I saw an item posted on the web by an old friend about going to see a performance by Cirque du Soleil. That is an interesting bunch, there. I have never seen one of their shows live, but I have watched a few on video, and they are an impressive operation, doing interesting things. Their concept of the circus is not what your grandparents might have gone to see when they were young. They do a new kind of live theater, to boil it down a bit.
I never was interested in the circus as entertainment as it was through the 20th century. As a young lad, I actually thought there was something weird and creepy about it. I always thought that the animals involved in the typical big circus must have had a terrible life, something that only seemed to be amplified by everything I came across about that subject as time passed. What Cirque du Soleil does parts ways with much of what was traditional circus practice, including the animals, along with the staging of everything inside a ring, or, in the bigger shows, more than one ring, under a gigantic tent.
You might already have guessed that thinking about that subject for a few minutes led me to thinking about what I have been writing about, in recent installments, here as a gigantic circus. Making that kind of analogy, I would have to say that this circus has more than one ring going, many more.
One item I never got to was prompted by an article on The Guardian website about “business bullshit“. Many people reading that article will have feelings of, shall we say, a certain resonance with their own experiences. The stuff is everywhere. The mass of assorted absurdity is so pervasive that it gets harder and harder to avoid, and the realm of all that kind of thing has ended up becoming just one ring of a multi-ring circus where people feel pressure to subvert all good sense to “fit in” and play along with what is going on around them. This is just one very large realm of many going these days of confusion, pretense, and time, energy, and money wasting absurdity.
What somebody aptly named the great American sex panic of 2017 keeps rolling on and snowballing. It seems inevitable that it would rapidly turn from something healthy and positive, to correct something wrong, and spiral out of control into irrational frenzy, complete with the kind of theatrical posing that has become known as “virtue signaling” more than people, you know, doing the right thing. What should happen, obviously, is that the kinds of characters who like to live as some kind of sexual predator making lives miserable would be dealt with properly.
I have mentioned some of this in a previous note. Senator Al Franken has resigned his seat in the US Senate, even as the accusations of sexual misbehavior appear to be very questionable, starting off with a “scandalous” photograph that is obvious to anybody with a grain of sense as a goofy joke posed for the camera. Famous radio host and writer Garrison Keillor has found himself being the subject of something out of the novel 1984, as people attempt to erase the fact that he ever existed, and did the work he did for decades on public radio, because he was maybe a little of what people in the past might have described as “a little fresh” once or twice. Somehow, all sorts of situations and acts and statements become roughly equivalent, as minor harmless trivia and normal human behavior gets associated with people being full on sociopathic monsters.
Franken resigned, even though I really think that there was no good reason for it, except for the staging of a little more virtue signalling, while the current President of the United States has had a whole buzzing cloud of accusations surrounding him about alleged assorted misbehavior involving women of a sexual type. That also raises matters involving a former president from a generation ago, who has long had stories swirling around of assorted questionable behavior, not just the famous item about getting a blowjob in the Oval Office from a young woman not his wife, who, it should be said, was apparently happily willing. All of this inevitably gets right back into the lunacy of bipolar political disorder, as people are either up in arms in strident righteousness or completely blind, depending on “side” in the bipolar madness.
As I write this, the political circus is now is now, possibly, but not quite, past one signpost, the circus ring involving a special election to replace another US senator. You have been hearing and reading plenty of noisy melodramatic squabbling about that one. The Brand R candidate has lost that election, although according to reports he refused to concede the election and plans to demand a vote recount, because that is what God wants. It appears that the other choice, who won the election, gathered a larger vote tally simply by virtue of not being the other guy. He could also be a complete toad, for all I know. Naturally, the only choices were R and D, or, at least, that is all I know about. If there were others, they were ignored.
It seems that the R guy, named Roy Moore, has a long list of problems, but a bunch of people wanted him anyway, because he has an R after his name, and that, for them, was all that mattered. An evidently larger group wanted the other guy, because he had a D after his name, and that was all that mattered.
All this intersected broadly with the whole sexual circus. This case mostly revolved around accusations saying that back when this character was somewhere in his early thirties or so, he was making what might be referred to as sexual advances, in a fairly aggressive manner, toward teenage girls, the main one reported as being when the young lady involved was 14 years old. Paired up with this was the report that he was in a position of government authority and power at the time.
