Talk:Amy Alkon

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Tarika Wilson[edit]

The statement about Alkon being criticized for her comments on Tarika Wilson has been removed. The only "critic" is a blogger. If this were in some commercial publication, the statement would be valid, but citing a blog as a source for anything other than the blogger's own opinions is completely invalid. (talk) 22:49, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Also removed were the quotes by Harold Bloom and Albert Ellis. Although these head her columns in many newspapers, there is no citation for the original quotes available. No source, no quote. (talk) 13:56, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Weak Atheist[edit]

Corrected Amy's stance on Atheism. She wrote on her own blog that she's a weak atheist, and included the citation. This is Patrick, by the way, posting as an anon as I have removed my name from this site. I wouldn't be writing here on any Wikipedia entry, but since I'm the one who wrote that Alkon was a strong atheist, and was corrected by Alkon herself on her own blog (see the citation), I considered it my obligation to correct my own mistake. I have now done so. So, good-bye, Wikipedia. (talk) 23:30, 7 November 2009 (UTC)


Restored the "Campaigns" section. This is published material and as much a part of her writing as her column. PatrickLMT (talk) 18:16, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I would like permission to add to this entry ms. alkon's comments and stated position on the tarika wilson tragedy, the story of which is encapsulated here:

I think this would be useful to people who wish to know more about ms. alkon. unfortunately, the page is still locked. Rageahol (talk) 10:57, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

The partial restriction on editing expires on Sunday night. I hope you will add that material on Monday. --El Ingles (talk) 18:18, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Not acceptable. Your only source for this alleged criticism is a blogger. This falls under Wikipedia's definition of Questionable Sources[1]. If you can find a legitimate source that criticized Alkon for her comments on Tarika Wilson (or anything else), it would be appropriate to add this. (talk) 12:43, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Now that El Ingles's bid to have the page deleted has been overruled (as it should have been), we can start building this page. Incorporation is welcome. Presumptuous riding roughshod over the efforts of others is not.

Added a Biography section as I was able to track down more verifiable information on her life. Included the name of her next book. Added a new source, a very recent article about Alkon in DOUBLETHINK, which is where I got the biographical information I added. I found some blog entries on blogs other than Alkon's where a contributor claimed to be Amy Alkon herself. It's certainly possible, even likely, that these are actually Alkon's own contributions, but as I cannot prove that this is indeed the genuine article, I cannot incorporate that information. After all, anyone can write on a blog and sign their name "Amy Alkon."

And by the way, I also removed the word "online" as it was used in the redundant expression "online blog." Since "blog" is shorthand for weblog, ALL blogs are online. PatrickLMT (talk) 02:51, 4 September 2008 (UTC)


I'm not sure why this person has a page. Isnt there notability criteria or something? Her page reads like a resume, and I'm really not sure why it's noteworthy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rageahol (talkcontribs) 19:29, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Miss Alkon is said to be patient with blog commenters.

She has a page because she is syndicated columnist in over 100 newspapers. She's also an author and has been featured on the Biography Channel offering the "Advice Minute." Perhaps you've never heard of her, but there are a number of people given entries on this database that I never heard of and wouldn't consider significant. PatrickLMT (talk) 12:36, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

