument they preferred. Our second team was Charles Schwab. We tried to talk to Chuck, but their plan left us wondering, "What's up, Chuck?" Our first team of advisers had preferred an instrument called the less-than-reassuring "Monte Carlo." In the increasingly arcane financial world, we had begun to prefer an instrument called "The Mattress."

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By Kate Clinton on February 11, 2013

Was it the Nuns on the Bus? Was it the continuing revelations that something is rotten in the city of Los Angeles besides the Lakers?

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By Kate Clinton on September 07, 2012

I believe in change and hope and know, from my experience in the LGBT movement, that it takes time.

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By Kate Clinton on July 19, 2012

I loathe the band of comic brothers [and sisters] with their mealy-mouthed chickenshit excuses for rape jokes.

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By Kate Clinton on July 10, 2012

On a scale of one to Copernicus, the Higgs boson discovery is huge.

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Wisconsin workers face a lousy jobs picture this Labor Day.

Here, for Labor Day, are the top ten working class hero movies of all time.

At a swank club in Madison, Walker supporters get an earful.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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