American Myths of Thanksgiving Holiday

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Thanksgiving is an opportune moment to look at many myths around the origins of this cherished American holiday. It is supposed to celebrate first successful harvest by Pilgrims, in some joyful symbiosis with a native American people, I think called Wampanoag tribe. This sweet, mostly family, tradition is a myth. Thanksgiving tradition does not trace back to 1621 in Plymouth but was created much later, in the first half of the 19th century. There were not even any turkeys, or sweet potato and that sort of stuff. Even the claim that "Pilgrims" were after religious freedom is a myth. If people bothered to check proper history sources, they would have found out that the Pilgrims were against religious freedom! They were religious zealots. Historians show that in the USA, the religion has been often used to discriminate others and to kill "heathen" natives as well as "heretics".  

It is nice to give thanks for all the good things in life but Americans should also remember that "Thanksgiving" happened on the back of the plight and de facto genocide of American native people - sanctioned by the governments, on the back of numerous atrocities, massacres, slaughter and their continuous discrimination. These should not be conveniently forgotten.

Myths in American history: American historical narrative is full of myths. Starting with the American Revolutionary War or the American War of Independence which is still used as an excuse for the American exceptionalism. With all its romantic narratives of oppressed colonists
bravely overturning the British monarchy. But in fact, there was very little of popular movement in the Revolutionary War, it was mostly male and whites and it was about expansionism and dominant values of capitalism. Plus already mentioned genocide of native people and
slavery.

Then there is also the myth of the American Civil war, another commonly misunderstood part of the USA history: people believe that its aim was to ended slavery. In reality, the aim of the Republicans at the start of the war was to restore the country to its pre-secession states, including slavery.

I am not an expert on this but it seems to me that all American wars are based on some myths one way or another. From the Cold War, the Vietnam war to the most recent ones in the Middle East and North Africa, in Afghanistan. American military is always projected as liberators while all we can see are millions of slaughtered and displaced civilians in all places the Americans have invaded and wages wars on.

This whole American political narrative of "freedom and democracy" is a myth and a lie and total travesty. It is said that you cannot understand politics, unless you also understand economy and military-industrial complex. This is for a good reason, especially in the USA with is interlinked military and financial oligarchy.

Now, to this massive military-industrial complex we can add massive surveillance capacities of the US intelligence apparatus.

Which leads to the third common myth: American myth of freedom of speech! People wrongly believe that freedom of speech is absolute in the USA and is some sort of pinnacle of American democracy. This is a total nonsense. There are many instances in which freedom of speech can be
restricted under the US laws and is often restricted indeed.

A prime example of this is the case of Wikileaks! We can add to that many cases of whistleblowers, and many  people critical of the government or corporations or other powerful institutions. There so many examples, I do not even know where to start. 

It is a myth to claim there is freedom of speech in the USA if critical voices and whistleblowers are ostracised and prosecuted and punished. If freedom of information is limited under spurious claims of national security. If people Julian Assange are kept arbitrarily detained and smeared with made up accusations and are subject to frequent ad hominem attacks. If the mainstream press is in cahoots with the political establishment and corporations.

More importantly, this time and age, we are showed all over again that speech is and never will be free if it is not freedom from capital.

Just this week, I am so angry at FCC revealing plans to kill net neutrality.

I am so angry at Eric Schmidt of Alphabet/Google and Facebook announcing that they will pro-actively delist certain sites and information to fight alleged "foreign propaganda".

There is so much evidence that these companies are restricting access to leading progressive and anti-war sites. And now they are confirming they will step up these efforts.

There is no free speech in the USA if companies (and governments) track and monitor all our online activities. There is no free speech i if these companies (and governments) tell us what we can access online, what we can read and debate.

Now, there are so many myths that influence our lives on daily basis. The question is what we can do about  them. Thanksgiving (unlike New Year) is meant to be time for reflection. So I encourage all Americans to make an effort to learn their true history and present politics. To learn from it. And to do something to change the current state of affairs.

#Resist  

Letter to Taoiseach Mr. Leo Varadkar

Dear Mr. Varadkar,
I was thrilled to hear the news from my friends at PETA that Ireland will ban wild-animal circuses. While I celebrate this victory and look forward to raising a glass of Guinness with your predecessor the next time I'm in town, I'm now looking to celebrate with you what I very much hope will be the next victory for animals: an end to fur farming in Ireland.

I admired your strength in promising, at this year's Dublin LGBTQ Pride, to be "the voice for toleration, respect, and equality" – and wish you'd extend this compassion to all living beings.

From the moment they're born to the moment they die, the more than 200,000 minks imprisoned in squalid cages on the country's three remaining fur farms endure tremendous suffering. They're denied the opportunity to act on any of their natural instincts – such as roaming, swimming, and caring for their young. After months of confinement and mental torment, their tiny lungs are filled with poison gas – a perverse killing method that sometimes only stuns them, so they end up being skinned alive.

