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Inside this morning... Leonard remembers Maya... Dana Milbank looks at the incredible political 180 for gay marriage... But first, three takes on tragedy and how we respond...

Ross Douthat is ready to talk about men who hate women.

In an ideal world, perhaps, the testimony left by the young man who killed six people in Santa Barbara would have perished with its author: the video files somehow wiped off the Internet, his manifesto deleted and any printed copy pulped.


But this is not an ideal world, and so instead of media restraint we’ve had a splendid little culture war over the significance of the Santa Barbara killer’s distinctive stew of lust, misogyny and rage. Twitter movements have been created, think pieces written, and all kinds of cultural phenomena — from Judd Apatow movies to “pickup artists” and Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” — have been invoked, analyzed and blamed.

And in fairness to the think pieces — I have to be fair, because I’m writing one — in this particular tragedy, the killer’s motives really do seem to have a larger cultural significance.

Often you step into the mental landscape of a mass murderer and find nothing but paranoia, nightmare logic, snakes eating their own tails. But compared with the mysteries of Tucson, Newtown and Aurora, this case has an internal psychodrama that is much more recognizable, a murderous logic that’s a little more familiar.  The Santa Barbara killer’s pulsing antipathy toward women, his shame and fury over sexual inexperience  — these were amplified horribly by mental illness, yes, but visit the angrier corners of the Internet, wander in comment threads and chat rooms, and you’ll recognize them as extreme versions of an all-too-commonplace misogyny.


Contemporary feminism is very good — better than my fellow conservatives often acknowledge — at critiquing these pathologies. But feminism, too, is often a prisoner of Hefnerism, in the sense that it tends to prescribe more and more “sex positivity,” insisting that the only problem with contemporary sexual culture is that it’s imperfectly egalitarian, insufficiently celebratory of female agency and desire.

This means that the feminist prescription doesn’t supply what men slipping down into the darkness of misogyny most immediately need: not lectures on how they need to respect women as sexual beings, but reasons, despite their lack of sexual experience, to first respect themselves as men

So, the real problem is that... hmm, women are too sexually empowered and make inexperienced men feel bad by flaunting their... wait, it seems like I've read this somewhere else.

Frank Bruni looks at the conflict between facts and instant gratification, and has his own take on the aftermath of Santa Barbara.

We no longer have news. We have springboards for commentary. We have cues for Tweets.

Something happens, and before the facts are even settled, the morals are deduced and the lessons drawn. The story is absorbed into agendas. Everyone has a preferred take on it, a particular use for it. And as one person after another posits its real significance, the discussion travels so far from what set it in motion that the truth — the knowable, verifiable truth — is left in the dust.


This trade and tic were manifest in an essay in The Washington Post last week by its chief film critic, Ann Hornaday. I’m sorry to single her out: She’s an excellent writer merely drawn into the quasi-journalistic sport of the day. She itched to join an all-consuming conversation — and to refract it through her own area of expertise, claiming some of the story’s territory for herself.

So she fashioned Rodger’s violence into an indictment of the movie industry’s domination by men and its prolific output of male fantasies in which the nerdy or schlubby guy gets the sexy girl. Rodger didn’t get the girl, so he got furious and got a gun. Did Hollywood egg him on? That’s what Hornaday more or less asked, and it was a question too far, the tenuous graft of entertainment-industry shortcomings onto a tragedy irreducible to tidy explanations.

But how plentiful such explanations were. Could Rodger’s psychic torment be traced to his biracial heritage? Or was white privilege his problem? Did the killing expose police incompetence, therapists’ blindness, undetected autism, detected autism, the impact of the book “The Secret” on an unsteady mind, or simply common misogyny in uncommon form?

I have to say that I'm not very sympathetic to the King of Queens theory, where seeing fictional guys land women much more attractive than they are is to blame for murderous misogyny. I agree that there are some eye-rollingly ludicrous examples on the screen both small and large, but drawing a line from there to Santa Barbara seems to be stretching things about as much as those who blamed video games and D&D for previous crimes (says the fiction writer who has also written for video games and D&D). Sane people know the difference between reality and fiction, and I'd like to think we don't have to approach every work of art with "how might a crazy person misinterpret this in relation to their own life and use it to justify violence" first in mind.

You'd think that sane journalists might also mention the word "gun" now and then, but you'd apparently be wrong.

Margaret Sullivan tries to address a concern everyone has—covering the murders without making a star out of the murderer.

The stone-faced young man stood on the sidewalk last week near Union Square holding a large, hand-lettered sign on a hot-pink piece of poster board. It read: “I deserve hot blonde women.” I wondered if this could be an ironic piece of feminist political commentary or if it was intended to seem hostile.

In any case, it was clearly inspired by the shooting near the University of California at Santa Barbara about a week before. The killer, Elliot Rodger, set out to target beautiful young women, he said, because they had rejected him sexually.

But it’s a far more extreme kind of “inspiration” that worries Ari Schulman, who thinks and writes about the effect of media coverage of mass shootings. After The Times posted both the 141-page written manifesto and a video statement issued by the California gunman last week, Mr. Schulman wrote to me. He made the case that publishing those statements — which he sees as a form of propaganda — perpetuates a culture in which violence is rewarded with notoriety.

“There’s an unspoken agreement that if you are frustrated and angry, that all you have to do to get your feelings broadcast is to kill a lot of people,” Mr. Schulman, the executive editor of The New Atlantis, a quarterly journal devoted to technology and society, told me in a later interview. He spoke of a “conscious copycat effect” that can be seen in the string of mass killings, from Columbine to Virginia Tech to Newtown, Conn.

The media, he says, “have been nearly perfect participants” in the “ritualistic response” that incentivizes these horrific episodes. It’s past time, he believes, to rethink that and to change it.

But changing this it also has it's issues, including the very important one of missing out on important public discussions. All those twitter posts, Facebook rambles, and DK comments in response to the events, the written tome, and the odious Youtube are part of a national conversation. Cutting off the information that fuels that discussion isn't the answer.

In this case, many would have been sadly deprived had not literally thousands of women been able to respond to the killer's "manifesto" with events from their own lives, and I'd like to think at least some percentage of men who had started down this ugly path had a mirror held up to their faces long enough to change their direction.

And for what it's worth, guy with pink sign, you don't "deserve" anyone. It doesn't matter how smart you are, or how rich you are, or how attractive you are. You don't deserve anyone. You can't earn anyone. You don't win anyone. If you are lucky, you find someone, and that person also finds you. But you still don't deserve them. Remember that.

Now, come inside so we can see what else people are talking about this morning...

Rep. John Delaney on fighting climate change.

Next week the Environmental Protection Agency will take an important step in addressing the ever-increasing threat of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions when it releases new guidelines under the authority of the Clean Air Act. These guidelines will apply to existing power plants, which produce more than a third of the United States’ greenhouse gases.

Climate change is the environmental challenge of this generation, and it is imperative that we act before it’s too late. While some politicians argue over whether to believe scientists’ almost overwhelming consensus on climate change, the business sector is a believer and is wisely planning ahead. This year, Exxon Mobil began incorporating a price on carbon emissions into its long-term business model. Just last month , we learned that Standard & Poor’s is including resiliency to climate change in its most recent modeling for sovereign credit ratings.

Addressing climate change and positioning the United States as the leader in advanced energy should be a top priority for our country and our economy, and I applaud the Obama administration for the steps it is taking. For better or worse, however, we can expect a long period of gathering comments and revisions to the EPA’s guidelines, in addition to legal challenges.

That climate change isn't more important to voters is the greatest triumph of corporate propaganda, and the greatest failure of activists to engage the populace. Passing this is going to be tough.

Dana Milbank shows that some times that moral arc can turn in a hurry.

On a visit to New Mexico over Memorial Day weekend, I dropped in on a college friend who’s running for state treasurer. I expected his campaign would be a sleepy affair, all about pension boards and rainy-day funds.

Instead, the race for the Democratic nomination was attracting front-page attention as the candidates traded allegations over same-sex marriage — an issue that has about as much relevance to being state treasurer of New Mexico as a candidate’s position on North Korea.

Two weeks ago, my friend, Albuquerque lawyer John Wertheim, launched a barrage of TV ads saying his opponent, former state senator Tim Eichenberg, “sided with Republicans to prevent equality for gay couples.”

The issue exploded...

Not long ago, supporting same-sex marriage was a principled but perilous position, even for Democrats, who stood to lose more moderate voters than they gained in the gay community. But rapidly shifting public opinion has turned that calculation upside down. Not only do virtually all Democratic (and a good number of Republican) office seekers now bless gay marriage, but many are taking the offensive on the issue as opponents beat a hasty retreat.

The Human Rights Campaign has been tracking the swing: In Colorado, embattled Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, who opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” has announced his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; in New York, GOP Rep. Chris Gibson, being challenged by an openly gay Democrat, became a co-sponsor of ENDA; and in Illinois, former Republican Rep. Robert Dold, who in 2011 said he supported the Defense of Marriage Act, has embraced marriage equality in an effort to win back his seat.

Polls continue to show record levels of support for marriage equality -- 59 percent to 34 percent in a March Washington Post-ABC News survey, roughly the inverse of a decade earlier -- with a majority of young Republicans now in support.

This issue has changed so quickly that what was the progressive position a few years ago is now regarded as hopelessly right-wing. Now, how do we use what was learning in swinging this needle to apply it to other issues?

Leonard Pitts on Maya Angelou.

Her most famous work took its title from Sympathy, a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar. And it seems fitting, here on the day after Maya Angelou’s death at the age of 86, to recall some of what the poet said:

    “I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,

    When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore —

    When he beats his bars and he would be free;

    It is not a carol of joy or glee,

    But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,

    But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings —

    I know why the caged bird sings!”

It is not difficult to imagine why Maya Angelou saw herself in those words, and she chose I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings as the title of the celebrated 1969 memoir that would make her famous. Black girl, born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis to parents whose interest in her might best be described as sporadic, coming of age during the Great Depression, an early childhood in the soul-crushing segregation of tiny Stamps, Ark., raped as a child by her mother’s boyfriend, rendered mute for years afterward by the experience, an unwed mother at 17, briefly and unsuccessfully a prostitute not long after that … did circumstance and happenstance ever leave any bird more effectively caged?

