Sunday, January 05, 2020 3:10 AM
Don’t Get Me Started (2020Jan05)
As a child, I had a skewed notion of what the world was like—I was assuming that it all, pretty much, matched our house and our family dynamic—and later on, our TV shows. My context of ‘the world’ has been broadened ever since, almost daily.
I know now that I can write nothing about which people will fail to have strong views. Anything I say will loved by some, hated by others—though my purpose is merely to avoid tedium or banality.
I started writing out my personal opinions and posting them on my blog several years ago. I had a great deal to say, at first. Now, I find it hard to say what I mean. Years of expressing myself have taught me that what I want and what is true are two different things—just as what I write may differ from what you read.
I’ve been thinking big-picture, you know? That thing with Viet Nam and the Pentagon Papers coming to light—all of us learning that the government had been sending boys to die over there, without any belief that their sacrifice would have value.
It was shocking and disgusting—our government failed spectacularly in their main job: to serve the people—and got thousands needlessly killed, maimed, and wounded in the process. Not to mention the pile of money they could just as well used to make a bonfire.
Nowadays, of course, when they tell us the same thing about Afghanistan and Iraq, we hardly blink an eye. It’s no different—it’s just as shocking and disgusting—it’s just not a surprise anymore.
Likewise, women couldn’t vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, one hundred years ago. Why (or How) women were seen as fit to raise children, but too feeble-minded to cast a vote, up until 1920—is hard to figure.
Nevertheless, women’s legal rights did not suddenly become equal to men’s. Margaret Sanger opened a birth-control clinic in 1916 and was promptly arrested, charged with ‘distribution of contraceptives’. Our ‘Comstock Laws’ lumped contraceptives in with dirty pictures and sex toys—and the birth-control and family-planning movements were major legal opponents of those who supported Comstock laws.
The 1950s discovery of the birth-control pill transformed the debate into a business transaction, giving contraceptives a reformed reputation among true capitalists. In the 1960s, it suddenly occurred to men that baby-proofed women might be fun. And by the 1970s, women had had it up to here.
Then you had Ruth Ginsburg and her 270 laws-discriminating-by-sex she got overturned, repealed, whatever. And I just watched a movie about the lawyer lady “Saint Judy” who, just recently, fought to have our Asylum Courts recognize ‘Women who fight for women’s rights’ as valid refugee-status claimants. This ended a terrible ‘dead-end’ for women at risk, but it is not the end of fatuous laws that enforce gender inequality (or binary-gender identities, for that matter).
You see where I’m going with this, right? Our government starts wars for no damn good reason—that’s insane. Our government has tried to shackle women for centuries—and still resists their full equality—and that’s also insane.
The Catholic Church, it turns out, has been normalizing and promoting pederasty, in addition to spreading the faith, in every Catholic country on Earth—for centuries. Apparently, forcing celibacy on people is unnatural—and invites a certain type of mental-health issue into those unnatural ranks.
The movie “Spotlight” made clear that pederasts have always been—and still are—in every Catholic Diocese, domestic or foreign—and that local civil authorities sometimes became entangled in the conflict between reputation and scandal, helping the church hide this corruption.
I remember being under the nuns’ care during childhood CCD classes—and encountering a priest or two after the children’s masses. They were definitely a hinky bunch, but my interactions always involved fear of cruelty—the clergy of St. Martin of Tours were really mean. Nobody ever made me feel like I was being intimately accosted—with our nuns, it was more like being attacked.
It’s odd to look back on that terror and think, I was one of the lucky ones—it’s ironic without being at all funny. Catholic priests, sadly, are not even the whole story. Sandusky’s Second-Mile scandal, and USA Girls Gymnastics Dr. Nassar’s scandal, make it clear that anyone teaching, training, or working closely with young people, as a profession, need (and should expect) much more monitoring by a third-party—a quality control, if you will.
To me, it all paints a picture of a society dumb enough to poison the Earth until we all die. We’re not done yet, no—but we’re well into it. Besides Greta, nobody seems to give a fuck—which makes us suicidally stupid. The only realistic public figures in our time are two teenagers, Malala & Greta. Ms. Yousafzai has actual grown past her teens, fighting for women’s right to education.
My problem is that these institutions, these pillars of our society, are all garbage. We continually try to push aside or abuse women, to ignore or abuse children—when women and children are the only things that have any real value (and I’ll grudgingly include men). Our TVs try to tell us that we got nothing more important to do than lay back and stare at the screen.
These ‘heads of state’ who make the Middle East a sandbox for their wargames and power-grabs and terrorist recruiting—and their opposites in the ‘free world’—love to point at a military ‘outbreak’ and shout, “Look! This takes precedence! Forget about everything else, until we’re done shooting—or talking about shooting.”
So don’t get me started on habitat-loss or population-doubling or acid oceans or economic-inequality—we are extremely close to proving that, as a group, as a species, we are too stupid to live.
If only we didn’t waste all our careful planning on profits and threat-scenarios, we might come up with some real great ideas—what with all the computers and new tech and all. But money and arms are all that matter, right? The ones with all the gold make all the rules?
And what about us patient liberals? Are we supposed to feel good about being right, when the proof is the whole world joining Australia in general conflagration? Are we supposed to respect people that lie to our faces? Are we supposed to watch news that promotes these liars? Why should we participate in this riot of ignorance and irresponsibility?