If you are like me, you are probably trying to read this through tear-filled eyes, as you struggle to cope with the tragic loss of Lil Peep.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of Lil Peep?
Let me paint you a word picture: White Rapper. Totally lacking in musical talent. (But I repeat myself.) Worse fashion sense than I had as a pre-teen in 1974. (Which was the cultural nadir in fashion sense since the short-lived micro-toga-with-sandals-and-black-socks craze in Greece 300 years before Christ.) Tattoo aficionado, with bonus points for including facial tattoos in the mix. Extra bonus points for the “crybaby” tattoo over one eyebrow, and for the fact that some of the tattoos looked like they were done by a twitchy meth-head in a county lock-up, with ball point pen ink and a shank fashioned out of a piece of rough metal as the tattoo needle. Looking at him, you’re pretty sure that he didn’t vote in the last election, but if he did, you’d bet your mortgage that he voted for Hillary.
Okay, now Google him, and behold the wonder of my descriptive powers.
Yeah. Even with all of that going for him, he somehow fell prey to an opioid overdose.
First it was Yung Mazi, the bullet proof rapper who was shot to death. Now it’s Lil Peep, lost to drugs.
It’s like The Night the Music Died. Except instead of a plane crashing into a corn field, it’s bullets and oxy. And no musical talent was lost. Anyway, RIP Peep, I guess.
In a more culturally significant development, as the avalanche of sexual harassment stories continues to come out, I have been forced to think about this disconcerting topic. So far, I have 5 thoughts about it:
1. I am beginning to get the horrifying, discombobulating suspicion that the unlikeliest, most unexpected event since Hannibal showed up on the wrong side of the Alps with a bunch of guys riding elephants has happened:
The misanthropic gender feminists may have a point.
Even typing that sentence made me throw up in my mouth a little, and now I’m dizzy and my vision is blurring.
But it might be true. When they are not arguing that women and men are exactly the same — and if you suggest that there are even the tiniest differences between them you are a horrible sexist caveman bigot — gender feminists are arguing that OF COURSE men and women are totally different, because all men are execrable sexist pigs who can’t be trusted alone with any woman under any circumstances.
The first idea is transparently stupid, and accounts for the wisdom of shunning misanthropic gender feminists as if they were a combination of Scientologist and Jehovah’s Witness who coincidentally really want to talk with you about a multi-level marketing opportunity if they can have just a few minutes of your time.
I have always thought that the second idea was a ridiculous exaggeration, pushed mostly for reasons of personal animus, political gain and/or revenge against a world that values female beauty over other qualities too much. I knew that men are both blessed and cursed with a sex drive perhaps a tad bit more… let’s say “persistent”… or maybe “omnipresent”… okay, okay, let’s go with “all-consuming”… than most women fully understand, and that many men have treated women more than disrespectfully on at least some occasions in their lives.
But after the last month or so, I’m starting to think that it may have been almost all men, with almost all women, and almost all the time!
2.One upside of this depressing glimpse into human behavior? I personally am looking better and better by comparison.
As a Christian, I believe that we are all fallen and flawed, and to quote Christ, “People suck.” (I think that’s the NIV translation, but your mileage may differ.) And I’ve always known how compromised my impulses were in that area. I would not deny sometimes looking upon a woman with lust in my heart. Like from age 13 to about 26, with brief breaks to watch football or read or sleep. Come to think of it, even the sleeping didn’t stop the old unconscious mind from churning with a few cheerleader-related scenarios.
But luckily for me, I met the alluring Mrs. Simpson in my mid-20s, and since then all other women have become invisible to me. Am I aware that young ladies enjoy wearing yoga pants in recent years, you ask? I have heard rumors to that effect, but I could not personally confirm it. On account of their invisibility to me, as I may have mentioned above.
Anyway, as the numbers of accused male harassers has continued to balloon recently, my stock as a husband, father, colleague and boss has continued to rise. I had never thought of “managed not to grope or assault my co-workers and employees” as a very high bar to get over. But apparently only a few of us have managed to pass that stringent test.
