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June 13, 2011

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WOW! No wonder we don't have any weak-minded, weak-kneed persons on this blog. They wouldn't be able to handle the heat generated by the real truth. Way to let 'em have it Jon.

Ten years ago in the weeks before 9/11, the media was all a-flutter about SHARK ATTACKS somewhere off the SE coast. Turns out there was no actual spike in frequency or severity . . but it did provide another mind-numbing diversion. In turn, this causes me to channel some version of George Carlin's rant about us being fattened up, fed up, dressed down and (definitely) dumbed down.

(The "Ugly American" no longer wears a suit with bad manners . . but prefers baggy shirts, baggy pants and flip flops!)

The upper class laughs about faux pas, the middle class about situation comedy, and the under class about sex. Are we turning into a big under class? A Huxleyan soft culture?
But is this really new? Election campaigns a hundred years ago were full of outrageous claims about the opponents' imagined misdeeds. The prudish repression was also much more in force. What seems to have changed is the media business. After all, CNN has to fill those 24 hours with something other than travel, golf, and tennis.

Incidentally, there was an antipodean NYT article about the resignation of the German defense minister. He had brazenly plagiarized half of his PhD dissertation a few years back. However, the chief of the minister's party rather easily survived the revelations about his 30-something mistress and their lovechild.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/books/merkels-possible-successor-resigns-in-plagiarism-scandal.html


When sitting senators David Vitter and John Ensign indulged not only in extramarital sex but broke laws at the same time, the silence was fairly deafening. There was no call for their resignations, nor did the religious right seem troubled that two of their most ardent champions were ensnared by the devil. Ensign eventually resigned rather than face sworn testimony before an ethics panel, but it's a safe bet he won't face much if any legal sanction. Vitter's approval rating in Louisiana is around 70%.

IOKIYAR.

Weiner's problem (and most of us know what a problem it can be) is that a visual record is much more compelling to the nation's prurient if outraged attention. If it's a big mistake, then it's all the worse for being flaunted before our envious eyes.

I didn't really know that Weiner was a bit of a hard case, a taskmaster, and a showboat. If politics is show business for ugly people, Weiner had an unusual degree of star power. Granted, his vitriolic attacks on hypocrisy and privilege violated some code of civility that the Washington press corp uses to enforce the banality and pointlessness of our discourse. They can now lick their feline paws knowing that the upstart probably won't damage their precious comity again.

Florida recently banned sex with animals, which caused concern since the word "animal" can apply to bipedal primates as well as donkeys and chickens. Legislators assured the citizenry that the law would be fixed lest doing it doggie-style landed them in the hoosegow or, possibly, a kennel.

The nation's delicate sensibilities are now stranded somewhere between Animal House and Little House on the Prairie. Cognitive dissonance is the real villain here since we're instructed to feel things we might not feel, or judge behavior we enjoy in private. Anthony Weiner went to rehab but Boris Pasternak summed up the situation for most of us in Doctor Zhivago: "Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike... Our nervous system isn't just fiction, it's part of our physical body, and it can't be forever violated with impunity."

This diversion is just a higher level application of the "barking dog" in-bounds play in youth basketball. Hilariously effective in getting all of us to divert our concerns from the real threats.

Whereas I'm approaching the end of my seventh decade (hi there, Cal!), I am worried that you youngsters are all upset about Weiner's hotdog. Not to worry; somebody will feast on it long after you're dead. In the meantime, calm down, Jon. You're a bit overweight, and should keep your temper under control lest you stroke out.

Mom Dudas

Mom Dudas,

Those is fightin' words for us gravity challenged folks !!!

Jon, I recommend you rent a copy of Big Momma with Angie Dick-in-son and William Shatner if you like that mom and daughters happening. Police chief Larry Wetzel told me back in the Seventies that a really aggressive good police officer would never be police chief as their zeal always carried over into their sex life and eventually killed any administrative career. But for sex we would not be here and not for sex in North and South America there would be very little TV or movies. The problem I had with the Brock case was how the LDS elders skated, AGAIN. Plus you think Fulton would take a lie detector test?

