16 May 2006

Temporary Exhaustion

A.D. Freudenheim, Editor

I admit: I had a whole article written to post this weekend. I haven’t posted it because, on reading it again, it’s boring – another long screed about the horrors of President Bush and how he seems to have forgotten that he works for us, that he is actually employed by (as opposed to Lord of) the citizens of these United States. But do you need to read that again? I have written it before, any number of times, with different words and varying emphases, but it’s boring already – never mind that there are a thousand other blogs making variations on the same points. (For the record, my driving thesis this time was that the Bush Administration’s governing philosophy is simple: the ends always justify the means. This is why the Administration’s politics and policies do not always seem to fit neatly in the “conservative” box: “conservatism” is not the underlying motivation, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

Bottom line: you want to hit President Bush where it hurts as quickly as possible? The biggest mess Americans can create for Bush will be by electing a Democratic majority in Congress in the November elections. Let’s just hope it’s not biggest mess Americans can create, period. Those poor Democrats. Maybe someday they’ll get their shit together.

There are other things to think about these days, in any case. Here are a few:

1. Having resisted for a long time, I am currently reading Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. If you have read it, you know how it is; if you haven’t read it, I’ll say that it is an entertaining thriller (thus far) if not exactly the best of the genre. However, the author’s fixation on the Catholic Church’s suppression of the divine feminine makes for an interesting read in the context of my Feminism & Me series of articles. If there is truth to the idea that the rise of the Church is responsible for the subsequent focus on eradicating the “feminine goddess” and variants of the woman-worship theme from society, then what does that say about both feminism, the role of women today, and the focus of their sex and sexuality as a dominant theme? I don’t have a response for this yet, but coming soon will be a review of Pamela Paul’s Pornified: How Pornography Is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families, as well as Jenna Jameson’s autobiography and it will be difficult not to touch on this issue.

2. In discussing the Norah Vincent book Self-Made Man, a friend made the observation that Vincent’s perspective on the dynamics between men, and between men and women, could not help but be informed by her lesbianism – which is to say that, as a woman, Vincent may be a member of the oppressed majority, but as a lesbian she is a member of a minority community. It would be difficult to imagine that Vincent’s view of the world could be uncolored by this, which to my mind makes her analysis that much more insightful and valuable. Her descriptions of the emotional repression faced by (and imposed by) men takes on an even more sad, desperate hew when cast in that light, and I am grateful for the observation.

3. You can be forgiven for not following the saga of the Satmar sect of orthodox Jews, who are fighting over leadership of their community following the death of their grand rabbi Moses Teitelbaum. What is interesting, though, is the confluence of potentially-schismatic events occurring in some major religious institutions these days: the Anglican Church is fighting (and talking schism) over gay bishops, the Roman Catholic Church is feuding with China over the appointment of leadership, and then there’s the Satmars. (And the Satmars should probably feel flattered to be included in this list, considering the difference in numbers between worldwide Catholics, Anglicans, and Satmar-affiliated Jews.) No, I haven’t been reading too much Da Vinci Code-style conspiracy theory. More on this subject to come.

4. The next issue of the journal n+1 is out. Buy it, folks! Although I didn’t write the first essay (though perhaps I could have), “The Intellectual Situation: An Interruption,” by Chad Harbach, is disturbing and absolutely worth reading.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home