... Come out of your
And run, if you will,
To the top of The Hill ...
"Joseph No matter what Rambo Kaufman says, another
Joyce would be proud of you: James Joyce ... a true stream of
consciousness in a remote control, pscyhological tome. A thought-provoking
- Mark Scheinbaum -
Journalist and Talk Host, formerly working with Joyce Kaufman
It would be in 1998, along the New River in Fort Lauderdale, that Joyce would
have me sit in her car so I could hear a spoken-word recitation by Bob Dylan.
It was on cassette tape, and I think the subject was Woody Guthrie, but my
specific recollection may be in error as so many words have passed my way
since. Much, in fact, has passed my way since. And so too, it would seem
It was a time when as a matter of profile, rather than five-and-dime
psychoanalysis Joyce was far more prone to hurt than to anger.
A woman filled with vulnerability, rather than venom. And an interactive
ensemble of personal complexities were far more internalized that spoken
outwardly something that would be generally deemed as unusual for
a Talk Host, I suppose. But persona and psyche are often in contradiction
and conflict among those with varying degrees of notoriety,
I would come to learn over the years. Talk hosts, writers, musicians and
composers. Names known to many; compositions known to few.
Yes, in years past, Joyce would have her moments of anger though not
tied to politics, most generally. More commonly, they were in response to
internal, Talk Radio Wars both hot and cold where assorted
factions would change allegiances dynamically, amidst an air of uncertainty
as to where the enemy might be located at any given moment. But even this
externalized anger would merely be an outward manifestation of internalized
hurt. A disappointment in a world where, with few aside, personal relationships
would not turn out as idealistically envisioned.
It was a time when Joyce would close her email with the words, Peace
& Love, just above her digital signature. And therein, as speculation,
a time before desperate longing would be replaced by a sense of therapeutic
belonging, no matter what the company. And if so among the
lonely, she wouldnt be the first to be seduced by adulation, comforted
by validation, finding love among the hate-filled population. Fulfillment,
after all, is sometimes filled in by replacement synthesis. As to whether
any of the above would lead one to genuine peace whether
external or internal is another matter.
in recent times, much in the way of speculation has been served up
by several who have known Joyce. That the tie-dyed, Grateful Dead, New York
Jewish liberal of Leonard Cohen lore would simply sell out in
search of higher ratings in the conservative-dominated world of talk radio.
Indeed, others have done it and with some degree of success,
sometimes high (no pharmaceutical addiction pun, intended).
As to the above theory, I really cant entirely agree
If theres one thing Joyce would say of me among a few other
possibilities, more sordid, perhaps its that I dont share
confidences. Incidental and benign anecdotes, yes. Email excerpts, sometimes
with consideration (as will be found here). Confidences, never. And
I wouldnt be breeching one in sharing that, in my assorted personal
communications with Joyce in more recent times, there would be absolutely
no indication that she was anything but sincere in her new-found beliefs.
There was no Joseph, this is all a theatrical ruse
not even the oblique implication of such. If there were, I wouldnt
be sharing it here, it is true. But I wouldnt lie to my readership
either, with false information or impression. I simply wouldnt make
it part of the discussion.
In fact, such was my curiosity concerning Joyces sincerity, as part
of a more involved email exchange, I made a request to Joyce, to be ultimately
included on this very website. I reasoned that it would be of interest to
many even to those who weren't familiar with Joyce ... beyond the
satisfaction of my own curiosity
I'd love for you to write a piece as to what played into your
metamorphosis, I wrote. What changes occurred in your life, perhaps
or what changes in the country or the revisions in one's 'internal
self'. How did one get from 'there' to ... 'here'?
Indeed, it had been close to four years since I lived up the road
from her as one with dual-region citizenship in The States. Florida had been
left behind, to the greater extent. With this, I would have increasingly
less contact with Joyce and her transformation had begun
to take its shape shortly after my departure.
In response to my request, Joyce responded: I will do it soon! The
busier I get, the more I get done ... Luv, JK.
Yes, Peace and Love had been long abandoned with most
of her sign-off now following below her initialed signature.
