A Country in Chasm

Our divided country’s fissures don’t seem to be narrowing. A staged CNN anti-gun town hall exploited grieving kids and relatives of murdered students. The White House held its own listening meeting as the President pushed arming military-trained teachers. Today NRA Chair Wayne LaPierre used his insane rant at CPAC as a call to war against rising socialism.

Then there’s the never-ending gender divide. New York Times opinion column The Boys Are Not All Right by Michael Ian Black discusses guns and boys. It so resonated with my sentiments on the subject, I commented and it was a NYTimes Pick. Making young men feel that they are toxic surely will not provide a healthier outlook. Broken record alert.

Even the poor Central Park forsythia is conflicted. Is it February? Hope springs… 

Toxic Misandry

If I read another article that blames school shootings on “toxic masculinity”… scream. Yes. Young men are usually the shooters or bombers or vehicle drivers who kill lots of people. Maybe we should wonder why besides blaming it on a whole gender. Current societal and cultural energy is focused on empowering women. That’s fine. Let both women and men feel valued. Why is it a zero sum game? If fathers are nurturing and loving, isn’t that great? I saw moms at the Women’s March make their sons wear t-shirts that said “female is the future”.  Hmmm. Wonder how it made those boys feel not to be female.

What’s the answer? Value all people. Let the students of Florida lead the way. Yay.

Valen Tines

Stick a fork in it. Valentine’s Day. Cancel the chocolates and roses. Creepy onesies and life-sized teddy bears. No cuddling allowed. Without a lawsuit. #MeToo = #KillCupid? Well. Maybe not totally. But if you want to be safe. Instead of steak and champagne at overcrowded overpriced bad prix-fixe dinners. Go get ashes. Wear a hairshirt. Give up co-ed lunches for Lent. And. Hey. Laissez les bontemps roulez!

March? No. Run!

Second Women’s March will be clustering Central Park West on Saturday. No pink pussy hats this year. Why not? You don’t want to know. Suffice it to say that it’ll be an amorphous mess of militant causes. For some stuff. Against other stuff. Chanting. Placarding. Misandry on parade. Fun for many. What will it accomplish? Not much. Registering women to vote in Manhattan? Great.

Take all the signs and hats and run! Work for candidates in Middle America. Read these letters in the New York Times. Find out why people voted for Trump. Give them a better reason to vote for a woman. Or a man. In districts where it will count.

Epiphany Storm

In case you were wondering. Trump is still tweeting a lot. As predicted. More than usual. Today he assures us in a flurry that is he mentally stable and smart. As one tweeter observed Donald J. Trump, the J. must be for GENIUS! And. Sloppy Steve Bannon is a LOSER. Where is SNL?

Pope Francis cautions that career and money should not be the focus of our lives. Check. And. As Daphne Merkin posits in her excellent NYT piece, feminists cannot be fierce and snowflakes at the same time. Wearing black won’t change that.

The Upside Down

9 hours of Stranger Things. An allegorical sci-fi thriller with an exorcism thrown in. Kids are good actors. Weekend diversion. Another season assured. Follow the Three Musketeers wrapper to Dustin’s buddy d’Artagnan crashing an upside down Snow Ball dance. Now-memories.

Downside up. As discussed, the #MeToo movement may have unintended consequences. Sheryl Sandberg agrees. Men may eschew women in the workplace. Dating done?

Upside. Claire Underwood lives! House of Cards continues. Frank killed off?!
And. Christiane Amanpour. Replacing Charlie Rose on PBS.

Holiday photo by G. Levine:   Shelburne Centre, Western Massachusetts. 

Braking Bad

Seems there are highways full of careening sexually deviant drivers. Power-mad under-clad predators racing toward self-destruction. Leaving innocent hit-and-runs on the roadsides. Time to put on the brakes. A ‘wreckoning’ is long overdue. But stay alert. There is danger around the bend which could spin out of control. Backfiring. Masculinity is not toxic. Nor is femininity. Individuals should be pulled over and stopped. Traffic laws need to be enforced. Everywhere. As long as we keep looking into the side-view mirrors.