#TOOLATE?

I’m a late adapter. 

Maybe it’s because I’m really not into fads. 

Anytime something is “all the rage,” I want to run as far from it as I can and wait to see if it survives the hype. If it does, then it’s probably legit. But very often – in fact, most of the time – things don’t actually survive the original hype. And we look back and laugh at ourselves for having been so passionate about them in the first place. 

This is true of everything from pet rocks and free love to mullets and break dancing. 

People move on to the next thing; the next fad or the next outrage.They find new things to purchase or dance to or argue about.  

Right now, we’re all about Covid this and mask that and vaccine the other thing. And unfortunately, it’s life and death. 

But it was a mere three years ago when the watershed moment of #metoo happened. Women rose up and declared their abuse and harassment and assault to the world. And no one sporting a penis was truly out of the crosshairs. 

All of us males were on notice in some way or another. 

Men were apologizing for things they themselves had never done. Nobody could quite figure out what the rules were. Were we allowed to ask someone out on a date? Were we allowed to flirt? Where was the line?

Nobody really knew. But one thing was certain – we had all crossed it at one time or another. At least that’s what we were being told. 

I personally never apologized for anything. Because I’ve never raped or assaulted anyone. I’ve always tried to treat women (and men, for that matter) with respect and decency. I empathized with those who had #metoo stories. My mother and my wife both have them. And men who do things like that should be dealt with in a real way. 

But having said all of that, I’m not going to lie…the height of the #metoo movement started to feel like Disco there toward the end. You can only play that same song in the club so many times and people get weary of doing the hustle. 

The trouble is, the #metoo movement left some actual damage in its wake. 

I watched an Aziz Ansari (who used to be one of my favorite comedians – emphasis on used to be) put out a comedy special that was so contrite and apologetic it was almost unwatchable. The man was clearly shaken. He had been the subject of a sexual assault investigation that was basically proven to be just a date that kinda went bad. 

He didn’t rape anybody or assault anybody or harass anybody. He just went out with a girl and it didn’t go so well. That’s part of the male/female dance. It’s very hard to regulate and legislate. 

We rely on our good faith as decent human beings, and our upbringing and values, to keep the rules between men and women in force. We also rely on our relative sanity as cogent, thinking people to help us understand the difference between someone being inappropriate and someone being human. 

Unfortunately, in the heat of a “social movement” a lot of that sanity goes out the window. 

And that turns Aziz Ansari into “Aziz I’m Sorry.” And the laughs become infrequent and cautious. Humans aren’t supposed to laugh cautiously. 

Anyway …

I was wondering when or if the #metoo stuff would run its course. And when I saw Alec Baldwin direct a pretty inappropriate joke toward Angie Harmon, on Match Game, and she sorta laughed re-faced and embarrassed instead of storming out with her fists in the air, I thought to myself, “Ah…I guess it’s over, now.” 

Then 2020 happened and we all forgot about pretty much everything that had happened before it. 

But what about the remnants of #metoo? Is it still a thing? Is it still important? Is it still worth the kind of passion it once was?

I can’t (and won’t even pretend to) speak for women regarding this subject. I mainly just listen to them. But does everybody realize that Bill Cosby is out of prison, now? 

And do you know why he’s out of prison? Because in the heat of the passion to put him away, the prosecutors made some legal errors and left open some loopholes. Instead of prosecuting him with a cool head and a steady hand, they rushed in to seize the moment and surf the social wave. 

Result? Serial rapist, free. 

Does anybody care? Where are the marches? Surely everybody didn’t get rid of their pink, Pu$$y hats. Where are those?

Yesterday, Andrew Cuomo was accused by multiple women of harassment and assault. The “culture” described in their testimonies seems slimy and disgusting and sounds like the kind of thing nobody could’ve survived three years ago. Some high ranking officials have called for the man to resign, but he just kinda brushed it off and said it’s not true. 

Hey, I don’t know if any of it’s true or not. I’ve never met the man. He’s never touched my butt. He may be telling the truth. Only he and the women involved know what really happened. 

But where are the millions of voices calling for his forced removal? Where is the passion for his being cancelled? Is Hollywood going to demand its Emmy back? Are those who called themselves “Cuomosexuals” going to recant? 

Jimmy Fallon apologized to his fans for having Donald Trump on his show and “normalizing” him. Jimmy was part of that “Cuomosexual” brigade. I’ll be curious to see his apology. I’m sure it’s just around the corner? 

Buying into a notion, and I mean all the way in, requires you to follow that notion to wherever it ultimately leads. If you become a crusader against money laundering, you’d better be sure your dad isn’t an accountant for Moralto crime family. 

If you get elected to clean up the vice in the city, make sure your uncle Hershel isn’t running an escort service out of the back of the church. And if you don’t want to know, don’t campaign on it. 

