This is the White House Correspondents' black-tie dinner today. No wonder the president skips it.
I'm linking it for cultural reference, just in case you don't need humor and have a strong stomach to watch that culture in its death throes. I really don't advise anyone watch this, unless you have a high tolerance for lots of unpleasant things.
So you don't have to watch it, I did.
It starts out vaguely cute, then segues abruptly and dizzyingly to an interminable list of serious, unfunny direct accusations, delivered with a weird half smirk: Trump is a racist, a white nationalist, a "monster", and on and on and on. Republicans are pedophile Nazis. Everyone should try abortion, "gotta get that baby out!". Mike Pence is weird. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a liar. The press needs to stop covering what they say until they say the right things.
Then, in an abortive attempt to return to comedy, a bunch of simplistic shock-word jokes: tampons, porn, pussy, balls. Oooh, did she say that bad word? titter titter.
Then back to an interminable direct attack, only this time aimed exclusively at women in the administration. They are liars. They are Diaper Genies with shit on the inside. Sara Huckabee Sanders 'burns facts and uses the ashes to create smokey eyes'. Then West really got started.
In her warm up interviews to her big moment on the national stage, Ms. West had already sniped how glad she was that Ms. Sanders would be in attendance, because "finally she gets to go to the prom". Maybe, she now snickered, she can "divide us into softball teams". There it was, the popular girl literally pointing at the chunky smart one, the girl who didn't go to prom, who gamely organized the teams and made the parade floats. The one with the makeup that was just a little off, the hairstyle that was popular last season. The smart one who can make it all the way to the national stage and still, somehow, be a figure of ridicule. You know the one. The one the mean girls get to laugh at.
Sanders, by the way, was sitting 2 seats away from her persecutor, stoically tolerating the vomited invective; every eye and camera trained on her reaction, hoping for a little blood. To her credit, Sanders rose above the moment. She neither reacted, nor did she give in to the instinct to laugh along at her own humiliation, trying to insinuate herself with her tormentors. West may be stuck in junior year; Sanders has grown.
This is nothing new, of course. Female liberal wags become chauvinist piglets the minute they are faced with a conservative woman. They've long taunted Ms. Sanders, in particular. The LA Times once snarked that she is "chunky soccer mom", the girl who didn't get asked to prom. She's a "Christian whore" according to the oh-so-droll Jim Carrey. Cher snorts that she "dresses like a sister wife". Liberal commentator Chelsea Handler says she's "a harlot" who wears "summer whore lipstick all over her face". I could go on, but you get the drift.
Only liberal women deserve the benefits of feminism, after all. If we dare to disagree, we're fakes and liars. We are fair game to denigrate our looks, our make up and our figures, our clothing choices and our hair: none of which, of course, will come up to standard in those beady, judgemental, oh so liberated eyes. It's high school in the locker room with the popular girls, except this class never ends. For someone so offended that "Trump grabs pussies to shake out the loose change", this particular liberal judge-and-jury sure had no objection reducing the rest of us to exactly that.
I came up in the 70's, and I remember what it was like to be shunted to the side as a professional and reduced to my looks, from both sides. A judge who had me skip the hearing to answer his phone, and a judge who let me win motions because he wanted to get into my pants. Both were degrading. And here is a clueless female who never faced anything like that in her privileged world, reducing us right back to where we began 40 years ago, so long as we don't go along and swallow her party line. We oldies fought forty years to give this woman the ability to be who she is, and she's used it to degrade us more thoroughly than any junior manager who ever rubbed against us in a file room.
This is our country today.
I wish it wasn't.
Even before the election, we had the Kafkaesque visual of feminists and celebrities and network news anchors excoriating Trump rallies for violence, never mentioning that the violence came from the leftist protesters who beat the attendees bloody. Like a spousal abuser who regrets the fact that his victim made him do that again, violence and disdain and hatred is the fault of the victim here. Don't want to be insulted and degraded? Stop thinking the way you think; you make us do this to you.
And as soon as the 2016 election was over, the anger of those who lost that Guaranteed Win boiled over into invective, hatred, and threat, which became increasingly mainstream with each repetition, increasingly extreme with each new day and the need for each new cheap rating. Somehow, in only two years, it's become acceptable, even lauded, for vapid celebrities to suggest burning down the White House and shooting the president. New York City butchers Shakespeare in Central Park to act out the assassination of the sitting president of the United States. Anyone who disagrees with the politically correct mandates of empty socialist economics is immediately equated to a mass murderer of 6,000,000 people. And women who clawed their way to the top on brains, toughness, and wit are reduced to crude caricatures of their gender by an emotionally arrested poster child for millennial privilege, offered up with a sneer to be ridiculed by an elitist group of self-satisfied morons with undergraduate degrees in journalism.
This is what we get for tolerating it all folks. This is why my elders --- a group so far out of the consciousness of this stupid young woman that they might as well be the Washingtons --- warned us about the degradation of culture. We laughed at them, we children of the 60's and 70's. This was a cultural revolution; how 'square', how uncool, how old school. If it feels good: do it. If you think it: say it. Be you. Ignore what they say about what you should do; do what you want to do and that makes it all right. You deserve it. You're special. We bought it; we lived it; and we created an entire generation of offspring who embody it.
But our parents were right. It's come full circle. By abandoning all standards, we've enabled the grossest and crudest among us to rise to the top. We let them incite whatever evil they wish against anyone who doesn't fit their definition of worthy. By dumbing down education and stifling opposing debate, we've ensured that those definitions would be empty, shallow, and historically bankrupt. And by abandoning all societal mores, we've degraded debate into pejorative invective and the blithe advocacy of violence against those who won't fit those definitions.
We're reaping what we sowed: there are no limits any more. I guess that makes us the winners.
And it's nauseating.