Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

My Photo
Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Thursday, November 29, 2007

All Hail Charles Martel!

For stopping the Islamic invasion of Europe at the Battle of Tours, 732 C.E. If he hadn't, we'd all have been wearing burkas for the past 1300 years. And we'd all be living like the Sudanese.

I see where Ms. Gillian Gibbons has received 15 days in a Khartoum prison. But not a flogging, so thank Goddess for small mercies.

Unfortunately, Islam is a religion that knows neither mercy nor forgiveness. And though I rather agree with that policy on a personal basis, and am both merciless and unforgiving to those who have hurt and offended me, I do not as a rule approve of it on this sort of scale.

Especially when the judges are wrong. She meant no harm. The kids she was teaching named the damn bear, not she. The parents knew all about it.

And how comes it, by the way, that an INFIDEL WOMAN is teaching the overprivileged Muslim children of the Sudanese elite?

Should not the parents (who cut her adrift to save their own hides from the whip of shari'a law) who employed her and who invited Mohammed the Bear into their homes (the kids took turns bringing it home every week, and writing a little book about it) be the ones to be whipped for insulting their prophet?

Man, I have HAD it with crap like this. These people are barbarians. They were barbarians in the days of Charles the Hammer, and they are barbarians now. Savages, even.

I am sick of world governments appeasing them like bloody Neville Chamberlain and quaking lest they be offended and changing laws for them and bending over for them.

I was glad to see that some moderate and intelligent Muslims in the UK blasted Sudan for this. But it's not enough and it's not often enough. All too many times even they are afraid of the Mahometan jihadis.

And they're right to be. And so are we. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't stand up to them any way we can. Our leaders are far too cowardly and too bound to oil to do anything about it on a large scale, like denying aid or imposing sanctions. And we certainly must NOT go around taking it out on our local Muslim shopkeepers and drycleaners and grocers, because that's just as wrong as what the Sudanese are doing.

Much as I'd love to see gunboats off the coast of Sudan (where's Kitchener when you need him, eh? Or, indeed, Charles Martel?), that's not gonna work in this day and age. No Western politician has the stones to send them, for one thing. For another, it would just give the Mahometans more ammunition in their endless victim-y whinge of "The West hates us."

Maybe we do. But we've got good cause. And it goes back a long, long time. And you haven't changed since then, have you. No. You haven't.

I urge y'all to read the London Times coverage on this, particularly the reader commentary. It's amazing. The British people are still lions, even though their leaders are fieldmice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Peace Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

From The Times (London)

November 27, 2007

Sudan police throw teacher in jail for teddy bear named Muhammad

Rob Crilly in Khartoum and Lucy Bannerman

A British teacher faces a jail sentence in Sudan for insulting Islam by letting her class of seven-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad as part of a school project.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, has been accused of blasphemy — an offence punishable by 40 lashes under Sharia — and could be imprisoned for up to six months.

She had asked the children to pick their favourite name for the new class mascot, which she was using to aid lessons about animals and their habitats. In a class vote, the pupils rejected her own suggestion of "Faris", with 20 out of 23 deciding to call the cuddly toy Muhammad — also the name of one of the class's most popular boys.

Ms Gibbons had left Liverpool for Sudan in July, after leaving her job as a primary school deputy head in the city. An experienced traveller whose MySpace entry talks of her passion for learning about other cultures, she took up the challenge of a new job in Khartoum after the break-up last year of her 33-year marriage.

Yesterday she was in isolation in a cell in Khartoum, and colleagues and the consular authorities were desperately trying to negotiate her release.

Unity High School, the British school where she taught the children of Sudanese professionals, expatriates and oil workers, stood empty, amid fears of adverse reactions from Islamic extremists.

Robert Boulos, the school's director, said that on Sunday police had barged into the school grounds, where Ms Gibbons was living. "We tried to reason with them but we felt they were coming under strong pressure from Islamic courts," he said in his study lined with sepia photographs of the school's colonial heyday.

"There were men with big beards asking where she was and saying they wanted to kill her."

A similar crowd gathered at the police station where she is being held.

Mr Boulos said the school would remain shut until January to protect the safety of staff and children. "This was a completely innocent mistake," he said. "Ms Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam."

He said that a seven-year-old girl took the teddy into class in September. It was dressed in old clothes and was sent home each weekend with different pupils who were asked to keep a diary of its activities.

Each entry was collected in a book with a picture of the bear on the cover, next to the message "My name is Muhammad", although the bear was not marked or labelled with the name in any way.

