Thursday, June 25, 2009

1970’s PIN UP ICON FARRAH FAWCETT DEAD AT 62

HOW MANY OF US FEEL THAT MUCH OLDER?


















Fawcett in one of the most popular dorm room posters of all times.
One of “Charlie’s Angels” sleeps with the rest of the Angels tonight.

THE ‘FLOMAX’ GENERATION MOURNS


(June 25, Male Adolescence circa 1976) It was sort of embarrassing to sit in the living room and watch this particular program if Mom was there too. Thankfully, most nights at 8 0’clock, the majority of us were working. Still, we knew who she was, what she was and that she represented an idea, a certain hormonally driven perfection that we half saw, half imaged as we nodded off on the Uptown D Train. The A&P might have had our asses for so many hours after school but Farrah, had our undivided attention.

Some sociologists argue that those who came of age during the early to mid 1970’s were the greatest beneficiaries of the upheaval and “sexual revolution” of the 1960’s. It must be true.

We grew up in a world striped of its innocence and looked across a panorama our parents would blush at. Sex was everywhere. The “Pill” had forever profoundly transformed the nature of intimacy. Sex was now available purely for pleasure. With the fear of an unwanted pregnancy removed, casual sex became commonplace.

Sex became commercial in that sexuality was now blatant in advertising and all genres of entertainment. It was appalling to our parents; it all seemed just fine, natural, to us but there was an inherent awkward undercurrent that got in the way. The problem was that we were raised by parents whose sexual experiences were, for the most part, solely for procreation; ‘illicit sex’ was not only taboo - it was a sin - a violation of “God’s Laws”. But, the cat was out of the proverbial bag for good. The days of “Ozzie and Harriet” and all the other buttoned down TV programs were now extinct.

The lines of acceptability on the networks was constantly being pushed and pushed hard. By the time Farrah Fawcett burst onto the national conscience, our collective cultural ethos, mores and tolerance regarding sex had evolved.

The rest, everything subsequent to that seminal shift, is history.

Those of us of a certain age face reminders of the rapidity of times passage daily. Our points of reference ar fixed points on a shoreline we are always sailing away from. death has provided some newer points of reference, it has taken family and friends from us while adding dates of significance to our personal calendars. These markers are deeply private and personal. The death of an adolesent icon such as Farrah Fawcett today, is a shared milestone - an entire generation of men now feel just that much older.



Links:


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hPNTX9pAE8nfuI1jxIbJVd7tGpOA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrah_Fawcett

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2009/06/25/2009-06-25_more_than_just_a_pinup_a_tribute_to_farrah_fawcett.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/peopleNews/idUSTRE55P0RO20090626


Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

“THAT WHOLE SPARKLING THING”

WHAT, REALLY, IS MARK SANFORD GUILTY OF?
(That we all need to know about?)









SANFORD AND SOUL



(June 24, Spartanburg, SC) Okay. He is the Governor of a State. He was the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He made headlines for refusing “stimulus money” from President Obama’s economic initiative. He has also been spoken about as an attractive, viable opposition candidate to The President in 2012. So he went off the radar screen for a few days. Big deal?

Now he’s back, full of explanations, remorse and angst. He is a father of four, married for twenty years. He is a Christian, actually, a proud, card carrying, Conservative Christian from deep in the Bible Belt.

And he has strayed. Good Lord Almighty, he has strayed!

Perhaps he and we would not be in this awkward but increasingly familiar spectacle if not for our collective, and disingenuous past.

Maybe our preference for privacy went by the wayside when black and white TV became color. Chet Huntley and David Brinkley may not have reported such a story. Certainly Walter Cronkite would have had a stroke if he’d attempted to face the nation with such tawdry details. Many Presidents and other politicians had been granted passes by the press. That all ended not all that long ago.

