RANGER AGAINST WAR: January 2018 <

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Hokey Pokey

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much 
to go back an' pretend 
--I Am Woman, 
Helen Reddy

 Hell has no fury 
like a woman scorned 
--The Mourning Bride,
 William Congreve

True madam; 
those who have most virtue in their mouths, 
have least of it in their bosom  
--She Stoops to Conquer,
 Oliver Goldsmith 

The awful thing about life is this:
Everybody has their reasons 
--The Rules of the Game (1939

 [edited 1.18.18.]

Here's an amuse-bouche for your consideration. Since Hollywood is populated by people who compose part of America's aristocracy, and their cause du jour has been taken up the Democrats, it becomes a topic worthy of consideration. 

The recent Golden Globe Awards provided a great insight into the confused state of liberal politics. The relentless topic,  imbued with all the sturm und drang which the actors were capable of summoning, was the exploitation of budding starlets by male Hollywood machers.

We are all shocked to hear the news, right?

Well, not so much. And yet, at least one powerful man has been dethroned weekly for his bestiality toward the distaff half over the past couple months. A Lollapalooza for the newly minted grotty males.

At the event, especially incongruous was the abundance of female Hollywood crusaders wearing six-inch heels and cut-out, skin-tight mini dresses, also made up to the nines. Yes, people deserve the right not to be pounced upon like Sylvester the cat on Tweetie Bird.

But we must also be honest about who we are, which is a welter of hormones, visual cues and socialization, and then some. 

This behavior has only been going on for, oh, say a couple of millennia (more likely, since the hominids entered the world scene.) It is hormones, hair, fur, coloration, size, power and ... the search for favor, patronage and protection. The behavior on the "casting couch" is the stuff of legend.

It is largely why men form garage bands and drive sports cars and become Harvey Weinsteins: because they lack something, they compensate with power. The woman who has value to trade understands the transaction (though she may regret it after the fact if the reward falls short of her expected quid pro quo.)

For example, crusader Sharon Stone revealed perhaps the most flesh at the ceremony in her cutaway dress, she of the beaver shot in the 1992 film, "Basic Instinct". We understand that is tame per today's standards, and also understand the difference between the auteur and the art.

However, considering that movies and music induct most young people into the adult "world", and further, that most of these actors and actresses have no compunctions regarding correct behavior either on- or off-screen, it seems a tad hypocritical to circle the wagons now.

What has been the motivation for the recent dreadful exposes?  The question are, "Why now?", and, "Why this?".

Women are either reading from 1971's Our Bodies, Ourselves, or Fifty Shades of Gray. Further, if the former, we are also taught that the latter is all part of the play, all a path to women's self-empowerment.

So why would an empowered woman using her body as she sees fit need the Nanny State behavior of the newly patronizing Democratic Party? These ideas are incongruous. Capitalism relies on the free play of the marketplace of commodities.

We are talking here, obviously, of women whose sights are set on buying success in powerful arenas via acquiescing to sexual favors demanded by those in positions of power. These are not women submitting to abuse from a male partner. These are women engaged in discretionary though (if, as claimed) distasteful sexual behavior in a bid to gain favor.

These are not the pathetic cases of "No means no" violations, of not being respected after a night of partying at a frat house or drinking Boone's Farm under the bleachers during a JV game. Nor are they cases of ingenues filing papers in the office and being devoured by the Big Bad Wolf.

(Meanwhile, actual cases of unbidden male brutality go largely unaddressed by the Hollywood criers as they and their victims are generally not as sexy as a Salma Hayek or Gwyneth Paltrow -- one of their own. It seems not all women are equal.)

Most well-socialized people understand the culturally accepted signs, signal and semiotics of sexuality. In fact, desire and availability are signaled by various cues that Hollywood itself has so nicely immortalized. If one is a naive "40-year-old-virgin", one need only watch some rom-coms to get a feel for the play.

With this crusade, the Democrats have latched onto what they hope will be a winning cause. Who does not have a mother, sister, niece, daughter or wife? Who could be for sexual exploitation? And yet, the current media elites who are spinning the women's cause to great fanfare are hardly denizens of purity.

Moreover, the U.S. still has not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), an effort at equality which failed to gain ratification following its introduction in 1923, and died after its extended deadline in 1982 (Ironically, Nevada -- the only state with legalized prostitution -- was the first state to re-introduce 2the legislation in 2017, the 45th anniversary of Congress's submission of the amendment to the states.)

So rather than re-hash a topic so over-determinded with social, biological and religious aspects, why not simply stand for human equality?

