A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013

Here is an exchange between the Global Editor of the Atlantic Magazine and myself this afternoon attempting to solicit my professional services for an article they sought to publish after reading my story “25 Years of Slam Dunk Diplomacy: Rodman trip comes after 25 years of basketball diplomacy between U.S. and North Korea”   here at

From the Atlantic Magazine:

On Mar 4, 2013 3:27 PM, “olga khazan” <> wrote:

Hi there — I’m the global editor for the Atlantic, and I’m trying to reach Nate Thayer to see if he’d be interested in repurposing his recent basketball diplomacy post on our site.

Could someone connect me with him, please?

Olga Khazan

 From the head of NK News, who originally published the piece this morning:

Hi that piece is copy right to NK News, so…

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Keeping up with Dimitri the Lover (aka Sexual Predator), Toronto Real Men

  1. Yesterday a poster came across my tumblr dashboard from @PUAtxt, one of my favourite tumblr/twitter accounts. I decided to capture some of the gross language and reblog, especially for my Toronto followers to see.  At the time Dimitri the Lover (aka James Nicholas Sears) and Toronto Real Men sounded vaguely familiar but I did not know/remember his whole story.
  2. EWW, Toronto Real Men sounds fucking horrific, as does “Dimitri the Lover”. The #homophobia is extra classy
  3. pua-txt: ” Dimitri The Lover is this dude who leaves creepy voicemails. I like how he’s named after what he does. He also got mad as heck when Wikipedia deleted his vanity page despite his assertion…
  4. A few people chimed in with info and links about Sears:
  5. @kaimcn A bit of background, with photos, first-hand run-ins, and astroturfing from the man himself:…
  6. @tapesonthefloor So he’s a rapist who profits on teaching men to be predatory and disrespectful and someone made a movie. So gross.
  7. @tapesonthefloor there are comments on this story that are obvs meant to justify PUAs and DtL and it’s so obvious and poorly execuated
  8. @kaimcn A documentary was filmed, too. I’ve never been able to bring myself to click on it, but… it’s there.…
  9. And with all the people I know in Toronto I should have known someone would have encountered this creep and his brand of “seduction” live & in person. What an unfortunate experience (and what an impression to leave!):
  10. @kaimcn don’t say his name, please. Don’t look up his twitter account. I had a run in with him in 2002 and I’m still traumatized.
  11. @kaimcn he used to be a doctor! He got his medical licence away for molesting patients.
  12. Further:
  13. @kaimcn He’s a proud rapist. If you do read his twitter account huuuuge trigger warning.
  14. @zuzuhaha With you 100% His marketing tells me everything I need to know but what you say validates he’s a predatory asshole creep.
  15. Zuzu is braver than I and went looking at his twitter feed (giant TRIGGER WARNING, the posts are vile and predatory)
  16. @kaimcn okay I went and read his twitter & I think it got worse!! Oh well, sometimes when people are THAT clearly awful it’s a good thing.
  17. It was at this point that I learned the poster on tumblr is a fairly old picture:
  18. @kaimcn @tapesonthefloor I remember when he used to put up flyers, I’d like to punch his face.
  19. @effandtee @tapesonthefloor that’s how I just learned about him ( Tho I think I’ve heard of him before.
  20. @kaimcn @tapesonthefloor I didn’t realize he was still.. around! If I was that restaurant I wouldn’t host their meetings.
  21. @effandtee @tapesonthefloor it doesn’t sound like anywhere I’d go anyway but I’ll add Rancho Relaxo to the Oh No No lists
  22. @kaimcn @tapesonthefloor I’ve been there before, it’s kind of adorable actually! I’m sad that it’s a cesspool of pick up artists..
  23. @effandtee @tapesonthefloor I would maybe go just to see PUAs in their (un)natural environment.
  24. @kaimcn I’d go to take photos of them and send the photos to their places of work, and mothers.
  25. @effandtee someone on tumblr recommended that! Best tourist activity ever?
  26. @kaimcn I’d totally be a tour guide. Are you going to be in our fair city any time soon?
  27. Nicola$$$ linked to Sears’ doctor profile that shows his licence was revoked due to “sexual impropriety with a client”.  As Zuzu mentions, a medical licence isn’t an easy thing to lose.
  28. @kaimcn @effandtee He was a registered MD for all of three years. Really. Guess why his license was revoked!…
  29. re: Dimitri the Lover mt @tapesonthefloor He was a registered MD for all of three years. Really.…
  30. @la_panique @kaimcn getting your medical license taken away is not easy, he must be a super sicko.
  31. Part of the conversation this excerpt is from includes a private account but Zuzu’s account of meeting Sears and the link I posted to Jolenn Parton’s encounter with a San Fransisco pink up artist is relevant:
  32. @la_panique @kaimcn of course but he says really awful stuff out loud. When I turned him down he said the most scary things to me.
  33. @zuzuhaha @la_panique You may not want to read that. It includes PUA grossness/racism. But you might enjoy.
  34. To Rancho Relaxo’s credit, they apparently do not host meetings for Toronto Real Men anymore and have not for years:
  35. @kaimcn @tapesonthefloor Rancho doesn’t host their group anymore (I know the talent booker there, but he wasn’t responsible for DTL either)
  36. @jgeady @tapesonthefloor Good to know! I wouldn’t blame a booker who doesn’t know how vile the group is but it’s a definite turn off.
  37. @kaimcn @tapesonthefloor pretty sure, though, that DTL’s meetings haven’t been held there for a few years at least.
  38. @jgeady @tapesonthefloor I just asked the person who blogged the photo if they know how old it is. Not sure if I’ll get a response.
  39. Jeff tweeted that the meetings are still going on:
  40. @kaimcn his website says they’re at 754 Danforth now, and now I’m going to take a shower cuz I went to his site.
  41. I can’t confirm this but a visit to the Real Men Toronto website suggests the meetings were put on hold in 2010 when a documentary was being produced about “The Prophet” (something Sears actually calls himself on purpose). The trail for this documentary can be seen here.
  42. Apparently Rancho Relaxo aren’t the only place that didn’t want Toronto Real Men sullying their establishment:
  43. @kaimcn @effandtee. One time our owner was talked into hosting a meeting. Never again.
  44. UPDATE. Before I finished posting this I contacted PUS.txt and they made this public post (you will need to click through to read but they say the picture of the poster came from Encyclopedia Dramatica.)

Kate Leth doesn’t like fat people or me

  1. This morning, one of my favourite comic creators (lady, feminist, queer or otherwise) made yet another problematic tweet. This time it was about fat people and poutine:
  2. Today marks the first time I walked by the poutine place and the people sitting in the window were less than 300 lbs each
  3. Thinking that this was less that cool, I tweeted a photo of and link to the tweet:
  4. My friend Juliet chimed in with her support of my criticism:
  5. Kate didn’t like the criticism she received for this tweet and doubled down on her fat-shaming, food-snarking and body policing. (Criticizing what people eat because they’re fat is all of these things.)
  6. Man apparently it is not cool to say poutine makes you fat? Their board outside literally offers perogie double cheeseburger poutine
  7. Somewhere around this point Kate blocked me.
  8. .@JulietBurgess apparently it’s ME that’s not cool. @kate_leth blocked me & doubled down on fat shaming.
  9. @kaimcn @kate_leth That is super sad! It’s like SO hard for people to not shit on fat bodies. I don’t get it.
  10. My girl Peggy has a solution but it isn’t my favourite:
  11. @kaimcn obviously the solution is to never like stuff to avoid inevitable disappointment when its creator messes up 😉
  12. @pegspirate I thought it was ok to like problematic things but I find problematic people a lot harder to deal with. I have a sad now.
  13. @pegspirate I’ve been saying (in my mind) “she’s young, she’ll grow out of it” about a lot of her tweets and I guess it’s time to quit that.
  14. Frankly, at this point I was more sad than angry. It’s a selfish reaction but it’s the one I had.
  15. That awesome moment when you criticize someone you respect and they block you & double down on their oppressive bullshit. Shitty deal.
  16. @kaimcn wow that is unreal. I am really disappointed that she would do that
  17. @Jillus it’s nonsensical but I’m really bummed on a personal level. I was planning a fucking Kate Leth-designed tattoo but not so much now.
  18. Seriously fucking SAD about that reaction. I’m ok with liking problematic media but I find problematic people a lot harder to deal with.
  19. eta: I wanted to clarify that when I say “I’m ok with liking problematic media” it is implied but not stated that I like these things while being critical of their problematic aspects. Critically approaching art and people is very important to me and my on-going process of being a better person. I can like things & be critical of them and I can be critical of something & like it. It’s important that I say that for those who don’t know me or know that that’s how I approach media.
  20. I really truly am a fan of Kate Leth’s comics and they way she deals with the issues of being a woman, being queer, being kinky, being tattooed, basically with being a lot of things we share. I like her original art and her work on Adventure Time. I think it’s rad that she works at a comic shop and is involved in events like Ladies’ Night (I wish my LCS did that!). I think Kate is a talented artist and a rising star and I thought of her as something of an activist and feminist (she’s certainly written comics that present her that way).

