Who Are these Pundits of Which You Speak?

John H points us to this Op-Ed in the New York Times.  I draw your attention to the following paragraph.

The other candidates were also upset that Mr. Corker refused to participate in more than one debate, and Bryant supporters took to appearing at Corker rallies in chicken suits. At an event in Chattanooga, a Corker supporter chased one of these chickens to the chicken’s car and, when the chicken tried to leave, depending on who’s telling the story, either the Corker supporter decided to “play chicken” and jumped in front of the car or, if I am to believe the other side, the chicken intentionally drove into him, tossing him up onto the windshield and shattering glass. Nobody was seriously hurt, but the pundits had a field day. [Emphasis mine]

How many pundits do you think there are in Tennessee?  I guess I just wonder if, in a state with as few pundits as we have, if, for things like this, bloggers are also included.

The “Duhs”

I know you will be shocked to hear this, but every once in a while, I have an idea that is both brilliant and stupid and I try it out on a few folks before deciding if it’s more brilliant than stupid–in which case it ends up here–or more stupid than brilliant–in which case it doesn’t.

Last weekend, I had an idea.  I thought it was brilliant, but I tried it out on my family and they didn’t seem to find it that funny or earth-shatteringly important and so I decided to not burden you with it.

But Sarcastro just sent me a link to a story about Joe Francis, the guy who runs the "Girls Gone Wild" empire, that makes me think that maybe it’s just that my family doesn’t appreciate genius when they’re confronted with it.

So, I originally came up with this idea in the wake of the whole ‘Lance Bass is Gay’ incident that there should be a show that comes on after the news called the "Duhs."  The news could then be devoted to things you don’t know or providing more information and context about things you do know and things like ‘Lance Bass is Gay’ could be relegated to the duhs.  Because, seriously, who didn’t know Lance Bass is gay?  Lance Bass announcing he’s gay is like me announcing I like ice cream.  Gosh, you think?

But anyway, much of the duhs would obviously be devoted to shit that doesn’t really matter.  No one cares if Lance Bass is gay or not, really. 

But sometimes the duhs could be devoted to stories like what a skeevy fucked-up jackass Joe Francis appears to be and how, if you hang out with him, you might want to consider if you are also a skeevy fucked-up jackass, who just maybe should not be surprised when bad things happen.




Ha.  Shhhh.  America, if you listen very quietly you can hear the first clicks on the keyboard of a man–I’m not sure which one–Exador, W., possibly Sarcastro–getting ready to gleefully take me to task about victim blaming.

And I have given this some thought.  Women should be able to do what we want and go where we want and drink as much as we want without being assaulted or raped.  I think it’s bullshit and a waste of time to second guess victims–oh, if only you’d dressed differently or gone home early or not been in that part of town or not even let him kiss you or whatever.

I don’t think general broad warnings against circumstances most of us find ourselves in all the fucking time serve any purpose other than to keep women afraid of fully living life and to let us feel better than the victims, as if that wouldn’t have ever happened to us because we’re too smart or careful or hermetically sealed in a windowless bathroom with a gun aimed at the door or whatever.

However, I think specific warnings about specific men are useful and that we shouldn’t shy away from them.  Yes, men in general  should behave themselves, but a guy who has built his fortune on getting very young women drunk and encouraging them to act like assholes is probably not that interested in making the world a better place for everyone.

Shoot, read the article and see how weird and fucked-up he is; he’s not even interested in making the world a better place for himself.

And I think we do ourselves a disservice if we shy away from saying "Women, Joe Francis appears to be a skeevy jackass.  Steer clear." because we’re afraid of seeming like we’re blaming women if he facilitates bad things happening to them.

Clearly, there’s go to be a line of common sense that says "Women, do not be surprised if Joe Francis does not have your best interests at heart because he’s seems like a skeevy fucked-up jerk" is a lot different than "Well, since you should have known Joe Francis was a skeevy fucked-up jerk, whatever happened to you is your fault."

The NYTimes Reports on the Evils of Women

So, Bridgett sends me this link to this article in the New York Times about how hard times suck for men because women can’t behave themselves.  If you’ve stopped reading the New York Times because you believe it to be the paper of commie liberals who hate America, you may be surprised to learn that an ongoing and increasing concern has been the misbehavior of women and how it hurts the innocent men and children of this great land.

Almost always, the problem is that we are capable of working outside the home and the arguments then rage about whether we do too much of it or too little.

I thought this article, with the following paragraph so high up in in–

The decline in marriage can be traced to many factors, experts say, including the greater economic independence of women and the greater acceptance of couples living together outside of marriage.

–was going to be similar.  Oh, for shame on us women for having jobs and fucking who we want when we want if we want and not waiting to get married!  I must retire to my fainting couch, for I never!  Or some such similar bullshit.

But I think what’s interesting is that there’s a distinct dissonance between the argument the authors of the article make and the stories men themselves tell.

The authors of the article repeatedly point out that these men aren’t married because there aren’t enough women wiling to hitch their wagons to a guy with little education and little means of supporting them.

Perhaps most significant, many men without college degrees are not marrying because the pool of women in their social circles — those without college degrees — has shrunk. And the dwindling pool of women in this category often look for a mate with more education and hence better financial prospects.

But none of the guys they interview give that as the reason they aren’t married.  Some of them saw their parents go through messy divorces and don’t want to go through something similar.  Some of them just haven’t met a girl they liked well enough to get married.  Others of them don’t want to settle down and are having fun living life how they are.  But none of them suggests that they aren’t married because there aren’t enough women willing to settle for them.

Wasn’t I encouraging you guys to start a movement?

I mean, shoot.  I could start it, but let’s be honest.  I’d do some good hard work for you pointing out how you’re fed these shitty lies about yourselves and the necessity, for the wellbeing of everyone, for us to tell different kinds of stories about what it means to be men.  But that would last, I’d guess, maybe a month and then I’d start looking for a way to turn it into a movement full of big old hairy guys who come over to watch TV and sit on the couch and burp and drink beer and shag me senseless.

That’s no good for anyone except me.

So, y’all must do it, at least internally.  When you read something like this, god, I would give smooches to each of you if you read it and went "what the fuck?" and then asked "What purpose does it serve to misconstrue what these men are saying and turn it into a story about how women have abandoned them?"

Even if you don’t know how to answer that.  Shoot, I’m not sure if I know how to answer that.  But I think the important thing is not the answer, but that we even begin to ask the question.