In three days my daughter will be fifty-one. Yesterday I drove her to the doctor’s office. She injured her back several months ago while working as a nurse in the cardiac ward trying by herself to move a patient who weighed in excess of three hundred pounds; proving, I guess, not a few physical laws about mass, force, inertia, and movement. What she did move were several vertebrae and their connecting tissues which became the cause of my “moving” her to the doctor’s office for treatment.
Cause and effect is really interesting when you spend a little time thinking about it, don’t you know.
Along the way we talked about a few things, one of them being the current battle in the ongoing “war of the sexes”, for want of a better way of putting it; the one which might be called the “Battle of The Hash Tag”.
Perhaps it is because she is the daughter of a fellow who spent a number of years in law enforcement, in and out of court rooms, involved with attorneys offices, due process, yadda, yadda.., but she did surprise me a little with the vehemence of her reaction to the whole matter and her opinions about the opposing sides in the current bloody battle. She had no use for either of them, but the side she most criticized was the Hash Tags.
I listened to her criticisms of women who brought forth, after being given compensation it now appears in many cases to do so, complaints about sexual liberties taken by men with whom they worked, or knew or were simply around…and famous; and the guys who were, really, skunks and low-lifes, if that’s what happened, being marched before the lights and fitted for the noose like a bunch of bankers in Mao’s China, or a bunch of college professors being accused of telling the truth to idiots; coddled idiots to be sure, but….
As she spoke I remembered some things from other days not so long ago, and the word lynching, among others, crept into my mind, not for the first time in the past several months. Yes, lynching and the term “uppity Nigger”. As we all know, it can even take place in Senate chambers on TV given the proper circumstances. Who really needs a Coliseum any longer?
I also remembered the term “Casting Couch”, and how it was one of those things in the “not so long ago” that everyone acknowledged and more or less lived with; casting a wink, a nod and a knowing smile toward Show Biz folks, and corner office holders everywhere; at those who had made it a way of life, on both sides of the whole sordid mess. Who did not know that “stars” and “starlets”, that corner office holders and “executive assistants” were “like that” was, well, stupid. Who in their right mind marries seven times? Who lives in Connecticut with the wife and kids but has several apartments scattered across the country in case the meeting, the conference, the scene shoot, the whatever runs long?
I also remembered my mother Eleanor “Big Nell” Gallaher, and her sister, the formidable Violet Augustina Downs, two ladies from another age whose withering glances, and emasculating tongues combined with impeccable manners were more than a match for any animal on two or four feet. Their mother grew up in the notorious Five Corners section of Lower Manhattan whose gangs and rackets make today’s M-13 look like Cub Scouts and Little League Ball. I never heard one of them raise their voices. Nor, did I ever hear them once express regret at ever having done or not done anything. They knew right from wrong, clean from dirty, a gentleman from a jerk; and well knew the way to deal with each kind.
I sat thinking about those three women, and the others,the many, whom I knew growing up, and wondered what had happened since.
What upset her most, my daughter told me as I drove her home after her visit, was the fact that all of those accused were immediately judged to be as guilty as sin, frog marched through the papers and the evening news, “perp” walked across the country and ruined as completely as if they’d been the target of a sneak atomic attack; cast into the dark with the dogs the to weep and gnash their teeth for something that no one will really know happened as terribly and as frequently as it has been alleged to happen. Could something like that have happened with women like her grandmother, grand aunt and great grandmother?
Perhaps they deserved it! Perhaps the perverts were exactly that, perverts. But, the way in which things took place here is, I can’t help thinking, every bit as perverted and disgusting as the acts alleged, and, by the way acts not at all proven, yet. And the cast of thousands, the “lunch” mob of attorneys, commentators, reporters, editors, and guardians of the world who dine now on the rotting corpses of the condemned, the protectors of maids and maidenheads haven’t the slightest interest in that thing called truth.
Nor, if truth be told, am I in the least bit convinced of the sincerity of the “flash tag” legions. They are no different than the window breaking, flag burning, marching mobs who fill the streets at the drop of a hat, demanding an end to everything. Far from being something new, they are simply the same thugs and thieves screaming now in soprano voice; a hellish choir of angry demons, exploiting the latest, admittedly very exploitable, sorry mess we make of ourselves with great regularity; the latest sordid evidence of our own falleness.
On the way home we continued the conversation. My daughter asked me why I thought this whole mess of “sexual sinning” was being played out as it happens to be. My answer was simply that it is another set piece designed by the folks, or forces, who want an end at last to Western Civilization; another part of the multi pronged attack against it. That’s a pretty big thesis to defend, I know. And I freely admit, it’s beyond my little brain to defend it. But, it is the way it seems to me.
We had a cup of tea at her house, then I left. Driving home I remembered another day and time, a conversation with my brother-in-law Frank Morse, R.I.P, a cop in New York city, whose birthday is today. We were both young men talking about what we saw going on around us in the 1960’s during the Age of Aquarius, the Summer of Love, when everyone it seemed was turning on, tuning in””’ and dropping out and wondering when the tocsin would ring.
Over another beer he told me about the time his Uncle, who drove a car for some mobster in The City, and his Father had to visit a fellow and convince him he had to behave more gentlemanly to his wife. It took more than one lesson, one visit to the “family therapist”, but, despite the attention payed to the matter, no progress seemed ever to be made, and the marriage was ended.
If I had a nickle for the number of such counseling sessions I heard about during my growing up, and the number of lessons I received from them, and the men with whom I grew up, about the way a man should treat a woman I think I would be a rich fellow.
Now, there are no men. Now, there are no women either it seems. Summer is long over. So is the Age of Aquarius. Do you hear the bell ringing? It is the tocsin.