Archive for the ‘Poisoning Family’ Category

Memo For File CVII

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I’ve decided the time has come to honor the advice of The Bastidge, and follow it. There is certainly a valid point to be made that the world, and therefore the populace that inhabits it, straddles a chasmatic divide separating two unacknowledged communities, and that each of these communities in perfect isolation would enjoy a harmony that must elude us as we co-exist with each other as a monolith. The divide has something to do with order versus chaos, clarity versus obfuscation, substance versus packaging, individual rights versus community obligations, opportunity versus security, pulling your weight versus fitting-in, logic versus emotion.

We’re seeing it right now with the health care debate. And it substantiates the point all the more when we observe that much of the controversy and dissention swirls around this ramshackle, oxymoronic thing called a “public option.”

I called this “Yin and Yang” out of a desire to get to the bottom of what causes people to pursue, throughout their entire lives, one way of thinking over another. The Yin work within boundaries; the Yang do not. The concept is centuries old, and dates back to periods in different world cultures in which femininity itself was a concept synonymous with the stewardship of quiet, contemplative female chores. In societies like this, it naturally follows that men think of things the way women do in ours, and women must think of things the way men do in ours. Here’s a litmus test: Friend of a friend buys a new car. Or, gets carjacked. It’s a great story to tell for sure, but who is to spend time talking about it?

In an agricultural setting, what happens to one has at least the likelihood of impacting everybody else. And so it makes good sense for people to get together somewhere and swap stories. But these are “Shut Your Girl Mouth Men Are Talking” societies. To whatever extent checking-this-out evolves to become a necessary household chore, it is a manly chore. A railroad’s coming to town, maybe (how does this change things?). Farmer Brown’s crops got wiped out by the cold weather (are ours next?). Who goes down to the saloon to find out about this stuff. It’s not the Mama; there are meals to be cooked, a floor to be swept.

Now, we have the automobile. The printing press. The Internet. Womens’ Lib. And when the time comes to swap tidbits of useful news, who does that? Here is what a lot of people are missing: This is a perfect reversal. We do not have mead halls where the men go to drink beer out of steins and compare prices of bushels of corn. It would be awesome if we did, for sure. But it’s not happening, because the gender roles in our society have flipped around in a perfect one-eighty. Men retreat into their own little worlds, not unlike the kitchens that enveloped their great-grandmothers. Their “kitchens” may be just about anything: A computer with a stubborn virus on it; a classic car that’s being rebuilt; a ham radio or a model train set down in the basement; but there is always a project, it always has a border around it, and that’s what men do.

This awesome Art of Manliness article offers a chronicling of what happened to our mead halls. It began, irony of ironies, with us guys being decent and kind enough to give the ladies the right to vote. Prohibition followed that, and…

For centuries, a man could visit a bar and be in the exclusive presence of other men. Because drinking was seen as a corrupting influence on the “purity and innocence” of women, bars were completely off limits to ladies (exceptions were made for prostitutes, of course). Out of the presence of women and children, men could open up more and revel in their masculinity over a mug of cold ale. However, the bar as a men’s only hangout would quickly see its demise during the dry years of Prohibition.

By banning alcohol, Prohibition forced drinking underground. Speakeasy owners, desperate to make a buck, accepted all drinkers into their establishments, regardless of gender. Moreover, the economic and political empowerment women experienced during the 1920s and 30s made drinking by women more acceptable. By the time Prohibition was repealed, the female presence at the local watering hole had become a common appearance.

World War II only further eroded the male exclusivity of bars and pubs. As more women entered the workforce, it became acceptable to socialize with their male co-workers in taverns and lounges after work.

Today, there aren’t many bars around that cater only to men (gay bars being an obvious exception). Instead, bars have become a place where the sexes come together to mingle and look for a special someone.

Note the article’s title: “The Decline of Male Space.” Men used to own the world. Now, we don’t. We have relinquished the privilege and obligation of socializing, turned it over to the gals, and toddled off to the basement to go play with our train sets. The women do what we used to do — they hold court and they compare their notes with each other, try to see if there’s some hidden meaning of everyday events that might affect the family.

This is precisely what their great-great-grandfathers did. The very same thing.

And so I grow weary of having to explain this. Yes, “Yin” is traditionally female, although I use it to describe a personality attribute that predominantly is to be found in our males. Yang, likewise, is traditionally male, although it describes things our women usually do and that our men, typically, don’t. The concept didn’t flip around, the gender roles did. And so, I have to concede that The Bastidge is accurate in his critique:

Your theory’s alright, if a bit vague and rambling. But Yin and Yang have a specific meaning, and you’re using them more or less backwards.

Yin is a concept roughly aligned with the female, but the concepts covered in your theory- group consciousness, socializing, consensus, softness, weakness, emotion, passivity, are all associated with it.

Yang is roughly male, but also strong, factual, direct, resolute, hard, aggresiive, etc.

In their crudest, most basic form, yin and yang refer to the female and male sexual organs.

My use of these names was arbitrary anyway, and that was on purpose. For the last five years I have seen these as placeholders for something more descriptive that would, and should, come later. After I’d given it another think. Well, with this morass of a health care “debate” that has been taking place, and will surely flare up again later this year, I’ve been forced to give it another think. Besides of which, I’ve met lots and lots of manly-male guys who do their thinking in a much “Yangy-er” way than a lot of the females…so the genders don’t fit well in any case.

And I think the terms are these:

Architects and Medicators.

The word “Architect” is chosen with care. Way back in our history, when written language was a novel idea, architects were “master builders” (which is the etymology of the term). These things they labored to construct, with every little piece of it not put in place properly, could very likely collapse and wipe out an entire family in a heartbeat. And so laws were passed condemning failed architects to a death by stoning (Code of Hammurabi, Law 229). That’s a little gruesome, but it had the effect of galvanizing their chosen profession into a noble discipline.

In their own little community, a “Climategate” e-mail scandal would not, could not, have been tolerated even for an instant. Things were the way they were — period. An angle was ninety degrees, or it wasn’t — period. Up was up and down was down — period. There was no room for bastardizing the peer review process into some mutation of what it was intended to be, to ostracize and excoriate colleagues who spoke measurable truth. The architect, hundreds of years before Christ, lived in an object-oriented world and thought about that world in an object-oriented way.

Okay, now let’s look at what I’ve set up as the polar opposite.

“Medicator,” similarly, is chosen with deliberate thought and intent. “Physician” doesn’t work because physicians are supposed to adhere to the Hypocratic Oath and First Do No Harm. The verb “medicate” is applied to addictions, primary among those being mind-altering substances. It speaks to a process of adjusting one’s emotional response to reality as a first priority, with recognizing that reality as a distinctly second-place priority. Medicators do not heal. Nor do they seek to do harm. The long-term welfare of the body is simply outside of their concern. It isn’t that they don’t care, it’s that there is an emotional well-being that they prize more highly.

To recognize reality as it really is, and to adjust one’s emotional profile in response to the reality so that it is unconditionally cheery, are two mutually-exclusive goals. It may not seem to be the case when reality happens to be pleasant. But when reality is unpleasant you can choose to wrestle with it to whatever extent is required to fix a problem, or you can choose to ignore it in order to keep your emotions on a high and even keel. The sacrifice of long-term satisfaction in order to achieve a short-term high is, of course, a defining hallmark of medicating.

One Revolution AwayNow, these people trying to shove this fustercluck of a health care bill down our throats: It’s no mystery at all where they come down. They are medicators. It is not a primary goal of theirs to actually treat illnesses, heal the sick, bring “healthcare” or “access to healthcare” to “the uninsured.” Nor are they trying — architect-style — to solve any kind of a problem, President Obama’s unceasing speechifying notwithstanding. Think on it: When is the last time you heard anyone in Washington use those phrases above? Been awhile, hasn’t it? No, lately it’s about “getting this done.” Beating the opposition. Winning. Make things the way they/we want them to be. But wait just a second…we’re half way through an election cycle, one that began with their decisive victory. They already beat the opposition. Their victory is forgotten, however, just like a druggie’s high, and they find themselves incomplete, hungry, after-buzzed, struck with a raging case of Delerium Tremens if they don’t score another victory. And after they get that done, of course, they’ll need another and another and another. They live out their lives on a hairpin turn, just like a druggie. Time loses all meaning for them. Bliss is constantly one hit away.

It’s not about health care, of course. It’s about how we think about the world around us. The medicator lives in a gilded cage, waiting passively for someone to come along and fix the latest problem. He does not solve real problems, he does not support anyone who would solve real problems, he does not live in reality. He considers reality itself to be an inimical force. This, ironically, provides a liberating effect. Of course it’s all about the way one does one’s thinking to perceive the world around him, and with someone else assuming the burden of actually fixing the problem, the thinker enjoys the luxury of thinking about things as a non-architect. In a non-object-oriented way. With every little thing on God’s creation, melted together into a sloppy mess. And this overly-medicated “thinker” does not think, in turn, about the resulting mess; instead, he picks up an emotional vibe from it, and shares it with other self-medicated thinkers. That’s the model of reality as perceived by the medicator: A great big ball of warm, gooey wax that’s all melted together, and is now giving off vibes. Hopefully good ones, but if they’re bad ones then someone else needs to fix something — or it’s time for another “hit” of something via one-more-revolution.

Disciplining a child provides a similar contrast. To the architect, everything is cause and effect: The child engaged in undesirable behavior, therefore something needs to be modified about what the child perceives as proper or improper. The solution is to teach the child a new taboo. This can be done through direct communication if the child shares the desire that his behavior should be proper, or through punishment if he does not. First of all the transgression has to be properly categorized — bad attitude, or simple misunderstanding? Then we assess what the child understands about etiquette and go from there. In the Architect’s world, that’s what we do.

In the Medicator’s world, the exercise really is one of medication! Concentrating on something is not a task that was, for one reason or another, failed in this case; it is an ability that has gone missing because the child’s “brain isn’t wired quite right.” Of course the solution is to put the child on a prescription for some goop that will alter his emotional state, and make the process “easier for him.” (It’s nearly always a him.)

Another acid test is when a complex system of any kind starts producing the wrong output, because some unit within it starts to go all wonky — with all the other units in good order. To the Architect and Medicator alike, this is a no-brainer, but they come up with polar-opposite solutions. The Medicator wants to chuck the whole thing and start from scratch, whereas the Architect sees a puzzle to be solved in separating what’s good from what’s busted. Think of Blondie and Dagwood getting in one of their matrimonial melees about whether to call the plumber.

I commented last month that I had finally expunged the malware from my HP Mini notebook. My victory announcement was premature, it turned out. The beastie lived on, downloading other crap onto my platform. It shames me to say it, but if I were to act purely on logic and reasonable cost-benefit analyses, I would have taken the “scorched earth” approach much, much earlier than I did, and lost a lot less time. It became an Ahab/whale thing; I lost sight of fixing the problem, and concentrated instead on figuring out entirely useless trivia about it. Where’d I pick up this thing? What exactly does it contaminate? How come these packages over here can detect it and fool themselves into thinking they’re cleaning it, when they’re not? How come that package over there seems to have “wounded” it (toward the end, it locked up the netbook instead of popping up an ad, which is what it was clearly trying to do)…but can’t quite get all of it?

See, neither Architects or Medicators enjoy a monopoly on always having the right idea. Medicators throw things away in bulk — they are much more inclined to announce “this entire thing is bolluxed!” That is often the right approach, and I have to make a confession…my second one, now…that I’ve often missed out on this advantage when it comes up. Medicators seem to think life has no puzzles in it, none whatsoever. And they probably think this because, in the world they construct around themselves by accepting some responsibilities and simply walking away from some other ones, they’re absolutely right. Choices confront them — choices in which the wrong answer results in some kind of personal suffering — and they become petulant, unpleasant, and then someone else swoops in and solves it for them.

In their world, the question of who gets the “rep” as a problem solver, is completely isolated from the record of who did or didn’t actually solve problems. At no time has this been more evident, than this first year of watching our new President struggle with the demands of His new job. He is a dedicated Medicator. He fixes nothing. The only responsibility He takes is to refine the emotional buzz that comes from this thing or that one…and having failed even at that, He has a ready finger-of-blame to point somewhere else so He can give Himself a good report card. Which He did, actually. That one single act speaks volumes not only to how He thinks about the world and the challenges within it; it is a tip-off to how medicators think as well. You’ll notice this about them if you know some really dedicated ones personally. They enter into conflict with others, because they tend to demand the final word about their own work. It was up to par, the other guy just has a mistaken interpretation of “par.” They followed the instructions they were given, it’s the other guy’s fault for not giving them the right ones.

Running a meeting is yet another good litmus test. Some meeting chairs do it right: Agenda item, question, answer, does anyone have any objections, next agenda item — boom, boom, boom. Others engage in this ludicrous and time-consuming practice of using the forum to adjust the emotional tenor of the participants, as if it’s a high school pep rally. Buying a car: Any salesman will tell you, some people turn their thoughts to the TCO with considerations such as gas mileage, service records, availability of parts. Others worry overly much about how they look when they’re tooling around in the car, what strangers will think of them.

Homeowners’ Association bylaws can be written to accommodate one of these halves of humanity, or the other, or both. This is a rather interesting situation, because the bylaws represent an attempt to “architect” a successful neighborhood, through the “medication” of the emotions of the people who observe it. Here and there, though, we see stories in the news surrounding HOA bylaws that are, to turn a rustic phrase, just plain stupid. They don’t do anything to make people feel good and it seems extravagant and far-fetched to suppose they could have anything to do with preserving the value of the property. Banning the American flag is the one example that springs immediately to mind, since those stories have a way of jumping onto the front page.

The last time we linked one of these, the story in question showcased a persistent trait among the Medicators: proxy offense.

[M]anagement told them the flags could be offensive because they live in a diverse community.

The controlling curmudgeon lays down the curmudgeonly rule, and the curmudgeon is silent on whether he or she personally finds the emblem, the e-mail, the cologne, the pin-up calendar, et al, offensive. It’s much more often proxy: Some third party is offended. Or some third party could be offended. The impossible-to-meet “Could Be Interpreted As” standard of cleanliness. It is conceivably possible, therefore the contraband has to go. The curmudgeon will oversee the removal. But it’s business and not personal, see? Just like something out of The Godfather: “Tell Michael I always liked him, it was business, not personal.” Some nameless faceless anonymous person complained, or could complain.

This dedicated Architect says — Medicators really shouldn’t be running anything. They don’t want to. They don’t want the responsibility. This is why these columns are now coming out, some serious and some satirical, that speculate openly that President Obama is perhaps bored and disenchanted with His own job. I no longer consider it to be commentary outside my sphere of knowledge, to proffer that President Obama had some serious misgivings the first time He made a decision about something that had little-or-nothing to do with winning an election, saw that His decision had a direct bearing upon the outcome, and emotionally recoiled. I have seen this happen too many times, up close. In the months since then, the country has been buried in this “awkward stage” in which He tries to confront each and every single challenge with a vision that, as this-or-that chapter reaches the final page, the emotional buzz of those watching has been fine-tuned and frothed up into a desirable state of bliss. This is, I’m sure, why we’ve seen so many speeches out of Him during His first year, and will doubtless see about that many out of Him during His second.

We live in a society in which our every want and need is met, with resistance or inconvenience that is at best negligible. It may not seem like that to us at the time because we’re spoiled; we tend to mistake a temporary slow-down, or wrong turn, or setback, for a real possibility of failure in acquiring what we’re trying to acquire. Deep down, we all know we’re not really being challenged by much of anything; we will get what we are trying to get, one way or the other, so long as some minimal quantity of our peers are also trying to get the same thing. If all else fails we’ll band together and our populist rage will force someone to give it to us. We’re supposed to be so worried about “the economy” but we have our beer, our coffee, our big teevee screens. The only things that are really in jeopardy are the self-respect and dignity that come from having a job, and the same for our children. All other things are guaranteed, in one way or another. They don’t face any real jeopardy.

This state of hyper-safe hyper-civilization has aggravated the divide between — whate’er you wanna callzem, Yin and Yang, or Architects and Medicators — as I’ve pointed out before. It creates a bigger divide on such fundamental questions as: What is a good speech, anyway? What is a convincing argument? Is it thinky-thinky or feelie-feelie? In other words, do you progress systematically among the first three pillars, basing your opinions/inferences upon available fact and things-to-do upong the opinions/inferences. Or, do you just stir up a whole lot of motivating emotions in your audience, get them all outraged against some straw-man Snidely Whiplash, anti-logical exuberance for your “ideas,” Obama-style?

And the fact is, Architects have a definite idea in mind about the answer to such rudimentary questions.

Another fact is, Medicators have a definite idea about the answer as well. These ideas are not the same. They are opposites.

Another fact is, neither side is willing to budge on such issues. If you have a pulse, and a brain, and you’ve been using your brain to solve problems that confront you here and there…each day you stay alive further enmeshes you in the answer you chose, way back, before you were five years old.

And the least inconvenient fact of all is that if we cannot agree on questions like those, we aren’t going to agree on anything else.

We are engaged in a discourse between people who understand how to make real decisions, and those who do not understand this and do not seek to understand this. They don’t see the need. But since they’ve “won,” for the time being it is their job…even if they continue to find ways to weasel out of it, and blame others when the job goes undone.

My 42 Definitions of a Strong Society

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Yes, once again it is time to dig into the obsessive-compulsive-list-making “what’s been ripening in the innards of the smartphone” file. And nobody disagrees with me about any of it.

At least, when talking-out-loud most people don’t disagree with much of it. Being a liberal, lately, seems to involve saying something to the effect of “Oh in a perfect world I wish (insert some of what follows here)…BUT…we have all these problems, so therefore we must ‘invest’ in my program.” And being a “moderate” liberal versus an “extreme” liberal, seems more than anything else to have to do with how quickly the liberal gets to that “but.”

Regarding what makes a society free, strong and healthy, there does not appear to be a lot of disagreement. Except for craven disagreement, the disagreement that must cower out of sight, hiding behind red herrings.

Some of these things can be measured, in service of producing an actual number. Where that is possible, and the number is found to be in a decline, that place is coming off the rails. So you can probably form a guess about my thoughts regarding the direction our country has been heading for the last year.

1. Taboo versus Law. There is a vast, yawning gap between laws that are written down, and unenforced cultural taboos that are universally observed as a sign of respect the individual pays to the sensibilities of the community. There is an abundance of little things that are frowned-upon, and because they are frowned-upon they are very seldom done. They carry absolutely no penalty whatsoever. In fact, making any kind of “hard” law against some of these things, is one of the taboos.
2. Stigma is firm but soft. Rule #1 notwithstanding, nobody ever has to profess a false belief, or keep their silence about a genuine belief, to keep from losing their property, their business, their kids, their spouse, their house, their job, their stature in the community, or anything else. Hey let’s face it: If thinking a certain thing is evidence that you’re a wonderful person, and then you get penalized for thinking something else, then thinking that thing is no longer evidence of your wonderfulness, now is it?
3. Men do things. Able-bodied men, of all ages, are knights. They defend women, children, old and handicapped people, from trifling inconvenience as well as danger and bodily harm. They never, ever remain sitting when a lady approaches.
4. Failure. Universally available, and free. No person, enterprise or industry is “Too Big To Fail” — ever. Failure is regarded as something that is always possible, to be avoided at all costs, but never to be ignored or sidestepped once it is earned. Depriving a man of the failure he has justly earned, is rightfully seen as just as deplorable as depriving him of wages he has justly earned.
5. The high wall. Coarse humor and other material are kept away from children, as well as adults who might not prefer it. The girly mags kept behind the clerk, rather than at knee height out front; the blogger who takes the effort to write “not safe work work language in this video”; the curtain in front of that special room in the back, at your video store; South Park scheduled on the cable teevee for 10pm or later. These are fundamental building blocks of any civilized society. The spicy stuff is freely available, but walled off.
6. Promote strength and not weakness. If an individual falls short of a physical or mental challenge, he is encouraged to try again, and discouraged from developing the one-time failure into a lasting disability.
7. Keeping and bearing arms. There really isn’t any telling who does & doesn’t have a gun, but it’s probably not too far from the truth to suppose everyone is carrying something.
8. Egalitarianism. A penalty for a crime is constant, regardless of the class, economic status or birthright of the convict.
9. Take your place. Children wait for grown-ups; grown-ups make sure the women go first; the women see to it that, among them, the elderly and infirm go first.
Nucular10. Say it. At work, rest or play, nobody ever mumbles; misspellings are exceedingly rare; if an idea is worth expressing, it’s worth expressing properly.
11. Earn your pay. The employee sees his employer as a partner in the business — nobody ever does half-ass work, or less work, to avoid making his co-workers look bad. He does what the boss says, not what the union boss says.
12. Non-Discrimination is a taboo and not a law. Opportunities are not awarded to, or withheld from, people because of their religion, race or gender (unless applicable).
13. Getting rich by watching the rich. People don’t pay greater attention to indigents and ask “Who is at fault?” They pay attention to those who are better off, and ask “What wise things did he do that put him in this position?”
14. Independent thinking. It starts early on. Teachers teach and grade children to produce a good outcome, not to follow a certain sequence of steps.
15. Children wait. Children are afraid to interrupt adults. When they play or are otherwise too distracted to move out of the way of someone else, they do their playing in low-traffic areas, where they aren’t likely to obstruct.
16. Faceless kingmakers. There are no anonymous panels of experts artificially creating other experts. When men carry great respect and authority, the people who show them this respect are ready to list the wonderful things those men have done, not the titles, awards and other gimmicks bestowed on them by anonymous commissions or third-parties.
17. Faceless kingmakers, continued. With regard to #16, nobody can earn respect, authority, titles, awards or other gimmicks by talking a certain way; they have to accomplish something, and it has to be something measurable.
18. Rehabilitation and Recidivism. If a man continues to prove himself unable to live safely among others, he is ultimately put to death.
19. Ownership. People ask “Is it my place to pass judgment?” before asking “Would I have done it the way he did it?”
20. Individuality vs. Groupthink. Groups just aren’t very important. The individual is the de facto master of any given task, challenge or situation. Very few things in life are decided by a vote anywhere, or for that matter by passages out of some kind of rulebook. Committees, where they exist, exist only for brief periods of time and decide practically nothing at all.
21. Mind-altering substances. No one ever uses hallucinogenic drugs. They see their fortunes in life as being linked to their ability to think things out capably, so they just don’t want to mess with that.
22. Nobility of labor. People spend time doing their own manual chores; many of them possess an abundance of tools that they have designed and constructed themselves. It is impossible to do any of this when you engage in the sloppy ramshackle thinking I see of late; and, I suppose, it is perhaps not possible to avoid the sloppy ramshackle thinking I see of late, if you haven’t done something like this in awhile.
23. Keeping up with the Joneses. Nobody ever wants to buy something just because someone else they know bought the same thing.
24. Headwear. Men and boys never wear hats indoors. Ever. Headgear above…or a roof…never, ever both. Simply not done.
25. Strong and silent. The more powerful the leader is, the shorter his speeches are, the greater the passage of time before he gives one, and the less likely it is that he’s ever heard to blame his predecessor for anything.
26. Family first. Nobody who lives in a household ever tolerates disparaging comments about anybody else who lives in that household.
27. As the ladies go, so goes civilization. Girls give their attention to boys who are serious about what they’re trying to do, and show some drive when they’re trying to do it; not to whoever “makes me laugh.”
28. School. In school, when one child picks on another child and the other child tolerates it, the officials see to it the weaker child “mans up” and that the stronger child is punished — BOTH of those, not one or the other. The lazy school official who turns a blind eye, or enforces discipline only upon children who’ve shown the intelligence and civility to respond positively to it, and in so doing allows this adolescent boy-coming-of-age juice to pickle, like improperly-fermented homemade beer — he is universally regarded as the lowest and most detestable form of bureaucrat, something toxic to natural human development, inimical toward manhood. And that goes double for erring in the opposite direction…handing down some ill-thought-out “hard rule” (see #1) trying to make bullying into a relic from the past. Not gonna happen. Bullying is not something to be expurgated, it is something to be handled.
29. School, continued. With regard to #28, children who can communicate with other children but not do the work, are seen as needing improvement; children who can do the work but who lack “communication skills,” are seen as successful and worthy of emulation.
30. Husbands. Women and men mate for life; all of her children are biologically his.
31. Charity. When any member of the community is enduring urgent need, nobody is condemned with such disdain as the other member who could help and refuses to — except for whoever else wants to force him to. Nobody seeks to make himself, or anybody else, “better” by passing some obligatory law requiring charity. (Again, refer back to #1.)
32. Charity, continued. With regard to #31, to receive such charity and then gripe about it in quality or quantity, is regarded as one of the lowest possible transgressions.
33. World travel. The most respected community members are the ones who have traveled to other countries. But before they traveled they personally worked to earn the solvency needed for their traveling. Traveling is not used as a bully pulpit to promote some sick vision of hyper-internationalism, or to promote materialism and extravagance as if luxuries should be prioritized as staples of life.
34. Central, unifying language. There is one and only one dominant spoken and written language, and whoever isn’t functional in it, does the best they can to learn that one before any other.
35. Immigrants speak the language of the community. With regard to #34, whoever immigrates to this place, speaks that one dominant language before their mother tongue — even at home.
36. Children speak the language of the community. With regard to #34 and #35, children of immigrants are taught to speak the language of the community before their mother tongue — at home.
37. Parents don’t raise boys and girls, they raise men and women. Parenting is seen as a process of making kids capable first, and “safe” second. A parent who delivers a child to adulthood, happy healthy and whole but not capable, is seen as a failure at parenting (see #4).
38. Taxes pay for things, where they are unavoidable. Taxes are never levied, increased or exempted to reward or punish classes of people. Social experimentation by tax code is an unknown thing. Taxes are collected for the purpose of funding vital government activities, and for no other reason.
39. There is a(n unwritten) Hays Code. The fiction that people enjoy, has heroic characters who do good things, villainous characters who do bad things, and nobody ends up prosperous at the end by avoiding honest work or by breaking the law.
40. People acknowledge each other. The everyday greeting is not only desirable, not only obligatory, but sacred. Men who once fought over a woman, take the time to do it with each other, friendly or not. Very few tasks justify withholding a handshake, eye contact and a decent Hello. And for this reason, people don’t spend much time at all with their “personal tunes.”
41. Weaknesses are not coveted. Nobody ever brags about, or connects an identity to, an inability to do something other people can do. People do not greet new acquaintances with that most odious of self-introductions, “I don’t know anything about computers.” People don’t form relationships around weakness. People don’t say “That’s my friend Carol, she doesn’t know how to cook.” They say “That’s my friend Carol, she’s the best interior designer around.”
42. Armageddon is not breathlessly anticipated. Very rarely does anyone talk about the entire world ending, for any reason.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

The Real War is at Home

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Star Parker’s column appears at

The management bestseller from the 1960’s, The Peter Principle, points out that one sign of an organization or an individual at their “level of incompetence” is thinking that re-organizing alone solves problems. Drawing new organization charts or moving around furniture is a lot easier than getting to the heart of understanding what is causing failure.
Today, after allowing a terrorist to operate within the ranks of our own military, and, after he did his devastating work at Fort Hood, we refuse to identify him as a terrorist.

We view the maniacs running Iran as negotiating partners while we ignore the Iranian youth who struggle and long to be free.
With imminent passage of multi-trillion dollar health care “reform” that is pure socialism, we relinquish our personal autonomy and freedom to a point where the task to redeem them will be unprecedented.

Family and traditional values of personal behavior — once the moral glue holding us together — are now mere life style options.

That point from The Peter Principle absolutely nails it shut.

How many times have I seen this in the technology field. This group over here, is now two groups. That guy’s going to spend more time with his family, and the guy who reported to him will now report directly to that guy up there, these two directors will be co-responsible for this thing over here. A little bit of “synergy,” communication, collaboration, syndication, blah blah blah and now we’re going to have the bestest organization EVAR!

That’s precisely what post-modern liberalism is doing with our nation and our culture. A lot of their “change” is conscious change…women good, men bad, black people good, white people bad, straight bad, gay good, “nation of immigrants,” et al. But there is another element to it that is just change for the sake of change.

Seldom do they have any precedence to which they can point to suggest their ideas are any good…which is embarrassing, when their “new” ideas are based on playing-catch-up with other countries, as is the case with socialized medicine for example. If it works, shouldn’t they be able to cite historical examples instead of calling all who disagree a bunch of dumbasses?

But in the case of gay marriage, it’s purely change for the sake of change. If you have the temerity to suggest bestiality is next, or incestuous marriages, or threesomes or foursomes or more, you’re erecting a strawman. So it’s all human…all twosomes…just same sex and that’s it? We’ll stop there? Good heavens, what on earth for? Who’s making this assurance to us, exactly? What’s so magical about the number two?

So this is a constant churning of the family unit, and that in turn is metaphorical of the constant churning with our ways of thinking things out, and arriving at conclusions about things. “Change” is not this year’s revolution, but a constant.

And The Peter Principle is precisely what it is. They’re rearranging deck chairs on the boat, to distract from the gaping leak in the hull.

It Takes More Than Love to Keep a Marriage Going

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

The white-coat pocket-protector propeller-beanie eggheads have figured it out…in Syndey…

Living happily ever after needn’t only be for fairy tales. Australian researchers have identified what it takes to keep a couple together, and it’s a lot more than just being in love.

A couple’s age, previous relationships and even whether they smoke or not are factors that influence whether their marriage is going to last, according to a study by researchers from the Australian National University.

The study, entitled “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” tracked nearly 2,500 couples — married or living together — from 2001 to 2007 to identify factors associated with those who remained together compared with those who divorced or separated.

It found that a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife is twice as likely to get divorced, as are husbands who get married before they turn 25.

Children also influence the longevity of a marriage or relationship, with one-fifth of couples who have kids before marriage — either from a previous relationship or in the same relationship — having separated compared to just nine percent of couples without children born before marriage.
Not surprisingly, money also plays a role, with up to 16 percent of respondents who indicated they were poor or where the husband — not the wife — was unemployed saying they had separated, compared with only nine percent of couples with healthy finances.

Yeah dudes, I think you need to take another look at that money thing. Nine to sixteen? The differential’s probably much larger than that.

It’s too bad there’s no scientific way to measure dipshittery.

From what I have seen, with my experience limited just like any other mortal’s, and my lifetime success probably somewhat lower than the average — it really has to do with just-plain living-life. You get married, and for the present day the “commitment” is all ceremonial. It has to do with the future. So a lack of awareness of the passage of time, on the part of one spouse or both, is the big killer.

A positive pregnancy test…the purchase of a new home…a new winch for the jeep…just bringing home a puppy dog. These are commitments for the future that make a deeper impression, in the moment. By which I mean you can be a somewhat thick dimwit type, but you can still feel down to the marrow of your bones that life, from here on out, has changed. That’s the quality a wedding ceremony is supposed to have, and wedding ceremonies no longer achieve this. A wedding is a chance to show off, to see your great-uncles and aunts again, to eat cake, and pour the pork at the Honeymoon suite as if you haven’t been doing that all along.

If you weren’t spending just shitloads of money in the here-and-now, perhaps the wedding would get you to thinking about the future. Like it’s supposed to.

But no. As a social custom, the wedding ceremony has endured so much abuse that it has failed to stick to its traditional underpinnings. It is no longer a harbinger, pleasant or otherwise, of what is to come. Most spouses think much more about the future during a routine squabble about a parking ticket, or a department store charge card purchase, than they do when they get married.

You have to be headed somewhat in the same direction in life, you have to be somewhat flexible, and you have to be ready for challenges. This whole thing about Nirvana, some magical situation in which everything that happens twenty-four-seven is all peace and love and happiness, possess a quirky characteristic: If you chase it, you can’t have it and you don’t deserve it. If you don’t, it’s yours. The folks who’ve been through it know exactly what I’m talking about with that one…and the ones who haven’t, are bound to go “Huh-wha??” But it’s true.

Trouble with marriage nowadays, is it just takes the individuality out of it. If one spouse has a need to learn this lesson, it falls on the other one to go through the education as well, along with the associated unpleasantness. Even if s/he learned about it before already.

Marriage, I think, endured a “stroke” of sorts when people started making money off other peoples’ divorces. Since then, she’s been stretched out on a deathbed, unable to move half of her body, speaking in gutteral sounds, one side of her face atrophied. Those who love her and cherish her the most, are incapable of facing the sobering truth that she will not be going home from this hospital room, and she is no longer what she used to be. She’s changed. She will never see a day, from here on, where she’s stronger on that day than the day before; she’s on a terminal decline.

“The Tent Sure is Tiny”

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Amen to that, Melissa. Today’s organized feminists have something wrong with them. They’re getting my OCBASASBDII acting up (Obsessive Compulsive Bullshit Alphabet Soup Acronym Shopping and Behavioral Disability Invention Impulse) as I try, in vain, to meaningfully comprehend what is going on upstairs that stops them from acting like normal, decent, clear-thinking human beings. They’re bringing up the thoroughly debunked urban legend about Sarah Palin and the rape kitsagain. And they’ll do it again and again, anytime Palin’s name is brought back into the news and the general public reaction isn’t already quite as negative and visceral as they’d like it to be.

Meghan McCain, next time you want the Republicans to become more inclusive, I have a suggestion on where else you can swivel your spotlight, you lover-of-big-tents-you. Melissa’s onto something here. You’re needed Mrs. Peel!

Feminists aren’t about defending women, and therefore, they aren’t about defending any other demographic group. They aren’t even about progressive policies; for if they were, it’s reasonable to expect they’d pick some policies that accentuate, rather than diminish, the worthiness and importance of women in our modern society. Abortion? Gay marriage? Those aren’t them. No, they are about finding an outlet for a destructive psychological impulse — the impulse to define anomalous persons as undesirable aliens, separate them, ostracize them, destroy them.

They are at the epicenter of a storm that has engulfed many in this late era. After my Bullshit Behavioral Disability Invention Impulse really gets going, I might think of some letters I can arrange into a cutesy acronym to describe it…or I might not…busy weekend ahead, and all. But the problem that afflicts so many appears to be — a long-accumulated stockpile of skills and long-refined personal drive to destroy things, leaving the sufferer feeling unfulfilled and burdened with a burning, unspoken desire to pretend to be creating something.

One Revolution AwayIn this way, they share a malady with the Obamabots. And they, in turn, with the environmentalists. And all those three, in turn, with all the most powerful progressive-politic types in general. They all have this in common: Meaningless cliches tossed out to suggest something wonderful and grand is being built, but if you watch them across a meaningful length of time you see all they do is destroy things. By now, it’s safe to say that if you don’t have this sickness, you aren’t running anything. Nothing so big that it’s assured to come out on top of things.

That is the root cause of what ails feminism lately, and it’s a far-flung widespread sickness now. All these people perched, like vultures on fence posts in some long-abandoned ghost town, ready to point, to heckle, to invent sordid tales about rape kits, to slander, to excoriate, to shun, to fling their insults. To do as much damage as they can to a designated target…once it’s been designated. All that poo just ready to be flung. And interspersed with all that scat, with all the bile, are these meaningless but carefully-chosen focus-group tested catchphrases that suggest constructing something. “Together we can do this” and all that.

Left to be discovered: Do they have some creative energies that are frustrated with the lack of an outlet? Is it possible that a desire to create can share a single human host with such a passionate impulse to destroy? Or are they wholly lacking in creativity…seeking to find new ways to offer a convincing illusion of something that isn’t there?

It’s late June now. Throughout this year, those who so overwhelmingly won an election — by slandering women, among other things, thereby “uniting” with the feminists one could have reasonably presumed wouldn’t have had their fancies so tickled — have constructed absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing but staggering debt…and a vegetable garden.

It’s a sweeping epidemic. It’s obviously quite contagious. And deadly. You were worried about Swine Flu?

IT Guys and Marriage

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Dr. Helen has found something that gets her thinking, and me too.

Eleven men and one woman were asked about what they wished their spouse knew about their job. This is what the men said:

Most of the 11 other respondents’ answers to my question expressed some frustration with their jobs or with their marriages, or both. (The one woman who responded to my question wrote about the guilt-trips her kids lay on her for having to work long hours.) Their responses boiled down to the following five themes:

1. I don’t want to discuss the details of my workday when I get home.

2. Don’t call me at work unless it’s an emergency.

3. If I don’t return your phone call, it’s not because I’m mad at you/don’t love you. It’s because I’m busy.

4. IT management is not a 9-to-5 job. It’s complicated, demanding and stressful.

5. I’m not a tech support person, and I can’t fix all of the family’s home technology problems, especially when I’m at work. I spend my time on strategic issues and networking with other C-level executives.

The men in the article are seen as the “bad guys,” that is, they are seen as uncommunicative and insensitive to their wives–and blamed for their shortcomings. The summary of the piece makes this clear: “your answers spoke more about your communication mistakes at home than they did about your spouse’s shortcomings. Read on for advice on how to fix this before a nasty crash.”