As you undoubtedly know, many countries have already outlawed farming animals for their fur, including your closest neighbours: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. I can't think of anyone more capable of creating history once again than you, Ireland's youngest and first openly gay prime minister. Please, would you pull up those stylish socks of yours and announce a ban on fur farming in Ireland?

I greatly look forward to clinking glasses with you when that happens.


Sincerely yours,
Pamela Anderson

Pamela’s recent animal news/interview

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What do you think about the Russian legislation, regulating animal abuse. This legislation is going to be made more severe in a way that those who abuse animals will be sent in jail for three years. Is it just and fare punishment? Or is there an other way?

Animal abuse must be taken seriously, for its own sake and for it’s implications of other potential antisocial behaviors that in danger humans. Strengthening penalties is that for appropriate. In some cases, where there is premeditated infliction of pain and suffering and, four instance, in the case of extreme inflection of harm or death sexual crash video production involving torture of animals, that penalties should be far greater. 

There is a difference between on knowing neglect and deliberate infliction of cruelty? How do they punish animal offender in US? What's your take on this practice?

Each US state is slightly different. For minor cases of cruelty, the punishment is usually up to one year in jail and a fine exceeding $1000 per offense. For willful act of cruelty involving stabbing or strangulation or burning or beating and so on our other acts of cruelty that cause violent stabbing or strangulation or burning or beating and so on our other acts of cruelty that cause prolonged suffering or extreme violence or sadism, felony convictions can result in many years in prison. Peta had a case in Texas involving torture of animals and the perpetrator received 50 years in prison. Often PETA asks for a ban on any contact with animals and animal ownership as part of sentencing.

What should be done to eliminate animal abuse?

The very best thing is probably to require humane education and teach respect for animals and the propaganda in the schools so that children grew up understanding animals emotions, and needs, PETA has programs called teach kind and compassionate citizen that are used in many parts of the world. They should be in every school. Of course you cannot reach everyone and all the US school shooters and serial killers have a documented history of animal torture which is called by law enforcement officials and sociologists, "the link".

Why have you decided to dedicate your life to animals?

I have always had a natural affinity with animals.

What pets do you have?

At this time - I have my sweetheart with me in France - He is service dog. A golden retriever named Zu BISOU Bisou ... He loves to help rescued animals we take in. He is a good role model and teaches good loving behavior .. He has also visited refugee camps offering lots of love and attention.

An Intelligent Woman's Guide to Love, Sex and Politics- a tribute to G.B. Shaw

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By Pamela Anderson

Anniversaries are always a great opportunity for reflection and I have seen quite a number over the last few days and weeks.

The Democrats in the USA have been commiserating and consulting each other about their year with the Trump administration. The British are still trying to figure out why people voted for the Brexit in 2016 referendum. The Germans and the French have barely gotten over the stunning success of AfD and Le Penn in their recent elections. And many wonder how people in Philippines could possibly elect someone like Rodrigo Duterte.

There is a lot of despair and thought about "what happened?"

One American commentator even declared after the election night that she contacted "people who lived, or had lived, under authoritarianism to ask what to expect".

I do not think that you should ask your friends in North Korea, Saudi Arabia or Uzbekistan what to do. Good old relationship advice is far better suited to equip you with some wisdom here. 

So, here are my FIVE STEPS on how to get over the political heartbreak, how to move on and how to find new a happy political life with a new love.

I hope this helps you make sense of this new reality and helps you make better love and political choices in the future.

1. View your relationship from the outside.
If you have been in a relationship for a long time you might start to feel comfortable, or even worse, you get complacent. And bored. From that comes resentment and on the top of it the sex has gone stale and unexciting. Before you know it, one of you is filing for divorce. This is what happened with Hilary Clinton and the Democrats base.

You also need to be able to see if you are in an abusive relationship.
Get the hell out of it if you are.

Thankfully, the Democrats did this last year during the US primaries, in droves. However Clinton was not letting them get away from her that easily. Bernie Sanders was a serious challenge to Clinton. He was genuinely popular while Clinton won the primaries only through an abuse of incumbent power. He was strong, she was weak. And we saw all the hallmarks of a controlling and manipulative partner. Clinton rigged the primaries just so nobody could leave. We recently saw this in Donna Brazile's words. Brazile stuck up for Clinton because that is often what victims in abusive relationships do.

2. Do not play blame games.
Blaming everyone else for getting out of a bad relationship is positively odious. Don't believe that all is fair in love and war; it is not.

Democrats are blaming the election on many things. On the Russian government. On sexism. On Wikileaks. On "fake news"...

But totalitarians triumph when the grievances of the ordinary people have no outlet, and when people are enticed by false populism. The recent examples show that parties of reaction explicitly speak to the people whose material conditions have worsened under the neo-liberal consensus, globalization, deindustrialization and the transition to a service economy. They pretend they have remedies to these problems, while at the same time using minorities as scapegoats. But they direct these social grievances towards the further empowerment of capital, which stands to worsen overall conditions even more.

The neoliberal "center," as it likes to think of itself, has no answer for this.