    But this isn’t the first time Kate has made problematic tweets/comments. Her unwavering support of Laci Green is troubling to me as I’m troubled by anyone offering blanket support in the face of thoughtful criticism (and Laci has been criticized thoughtfully & respectfully as well as being attacked unfairly). I’ve found her comments about Catholic school girls to be more creepy than admiring (and would be downright disgusting if they came from a privileged cis/het man). Last month Kate made racist tweets and while she ignored my criticism, she did apologize when another friend called her on the problematic use of language.

  21. My friend Jill was on point with this tweet:
  22. @kaimcn yeah I have a hard time supporting an artist who basically states that my body type is gross
  23. Kate has told all her fat fans that they don’t matter by making offensive/oppressive tweets and refusing to hear, acknowledge and learn from the criticism.
  24. Kate has blocked me so the decision is already made for me about whether I’d keep following her on twitter. Obviously I don’t want to put the art of someone who treated me this way on my body so I’ll figure out something other than her prideful taco on my inner upper left arm. I’m not sure if I’ll keep wearing the shirt with the same design but I don’t especially feel like promoting her art or talking to people about how great she is (something that happens every time I leave the house in that shirt).

    My media-savvy friend Chelsea Klukas (@chelscore) said something early in our twitter friendship that has stuck with me and informed my reaction to a lot of “dramz” on & offline since. I’m going to butcher it but the general idea was: People make mistakes. How they react when those mistakes are pointed out is often more telling about the person than the mistake itself.

    I knew that tweeting my criticism at Kate would probably be dismissed as “social justice-ing” and she would ignore me. I didn’t expect to be blocked but I guess I was giving Kate too much credit about being able to hear criticism. I’m hurt on a personal level by the reaction but on an active level (the one that defines who I really am), I’m just going to take the lesson that not everyone wants to be better and move on without following, supporting or enjoying Kate’s work.

  25. I had written all this and then my friend Juliet & I had an exchange that I want included:

  26. @JulietBurgess I’m writing about it. I have a lot of feels right now 😦
  27. @kaimcn I bet! I am lucky that I was never much of a fan anyway, but I know you rooted for her! boo.
  28. @JulietBurgess I feel like a dumbass for supporting her so long. And still sad that I can’t support her anymore.
  29. @kaimcn If anyone is a dumbass it’s clearly @kate_leth. We’re just gunna have to make our own queer girl comix!
  30. Juliet is right of course. We need to be the change we want to see, being progressive people making progressive comics. I can’t draw for shit but I’ve got some enthusiasm. And it seems there’s a space to fill that I used to think Kate Leth had a handle on.

    eta2: Kate has deleted her fat people/poutine tweets and added the following explanation:

  31. Aight this has gotta stop: I don’t hate fat people, good heavens, I’ve deleted my tweets and sorry if I bummed you out
  32. I won’t call that an apology because it’s the classic “sorry you were offended by the offensive stuff I said and won’t acknowledge as offensive” fauxpology. Kate doesn’t own her behaviour or my response, instead she tried to apologize for my feelings (which I have a great handle on, thanks) and deflects any responsibility.
  33. But yeah, I’m gonna block you if you harass me. That happens!
  34. Apparently my tweets are considered harassment (you can see the two that I tweeted at her above and scroll through my public profile if you think I’m being untruthful). It hurts that someone I respected is so dismissive of me. I assume the tweet below is in reference to Juliet and I criticizing:
  35. I maintain that I was respectful in contacting Kate and I would have happily engaged with her in dialogue. Instead I was dismissed with no response and am left to wonder what she thinks a better “execution” would be.

