The Urban Dictionary describes: “One of the many, many priceless contributions fromR. Crumb– perhaps passed along by thismisanthropicgenius from someone else. It refers to a male with a ferocious posture, threatening gaze and aggressive stance, but a guy who will actually cave in andwhimperwhen faced down in earnest.“
I must guiltily admit that back when I was 25, in 1971, I voraciously enjoyed what were called “head comics”, the term “head” referring to people who smoked dope i.e. marijuana. The most popular and probably sickest creator of these counterculture icons was Robert Crumb, better known as R. Crumb. Among his many characters were a few I still remember: Mr. Natural, Artsy Fartsy and Ruff Tuff Creampuff. While researching some R. Crumb characters, I just discovered that there is a website called rufftuffcreampuff.com, a personal lifestyle and fitness blog of sorts, by a woman named Eliza who used to be fat but is now fit. I recommend it, she’s funny and self deprecating, which bespeaks true confidence.
But my title refers to neither she nor the R. Crumb character. Rather, I am thinking about all those snowflakes and creampuffs who think they are too tough to need or believe in a sovereign God, yet who need “safe spaces”, “hate speech” police, disagreement-free zones, and other thumbsucking cultural blankies. They certainly whimper when faced down in earnest–individually–but in a pack or mob they can be vicious and aggressive. Antifa is a good example. Does anyone even know the names of individuals in that pack? Many wear bandannas over their faces, some wear masks, others wear expressions so twisted with hate and fear that their friends wouldn’t recognize the mild mannered creampuff from their everyday interactions. What’s next, hoods? Burning swastikas?
Is aggressiveness when part of a mob, courage? It appears to me that the pattern of violence from so-called progressives, leftists, radicals is mob related and often anonymous, and if building a following, they are mostly motivated by increasing the reach of the mob, while the pattern of violence from the opposite political camp tends to be individuals brooding over perceived slights, then seeking recognition through violence rather than anonymity. Since the corporate, national–reach media like CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, NY Times and TV networks, the self appointed opinion mediators, love to highlight the violence of “domestic terrorists” who are by default “white supremacists”, whether they are or not, and downplay the violence of the “anti-fascists”, whose tactics are identical to the actual fascists–go figure–their emphasis is on the body count of victims of brooding, mentally unstable, white killers. Idiots like Don Lemon of CNN feel free to make up “statistics” to validate their prejudices, as if bloodshed is the only measure of social damage.
The crazy people tend to act alone, and are usually objects of scorn or pity. Few sane individuals are influenced by their rants and acts. I propose another measure of societal damage, that of ruined minds, futilely searching for peace of mind through the illusion of autonomy. How many malleable college students, confused children, clueless parents, craven corporate figureheads, attention-starved youth and directionless idealists have been lured or pressured into the morass of damaging “progressive” fads and theories? I will borrow a marketing phrase from the United Negro College Fund: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Beware the ruff tuff creampuffs’ mind-wasting cant.
Ah, liberation, what a sweet word. Who wouldn’t want to be set free? What if you aren’t in bondage? Adam and Eve wanted to be liberated, even though God put them in the lushest garden, with abundant food, the purest water that ever flowed, no enemies. The perfect environment. Then the serpent offered something they didn’t have, autonomy and special knowledge (“you will be like God”), all they had to do is disobey God’s simple commands. They wanted liberation from the boss, they got liberation from beauty, purity, purpose, safety. The serpent couldn’t deliver on his false promises. there is no true autonomy from the Creator for the created, and you and I will never have the knowledge of God. The serpent has never stopped promising, though.
“You need to be liberated, from the burden of others, from your responsibilities, from unpleasant feelings, from unequal pay, from your national borders, from sexual limits, from your gender and your chromosomes,” whispers the serpent. “You deserve, you have the right to, liberation. No one is the boss of you.” You don’t want rules, but you still need to be taken care of, in other words, nanarchy. No, I didn’t misspell anarchy, I added N for nanny. The cry for liberation means you are a prisoner, you are in bondage, you live under limits. What are you a prisoner of? What are you in bondage to? What limits do you live under?
