Archive for April, 2024

The Men Coming Out on Top

Thursday, April 4th, 2024

The “Women can do everything men can do” craze — that’s what it is, a craze, as in it doesn’t make any sense — started somewhere in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s. Probably with Angie Dickinson in “Police Woman.” Then it became a way for hack writers to stay relevant, which is where we are now. Mara Jade is just as powerful a Jedi as Luke Skywalker…which, again, doesn’t make any sense. Supergirl is stronger than Superman, and that doesn’t make any sense either.

SupergirlThis is all fiction and it shouldn’t impact real life. In any way. But you know what, these are affairs of human beings, which also don’t make any sense. Fiction is affecting real life. Girls of dating age are ready to start some “serious” relationships with guys, and they don’t know how to do it because they’re not sure why we need guys. At all. For anything.

Mrs. Freeberg isn’t keeping up with the times. She and I have a “Martha and George Washington” height difference…or a Mathilda of Flanders / William the Conqueror height difference. Oh, she has step stools and when I’m not around and something’s on the top shelf, she does what must be done. But when I’m home…Honey? Can you get the thing? Usually the flour. Third shelf above the dishwasher.

She’s my Number One. Of course I jump up and get her what she needs. I may be a lazy asshole, but I’m a six foot tall lazy asshole, and she’s cooking my dinner. So I can continue to be an obese six foot tall lazy asshole. Oh yeah, and then the jars. She needs to open jars. Honey…?

I say: She’s smart. These “Women can do everything men can do” types are the dumb ones. They should be learning from her.

This targeting of men for uselessness — it’s counterproductive and cruel. It’s the cart before the horse. The conclusion comes first, and then we’re supposed to shoehorn reality into it. That isn’t how it’s supposed to work, at all, anywhere. And reality isn’t complying, because it turns out men can do quite a few things women can’t do. The cruelty is what’s inflicted upon the boys-coming-of-age. The message has gotten across to them that they lack value, aren’t supposed to be able to do anything, and if they’ve learned to do anything women can do it so much better. That’s a terrible message to deliver to anybody who’s teetering on the brink of adulthood, no matter what their gender is.

“Women can do it all” is false. It’s an argument that’s over before it’s started. You just pay attention to the “reality” taking shape around us, and you see even the title of “Woman of the Year” is being taken by a man.

And you know what else? It’s boring. It didn’t start last year, or the year before. It’s been going on for decades. Decades, and decades, and more decades, our noses being ground into it, like it’s punishment, the way you would grind a puppy’s nose into its own mess during the housebreaking. Except this is not our own mess.

MasculinityIn addition to being false, and boring, it’s divisive. We don’t need this. Women and men complement each other. We belong together. My wife is five feet one inch — no more than that — of amazing-ness, and if she sees something needs doing she’s going to do it even though her knees are missing cartilage, her neck bones are fused together and she’s allergic to everything. But I’m the never-sick guy who can’t find anything in the drug store because he never needs anything, full size, full height. So if I can see she’s going to wreck herself trying to do something, I’m going to do it first.

The current cultural norm, and target of motion, is: Men are useless. We should just lie in the sunbeam, like cats, waiting for our mistresses to do everything.

But it isn’t going to work, because it doesn’t mesh with reality. It doesn’t even mesh with the fake-reality we’re building elsewhere, doesn’t mesh with the Mulvaney “reality.” Men come out on top here and there, now and then, in a lot of places. Because we should. Just like women should & do come out on top in other places. That’s the design, in both intent and in effect.

If you like, you might say God knew what she was doing when making that call. But the call got made, and that’s the way it is. We don’t work well as replacements for each other, because that’s not what we are. We’re all built for a higher purpose than that.

When They Tell Us How It’s Gonna Be

Thursday, April 4th, 2024

Sometimes bureaucracy doesn’t tell. It asks.

And it seems quite out of place. The IRS sends you a letter saying they think you still owe $4,500. They’re probably right — they made sure they had you dead to rights before they sent the letter. But they ask. There’s an appeals process.

Ditto with Facebook removing your content. Sometimes they ask. They provide a way for you to protest the decision. Sometimes the link even works! They ask, don’t tell, even if they mean to tell and their openness to the dissenting opinion is merely an illusion.

Now there are other times where the bureaucracy makes a point of telling not asking. And that’s what has happened with DEI. The new officials and their salaries, the programs, the promotional materials, the mandated training, the indoctrination about “white fragility” — none of this existed just a handful of years ago. But it’s here now. Settled. There is no appeal. Don’t even think of it. You’re going to class. Resign. Submit.

Young people who have been herded through the public school K-12 system, have this tendency that’s entirely understandable. They think the more emphatic the bureaucracy is, the more right it must be. If you are lacking an appeals process, don’t worry about it because you probably don’t need one. Just worry about appealing the things you can appeal.

Well, I used to be a young person. But I’ve seen some years come and go, and I’ve been impressed by something. It’s the opposite that’s true.

