Monday, November 20, 2017

Week of 11/20/2017

America’s Misandry
Attention my fellow American males!
I have a simple warning for us all.
We are all screwed!
I am not kidding about this.  I wish I were.  If you have male genitalia and you are currently breathing and have a pulse and you live in America, you are now a potential target for those seeking payback for the worst of the worst of our gender.
It’s a dangerous and destructive trend in this country.  We overreact to some action with another one that is just as bad.  And it’s not quid-pro-quo either.  It’s making everyone pay for a sin of the few.  An affront somewhere leads to a counter-affront everywhere.
When Anita Hill exposed a United States Supreme Court justice nominee as being a possible sexual harasser, it didn’t stop his confirmation.  It did start a trend of making every male not rich or powerful or politically-connected go through sexual harassment “training” to learn what good guys already know.  That you don’t treat women like objects.  That women are not there “for you”.  They couldn’t make Clarence Thomas pay the price for his actions, so the rest of the men who aren’t rich or powerful or politically-connected had to pay in his place.
This was the start of America’s creeping misandry; the hatred of men just for being men.
Just a few years after Clarence Thomas was confirmed in defiance of the accusations of sexual harassment, the conservatives countered with President Bill Clinton and his multiple accusations of infidelity.  Because this is what American politics does now. It counters an affront with another affront.  Negation through equivocation.  Liberal women went after Thomas, so conservative men would go after Clinton, and, later, his wife, and at first it was because of her husband.  Soccer moms versus NASCAR dads. 
Of course, they didn’t succeed in getting rid of President Clinton, even after being the second sitting president impeached in American history.  But that didn’t matter, because conservatives had their counter-affront for Justice Thomas.  Negation through equivocation.
Today we are going through it all over again.
It started with then-candidate Donald Trump.  The perpetual overexaggerated and overly-self-promoted narcissistic clown act had a history with women that was far from gentlemanly, and that was before the infamous “grab ‘em” tape from 2005 was made public.  But that didn’t stop him from being elected and sworn-in as President of the United States.  And when women protested with their pink hats, they were scolded and mocked.  How dare they!  How dare they be mocked!
Then came the inability to convict Bill Cosby, “America’s granddad”, for his so-called “dating” practices.  And then Harvey Weinstein.  And “the hashtag”.  And Brett Rattner.  And Louis C.K.  And Oliver Stone.  And Kevin Spacey.  And suddenly every sin came out.  Every foul joke, every bad comment, every weird proposition ever made by anyone with male genitalia, no matter how ancient, suddenly became the new unforgivable act that demands immediate atonement.  Jason Momoa made a bad joke way back when and now he’s being judged and asked to atone for it instead of celebrating his breakout role in “Justice League” with his newly-married wife and kids.  His co-star Ben Affleck faces the same pompous misandrist judgement for things he did eleven years previously.
And now we have America’s ayatollah, the dishonorable Judge Roy Moore, and the multiple accounts of him preying on teenaged girls decades ago.  And, no matter what, both he and his equally pompous and self-righteous religious crusaders and defenders refuse to back down.  He may be elected to the United States Senate, to fill the seat that was vacated by the man who actually had a woman arrested and prosecuted for heckling his confirmation hearing as Attorney General!  Why?  Because it is supposedly a greater “sin” in Alabama to elect a Democrat than it is to elect a suspected serial predator of young girls!  That is no sane kind of “family value” that anyone should ever be proud of! 
Then there is the recent revelation that current U.S. Senator and former comedian Al Franken groped a former model from eleven years ago.  And she had a picture to prove his douchebag moment. 
Will he resign?  Maybe.  But the sheer hypocrisy of President “Grab ‘Em” Trump calling out Franken’s actions but not those of the dishonorable Alabama judge is nothing short of pouring salt and lemon juice on our national wound.  Here is a president that will never be held to account for his past actions hypocritically attacking the senator that does own up to his mistake, and then staying silent about the senate candidate who did far worse than just pose for a photo or press for a kiss or a grope. 
Yeah, none of these men are shining examples of the male gender.
So I have to ask this question to the women…
How far will this whole thing go?  How long before the rest of the male populace in America are scrutinized and judged and condemned for every little comment or bad joke or bad maneuver in their past?
I’m already seeing this turn towards the common male with the calls for new so-called “sensitivity seminars” in workplaces, which means any kind of joke that involves gender or references someone of another gender will now be “forbidden”.  How many ordinary hard-working men will lose their jobs because of an off-color comment made in the break room five years ago just because you can’t get justice for what Roy Moore or President Trump did?  How long before someone like me becomes a victim to the creeping misandry because they once had a subscription to Playboy Magazine or liked a certain raunchy comedian?  Because now you would be making this personal. 