Well, I’m in bondage to racism, sexism, homophobia, unequal pay, the wrong gender, transphobia, my marriage, my children, my spouse, my weight, my responsibilities. What about starvation, is that a condition of your life? How about war, getting blown up or shot? Or being threatened by drug cartels or criminal gangs? No? You probably live in the United States. Just maybe, you’re liberated and don’t know it. Or, your own mind and attitude is is keeping you in bondage. That’s a lot more difficult to get liberated from.
Neutrality is mostly a myth. In WWII, many countries tried to maintain neutrality, but virtually all were either invaded or bombed anyway, including Switzerland, which suffered some bombings by both sides. What about WWIII? “No such thing” you say. My previous post mentioned the LGBTQ narrative. The foundational presupposition of that narrative is: “We were born this way, or god made us this way, we shouldn’t be discriminated against for something innate, it isn’t just feelings.” Nowhere in their agenda is this argument weaker than in so-called “gender dysphoria.” That is why “trans’ rights” are being pushed so aggressively. If society at large can be forced, yes forced, to accept the reality, rather than the subjectivity, of “gender dysphoria”, the LGBTQ express–acknowledgement, to acquiescence, to acceptance, to applause–will have added another engine to the train. What they will never add is a caboose. There will always be demands for more. That’s WWIII.
As always, the radicals eat their own. The dynamics are illustrated by Twitter’s banning last week of Canadian feminist writer Meghan Murphy. Murphy violated a new rule forbidding users from “misgendering” trans people—when she referred to a transitioning person who goes by both Jonathan and Jessica as “him.” It was this latest violationthat precipitated her permanent ban. The previous generation of radical feminists are fighting their war with the new generation of trans activists, who call them Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, or TERFs. This subset of the sexual culture war is being fought, as usual, with acronyms, invented pronouns, Twitter policing, social media mobs, courts and legislatures. Everyone will be caught up in the mess.
Quoting Ben Shapiro, in National Review: “Can subjective perception trump objective observation? If the answer is yes, tyranny of the individual becomes the order of the day. We all must bow before the subjective wants, needs, and desires of people who require special protection from life’s realities. We must reeducate generations of people to ignore science in favor of feelings. We must strong-arm individuals into abandoning central planks of their morality in the name of sensitivity.
“Meanwhile, Twitter announced this week that it would seek to ban those who ‘misgender’ or ‘deadname’ transgender people. In other words, if you note that Chelsea Manning or Caitlyn Jenner is a man, or if you use the names ‘Bradley’ or ‘Bruce’ with regard to the aforementioned transgender people, Twitter could ban you for ‘repeated and/or non-consensual slurs.’ So you will abide by subjective self-definition, or you will be censored. Twitter recently banned a leftist feminist for merely noting that sex is biological and that men cannot become women (Murphy).
“There are real-world consequences to the deliberate rewriting of basic biology, and the substitution of subjectivity for objectivity. It means rewriting business operation, school curricula, medical treatment standards, censorship rules, and even parenting. But sympathy for a mental disorder should not trump either objective reality or competing priorities based on those objective realities. Falsehood crumbles in the light of day, no matter how sympathetic we are to those who wish to perpetuate it — unless force becomes the order of the day.” Which it has!!
From The Daily Wire: A Texas father is fighting for his son in court after pushing back on his ex-wife’s claim that their six-year-old is a transgender girl. According to court documents, the young boy only dresses as a girl when he’s with his mother, who has enrolled him in first-grade as a female named “Luna.” The father, however, contends that his son consistently chooses to wear boy’s clothes, “violently refuses to wear girl’s clothes at my home,” and identifies as a boy when he is with him.
“The Federalist reports that the mother has accused the father of child abuse in their divorce proceedings “for not affirming James as transgender” and is looking to strip the dad of his parental rights. “She is also seeking to require him to pay for the child’s visits to a transgender-affirming therapist and transgender medical alterations, which may include hormonal sterilization starting at age eight,” the report adds. The father has been legally barred from speaking to his child about sexuality and gender from a scientific or religious perspective and from dressing his son in boys’ clothes; instead, he has to offer both girls’ and boys’ outfits. The boy consistently refuses to wear dresses, according to the father.
