Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Personal Asides: 2007 Award for Debasing the Public Tasteto Michael Cookes Sun-Times for Two Sex-Drenched Stories George Wills Convoluted Way to Make Simple Ideas Sound Profound.
DEBASING THE PUBLIC TASTE:
1. Cynical Glorification of Single Women Having Babies.
The Sun-Times editorial page, headed by Cheryl Reed, is slavishly in keeping with the amoral policies of its editor, schlockmeister Michael Cooke. Last week in Rebirth of a Nation the main piece had to do with self-glorification for Americas 2.1% fertility rate. Oh it paid lip-service to the fact that people should be married before they have children, but that was just a brush-off. It said single women are partly responsible for the hike and births to women 35 to 44 years old jumped between 2005 and 2006. While bowing dexterously to what is left of the Judeo-Christian ethic, the paper chortled that mens wages are falling as womens earnings are growing. Black male wage growth is abysmal. And heres the kicker:
Financially secure women realize they dont have to get married in order to have a babyand there is a deadline. Two paragraphs down: It says something about American women that even though they dont have husbands or governmental support, they are so determined to have a child they will make the sacrifices necessary. Sounds like the makings of a good mother to us.
All of the foregoing is pandering to the market demographics that Cooke hopes will pull the Sun-Times through and the reason he plays Gods angry black woman columnist Mary Mitchell (insouciantly shown with hands on hips). The flip recognition that marriage is preferable passes by very quickly to congratulations to single women for wanting to have babies. But of course the editorial does not recognize the terrible carnage that happens in a society black or white when children are born and are reared by female-headed households. There is an epidemic of illegitimacy and female-headed households in the black community that is directly responsible for its Baghdad-like violence in poor areas of Chicago. As one can tell by looking at the Sun-Times deadly statistical count-down of drive-by shootings that it runs every day. The paper ought to take note of how many of those shootings by assailants are committed by children of broken or nonexistent families. How many? Tell us. But we have a good idea.
Never mindcynical glorification of single women having babies suits this despicable rag of a newspaperone which despite its reportorial virtues which I have listed on occasion, scarcely deserves the perch it occupies in Chicago. Leaving aside its hard news, the featuresBerman the sex therapist and its glorification of prurience or soulless politico-cultural vapidity as produced by a creature known as Elftmanqualifies the marketing department to at least make the paper have some utilitarian value by printing it on rolls and soft tissue.
2. Resolution for Us: Have Sex More in 2008. Matters Not What Kind.
Wanton glorification of sex for sexs sake was hyped yesterday by the papers amoral recommendation for everyone to have more sex in 2008without any proviso that it should be restricted to the married state. This is more Michael Cooke. Heres one New Years resolution that wont be drudgery the paper announced. Studies have found that having safe sex [sic] several times a week is good for your heart, muscle tone and sense of smell (which the paper should be expert on) and makes you feel closer to your partner [sic]. It quotes Newsweek.com saying unrestricted i.e. unclassified sex, not distinguishing between marrieds and singles, hetero- or homo-, burns four calories a minute. .
If You Cant Make the Simple Sound Profound, George Will.
George Will is not all that hard to figure out. He just wants to be. So he will start a column something like this (a parody):
DES MOINES, Ia.--As every Iowa schoolchild knows, the first known caucus in the Western world was convened at Lillebonne, France in 1066 in the form of an assembly of French mercenaries by one William the Bastard who, after his victory at Hastings, became known as William the Conqueror..
Well, thirty years of this kind of thing wearies me. And maybe you. But I doggedly work through it. Yesterday, however, in the Tribune was not work worthwhile. So you do not have the same experience, I will parse with you.
WILL: Americas foremost black intellectual has published a slender book about the most interesting presidential candidacy since 1980. Shelby Steeles--
ME: Who the hell is George Will to pronounce that Shelby Steele is Americas foremost black intellectual? For that matter, who is Americas foremost white intellectual? I for one wish most journalistic references to race be discarded but who is Will, a white man, to say that Steele, a black is the foremost intellectual? Arbitrary, racist and arrogant if you ask me.
WILL: has published a book about the most interesting presidential candidacy since 1980.
ME: Again, arbitrary and arrogant if you ask me. Will is referring to Ronald Reagan as the most interesting. There Will goes again. Reagan was the best president since FDR I say but the most interesting candidate? Nope. Not even close. Who was? .
On pure exciting interest alone, this would be John Connally who sought the GOP presidential nomination that year. Why? The only candidate in U.S. history to have won acquittal after having been indicted by a federal grand jury (accused of pocketing $10,000 for influencing a milk price decision). Who called as character witnesses Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Barbara Jordan, Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara and Billy Graham. The only candidate for president to have occupied very high stations in the administrations of Democrats and Republicanssecretary of the navy in Kennedys, treasury secretary in Nixons and was later elected governor as Democrat. The only candidate who, when a high ranking Democrat, call into question John F. Kennedys longevity when he told a news conference of the ravages of Addisons disease which he alleged Kennedy had. After that, the only candidate to make such a charge who was rewarded with a top defense job by Kennedy. The only candidate to have suffered a gash over the eye when, as Navy secretary, reviewing Navy personnel, he asked an Annapolis j. g. standing at attention what his name was and to have the j. g. misunderstand and hike his rifle to present arms position, the bayonet gashing him as a crowd watched astonished.
The only Republican candidate who was nearly shot to death sitting in a jump seat ahead of a Democratic president, John Kennedy, in Dallas. The only Republican candidate for president who was a campaign manager for a Democrat who won nomination by the addition of 203 names to the voting tabulation, all signed with the same blue ink and in alphabetical order. The only Republican cahdidate who as a Democrat persuaded the publisher Frank Mayborn to return to Texas from a business trip in Nashville to cast the decisive vote in the 29 to 28 decision by the Democratic state central committee to certify Lyndon Johnson the party nominee by 87 votes. Hows that for interesting? Youre going to compare that with a mere ex-Hollywood actor turned governor?
WILL: Shelby Steeles characteristically subtle argument is ultimately unconvincing because he fundamentally misreads Barack Obama. Nevertheless, so fecund is Steeles mind, he illuminates the racial landscape that Obama might transform. Whitey says Steele misreads Obama on race. Steele? Author of The Content of Our Character? The first writer to systematically criticize affirmative action as a double-edged blow to African Americans?
More dissection later. I tire. But until I write next time you get the drift.