In the USA, the Obama/Clinton ascendancy within the Democratic Party shows an outright failure to understand these social antagonisms and respond to them properly. Instead, the Democrats were fielding a candidate who represents continuity with the very political reality which has oppressed the American people. This is the reason for their failure. Nobody or nothing else is!

You must stop this and own your experience.

3. Don't do rebounds or replacements
Rebounds rarely turn into happy, long-term and stable relationships.
They are for emotional maniacs. They usually result in even more resentment and bitterness.

There is talk that Michelle Obama or Mark Zuckerberg or some other billionaire should run in the next US presidential election. Or some other "centrist" with progressive credentials. Reactionaries are winning in the Democratic party and are marginalizing Bernie Sanders and his movement. These might have some electoral purchase in the short term but it is doomed in the medium to long run even if they win.

You can do better.

But it is not just in USA. In the UK, there are so many attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and all sides are constantly trying to undermine him. It is very unhealthy.

4. Stop making the same mistakes.
Stupidity is defined as repeating the very same action over and over yet expecting a different result.

You must not fall into a pattern of repeating the very same dysfunctional relationships. Avoid courting the same old narcissists.
The ones who think it is all about them. Who promise you the world but treat you like rubbish.

And when they hurt you, they pretend it never happened.

The same goes for politics. In the last USA elections, the Democrats were adamant about maintaining the status quo. They are still obsessively holding onto their old agenda and refusing to acknowledge that things need to change. They are in love with the same awful neo-liberal policies which ruined millions of lives in the USA and beyond.

It is true that for some of us (those slightly more well-off with jobs), neo-liberalism has been  friendlier, less destructive and more sustainable. But we must admit that it did not work out for many many other people. It did  not work for the under privileged working people in the USA and in the West. For miners and steelworkers and manufacturing workers who lost their jobs and were expected to find employment in the highly competitive service economy. Selling goods and services made by the glorified slave labour of people in other parts of the world, like South East Asia, Eastern Europe or Latin America. All while exploiting the poor in the periphery of Global South. While destroying the most of the planet to enrich a small part of it. While waging wars.

And this has created the world you now lament.

It must stop.

5. Take a leap of faith with a new love
There is a saying that a relationship is like a house. If a light bulb breaks, you do not get a new house. You change a light bulb. Unless the house is all rotten. In which case, you get rid of it and get a new, much better one. With proper light bulbs.
You see, your entire house is beyond repair, its wiring is rotten and and damp have set in. Every single light bulb exploded,  causing harm. It is a time you raze it to the ground and build a new house. With a better architect using new and different ideas. And of course with energy saving eco-friendly light bulbs.

Finding a new love now might seem unthinkable but it actually isn't.
Just be open to trying new things.

You can start supporting those candidates with social programs that herald genuine progressive change. People like Bernie Sanders in USA, or Jeremy Corbyn in the UK or Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France. Their popularity is increasing more and more. Their programs are a more genuine remedy to the hardships of the poor people. It would be a social transformation of some form of social democracy, potentially retooled for the modern global economy, with better environmental policies.

Their messages represent the only viable counterargument to the swindle that exists in parties of reaction.

Join their movement.

Be open.

Be honest.

Be brave.

Be love.

With love,

Pamela

💋

The Times Magazine

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The return of Pamela Anderson

Well, I knew she’d be sexy, but my goodness, Pamela Anderson is a blazing firecracker in the flesh – torpedoes full thrust, pout full-blown, hair the full baby-blonde Marilyn. A few minutes ago she was posing for photographs in Coco de Mer underwear and thigh-high boots. Now she’s shimmied out of the babydolls, the corsets have been dropped, underwires unclipped, suspenders snapped off and she’s resheathed in a black poloneck dress, lying on a gilt four-poster wearing black patent shoes with heels like misericorde daggers. Somehow it seems appropriate to interview Anderson in a hotel bedroom. Even more so in a dark red one that smells of roses and leather. It has the same mood, she says in her little kitteny voice, as the hotels she likes in Paris: Costes and Hôtel Amour, “which actually is an old brothel in Montmartre and I love it”. One room she describes as having a black ceiling, with a neon sign throbbing at the window. “But you can hear everything through the wall: mattresses going eek, eek, eek, eek. The doors were locked but paperthin. I thought: someone is going to come busting through and I’m by myself!” Actually she wasn’t quite on her own; she was with her dog, ZuZu, who travels with her everywhere. “ZuZu has the best adventures,” she whispers. I bet he does. He sounds like a real-life Toto in the Pamela Anderson version of The Wizard of Oz. And what a life! She was a Playboy model at 24 before being picked up for Baywatch, a trash TV series about beach lifeguards that she singlehandedly turned into a global sensation watched by one billion viewers in 142 countries, just by putting on a red one-piece and jogging about in some sandy scenery. “My breasts had a career; I’m just tagging along,” she quipped.

