Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Regrets Of Those Who Serve The Darkness

     Everyone has regrets. Tree sloths have regrets, bristleworms have regrets, Jean-Paul Sartre has regrets! So what makes them significant enough to merit a tirade from the Master of Ceremonies at Liberty’s Torch?

     Well, when the regrets of those I deem Too Naughty For Words reach the level that gets me cackling fiendishly as I rub my withered claws together in unhallowed glee, I get motivated. I go to the sub-dungeon level of my writer’s soul, where resides Fran’s Special Reserved Tank Of Curmudgeonly Prose, open the stopcock, and let it pour forth. It’s just plain good for what ails me.

     Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s no actual carnage to be regretted, no heaps of smoking debris nor mangled remains of the innocent mounded upon the shoulders of the previously placid byways of the highway of life. But all things in due course.

     First, let’s have a regret from a Social-Justice Warrior:

     My son, Cory, will leave our Northern California home to start college back East in the fall, prompting other mothers to offer condolences about my soon-to-be-empty nest. Though they expect me to break into tears, my overriding emotion when my youngest departs will be relief. I will finally be freed from the constant scrutiny of the ever-vigilant eco-warrior I raised.

     I can do nothing right in my teenage son’s eyes. He grills me about the distance traveled of each piece of fruit and every vegetable I purchase. He interrogates me about the provenance of all the meat, poultry, and fish I serve. He questions my every move—from how I choose a car (why not electric?) and a couch (why synthetic fill?) to how I tend the garden (why waste water on flowers?)—an unremitting interrogation of my impact on our desecrated environment. While other parents hide alcohol and pharmaceuticals from their teens, I hide plastic containers and paper towels....

     What a relief I will feel to be out from under the fiery gaze of my personal sustainability meter-reader!

     Although I did not mean to raise a Mr. Sustainability, it must be admitted that I set him on the path. I tried to instill the imperative of tikkun olam, Hebrew for “repairing the world.” When Cory was eight, we served the homeless in a local soup kitchen. In middle school, he played guitar for retirement-home residents. In high school, he spent a June morning pulling weeds from a riverbed and all summer nursing a poison oak rash covering his arms and legs—an irritant not unlike the imprecations of an environmentally zealous son.

     Gentle Reader, I cannot express the dark mirth that filled me as I read the above article. This unthinking woman, this “journalist” who focuses on environmentalism and Social-Justice issues, has been getting it in the teeth from her very own spratling! And I have news for her: it won’t stop with little Cory’s departure for college:

  • He’ll associate with others who’ll reinforce his humorlessness and fanaticism;
  • He’ll major in some field that won’t prepare him at all to earn a living;
  • He’ll “come home” to Mom, who’ll feel powerless to refuse him (and guilty about wanting to);
  • And he’ll be visited regularly by lots of like-minded friends.

     Oh, the places she’ll go! No doubt straight to a loony bin. And she’ll have brought it on herself.

     Next up is a half-expressed regret from a nominally powerful member of the Republican Establishment:

     The GOP’s populist base can help win big battles for the party’s business donors in 2017, if it just shuts up for the next few months, GOP leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested in a low-drama interview with Politico.

     McConnell offered nothing to the party’s populist base, except finger-wagging. The pro-life push to transfer funding away from abortion-giant Planned Parenthood “is an exercise in futility… that’s not going to happen until you have a president who has a similar view,” he said.

     McConnell didn’t offer any opposition to President Barack Obama’s effort to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants, or his promise to bring in at least 10,000 Muslim refugees from Syria late this year. The amnesty issue split the party from November 2014 to March 2015, and has since boosted Donald Trump to the front of the GOP’s 2016 race.

     Instead, McConnell touted wins compatible with business’ goals.... Instead of voting to transfer $500 million in funding away from abortion giant Planned Parenthood, he touted a bill that would curb abortions after 20 weeks — but didn’t suggest any tactics or strategy to ensure it is accepted by Democrats or Barack Obama. “What we are going to do is move to the pain-capable [20-week abortion] bill sometime this month and see how people feel about that,” he said.

