Political Gaffes, Horrendous Photo Shoots, & a Leftist Author Makes a Mortifying Mistake (posted 5/31/19)

I spent a lot of the last week on the road, going to Tennessee and then Illinois to see family.  On the trip, I listened to several books on cd — I recommend Daniel Silva’s novels featuring Gabriel Allon if you haven’t read them – and attended several cookouts to celebrate Memorial Day.  I played golf and ate with a gaggle of cousins, and celebrated one of their birthdays, and my own.

No politics were discussed, and by the time I got home, I felt the strange mix of disconnection and contentment that always comes from brief sojourns away from all things political.

But then I caught up a bit, and several fragmentary thoughts hit me:

I wish Trump would talk and tweet less.  Yes, Plugs Biden is manifestly a low IQ individual, and in some sense, the truth is an absolute defense against slander.  On the other hand, don’t publicly agree with Porky Nork (hat tip to CO) about anything.  Even if you privately agree with Porky Nork about something.

I wish Nancy Pelosi would talk more.  Mostly because I like seeing her getting her karmic punishment: for her greed and pride and lust for power, she has been sentenced to try to hold together the malevolent, quarrelsome Children of the Corn that make up the Democrat House majority.

Her moon-bat base is baying for impeachment proceedings against Trump, and she knows how futile and self-defeating that will be.  (Can bats “bay”?  For purposes of my tortured metaphor here, I’m going to say yes.)  On the other hand, all of the energy on the left is coming from downtown Crazyville, and they’ve darkened the skies with their massive flocks of ceramic chickens.  If she doesn’t try to appease them, she’s going to have a scat-throwing mutiny on her hands.

One Dem commenter advised splitting the difference, and moving ahead with more investigations and eventual impeachment while simultaneously advancing legislation, under the theory that Democrats can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Then she turned away from the podium, tripped down the stairs, and swallowed her gum.


My first night back, I was skimming through Breitbart when I came across an ominous headline: “Lena Dunham Poses Nude to Encourage People to Love Themselves More.”

I have no excuse for reading that story.  I immediately knew that if I didn’t close that page, I was embarking on a path with only one possible outcome: me rolling on the floor in the fetal position, moaning.

And yet, as Saint Paul said, “That which I want to do I don’t do, but what I hate, that I do.”

So, long story short, I’m elbows-deep in a kitchen drawer, desperately searching for something long and pointy to shove into my eyes, when a thought occurs to me: suddenly, the idea of having sex with Bette Midler or crazy Alyssa Milano doesn’t seem quite so repulsive after all.

HA! I kid.  It still seems pretty repulsive.

But I thought the Dunham story included a few teachable moments, once you got past the OGI.  (Ocular Gouge Instinct.  Duh.)

First, as most bad leftist ideas do, her point actually contained a nugget of truth: she argues against judging yourself on your weight or appearance, and as far as that goes, she’s right.  It’s shallow and creepy to assign value to people based on how they look, and our self-esteem shouldn’t rely on our meeting an unrealistic beauty standard.

On the other hand, purposely making yourself look hideous might not be the best way to protest look-ism.  And tattooing yourself from flank to fetlock, then mowing down a battalion of glazed donuts like they were Germans charging your trenches at Ypres might not be the best way to prepare for your nude photoshoot.

Second, Dunham has perfected the leftist approach to reality: ignore it, and it will go away.  In a video accompanying the article, she records herself breaking off what she calls a “25 year relationship” that “isn’t working anymore.”  The camera pans back, and we see that she’s holding a scale, which she then tosses into a garbage can.  (I thought I could hear the scale saying, “Oh thank God!  My long nightmare is over!”  But that may have been my imagination.)

I get it.  Acknowledging unpleasant facts can be painful.

But Lena, that’s not a passive-aggressive Mean Girl friend you are tossing in the trash.  It’s a mechanical device that provides you with empirically true data.  Throwing it away is not going to make you less obese any more than standing in a freezing room and throwing a thermometer away is going to make you warmer.

