"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, January 30, 2023

Dreaming Of Marilyn Monroe–The Curse Of The Gender-Righteous Man

Bob Musgrove was a man of rectitude, moral purpose, and high ideals.  When his classmates were carousing, Bob was demonstrating.   Restoring the rights of the black man, demanding equality for women, and assuring the health of the planet were too important for idleness and vanity.  A more peaceful, verdant, inclusive world could never be achieved without diligence.  There was no fun in Bob’s life because fun itself meant a senseless detour.  Panty raids, bladder ball, and tailgate parties were distractions from the essentials.  Fun was not in the cards.

No one could be sure where this particular sense of obsessive Puritanism came from. Bob's parents were Long Island burghers, proper and respected, religious but never fanatic, orderly but not overly, cheerful but never high spirited. There were distant Salem ancestors on his mother’s side, prosecutors in the witch trials, lay ministers favored by Cotton Mather, but this eccentricity certainly had dissipated over the generations.  

His father’s family was Scotch-Irish and had suffered both Catholic and Protestant persecution in England before emigrating to America.  A kind of persecuted entitlement had followed the Musgroves since their arrival, but like his wife’s Potters, the sentiment had dissolved slowly but surely in the melting pot.  So, there was nothing extraordinary or telling about Bob’s parentage or ancestry to explain his joyless life.

Salem Witch Trials - Events, Facts & Victims - HISTORY

On the surface Bob’s childhood was like most other boys’ – baseball on the green, sodas and shakes at McPhail’s, bikes and summer camp – but there was a waspishness about him, a kind of nastiness, a sneer in his practiced composure, something irritatingly censorious.  He barely tolerated  others, befriended as a matter of etiquette, gave off more than a whiff of permanent dislike, and eventually was left on the curb – a weird loner absorbed in some preachy repeat of Pastor Philipps’ Sunday sermons.

He found his mentor, his place, and his purpose at university in the person of the Reverend Billings Hartley, chaplain, spiritual and moral leader, one of the first to ride the busses to Montgomery and Selma, and a later outspoken advocate for a nuclear-free world.  Bob  became the Reverend Hartley’s acolyte, his altar boy, and his amanuensis.  Hartley put into action all that Bob had wished and gave expression to the frustrations he had been feeling.  

Consorting with the likes of Reverend Hartley was liberating, free at last, happy in his anger and injustice.  For all his four years at university, Bob was tireless in his commitment to radical reform.  The university at that time was still an old-boy network of St. Grottlesex inherited wealth and privilege, most of the students legatees of important financiers, industrialists, and social influencers; but Bob found a cadre of like-minded colleagues.  Among them his nastiness disappeared, his reticence a thing of the past.  He was a happy warrior.

Image result for images preppies frrom st grottlesex

His social justice trajectory gained altitude and speed once he left the East Coast, and in the progressive dens of graduate school he honed his intellectual sharpness, lost his snippiness and gained a congenial ease and sliver tongue.  After his PhD he went to Washington, soldier in the many progressive, reformist think tanks and non-profit foundations, and rose to the directorship of one of the most influential.

As a good, credentialed and philosophically pure progressive, Bob never, ever thought of sexual infidelity.  To betray his wife would not only be an insult to her but a rejection of all the principles he espoused.  No assignation, no cinq-a-sept, no one-night stand could possibly be contemplated, so insulting would it be to the principles of honesty, respect, duty, and responsibility his political movement embraced.  If he were to cheat on his wife, how could anyone take his abject respect and devotion to the cause of women seriously? There is no such thing as restrictive philandry. Sexual involvement with women outside of marriage was tantamount to political faithlessness.

The problem was that despite Bob’s moral sincerity and absolute commitment to the cause of civil justice, he could not resist women.  Surprising though it might seem in a hair-shirt Protestant whose moral code had been written and codified in Salem, Bob was beset by sexual compromise.  He wanted women, all women whether the hooker on the street corner, the Georgetown matron, or his colleagues young daughters. His mind wandered to the thought of endless, free, and uninhibited sex with his administrative assistants, his friends' wives, and the waitress in the cafeteria.

Bob was not a handsome man.  Neither the Musgrove nor Farley genes conferred a chiseled jaw, penetrating eyes, facial symmetry, or physical allure; so he was overlooked and ignored by women; and since he had only been interested in refining his political skills, he had never paid attention to seduction.  Worst of all, because of his subscription to radical feminism, he felt it wrong to look at women sexually, for to do so would be silent abuse, disrespect, and misogyny. So, despite his potent and increasing sexual urges, he stumbled and foundered when it came to approaching women.  Nothing but political blather came out of his mouth.  No billets doux, no flowers, no candy in the equation.

What about Jack Kennedy? A man’s man, a sexual hero, seducer of Marilyn Monroe, Mafia molls, and Russian spies? Or tomcatting LBJ, pussy hound and White House Lothario?  Or Bob’s greatest hero, Martin Luther King, the biggest philanderer of them all, rocket man of the black middle class, the ghetto, and beyond.  Or even Bill Clinton who never crossed the line with Monica Lewinsky (“I never had sex with that woman”) but who diddled and twaddled her and had sex with legions of Arkansas backwoods trailer trash? Democrats did this! The Governor of New York was serviced by high-end tarts in the executive suite of the Mayflower.  What was wrong with him? Why didn’t he have a little on the side?

12,054 Marilyn Monroe Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

As he looked at it, these politicians were not progressives.  They might have been Democrats, but that was a far cry from today’s social justice reformers.  They were secular men of classical liberalism – concern for the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized without passion.  They underestimated the black man, missed his human legacy, his genetic and cultural superiority, and looked at him solely as an American without money. They missed the intellectual elegance of women, their natural superiority, their strength, will, and energy.  These men might have been of Bob’s political party, but not the party of real, absolute justice.  Their philandering was simply a retrograde, indelible machismo which they had not confronted.  Dr. King, for all his civil sensitivities and anti-war sentiments, never got to the issue of women. 

Yet, the idea of being in bed with starlets, romping in oversized beds under mirrored ceilings in Las Vegas hotels with sexual room service was never out of his mind.  No matter how much fevered political intent, no matter how much passion and energy he put into his speeches about gender rights, the restitution of the black man, or the crimes against the environment, he could simply not put tits and ass aside.  Progressivism, plus a dollop of old Salem and Cotton Mather, had done him in.  He wanted so much to do what Macron, Sarkozy, Mitterrand, Putin, Erdogan, and the ayatollahs with their harems were doing – having sex every night with pretty young things, but he was hamstrung.

This of course was not just Bob’s problem but the nation’s.  Americans have long been subjected to the most penitential progressive moral righteousness since old New England. It has been an age of sanctimony, false rectitude, witch burning, and tar-and-feathering.   Nature cannot be allowed to run its course.  Everything and everybody needs attention and moral guidance; and progressives, like the nuns of the old days with clackers, stiff rulers, and implacable discipline, were just the ones to provide it.

So Bob remained faithful to his wife of fifty years.  He felt good about matching personal morality with political principles, but before falling asleep he could only think of Rebecca from Accounting, Rosalind from HR, and the high-bosomed hookers on 7th Street.

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