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Are Modern Men Manly Enough?

Yours truly takes part in a round table heated  debate on masculinity over at The New York Times.

(You won’t be surprised to discover that unlike most contributors, I’m intensely relaxed about intensely relaxed modern masculinity.)

Gayest Fashion Feature Evah?

The NY Times wants to convince you that men’s fashion blogging is the new bull-fighting.

In an inadvertently hilarious piece titled ‘Straight Talk – A New Breed of Fashion Bloggers‘, it sets out to prove that Tweeting and Tumbling about tie pins all day is really, like, butch.

NOT every fashion blogger is a 15-year-old girl with an unhealthy obsession with Rei Kawakubo. Some are older. And some are men.

Well, that’s a relief. Even thought I don’t know who Rei Kawakubo is.

And not just any guy with an eye for fashion.

You mean, not just another fag? Phew!

There are hyper-masculine dudes who “look at men’s fashion the way other guys look at cars, gadgets or even sports,” said Tyler Thoreson, the editorial director of Park & Bond, a men’s retail site.

“There’s the same attention to detail.”

Don’t stop. I’m getting hard.

In other words, these are macho fashion bloggers, writing for a post-metrosexual world. “It’s translating this sort of very-guy approach to something that’s so traditionally been quasi-effeminate,” Mr. Thoreson added.

Very-guy? Or just very-gay? In the worst possible sense of the word.

The whole piece, especially the ‘hyper masculine dude’ and ‘macho blogger’ with a khaki fetish profiled first, whose ‘Dislikes’ include “Pants that are too tight and too short, men who are getting too pretty, and guys wearing fedoras” is of course incredibly faggy. Much faggier than anything flaming could ever be. He sounds like the kind of queen who comes up with the strictly-enforced ‘real man’ dress-code for leather bars.

This kind of guff isn’t ‘post-metrosexual’ at all. It’s so pre-metrosexual it’s positively pre-Stonewall.

And is it just me, or did the NYT just call straights ‘breeders’ in that headline?

This guy here (if indeed it is a guy) is the only ‘macho’ men’s fashion blogger anyone will ever need. Strangely, he wasn’t included in that piece by the NYT. He probably terrifies the poor poppets. He certainly scares the shit out of me.

Tip: Lee Kynaston

Tartphones

Martin Lindstrom writing in The NYT today (‘You Love your iPhone. Literally.’) claims to have found evidence, using fancy-pants neuro-imaging technology, that people are not ‘addicted’ to their smartphones as is commonly suggested, but rather, ‘love’ them.

And not, like, ironically. Or like ‘I heart my iPhone’. But like they love a person. Or how they used to love a person. Before iPhones replaced people.

But most striking of all was the flurry of activation in the insular cortex of the brain, which is associated with feelings of love and compassion. The subjects’ brains responded to the sound of their phones as they would respond to the presence or proximity of a girlfriend, boyfriend or family member.

In short, the subjects didn’t demonstrate the classic brain-based signs of addiction. Instead, they loved their iPhones.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007 I diagnosed its appeal, without the use of neuro-imaging technology, or even access to the actual product, as being a form of narcissism. Takes one to know one, I guess. The clue is in the ‘i’, of course:

Imagine the perfect relationship.

Imagine a relationship so perfect that it will be the only one you need. One that is better and cooler and smarter than all the rest. A relationship that will make you the envy of your friends and the centre of attention at dinner parties. Imagine a relationship that is entirely controlled by you.

A relationship, in fact, that is – finally! – all about YOU(I know I have).

Imagine the iPhone. The perfect lover. The perfect friend. The perfect child. The perfect accessory. The perfect kit. The perfect kick. Walking, talking technosexual porn.

Not forgetting of course that by putting t’internet and GPS navigation in your pants, smartphones make it much easier to ‘stray’, or ‘cheat’ on anyone you might still be having an actual, real-time, old-time relationship with. Or just pursue discreetly your hitherto hidden fantasies. To find out more about you. Which is an endlessly fascinating story, naturally.