And did any bird ever beat its wings against its bars to greater effect?

In the process, Maya Angelou created herself. Not that Angelou — the first name was a childhood nickname bestowed by her older brother, the surname taken, slightly altered, from one of her husbands — was unique in this. To the contrary, the history of American popular culture is liberally strewn with acts of self creation, works of will by people who were able to imagine themselves beyond the limiting constraints of their lives.

But what makes Angelou different is not just the fact of her self-creation, but the depth and breadth of it. Indeed, a listing of her achievements and accomplishments is so long and so varied that at some point, if you didn’t know better, you’d think somebody was pulling your leg. You’d think they were describing the work of two women. Or three.

It's an amazing and inspiring list of achievements. Go read it.

And how about reading a poem today? Doesn't have to be one of Maya Angelou's (wonderful as many of her works are), just go read a poem. If you haven't done so since your teacher last forced you to memorize Evangeline, you might be very surprised.

Across the margent of the world I fled,
   And troubled the gold gateway of the stars,
   Smiting for shelter on their clanged bars
   Fretted to dulcet jars
   And silvern chatter the pale ports o' the moon.
   I said to Dawn: be sudden—to Eve: be soon

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Comment Preferences

  •  "Trigger Warnings" on campus (10+ / 0-)

    is a re-posting with permission of a short piece by Bill Ayers that he wrote in response to one of the more idiotic recent proposals

    take a look here

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:10:59 AM PDT

    •  The Chronicle of Higher Education has a piece (14+ / 0-)

      (behind a paywall, unfortunately) by Mason Stokes about trigger warnings and the current debate.  Far too many people in academia and on the outside overgeneralize and trivialize their use.  

      I first became acquainted with trigger warnings about 15 years ago, when I was teaching a course on LGBT literature. We were studying Jim Grimsley’s Dream Boy, which explores a father’s sexual abuse of his son. The writing is so subtle that it takes a number of pages before readers know that terrible things lurk beneath the surface, and several more pages before we know what those terrible things are. The effect on the reader is uncanny, as if she is gradually coming to know things that happened a long time ago, things she has worked hard not to know.

      Reading this novel put one of my students in a psychiatric hospital. She was an incest survivor, and the novel reproduced her trauma so perfectly that she experienced it anew. When she was released from the hospital a week later, we met, and, feeling entirely responsible for the ordeal she had gone through, I apologized to her. She wanted to continue with the course, so we worked out an arrangement in which she would never have to write or think about this novel again.

      This is what trigger warnings are about--not self-righteous pronouncements about oversatisfied children being offended or challenged.  It's about not reproducing the trauma of people who have already survived trauma.

      "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

      by DrLori on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:30:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Surviving trauma (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musiclady, Ginny in CO, Amber6541

        requires confronting it and healing the psychic wounds so that they can't easily be internally reproduced.  If anything, I think our society has trivialized violence to rationalize away our responsibility for not providing adequate mental health care to its victims.

        •  The classroom is not the place (5+ / 0-)

          for a student to confront psychological wounds or relive traumatic events.  That should take place in a safe setting and under the guidance of a professional who is trained and equipped for the challenge to do no more harm to the traumatized.

          "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

          by DrLori on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:53:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Precisely. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            So why put the onus on academia to navigate mental health issues?  Insofar as the trauma precedes the classroom setting, the societal responsibility for adequately treating it does, as well.

          •  I'm sorry (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kingfishstew, quill, the autonomist

            I experienced physical and sexual abuse at the hands of boyfriend many decades ago, and managed just fine being exposed to stories, books, articles and news reports about abuse in the years after. In fact, I sought out these sources to explain to myself later why I stayed with this guy two years.
            Most women I have met and dealt with over my lifetime who are abuse survivors are strong, independent and emotionally stable beings that don't need coddling to confront their demons.
            That doesn't mean that there are no women out there that need more intensive help and that perhaps shouldn't even be in a college/work environment without a good support system, but for the most part, I think we're able to handle it just fine.

            •  It is similar to veterans. War is one of the most (4+ / 0-)

              shocking shocking things a person can experience in this life. Rape, of course, is another.  PTSD from these experience is real, and needs to be dealt with. However, while we are all mostly the same, we are also different. And the truth is, most soldiers don't get PTSD. (I don't know about rape victims, but it does seems women are more suscpetable to it. The reasons for this I'm not expert enough t say.)  Before one is exposed to a traumatic experience, there is as of yet no way to determine whether or not that experience is likely to give you a PTSD. So in that case it's a crap shoot.

              Nevertheless, as much sympathy as I have and we should have for all people with PTSD, people with 'triggers' that can put them in a bad spot, I do think it is also important to remember that it remains ABNORMAL psychology.....and question how much we bend our general socieities and institutions to accomidate those whit abnormal psychology.

              •  Wholeheartedly agreed (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kingfishstew, quill, oslyn7

                A government that is truly interested in the well-being of its citizens would assure treatment for mental health issues, rather than just hanging "broken" signs all around.  That approach seems to me a way of normalizing the violence and inducing society to think of "brokenness" as acceptable.  Could it be that if those who were harmed received the help they need to heal, they'd be able to tell us their incredible stories of empowerment?