Perhaps these IT men are a bit uncommunicative or perhaps they do have stressful jobs. But can you imagine if the same author interviewed women who were raising five kids and having a stressful time of it? Say the husband was calling home for some spousal care on the phone in the middle of three of the kids having a temper tantrum. Do you think anyone would be sympathetic to his plight and blame the wife for her communication mistakes? I rather doubt it.

I’ve spent very little of my lifetime being a married IT guy…which is a little odd, since I’ve spent all of it being a married-or-not IT guy. Marriage wasn’t happy in my case. I can’t clue you in on very many of the details, because I don’t have memories of them. Going back to anytime before my marriage was officially dissolved, some seventeen or eighteen years ago, it’s mostly just a big blur. A nugget or two from childhood, maybe. But anything before November of 1991, even though it’s my life, recalling something from it is like reading from a blackboard with several thick sheets of dirty plastic stretched across it. Some form of PTSD, I guess.

One thing I do remember: I had some depressed feelings about the yawning chasm between my wife’s interest in my paychecks, and in what I had been doing to earn them. She had such insatiable curiosity about one of those things, and little-to-none about the other. It’s a sad, sad thing, when you pledge your life to somebody and wake up one day to realize they aren’t smart enough to feed the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Back to what Dr. Helen is talking about: It is, of course, an assault upon masculinity; but it’s a rather complex one. What’s happened is that masculinity has been re-defined. A man’s ability to chop wood is worthless, his ability to defend the home from an intruder is worthless, his ability to open pickle jars and kill spiders is worthless. Worthless, as in, a lady who genuinely appreciates these skills, is going to be stigmatized and ostracized by other “ladies.” And on Planet Female, social ostracism has a profound effect that men can’t quite fully appreciate. Instead, women are to value men for: Communication. That’s it, and that’s all. Spending time with the family, being expressive, listening, listening and more listening. Empathy. Chatter. Agreement-over-clarity. Observing, over such a sustained timeframe and to such an intense level, that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is actuated, and it becomes unclear who is doing the observing and who is being observed. What Robert Heinlein called “grokking.”

This is not to say that men are valued for their ability to grok. That would call for the fashion-set to show some positive feelings for men, here and there. That cannot be the case. No, the ability to grok, is simply dangled in front of the gentlemen, as a carrot before a donkey. As a prize not to be won yet. As in “I wish you would do X more.” You don’t notice a man who does it well, except in the capacity of someone/something you cannot have. Wives who desire to be accepted by other wives, audibly inform their husbands “I wish you could be more like him.”

The IT guy, by his chosen life-work, routinely commits what today is the great sin: He places his attention on something that is not his woman, and sweats the details — over there. There is no penance for this sin. Off the clock, he may worship the ground upon which his lady walks, but hours before he demonstrated his readiness, willingness and ability to pay attention to something that is not her. This is a stain that cannot be washed away.

And so, in our modern society, after all this “progress” we have been making…the male who actually comes up with something someone can use someday, has to go through life apologizing for the way he lives it. This does a disservice and measurable damage to a lot more people than just him.

Two Dozen Coffee Mugs

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

It’s not about pissing off that one guy, actually; it’s about elaborating on that “Humans Matter” point on which I was ruminating two weekends ago. It occurred to me that, if this was undergo a metamorphosis into an effective campaign to revitalize the Republican party, or at least give new life to someone who would oppose the nihilists who are in charge right now…perhaps this could be most effectively communicated as a limited number of specs on that “Humans Matter” point. In other words, maybe it would be beneficial to make the next few campaigns about mattering.

It seems to me this is the catalyst of what all the shouting is about lately. Is it appropriate for humans, for Americans, to do things that actually make a difference? Without apologizing for it? By that I mean, as individual efforts…rather than these things we should “all come together” to do?

Perhaps it is easy to envision ourselves as not-doing-things, and tearing down anybody else who would think of really-doing-things, simply because we are only casually acquainted with the everyday, real-life benefits of doing things. Or the liabilities involved in not doing them.

So my vision is a set of coffee mugs — sold six or twelve at a time, with twenty-four unique designs. Their designs have it in common that the phrase —

Dare To…

…is right up there at the top.

And then the smaller lettering halfway down says one of the following…

1. Decide Where Your Money Goes
2. Drive Your Car
3. Discipline Your Child
4. Breathe
5. Be an American
6. Support the Troops
7. Clean Up Iraq
8. Support Israel
9. Be, or Appreciate, a Wise Strong Resourceful Manly Dude
10. Be, or Appreciate, a Smart Powerful Gorgeous Woman
11. Support Capital Punishment
12. Organize a Tea Party
13. Defend the Unborn
14. Speak Your Mind
15. Own a Gun
16. Eat Meat
17. Drink Beer
18. Want Terrorists Dead
19. Be What You Are
20. Hang on to What You Have
21. Build Things People Use
22. Watch FOX
23. Vote Against Obama
24. Raise a Boy into a Man

These are all things that have been stigmatized over the last forty years. Or twenty, or seven, or two-to-four.

Not a single one of them should be stigmatized, and deep down, I think everyone knows that.

Let’s un-stigmatize them. Nevermind whether it’s possible, in the years ahead, to get someone elected on that or not. Just forget all about that. Un-stigmatize regardless.

This Is Good LX

Monday, March 30th, 2009


Future Present
Posted on March 29th, 2009 by Scipio

Our archeologist, while rummaging among the ruins of our fallen civilization, met a ghost from the long dead race of Americans. The wraith boasted much about what we had been as a people.

We died in the hundreds of thousands to end slavery here and around the world.

We invented Jazz.

We wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg address.

We went to the moon to see how far we could hit a golf ball.

We lifted a telescope into orbit that could see to the edge of the universe.

When people snuck into the country against our laws, we made parking lots and food stands off to the side of the road so they wouldn’t get hurt, and we let them use our hospitals for free, and we made their children citizens.

We didn’t care what God you worshipped as long as we could worship ours.

We let the People arm themselves at will. Just to make sure.

We gave everybody the vote.

We built Disneyworld. Just for fun.

We had a revolution so successful it was still going strong two and a quarter centuries later.

We had so many heroes, even at the end, that we felt free to hate them and burn them in effigy.

We electrified the guitar.

We invented a music so compelling that it rocked the world.

The archeologist asked, “If you accomplished all of this, then why did your nation collapse?” The ghost answered, “Because we went insane.”

“Please explain.”

The ghost took a breath and said, “We traded beauty for ugliness, truth for lies, liberty for comfort, love for indifference, responsibility for frivolity, duty for entertainment, history for sound bites, and children for pleasure. We had gold, but we tossed it aside and replaced it with cleverly designed dross. We turned men into women and women into men and marveled at our new creative power. We stopped looking up to Heaven and began to keep our gaze firmly fixed on the ground. We abandoned the old God for a host of hip, cool and slick new ones.”


“Those new gods turned on us. At first they granted us our every wish. They laughed with us. They danced with us. We all ate, drank and made all sorts of merry. All of us exulted in our power. And then…” Here the ghost stopped for a moment. His mouth was half open as if trying to speak. His body shuddered as it remembered an ancient terror. “But there were some among us who felt something was wrong, dreadfully wrong.”

“How so?”

There’s more…much more. What’re you still doing here?

R and R-Lite Instead of D and D-Lite

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Cylarz has a challenge in the comments section that really makes you think. His intent is to show how absurd is the notion that Rush Limbaugh is running much of anything, along with the idea that anyone, anywhere, is somehow forced to listen to him:

Imagine what life in this nation would be like if our parties were Republican and Republican-lite…instead of Democrat and Democrat-lite. The former is what the political scene would look like if everyone were listening to Rush.

It is my conviction that American consensus-politics are revolving on the rim of a large wheel. It is a merry-go-round that spins into & out of, not so much conservatism and liberalism, but fantasy and reality. Right now we’re on the 1976-77 sector of the wheel, wherein we just installed a hopey-changey youthful-charismatic guy who’s gonna solve all our problems. This is an exceptionally narrow pie-slice of the wheel’s orbit. It’s over in the blink of an eye. We see life’s problems are ours to solve and it’s not realistic to elect some savior-champion to deal with them on our behalf…we see it some more…we see it some more…lesson learned. For a few more years.

This dream Cylarz has, is at the opposite side…and is perhaps a little bit wider. It’s the 1969-1973, 1980-1986 side of the wheel.

So it’ll happen. It’ll happen, and we’ll get tired of it. All this stuff is inevitable, as the wheel keeps on turning. That’s my point. We kick the democrats out of power when we get tired of fantasy; when we notice, that to keep liberal ideas even looking good, there’s this never-ending pressure on to pretend simple things are complicated, and complicated things are simple. After awhile we get tired of that and we kick ’em out. We fire the Republicans when we notice, gee, it’s been awhile since we engaged the government to solve a problem and watched the problem disappear before our very eyes, wouldn’t that be neat? (The conservative platform is constructed around the paradigm that this isn’t really the purpose of government; in that way, the Founding Fathers worked under well-defined conservative bias.) People will listen to Rush, to learn what they should’ve learned before they went to vote. It’s already started to happen. It’s that human instinct to think and think and think some more about “did I turn off the stove?” when the car is zipping on down the freeway and it’s way too late to do anything about it.

But imagine if things were that way, and they stayed that way? I notice when we’re in the fantasy zone, we really are D and D-Lite. Oooh, look at me, I’m a compassionate conservative, I can blow money away on bullshit projects just as fast as my democrat “friends”; vote for me. When Republicans are in power the liberals don’t engage in some contest to see who can be the most-moderate lib. They just get all pissy and mumble the word “fascism” a lot.

So lessee…what would happen…

That last election would have been between Fred Thompson & Sarah Palin…and…Joe Lieberman and Ron Paul. Dr. Paul would be considerably more hawkish, his concerns about the constitutionality of the War on Terror ejected from his platform. Gen. David Petraeus would now have a fifth star. We would have pulled out of the United Nations.

A massive stimulus bill would have injected trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy over the next decade-and-a-half…in the form of a tax cut.

Barack Obama’s formidable oratory skills would be deployed where they would do the most good: On a radio or television program, trying to compete with Rush Limbaugh.

The front page of my local newspaper, and yours, wouldn’t speak very often to the plight of: state legislators pretending to care about balancing the budget, homeless people, unionized workers, ignorant addle-brained students who can’t graduate high school because they haven’t learned anything, prison guards, single moms, troubled youth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. They’d live in a larger, better-informed world. Their headlines would very seldom deploy words like “BUDGET” and “DEFICIT” and “PROGRAM” and “NEED”…instead, you’d see proud, hopeful words in those daily headlines like “FREEDOM” and “OPPORTUNITY” and “LIBERTY.”

Your television “news” program wouldn’t talk too much about liberal programs are going to do. They’d be better-anchored to reality; they’d talk about what tax cuts have done, versus what liberal programs have done.

When some big major mega-city that’s been run by democrats for generation after generation, runs into a predictable budget deficit…you’d hear about it that way. An important part of the news report would be an editorial analysis of some rival city, floating along free of the concern of ever-enlarging social programs, without the deficits and without the liberals running everything. The news report would go through the budgets, line by equivalent line. After all, it isn’t useful news unless we explain why the problem occurred, is it?

Kids can pray in the classroom. Every classroom. If they don’t know English yet, they’re sent to remedial classes to learn it, before they learn another thing. Kids know how to fire guns, shoot arrows, build fires, tie knots. Intelligent Design? It’s recognized as precisely what it is: Just an idea that the universe, particularly the bits of it that make life possible, is here because of non-random activity as opposed to random activity. And then it’s debated. As science. Which it is.

Oh, and before I forget: This asshole is locked up for good, and/or fried crispy.

A convicted sex offender due to be released Saturday from prison after serving 11 months warned in letters that if set free, he would reoffend, even against children. In the letters, Michael McGill begged authorities to keep him locked up for life.

“Please throw the book at me … I’m harmful to others I should be locked up for life,” he wrote in block letters that resemble a child’s writing. “I will sexual abuse men. Do this for the safe (sic) of others then I be able not to hurt anyone else. Judge I’m begging you to put me away.”

In another place he wrote that he had told his two 7-year-old male victims, “I will do more sex crimes with boys 4 to 14. I will molest with boys 15 to 18.”

Neither the Polk County attorney’s office, which prosecuted McGill and distributed his letters to other agencies, nor the Iowa Board of Parole, nor the attorney general’s office, which handles civil commitments for sexually violent predators, says it can do anything to prevent McGill’s release.

Feminists are about as powerful…oh…as they are right now. See, we still have that going for us. People have only partially lost their minds. They’re still not ready to trust feminists again just yet. Feminists get together in their little clubs, isolated from everyone else, sharing notes with each other along with instructions to help-me-hate-this-thing-over-here. That’s the form in which they want to exist. Everyone else, walled off from them, gets work done, makes money, and has fun doing it.

At work, you can still be sent to sensitivity training — if you’ve somehow demonstrated this is necessary. Departments of people are not sent to mandatory sensitivity training. People are not randomly sent to sensitivity training. You can’t unilaterally decide you were harassed; it really does depend on the will and intent of the alleged harasser. And nobody makes any money off of the sexual-harassment racket. If they’re in some position that is created to deal with this in some way, they do it as volunteers, because the issue is supposed to be so important to them…which only makes sense. In other words: Lawyers don’t run things.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit CalendarIn your work cubicle, or in your office, you can put up a Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar. If anyone comes by to mutter so much as a peep of protest, that is the one treading on thin ice…not you. The phrases “objectification of women” and “unrealistic unhealthy body images” are about as socially acceptable in that world, as a racial epithet is in this one.

Family comedies do not conclude with a feel-good comedy-tragedy ending with the dad whacking himself in the head realizing he’s been a jerk, or an asshole, or a killjoy, or a workaholic. If anything, they end with the kid whacking himself in the forehead, belatedly realizing he should’ve been listening to his Dad.

Neighbors talk to each other. They have block parties. You don’t need to drive 40, 50, 60 miles into the county to discharge a pellet gun or a firearm. Once the shooting-range is set up, you can do it right in front of City Hall. On weekends, the whole town gets together for target shooting. Somewhere else, they have a beer garden. (You can’t go to the target shooting after you go to the beer festival, because alcohol and firearms don’t mix…yes, Republicans and conservatives do get that. Most of us bathe daily and have all our teeth. Really!)

Men do not stand by, brain-dead, clutching a purse outside the womens’ toilet, awaiting their next orders. They talk to other men. They get together and compare notes. They each express admiration for the sidearm the other fella has purchased to defend his lady and his children, should any bad guys be stupid enough to enter uninvited in the dark of some terrible night. They brag about who achieved the tightest grouping on the targets. And they fantasize, together, like giddy little boys, about muscle cars. Women get together and compare notes too. They don’t brag about whose boyfriend bought them the largest engagement ring, or who took charge of the family menu or what they told the hubby to start eating, or how they keep him from hogging the remote. Their rivalry is engaged, instead, in terms of who does the best job bringing her husband beer. “Oh yeah? I’d never think of handing it to him without the cap already popped off…and it’s always ice cold.”

Vice President Palin is even more influential in her new role, than Dick Cheney was in his. She’s a true role model. Women suddenly want their hair made up into her ‘do, just like they wanted to emulate Hillary’s back in the 1990’s. Palin’s face, in this universe, is everyplace Obama’s face is in this one. Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, USA Today…et al. (Obama’s face, in turn, could be on a milk carton somewhere.) Everything female is Palin, Palin, Palin. Women want to learn to fly airplanes, to fire shotguns, to ride ATVs, to clean rifles and pistols, to drive a dogsled…and to field dress a moose. The fashionable cliche, assuming there is one, is “Yoo betcha!”

Tenth Amendment, all the way. Some states and counties allow gay marriage and others don’t; some states and counties allow pot, and others don’t. Some states and counties are officially Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Scientologist, if they can get the votes. Nothing is singled out for social stigma, be it positive or negative. So a married gay man just might be an abuser and a generally bad husband, just like a married straight man — “loving” is no longer a euphemism for “same-sex.” And if you smoke pot, you just might have an addiction problem…just like someone who drinks, might have an addiction problem. That means, friends and family might be inclined to intervene if the signs are there. And anyone can be a religious fundamentalist whacko; not just the Christians. If your child needs medical care but you think his sickness is Gods’ will, the nanny-state might eventually interfere — if you’re showing signs of possibly lopping off your daughter’s head because she’d dating the wrong fella, the nanny-state just might interfere with that too. True equality.

When kids get into fights on the playground, all the trouble is reserved for the kid who threw the first punch. The kid who threw the last one, assuming that’s someone else, hasn’t got a single thing to worry about. And that’s precisely the way the world politics work, too.

You may say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one.

Delaware Indoctrination

Saturday, March 28th, 2009


Hat tip to Neo-neocon, who adds:

[I]t should come as no surprise that although the PC mind-control program is no longer in operation there, those who designed and implemented it are still employed by the university.

More hate. It’s turning into a “hate day” at House of Eratosthenes, I see. We’ll just try to stick to studying how it’s been re-defined lately, and avoid engaging in it…but the first thing we notice is this seems to be a trap into which many are tumbling. In fact the bulk of them are all walking off the cliff after walking the same well-worn path: Prove you aren’t hateful, by singling out the white guys, and putting the (something, don’t you dare call it hate) on ’em.

I think the perfesser in the second installment — about four minutes in — nailed it. It’s not quite so much about tolerance, as about indoctrination. Prove you’re a good person by showing signs of inwardly believing what we told you to believe. You’re a racist if you see classes of people in ways other than the way we see them, but you’re alright if you see those things the way we do.

There is some value on this; this is the way a lot of people in the real world think. Share my prejudices and you’re alright. Don’t, and I’ll make-believe you have some different ones.

But what really concerns me about it? The intellectual laziness. If we want to find some experiences for high-school grads to endure, to get them acclimated to the pinheadedness and narrow-mindedness that eventually confronts all of us…why do they have to cut their teeth on such a misadventure, in their colleges?

The Decade of Anarchy for Its Own Sake

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

And nobody can tell it better than Daphne. Boy, she really rights good for a chick*.

One day you’re sitting at the kitchen table eating your pancakes, watching your apron clad mother pour your dad a cup of coffee with one hand while spooning oatmeal into your baby brother’s mouth with the other. The next day, dad’s gone, something called divorce explodes in your house, and mom’s showing up for meetings with the Mother Superior in a mini skirt and go-go boots. Or worse, she’s hanging out upstairs in Lila’s apartment, drinking Sangria, reeking of cheap incense and pot, wearing love beads and painting anti-war posters with smelly hippies.

