Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Okay, notice the headline of this piece: “Musburger Criticized for Remarks About Star’s Girlfriend During Title Game.” It is passive-voice, not active-voice. You locate the primary verb of the sentence, “criticized,” look for the noun that is connected to it as the subject, and you’re left flailing around, like a fish knocked out of its bowl, gasping, because the subject is outside of the sentence which addresses only the object. Brett Musburger, sportscaster.
Other sentences about this contain a constant adjective: “Creepy.” Those sentences, also, are passive-voice.
And I’m seeing there’s a good reason for that. Musburger’s comment, which inspired a subsequent apology from ESPN, went like this:
“You quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women,” Musburger, 73, said. “What a beautiful woman.”
“Wow!” his partner, Kirk Herbstreit, said.
“Whoa!” Musburger added.
“A.J’.s doing some things right down in Tuscaloosa,” Herbstreit said.
“If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with pop,” Musburger said.
I don’t think “What a beautiful woman” is what set off the firestorm. Although it certainly didn’t help to taper it off any. No, the real hitch in the giddy-up was “You quarterbacks get all the good looking women.”
Here’s the truth some people evidently cannot handle: Men and women couple-up according to proximate levels of trading currency. It is a financial transaction just like any other. Seeking each other out, men and women will trade down if, and only if, there is a pressing need to trade down. If they don’t have to, then they don’t.
I see a lot of this at Hooters, where it must not bother me even one little bit, because there I am starkly reminded that I’m not at the high end of this spectrum of trading currency. The dirty little secret about Hooters is, as I have noted a few times before, that women actually have fun there; so the waitresses often clock out of their shift, drive home, go grab their boyfriends, and come back to have fun. They probably get a discount, so I’m sure this makes sense financially in some way. But, of course, these are young, knockout, gorgeous young ladies, and the boyfriends they bring back do not look like me even a tiny little bit. They don’t look like GQ models either. They’re not even handsome. They look larger than average, not very disciplined physically, lots of muscle but lots of fat as well. They stoop and they look like they’re not fully evolved. Silly baggy shorts and oversized tee shirts, shaved heads, no necks.
The truth here that some people do not want to confront is: At this high end of the “trading” spectrum, there is a pointy pinnacle. “Pointy” as in, focused, whittled down to a pinpoint, with everyone at that envied level looking more or less the same. Everyone beneath that high pinnacle, man and woman alike, must trade down. The people up at this high end don’t have to trade down. So they don’t. That’s why it’s “pointy” — everyone looks alike, because they resemble some most-sought-after ideal. If you’re not part of that pointy pinnacle, it will only bother you as much as you allow it to.
Me, I don’t allow it to bother me at all. Because the males at this pointy pinnacle look, to me, rather stupid. I don’t care if they’re bagging all the hot babes. I like the hot babe I’ve got, I’ve had her and liked her for years and years, and I also like the guy I see in the mirror. I don’t want to look like the Michelin Man come to life, just to get myself a Hooters babe. But this is a product of that culture: It’s a red-state place, at least, has been, kinda-sorta. They don’t make a point of hiring 20% transgender, 30% male, 40% obese waitresses, they don’t make a point of centralizing matters of taste and preference. It’s all about free trade. It ends up looking very different from most other things in the Peoples’ Republic of California, where everything has to be unsettled for the sake of artificial equality, all the time, and all the kids in a soccer game have to receive trophies just for showing up, and nobody keeps score…
So there is a rift here, between the red and blue states, and the rift has to do with pointing out excellence. The comment about beautiful women is simply a tiny facet within that much larger conflict: How dare Musburger notice that Ms. Wells is a ravishing, gorgeous woman. In this blue state culture, you aren’t allowed to distinguish excellence from mediocrity. They are to be blended together, intermixed and emulsified, all of the time, into one sloppy, gooey mess, lest those who are mediocre be made to feel bad. That’s why Musburger’s remarks “were thought to have gone too far” (passive voice again), why ESPN was compelled to apologize: Women who are not good-looking, got all catty about it.
There is something else going on here though, and unfortunately it is off in female-land. I just made reference to the simple economics of coupling-up, of heterosexual dating. What makes this such a delicate subject is, off on Planet Woman, there is a sharp whiplashing about-face going on with it. When a young lady has matured to the age of coupling-up, and shopping for a beau, and evaluating her prospects, this is everything. Once she’s picked out the stud and made plans to go through life with him, it is strictly verboten and she becomes accustomed to friends and welcome acquaintances compliantly avoiding any discussion of it. Except, I suppose, maybe for her Mom; no man was ever good enough for her little girl. But really, this part of it doesn’t even have to do with men, women, romance or sex. It’s economic and psychological: Buyers like to know about what other options are available, right up until they’ve done the buying, and then they’d rather not know about it thankyewverymuch.
