Saturday, June 6, 2015
Hastert, Duggar Victims
So I watched me some MSNBC last night and of course the big news was Dennis Hastert being confronted by the sister of the deceased at a funeral in 1995, the deceased having died of AIDS, and the sister saying to Hastert "I know what you did." Allegedly. The story was repeated on each of the lineups shows. Reverend Al called on Ryan Grim, ace reporter, to sort things out. I was expecting Grim to talk about the hush money angle, and the obvious hypocrisy of, well, the Hypocrisy Party, one after another Speaker resigning during Bill Clinton's impeachment for sexual "issues," then the House settling on Hastert, the old Coach and family man, "at least he's straight," and getting back to bidness.
But this isn't where Grim went. Instead it was all "finally the big gay marriage issue will be over, no more about the big gay marriage issue," Hastert was gay, let's get real. I kept waiting for the Rev. or somebody or other to remind Grim that Hastert's problem, for which he was paying blackmail, was not "teh gay." The rejoinder never came, and on into the evening, with Chris Hayes, the same silence was maintained. It was like watching Megyn Kelly whitewash the Duggars, which I'll get to in a second.
How does the media manage to be so entirely amnesic. Hastert's story isn't about gayness, it's about the apparent sexual attraction of power, it's the Sandusky/Penn State story again. Oh I know that the right wing Neandertals are still toiling at the wheel of keeping gays out of the Boy Scouts--and Josh Duggar is among that crew, sweating bullets in the Georgia sun. Duggar and the Family Research Council has made the spurious statistical case that since (allegedly) more homosexuals sexually assault children than do straights, it therefore follows that gays shouldn't be allowed in the Boy Scouts. But that argument is a slippery slope to profiling, which is objectionable because profiling is a moral shortcut that captures the innocent along with the guilty.
Yet there's MSNBC, sliding down that hole with a grin, like a happy river otter.
I flipped the channel for a moment to Fox. There's Megyn, with two of the Duggar "girls," who looked about 16 although they are apparently already married, so they must be reasoning adults and can even vote, probably without much in the way of showing ID. They're both crying at the thought of the pain their brother's outing has caused him and them, and the family business. And I thought, this is just more of the same, the Duggar children are still being molested, in this case mindfucked, victims of their parents' bizarre, deviant "lifestyle", which probably bent li'l Josh's perceptions way back when with all the how-to-be-a-man modelling Jim Bob was doing, then victimized again by a definition of "feminine" which stresses forgiveness and submission and telling victims that worse than the rape is the bitterness. Sprinkled on top of course is the moneymaker, as in shake your..., a tv franchise which lifts the family out of red-neck flyover land based on a myth of family perfection created by a back to the way back lifestyle where Father Knows Best. Raise questions about that myth and the money stops and Jim Bob has to find a job, if he can. Meanwhile, all the kids have to perform to the myth, and never mind if it hurts a bit here and there pounding the square peg into the round hole. The entire Duggar clan is closeted in the basic sense. Fox News' efforts seem nothing so much as the new Galileo Trial. But it's Lena Dunham's fault.
The old narratives die hard. Hastert is a story of gayness gone wrong. Josh is just a boy who needed some hard physical labor with a pal of his dad to sort things out. Too bad he didn't get into wrestling.
Apparently if you sprinkle the incantation of "religious belief" over it, just about any damn thing will fit through the eye of the needle. They tried the magic in Indiana a few months back, and it only was deterred because big money objected. Big money apparently objects to any rational appraisal of the Duggar "family." If you think it's downright creepy to keep your wife pregnant for her entire childbearing years, and to create a gigantic family which depends for its wellbeing on being specimens on some TV reality show, just remember, "religion." How charming would the country think a poor, black family of 21 was with no TV show to grease the skids, just a money starved Arkansas social services department.
Here in NC, we're working hard to pass a law which exempts magistrates from marrying same sex couples if that idea clashes with their religious beliefs. How convenient. For more reading, here's a survivor's story:
Also, all the links are great: