Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fucking liar: The early years

Before Peggy Seltzer’s fucking lies (about growing up white in a black gang) got her a big book contract, Peggy told her phantasmagoric tales to another writer – Inga Muscio (pictured).

Some of those lies ended up in Ms. Muscio’s 2005 book “Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil.”

Inga Muscio is a far-left feminist, a self-styled “anti-racist” and an atrocious writer. In the acknowledgments for “Blue-Eyed Devil,” Muscio wrote this:

“Peggy Seltzer, my platonic soulmate. I thank you for inviting me into your heart, for giving me books and music and laughter when I didn’t feel like there were any words or songs or happiness. You have single-handedly healed my heart in places where I did not know I was hurt. Thank you.”

You’re welcome, genius.

Here’s the relevant passage from the main body of Muscio’s book. She doesn’t mention Peggy by name... but the life details now make it obvious. Read it and wince.
INGA MUSCIO: South Central Los Angeles is right under our noses, and we don’t spend much time considering, or even seeing, the lived realities of people who reside there.

A friend of mine grew up in South Central Los Angeles. At a very young age, she figured out that the best way to insure that she’d wake up in the morning was to sleep with a pit bull curled up at her feet and a .38 under her pillow.

She learned to shoot a gun when she was eight, started carrying one every day when she was eleven, and can’t presently imagine life without one in her home, even if it is fully dismantled and locked away.

She once asked me if I had a heater.

“Yeah,” I said, not understanding why she was asking me about how I kept my home warm in the context of the discussion we were having, “but I prefer to use my woodstove.”

After a pause in which she momentarily wondered if “woodstove” was a slang term she wasn’t familiar with and promptly rejected this possibility, she cackled over in a fit of laughter.

“A heater is a gun,” she said. ...

My friend has post-traumatic stress disorder, which is frequently exacerbated by the need, just about every weekend of her adult life, to attend funerals of friends shot down in gang warfare.

She was in her late twenties when she realized that, when asked, most people who did not grow up around gang violence will say of course they have attended funerals.

When their grandparents died.

Which roughly adds up to about the same number of funerals my friend has attended on any given month of her life.

“What does it do to a person’s psyche,” she wonders aloud from time to time, “when they spend almost every weekend at a funeral.”

I do not know how to respond to this statement, which is never meant to be a question, but she knows I am listening.

That is very often all I have to offer my friend who grew up in South Central Los Angeles.

My listening, I mean.

29 comments:

susie said...

Oh Inga, I read Cunt and was bored. If you're going to be provocative you really should deliver.

Bklyn6 said...

Inga Muscio is a far-left feminist, a self-styled “anti-racist” and an atrocious writer.

I own the "Blue-Eyed Devil" book, but I haven't read it--yet. I'm drained by "atrocious" writing. Is she THAT bad, really?

Mes Deux Cents said...

HI UBM,

A heater? Do they use the term heater in South Central L.A.? I think Ms Seltzer may have been watching old James Cagney movies.

John Gorenfeld said...

Or maybe the old Star Trek gangland episode, "A Piece of the Action"?

Mes Deux Cents said...

UBM,

I just thought of another slang word; "Bucky", which I think is Caribbean/ Black British slang for a gun.

Dan Coyle said...

Once again, I'm convined Seltzer's "research" of her book consisted solely of marathon sessions of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. She donate her advance to Rockstar Games, Dan Houser, and DJ Pooh.

Undercover Black Man said...

Susie: Inga's ability to provoke seems to wane after the title, I guess.

Bklyn6: Spend 10 minutes with the book, and you tell me how bad it is.

Oh, I found another reference, y'all, to Peggy Seltzer in "Blue-Eyed Devil." Here it is:

"A friend of mine who was raised in South Central Los Angeles says, 'You know, I probably would have been a lot like you if I grew up somewhere else.'

"But I guess attending your five hundredth funeral before you reach the age of thirty kinda mars your ability to be affected by humanity's monstrosity.

"When my friend celebrates one of her homies' twenty-fifth birthdays, it is with deep sadness that she could be so happy that someone she loves has made it to such a ripe 'old' age."