And no matter how many people you hook up with through your tartphone you’ll always remain faithful — to your phone.

The iPhone is really the Iphone. It’s a direct line to yourself. Now, isn’t that a call we all want to take?

I now have a smartphone myself, natch. And because I have a certain knee-jerk disdain for the ‘gorgeousness’ of Apple so lauded by most of my media friends — and didn’t fancy a love-triangle with Steve Jobs — I picked up a more homely-looking Android (Samsung Galaxy S). Like most more homely-looking lovers, it works a lot harder at pleasing me.

And, yes, we’re very much in love, thanks for asking. Until the next upgrade.

Tip: DAKrolak

Bisexual Men Exist! But Does Scientific Sex Research?

Those kinky penile plethysmograph fetishists at Northwestern University just can’t get enough cock.

Dr JM Bailey and his chums have been strapping a fresh batch of penises into their sex-lie detector machines again, showing them porn and feverishly twiddling their knobs. But this time – hold the front page! – their ‘scientific’ findings very kindly allow men who like cock and pussy to actually exist.

Which might not in the real world seem such a major finding – but it represents a major flip flop for this outfit. Six years ago, using the same cranky equipment, they claimed they had demonstrated that male bisexuality didn’t exist. That their data suggested that bisexual men were in fact ‘really’ homosexual.

A ‘finding’ that was trumpeted around the world. Because of course it told people, straight and gay, what they wanted to hear, and what common sense tells them to be the case. Gays have always wanted bisexual men to join ‘their’ team. While straights don’t want the dirty dogs on theirs. However liberal they might be. Especially in the devoutly monosexual USA. ‘Straight, Gay or Lying?’ was the infamous, shameful headline in the New York Times which greeted the 2005 paper from Bailey ‘proving’ male bisexuality doesn’t exist.

Just as all women are ‘really bisexual’, no men really are. Since virility is directly related to a man’s ability to perform compulsory heterosexuality, any man who is aroused by cock can’t be virile. He is, by definition, emasculated. Impotent. A fag. Or ‘gay’ if you’re liberal. No wonder the vast majority of men attracted to other men don’t advertise the fact.

All this despite of course the way hardcore ‘straight’ porn watched by most men when they’re not strapped to a plethysmograph in Northwestern University features pussies AND cock. Usually lots and lots of ENORMOUS cocks – and a sorely-tested pussy or two. By way of contrast, I’d point out that I’ve never seen a single pussy in gay porn. (Except once in the art-house porn of Bruce La Bruce – who was anyway only doing it to wind up The Gays.)

In my own private ‘researches’ I’ve come across – and over – scores of straight/bi-curious/bisexual men who want to re-enact the straight hardcore porn they’ve been watching. With them as the ‘greedy slut’. They tell me they decided that it looked like fun. And besides, they thought they could do a better job. (Probably correctly, since the ‘slut’ fantasy of straight porn is of course a largely male construction.)

But Bailey’s yen to strap penises into sex-lie detectors is much more respectable than my private perving. The jaw-droppingly dreadful recent C4 documentary series The Sex Researchers presented Bailey as some kind of sexual seer, rather than the highly controversial and frankly rather dodgy figure he is. Worse, it gave his favourite sex toy, the penile plethysmograph, a starring role in the first and last episode, presenting a contraption which is probably even less reliable than a non-kinky ordinary lie detector, as a pure, objective and accurate way of measuring and studying sexuality, in contrast to all that subjective tosh and ‘dirty data’ that Kinsey and Freud came out with. By listening to people.

Likewise, the series began and ended with the ludicrous but apparently highly reassuring assertion, based on this objective and scientific research, that most women are bisexual and hardly any men are.

In keeping with this ‘Loaded’ ideology – and it really is an ideology, make no mistake – the entire series on sex research, lavishly illustrated with ‘ironic’ vintage soft porn footage of naked ladies playing with themselves and jiggling their boobies, the penis and the male body was almost completely absent – except when undergoing gruesome ‘corrective surgery’ or being subjected to ‘testing’ in the plethysmograph. We were repeatedly told that female sexuality is ‘complicated’ but men’s sexuality is… mechanical.