If the bureaucracy doesn’t provide an appeals process, it’s because of one reason, and that one reason is that they’re afraid it will be used. The judgments and edicts handed down without any pathway for questioning or appeal, with very few exceptions, turn out to be ridiculous. The bureaucracy renders the judgment without appeal, because if they allowed for an appeal, ensuing events would show that the appeal is right, and the judgment was wrong. This is why nobody ever brags about having founded a “bureaucracy.” It’s not a good word.

And among the ones we have, nobody anywhere relies on them with genuine faith. They’re just there.

The less a bureaucracy allows for dissent, question or appeal, the less sense the decision makes. That’s because it’s less likely it would remain standing in the end with all credibility left intact, if the discussion were allowed to happen. You don’t need to take my word for it. Just pay attention. Paper straws, yanking Uncle Ben off boxes of rice and disappearing the Indian girl from Land O Lakes. Dudes competing in women’s sports. Pronouns, pronouns and more pronouns. “In establishing whether sexual harassment or aggression has taken place, it is the impression of the complainant that decides everything. The intent of the offender is irrelevant.” Do these decisions make sense? Really?

Let’s put Dr. Fauci in charge of everything, including how we let each other know we care. Make him the national Miss Manners. Let’s wait for Saint Anthony to tell us it’s okay to barbecue in our own back yard…with four people. Masks. Vaccination mandates. Who told you it’s okay to collect rainwater off your own roof?

Fact checkers. “Our ruling is false.” Oh is it now? Is your ruling supposed to be determined by the facts, or are the “facts” going to be molded and shaped by your ruling?

Whether to tag allegations about the 2020 election, and associated shenanigans, “baseless,” or “false.” It looks like, as they say, “a matter of fact.” Yes, it makes perfect sense that we shouldn’t consider public opinion in evaluating those; they are what they are, regardless of what anybody thinks. But when a star chamber of nameless and faceless deciders leaps to the conclusion they want and hands it down to the rest of us, is that really what’s happening?

Because after they do that, a lot of people are going to like it. And then those same people are going to tell us the Supreme Court, or some lower court, screwed up and made the wrong decision. This is where my interest hits a spike, because deciding on matters of fact and where logic leads from those facts, without any deference to public whim, is what those courts are supposed to do.

Meanwhile, there’s supposed to be a lot of distress over how much heat there is around our various issues under discussion — how divided we have become. We’d be a lot less divided if someone stopped and asked the public at large about the paper straws, or if it would be alright for men to pretend to be women in women’s boxing matches and swim matches.

Fact Check!

Monday, April 1st, 2024

After I’m done reading a “Fact Check,” I am not left with an impression of “Oh good, now I have the whole story, then.” My impression, instead, is one of “I’d sure like to see a back-and-forth debate about this, as opposed to a simple ‘Fact Check’.”

I admit I have biases that could lead me toward that. But honestly, I don’t think they are. Seems to me this is a natural reaction. It is felt by, or ought to be felt by, all persons who think sincerely about things, all throughout the ideological spectrum. Right? I’m pretty sure about that. I’ve seen “my side” fact check some things and I’m left with the same question, of “Yeah but what do the other guys have to say about that?”

Fact checks are essentially ads. They are sponsored by interested organizations. They are about as credible as ads. They answer questions no one anywhere was asking, to give false impressions, like “This peanut butter has no cholesterol.”

I do think the public at large has fallen behind in their understanding of how misleading a fact check can be. Once I saw someone fact checking Ann Coulter in one of her books, where she points out notorious socialist candidate Norman Mattoon Thomas was the father of Newsweek editor Evan Thomas. He’s not!, said the fact check. Right…not father. Grandfather. The fact checker deliberately concealed that. Coulter had the necessary correction included in the next edition. Stuff like that.

In this case and others, you’d be better informed if you’d never seen the fact check.

And then there’s the out-and-out failed stuff. We were on the receiving end of a fact check that Hunter Biden’s laptop was actually just planted Russian disinformation. An opinion, not an established fact. But, the opinion of fifty-one highly qualified intelligence experts. So that drove a “fact check” — which turned out to be wrong. The laptop was Hunter’s and there was nothing Russian about it. Apologies all around? Eh…nope.

I’m left wondering: These fact checks are for…whom? Who has faith in them? I think we’ve outgrown them at this point. They’re ads. You litter the landscape with thousands of ’em, like fliers stapled to telephone poles, and one or two out of those thousands will have the desired effect. From that, you justify a budget to run off thousands more. That’s exactly the way they work, and that’s not what honest people have in mind when you use the words “fact check.”

But it makes it easier for some people to WinTheArgument — when they don’t really deserve to win it. So they like it. That’s the truth.

It’s really time for the whole thing to go. No one’s fooled by it anymore. Just barely enough of a false impression, falling on just barely enough people, to justify its continuing existence, as advertising. Just like scam artists calling your elderly parents on the phone to swindle them out of their life savings. Just enough for something like that. Not as anything else. And it’s been this way for quite awhile by now. Just like with many of the other things we do, future generations will be left wondering: Why’d we tolerate it so long? And there’s no good answer.