What is the purpose behind this goose chase? Will they engulf these men with their vagina dentatas, hoping the men will rue the day they traded skin for position? What then?

Power disparities are obdurate things. The woman who seeks to market her wares is a fungible asset. She must achieve on her own, rather than using her sex to obtain favor, and then crying foul. That is not cricket.

Old line Democrats are jangling against the revelations of this time-honored brokerage. When Nancy Pelosi defended accused Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) by saying, "He is an icon in our country" and was a great Civil Rights crusader, she drew flak from her fellows. (Sure, he's a bit of a whore-dog, but the good image outweighs the bad; see MLK, JFK, etc.)

Liberals want it both ways in the play between the sexes (there really are only two, but you can mix, match or delete as you will): a nanny state to control and condemn human behavior, plus absolute liberty for one to do as one pleases. These are non-consonant ideas and contrary to reality. To hold both at once is, at best, callow; at worst, disingenuous.

They wish to legislate the rules of the game, while concomitantly saying a human may do anything he wishes in the boudoir. Where is the junction?

One might say the women in producer Weinstein's orbit had been predated upon. Alternately, one might say they were empowered women who traded one good for another in a time-tested barter system; a tit-for-tat, if you will.

The female accusers were all in the immediate purview of their alleged attackers, either on a friendly basis, or hoping to get cast in some upcoming production. One might argue that these were savvy businesswomen, engaging in transactions which they allowed.

So, how do they transmute into being piteous victims? Perspective is all.

 If the woman gets the job, she has been successful. If she does not, then she may feel used. Claiming victimhood in a bona-fide capitalistic transaction is not being honest.

It may be that this current outrage is connected to the current president of the White House. As they could not prevent his residency, they will now knock every privileged older male out of his erstwhile safe box, so to speak.

While it may be something to do, it does not suffice as a policy or a political agenda. It is retrograde, and the advocates are not addressing the fact that women's rights have been an issue for some time, yet this arena of behavior has not changed.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you lose. In the past, people sucked it up and moved on. Today, victimhood travels with it's own life support system (and those who exploit their being hard done by often become an Oprah Book-club selection.)

In the "Gotcha!" era, a secondary win can be salvaged by crying foul on a perfectly legitimate game ... if you should happen to lose.

Submitted for your consideration.

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Precedent for the President

--candidate Clinton blowing his horn

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need  
--You Can't Always Get What You Want,    
The Rolling Stones 

Television is not the truth!
Television is a God-damned amusement park! 
 We're in the boredom-killing business! 
 --Network (1976) 

And there's winners and there's losers
But they ain't no big deal
'Cause the simple man baby pays for the thrills,
the bills, the pills that kill 
--Pink Houses
John Mellencamp 

[Note: This a non-partisan social critique. It is is neither an apologia for nor a defense of Mr. Trump. RAW never shills for any candidate.]

Whenever I happen upon it, the evening news always richly rewards me with insight into the current liberal mental cul-de-sac. The 4 January 2018 PBS News Hour interview with sorta non-2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden was no exception.

The blindness and anger which hobbles so many today can be understood by watching the life and person of Mr. Biden, and seeing how the fight in him is rendered impotent by his habitation inside of the straight-jacket of the hypocritical Democratic party line. It is why he is destined to never be President, despite the release of his new book and twice saying in the interview that he would not rule out running for office.

Biden is a kind of tragic figure. Once the rebel and provocateur of the Sunday morning talk show circuit, he has now assumed the mantle of a proper elder statesman. Beloved by his Delaware constituents in his 35 years as senator, many of the rest saw him as a bit kooky for his opinions. (To them, he was the tamer East Coast's version of California's oddball Governor Jerry Brown.)

But like Robinson's Minivar Cheevy, Biden's curse is to be a man out of time. At first, ahead of it; now, he has been passed by.

He ceded his 2016 run to the inevitable heir to the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton (who's own shelf-life had expired when the feminist movement lost steam, somewhere in the 80's). And like Senator McCain who did the same for President George Bush in 2000, you rarely get a second chance in the ring.

It must sting to see the once-outspoken nature for which he was censured harnessed by the successful runaway train of opinions that is the new President. If it had been allowed to him, Biden might have been buffed up and possibly been able to go toe-to-toe with Trump. But he would have had to have dropped the obedient-righteous act which has been beaten into him for decades, so not likely.

To see Biden's hesitation in answering a question on the fitness of the President is to be reminded of the reason many Democrats continue to fail.