But her career is only part of her appeal. She is a constant thrill to tabloids, chalking up four rollicking marriages to three unsuitable men, including Tommy Lee, whom she wed after four days, and Kid Rock, whom she married in a white bikini. There was a sex tape, drunkenness, fall-outs with contractors (one interior designer said she and Lee spent money like they hated it). Even her boobs had scandals when the DD implants were taken out and then put back in. Quietly in the background she was also bringing up her two sons by Tommy Lee, Dylan and Brandon (now 19 and 21), and nurturing 20-odd years in activism against animal cruelty. Her foundation supports a number of causes, and she is also a board member of the animal rights charity Peta.

Now, at 50, she’s back, causing the media to short-circuit by popping up in London as Julian Assange’s puzzling new friend. It’s an unlikely pairing. Anderson is the embodiment of voluptuous good health, while the WikiLeaks founder and fugitive is bloating in the Ecuadorean embassy basement, deprived of sun, deprived of exercise and – if recent pictures of his deviant’s mullet are anything to go by – deprived of a mirror. On every visit to London, Anderson tells me, she trots over to see him, dressed in her own skin-tight Fifties version of demure, carrying him a bag of takeaway lunch on her wrist. She’ll spend anything up to five hours in his airless bunker, chatting about conspiracies and “brain-storming”. Dame Vivienne Westwood was supposed to introduce them, but Anderson “screwed up” the days and met him alone. “I was asking him, ‘How can I be more effective as an activist? What do you think? How I can be more effective with my foundation?’” Assange’s room is smaller than the one we’re in, she says. “Tiny, without sunshine coming through the windows, and he’s very pale. Even in jail you have sunlight, but him, no. He has nothing. He can’t go outside. There’s no outside.” He takes vitamins and works, she says, focused at all times: “One hundred per cent committed and he’s never off track.” She perches on a chair and takes notes, or they knuckle down to the business of the NGO they are setting up together called Activists Tenure, which will sponsor ten activists a year by paying their salaries through her foundation. “There’s a bit of a brain drain in activism because of people having to get jobs, menial jobs, to look after their families,” she explains. Cynics may feel Assange has just found another celebrity to exploit, but Anderson says his image is completely wrong. “America is pretty angry with him. Actually he’s a good person, sensitive and funny. He’s a testament to what a person can be in a situation so dire, so uncomfortable. He’s still smiling. And he’s always very sweet, asking about my kids and my life,” she says. “He doesn’t see too many people and he looks forward to me coming.”

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When she talks about “Julian”, she is very serious. I suggest his is a monkish existence and she stumbles, “Oh, well, he has his, um …” I meant in an academic sense. “Yes, yes, yes. He’s got this focus and vision.” After leaving him, invariably she fires off a letter to President Macron begging France to give him asylum, because “it would be a nice place for him to be”. Indeed the reason she can visit Assange so regularly is that she now lives in Europe. Last year she packed her bags, rented out her house in Malibu (for $50,000 a month) and moved first to Aix-en-Provence and now Marseilles. It’s what she calls her “French journey”, something she’s planned for years because everyone kept telling her, “Pamela, you need to be in the south of France.” “Vivienne Westwood said it to me. The photographer Bruce Weber said it to me. ‘What are you doing in LA? They don’t appreciate you here! Get to the south of France. Just go.’” And seemingly they were right, because Anderson “loves, loves, loves” France. Days are filled with gallery and museum visits, and reading Anaïs Nin. She has a wonderful “persistent, attentive and jealous” French boyfriend who tells her she is a woman who “n’a pas d’âge”. When I ask how old he is, she says, “I don’t care,” which all sounds very Emmanuel and Brigitte. She dabs at her croissant flakes and orders a third cappuccino. It’s 11am and she’s hurtled into London from Paris on the 6am train. She apologises for “babbling”, and certainly she speaks at a million miles an hour, her breathy delivery skidding over subjects as diverse as going to Catalonia for the referendum, being told by an NGO she was “too much of a risk” to take to Yemen during the cholera outbreak, and how terrified she was yesterday when someone stole her phone because of the photos. That bad? “Do not even go there.”

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She’s vegetarian and “mostly vegan”, but she would never wear fur or leather. Recently she sent Melania Trump one of her recycled coats made out of plastic and cotton. “They are still fuzzy and soft,” she says, letting me feel hers. Melania wore it, “and it got a lot of attention”. There’s a long sigh of exhaustion when I mention Donald Trump. Has she met him? “I have, briefly. It was something to do with his birthday. I think I was hired to be there. I had a brief hello.” She skips back to Melania, saying she wrote her a thank-you note for the coat. “And I’m sending a coat to Kim Kardashian too, because she’s known for wearing fur. You don’t need to wear animals any more. These are vegan too,” she says, pointing to her shoes. Anderson is funny. Sometimes in a knowing way, saying, for instance, of a time she was accused of being nude at a party, “I wasn’t naked! I was wearing glitter.” And self-deprecating too, relating that her sons tease her about her language skills – “Mom, you know you’re just speaking English with a French accent” – and there are benefits to being thought stupid: “When you form a full sentence everyone thinks you’re a genius.” At other times she is almost hilariously naive. Such as when I tell her the photographer Terry Richardson has been banned from Condé Nast as part of the sweeping sexual harassment outrage. She keeps repeating his name as if in shock. “Terry Richardson! Terry Richardson! The photographer? Oh, no. But I liked working with him. He was so nice when I met him. He’s gay, right?” Another story involves Tom Ford taking a pair of scissors to a Valentino gown she was wearing, tearing a slit right up the middle. “He said, ‘Someone put a corset on this woman!’ I’d have no organs because he made it so small, but he kept pulling it and saying, ‘Oh my God, never leave the house without a corset.’” For someone who has been so explicitly objectified, Anderson is an off-scale romantic. She’s an odd combination of being pro-Playboy, pro-erotic adventure and totally anti the immediacy of online porn and dating apps (and even orgies). Tinder and porn are desensitising, she argues, destructive to real human relationships. “What about seeing someone on the train or catching someone’s eye across the room?” she cries. “Why wasn’t that empowering? I don’t want to look at anything online. I want to see someone in an elevator. I want to have this electric moment with someone and cultivate it.” And it’s not just millennials who suffer, she believes. Her own generation have paid the price of liberation. “The sexual revolution gave us freedom, but it also gave us this raunchy, bad, empty sex,” she says. “I have friends from that era who wish they hadn’t done all that, and ended up alone. They numbed out. So much sex with strangers is not good for you.” For her, sex is inextricably bound up with romance. “You should never have sex with someone you are not in love with,” she argues. The way Anderson presents it, none of this contradicts the simple “fun” of sex, such as dressing up, roleplay, or a little light bondage. She says anyone who knows her well knows she always wears matching lingerie (“in case I die in a car accident”). Every night she sleeps in a babydoll nightie – “Always!” The very saucy underwear range she’s designed in collaboration with Coco de Mer, Pamela Loves Coco, is all Sixties shapes in black sheer, bows, sleep masks that double as blindfolds and backless briefs (launched with a blush-inducing film by Rankin called The Full Service). It’s definitely hot (she gave me a pair of sexy, see-through knickers with ribbon ties and my boyfriend almost had a heart attack). Another recent project – with another unlikely friend – is a book she has written with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach called Lust for Love (published on Valentine’s Day). She jokes: “A rabbi and a Playmate walked into a bar and what did they talk about? Sex, of course!” Actually, she is as surprised as anyone at the collaboration, not least because they met when he wanted to present her with a Jewish Values Award. “I was like, ‘This is so strange. I’m not even Jewish. I know relatively few Jewish people. I don’t know about the religion – I know history, obviously – but he just gave me the most incredible advice.” The book is “political” and dovetails with lectures she’s given on relationships at Oxford and Cambridge universities. She was staggered by the response: girls weeping by the end, “saying, ‘I am with a guy who’s addicted to porn and hasn’t touched me in four months. I am 18 years old. What is wrong with me?’” Initially Anderson worried she’d be “disqualified” from talking about these issues, “coming from a Playboy background and having had the stolen [sex] tape [with ex-husband Tommy Lee]”. But the audience told her she was perfect, “‘Because if you feel this way too, then …’” She trails off, leaving me to think, “What hope do we have?” One woman had been married for ten years, but her husband hadn’t touched her for four, because he preferred to sit in the basement with porn. She begged Anderson to tell her if she could get him back or whether their marriage was over. “I thought, wow, this is really affecting people at a deep level.” According to Anderson, further research, uncovered a whole raft of people in their twenties who’d never had sex because they prefer to masturbate to porn. “They’ve never touched a woman,” says Anderson. “It’s gross.” It’s also, she believes, a weird flipside to the rage against harassment tearing through Hollywood and British politics. Anderson says her naivety meant she largely sidestepped the problem. “I would be like, ‘You want me to do what?’ Then I’d say, ‘Oh my God, you’re the worst thing that people say about this industry and I’m going back to Canada.’ I would storm off and shout, ‘I believe in love!’ And slam the door.” That is not to say she has side-stepped it in life. In 2014, during an event to introduce the Pamela Anderson Foundation in Cannes, she spoke of multiple incidents of sexual abuse growing up on Vancouver Island: by a female babysitter between the ages of 6 and 10; by a man in his mid-twenties when she was 12; by her boyfriend and six friends when she was 14. Suddenly the world’s most objectified woman was seen in the complicated context of her background. Today she doesn’t want to go back over that “difficult” ground, but says that it is important not to keep it inside and, “Don’t blame yourself.” She encountered Harvey Weinstein: an ogre, she says, but not sexually. “He told me I’d never work in this town again, because I refused to work with a dog. He wanted me to play Invisible Girl on Superhero Movie. But they wanted me to work with an actual dog. I said, ‘I won’t work with animals in a film.’ And he said, ‘We’re just going to put the dog there. What’s the problem?’ And I said, ‘No. Put an X on the floor. I am talking to an invisible dog. Why do we need an actual dog?’ “And he was so mean. He called me back and shouted, ‘You’re Pamela Anderson; you’re lucky I’m even putting you in a f***ing film. You’re never going to work in this f***ing industry again, you son of a f***ing bitch.’ “He’s so intense. I’ve never been talked to that way by anybody. Not even by a boyfriend. He was really intimidating. And I did it. But I did it without the dog.” One of her major crusades is to train the spotlight on domestic harassment, violence and abuse, which she describes as having become “an epidemic”. Her determination to push this issue stems in part from her own experience. Her marriage to Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe – the father of her sons – was savaged by violence. Ultimately he ended up in court with Anderson testifying against him. Later she helped set up the National Domestic Violence Hotline, funded through the foundation. “It’s an anonymous line to call when you feel like, ‘I’m not calling 911, but this happened and who can I talk to?’ They are clear: if you need to hang up, hang up.” She’s manned phones at the centre. “Behind closed doors, I don’t know why some men feel they have to have this control.” She urges women to speak up to friends, to family, because in her own experience, “You think, ‘I’m in this, and this has happened and I’m embarrassed to tell anybody that this happened.’ But the first time you notice any strangeness, tell your girlfriends, get advice. Of course when you love somebody you make every excuse for them in the world. You think, ‘Oh, that’s never going to happen again,’ or ‘I can fix this. I can be better.’ This is when people go a little overboard trying to be perfect. And also you think you can change them.” Fortunately for Anderson, her mother back in Canada was a huge support, telling her, “This guy you’re with, he’s an asshole and you don’t love him, so leave.” “She used to say, ‘Rip the Band-Aid off. It’s going to hurt for a second, then you’ll be fine. It’s going to be hard but you’re going to be happier.’ ” Certainly a major factor in Anderson’s decision to leave Lee was the fear that this “modelled behaviour” would influence her sons to behave in the same way when they grew up. “I say to my sons, ‘If you disrespect any woman, you disrespect me.’ And they’re like, ‘Woo. Got it.’ They’re not going to do that.” At the time it was difficult raising children alone. “But my mum would say, ‘Maybe it’s good that he’s not there so much.’ She was right.” Today her relationship with Tommy Lee is a world away. “I mean, Tommy is so emotional now. Every time they are in the studio he starts crying. ‘My boys are here! We’re making music together! I’ve got something in my eye.’ I don’t know what’s happened. He’s so sentimental. “He’ll call me now and say, ‘Pamela, thank you so much’ – basically for going to France – ‘because I can be with the boys more and this is such an important time in their life to be with their dad, and I am just so grateful that I get this time with them. So stay in France.’ “He’s more like a buddy. And they are independent, so they don’t have to rely on him.” She talks about Brandon, a model and actor, and Dylan a lot. Dylan is a DJ – he just performed in front of 16,000 in Amsterdam, she says. “He misses the dog. He says ‘You left, Mom, and you took the dog.’” She tells a story about how Vivienne Westwood once arrived at her house in Malibu when Dylan was having a tantrum and offered to speak to him. “I said, ‘He’s in there.’ “She goes in and says, ‘Dylan, I am so proud of you. You are making your mother so crazy by not listening to her. Never listen to authority!’ I was like, ‘No, no, no! Vivienne, get outta here.’” Actually, it was one of her sons who texted her in September to say, “Hef died, Mom.” Hugh Hefner was 91, but he’d known Anderson for nearly a quarter of a century. “It was devastating, the end of an era,” she says. “But he was not very well. Physically, he was in a lot of pain, so it’s OK.” She’s disturbed and sad that she missed their final meeting. “The time I saw him before that, he had a little piece of paper in his pocket and he handed it to me and it said ‘Pamela’ with a heart around it. He wasn’t really hearing very well by then.” For many of us it’s hard to understand the attraction of Hefner – his last marriage was to a woman 60 years his junior – but Anderson calls him “amazing”, “brilliant” and “charismatic”. She says he was a “forwardthinking humanitarian” and “an art collector”. They kept in touch over the years, Hef by the rather old-fashioned medium of telegram, as well as by phone. Anderson disapproved of his hangers-on in later life. “I remember him getting teary-eyed one day because I said, ‘You know there are women that love you,’ because he was in this circle that got a little crazy.” And she says he resented the “cartoon character” he’d become, and felt “diluted” by the pressure to be commercial over the past ten years. “I think it dilutes anyone to be overexposed like that. Before the reality show started it was much more elegant: private, erotic and sexy. Then it became very commercialised. Reality shows were popular and he was trying to keep up with the Joneses.” The image he created for himself ultimately left him “lonely in the end. He was surrounded by women but he was lonely.” Is Anderson lonely? She says she has an eccentric collection of friends: photographer David LaChapelle; artist Richard Prince; the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. (“I asked him what piece of art I should have; he said the handcuffs because it was about artistic freedom.”) And Vivienne Westwood, of course, the Mother of Punk. “I don’t think she likes everybody, but she likes me,” says Anderson. “That makes me feel good, because when other people say mean things about me I think, ‘Well, Vivienne likes me and she’s one of the coolest people in the world, so I am going to go with what she thinks of me over what you think of me.’ “But it’s nice to have diverse friends, girls and guys. It’s nice to feel stimulated on all levels, all the time.”