“The boy was diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a gender transition therapist the mother, a pediatrician, chose for her son to see. According to the therapist’s notes, the boy chose to identify as a girl when he was in sessions alone with his mother; alternatively, he chose to identify as a boy when he was in sessions alone with his father. The Federalist reports: A dossier filed with the Dallas court says that, under the skilled eyes of the therapist, the child was presented two pieces of paper, one with the word ‘James’ and one with the word ‘Luna,’ and asked to pick the name he preferred. When the appointment only included his mother, James selected Luna, the name and gender he uses at his mother’s home and in his first-grade classroom. When the appointment was only with his father, however, James pointed to the boy name James, not the girl name.
“Walt Heyer, author of Trans Life Survivors and former transgender female, warns that the potential diagnosis could ruin the boy’s life, similar to what he went through after he was secretly cross-dressed by this grandmother for two-and-a-half years as a young boy. ‘The diagnosis is critical, because labeling a child with gender dysphoria can trigger a series of physical and mental consequences for the child and has legal ramifications in the ongoing custody case. Get it wrong,’ Heyer writes at The Federalist, the boy’s ‘life is irrevocably harmed.’ The boy’s ‘precious young life hinges purely on the diagnosis of gender dysphoria by a therapist who wraps herself in rainbow colors, affirms the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and dismisses evidence to the contrary,’ argues Heyer. The author warned, ‘If we do not save [the boy] from a misdiagnosis, his next step is chemical castration at age eight, only two years away’.”
We are justifiably horrified at sex selection abortions, like in China under the “one child” policy, where female babies were killed in favor of males. Now it appears that in our enlightened country, sex selection can be done with drugs and surgery after birth. Is that progress, or pathology? I could have been that six year old boy had I been born 70 years later, because I spent a few minutes dressing my sister’s dolls. Some people still wonder, “how did we get here?” First aberrant desires were “in the closet”, and we wanted to be tolerant, so those desires “came out” and accommodations were made, often voluntarily, because we don’t want to be bigoted, and thought it was possible to be neutral. The LGBTQ activists then pushed for legislation that would define their behavior as equivalent to skin color and gender for enforcement of their “equality”. Equality of or for what? Their rights, first under the law, but clearly beyond that, to forced compliance with their desires, pronouns, gender selection, bathroom preferences, until, inevitably, experts like a gender transition specialist show up to push their vested interests into family struggles. You thought you could be neutral! Are you starting to see the agenda of this long war?
Are you lulled to unconsciousness by cliches like “war on terror” (which is really the tip of the 1400 year jihad to establish a worldwide caliphate), or “anti-equality extremists” (anyone who objects to remaking the world according to lgbtq propaganda), “tolerance” (applaud or else), “misgendering and deadnaming” (calling someone by their birth gender or name). Didn’t you realize, changing minds begins with changing language. Every time you used gay in place of homosexual, you were validating an agenda that was inexorably moving towards the new vocabulary and the tyranny of the subjective.
True confession time. When I was about ten years old, I my father got angrier than ever before, or since, at me. What did I do to provoke that? I dressed up one of my sister’s dolls! No particular reason, I was bored, saw her dolls and a bunch of doll clothes, and with nothing useful to do in that moment, I started changing outfits on her dolls. No biggy, except my poor father thought that if such behavior went unpunished, I would become a flaming homosexual, or in his words, a queer. Of course, that’s before queer theory was a cultural thing, and gay meant lighthearted. Don’t pine for me, dear readers, I turned into a flaming heterosexual, or is the modern term “cisgender “? It’s all so confusing. But my parents were worried for a long time, because I didn’t get married until I was 41. The only thing I lament was my promiscuity during the intervening years. My wife and I had three wonderful daughters, and I never got another woman pregnant nor ever transmitted a venereal disease. That’s not to say I was normal, according to the culture.
Ah, now you start to wonder. When I got to the teenage years, my father gave me the talk, the one that used to be about where babies came from, but these days the teenagers are giving their parents the talk, and I wonder what they talk about, or if they talk at all. Anyway, he kept it very simple, and I took it to heart. “Son, respect women and always do the responsible thing. If you ever get a girl pregnant, you will either marry her, or provide for her and your child (there was no third alternative) as long as they need. Therefore, don’t get a girl pregnant unless you are married!” The end. It helped that I saw him walking the walk, by caring for my mom, who suffered mightily from manic depressive psychosis, i.e. bipolar disorder, before lithium carbonate was discovered.
