Some cut hair, some snort coke. Kids do stupid things when they're young.
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Some cut hair, some snort coke. Kids do stupid things when they're young.
"I donít remember that incident and Iíll tell you I certainly donít believe that I, I canít speak for other people of course, thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s, so that was not the case. But as to pranks that were played back then, I donít remember them all...."
ἁμαρτία--in English "hamartia"--is Aristotle's word for the fatal flaw that leads to a hero's downfall. It entails enormous narcissism and grandiosity, along with a determination to defeat and disgrace all enemies (and perceived enemies) and be recognized as the greatest person in the world. Sound like anyone you know?
...That Romney blatantly hates homosexuals, the Washington Post dropped this story recently:
Whoops, sorry there's already a thread about this. Mods, feel free to delete this.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but everyone is not entitled to their own facts."
--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"He has the courage of a fighting cock and the brains of a chicken."
-I cannot find the attribution for this :-(
@ULTRAGOTHA on Twitter
Even an act you'd think only a sociopath capable of doing can still not necessarily reflect on who someone becomes.
Bottom line: if Mittens just owned the damn thing, I wouldn't care. It's this "I can't remember" crap that he seems to get afflicted with every time someone calls him on something that drives me nuts. You do something horrible to someone else, it stays with you, unless you're just a horrible person.
Last edited by Mharvey; 05-11-2012 at 07:22 AM.
Currently Working On: Untitled Urban Fantasy, 10000ish words in
In The Bottom Drawer:Too Damn Many To Count.
This isn't the worst thing they have on Romney, and I wouldn't think much of it if he remembered it as a horrible mistake he made as a kid, but the thing is, here's a man who bullied as a teen, mistreated the family dog as an adult, and seemingly sees nothing wrong with either.
That article makes me want to blame Romney for everything that happened to poor Lauber as a result of that one traumatizing experience.
But I don't.
I attended a prep school in the '80s similar to Cranbrook--in fact we were one of their crosstown rivals in hockey. Similar to rugcat's description, any out and out bullying would have been quickly shut down. The snobbery of the students at the top of the caste system--kids whose parents had considerable wealth and power--was not to be believed. It was almost as if they didn't perceive the rest of us (nerds, drama kids, fatties, punks) as actual people like them. I think Romney halfassed his apology because he's out of touch--he's shown that before--but also because it really may not have seemed like a big deal to him at the time to attack someone, y'know, not our kind.
Mitt is super smart and accomplished. It's hard to imagine that someone like that has a bad memory. If his cohorts remember, then he probably does too. Especially since he seemed to be the leader of the attack on Mr. Lauber.
Unless, of course, Mitt routinely bullied other kids all the time when he was young. Then I suppose it's hard to keep track. I can see how, after giving 50 wedgies, everything just became a blur...
I don't think Mitt is an evil guy. I know I've done stuff as a kid and adult that I'm ashamed of. But dude, when you get called out on something you did wrong, just own up to it and apologize. It's not that hard to do. Mr. Lauber is dead; he's not gonna sue Mitt now.
Same with the dog. Same with the jokes about shutting down a company and leaving all its employees without jobs.
I don't even have a huge problem with Mittens politically (being that he's not an insanely woman-hating social conservative, at least relatively speaking), but he does seem like a sociopath.
The thing that worries me most about Romney's response may have to do with the fact that some elements of the Republican party are pushing laws in states in give a right to bully. More precisely, the bills give a religious exemption to bullying.
Romney may actually be worried that if he says it was a terrible thing to do (rather than 'pranks and hijinks') that he'll turn off some of the party base.
Tennessee had such a bill:
So did Michigan:
To the branch of the base that supports bills like this, Romney may actually look good for what he did as a teenager and for his laughing it off now.
This incident, while not central, does contribute to the image of rich-entitled-in-crowd-out-of-touch-dude that seems to hang around his head like an aura. It's not entirely inconsequential to the issue of just what is Mitt Romney about these days. His response is unhelpful, to say the least.
As for Romney himself, I don't think there's any excuse for being cruel to others. Being young doesn't make bullying okay. I do believe, however, in allowing people the opportunity to change and grow. But I'm not impressed with Romney's reaction, here.
