My wife of more years than she cares to remember just told me calmly that I had “low standards” in “women and in food.” It seems that she thinks I could have done better than her. Makes me think because, by and large, I trust that woman’s judgment. Got to take a second look at myself. As far as the food is concerned, she had a conflict of interest when she made the statement. Recently, she bought some expensive rice than I am not allowed to eat because, she says I “would not appreciate it.”
I keep learning about those fascinating creatures. It’s never boring, not ever or not yet! Feminists will maintain with a straight face that this kind of stuff never happens, that it’s all in my mind. Normal women, on the other hand, don’t even raise an eyebrow at this kind of story. “Been there, done it,” their impassiveness seems to say. (And, contrasting feminists with normal women was not a slip of the tongue. I barely ever have those. If you follow my musings, you will realize that I am coldly calculating.)
I keep an eye on the “Occupy Santa Cruz “ street site. (See my posting on this: “Occupy Wall Street, and Santa Cruz, and Democrat Electoral Desperation,” from October 11) I noticed today that there were three times more people there at 11 AM than at 10 AM. Why would that be? As a far as I know this differential showing corresponds to no major work schedule.
Another source of puzzlement: There are more “Occupy” tents than there are ever occupiers present on the site where all the signs are stored or shown. Some of the tents can shelter more than one person. How can this be? Do some tent dwellers go to their job in the morning and come back in the evening to demonstrate against inequality and against the corporations by sleeping in a tent? Too many unanswered questions.
My faraway friend, Kay Day, a prolific conservative columnist and blogger and a woman I admire greatly, recently published a piece fairly sympathetic to the “Occupy” movement. First, I am not completely surprised and second, I have some comments.
I am not surprised because the movement does have an anarchist flavor and the word “anarchist” means about the same as the word “libertarian” but with a different connotation. People who call themselves “anarchists” tend to have vague ideas about the sources of government oppression they denounce. They have trouble imagining that the government (technically the “state” ) is inherently oppressive. Libertarians are often anarchists who understand the market idea. Scratch a libertarian and you will often find a former anarchist; educate an anarchist and you will frequently get a libertarian; scratch an anarchist and I have no idea what you will find. And the movement itself has an anarchist form. It’s probably true that, as I write, it has no leaders.
Kay interviews a young media woman, “M” who is herself part of the movement in New York City. The young woman describes what she sees in terms that would also turn me in the movement’s favor. I don’t believe “M” distorts anything, nor does she need to. What she reports I would probably also observe if I were on the ground. Rather, I suspect that “M”’s mind contains the typical mixture of sophistication and naivety one usually finds in young people with semi-advanced degrees from good universities: They know enough to gather facts selectively in order to build a coherent story but their conventionalism finally shows through. In this case, “M” pointed out to Kay that “media typically interview or profile white males although this constituency is ‘far from the majority of the group.’” There is zero evidence that either part of the statement is true, of course. And in New York City, specifically, if reporters are biased I would bet that it is by interviewing females preferentially (and any hapless black female within reach, fifty times a day until she is forced to go home to escape the harassment).
This is not to deny the anarchistic and potentially libertarian potential of the movement. My objection is this: Any group, however diffuse, however little of a group it is, that denounces the political process while demanding change that is both radical and quick is ripe for capture by various forms of fascism.
I thought MoveOn was a fascist organization serving candidate Obama’s campaign. It turns out he probably did not need it to win victory. This time, however, things look frankly bad for candidate Obama. He might need a big push. At this late date, it is striking that there are still no media reports of anyone in the “Occupy “ movement, anyone at all, blaming the president for anything, including for stubbornly high unemployment
Speaking of fascism, the Syrian peaceful revolution continues. Conservative lovers of freedom are not giving those brave people the credit they deserve. At this point, given the size of the Syrian population, it’s as if Americans had lost 55,000 lives to a dictator’s campaign of assassinations.
[Editor's note: this essay first appeared on Dr. Delacroix's blog, Facts Matter, on October 27th 2011]