Category Archives: Popular Culture

The Warlock Hunt

Claire Berlinski (who we almost got to have coffee with in Paris a year ago), on #MeToo and if it’s gone too far:

If you are reading this, it means I have found an outlet that has not just fired an editor for sexual harassment. This article circulated from publication to publication, like old-fashioned samizdat, and was rejected repeatedly with a sotto voce, “Don’t tell anyone. I agree with you. But no.” Friends have urged me not to publish it under my own name, vividly describing the mob that will tear me from limb to limb and leave the dingoes to pick over my flesh. It says something, doesn’t it, that I’ve been more hesitant to speak about this than I’ve been of getting on the wrong side of the mafia, al-Qaeda, or the Kremlin?

But speak I must. It now takes only one accusation to destroy a man’s life. Just one for him to be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion, overnight costing him his livelihood and social respectability. We are on a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity. The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime—like any other serious crime—requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort.

…In recent weeks, I’ve acquired new powers. I have cast my mind over the ways I could use them. I could now, on a whim, destroy the career of an Oxford don who at a drunken Christmas party danced with me, grabbed a handful of my bum, and slurred, “I’ve been dying to do this to Berlinski all term!” That is precisely what happened. I am telling the truth. I will be believed—as I should be.

But here is the thing. I did not freeze, nor was I terrified. I was amused and flattered and thought little of it. I knew full well he’d been dying to do that. Our tutorials—which took place one-on-one, with no chaperones—were livelier intellectually for that sublimated undercurrent. He was an Oxford don and so had power over me, sensu strictu. I was a 20-year-old undergraduate. But I also had power over him—power sufficient to cause a venerable don to make a perfect fool of himself at a Christmas party. Unsurprisingly, I loved having that power. But now I have too much power. I have the power to destroy someone whose tutorials were invaluable to me and shaped my entire intellectual life much for the better. This is a power I do not want and should not have.

Yup. Read the whole thing.

[Update a while later]

The wandering eye is just part of the human anatomy.

Yup. We can control our behavior and fidelity, but it’s really hard not to look.

Plus, the up side of office flirtation.

And so far, so good for Claire.

“Rape Culture”

Almost a decade ago, I wrote a post on my long-standing theory about why Hollywood depicts businesspeople as evil:

…it only makes sense that if your only employment experience with business, big or otherwise, is working for the entertainment industry or the ad business, you’re not going to have much appreciation for how a real business, where you have to actually develop and manufacture things that people go out and willingly buy, and has to be run by people with a talent for business (not murder and skullduggery), actually works. It’s actually quite similar to the reason that life in the military is rarely depicted accurately. They have no real-life experience.

This morning, Glenn made a related observation on the current pervruption in media and politics:

…it’s easy to see why lefties think “rape culture” is everywhere. In their world and institutions, it is.

It’s also part of general projection of the Left.

Dating Tips

My neighbor Kurt Schlichter has some for prominent Democrats:

Having needs is nothing to be ashamed of. You’ve taken on an awesome responsibility being a Democrat leader – you’re constantly struggling to hold up the burden imposed upon you by the support and acclaim of the D.C. establishment and the media. You have a right to extracurricular activities; why, liberal women will tell you themselves that the mere fact that you are quite willing to kill babies by the millions entitles you to all sorts of fringe benefits!

But hey, there are a lot of uptight people out there whose bourgeois notions of “right” and “wrong” really don’t account for the unique pressures and special requirements you face as a liberal icon lookin’ for some lovin’. So, you need to take precautions to ensure that people don’t get the right idea about what you are doing.

Wrong idea. I mean, wrong idea.

First, you’ll want to exclusively seek out liberal women. Don’t make Bill Clinton’s mistake and target women who aren’t reliable progressives. Pinko gals generally know how to play ball and won’t start some sort of fuss that will end up derailing your really important work towards the Democrat Party’s ultimate goal of turning America into Venezuela II: The Starvening.

I don’t think I need to say to read the whole thing.

[Update a few minutes later]

I made the mistake of reading the comments. The person over there describing a fetus as “a parasitic clump of cells” that are like “a cancer” is my nominee for Mother of the Year.

Like Parents, Like Children

An interesting article on the degree to which your parents’ professions influence your own. These two were sort of outliers, though, in the sense that there is much less demand for the “services” than there is “talent” for it:

Some fields are particularly dynastic, like Hollywood acting or politics.

You don’t say. I’d go beyond “dynastic,” and say nepotistic.

I have a theory that one of the reasons that Hollywood types tend to be “liberal” is guilt over the knowledge that, though there can be a lot of perseverance involved, their success was largely due to dumb luck, or choosing the right parents, and that there are many other people who were just as, or more capable and/or attractive than them. On the politics side, I hope we’ve finally broken the Kennedy, Bush and Clinton dynasties, but the threat of George P. and Chelsea are still out there.

[Early-afternoon update]

Sorry about the missing link; I had a long dentist appointment this morning right after I posted that. Fixed now.