what, so every person with a two-bit blog and a bit part on basic cable is "notable" now? Transfriendly (talk) 04:33, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Nope. Being a widely syndicated columnist would constitute notability, but read through Wikipedia:Notability; if you find that this individual/blog does not meet the notability criteria, you can nominate the article for deletion.--Fullobeans (talk) 06:23, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
When you get a "bit part" on basic cable and are a syndicated columnist in over 100 newspapers, I'd consider it an honor to write a page about you, too! PatrickLMT (talk) 02:07, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Now that the page has been utterly emasculated by PatrickLMT, it might as well be deleted. Go for it, admins!! --El Ingles (talk) 16:42, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Wah, wah, wah...because I didn't think every petty snipe was considered noteworthy. Much as you might love to make snide commentary on a forum that is supposed to be objective fact, this page is not your personal slam book. The article entered semi-protected status for a reason. You wish to conduct a vendetta against a syndicated columnist, you may do so on your own forum, or a forum dedicated to just that purpose. But this site is committed to facts and objectivity. You may not like her comments or her column, but this is not the place for you to air your grievances. PatrickLMT (talk) 01:46, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Wah, wah, wah...I think you have me confused with an editor of this sorry page. Actually, I'm merely a reader of it, and as such I think what you've done with it is disastrous. The missing material is no more of a "vendetta" than is Alkon's own daily ranting against her perception of life in the coffee shops of Santa Monica. DELETE IT, ADMINS!! --El Ingles (talk) 03:14, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Again...Waaah, waaah, waaah...What Ms. Alkon writes in the coffee shops of Santa Monica on her own blog is entirely her prerogative. Subjective opinion or objective fact, petty sniping, "rants," whatever you call it, is appropriate on blogs, ever the discretion of the blog's owner. Wikipedia is not a blog, however. Should Wikipedia contain entries on that same subject matter, I can assure you that "rants" reported as objective fact would not be appropriate. "Just the facts, ma'am." PatrickLMT (talk) 08:04, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Your latest edits are an absolute joke -- who are you, her agent? --El Ingles (talk) 13:56, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Simmer down, Stu. Your criticisms are *ahem* less than constructive. I'm in the process of rewriting the Amy Alkon page, away from all this madness. I have other sources. I also own "Free Advice". To say she's not notable is ridiculous. Your obvious dislike for the subject (and this is applicable to ANY subject) has no effect on the subject's quality or notability. Surely you are rational enough to understand that. If you aren't going to contribute to the page, AND are actively discouraging the people who are, you could always go elsewhere. I'm sure there are any one of several hundred thousand other articles where your input would (and could) be more helpful. Gayle Duncan (talk) 18:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
El Ingles, you're trolling, yes? I'm fairly certain that removing sentences like "The phrase 'luscious vagina' also appears at least twice on Amy's web site" does not constitute a violation of Wikipedia's anti-emasculation protocols. But perhaps I should go back and read WP:EMASCULATE. --Fullobeans (talk) 18:52, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Go for it, Gayle, and for Pete's sake bring back into the page some flavour of Alkon's rampantly controversial opinions. I have nothing against the lady -- I think her writing is quite interesting -- but, as I wrote before, PatrickLMT's whitewash job is like Edward Teller without the H-bomb. --El Ingles (talk) 19:03, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Realized what you meant after I had posted that comment, Stu. I didn't read enough into what your gripe with the article was, and for that I apologize. I wouldn't argue against Amy Alkon's controversial nature- not for an instant. That's a major factor in her notability, as a matter of fact. While I have your (the collective "your") attention, I've hit a bit of a brick wall here and I need some consensus. Amy Alkon's blog is indeed a major source of information about her. Philosophically, is the official blog of a writer completely off-limits because it is, (by semantics more than anything,) a "blog"? For example, I'm in the process of explaining Amy's anti-SUV campaign. This campaign is referenced in a book on evolutionary psychology. However, it is referenced and expounded upon in a scientific manner, the actual fall-out from this campaign is explained in a sub-page on her blog. I know Wikipedia's position on "blogs" and understand in general why it doesn't consider them to be reliable sources of information. However, can an exception be made for the professional blogs of professional writers? If it was a personal blog about how much she hated her hair or something, I'd understand. But in this case, I believe an exception is in order. I'd just like some consensus.Gayle Duncan (talk) 19:57, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, hey! You don't need a consensus for anything. After all, you've taken it upon yourself to "rewrite" the whole article "away from all this madness!" I wouldn't presume to offer an opinion on anything you write. PatrickLMT (talk) 08:24, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a fan of confrontation. There's too much mud-slinging here (although it has calmed down a bit.) The material on Amy Alkon exists. I've listed quite a bit of it in one of my responses below. I didn't mean to ruffle any delicate feathers. I enjoy writing