A lot of the fire of the #metoo movement seems to have died down in the wake of more current politics. And I can’t help but look back and wonder which parts of of it were sincere and pure, and which parts were politically expedient. 

As of this writing I still don’t assault or harass women. I’m still not a rapist or a sexual predator. But I amconsidered by some to be a subversive voice, who has spread false and dangerous information.

It sometimes makes you wonder if there’s just a contingent of people out there looking for whatever they can latch onto to silence the voices with whom they disagree. 

The most sinister part of that possible scenario would be that there are actual victims being used as political pawns. They got a moment three years ago. They got heard. And they got believed…in some cases, without any credible proof of any wrong doing. 

Now? 

Well, as they say in show business, timing is everything. Making your sexual harassment case against a popular Democrat governor/media darling, would’ve been better received a few years ago…you know…back when it was hip. 

These days, we’re all about masks and shots and arguing about thatstuff. 

Get with it, ladies. Your emotional damage and physical abuse is clearly out of style.       

You might just have to wait for the next fad to hit, to get any justice. 

R

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4 thoughts on “#TOOLATE?

  1. I’ve been reading the stuff happening at Activision/Blizzard. Things that have been going on for years and reddit posts from 2013 coming to light.

    Like

  2. Great Blog!! Favorite line..”It sometimes makes you wonder if there’s just a contingent of people out there looking for whatever they can latch onto to silence the voices with whom they disagree…
    Yes! 🎯 And I believe some people don’t know what do with themselves and become bored if they don’t have something to be angry about. Sadly…Anger seems to be the go to emotion these days.😠😡🤬

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You wrote:

    “A lot of the fire of the #metoo movement seems to have died down in the wake of more current politics. And I can’t help but look back and wonder which parts of of it were sincere and pure, and which parts were politically expedient.”

    I personally learned a valuable lesson about political expediency when the National Organization for Women (NOW) was totally silent about President Bill Clinton’s abuse of his intern Monica Lewinsky and establishing what fits the description of a hostile environment in her workplace.

    Now I have learned how to spot both Republicans and Democrats in their willingness to turn a blind eye to egregious behavior if it satisfies their political positions.

    Unfortunately, this causes me to be more skeptical of revelations in the press.

    I’m sure I’m not the only person who is responding to such news reports in this manner; basically turning a deaf ear toward them after a while.

    I hate to think that I am ignoring a dire and genuine situation, but for that I tend to blame political organizations and their tendency to spin such items for political gain.

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  4. NY-er here, I think you are significantly misreading the Cuomo situation. Accusations were publicized in March, the thing that happened this week was that the state AG’s office released its investigation report and concluded that the accusations are true. Maybe the headline you caught was 1-2 of the accusers filing criminal charges? Anyway, for the politics of it, the state legislature has an open impeachment inquiry, which was pending that report, and will rapidly advance that process with a recommendation to impeach him. The resignation calls from PotUS and US legislators from NY serve as credit issuance notices to the NY legislators who will vote on this that party apparatus will not retaliate against those who support removal. Cuomo will get gone, by his own hand or the state senate’s. You are predicting that the current politico-cultural climate will not impose meaningful consequences on Cuomo; that prediction will be false.
    I think the legislature should have acted prior to this report, because Cuomo’s public defense against the accusations acknowledged the physical facts alleged and just disputed the intent / mens-rea of the situations. But it’s easy to explain why nobody went marching about this yet – a justice process commenced promptly and so far is still progressing.

    As for MeToo being stale and flawed more generally – yes the Aziz Ansari date amounts to him being a jerk, not him being evil or a criminal; but I think it’s ok if he’s shaken by it, because that’s actually what’s supposed to happen after you behave like a jerk. Some people do go overboard in the context of a social frenzy, as you say, but the idea that “false accusations” have “done actual damage” like making Aziz Ansari feel bad is not compelling when weighed against the ubiquity of unambiguous assaults and harassments.

    You’re also gaslighting pandemic response efforts by comparing them to the ‘fad’ of #MeToo sexual assault allegations. Public health measures work if people follow them; US cases and deaths are disproportionate to the global trend because of failure to cooperate on fighting this threat. Global reported cases are now ~ 200M, with ~4 1/4 M deaths, that’s a fatality rate of just over 2%, which is slightly worse than USA 36M and 0.62M = 1.7%. (And yes India etc are probably dramatically underreported right now.) But per capita, we’ve had about a 10% case rate and a .19% death rate, that’s worse than Canada by x3, worse than Germany and Greece by about x2… the only quasi-peer country doing meaningfully worse than USA per capita is Italy, which was the 1st western country to get stuck and ought to have been enough warning for us to do better. There are multiple peer countries doing better and multiple sub-peer countries doing as well (poorly).

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