GOODBYE TO 2017….

Interesting year. No idea what lies ahead….But.

Like a lot of people, I took a real hit from Google changing their search parameters (or whatever it is they do) in June. Up to that point, this blog had steady quarter-by-quarter growth for five years. In the last six months of 2017, views and visits dropped off about 25 percent, making this the first year I didn’t improve over the previous one (I was down about eight percent for the year).

On the other hand, the comments increased dramatically, so I traded some quantity for a lot of quality. That’s a deal I’ll take any day, though I hope things will get cracking in the new year so it’s not a choice I have to make!

Anyway, that’s one of the main reasons I slacked off considerably in December, hoping to recharge the batteries and hit the ground running in 2018.

The other reason is I ran up against a sort of existential spiritual dilemma (I hesitate to call it a crisis) which is going to require me to make some serious decisions about my personal life and goals in the next few months…Don’t worry, if anything major happens, I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it!

Meanwhile, here are posts I have in the hopper, just waiting a moment of inspiration for me to finish them…

-A continuation of my meditations on John Ford’s People (beginning with the latest on The Searchers)

-Vocalist of the Month features on Brenda Lee (pretty far along) and Sandy Denny (nascent but promising)

-The revelation of My Favorite Book of Movie Criticism

-A new category called Track-By-Track where I break down some classic albums with what I hope will be a fresh approach to record reviewing.

-Nothing specific, but I’ll step in on the Trump Era when a moment of clarity arrives. Just FYI, my gut had him a slight favorite to win the election throughout 2016 (which put my gut in a very small minority). My gut has him a slight favorite to emerge the winner in his war with the Security State which will almost certainly come to a head in 2018. Stay tuned….

-Plus a continuation of my other new category of Handy Tens and all the other usual ongoing features.

Meanwhile, I’m gonna keep listening to Gene…

and Eddie…

And hoping for good things in a Happy New Year!

AND YET ANOTHER VICTIM….THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

It almost doesn’t do to point these things out. I’m good with (or is that guilty of?) slang and euphemisms myself, especially in every day conversation.

So I’m not exactly a paid up member of the Language Police.

But it starts to grate a little when language is being specifically abused in epidemic proportions by people who really should know better.

I realize “really should know better” is itself a slippery concept in a society so fiercely anti-intellectual that we haven’t produced an actual intellectual in decades. I couldn’t even name the last one worthy of the name. These days we settle for Noam Chomsky and George Will.

Still, in regards to one particular word, the tidal wave of self-righteousness that has attended the almost daily revelations of some new figure from Hollywood, the publishing industry, Broadway or the world of politics being accused of inappropriate behavior towards adolescent boys and girls has swept the beach of all reason and left a state of pure delusion in its place.

News flash: Having sex (or attempted sex, or behaving in a sexual manner without actually having or even attempting sex) with a fourteen-year-old is not pedophilia.

There is a word for that behavior and that word is pederasty (see clarifciation below).

And there’s a  reason why I–and probably you, and probably no one–haven’t seen that word appear a single time in the feverish condemnations of Roman Polanski, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, et al. who are specifically accused (in Polanski’s case convicted, though “accused” is often attached even in news reports) of sexual misconduct toward young teenagers ranging from inappropriate touching to exposure to rape.

The reason is simple.

Pederasty is no longer a dirty word.

We’ve been sexualizing adolescents for so long–roughly, and not coincidentally, the amount of time we’ve been infantilizing adults–that we’ve obliterated the distinction. And now, at last, when we feel a need to condemn atrocious behavior, we have no word for what has actually happened.

So we reach for another word, one that still has a bit–though only a bit–of sting in it.

To all those who participated in the long fall–and who by their newly feigned ignorance of their own language are participating still–I ask the same question I asked of those who lined up on one side or other of a meaningless political divide in the three-and-a-half decades of unrelenting cultural and political pollution that finally produced Donald Trump as either culmination or antidote, take your pick.

What did you think would happen?

Take it Gene…

UPDATE: Commenter Neal correctly pointed out that Pederasty only applies to man/boy relations. For the cases where underage girls were molested (Polanski and Moore in my examples, though the Moore case is thus far only an allegation), substitute real or attempted Statutory Rape or simple misconduct, which also do not carry the weight of “Pedophile”…witness the standing ovation given Polanski when he won an Oscar in absentia.

My apologies for getting off course. My original idea was to post on Spacey specifically and Pederast got stuck in my mind. Like I said, I’m not a good member of the Language Police, but I should have been more careful, especially in a post where I was criticizing others for misusing the language, so thanks to Neal for riding herd.

I should have stuck with Spacey, but I believe my main points still stand.