JFK’s romantic escapades were known but not reported. By the late 1970’s, the post-Watergate era, the media gloves had come off and our national taste for scandal had been whetted. The roster of politicos who’ve fallen publicly for private indiscretions is lengthy and star-studded. Arguably, the fate of our nation has been altered by what has transpired between two people between their sheets. Anyone remember Gary Hart?

It’s not morning in America anymore nor has it been for quite some time. This has been to our collective detriment. A corrosive force seems always swirling beneath the choppy waters of our political discourse, our elected officials lives. Who cast the first stone? That is debatable but there is no possible way to dent that “that” first stone was indeed cast and countless more have reigned down on the front lawn of our national politics for a long time. What has it gotten us? What has it taken from us?

Today, in the South Carolina State House we witnessed the public dissembling of an acutely troubled man. Before he was a Congressman or a Governor he was a man. A husband and a father, a man just like any with the same base compliment of humanity as any and every other man. That he chose to pursue a life in “public service” differentiates him from the vast majority of men in his vulnerability. His weaknesses are all too common; his position on the food chain puts him in rarified air. And so he’s fallen.

There is no fall greater than that from a prominent peak in today’s society, particularly in this, our day and age of newsertainment and reptilian partisanship. Governor Mark Sanford is political toast and, arguably, rightfully so. But. There is always a ‘but’.

How many other Marks and Matts, Bills and Bobs are out there wrestling with the very same complex weave of emotions, loyalty, fidelity, selfishness, guilt, lust, mortality and destiny? And, sadly, reality?

Yes, of course, there is the undeniable matter of the “public trust”, of the integrity, ethics, morality, honesty and fortitude of those few among us who are elected to represent us. They are held to a higher standard - rightly or wrongly - but, by virtue of their position in our society, they do have to answer to a wider audience than the rest of us.

Governor Sanford’s appearance before the press and a national viewership earlier today was, probably, as painful and gut wrenching as it appeared. There is no contesting that point. But. Yes, another ‘but’.

He set himself up for this all too public fall. His discretion was, basically, non existent. The manner in which he chose to say farewell to his lover, Maria, in Argentina, while essentially abandoning his Gubernatorial duties in the Palmetto State, indicates not only poor judgment but also a propensity for the spontaneous and sincere that we, as a people, seem not to want to have knowledge of in our elected officials. Sorry, Mark, we understand but we don’t accept. You’re the Goddamn Governor for Pete’s sake?!

At one point in his klieg light illuminated mea culpa, the Governor appeared to be working out his conflicting emotions for the first time; he looked as if he was giving voice to thoughts previously confined to his heart and head. As he spoke about how his relationship had began and flourished with maria over the years, he mentioned the “sparkle”. Who among us cannot in some way relate to “the sparkle”?

“That whole sparkling thing” was perhaps his most candid statement in that he verbally exposed a slice of meat that hangs very close to the bone. He had fallen for this woman and now, it was to be his undoing.

Mark Sanford has “loved and lost.” Is that better to “have never have loved at all”?

Over the last 30 years or so we have constructed the great arena in which public figures must live their lives and compete against their right to privacy and our voracious appetite to know all. Hypocrisy is not a new and novel product recently uncovered by technology; it has coursed through our minds since the dawn of man and woman. Had the Serpent been feminine would Adam have taken a bite?


Links:


http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/sanford_press_conference_leaves_unanswered_questio.php?ref=fpb

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/24168.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/06/25/2009-06-25_sanford_and_sin_south_carolina_govs_buenos_aires_.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/26/us/26sanford.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

http://www.thestate.com/sanford/story/839930.html


Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

DON’T CRY FOR HIM ARGENTINA

SANFORD REAPPEARS: ADMITS TO AFFAIR















South Carolina Republican Governor
Mark Sanford slobbering at news conference earlier.
(AP Photo)


ANOTHER SUCKER PUNCH FOR THE GOP

(June 24, Columbia, SC) Unless the Appalachian Trail extends deep into South America, the half-assed cover story offered as late as yesterday by Governor Sanford’s staff was not simply a lie, it was proof of just how far off the reservation this darling of the Right has wandered.