The denial of male bisexuality and bi-curiousness has its roots in a sexism that keeps men in their place even more than women.

‘Sex’ for the C4 documentary makers meant (a very particular kind of) ‘female body’. It was as if the documentary had been directed by Benny Hill, but without the laughs. The commercial breaks, featuring tarty half-naked men selling breakfast cereals and moisturiser were much more enlightened and realistic than anything in this series based on an already highly dated heteronormativity (which incidentally is the subject of an official complaint to Channel 4 about its inaccurate and misleading nature by several of the sex researchers interviewed for it).

So why the turnaround by Bailey? Well, it seems the loud and angry protests from bisexual organisations that Bailey’s 2005 findings understandably aroused has taken its toll -– and indeed one bisexual organisation even funded this recent research.

They got the result they wanted, but I fear they’re wasting their money and merely encouraging more bad science. Some of course will hold these findings up as proof that this Heath Robinson kind of bio-mechanical sex research can correct itself. But they would have to be true believers to see it that way. All that has been proven is that measuring penile blood-flow in a laboratory is a highly reductive and highly abnormal measure of male sexuality. Men are not just penises. They are also prostate glands. Perineums. Earlobes. Inner thighs. Brains. Nipples.

It also shows that you get the result you’re looking for. In 2005 Bailey wanted to prove that male bisexuality didn’t exist. In 2011 he didn’t. QED.

Perhaps the worst thing about this new finding is that Bailey et al will now try to turn male bisexuals into a ‘species’ to be studied and dissected. Bisexual men may quickly come to the conclusion that they were much better off when they didn’t exist.

Unless of course they themselves have a bit of a fetish for penile plethysmograph play.

 

Not in Front of the Goyim: Gays and Not-So-Open Relationships

Interesting piece by Scott James in today’s New York Times:

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

That consent is key. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

The study also found open gay couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985, concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer.

However the reporter discovered a wall of silence surrounding the subject:

None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.

Or perhaps they worry they might be shouted down and called ‘sluts’ by the gay blogs.

Given the very real fear of being osctracised and shamed for talking in front of the goyim about how gay relationships actually are, instead of the Disney-esque way that gay marriage zealots would like to portray them, it seems a reasonable assumption that the 50% figure is an underreporting.  Probably most gay male relationships in the Bay Area are open.  As I’ve said before, in public, in front of the goyim, in my experience probably most gay male relationships are open.  (I’ll admit I was surprised by the article’s claims about lesbian relationships — but then, I have rather less experience of them…).

Of course, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s half or most, or even a large minority, the point, as Scott James acknowledges, is that this is definitely not an attribute of the vast majority of hetero relationships.  Many may have their ‘infidelities’, but very, very few have open relationships.  For most the concept is a contradiction in terms.  Especially if married.  The author makes much of how the openess of gay relationships can help reform the failing institution of marriage, but personally I suspect he fails to understand what marriage actually is, and the proprietary, exclusive nature of it.  In reality, gay marriage may just  succeed in making gay relationships less open and more hypocritical.

Too often the movement for gay marriage is censorious and shame-based, about presenting homosexuality as a neutered heterosexuality, about claiming over and over again that gay relationships are ‘just like’ straight ones and anyone who says different is a bigot and ‘homophobe’ —  externalised or internalised.

There’s also another dimension to the reluctance of gay couples to talk about their open relationships… openly, one that has less to do with worrying about what the gays will say, and more to do with what the world will think: It may cost them their new-found respectability.  This after all is the point of ‘gay marriage’ for some, particularly those of the Sullivanite tendency: to prove to the world they’re not like those promiscuous, hedonistic, slut gays. Even and especially if they are still getting rogered by them regularly via Manhunt.

