Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Personal Aside: Thoughts While Shaving--The Smirking Wife, the Decadent Society…Buyers’ Remorse on the Stimulus.


The Smirking Wife.

Here’s a funny observation. If any TV commercials show the decadence of our society, it’s flabby sexual mores, it is the Viagra commercials where middle-aged husband and wife…their wedding rings in conspicuous view… are sitting side by side in an automobile. They have just passed a billboard where sunny climes and ocean sprays are featured. Suddenly the graying husband gets a glint in his eye, looks sidewise over at his wife and nods to himself as if he had just been rocked by a stunning thought. The next scene shows the two of them flying in an airliner, again sitting side by side but this time his grey-haired wife has a smirk on her lips. Of course: they have decided to make love…and they are flying to a remote island to do it—which wouldn’t have been possible, presumably, without the assistance of Viagra.

The next scene has them walking on the beach and both are smirking now. They approach a beach house, skip up the steps, rush through the door. The finale is the shades being drawn: ah, they are going to indulge in…what? The rite allowed them by something that has been a legal contract, indeed a veritable sacrament for 2000 years. But why…why…do I feel watching this commercial that they will be indulging in a forbidden act—when they are obviously married? Aha, I have the reason: the smirking wife! If they were two middle-aged people who were not married and just contemplating an affair, there would be reason for her smirking—but the female partner in a marriage shouldn’t be smirking. It just doesn’t fit! Someone designed the commercial to represent a down-and-dirty spur-of-the-moment conjunction. That isn’t marriage; that isn’t the marriage act.

This commercial is heinously offensive to me. Is it you? Or am I as octogenarian so not with it…so hideously out of date…that I am irrelevant? Your comments please.

Buyers’ Remorse.

President Obama’s news conference last night was a revelation. For the first time, a twinge of professionalism occurred to the news media. They were still in love but not head-over-heels. They pressed…not pinned…the president on whether or not he changed his tune on the Iranian revolution in response to the Republican protestations that he wasn’t more aggressively exuberant in behalf of the people demonstrating in the streets.

He tried to justify his change, even denied he had changed—but of course he had. And that by itself makes the conference historic.

Actually…and this may surprise you…I supported the initial stand Obama took on the demonstrations—which is to be cool, reserved and allow the free market of Iranian public opinion to make a statement rather than we jumping up and down like cheer-leaders.

As an old ex-foreign service officer I feel strongly that this country ought to have the sophistication to be able to hide its true feelings of exultation. Why? Obvious. So as not to provide an opening to the Ahmadinejad forces to use as a propaganda weapon against us—declaring that we were behind the uprising (which we obviously were not). The insistent bleating of John McCain and Lindsey Graham that we must show the denizens of the street that we are on their side is ridiculous. Certainly they know it. They weren’t born yesterday. They know we are thoroughly at enmity with Ahmadinejad-ites (if there’s such a word). In essence, I supported Obama’s initial reaction of taking the revolution and street demonstrations coolly.

Which means that for the first time in five plus months I agree with Obama over my own party. But unfortunately the protestations from my party seemed to convince Obama that he must yield and denounce the Iranian government. About Lindsey Graham I have only this memory: when George W. Bush made the mistake of naming Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court…a move he rightly withdrew from…Graham kept saying to the Republicans “aw sheddup!” in that cracker barrel South Carolina accent of his. Somebody now ought to tell him when he beats the rhetorical drums in support of the dissidents…aw sheddup! Aw sheddup! A 54-year-old bachelor with a moon-shaped little boy face complete with rosy cheeks…aw sheddup!

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