Rick McGinnis on the revealing hypocrisy of the technocrats, who don’t let their own kids use the gadgets they sell you
Rick McGinnis writes:
Douthat paints a vision of a liberal elite pulling up the ladders after retreating into their own moated and high-walled keep, leaving the peasants outside to the depredations of invading barbarians and – even worse – themselves. He doesn’t dare suggest that it’s a conspiracy – he doesn’t doubt the elite liberal conviction that their worldview would make the one we all share a better one – but finds it hard to ignore the peculiar effects of holding their own children and others to different standards. (…)
For most people reading this, I’m preaching to the converted. It’s been a long time since the mainstream products of both the entertainment and media industries catered to our convictions and standards, and parental restrictions on TV use and library reading were a dry run for those on internet and gadget time years before our kids had heard of Pinterest or Snapchat.
But most of us don’t have the luxury of withdrawing into gated communities or private schools or the echo chamber of ideologically homogenous work environments. We live with the growing majority of people who’ve embraced the message they’ve been sold for over a generation, and our children spend their daylight hours with them in schools that have come to echo that message. Seeing how people living with the highest incomes and the easiest access to power and prestige have covertly endorsed our own choices isn’t a sign of either truce or progress, and it definitely isn’t an excuse to feel smug.
It’s basically The Swimmer with more teenagers.
Although Look in Any Window faded quickly from view upon its release, the movie remains a fascinating curio and walks a tightrope between moralistic drama and pure exploitation. (…)
Paul Anka’s troubled teen protagonist is only the catalyst to explore the seething dysfunctional underside of the American suburban lifestyle in Look in Any Window. His troubles stem from an unhappy family life with an out-of-work, alcoholic father (Alex Nicol) and a frustrated, lonely mother who is overly protective. But broken dreams, deceit and failed marriages seem endemic to this community. (…)
Like Anka’s obsessive peeping tom, Look in Any Window takes a voyeuristic approach to these damaged lives, which in some ways, mirrors the prophetic words of Carlo in the movie: “Walk down any street, look in any window, see how many of us are sitting there in a dark room while a television eye peeps for us into other peoples’ houses, into other peoples’ lives. We have become a nation of peeping toms no longer participating in life but getting our pleasure from watching others.” The moralistic message-mongering may have the subtlety of a sledgehammer but Look in Any Window also has a lively vulgarity and works on the level of trashy melodrama with some strong performances.
Charlotte Allen covers some I hadn’t heard of:
The Great Spider-Woman Sexist Derriere Scandal: Feminist ire detonated after the leaking of Italian graphic artist Milo Manara’s comic-book cover showing Spider-Woman clambering over the top of a skyscraper with her behind stuck up in the air. “A male hero would never be placed in the same physical position,” sniffed one commentator. Then it turned out that a male hero — namely Spider-Man himself — had been placed in the exact same position, with his behind stuck up in the air, on the cover of one of his comic books.
Roger L. Simon: ‘I used to hear racist comments all the time during the seventies and eighties when almost all my friends were leftist or liberals’
Roger L. Simon writes:
During that time black racism was pretty much continuously on the rise, aided and abetted by whites.
It had been going on for a while. I first encountered black racism from the person of none other than Julian Bond (later the president of the NAACP), who treated me, a civil rights worker involved in voter registration, in a racist, anti-white manner in the SNCC offices in Atlanta in 1966. Stokely Carmichael treated me that way also. That was at the beginning of the Black Power movement and I excused it then as “a phase” that had to be gone through. I was mistaken and naive. It was racism pure and simple. I, and others, never confronted or named it then.
Now we live in culture where there is considerably more black racism than white racism. Someone like Al Sharpton, clearly the equivalent of David Duke, is far more powerful than Duke ever was. No one pays attention to the execrable Duke, as they shouldn’t. But they shouldn’t pay attention to Sharpton either.