          •  My daughter experienced similar trauma (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            from a community college English teacher.  The assignment had to do with writing about emotionally devastating experiences. He set it up by telling the students to think of being with their favorite pet in their favorite place when suddenly a car comes out of nowhere and kills the pet.

            Because of her dyslexia, she had a tape recorder for classes and was able to present proof to the head of the department. I've forgotten exactly how it was handled. I know she didn't have to write the essay and the teacher - first job- was suspended or fired. I know he ended up teaching at that cc several years later.

            Given the amount of s**t she had been through in life, she managed to cope fairly well. (Her motto: Life sucks, get over it) For one thing, an amazing high school special ed teacher taught her classes how to effectively negotiate for themselves. When the administrator talked to other kids in the class, it turned out several who had problems.

            There are significant differences in how people react to the same thing. That child has trouble with live performances of plays. She empathizes so much with people, an uncomfortable drama can overwhelm her.

            I would like to see some kind of age appropriate instruction in mental health at different times during K-12. A large number of people will experience some form of problems and everyone will know more than one person who has an ongoing diagnosis.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 08:01:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wait, what? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              English teachers aren't allowed to ask their students to write about emotionally devestating experiences?

              Where's the line? Can history teachers not talk about the Holocaust because Anne Frank's diary is devestating? Can literature studies only be about books with happy endings?

              If you are at community college, you are an adult. If you can't handle emotional writing then you need to tell the teacher, "I can't do this assignment, please give me a different one." But expecting all students everywhere to avoid any kind of emotional impact beyond Disney just in case somebody has a problem is completely ridiculous.

              I can only assume you have left important details out of this summary, because what you've said - getting a teacher fired for trying to make literature compelling and real to his students - seems deeply wrong.

  •  Douthat (21+ / 0-)

    (It  should be "Russ Asshat" -- the insane writing critiques about the insane.)  Women have no obligation to men other than to show the same level of respect to them that they are shown.  Misogyny is a display of insecurity.  It is the product of a twisted psyche.  It originates in the same part of the human mind as does racism and homophobia.  It is an angry reaction to the unknown, a display of fear and arrogance.  It doesn't deserve the sympathy of right-wing editorialists who displace the  blame and pity the haters.

    •  can we reinterpret this? (8+ / 0-)

      Is it that Douthat would like to see men able to see themselves as men, without filtering it all through the prism of how they are doing with women?  

      You can be a good man even if you are not getting any....

      Which is the case, and some men take a while to learn it.

    •  Who "displace the blame and pity the haters" has (5+ / 0-)

      an interesting flip side. If the person is poor, particularly poor and of color, all, every little bit, of the blame sits squarely on their shoulders according to the same bunch of asshats. No blame shifting allowed, none at all.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:41:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  in other words he is a hater for all the decades (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Jackson

      of rejection he has experienced from women.  Of course he pities the haters since they are members of the same group he is.

      Question: in trolling through various RW sites, it seems many of the RW pundits are not very attractive, as if containing the bile has corrupted the vessel.  However, there is no hope for these folks to see the light as they peddle second and third hand ideas.  For a biblical idea, you do not put new wine in old skins and you do not try to introduce new ideas into "old" brains

    •  Well, no one, neither man nor women can rely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yonit, dharmafarmer

      on another to provide that which they emotionally need - because no one can completely control another person. You can compel them through persuasion, of violence either explicit or implicit, but you can't write their thoughts.

      Nevertheless, we all to a greater or lesser degree define ourselves by what others think of us and 'do' for us. You can't be a Boss, unless you have employees. You can't be a mother, unless you have children, ect, ect.

      Simply put, a psychology that can weather the storm of other people, is a psychology that has within itself things to value. Whether you're a man who 'can't get any', or a woman whose self value is based on 'men want to get with me', or any type of person whose prime evaluation of their self is how others react to you, you're going to have a mental crisis....because you can't control how people react to. One day it may be what you like, the next day it might not be. One decade it may be what you like, the next day it might not be.

      We are not fundamentally alone, but we alone must fundamentally decide what we are. Sex, however, is a always a communal endeavor. If you define yourself by that, and that alone, you are always the slaves to others people's whims.

      Not to knock sex, it's great. Personally, I think relationships with sex are even better. But part of growing up, to me, part of mental toughness, is learning the strength to stand alone.

      If, in your mind, you have the strength to live a life as an individual, that strength will inevitably attract a community. Ironically, it is more often those who believe they 'couldn't make it on their own' who end up being alone.

  •  I wish I were intelligent enough to think (7+ / 0-)

    about sex and gender and what not. Either I dont have the brains or the interest. And like everything else when I am unsure, I just let my wife do the thinking for me and thats that.

    •  You are very (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, Remediator, brooklynbadboy
    •  Deferring to your wife in an area of which (6+ / 0-)

      you are unsure proves you are indeed an intelligent man :-)

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:03:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Women have always had to be smarter about sex.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..going back to the most primitive humans. They got pregnant long before either sex knew the biology of it. Carrying a child made the female vulnerable when we were hunter gatherers and could mean becoming prey to human predators. Women "get it" since the beginning of time.
        So with todays knowledge women have control over their reproductive choices. Some men don't want that - mostly "conservative" RWNJ's - imo

    •  At the very least, brooklyn, (4+ / 0-)

      you know how to keep the peace.