As I told my wife after the latest harasser accusations came out this week, “I don’t like to throw around the word ‘hero’ lightly. But I may be the greatest hero in Christendom.”
To the untrained eye, she seemed to be unimpressed, but you don’t know her as well as I do. She did point out – with only the subtlest hint of sarcasm — that I’m going to have to choose between that title and “hilarious genius” on my next box of business cards. So now I’ve got some serious thinking to do.
3. We are all hypocrites about this issue.
I will not deny that I have taken great pleasure in watching the industrial-sized barrel of karmic whoop-ass being unloaded on piggish Democrat fund raisers like Harvey Weinstein, and piggish Democrat politicians like Al Franken and Bob Menendez and the long list of piggish Dem pols in California and elsewhere whom the MSM are working overtime to ignore reporting on, and piggish lefty actors like Ben Affleck and Kevin Spacey and Sulu, and piggish lefty comedians like Louis C.K.. Not to mention whichever piggish lefties may have been accused in the minute or so since I started writing this paragraph.
One of the joys of the last couple of weeks for me has been watching some sheepish Democrat national politicians finally having to turn on the Big Creep Himself. NY Senator Gillibrand may be the best example.
Until 10 minutes ago she was praising Slick Willie – and his enabling moll and founder of the “Bimbo Eruptions” bullying squad Hillary – and accepting his money and stumping for Hillary. But now, after 20 years of careful deliberation – and, totally coincidentally, after neither Clinton holds any political power for the first time in…would you look at that? 20 years! – she is suddenly shocked to realize that Handsy McGroperton™ behaved badly, and should have resigned in disgrace.
Ugh. You enabling creeps are beneath contempt!
But speaking of contemptible creeps… Roy Moore and Dennis Hastert and some high profile Republicans have been piggish harassers (and in some cases, much worse) too, and we on the right hate to face up to those cases. Trump himself has (at the least!) talked very rudely and behaved crassly toward women in the past, and we do ourselves no favors by trying to excuse or downplay the sins of the guys on our side, just because the other side is also living in a glass house.
4. Here is something that I know many of us are sorely tempted to say, but that we should NEVER say: The political right is not as bad on this issue as the political left.
Not because that’s not true – I believe that it is manifestly true! – but because it is the first step on the road to becoming evil creeps ourselves. We have to expect and demand better from those on our side, even if that has some political cost. We can and should try to wisely limit that political cost – by write-in voting for another Alabama conservative instead of Roy Moore for example, or by finding a constitutional way to not seat him and call another special election to replace him, if that’s possible.
But we cannot jump on Franken and excuse Moore, or we’re going to become the same kind of hypocrites as the lefties who are now criticizing Clinton only because it allows them to attack Moore.
5. All that being said, the double standard in the mainstream media is continually infuriating.
To pick one quick example: I just came across a story about how Ohio state supreme court judge William 0’Neill and potential gubernatorial candidate bragged about all the women he has been with. (You can find the story on MSNBC’s website.) As I started reading it, within 3 paragraphs I knew to a certainty that he was a Democrat.
Not because it identified him as such – oh no!
The story did not mention his party affiliation in the first three paragraphs. And no GOP pol has ever been the subject of a scandal story without his party being mentioned in the first three paragraphs. Or the first paragraph, for that matter. Or the first sentence, now that I think of it.
Usually, such stories start like this: “Republican Senator John Doe (R-Indiana) allegedly groped a young female staffer in his Republican Senatorial Office during a conversation about supply side economics just after a meeting with a local Young Republicans club and before meeting with his fellow Republicans on the Ways and Means committee – where he is the senior Republican member.”
When did the lefty reporter get around to mentioning that William O’Neill is a Democrat? Paragraph 8. And even then, the reporter didn’t bring it up – the candidate did: “Lighten up, folks. This is how Democrats remain in the minority.” If the boastful pol hadn’t mention his own party affiliation, I’m not sure that the reporter would ever have gotten around to it.
Okay, now I realize that I have a couple of more thoughts on this issue, but this column is long enough. So I’ll post again in a day or two, with a few reasons why I think the well-intentioned “#metoo” campaign may ultimately do more harm than good.