I really hope to see the law intervene on “revenge porn” sites and it’s not just as an outsider support survivors (although I do 100%). I get angry and offended every time I hear someone say “if you don’t want it on the internet, don’t take the pictures”. To me that’s victim blaming and body policing that removes responsibility from the abuser (who shares the pictures) and businesses that profit from this abuse.
When I was 18 I was in a very abusive relationship with a guy who used every power dynamic at his hands to manipulate me and talked me into some abusive stupid shit. Some of the “least” of it is the pictures I let him take. When I finally had the strength to leave him (with 4000 km between us) I was highly aware of those pictures and what our mutual friends and strangers and people I went to school with and possible future employers (or voters? I wanted to be PM once) and my mom would think of them. They weren’t something I was happy about then or something that I consider completely consensual looking back.
I’ve never looked at those revenge porn sites because I don’t want to know if he held a grudge long enough to keep and share those pictures from 9 years ago. And obviously I refuse to give them the clicks for advertisers. But I have immense empathy and solidarity for the girls women who have had their trust abused by someone looking to say “I saw a girl naked once, no really, look!” or try to destroy what they can’t have. I hope the US gov’t will be understanding.

Steph Guthrie

A group of at least 23 women in the United States has filed a class-action lawsuit for invasion of privacy and causing mental anguish against revenge porn site Texxxan and its hosting service, GoDaddy (like you needed another reason to hate GoDaddy).

Revenge porn is a vile category of online content wherein a person posts nude photos or videos of another person without their consent (usually a woman, often an ex-lover). A cursory Google search will yield pages of sites hosting such content. Many of these sites include the women’s names, contact information and links to their social media profiles. Some of them include maps to the women’s homes.

As we all know, there is no shortage on the Internet of sexually explicit photos or video of consenting women. Porn (with consenting parties) is probably the Internet’s most popular application. The knowledge that women on revenge porn…

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AUPE respond to Open Letter to AUPE re: SAFA/AUPE Christmas Party

I’ve gotten a reply after using the general contact form on AUPE’s website:

Dear Kaitlyn,

Have you tried reaching Rosemary by telephone? The Local 39 telephone number is at

I can’t speak for the Local, or for SAFA, which is co-hosting, but I would guess that the party will have nothing to do with religion. You would have to confirm that with the Local and SAFA of course.

So, I’m told that the party won’t be religious and I guess that I used the wrong method of contact?  I’ve replied to Mark (below) and I guess that’s the end of that.

Hello Mark,

Thank you for your reply.

I have not contacted Rosemary by telephone because email is my preferred method of communication, especially on an issue like this. I would like to have documentation of the response, if any.

While I’m hopeful that this party will not be religious it is the name of the party that I wanted to express my concern about. I find that calling the event a “Christmas Party” to be exclusive and not representative of AUPE members who do not celebrate Christmas, myself included.

Thank you for responding,

(name redacted because internet)

I’m probably going to leave it at that. I’ve had bad experiences with my local preciously (exactly why I wanted documentation) and this isn’t a hill worth dying on. It’s disappointing that my union can’t be inclusive in naming events, especially when the local membership is so diverse. I like to think that in Canada, where labour laws are so much more fair than many countries, unions should be progressive organizations that work to enact change. I guess my union can’t even be inclusive in naming a party that’s funded with my dues.

Open Letter to AUPE re: SAFA/AUPE Christmas Party

Below is the email reply I sent to my AUPE local Chair Rosemary Read on Friday, November 16 upon receiving an invitation to the AUPE/SAFA Christmas Party:

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for the invitation to this event but I have concerns about the name. Is it really appropriate for a union to use the exclusive term “Christmas” in their events? Can’t AUPE be more inclusive to their non-Christian members and hold a party that is welcoming to all membership?

I understand that SAIT also holds an annual “Christmas Party” but I hold the union to higher, less discriminatory standards. I’m not happy to see my union dues fund a party that is counter to my values of inclusion.


Thank you,


I have yet to receive a reply and today received a reminder email for the event. I will am now contacting the AUPE general contact because I am concerned with both the name of the event and lack of response from my local.

I wish to voice my concern that AUPE should work to be more inclusive of it’s non-Christian membership and to express displeasure at my union dues funding an event that is not representative of my inclusive values.

I look forward to your reply. A copy of this will be posted online at

Thank you,

Kaitlyn McNeill

AUPE Local 39