Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mendacity, mendacity--always mendacity

Columbine High School: 13 killed. Virginia Tech: 32 killed. Sandy Hook Elementary School: 26 killed. After each of these, a lot of handwringing, and then forgotten save as a reference for the next one. The shooter in the Virginia Tech case was Asian, while those in the Columbine and Sandy Hook incidents were white, and the single mother of the latter shooter was a gun fanatic who own at least a dozen firearms, and frequently took her sons out to target practice at the local rifle range—despite the fact that the son who perpetrated the shooting had known serious brain disorders, among them autism and schizophrenia. While there were localized “protests” against the availability of guns and people willing to use them on other people, these were brief in duration, and the shootings merely became part of the local mythology. 

But now all of a sudden we have the “stand up by walking out” publicity stunts by students in many parts of the country in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting. I don’t think I’m being too cynical when I say that while it may be true that some of these kids actually do feel strongly about gun control, I suspect that most have no real opinion one way or the other besides just not liking people being killed. Some—and likely most—have guns in their own home, simply don’t mind taking a little “time off” from school work, as if it was a fire drill. But the media has given this lots and lots of attention, and politicians have been forced to make token gestures in response, but nothing too upsetting to the NRA.

But we all know what will come out of this: nothing of substance, just like nothing of substance came from all of those other shootings. Does anyone remember the name of the Las Vegas shooter, who killed and wounded more people than other previous mass shooter in one sitting in this country? It wasn’t that long ago, was it? But he was a white man, and no one can say what his motivation was, and since there is little of interest in his background, he is relegated to background, just some guy who is just one worm-eaten apple in the orchard. White people know that “not all them” are “like that,” so why be forced to beat on each other because of some “lone nut”? You only do that for minorities, especially Hispanics—who are all “criminals” and “rapists” according to one elderly white woman on a YouTube video I watched from a Trump rally, because if Trump said it, it must be “true.” 

So why all the "hoopla"? Why is Nikolas Cruz the worst scum on earth, “evil incarnate” and the “worst of humanity,” and not all these other countless multiple shooters? Maybe he was some of that, but no more so than any other mass shooter; after all, this “kid” had a history of mental issues, and a history that didn’t put the school’s handling of him (or that of his fellow students) in the best possible light. So Stephen Paddock apparently just decided one day that he wanted to kill a whole lot of people just for the hell of it; you can’t accuse him of being the “worst of humanity” if there isn’t anything “interesting” to say about him; he is a white guy, so don’t dare make any group “insinuations,” even if there are valid historical references at hand (say, Nazi Germany). 

What this reminds me of is that for over a year the media would not allow anyone to forget who “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman was, demonizing and dehumanizing him for a “crime” in which all the evidence pointed to a clear case of self-defense, right-up to his acquittal on a charge of murder which no thinking person thought would "stick” based on the evidence; that probably included the prosecutor, who used the case as election year campaign fodder. Zimmerman was clearly charged solely because of a politically-charged atmosphere that refused to admit the truth about his “victim”; Zimmerman’s defense lawyers were in possession of information that painted a far worse “portrait” of Trayvon Martin (including acts of physical violence) that the driblets of information about him didn’t even begin to adequately convey the truth. Zimmerman continued to be hounded by the media after the trial, following his every move until it just got bored with him. The question is why was Zimmerman attacked by the media is such a vicious, unjust manner? Because, being Hispanic, he was a perfect target for the mendacity of both whites and blacks?

Cruz has the misfortune of having a Spanish surname—which seems to conjure up all kinds of “red flags” when it isn’t simply the “sighting” of one—except that he isn’t actually Hispanic, only his adoptive parents are; but then again, as I have discovered frequently in life, that the superficial is usually the only “detail” that most people consider worthy of consideration. Neither is his “brother,” who was also adopted and is black, and who is also persona non grata in the area, as evidenced by his arrest for merely being found on school grounds. Zachary “Cruz” has admitted to being regretful in the way he treated his younger “brother,” and we can surmise that this “family” was a social experiment gone wrong.  The adoptive father died when the boys were still young, the adoptive mother was apparently not healthy and died when Cruz was still technically a minor, and dysfunction seemed to be the norm. Still, while we typically see in this country parents who would not wish their own sons (whether black or white) to be stereotyped as potentially a societal disease, someone with a Hispanic name—even if he isn’t actually “Hispanic,” well, that is something everyone can get into without feeling personally guilty of doing (re-read that “speech” from the film 12 Angry Men in my previous post).