      Reminds me of the time I overheard my father giving advice on having a happy marriage to his brother's son, who had just become engaged.  "This is how you end an argument with your wife," my father said.  "Tell her:  You were right (very important);  I was wrong (very, very important);  I love you (most important).  You have to decide, before you're married, which is more important - your ego or a peaceful home."

      "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

      by SueDe on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:22:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not good advice necessarily (5+ / 0-)

        Advice along these lines has its use, and the "if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" or "happy wife, happy life" advice is cute. (The latter one even rhymes!)

        The larger point that you don't have to be right all the time, and sometimes winning the peace is more important than being right is unobjectionable. But some guys are apt to take this advice too literally.

        Constantly deferring to your spouse because you are afraid of his or her emotional state is a problem. And, not referring to the prior poster in particular, but some of this advice is belittling to women -- implying that they are such emotionally fragile creatures that they can't stand to lose an argument or that marital tranquility depends on them always being right.

        I'm sure most folks understand that it's simply a matter of balance. But men who hear these kinds of things and wrongly understand them to mean that their role in life, if they want to be a good husband, is to be automatically deferential will find themselves in unhappy marriages. If nothing else, man or woman, it's tough to love a doormat.

        I'm here to represent the needle in the vein of the establishment.

        by mhojo on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:25:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's worth making the effort (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to engage those issues.

      Kind of like the way it was easy for me to ignore the topic of race like so many white people do.  I found I had a lot to learn, and it makes a difference if I try.

      I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

      by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:33:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'The Hound Of Heaven' , by Francis Thompson. (11+ / 0-)

    Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

    by swampyankee on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:26:16 AM PDT

  •  Ross Douhat just laid out the conservative (20+ / 0-)

    mindset, perfectly. It's never the man at fault (unless he's not-white or poor) it's always women being scary.  I almost prefer Rush Limbaugh's bombastic misogyny to this more subtle "I agree there's a problem here, blah blah, but of course it's your fault."

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:26:28 AM PDT

  •  Urging us all to read poetry is (9+ / 0-)

    very sound advice.  

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:29:26 AM PDT

  •  Soldier Bergdahl is back.....GOP pouts. (10+ / 0-)

    Keep it up guyz......You true colors are showing.

  •  I really don't get this notion (18+ / 0-)

    that guys 'deserve' hot blondes.  I mean WTF is that about?  First of all whose to say they deserve shit?  Earn it motherfuckers and get in line.  Why does the 'hot blonde' deserve a piece of shit like you who feels he's entitled to a 'hot blonde' just because you have a big dick, good looks, lots of money, a fast car, a swanky pad or good job?  

    Second of all, why does it have to be a 'hot' woman?  Why can't it be a smart one?  Or how about a not so hot woman who will be loyal and loving?  Or maybe a woman who isn't all that physically attractive but is a beautiful woman inside?  Why does it have to be a 'blonde'?  Is it because blondes are stereotypically viewed as being airheaded and easy?  Is that all they are to you, an easy lay?  Why can't it be a red headed woman?  Or a woman with some gray hair who doesn't spend hundreds of dollars a month coloring her hair to impress assholes like you?  Why is it all about sex?  

    Oh and Ross Asshat maybe women will respect men when men respect women and stop objectifying them.  It's not about respecting themselves as men it's about respecting women for who they are and in turn being better men for it.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:31:38 AM PDT

  •  Welfare Queens? Yes. (13+ / 0-)
    The two biggest welfare queens in America today are Wal-Mart and McDonald's.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:42:59 AM PDT

  •  Douthat is another RW ahole who "sounds" (5+ / 0-)

    reasonable but is less honest than Limpburger.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:43:07 AM PDT

  •  Mark, you win the internet for the month for this: (21+ / 0-)
    And for what it's worth, guy with pink sign, you don't "deserve" anyone. It doesn't matter how smart you are, or how rich you are, or how attractive you are. You don't deserve anyone. You can't earn anyone. You don't win anyone. If you are lucky, you find someone, and that person also finds you. But you still don't deserve them. Remember that.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:55:45 AM PDT

  •  the apologists are out in force (13+ / 0-)

    in trying to explain misogyny.  It appears that they have learned their lessons well from the anti-abortion groups and RW extremists. (but then in some cases, they are the same people as there is a commonality of issues among them)

    The first reaction was misogyny does not exist.  Racism also does not exist as any social problem that distresses you can simply be wished or prayed away.

    Second reaction is that women are the true misogynists.  Only a misogynist would be so tasteless as to point out such things as the WoW or domestic abuse, such as the guy who beat his girlfriend into a coma when she laughed at him for not being able to untangle a fishing line.  We also see this tactic in that we are told the African Americans are the real racists (just look at what the NAACP says) while the KKK is really a bunch of fine fellows, really fun guys.

    Third reaction is "I have women friends and I treat them as if they were almost human"  See above for where this came from.

    Last is the trope that women are not bright enough to know what misogyny means, much less recognize it.

    All memes taken from the memes of racism.  Which ones have I forgotten?    

    •  If women would stop hating and learn to love (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Silencio, reginahny, StrayCat, TomP, lilsky

      men would be more prepared to listen.

      Tell Warner Brothers Pictures that Rooney Mara is #NotYourTigerLily.

      by ExpatGirl on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:44:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, let me "explain" (4+ / 0-)

        According to this Libertarian, Stefan Molyneux, it's all women's fault- men are assholes because women choose assholes to have sex with. If your father is an asshole, it's because your mother chose him. Women are the cause of corruption, wars, everything bad in the world, because they choose assholes.
        This doesn't speak well to men, unfortunately, because he never addresses the vast majority of men out there who aren't assholes.

        •  Reminds me of old math joke (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes, ExpatGirl

          If: women = time x money
          If: time = money
          Then: women = money^2
          If: money is the root of all evil
          Then: women = evil

          My libertarian youth stage found this hilarious.

        •  I used to agree (0+ / 0-)

          Pretty much everything men do is to attract women. So you would think women have a lot of power, if only they could figure out how to use it.

          But what women find attractive is social dominance. This is a biological drive, just as men are biologically attracted to fertility. The problem is that men define society: so, ultimately, social dominance is a product of what men want it to be.

          If rich old men valued good grades and politeness, then boys who did those things would rise to the top and naturally attract girls. But what rich old men usually want are soldiers (to protect their wealth); so... meh.

          The solution is that all of us, men and women, need to consciously redefine society so that the rewards flow to the behaviors we want instead of the ones we don't want. But that means challenging capitalism. It's just one big mess after another.

          Not that this excuses the SB shooter; his problems were deeper than that. But in a different society, his issues might have had a different outcome.

  •  Has the Santa Barbara shooter? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Found much support on the RW sites? Or just on the goofy MRA and PUA fringe?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:22:04 AM PDT

  •  Douthat obnoxious, nerds innocent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's not clear what Ross Douthat is saying, but it's vomit-inducing either way - either he's saying that women should be obliged to have less sex so nerds won't feel like they're missing out, or he's saying that they should be obliged to have sex they don't really want so no-one will feel deprived.

    However, either way, the "George Constanza finally snapped because he didn't have a hot wife like the King of Queens" theory is false and insulting.

    The Elliot Rodger tragedy/atrocity played out in the context of US culture, but it is highly unique.  Elliot Rodger had some kind of deep, severe disorder.  He also had extremely high social status.  He was not a stereotypical nerd.

    An attractive young man, Elliot Rodger had full access to, if not the best, the most expensive therapy.  As a progressive I believe everyone should have full access to mental health resources, but that wasn't an issue here, he did.  He lived in an area with fairly stringent gun control.  His first three killings were with a knife.  So although I believe in the right of local governments to enact locally appropriate gun control, that also wasn't a major issue here.  (However, I do agree that the ongoing encouragement of rage and violence by right wing organizations like the NRA may have partly set the stage for the tragedy.)

    There's no evidence that he paid for sex or consumed a lot of pornography.  Some disturbed relationship with sex and women was related to his killing - although he killed an equal number of men, don't forget - but it was not anything straightforward.  

    This is a horrible, complex, unique tragedy.  It can't be separated from social trends.  The glorification of unjustified violence on the fringes of the right may have played some role.  But overall this case does not connect to any social trend in a clear cut way.

    •  I would suggest (6+ / 0-)

      that the fact that a young man who had been seen by several therapists and visited by the police because his family thought he was a danger to others shows that there wasn't enough gun control. He was sold three guns and numerous amounts of ammunition for said guns, and never should have been able to buy them in the first place.
      And no, this isn't a "unique" tragedy at all. That's the sad part.

      •  partly agree except that it is unique (0+ / 0-)

        Your arguments about gun control have some merit.  The claim that the crime isn't unique is incorrect.  Gun violence is common in the US but is massively connected, directly or indirectly, to economic factors associated with drug prohibition.  Upper class college students shooting each other is an extremely rare occurrence.   Mentally ill people shooting others is also very rare.  Mental illness is a rare cause of violent crime.  Most estimates indicate that as a group, mentally ill people are no more violent than the general population.

        •  Although the guy was seen by several therapists (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that doesn't make him or any of the other mass shooters "mentally ill". It's a great excuse for people who want to discourage talk about gun control or even something that the majority of Americans agree on, background checks.
          When a Muslim commits mass murder, he's a terrorist. When African American men caught in the cycle of poverty, high unemployment and illegal drugs commit murders, it's because they're "thugs" or "gang bangers", but every white or well off young man who commits mass murder is some poor, mentally ill  thing who wouldn't have hurt a fly if only he had gotten the right help.
          Millions of people who aren't mentally ill see therapists all the time, and it's a huge business in Hollywood.
          Claiming that the man was mentally ill avoids a discussion that needs to be had about the ease with which anyone can buy a gun these days, legally or illegally.

          •  in your zeal (0+ / 0-)

   deny the role of mental illness in this case, in order to claim that ONLY gun control played a role.

            Since it is extremely obvious that Elliot Rodger was extremely mentally ill, you destroy your own credibility.

            It is not an "excuse", it is a fact.

            •  Why is it extremely obvious? (0+ / 0-)

              If you have read any of the diaries in the past week, and the comments attached, you would see that Rodger's attitudes towards women was not a mental illness issue at all, and certainly not uncommon.
              Mentally ill or not, my point stands- Rodger should never have been able to buy guns.

    •  There is no such thing as stringent gun laws; (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, NotActingNaive

      they're bandaids on a gaping wound.

      Guns are more important than people  like money & property are. Life, liberty & pursuit of property would have been more honest.

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:56:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  social trend of young men mass shootings (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jabus, a2nite, tb mare, NotActingNaive

      I'll admit that it's a minor social trend, but it does seem to be unique to our culture. And as social trends go, this wine is incredibly scary.

      The issue here is that we spend a lot of time thinking about why he did it when the answer is obvious: he was crazy. His motivations don't make any sense. His actions don't make any sense.

      Why are we so obsessed with the rationale of a non-rational person?

      If you ask me, the reason our society obsesses about the inane "reasons" is so that we don't have to reflect on our culpability.

      In the form of our fetishization of violence. In the form of our gun culture. In the form of our poor understanding and worse treatment of mental illness.

      We are asking the wrong questions because the right questions are too uncomfortable.

      •  basic agreement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm not fond of the use of terms like "crazy" to stereotype and denigrate mentally ill people.

        Mental illness is a rare cause of violence.  Mentally ill people as a group are not unusually violent.

        Having said that, it seems as if we are in agreement.  You seem to be restating some of what I said above.  He was severely mentally ill, not a "stereotypical nerd looking for a hot blonde" or any other such nonsense.  Our society fetishizes violence.  That is hard to separate from the expression of his mental illness.

        However, all western and Asian societies seem to fetishize certain types of violence.  "Legitimized" violence is the basis of a large proportion of entertainment everywhere.  Good cops shooting it out with bad guys or historical figures swinging swords are just as common in the cinema of Asian countries with extremely low murder rates.  Even semi-legitimate "outlaws who kill other outlaws for money" type stuff like the Sorpanos is common worldwide.

        What is fairly unique to the US is the NRA/"gun nut" culture in which things like threatening unarmed people, threatening to assassinate elected figures, posturing about violent "overthrow" of the elected government, and looking for trouble as a "stand your ground" vigilante, are accepted as "mainstream".  I don't think that watching Starsky and Hutch reruns, or the Wire, is going to inspire anybody to shoot at young women on sorority house lawns, but the hate-crazed ravings of the gun nut fringe might.

      •  run amok (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, tb mare, ybruti, sweatyb

        google the term run amok

        it actually comes form a Malaysian term for when a man having lost status attempts to regain status and honour by massacring his neighbours and then commiting suicide.

    •  If it cannot be separated from so ail trends, then (1+ / 0-)

      it is not unique, but just the most horrifying example of ongoing violence against women.  That scares the hell out of us, but if change for the better is to be accomplished, it must be faced.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:48:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No "On Book Leave" or "Off this Week", today the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, skohayes, sweatyb

    New York Times subjected its readers to their full lineup of asshats, fools and religious nuts: Bruni, Douthat, Dowd, Friedman, Kristof and Luhrman. Yuck!  

    Now commenting as Eric Eitreim aka ratcityreprobate.

    by ratcityreprobate on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:29:14 AM PDT

  •  Donought is a kid who accidently became editor of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the high school G.O. paper and is determined to keep the job even though he has nothing to say.

  •  Poor Red State (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, jarbyus, Ohkwai

    They keep supporting Teabaggers in primaries, said Teabaggers lose, then EricksonofErick pleads with his riled members to support the Republican in the GE (after weeks of trashing said Republican "establishment" figures).
    After Thad Cochran of Mississippi won his primary, though, Erick has a moment of outrage:

    During his campaign stop at the hospital, Cochran had not mentioned the Affordable Care Act, a flash point for Republicans in this campaign year. In his brief interview after that event, he was asked about the law — how he evaluated the state of play over it and what he would do about it in another term.

    “I think we need to monitor any federal programs that provide services and assistance to people who need help, and this is an example of an important effort by the federal government to help make health care available, accessible and affordable,” he said. “We have probably one of the best health-care systems in the country, in the world, and we’ll need to continue to work to make sure it meets the expectations and needs of the American people. I’m glad to be involved in that effort.”

    A short time later, a Cochran adviser called to say there was disagreement aboard Cochran’s bus about whether the question had been about Obamacare or the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He said Cochran was among those on the bus who thought the question was about VA.

    Erick maintains this makes Cochran "unfit" to serve (old and confused), but I was struck by the cognitive dissonance needed to support GOP outrage over the VA versus their attitudes towards Obamacare.

  •  I have to say I disagree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, a2nite, musiclady

    with  the op.

    Because this

    what men slipping down into the darkness of misogyny most immediately need: not lectures on how they need to respect women as sexual beings, but reasons, despite their lack of sexual experience, to first respect themselves as men
    strikes me as a very accurate assessment.

    A guy cant respect women unless he respects himself and in our society a guy who cant get women is not worthy of respect. Which creates a vicious circle.

    So much of male ego is based on having women.  There is no  male iconography for being a virgin.

    I know I'm going to get blasted for saying this  but this has very little to do with women and feminism   and misogyny and more to do with a guy realizing that being a man does not depend having a woman.

  •  As For Pickup Artistry... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm amazed the people pushing those sites haven't been prosecuted for perpetrating a scam. Then again, is it against the law to separate a moron from his cash with BS advice?

    And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:28:06 AM PDT

  •  I don't get this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, dharmafarmer
    This issue has changed so quickly that what was the progressive position a few years ago is now regarded as hopelessly right-wing.
    A few years ago, the progressive position was exactly the same as it is now. It hasn't changed in a decade or more. Maybe you can argue that 20 years ago Jim Crow for gays was the progressive position. Even that's debatable. Don't ask, don't tell was a huge milestone, but it wasn't the progressive position. But not 10 years ago. 10 years ago, the progressive position was full marriage equality. What's changed is that there are now politicians that are either evolved sufficiently, or now brave enough to publicly acknowledge that what has been the progressive position for at least a decade is the only right position.
  •  A guess on the poet (0+ / 0-)

    I've never read this one, so it's going to be a guess, and therefore unlikely to be right.  Perhaps if I show my work, I'll get a partial mark for being close.

    The vocabulary is crammed with archaic to obsolete words, yet other words are used with their more modern meanings, so this would not be Elizabethan or prior.  While many poets from just about any era will sometimes use an archaic or obsolete word, metri gratia if for no other reason, the promiscuous use here does limit things a bit.  I would say 19th Century most likely, though 18th not excluded.

    The snippet isn't lengthy enough to put the thought being developed here into context, but it does seem a rather Romantic sentiment is being worked on.

    ...So I'm going with Poe.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 08:12:24 AM PDT

  •  I think we can talk about it... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but it should always be accompanied by mockery and contempt for the murderer.  I'm offended by every discussion of Rodger-type people that doesn't begin and end by noting that they're pathetic losers.  If the media's so powerful as a draw to Rodger-type shits, then let's use it to create a disincentive to be that way.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:49:07 AM PDT

  •  The difference between men and women (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Mark Sumner

    Whether you're a man or a woman, it's horribly frustrating and painful to be lonely or overcome with longing for someone who isn't interested in you in the same way. The difference is that most (not all) women are trained from early childhood to blame themselves for not being attractive enough if a man doesn't want them and to work harder at personal grooming, how they dress, their manners, behavior, attitude, etc. Men on the other hand are taught that desirable women are simply out there for the taking and it's just a matter of making a plan of action and following it through, which is why they sometimes feel they've been cheated and revenge is in order. You never hear women say, "I did all the right things, I dieted and got a makeover and read self-help books, but those bastards still don't want me, so maybe I should just go get one drunk and rape him."

  •  Anyone ask about Rodger and prostitution ??? (0+ / 0-)

    If this guy had simply contacted a current-edition Heidi Fleiss and booked a reasonably competent sex worker for the afternoon, wouldn't UCSB & Friends be better off ?

    Possibly he would have enjoyed intercourse.

    The pro could have encouraged him to do ordinary dating.

    Is this too practical?

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 10:18:45 AM PDT

    •  Sex wasn't really the issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Prostitution wouldn't have done anything for Rodgers. He didn't seem to want women for the sake of having sex or romance. Rather, his use for women was as a way of keeping score against other men. Quantity and attractiveness of women were what he had come to believe the relevant metrics were.

      I'm here to represent the needle in the vein of the establishment.

      by mhojo on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 10:51:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My observation on nerd gets the cool kid movies: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When the schlubby guy gets the prom queen, he remains a schlub.  When the schlubby girl gets the football hero she has to have a makeover before he notices her.  

    •  Actually I think the rule is... (0+ / 0-)

      the girl can never be schlubby to begin with. She has to be an exceptional beauty who everyone pretends is ugly till she takes her glasses off.

    •  Based on a trope about what the genders want (0+ / 0-)

      I think the distinction is based on the purported differences in what the genders want in a significant other. Men want a physically attractive woman, so the schlubby girl has to undergo the physical transformation that allows her outer beauty to match her inner beauty.

      Women are not as superficial, the thinking goes - so the guy doesn't have to suddenly become well muscled. (Though, occasionally he gets some new clothes and a hair cut.) Rather, women are attracted to confidence - so the guys have to undergo some test, a passage into manhood, which gives them confidence and, for passing the test they are rewarded with the princess.

      I'm here to represent the needle in the vein of the establishment.

      by mhojo on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 12:59:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's all about Douthat (0+ / 0-)


    But feminism Douthat, too, is often a prisoner of Hefnerism, in the sense that it he tends to prescribe fret over more and more “sex positivity,” insisting that the only problem with contemporary sexual culture is that it’s imperfectly "egalitarian"; insufficiently iow's, overtly/overly celebratory of female agency and desire.
    Even  a non-pundit/"expert" like me can see what a frump Douthat is objecting to - eww girl cooties

    girl cooties photo cooties_zps46e60b6e.jpg

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