Her closing tag line would now include several, in succession:
Never Again means A Secure Israel. Allen West for Congress. God Bless
America. Support Michael Savage. You could be next.
Okay .. But she was not done. Her prefab email template would continue
below this, now including several paragraphs for a medley of thoughts
too long to paste in here. They included such topics (generally quotes) that
covered everything from Freedom to Islam
But surely this would make one even all the more curious as to how someone
had changed her playlist from Dylan ... to Lee Greenwood with The Jewish
Defense League Choral Ensemble. It should be noted, with fairness and accuracy,
that Joyce had always been decidedly Pro-Israel, further voicing support
for Intelligence Analyst cum Israeli Spy, Jonathan Pollard, in her most liberal
of days. But still
Yes, in truth, its not entirely uncommon for former liberals to become
more conservative or even actual conservatives as the years
advance. Others, most commonly of the conservative ilk, would argue
that such takes place as one simply matures as
in, becomes less silly.
heres the thing while such a metamorphosis more traditionally
favors liberal-to-conservative in direction relative to the inverse
for most who have shed former skins, its a process. Not
one of days. Nor of months. But years. Shy of some life-changing, traumatic-like
experience, such transformations are navigated in a long and lingering loop
not by hitting the brakes and skillfully redirecting the car in the
opposite direction, a la James Bond. Its more commonly a gradual
if not always graceful move, contemplated with sustained consideration. And
even for those who may one day find themselves to be conservative,
seemingly without due warning, there was a process no matter how
subconscious, no matter how subliminal. For there are no changes in core
ideology that emerge as overnight sensations.
As near as I can ascertain, Joyce spun the car around with such rapidity,
the G-forces would have snapped the neck of lesser women. And no, the frequently
and long-promoted story of Joyce simply becoming pathologically irate when
she was requested to Dial 2 for English upon calling her Cable
company (one day) doesnt work for me. This quick, Express Pass to fanatical
conservatism is what has further fueled the speculation that Joyce simply
sold out in search of higher ratings. And I do mean fanatical
conservatism. So much so, its barely recognizable as conservatism
at least in any traditional sense. Joyce didnt merely spin the
ass-end of the car around unusual, in itself. She pushed the pedal
through the floorboard. This is a hallmark of only one thing: Lack of
So what happened? After all, as further proof of her genuine sincerity,
Joyce responded to my written piece on the Tea Party movement in an email
that cited me as an elitist ass. Having been first delighted
in retaining my title, naturally, I would then remind Joyce of my previous
invitation for her to pen a piece that essentially explained
herself. One that would provide some insight as to how such a personal
metamorphosis took place and at the fastest break-neck speed since
The Rat Pack turned their collective backs on the Kennedys.
Joyce would write back: I barely have time to breathe. The West campaign
consumes what little spare time I have after work and travel ...
Busy bee, to be sure. But heres the thing In her previous inception,
Joyce would have flipped her article to me within 48 hours, if not within
24. But as of this day, it had since been months. Old Joyce,
no matter what the hindrance or obstacle, would have spun the words for me
faster than a court stenographer on coke if only in recognition
and acknowledgement for having freely assisted in her endeavors of years
past as I sometimes further called in the girls of my own production
crew to meet with her requests.
And yet such a reconsideration on Joyces part ushered no actual
disappointment, as there would be little surprise in her reevaluation
be it one of time, be it one of psyche, be it one of heart, be it one of
association ... or disassociation. For where the mind goes, the soul surely
travels in any and all events. Joyce had changed. And now I
among others would only be left to wonder why. The
how was self-evident.
Still, on the day or the evening of Joyce being named as Chief
of Staff for Congressman-elect, Allen West, I called Joyce on her cell phone
to congratulate her as any friend would do ... regardless. On this
evening, I would just get her voice mail that which likely answered
all calls on this occasion following the video clips of Joyce, featured
on The Rachel Maddow Show just an hour or so before. And, no the clips
werent good. As featured
To quote: "I am convinced that the most important thing the founding fathers
did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave me a Second Amendment.
And if ballots don't work, bullets will."