Regardless of what his staff did or did not know, the excuses, as lame as any ever proffered by a politician’s aides, the facts, as they were related earlier by the Governor himself, most likely spell the end of his political career beyond South Carolina. Sanford is the latest of the alleged “New Faces of the GOP” who have been exposed as adulterous dirt bags in the last two weeks. Sanford’s admissions and tearful, sometimes incoherent statements to the press, come within a matter of days of Republican Senator, John Ensign of Nevada revealing he, too, had been engaged in an extramarital affair. Ensign’s scenario is also clouded by accusations of extortion and bribery. Both Sanford and Ensign had been mentioned as potential national candidates in 2012. Oops.

Had the Republican Party not spent the better half of the decade of the 1990’s attempting to bring down and impeach then president Bill Clinton for allegations surrounding his affair with an intern, most observers would probably not be so unforgiving in cases like Ensign and Sanford. The fact that both men have been hard-core conservatives, champions of family values and popular with activists on the “Religious Right” and “Christian Conservatives” give these dalliances an air of hypocrisy and self righteousness that does give some pleasure. “To watch Governor Sanford finally realize that he doesn’t live in a house without glass, that he talks one hell of a talk while walking a distinctly different walk somehow just seems like cosmic justice”, commented long time Clinton friend, apologist, and flakey, Lannie Davis.

Governor Sanford admittedly began to have a ‘relationship’ with a woman in Argentina “about eight years ago.” he said that “It became much, much over the last year” and that he confessed the affair to his wife about “five months ago.”

Sanford resigned his position as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association but refused to comment on his status in his current term in the SC State house. The entire mess became public slowly over the last five days when it was reported that the Governor had taken off on his own and that his staff “did not know” his exact where abouts. The SC Lieutenant Governor, Andre Bauer, had expressed dismay and confusion about who was legally “in charge” of the State while the flighty Governor was MIA.

The fact that Sanford seemed to disappear over Father’s day weekend while he has four sons, raised more and more questions as well as concerns. His wife, Jenny, gave a terse statement to the local media on father’s day saying that she was “being a mom” and taking care of her family despite her husband’s bizarre vanishing act. As it was revealed today the couple is now in a “trial separation”.

Both Democrats and Republicans in South Carolina and beyond have expressed a wide range of reactions to the entire saga and about Mark Sanford himself. One top SC State Senate leader speaking not for attribution noted, “Mark has always been his own man. He is strange, sometimes aloof and snobby. I think he has meant well at times in his political career it’s just that he’s, ah...ah, weird. He couldn’t have found himself a girlfriend right here in the US of A? My goodness, what an odd duck he is.”

Most political observers agree that, while sanford’s romantic adventure may be nothing more than a “matter of the heart”, there remain many questions to ask. Who financed his trip to Buenos Aires? Who , if anyone, knew the truth about Sanford’s location during his absence?

Clearly the Governor has profound troubles at every turn which, in some ways, the politics is the least. He must face his four sons and continue to cope with his “trial separation” which may in fact lead to a more permanent status. But, for those who dare venture out into the arena of public service and seek the fame, power, accolades and trappings that come with high office, they should never forget they are under constant, sometimes rigorous scrutiny. Even more pointedly, Republican Right wing conservatives ought to reconsider their public positions on specific social policy matters in light of their personal behaviors and also recognize the true role of government in all our personal lives.

