Whatever you think of 18th Century painting, the century presented the high-water mark of the tableau. Because I’m a painting illiterate, I’ll confine my remarks to what I do recall. I can’t find it online, because it’s probably French and probably entitled something gnomic like “The Rivals” or “His Cruel Mistress,” only in French, but there’s a painting of a lovely and well got-up young woman seated on fine furniture in a drawing room, disciplining her dog while ignoring her suitor, who is presumably the painter of the portrait. There’d been a long tradition out of Petrarch of representing the desired one who wouldn’t submit to one’s blandishments as cruel for thwarting the erotic ambitions of the depicter. Part of the cleverness of the Petrarchan conceit was that the object of desire was Poesia herself, just as Dante had represented his beloved Beatrice as a kind of platonic transcendental signifier on the climb towards the Civitas Dei, figured and disfigured in the form of Florence and/or the infernal City of Dis. So, apart from commenting on a physically and temporally bound object of his desire, the painter of the day could have expected of his more educated audience an understanding that any essay on trying to achieve painterly perfection would be understood, as well, as referring to the discipline required of painting in the realistic tradition while at the same time attempting to signify beyond it. And a beautiful painting, as a beautiful woman, can be appreciated for its beauty per se, or for what that beauty represents—in this case tantalization, technique and sweat.
For most of us, there’s not so much transcendental about our earthly lusts. We desire, and we are rejected or indulged according to our fortunes. Rejection generally involves a great deal more in the way of instruction, but as we are human beings, we are usually not mollified by the booby prize, whatever good it might do us to contemplate it.
All of this is by way of preface to my thoughts on the radical left’s latest round of efforts in the direction of censorship. Included among them are DDOS and other attacks against right-wing blogs (recently including Lonely Conservative and Zilla) and abuse of the troll- and bot-combating mechanisms of social media platforms, such as Twitter. Yesterday evening, I had a discussion with Ladd Ehlinger, in which he spoke at some length about his experience in tracking down such malefactors. According to Ladd, and unsurprisingly, a lot of the White House’s web team is also deeply involved off hours with the Anonymous hackers and hangers on. He discovered the identity of one persistent troll and would-be troublemaker at his site, attracted thence by Ladd’s posts on Anthony Wiener. This creature had gone to the effort of using a proxy anonymizer to post his rubbish at Ehlinger’s site, and was therefore surprised when Ehlinger broke through and tracked him down, to discover that he was an Anonymous Wannabe whose site attacks and general light hackery were part of what he imagined to be a means of gang initiation. Whether the Anonymous cadre based in the White House and its Internet environs actually encourage such behavior or hand out missions to those wanting in, I don’t know, but I do know that Ladd knows his way around computer security and has web design chops, so I’m confident that this is good information. Once Ladd ‘doxed’ the main troublemaker, by publishing a compilation of Internet-available information on him in a conveniently synoptic form, the whole infestation of web roaches scurried off for good. It helps, too, when they brag about it.
Apart from these crude mechanisms of censorship, the idiot left has other ideas, and this leads me to remark on the latest round of Lysistrategy. MMfA, OFA and the other usual suspects are now encouraging women whose sex partners might commit the horror of voting against the SCOAMF to deny them passage. That’s fine with me. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who is willing to treat her man as a dog that needs to have its nose pushed into its excrement can cry in her double mocha latte when he splits for some comparatively sane chick. It’s the language in which the scheme is cast that really grinds my beans:
Of course, you first have to determine whether your fella is a Republican, if he hasn’t already told you. This shouldn’t be too hard. Does he own a Glock, which he keeps in case a deer breaks into your house? Does he work for Goldman Sachs? Does he favor the missionary position because it sounds vaguely religious? Does he keep a Confederate flag in his sock drawer? When you go to Macy’s together, does he wander off while you’re in the cosmetics department and secretly fondle sweater vests?
Okay, so now it’s November and you haven’t had sex with him since April. Drooling all over himself, he promises he’ll do anything you say. But what if he tries to trick you? Voting is confidential, so no matter how horny he is, he might tell you he’s voting for Obama, but then vote the Republican ticket instead. How do you prevent this from happening? Simple. Make him stay home on Election Day.
You’re going to forbid the guy to vote, if he wants to enjoy your sweet ladybits? If that’s really the situation that you’ve got, women, and if your browbeating generates the desired behavior, that thing that you’re permitting entry into your sanctum sanctorum isn’t a man at all. It is both contemptuous and contemptible to think that any man at all with any kind of self respect (which is redundant, I know) is going to be pussy-whipped into not exercising his right to vote. It’s just another example of the kind of bullying that the left finds so clever, when it is deployed in the service of their ideology.
If God had wanted to enslave us to your vaginas, he wouldn’t have given us hands.