Islamic law forbids images of the Prophet Muhammad, lest they give rise to idolatry.

It is understood that Sudanese police have now seized the book and had asked to interview the toy's seven-year-old owner.

The extreme circumstances of the case have led colleagues to believe that the British teacher may have been caught up in a personal vendetta.The bear's name was chosen within weeks of Ms Gibbons's arrival in September, but objections were raised only last week.

The Sudanese Media Centre — closely associated with the Sudanese Government — reported that the teacher could be prosecuted under Article 125 of criminal law, which covers "faith and religions" legislation. It also stated that the Briton's actions had "met with wide condemnation by guardians of the students".

However, colleagues of Ms Gibbons told The Times that no such complaints had been received by any of the children's parents. They pointed to a disgruntled fellow teacher as the possible source of the complaint. The woman, understood to be a member of a well-known, conservative family, is believed to have a grudge against Unity High School, set up 100 years ago by a Christian bishop.

Bishop Ezikiel Kondo, chairman of the school council, said: "It's a kind of blackmail."

One Sudanese woman whose seven-year-old son had hosted the bear for a weekend, said: "I didn't complain and neither did any other of the other parents. Anyway she didn't name the bear — it was the class. Really we think she is a good teacher."

Another colleague told The Times: "I think the complaint came internally. The police are suggesting maybe it was from another member of staff."

She added that Ms Gibbons was still awaiting to be charged formally. "A lot of staff have been in to see her. She is upset but fine."

Yesterday staff at Unity huddled together in the shade of the courtyard, discussing whether religious leaders would call their faithful on to the streets in anti-Western protests.

Press agencies reported that young men had started to gather outside the police station where she was being questioned.

Officials from the British Embassy visited the teacher in police custody yesterday. "She was clearly shaken up but otherwise well," one said.

In the Liverpool suburb of Aigburth, where Ms Gibbons lived until her divorce, residents waited to hear her fate. Peter Sorensen, a former neighbour , said: "We all thought it was a tremendously brave move for her to go to Africa at her age. It seems that she wanted a new challenge and she was planning to stay there for two years.

"Gillian was a very nice person and wouldn't harm a fly."

Her ex-husband, Peter, a local headmaster, and their children, John, 25, and Jessica, 27, declined to comment, for fear of jeopardising negotiations.However, Mr Sorensen said that friends and relatives were extremely worried about the conditions under which Ms Gibbons was being held, he said.

Ms Gibbons had worked in primary schools in and around Liverpool as a supply teacher and then as a literacy adviser for the city council.

Response is 'unusually harsh'

–– Gillian Gibbons, who taught at Unity High School in Khartoum, was arrested for supposedly "insulting the Prophet Muhammad", a violation of Article 125 of the Sudanese criminal law that covers insults against faith and religion

–– There is no specific, or explicit, ban in the Koran on images of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad – be they carved, painted or drawn

–– However, chapter 42, verse 11 of the Koran does say: "[Allah is] the originator of the heavens and the earth . . . [There is] nothing like a likeness of Him"

–– The fear is that images could give rise to idolatry, but experts said that in this case the response in Sudan, which has been governed by strict Sharia (Islamic law) since 1983, has been unusually harsh

As someone said in response to this article, apparently the Muslim respect train seems to travel in one direction only…

If calling a teddy bear 'Muhammed' is an insult to the so-called Prophet (because allegedly you can't name a thing with a face after him, although there is NO SUCH LAW IN THE KORAN), what about all those males out there named Muhammed? Males with faces, last time I looked. Must they now go out and lash themselves? And their mothers for naming them so?

Islam must be a very weak and insecure religion indeed if it, or at least segments of it, feels the need to strike out at every imagined slight with shrieks of "Death to (whomever)!" and threats of grave physical punishment for NON-MUSLIMS. Who gives these desert-driven, uneducated, hate-filled monomaniacs the right to impose their faith on those who believe otherwise, or who do not believe at all?

If these people want to live in the 7th century, let them stay in their own countries and not come to the West. If they want to come to the West, then they have to abide by our rules and laws.

Artists of every sort all over Europe are terrified to speak out against Islam because they fear, and quite rightly, that some wacko Muhammedan will slit their throat for "offending." (Cf. Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, that Danish cartoonist, Salman Rushdi). So yeah, in this instance the terrorists have indeed won.

