Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Personal Asides: 2007 Award for Debasing the Public Taste—to Michael Cooke’s “Sun-Times” for Two Sex-Drenched Stories…George Will’s Convoluted Way to Make Simple Ideas Sound Profound.



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 America’s 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 “men’s wages are falling as women’s earnings are growing. Black male wage growth…is abysmal.” And here’s the kicker:

“Financially secure women realize they don’t have to get married in order to have a baby—and there is a deadline.” Two paragraphs down: “It says something about American women that even though they don’t 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 God’s 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 mind—cynical glorification of single women having babies suits this despicable rag of a newspaper—one 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 “features”—Berman the sex therapist and its glorification of prurience or soulless politico-cultural vapidity as produced by a creature known as Elftman—qualifies 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 sex’s sake was hyped yesterday by the paper’s amoral recommendation for everyone to have more sex in 2008—without any proviso that it should be restricted to the married state. This is more Michael Cooke. “Here’s one New Year’s resolution that won’t 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 saying unrestricted i.e. unclassified sex, not distinguishing between marrieds and singles, hetero- or homo-, ’burns four calories a minute.” .

If You Can’t 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: “America’s foremost black intellectual…” has published a slender book about the most interesting presidential candidacy since 1980. Shelby Steele’s--”

ME: Who the hell is George Will to pronounce that Shelby Steele is America’s foremost black intellectual? For that matter, who is America’s 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 Republicans—secretary of the navy in Kennedy’s, treasury secretary in Nixon’s and was later elected governor as Democrat. The only candidate who, when a high ranking Democrat, call into question John F. Kennedy’s longevity when he told a news conference of the ravages of Addison’s 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. How’s that for interesting? You’re going to compare that with a mere ex-Hollywood actor turned governor?

WILL: “Shelby Steele’s characteristically subtle argument is ultimately unconvincing because he fundamentally misreads Barack Obama. Nevertheless, so fecund is Steele’s 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.

1 comment:

  1. The Good Lord in his wisdom made all his creatures with one overriding instinct - to have as much sex as possible. I didn't need a porno-mag like the Sun Times to tell me that. Or for their staff sex therapist to tell me how.

    And... I always thought Bill Clinton was the foremost black intellectual.