The brief incident of playing with dolls was ultimately meaningless, as such things tend to be. Not anymore. If my parents had been under the sway of transgender ideology, they might have encouraged me to “be myself ” by having my own dolls to play with. Harmless enough in itself, but imagine they were having a regular parent-teacher conference, and they offhandedly mentioned “Steve was sort of into dressing up dolls.” In many, if not most government schools today, the trans recruitment mechanism would go into high gear. That might include intimate conversations with me, generally without my parents present, with such questions as: They, “is being a boy being true to yourself?” “Would you like help transitioning?” Me, “I am confused, what are you talking about? I like being a boy.” They, “Sometimes, boys feel like girls, and girls feel like boys. What do you feel like?” Me, “I am a boy, I feel like what I am.” They, “Have your parents, especially your dad, ever punished you for acting like a girl (do we need to protect you)?” If I didn’t tell them about the doll incident, since my father had mentioned it in conference, they would keep pressing me to confess.
If that conversation got this far, what would happen today? I shudder to think. Possibilities include their suggesting puberty blocking drugs, threatening my parents or pressuring them to support my exploring my real gender, eventually gender reassignment surgery? Ugh, all of which amplifies a child’s natural curiosity about what the other sex is like, or confuses the more suggestive kids, and often puts alien thoughts into their heads. The trans lobby has even convinced major corporations that there are millions of transsexuals screaming to get out of the prison of their chromosomal bodies. News flash: I don’t have to wonder. A few hours after writing this, I read about a case in Texas which provides a cautionary tale about what can happen when the mom and dad don’t agree with each other about how their child should be taught about gender. Since this is a long post, I will introduce that case in the next post. Hint: A six year old biological boy who wants to remain a boy is being dressed in girl’s clothing against his will. Now let your imagination run with it.
The Chicago Tribune did a piece on a transitioned male to female named Josie Lynn Paul: “A consultant gave a presentation on what it means to be transgender and in transition. Paul, a social worker, delivered a statement explaining that the pain of not being true to herself had grown too great to bear. Even in Illinois, which has laws that protect against discrimination on the basis of gender identity, the office transition can be fraught with stumbling blocks if a company doesn’t work ahead to anticipate employees’ needs, said Jillian Weiss, a lawyer and consultant who works with companies on transgender issues. “By the time someone comes into your office and says, ‘I have to tell you something,’ you’re behind the eight ball,” Weiss said. “You should have a policy in a glass case that says, ‘Break here in case of transition.’
“Corporate America has recently made progress toward transgender-inclusive workplaces. Three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies have gender identity protections, according to the Human Rights Campaign’s latest Corporate Equality Index, released in November, compared with just 3 percent when it started the report in 2002. Forty percent of employers have at least one plan that covers hormone replacement therapy; in 2002, it was zero.” Ms. Paul joined Hobby Lobby initially when he was Mr. Paul because of his Christian values, and after the transition, admitted that most other employees were supportive or neutral, until it came to bathroom time. Xe insisted on using the women’s bathroom, even though all the employees knew that the female appearance masked a biological male, whom they had gotten used to, and the biological women objected. I imagine the men weren’t too excited either about their bathroom privacy in the presence of a female-looking person. So Hobby Lobby built unisex bathrooms for individuals in that situation. But that’s not good enough for Josie or trans activists. Xe insists on being allowed to use the female bathroom, so that “xe” isn’t excluded by having the privacy of xer on bathroom. Who says other employees are not affected by one person’s decision?
Their pocketbooks are also affected. Since employer-provided group health insurance is re-rated annually based on claims experience of the entire group, rather than individuals, and the price initially is based on both age and gender of employees and what kinds of coverages are included, transition drugs and surgeries and hormone replacement increase the price both the companies and the employees pay. The national average of the cost of group health insurance is $18,412 per family or $6,435 per individual. Even in cases where the employer pays 100% of the cost, price increases hurt the company’s bottom line and may reduce the workforce. For most companies, health insurance is their second biggest expense, after wages.