Daycare and babysitters became the norm. Not enough money was a constant. The word no a daily refrain to any request. Meals eaten in front of the TV, strange boyfriends enter and exit the stage with frequency, untended children in outgrown clothes roam the neighborhood, the man named Dad abdicates into a pale ghost of a figure, if not a distant memory. Small vestiges of the life before still remain, but they aren’t enough to keep a child moored on solid ground. The parents are striding headlong into the age of personal fulfillment, dragging their hapless kids along for the ride with the last vestige of adult responsibility they possess.

But everybody’s happy, right? Millennia old social conventions and chains of traditional expectation had been broken, adults were free to follow their whims without condemnation from the neighbors and society at large. Patriarchy had been buried, women had rights, Vietnam had been lost. The air was sweet in the land of no remorse or consequence. Until it wasn’t anymore.

Hat tip to Blogger Friend Buck.

*Yeah, I’m just being a smartass. A chauvinist-pig, homonym-confused smartass.

Pothead Culture

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Last night, I was noticing Michael Savage‘s observations about things, match my own, most closely when he says stuff that “everybody knows” is crazy.

Last night it was pot. Now, if I go only by what I’ve been hearing, just the opinions people have about things that they want to put out there whether they can explain ’em or not — we have to legalize this stuff pronto. It is not, not, not, not, not, repeat not, a “gateway drug.” It’s cheap, it’s good for you, it makes wonderful rope and sweaters, and besides if we legalize it we can tax it; that’ll “pay off the deficit overnight,” they tell me. Besides, “contrary to popular belief,” smoking pot increases your powers of observation and concentration. You’d want your brain surgeon to smoke pot.

Well for a melodious, cheerful dinner conversation, you really shouldn’t get Dr. Michael Alan Weiner going about marijuana. This is the point where, I’m going to presume, the guests start to regret allowing the conversation to drift in that general direction, for one quickly gathers the impression the good doctor can barely contain himself. Not only is pot a gateway drug, he says, but it’s a deadly one, one that destroys the consumer’s ability to think. Yes, this is what I’d been noticing. Pay off the deficit overnight, for example. They don’t mean this year’s budget deficit, at the state or federal level; they’re talking about the trillions and trillions owed by our federal government, more properly called the public debt. A little bit of third-grade math is devastating to that argument, especially when you start applying it to interest. Let’s see…ten trillion dollars “overnight” is eight hundred thirty-three billion dollars an hour, which comes to just shy of fourteen billion dollars a minute in tax receipts on legalized, taxable marijuana.

Er, uh, yeah, says the stoner. I was speaking, y’know, whatchamacallzit, metaphorically. Yeah. Yeah sure you were, pothead. You were talking out your butt. You weren’t speaking any way except cheerleading. You were trolling for recruits.

Now I don’t really have a dog in this hunt about legalizing marijuana one way or another, but I really can’t stand looking at an issue too closely when it’s part of something much bigger, which is why we haven’t been talking about pot too much in these pages. It’s not just about smoking pot. There’s a whole culture built around this, and that’s what Savage was going after last night. Here’s his argument: Because of the year we’re in, the potheads are coming into power right now. Seems, to me, this has been going on since about ’93, when Clinton was sworn in. But it’s been getting worse. One way or another the stoners are running the show. We have this window of ages we like to see in our leaders; the ones who make the actual decisions; the baby boomers who latched on, generationally, to the pothead culture, are there right now. So pretty much every office that counts for something — in the private sector as well as in government — is filled by a pothead.

Savage’s condemnation of the plant is even harsher than mine. As I understand it, he seems to believe in once-a-pothead-always-a-pothead…as if, once you inhale in your early twenties, in your late fifties youre still making bonehead decisions. Not sure if I’d go that far. But there certainly is a lag time, and a pronounced tendency to reject humility. I mean sincere, substantial humility. The tendency I see is to say “That must be an okay thing to do, for I just did it.” And it does seem persistent across time: That other guy did something, that’s awful, terrible, horrible, bad. I did something, even something that is against the law…well hey man, it’s all relative.

Savage went on to offer two examples of potheads running the show: Shutting down Guantanamo, or at least ceasing & desisting from the “torture” conducted within, and sending San Francisco’s police department to some kind of sensitivity training. I wish he went on much further than that, and maybe he did but my commute came to an end. I know I could add to a list like that all day long.

But I’m much more into definitions than examples, here. I’m junior to the baby boomers by some twelve to twenty years or so, which means I’ve been struggling awkwardly in their impressive wake all my life and will be continuing to do so until the day I drop dead. I consider myself well-qualified to speak on this. And Savage is right — the smoke-holers are running the show. Stoners hire other stoners. Because it’s them against the world, man. So this is becoming an important issue, one that’s affecting us all even in ways we don’t understand immediately when it isn’t pointed out.

Reefer GirlIt has a lot to do with something called “love”; that’s why you have to immediately stop torturing terrorists, and that of course means you have to stop doing anything that anybody, anywhere, no matter how recklessly, might label “torture.” Pretty much just feed ’em three times a day, fluff up their pillows, find out what else they want from you, go get it, and wait for them to talk. Police shouldn’t hurt criminals, and probably shouldn’t even arrest them for anything either. Countries shouldn’t go to war, no matter the reason. Make-love-not-war.

Conversely with that, whatever the potheads mean by “love,” it doesn’t have much to do with compatibility, because they seem to be insisting that whatever confrontation might possibly happen, does happen. A woman who is madly in love with her man, and none other, is deeply offensive to them. That could be because the feminist movement came to maturity at the same time as the pothead movement. If you really want to piss off a pothead, make a suggestion, in theory or in practice, that a woman who really loves her man will go get him a cold beer out of the fridge. (I’m entirely unsure how they’re going to react if she runs into the bedroom and gets him a jay.) But everything is like that; they don’t want people, in general, getting along with other people. Not across class lines, anyway. The real contradiction here, is that this is precisely what they say they’re working tirelessly to bring about, but I’ve noticed for years now when it’s right in front of their faces they don’t see it that way, and in fact recoil from it. Everyone has to be fighting something — man. Immigrants are constantly “oppressed” by bigoted “xenophobes” who in fact are insisting on nothing more than that the law be followed. Blacks are always oppressed by whites, women are always oppressed by men, citizens are always oppressed by the police and children are always oppressed by their parents. Everyone should constantly be throwing off shackles, storming some fortress or rampart, overthrowing someone, showing ’em what’s-what.

There are no consequences for anything. That’s probably the biggest, most important item, right there. No decision is ever made out of a sense of “if-this-then-that”; there are no domino effects, there is no cause-and-effect. Decisions are made, instead, on value-systems and overly-simplistic “should”s. If you think we’ll be unable to prevent an attack after we stop “torturing” terrorists, well, you’re just wrong. This argument won’t be taken anywhere, logically, mind you. It’ll simply be ended. It’ll be answered with mocking, “The Experts Say,” some quotes from The Daily Show, maybe a recycled line from Nice Guy Eddie in Reservoir Dogs…and that’s about it. If you bring up some solid evidence of your own, such as mentioning Kalid Sheikh Mohammed or Abdul Hakim Murad, well, you’re just a mean unreasonable poopy-head. Trust me on this. I’ve been there.

So it really ends up being a child’s fantasy land, when you get down to it. I don’t mean a small child’s fantasy; I’m talking a teenager, of the slothy kind, the kind that doesn’t roll out of bed or do the dishes or cut the grass without a whole lot of nagging. Every little thing that would require some foresight or manual labor brings forth a torrent of excuses. There are lots of positive thoughts about how we all need to love each other and get along with each other — right up until positive thoughts about other people determine something decisive must be done, something that requires effort. Then we don’t need to think such positive thoughts about each other anymore. Like, for example, very wealthy people are just as much entitled to keep their money as the rest of us, and it’s probably beneficial to allow them to do so, because the rest of us are in a symbiotic relationship with them…that would be a positive, compassionate thought, one that is compatible with the continuing harmonious working of an evolved, civilized society. But you’ll never see the potheads support that one, because that’s just a bit too much civilization and “love” for them to choke down at all at once. Far better to drone onward about being oppressed, man, by that evil corporate America, man.

Every little call to take garbage out, is met with some plea for moral relativism, cry for revolution, or both of those. I mean literal garbage, such as everyday household chores, as well as figurative garbage, like making sure Big Bad Bart catches that midnight train outta here and doncha dare come back. Hippies hate cowboys, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, and they pull no punches that the thing they hate the most about cowboys, is the white hat, the black hat and the moral clarity. They hate the way this leads to realizations, fifteen minutes before closing-credits, that a real confrontation has to take place…for consequences loom over the “town,” if it does not. The stoner hippie isn’t down with that. He philosophizes his way out of every little thing that needs doing, and all without putting down the doobie or moving his ass off that well-worn mattress.

Hippies and those oh-so-hated cowboys are close cousins, in a way. They’re both all about confrontation. But the cowboy uses bullets instead of rhetoric and the hippy doesn’t like that. The dirtiest secret of all lies within that special hatred for bullets. It isn’t the property damage, or the death, or the carnage, or the danger to the bystanders the hippy hates when hot lead is flying around the saloon. It is the finality of the solution. No more negotiations; they never began. An elegant Obama/Cronkite lilt to the voice doesn’t count for shit. Settlements to disputes are not proposed, only implemented. Nothing is up for appeal.

In other words, decisions actually get made. Situations get changed. That is what cannot be tolerated on Planet Pothead. Ain’t that a kicker? The culture began for the express purpose of upsetting the status quo on a grand, cosmic scale; once it got some momentum built up, it became all about preserving status quos, even within microscopic, practically insignificant settings. Every situational change is a verbal agreement, which is just meaningless jibber-jabber, since every agreement has a loophole.

So I think Savage has a point here, and it’s a little bit of a frightening one when you think about it. Potheads are making the decisions now, and that means all decisions are cosmetic in nature, accountability never figures into it, consequences aren’t to be reckoned with. Do we have a society that can withstand that for long? Are our most influential and powerful positions-of-trust grappling with decisions on a daily-basis, decisions that can be made well, or at least harmlessly, by people who don’t believe actions have consequences? People that are only there to enforce contrarian social codes, love without accompanying feelings of symbiosis, and surreal & tie-died systems of quasi-moral babbling?

Can our culture stand for very long, when there is no human passion worth satisfying except lusting for the perverse, and the next case-of-the-munchies? With every single office that really matters, turned into a “work-free-drug-place”?

There’s the big question.

I guess we’ll be finding out the answer pretty soon, now.

Predictions for the Obama Presidency

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Everyone got this printed up and posted somewhere, with both black and red pens next to it for check-marks and cross-outs?

You probably should.

All those demeaning, demonic predictions about the George W. Bush Presidency, really haven’t worked out that well have they? On January 20, 2001 I could’ve driven from California to Maine just telling the state border guards along the way I don’t have liquor or fresh fruit…that’s pretty much the way it works now, even though in the meantime, the nation has suffered the worst attack on its own soil since Pearl Harbor. All these “encroachments on our freedoms” have amounted to a smattering of annoyances like closing down Folsom Dam Road. Yup, there’s your George Bush Police State there. Gotta wing on down to Rainbow Bridge, a mile and a half outta your way, and loop back up. The horror.

Contrasted with…

Look for far-left justices appointed to the Supreme Court, effectively tying up the entire government in a trifecta of liberal humanism, the buzzwords of which remain empty platitudes like “hope and change.”

Military cases of troops being tried and convicted for killing the enemy in combat will continue to rise–and the conviction/plea-bargain rate will stay at nearly 100%, as the government seeks to use the best men and women this country has to offer as sacrifical lambs on the altar of global appeasement.

Look for the slow but steady erosion of rights you have enjoyed for your entire lives–all the while being told it’s “for your own good.” Restrictions on gun ownership, home schooling, encouraged dependence on the ever-growing federal government…Of course, this will be done with feel-good phrases like “death with dignity,” “not wanting to be a burden,” and “merciful release from suffering,” all of which ignore the basic fact that we are killing people without their consent for the “good of the people.”…Also, look for taxes to go up. Yes, they’ll go up.

Time will tell. It certainly is uncharted territory.

My concerns only really spike, though, when the reasons are listed for me to feel good about an Obama Administration. Something to do with being unified, right? One only has to inspect for a little while before one sees this is unification among the 52% of us, or so, who voted for Obama. It doesn’t include, nor does it pretend to include, the other 48%. We can go piss off.

That isn’t unified.

Nerds Don’t Get Lucky Often

Thursday, December 18th, 2008


Male science students are a university’s most likely virgins while females who study arts subjects are the most sexually active, Australian researchers say.

A pilot study conducted at the University of Sydney saw 185 students, aged 16 to 25, quizzed on their sexual history and awareness of the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia.

The whores in art class have to be having sex with someone. And I doubt like hell the professors can make that many deals for an easy-A…only so much of it can be lesbian sex…

…so the pocket-protector propeller-beanie-wearing egghead researchers could’ve gone a step further and formed a profile of these guys gettin’ some. It would’ve been a far more interesting report. And more in demand, too, might I add. But no more of a surprise to me than what I see here.

Another dividend of our liberation movement. The trollops are all pretty much pickin’ out the same dude, or the same type o’ dude anyhow…he’s a great example of reverse-Darwinism, can’t be counted on for shit. And they’re spreading around STDs of which they’ve never heard before, that they can’t spell, don’t know how to pronounce, and don’t know that they have.

When womenzlib got started, if you’d predicted all this was going to happen, you’d have been, according to the prevailing viewpoint, an enormous jackass. Maybe you were. But you’d have been a hundred percent right — just sayin’.

Also just pointing out one more time: Young ladies having sex with lots of scuzzy dudes, doesn’t have a great deal to do with expanding womens’ options, the level of respect given to them in civilized society, or their level of power in that society. After nearly half a century of bitter hairy feminists trying to make it not so, it still remains so: A principled and devoted mother is the most powerful figure in our culture…bar none.

Yeah, ya gotta get preggers to get there. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything.

Power and Freedom Mean Pounding Your Verginer Like a Pork Chop Under a Jackhammer

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Our good friend in New Mexico told me I should lower my blood pressure by paying less attention to dimwits. He’s not the first to say so. We, here, see Buck as an exceedingly sensible gentleman, one who possesses a past different from ours but is united with us in the future. In other words, throw us into a time machine, crank it ahead by a couple decades, out pops Buck. And it certainly does make good sense to monitor issues related to the systolic and diastolic when one is in one’s early forties, than in his late fifties, so we did what he suggested.

And paid more attention to intelligent, sophisticated people.

Like Dr. Helen.

Crap. More nonsense. Being a lady of class and dignity, she does not endorse, she just points, but there it is, getting me all worked up. Got any more wonderful ideas, Buck? The idiocy, it would seem it surrounds us on all four sides.

Young women ‘have more sexual partners’ than men
Young women are more promiscuous than men, according to a survey that claims the average 21-year-old has had nine sexual partners compared with seven for men.

The poll of 2,000 by the magazine More also found that one in four young women has slept with more than 10 people, compared with one in five men who had done the same.

In addition, half of those questioned admitted they had been unfaithful, whereas only a quarter said they had been cheated on by a boyfriend.

It comes just a week after an academic study branded Britain one of the casual sex capitals of the Western world, with residents having more one-night stands and more liberal attitudes than those in Australia, France, the Netherlands, Italy and the US.

Lisa Smosarski, the editor of More, said: “Our results show that after decades of lying back and thinking of England, today’s twenty-something women are taking control of their sex lives and getting what they want in bed.”

First of all, there are problems with statistics…which I’ll get to later on.

But before that — whoomp, there it is. Lisa Smosarski puts a voice behind this thought that’s usually just rolling around out there, contemplated but unspoken. The five thousand years of oppression, by thoughtless, piggish men against the innocent, doe-eyed women, continues throughout this day and beyond…until girls start screwing like minks, and then that will somehow magically bring it to an abrupt end and it’ll be time for the ladies to start dancing like Ewoks at the end of Return of the Jedi (or Obamatons on January 20, but let’s keep the awkward metaphors to a minimum).

Captain Obvious is availed the luxury of dropping a single paragraph and then bailing out to attend to more pressing matters. Here’s his contribution: When you screw, you have a good chance of getting pregnant whether you use contraceptives or not. And a big round belly has very, very little to do with power. Or freedom. And it damn sure doesn’t have much to do with taking control of your sex life. More like surrendering same for a couple decades.

The floor is thus yielded to the owner of The Blog That Nobody Reads, so he can again bewail — with his blood pressure topping out — the continuing progress of all the civilized world, seemingly, past the second milestone on the way to complete insanity, which is the act of feeling your way around challenges rather than thinking your way through them. This doesn’t make any sense. The picture of a lady who has taken charge of her sex life, doesn’t have much to do with sleeping with lots of guys. Such a lady more likely sleeps with one guy. Think about it. Whether you’re a male or a female, cheating means lying. It means sneaking around. It means all the encumbrances that come with deceiving someone. And there’s nothing liberating about that.

Now, on to the statistics.

And Guthrum has put forward a decent, although somewhat incomplete, attempt to field this one. It comes down to a simple rhetorical question: With whom are these young ladies doing their fornicating? The study doesn’t seem to have much to do with lesbian sex, foreigner sex, or with a male-heavy domestic population. By process of elimination he determines someone is lying.

Well, I have another explanation, since Guthrum’s explanation would have to controvert the conventional wisdom of boys lying upward and girls lying downward. And this is a piece of conventional wisdom I believe…at least…when alcohol is not involved.

Here’s my explanation. And if it is true, it is not at all helpful to the study, or Ms. Smosarski’s idiotic conclusion(s), which is why it was left out of the article.

The fellas are subject to more of a 80/20 rule when it comes to frequency of sex and number-of-partners: Among those who are young and available, twenty percent of them are having eighty percent of the sex. This is not necessarily true of the women, since this would only take effect if there was some personal attribute that would make it likely for any particular instance to have more sex than her sisters. That would be physical beauty — which I think we should take into account only if we want to presume, when an appealing young lady is presented with lots of opportunities, she takes advantage of all of them. Let’s give the fairer sex the benefit of the doubt here.

So if you were to draw a graph about how much sex each person is having, and with how many partners, and draw two graphs on two pieces of paper for two genders — the female graph would be more of a flatline and the male graph would be all spikey.

And these “Alpha Males” who are screwing anything with a skirt, don’t participate in polls.

It’s just that simple. It fits in well with my philosophy about polls: They separate themselves from reality, when it is presumed, too casually, that that which was tested, extrapolates safely into that which is the universe. There are lots of things, generally, that confound this, and the tendency among study-makers and poll-takers is to not check those things out too carefully. Whether you buy it or not — Guthrum’s beef with the study makes good sense. With whom are these freewheeling strumpets doing their cavorting? Smosarski doesn’t seem to possess the mental horsepower to seriously entertain the question…which I find unsurprising.

