Archive for May 19, 2011
2 years ago
The world as we know it is going to end on Saturday. That’s the scheduled day of the Rapture, and all the true believers will be whisked away to paradise, leaving the rest of us to struggle along without them in a post-Rapture world. (On the bright side, there will probably be a lot more Democrats in government.)
That’s all very well for the devout who, after Saturday, will be strumming harps and sunning themselves on clouds. But what about their pet platypi? Who will look after all the abandoned animals left behind when their owners are transported to heaven?
This week brought two more “shocking” revelations of sexual offenses by prominent politicians.
Former California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger admitted to an affair with a member of his house staff, which produced a now-14-year-old child. He and Maria Shriver had just celebrated their 25 year wedding anniversary April 26 when the news came out. Rumors of infidelity and sexual harrassment had dogged Schwartzenegger for years; Shriver famously defended him in 2003, calling him “an A-plus human being”.
In more serious allegations, International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been charged with rape of a hotel maid (along with accompanying charges of forced oral and anal sexual contact and false imprisonment charges) and is now awaiting trial on Riker’s Island. Strauss-Kahn had challenged Ségolène Royal for the leadership of the French Socialist Party prior to Nicolas Sarkozy’s eventual 2007 election as French President and was widely expected to run again in the next election cycle. In an ironic twist, it was revealed that Strauss-Kahn predicted “le fric, les femmes et ma judeite” (“money, women and my Jewishness”) would be his undoing as a candidate for President.
Should we be surprised? (more…)
I had an insight the other day about how the ideas and ideals of the American Revolution have shaped our consciousness—or not. It started with a consideration of red/blue differences.
A common political stereotype of America is to see cities and urban areas as tending toward Democrats, with rural areas being more Republican. Blue-collar workers are conservative, it’s felt, while academics are progressive. Minorities and the poor are championed by liberals; wealthy élites lean toward the right.
There are exceptions to these clichés, but the exceptions are often seen as merely that—anomalies, nothing more. Surprisingly, these stereotypes are often in contradiction to each other. If Democrats champion the poor, why are poor rural areas seen as Republican? If the Republicans are the party of the rich, why are the well-to-do college educated folk seen as Democrats?