politics

Out: RINOs. In: CINOs. (Christians in Name Only)

Beau of the Fifth Column (not me, because even though I’m a Beau from the South, I have neither this accent nor this beard nor this way with words) eviscerates the idea of anti-Trumpsters being “RINOs,” pointing out that Trump was an independent, a Reform Party supporter and, yes, a Democrat before deciding to join and manipulate the Republican Party.

This, in and of itself, is not a new thought. Trump’s record of party-shopping and even his willingness to contort his own alleged views to suit that party is well-documented.

And while the old quote that Trump figured Republicans were idiots he could manipulate is actually fake, he clearly found that the GOP (or “Gutless Old People”) was quite malleable. Traditional conservative values like free trade, small government and standing up for democracy vs. dictators have gone out the window. A party that had gone full-bore “Tea Party” libertarian is now authoritarian.

But, again, the other Beau puts it better than I could, noting that Trump settled on the Republican Party in part because it was the one in which he could “give them permission to be their worst and it would motivate them.”

Also related to the Trump base: a story in The Atlantic (might be paywalled) noted something about the evangelicals who support Trump. As it turns out, they don’t go to church that often:

And a pearl-clutching study of evangelical opinions finds that evangelicals are (gasp!) more willing to accept LGTBQ people and accept the prospect that many roads lead to heaven, but the authors are heartened by the fact that a solid 90% of them are against fornication.

So here’s why the political landscape of the last seven years makes no sense …

While the country is getting more diverse along theological, gender and sexuality lines, a significant number of people who consider sexual morality more important than many theological issues have decided that they shall put all of their stock in a man whose attitudes on sex and marriage should be repulsive to them.

Should we still be dissecting Trump? Maybe not. That’ll be for the courts.

But this peculiar tendency is something we have to notice. State and local governments are already making things very uncomfortable for people who are more about compassion for others than condemnation of others.

And these people aren’t just RINOs. They’re CINOs as well.

personal

Sex, nerds, entitlement, rape and getting better

I thought about writing an “open letter” to mass shooter Elliot Rodger in response to his manifesto of suffering women’s rejection. Perhaps even borrowing the “It gets better” line that we saw in a gay advocacy series of videos, telling Rodger (far too late) and others who have felt his pain that better times often lie ahead.

But it’s difficult to write, to put it mildly. It deals with thorny issues of sexuality, and I’m not sure people close to me would want me to delve backwards into my years of feeling sorry for myself over unrequited crushes, multiple years between relationships, and bad decisions I made because I feared being lonely forever. Nor could I make the claim that “it gets better” for everyone just because it did for me.

Then I stumbled into a brilliant, provocative piece by Jeopardy champion Arthur Chu: Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds – The Daily Beast.

Chu takes down some sacred cows, particularly if you’re a fan of Ayn Rand or 80s movies. You may never look at Revenge of the Nerds the same way. If you don’t already look at Rand’s works as toilet paper, you may be convinced. I’ve never liked The Big Bang Theory, so I feel vindicated on that front.

And he gets into this:

How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?

No, not the straw man that all men are constantly plotting rape, but that we live in an entitlement culture where guys think they need to be having sex with girls in order to be happy and fulfilled. That in a culture that constantly celebrates the narrative of guys trying hard, overcoming challenges, concocting clever ruses and automatically getting a woman thrown at them as a prize as a result, there will always be some guy who crosses the line into committing a violent crime to get what he “deserves,” or get vengeance for being denied it.

Some things about sexuality are just unfair. I remember sitting at lunch tables at Duke, listening to guys talk about their latest conquests and what a pain in the ass it was to get them out of bed in the morning. I never understood why women — smart women — would go to keg parties, drink and hook up, knowing all the while they were going to regret it.

And that hookup culture runs the risk of nasty rape arguments such as the one Duke is having now. (The lacrosse scandal, the PowerPoint rating athletes’ sexual prowess, the porn star freshman, and now this — what IS it about my alma mater? Why doesn’t this stuff happen at Ohio State?) The rules of drunk hookups made no sense to me at the time and still don’t, even as Duke and others attempt to define “drunk” as “unable to consent.”

But I’ve learned what Chu says here. Men, even and perhaps especially nerdy men, have to grow up. The world doesn’t owe you a girlfriend just because you think you’re a nice, smart guy. I may still question why my female friends were willing participants in a game that was rigged against them, but I can’t complain that they’ve opted for that instead of a relationship with the 20-year-old me. Hey, I had issues.

It got better for me. It might have gotten better for Elliot Rodger had he waited around long enough to take the chip off his shoulder.

And yet nothing’s guaranteed. Gay or straight, nerd or jock, you may have a long wait. All you can do is fill your life with anything else, especially kindness. And TV shows that aren’t The Big Bang Theory.

And as a society, we all need to stop thinking we’re owed something.

movies

Losing one’s virginity in films — male punchline, female ordeal?

Slate columnist makes a persuasive case for MTV’s show on virginity loss, saying it’s about time someone tackled the subject honestly and even-handedly. Because we ain’t getting that in the movies:

If it’s the girl who’s having sex for the first time, forget gross-out humor. The act is now freighted with consequence. In Juno, a girl has sex and gets pregnant. In Saved!, same. In Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a girl has sex and then more sex and gets pregnant. In Cruel Intentions, a girl has sex and gets betrayed. As a Yahoo! Shine writer pointed out, when boys have sex it’s typically the culmination of a movie’s plot, whereas for girls, sex is where the movie’s storyline begins, unspooling into lies, tough choices, and shattered relationships.

via MTV never should have pulled the plug on its show about losing virginity, My First … – Slate Magazine.