Yeah. This, with the store logo of Target looming in the background, as I
recall. Joyce would later tell reporters that she wasn't suggesting people
take up arms if West lost the election, but only if the ability to vote was
taken away. Silly us, for not being aware that such was in jeopardy. Or that
the First Amendment concerned itself with ones ability to vote in the
first place, for that matter.
* (UPDATE:In an interview with a local news station, Joyce
would now additionally proclaim that the clip was "taken out of context"
because it didn't include her preceeding read of The Declaration of Independence
... as if that ... you know ... would, in any way,
But lets not get bogged down with the details. Good thing Joyce was
there to explain further setting the record straight in another,
When I say I'll put my microphone down on November 2nd if we haven't
achieved substantial victory, I mean it. Because if at that point, I'm gonna
go up into the hills of Kentucky, I'm gonna go out into the Midwest, I'm
gonna go up in the Vermont and New Hampshire outreaches, and I'm gonna gather
together men and women who understand that some things are worth fighting
for and some things are worth dying for."
Pretty dramatic. But okay, in this instance, Joyce probably
harbored the same degree of sincerity as Alec Baldwins pledge to move
up into Canada upon the election of George Bush but nice touch,
But unlike the 'Leftist Media' (as characterized), cherry-picking their footage
and selecting their edit points at will, I thought Id back the tape
up a bit, just prior to Joyces celebration of the Second
Amendment Solution, where she said as preface and I quote
I dont care how this gets painted by the mainstream media.
And yet .. upon the airing of that very clip on the Maddow show,
Joyce would spend the next two days in a personal, single-subject Radiothon
caring how it got painted in the mainstream media.
And there I would be slapping open palm to eyes and forehead.
All of this as a perfect compliment to Joyce having previously suggested
that illegal aliens who committed crimes in The States should be hung
execution style with their bodies sent back to their respective families
... C.O.D. Specifically, Joyce offered the proposition from her
own microphone not a caller to her program, as a recently attempted
object of blame deflection, who had expressed a similar sentiment on another
day. Of course on a technical front by virtue that illegal
immigrants would be here you know illegally in the first place,
all would be guilty of a crime by default, it seems to me. How convenient.
But Ive long been accused of being too much of a details man,
its true. Silly me.
Of course, all of these clips n quotes would come some
months before the entire Broward County school system would go into lockdown
mode as the result of an email sent to Joyce at the radio station
with a follow-up call that promised violence at a variety of possible locations
inspired by Joyces very words, it would be said.
The plot thickens. And Joyce would further thicken it with her indication
that she had received personal death threats as an occupational
staple of Talk Radio for even the most benign of weekend fill-in hosts,
pushing herbal supplements.
Conspiratorial speculation would build momentum from Joyces
listeners (its a setup) to Joyce, herself. The fingers
of blame would take aim, back and forth, Left to Right. The person
of interest would be a Joyce Fan, it would be reasoned ... Rather no,
it would be a fanatical Leftist. But no, again ... It would be something
more globally orchestrated by The Left to sully the reputation of
Congressman-elect, Colonel Allen West Yeah, as if Joyces words
were required for such a tactic beyond the words of West, himself.
Allen was doing a perfectly fine job of nut-job staging, all on his
own, without the additional assistance of Joyce.
In brief, Colonel Allen West could be most easily compared to the Sterling
Hayden character, Brigadier General Jack Ripper, from Dr.
Strangelove only Allen Wests precious bodily fluids seem
to have collected in the area between the brain and the skulls interior.
Horrible, awful thing. The VA hospital has been trying to drain the fluid
with a surgical vacuum for years, with little success.
But with what
would more recently transpire what, with the schools in lockdown mode,
and the release of the Kaufman Klips that Joyce didnt care
how the mainstream media painted Joyce, as the newly appointed Chief
of Staff would resign her commission. (Goddamnit,
Hot Lips, resign your goddamn commission). And, with that, Joyce
would storm out of the tent, trying to keep her breasts contained within
And, with this, Joyce would say and no kidding here ...
Congressional District 22 will not have Joyce Kaufman to kick around
anymore. Great, Joyce recycle the third person, paranoid
schizophrenic script savvy of Richard Nixon. And while I relay this quote
without kidding, I can only hope that Joyce was. Because if I have
to hear about the little dog she received as a gift, I think Ill puke.