     But McConnell is following his usual strategy of delaying hard debate until he can fold his cards once President Barack Obama threatens to shutdown the federal agencies, said a Hill staffer. If McConnell wanted to win, he should start a debate early to pressure the Democrats into conceding, the aide said.

     McConnell’s attitude, the aide said, is “God forbid we fight on it, let’s just completely capitulate on it from the get-go.”

     Listen very carefully, closer now and you will see what I mean...it isn’t a dream. It’s a Republican kingmaker regretting not having pandered more effectively to the rebellious conservative base. Given that it’s McConnell, arguably the most powerful of all Republicans now in federal office, perhaps he feels that the pandering was someone else’s job...or that he picked the wrong minions for it.

     Will McConnell learn from his mistakes? Will he regret them sufficiently to mend his ways? Of course not. Establishmentarians never do. They cling fiercely to their convictions and their ways, and when the ship goes down they do it in full Establishment regalia. But they would like a brandy.

     Third and finally for today’s Regret-a-Thon®, hearken to the redoubtable Glenn Reynolds on the get of “women’s liberation” by “equal rights legislation,” now cavorting on the campuses of America’s “institutions of higher learning:”

     If even a false accusation of sexual assault is grounds for expulsion, the result is to burden student sex lives with fear. That’s doubly so when the enforcers are so heavily non-male. Men who fear that they may be so targeted — and remember, you don’t even have to have dated a woman to be falsely accused — cannot possibly enjoy college in a normal fashion. The funny thing is that the law under which all of this is transpiring, the federal Title IX antidiscrimination law, is supposed to prevent the creation of just such a hostile educational environment based on sex. ("No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.") Yet — seemingly with all calculation — Jared Polis and his congressional colleagues seem eager to do just that.

     If any other minority were being treated this way — and, on college campuses, men are very much a minority these days — we would not hesitate to call that treatment discrimination, and to assume that it was rooted in prejudice and bigotry. So why has the war on college men gotten a pass?

     The regrets here are not those of Professor Reynolds, who’s sensible and smart, and no doubt behaves accordingly. They emanate from the supposed beneficiaries of the Sexual Revolution: the women who railed against the so-called “double standard” on sexual morality.

     The facts have always been in plain view: Ladies, if you’re “easy,” you’ll be used. You might get some transient enjoyment out of the process, but it will be a black mark against you for subsequent long-term relationships, including the most important variety: matrimony. But the “women’s liberationists” trumpeted that the development of antibiotics and reliable contraception eliminated women’s most important fears about the hazards of sexual promiscuity. A great many young women believed it, and immersed themselves in the “hookup culture” of sex without consequences or emotional attachment. And what followed?

  • They became known as sluts;
  • Only amoral tomcats seek out sluts; men of quality disdain them;
  • Thus, the sluts’ encounters became a ticket to lasting solitude and emotional isolation.

     Regrets ensued. Those regrets became fodder for the “angry ugly girl” radical feminists, who persuaded regret-filled young women to engage in accusations of retroactive rape. College administrations, sensitive to the harridans ensconced in the federal education bureaucracy, adopted guilty-until-proven-innocent standards for handling such complaints. Newspaper stories proliferated, including obviously slanderous publicity-fests such as the Emma “Mattress Girl” Sulcowicz circus, assisted by such outrages as the Duke Lacrosse affair. Young men, sensing that college campuses – apart from Catholic seminaries, at least, and the attendees of those have experienced other hazards – had become minefields for them, have begun to disdain both amorous young women and “institutions of higher learning.”

     Reflect on that, young “liberated” women, before you next complain about the “shortage of eligible bachelors.” Are you sure there’s a shortage? Or might it be an artifact of your conduct, a mobile zone of repulsion centered on you?

     Rudyard Kipling wrote about the inexorable Gods of the Copybook Headings long before the Sexual Revolution. Yet every time some querulous cohort demands the embrace of some foolishness, his observations return to us afresh:

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

     Need anyone add to that? Oh, pardon me, I just did, didn’t I? Well, sometimes I get like that. Chacun a son gout, as the cheese-eating surrender monkeys say. Your mileage may vary.

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