Simply atrocious. Not even taking into the account that Ms. Muscio, elsewhere in the book, knocks the TV show "Cops" because it seems like "racist pornography" to her.

Dan Coyle said...

UBM: Oh man, that is bad writing. I feel like a lost a few brain cells from reading this comment.

Cops is "racist pornography." Whuahuhhuh?

Bklyn6 said...

Cops is "racist pornography." Whuahuhhuh?

Damn.

I wonder how much I could get for selling this book? Crap. Maybe I should just give it away.

Undercover Black Man said...

You're looking at it all wrong, Bklyn6! "Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil" is a precious document! The so-called "anti-racist" mentality is a peculiar modern phenomenon. And we should study it.

There are some whites whose whole sense of superior righteousness is tied up in hating the history and traditions of Western civilization.

Yet somehow this mode of thinking keeps the white "anti-racist" at the center of the story. It's all about white people. If white people only would become doctrinaire far-left "anti-racists," then the world would be healed.

To say the least, that ideology invites a critique from non-white people.

Danielle said...

Incredulous! I'm just naive and dumb because I simply don't see how folks could buy this nonsense as real. Then again, so-called black pathology sells.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ ... so-called black pathology sells.

And this fiasco won't change that, Danielle.

ideefixe said...

Actually, judging by her MySpace page (it's now set to private, but Kevin Huff's post at Radar has it cached), somewhere along the line, Peggy met some gangsters. Did MaddRonald, aka Ronald Chatman, tell her his version of cooking up rock?

I think that she heard these stories from people who lived them, and wrote them down. I just wonder if she told these guys she was half-Indian or if they knew the truth.

I don't think she's Susy Creamcheese, making up stuff. Was it all a big scam?

Dan Coyle said...

I love the term "anti-racist" as some occupation or defining trait. Uh... shouldn't you be "anti-racist" by default, anyway?

I consider myself pretty lefty, but that's just silly thinking.

mint_tea said...

Wow. So this Seltzer person was lying about who she was for YEARS, even to her best friends. What is that, sociopathy? Psychopathy?


Lol here's some dish on the idiotic Inga Muscio. Apparently she used to write for Seattle's The Stranger magazine.

http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/03/bullshit_artists

"I fondly remember the slapdown Inga got from the female gynecologist, after Inga went on one of her little rants about the patriarchy, detailing how tampons are the oppressor, and you should use sea sponges instead, and wash them out in the sink while your friends are eating dinner, and never ever ever go near doctors, who just want to oppress you."

Undercover Black Man said...

Dan Coyle: You should get a load (if you haven't) of Noel Ignatiev.

ExpatJane said...

Oh looky what ideefixe emailed me!

That cache link to the Love and Consequences MySpace page. It's hilarious.

I've linked it to my blog on this mess.
Memoirs and Street Cred (the MySpace cache is in "Update 2")

I'm glad you're on it too UBM ;) What's funny to me is all the people who ate it up are not making excuse on excuse as to why they were duped. Has Inga had anything to say since this revelation?

It just seems that Seltzer's lies got more and more convoluted as time went on.

tAnYeTTa said...

UBM how I love thee so...when you bust out with stuff like this:

phantasmagoric tales

Bklyn6 said...

Yet somehow this mode of thinking keeps the white "anti-racist" at the center of the story. It's all about white people. If white people only would become doctrinaire far-left "anti-racists," then the world would be healed.

I find anti-racist literature intriguing. I can be quite cynical at times, but when I read this stuff, I guess I want to believe that these white people are different.

I love Robert Jensen. I don't think he calls himself an "anti-racist" but he does write and speak about race and white privilege a lot. When he says stuff like, "White people can be human sometimes, but only if we openly turn our backs on being white: We can be human, or we can be white," I don't feel that he's simply trying to be provocative or super liberal.

A lot of his writing deals with acknowledging the humanity of others. Whether that means white people acknowledging the humanity of non-white people when he writes about white privilege, or men acknowledging the humanity of women when he challenges sexism and misogyny in the porn industry.

As for white people always being "the center of the story" that was the sense I got about the movie "Mississippi Burning." But, when I read Jensen, I understand why he places them there.

