Defending those who need no defense

I’ve slowly and unwillingly come to the conclusion that patriarchy is sort of an invention of women, in that sexism is the best weapon women have ever had against one another. For about the past ten years, I’ve made the comparison that women are Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and men are Elmer Fudd — the stumbling idiot standing between them with a shotgun who shoots anything in sight. He doesn’t care which of them he shoots; he “just hunts for the sport of it, huh huh huh huh.” In a sick way, they sort of like having him around despite the occasional blast in the bill or tail, because they can aim him at one another.

They hate him sure, but they hate each other more.

So basically, women prop men up because propped-up men are useful in prosecuting their internecine warfare. And I suppose since women give birth to both men and women, propping up men in a way is just women propping up their own DNA. Oh, they give birth to girls too, but let’s face it, every woman would gladly shove their sons ahead of anyone else’s daughters. They may not admit it, even to themselves, but they will. Jane Goodall has addressed this as one of the basics of primates: women will promote their own DNA at the cost even of themselves, and certainly at the cost of other women’s offspring. And the easiest way to promote the welfare of your own children at the expense of other women is to promote yourself at the expense of other women.

To tolerate sexism, dodging its shotgun blasts in your bill or tail while aiming them at that other bitch.

And what all of this translates to is women prejudicially propping up men.

And all women do it. All colors, all creeds, all ethnicities. Black women do it, white women do it. All women prop up “their” men.

The thing is, white women inevitably will prop up white men. And they sure as shit need no propping. White women envision marrying white men, having sex with white men, giving birth to white men, cooking and cleaning up after white men.

This makes their female tendency to prop up “their” men infinitely more poisonous than that of other women.

And white women have to acknowledge this, and knock it the hell off. They have got to admit to themselves that their knee-jerk primate reflex to prop up “their” men means propping up people who just don’t need it. They have to go cold turkey on getting white men to like them, of appealing to white men, or dreaming about cute white men, of living their lives in service to white men, giving birth to white men, and looking romantically into the eyes of white men.

Propping up white men means propping up white supremacy.

White men need to get cut loose, and heterosexual white women need to start dreaming of other men. I’m not saying they need to swear off sex or babies altogether since it’s just not feasible, nor should they have to. But any white woman who knows deep within herself that she will only flirt with, date, or marry a white man — which is most of them, and don’t try to convince me otherwise because you’re a goddamned liar if you do — has got to open her head and really look at what’s in there.

Because if they don’t, let me tell you right now, thirsty-ass white women will be the end of civilization as we know it.

Women everywhere should stop propping up men sure, but again I lay far more responsibility for this at the feet of white women because they are propping up men who are, statistically speaking, a goddamned dumpster fire.

Are there nice ones? Sure but, learn some goddamned statistics for chrissakes before you let those words pass your lips. Not my husband, not my sons. Yeah, sure. Brock Turner’s mother probably told everyone how proud she was of raising a feminist son, too. Pull the other one. If he’s really that nice, he shouldn’t expect you to prop his ass up in the first place, so stop.

Oh but you won’t stop? Oh really, now? What are you afraid will happen if you stop? Are you afraid that he’s really not the enlightened wonderful feminist ally you think he is?

And in stopping the propping, white women might — just might — stop aiming Elmer at one another and catching everyone else in the blast radius. Their hatred of sexism might just start to outweigh their hatred, jealousy, and resentment of one another.

And pigs might fly.

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The problem with limousine liberals

Sometimes — okay, most times — I think that the left wing in this country (and around the world) failed not only because of success-spoilage, but also because well-off white people took it over.

Early in the 20th century, the left wing was about getting shit done. It was owned by labor, people who did and made things for short money. It wasn’t morally perfect by any means whatsoever, but it was about what you did. It was about doing. I’m reminded of a paragraph in Alfred Lubrano’s wonderful book, “Limbo: Blue Collar Roots, White Collar Dreams,” that should be required reading to understand today’s political landscape, wherein he talks about a project where the goal of building a short garden wall was given to middle-class manager types, and working-class types.

The working-class types built the garden wall.

The managerial types had meetings and many discussions about how to design the garden wall and what it should look like. It never got built.

What happened to the left wing in this country — and I think it started with the Vietnam War polarizing working-class kids who were drafted to fight and middle-class and college kids who protested from home — was that the managerial types took it over, and confused marching, waving signs, talking with getting shit done.

It’s strange how power works — it always follows money, but only after the money persuades the relatively powerless working-class schlubs to get on their side. And where the working class resides politically is where all the energy lies, because whether they are right or wrong, they will pick up a brick and actually build the goddamned garden wall.

The side that holds all the signs loses. The side that holds all the shovels wins.

And most often, the side that holds the signs will protest and scream and rant … at their own kind. That crap started in 1968 when the anti-war protestors demolished the Democratic national convention, but left the Republican one alone. On millions of television screens, American viewers and voters saw the Democrats in chaos and internecine warfare, and the Republicans united and clean as a whistle. And now contemplate 2016 — were those earnest little purple-haired nose-ring wearing protestors at Trump’s rallies or the Republican? No. They disrupted Clinton’s convention, and helped usher in a regime that has kidnapped and possibly trafficked thousands of small children and sold us out to a hostile foreign power.