But mendacity is everywhere, and women in the current victimology climate are probably the most guilty of it. Look at NBC’s Today show; Matt Lauer was fired for making “inappropriate” sexual advances on staffers, yet a complaint of harassment by a male staffer against two female producers on Megyn Kelly’s show went virtually unnoticed and unpunished (well, he was). We don’t have to discuss Kelly’s level of hypocrisy, do we? It all begins with her claim that she is a “journalist”; maybe people should take a gander at John Oliver’s medley of her “greatest hits” of racist commentary, the end of which she still egotistically insisted that she was a legitimate “journalist”—although we should take into consideration her “training” at Fox News before allowing her that job description. No doubt the egotistical Kelly and her minions runs a “hostile” work environment on their show, but she is a woman at a network that backslapped itself about the Lauer incident, so she gets a “pass” because the network prefers silence over accusations of hypocrisy.

More mendacity: TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” featured so-called “silence breakers,” including those of the so-called “#MeToo” twitter trip, as if Donald Trump hasn’t called into question that forum’s reputation. There is Taylor Swift of a 100 breakups—and she isn’t the one with “issues” of egotistical self-obsession and bloated “talent”? Swift also appears to be the pride of the neo-Nazi side—something she only seems to get angry about when people have the “bad manners” to mention it. 

More evidence that TIME—and the media in general—should be more careful in selecting its “victims” to avoid credibility problems is the case of "silence breaker" California Assemblywoman Christina Garcia, who is also featured on one of those “We The People” posters modeled after those of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign—albeit without her glasses, and physically “redesigned” to be more “attractive” than the reality. Garcia “merited” acclaim because she claimed to be the victim of sexual harassment. Well, it seems it “takes one to know one” in this case; Garcia recently “voluntarily” took a “leave of absence,” and not because of the pressures of being a silence breaking celebrity. According to the Los Angeles Times (based on an expose by Politico), a former legislative staffer of another assemblyman “alleged Garcia stroked his back and buttocks, and reached for his groin at a legislative softball game in 2014” and “an unnamed lobbyist who said Garcia, who is unmarried, propositioned him and attempted to grab his crotch at a fundraising event in 2017.” 

Let’s face the truth: you can’t talk about “sex” in this country anymore unless women are the “victims” of it; hell, uber-feminist/lesbian Katherine McKinnon once proclaimed that all heterosexual sex constituted “rape,” although I don’t remember her mentioning that in order for her to be on this Earth making such an accusation she had to be a “beneficiary” of such an act. It is only fair and proper then, that when arrogant, obsessed-with-self types change the rules so that good people like Al Franken can be hounded out of office for what for most of his generation were high school pranks when an apology should have sufficed, then his prosecutors shouldn’t be allowed to escape the whirlwind of what they have sown, even if they are women. 

So it is that Garcia isn’t the only personality of the “MeToo” generation who has run afoul of issues of mendacity; so too did Andrea Ramsey, congressional candidate from Kansas, who decided to “drop out” to avoid questions concerning accusations of sexual harassment and retaliation against a male subordinate at a company she had served in an executive position. The truth is that harassment—sexual or otherwise—by women is not really less common than that of men, it’s just not talked about. After all, the 2011 CDC survey on intimate partner violence showed that nearly as many men as women reported incidents of domestic violence by their “partners” as vice-versa, but this has been ignored or treated with disdain by “researchers,” the media and the politicians (such as those who passed the “Violence Against Women Act” in 1994). This is where the real “silence” lies.

But then again, mendacity, mendacity—mendacity everywhere. Tell them, Big Daddy.

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