All that seems sordid enough, but often you would see this character referred to by an alternate name of “pedophile Roy Moore”. This swings us back to a topic I had already brought up before. The way so many people are now, although I would hope this does not include readers here, to even talk about this objectively probably requires a special note about nothing here being some kind of advocating for men chasing after teenage girls for sexual relations.
As I had already said before, in present day American culture, there is social taboo about adults and sexual relations with teenage young people, particularly adult males and teenage females, with reasons for that. In the political frenzy, though, in particular, and on a broader scale, there seems to be no distinction between that sort of thing and somebody being a pedophile. This strikes me as a problem, as it warps the understanding of the term pedophile, a serious aberration of psychology and bad behavior involving someone with sexual desires toward prepubescent children. That is the definition of the word.
That is a profoundly twisted area of human psychological pathology, and I do not think it is a good thing to confuse that with the matter of relationships where one person is considered by social norms to be too young even while being sexually matured, because it has an effect on understanding of the appalling mental twists and effects of actual pedophilia, which is making me a little nauseous just thinking about it.
To put this in some more rational perspective, I looked up “age of consent” in terms of legal definitions in the United States (where it turns out this is a matter of state law that varies) and around the world. It was interesting to notice, for example, that in Italy, the 14 year old “victim of pedophile” in the story I brought up is legally of age to consent to sexual activity. I probably need to once again specify that I am not arguing a case for having sex with teenagers, merely pointing out that such a relationship is a matter of social norms that can vary, and distinct from the twisted psychology of desiring and having sex with children. In all the noise, it might have been slightly lost when tidbits of news appeared about accusations that some high ranking management type in the Disney empire was a pedophile acting out severe sexual misbehavior.
All that seems a bit too subtle when it comes to things like political circuses. In all the noise, along with people against the character in question, who seems pretty loathsome aside from this whole sex scandal thing, shouting about “the pedophile”, came an item somewhere wherein somebody in favor of that guy becoming a US senator wrote something arguing that it was an old traditional thing for slightly older men somewhat established in life to seek younger teenage girls for childbearing and child rearing, never mind that this is the early 21st century.
What might be overlooked in all the frenzy is the nature of the accusations that suggest that it was not matter of circumstance that a slightly older (30-something, in that case) man found himself getting personally involved with a younger girl who was legally still a minor, but that there was allegedly more than one case of this and that he was also alleged to have been, shall we say, pretty aggressive about his advances.
All that got wound up with the public image this character portrayed of himself as a “Conservative Christian” and righteous beacon of moral virtue, which was apparently a major selling point for the people who actually thought this guy should be in the United States Senate. What he evidently thinks this entails is a whole can of worms of its own.
It should seem more than a bit strange that we have this wave of what seems to be taking on a general aroma of Victorian puritanical righteousness even while, at the same time, we somehow have a period going where many people have an attitude of “anything goes” in the realm of human sex and gender.
The bandwagon effect seems evident in the new that Time magazine reportedly selected their “person of the year” (which was their man of the year in the past) as not a person, but “the #metoo movement“. It almost seem too predictable that we should have had something positive breaking through where men in positions of some sort of power, or at least perceived power, imposing themselves on women (or in the case of famous Hollywood actor, on unwilling males) would be appropriately brought to light and dealt with, but instead have had a kind of mob witchhunt mentality break loose. There is an awful lot of virtue signalling self righteous posing and it seems apparent that this whole atmosphere presents itself in the minds of some people as an opportunity to take somebody down in some strategic maneuver that seems to suit their agenda, random whims, and personal malevolence.
Aside from the obvious problems this could (and already has) cause in the lives of people who do not deserve it, it should be obvious that this kind of mentality is due to cause problems as an inevitable backlash to this kind of pseudo-righteousness ends up ends up being a tool for evasive maneuvers for the kinds of ogres who are the actual problem.
Meanwhile, as usual, all kinds of other madness rolls on.
The stupidity of “everything is a gate now-gate” carries merrily onward, with the noise of “Russiagate” as a prime subject. The noise is nonstop. I know this is repeating myself, but among all the problems with this, it just floors me to stand and watch the way so many placing themselves as Brand D party loyalists, who, ironically, probably consider the whole neoconservative cult to be “a Republican thing”, have so utterly and completely bought into the neocon psychosis about Russia (as just one of a list of neocon enemies), largely because they think “we have our way to destroy Trump!“. Apparently all the assorted problems of Donald Trump being President of the United States are not enough, along with all the other problems present in Washington DC, so some people have decided that making a case of high crimes of “people associated with Trump, or Trump himself, talking to Russians!” is the pressing matter of the time.