But leave it to the Trump administration to stand in the gap. The Human Rights Campaign, HRC, President Chad Griffin, sounds the alarm. “Defining ‘sex’ in this narrow language tailored to the talking points of anti-equality extremists is part of a deliberate strategy to eliminate federal protections for LGBTQ people. This is a direct attack on the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people and, if this administration refuses to reverse course, Congress must immediately take action by advancing the Equality Act to ensure that LGBTQ people are explicitly protected by our nation’s civil rights laws.”What is this dastardly plan of “anti-equality extremists”, i.e. you and I and anyone who believes that chromosomes, God’s creation, define gender?
It is a memo that enforcement of a certain law necessitates a more explicit definition of gender, one determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The memo calls for the Departments of Education, Justice, Labor, and Health and Human Services — the four agencies that are most responsible for enforcing Title IX — to embrace the definition. The notion is that if these four agencies come together around a uniform definition, courts will be more likely to accept it. Title IX, for anyone who needs a brief history lesson is actually just one piece of a larger law, the Education Amendments Act of 1972. It states, quite plainly:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
The newly proposed narrower definition would view gender identity in binary terms, making it an unchangeable designation based on the genitalia a person is born with. In situations where there’s some dispute over gender, genetic testing would be employed.” What a nerve!
Well, enough about the law, health insurance, and my ten minute doll phase, let’s get to the REAL issue: Whether you call it gender dysphoria or being “true to yourself ” (your feelings, that is), we live in a feelings first age, in which people define themselves by what they are attracted to: same sex attraction = gay, bi or lesbian; being a different sex than you were born = transsexual; boy who wants to use girls’ bathroom = voyeur; want to have it all = LGBTQ. Notice I didn’t say feelings, rather attraction. I was born male, with male plumbing and characteristics, therefore always treated as such, dressed as such, used male bathrooms and pronouns. I couldn’t have the feelings of being female, with no experience of such. But like any young, naive, confused child, I could have been steered in a direction I had no understanding of. The LBGTQ lobby allows only one narrative, that of discrimination against them, and the success of gender transitions, as if the majority of transsexuals are happy with their new bodies. What happens to the legions of souls who are miserable about the transition, who would take it back if they could? You don’t hear much about them, not that plenty don’t exist, but any professional working with them who disputes the dominant narrative, any politician or corporate leader who questions it, might soon be out of their job, and certainly confronted at home or in public. Same goes double for the victims of the narrative.
There was a time that I was more “tolerant” of “lifestyle choices”, before such individual neuroses and choices started becoming “holy writ.” But now it is abundantly clear that there cannot be neutrality. You bow before the LGBTQ narrative or face the wrath of their Gestapo. If you desire to bring your feelings into alignment with how God made you, I will support you. But if you desire to bring society into alignment with your feelings, I oppose you.
Untruth cannot abide truth in a feelings-first environment. If my feelings are publicly advertised, then accepted, then applauded, and finally applied…. to the workplace, the bathroom, the law, to you, try to be neutral. But In the end, there is only one narrative that matters, and everyone will bow the knee when the time comes to face their creator. Those who hate how God made them, hate God. They have only a short time on earth to dispute the truth, to deny that they were created, to slap the face of the father on whose knee they sit.
I have begun reading Eve in Exile, an astounding book by Rebekah Merkel, daughter of my favorite blogger (who’s a lot more than that, but let’s not digress), Douglas Wilson. The very first chapter inspired this post. She is writing about the rejection of limits and boundaries, “Our fight is going to be with a culture that is antagonistic to the idea of trying to draw any lines at all.” I am reminded that recently, two of the most publicized “selfie deaths” took place in two of our most popular and famous national parks, Grand Canyon and Yosemite. The deceased–I refuse to call them victims–got too close to the edge while taking selfies. This in itself is kind of symbolic of the age we are living in. Though there are railings at some of the more tempting overlooks and edges in both parks, we know darn well that people can and will climb railings and ignore warning signs in pursuit of adventure, including the perfect selfie. The fact that the word selfie itself is now a part of every day lexicon bespeaks the spirit of the age, a children’s pool party. What? Imagine a group of children at the pool, with their parents sitting near by. What will be their most plaintive cry? “Look at me”, all the kids cry out, hoping to attract their parents’ approving glances as they jump in and climb out of the water. Look at me, look at me, me, me. Or is it love me?
If I can’t get your attention in a healthy way, I’ll get it in an unhealthy way. If I can’t get the attention I crave from my parents, I will get it from the world, from notoriety, from strangers in frantic couplings. I will get it from social media followers, likes on Facebook, retweets. I will get it from a cause, from being stroked by a jihadi recruiter via the web. Nothing brings more attention and raises your profile like crashing through limits, unless it’s claimed victimhood. But underneath all the bad and risky behavior, the contempt for standards and limits, and the quest for attention, lies the cry, “who will love me?” In this corporeal life, your parents should be the source, but even the most loving parents cannot fill the God-sized hole in your soul.
Limits are love, folks, because not only can they keep you safe, they give you more freedom. Paradoxical? Imagine children in a playground surrounded on every side by busy streets with countless vehicles wizzing by. If there’s no fence, the kids will tend to congregate near the center, but if a fence surrounds the playground, they will be free to play at the edges. I was a park ranger for six seasons in Yellowstone. One of the most popular attractions is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The slopes are ridiculously steep and the edges are crumbling, eroding rhyolite. The thousands of tourists crowd the edges, trying to force their way to an unobstructed view. Every year, hundreds fall. No, they don’t, because the sturdy railings allow them to get right to the edge, safely. So why is our culture hostile to boundaries and limits?
I implied it above. Limits are set by someone else, which means that you aren’t the boss of your world. “No one gonna tell me nothin” becomes the petulant cry of false independence. No one gonna tell me what sex I am, who or what I can couple with, what bathroom I have to use, how to dress, what to say, what I am accountable for! If it ended there I might not even care. Those are individuals who are damaging their own lives and I will grant them that prerogative. But it never ends there because such rebels have little courage as individuals. Rather, they seek a mob to force others to shut up about their objections, then gradually to acknowledge their rights to do what they want with their “own bodies”, and finally to applaud their neuroses as desirable.
As Paul, in Romans 1, wrote, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth…..Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Had there been puberty blocking drugs and sex change surgery in those days, Paul might have added “their whole society became polluted with their hatred of how God made them, driving it mad.”
Am I lacking compassion? Am I being judgmental? Do I care what abuses a “consenting adult” subjects XE body to? The more relevant questions are “compassion for whom “, “judgmental by what standards” and “what even is an adult these days?” I have great compassion for the confused youth and their parents who are herded into thoughtless and destructive actions by the pressure of the mob. I always take my standards from the Bible, rather than my or your emotions. I consider an adult to be someone who is not only able but willing to fully explore and understand the implications for the future of actions taken today, and to stand up against the perverse ideas of the mob-driven fads and say “no more”. “Not my children, not our town, nor our country nor our future. Your God-sized hole cannot be filled with the love you desperately seek, by obeying your feelings and recruiting a mob to force the rest of us to approve.” Judge thyself!
Speaking of judgement, the Roman society that existed when Paul wrote the letter to the Roman believers was every bit as perverse as ours, and would have been more so if they had our level of technology. He was not warning of a coming judgment by God, he was describing the judgement that was already taking place, first in the bodies of the rebellious, then spreading to the society as a whole. We are just about there. Limits are love, no limits are judgement, those who have given in to the seduction of their feelings (more accurately, their interpretation of their feelings) have wandered to the edges of the railings, only to discover the railings are gone and the void beckons.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a short tale written by Danish authorHans Christian Andersen, about two weavers who promise anemperora new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent – while in reality, they make no clothes at all, makingeveryonebelieve the clothes are invisible to them. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new “clothes”, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as stupid. Finally, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” The tale has been translated into over 100 languages.
In case you are too young or ignorant to know what Hans Christian Anderson was famous for, his had his tales published in a book called fairy tales for children. He changed the ending above from the emperor admiring his clothes to the child’s brutally honest, unselfconscious exclamation. It is thought that one incident from his own childhood inspired this change: he once recalled standing in a crowd with his mother, waiting to see KingFrederick VI, and when the king made his appearance, Andersen cried out, “Oh, he’s nothing more than a human being!” His mother then tried to silence him saying, “Have you gone mad, child?” Whatever the reason, Andersen thought the change would prove more satirical.