by Charlotte Edwardes for The Times Magazine, Photos by RANKIN/THE FULL SERVICE

My Piers Morgan «Life» story

You won’t see this in the final edit.
The interview I did was 3 hrs long - and it will be cut down to 37 minutes.
I feel it was reduced to Mainly my body parts and men.

My friends who were interviewed had a lot to say - so did I.

But - I can’t be shocked.

For example when Joseph Farrell /Wikileaks was interviewed -these were his answers.
When I did the interview in front of Live audience they showed very little of Joseph -
Which I felt set the tone -
this might not get in depth at all.
But it’s ITV - Piers is notorious for trying to make every one happy with a twist of tabloid journalism.
He knows his Audience. -
I just wish differently.
Times are changing.
People are more aware than ever.
Keep up, Stay tuned.

(At least my friends at Wikileaks kept record. ... )
Life Story -

How and why did Pamela become involved with wikileaks and Julian Assange?
As far as I’m aware, Pamela became interested in WikiLeaks and Julian because of her own work as an activist around the issue of animal rights and veganism. She’s a celebrity who cares a lot about using her position to advocate for important causes and she cares a lot about the state of the world. I think she was also naturally interested in Julian’s philosophy as a free speech advocate. Playboy as you know has a huge history with the first amendment and free expression in the US. She was very articulate and interested in the free speech philosophy behind WikiLeaks, which is a project that seeks to make the world more just through the exercise of free expression. I think that’s why she got in touch.

Why is Pamela so well placed to comment / campaign / raise awareness of Julian’s incarceration?
Julian is a very strong person, and this is why he has been able to live in such a difficult situation for so long. But you often don’t see how much it takes for him to survive in that situation. You don’t see how it affects him, and it is difficult for the public to properly understand that. But Pamela knows. She has spent the time with him, and she is able to speak about what a travesty it is. Through her eyes, people can understand what has happened to Julian, and how urgent it is that it ends. She thought it was a worthy cause.

What has Pamela done to help Julian’s cause?
I think for Julian, for Pamela to visit him is the biggest thing – the most personal thing. He has been in a single place for many years, so he needs that connection to the wider world. But Pamela has gone beyond that – she has raised awareness, not only of Julian, but of WikiLeaks too, by speaking out.

Do you think letters such as the one from Pamela to Barack Obama help or hinder Julian’s situation?
I think every little helps. We live in a different world to several years ago, and politicians and other people often communicate in very unconventional ways nowadays. I am personally skeptical that Obama would care about Julian’s plight, but I would be happy to be surprised. Obama pardoned Chelsea Manning, and I was surprised about that. Ultimately, I think he did it to preserve his own legacy, but it is still something that should be commended. And I think it was creative and industrious for Pamela to reach out to him the way she did. I don’t see how it could have hindered Julian’s situation.

How do you / Julian find working with Pamela – what does Pamela bring to the table?
Pamela is without cynicism. Working with WikiLeaks for a long period of time, and seeing how it’s just one attack after another – there is a risk you can get jaded and defeatist. You can start to be pessimistic – you can start to believe the things your opponents say. Pamela won’t have any of that – she instantly reminds you of the great successes WikiLeaks has had – how it has changed the world so much for the better. She is optimistic and indefatigable. It is extraordinary.

Is Pamela’s intellect underrated by the media? Does this actually make her a more formidable campaigner?
Certainly. I think certain people underestimate her. They think she’s just a pretty face, and they don’t realize she’s spent years making sure she knows what she’s talking about. She is committed and serious about her activism – the things she cares about are weighty and have global importance. We have a lot to learn from Pamela.

Is their much more to Pam than perhaps the press (especially the tabloid) press would have the public believe?
Of course. It’s the same with everyone in the public eye. There is always more to them than you see in the press. The tabloids serve an important function, but they are not the place to look for a nuanced character portrait. So of course there is a lot more to Pam than you see there.
 

Pam is very well known for being an animal activist, do you think she has a strong moral compass and perhaps feels a need / compulsion to make a difference?
I think for Pamela a lot of her activism comes from a very strong sense of compassion. Not just for other people, but for all other creatures. Suffering, whether human suffering or the suffering of animals, affects her deeply, and she seeks to understand the reasons that suffering happens. Many people have this, but for Pamela, she knows she has a platform, and wants to use her platform to provoke change. I am sure she would say that she is just doing what anyone would do in her position, but I think it’s more than that. She is an exceptionally kind and compassionate person. That’s where it comes from.

What, if anything do you know about Pam’s other activism – is she / has she become a kind of ‘gun for hire’?
Not at all. I think there is a clear thread that runs through all of her interests and activities. What may appear a disparate collection of causes is really the work of someone who understands that everything is connected, and that injustice is a systemic problem, and that we must have action on all fronts if change is to happen. And at the basis of that, as I said, is compassion. An example of her understanding is how she told me that saving the whales is important. Because the whales fertilize the plankton and plankton is responsible for 60% of the world's oxygen.