and research- I do not enjoy dealing with drama. I really don't. Please don't presume anything about me. Rather than berate me on some perceived "high and mightiness", please assume my good faith. I've listed quite a few sources below. If the mood strikes you, feel free to do the research and writing yourself. I of course welcome any constructive edits to my writing- I wouldn't bother with Wikipedia if I didn't. But I don't welcome attitude. I'm not taking "sides" in this debate- I'm just writing. Gayle Duncan (talk) 23:15, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Ha ha...Wikipedia and its dearth of policies. Just realized Wikipedia allows self-published material for BLPs. I was looking at non-BLP policies when I made the initial inquiry. Since I am fairly sure I can present the information so that it meets the guidelines of BLP-self published sources...I guess I don't need a consensus. :) Input is always welcome though; I may be a rock, but an island I am not.Gayle Duncan (talk) 22:34, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not an expert on wikipolicy but in this case I don't see how you can do justice to the subject without referencing the blog. For example, many people resent SUV-drivers and bad parents. Those opinions are hardly controversial per se. Alkon makes them controversial by her "compensation for a tiny penis" statement, and her militant criticism of what she considers bad parenting from a position of doing no parenting herself. (And don't get me started about Paris). --El Ingles (talk) 00:03, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Just so you all know, I wasn't suggesting that you shouldn't reference the blog, per se. I was discussing the blog entries themselves. Alkon has been blogging for years some of the comments that she makes might be buried under years of archives, if they're available at all. As for the "luscious vagina," the comment, as it was, was misleading. Yes, factually, it's accurate. However, in both instances, Alkon was QUOTING a person who responded to one of her "anti-SUV" cards. I'm not saying she WOULDN'T say something like that. But I am saying that the "luscious vagina" was not her choice of words. The entry, as it stood, didn't make this clear and I believe a reasonable person would assume otherwise. Hence I removed it. There are many edgy things she says which are her own words, including the "small penis" crack that she has on those same business cards. As such, they are better candidates to represent Alkon's "flavor" that Stu is sobbing uncontrollably over.
Other things I chose to remove were simply idiotic, such as "Although an 'Advice Goddess,' Alkon is a staunch atheist and presumably does not believe in God." That may be one of the most asinine things I've ever read. Call it a hunch, but I think she calls herself the "advice goddess" in a figurative sense, not that she's an atheist who thinks she's a literal goddess. And regarding "a staunch atheist who presumably doesn't believe in God" can I ask as opposed to what??? A staunch atheist who does believe in God? Well, of course! There are "staunch atheists" who believe in God all over the place! And how presumptuous of whoever wrote that comment to assume that just because Alkon is a (self-described) "staunch atheist," that she doesn't believe in God! Why, how DARE that writer!
As we're discovering, any idiot can edit articles on Wikipedia...and they do. And some idiots don't bother. They just cry endlessly about those who are trying to.
I was trying incorporate accurate and at least semi-intelligent things gradually, once I Hoovered out the idiotic, redundant and/or misleading statements that infested this page. (You gotta watch those self-described "staunch atheists," -- you know. You wouldn't want to presume that they don't believe in God. <insert eyeroll here>) And yes, you do need to consult the Wikipedia policies on BLPs before you can incorporate anything into the article. If you bother to check that page, you'll find that Wikipedia considers accuracy and verifiable sources to be of deadly importance. Since LPs can sue you for posting misinformation, I'd say that's a good policy to have. Gayle, before you appoint yourself the savior of this page, why don't we make everyone happy and allow this to be a collaboration? Because, one way or another, that's what it's going to be. I don't know what your "other sources" are, but according to the rules of BLPs, it must be verifiable. If they're not, they'll be removed in accordance with Wikipedia's policy. PatrickLMT (talk) 08:16, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Well this is starting to make more sense. Sorry to accuse you of trolling, Stu, I now see where you're coming from. I ended up at this page, somehow, having never heard of Amy Alkon, and the article made me cringe a bit. It seemed at best crufty and at worst vandalized. In its current state, it looks much more like a Wikipedia article, so props to Patrick et al. If forced to choose between capturing the essence of an individual and writing a bland but indisputable summary of them, it's best to err in favor of the latter. Of course, there's no reason one can't write about luscious vaginas, tiny penises, and the god delusion in an encyclopedic manner; but it's particularly vital to source potentially controversial material and explain its relevance, lest oblivious snobs like me come along and remove it. See, for instance, the Perez Hilton article, which establishes its subject as a controversial blogger without seeming sensationalistic. So Gayle, you might want to browse through other blogger bios (if you haven't already done so) for inspiration and guidance; but by all means, add your information (and references!) and rewrite where appropriate. I certainly didn't get the impression Ms. Duncan was claiming ownership of the page, so let's not discourage a willing editor from extricating a stub from the mire of stubbishness. Just don't get too attached to your own work, Gayle, because we'll all have our