Perspiration on the upper lip would not become her.
Colonel Allen West would soon call into Joyces radio program
whether it was West Call Number 387 or 388 still remains a subject of much
debate. But in any event, the Congressman-elect made this pledge to Joyce
and her listeners: That he would be (quote) "even more focused that this
liberal, progressive, socialist agenda; this left-wing, vile, vicious, despicable
machine that's out there (attempting to extract my precious bodily fluids)
is soundly brought to its knees.
Yes, the long-lived and time-honored credo of a cooperative American democracy.
Of course, if Allen West had any congressional savvy or knowledge at all,
hed know that in the halls of Congress there have been
countless people already poised on their knees and hell
likely be among them. I think it was pretty much chronicled in the gay porno
docudrama, Military Biker Men.
In any event this truly abridged overview with entire
paragraphs removed has not been about Joyce turning her back
on her several decades of liberalism. Or about her turn to conservatism.
Im reasonably well known and sometimes despised for calling
out my own, when and where applicable. Joyce further knows that
I have numbered conservatives to be among my friends some known, some
nameless. The thing is Joyce has not surrounded herself with
conservatives, true and actual. She, instead, has become the minstrel for
those who have become conflicted in their identity, uncertain as to whether
they prefer to be pathological or merely sociopathic.
Joyce would not learn the lessons of her own best friend, conservative talk
host, Rick Seiderman now since passed, with regret. Rick would champion
the virtues of logic of reason, turning his
back on emotional evaluations that in his mind werent
truly evaluative in the first place. Interestingly, in her most devout of
liberal days, Joyce would possess a much higher degree of respect and tolerance
for those in political opposition, with Rick Seiderman as but one example,
than she affords today. And while I know that Rick would have cheered
Joyces increased radio noteriety, along with celebrating her (momentary)
appointment as a Chief of Staff in Washington as a friend would
I wonder if he would celebrate the visceral and incendiary path she
took to get there. Logic and reason as Ricks credo abandoned.
Indeed, Seiderman's rejection of 'the nutty' and the growing talk radio
ensemble of irrational 'Obama Haters' was reflected in the last few personal
conversations I had with Rick to be additionally witnessed in one
of his last online video commentaries for public consumption.
But there once was that Old Joyce one far less
defined by politics, in truth. It was far less Joyce, the liberal
and far more Joyce, the person. Emotional, yes but emotion not so
filled with hate, with anger. On a purely human level, she had a greater
appeal odd though it may seem when her emotions were far more
guided and defined by hurt, peppered with vulnerability. Not as some
chauvinistic desire or ideal often assigned to women by men. But as a more
encompassing, human consideration.
As to my writing here, the Old Joyce would have not expected
anything other than this from me. She likely would have encouraged
it, even. As to the New Joyce I cant be so sure.
Joyce would once tell me more than 10 years ago, speaking of
me that people look to you, they listen to you because
what you think matters to them.
Well, Joyce does it matter now, still? After all, Im
not the mainstream media who paints you, am I? Im not Rachel Maddow.
Im not Keith Olbermann. Im not Ed Schultz or The Miami Herald
... Im your friend ... And, in that friendship, there would be no strategy.
No campaign. No end-game. No calculations. No coattails. No victories to
anticipate. There would only be the rewards that friendship, itself, provides
even when skewed by disappointment. And it is this latter consideration
that often defines friendship, determining its value or, for some,
its perishability. As for me Im a loyalist though I may
not seem as such at this moment, on this day.
For each man each woman there is a universal desire, even if
often denied to oneself, often at ones own hand. The wish to find peace
internal, most of all along with even the most modest of external
tranquility ... notions that are often offered little consideration in
ones youth, I know. But as one enters their prime and beyond,
the same youthful venom that once drove us can sometimes be crippling to
oneself even as one often remains wholly unaware of the handicap.
So, I ask you, Joyce Are you happier today than you were, say,
10 to 15 years ago? Are you more at peace if not with
the world, with yourself? Or is one, instead, to be forever haunted
by half-dreamed dreams?