Finally, my blood pressure trickles a little bit upward when I consider the issues of time and history. Those who cling to this notion that women will finally be free of male oppression the day they’ve finally done enough screwing, after all the other transgressions they’ve committed against responsibility and common sense, have failed to make use of long-term memory and allowed history to slip out of their mental fingers. Has this not been a doctrine that has already been put in practice for four decades or more? Free-love and all that shit?

Aighh…it’d be funny if nobody was listening to it. But congratulations to Editor Smosarski and those like her. Your next generation of urban-sprawl welfare queens, and all their litters of whelps, is comin’ right up. And half those whelps will be girls…whom you’ll tell to have lots of sex with lots of guys so you can sell your shitty magazine.

Their mommas who’ve spent so much of their lives with swollen ankles, big round bellies, and no man hanging around long enough to handle the extra work — somehow, for reasons I still fail to grasp — will, for the most part, fail to take the time to set ’em straight.

Who cares about any of it.

Women are having lots of sex. More sex than guys. That means they’re “free.” And empowered.


++sigh++ Blood pressure not coming down yet. I’m off to stare at my own Things That Make Me Smile page, to put me in a better mood.

“Hottest Celebrity Moms”

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

They’re here. Every single one of them looking fantastic, of course. Which is the point…

There are plenty of beautiful actresses out there, many of who[m] have stayed young and beautiful after having children.

The sensitive males, like yours truly, will be pleased to know the small-dee dad is occasionally worth mentioning.

Todd Palin didn’t make that cut. Sorry, Todd.

Actress Melanie Griffith has three children, one for each of the men she has married.

Way ta go, Mel.

Think of the ChildrenThere’s also a huge flock of oyster-gals reproducing asexually…I would guess…though I tend to think reality is something in the opposite direction from that. Just like the old bearded aliens speaking perfect English greeting Captain Kirk to their paper mache planets, always with the one nubile alien daughter who needs to be taught how to kiss. No momma worth mentioning, alive or dead. Except this is Earth, Hollywood exactly; and the shoe’s on the other foot now. Women give birth. Women have kids. What the guys are doing in there, well, nobody really knows…they’re just rattling around, dropping seed in random places that’s scooped up by someone else eventually.

It’s really sad how self-defeating this is. I understand the point — “real” women have kids and then worry about whether they’ll stay attractive. So this gives them hope. I get that. Hope for what? And, as Edna Krabappel Helen Lovejoy famously said, won’t someone think of the children? It doesn’t seem to be in their best interests for their small-em mom’s market value to be kept up, just in case she figures out she’s done a better job keeping up her “resale value” than that schlubby husband of hers called dad.

So it’s not about the kids, it’s about small-em mom’s self-esteem. Well — what about the moms who’ve already made up their minds that after five or six kids, their market value is spent, and they’re still so in love with the capital-D Dad that they don’t give a rat’s ass about it? What about them? I don’t think it does anything for them to be told how great Brooke Burke looks…after reproducing repeatedly, and apparently all by herself.

So when you start out trying to feel good about yourself, instead of trying to do right by people who are counting on you — you end up accomplishing neither one.

And…you can’t play “musical dads” without diminishing the role of dad. Hope that doesn’t cheese anyone off. I know a lot of folks out there were raised by perfectly decent stepdads and think the world of ’em. But now that you have sons and daughers of your own, you’d want the daughters to get hold of a decent guy and stick with him for life, wouldn’t you? And you’d want the sons to raise their own kids, rather than taking on someone else’s, or leaving their own kids to be raised by some other guy.

Maybe — just maybe — it all starts with thinking of the Dad as someone worthy of a Capital Dee. Someone worth mentioning.

D’JEver Notice? XVI

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

The more potential maladies that are subjected to preventive medicine in one generation, the greater the number of preventive measures will be proposed in the next. And they always, always, always involve money.

It’s the one sales pitch, to which we fail to show any constructive skepticism whatsoever.

An annual physical exam and twice-yearly dental checkup are supposed to protect your health. Now there’s a move for married Americans to do the same to protect the health of their unions.

So far, 171 couples in the Worcester, Mass., area are getting a Marriage Checkup, part of a clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health.

With questionnaires and two in-person sessions, the free program provides personalized feedback to keep relationships on track and circumvent trouble, says psychologist James Cordova, who runs the project at Clark University, where he’s an associate professor.

“This is a health issue,” he told a session of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies on Saturday. Some 3,000 are attending the three-day meeting, which ends Sunday.

“Your marital health doesn’t catch your attention until it really starts to hurt,” he says. “By that point, sometimes irreversible damage has been done.”

Doctor Freeberg here, who has spent, uh (grabs calculator) slightly less than four percent of his visit on this big blue marble in a state of wedlock, and is not in such a state now…nevertheless…has the perfect prescription for coupling-up and staying coupled-up. And periodic check-ups, wonderful as they may sound, don’t have an awful lot to do with it.

It’s so easy. So simple. So perfectly in harmony with exactly what we do, when we don’t want to die from cancer.

And it seems nobody ever thinks of it. Until it’s too late.

Stay Away From Selfish Bitches.

If she recounts conversations back to you, and the conversations are all “and then I said…and then I said…and then I said…” — run like hell.

If she ever uses the word “oppressive” except when quoting someone else, run like hell.

If she treats the waitress like a lower form of human being, run like hell.

If she keeps up her house or apartment, and the clothes stored in it, the way a guy does the same, you run like hell.

If she turns up her nose when you donate to groups that help veterans, run like hell.

If she presses too hard for the subject to be changed when you talk about whether you want a Glock or a Sig Sauer, or debate the virtues of 5.56 NATO versus 7.65 Browning…run like hell.

And, of course, it goes without saying, if she refuses to “let” you do something — like, for example, go to Hooters — run like hell. In fact, run like hell if she doesn’t drag you there. With a big smile on her face.

Because women who don’t like to have fun, are walking wastes of energy and time. They are black holes for your life force. Life is not a dress rehearsal, boys. So you put some attention into who you’re choosing. Once you get a good one, you hang on to her and let her know how happy you are that the two of you met. Find ways. All the other good things will follow.

The marriage checkup is not therapy but an information service, Cordova told the nonprofit membership group of psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers.

“We’re able to help them identify exactly what it is they’re doing that is keeping them healthy and make sure that whatever their areas of concern are aren’t potentially problematic in the long run,” he says.

Cordova says an estimated 12 million couples — about 20% of all marriages — experience some significant level of distress. And he says about 5% of couples who marry are already distressed. Marriages deteriorate in stages, and he says a marital checkup can catch small issues before they grow big.

Marriages do not deteriotate in stages. I know it looks like that the first year or two after things “didn’t work out”…it always does. With some more time, one sees the problem really was that all those years ago, at the time the twosome became one, both halves were somewhat ignorant about what exactly it was they wanted out of life. Separation became an inevitability once, tragically united, they began to figure it out.

The thing is, though, once the intelligent divorcee realizes this, the divorce itself is a somewhat distant memory.

By then, his or her friends are done inquiring about the possible cause of the divorce. They’re too busy asking other more recent divorcee friends, still laboring under the delusion of this “grew apart in stages” fallacy, why they think they got divorced. So this epiphany is a relatively quiet one, and the urban myth of “stages” endures.


Just don’t marry bitches. Marry (or couple up with) sweethearts, and treat ’em like that’s what they are. Spend your time around someone who wants you to be happy, and you will be.

Humans. Boy, we are really good at making simple things complicated. Y’know?

Hook Up Culture

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

We put a scratch or two in Jessica Valenti’s argument, that our culture’s “obsession with virginity” is somehow hurting girls and young women.

Blogger friend Cas just drove her freakin’ monster truck over it. She also ‘fessed up, she is the “female friend” John Hawkins was talking about. We had that one pegged when we saw the female friend was asking the question we’d been asking awhile…

What is it with feminists and wanting to turn America’s teenagers into raging whores?

In spite of all the shredding that has been going on, however, there is one other point that has to be made. It lies precisely at the fork in the road, where reality veers away from what is politically correct:

For the last several decades, the feminist movement has upheld as an ideal that women of marriagable age should assume all of the responsibility of deciding on their couplings, and that Dad should butt out. This has been an unspoken agenda item, and it’s good for the feminist movement that it is unspoken, for the effect it has is to force feminism to indict itself.

A picture has emerged during the heyday of the feminist movement, of the desired male object-of-affection — the stud who is chosen most often, now that it’s all up to the liberated woman and Dad has nothing to say about it. It’s not a pretty picture at all. Tragically, most of the time, it’s a picture of a guy who’s no longer there. It’s “(Insert name of oldest kid)’s dad,” small-d.

Lots of fun. Never could hold down a job. Turned into an asshole a year after the marriage…or when the kid was born…and that, of course, is all his fault. Maybe this inspires the next question “If he’s a dick down to the marrow of his bones and he’s never been anything else, why’d you pick ‘im?” — which, in the feminist age, is the quitessential Question Of Rudeness. The answer to which is: He changed. Or the subject abruptly changes. Or both.

What does reality embrace, that political correctness does not?

Feminism was all about experimenting — having women just coming to an age of maturity, making decisions about their suitors that their daddies used to make for them, or at least influence.

And the experiment failed.

It failed because those young ladies were still virgins, in this age of eschewing virginity. Sure — perhaps they weren’t virgins in the traditional sense. But they were virginal to this world of going to bed early Sunday through Thursday and waking up fresh and energized so you could go to a job, and bring home a paycheck to buy groceries and pay a mortgage. They were virginal to that. And they picked their studs, before losing that virginity.

Their score overall? You’d have done a much better job calling heads-or-tails a thousand times in a row. They mucked it up. They screwed the pooch. They went out looking for a guy who’d be with them, help them raise the kids, help them pay off the house, and they selected as their criteria does he make me laugh. Fast forward a few years, they were forced to saddle some other poor schlub with all the responsibilities after blowing their own fun-filled younger years on some “fun” guy who got ’em pregnant and then ran off.

Which, irony of ironies…is not fun. They went lookin’ for something, and failed to find it, when they’d have stood a much better job finding it if they didn’t sacrifice so much to go lookin’ for it.

Fun is a lot like love that way.

My “Confessing Cheating Spouse” Drinking Game

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

EdwardsTake A Drink When He/She Says…

1. I accept the responsibility.
2. I don’t mean to offer this as an excuse.
3. I am going to have to live with this for the rest of my life.
4. (Spouse) is a wonderful person.
5. I love (Spouse).
6. Felt trapped/unfulfilled at the time (or under great stress).
7. Funny thing is, it has been good for our marriage.
8. (Spouse) has seen this affair as a wake-up call (cheating wives only).
9. Never meant to hurt anybody.
10. Stupid thing I did.

Even better, have someone else take a drink when the confessing, cheating spouse says something that does not fall into one of those ten. See who gets drunk first.

Also, switch to paint thinner of the cheating spouse comments on the questions this raises about his/her character issues. Because this probably won’t happen. They might confess to being “weak,” but that’s as close as you get.

These things are always so sad. The real damage that was done, is that from that point on the cheating spouse can’t be trusted by any rational person — and so whenever the marriage runs into an event in which trust is imperative, the betrayed spouse has to behave like an irrational person.

Cheating spouses never seem to say anything to directly address that. They just roll out a bunch of sound bites calculated and designed to motivate others to behave irrationally.

I think we’re getting closer and closer to the day when schoolchildren read in the history books how Bill Clinton got caught cheating, how he was allowed to stay in office, and want to know “how in the world could that be?” When it actually happened, we were being bombarded with propaganda to the effect that the “strongest public servants” in our history were cheaters, and it looked like we were about to enter an era in which cheating on your spouse was a sign of nobility. I thought the bewildered-schoolchild event might take a hundred years. Now, I’m hoping for twenty or thirty. This is good.

Benefits and Opportunity

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

The benefits they have won, are costing them the opportunity.

And among those who now enjoy the opportunity, many of them find they don’t want it.

I’m sure feminism will attend to these flaws in the movement, in the usual manner: By excoriating and stigmatizing anybody who dares to mention them.

Jesse Jackson’s Hot Mic

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Might as well take my turn talking about it.

The first thing I notice, is how similar is the media’s reaction to a radical hardcore left-wing liberal getting caught saying what he truly feels, compared to a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina. No protagonist; it’s nobody’s fault; both events are things that just “happened.” Well, in the natural weather phenomenon it’s the incumbent Republican President who somehow made it happen, but give the Jesse Jackson thing time. That’ll be George Bush’s fault too. You know if we don’t obey our instructions to forget about it, toot-sweet, someone in some strategy room somewhere will be brainstorming on a way to hold the current President responsible for Jesse Jackson’s latest embarrassment.

And that brings me to the second thing. Like Officer Barbrady said, “move along, there’s nothing to see here.” What a wonderful thing it must be to be Jesse Jackson! You get to express your profound regret that you got caught saying something, and this massive public-relations tsunami goes out…everyone should pretend it never happened. This is why democrats tend not to stand for anything. There are, in fact, deeply held principles in their camp; all these principles do not agree with all other principles; this causes deep divides and schisms that are well worth discussing.

But it would hurt both sides within the democrat camp to permit any discussion of them. So they remain undiscussed.

Here, the divide is over — and this brings me to the third thing — what is it we’re talking about when we use the word “responsibility?” Truth be told, this nation is chock full of reasonable, moderate-to-conservative people who call themselves “democrats” and look at the R-word the way any conservative Republican does: Responsibility is something inextricably intertwined with the decisions you want to make. Authority, autonomy, control, it’s-my-turn-at-bat…having sex with a good-lookin’ woman…driving a car. These all carry responsibility.

Well the truth of the matter is, Rev. Jesse Jackson represents millions of people — of all skin color — who don’t feel that way. To them, “responsibility” is a burden that bears down upon undesirables. Those who are seen as oppressors within history’s backdrop, people who run corporations, rich people, straight people, white people, males, white-straight-males, oilmen. We/they have the “responsibility” to provide…and there, there’s this huge exploding list. Jobs. Food. Daycare. Minimum wage. Education. Healthcare.

Obama just said “black people” — clearly, in Jackson’s mindset as well as in Sen. Obama’s, the useful meaning of this phrase is something that could be best worded as “our primary beneficiaries” — have responsibility. And Jackson was none to fond of this. On Planet Jackson, there’s the folks who’ve gotten away with stuff and are about to get their come-uppins, and there’s the folks who’ve been trampled and now get to live in utopia. And the latter of those two should not have to worry about any responsibilities, because you saw how he reacted when someone suggested something different.

My suggestion? Let’s go ahead and disagree about what responsibilities are. Let’s go ahead and disagree about whether Obama would be a decent President, or whether Jesse Jackson is good for America. Disagree about all that — but let’s agree the Officer Barbrady approach doesn’t fit in here. No need at all to “move along” from what apparently divides the Obama and Jackson camps within the democrat party.

This is a debate well worth having. What is responsibility? Are you burdened by it by the things you do, or by who you are? Is it a way for people to earn the privileges and the stature they want in life, to change what they want to change and achieve what they want to achieve — or is it punishment to be meted out to dirty rotten creepy jerks (DRCJs) who are somehow associated with historical skulduggery and need a good whallopin’ of some kind?

Because I don’t think this is a “black” thing at all. I think there’s millions of people who feel, when they see themselves or any of their peers or perceived constituents saddled with any kind of “responsibility,” for any reason at all, their first instinct is to cut somebody’s nuts out (or off). They seem to be angry people who have something to say. I’d like to know more about what they’ve got to say. I’d like everybody to hear it — right before it’s time to go into a voting booth and punch a ballot. Then we could show what we think of it. I think that would be a good thing.

Update: As a general rule, when a topic can be easily distilled down into a single intangible noun — Bill Whittle has an essay about it, and if that is the case it is an essay well worth reading. However, next month it’ll have five years of dust on it. Five years old, and solid gold:

Political Correctness, Deconstructionism, Trans-National Progressivism, Liability mania, Crime and Punishment, Terrorism, Welfare, Gun Control, Media Bias, Affirmative Action, Abortion, Education Reform, Social Engineering — all of it — will divide people according to their idea of Responsibility. [emphasis Whittle’s]

This helps to (partially) explain something I’ve often noticed about abortion, environmentalism and secularism. We have people who think humans have a “responsibility” to be stewards of the earth; we have other people who insist there is no such thing as God. There are people who believe when a woman becomes pregnant, it is the responsibility of both parents to carry the child to term.

Now, imagine yourself as an alien who is skilled in the concepts of human behavior, but wholly unfamiliar with our customs. You could be Mork from Ork, you could be My Favorite Martian, you could be Jeannie coming out of her magic lamp after two thousand years. All things dealing with contemporary events and prevailing notions, you need to have explained to you.

I think Whittle’s essay falls short here. You would have to logically predict, would you not, that the people who believe in God are the ones who insist we have a responsibility to act as watchful stewards over the planet. You would become confused even further once you were informed that our religious people are the ones (quite rightly and sensibly) who insist pregnancies are initiated by a Higher Power and it is a transgression into the glorious jurisdiction for any mortal man to abort a woman’s pregnancy. In fact, if one of your earlier introductions to this was through the Book of Genesis, you would become even more confused:

1:28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Once your “Master” or your earthly host got done explaining to you — no, actually, it’s our secularist types who insist we have this responsibility — you’d be mixed up about it for, I expect, an entire year or more. Yes space-alien-man, the abortion/pregnancy thing works exactly the way you inferred; secularist types insist there is no deity to be offended and it’s all about “choice.” But on the environment and “global warming” the whole thing takes on a hundred and eighty degree twist.

So this is where I part company with Whittle: The left does have a concept of responsibility. And they believe in free will.

What decides these issues for them is that they believe free will is only practiced by collectivist groups. In fact, it is a consistent trope of leftist thinking that free will does change the outcome of important things, and should. That they must bring it about.

But then they go on to believe, quite consistently, and often against the historical evidence, that this can only be done through “coming together.” An individual can’t “go it alone.”

I commented earlier this week that if global warming, for an example, was settled science as we are consistently told it is — we would handle it much the same way we handle science that really is settled, such as with regard to Mad Cow Disease. Grabbing hold of everyone we know, everyone within earshot and line-of-sight, and bullying them around until they thought of the subject matter the way we do… that wouldn’t have anything to do with what had to be done. Instead, we’d delegate responsibility for the outcome of the incident, to those who are best qualified to affect that outcome. And then we’d go about our lives hoping for the best. Nothing grassroots about it.

