The Paglia has turned into that person you occasionally run into at parties, alone in a corner with her third drink. You strike up a conversation to 'draw her out of her shell' only to discover she's alone for a reason.
The Enemy has turned up a little late to the Columbia dinner. Initially The Enemy'sreaction to the guest list was more inline with Andrew Sullivan's, particularly in light of statements like this, issued by "The Columbia Queer Alliance"
(...) would like to strongly caution media and campus
organizations against the use of such words as "gay", "lesbian", or
"homosexual" to describe people in Iran who engage in same-sex
practices and feel same-sex desire. The construction of sexual
orientation as a social and political identity and all of the
vocabulary therein is a Western cultural idiom. As such, scholars of
sexuality in the Middle East generally use the terms "same-sex
practices" and "same-sex desire" in recognition of the inadequacy of
this helpful instructional goes on to encourage
"...us all to examine a number of issues, but most relevant to our concerns
are the complexities of how sexual identity is constructed and
understood in different parts of the world."
And there's the rub, the assumption that the rest of us haven't been thinking about "these issues" for the past several years, and that, unlike "The Columbia Queer Alliance" have managed to achieve a perspective beyond dial-up identity politics. Grrrrrrrr, this is why The Enemy no longer calls himself a Leftist.
However, as he stated at the top of the post, this was The Enemy's initial reaction. It has been somewhat tempered by this post from a Columbia student.
"Beware the demons you cast out, lest you cast out the best parts of yourself"... Nietzsche once said, or words to that effect.
The Enemy has long maintained that at least part of the reason we no longer see the kind of dynamic street activism we once did, despite this arguably being the worst administration ever, is because those same personality types who would have, in the past, stood atop the barricades inspiring crowds with impassioned pleas, or led the charge into the police lines, are today being medicated. Passion, conviction and defiance often come bundled with traits now considered "anti-social", but completely curable.
The chemicals being used to control the unruly and uncooperative mob are no longer CN and CS gases, but SSRIs and MAOIs.
The Enemy is finally emerging from his post Immigration Bill depression and, after surveying the political landscape through the fish-eyed lens of tear stained eyes, he calls SNAFU!.
Where to start? It seems pointless to comment on the Larry Craig flurry. The Republican closet is beginning to look more like a clown car every day, and as with any clown car, The Enemy can do little more than smile wanly and look away, it would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.
And speaking of Republican closets', The Glenn Greenwald continues to explore the fascinating subject of right-wing masculinity myths. Specifically how, in recent years, the right has been casting gender and sex aspersions into the political arena. The sex and gender trick has proved infinitely useful to Republicans and conservatives alike because even as it's used to (un)subtly blanket liberals and Democrats, it provides a faaaabulous cover for themselves. The Enemy has peaked behind this phenomena in the past, but Greenwald has effectively snatched the khaki colored curtain away to reveal what lies sniveling beneath.
As I have argued several times before, the intense exploitation by the right-wing and the Republican Party of these cultural and gender-based themes (dutifully followed by our establishment media pundits) has played far more significant of a role in influencing both the outcome of elections and the perception of "conservatives" and "liberals" than any substantive policy disputes. The depiction of liberal and Democratic males as girly, elitist freaks (and the converse depiction of liberal women as emasculating he-men), contrasted with the iconic Republican Male Leader who is a courageous, wholesome, salt-of-the-earth warrior and tough guy pervades our entire political culture.
It would be bad enough if these cultural themes were actually true.The argument would still be compelling that such themes are petty and manipulative and engender a corrupted and shallow political process.But the reality is actually far worse than that, because this mythology of the Strong Male Right-wing Leader is based in rank fiction.
Virtually the entire top layer of Republican leaders, both political and media figures, are the very opposite of the virtues this movement claims to embody. From Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the rest of the right-wing noise machine, along with our brave neoconservative warmongers -- to say nothing of the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney -- it is virtually impossible to locate genuine acts of strength, bravery, regular-guy wholesomeness, or any of the warrior attributes and virtues of traditional masculinity they claim to exude.
The Enemy looks forward to Glenn's forthcoming book on the subject (due out in March), which has yet to be titled, The Enemy suggested "Myth Thing" or "FauxHawk"...get it? Faux-Hawk. Anyway, go read this piece by him on the subject.
Now, some of you on The Enemy's left are gonna get all Circus Phreak Krazy on this and start howling about stereotyping and calling The Enemy a night riding racist––fine!. But this blog by an African American/Korean living in South Korea is just plain riveting in light of recent events. So put the placard down for a moment, grab a soy/chai latte (or whatever it is you people drink), take a deep breath, and read. May The Enemy recommend this post, and this, for starters.