This is what happens when you have a primitive tribal religion that lucked out, making it into the modern era without a Reformation. You end up with primitive tribalists who spend 18 hours a day memorizing the Koran like robots (rather than learning about science and history and stuff), still operating according to laws made when the world was herding goats and sheep, bristling at every imagined offense and dying (literally, in many cases) to see their Muslim Mordor cast its darkness over the rest of us out here in the sunny free-thinking Shire.

Unlike their long-ago and amazing predecessors, they do not think and they cannot create (what's the last dynamic and world-changing Islamic scientific or medical breakthrough or artistic achievement you've heard of? Right. I thought so…).

They can only destroy what they could never hope to build.

At least the Catholic/Christian Church managed to educate and sophisticate itself a bit over the centuries, though I have issues almost as big with it also.

Since when did Muhammad become some sort of divinity whose name must never be taken in vain? Seems to me that Islamic radicals are making it up as they go along, according as to whose ox they think needs goring. And then of course you get militants wishing to impose shari'a law on the entire world. ACCORDING TO THE TEXT OF THEIR OWN BOOK.

Well, they can't. Though I fear they are well on their way to cowing the British lion. In a decade or two, they may well accomplish what the Nazis could not, and bring Britain to its knees. And the rest of Europe with it.

And it's Britain's own fault for letting them in. And Holland's, and Denmark's, and France's, and Germany's… Nobody seemed to understand that these fundies are NEVER going to be assimilated and that their burning desire is to bring the whole planet under their dismal, mindless, barbarian code. By Islam's own account, Muhammed was a warlord, a rapist and a mass murderer with delusions of talking to angels. Oh, wait, maybe he DID talk to angels…or at least something that said it was an angel. But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it was one of those naughty fallen angels. A REAL ghost writer. Which might explain a lot.

The Koran, for all its adherents' claims of it being a "book of peace", is a primer for intolerance and savagery, calling for the slaying of anyone who doesn't believe in it and the destruction of non-Islamic society. Sure, the Old Testament has nasty crap in it too, but nothing like this.

Islam is a religion based on hatred for anything not itself, and if there are any truly tolerant, peace-loving Muslims out there who reject this, it's long past time for them to stand up and speak out. A free-speech movement has to start somewhere, and hopefully not all thinking Muslims (and I know there are plenty) have been beaten into the bloody ground by the shari'a stick.

The next time this hellhole called Sudan, or any other equally backwards Islamofascist state, starts rattling its tin cup for handouts from the Western World, I suggest we Just Say No. Or that any aid be made contingent on adopting 21st century attitudes. Like, no whippings, stoning or beheadings, and letting women have actual lives. You know, simple basic stuff.

If our money is good enough for them to accept, so too should our principles be. If their leaders think it better serves their desperate, hungry, war-ravaged populace to threaten a foreign woman (who was there to HELP them!) with lashing over a fucking teddy bear rather than concentrate on problems like Darfur, genocide, starvation and the rest of it, then these are leaders who should not be allowed to lead.

And for ALL gods' sake (and no gods' sake, for the atheists among us), let us speedily develop some kind of energy that doesn't depend on Islamic oil. If I could have three wishes from an obliging genie, I would wish: One, to put an end to organized religion (ALL organized religions) and their heinous offenses against humanity down the centuries. Two, a static electricity generator (where's John Galt when you really need him?) or cold-fusion reactor that make petroleum obsolete. (We'd still need plastic, so maybe a sub-wish would be for some kind of silicon-based biodegradable plastic breakthrough…). The third wish I reserve. For the moment. Though it might involve the Death Star...

Oh, and I'm running out right now to buy a dog, a cat, a parrot, a pig, a goat and a pony. And I'm going to name them Jesus, Buddha, Muhammed, Krishna, Pope and Odin. Yes! I am!

I think that Islamic fundamentalism (I'm talking ONLY about fundamentalists here, not the modern Muslims who are fit heirs of the enlightened Islamic age of Averroes and Avicenna, not to mention the mighty tolerance of Akbar the Great) is the single greatest danger the world faces at the moment and into the future.

Perhaps when the Islamic world has grown up and taken their heads out of the tents, they might want to think about joining the rest of us in a civilized world. May Al-Lat send them a Reformer, to clear away the clinging detritus of the past 1500 years.

Or else I foresee the Tenth Crusade. And as a sworn Templar, that does not make me a very happy knight.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How High The Swoon

I keep forgetting to post to this blog, being all caught up with LJ and MySpace...but this one does have the prettiest wallpaper, kinda Louis Vuitton...ANYWAY.