True leftists like Rev. Jackson, simply put, don’t believe individuals can have responsibility — except, as I wrote above, as punishment for historical wrongs. The more noble variant of free will, the kind that has to be embraced in order to enact positive change…that is reserved for groups.

Whittle goes on with an observation about an old speech made by Abraham Lincoln, that deals with the toxicity of the mindset disclaiming the virtue of noble, individual, free will:

Many years before his election as the nation’s 16th President, this man, Abraham Lincoln, spoke at the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois on January 27, 1838. It is worth our time to whisper these words aloud, to ourselves, to be sure that we understand what he is saying across a gulf of a century-and-a-half of differences in rhetoric and speech.

He said:

We, the American People, find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us. We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them — they are a legacy bequeathed us, by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed race of ancestors. Theirs was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves, us, of this goodly land; and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys, a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; ’tis ours only to transmit these, the former, unprofaned by the foot of an invader — to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

How then shall we perform it? — At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! — All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

The idea of individualism, of personal responsibility, is the centerpiece, the granite foundation, of the very idea of a free people. For that reason, it is under direct attack on many fronts from people, who, through motives well-intentioned or ill, find such an idea intolerable because a nation of individuals is immune to repression, coercion, social engineering and control by the elite. The threat, as Lincoln so eloquently foresaw, comes from within and it is here, now, well-established and growing.

We have to fight back. We have to fight back hard.

We have to fight back now.

So you see how responsibility for personal defense ties in with this. And this speaks to why, when responsibility and free will become intertwined with accountability, for someone to take on the heavy burden of overseeing the outcome…this is a responsibility, along with many others, that cannot be delegated to a group. For groups are notoriously lacking in this accountability. That’s why the environment and other endeavors are wholeheartedly embraced as “responsibilities” by the left that in so many other areas, rejects the concept of free will. When responsibility has to do with finger-waggling, the left likes responsibility just fine. Unplug your toaster! Change your light bulbs! Drive a smaller car!

And it’s quite reasonable for you to pick up an undertone in selectivity about the finger-waglees. The left spends a lot of time and a lot of hot air talking about how, in these efforts, “we all” need to “come together.” Well, as always seems to be the case, “all” doesn’t mean “all.” We see that when environmentally-conscious politicians drive to their speaking events in SUVs that get six miles a gallon or less; we see it in the celebrities who believe in “responsible gun safety,” whose bodyguards carry concealed weapons.

That, right there, is why Jesse Jackson wants to cut off Sen. Obama’s nuts. Noble responsibility, the kind you intertwine with an outcome-changing effort that is truly great, is a group thing; it is to be invested in a group, so that when a bad plan turns to crap it’s nobody’s fault. The pejorative cousin, the “You Hafta Worry About This Because You’re A DRCJ” (dirty rotten creepy jerk) is an individual thing, but it isn’t there to achieve anything. It’s there to weigh people down, to punish them.

Whittle’s right. This mindset that individuals are incapable of embracing glorious and productive free will, the kind of free will that is necessarily involved in accomplishing great things, is treacherous, toxic, and will eventually kill us if we let it. We have to oppose it at every turn.

Yeah, Affairs Are Good!

Monday, June 9th, 2008


Mira Kirshenbaum, who has over 30 years’ experience as a marriage therapist, says the ‘right kind’ of affair can be a positive thing, acting to “jolt people from their inertia”.

The author of When Good People Have Affairs, published this week, argues that because society has so far failed to have a sympathetic discussion of infidelity, the positive sides of cheating have been ignored.

However, she insists that most cheating spouses should never own up, because revealing the infidelity is more damaging than keeping quiet.

“Sometimes an affair can be the best way for the person who has been unfaithful to get the information and impetus to change,” she told The Observer.

“I’m not encouraging affairs, but underlying the complicated mess is a kind of deep and delicate wisdom. It’s an insight that something isn’t working and needs to change.”

Most philanderers are good, kind people, she argues, who are seeking real happiness and love.

Uh, yeah Mira…for themselves. That seems to be a little detail you’re missing.

And after thirty years? Someone’s a little slow on the uptake…can’t help but wonder why.

This isn’t limited to sex and marriage infidelity. It’s a rule that extends to all forms of betrayal. People who counsel others to be more tolerant and understanding of it, have a consistent “blind spot” when it comes to envisioning themselves as the ones betrayed. Do as I say…not as I do.

Ms Kirshenbaum, clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute, a psychotherapy and research centre in Boston, Massachusetts, says her book is not aimed at ‘creeps’ who think they can cheat with impunity, but at decent people who know they have made a mistake.

“These people are suffering terribly and need to be relieved of their sense of guilt and shame because those emotions are paralysing,” she said.

“If handled right, an affair can be therapeutic, give clarity and jolt people from their inertia,” she said.

“You could think of it as a radical but necessary medical procedure. If your marriage is in cardiac arrest, an affair can be a defibrillator.”

Sick. All I can do is sputter away in disgust, so I’ll defer to KramericaWallet‘s comments in the FARK thread:

That is wrong on so many levels.

One of them is that it’s ridiculous to:

(a) Say that, after you’ve had an affair, you should not feel guilty about it and see it as positive and therapeutic, while at the same time
(b) Claiming that this is not supposed to encourage people to have affairs.

Come on, if you’re giving an easy way to justify something in retrospect, it’s a de facto way to justify it ahead of time.

Saying that if you have had an affair you must not tell the person you cheated on is simply indulging people’s most selfish impulses. Again, this is both before and after having an affair. If you’ve decided ahead of time that there’s nothing wrong with lying to your spouse about having had an affair and in fact it’s the morally required thing to do, you’ll be a lot less reluctant to have an affair (otherwise, you might not want to do it because you wouldn’t want to the lie to them or feel guilty about lying to them).

The author of When Good People Have Affairs, published this week
On the other hand, you can definitely make some money by selling books to make bad people feel better about themselves. Just make sure their spouses don’t accidentally find this book lying around the house.

Yeah. This.

What Motherhood Is Not

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

My household is a motherless household. My kid has a Mom and my girlfriend has a Mom, so when you spiral outward to extended families that’s about all the Mom-hood you find. So other than reminding all among you who have Moms to give ’em a call, I don’t have too much to say here.

Except for a warning. There are many among our future and past-moms who seem to think class and fidelity are mutually-exclusive things; they’re worshiping Mrs. Robinson, Ann Bancroft’s character from The Graduate, as a role model. Yes, they are; it’s true. Perhaps their moms can do something about this before it gets any further out of hand, and so help to preserve the institution.

It’s not indestructible, you know. Motherhood does have weaknesses and as an attribute of culture, it can become shriveled, withered, twisted and mutated from what it once was. Made useless, in other words.

And anyone who doubts that prospect, can feast their eyes on this find from blogger friend Rick: And gosh…I…just…don’t…know…how…to…tease…this

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, has a message for moms: send us more money. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, sent out a fund-raising request this week one pro-life advocate says is grotesque.

Richards honored Mother’s Day by sharing part of an editorial her daughter wrote saying she got her pro-abortion views from her mother and grandmother, former Texas Gov. Ann Richards.

“It’s true that I have had lots of rewarding moments in my career. So did my mother,” Cecile wrote in the email obtained. “But knowing that my daughter is carrying on the legacy of fighting that my mother passed to me trumps ’em all.”

Celebrating Mother’s Day by raising funds to perform abortions…thereby stopping motherhood in it’s tracks. Celebrating womanhood by honoring a woman with Narcissistic Personality Disorder who betrayed both her daughter and her husband.

Mothers, your daughters are in danger.

When men are being idiots, typically they’re shouting things to each other like “If Iraq is such a good idea, how come you’re not there, you chickenhawk?” Yes, that’s pretty much stuck on stupid right there…it’s a betrayal of what manhood is supposed to be, in which manly men challenge other men to be manly men, rather than belittling third-parties for showing that respect to the manly-men. Manhood is suffering from an ailment in which wimpy men dare to bully real men into becoming wimpy men, rather than the other way around. But there is a common affliction among females, something several orders of magnitude beyond this — although the common thread of betraying the foundation of the gender in question, remains. Our girls, in addition to confusing real-women with phony-women, are also confusing loyalty with treachery, order with chaos, honor with ignominy.

Or at the very least, are tempted to.

Celebrating Mrs. Robinson. My goodness.

Mrs. Robinson has a presence as she enters a room. Her smile radiates the energy that she will share with those who accept it. Most are intrigued as she walks with poise and welcome in her glance. Those lucky enough to join her will be greeted with a gentle yet firm hand, a delicate kiss or a warm embrace. Her words are composed of praise and inspiration. Those who listen will do so intently, and often enjoy great laughter. Her plan to make the environment in which she resides a place of comfort and joy is instantly revealed. Thank you, Mrs. Robinson, for your class within the laws of attraction. I look forward to my continued education in the art of fulfillment. Submitted by Ms. Smith, San Francisco [emphasis mine]

Pure Yang, in other words.

Bat Female Villain RepellantAnd brazen infidelity…

Mrs. Robinson would buy the shoes, seduce the man, kiss the boy, protect the innocent, forget her pantyhose, wear the lingerie, upset the balance, hear the neighbors, play the game, forget her bank account number, lust after the pool boy, decide to remember, desire the wrong one, mistake her pregnancy test and generally, love her unbelievable life. That’s what Mrs. Robinson would do. Submitted by Ms. L. Miller, San Francisco

Mrs. Robinson, in the movie, left a wake of dysfunction, distrust, misery, anger, intense sadness, suffering, confusion, broken relationships, shattered pieces of where a family once stood, and general chaos. To see her celebrated as a feminist icon, to me, is shocking. Just as much so as seeing a solicitation for abortion funds in “celebration” of Mother’s Day.

Anonymous, as quoted by Cassy Fiano in her follow-up post to the whole “real men” exchange, I think nails shut the difference between womanhood as many seem to see it, and womanhood as it can exist to earn the respect they crave:

…from the male perspective, sex is the greatest compliment that a woman can pay to a man. A woman who sleeps around devalues the compliment.

Just something to think about, ladies. Back in the days when timeless legends were written, did we play to the male fantasy by having the knight in shining armor slay the dragon so he can scale the walls of the impenetrable fortress, and wait for his turn to gang bang the princess? Nope. In the same way the princess paid her compliment to the knight, the knight paid the princess a compliment by deeming her worthy of facing down that dragon and near-certain death. It’s a timeless tale about enduring love and respect, not about a roll in the hay. In fact, the closing scenes of your favorite movie, Mrs. Robinson fans, reprises this timeless tale yet again. And Ann Bancroft ends up being one of the dragons. Weren’t you paying attention?

Maybe, just maybe, some of the gals in the Mrs. Robinson Society will follow a trackback here, and learn what they need to learn. If one mind can be changed, so the cliche goes, then it’s worth it.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Belly Facials

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Money quote:

Before the crying, diaper changes and sleepless nights set in, a growing number of moms-to-be are spending their pregnancies in the lap of luxury. From belly “facials” to in-home massage therapy and private yoga sessions, women are indulging like it might be their last chance.

“There are so many luxury services available to pregnant women these days,” says Hilary Zalon, founder of, a Web site focused on pregnancy and parenting.
Say you’re eight months pregnant, your husband is away on business, and you find yourself with an intense craving for won ton soup — at midnight. You could pray that your favorite Chinese restaurant is still open for deliveries, or you could call your personal pregnancy concierge.

These services, which have begun to appear in larger cities in the past couple years, specialize in helping expectant mothers have stress-free pregnancies. For an hourly fee of $100 or more, some companies will spoon-feed you Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or slather cocoa butter on your belly; others provide more traditional services.
Fresh Dining, which delivers in Los Angeles and San Diego, offers a service called “Fresh Mommy” — tailored to the specific nutritional needs of pregnant women and new mothers — that delivers a cooler of five fresh (not frozen) meals to clients’ doorsteps for about $65 a day.

Couples are splurging on pre-baby vacations, too. Nearly 60 percent of couples surveyed go on a “babymoon” before becoming parents, according to a 2005 online poll sponsored by Liberty Travel and The survey, conducted by novaQuant Inc., received responses from 798 users.


Feh. Some things are just plain wrong.

The Pornography of Barbarism

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Rick brings to our attention a lamentation from The Doctor, which seems to conclude that we have either lost our way or we are perilously close to doing so.

There was, at the first, the video: a teenage girl, lured into a trap, then brutally beaten by six other girls her age for thirty minutes continually, carefully recorded on video for upload to YouTube.

Then came the Yale “artist” who repeatedly impregnated herself by artificial insemination, then aborted the fetus with drugs, carefully saving the results for display wrapped in plastic and Vaseline for her senior art exhibit.

Then this morning, in the local paper: a man — a school bus driver — convicted for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl left alone on his bus.

One could multiply such incidents, ad nauseum, on almost any given day, in any part of the world — beheadings and genocide, ghoulish scenes of body parts and bloodied walls from yet another heroic martyr seeking virgins through hyperviolence. Yet these events, small on such a savage scale, in some way troubled me more than most.

One wants to rail at a society gone mad, at a civilization which has lost its bearings and moral compass, at a decadence fed by materialism and secularism, force-fed with the rotgut wine of postmodern relativism, drunk with the notion that ideas have no consequence and idols worshiped bring no destruction.

Yet the time for such anguished mourning seems long past, its passing but a point in a pitiful past history. We have, it seems, entered the post-human age.

The Doctor went on to talk about the “consensus among the civilized that certain behavior and unrestrained license threaten [civilization’s] very existence” that is the real mortar holding together the bricks of our society, much more responsible for our continuing survival than any fighting force.

One thing I notice is that this wandering into such dark territory, seems to coincide not with so much a relaxation of classical standards of decency, as with a sudden ratcheting-up of new ones. As I said over at Rick’s place, “Our ability to blow the whistle & call shenanigans on each other, is just as robust and sensitive as it as ever been. What we’ve lost is the willingness to do it out of a sense of decency.” Not s’poseda have a gun in your home. Not s’poseda flush the Koran. Not s’poseda eat meat, pray in school, wear a flag lapel pin, support the Boy Scouts, call out the race of someone running from the police, invade nations pre-emptively…et cetera. And then there are all the quotas. Can’t emit more than so-many tons of carbon, can’t hire more than X percent straight-white-guys, can’t pay less than Z dollars per hour.

I notice with the global warming, the central thesis to it is that if you read the data the right way, you can plot a graph across certain segments of time in which “global temperature” is shown to reach a sharp upswing in recent years. It’s that sharp upswing that scares us. We see the line zipping upward like a bottle rocket at the right side of the graph, representing the present or the point of time closest to the present, and we think zowee! Something bad must be about to happen! That something bad really is about to happen, is perhaps the most weakly asserted portion of this “science” of global warming because it doesn’t have to be very strong. Our minds supply us with a psychological tendency to fill that part in…triggered by the bottle-rocket upswing at the right side of the graph.

It’s odd that we don’t do this with phony rules. The rules some faceless aristocrat pulled out of his arse — rules that exist more to service an elitist layer among us, than to reflect any lessons learned from any decent survey of history. Because who among us, with an adequate command of history, can deny that a graphing of phony-rules would fail to display the bottle-rocket curve on the right side of such a graph?

Jehovah is out; Gaea is in. Abandonment of rules is not the problem. We’re rapping each other across the knuckles left & right, day in and day out. We’re just cranking out the rules in service of a false deity. The rules multiplying so rapidly of late, don’t have anything to do with treating each other in a neighborly way. They just have to do with fanciful theories about what might & might not bring harm to certain segments of our society to whom we’re supposed to be especially sensitive, or to the “environment” itself.

Humanity, in a generic sense — as in, the sense of defining a species of which all of us humans are a part, regardless of our birth nation, skin color, sex, or political leanings — is the last beneficiary of the rules we make today. We are much quicker to crank out one more rule in service of this chunk of it, or that one. And then we use the word “environment” to refer to some more of those rules, because it rankles us to admit this-or-that rule is not intended to help anyone.

So it stands to reason…we are becoming less decent, at the same time we are becoming less free.

Thing I Know #196. Real freedom is actually pretty boring. It has very little to do with noteworthy events, save for the one event marking its arrival. When classes of people take turns, over time, enjoying special privileges, not one man among them enjoys genuine freedom.

The Dark Age

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In our relatively recent memory, there is a micro-era just 76 months long that shook the world. That this tiny epoch exists in our past, says a great deal about how we live with each other, how we’re slaves to fad and fashion, and how we’re not nearly as independent as we like to think we are.

My son’s been having this interest in cultural events that immediately preceded his birth, which was in ’97. This could be a sign of genius, if he knows what he’s doing…something that is always open to question. It could be hereditary. In my case, back in my childhood I had an interest in what was going on in the sixties and seventies, barely conscious of the fact that “big things” were going on, and I didn’t quite understand what they were. But they were bigger than me. My similar interest was decidedly a case of not knowing what I was doing. If I had my childhood to live all over again, knowing back then what I know now about post-modern feminism and the effect it’s had on our culture and on our public policy, I would have read every single newspaper I possibly could have gotten my hands on.

There are cycles, waves, and other such patterns involved in the way we value things across time. We’ve always had this tendency to elevate one demographic onto a pedestal, and bury another one shoulders-deep into the ground for a vicious virtual-stoning. We take turns doing this, and throughout it all we have this self-deceptive way of telling ourselves we’re treating everyone “equally” when we all know it isn’t true. It’s a delicious and intriguing piece of human hypocrisy, something woven deeply into us inseparable from our body chemistries.

Maybe we picked it up when we bit that damned apple. Who knows.

And we exercise it as individuals. In a couple of years, my son will be a teenager and the “My Dad Knows Everything” phase will come to a bitter end. I’ll be the clueless dolt who doesn’t know a damn thing.

James BondIn the meantime, my son likes James Bond movies. He seems to be in search of the elusive James Bond question that his father can’t answer. And always, always, we keep coming back to the above-mentioned chapter. He’s figured out that the history of the movie franchise is inseparable from the history of modern America…double-oh seven’s adopted parental country. How it is connected, he’s not quite completely sure. But he understands there is a connection.

Always, we come back to the elephant in the room. The one thing about the superspy that cannot be ignored…but defies explanation because it defies definition. The one things in Bond’s timeline that is absolutely intermingled with and inseparable from ours. I’ve made several casual references to it, but have never thoroughly explored it before in these pages.

The Dark Age.

The time when the Knight of the Cold War underwent a timeless and decidedly female fantasy — the story of Persephone, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. He was taken away. He slept. The world tried, and arguably failed, to get along without him.