And all because you can’t get Bill Cosby convicted, or get Donald Trump to resign, or because Roy Moore and his supporters won’t do the sane thing and crawl back under their Southern rocks.
Everyone needs to understand this: when this gets down to my level, there is no “debate” or “dialogue” or “discussion” on the subject.  There is lecture and policy and prohibitive action with people yearning to make an easy actionable statistic at anyone’s expense.  There is accusation, persecution, and conviction without any means of defending yourself.  “Oh, you lost your job?  Too bad.  Now you know how ‘they’ feel.”
Except that we don’t.  Because when you get down to my level, we are not the ones that have any kind of power, never mind over someone of another gender.  We are just the poor peons that are just trying to get bills paid and families fed and keep the bank from taking away our home and our sole means of transportation.
Because let’s get brutally here… when you bring this matter down to my level, you are no longer going after men in power.  You’re just going after men for being men.  In other words, you’re carrying out misandry, which is just as wrong as misogyny.  And I would hope that your mothers taught you that two wrongs still do not make a right.
As long as you keep the subject to the actual people with power… people like Harvey Weinstein, Brett Rattner, President Trump, Kevin Spacey, former President Bill Clinton, the Fox News executives and media personalities, you will have plenty of support for condemnation and also for change. 
Truth be told, you’ll find a lot of guys think that think these folks are scum as well.  They’re embarrassments to the male gender.  I mean, come on!  Have you seen Harvey Weinstein? 
The problem is the power, not the gender.  That is what you need to focus on.  And when you do that, you will find that the rest of the men, the ones that haven’t yet gotten the memo that this sort of stuff is wrong, will be more conductive to change.
Until we know that line is drawn, though... men, we’re screwed.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week of 11/13/2017

Roy Moore’s GOP Is America’s Shame
It was this time one year ago as of this column’s posting that the world reeled at the revelation that Donald Trump would become the 45th President of the United States of America.  Not cheered.  Not being pleasantly surprised.  Not stunned like seeing the “Red Wedding” episode of “Game of Thrones”.  No, “reeled”.  As in someone just undid their pants and defecated right in front of them.
And it wasn’t just because the 2016 Farce was Hillary Clinton’s to lose.  It wasn’t just because Trump wanted to put up a colossal ego-stroking wall on the US-Mexico border and pompously expect Mexico to pay for it all.  It wasn’t just because Trump spoke about shutting out and kicking out Muslims in the name of “national security”. 
It was because this was the man that was caught on audio with his “locker room talk” about being able to do whatever the hell he wanted to with women because he’s rich and he’s a celebrity.  And rather than repudiate and reject what he had to say ten years previously, his supporters, along with the propagandists in talk radio and Fox News and social media, actually justified and validated what he had to say.  I listened with growing revulsion as paid propagandists on local talk radio actually claimed that what Trump did was okay because he was supposedly an “alpha male” and that justified doing anything he wanted.  And then they turned around and they blamed the women for supposedly “actively looking for it”. 
And Trump’s supporters agreed with it all!  That’s the truly sickening part of it all.  Even when the worst of Trump was exposed and laid bare like a drunken flasher, they still stood by him and justified and validated it all.  That’s the part that even made the GOP party bosses and entrenched GOP politicians feel dirty.  And they should feel dirty about it.
So now here we are a year later, and the same people that justified and validated Trump’s “grab ‘em” comment and attitude are at it again. 
And this time it involves America’s self-appointed political ayatollah.
Alabama Judge Roy Moore, twice-removed from his twice-elected position as that state’s Supreme Court Chief Justice, decided that he wanted to elevate himself to being a United States Senator in a special election after Jeff Sessions became Attorney General.  His loyal fanatical minions, the same people that kept on electing him to the Supreme Court, made sure that he won the primary in staunch defiance even over Trump’s own chosen candidate.  But, they still forgive Trump for it.
But now comes a certain tidbit about America’s ayatollah: it seems he likes his women young.  And by “women”, apparently that’s under-18.  Or, at least he did when he was younger, according to the Washington Post.  Back when he was a county prosecutor in his thirties.  One woman recounted a rather disgusting encounter when he was 32 and she was 14.
And while most people would find these accounts more than reason to call for Moore’s removal from the special election, you still can’t convince even one of Moore’s cultist followers to agree with it.  Even Fox News, with their own sordid history of predatory figures in positions of authority, is quick to rush to Moore’s defense.
