Culture Warriors category archive
Redacted Tonight discusses how the religious right is attempting to leverage the recent hurricanes so it can suckle at the public teat.
Also at the Inky, Will Bunch excoriates Harvey Weinstein’s farcical attempt to attribute his predations on the 1960s. A snippet:
In Hollywood, the phrase “the casting couch” — the sexual scam that Weinstein updated — originated in the 1910s, making that sick tradition essentially as old as the movie studios themselves. And if “Weinsteinism” is some kind of warped offshoot of 20th century liberalism, how to explain the abuses by conservative heroes such as O’Reilly or his boss, the late Roger Ailes?
The biggest difference in sexual abuse — by family members, “trusted” adults, bosses, or the otherwise powerful — before the arrival of the 1960s and ’70s was that victims were more likely to suffer in silence, increasing their trauma. As for those changing “rules” that Weinstein clings to as his excuse, the only real rule changes that mattered that came from the early 1970s were the ideas that women had a right to more freedom, more respect and greater opportunity in the workplace and in every other social arena that mattered.
John Kim, writing at Psychology Today Blogs, demonstrates that women are not to blame for male predation. Furthermore, he suggests Harvey Weinstein and his ilk are far from being monstrous exceptions to the rule, but, rather, are far too typical.
Here’s a snippet:
The exposure of Weinstein, Cosby, Trump and others in the last few years. They represent the very tip of a very deep iceberg. Their behavior exists in offices, car dealerships, schools, churches, yoga studios, fitness gyms, photo shoots, casting rooms, pretty much anywhere there are women.
It’s not the best-written piece, but I think he makes points worth considering. And, in a related piece, Laura Gianino tells a tale of trolls.
At the Boston Review, Bonnie Honig sees both similarities and differences between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein. The similarities she perceives are not surprising, but the differences are chilling.
Here’s a bit:
. . . Trump has changed the rules of the game. Trump would never offer to get treatment to save his job. He would never ask for a second chance. If you are emailing your friends asking for support, if you say you will seek treatment, if you are hoping for another chance, you are already—in Trump’s grade school terms—a loser: reality’s victim, not its maker. The game is over.
Follow the link for the rest; it is quite worth your consideration.
Randye Hoder points out similarities between the conduct towards women of Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein because of Weinstein’s contributions to Democratic candidates and causes.
She then notes a crucial difference:
Click the link to follow her path the this conclusion.
In The Roanoke Times, Steve Frey despairs at the revival of a TV classic. A snippet:
The problem is, this version of Eddie Haskell is 70 years old and the most important person in the world. He has the power of life and death over millions of people not just in America, but around the world. However, he’s still making fun of people, acting pretentious when it suits him, and is often caught in “untruths.”
In this modern scenario, Chief of Staff Kelly acts as Ward Cleaver, giving Donald fatherly advice, which the president seemingly ignores. Can’t you just see General Kelly standing by the fireplace advising, “Now Donald, you know that tweet was mean-spirited and will just get you into more trouble.” Wally and Beaver would listen and learn; Eddie Haskell Trump just keeps doing it. He can’t help himself. He seems to need A LOT of attention.
For all who yearn for that portrayal of 1950s America, remember, Barbara Billingsley was a working mother.
Pap and Frank Schaeffer discuss the home school scam and its origins as a proxy for re-segregating schools.
Jay Bookman discusses Donald Trump’s debasement of political debate. A nugget:
We can begin our foray with the following tweet from the president of the United States, ostensibly the most important person on the planet, yet a man who parades his deep and crippling insecurities as if they were missiles in a North Korean military parade:
Nobody could have done what I’ve done for #PuertoRico with so little appreciation. So much work! pic.twitter.com/k2jAkIpfjI
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
In ordinary times, such a childish whine for attention would be considered extraordinary evidence of a leader’s incapacity and weakness, and cause for global concern. It is literally inconceivable coming from any other major political figure, perhaps in history, and in fact is inconceivable from anyone else beyond the age of 10.
In the era of Trump, it’s just a Sunday.
Using the contrast between reactions to a kneeling Colin Kaepernick and a kneeling Tim Tebow as a starting point, Michael Frost explores what he suggests is an increasing division with Christianity.
Of course, there has never been a monolithic Christianity, not even during Medieval times. Early on the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches split, largely over political and cultural issues; for a short time, there were even two Popes, one in Rome and one in Avignon which was overtly political.
American Protestantism has long been a hodge-podge with a relatively staid main stream, but with fringes richly populated with con artists, fakers, and cultists. (“Place your hands on your television and
prey pray with me.”)
Despite this checkered history, Frost discerns two primary and competing themes becoming dominant, at least in American Protestantism. I’m not sure that I buy his conclusions in toto, but I do think his piece is worth reading, as a growing number of religionists seem again to seek terrestrial political power and influence.
Here’s a bit:
One is listening to Eric Metaxas and Franklin Graham. The other is listening to William Barber and John Perkins.
One is rallying at the March for Life. The other is getting arrested at Moral Monday protests.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., marvels at the plethora of prophets proposing to profit from meteorlogical despoilation.
The Biblical “scribes and pharisees” had nothing on this lot.
The Miss Grundys of the world are never satisfied.
By the by, if you have not read William S. Borroughs’s Naked Lunch, do so. Among other things, you will learn the etymology of the phrase “Steely Dan.”
In a lengthy article at The American Scholar, physician and journalist David Brown explores the genesis and state of the prescription opioid* problem in the United States. He traces the history of it in terms of evolving attitudes towards the treatment of pain and patients’ perception of pain in the medical profession and in society and ends with some recommendations.
I’m not sure how much I buy the recommendations, but, given the growing problem, I commend the article to your attention. Here’s a bit:
If the use of opioids for chronic pain were just making the practice of medicine less rewarding, the problem would be tolerable. But it’s changing the country, creating a new underclass in the United States, no less real (or less fraught with the potential for controversy) than the black underclass whose existence has been so central to American history of the past half century. The new underclass, mostly white, is distributed widely, with hot spots—Appalachia, rural New England, and surprisingly, far-northern California. Like those in the black underclass, members of the new underclass usually have no more than a high school education and suffer high unemployment. Unlike the black underclass, whose chief impediments are discrimination, social dysfunction, and the trauma of imprisonment, the new underclass is stymied by economic obsolescence, a sense of victimhood, and an exaggerated view of its own physical damage.
*Remember, when Not White people do it, it’s simply “drug addiction” and get them off the streets.