Friday, April 02, 2010

Now the Gray Lady Is . . . SATAN!?

The Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, fired back at the growing controversy surrounding Pope Benedict XVI’s inaction in the face of a generations-old sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Holy See to its very core leading into Good Friday and Easter weekend by -- blaming the media. The target of the Vatican’s ire is none other than my favorite newspaper, the venerable New York Times, a.k.a. the Gray Lady. Rather than addressing the truth, the Vatican has decided to manage the crisis with the oldest losing ploy in the world: spin and blame the messenger. Evidently, the Vatican has made a calculation that the best defense to its generational sexual abuse scandal is not a mea cupa followed by internal soul-searching that leads to meaningful reforms of the priesthood, but to attack the media, particularly the Times, for its sharp criticism of the Pope.

Ever the butt of good-natured jokes, from Rolling Stone (“All the News that Fits”) to Jon Stewart, it’s not as if the the Times has butted heads with Titans before (the Pentagon Papers) and lost. The Vatican cannot win this particular fight and should have realized the futility of attacking arguably the world’s most influential newspaper. The fact that the Pope’s apologists have chosen to attack the Times' reporters and columnists by name, in a veiled attempt at intimidation, will not work in a secular world of excommunication-resistant laws.

In a resentful riposte to the Times, Cardinal William J. Levada, current prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, singled out for discredit the reporting of Times senior columnist Laurie Goodstein and others: “I do not have time to deal with the Times’s subsequent almost daily articles by Rachel Donadio and others, much less with Maureen Dowd’s silly parroting of Goodstein’s 'disturbing report.'” Without getting into the weeds of the Times’ excellent reporting, the central question boils down to this: When did Pope Benedict, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, know about the sexual abuse by Fr. Lawrence Murphy, the Milwaukee priest who abused some 200 deaf children in an archdiocesan school from 1950 to 1974, and what did he do about it? It’s not that complicated.

The Vatican’s fiercest critic, Christopher Hitchens of Vanity Fair, fired a shot across the bow when he wrote:
This grisly little man is not above or outside the law. He is the titular head of a small state. We know more and more of the names of the children who were victims and of the pederasts who were his pets. This is a crime under any law (as well as a sin), and crime demands not sickly private ceremonies of “repentance,” or faux compensation by means of church-financed payoffs, but justice and punishment.
In response to the growing criticism the Church has now doubled down and gone Medieval. Noted Italian exorcist, Fr. Gabriele Amorth, says the press criticism is “prompted by the devil.” Really? And who is the patron saint of pedophiles? Fr. Armoth may be well advised to redirect his unusual skills to exorcising the cancer of pedophile sexual abuse from the Catholic Church, because, as they say, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. This crime is so heinous that the slightest hint of a coverup will be catastrophic for the Church. It is time the Vatican came clean. Enough is enough.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Michael Steele Has Been Awfully QUIET This Week

Where is the RNC’s gift that keeps on giving to Democrats? Ever since Bondagegate slithered onto the national scene this week, the usually media happy Chairman Steele has been conspicuous by his absence from any place a microphone or camera may be present.

Is he busy massaging GOP assets at CLUB VOYEUR? Has he been abducted by aliens, or did Tony Perkins’ warriors for Christ drag Steele off to an undisclosed location for an intervention that may last till November? Still, the chances of him voluntarily falling on his sword by Friday are next to nil; he likes his perks too much, he told Perkins. Private jets, lavish hotel suites, bondage parties . . . Oh, and that fundraising thing, not so good.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sister Sarah, Dominatrix, RNC Bondage: The GOP’s Black Leather Fetish

Was Sarah Palin’s bizarre sartorial faux pas at a McCain rally merely an accident of her execrable taste in clothing? Or was it a calculated choice of campy wear to spark synapses in the wingnuts’ reptilian fascist brains? Sarah Palin has proven her ability to wring every last government dole dollar from her adoring Teabagger fans, but fashion plate she is not. So when she hopped onto the stage to Gramps McCain’s frozen smile sporting a black leather biker jacket, the first thing that came to mind was “WTF?!”

