Annals of Self-Awareness, Here's A Doozy

This tweet, and much of the rest of the feed in question makes me think someone needs to do his Meyers-Briggs inventory.

Maybe This Is How The Boomers Die?

The sheer number of the "luminaries" of pop culture and politics who have been abruptly ushered off the scene in this sexual harassment purge reminds me of something my dad used to point out about the Hollywood blacklist.  The studios loved the blacklist and used it to avoid having to pay the best writers what they were worth. Apparently quite a few "blacklisted" screenwriters still got work under pseudonyms -- but the studios were then able to pay them entry level wages instead of the big bucks their big names and previous successes should have commanded. 

Watching people like Charlie Rose and John Conyers and Garrison Keillor fall makes me wonder, quite apart from the morality and politics of it all-- if this is how the old guard is finally convinced to retire and make way for young people. 

Free Love, But No Lovers

I will try to say this delicately as I'm still of the mind that certain topics are not for mixed company -- and plus, my mom might be reading. 
Among the things that make me sad about the apparently bottomless pit of unseemly revelations about our celebrities (in every field) is that for all of "free love's" promise of beautiful, healthy, unrepressed sexual experiences, the actual experiences people are having are ugly, tawdry, solipsistic, and self-ruining. Co-eds getting massively drunk to force themselves (for what reason?) to be with men they can't look at sober; and men who because of their positions wouldn't lack for willing partners, yet can't approach a woman in normal fashion -- they can only seek admiration for themselves in bizarre ways. 
I mean, forget anti-harassment training. How about just sisterly advice: she does not want to see that. Even if she likes you and wouldn't mind being seduced, she doesn't. If you were a lover and not Narcissus, you would know that.
I try to be a nice Catholic girl, so I'm not on board with extra-marital sexual expression in the first place. I think the much-mocked traditional morality does a much better job of allowing sex to be beautiful and guilt-free and life-giving in both the literal and emotional senses. But this behavior isn't merely immoral, it's inhuman and degraded. It's libido turned inward towards the self instead of outward towards the other. 
My godfather used to say that if you're going to go to hell, you should go first class. This ain't it. This is more like a vision of hell itself. And it makes me feel terribly sad.

Someone Taped The Inquisition

A Progressive grad student in Canada had the presence of mind to tape her Inquisition at the hands of people who agree with her about everything, but don't think she agrees enough.

Universities are all run by herds of Dolores Umbridges now, apparently.

New Rule: You Must Be Old Enough To Date A Republican Candidate To Receive Free Contraceptives in Schools

From The Ryskind Sketchbook, back in the day 

Re: Judge Moore.  Dating teenagers as a 30-year-old is creepy, but I don't believe the accusation that he went after a 14-year-old (UPDATED to say this was originally written prior to the latest round of accusation and I've slightly modified accordingly: Blech).  I'm sick of sick men AND I'm sick to death of a political culture that uses sexual morality for the sole purpose of manipulating Christian voters. I've never been a fan of Moore and wouldn't have voted for him in the primary for other reasons, but for heavens' sake, as Ann Althouse points out, The New Yorker has a piece asking for Anita Hill's take on all the sexual harassment swirling around us these days, and it mentions Trump 10 times and Clinton not once.

Moore can go and I won't shed a tear, but only if he takes Bill Clinton (no more Davos trips for him) and Joe Biden with him.  

And no more warm and fuzzy references to Ted Kennedy, either.  

No one in the media gave a damn when Planned Parenthood was caught in multiple sting videos coaching under-age girls how to get around age reporting requirements, and many of our schools distribute birth control as young as 11 -- which, as I've written here before, strikes me as a pedophile get-out-of-jail free policy.

So how about a new regulation?  If it's a behavior you would use as an October Surprise against a GOP candidate, you may not teach it in public school sex-ed or enable it in public school clinics? Or: you must be old enough to date Judge Moore to receive free contraceptives in public schools.

Or: If you're too young to consent to a Republican candidate, you're too young to consent at all. Let that be the instruction to and in all clinics and schools.

Call it the Moore rule.  

We're Sexualizing EVERYTHING These Days


Happy Feast of All Saints


Hours of Louis de Laval, France ca. 1480 (BnF, Latin 920, fols. 180r, 181r, 182r)
Shamelessly Pinched from the Discarding Images FB page (which is awesome, BTW)

You should click over and see all the pictures. I love this because it's not turtles, but halos, all the way down.  Good reminder that holiness is for everyone -- and meant to be ordinary. 

Updated: The Mooch: More of a Front-Stabber

Update: Well.  Wish this had happened before I had the urge to put these thoughts to virtual paper.  And he was off to such a nice start. Sheesh.  --ed.

I'm not under the illusion that Anthony Scaramucci is anything but a conventional thinker on most issues, but so far I really enjoy him in his new White House Communications Director role. He's funny, and he seems candid in that when he doesn't want to answer a question he'll just tell you that and not stonewall.

More importantly, he seems to bring to the job a couple of things the President desperately needs: a guy who understands him and and a guy who will defend him, wholeheartedly, and not with the sense of doing so against better judgment or perhaps holding his nose.

Without defending every tweet President Trump has ever sent, his tweeting doesn't trouble me. It's his way of going over the media's head, which needs to be done, and it's his way of taking their smug superiority down a peg, which equally needs to be done when we have a press that thinks it, and not the sovereign people, rules. ("When you mock the student government president, you undo him," as the late Tony Snow said.)

What I criticize the President for, communications-wise, is that, like President Bush, he hasn't bothered much to defend himself (apart from tweets) --hasn't even seemed to try to coordinate messaging with his own team; and, like President Obama, he seems to have an oversized sense of the power of his own rhetoric -- as if saying stuff makes it so. (To wit, yesterday's tweet about banning trans-gender people from the military. Wake me when you find an actual policy and not just a tweet.)

Understanding the President.  In one of his first tv appearances in his new role, responding to Chris Wallace's question about his past criticism of Trump, I loved "the Mooch's" answer both because it was funny and because I think it was an effective translation of Trump for people who find him too abrasive. Watch for two minutes beginning at about 13:20 to 16, including the part about how the President teases him all the time about his past criticism. It's amusing, but it's also revealing of the difference between political insiders and the outsider who currently holds the presidency.

To make the point more succinctly, this morning we read this:
“What I don’t like about Washington is people do not let you know how they feel,” he said. “They’re very nice to your face and then they take a shiv or a machete and they stab it in your back. I don’t like it. I’m a Wall Street guy, and I’m more of a front-stabbing person, and I’d rather tell people directly how I feel about them than this sort of nonsense.”

More of a front-stabber. I can hear him saying it and find it hilarious. I also think it's a brilliant assessment of the difference between Trump and official Washington. 

Getting back to the tweets that make us all roll our eyes about what a goob this guy is. I don't think it's seemly for a President, or anyone, to be coarse. I cringe at "bleeding from her facelift," and wish he'd chosen a more gentlemanly way to mock in that instance. But the smug elites do have to be mocked to break the power of political correctness and show that they can be stood up to.  And if you ask me which is worse: to be called ugly or fat or stupid or to be called a bigot, a warrior against women, and a killer of the elderly and the sick (people will die!), I find Trump's style of insult more honest, and more in the spirit of a fair fight than the vicious, character-maligning rhetoric of the Left I have endured all my life and has only gotten more and more shrill.  The former just tells you the guy is annoyed with you at the moment; the latter is an effort to ruin you utterly, driving you from polite society. Which is more corrosive of civic life? 

(It does, however, remind me of this:)