Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Yup, We're Right On Schedule...

By now it's clear that America is in the midst of another moral panic, a type of hysteria that seems to grip the nation around every 30 years. 

In the 1950s, it was Senator Joseph McCarthy's hunt for Communists and the Hollywood blacklist. In the 1980s, it was the hunt for pedophiles, often via "recovered memory syndrome." Today, it's the need to purge Hollywood, the media and government of men-behaving-badly-towards-women (also, in the case of Kevin Spacey, men-behaving-badly-towards-men), an effort that makes no distinction between, say, Harvey Weinstein's rapey ways (which are likely criminal in nature) and Al Franken's rank assholery (objectionable?--yes; criminal?--probably not).

Then, too, the current hysteria can be seen as a reaction to (the dialectic of?) the "free love" ethos that swept the West in the 1960s. As British poet Philip Larkin famously put it:
Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
The logical conclusion of which is this:
Sexual intercourse ended
In two thousand seventeen...
When he heard that Harvey Weinstein jerked off in a potted plant
And that Roy Moore had diddled that teen.

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