Don’t bite the maggots

The acute Glenn Greenwald had a post earlier this week at Salon about the culture of “contrived masculinity” among some conservatives. George Bush who exploited family connections to avoid actual military service in Vietnam (a war he supported) is praised for his manliness, while John Kerry, a man who volunteered for combat service in a war he didn’t support, was accused of cowardice (after three well deserved medals). Greenwald joins Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler in noticing the sexualization of liberals. It’s not just Ann Coulter, but even Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, who frequently portrays liberals as less than masculine. All of this, of course, suggests a preference for the appearance over reality. Thus for many the TV show “24” is a reality TV show. For George Will–whom I swear we wanted to stop bothering (not that this bothers him anyway)–movies provide the evidence of Giuliani’s many stance against the atmosphere of wimpy complaining by “grievance groups”:

>Second, that his deviations from the social conservatives’ agenda are more than balanced by his record as mayor of New York. That city was liberalism’s laboratory as it went from the glittering metropolis celebrated in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) to the dystopia of the novel “Bonfire of the Vanities” (1987). Giuliani successfully challenged the culture of complaint that produced the politics of victimhood that resulted in government by grievance groups.

We won’t comment on “victimhood” and “grievance groups” other than to point out their obvious and appalling racial undertones: for Will, Giuliani has demonstrated his racial bona fides with his squinty quit-your-complaining look. And the evidence there was something to complain about are two films (one based on a novella and the other a novel by the way) that have nothing to do with each other save their taking place in the Big Apple. Taking these as documentary evidence for anything other than cinematic reality (Holly-Go-Lightly?) is about as sensible as using “24” is a military manual.

Oh wait. People do.

3 thoughts on “Don’t bite the maggots”

  1. Volunteerism, military service, courage under fire, duty to country, personal integrity, and compassion for the weak — these are all components of an old-fashioned concept called “honor” which used to be seen as the epitome of masculinity. Unfortunately it seems to be viewed as quaint nowadays, especially by the people who are running the country.

  2. this from poputonian, quoting vonnegut:

    It so happens that idealism enough for anyone is not made of perfumed pink clouds. It is the law! It is the U.S. Constitution.

    But I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened instead is that it was taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable.

    I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: “C-Students from Yale.”

    George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences.

    To say somebody is a PP is to make perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete’s foot. The classic medical text on PPs is The Mask of Sanity by Dr. Hervey Cleckley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia, published in 1941. Read it!

    Some people are born deaf, some are born blind or whatever, and this book is about congenitally defective human beings of a sort that is making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire nowadays. These were people born without consciences, and suddenly they are taking charge of everything.

    PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose!

    And what syndrome better describes so many executives at Enron and WorldCom and on and on, who have enriched themselves while ruining their employees and investors and country and who still feel as pure as the driven snow, no matter what anybody may say to or about them? And they are waging a war that is making billionaires out of millionaires, and trillionaires out of billionaires, and they own television, and they bankroll George Bush, and not because he’s against gay marriage.

    So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation.

    They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin’ day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with any doubts, for the simple reason that they don’t give a fuck what happens next. Simply can’t. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody’s telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In these Times, and kiss my ass!

    the full post is here:

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