Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You know, I've thought about what I was blathering about last time, and I want to delve into it a little bit more.

One thing I was getting to earlier but didn't say clearly is the fact that the way our media cover sexual harrassment issues is situational sounds a foul note to my ear.

After the last 8 years of the 90s being hammered over the head by media shrieking "get out of people's bedrooms," you'd have to be blind deaf and unutterably dumb to not recognize the double-standard at play here. The thing is, if our judgment of right and wrong is nothing but gray area, we exasperate ourselves - there MUST be some point on the scale of experience where we draw a line and say "there! Cross this one, and you've erred." We seem unwilling or unable as a society to agree on this, and I think that's tragic.

But that's not even the most salient point, I think.

We are so entertainment-drunk (and I'm guilty of it, too) that we are fast losing a grip on who and what we are as a nation. I mean, is this what our ancestors struggled to make possible? Languorously idling about in a self-indulgent state and jaded to the point that we are discussing in which cases sexual harrassment or adultery are just ok and private business, and in which cases they are total public domain - do you think this was what your forbears had in mind when they risked life and limb to get here?

I guess in the end we can't help re-evolving into clusters of humanity guilty of the same oppressive and corrupt behaviors the Pilgrims left Europe to get away from, but I reserve the right to be disappointed.

Yeah, I know I'm a vulgar person with very low standards, but I do at least have SOME standards. It's not that I'm saying whatever the Foley person did was not an outrage, but I think very few of our D.C. officials could evade shame if held to that degree of scrutiny, and maybe THAT is what we should be discussing - the fact that we consistently elect pathological liars to represent us and we re-elect them even though they do a crap job, at best, and the diametric opposite of what they promised, at worst.

What most grieves me here is that we're wasting time focusing on a libidinous representative (and anyone who claims they are surprised by this event is a liar or delusional) when in fact, we have men and women fighting overseas and we can't be bothered to talk about what's going on over there - we're wallowing in vileness that utterly debases us. I say it's time we re-assess what we stand for, and I think we should throw every last rascal out of D.C. who acts in opposition to that end. I think we need to strip the chaff from the wheat in our media AND our government.

Thank God for the internet, which is the only true equalizer I know of in my lifetime, this side of death.

Is "pursuit of happiness" a synonym for amorality? I don't think so, or at least, it shouldn't be.


Anonymous said...



phlegmfatale said...

Thanks for stopping by Christina.

annie - Yeah- Smoke Signals is a superb film. Someone I'm very close to has an alcoholic father with lots of tragic, unresolved issues, and I see a lot of parallels to the struggle with the anguish the main character goes through. And I LOVE the character of Thomas, the storyteller- he's so adorable! Thanks for coming by and come back anytime!

Zelda said...

I blame the problem almost entirely on the media. The straight news media have become nothing more than gossip columnists - anti American-Conservative (as opposed to Psychotic-Muslim-Conservative) gossip mongers.

The Republicans and Foley did the right thing. He stepped down in disgrace and everyone piled shit on him, which he deserved. But the next time I hear a Democrat defend the - now thankfully deceased - Gerry Studds, I will laugh in their hypocritical, child-molesting faces.

It's either wrong, or it isn't. It isn't acceptable when Democrats do it just because they don't advocate morality. And just because Republicans fall short doesn't mean they should lower their standards.

Best cliche I can come up with is that Republicans aim at the sun and miss. Democrats aim at steaming piles of shit and hit.

Meg said...

OK, I think I so missed this smoke signal, but I hope I'm commenting on the right post - yip, I am. Warning: long-winded comment coming up!

A while back I was asked to translate a children's story into Japanese, AND market it, by a New Zealand writer. I said yes to the first part, but no to the second, because I wouldn't know where to start. She asked what about the Japanese Americans? To which, I responded, without thinking, the market is probably not as big as she would like, "because people who go to America (that's what your country is called, with a lots of streess on the 'me') because they want to become Americans." That was an uncharacteristically snappy answer for me. In New Zealand, you are XXX-New Zealander until your last day unless you are from England, Scotland, Wales, or sometimes Ireland and that's not just calling one self Japanese-New Zealander, but everybody assumes you eat rice and drink Miso soup every day.

Anyway, having lived in the US (Minneapolis mostly, and Tucson) off and on for a decade and having thinking a lot about your country, I was once more reassured your country has the potential and the resources to be the best, mind-numbingly, body-tinglingly bloody fantastic country in the world, not just in pockets, but as a whole, because most people go there becaues they want to be Americans. And as a country you are the richest, and the most resourceful (where do all the top-anybody-in-any-field go when they seek greener pastures?) so if you can't do it, who can?

That's my NZ-2-cent's-worth, which is worth a little over your penny. I gotta go because I can blather on until the hubby comes home, and my attention span is of a match that sparked but didn't quite light up. But you do have a problem with media - espsecially when the outside world gets a lot of Foxx and very little of NPR, so thank goodness for Fatale Abstraction.


Jay Noel said...

It's too bad we focus on stupid stuff like this. The GOP deflects, the Dems politicize this, and the media tries to turn it all into a circus.

It's a crazy crazy world.

Omni said...

Why is it that any hint of sexuality or adult behavior (such as when a grown man said "sh*t" in what he thought was a private conversation with another grown man) in our leaders has to be harped on endlessly? And then we wonder why other countries see Americans as childish...

FHB said...

You know, the real shocking thing about the Gary Studds episode wasn't that the Democrats approved of what he did. He was censured and booted, but his own constituents in Massachusetts reelected him anyway! They made it into a gay rights issue and said the vote was a vote for tolerance. That's the twisted shit they wallow in. And Foley is a turd, but no Republican is saying he isn't. It's all smoke and mirrors. The lib media playing up to the ratings gods and making sure the nation thinks about what they want us thinking about.

phlegmfatale said...

zelda - that's my favorite cliche I've heard in yonks - good one! ANd I totally agree- our media need to be kicked to the curb!

meg - thanks for saying such nice things about the potential of the US - and I completely agree - the potential is really here. What concerns me is the sleight-of-hand being played when we are distracted and arguing about small-scale things while corrupt politicians are quietly enacting legislation which limits our freedoms.

phoenix -you're right - it's a terrible waste of time and a distraction from what we really need to focus on.

omni - I agree - it is silly and disproportionate

fathairybastard - Good points, all. It's a shell game. Annoying.