Then again, open relationships can be hard work.  And discussing them in public allows people like me to pass unhelpful comment.  Here’s ‘Chris’ and ‘James” rules for their open relationship:

complete disclosure, honesty about all encounters, advance approval of partners, and no sex with strangers — they must both know the other men first. “We check in with each other on this an awful lot,” said James, 37.

Obviously how they conduct their relationship is their business — and good luck to them — but I can’t help wondering if in this instance monogamy wouldn’t be much less trouble.

Gay Marriage On The Rocks: Ain’t No Surprise

The wheels appear to have come off the gay marriage bus in the US and no one seems to know how to put them back on.  Not even the lesbians.

And that’s not according to meddlin’ Limey Uncle Tom ‘slut’ me (as I was dubbed by the Voice of Gay America) but according to the gay-marriage-supporting  New York Times in a piece last week titled ‘Amidst Small Wins, Advocates Lose Marquee Battles’:

…the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York failed by a surprisingly wide margin on Wednesday. In New Jersey, Democrats have declined to schedule the bill for a vote, believing that the support is no longer there. Voters in Maine last month repealed a state law allowing same-sex marriage despite advocates’ advantage in money and volunteers.

And on the other reliably liberal coast, California advocates of gay marriage announced this week that they would not try in the next elections to reverse the ban on gay marriage that voters approved in 2008; they did not believe they could succeed.

Gay marriage doesn’t appear to be something that even liberal ‘bi-coastal’ America has much of a stomach for, let alone the God-fearing ‘flyover’ States that of course make up most of the US.  So how earth did the US gay rights movement turn down this gay marriage cul-de-sac, apparently without a reverse gear? 

Even supporters of gay marriage say that all the optimism got ahead of the reality.

“I think there was some overreading of the political marketplace for gay marriage,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster. “It’s not so much that something changed. There was a misreading of where the public was at.”

You don’t say.  Perhaps though it was not so much an ‘overreading’ or ‘misreading’ but rather more a case of complete illiteracy.  I mean, who would have guessed that screaming ‘BIGOT!!’ at beauty queens for believing, like most Americans, including President Obama, that marriage is between a man and a woman wasn’t going to be a terribly persuasive strategy? Whoever would have imagined that trying to blame black voters for California’s re-banning of gay marriage last year at the same time as trying to hijack their history of civil rights struggle and proclaim gays as ‘the new blacks’ wouldn’t play so well?  

And who could have possibly conceived that self-righteously denouncing civil unions, a much more politically achievable – and in my Limey Uncle Tom slut opinion also much more appropriate and modern – institution for giving same-sex couples legal protection as ‘riding at the back of the bus!’, and instead going pell-mell after gay marriage and respectability would have turned out to be such a tactical and strategic blunder? 

Empowered by judicial decisions affirming a constitutional right to gay marriage, beginning in Massachusetts in 2003, advocates argued to move away from a strategy that had focused on more incremental change.

“The gamble has not paid off,” Mr. Garin said.  “We leapfrogged from civil unions to marriage, primarily as a result of judicial decisions that were followed in some cases by legislative action. But the reality is that the judicial decisions were substantially ahead of public opinion, and still are.”

And, it might be added going pell-mell after gay marriage also helped George Bush get re-elected in 2004. Which as we know was such a wonderful outcome for everyone, gay or straight.

Mr Garin may be more clear-headed on this issue than many gay marriage advocates, but the expression ‘ahead of public opinion’ sounds to me like more ‘overreading’.  Maybe most Americans don’t accept that a relationship between two men — and after all, it is this double-penised aspect, not two wombs together, that the straight public think about — is ‘just the same’ as a relationship between a man and a woman, not because they’re backwards, or ignorant, or prejudiced, but because, if you’re not blinded by liberal platitudes, it clearly isn’t. 

And please, can someone over there point out, if only just to be really annoying, that the assimilation of the radically new phenomenon on modern gay relationships to the moribund institution of marriage with its reproductive role-playing, religious flavouring, and history of treating women as chattel does not exactly represent ‘progress’?