See, he doesn't like the term "people of color because "The only commonality is that the people in that category are on the subordinated side of white supremacy." He also says: "I think 'white/non-white' more clearly marks the political nature of the struggle, whearas 'people of color' for many tends to shift the focus from white supremacy to the varied cultures of those non-white people.'"

Thus, if whites aren't at the center, on whose shoulders does the onus of white supremacy fall?

Bklyn6 said...

Uh... shouldn't you be "anti-racist" by default, anyway?

I'm reminded of Jensen once again. (Okay, so I'm on his jock tonight.)

"In the year and half since a couple of essays on white privilege and racism that I wrote were published and circulated on the Internet, I have received about 800 letters, calls and emails. In one, an African-American man said the essays reminded him “that white people can be human sometimes.”

There are two important lessons about race in this country to draw from this.

The volume of response says something about the impoverished nature of the discussion about race in this country. My essays had put forth a simple point: In a white-supremacist society, being white brings certain privileges. That anyone would take the time to respond to such a truism -- either to critique or support it -- is an indication of how little honest talk comes from the dominant society on the topic. I am grateful for all the conversations I have had with people, especially the non-white people who took the time to write and contribute to my ongoing racial education, but I wish I lived in a world in which such basic truths wouldn’t require comment.

Source.

dez said...

When he says stuff like, "White people can be human sometimes, but only if we openly turn our backs on being white: We can be human, or we can be white," I don't feel that he's simply trying to be provocative or super liberal.


Maybe he saw that same t-shirt I saw in Memphis, the one that something very close to "For the sake of humanity, I gave up being white."

Undercover Black Man said...

ExpatJane: Somebody sent me that cached page today also. I love her list of favorite movies (Bamboozled... Rabbit Proof Fence, Whale Rider, Crash, Dead Presidents...). She so wishes she wasn’t white. (Or she thinks she does.)

Claude said...

"kinda mars ..."??

I would have had to stop reading right there.

What's the ratio of the number of manuscripts by African American writers with rich, true stories about L.A. that get turned down day in and day out by uninterested publishers without so much as a good look, to the number of fake-ass manuscripts by fraudulent Caucasian writers that get published by over-eager wishful-thinking publishers without so much as a good look?

Kanani said...

"Platonic soulmate?" "Single-handedly healed my heart?" Geesh, I could feel the candles and incense burning while she wrote those words.

Christian said...

I love your blog. Just had to say that. Your commentary on "Love and Consequences" has been fantastic. I'm glad to know there are other people out there as disgusted by the whole thing as I am. Thanks.

ExpatJane said...

I found the answer to my own question.

Yes, Inga has had something to say on this Peggy Seltzer mess: From Inga Muscio...

ExpatJane said...

You know, I'm really disappointed that Inga Muscio took down the comments on her general reply to the blogger world out there: Mean-Spirited Cowardly Bitches.

Honestly, if you can't take the heat don't turn on the stove. Regarding that "cowardly" adjective, it seems to me to be a whole lot of hypocrisy and she needs to revise that title. When the heat comes down on me on my blog, I roll with it. If the criticism is fair, I'll admit as much, and if I think they're morons, I'll say as much.

UBM your comment to her was spot-on. Too bad it's gone now :(

Undercover Black Man said...

^ She took those comments down? For real?...

Wow. She did.

Well... good thing I copied mine after I posted it. ;^)

Thanks, ExpatJane.

Dawn said...

Inga Muscio..."atrocious writer"? Are you fucking serious? I don't even know where to begin or how to respond to the vast array of garbage posted on this blog. Nor am I sure why I'm wasting time, responding to obvious idiots who wouldn't know a brilliant writer if she punched you in the neck! Inga Muscio is by far, without a doubt, one of our generations most powerful and magnificent writers. Not only is her writing brilliant, but she is an amazing speaker and has been an inspiration to me and many other women in this world. You obviously do not have the mental capacity to understand or comprehend her work. She cannot be blamed or held responsible for a psychopath's lies...once again, she was trying doing a good thing...trying to help a sister...not dragging her down and stomping on her.

You could all learn this lesson.