Sister Sarah is as déclassé as can be, but this is over the top, even for her. The right wing’s subliminal sartorial messenger struck a decidedly kinky or fascist, pose, depending on which way one looked at it. Or both. Consider how often the right wing has linked Palin with the BDSM scene as a dominant fantasy. Just Google “Palin dominatrix” and you’ll get about two million hits. Prominent wingers have been queueing up for the kinky pleasures of being her sex slaves. At the risk of tossing your meal (NSFM), who could ever forget the revolting ejaculations of National Review’s Rich Lowry:
“I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.”
Not to be outdone, wingnut pansy Jonah Goldberg injected his own Freudian version of “Jonah’s Complaint:”
“First, let me just get it out of the way: I think she is a tremendously sexy woman. How this will effect the race, I have no idea, but it’s just got to. It’s not an issue of glamour so much as a kind of Paglian chthonic sexual power. Set in that context, her unabashed embrace of her fecundity and motherhood as a kind of qualification makes a lot of sense…Palin exudes sexual confidence and maternal authority…It makes a lot of men uncomfortable, but that’s because it’s the kind of female power they are most often subject to, and most often fail to successfully resist. I spent much of my life taking orders from women a lot like Sarah Palin — women like my mother and my Iowa public school teachers…When a woman like Sarah Palin says “jump,” I am inclined to deferentially inquire into the requirements of this jump.”
Sorry. I should have warned you to have barf bags at the ready, even if only for dry heaves. I know you were excited, Jonah: It’s “affect” and not “effect.” These panting bloviations aside, Sarah Palin has become the object of black leather fascist fantasies of reptilian wingnut males, a festishist's dream come true, as well as of the women who see in Palin a real “role” model of how to behave around their men-folk.

Fashionista website STYLEITE missed the forest for the trees when, instead of focusing on the politics (OK, it’s not their thing), said “we want to take a moment and ask Sarah, who on earth told you to wear that jacket?” All those Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg Palin wankers out there, that’s who! STYLEITE continued, “Palin’s zipper biker jacket that she paired with a chandelier earring and her token librarian glasses seemed highly inappropriate and, frankly, ugly.” Well yeah, but her target Teabagger/fascist audience isn’t exactly fashion-conscious.

Face it. Conservatives have problems with women, particularly strong women. They are uncomfortable with women’s growing professional assertiveness. Conservatives were bypassed by the feminist movement, which they regard as a liberal plot to emasculate them. Conservatives pay lip service to what they will derisively sneer as “politically correct” conduct between the sexes, which compels them to treat women as equals (but really not so equal) under the law. Until they exit their regulated environments with OSHA regulations and watchdog HR departments and go home to their bunkers, trailers, and suburban enclaves, before heading out to the Teabagger rally, perchance to catch a glimpse of Sarah Palin, where they get to be themselves.

Come to think of it, the GOP elites have had a disturbing flirtation of late with the Party high life and BDSM master-slave sexual inclinations. RNC Chairman Michael Steele is traveling in style: private jet and lavish hotels, and a $2,000 tab charged to the RNC for a GOP party animal’s excellent adventure at a BDSM lesbian bondage theme strip club in West Hollywood. Niiice. Call it the Palindrome: Black leather biker gear for the GOP’s biggest draw, dominatrix Sarah Palin.

Finally there’s David Ito, the career L.A. SEC supervisor who was surfing porn at the office for more than 1,800 times over a 17-day period on his government issue computer at the height of the GW Bush economic collapse. To date, porn warrior Ito has not been disciplined for literally jerking off your 401k. In fact, he received a promotion. Clearly, the SEC is not up to the task of its enhanced responsibilities enforcing expanded financial services regulations. Not as long as Ito, well . . . you know.

Go, family values. Get thee to a nunnery. Oh wait, that’s not safe either. Okay, vote for the Tea “Party” candidate. Democrats are loving the three-way split. Um . . . not ménage-a-trois.