"Huxleyan soft" OK a test! Name the two guys and the car that Huxley and the guys were in on California (1) in the 50’s. Score more points for what they were referred to at that time and what they were imbibing.

Azrebel, momma Dudas words sounded like a nice invitation not “fighting words.” I think we should ask her to join us at the next fan club meeting?

No way, not even if you ask politely.

Mom

A come on Mom, we could film the club meeting on our cell's and send them to Weiner.

"Paralysis in Washington as the nation hurtles toward potential default. Fourteen million unemployed and the economy slowing, again. Wars without end — indeed, a new one in Libya. Further consolidation of power by the Oligarchy, where Elizabeth Warren and a (real) Nobel laureate Fed nominee are left twisting in the wind by a cowardly President Hoover. The national security state grows unchecked, no matter that bin Laden has assumed room temperature and been tossed into the Indian Ocean. Climate change consequences before our eyes in eastern Arizona. Further warnings of the Great Disruption with OPEC owning up to the fact that it can't fill the gap between demand and output this year." Jon Talton

“The most powerful of these preconceived ideas is the belief in growth as the sole means of resolving social problems. That position is powerfully defended even as it is contradicted by the facts. And it is always defended by putting ecology aside because the zealots know that growth is incapable of responding to the environmental issue.” Herve Kempf

The great Heinlein had his Lazarus Long write: "Everybody lies about sex." Four truer words have never been spoken.

So yeah I have some sympathy for the one person no one seems to have any sympathy for. I understand that Weiner felt compelled to lie about his shenanigans. It was the human thing to do. And I understand why Clinton would lie too...

The best answer either one of these pols could have given is: None of you business. Another four great words.

The problem of course is that Weiner and Clinton are pols, and once their trust in their trysts got violated, their business became our business, and NOYB was no longer an option.

Which leads to me a question: Since Weiner NEVER intended these harmless outlets of his to be public fodder, when do we have a discussion about the morality of breaking trust (between two willing participants) for fame and for gain?

I doubt we will go there as a culture.
Show us the partially clothed penis instead...

Jon's take down of all this is echoed by Greenwald. Not one of my favorite gadflies. He's a little too haughty, a little too liberal pure for my tastes, but here is his lede:

"There are few things more sickening -- or revealing -- to behold than a D.C. sex scandal. Huge numbers of people prance around flamboyantly condemning behavior in which they themselves routinely engage."

Touche.

Now combine that with Josh Marshall's brilliant "Priceless" epigram on this whole sordid mess and you will start to understand just how "Stuck in StupidTime" our poor dumb country is. Which is to say, we still have not summited Peak Crazy. I doubt we are even half-way.

Here's Josh:

"Number of days Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-LA) remained a member of the House of Representatives without caucus leader Nancy Pelosi calling on him to resign after FBI agents raided his home and found $90,000 in cash in his freezer : 1249. Number of days before calling on him to step down from the House Ways & Means Committee: 294.

Touche.

The only thing I can add to Jon, Greenwald, and Josh is my own pithy attempt at an epigram:

Only a vocal liberal democrat could get treated like a slimy perp, and asked by everyone from Hoover to Pelosi to frogmarch, for a sex scandal that had no sex...

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/06/07/weiner/index.html

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2011/06/counting_1.php

Number of days a dangerous and coward moron was the president, 730. And he embarrassingly happened to be in the same political party I am. He and his VP and secretary of defense still not indited.And we are up in arms over a guys weiner. And now I am not sure about anything as Obama is making Bush look like a liberal?

2920 not 730 days. Gotta take a nap.

What about Wilbur Mills in the reflecting pond with some stripper? Does this sound familiar? I remember how much fun it was to hear the stories . .

"In living one swims through seas strewn with wrecks, where none go undamaged.
It is as bad as going to congress:none comes back innocent." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Weiner on this blog certainly didnt capture the audience. Time to move on.

"A deep prudishness combined with an insatiable appetite for everything sexual."
not a contradiction.
encompasses things like homophobic
homosexuals.
bent priests.
crooked judges.

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