Scholars have noted that the phrase, “Emperor’s new clothes”, has become a standard metaphor for anything that smacks of pretentiousness, pomposity, social hypocrisy, collective denial, or hollow ostentatiousness. There are a number of valuable lessons in this tale, all of which are even applicable to our post modern, self consciously sophisticated(?) society. The weavers were swindlers who wanted handsome compensation (we can only imagine how much the emperor was willing to pay for such a magic suit) for no effort. We have our modern equivalents in the creators of esoteric financial instruments, like credit default swaps, securitized debt obligations, or auction rate securities. Those who create such engines of financial destruction rarely understand what they have wrought; those who are charged with regulating them are too ashamed to admit they don’t understand them. That’s just a wry aside, not my main point.
Most people don’t want to be seen in public naked, but that’s mainly because they don’t want to be made fun of in a way that focuses on their shortcomings (yes, pun intended). Did it not occur to the emperor that the people to whom the suit would be invisible, would therefore see him naked? Apparently not. Today there are even more powerful ways of parading social hypocrisy without being challenged: social media mobs, campus thought police, hate speech legislation, #hashtag “movements”, corporate media mouthpieces (national coverage newspapers and networks). Social hypocrisy, better known as political correctness, cliches and concepts abound, and if you dare challenge any, the guardians of PC will, like Han’s mother, shout “have you gone mad, child?” Then they will chase you from restaurants and frighten your children in your home. What cliches and concepts am I talking about? Gender dysphoria, social justice, cultural appropriation, hate speech, trigger warnings, safe spaces, anti-fascist (why do they talk and act like fascists?), to name a few.
I took my title, Pretend not to see, from the most visible of these social hypocrisies: women who provocatively parade the majority of their flesh in public, and whom get offended if stared at. Am I a prude? God help me, I would love to stare at you know what, but have perfected the black occult arts of chameleon-eyed appearing to stare at the horizon with one eye while sneaking glances at the flesh with the other. Sue me, that’s how I (maybe you too) am wired. Preservation of the species, don’t you know. Do I think modesty is superior to immodestly i.e. overexposure? Yes! Do I enjoy overexposure? Only if it isn’t MY daughters, which obviously means I would rather look at your daughters. Are you offended? Are your daughters? If they are, what stops them from covering a little more? If you are, maybe it’s time for a parent-daughter talk. Now, to address the hateful thoughts percolating in your offended mind: You’re a child molester or pedophile! No, I am assuming that your daughter is old enough to be dressing the way SHE chose to, regardless of your opinion, which hopefully eliminates children. You’re a lecher. No, I would rather I had nothing interesting to look at, at the beach, other than nature, but like that famous line in Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come“, I say “if you expose it, they will stare“. How dare you! How dare I what? You’re a misogynist. If I knew what that was, I might be. You hate women. You mean other than looking at them? I suppose now is the moment for some virtue signaling, telling you how my three daughters love me and so forth, but you know what? Women have the right to self expose, and I have an equal right to look. If those women think they are wearing the updated version of the emperor’s suit, I must be among the unworthy. Maybe so, but the view is pretty good from here.
“He had launched his new website on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign as a practical joke among friends — a political satire site started by (Christopher) Blair and a few other liberal bloggers who wanted to make fun of what they considered to be extremist ideas spreading throughout the far right. In the last two years on his page, America’s Last Line of Defense, Blair had made up stories about California instituting sharia, former president Bill Clinton becoming a serial killer, undocumented immigrants defacing Mount Rushmore, and former president Barack Obama dodging the Vietnam draft when he was 9. “Share if you’re outraged!” his posts often read, and thousands of people on Facebook had clicked “like” and then “share,” most of whom did not recognize his posts as satire. Instead, Blair’s page had become one of the most popular on Facebook among Trump-supporting conservatives over 55.”
That quote, from the Washington Post article, contains three very KEY WORDS: like, share, and most important, click. WaPo seems to want the article to be about how gullible and stupid Trump supporters, right wingers, are, rather than how vain, arrogant and dishonest, oh yeah, greedy too, Trump enemies, left wingers, are. I hate to break it to you all, but everyone, regardless of which side of the bird you prefer, has gullibility, stupidity, vanity, arrogance, dishonesty and greed in their makeup. So what else is new? What kind of person is Christopher Blair? Is he an upright, diligent, honest man of character who just wants to have fun with people? Is he a penetrating intellect searching for answers to important moral and ethical questions?
