“Endless, Bitter Rancor Lies Ahead”

If you were to search this site for Camille Paglia, you would find eleven articles, most of them about something she has written. It is surprising how often I find myself agreeing with her, given how different in so many ways we are. Perhaps it has to do with that we actually think, and not just feel.

In any case, here is another article where I agree with much if not all. Via Joshuapundit at WatcherofWeasels.

It’s open sex war — a grisly death match that neither men nor women will win.

Ever since The New York Times opened the floodgates last October with its report about producer Harvey Weinstein’s atrocious history of sexual harassment, there has been a torrent of accusations, ranging from the trivial to the criminal, against powerful men in all walks of life.

But no profession has been more shockingly exposed and damaged than the entertainment industry, which has posed for so long as a bastion of enlightened liberalism. Despite years of pious lip service to feminism at award shows, the fabled “casting couch” of studio-era Hollywood clearly remains stubbornly in place.

The big question is whether the present wave of revelations, often consisting of unsubstantiated allegations from decades ago, will aid women’s ambitions in the long run or whether it is already creating further problems by reviving ancient stereotypes of women as hysterical, volatile and vindictive.

Complaints to the Human Resources department after the fact are no substitute for women themselves drawing the line against offensive behavior — on the spot and in the moment. Working-class women are often so dependent on their jobs that they cannot fight back, but there is no excuse for well-educated, middle-class women to elevate career advantage or fear of social embarrassment over their own dignity and self-respect as human beings. Speak up now, or shut up later! Modern democracy is predicated on principles of due process and the presumption of innocence. […]

It was overwhelmingly men who created the machines and ultra-efficient systems of the industrial revolution, which in turn emancipated women. For the first time in history, women have gained economic independence and no longer must depend on fathers or husbands for survival. But many women seem surprised and unnerved by the competitive, pitiless forces that drive the modern professions, which were shaped by entrepreneurial male bonding. It remains to be seen whether those deep patterns of mutually bruising male teamwork, which may date from the Stone Age, can be altered to accommodate female sensitivities without reducing productivity and progress.

Women’s discontent and confusion are being worsened by the postmodernist rhetoric of academe, which asserts that gender is a social construct and that biological sex differences don’t exist or don’t matter. Speaking from my lifelong transgender perspective, I find such claims absurd. That most men and women on the planet experience and process sexuality differently, in both mind and body, is blatantly obvious to any sensible person.

The modern sexual revolution began in the Jazz Age of the 1920s, when African-American dance liberated the body and when scandalous Hollywood movies glorified illicit romance. For all its idealistic good intentions, today’s #MeToo movement, with its indiscriminate catalog of victims, is taking us back to the Victorian archetypes of early silent film, where mustache-twirling villains tied damsels in distress to railroad tracks.

A Catholic backlash to Norma Shearer’s free love frolics and Mae West’s wicked double entendres finally forced strict compliance with the infamous studio production code in 1934. But ironically, those censorious rules launched Hollywood’s supreme era, when sex had to be conveyed by suggestion and innuendo, swept by thrilling surges of romantic music.

The witty, stylish, emancipated women of 1930s and ’40s movies liked and admired men and did not denigrate them. Carole Lombard, Myrna Loy, Lena Horne, Rosalind Russell and Ingrid Bergman had it all together onscreen in ways that make today’s sermonizing women stars seem taut and strident. In the 1950s and ’60s, austere European art films attained a stunning sexual sophistication via magnetic stars like Jeanne Moreau, Delphine Seyrig and Catherine Deneuve.

The movies have always shown how elemental passions boil beneath the thin veneer of civilization. By their power of intimate close-up, movies reveal the subtleties of facial expression and the ambiguities of mood and motivation that inform the alluring rituals of sexual attraction.

Read the rest here, do it now, I’ll wait for you.

There’s not a lot to add, she is simply correct, I think, and not just in the entertainment industry. The #MeToo hysteria has gone far enough that it will hurt women’s careers for years. Why exactly, would anybody with an ounce of sanity, hire somebody that experience indicates will involve your company (and likely you) in lawsuits and blatant blackmail. Just no sense in it.

The other thing she is right about is that movies, back in the day of the obscenity code, were a lot sexier, because it was something beyond lust, and if we are honest, nobody looks as good in reality as they do in our fantasies. So they broke the taboos, they made it realistic (this all goes for violence too, by the way) and they made it uninteresting, even boring. Because what we went to the movies for was a story. What we got was soft (mostly) porn.

Just the other night, I thought it might be fun to watch a movie, and I have thousands available, just as we all do online these days. I dug around here and there for about an hour and said the heck with it. The only ones that looked interesting, I’d seen many times, because they said something to me. Be nice if they’d make movies with a story again. Yes, Dunkirk was pretty good, as was Darkest Hour, but two movies out of the US/UK movie industries in a year, or is it a decade, what a waste.


About Neo
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

13 Responses to “Endless, Bitter Rancor Lies Ahead”

  1. Nicholas says:

    It really is hard to find a good recent film if you’re not in the mood for art house stuff and you’re not a fan of the Fast and Furious Franchise (don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking it – it just isn’t my thing).

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Nor mine, I did rather enjoy Wonder Woman, but once was enough, I think. Camille’s right, what I really miss are the actors from the 30-50s, male and female, the could communicate more with an eyebrow than these kids can with a sledgehammer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicholas says:

        I couldn’t agree more. These younger weedy actors have no gravitas, no oomph. This culture worships at the altar of youth and it’s pathetic. All I can say is thank God for my parents exposing me to older stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, that’s even true for me, although it was more TV. My parents didn’t do movies.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Nicholas says:

          Yeah, we watch a lot of TV. I can’t stand how watered down that has also become thanks to postmodernism. Still, I believe there will be a backlash: Fox knows who its core consumers are; I don’t see them churning out nothing but PC rubbish.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I hope you’re right. I almost never bother watching anymore, but then, like movies, 500 channels and nothing to watch. When I used to get British channels, I found myself watching the real life police shows more than anything else. Sad, that. No wonder they tightened it up, they should be embarrassed at what they produce.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Nicholas says:

          Ah, we have a lot of those real life ones. I can’t bring myself to watch them – too depressing. And having studied criminal law now, I can tell you about some sad cases.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I can’t say I miss them, or the US equivalents. In truth, I could get quite a few, hee and there, if I wanted to, just don’t see the point. Radio in the background and a book, is just better.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    If I said I always liked Joe McDoakes shorts, what would the average person think in these times? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:

    Is there a subtle significance of the harassment picture? Usual circle graph is a pie chart. This one appears to be a rolled up condom with reservoir tip. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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