A Reuters story appeared saying that according to Trump’s Secretary of State, Ukraine is the biggest obstacle to relations between the governments of the United States and Russia. I have passed along quite a lot of news and information about the general situation involved, so I am not doing anything close to a full review of that mess now. The problem, unfortunately, continues to be that what that situation is, and has been over the past few years, has been so monumentally confused by distortions and outright lying, that a general public consensus of programmed unconscious assumption has a general picture that is so at odds with reality that the statements presented in that Reuters story can pass by almost unnoticed without being called out as sheer bullshit, complete fucking nonsense.
A bit of context is needed, even though, as I said, the subject is messy and complicated.
As I understand the history, Ukraine had long been part of Russia, with the capital city of Kiev actually having been the Russian capital once upon a time. It was part of Russia, if I understand correctly, basically until the Soviet Union came to be and Ukraine was made a member state of the USSR along with Russian and all the other satellite states. The region known as Crimea was still part of Russia until the mid-fifties when Soviet Premier Khrushchev declared it to be part of Ukraine as some sort of political gift, and when the Soviet Union disintegrated a generation ago, Crimea was left as part of Ukraine. That still left a Russian naval base on the Black Sea coast of Crimea. That is a base that according to what I find has been there for about two centuries, is the only Russian naval base on the Black Sea, a body of water including a stretch of Russian coastline (even if you do not count Crimea). You find Sochi there, the Winter Olympics site. It is also apparently the only warm water port for the Russian navy, and part of the agreements in the dissolution of the USSR was that the Russian base would remain there as part of Ukraine becoming a separate independent country.
Forward to early 2014, and a coup d’etat in Kiev, clearly supported and even engineered by neocon players in Washington, overthrew a corrupt rat bastard elected President of Ukraine who was friendly with Russia to be replaced by a different set of corrupt rat bastards chosen by the Washington neocons (again, this has all been covered before at length).
I will repeat one past link with a poll that was conducted in 2014 that paints a picture of what people there thought of everything. In short form, what happened after the 2014 coup was that people in Crimea and in the eastern areas of Ukraine wanted absolutely nothing to do with the gang who seized control of the Ukrainian national government. Part of the messy story was that the new gang was clearly and violently hostile to the predominantly Russian culture in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, with this new situation putting people in those regions in basic fear for their lives, which events proved very valid. A referendum vote called by the Crimean parliament saw a vote result where, by all news accounts, well over 90% of the voters in Crimea (with a voter turnout far higher than any US election these days) voting for a resolution to separate from Ukraine and ask the Russian government to become part of Russia again (as it had been, again, for all but about 60 years of its history).
That vote, and all the past history, makes it astonishingly ridiculous to read the quote from our current US Secretary of State saying:
“We will never accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea. Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine”
I read the newest installment of James Howard Kunstler’s Clusterfuck Nation blog where he said something concise and accurate, speaking on a broad scale about many topics, about us, American culture, being addicted to our own bullshit. The detachment from reality is severe and widespread, on many topics.
Among these topic areas, it seems like virtually anything coming from Washington about anything talking about “national security” or “international relations” is likely to be complete bullshit. The fierce grip o bipolar political disorder on the minds of so much of the American public ensures mass confusion as people have an even more warped view of reality coming from thrashing around in the throes of some mental process of trying to cram everything into a simplistic sorting of “their side” being the home of goodness, virtue, and truth and all that is bad being “the other side”. It all gets especially bizarre when this kind of thing encounters a situation such as this lunacy and gross lying about the situation I have just been talking about where the same “policy”, including all the reality distortion involved, involves what they see as “the other side” and “their side”. One glaring example has, again, been covered ad nauseum here in the past, concerning the bizarre distortions and lunacy of “foreign policy” regarding Ukraine and Russia involving past Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointing neocon queen Victoria Nuland to be Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, where she became a central figure in the Ukraine coup and following nonsense, followed by Secretary of State John Kerry, who dutifully continued the same official agenda, actors with D after their names thoroughly tied up with the neocon fun, even as so many people like to imagine that the neocons are some Republicans-only club.
So we arrived at the bizarre situation where Brand D loyalists put themselves in full support of Hillary Clinton as their choice to be President, even as she has proved herself as rabid a neocon as any brand R politician, while other people naively believed that Donald Trump, as an “outsider”, would clean up the infestation of the republican party with neocons. From the way things look so far, it appears that is improbable.