More from the article: “Blair’s own reality was out beyond the shuttered curtains of his office: a three-bedroom home in the forest of Maine where the paved road turned to gravel; not his house but a rental; not on the lake but near it. Over the past decade his family had moved around the country a half-dozen times as he looked for steady work, bouncing between construction and restaurant jobs while sometimes living on food stamps. During the economic crash of 2008, his wife had taken a job at Wendy’s to help pay down their credit-card debt, and Blair, a lifelong Democrat, had begun venting his political frustration online, arguing with strangers in an Internet forum called Brawl Hall. He sometimes masqueraded as a tea party conservative on Facebook so he could gain administrative access into their private groups and then flood their pages with liberal ideas before using his administrative status to shut their pages down.
“He had created more than a dozen online profiles over the last years, sometimes disguising himself in accompanying photographs as a beautiful Southern blond woman or as a bandana-wearing conservative named Flagg Eagleton, baiting people into making racist or sexist comments and then publicly eviscerating them for it. In his writing Blair was blunt, witty and prolific, and gradually he’d built a liberal following on the Internet and earned a full-time job as a political blogger. On the screen, like nowhere else, he could say exactly how he felt and become whomever he wanted. Now he hunched over a desk wedged between an overturned treadmill and two turtle tanks, scanning through conservative forums on Facebook for something that might inspire his next post. He was 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, and he typed several thousand words each day in all capital letters.
“We live in an Idiocracy,” read a small note on Blair’s desk, and he was taking full advantage. In a good month, the advertising revenue from his website earned him as much as $15,000, and it had also won him a loyal army of online fans. Hundreds of liberals now visited America’s Last Line of Defense to humiliate conservatives who shared Blair’s fake stories as fact. In Blair’s private Facebook messages with his liberal supporters, his conservative audience was made up of “sheep,” “hillbillies,” “maw-maw and paw-paw,” “TrumpTards,” “potatoes” and “taters.”
It’s hard to tell whether the writer of the article, Eli Saslow, is satirizing Blair or those who believe his drivel or both. Certainly, there is little that is complimentary in his description of Blair, other than comments about his writing style. What it comes down to, Blair’s talents were baiting people and lying. Success in business is supposed to be about “finding what you love, then building a business around your talent”, according to popular aphorisms. If baiting and lying are what you love, what kind of world allows you to make a lot of money pursuing those talents? The one we live in, apparently. But I am digressing from the point I began in the first sentence of paragraph two. Ah, how time flies when you’re having fun! What was your point, you ask? It seems emotional reactions are the ascendant reality in our world, not just here but everywhere. Emotional appeals try to drive policy: A few men or women don’t identify with their biological sex? Change all bathrooms to unisex! Failed states south of our border disgorge thousands of the people they oppressed? Suddenly they have a right to enter the United States on their terms!Those magical words, “click, like, share” are entirely about stimulating emotion driven actions. How many truly embarrassing, job or relationship destroying actions, come from the hasty and ill advised tweet, text, or email response? What reader has not had cause to regret sending such responses? But that’s not bad enough.
Saslow needs to really make his article pop, while engaging the typical Washington Post readership, by profiling some of Blair’s “right wing” conservative dupes, so whom does he start with? A 76 year old former care-giver for aging parentswho now lives alone in Pahrump, Nevada. But he decides her history is interesting enough to profile only her. Let me guess Mr. Mocking Reporter for Big Time newspaper, what conclusion should we come to, based on the impulsive clicks, likes and shares of a lonely, isolated woman far away from family or a support system, whose last job was in a hospice giving comfort to dying people? You don’t explicitly say, do you? But then you don’t have to, just some hints, nudge nudge wink wink (thank you, Eric Idle), to a readership eager to feel superior to those denizens of the idiocracy, Conservatives. I don’t know which is more pathetic, the premise behind Blair’s scheme (baiting people by lying, then embarrassing the dupes), the reporter’s pandering to a pseudo sophisticated readership anxious to be reminded of their intellectual superiority, or how easily emotions lead people to hasty behavior. No, the last one isn’t pathetic, it’s called being human. What does that imply about the first two?