This has been an educational experience for me; the one facet to this Dark Age that fascinates me, above all else, is that it is a classic case of the few dictating the tastes of the many. We recall it — when we do — as a grassroots event, a natural consequence of the everyday folks getting fed up with an over-saturation of machismo. It simply isn’t true. It wasn’t bottom-up; it was top-down. Our elders decided they knew what was best for us, and they decided we were tired of James Bond. It was part of a much larger thing. Manhood was out of style. Masculinity, it was thought…although nobody came out and said straight-out, for it made far too little sense…was something that enshrouded us in the age of warfare, and now that the Cold War was over manhood no longer had a home. Anywhere. It was time for it to go away.

And so it became obligatory for the Lords and Vicounts and High Priests to instruct the peasants not to like James Bond. Or cigars, or martinis, or…well…anything you might’ve seen your “daddy” doing, be it Yankee or Anglican.

Working on cars on a summer day in an old greasy tee shirt. Drinking beer. Knowing best. Peeing on a tree. Opening jars for the wife. Telling dirty jokes. Growing facial hair. We were “above” all that, as we explored this new chapter in which 007 would be 86’d.

James Bond’s long slumber, the span between the sixteenth and seventeenth film installments, neatly bookends a small era in which we wanted none of these things…because we were told we should want no such things. And this year, as my son teeters on the brink of teenagerhood and is about to lose his curiosity about the Dark Age, and as Senator Hillary Clinton repeatedly struggles and fails to bring the Dark Age back again, perhaps it would be fruitful to re-inspect exactly what happened to us.

Supposedly, what happened was that Ian Fleming’s creation stalled out with the always-crescendoing legal troubles that arose from ownership disputes. There is certainly some truth to this; the evidence seems to suggest, on the question of Fleming taking indecent liberties with Kevin McClory’s contribution of the storyline in Thunderball, that Fleming is actually guilty. But it doesn’t really matter, does it. The very thing that makes this explanation plausible, is the thing that makes this explanation all bollywonkers and gunnybags. James Bond, at least in film form, has always been in legal trouble over this McClory issue. It is the reason there were two James Bonds in 1983. It is the reason that, in For Your Eyes Only two years previous, there was that surreal “Blofeld” appearance nobody can explain completely — the one with the smokestack, the wheelchair, the helicopter, and the delicatessen in stainless steel. Yeah, that.

Personally, I’ve never completely bought into this line that James Bond went away because of legal problems. He went away because he was out of style. Our feminists didn’t want us watching him. They told us what to do, and we obeyed our feminists. Starting with Hollywood, which made the regrettable decision — and today, looking back, the most ludicrous one — that the most profitable years of double-oh seven were in the past.

When one inspects what James Bond really is, one can easily see why our feminists have always hated him so much. He isn’t really a British spy, you know. He is the very apex of male fantasy. Let’s face it, international espionage doesn’t really have a great deal to do with saving the world from a madman with a laser orbiting the planet. It certainly doesn’t have to do with Aston-Martin automobiles, or sleeping with a lot of women. Or wearing a two thousand dollar suit and a three thousand dollar watch, when a couple hundred bucks divided among the two of those acquisitions will do quite nicely.

No, what those things have in common is that they typify male fantasy. They define manhood. Being entrusted with an important job, going about it, noticing something is about to happen that will injure millions of people you don’t even want to ever meet, preventing an enormous disaster and then retreating back into the shadows to go about your more mundane daily duties. Huh. I’ve just described the typical Superman episode. I’ve also just described a day in the life of any knight sitting at King Arthur’s round table. This is male fantasy that goes back a good stretch before Ian Fleming’s parents ever met.

And as frosting on the cake of feminist hatred toward the British superspy…once these male fantasies solidify into a newest James Bond movie installment, and the knuckledragging males like myself move heaven and earth to go see it…we don’t go alone. No, we bring our women along. Yes, women following men into the theater to watch a man’s movie. And we don’t jam our “honey do jars” full of bits of paper promising to do this or that pain-in-the-ass thing in compromise. We don’t have to. Our women want to go. Our women want to see the next James Bond movie more than we do.

This is what earns James Bond a fatwa from the feminist movement. He reminds us that men are noble creatures, and that women are complicated. Our feminists tend to hunger for the exact opposite, you know…they like men to be disposable and they like women to be simple. But with not a single sign of Meg Ryan crying, or Hugh Grant acting like a dork, the simple woman isn’t supposed to be having any fun. And she wouldn’t be. Yet the latest Bond flick comes out, and our women are practically jumping in the car, warming up the engine for us, offering to buy the popcorn.

James Bond is a sign that feminists may have more to learn about women, than anybody else.

And so, during the Dark Age, they killed him. They did what feminists desire to do: Shape our culture and define the values we exercise therein. Glittering recruiting-buzzwords like “power” and “freedom” and “choice” really have very little to do with any of it.

But…when angry women want us to do things, we find it hard to tell them no.

For the two thousand three hundred and thirteen days that began in the summer of 1989, James Bond slept.

The world went un-saved.

And when the experiment was over, it turned out — maybe the world doesn’t need saving after all — but it certainly does need James Bond. That male fantasy that he’s really all about. We depend on it; that’s just the way it is, and the feminists can get as grouchy about that as they want to get, but it’s true and will always remain such.

The feminist edict that James Bond should go away, began the way all cultural impulses do: With a tailwind, and on a downward slope. It caught on because resistance was at a low ebb. Certain external events created a climate in which it was handy and convenient to suggest a retirement from MI6 and from Hollywood. The AIDS crisis had reached a plateau, and some would say it was still on a sharp upswing. The baby boom generation, always numerous, always powerful, and always hostile to anything that might have been identified with the generation previous to them, had reached middle age and they started to occupy positions that were powerful, positions in which “real” decisions were made about things. And with Russia’s troubles, anything even remotely connected to a “cold war” seemed naturally headed to the trash heap.

It was Timothy Dalton’s second venture in this role. It is sometimes said that his style, notable in fidelity to the book version of Agent 007, grated on the movie audiences and there may be some truth to this as well. But another thing about Dalton that doesn’t get a lot of mention is that he was the first “Fountain of Youth” James Bond. Fans were expected to believe this was the same guy who outwitted Dr. No in 1962 and wrecked that railroad car on the Orient Express with Red Grant the following year; here he was, maybe seventy years old, wrestling control of an airplane in mid-flight after waterskiing behind it in his bare feet. The storyline was original enough, involving Bond’s defection from the British Secret Service and carrying out a personal vendetta on behalf of his friend Felix Leiter. And Robert Davi had all kinds of things going for him as the bad guy. He was dark, sinister, bloodthirsty, cruel and charming.

But — and looking back on it, this was probably the nail in the coffin — the bad guy was also a drug lord. In the previous film, The Living Daylights, it turned out that bad guy was also a drug lord. James Bond fighting the war on drugs. Nothing says “past the prime” quite like that.

The only sense of continuity was that Dalton had signed up to do three movies, and this was the second. Other than that, there was no momentum at all.

The death knell also came from bad returns, and the bad returns undoubtedly resulted from bad promotion. The film competed with Batman; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Lethal Weapon 2 and many others. Bond had been a summer phenomenon with every film appearance since The Spy Who Loved Me, but evidently the time had come to re-think that, and perhaps it was re-thought a bit too late.

When the thumping came from the dismal revenues, feminists, and others invested against Bond’s success, trumpeted that we were tired of men saving the world from disaster, conveniently ignoring the success of Die Hard just a year ago. The talking point stuck. They talked it up and talked it up. Meanwhile, MGM/UA sued Danjaq, the parent holding company of Bond-related trademarks and copyrights…another outgrowth of the McClory mess.

That winter, in a dark omen about the times in which we were about to live, carefully sanitized of any male heroism or derring-do or respect for same, Marc Lepine murdered 14 women at the University of Montreal. The Montreal Massacre has come to epitomize what’s wrong with feminism, why it is the very last mindset that should have anything, whatsoever, with the formation of public policy.

Let us summarize it here: Feminists talked down male heroism. They opposed it at every turn. They poured vast sums of money and energy into sneering at it, indoctrinating entire generations of people to the idea that the Real Man is a myth, and if he is indeed real he serves no purpose, in fact is something toxic and ugly. And Mark Steyn, quoting himself after the Virginia Tech shooting, fills us in on what happened next:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

The conclusion is inescapable. Masculinity was killed, and soon after it the real women it had been defending.

Well, Mark Steyn has his opinion about what it all means, but the prevailing viewpoint has another take on it…

Since the attack, Canadians have debated various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine’s motives. Many feminist groups and public officials have characterized the massacre as an anti-feminist attack that is representative of wider societal violence against women. Consequently, the anniversary of the massacre has since been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Other interpretations emphasize Lépine’s abuse as a child or suggest that the massacre was simply the isolated act of a madman, unrelated to larger social issues. Still other commentators have blamed violence in the media and increasing poverty, isolation, and alienation in society, particularly in immigrant communities.
The massacre was a major spur for the Canadian gun control movement. One of the survivors, Heidi Rathjen, who was in one of the classrooms Lépine did not enter during the shooting, organized the Coalition for Gun Control with Wendy Cukier. Susan and Jim Edwards, the parents of one of the victims, were also deeply involved. Their activities, along with others, led to the passage of Bill C-68, or the Firearms Act, in 1995, ushering in stricter gun control regulations. These new regulations included new requirements on the training of gun owners, screening of firearm applicants, new rules concerning gun and ammunition storage and the registration of all firearms. The gun registry in particular has been a controversial and partisan issue, with critics charging that it was a political move by the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien that has been expensive and impractical to enforce.

Who’s right? Form whatever opinion you wish to form; I’ve formed mine. This culture conflict between male-friendly and male-hostile forces had been going on for awhile, and ultimately it culminated in the death of James Bond, the greatest family-friendly male fantasy material ever put to the big screen. And then the Montreal Massacre showed us the horrific consequences in store for us if we eradicate masculinity…and in response to that…our neighbors to the North, in their infinite wisdom, eradicated masculinity some more. Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women — as if deranged gunmen pay attention to such things, before making the fateful decision to go charging through a college campus shooting people.

Little things began to happen in popular culture about this time, poisoning the well just a little bit further. The Simpsons premiered — the madcap adventures of a little poorly-drawn cartoon boy named Bart. It turned out his doofus dad Homer had special resonance with our now thoroughly-vaginized audience, and in the years to come the family patriarch would steal center stage. Homer Simpson, in this way, continued the trend set by Al Bundy in Married…With Children — albeit as a less sympathetic character — and the Age of the Doofus Dad began in earnest.

On the big screen and the little screen, things started popping up “geared toward” girls and women…which means deliberately excluding men. The studios discovered women were feeling a special attraction toward things that not only entertained them, but were assured to provide little-to-no entertainment for anybody else. They called it “tailoring” or “customizing” or “specially targeted” or whatever. The meaning was all the same: Men wouldn’t like it.

Makes sense. Guys, when you take your sweeties to the movies, it should hurt. Makes as much sense as that ring that should cost a lot. Sacrifice is the point.

So we were buried in an avalanche of things men wouldn’t like. The Little Mermaid marked the beginning of what became an annual pilgrimage — Disney would market the hell out of their next big feature cartoon, full of strange people and animals with eyes the size of dinner plates, with obscene volumes of merchandising tie-ins. Next year, they’d go back, Jack, and do it again. All of it “tailored.” Cleansed of anything that might be interpreted as even residual masculine appeal. All of it calculated to make Dad barf.

Steel Magnolias. That spring, Pretty Woman. Ghost. Feelings, feelings, feelings…bits of fluff to make you cry, tossed up there for the purpose of pulling in the little gold statues of the man who has no face.

Ryan White died of AIDS. Such poignant deaths tugged at our heartstrings, and helped to remind us that the era of feelings could not have crested out just yet. It was just getting started. After all, if you resolved to confront the AIDS crisis with your brain instead of with your heart, what in the world would you do? There was nothing to do in the Realm of Thought except throw a little bit more money at the disease. And then a lot more money. Well, when people can’t form a plan that seems complete, they like to feel their way through things so with every AIDS-related news event we did some more feeling.

Manhood being coupled with stoic, rational thinking, it was buried a little further in the ground as we continued to bury our brains. We had to be more sensitive. People were dying of AIDS. Nobody ever explained how being more sensitive would stop AIDS deaths, but that’s the beauty of feeling your way through things — no explanation necessary. Just think happy thoughts. Or sad ones. Whatever fits the occasion. Just be compatible. Doing constructive things, that was out of style now.

The era of James Bond continued to slip into the past. In August of 1990, movie producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli parted company with screenwriter Richard Maibaum, and John Glen, director of the previous five films. Half a year after this unfortunate event, Maibaum would be dead.

The environment took center stage, now that we were being extra-feminized and sensitive. We had a new Earth Day, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1970 event, and that summer Captain Planet and the Planeteers premiered on TBS.

Men were understood to be inherently bad and women were understood to be inherently good. We began an endless fascination in women doing those heroic male things, like catching the bad guy. This is the year in which Clarice Starling became famous, as portrayed by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs. And then there was Thelma and Louise. Of course, the Tailhook scandal helped out a lot. Women were heroes — and hero status was incomplete if it was even suggested that maybe, just maybe, there might be some things men could do that women could not…that wouldn’t do. We pretended otherwise. And if anybody dared to get tired of it, we’d simply explore how women were victims — and that would return them to “hero” status.

The dysfunction that took hold in our society, wasn’t so much that we saw good things in women. The most “patriarchal” societies, contrary to popular belief, have it in common that they have seen women as innately good and worthy of protection — hence the necessity of strong men. No, in the 76 months of this Dark Age, the real damage was irony. Things seemed, to us, to be the opposite of what they really were…starting with strength and weakness. Weakness was now the new strength. In the news as well as in fiction, people were shown to be strong through a ritual of showcasing their frailties. Rodney King was worthy of our attention because he got beaten up. The beating was worth talking about. His leading the police on a high speed chase through a densely populated suburban neighborhood…wasn’t worth talking about, because this didn’t service the goal of portraying King as a victim. Starling was strong because she was a victim. Thelma and Louise were strong because they were victims. The Tailhook ladies were strong because they were victims.

Strong didn’t have anything to do with being ready, willing or able to defend someone in need of a defense. That would be too patriarchal.

In July of 1991, Patricia Ireland succeeded Molly Yard as the head of the National Organization of Women. This was a pivotal event because it was a generational hand-off; Ireland is a baby-boomer, and Yard came from the generation previous. Three months after this, Susan Faludi published her book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Strength-through-victimhood continued.

Feminists, during this time, could be as nasty as they wanted to be. If anyone called it out they’d just call it a “backlash” and do some more complaining about dark and sinister undercurrents in our society, working against them. Meanwhile, James Bond was dead…along with countless other “patriarchal” trinkets, involving far less meaning to us item-by-item than they meant collectively. The feminists were being exactly what they called others. Rodney King’s famous query was “can’t we all just get along?” The irony was, those who worked day and night to make sure everybody heard the question, also labored with equal gusto to make sure the answer was a resounding “Hell, no!”

Jeffry Dahmer was arrested. For eating people. The police got in trouble when it was discovered Dahmer fooled them into returning a bleeding, naked little boy to his care…who he later had for dinner. He ate lots of other people, but the police got in trouble because of this one boy. Don’t worry about Dahmer, he’s probably the last cannibal we’ll see for awhile, but we’d better fix the police because they’re feeding little boys to cannibals!

So the pattern continued. Those who did harm, were presented to us as nothing more than a curiosity…maybe even something deserving of our sympathy. Those whose job it is to protect us from the harm, are presented as part of the real problem. Ostensibly, this is done to make sure our protection is worth something. But every crime needs a protagonist, doesn’t it? If I’m a cop I can’t very well feed someone to a cannibal if there’s no cannibal around, can I? The police were a danger, the protagonist was not.

In November, Freddy Mercury died of AIDS. The feeling-over-thought continued. Bohemian Rhamsody, that winter, blared from every loudspeaker on every radio and every television.

Disorder was the new order. Justice was dispensed, not from the courtroom in which Stacy Koon and his colleagues were acquitted for the Rodney King incident, but in the riots that followed in downtown LA. Again…it was all about solving problems with feeling instead of with thought. Justice becomes a myth when you do that; just a glorified system of might-makes-right. More irony: People who want to disclaim masculinity, manhood, “patriarchal oppression” and so forth claim that as their goal — to elevate themselves and society above an anarchy in which might-makes-right. But that’s exactly what they cause to happen.

Meanwhile, nobody noticed that the Maastricht Treaty had been signed. This was the beginning of the European Union. Just like any other union, it was constructed to “level the playing field” against someone who had an “unfair advantage” — which means to attack that someone. In this case, it was the United States.

The importance of the Maastricht event cannot be overstated. Sixteen years later, we have been dutifully fed our talking points that the United States is seen by our “allies” as an oppressor. Most people who believe this uncritically, fail to comprehend how intricate and robust is the organization that is really responsible for all this “seeing.” It is an international union formed for the purpose of gaining more power…against the United States. With a little bit of a longer memory, one can see there is more to that story than just President George W. Bush. The hostility against America has roots in it, that go all the way back to this event. This quiet event.

Then came the Year of the Woman. It was part of a global fashion trend. That year, Betty Boothroyd had been elected as the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, and Stella Rimington became the first woman head of MI5, the domestic counterpart to Agent 007’s MI6 international espionage branch. The movie industry continued to assault us with their feeling-over-thought anti-man pap: A League of Their Own; Lorenzo’s Oil; Prelude to a Kiss.

Dan Quayle, technically correct, perhaps even prophetic, but hopelessly tone-deaf, gave a speech on the harm Murphy Brown was doing to our society. It was something we needed to have pointed out, but we weren’t ready for it at the time. Our sense of direction was utterly destroyed by now. Chaos looked like order, women looked like men, cops looked like robbers and robbers looked like cops. When cowardliness led to piles of womens’ dead bodies, we thought the best way to protect our women was to embrace more cowardliness. Murphy Brown’s dysfunction? It looked like function.

As Quayle’s boss faced re-election that fall, the worst debate-question ever was asked by pony-tail guy at the debate in Richmond, VA: “How can we, as symbolically the children of the future president, expect the two of you—the three of you—to meet our needs?” Rush Limbaugh provided more context for the quote here (link requires registration with Rush 24/7):

RUSH: Shall we go back to March 30th, 1993, from my Television Show, I played this sound bite from October 15th of 1992. This was the presidential debate, Perot, Clinton and Bush 41 in Richmond, Virginia.

THE PONYTAILED GUY: The focus of my work is domestic mediation, is meeting the needs of the children that I work with by way of their parents and not the wants of their parents, and I ask the three of you, how can we as symbolically the children of the future president expect the two of you, the three of you to meet our needs?