Fortunately, there’s one American homo left who isn’t Gore Vidal doing exactly this — though not of course in the NYT.  The novelist Bruce Benderson, interviewed by Christopher Stoddard in the latest issue of East Village Boys about his new book Pacific Agony makes some salient points about male sexuality which the Andrea Sullivanized American gays don’t want to hear:

Bruce Benderson: I have a kind of old-fashioned idea about what a homosexual is, and I think it’s somebody who is made to live outside the social norm. And the reason he was made to live outside the social norm is because one of the main functions of the structure of a social norm is to perpetuate the species, but I don’t think that’s a natural thing for male homosexuals. Not just homosexuals, but men in general are naturally too promiscuous. It’s their relationship with women that makes them more stable so that they can channel it into building a family. These gay couples are going around saying, “Oh, we’re just like you straight couples, really! We just happen to be two men.” I don’t believe that. I think they’re different.

Christopher Stoddard: Okay, so you think that gay men are essentially subject to “vice”?

BB: If you want to make that moral judgment… Suppose a bomb dropped and there were only 100 women and 1 man left. Well, theoretically, that man could repopulate the species by impregnating 100 women a year. Now, take 100 men and 1 woman after the bomb drops; we could only make 1 baby a year, okay? To perpetuate the species, men have been programmed by evolution to be promiscuous. Marriage is the social taming of a man’s sexual energies by a woman, which is necessary to build a social structure. Because a man is made to screw more than one person, there’s nobody to stop him if he’s with just another man.

CS: You sound like the proverbial Repulican who believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

BB: I think that marriage should be illegal! Just like pledging to God should be illegal. Marriage is a sacrament that has absolutely nothing to do with the State, and it should have no legal status whatsoever. A domestic partnership should be recognized by the State, and it should hinge on things like wills, joint tax filing, inheritance, things like that. And any two people should be able to do it. A marriage is just this left-over sacrament that somehow wiggled its way into legal status.

CS: You don’t believe that two men can be devoted to each other in a monogamous way and not cheat because of these carnal needs?

BB: Correct. I believe two men can be totally devoted to each other, but it probably won’t be in the same way that a man and a woman can be totally devoted to each other. I know several gay male couples who’ve been together a long time and go to the baths together, or they both go to one of those, you know, orgy places.

CS: I think I know who you mean. {chuckles}

BB: Yet they’re totally close, and they totally trust each other, and it’s a wonderful pairing.

Be careful, Bruce!  You can’t just go around talking the truth about gay men in public!  Not if you want to be taken seriously, that is.

That Nice Mr Alain de Botton Can Be Nasty Too!

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It’s just been drawn to my slow-witted attention that the ‘popular philospher’ and professionally nice Alain de Botton last month had an hilarious hissy fit over a critical review of his latest offering ‘The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work’ by Caleb Crain in the New York Times.

Now, none of us writer types like bad reviews – and I’ve penned a tart note or two myself in the past, knowing full well that such things are ‘not done’. But Mr de Botton is famous for being so incredibly nice and proper and pointy-headed and hovering above the dirty world the rest of us actually have to live – and work – in. He has made a career out of offering us poor mortals his Zen-like insights into such human pursuits as ‘Love’ and ‘Travel’, and ‘Status’, and ‘Happiness’ – usually deploying the regal ‘we’ in place of the vulgar, egotistical ‘I’. 

So you can imagine it caused quite a stir when he stooped to flaming the NYT reviewer on his blog. ‘I will hate you until I die’, he railed.

It may be the most interesting, most lively thing he’s ever written.  What’s more, it’s free – and he appears be saying now that he thought it was only going to be seen by Caleb.  So here’s the full text (note the curious emphasis he puts on the idea of ‘nice people’):

‘Caleb you make it sound on your blog that your review is somehow a sane and fair assessment. In my eyes, and all those who have read it with anything like impartiality, it is a review driven by an almost manic desire to bad-mouth and perversely depreciate [sic] anything of value. The accusations you level at me are simply extraordinary. I genuinely hope that you will find yourself on the receiving end of such a daft review some time very soon – so that you can grow up and start to take some responsibility for your work as a reviewer. You have now killed my book in the United States, nothing short of that. So that’s two years of work down the drain in one miserable 900 word review. You present yourself as ‘nice’ in this blog (so much talk about your boyfriend, the dog etc). It’s only fair for your readers (nice people like Joe Linker and trusting souls like PAB) to get a whiff that the truth may be more complex. I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make. I will be watching with interest and schadenfreude.’