It all seems so obvious: when the Democrats curse the President, they are by extension damning his electorate and supporters, which is to say, a largish chunk of the United States. Their relentless derision, disdain and outright insults cling to the people who approved of and elected this President, and this does not play well in Peoria.

This very simple not-winning feature of their incessant condemnation and high snark is what they miss; pardoning the pun, it is the elephant in their room.

Mr Trump won because members of the Democratic Party (DP) defected to the other side, and they did so from every demographic. Thenceforth, those Democrats have been enfolded by the shrill party diehards into Hillary Clinton's reviled cesspool of "undesireables".

People do not take kindly to being labeled as fools.

In the interview, Biden noted a sea change in candidate quality when President Reagan succeeded the very "Presidential" Jimmy Carter, suggesting the current President is an equally lame actor (except moreso.) But instead of riding his newfound high horse and bemoaning this "unbelievable" state of affairs, Biden and his fellows would do well to step out from behind the curtain and recognize the Land of Oz for what it is.

In a big fail, Biden et al. miss the fact that former Hollywood B-actor Reagan was the shape of things to come. George Herbert Walker (1989-1993) was a brief retrograde move towards the non-performer, but his disdain of the camera and the image was becoming superannuated -- was, in fact, already moribund.

Candidate Bill Clinton blew his sax on Arsenio Hall's show in 1992. When Monica Lewinsky, his au peche mignon, was revealed, it was a no holds-barred black humor-fest in both the realm of the MSM and online entertainment industry. (Ms. Lewinsky calls herself "patient zero" in the brutal new word of social media evisceration.)

George Bush landed in full military regalia on an aircraft carrier, a feat almost as impressive as Hannibal's crossing the Alps with his 40 elephants. Barack Obama connected with fans via MySpace and Facebook accounts.

Mr. Trump is but the inheritor of that venerable tradition, amped-up for 2016 standards. Time moves on, carrying us into ever newer scenarios, speeded up by the connectivity of an anonymous and unvetted ether world ever-more insinuated into people's every moment.

Guy Debord, Alvin Toffler and fellows saw decades ago what we are now passing through: the Society of the Spectacle, aided by mass undifferentiated information. The mash-up is not entirely a pretty one. Following the blip that was GHWB, all Presidents played to the masses, some better than others.

The politicians who can accept the reality and function efficiently and with respect (both to the voters and by extension, their candidates) will succeed. Any notion of what a candidate "ought" to be has now been knocked out of the park.

As any self-help book worth its salt can tell you, it is not what "shoulda-coulda-outta" that will fix you, it is seeing what IS. Incredulously, the DP's have yet to accept what is, calling it everything besides the reality, which is simply: "it is this". (It is an as-yet unknown impulse which disallows these people from accepting the reality.)

Summoning his best Democratic patter, Biden comic-tragically concluded by saying his party must do better to address the needs of the middle class. But is that not what Democrats are supposed to do?

But they didn't, did they? And it is their failure to speak and act honestly on behalf of the non-sexy, non-pet categorical average person which lost them a momentous election, and which saw their heir-apparent KO'd by the non-party favored 100:1 long shot.

The naysayers who refuse to see and accept the truth are not viable, and will only grow increasingly so. "It shouldn't be" does not comport with what "is". 

Apparently, the reality of election 2016 does not comport with the image the now very proper Mr. Biden has of what a president should be. Perhaps the people are also not what he thinks they should be, namely, obedient zombies true to their school.

Today's reality is, social media has allowed new alliances and points of view. The participant's fealty is to his own knitted together community's media feed, the created thing which informs his reality.

However, the most important point lost on the arrogant disbelievers in election 2016 is this: it is not they -- our elected officials -- who give the imprimatur to the next President, but rather the People themselves who elect all of them. A government by, of and for The People.

Elected officials, low to high, serve us, feeding at the trough of our tax dollars. Civil servants all -- humility be thy name.

Sorry Joe, but your idea of what constitutes "presidential" has been bypassed. As in the Dark Tower, the world has moved on.

Sans judgement, change is a constant, and only in hindsight may one evaluate and decide if it was helpful, harmful or benign. There is no holding back the floodgates of the new.

If anyone should know this, it is the crusading liberals who forever seek to smash every societal shibboleth.

So if they wonder where this impulse to reject the trappings of the "presidential" emerged, they could do no better than to look at themselves.

The hope is that the deniers will grow fatigued with the their omnipresent disdain and begin to exit their Slough of Despond, and work to create a positive new day.

Even Asian cage fighting gets boring after a while, right?

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