sticky little fingers all over it sooner or later. --Fullobeans (talk) 18:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm so sorry, I should have mentioned I was taking a short wiki-break (had to buy a wedding dress-took longer than I expected.) I have no delusions of ownership as they pertain to this page. :) (Besides, "owning" the informational article of a living person smacks of weird.) BLP-sources have different criteria than regular wikipedia articles, when writing a BLP it is OK to use self-published material...if the self-published material is written by the subject of the BLP. Theoretically that would make Amy Alkon's blog fair game. As for additional sources, "Free Advice" (Amy's first book) explains in detail how "The Advice Ladies" got started. Not to show bias here, but it's a good read. Doublethink (print and online) has a feature on her this month. Jerome Barkow's book "Missing the Revolution" references Amy's SUV campaign twice (although the reading is a little drier than say, "Free Advice") She's won many journalism awards, which I am in the process of running down and verifying (LA Press Club Awards being some of them.) Haven't found a lot on the new book, but I'm searching (a few recent blog entries mention that it's late- which might be why.) If you're poking around the New York Time's website, search for Amy Alkon, I come up with "SoHo Street Therapy" as a feature on the Advice Ladies, as well as several other mentions in various articles. If anyone wants to jump on those leads, feel free. I'm getting married in a month and unfortunately the invites aren't mailing themselves.Gayle Duncan (talk) 21:56, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
No worries! Congratulations, and good luck with your wedding. Hopefully someone or other will take you up on your wonderful leads; I'm unfortunately neck-deep in my own projects at the moment. If not, well, the article will be waiting for you if and when married life starts to get boring. Not that I've ever heard of such a thing happening. --Fullobeans (talk) 23:35, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Congratulations, Gayle. As you can see, I've added some things, and you can add/edit as you will. It's not that I care to do this solo. I don't. If people want to remove/edit sentences, paragraphs, whatever, or add other source material, write some new paragraphs, I'm all for it. I've done my share of it and had it done to some of my stuff as well. No problem, it's a group effort. And that's the very point. To rewrite an entire article and then just copy and paste it over what already exists, consigning everyone else's efforts to oblivion...well, let's just say I would prefer that people show a bit more respect to the efforts of their predecessors. PatrickLMT (talk) 03:25, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sorry you accused him of trolling. If the bridge fits, he can live under it. I don't consider the part about "luscious vagina" to be of deadly importance or terribly revealing, for reasons I already stated; i.e., that she is not using the words herself, but quoting someone else. As such, it can be misleading. If I said on my blog, "And he replied 'FUCK YOU!' to me," would you post on my Wikipedia article that "Patrick says 'FUCK YOU!' on his blog"?
It's not even a reference to Alkon's vagina, for that matter. I think I will add the part about "small penis" instead, since those are her words, not quoting anyone else. Just a word of warning about the editing. The "small penis" anti-SUV business card is considered a published work and her property. As such, you CANNOT transcribe the entire business card. You can only post a reference and source the rest. I'm about to add that. See what you all think.
Also, I don't agree with the suggestion that she doesn't like "bad parenting." She doesn't post an inordinantly large number of blog entries decrying parents who haven't memorized Dr. Benjamin Spock. She doesn't like recalcitrant brats in her personal space or in earshot, which she attributes to "bad parenting," and there's nothing extraordinary about that. And one doesn't need to be a parent herself to not care to have unruly children around. So, here goes... PatrickLMT (talk) 02:07, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm somewhat disappointed in my own work. It's certainly more colorful, but it needs tweaking. Any takers? I will see if I can expand on the other causes she champions. Maybe I should have left out the "vulgarian" part and just leave in "small penis" and "monstrosity." PatrickLMT (talk) 08:49, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I used to read Amy Alkon's column in The Dallas Morning News, but it seems that this newspaper no longer publishes her column. Otherwise, I do not know how well known her column has ever been, but I do know that this article has been plagued with problems like original research, lack of second and third-party sources as opposed to primary sources, a general dearth of information, and addition of erroneous and/or unsourced, potentially negative content by various anonymous and registered editors. The last time I searched the internet, I found very little information on Alkon published by reliable sources. However, even if the article cannot be expanded beyond its current length due to a lack of information, my opinion is that Amy Alkon is notable enough to have her own Wikipedia article. If you disagree, I would suggest an AfD debate. Andrea Parton (talk) 21:33, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Wrong. An entry is not considered valid or invalid due to lack of verifiable information. Nor does the lack of verifiable information determine noteworthiness. It could be a simple of matter of Ms. Alkon's reticence in discussing her personal life. There is a great deal of personal information she discloses on her blog, however, due to the ephemeral nature of blog entries, they are not good sources. PatrickLMT (talk) 01:52, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