Of course, the real schadenfreude has been everyone elses’ shameless joy at the sight of someone so airy-fairy getting his knickers in such a furious twist.  Mr Nice being unmasked as Mr Nasty.  With a touch of ‘Every Breath You Take’ stalkerishness thrown in (‘…in every career move you make.  I will be watching….’).

That and the refreshingly childish spitefulness of the incredibly wise and thoughtful de Botton, even as he is admonishing the reviewer to ‘grow up’.

But what were the ‘manic’ and ‘extraordinary’ and ‘daft’ and ‘perverse’ accusations levelled against de Botton?  In a polite and almost exasperatingly balanced review Crain dared to suggest that de Botton had been a bit sniffy about some of the people he interviewed – de Botton complained for example that one interviewee’s house ‘smelled strongly of freshly boiled cabbage or swede’.  Or swede.  Deft touch that – showing us that Alain isn’t prejudiced against cabbage, just proley vegetables in general.  (Even in his flaming of the reviewer for mentioning this, he’s still wrinkling his nose: ‘…it’s only fair for your readers… to get a whiff of something more complex’.)

So you can only imagine what Nice Alain made of this rather less polite review by Nasty Mark  a few years ago for the Independent on Sunday, which took his book ‘Status Anxiety’ to task for the fact that  it nowhere addresses the author’s own status or his anxiety about what people think about it (his father was one of the richest men in Europe – his mother is one of the richest in the UK, ranked not far below the Queen): 

Precisely because the author is such a polite, learned and charming writer with a fine appreciation for history, literature and the arts which he is so very generously keen to share with us, he never explicitly touches on the subject of his own status, or his own anxiety about what the world thinks of him. Despite the fact that he must be entirely and painfully aware of exactly what people whinge about when his name is mentioned, and that it has probably ever been thus since Harrow. This is a shame, since it would have made his beautifully written but bafflingly pointless and aimless book, which claims to deal with something as real and worldly and dirty as status, rather more readable and infinitely more relevant.

Actually, we don’t have to imagine what Nice Alain made of it.  Following the review, The Independent on Sunday books desk received an irate email marked ‘For Publication’ from a reader which spanked my bottom soundly, taking me to task in very similar terms to the Botton post, decrying as I recall, my ‘lack of responsibility’ and my disgracefully ‘ad hominem’ review. And most of all, the fact I’m not Nice.

Unfortunately, the letter writer had neglected to delete the bit at the bottom of the email from an earlier forwarding which read: ‘Alain – is this OK?’

That’s the terrible thing about the Interweb.  It brings you down to the same level as everyone else. Which isn’t terribly Nice.

Limo Liberals Take The High Road to Defeat

By Mark Simpson

Claiming the moral high ground is, in my view, the lowest form of politics. No doubt this means that, like the voters of Pennsylvania, I don’t read The New York Times enough.

We’re really missing out. Yesterday’s haughty editorial in the wake of Senator Clinton’s convincing victory in that key state, despite having the Democratic grandees and the media on her back, and despite being outspent by Obama nearly 3-1, was headlined: ‘The low road to victory’. Congratulations on your win, Hillary!

The editorial, which managed the impressive feat of sounding both screeching and condescending at the same time, accused her campaign of being:

‘…even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.’

Wow. You make it sound much more fun than it actually was.

‘Voters are getting tired of it; it is demeaning the political process; and it does not work.’