Just went on a most entertaining site called, to correct a few wrong impressions of how tall Jim was as opposed to Val Kilmer (I don't even remember how I got there...).

Very amusing estimates, ranging wildly from 5'9 upwards for both men. The most oft-quoted height has Jim at 5'11" and Kilmer at 6'0", but I just don't think so.

And I base it all on hugging/kissing.

Judging by how far I, at 5'8", had to reach up to hug/kiss them or be kissed by them (Kilmer on my cheek ONLY, in greeting and farewell, thank you very much), I'd put them at right around the same altitude, especially in boots.

I know for a fact that Jim was 6'0" in his bare feet (and bare everything else...) because I marked his height on my kitchen wall. And in the Frye boots he usually wore I'd make him 6'1" or a bit over.

Back in the day, I generally wore low-heeled strappy Mary Janes or one-inch-heeled boots (my previous boyfriend being 5'9, 5'10" at the most), but sometimes I'd wear clogs, and in those my eyes cleared Jim's shoulder when he was in boots.

Anyway, it was fun to mentally calculate based on sense memory (and the kitchen wall). And Jim was indeed taller than his brother, Andy, whom I've also hugged (in purely sisterly fashion, of course).

Oliver Stone: I'd say 5'10", and he does the double-cheek European kiss.

Never hugged Johnny Depp (though I certainly wouldn't turn down a chance, and living in France with a French consort I bet he does the double-kiss too), but based on his height standing next to my 5'4" friend Lee Arenberg, whom I have hugged, I'd say another five-tenner.

Anybody out there hugged (or stood next to) anybody else of note? Let's hear some comparisons!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans' Day

Glory, thanks and honor to the veterans, living and dead, who served this country as warriors.

And especially to my late father, who was a POW of the Nazis, and to Jim's father, Admiral Morrison, and to my late cousin, Roddy McCue, who died from Agent Orange poisoning contracted in Vietnam, and to my KeltiKlingon friend Jared, who is known in this place.

I may have issues with some of the wars, but never with those who fought, and I humbly pause to respect their service this day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Book 'em, Danno...

For those of you who've emailed asking about how to get your lilywhites on copies of my now out-of-print prior ouevre, I recommend

They have hardback copies of EVERYTHING, prices from $1.00 (yes!) to $480.00 (an inscribed copy of "Crown" with "Bright Blessings to Ken and Sue", who I do hope died in a plane crash or got divorced and their estate/community property settlement is selling this off...).

Just in case you were wondering...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

On the Radio Tonight!

Well, the Internet radio: "The Strange Dave Show", at 9pm tonight, Wednesday, November 7. I don't know how it works, really, but you can just Google the name of the show and it takes you to a website from which, presumably, you can listen. I'll probably start yapping around 9:05 or so. Anyway, Dave is a huge Doors fan, and there may be a bit of Jimversation, but mostly we'll be talking about "Ungrateful Dead" and why I had to do the self-publishing trip.

So come and listen!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Jam Today

Oh, THIS is BRILLIANT! I want one. Now.

November 4, 2007

Devices Enforce Cellular Silence, Sweet but Illegal


SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 2 — One afternoon in early September, an architect boarded his commuter train and became a cellphone vigilante. He sat down next to a 20-something woman who he said was “blabbing away” into her phone.

“She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl,” said the architect, Andrew, who declined to give his last name because what he did next was illegal.

Andrew reached into his shirt pocket and pushed a button on a black device the size of a cigarette pack. It sent out a powerful radio signal that cut off the chatterer’s cellphone transmission — and any others in a 30-foot radius.

“She kept talking into her phone for about 30 seconds before she realized there was no one listening on the other end,” he said. His reaction when he first discovered he could wield such power? “Oh, holy moly! Deliverance.”

As cellphone use has skyrocketed, making it hard to avoid hearing half a conversation in many public places, a small but growing band of rebels is turning to a blunt countermeasure: the cellphone jammer, a gadget that renders nearby mobile devices impotent.

The technology is not new, but overseas exporters of jammers say demand is rising and they are sending hundreds of them a month into the United States — prompting scrutiny from federal regulators and new concern last week from the cellphone industry. The buyers include owners of cafes and hair salons, hoteliers, public speakers, theater operators, bus drivers and, increasingly, commuters on public transportation.