A lot of these things about women that men can’t figure out, become crystal-clear when you simply think of them as buyers, in a market looking for something, that have only one coin they can trade and only one time. Put yourself in their shoes. After you’ve closed on a three-bedroom house, do you like knowing about the five-bedroom model in a better neighborhood, closer to your job, that you couldd’ve had for the same price? So now you know who’s complaining. Women, who are wives or girlfriends of guys who are not football players. They heard Musburger say, their husbands traded down, and they, of necessity, also traded down. That is where he went and that is why the comments were not well received.
But that part of it is still their problem and not Musburger’s. Mate selection is all about economics, it is what it is. There are people running around, believe it or not, who are better looking than I am…and you are…as well as, young ladies who are much more beautiful than the females who have a problem with Musburger’s comments, and there are guys better looking than their husbands. The question that comes up is: Why would such a realization be so untenable, that the messenger must be shot? In a country of 320 million people on a planet of over six billion, is this not just something to be expected?
I said before that the guys who can reel in those hot young women at Hooters, do not look anything like me, and this doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t bring me any pleasure either, for sure…I’m not going there for that, and truth be told, I don’t go there to stare at the lovely women either. I like going because it is a vacation from these stupid rules. Seriously, think about it: You can’t point out a woman is beautiful. The not so subtle implication is, ugly women and beautiful women must be thought of as the same…and we must have such a silly rule in place somewhere, must we not, if there’s all this clamoring for some kind of reprimand, or dismissal, to be brought against a sportscaster who dared notice such a thing, even when the object of his adoration herself said “It was kind of nice…I didn’t look at it as creepy at all. For a woman to be called beautiful, I don’t see how that’s an issue.”
Those who continue to complain, therefore, must essentially be saying: Shut your pretty mouth Katherine Webb, we will decide if it’s okay for others to comment on your looks. But who’s “we”? Overall and generally, we do not know…the passive voice thing…and this says a lot about the nature, and the quality, of the complaint. It has managed to achieve much more momentum than it ever should’ve.
When we locate someone who is actually willing to put her name next to the complaint, and say yes-I-have-a-problem-with-this, things only get sillier and sillier. Just give it a read.
“It’s extraordinarily inappropriate to focus on an individual’s looks,” said Sue Carter, a professor of journalism at Michigan State. “In this instance, the appearance of the quarterback’s girlfriend had no bearing on the outcome of the game. It’s a major personal violation, and it’s so retrograde that it’s embarrassing. I think there’s a generational issue, but it’s incumbent on people practicing in these eras to keep up and this is not a norm.”
Holy cats! I’ll bet you’re just the life of every party, Sue Carter professor of journalism.
If I live to be a hundred and fifty, I’ll never figure out why people allow complete strangers like Sue Carter professor of journalism, all this traffic-cop-go-and-stop authority over whether they’re allowed to notice a woman is beautiful. Why would you do that? Why would you surrender that kind of power? It almost suggests a fear of making personal decisions, even for matters of style and taste. And heck, I dunno, maybe that’s exactly what’s going on here. It’s like a total stranger telling you not to smell flowers, or to drink a root beer float, or go watch a fun movie.
I know this part may strike some as silly…but if you think it through, you see this is a vital ground in the culture wars, and a major battle has to be pitched right here. A defensive battle. The enemy cannot be allowed to take this hill. Noticing a woman is more beautiful than the average, is like noticing that it’s raining or snowing out and the chains have to go on the truck tires, or noticing that a comic book is inappropriate for children and should not be sold where they have access to it. In other words, it is one of the realizations that makes a society go. Sure, it may seem merely ornamental, and it’s tempting to make that argument of “you do not need her to be pretty, you should be just as happy with that waitress or flight attendant or movie starlet being dowdy and frumpy looking.” But — how dowdy and frumpy looking, is the question that has to come up later if not sooner. Who decides?!? And by what right, what authority? What else do we not need to have to our liking. These are the same people who want to decide, for us, how many cartridges we need to be able to put in our gun magazines without reloading. How much money we need to keep for ourselves when we’re done paying our taxes. How big or how small we need our cars to be. How many television sets we need to have in our homes. How many carbon tons do we need to emit.
This doesn’t have to do with whether pretty women are better than ugly women. There can be no sensible answer to a question such as that anyway, other than maybe “it depends on what job you’re talking about.” This is about where matters of taste are to be decided, at the individual level or in some centralized place. Me, I’m all for matters of decorum, and leaving some things unsaid. But Sue Carter professor of journalism, and those who agree with her, are using that as a sort of camel’s nose in the tent — you defer to the prevailing notions of decency in a culture on just that one thing, and they want to stretch it all around to nothing less than veto power upon one of the most ancient and primal of all human pleasures, the gazing on the visage of a gorgeous woman. And then, of course, they want unilateral control over what those prevailing notions are going to be.
Read the comments of Sue Carter professor of journalism one more time. She is not ready to reconcile with or negotiate with someone else’s ideas. She’s got it all figured out, and she wants it all done her way.
Trust me, that stuff really wears on you after awhile. We have more than our share of it in California, where everything is regulated. It’s pretty much ruined everything it can. I go to Hooters to get away from it. Come to think of it, it’s been awhile since we’ve gone…
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