RUSH: That’s the famous Ponytail Guy from the Richmond debate in 1992. These presidential candidates are our fathers, the president’s going to be our father, and what can we expect from our father, you, to meet our needs?

The irony continued. Dependence was independence.

As the Danjaq/MGM case wound its way through the courts, The Crying Game was released…continuing the irony, women were men. Superman, the defender of Truth, Justice, The American Way, died. Just as well. We had some significant questions about what exactly all three of those were…and at the time we didn’t even realize we had those questions. But Superman just plum ran out of ways to save the day — without offending insecure women with his masculine oppression and what-not. So down he went.

Clinton appointed a whole bunch of women to his cabinet. Had he been seeking the best and the brightest for these important positions, he might have accidentally picked some pretty ones, and that would have been threatening. So he made sure they were all physically unappealing. Reno. Shalala. Albright would come later…and of course later that year Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court. I don’t wish to be unkind, but these ladies are homely. To doubt that there was an agenda in place to select them that way, is to doubt the evidence of our senses. If you sent me out to find some that look like this, I’d be out there all day long…probably finding none at all, or no more than one. In one of his first acts of office, not quite content with his retroactive tax increase, he passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.

Because as anybody knows, the first step to making the economy stronger is to make it godawful expensive to hire people. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Country music didn’t escape the Age of Dysfunction either. Eilleen Regina Edwards, better known as Shania Twain, released her debut CD. Country Music purists became apoplectic, and the schism helped to channel this seemingly limitless supply of anti-tradition anti-male energy into lifting the nascent career of the gorgeous Shania…whom, apart from that, had no shortage of assets appealing to the male psyche. There was little or no animosity involved in her lyrics, but a darker culture arose to consume her. No bitter, angry single-mom was complete without a cheap little CD player belting out one Shania Twain cut after another. It was all just so fresh…which sounds deceptively positive. Under the roots of it all, was a underlayer of raw, naked animosity toward anything that was traditional, and/or not yet quite as feminized as it might possibly be.

The Supreme Court decided Wisconsin v. Mitchell, signaling the readiness of our modern culture to consider hate-crime legislation. Who exactly is ready for it, nobody is willing to say; for a judicial-branch decision to drive what the legislative-branch is supposed to do, isn’t quite the way things are supposed to work. But work that way it did, as the Supreme Court decided states have latitude in considering motive for a crime in enhancing the penalties for it.

What’s been mostly forgotten is that the Wisconsin decision concerned an assault on a white fourteen-year-old boy, Gregory Reddick, by a gang of black individuals in Kenosha, who had just seen Mississippi Burning. Todd Mitchell asked the group “Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?” — Reddick was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the rest is history.

Todd Mitchell’s penalty was enhanced due to thoughts in his head. The Wisconsin Supreme Court had determined there was something wrong with that, that such an enhancement would have a “chilling effect” on free speech. The Supreme Court overruled, finding “no merit in this contention.” Those are unfortunate words. Penalty enhancements due to thoughts-in-the-head may, with a little bit of trickery, be shoehorned into some functional compatibility with the spirit of our Constitution, or at least with the letter. But “no merit” is a little on the strong side. To say penalties can be enhanced because of free speech exercised, might have a chilling effect on free speech…it does, at the very least, have some merit.

In an act that symbolized exactly what was going on, Lorena Bobbit cut off her husband’s penis and flung it at a stop sign, to fall into a field where it was later retrieved and reattached. Good thing she picked the summer of 1993 as the best time to do it. She was hailed as a feminist hero. The jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity, and after a court-ordered 45-day psychiatric evaluation, she was released.

She got away with it.

And the feminists said she was exactly what they wanted to be. Good for them. I wonder if, in 2008, they have the decency to be embarrassed by that. But it might be a good idea for the rest of us to remember what exactly “feminism” meant fifteen years ago: Cutting off dicks, or wishing you had the guts to do it.

Kim Campbell was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

President Clinton passed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, then went out to the Rose Garden for a photo op as Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands in a sham peace ceremony. The age of fakery, of built-in irony, of feeling-over-thought, of pretending things weren’t what the cognitive lobes understood them to be…staggered on. Meanwhile, John Wayne Bobbit flirted with porn. It seems he was restored to his potency much more quickly than we were restored to ours.

Sleepless in Seattle assailed our senses, followed closely afterward by the premiere of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Jocelyn Elders was confirmed as our Surgeon General, and the Maastricht Treaty came into effect, forming the European Union.

As Madonna slipped into her Dominatrix outfit, Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law, then sent his wife down Pennsylvania Avenue to babble some kind of nonsense at Congress about socialized medicine.

On November 13, Star Trek: The Next Generation had an episode called Force of Nature that nearly killed Star Trek. It was about environmentalism. It turns out, when you take a starship above Warp 5 you do some incremental damage to the fabric of the space-time continuum. At the conclusion of this episode, Starfleet, in its infinite wisdom, imposed a galactic speed limit on all starships, bringing the fictitious age of exploring the “final frontier” to a virtual end.

Another metaphorical event of profound poignancy: Ripping apart the fabric of a space-time continuum, was exactly what was taking place in real life. With manhood, our spirit of exploration was dying. And with that, our fastening to logic and truth. We wanted Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We wanted the thoughts in our heads to be regulated, while we were told no such thing was happening. With all the exploring done, we just wanted things extra safe…we wanted our Hillarycare universal health plan.

Lani Guinier, the “quota queen,” was nominated as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Colin Ferguson, accused of killing six passengers and wounding nineteen on the Long Island railroad, employed the black rage defense. His attorneys tried their best to retroactively declare open season on people, but to no avail. He received six life terms. Hey, at least they tried.

Black rage was first proposed by black psychologists William Grier and Price Cobbs in their book Black Rage (ISBN 1579103499). Grier and Cobbs argue that black people living in a racist, white supremacist society are psychologically damaged by the effects of racist oppression. This damage causes black people to act abnormally in certain situations.

Irony continues. The victim has strength, and is to be respected. Inequality is equality.

Since everybody was instantly good and wonderful if they would just let women do things they previously couldn’t, the Church of England began to ordain female priests. Hugh Grant typified his perpetual role as the hapless clumsy “git” in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Timothy Dalton went on record, announcing his official abdication from the role of James Bond.

Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley. The World Series was canceled, and the FIFA World Cup began in the United States. Enter soccer, exit baseball. But the real insult to the United States was just around the corner: Michael Fay used his American origin as an excuse for spray painting cars in Singapore. You see, we Americans are meek and mild and we’re just not tough enough for that caning punishment they have over there. The skin on our buttocks is especially thin, I suppose. So, you should just let us get away with it. I have a social disease, Officer Krupke! Grasping for the chance to show that chaos is really order and strength is really weakness, President Clinton intervened and bargained the ritual six strokes of the cane down to four.

With our national identity confused, lost, given away, we went through our summer ritual of being buried in annoying, glurgy, anti-male, feeling-over-thought movies. When A Man Loves A Woman. Natural Born Killers. Bad Girls. Blue Sky. Exit to Eden.

Woodstock ’94 commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of something that wasn’t really worth the trouble. Hippies smoking dope listening to music having sex in the mud. It was kind of a bust. The hippies had grown up, gotten jobs, mortgages, heads full of gray hair…and some nice suits that couldn’t get muddy.

ER premiered.

Hillarycare was quietly abandoned. We just weren’t going for it…yet.

A new Star Trek movie came out in which Kirk and Picard would appear together. This started lots of Kirk/Picard comparisons…wonderfully entertaining, all of them…but again, metaphorical toward the confusion and dysfunction we felt during these 76 months. The overall trend was that Kirk was more dependable and effective when confronted with a crisis, but Picard was more desirable…for reasons left unstated, or stated only vaguely. His propensity to surrender was thought to be an asset. Again, weakness is strength.

Disclosure came out, asking us to imagine an event in which a woman is guilty of sexual harassment (including an unfortunately ludicrous and silly scene in which Michael Douglas is given a blow job against his will).

We showed some signs of an early bloom in this 330-week winter. We voted in a Republican Congress, and Dr. Elders was finally forced to resign. Peter Jennings said we were having a “temper tantrum.”

When the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City was blown up, they blamed talk radio and angry white men.

Bryant Gumbel, then co-host on the NBC News Today show, reported that “The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that’s been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one’s suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the president…”

We were being told what to think and what not to think. But dependence was independence.

Women continued to take on male roles in fiction. One expensive production after another failed, either in the short term or over the long haul, but the producers insisted on believing women could look appealing just by doing manly things. Real entertainment is expensive, after all. And so Hercules had an episode called “The Warrior Princess” which spun off into its own show; “Star Trek: Voyager” premiered. Of the latter, the only draw was that the Captain of the vessel was a woman. Who acted a lot like a man. It was rather painful and boring to watch, but it did endure for seven seasons, the Warrior Princess for six.

In those early days, success was sure to be had so long as the personalities showcased were not straight, white and male. And so 1995 brought in the now-ritual summer of glurgy anti-male-ness and anti-family-ness and anti-thought-ness…Babe, Pocahontas, Boys on the Side, Bridges of Madison County. Copycat, Scarlet Letter. And, let us not forget the Macarena being released. Looking silly is serious business.

Sandra Bullock, in the first movie appearance since she lit up the screen in Speed, embarked on a new rejuvenated career dedicated to chick flicks — with While You Were Sleeping. Funny. Thirteen years later, I have yet to remain awake all the way through that movie.

Nearly three years after Barbara Boxer began her vendetta against him, Sen. Bob Packwood was forced to resign. A few years later, she’d circle the wagons around President Clinton for doing something much worse…I guess inconsistency is consistency. But with Packwood gone, we could talk about women being victims again, especially with Shannon Faulker’s adventures at The Citadel. Victims are strong because weakness is strength.

On November 13, 1995, the 2,313 day winter was finally brought to a thaw as Goldeneye was released. It received two BAFTA nominations and earned $26 million during its opening, the most successful Bond movie since Moonraker.


It should be obvious by now. We had been starved. We had been denied what we, men and women, really want: That old story, the knight-of-the-round-table story. Disaster prevented. Good thing that strong smart resourceful guy was where he was.

Women, somewhere, may be capable of doing what men can do. But there is no fantasy there. Nor do we have any inner lust toward this phony irony, wherein victimhood is strength, femininity is masculinity, unfairness is justice, thought control is freedom, chaos is order, dependence is independence. We know, deep down, all of us, that that’s all crap — we can only snack on it for so long before we get sick of it. Three hundred thirty weeks…it’s far too much to ask of us. Can’t keep it up.

Eventually, we have to return to our programming and our programming has to do with truth, logic, and order. That is what our programming is all about, for our programming has to be consistent with nature. If it were not, we would not be here. And so we like to see a strong masculine figure preventing disaster, for the benefit of people he has never met and never will meet. A man…defusing a bomb. A man…lifting a concrete slab off a baby who is miraculously unharmed. A man…fishing a kitten out of a tree…or shooting a terrorist who was about to wear a dynamite belt to a pizzeria. Men see that, and they feel better about themselves because they want to be that guy; women see that, and they feel better because they understand someone somewhere believes they are worth defending.

What was this long winter, the Dark Age in which James Bond slumbered away, really about?

It was about abjuring reason…for the sole purpose of feeling good…and failing. Once it was over, we felt better than we’d ever felt since it began. Let that be a lesson to us: To plagiarize Franklin, those who disclaim logic, reason and masculine symbiosis for a good feeling and “self esteem,” deserve none of these things and shall ultimately have none of these things.

The Single Mom Problem

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Fair disclosure: I’m a single dad. I didn’t marry the mom.

It’s been a pretty rocky road and it hasn’t been all good for the boy. But I will say this: Of all the things we have done that have hurt him the most, the biggest thing by far has been all the yelling and arguing. And one thing I can say for an absolute certainty is, if I’d married her, there would have been a lot more of that…and not too much of the other stuff would have changed. We still wouldn’t have “made it” because we still would be two different people who look at life in two different ways.

This is the problem with arguing about marriage in simplistic terms. The institution has become a complicated, wrinkled-up mess. We think of it as some kind of a “promise” when it isn’t anything even resembling that anymore. It’s a change in legal status; a change made to get some bennies. Promising doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s become just a shrink-wrapped bundle of weird benefits and equally weird (toothless) obligations, all of which are re-defined one week to the next according to what lobbyists and activists tell politicians they want done.

Have I made wise, good decisions? No. Should I, therefore, have gotten married? Uh, erm………no. Pretty much everyone I knew at the time, told me to do something, I said I shouldn’t, and in the long run I turned out to be right. But I’m not proud.

Others have done the same thing. And for reasons that escape me, they are proud.

Stephanie FlandersNow, do you know what is going on in jolly old England? The time has come, once again, to put some floral wreaths and candies on the graves of the gentlemen who threw the tea into Boston Harbor…and maybe think about tossing a few more boxes in. Across the pond, they’re having a row and a ruckus about how everyone should live.

On a Newsnight programme in August 2007, [Stephanie] Flanders interrogated Conservative Party leader David Cameron about his proposed policy of tax breaks for married couples while questioning him with other journalists, asking him whether he had ever met anyone who would get married for an extra £20 per week. As an unmarried mother, she also asked Mr. Cameron whether the Conservative Party would like her to be married.

So. We got this nanny-state pro-marriage guy who wants to give a stipend to married couples, and he is rightly upbraided by a single mum.

Lashing out at him in honor of the libertarian spirit of the individual, and the God-given right to live life as you choose?

Erm……no, it doesn’t appear so….

Meet the Credit Crunch Crumpet: The unmarried mum who clashed with Cameron on Newsnight

…Next Tuesday Stephanie officially takes up a new job as economics editor of the entire BBC. It is one of the most senior jobs in broadcasting, and about as authoritative as it gets without actually being Sir David Attenborough.
Quite a responsibility, then? “Hmmm. Immense,” she says. “It’s all extremely exciting – this is the best job in economic broadcasting, without a doubt – but it’s daunting, too.

“It’ll mean treading that fine line between being accessible and authoritative. I’ll have to get across very complex economic ideas in a way that is easy to understand and interesting.
She gives a half-giggle. That she is the first woman to become one of the BBC’s senior editors – she is taking over from the flamboyant Evan Davis, who is off to present Radio Four’s Today programme – seems slightly shocking in this day and age, but good news all round. Isn’t it?

“No one can remember there being a woman in any of these senior positions before,” she confirms, choosing her words carefully. “I’m sure the BBC would admit that’s not ideal.”

That she is up to the job doesn’t seem to be in doubt. She is widely regarded as one of the most capable economic analysts in the country. Her clever-clogs qualifications are second to none – degrees from Oxford and Harvard – and she spent time speech-writing for the U.S. Treasury under the Clinton administration, before working for the Financial Times.

But aren’t we afraid of overly clever women in this country – unless they bring out diet books on the side? Isn’t the nation going to be intimidated by her?

She smiles again. “I’d prefer them not to be intimidated, but if they think I am talking with authority, then I’ll have got it right,” she says.

Perhaps surprisingly Stephanie hasn’t encountered that much sexism so far, “although there will always be men who simply think women aren’t up to the job”.
Yet I’m astonished at how open she is about how her sex will, or won’t, affect how she does the job.

Indeed, she asks for this interview to be conducted at her home, where her 22-month-old son, Stanley, is running around. This makes it inevitable that we will talk about her new kitchen and the perils of finding a good nanny. She is pregnant, too, which makes things even more tricky. Baby number two is due in June.

I don’t know why we are motivated to treat women this way. By asking the rhetorical “aren’t we afraid of overly clever women in this country” — and then later eeking out “Stephanie hasn’t encountered that much sexism so far,” the article seems to me to be ‘fessing up to looking for discrimination where it doesn’t really exist in meaningful volume. She’s a child born into privilege, perhaps more energetic and ambitious than most, I don’t see anyone anywhere fighting her. Why do we have to imagine her battling some unseen force in her every waking moment when efforts to define said resistant force culminate in such a lackluster presentation? She seems to be swimming downstream, not up. Who — on the entire planet — has any hostility to this woman’s career, whatsoever, with any kind of ability to influence it?

If the story is all about her battle with day-to-day obstacles and barricades, then I’m still waiting for the story.

The other thing that’s funny about how we treat women, is we seem to imagine they don’t really have a “choice” to do anything until substantial energy has been depleted championing that choice, cudgeling other women into making the same one. Where, I wonder, did we get this rule? Stephanie is all about choosing to remain unmarried if that’s what you want to do. But Stephanie has to become a celebrity. Stephanie needs a splash page.

But Stephanie, according to the article itself, wasn’t born into humble beginnings. Stephanie has connections. Stephanie has friends and relatives. Stephanie went to schools that not-just-anyone can attend.

And Stephanie has a stud. He’s mentioned in paragraph 23. And in the context, it would appear he is expected to do some things about daddy stuff, childcare, bringing-home-bacon, whatever, to lighten Stephanie’s load a little bit.

Why paragraph 23? Why not in paragraph five? Why isn’t he in the splash picture with the hen and the chick, if the rooster is part of making it all work? What’s this drive to make the story read like a story of “we made it all work without a man.” I mean, it doesn’t come out and say it in those words, but can anyone deny that this is an intended central thrust of Stephanie’s story? She did it, girls, so you can do it too…except Stephanie isn’t really doing that. She depends on her man — and wherever she doesn’t, she depends on a lot of other resources she has in her personal life, that millions of single mothers don’t have in theirs.

Or as Richard Littlejohn wrote,

“If Stephanie Flanders speaks for Britain, then I’m a gnu ” (recalling a famous song by her father [Michael Flanders] and Donald Swann).

Meanwhile — the European tradition continues. Everybody’s nose is in everybody else’s business. Every couple that gets married is a victory for Mr. Cameron and his friends. Every couple that doesn’t is a victory for Stephanie and all her friends.

Mass communication is a wonderful thing, but sometimes I think over the course of its relatively short history it can be shown that we really haven’t used it that well. It has become very popular over the years to use the medium to bludgeon those among us in the most rustic circumstances, to make decisions that aren’t going to pan out very well for them or their children in the long run.

Here’s the question I’d really like to have answered:

Is it by sheer accident that we use mass communication this way? Or does that have some sort of appeal to somebody somewhere? It seems like we’ve been really working at it. Pregnant girls should stay single…kids should think of their daddies as idiots…if your boss doesn’t give you four months vacation out of the year, you should strike. Every single nugget of this modern-day electronic “advice” seems to be advice that is wonderful for someone else, that no one with a brain would accept as their own.