No, it’s not too early to pronounce a judgment on the political legacy of Hillary:
Once again, it’s all about the women’s vote. Just like every presidential election!
It’s sexist to think of women as vacillating and indecisive, as emotional and lacking information, and favoring style over substance.
And yet apparently it’s almost “science” to say such things about women voters, at least in presidential elections.
I’m sick of every election being about the last-minute impulses of Soccer Moms and Security Moms and Swing Moms.
Sick of it, and resigned to it.
But I can still dream: Let’s have new voter groups–what about the Haters vote? Are people who hate life breaking for Romney or Obama?
And how is that Awkward vote shaping up?
Did you know that Obama won the first debate among Shy voters?
Of course, you know what would happen–even if we did have these new improved voter categories, presidential elections would still come down to the last-minute vacillations of the Hater Moms, the Awkward Moms, and the Shy Moms:
“He came across as rude, and therefore I’m gonna vote for guns over butter this year.”
Some things will never change, including the things most subject to change.
Alan Brech 2012
From Jacques Barzun’s Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (c. 2000). See posts from May 24th and May 30th for Parts I and II. Annotations are printed in italics.
• When the world gets Romanticist, and becomes less Classicist, that’s when we get Tacitus back at us (pp. 9, 247, 295, and 503).
• England has not had an English king since 1066 (p. 240).
• Modern manners are an amalgam of the ideals of chivalry and mercantile rigor (p. 245).
Take sneezing for instance: the “God bless you” part is chivalrous; the failure to offer a cloth handkerchief is mercantile.
• The reasserted Divine Right of Kings in the 17th Century led to the political marginalization of divine institutions (p. 247-248).
So if we just remove the Sanctity from marriage, divorce rates would plummet.
• Absolute power is never really absolute (p. 250).
And yet so many are absolutely corrupt
• Rimbaud, like Rambo, was bent on utter destruction (p. 618-620).
• Sexual liberation and women’s emancipation were parallel and intertwined (p. 626-627).
Men just used women’s lib. to get their freak on.
• There was no such thing as antiques until the 1890’s (p. 600).
• By the 1890’s “there was no such thing as the leisure class” because “everybody is now busy at all times, even on holiday” (p. 595).
Yeah, I feel so sorry for those bastards every time I see them sweating over their I-Phones on Cape Cod.
• History is not really a science (pp. 299, 568-570, and 578). And neither is anthropology (p. 578).
• Nurses were rightly associated with drunkenness and loose morals before Florence Nightingale (p. 580).
‘Reminds me of what old Radical Bill told me back in Gainesville: “In my vast experience, the liveliest women in bed were nurses and Jewish women.” If only there were more Jewish nurses…
• Some Westerners became Communist for the sex (p. 747).
• One should not read beyond one’s intelligence (p. 770)
Now he tells me–on page 770!
• Hasty intellectual judgments about scholars from the past are as deplorable as hasty moral judgments about other people in the present (p. 253).
What an asshole…
• Hamlet never vacillated, nor was he indecisive (p. 254).
And Lady MacBeth didn’t have a guilty conscience–she was just OCD.
• Machiavelli was not Machiavellian given his Italian origins (p. 256).
The enz justify the meanness when you’re waist-deep in guidos. Barzun anticipated The Jersey Shore by 10 years.
• The Puritans in England and America were not dour killjoys. They only shut down the theaters because of all the whores and hook-ups (pp. 261-262, and 278).
• Modern democracy originated with the Puritans (pp. 265 and 277).
Shit, that means that Romney’s a shoe-in!
• John Lilburne had prison-glow (p. 268-269). Defoe, the father of modern journalism, also had it (p. 310).
Jesus still has prison-glow…and Cross-glow… and grave-glow…
• It was the Libertarian ideas of the Puritans that led them to persecute each other and everyone else (p. 271)
So vote for Ron Paul!
And kill everyone else!
• Just because Fundamentalists suppress free thought does not mean that they’re anti-intellectual–persecuting ideas and speech shows that you really care (p. 272).
• Both Ceaser and Cromwell were full of clemency (pp. 274 and 276).
Mao and Stalin were veritable push-overs.
• Converting to Calvinism causes deep psychological depression–e.g. Cromwell and Bunyan (p. 275).
• The old Calvinist/Protestant Head-Trip:
Step 1: get depressed about your moral salvation
Step 2: feel morally justified and act semi-evil
The new Calvinist/Protestant Head-Trip:
Skip step 1 (p. 275).
• Like anti-Communism during the Cold War, “anti-Popery” in England was justified at least until the early 19th Century (p. 276).
I never realized that fragrant flowers and leaves in an open bowl could be so offensive or dangerous.
• The Puritans were big fans of dry-humping, which they called “bundling” (p. 279-281).
• The 13th Century was the real Age of Enlightenment (p. 281).
• The reason the Puritans were so uptight was because they foresaw the modern condition of materialism, atheism and Hobbesianism that so disquiets our current age (p. 282).
• Louis XIV was raised by a single mom (p. 285-286).
Shit, that means Obama’s a shoe-in!
• Nobles used to be rebels, but Louis XIV kept them in line with etiquette and entertainment. Versailles was so polite and entertaining that “everyone was on tenterhooks” (pp. 286-288, and 296).
• Versailles was constructed to get away from the mobs and intellectuals of Paris (p. 287-288).
They could have just moved to Florida, I mean, he was the Sun King after all…
• Louis XIV could scan the crowd at Versailles and tell at a glance who was absent (p. 287).
He missed his true calling as a leader of one of those so-called “Million-man marches.”
• Louis XIV only lost his temper twice. His most severe rebuke (besides “Hey, where’s so-and-so?”) was “I was almost kept waiting!” (p. 281-291).
And that’s why he never bothered to get a driver’s license. Or vote. Or shop. Or go out on a second date.
(p. 290: “He obtained a succession of mistresses without the use of tactics.”)
• Louis XIV’s best mistress (Athenais de Mortemart) was a Satanist. When he shacked up with a truly pious woman (Mme. de Maintenon), his kingdom went to Hell (pp. 291, and 300-301).
• The aristocrats of pre-Revolutionary France were too Germanic (p. 295).
• Modern societies have “recklessly prolonged life” (p. 525)
This from a guy who was born in 1907 and still isn’t dead.
• Regarding the disappearance of court jesters: the increase in Rationalism at the onset of the Monarchical Age (1648–1789) meant the end of the role of “the inspired idiot” (p. 302).
BUT I’M BACK, BABY!!!
Alan Brech, 2012
Headline from today’s local Brevard County newspaper, The Florida Today (a Gannett publication, unfortunately):
Brevard drops support for naming barrier island after Ponce de Leon
Interesting article (despite its Gannett ownership):
It’s nice to see people caring about history and local nomenclature.
Ponce needs Mitt more than ever now–it’s a good thing Mitt doesn’t know that he could use Ponce to woo Hispanic Florida voters.
Alan Brech 2012
A huge controversy has erupted in Brevard County Florida over the naming of a previously unnamed stretch of barrier island south of Cape Canaveral.
Many in the Hispanic community want to name it after Ponce de Leon, who probably landed somewhere south of Cape Canaveral in 1513. Next year will be the 500th anniversary of that first recorded European landfall on mainland America in modern times.
Notice all the qualifiers–“recorded” (slavers and pirates and fisherman probably landed before Ponce)–“European” (Indians discovered it first)–“mainland” (Columbus landed on islands such as San Salvador)–“in modern times” (the Vikings had settled in Newfoundland 500 years earlier).
Reacting against the “Ponce Island” push are a growing number of people who want to continue with no name at all or to name it after the Ais Indians, the most politically powerful chiefdom along the east coast of Florida prior to their sudden disappearance sometime around AD 1700.
Apparently, some people just don’t like Ponce! And some in the Hispanic community seem genuinely surprised that the word “conquistador” has taken on negative connotations over the last 40 years.
Supposedly the King of Spain is coming for the 500th anniversary. Or his delegate. Anyway, it’s gonna be huge.
The Brevard County Historical Commission (BCHC) initially approved the historical validity and relevance of naming the barrier island after Ponce de Leon.
At the time, there was no other naming proposal. Obviously, I prefer Ais. But it’s not our duty to nay-say naming choices as long as they are historically accurate and relevant.
Faced with the public outcry (people actually showed up at our meetings!) we refused to back either name until more input is received from the public.
The Ponce crowd was furious and stormed out. I walked out because I wasn’t sure my mother would make it to the bathroom if I didn’t.
All this controversy now goes back to the Brevard County Commission (not the BCHC, we’re just their appointed advisers, these are the people who actually run the county) on Tuesday, May 29th at 9:00 AM.
Romney would do well to come out strong for Ponce. Obama, of course, will be forced by his base (me) to go with the Ais Indians, alienating the entire Latin American community.
A few more Hispanic votes in Florida might change everything for Romney.
Ponce de Leon could change this whole frikkin election!
Alan Brech 2012
links, in case you don’t believe me: http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120426/NEWS01/304260010/Melbourne-favors-naming-island-explorer-Juan-Ponce-de-Leon or http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/apr/26/stretch-from-sebastian-inlet-to-port-canaveral/?print=1 )
As you might or might not expect, Pat Robertson’s plan is actually very similar to God’s plan:New slogans for Obama or Romney: “Fire up a second term!” or “I’m the white paper, you’re the homegrown–together, let’s spark up a new President!”
And by the way, if you find yourself on a JURY for a cannabis CHARGE, you have the right, nay the duty, to NULLIFY IT !
It’s a proud part of Anglo-American law for this very reason–when “legalize it!” falls on deaf ears, Nullify it!: http://the420times.com/2011/12/marijuana-legalizations-secret-weapon-jury-nullification/
And half the popular culture you look at will advertize it. They already do indirectly.