Because the NYT says so? Or because it produces big wins for Hillary? But you have to admire a newspaper that can actually print the sentence ‘demeaning the political process’ without it being the punch-line to a joke. Of course, just about the only thing that can ‘demean the political process’ is airy-fairy, hypocritical posturing in place of a good, honest – and, let’s face it, thoroughly entertaining – punch-up.

Limo liberals gazing out at the world through their smoked-glass rear windows while cruising along the moral high road might not know this, but blue collar workers who happen to be the electoral backbone of the Democratic Party appear to. Hillary certainly knows it, which is why she repeatedly compared herself to Rocky – a ‘low’ reference which no doubt also caused the NYT to wrinkle its patrician nose. Either way, the NYT has had enough of this vulgarity:

‘It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.’

And how would you like her to make that acknowledgement? By throwing in the towel? Committing suicide? Writing a mea culpa letter to the NYT? All three? If only Hillary would get out of the way, stop fighting and dragging everything down into the mud of hick states like Pennsylvania, we could get on with the business of reading the NYT:

‘After seven years of George W. Bush’s failed with-us-or-against-us presidency, all American voters deserve to hear a nuanced debate.’

Yes! America is crying out for nuance! From sea to shining sea, from Pennsylvania to California, they shout: give me nuance! Not jobs, peace, security, housing, or a Democratic candidate for the White House that can actually win, or even a serious set-to proper fight, as if any of this stuff really mattered – but civilised, sensible, op-ed nuance. (Not that there’s much nuance in this particular example, though.)

In point of fact, it’s past time that the Democratic Party and the NYT thanked Hillary for fighting dirty.

By fighting dirty – that’s to say, openly attacking her opponent instead of relying on email newsletters, memos, partisan journalism and the poisonous hysteria of fans as Obama has done until now – Hillary has begun to awaken the Democratic Party to the unpalatable truth it’s been avoiding for so long: that the Dali Obama has little or no life outside the Democratic Party and its sensitivities. He is the perfect candidate for defeating her, but the perfect one for the Republicans to destroy. She’s given them a small, relatively restrained taste of what the GOP will do with him – and where they will shove his halo. It’s past time for the NYT and the grandees of the Democratic Party to get down on their expensively tailored knees and thank her for doing so before it was too late.

Limo liberals will never thank her, of course. For many of them Obama was never really meant to win anything more than the Democratic Candidacy. Winning the Presidency itself would be far too vulgar, too ‘low’. He was meant to bring them something much more valuable than a change of Government, especially for those who already have everything. He was meant to make them feel good about themselves. Come polling day, he was supposed, like all Messiahs, to die. The Senator for Illinois is a human sacrifice designed to prove the moral superiority of liberals to the ‘Repugs’, as they like to call them – and in fact to politics itself.

The very reason Hillary is hated and scorned by the limo liberals is because she didn’t leave it to the Republicans to destroy their idol. She forced him to show his hand – and feet of clay – and splutter predictable lies, as he did in the last TV debate. ‘John McCain should go on holiday, Hillary is doing his work for him’ protested recovering Republican millionairess Arianna Huffington recently on her Obama-worshipping Hillary-loathing website.

No, Arianna darling, Hillary is doing the work that liberal journalists should be doing but aren’t because they’ve gone on permanent vacation in ObamaLand: she’s pulled back the curtain and showed the Wizard of Chicago to be… shock! horror! a politician. And a very inexperienced, untested one at that, who, even without Pastor Wright et al bumping around in his very crowded closet, will be crucified by the Republicans. Unceremoniously. There will be nothing morally satisfying or redeeming about it at all: it will just be messy, sickening and brutal. The NYT really will have something to be indignant about then – but it will be far too late.

But perhaps Hillary’s greatest crime, and her ‘lowest’ trick, is not being more electable than Obama and refusing to keep quiet about that, but asking who does the Democratic Party really belong to? Arianna Huffington, the New York Times and the former President of the Harvard Law Review, alias Mr Obama – or ‘bitter’ Scranton, Pennsylvania?

Shame on her. How low can you go?

© Mark Simpson 2008

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