The development is creating a battle for control of the airspace within earshot. And the damage is collateral. Insensitive talkers impose their racket on the defenseless, while jammers punish not just the offender, but also more discreet chatterers.

“If anything characterizes the 21st century, it’s our inability to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other people,” said James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies at Rutgers University. “The cellphone talker thinks his rights go above that of people around him, and the jammer thinks his are the more important rights.”

The jamming technology works by sending out a radio signal so powerful that phones are overwhelmed and cannot communicate with cell towers. The range varies from several feet to several yards, and the devices cost from $50 to several hundred dollars. Larger models can be left on to create a no-call zone.

Using the jammers is illegal in the United States. The radio frequencies used by cellphone carriers are protected, just like those used by television and radio broadcasters.

The Federal Communication Commission says people who use cellphone jammers could be fined up to $11,000 for a first offense. Its enforcement bureau has prosecuted a handful of American companies for distributing the gadgets — and it also pursues their users.

Investigators from the F.C.C. and Verizon Wireless visited an upscale restaurant in Maryland over the last year, the restaurant owner said. The owner, who declined to be named, said he bought a powerful jammer for $1,000 because he was tired of his employees focusing on their phones rather than customers.

“I told them: put away your phones, put away your phones, put away your phones,” he said. They ignored him.

The owner said the F.C.C. investigator hung around for a week, using special equipment designed to detect jammers. But the owner had turned his off.

The Verizon investigator was similarly unsuccessful. “He went to everyone in town and gave them his number and said if they were having trouble, they should call him right away,” the owner said. He said he has since stopped using the jammer.

Of course, it would be harder to detect the use of smaller battery-operated jammers like those used by disgruntled commuters.

An F.C.C. spokesman, Clyde Ensslin, declined to comment on the issue or the case in Maryland.

Cellphone carriers pay tens of billions of dollars to lease frequencies from the government with an understanding that others will not interfere with their signals. And there are other costs on top of that. Verizon Wireless, for example, spends $6.5 billion a year to build and maintain its network.

“It’s counterintuitive that when the demand is clear and strong from wireless consumers for improved cell coverage, that these kinds of devices are finding a market,” said Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon spokesman. The carriers also raise a public safety issue: jammers could be used by criminals to stop people from communicating in an emergency.

In evidence of the intensifying debate over the devices, CTIA, the main cellular phone industry association, asked the F.C.C. on Friday to maintain the illegality of jamming and to continue to pursue violators. It said the move was a response to requests by two companies for permission to use jammers in specific situations, like in jails.

Individuals using jammers express some guilt about their sabotage, but some clearly have a prankster side, along with some mean-spirited cellphone schadenfreude. “Just watching those dumb teens at the mall get their calls dropped is worth it. Can you hear me now? NO! Good,” the purchaser of a jammer wrote last month in a review on a Web site called DealExtreme.

Gary, a therapist in Ohio who also declined to give his last name, citing the illegality of the devices, says jamming is necessary to do his job effectively. He runs group therapy sessions for sufferers of eating disorders. In one session, a woman’s confession was rudely interrupted.

“She was talking about sexual abuse,” Gary said. “Someone’s cellphone went off and they carried on a conversation.”

“There’s no etiquette,” he said. “It’s a pandemic.”

Gary said phone calls interrupted therapy all the time, despite a no-phones policy. Four months ago, he paid $200 for a jammer, which he placed surreptitiously on one side of the room. He tells patients that if they are expecting an emergency call, they should give out the front desk’s number. He has not told them about the jammer.

Gary bought his jammer from a Web site based in London called Victor McCormack, the site’s operator, says he ships roughly 400 jammers a month into the United States, up from 300 a year ago. Orders for holiday gifts, he said, have exceeded 2,000.

Kumaar Thakkar, who lives in Mumbai, India, and sells jammers online, said he exported 20 a month to the United States, twice as many as a year ago. Clients, he said, include owners of cafes and hair salons, and a New York school bus driver named Dan.

“The kids think they are sneaky by hiding low in the seats and using their phones,” Dan wrote in an e-mail message to Mr. Thakkar thanking him for selling the jammer. “Now the kids can’t figure out why their phones don’t work, but can’t ask because they will get in trouble! It’s fun to watch them try to get a signal.”

Andrew, the San Francisco-area architect, said using his jammer was initially fun, and then became a practical way to get some quiet on the train. Now he uses it more judiciously.

“At this point, just knowing I have the power to cut somebody off is satisfaction enough,” he said.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company