The most common of excuses being wielded about is that these accusers somehow waited “too long” to come out, as if truth had an expiration date.  Funny how there was no expiration date when it came to Juanita Broadderick or Paula Jones concerning President Bill Clinton.  Remember them?  Y’all didn’t tolerate no talk about being “too late” then.
One myrmidon tried to use the Bible as justification for Moore’s early lechery, equating Moore as Joseph to his then-teenaged accusers’ Mary, and then say it was okay because they still were the parents of Jesus.  First, Joseph first met Mary when she was already pregnant.  And, second, Joseph wasn’t the one that impregnated Mary, you pompous half-wit hack!  You not only failed common decency, but you failed the Bible!
Another myrmidon is demanding that the Moore’s accusers should be locked up for daring to expose the truth.  This sentiment should not be surprising because this is the same part of the country that would have Charles Darwin thrown in prison along with John Scopes if they could help it.  And, yes, I’ve heard that with my own ears from people even in my neck of the South.  The truth is never welcomed in this part of the country.
Think about it: the same faction that believed President Bill Clinton’s accusers just on their word and wanted Bill Clinton removed from office and thrown in prison just on the basis of their word refuse to hold Roy Moore to the same standard.  Oh, wait, there I go again using that most profane of all words in the South: “think”.  So-called “real” southerners don’t believe in such blasphemous things like “thinking”.  Could lead to dancing.
And nobody should be surprised that Moore would have this kind of skeleton in his closet.  It seems that the self-righteous have a particular fetish for young women.  Remember David Koresh?  How about Warren Jeffs?  They liked their “women” young as well.  The only difference is that these folks didn’t decide to run for public office like Moore did.  They were able to keep their “tastes” quiet by keeping out of the limelight.  But I suppose that would be asking too much for the GOP’s political ayatollah.  
Let’s get brutally honest here… what you are witnessing right now is the *real* GOP at work.  “GOP” being “God’s Own Party”.  And not only is *their* God the *only* God in their minds, but Roy Moore is their prophet!  These are the people that fanatically supported Donald Trump last year and still blindly support him this year.  These are the people that the party bosses and their soothsayers in the propaganda mills have been appeasing and coddling and ginning up for their elections over and over again. 
These are the people that firmly believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, that the Democratic Party has child sex slaves in the non-existing basement of a single-floor pizza parlor, that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11, that Bill Clinton is a predatory rapist, that the only real terrorists are Muslims, that non-Muslim mass-shootings are staged, and no amount of truth and no amount of proof or lack thereof could ever dissuade them of it.  They believe it all in the same way that they believe that their own interpretation of the Bible is absolute and unquestionable.
They are the worst of America, and while the GOP party bosses will suck up to them, they are right now also clearly in shame of them.  And yet, they are the ones that are guilty of letting things get this far.  They’ve known who these people are.  They have no illusions what kind of people these are and what they believe in.  The party bosses had no problem sucking up to these folks and feeding their biases and their delusions and their paranoia to get their undying support, but only as long as those folks were kept quiet and in the background.
Well now that base is no longer hiding, they’re not staying quiet, and they’re now rebelling against their “establishment” masters.  They’re making it quite clear who really controls the GOP, and it’s not the party bosses.  They’re standing with their self-appointed ayatollah, just like they stood with their narcissistic presidential candidate last year.  This is *their* party now.
This commentator has no delusions that somehow the people of Alabama will “come to their senses” and reject Roy Moore and his self-righteous aspirations of political entitlement outright.  Nor do I believe that he will simply back down from what he believes is his “destiny” any more than he would back down when he was twice-removed from his “destined” post in the Alabama Supreme Court.  That is not in either of their natures.  They are no different in mentality than the very Islamic extremists in the Middle East that they hate.  The only difference being these entrenched extremists are America’s shame.
Just like the Democratic Party is no longer the “Party of Jefferson”, but instead is the “Party of Hillary Clinton”, the GOP has long stopped being the “Party of Lincoln”, or, for that matter, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Ronald Reagan, or even the party of George W. Bush.  It has long stopped being my party for over thirty-five years now, and I was an actual card-carrying dues-paying member.  It is now the party of Donald Trump and Steve Bannon and Roy Moore and Sarah Palin.  It is the party of self-righteous delusion and entitlement, where the rules and norms and morals can never apply to them, but apply unconditionally to everyone else.  It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen right under all of our noses, and those of you who still support that failed party are as much to blame for it being what it is as Moore and his delusional followers.