Lily Tomlin's Radical Recommendations

January 30th, 2010 7:31 AM

Whenever I think of actress Lily Tomlin now, I think of her animal-rights plea in 2008: "The word, ‘zoo,’ is sort of elephant-speak for Guantanamo. They’re really, they are suffering and being tortured."

When Time looked into "Lily Tomlin’s Short List," readers found endorsements of hard-left radio hosts and authors:

Stephanie Miller as commentator-comic Mama and her irreverent two-man band of merrymaking mischief monkeys get me laughing every morning. Then I get deeply serious with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

Miller calls herself "Mama" – ironically, since she’s not a mother. Her authors are also radical:

When I need an infusion of feminism, I read Robin Morgan to remind me of what I always want to remember....When I want to be hit upside the head, I turn to Richard Dawkins. It's that glimmer of seeing what he's getting at that brings me back each time with determination.

Dawkins is the splenetic atheist who starred in the Ben Stein film Expelled, reading his own rants against God:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, blood-thirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Morgan's latest tome is a "toolkit for combating the religious right." She sells herself as a "flamboyant guerrilla," which is an especially interesting label. Her most infamous work is The Demon Lover, which came out in 1989 with the subtitle The Sexuality of Terrorism. (Read: male). They changed it in a 2001 edition to The Roots of Terrorism. She explored what she called the "acute terminal testosterone-poisoning" theory of "patriarchal history."