What happened was, that the real Mitt shone through that day. I don't believe people change that much. When your teenage years have passed, all (most) people do is learn to hide or supress certain behaviour, that is perceived by others as unwanted. At their core, they stay the same, Mitt is still Mitt.
What he has done that day is one of the most sickening things I've ever heard about (on par with consuming ground up baby-foetuses). These acts utterly destroy people. He did it because he found this boys hair offensive. He should have gone to jail for it. But at least now we know what kind of basterd he really is.
Feel free to ignore me as I tangent the thread to death.
But seriously, the dog thing. Normal people, even those who can't stand animals, don't torture them for shits and giggles like that.
I guess what I'm trying to ask is - when did empathy become a dirty word?
I think there is a teaching away from empathy for boys being brought up macho. This inevitably idolizes the people who naturally lack empathy: narcissists, bullies etc.
In short: Empathy = Cooties.
So perhaps this cultural movement is an exaggerated response (i.e. embracing sociopathy) to what many see as the "feminization" of culture, where everyone is forced to behave as a civilized human being, where clocking someone is no longer seen as an acceptable route to solving one's problems?
Or is it a reaction to the (not quite) equalization of the power of the sexes?
Or can you even separate the two?
I guess what I'm wondering is: does this come from a loss of masculine identity/narrative, because people are confused where they fit in the grand scheme and this is their reaction? Or does it come from misogyny, because male is less and less synonymous with power?
Sorry for the derail, once again.
A lot of anti-gay prejudice by men is, I think, fear of being seen as having feminine characteristics. Since a number of those characteristics are actually human characteristics (love, empathy, caring, appreciation of beauty that isn't automatically sexual) there is a fear of being seen as 'one of those'
It's the old principle of witch-hunting, the way to not be seen as a witch is to join the hunters. Therefore, the way to not be seen (by oneself or by others) as not feminine (i.e. not gay) is to be as macho as possible and to join in with gay-bashing.
The stereotype of the gay-basher who's really in the closet is one part of this, but there is a don't look gay idea present in a lot of society.
It does seem to be dying out in the younger generation in my limited experience. Of course, that may be where I'm living and what kids I'm seeing.
It's dying out depending on where you live. My high school had a GSA ten years ago and there were plenty of guys (not gay) mucking about with long hair. Which was wondrous. I find that quite attractive >_<'
But yeah. My biggest issue with this, beyond the fact that something I thought I made up for a story has been confirmed realistically plausible, is that not only did he sort of laugh and brush this off, but he doesn't seem to care about any of the measures that would protect LGBT students who were bullied.
And have you ever seen interviews with him? If someone brings up a question he doesn't feel like answering, he laughs at the interviewer and spouts something about how the question is unimportant and let's talk about real issues.
Some bullies will change their mindset after high school. Some will feel guilt. Based on his behavior as an adult and his policy choices, I don't believe for a second that he does.
Morning Star - Edward struggles with depression and self identity within a small community that seems vested in old fashioned beliefs. Weak willed and desperate, he attempts to give himself up to eternal sleep, forcing his friends, family, and fellow students to cope with the choice he's made.
Anyway, this is what I'm thinking:
(1) Gender identity, like national identity, is in a state of collapse.
(2) Men, as the "ruling" class, tend to feel this more keenly than women, who while perhaps are ambivalent about it, at least see the freedom in it.
(3) This compounds with an ongoing loss of male privilege, which is often seen as male discrimination due to a lack of aknowledgment of privilege. You see it in *coughchoke* "men's rights" movements, who are quite upset about things like how fewer men graduate from college than women.
(4) The response is the celebration of an outside-from-within view of masculinity, which abhors the "feminine" (human) characteristics in favor of an exaggerated mythic masculinity, i.e.: asshole.
I think that's because the younger the kiddos, the less sex is ascribed to their identities; they don't have as many issues with it as the older folks who may feel their gender has been robbed from them over the course of their lifetimes. Perhaps.It does seem to be dying out in the younger generation in my limited experience. Of course, that may be where I'm living and what kids I'm seeing.
Last edited by Yorkist; 05-11-2012 at 03:22 PM.