Just as in 1968, the side that would have gotten them out of the war, the side that was working to push forward civil rights for African-Americans, was the side the white, middle-class protestors disrupted — and for supposedly left-wing reasons.

Left-wing white people who were raised middle-class and spend their time waving signs and tweeting their activism — holding meetings about building the garden wall instead of picking up a fucking brick or two — really need to just shut up and sit down.

If I can be blunt for a moment, this is a huge part of why I will always, always, always vote for a black person, a butch lesbian, or a left-wing Jew over anyone else on the ballot.* In my opinion, everyone else on the planet needs to get to the back of the bus because those are the only people on the left who really know deep down in their bones that if they don’t personally pick up a few bricks, they are fucking toast.

I’ve talked before elsewhere at length on the damage done to the left wing by the well-meaning, middle-class white liberal who has nothing to say but is compelled to monopolize the conversation anyway. I’ve talked before about the damage they do to race relations by just coincidentally pitting working-class white and ethnic white people against black Americans, and how they assume they are the ones who get to referee any discussion between us — and how those discussions will go absolutely nowhere until they sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up.

They pit working-class whites and ethnic whites against minorities with surgical precision, while claiming that that’s the last thing they want to do, they won’t shut up and listen, and they attack their own with far more ferocity than they attack the other side, mostly because as relatively well-off white people, they are guaranteed to stay on the top shelf no matter who wins. I mean, only a middle-class white person — whether they claim to be left-wing or not — can blithely state that “both sides are the same.” They are to them.

Basically, if you tweet about using people’s correct pronouns and and also expect to ask your parents for the money for your house down payment, shut up and sit down.

There’s a book in here, but the problem is that I burst another blood vessel in my retina every time I think about this topic, and I’m not at all convinced that any book will do any damned good.

* Black women first of course, and please note that I said BUTCH lesbian and LEFT-WING Jew. I’m talking women with buzzcuts, flannel shirts, and lip hair, and Jews who are both unapologetically pro-Israel and who stand against all right-wing violence. And note that I do not include women as a whole in that list. Women are damaged and are content to sit in the shit of misogyny up to their necks as long as some other “bitch” who is thinner, prettier, or more successful is in it up to her bottom lip. Either that, or they delude themselves that as long as they pick the right man to identify with, they will be insulated from the shit. I hold out no hope for the revolutionary power of women as a united demographic.

Raucous or polite? Audience behavior in live performances

Another short post tonight since I’m still mulling a more complete discussion of the abstract difference between popular and classical music, and it struck me that one of the significant differences was not in the music itself but in the audiences.

I was thinking of two instances of distraction and annoyance during live performance — the first being the irksome pure-tone hearing aid feedback that annoyed the living daylights out of everyone during the concert I attended in Santa Barbara. The second was a very different indignity during an infamous Journey concert in 1986 in North Carolina involving what has charitably been called an unidentified flying object and a much less charitably infuriated lead singer that culminated in the angry demand hollered from the stage: “Hit him for me!”

My mind then wandered off to the stories I’d read about the paid clappers in old classical audiences — way back when classical music wasn’t yet called classical music but was simply the recently written stuff you heard in the theater while standing in sawdust and munching walnuts. And if a singer didn’t pay their clappers, they might show up that night armed with week-old produce.

Simply put, one had to bribe the audience or else risk a cabbage to the head, no matter how good one was that night.

There really is a sense of crystalline everpresence to classical music nowdays. There doesn’t seem to be an awareness among modern audiences that Handel wasn’t already 300 years dead on the opening night of “Giulio Cesare in Egitto.”

I imagine the contemporaneous performers of 300 years earlier and today’s contemporary performers could connect with one another over having coped with raucous (and possibly drunk) audiences as a matter of course — quite different from today’s classical performers who are expected to soldier on in surgical fashion in the face of less physically intrusive distractions.

I’ve heard of psychologists and music teachers using military training methods to permit instrumentalists to continue without so much as a dropped note even when surprised with a slammed door or a two-by-four hurled to the floor behind them. Such techniques should be mandatory in music schools, but the performers themselves should be thankful that at least they won’t have to dodge beer bottles on stage. (All bets are off of course, if we’re talking about La Scala.)

Then again, dying on stage in the face of dead silence is probably just as rattling.

ETA: A short note — have just finished a lovely little book focusing on the very high male voice as created by the barber’s knife, will be following with a few thoughts. However, the author’s discussion of audience (and performers!) behavior during the heyday of opera was fascinating. A cabbage to the head was small change compared to the behavior of the pit and the boxes, and it’s beginning to remind me more and more of modern audience behavior. Some of the performer’s demands (“I must enter the scene on horseback at all times! Wielding a sword! And wearing a helmet with seven four-foot tall red plumes!”) are redolent of the most comical moments in “This Is Spinal Tap.” Britney Spears, David Bowie, and Madonna apparently had very little on Marchesi and Caffarelli for eye-popping scene entrances.

It makes me wonder if, in two hundred years time, people aren’t going to be filing quietly into auditoriums in their best clothing and listening to minutely perfect performances of Queen or Van Halen’s greatest hits in rapt attention while shushing those rude enough to whisper during the solos.