What can you tell me about Pam and Julian’s friendship?
I don’t like to comment on other people’s private relationships. But I can say they are very very good friends.

Could you please tell me about the poem Pam wrote to Our Prime Minister and Mr Trump?
I think there was a lot of anger at that point, because of the Grenfell fire, and Pamela shared in that anger. So many ordinary, decent people were devastated beyond belief, and their faces were on the television every day. Their lives had been destroyed and yet they still had such sad dignity as they explained that what had happened had not been an accident. It was the government which was ultimately responsible. Pam saw that, and she saw our PM’s weak and inadequate response. She saw the PM go down for a photo opportunity, but refuse to meet with any of the survivors. I can’t speak for Pamela, but I imagine she was angry at how callous and detached that was.

For those who don’t know could you please explain why Julian was and is still detained at the embassy?
In 2010, when he was publishing secret documents from the United States, there was an attempt to extradite Julian to Sweden, to face an investigation there. Julian couldn’t risk going there, because he could be sent from there to the US, so he fought it in the UK courts. When he was not successful, he sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, and they gave it to him. He should have been allowed then to go to Ecuador to take up his asylum, but the UK refused to allow him, because it said it had an obligation to extradite him to Sweden. Now, for years, Ecuador asked Sweden to enter talks to try to find some arrangement so that Julian could answer the case against him in Sweden without risking being sent to the US, but Sweden dragged its feet. Years of this, left Julian imprisoned in the embassy against his will. And last year, when that seemed to be making progress, Sweden dropped its investigation. Just like that. So strictly speaking, there is no longer an extradition order against him. He should be able to leave – but the UK now refuses to promise that he won’t be extradited to the US. Before he can leave and go to Ecuador, he needs guarantees of safe passage to the country of his asylum, and the UK refuses to provide that. So he is effectively detained by the intransigence of our government.

On which political ground do Pam and Julian agree / discuss / meet and discuss?
They are both interested in each other’s activism, and interested to understand each other’s perspectives and worlds. They both agree ultimately on the necessity for free expression, because without it, we cannot properly understand the problems around us and then we can’t change them.

Is Pam a powerful weapon when it comes to raising awareness of issues – please give examples if possible?
I think speaking of Pamela that way diminishes her agency. She chooses her own battles, but when she does – she is certainly formidable. I think her speech to the French Parliament about foie gras is a good example – you can see there someone who is extremely knowledgeable about her subject, and has the utmost conviction, speaking articulately and passionately. It’s hard to ignore.

Has or did Pam ever become any kind of ‘target’ (for security services / the press) when visiting Julian?
Everyone who visits Julian is subject to covert surveillance by the UK government. Nobody can go in or out of the embassy undetected. So in that sense, she is a target or a subject like anyone else. Thus far, I am not aware of her having any issues, and I believe her celebrity is a protection against that to some degree, but I wouldn’t put anything past the police in this day and age. You can’t be complacent around WikiLeaks.

Is Pamela the world’s most famous / infamous vegan food delivery service?
Hah. I think of it a different way – I think many people are resistant to a vegan diet for all sorts of reasons, but it would be very hard to put up much of a fight if you had Pamela Anderson encouraging you to try it. Plus Pamela views her diet as a political choice. It harks back to her understanding of all things connected.

Your organisation posts sensitive information surrounding governments and policy – is there any irony in a friendship with someone who’s home movie being ‘leaked’ to the world and in some ways forcing very early questions around the legality of items on the internet?
There’s a big difference between these two things. Governments and big companies exercise lots of power – over you and me and everyone else – so it is important that they are transparent. And they are often not. Sometimes in journalism we publish leaks from these kinds of organisations in order to keep them honest. But ordinary individual people are not powerful, and they need to have privacy to protect themselves. At the same time as WikiLeaks is a big advocate of publishing true information about powerful organisations, we have always been an ardent defender of the privacy rights of ordinary people. This is something that is increasingly under attack in our internet age. So – no – I do not think there is an irony there. In fact, transparency for the powerful and privacy for the individual – these issues naturally go together.

Pamela has said that she would like to start helping men who have been falsely accused of rape, do you think her friendship with Julian and his acquittal contributed to this?
You would have to ask Pamela about that, but I am sure getting to know Julian has been an influence.

Is Pam an American Icon?
Is the sky blue? Can you think of someone more iconic – more emblematic of a whole decade of American culture, than Pamela Anderson? Yes. She is more than an icon, but she is certainly that.

Is Pam the quintessential blonde bombshell?
I think each decade redefines these categories. I don’t think Pamela and for example Marilyn Monroe compete with each other for that title, but I think she is certainly so iconic as to become an archetype. I’ve met a lot of celebrities in my work, but there was still something slightly dazzling about meeting Pam for the first time.