A matter of fact[edit]

In 1987 (the August 17 issue) The New Yorker magazine published an article written by Alec Wilkinson concerning one Jean-Pierre Ady Fenyo, a 23 years of age individual who would sit out in Greenwich Village and offer passersby Free Advice. In 1991 the first media reports about the three Free Advice Ladies began to appear. Why? Because, unbeknownst to the general public, Amy Alkon and her two colleagues Minnick and Johnson, had read the article in The New Yorker and figured they could make it appear to be their own original idea. Nothing could be further from the truth. The evidence exists at The Official Free Advice Man Web-site. Lightning-Feather 12:56, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

This is ridiculous. "The expense of someone else's idea?" Oh, please. Like free advice is some great intellectual privilege in need of a 1000 different copyrights and 2000 patents. But as it is, by the standards of Wikipedia, true or not, this will still not stand in the article itself. Not one event of this is verifiable, nor has it ever been reported in any major media outlet. At least if this event made it to "The New York Times" or something, it could stand as something you "alleged." The only verifiable aspect of the above statement is that an article appeared in the 1987 New Yorker. You can't prove that Alkon and her colleagues got the idea from an article they supposedly read four years earlier. As (the writer claiming to be) Alkon states, Charles M. Schultz has more intellectual ownership of the idea for his character of Lucy Van Pelt offering psychiatric help for 5 cents. For that matter, Bill Watterson once had his character of Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) set up a booth offering "Candid Opinions" which he used to hurl abuse at a neighbor's child, Susie Derkins. And your claims of your encounter with Alkon and company are simply hearsay. We have absolutely nothing to go on but your word vs. hers. As far as I know, you never even made your claims of this "confrontation" to a major news outlet, so it could be reported on. The idea that the above should be included in the text of the article is simply asinine. As "stubby" as the text is, at least what's there is honest. PatrickLMT 09:52, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Amy Alkon posting here, the above is a lie, and libelous, and should be removed. As I posted on my blog after somebody alerted me to this remark:

Actually, the nut who wrote DeNiro to tell him he had the idea first posted a lie below that that we said we'd read the piece in The New Yorker. We didn't, and didn't say so. Moreover, I couldn't afford the New Yorker in those days, or much of anything else, as I was paying my entire salary for rent, rollerskating 50 blocks to work to save a dollar on the subway, and eating out of conference rooms so I wouldn't starve to death.

Furthermore, The Advice Ladies was a fun idea, but not a unique one -- see Peanuts, Lucy's 5-cent advice stand. We undercut her by five cents -- mostly because we never thought anybody would want to pay us for anything we had to say. Marlowe has since died, and we haven't done street corner advice for over 10 years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Amy Alkon (talkcontribs) 04:53, 23 November 2006

Radical Islam talk[edit]

On 2/24/15, an IP editor added this edit (with slight cleanup immediately following); these were the only edits listed for that IP user. The edit accuses Amy of "maligning Muslims and Islam" and claims to quote from her writings radical statements that are out of context, unsourced, and which might be considered potentially libellous. The content was updated the next day with an apparent good faith edit somewhat reversing the effect of the alleged quote by another IP editor without removing the alleged quote, again without sourcing, and which left rather confusing results.

I've removed the unsourced content per the BLP infobox instructions. --WBTtheFROG (talk) 04:22, 18 December 2015 (UTC)