AND ONCE AGAIN I MUST WARN THEE…

But before I do that, first I should remind everyone that I don’t monitor social media (political division) for information. I monitor it for the articulation of conventional attitudes. That’s a much better way to track human folly. The blogger I go to for Liberal Attitude (doesn’t matter who it is, he’s useful precisely because he never breaks with his tribe’s conventions, so he could be any member of it…I’ve got a similar go to for every tribe out there and no, my dear reader, it’s not you, because dammit you’ve proved you’re better than that just by being here!) just wrote this:

Trump has surrounded himself with incompetents, knaves, and fools. Who else would work for him? He’s an incompetent, knave,and fool himself. But you can only turn to incompetents, knaves, and fools for advice if you want advice on how to screw up, behave knavishly, or make a fool of yourself. They’re not the best people to advise you how to escape the legal snares you’ve set for yourself and which a determined, intelligent, honest prosecutor like Robert Mueller is bent on seeing that you don’t escape.

I would remind all and sundry (not the blogger I’m quoting, because I certainly don’t want him to start questioning who he is and possibly force me to come up with a replacement), that these definers of Liberal Attitude once said the very same things about James Comey…both before and after the definers of Conservative Attitude said the same things (about Comey, that is), though never at the same time. No doubt, Mueller, (like Comey, already known to be hip-deep in the very buckets of Security State sleaze from which he just pulled forth the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates) will come through and inspire similar flip-flops in the future.

But, for now, I’ll just remind you that we’ve already been through all this.

The news of any given day means nothing. The course is set. We roll merrily along.

Take it Gene…

 

WHEW! TURNS OUT I WAS WORRIED FOR NOTHING…

…Turns out the whole Bring Down the Statues Thing really was just about Stonewall and Bobby Lee.

And really was just about memorials on public land.

Or memorials on private land that could be casually viewed by the public.

Thank God. We can all rest easy now!

Take it Gene!

…and Eddie!

SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN….

Just some friendly conversation taking place today between Spanish police and Catalans operating under the illusion they should be able to vote for independence. I especially like the shots of the police seizing ballots. Wonder if we’ll be hearing anything about the dread practice of Interfering With Elections from the usual suspects today?

But don’t worry folks, You’ll get to decide which side you’re on soon enough….What divides a Catalan from a Spaniard runs pretty deep, but it’s nothing next to what divides an American from an American once the illusions are gone.

We’ll be finding out just how deeply when things start going south any year now.

I kinda know, though, because the Beast has been taking a pause now and again from the march to Bethlehem to breathe some prophecy in my ear. (I’m fine with W.B. Yeats’ “slouch” bit myself, but the Beast is easily offended and, as a double-agent, I intend to say in good with him until the last possible moment, so “march” it is.)

Meanwhile?

What else?

I don’t need the Beast’s permission for everything.

Not yet.

So take it Gene….

NOTE: The 01/10/2017 on the video is Oct, 1, 2017. Euros put the day before the month. Didn’t want ya’ll to think this was tucked safely in the past.

And yes, I can die happy knowing I got around to a post featuring W.B. Yeats and the Duke of Earl side by side, where the Prophets belong.

SO HOW GOES IT WITH THOSE STATUE REMOVALS?

Moving along nicely, I’d say. A few bumps in the road, still some recalcitrant politicians here and there, but progress is being made.

For now, The UVA President is hemming and hawing. But there’s a pretty good chance by this time next year, ol’ TJ’s measure will have been taken and his monuments will come a tumblin’ down. How can one defend a secessionist slaver after all?

Wonder whose side we’ll all be on then?

Take it Gene…

 

INTERESTING TIMES…

No really. Here’s the latest column from Alfred McCoy, author of The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, the definitive book on CIA involvement in drug smuggling across the years and the miles. (I recommend the original edition: the update, titled The Politics of Heroin, is padded with many newer details which merely restate the thesis and provide ample proof of the axiom that less is more….I do look forward to his new book which is plugged at the link.)

Please note that, in other recent columns, McCoy has seemed to express support for the Security State in its incarnation as the support structure for Barack Obama’s bid to become the third American Grand Master (after Elihu Root and Zbigniew Brzezenski) of the Great Game and its subsequent appeal as the one force capable of keeping Donald Trump from abandoning the Empire Obama (in McCoy’s estimation) so skillfully preserved.

People are strange, but his current piece is still well worth reading–back to basics so to speak.

After you’ve had a chance to read it, be sure to check back

I promise Gene will still be here….

So will Eddie…

THANK GOD WE’RE ALL RATIONAL HERE….

….And confining all efforts directed at statue removal and defacement to those Confederates, like the ones found on Mount Rushmore…

And in amongst George Washington’s officer corps….

…In hotbeds of Reactionary Secession like South Dakota and Ohio.

Must say I’m really relieved. I thought for a minute there things might get out of hand!

Take it Gene….

and, since YouTube keeps insisting, take it Eddie…