Dec. 10th, 2017 11:48 pm
ihcoyc: Apocalyptic Price (Apocalyptic Price)
If the criminal justice system decided to proceed against what Franken actually did, it would have gotten pled down to a minor misdemeanor at most. And that would be the correct response by law and precedent.  This is how we reward someone who gave up a life of successful minor celebrity to serve his country.

If this is what feminism demands, then fuck feminism.  You wonder if they know they've scored an 'own goal'.
ihcoyc: (I won't be forced to breed children!)
With regard to the current moral panic about stale claims of sexual misconduct of widely varying types and severity. you should realize that it's much easier to wrong-foot Democrats and liberals by this sort of thing.

Republicans and right-wingers will, of course, circle the wagons, as we're seeing in the case of Roy Moore. For Alabama voters, the choice between a child molester and a liberal is a difficult moral quandary. Roy Moore may have chased children, but he stands up for the piss-ant god they worship down there.

On the other hand Democrats have to at least pay lip service to "feminism", whatever it means anymore. These things target key Democrat constituencies.  They implicate Democratic human-resources pieties and 'professional' standards.  They have invested a great deal in that kind of elite etiquette.  It's much harder for them to shake off these charges levelled against their leadership, no matter how stale or how trivial they may be. 

I know it goes against everything you've been taught to root for the home team.  But sometimes you have to. 

ihcoyc: Man vs Nature (Men)
There are posted signs and speed limits, and there are the rules of the road people actually live and drive by, and they usually relate to one another only very loosely. The sign says '30 mph' and the thing actually done there is 45 mph; the person who obeys the sign rather than the traffic becomes the stone in the stream, and an annoyance to his neighbors. Sign says 'no turn on red'; usage says 'fuck it'.

When there is a "crackdown" and the rules as written are suddenly enforced, people have every right to rebel. The victims of enforcement are losers at one of life's lotteries and don't really deserve it either. They did nothing everybody else wasn't doing.

The difference between these traffic enforcement situations and the current round of stale persecutions is that many of them are about things that there weren't any written rules for, even.  Yes, the facts will always very.  But at the very least,  Louis CK apparently did all that the law required of him. Now suddenly a copped feel thirty years ago is supposed to be a Big Deal. If it wasn't then, the passage of thirty years should not turn it into a present outrage.

The new sexual McCarthyism is like traffic cameras that see into the past and issue citations for the way you drove thirty years ago. If you get one from back then in the present you get fired, you become the object of a social media shitstorm, the target of a congressional investigation, and your movie isn't released. Because a faceless mob has decided out of the blue that punishing people who drove recklessly thirty years ago is now a major priority.

I am going to continue to have a problem with that.
ihcoyc: Apocalyptic Price (Apocalyptic Price)
I hate the way this country treats artists.  We went through something similar during the McCarthy era, and it appears we're due for a rerun.  Kevin Spacey, in the last analysis, is a talented actor. I enjoyed The Usual Suspects, even if American Beauty was not my cup of tea, and Seven is something I never want to see again.  Likewise, nothing anybody says about Woody Allen is going to tarnish Bananas or Sleeper, and nothing anybody says about Roman Polanski will diminish the achievement of Rosemary's Baby or Chinatown. Judgmentalism and witch-hunts are a national vice going way back, I fear. And they really need to be resisted.

I was there for "Satanic ritual abuse". The media and lots of people were all about "believe the victims" back then, too. And people went to prison for no reason, and lives were ruined.  If I can do anything to head off a similar episode today I will. It does seem to me already that we need to be asking smarter questions about stale stories.

Creative and talented people are also often messed up people. It comes with the territory, and they absolutely need to be given some slack. What would contemporary America do to Van Gogh or Picasso, I wonder? All I want is that we step back a minute before we condemn people.

Punishment is always optional. The option to let it slide is always there. It always needs to be weighed against the question of 'what good would it do?' And when the incidents involved all happened twenty, thirty years ago, there's no hurry either.

There occasionally is some substance behind a moral panic, I will agree. But the way Americans treat people while caught up in a moral panic ought to frighten everybody. Woody Allen is a national cultural treasure. So would Roman Polanski be, if we hadn't chased him away to the safety of Poland, where their morally conservative government recognizes that there are other things to be weighed in the balance beside something that went down in the 1970s. Even Harvey Weinstein deserves more breaks than the media are giving him.

Some claim that 'accountability' makes the world a better place.  But a much bigger part of making a better world involves giving people breaks, giving them room to breathe, not multiplying the things they do that are considered wrong, not labelling them with derogatory labels. Othering generally does not improve things. You resist it, not with the people you've been told to tolerate, but when you refuse to judge people who are not only foreign, but seem evil and misguided to you according to the norms of your culture, which they don't wholly share.

I am rigid, but I am capable of changing my mind. I changed my mind about gun control when I realized that the guns were the totems of a strange culture I perceived as a threat. I tried to swallow my fear and anger to see things from a different perspective. There are many ways where people can attempt self discipline, and some will work better for them than others; this is mine.

There is a truth in the core of egalitarian progressivism, but that truth is that you have to let everybody speak in their own voices. Your 'tolerance' is phony unless it is extended to your 'others', to those you hate and fear. And an important part of allowing people to speak in their own voices, and truly listening, is that you have to be willing to entertain their excuses. This is where contemporary identity 'progressives' don't get it, I think.

Again, punishment is always optional, always subject to the tally of whether any earthly good will be done by carrying it out. There actually seldom is. The urge to punish people is another aspect of human cruelty that won't always be resisted but should be anyways. We do wrong when we rush to believe Roy Moore's accusers but are aghast at George Takei's. One is a member of my tribe; the other is the enemy. People shouldn't judge matters by these allegiances, even if it's rightly hard to find fault with them for doing that.

I try to have empathy and show genuine kindness to all sorts of messed-up people. This includes most of the rich, powerful, and authority figures. They too, suffer. And I understand the impulse to look at them as a cultural enemy and existential threat. To hang various labels on them, especially the labels of 'power' and 'privilege' which describe the threatening enemy.

Those people, too, deserve a break. You should listen to their excuses, and take them as seriously as you take your own.


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