What is it with leftists and the inability to see basic truths?  NYT “reporter” Walter Duranty traveled to the Soviet Union in the midst of a murderous, government-caused famine and saw a workers’ paradise.  MSM reporters looked at Michael Avenatti and saw a truth-telling presidential contender.   Cory Booker looked at his weak-cheese Walter Mitty self and saw Spartacus.

Liz Warren looked at her pale reflection in a mirror and saw head-band-wearing Indian hottie Leilani from the original Star Trek series episode 58, “Paradise Syndrome.” #wemustneverstopmockingher (I know, pretty obscure reference.  I may be running out of Indian references with which to mock Grandma Squanto.)

The bottom line is (warning – if you looked at those pictures, hearing the word “bottom” may give you traumatic flashbacks) that body shaming is not a nice thing.  But body flaunting is also not nice, especially when you look like Lena Dunham, and seemingly don’t care that you’re forcing many heterosexual males to reconsider their sexual orientation.

But as bad as that photo shoot was, at least one feminist icon had a worse week than Lena Dunham did.

That feminist is Naomi Wolf, whom you may remember as the author of books such as The Beauty Myth.  (Thesis: female beauty is a myth made up by diabolical men to make you feel bad about yourself if you totally let yourself go and become Dunham-esque.) She has also been a high-profile political consultant; she advised Al Gore to wear more earth tones, and Bill Clinton to be less rapey.

So you know that she’s just brilliant.

And yet she somehow wrote a new book, the premise of which is hilariously wrong.  Her book is called Outrages: blah, blah, blah.  (I hate the academic practice of giving books pretentiously long titles with a portentous colon in the middle.)

(Although it can be a fun quirk to parody.  E.g.:  “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: the Elizabeth Warren Story,” or “Cankles Falls at the Last Hurdle: How Hillary Clinton Snatched Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in the Most Shocking and Hilarious Upset in the History of the Known Universe.”)

Wolf’s thesis is that gay men were so oppressed in 19th century England that they were routinely executed for having consensual sex.

Instead of going on tv with empty heads like Don Lemon or Chris Cuomo or anyone else at CNN or MSNBC, she made the fatal mistake of submitting to an interview on BBC radio with a man named Matthew Sweet.

Sweet played the dirtiest of dirty tricks: he did some research.  He found out that in British courts, the description that someone had been sentenced to “death recorded” meant not that they had been executed, but that they had been spared execution by a judge.

I’ll grant you that that phrasing is counter-intuitive, and that you or I would not have immediately reached that interpretation.  On the other hand, you or I have not spent the last year or more researching and writing a book on the treatment of gay men in 19th century England.

But Naomi Wolf has.  And she never checked to see what “death recorded” actually meant. Which led to a beautiful exchange, live on the radio.

Sweet explained to her that a court case listing a gay man as being sentenced to “death recorded… doesn’t mean that he was executed…. I don’t think any of the executions you’ve identified here actually happened.”

After a stumbling response from Wolf, Sweet hammers in another nail.  Referring to the case of a Thomas Sylva, whom Wolf had cited, he says that he’s found “newspaper accounts and prison records which show the date of his discharge.”

Ouch!  But Sweet isn’t done.  Wolf had already laid out her idea that these death penalty sentences were egregiously applied to adult gay men in consensual relationships with other adults.  But Thomas Sylva was only 14.

Sweet goes in for the kill:  “Also, it’s the nature of the offense here.  Thomas Sylva committed an indecent assault on a six year old boy.”

So great job, Naomi Wolf.  You wrote an entire book based on the premise that gay men were routinely executed, when it turns out that they were not.  And you claimed that the non-fatal non-executions happened to adults who had consensual sex with other adults, but a case you cite involved a gay teen who raped a child.

Other than that, you nailed it!

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