Jim Goad writes:
Who’s to say it wasn’t both a hate crime and terrorism? It may well have been an act born of hatred yet intended to strike terror into the hearts of furry fans. It may have been a purposefully malicious blow designed to send the untold thousands of newly proud and empowered furry fans—who’ve agitated for rights and acceptance since at least the early 1980s—back into the basement cedar closets where so many cruel and small-minded cowardly sadists seem convinced that they belong.
Repeat after me: Furry Lives Matter.
By the way:
Thanks for putting TWO of my recent columns into Taki Magazine’s Top 5!
Although you may find me on Facebook until then.
Here’s your black and white “Indian head” test pattern of the week:
Mark Steyn writes:
The great survivor of Britain’s Profumo scandal died of cancer on Thursday, aged 70 and a fine looking woman in a way that her younger sallow hard-faced self never quite was. Mandy Rice-Davies was the tarty, assured, provincial teen who toppled a Conservative prime minister, Harold Macmillan, in the summer of 1963, and eventually his successor, Lord Home. The face of Britain’s protean sex scandal was her flatmate Christine Keeler, a more fragile beauty, but Mandy was its voice — the only one among the dramatis personae who seemed to be having a grand old time as the cameras clicked and the hacks barked. She provided almost all the memorable soundbites, commencing with her assertion that she was the Lady Hamilton de nos jours and continuing through to her scornful retort in court to the news that Lord Astor had denied sleeping with her: “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?”
Eve Tushnet writes:
…the ones who recognize the name say, “I didn’t know she wrote poetry.” Shaidle is better known as a vitriolic right-wing Canadian blogger (I haven’t been able to read her site for a while; life’s too short) whose blog title, Five Feet of Fury, is truth in advertising.
So her younger self’s poems will come as a surprise: splintery, compassionate, and imagistic snapshots of celebrities, criminals, or artsy Catholic heroes like Flannery O’Connor. Here’s how Shaidle describes a rainstorm: “Skin’s prayed wet rosaries all day”—and you can see and feel them, the bead-sized dappling drops. Her work is allusive, rhythmic, and rich in spiritual insight. (Her compressed phrase, “those God-tossed well-coins/you call saints,” says more about abandonment to divine providence than a year of homilies.) It’s attuned to the spiritual lives of humiliated people, especially humiliated women: institutionalized, incarcerated, guilty, or shamed.
I admit I have a self-aggrandizing fantasy that my periodic reminders of the greatness of Shaidle’s poetry might somehow herd her back to her gentler muse. But she’s also the best contemporary poet I’ve read, and she deserves to be known for what she does best.
What can I say? 9/11 made me this way.
Although I was just as angry when I wrote those poems, and my other pre-9/11 stuff. My targets were different.
Why don’t I write poetry anymore?
For one thing, I quit smoking. That is the absolute truth. My brain chemistry changed.
Quitting drinking had no effect on my writing, but quitting smoking gave me writer’s block for months, and put my “poetry” function into a coma, which has only briefly shown signs of life in the years since then. (That’s why there are only two parts to this 3-parter. I quit smoking before I could finish, and I’ve long since lost the notes for that middle bit.)
Plus I “got over” (sort of) some of my “issues” — and as I say, I channeled my resentments etc to another target. And got older.
And writing poetry requires long periods of uninterrupted silence, and the free time (and irresponsibility) to deeply (and dangerously) indulge in that month’s/year’s obsession. I miss it sometimes but it is an unhealthy habit.
Eve Tushnet praised Lobotomy Magnificat back in 2007. It’s a review I treasure because she really “got” it.
Mostly: A lot of people see “compassion” in my poetry and other early writing that I simply don’t think is there. I think they’re seeing what they want to see. But whatever.
Thanks to the loyal 5FF reader who sent me the latest link. I don’t have a Google Alert for my name so I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.
Over at PJMedia, I look back at Rob Ford, Jian Ghomeshi and the Parliament Hill terror attack.