The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Stormy weather, or how things change

I noticed something years ago about the sexual revolution: by the time I arrive to take part in the seminal social conflict of our time, the revolution has packed up and moved on. This happens to me a lot, I fear, and it is tremendously disheartening to be always a bridesmaid and never a bride. So you can imagine the joy I felt when news of the Stormy Daniels affair broke. I was finally going to fight the narrow moralistic bluenoses who couldn’t stand the idea that someone here in America was enjoying a bit of fluff on the side. I mean, really, didn’t we all go through this twenty years ago? Wasn’t there a national uproar about a President lying about extramarital sex?  Didn’t Congress impeach the President and the national life of the country come to a near halt so that we could all learn more than we really needed to know about the President’s sex life and what the meaning of is is? Didn’t anyone learn anything from that experience? 

Apparently not, so this time I was ready for anything the dirty-minded neo-Comstocks had to throw at me. The President’s affair, if you can dignify a one-night stand with the title of affair, was consensual on both sides. President Trump saw a chance to grab some you know what and Ms. Daniels was not averse to having her you know what grabbed, so what’s the harm here?  It was just sex, after all, and sex in private is the business of the people involved and no one else. Yes, it was adultery, and adultery is on the Top Ten list of things that people should not do, in particular a married man whose wife has just given birth—there’s no way the guy in this situation comes off as anything other than a complete and utter sleazeball—but then again, none of us is the Lord and therefore who are we to judge?  Remember that the Bible says that it is better to pull the speck out of a neighbor’s eye than to pull a beam out of the eye of a Camel, especially an unfiltered one, and don’t you forget it, buster. Moreover, we should remember that the President was not the President then and that Ms. Daniels was not some poor naïve teenage girl duped or bullied into dropping her panties in front of a movie camera; she was an experienced performer with a lengthy filmography behind her. So how is this anyone’s business but theirs?  I think it is time we all took a deep breath and just moved on.

Well, I may think it’s time to move on, but it seems that I am the only one who thinks so. I went forth to battle the new Puritans who seek to oppress us all with their retrograde religious morality and found that they agreed with me, for the most part, and that the sexual revolutionaries were the ones foaming at the mouth about what two consenting adults chose to do with their genitalia. I found this more than a little confusing, to say the least, and so I had to sit down and eat Chinese food (the roast pork with broccoli and wonton soup were very good, thank you for asking) in order to relieve the cognitive dissonance and sort out just what in the blue blazes happened here in this our Great Republic while I was not looking.  Someone changed the rule book somewhere along the line and no one bothered to tell me that Comstockery was back in fashion. Well, everything old is new again, as the saying goes, and there is no new thing under the sun, but I cannot help but notice that the new version of Comstockery is remarkably like the old libertinism complete with extra servings of wanton soup, with the singular difference that the new Puritans didn’t mind when a President they liked and supported did this sort of thing while he was actually President and they do mind a great deal when a President they loathe and despise did the exact same thing when he wasn’t President.  Nearly a quarter of a century separate the initial inaugurations of these two men and much can change in a quarter of a century: the Internet barely existed in 1993, film photography was photography, I was forty pounds lighter—really, I am not making that up—and so I am sure that this sudden concern for the private morality of public people is the product of a generation’s coming of age and rejecting the immature ideas and commitments of their salad days. Or the new Puritans could be just a bunch of sleazy hypocrites. That’s always a possibility, you know, especially if you are cynically inclined, as I tend to be.

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Friday, April 13, 2018


Something is coming, folks, I have it written out, but I must type it out first. My apologies for the absence; I had a nasty and persistent case of pneumonia. I'm fine now, but it has been something of a pain trying to catch up with the rest of my life. See you soon!

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