Thanksgiving’s almost here, so between holiday preparations and family time I won’t have much more than a book review next week. Don’t worry: you’ll like both the review and the book. For now, some odds and ends.
Regular readers know that I’m an avid reader of news and politics, as they’re informed by our common culture. If you don’t like how politics are currently being practiced, all you have to do is glance at the coarsening of our culture to see why. It’s not a coincidence, for example, that Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein is (or was) a big political donor and bundler. With that in mind, the sickening allegations made by multiple women against U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore are too big an issue to tackle in hot takes and sound bites, despite multiple attempts to do so by moral preeners on every side of the political aisle. Nobody has a right to be believed. Nobody. This includes accusers and defendants, particularly politicians. You may have a right to be heard, but you don’t have a right to be believed, no matter what charges you levy. I don’t believe the word of anyone I don’t personally know or vouch for, but I do believe in facts and evidence. The Washington Post‘s institutional loathing of conservatives like Moore make these allegations difficult to take at face value. On the other hand, why would these women lie? And Moore’s own demurrals seem pro forma, at best. It’s ugly and horrible across the board, but that’s our politics. And until we do the hard but necessary work of fixing our culture, that’s how our politics will stay. Let’s focus on what we can prove rather than prosecuting defendants in the Court of Social Media.
Exit question: our news media has become so hostile to the values of anyone not living along the coasts that many in Alabama will support Moore no matter what is uncovered about him, just to spite them. Is there any way this can change?
The issue of NFL players kneeling for the National Anthem is unbelievably stupid, but there’s an element that needs to be addressed. It doesn’t matter any longer if the NFL mandates players standing for the national anthem. Whether these overpaid, ill-educated, dimwitted babies stand or kneel from here on out is immaterial. They’ve already shown us what they think. Once you put politics into something that’s not political, you’ve ruined it for all time. Are you really going to eat an ice cream sundae with only one small piece of dog shit in it? Of course not. And you’re not going to go back to the restaurant that served you a dog shit sundae. Not long ago, we didn’t care what the players believed in as long as they played the game and kept their idiotic political beliefs out of it. But the Baltimore Ravens did their stupid “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture, and then Colin Kaepernick did his kneeling trick with the pigs as cops socks, and then everyone started kneeling. The players told us what they really thought about the country that made them millions of dollars, and we decided that we didn’t have much in common with them after all. The players cheated on football with politics. As the aggrieved husband, how do you forgive that? Most of us can’t. Or won’t. Even if the players do decide to make the basic gesture of respect we expect from our schoolchildren during the Pledge of Allegiance, we all know it’s a sham, that they’re performing under protest. Either fire them all and start anew with players who possess a basic modicum of gratitude, or celebrate the NFL’s slide into irrelevance.
Once Social Justice Warriors change a thing they don’t like, they don’t immediately become that thing’s greatest fans. They’re locusts: they ruin the work of other people, leave the wreckage, and move on to ruin something else. Name one thing that’s benefited from Social Justice meddling, from movies to television to literature (including/especially horror) to comic books to professional sports: you can’t. The opposite of inserting politics into a beloved thing is not putting in more politics from the other side: it’s taking the politics out. It’s depoliticizing it. That’s what I fight for in the culture wars: the removal of politics.
During a recent illness I binge-watched the Amazon program Patriot. This is Good TV. It’s got a couple of filler episodes, scenes to make up expected runtime and season length, but overall it’s a lot of fun. Kurtwood Smith steals the show as Leslie except when Terry O’Quinn steals it as Tom. The humor runs from the subtle to the hysterical, and the main character, John Lakeman (played by Michael Dorman) is riveting to watch. His dissolution is slow, even agonizing, without the overdone moralistic drama-queening that too often colors such programs. Do you like in-depth information about moving an entity from Point A to Point B? Espionage without political sucker punches? Roshambo experts and attache badges? That’s Patriot.