Republican Culture of Corruption: 2007 So Far is a pretty good list – see any themes?
On this Larry Craig scandal in particular, I’m struck again by how destructive it is when people cannot accept themselves for who they are. There is a strange doubling of the personality. People talk about hypocrisy, but it’s worse than that. It’s worse because it’s a deeper problem than just “not walking the talk.”
People who share the traits that you find irritating in yourself are the most irritating of all, aren’t they? I have a nervous giggle sometimes. I used to have to meditate on Scully from X-Files before giving lectures so that I could be professional about it. If I was around someone else who also giggled when they were nervous, it would be an almost unbearable experience. Even now, when the laughter is a softer thing (it morphed away from the Woody Woodpecker/Horshack sound of my childhood) it is still incredibly irritating to me from time to time – and probably to other people, too. I’ve tried to come to terms with this part of me that I personally find so unattractive. I’m still working on accepting it – and I’ve found the more I accept it, the less intrusive and harsh it becomes – and the less it bothers me when others do the same thing. The more I hated it, the worse it became.
I’ve never understood why sexuality seems to be the most important hot-button issue to so many Americans. We’re a schizophrenic culture in that way – Puritan, and yet… the guests on Jerry Springer. When we have a more realistic and healthier view of sexuality, things are better all around. If you track the relationships between power, religion and sexuality…. more on that another time.
Suffice to say, when you deeply reject part of yourself, the part of you that is rejected becomes more and more important – and darker and more looming. I’m familiar with this dynamic in another way too – it’s a really big problem among Jehovah’s Witnesses. More people are disfellowshipped because of sexual behavior than for any other reason, and at the same time domestic abuse and pedophilia are in some ways hidden and protected. It says a lot about the dynamics of belief-systems and their effects on real people.
It’s interesting that so many high-profile “virtuous” people split out to a seamy side. Jungian therapy would be a good thing… get creative about self-integration.
It’s really no big surprise to me that some of the people who are most focused on being anti-gay are actually repressed homosexuals. And it’s no surprise that some of the big “family values” people are so fond of prostitutes. The more stake you have in appearing to be something you can’t really ever be, the more that the parts of you that you can’t accept come back to haunt you – and it’s always in a darker and darker guise. The return of the repressed.
Larry Craig insists he’s not gay. It’s implausible, I think, but it’s also a measure of how deeply he rejects himself that he takes such an unwise strategy. On the other hand, it really bothers me that he’s being railroaded not because of criminal behavior, but because of sexual behavior. I find it disturbing that homosexual behavior becomes an automatic witch hunt, and all the joking I see is in very poor taste. Is this really what elections should be about anyway? Look at all of the other issues in the list I linked at the beginning.
It really bothered me at the time that Mark Foley could be claimed to have lost the election for the Republicans – not the war? economic policy? any of the other important issues?
Moms mobilize because their children are exposed to lead paint on their Chinese import toys. Good – great – we need mobilized moms! How about holding this government responsible for cutting the funding for the inspectors? What about the issue of child labor in China? Only American kids matter, then?
People in Atlanta have gotten really, really worked up about Michael Vick’s actions. Yeah, he’s a thug. I wish more American athletes were less like pond scum. Yeah, it’s terrible how the dogs were mistreated. But do we see this reaction to American torture policies? Should we put dogs in the cells so that Americans will care?
Americans are exhibiting more and more hysteria and mob behaviors.
We will only get what we deserve if we can’t stop and think and get our priorities straight.