I hope it doesn’t become too obvious that economics is not my “trump card.” But what American is sufficiently insulated from local or national economic policy to the point where he or she can ignore it? Who, in however inchoate a way, doesn’t imagine exclusively economic solutions to their own or the nation’s problems? We know darn well from the evidence that the outcome of elections are very often determined by economic factors, or whether or not a majority of the electorate is feeling economically secure or optimistic. You’ll no doubt recall that cynical, flat-footed declaration by Democrat advisor/pundit James Carville prior to Bill Clinton’s election, “it’s the economy, stupid.” And a temporarily flagging national economy probably did do in the Presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush. Continue reading “THE FORGOTTEN ENTREPRENEURS”
Does it matter that Bob Dylan wrote and sang a song in romanticized tribute to Joey Gallo, the Mafia murderer and thug? I’m just asking. I guess that was balanced out by the fact that Dylan also wrote and sang a song in defense of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the African-American boxer ruled to have been wrongfully convicted of murder after spending twenty years in prison. And, I suppose, Dylan, when writing and singing, can do no wrong, at least in this era. I’m sure another era will measure him by its standards and, if found culpable of socially dubious acts or pronouncements and if someone was foolish enough to erect a statue to him, he’ll become an enemy of the people and his statues defaced and pulled down and all his music burned. They’ll wonder how the Nobel Committee could ever have considered for their exalted prize someone who (FILL IN THE BLANK WITH ACTIONS, SUNG OR SPOKEN, DEEMED, IN DEEP RETROSPECT, TO BE OFFENSIVE TO THE PEOPLE OF THE LATE 21ST CENTURY) Continue reading “THEN THEY CAME FOR KATE SMITH….”
Say, did you hear that James Bennett, the opinion editor of the New York Times, got fired this month for publishing — an opinion?
Arkansas Republic Senator Tom Cotton, a graduate of Harvard Law School and member of the Armed Services Committee and hence identifiable as no mere slouch who wandered in from Time Square, opined on the Times’ op-ed page that the U.S. should invoke the very old and seldom invoked Insurrection Act, which empowers the president to use troops to secure order and public safety when local authorities have lost the ability to do so and are seeking federal help. His reasoning apparently was that extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures. This was at a time when The Times was well aware that large sections of a dozen major American cities were being destroyed by out-of-control riotous looting and arson.
Some Times staffers went haywire, insisting Cotton’s words felt roughly as if someone were literally pointing a gun at them, exposing them to physical danger. Bennett retreated, begged for his professional life but got the proverbial bullet behind the ear anyway. Out of a job! His replacement has vowed not to publish anything that makes people uncomfortable.
Remember that it was the Marxists who came up with the phrase “politically correct.” They weren’t using it sarcastically. It was the rule.
The way things are going, we may be standing on a cold platform watching one Times editor after another board the train for the Gulag. Okay, okay….over the top! But is it far-fetched to think someday we may be handing “controversial”, which is to say Politically Incorrect, written thoughts under the table?
Meanwhile, even tonight — it’s apparently Portland’s turn — our cities are burning. And mayors are allegedly upset that the president has sent in federal agents to quell the destruction, even when it’s federal property, including a federal court house, that is being threatened. I guess they feel they don’t need any Act to handle things. Or that, if Democrats, they feel an obligation reflexively to reject anything that comes from this President.
It was the French mystic Leon Bloy who is said to have stood on Montmartre, looking out over wayward Paris and intoned for all to hear, “man left to man — that’s what I call ‘the wrath of God.’
The editors of the Associated Press Stylebook announced on Twitter that they will no longer use the “archaic and sexist” term “mistress.” They now recommend as alternatives, “companion” or “friend” or “lover.” The reason, if you consider this “reasonable” is: “mistress” isn’t “gender neutral” I guess that’s in case your husband is stepping out with a guy. You don’t want the poor guy to be offended. Second reason: “mistress” supposedly places the blame on the woman rather than the man. Well, okay. I don’t see it, but I also wouldn’t want to see the woman taking the blame. But then, the “person” your wife/husband is cheating with — given that your husband or wife pledged to be faithful to you forever — plainly must be aware they are aiding and abetting that breach of faith.
But let’s face it: “friend” or “companion” do not imply, in my style book, the sacred and intimate sexual violation that the supposedly archaic word “mistress” seems to carry with it — dating back, as it does, to those times when the sharing of the sexual bond was unalterably understood to be, yes, sacred and exclusive (under penalty of sin, if not civil law). Call me old fashioned, I guess.
As for “lover” — who’s to say there’s any love involved? Maybe it’s all about money. You know — “sugar daddy” — or, lest I be sexist — “sugar mommy.” In fact, the AP Stylebook had stipulated that “mistress” should apply only to those instances where there is a long-term sexual relationship with a married man from whom the woman is receiving financial support. That sounds right.
To me, there is something appropriately odious about the word — “mistress.” But…friends, companions, lovers, countrymen…and countrypersons….let’s just quit the hanky-panky, okay? (Now there’s a phrase you probably won’t find in the AP Stylebook.)
And by the way, what happens when you change the headline BEZOS PROBE CONCLUDES MISTRESS’ BROTHER WAS ENQUIRER SOURCE to COMPANION’S BROTHER WAS ENQUIRER SOURCE. In the former, as I read it, you instantly detect a possibly malicious intent; in the latter — well, some “companion” at the party just let it slip. We all know companions — and friends — can’t keep secrets. Lovers — maybe.
Whatever. There must be something else I can waste my time writing about tonight, since, pace the poet Marvell, I do have “world enough, and time….”
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, / The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned; / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.”
–William Butler Yeats
“I had a dream that I was awake and woke to find myself asleep.” The quote and the mordantly upended universe of which it speaks is attributed to Stan Laurel of Laurel&Hardy fame. And in light of — or, actually, in the darkness of — the current state of American affairs, I would like to find the person most proximate to blameworthiness and say, in tribute to Stan Laurel’s comedic other half ,Oliver Hardy, “here’s another fine mess you gotten us into.”
I hope I have that quote right. I know I don’t have “woke” right, that etymological denotation for all who are cool and socially aware in our contemporary world. It is both broad and long when it comes to being defined, but it hangs like a name plate around many necks in the mug shots of the usual suspects in the culture wars. I’ll understand better when I wake up “woke” , though, given the state of things, I may wish I were asleep. (Or should that be “was”. A “woke” person, knowing all things, would know.)