LINKS:


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/us/25sanford.html?ref=global-home

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/governors/sanfords-admits-affair-first-t.html?hpid=artslot

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/274712,south-carolina-governor-admits-affair-after-mystery-trip--summary.html

http://www.thestate.com/sanford/story/839231.html

http://www.thestate.com/154/story/838823.html


Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 22, 2009

REPUBLICANS LACK PERSPECTIVE ON IRAN




























Senators Jew Lieberman, Lindsay ”Gay” Graham, UpChuck Grassley & Johnnie McCain

THESE GUYS HAVE BEEN WRONG ABOUT
EVERY MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY ISSUE
IN THE LAST 10 YEARS



(June, 22, Washington, DC) Most of the men and women who serve in the Senate today have backgrounds rooted in the law. Many have been practicing attorneys at some level of the justice system, others have business or military experience. What they all seem to be desperately lacking is any sense of history. Specifically, all the Republican Senators and Congressmen blathering on from the sidelines about President Obama’s present strategy in dealing with the crisis in Iran, prove, every time they open their mouths that they are at least as stupid as they look and, more dangerously, have no clue whatsoever regarding diplomacy, common sense and foreign policy.

Every one of them who has pounced on the opportunity to speak in front of a TV camera has expressed virtually the same tired, antiquated, and terribly erroneous sewage. Their blind criticism of our President is the exact same tactic they accused the Democrats of employing during the ill-fated, nonstop, blunder-thon that was the 8 years of the Cheney-Bush Administration. Beyond their sad lack of recent American history regarding Iran, they are seemingly incapable of keeping their ignorance to themselves and their mouths shut. With each additional comment from the likes of the bozos pictured above and their GOP colleagues, the move ever more out towards the chaotic right fringe of reality.

“DEMOCRATIZATION” : HOW’D THAT WORK OUT?

For the moment, put aside the CIA’s toppling of a very popular democratically elected president in 1952-53. Let us leave aside the troubled era of the United States puppet, The Shah of Iran. We won’t discuss the “Islamic Uprising” of 1979, the taking of our Embassy in Tehran, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and the fact that we have had no direct diplomatic ties with Iran in about 30 years.

Seven years ago then President george W. Bush designated iran as a member of the “Axis of Evil” ushering in the latest era of hostilities between our two nations. Despite Iran's cooperation with the US during the 1991 Gulf War and their support and intelligence sharing with us after September 11, 2001, playing the tough guy game with Iran is an abject failure as an official foreign policy. The GOP must not have been awake for most of the past decade or so. (Actually, that might explain a great deal more than their collective idiocy of today.)

Should the Republicans somehow suddenly wake up, they may be well served by examining our previous efforts at intervention in Iran’s neighborhood. Iran has, by all accounts, gained considerable strength while the USA has been bogged down in our protracted, ill-conceived, abysmally managed, ongoing war of choice in Iraq. Seems our efforts to bring “American style Democracy” to all those “Freedom loving people in Iraq”, as Georgie Boy repeatedly asserted, has not gone too well.

These know -nothing, do - nothing GOPers may want to take a peek at Afghanistan, the site of the “real” war that should have been fought after 9 11 01. Our puppet government there doesn’t even control five square miles of that perpetually embattled country and the Taliban, those who gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden and Al Qeada, to plan their attacks on America, are running roughshod over Afghanistan, in many ways stronger than they had been in 2001.

President Obama is exactly correct in taking a hands off position. Why give the authoritarian regime in Iran any reason to put the blame on America for what is a grassroots movement by citizens of a sovereign country who feel their votes were not counted, were meaningless, and they are out in the streets protesting? The Republican rhetoric only serves to inflame an already dangerously simmering situation that end results of which could have broad implications in the region and beyond for years to come.

Joe Lieberman should just take his traitorous ass and join the Knesset in Israel, the country to which he is most loyal. Lindsay Graham should take his syrupy, homespun advice and go look for his MIA Governor. Grassley, this moronic fossil should do his best to keep his foot out of his mouth and John McCain, after that ass beating you took in November 2008, you should simply vanish from public sight. Certainly you are as useless as ever in the Senate and you have already proven how old, decrepit and addled you are.

The situation in Iran will play out as it must simply by the actions of those in power and those who protest in Iran. Enough of the old saber rattling bullshit, boys. Your ideas and ideology have been proven to be nothing more than rubbish.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8112176.stm

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/22/headlines

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/22/earlyshow/main5102053.shtml


Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved